This was an amazing week, and I am so grateful for the blessings of the Lord! The definite highlight was on Saturday to participate in the baptism of Mario Gomez.
In the time that he has been learning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he has change completely. He went from not believing in God, to making covenants to follow Jesus Christ for the rest of his life, and in a great way that is thanks to his amazing family members that have been the best of examples to him. Sadly, I will finally admit, this week my two year full time as a missionary will come to an end, and I will be returning to the United States of America. There are many mixed feelings, but I would say mostly nervousness but also calmness. Nervousness because of the new life that I am begin, but calmness because of the assurity that I have done what the Lord has needed in Guatemala, and as it says in 2 Timothy 4:7
"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith"
My wish is to continue fighting the good fight, now and for all eternity. There is no greater blessing than that of being called as a disciple of Jesus Christ, his invitation to follow him is extended to each and every one of us.
What has been the greatest miracle that I have seen in all of my time here? The miracle of conversion. In one occasion, President Monson said that we need to develop the ability to see men not as they are, but as they can become. It is magnificent to see how much people can change as they humble themselves before God and allow him to change them. The gospel turns bad people into good, and good people into great, and I see this every single day. The Lord has given me the blessing to see many people change their lives, and to be an instrument in his hands to help them do so, and I am eternally grateful for this blessing. Also, I have seen the marvelous POWER of the Book of Mormon. I know that it sounds too good to be true, but literally any person who takes the time to study this sacred book of scripture and learn from the revelation that come, will be changed. It has the power to convince all men that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that thanks to his atonement we can all be forgiven for our sins. God expects us all to help our fellow man by doing the small things so that they can become the people that God wants them to become.
In the Saviours visit to America, he expounded upon his Gospel, and I am grateful for the insights that we receive in 3 Nefi 27. In this chapter is contained the verse of scripture that has become my personally model, the goal for my life that I know is possible. In 3 Nefi 27:27, it says:
27 And know ye that ye shall be judges of this people,according to the judgment which I shall give unto you,which shall be just. Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am.
We all have the potential, as sons and daughters of a God, to become as he is. We must have the vision in mind and work towards it every day, modeling every second of our lives as much as we can after the perfect man that was sent to pay for our sins, even Jesus Christ. In the verse, he makes a very simple invitation to all of humanity of the types of men and woman that we must be, and after his own example he responds very simple "even as I am". Being even as he is is the most difficult task that we will encounter in our lives. Become as him, perfect in all ways. But, he knew that all of us would fall short of the glory of God, and for this reason has proportioned the way that we can become even as he is through the glorious gift of repentance. We must apply this gift every day, because every day we will continue to commit errors and we will see that we fall short of perfection. It will not be in this life that we obtain perfection, but in the next, and all he asks of us is to do our best to become the closest to this perfection. There is not greater joy that comes as we pursue this goal, but it is a path of much sacrifice. He will ask us to give up some of the things that we love most, to lose our lives for his sake, but only as we lose ourselves can we find the real us that we were intended to become, even before the foundation of this world. This invitation is given to all, and as we run into those that are still not on the pathway towards becoming as he is, we can invite them to come and see and participate of the marvelous love of our Heavenly Father. I am grateful for these last two years of inviting and helping people to come unto Christ, and it is amazing to see that as I have done so and worked to forget myself, I myself have come unto him. I know and testify that our Saviour lives and loves us. He knows each one of us in a personally way, and knows what we need. I know that he has proportioned the knowledge necessary to arrive to the celestial kingdom thanks to the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. My joy is complete in him, and I love my Saviour and Heavenly Father with all of my heart. I testify of their divinity, and of the glorious plan that has been put into place, and continue with all of my heart to invite all to come unto Christ. I finish with the word of Moroni, and his invitation in Moroni 10:32
"Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God."
This is the path that we all must take, and I testify of His almight power, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.