Unfortunately the time has come in which I write my last letter to all of you that I love as Elder Lyle.
This week I have had time to reflect on exactly what I have done with the last 2 years of my life.
This week I have been consuming the Book of Mormon at a rate that I have never done before and I have found that the meaning of many things change as you read the Book of Mormon all at once.
As I was reading the book of Alma, I found myself reflecting on one story in particular. That is the story of the Stripling Warriors.
When I was in the MTC I had an incredible experience that I will never forget concerning them. In my journal I wrote; "In that moment, I knew that I personally had met ever one of those 2 thousand Stripling Warriors, and they are my brothers. I felt as if I was knocked off my seat with the impression that I received of the spirit, as He reminded me of my past, even before the veil."
I did not understand fully the importance of that experience until this last week of my mission.
In Alma 56 these 2 thousand and 60 young men are at war, they had never fought before in their life, they were faced with eminent death, yet when Helaman, their captain, says to them;
"Therefore what say ye, my sons, will ye go against them to battle?"
The courage of these young men was said to have been indescribable. The courage which they had, came from their faith in God and what their mothers had taught them.
Their response was: "Father, behold our God is with us, and He will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth; we would not slay our brethren if they would let us alone; therefore let us go"
In that moment, as I read this passage, I truly felt everything come together.
I know that over the past 2 years I have felt their arms pushing me forward,
I have felt their hands push me back as I almost have stepped in front of traffic,
I have felt their hands stop me from entering parts where not many leave alive,
I have felt their hands pick me up after every spiritual battle that I have had.
I have felt the spiritual, physical and emotional wounds as I have made my way through the last 2 years, but my Heavenly Father never left my side. I know that I received divine help.
I have fought the battle,
I have won the fight,
I have seen families go to the temple that before teaching them I would have thought they would have never changed.
I have seen people I have taught leave on missions to help others.
I have seen how God works by small things :"by small and simple things are great things brought to pass" Alma 37:6
I have thought of all the people that I have met and all things that I love about this country. It is hard for me to leave, but I know the Lord needs me in another part of His vineyard.
I know that I have worked hard, and that satisfaction will stay with me forever.
I love my God and my Savior, and I know that I will continue to work for them just as I have worked for them here.
I have followed the impressions of the spirit and will continue to do so for all my life.
I know that God is my Heavenly Father, and that His son is Jesus Christ the Savior and Redeemer of the world.
I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know. I know because I asked God and he told me so. It is that simple.
I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints is the only true church.
I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God.
I know that I have the authority to baptize and administer His holy priesthood.
I know that this life does not end with the death, but only continues.
I know that my Father in Heaven loves me and wants to see me succeed.
I love you all.
My mission has been the best two years. They have not been the easiest, but they have been the best.
I owe all of this to my Heavenly Father, who worked a great miracle through two young men in white shirts and ties that knocked on my family’s door. For that same reason I can compare my experience to that of Nephi: "I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents".
Because of the teachings of my mother, and my grandmother and grandfather I am here.
I too can count myself with my brothers the Stripling Warriors to say, "We do not doubt our mothers knew it."
I have felt how the gospel has wakened those who I teach here, but also those that have passed beyond our reach to the following life. I know that God has made it possible that the work I have done here has made an eternal echo, especially through my own family.
This is the true church of Jesus Christ.
I know it, and I close these things in the name of Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the World, the very Son of God,
This weeks I had an amazing experience.
I did divisions in Popayan. I was able to see a few people that I knew while I was working in the area.
For example, I was in an appointment when a member showed up, she looked at me and her eyes widened and she said, "YOU TAUGHT MY FATHER." That's when I remember teaching an elderly dude with cancer in the middle of no where. He had told Elder Borg and I that he wanted to be baptized and that is all he wanted. The problem was that he couldn't get to church. We called to see what we should do and President Prince told us that if he gets baptized in this life or the next it doesn't matter all that matters is that he has the desire to repent.
He died the following week.
The family has now taken his name to the temple and had him sealed to his family for time and all eternity.
How incredible is the gospel.
I also say the Flores Family, I love them.
They are doing great and are very strong in the gospel. When I served there in the beginning of my mission I had been teaching the mother of the family, but she had never wanted to go to church. 2 years later I found out that she had gone to church with her family this past Sunday and that she had made an appointment to meet with the missionaries. I was able to go to that appointment.
We went and taught them about the temple and it was a super spiritual moment, in which all that were present left with a new vision and goals concerning the temple, including myself.
I love the gospel
I have been reading the Book of Mormon like a feen recently. I have a goal to finish it in 2 weeks... I've already made my way through chapter 23 in Alma.
As I read the Book of Mormon consecutively I have gained a larger understanding of many things, and it has touched my soul even deeper. Every time I read the Book of Mormon I can feel myself coming closer to my Heavenly Father.
I love this gospel
Listen to the missionaries if you haven't already.
This week I went to the eastern part of Cali in a city called Buga. It was a lot of fun but it is very interesting to work with so many different missionaries.
I have felt that while in divisions missionary work is a lot like basketball...
Some are ball hogs,
Others don’t want the ball,
Others you give them the ball and they don’t know what do to with it.
Some do great in practice but shoot up an air ball during the game.
And some just get it done and get the three pointer every time.
Hahaha, Elder Dean and I always crack up about the analogy. When we finish the divisions we always ask each other. How was your player? Hahaha
This week we had some super spiritual moments. The most spiritual was when we were reading with a large family in Buga in 3 Nephi:
3 Nephi 11: 12-15
“12. And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude fell to the earth; for they remembered that it had been prophesied among them that Christ should show himself unto them after his ascension into heaven.
13. And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto them saying:
14. Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.
15. And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.”
As we read this passage about when Jesus Christ came to the American Continent after his resurrection there was not one dry eye in the room. We testified that it was the Holy Spirit softly telling each and everyone of them, that the Book of Mormon is true, and that Jesus Christ did indeed come and visit the children of God on this part of the world after his resurrection.
I love the gospel it is just so awesome.
Okay, if you guys have not seen this new video check it out. It is amazing.
Reflect afterwards how you can better serve those around you