Welcome to another day in beautiful Sonora!
That was sarcasm.
But really, I do love my mission. Not for any of the reasons I thought I would, or any of the reasons that other people seem to love their missions, but I love it here. I love learning about the gospel, I love progressing in my faith and knowledge, and I love helping other people progress as well. Such is the life of a missionary!
I've really been enjoying all the emails I recieve every week from all my friends around the world. I recieve so much strength from all your experiences and faith. I don't actually know if any of you read this email, but I read all of yours, and here is a shout of from Mexico, to everyone else. I love you guys, I pray for you everyday. Sometimes the days aren't so difficult when one remembers that there are thousands upon thousands of us fighting every day in every part of the world. Also, for those of you who are recieving this email for the first time, it's because I stole your emails off the lists of other missionaries' emails. I hope you're doing well, and I'd love to hear from you.
Also, does anyone have Sammi Lew's email? Can someone send it to me, or get on her facebook and then give it to me? I would assume it's just firstname.lastname@example.org, but who knows.
This week was full of lots of learning experiences, like every week, of course. Hermana Boitel and I have been really diving into our studying, learning a ton about everything. She's in the Isaiah chapters of 2 Nephi, which are always fun, and I study the Bible at night, which basically just means that I start reading where I'm at in the New Testament, and then get all caught up in the Topical Guide and Bible Dictionary, and end up reading that for the rest of the night. Seriously, though, Bible Dictionary is gold. We also have a few scripture scholars in our ward who are AWESOME. One of my favorite things to do right now is find a question that I have about doctrine, then study study study in the scriptures, then discuss it with my companion, study more, study together, discuss with scripture scholars, repeat.
Of course, I can see everyone shaking their head at me and saying, and what, Hermana Day, does this have to do with your purpose as a missionary? Well, I'll tell you what.
Everything that I've learned in this past week, in this mission, in the study of the scriptures, in everything, comes down to a few basic eternal principles. Everything we teach, everything we live for is centered around progression. The entire Plan of Salvation is just a big plan of progession, and the center of that plan is Jesus Christ. We have to fall to rise, to grow. We had to come to this earth, and we have to make mistakes. We have to sin. If we don't, we don't learn, and we can't progress. But the Atonement is absolutely necessary to cleanse us from all of this evil so that we can return back to the presence of God. Everything that the scriptures seem to talk about, every symbolism that they seem to make, seems to be caught up in all this. The gospel that we teach is nothing more than the way that people can be cleansed from their sins so that they can return to God and inherit eternal life. That's the entire symbolism of Israel, captivity and freedom. Physically, yes, but more importantly, spiritually. It's something that I still don't fully understand, but it's something beautiful. The Atonement is infinite and absolutely essential. If Christ didn't pay for all the crap that has happened in this world, there would never be any other way for any of this to work. We couldn't progress, we couldn't be cleansed, we could never leave to captivity of our sins. I don't know if you've heard, but it's kind of a big deal.
And that, in a nut shell, is what we try and help people understand. Yes, our message is pretty. Sure, it will bless your life and your family. Yes, we know it's true. But these things are temporal. Infinitely more important is that your salvation depends on it. We want you to be baptized not because we just want to baptize, but because we know it's the only way you can truly apply the Atonement in your life to cleanse yourself from sin, to change your will to that of God's, and all of this so that you can learn and progress and return to his presence. It's kind of important. Actually, it's really important. It's more important than life and death. It's eternity.
To close, I'd just like to say that the scriptures are absolutely amazing. We don't realize the wealth of knowledge that we hold in our hands. If you have questions, the answers are all in there. Literally. I really don't know how to express my love for the scriptures. I just hope that everyone can read them and feel this same joy that I want to share with everyone I meet. If you're not studying your scriptures, study them! Don't read them. That accomplishes absolutely nothing. You have to study, and study deeply.
From a tiny internet shop in Bolevard Benito Juarez in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico, Earth,