1.22.2012

Overwhelmed with love, again

Today, I am feeling completely grateful.

When I write letters to my friends out on missions, I tend to type out all of my thoughts and then write them down on paper if I get the chance. I always feel bad about sending out typed letters, but it's better than nothing, right? I was looking through these typed up letters and I suddenly felt so grateful that I had typed them up, because they can serve as a journal for me as well. Sometimes they were incredibly personal and reflected the very deep emotions and feelings I was having at that exact moment in time.

Here is an excerpt of one of my letters I wrote on December 6, 2011:

"About seven months ago, they reorganized the singles wards and formed YSA wards. It was a huge change and I know you've heard all about it. But I started going to the new one in Centerville and within two weeks, I was called to be the Relief Society President of my YSA ward. I don't think I've ever cried as much as I have since I've been called to be Relief Society President. I have become a major crier since that time (I can totally picture you laughing as you read that. Go ahead and laugh.) I think it's because I have felt the incredibly strong love of the God for the sisters in our ward and for me. I feel His presence in my life all of the time and I hope that I can always strive to keep His presence in my life like this. It has been such an incredible time of learning and chastening for me, I feel very humbled and grateful for the chance to serve such incredible women. I have come to the realization that I am so young and I still have so much to learn and do in this life. The older I get, I honestly feel like I don't know anything...about anything. But I do know, as you probably know too, that the Lord qualifies those that He calls and serving others is the greatest thing we can do. I just feel so grateful, blessed, scared, inadequate, and humbled all the time. But at times, it can be really difficult and lonely. Lonely is probably the only word I can think to describe these feelings...because it's a little difficult to explain, but you might understand. In those hard times, 2 Nephi 4 and Mosiah 4 are undoubtedly some of my best friends...seemingly my only friends at times. My testimony of the power of the scriptures has increased immensely in this past year and I know without a doubt that The Book of Mormon is the most correct, most Spirit filled book on this Earth today and that the scriptures are important tools in our lives. They were written for us specifically and if we study them, we will be blessed. Something else that has helped me when I get down is to remember that this calling is about giving my absolute best--utilizing my talents and abilities for the good of the sisters in our ward and it is about building the Kingdom of God. We can't worry about all of the little things and focus on the things that we may have messed up on, but we only need to focus on what we are individually doing each day to keep and renew our covenants, to draw closer to God and bring people to Him. And I do know that we are never left alone. In those "lonely" times, I have felt the encircling love of the Savior (D&C 6:20). .... Something I have thought about a lot lately is how the Gospel is that it is not a forced thing. Heavenly Father does not force us to go to church, to read the scriptures and pray, to keep the commandments. The Savior does not force the Atonement upon us and He does not force us to become like Him. We honestly are not forced to do anything, but we are asked to do these things and in return, The Savior is pleased and as we prove our love and faith in Him, He uses us to bless the lives of those around us. The Gospel is something that every individual has to come unto "with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent" (2 Nephi 31:13). It is something that you must work at continually and you have to work hard at strengthening your testimony and keeping it strong, but it is beyond worth it and the Gospel is the truest, most real, most powerful, wonderful force in my life. Living the Gospel and enduring to the end is not the easy path in life, but I know Heavenly Father and the Savior only ask us to do these things and in return, we receive blessings without measure and we receive a place in His Kingdom, which is the greatest gift and blessing of all. I know that God lives and loves us. He knows what is best for us and He only wants us to find joy from the experiences in this life. I know that the Savior lives and loves us. I love the fourth verse of "I Believe In Christ": "I believe in Christ; he stands supreme! From Him, I'll gain my fondest dream; And while I strive through grief and pain, His voice is heard: "Ye shall obtain." I believe in Christ, so come what may. With Him, I'll stand in that great day when on this Earth He comes again to rule among the sons of men." His atoning sacrifice for us is the most ultimate and encompassing example of love. I hope that one day, I may have lived my life to be worthy to be in His presence and weep at His feet and thank him for all He has done for me."

Today, I was released from my calling after exactly 8 months. I am grateful that I was able to have the chance to serve and love these girls and the members of our ward. I feel extremely inadequate, humble, lucky, and blessed. My heart is so full right now and I feel overwhelmed with love and gratitude. I could say so much right now, but I think this will suffice: The experiences I have had and these lovely, incredible girls in my ward will always have a very, very special place in my heart.

2 comments:

  1. That relief society is going to miss you! You are such a great example, Catherine. Honestly. You are so divine!
    Love you, and am grateful for your service.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this! thanks for the share.

    ReplyDelete

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