Hola! So I don’t have a lot of time. But I want to share a cool story that seriously changed me this week.
First of all I want to tell you about a friend that I have. I won’t say his name but we’ll call him Jake. Jake has been a member his whole life but for a while fell away from the church. He got into some pretty bad things and was pretty confused for a while. I met him when I was like 14 or 15 I think. And I knew that he probably had some weaknesses that I didn’t understand, but I wanted to be his friend to help him out and just to get to know him better because he seemed like a cool kid. That same year when I met him, we went camping as a youth group to the beach. and I didn’t know it then, but he later explained to me that the example that me and my brother and other friends set for him changed his life forever, and even ¨saved his life¨, as he explained it.. I had no idea how important that was until this week. Over time he started to come to church and we became better and better friends. I didn’t notice completely the change that he was having because I saw him so often, but now I realize that his life took a compete 180 and that Christ literally healed him. This friend of mine got rid of old habits and slowly and probably painfully, and with lots of difficulty, became a new person. He was changed because Christ suffered for his imperfections, just like he suffered for all of our imperfections. That friend is going on a mission to preach the restored gospel and to help people experience a change similar to the one that he had. And I couldn’t be more excited for him.
Now I’m going to tell you about a guy I met this week. We will call him Pedro. We got to his house and right away I could tell that he had some addictions and some problems. I could tell he wanted to change and he explained to us as he broke down in tears that he wanted to be a better person. He wanted to be a good example and he wanted to have a life like we have. He wanted to be free. Right there in that moment I took a second and really looked at Pedro. I realized that he is JUST LIKE JAKE. Not just his situation or the things that he is going through but also his physical appearance. And for a second I pictured him as my best friend Jake. While explaining to him the power of Christ’s atonement I really could feel the power of the Holy Ghost. And it was different because I thought of my friend and of the huge change that he has had. I felt so much love for Pedro. And in that moment I began to understand the power of Christ’s sacrifice better. My friend was in Satan’s grasp. But he broke free of the chains and is now clean and ready to go on a mission. And Pedro has the same opportunity as Jake. It was the first time in my whole mission that I actually cried. Really actually cried. Because it’s such an amazing gift that we have. The gift of forgiveness. It’s the best thing that could ever happen to us. And to be able to claim this blessing we just have to be willing and humble enough to change and do away with bad habits, words, thoughts, and desires.
I’m so grateful that Christ suffered for me and for my imperfections. I’m so grateful that I understand how much he loves me and how much of a change we can have through him. It is completely impossible to understand and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to describe how I feel about what he did for us, but I am more sure now than ever that he loves us perfectly. He really truly does love us perfectly and he wants us to be able to live with him again. That’s why he died for us, so that we can repent and become clean.
I know that these things are true. And I’m grateful for Jake and the example that he gives me. En el nombre de Jesucristo, mi Redentor, Amen.