The Beauty in Tears
Quite a lot has happened within this past week. I have learned a lot from the conferences we have had as a zone here in Hamburg, and as a mission in Germany. We not only had zone conference this past week, but we also had the opportunity to hear from one of the twelve apostles. It truly was a tender mercy to have been able to travel to Berlin for this special missionary meeting.
We were initially not supposed to be able to attend the meeting with Elder Ronald A. Rasband, but our mission president is so full of love for the west half of us (missionaries) that he made it possible for us to all be able to hear from an apostle called of God. Throughout the entire meeting with Elder Rasband, the spirit was strongly testifying to me that everything he was sharing was true. I know God is our Father and he knows us individually. He knows our personal needs. I have no doubt Russel M. Nelson is a prophet called of God to guide and direct us, and that we have a prophet and apostles who speak as representatives of God.
As of now I am torn with emotions. We received our transfer calls this past weekend and I was told I am being transferred to Dresden. I am excited to have the opportunity to serve in Dresden and to meet even more people, but I am sad to leave Hamburg. I have not cried yet, but I totally know it is bound to happen anytime soon.
Serving here in Hamburg has been such a beautiful experience. I have developed amazing relationships here with members and with nonmembers. I do not even know if there is a proper word that exists in the English language that can describe how much love I have for Hamburg. Since arriving here as a trainee, I have acquired a deeper understanding of Jesus Christ and his role in my life.
The atonement of Jesus Christ is the reason I am out here serving a mission. Most often, the atonement of Christ is thought of only as his crucifixion. His atonement goes beyond that. The atonement of Christ begins with his suffering in Gethsemane, continues through his death, and ends with his resurrection. It is because of him that we have the opportunity to be clean and forgiven, over and over again. There are no limits to new beginnings because of what Christ did for all of mankind.
During my personal study one morning, I was reading in Doctrine and Covenants (a series of modern day revelation). The section I was reading from relates to the translation of the Book of Mormon and the men who were called to fulfill the responsibility. In Section 18, Christ is speaking to three of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon. As I was reading, I was profoundly struck by love when I read the following words: "My grace is sufficient for you, and you shall be lifted up at the last day."
I know that Christ came to earth to show us the way back to our loving Heavenly Father. I know he chose to live a perfect life so he could fulfill the will of God. I know Christ knelt down in the garden of Gethsemane as he literally took upon himself our sins, illnesses, infirmities, and death so we would not have to be bound to them. I know that he bled from every pore because he loves us and because he loves God. Because of him, I have felt God's love for me at every point of my missionary experience.
Serving a mission away from everyone I love is difficult, but I would not change a thing. The testimonies I have developed as I have knelt in humble prayer and relied solely on God and Christ are priceless. I invite you each to read Elder Uchtdorf's Behold the Man! I know that when we truly behold who Christ is, we open ourselves to his healing powers.