Thank you so much for your letters! I received so many birthday cards and wishes this last week. Mom, you must have been pulling some major strings! :) I think I celebrated my birthday with more people than I have ever before! I love my mission!
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This week we had an amazing devtional. It was given by one of my favorite speakers. Who also happens to be one of my favorite members of the Quorum of the Twelve . . . ELDER HOLLAND!!! For all the devotionals and firesides thus far, we have had to watch on TV's in overflow rooms because the gym bleachers have been under construction. However, on Tuesday we were able to sit in the gym. Elder Matesen and I had some of the best seats in the house. Elder Holland said many things that affected me. One slightly humorous comment he made was "You are not free to do it your way--this is not Burger King!!! We do not hold the pickles!!" We are to do what the Lord has commanded us. This is his gospel and it is my responsibility to preach it how he has told us missionaries to do so. I want to preach how the Lord would have me preach because I love Him and I love my mission!
Elder Holland told us that this is war. We are fighting in a battle between good and evil that began in the dawn of time. We will continue in this battle until the Captain comes again! In this war, we missionaries are the Red Cross. I really liked that analogy. We are not trying to take away life, but rather, we are here to save life. We are here to heal the hurt and the broken. We are here to offer them the lifesaving and lifegiving medicine of the Atonement. I love my mission!
One of my favorite subjects to teach is the Atonement. About a week ago I stained all my white shirts. Each of them had orange streaked. However, the dry cleaners were able to cleanse them of their stains and make them pure again. We must be willing to offer oursleves to the "Cleaner." Through Christ, even if our sins be as scarlet, we can become white as snow! I love Jesus Christ and His Atonement! I love all of you! You are in my prayers!