Monday, December 28, 2009

Singing Christmas Songs in the Metro

December 24, 2009
Familia and Loved Ones,

Merry Christmas! I wanted to give everyone a gift and the best I have to offer is my testimony. I hope that you can feel the Spirit and that it moves you to do something.

I love my Heavenly Father. I made the decision to serve a mission because it was something He told me to do. He let me make the decision, but he helped me to understand that I needed to do it by giving me trials, experiences, and promptings from the Spirit. I am so grateful He sent me to Chile, sent me to find HIs children that need the gospel. He has given me so many blessings along the way.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son." John 3:16 Heavenly Father showed us a lot of love by sending His only begotten Son to suffer and atone for my sins. He watched His son suffer and die knowing that there would be many who wouldn´t accept what he did, wouldn´t recognize him as the Christ. So why did He do it? He did it for those that will accept the atonement, even if it be only a few. "Souls are great in the sight of God." D&C 18:10 Before my mission I didn´t understand the atonement, it wasn´t real to me. Now it is real. Heavenly Father helped me to understand when we taught Bérnardo. We did everything for him. Show him more love than I knew I had. In the end when he decided he didn´t have the strength to choose the right, I felt an overwhelming peace but it also broke my heart. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ must have felt that way when they gave us our agency to choose. The heart ache in knowing that many of His sons and daughters weren´t going to come back to live with Him, that they weren´t going to choose "true happiness". But also feeling peace in knowing that each of His children will make the decisions and end up where they will be happy. My purpose as a missionary is to represent Jesus Christ, to do what He did when He lived here. To love, heal, teach, change, and then let the person choose. I know I fulfilled my purpose when I felt overwhelming joy for the baptisms of Guido, Cecilia, José, Jesus, Claudio, Patricio, Isamar, and Sofía. I know I fulfilled my purpose when I left Bérnardo´s house with a heart broken and suffering. I know Jesus Christ lives, He atoned for the sins of humanity, He prepared the earth, He taught the way to live a happy life, He taught the way to return to live with Heavenly Father and our families forever. He is my Savior and I am trying to be more like Him.

Jesus said, "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:18,26 The Spirit is real. He testifies of God and Christ. He has kept me from danger, given me my testimony, changed me, and helped me feel the love of my Heavenly Father. The most important thing we learn in the mission is to follow the Spirit. To help us have the Spirit, God gave us commandments. When we live the commandments we have the promise of the company of the Spirit, which brings happiness to our lives. When we don´t live them we don´t have any promises.

Two weeks ago we were walking down the street when Ernesto stopped us and asked about the church. We gave him the direction for the church and set up a time to visit him the next week. We weren´t expecting him to come to church, it was a street contact, that never happens. But he came to church, by himself. Then we visited him last Thursday and he accepted the commitment to be baptized. Ernesto has schizophrenia and has been living in a mental health home for a year. He is nine hours from his five year old daughter. We found out that when he stopped us in the street, he wanted to die, but he saw us and after talking to us he felt better. It has been incredible to see the change in him as he has learned the commandments and chose to keep them. Sunday he smoked 30 cigarettes, Monday 17, Tuesday 15, yesterday 10, and he isn´t going to smoke today. We called him this morning and he said that he doesn´t have the urge to smoke. He has seen how living the commandments is helping him to get better, he hasn´t felt demons or had urges to die since we started visiting him. He is going to be baptized this week and it has really been a Christmas miracle. He just can´t wait to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

I know that Heavenly Father loves all of HIs children and that is why He called prophets in the American continent and why we have a living prophet today. Heavenly Father knows His children, He knew the time was right when He called Joseph Smith to be a prophet. He knew that this generation needed the Book of Mormon, a book that would testify of Christ, testify of the Bible, and testify of the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ. I testify that the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith was called by God, and President Monson receives revelation for our day.

Heavenly Father sent me to my family. I am going to live with them forever. Even though I have been far away for the last nine months I have felt them close by. Heavenly Father has blessed me through their prayers and promised me that He will take care of them while I am away.

The temple is the house of God. We went yesterday and I was able to understand all of the Spanish. The gift of tongues is real! The Spirit literally hit me really hard when I walked in. There is great power in the temple.

Heavenly Father wants you and me to be happy. Yesterday we were teaching an eleven year old named Enoc. He said, "Every Christmas we are so worried about giving presents, but we don´t give anything to the Lord." Our happiness and the happiness of others is what we can give Him for Christmas.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love and greetings for a happy Christmas, Hermana Arnold

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