Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Week 11: "I invite you to find out for yourselves."

Hello friends and family!

This week I spent a lot of time reflecting on conference and everything that we heard over the weekend. It made me think a lot about why I am here serving a mission, and I wanted to share some of these thoughts with all of you.

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we have an organization of Leaders, called of God, to serve as Prophets and Apostles, who devote their entire lives, 24/7, to be completely devoted in the work of the Lord. We have over 85,000 missionaries, the largest missionary force in the world, that span the globe and dedicate two years of their adolescent life to preach the gospel to complete strangers, many doing so in a foreign language. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people around the world are baptized and confirmed, and become a part of the LDS faith which consists of over 15 million members worldwide, currently the fastest growing religion. My question to you, brothers and sisters, is how?

How is it that we can claim to have a living Prophet who can communicate with God just as they did in times of old, and how is it that we also have Apostles like Christ did, that consist of intelligent men who devote their entire life to serving God and expanding his church? Is our Prophet just making it all up, and the revelations that he has are actually just his own imaginations? Are his Apostles wasting their lives in the wrong work, and are these men lying when they say that they bear special witness of Jesus Christ? How is it, that 85 thousand young men and women can put a pause on their teenage years, the time that many say to be the most exciting of our lives, and devote two years of their life to preach what they believe to be true? Are they also wasting their time? But most importantly my friends, how it is that every year, hundreds of thousands of people around the world meet with these young missionaries, claim to feel something burn in their heart, claim to receive an answer from God, and are baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints? Are they also making it up, and pretending to feel something that isn't actually real?

How? It is because the Church is true. I know how that sounds for many of you are not LDS, so instead of listening to someone else tell you, I invite you to find out for yourselves. Put aside your biases that you have of the church, let go of all the stereotypes you have heard about Mormonism, and just see for yourself. I promise you you will not be disappointed, and I can make that promise because I would not spend two years of my life teaching others something that isn't true.

One last favor that I want to ask all of you! My companion is from Honduras, doesn't speak a lick of English, and he is the only member of the Church in his family. He barely has any emails to check every week because no one writes him, including his family. Its tough as a missionary to give up two years and then not have your family support you, let alone even write you. No missionary should feel like there is no one who supports them. SO, if you would be so kind and if you have 5 minutes to spare, please practice your Spanish and send an email to jesser.mejia@myldsmail.net and just say anything like hey keep working hard or hey be nice to connor or hey give connor your really cool blue tie or hey we are praying for the missionaries or whatever you want to say! It would mean so much to him and he needs it right now.

Unfortunately I cant explain what I want to say perfectly in text, but I hope I got the point across. Love you all, and hope you have an awesome week!

Elder Bernal

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