Dear family and friends,
What a week this has been!!! In rain and shine we work!
This week we worked a lot with Demila and Marie, who are each experiencing difficult trials in their lives. As a missionary, I mourn and sorrow with them, yet at times I feel little and helpless. What does bring me hope, though, is that God lives and answers prayers. I try to always remember, "with men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible" (Mark 10: 27). Please keep Demila, her daughters, and Marie in your prayers.
In a time of trial, we often ask ourselves, "Why me? Why this? When will it come to an end?" Considering many circimstances, I believe it is fair to ask such things. Let us never forget, however, that trials arise for a reason, and they allow us to learn and grow. Remember that some of the most difficult trials in life, with time, can become the sweetest memories because we look back and see that we did it, we overcame it through the grace and mercy of our loving Savior.
This week I read several scriptural passages that speak of trials. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, the children of Israel slaved under pharaoh's wrath, Abinadi was burned by King Noah, Nephi and Lehi were beaten in prison, and Moroni witnessed the destruction of his people. It is clear that although we may be disciples of Jesus Christ, we still have tribulations, but we have promises of protection and deliverance from all that may come.
"For behold, ye shall be as a whale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea; for the winds which have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the rains and the floods have I sent forth. And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves and the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come" (Ether 2: 24-25).
Knowing it is Christ who saves us, how do we, then, become His disciples? We keep His commandments. When we keep the commandments, not only can we count on blessings of deliverance and protection, but we will recieve a fullness of joy in His kingdom. From the words of a living apostle, we learn, "the greatest test of life is to see whether we will hearken to and obey God's commandments in the midst of the storms of life. It is not to endure the storms, but the choose the right while they rage" (President Henry B. Eyring). Everyone experiences difficulties, but it is those who believe in Christ and keep His commandments that recieve the greatest rewards in heaven.
Remember that you can make a difference, wherever you are. Find someone to help and always, always remember to smile.:)
I love you with all of my heart, Soeur Laura Lee Judd