"Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah."

Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 2:8

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Life is a Mission - WA'RANIN

With my new Q'eqchi' hymnbook my Aunt Julie and the Q'eqchi' Choir brought to me.  

Bags packed and ready to go.
Well guys, this is the last time that I will write to you as Elder Norton. 

It's hard to describe how I feel at this point. I feel sort of like I don't have any other life apart from here in Guatemala - kind of like my whole life was just a dream before now. It might be partly because I am really getting a true vision of what really matters in life. My perspective and my attitude have changed a lot about a lot of things. But really I think that being here on a mission more than anything has taught me about this life. I really have felt that the mission is a large typification of life in general. We leave our Heavenly Parents to come to a foreign place where we have to adapt, where we face and overcome new challenges, where we can grow spiritually, and where we sometimes have to suffer. We have limited communication with our Heavenly Father. We have specific things that we were sent here to do in this life. We have to learn how to trust in the Spirit of the Lord to guide us in order to complete those things. We cry, we suffer, we get sick, we get homesick, we want to be able to live a good life and finish out strong, but it's hard. Yet we keep pushing and praying and trusting that this is what we need and that the Lord will bless us. We make sacrifices, humble ourselves, and see miracles. We keep climbing mountain after mountain after mountain to find what the Lord wants us to do in life. Before we really even are aware of it, time passes us by and we realize that our life is coming to a close. There's still a lot of things we want to do- a lot more people to love, more places to see, more work to be done, more progress to be made. But time keeps moving on. It has to come to an end because there was a beginning. And yet this life, this mission, is just the beginning of eternal prgoress and happiness that we will have if we finish out stong and stay on the path. There are a lot of temptations, problems, tragedies, fights, companionship inventories, families that fall apart, friends that fall, members that get offended, people that don't progress like you want them to. But the most important thing is not to get off the path- not to quit. You keep going until every last ounce of strength is used, until the last breath. 

And then you go home. And then everything in the mission becomes the dream. Like you never even left. But you did and you can't ever forget that you did because you aren't the same anymore and you never will be. And then you keep progressing and learning and moving forward. 

And all of that is possible because the Savior Jesus Christ completed His mission. He faced it all and overcame it all, all by himself. And he faced all of our missions all by himself so that we don't have to walk alone in life. If there's anything I've learned on my mission or up to this point in my life, it's that Christ is our Savior. He has already paid the price for our sins. He did that because he wants more than anything else that we can change and become enough like Him to live with Him again. I know that He lives. I know that our Heavenly Father lives and loves each and every one of His children. He sees what no one else can. He knows where each tiny wooden house is scattered in the mountains and trees. He knows, understands, and answers each prayer uttered and whispered in Q'eqchi', Spanish, English, or whatever other language, or the ones not even uttered at all. He is a God of miracles. He provides miracles to those that believe Him. He has perfect purpose in every single minor detail of life. I know that this Church is His true Church because it is the only church on the face of the earth that is perfect- formed by His and Christ's hands. More importantly I know it is His true church because I have felt the influence of His Spirit time and time again establishing in my heart the the truthfulness of the restoration of the Gospel. By that same Spirit I have come to know that God has called once again living prophets on the earth to guide us. I know that Joseph Smith was the first of those prophets to be called in this last era. I also know that Thomas Monson is His living prophet and His only true representative on the face of the earth at this time. I know the work that I've dedicated my life to for these past two years is the very work of that Living God and that it is the most important work happening under heaven. I believe all of these things with all my heart. I feel that they are right and true. 

Nannaw rik'in x'anchalil li wam naq yo'yo aj Kolol qe. Tz'aqal yaal li paab'al nokopaab'ank wi' ut nannaw naq li Kristo nab'eresink re. Ka'ajwi' nannaw xb'aan naq xnaq sa' lin ch'ool. Kik'ehe chi awmank ut chi siipo'k sa' lin ch'ool jun iyaj. Us ex injunkab'lal, oxej tinwulaq aran eerik'in wi'chik. WA'RANIN!!!!!!!!!!! (I'll be right there.)

Love you all more than you know and I'm SO excited to see you all and hug you all again the day after the day after tomorrow. Get ready. See you all soon.

Elder Norton

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