Friday, December 26, 2014

The Miracle of a Mission

Well... the day has come. My last letter home. Can you guys believe it? There's so many things that i have to tell you guys, but i think i'll save all the details for christmas when we talk and just tell you guys the rest in 6 days:)

Really, in this letter i just want to express my gratitude and share with all of you my testimony.

From the moment i got to Mexico i could feel something different, from the second i got off the plane and the responsibility to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ, the most important message that one could share, was put on me I felt the burning desire to share it with everyone that i could. I could feel that God truly was at my side with me helping me and guiding me towards His children. These last 2 years have meant absolutely everything to me, God has worked miracles with me and helped me become a stronger, more humble, more loving, happier person. I have learned that God is there for me every time I need Him. Even when i stray off the path, He always guides me back to the path of happiness with His arms wide open. I have seen that his promise of angels on my left and on my right to lift me up become a reality. Wearing the name of Jesus Christ on my nametag for the past 2 years has helped me realize the importance of always being worthy to represent His name. It's helped me truly discover my purpose not only as a missionary, but as a son of God. I don't know what God has waiting for me after i return home, but i have complete trust that what he DOES have waiting for me is lo mejor. I don't know why God has been so patient with me, why i've had so many chances to repent and become better, but all i know is that EVERY single time i have gotten on my knees to ask for forgiveness, and for the strength to continue, I always feel the comfort of a loving Heavenly father with His arms open waiting for me to humble myself and come to Him. I have truly felt the personal love God has for every single one of His children, I have seen countless miracles as i have served in His work and have seen His hand, not mine, change the lives, and the eternities of families. I know God lives. I know that Jesus Christ is His son and that He died for us and suffered all of our pains, our transgressions, sicknesses, so that we could one day live with God forever. I don't understand completely Christ's sacrifice still, and i don't think i ever will. That even knowing that so many of us weren't going to accept His great sacrifice, knowing that so many were going to reject Him, and being completely aware of the level of pain He was going to have to endure for ALL of God's imperfect children, He died for us. And because of this infinite atonement from an unconditional love He has, he gives us the incredible chance of reaching exaltation. His sacrifice is what has helped motivate me to be the best person i can be, and it wasn't until i truly accepted his love, until i came to him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, that i was able to love others. I still have so much to learn, but atleast now i feel ready to go home and face the challenges that life brings, with faith and with hope. I am ready to be the best father, husband, son, brother, friend, that i can be. And i am ready to have my entire life built upon the rock of Christ, and ready to continue being a witness of God in all times, and truly comfort those in need of comfort. I know that being a missionary won't stop here, just that i wont have the nametag, but the change in my heart, my testimony, and the desire to share the gospel to all of God's children is the most precious thing that i will bring home with me. And from the bottom of my soul i won't you all to know that i will be eternally grateful for this time i have had to be a missionary of Christ's true church here on the Earth. And i share these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

Thank all of you for all of the support and love that you have given me over these past 2 years, i wouldn't have been able to do it without you. I know that sounds cliche but it is true. I love you guys and i can't wait to see you all in 6 days. And we'll finish the homecoming plans on the christmas call:) 

Merry Christmas!!!

con mucho amor y por la ultima vez,
Elder Bird

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hard to Grasp

Mi Familia!!!

Can i just say that my mind can not grasp the concept that i will be seeing you guys in 3 weeks? Ahh, things are getting real. Also i hope Dad is better by then! Sounds like he had a pretty miserable week:/ But other than that small detalle, sounds like you guys are doing great:)

So i'm kinda bummed my itinerary is so bad! i have no idea what i'm going to do in Mexico City for EIGHT hours. Haha, but i guess the only important thing is that i'm going to make it home. Even though it won't be until like 9:30 at night...

Things here in Acuña are just getting so weird. I payed my last rent in pesos, i just had my last christmas conference as a missionary, i'm sharing ''last'' testimonies all over the place, i only have TWO more Pdays left. It doesn't feel real! I always thought that the last few months of my mission would go by really slow, but it's been the exact opposite. The last 6 months have FLOWN by. It's just crazy. But i'm working hard to finish my mission strong and not have any regrets. Me and my comp have been doing this little game to make contacting a little funner where we each choose a word that the other one has to use in the contact. Few of the many that we have had to use are 'pokemon', 'ballena (whale)', 'alfarero peludo (hairy potter)' haha which was my personal favorite, and many more. It's been fun and really hard to find a way to fit those words in there but it's been pretty funny.

This Friday like i said we had our christmas conference down in Piedras Negras with the zone of Piedras Negras and the zone Acuña. It was cool to see a lot of Elders i hadn't seen in a while and the conference was good too! There were some short messages, a testimony meeting, a gift exchange and then A TONNN of food. It was awesome though!! Like i said really weird sharing my last testimony again, but all in all the conference was awesome. 

So it looks like this Sunday we will have 2 baptisms! woohhh! Jesus and Lizeth are just about ready for baptism and they have the fecha fija for this sunday. So we are going to review everything this week and make sure they're all ready for this sunday. The fecha meta we had for Jesus (another investigator) looks like it will have to be postponed until the 28th, which means i wont be here in Acuña to see it, but it's okay. I'm just happy to be a part of a couple more baptisms before i come home.

So í've been saying it a lot this last few weeks and i feel like i should say it again because if something i have learned in the past 2 years is the power of the atonement. There's a really awesome talk by Elder Bednar i've been listening to over and over again called    . And it focuses on the enabling power of the atonement, most of us know and recognize the HEALING power of the atonement and we recognize that he died for our sins, but the enabling power of the atonement is what helps us to learn and grow and become better people. It talks about the difference between asking God to CHANGE our circumstances, and asking God to help give us the strength through Christ to overcome our circumstances. And there's a lot of examples in the scriptures of prophets asking God to give them the strength to overcome their problems instead of just asking God to get rid of the problem. And it's a truth that i've seen time and time again become a reality in my life as i've learned not only to depend completely on God, but allow the sacrifice of His son and the enabling power of His atonement give me the strength and ability to be better than my circumstances.

The church is true guys, and i'm so glad that Kendall now is having the impressions and desire to serve a mission. It will be the best decision she has ever made and i know that because it is the best decision I have ever made, and i can't imagine where i would be in my life if i wouldn't have made it. God lives and he is waiting with his arms wide open for us to come back to his presence, that after a life long of trials and sadness, along with the joy and happiness as well, we can return to a loving heavenly father and be with our family for time and all eternity.

Have a great week guys! Love you all and i guess we will be seeing each other in 3 weeks!:)

P.S if you guys haven't watched the new video 'He is the gift', go watch it! it's super bonito and it has really helped me feel the true christmas spirit more as i share it with the people we teach.

con mucho amor,
Elder Bird

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