My dearest peeps :)
Another week has come and gone speedier than the last. As usual, I sat here looking at the computer in a stupor of thought as to what to email this week. Luckily, I have a very diligent mother who frequently asks me questions to share in her seminary class. And thus this email was born in response to one such question, "Can you share a list of blessings that you have received by serving a mission?" She also quoted Doctrine & Covenants, Section 31, which just so happens to be one of my favorites about missionary work. I love all of the promised blessings in that section and one of my favorite verses is verse 3, "Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come." That's how I feel waking up every day here in the Philippines -- rejoicing to be here doing the Lord's work!
I have received an innumerable number of blessings while being here on my mission. Every day I seem to receive added strength to endure all the physical aspects of the work. Somehow I am blessed with happiness, even after a long day of disappointments. Some of the blessings that I hold most dear are not ones that came so quickly but ones that I had to work hard to obtain -- a reliance on God, a stronger testimony and understanding of the Atonement, and the ability to feel God's love for His children and see then as he sees them.. All of these are things that I really cherish. I think mostly because I can look at myself at the beginning of my mission and see how much I have grown, which I guess is another blessing in and of itself.
Being able to teach His word in Tagalog is another blessing. There were so many times at the beginning of my mission that I did not understand the words that were coming out of my mouth but I knew that Lord had loosened my tongue and was using me to teach what the people needed to hear. Now, when someone asks me to pray in English, I can't hardly do it!
I love that through this Gospel I have received so many blessings, but what I love more is being able to go out and share my blessings with those who do not have the truth.
In the last verse of D&C 31, it says, "Be faithful unto the end, and lo, I am with you." That is the biggest blessing that any of us have, that if we always strive to keep the commandments and do what is right, our Savior is always with us. I know that is true. I know that this is the true Gospel. I am so thankful for the blessings it brings in my life.
I love you all!
P.S. from Maria -- If you would like to read Section 31 of the Doctrine and Covenants that Marissa refers to here, follow this link: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/31