Family and Friends!
There never seems to be enough time in the day to write everything that I have learned and felt as a missionary. Recently I was figuratively slapped in the face by the fact that the mission is wrapping up for me. It seems like yesterday that I boarded that plane in Arizona for Utah, then that other plane from Utah to Pennsylvania, and even more recent that I boarded the plane from Pennsylvania to Brasil. How time flies and how much life is packed into these past 15 months! How many people have affected my life? How many changes have come and gone? How I have changed! Truly I have come to know the changing power that the gospel of Jesus Christ has in our lives and more importantly the power of change that Jesus Christ Himself brings to the hearts of man if we permit Him.
I have never felt so strongly in my life such a gratitude for my Savior Jesus Christ. It is because of Him that we are permited to change and become a better person each day. It is because of Him that we are able to make mistakes and be imperfect (because those are inevitable) but still be able to overcome even the smallest imperfection because He doesn´t make up the difference He is the difference. The only thing required is to go to our Heavenly Father through prayer and ask for help. There are countless times each day that I feel like I am not doing enough, that my imperfections are affecting the work of the Lord. But if we turn to the only One perfect, He will make the difference in how I can accompish His work. In reality He could do this work Alone, but He loves each one of us enough to patiently let us hobble through the work that He could do perfectly. He is allowing me to learn through imperfections and guiding me patiently to the place where He wants me to be! It is only because of Him that I can change, that you can change, and that this world can change! Becasue He IS the difference in this world!
But here is the point- rather than solve the problem Himself, the Lord wants us to develop the faith that will help us rely upon Him in solving our problems and trust Him. Then we can feel His love more constantly, more powerfully, more clearly, and more personally. We become united with Him, and we can become like Him. For us to be like Him is His goal. In fact, it is His glory as well as His work (see Moses 1:39).
A young boy was trying to smooth out the dirt area behind his house so he could play there with his cars. There was a large rock obstructing his work. The boy pushed and pulled with all his might, but no matter how hard he tried, the rock wouldn't budge.
His father watched for a while, then came to his son and said, "You need to use all your strength to move a rock this large."
The boy responded, "I have used all my strength!"
His father corrected him: "No you haven't. You haven't had my help yet!"
They then bent down together and moved the rock easily.