I wanted to thank all the amazing people that have supported me during these 2 years of my life that were so important. Thank you for writing me, praying for me, encouraging me, making me laugh, brightening my day, and helping me along the way in this mission. I really am grateful.
There are so many things that we experience on the mission haha. We laugh, we cry, we see peoples lives change, we feel sorry for the people who don't let this message into their lives, we get sick! (like last week), we get cussed at, threatened, and spit on (sorry I didn't tell you about that one mom haha), we try new food, see new culture, and we LOVE. I can't even begin to express how much I am absolutely in love with the Peruvian people. I know that God has sent me here to recognize and to meet some of the people that I knew in the premortal existence, because I can feel it and I have seen it so clearly.
I always grew up listening to my dad's cool mission stories and I thought Wow one day I'm going to have stories like that too! haha I didn't know why I wanted to go on a mission when I was a little kid. I guess I just supposed it was where we see cool things happen and people love us and give us food haha. When I decided to fill out my papers and actually go I thought I knew why I was doing it. I knew that the church was true and that God loves us. Little did I know how utterly mind blown I was about to be for the next two years. Now as I approach the end of my mission I think back and realize why I have done all of this. I LOVE JESUS CHRIST. I love him. And I now know with a surety that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the one and only true church upon the face of the earth, the only true and perfect church that Christ established when He was here.
The mission definitely hasn't been easy. Sure it has it's ups and downs but it definitely isn't play haha. It is fun and we do laugh till we cry haha. But there are times when we suffer, or get so discouraged, or sad because our brothers and sisters don't accept a message that they once knew so well. I've shed tears for this people and have prayed and fasted so that I might be a tool in God's hands in bringing them back to the true happiness. The mission has been 2 of the funnest and best years of my life, but also 2 of the hardest. It makes me think of Peter and John when they were taken before the court and accused. There was no fault found in them so they were whipped and let go, being told to not preach of Christ anymore. They left the court `rejoicing` because they were counted worthy to suffer in the name on Jesus Christ (Acts 5:40-41). I am so infinitely grateful that I have also been counted worthy to suffer for this great work and also for the Lord Jesus Christ.
More than anything I am so happy! And grateful! That I have been able to serve here! God really did put prepared people in Magdalena, San Martin de Porres, La Libertad, Las Flores, and in Maranga. And it's been so important for me to be in each and every one of those sectors. I have made so many sacred memories and made so many friends in each ward. Friends that will be a part of me forever. I have seen people find happiness and see the look on their face as they emerge from the waters of baptism, clean and worthy. That's the best feeling :)
I have gained a real testimony. I know that this is Christ's church and that He directs it through a living prophet, Thomas S Monson. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. As a 14 year old boy he was visited by God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ and was told of a heavenly mission that he was to undertake. A mission that would eventually end with his death (Hebrews,19). He decided to go to his grave testifying that he has seen a pillar of light exactly over his head and that he really did see Two Personages whose brightness and glory defy all description. I have learned for myself, independant of any other person, and only through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. And if God needed me to, I would also go to my grave testifying that this is His church, and I would die for this gospel (phillipians ). I testify as a representative of Jesus Christ that Christ is on our side and that in this work as a missionary He has been on my left and on my right, and that his angels have been round about me to bear me up and protect me. I have SEEN this promise fulfilled (Doctrine and Covenants 84:88). I know with all my heart that Jesus Christ suffered and died for my imperfections. I know that as He fell on his face and cried out to His father in the garden of Gethsemane He thought deeply and personally of me and who I really am and what I would come to the earth to do. I know because I have felt His love, and I understand how much He cares about me a little bit more after having served a mission. I have gained a testimony of the importance of an eternal family. And the greatest blessing that I have ever received is knowing that I am sealed to my family in the temple and by the authority of the only true and real priesthood upon the face of the earth. The only true priesthood that was restored to Joseph Smith by 3 heavenly messengers, Peter, James and John. I know that through my faith and obedience, I can return home to my Heavenly King and there live with my family forever in a state of never ending happiness (Mosiah ). It would take a while to testify because the church is perfect haha. But these are some of the things that I have found out for myself. I KNOW that they're true because I have tried their fruits, meditated, and then asked the source of all truth is these things are true (3 Nephi ) and I have felt love, peace, and joy. Not to mention complete happiness and hope (Galations ). I know this is his church and I am so grateful for this time that I have had to see other's lives change and to help them along their way back to our Heavenly Father. I testify of these things in the name of my Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
I will be home on! I'm excited to see you all when I get home. I have missed you all especially my family :) Mom and Dad you guys made me cry today with your letters haha. I miss you family! and friends! This is the most important thing I have ever done and I am so grateful to have been able to serve in God's Army for 2 years :)
See you all next week!
Love Elder Daniel Dahlin