This will be the last email i´ll be sending out becauseill be in Cuiaba and I don't think we will have time to write emails, since we will be in a training.
I want to use this chance that I have to express my gratitude for the opportunity to serve a mission. There are absolutely no words to express my feelings. This email will do no justice to the wonderful year and a half I have spent serving the master Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father.
I have learned so much and have come so much closer to my savior. I still have a very long way to go to become like Him, but I'm farther than I was before.
Among the many things that I have learned on my mission, I think the thing that stands out the most in my mind is learning to put my trust and faith in Jesus Christ. Trust and faith are such small words and many including myself underestimate the power that they hold. I have learned what it really means to trust in Him. Little by little I have put my life into his perfect hands and have let go of the reins. It takes a lot of courage to let go because He doesn't just take the reins for you, He will never take over and say ``its OK you can let go now``. We have to let go first and trust that he will catch the reins. Its the same principle of stepping into the water before its parted. Its so easy to say just have faith! all you have to do is trust! but when your put before a river full of rushing raging water, knowing that if Heavenly Father doesn't part that water you will be pulled under and drowned, its a little bit harder to have that trust and faith, isn't it. However, I testify that God, our loving father in Heaven will do his part. As we demonstrate courage and step into that raging river, he will demonstrate his power and the water will part. I have seen it, and I have felt it. I know its true.
I know that to have courage does not in any way mean that we are unafraid. To have courage means that even though we are afraid we stand up, we look fear in the face and we trust. I testify that our test here in life is not something simple nor is it something easy. Our test is the test of faith. Will we remain faithful, despite the influences of the distracting voices of the world? Will we be able to always put God first, despite the opposing opinions of family or friends whom we love? Will we have courage?
I testify that it is courage not compromise that brings the smile of Gods approval.
I testify that Heavenly Father loves us more than we can imagine. He loves us with a perfect love. He loves us for who we are but I know that He has established the way for us to return to Him. He cannot lower the expectations.
I am immensely grateful for repentance. How wonderful it is that we have a way to become clean and to constantly become better. To keep learning and to keep growing. Sometimes its hard to admit we have made a mistake or that we are wrong, but I know that through Jesus Christ all things can be forgiven and made right. If you have a hard time feeling that God loves you, maybe think Little bit about the sacrifice He made for us. He gave his ONLY SON, for us. Those of you who have children can maybe think about how hard that must have been. He gave His son to a world who doesn't even think about him or remember him on a daily basis. A world who sometimes even makes light of his sacrifice. Can we really question that Heavenly Father loves us?
I testify that Jesus is the Christ. He Lives.
I testify that His Church, was restored here on the earth once again through a prophet. I know its true, and I cannot deny it.
These things I testify in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
I want to thank all of you for writing to me and reading my emails. Thank you for all the prayers, to say that I have felt them wouldn't say the half of what they have done for me. I love you all. See you Soon :)
Sister Shelby Whipple