Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Long-Foretold Time

Hello Everybody!!!

Today is my last day in Copperas Cove!  and on Thursday I will be in Utah, and I think I am going to freeze to death the moment I step outside of the airport.

What a mission.  I began my mission, with a solid testimony of the Book of Mormon and that living the gospel brings happiness.  The scripture on my missionary plaque is Alma 30:44, which teaches us that all things testify of Christ.  I know that this is true!

I have learned on my mission to love the Bible as well as the Book of Mormon.

I have also learned what exactly is the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The gospel is faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.  The gospel is simple, pure, and completely true.  These 5 simple steps truly bring the most happiness.

One of my favorite scriptures that I have studied on my mission is Doctrine and Covenants 123: 17.  "Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed."

Through my mission, I have been pleased to see the salvation of God.  His arm has been revealed, and he is here.  He labors with us in the work of Salvation.  This is His work, and it has been a great privilege to serve him.

I have learned the importance of the ordinances of salvation.  Baptism and the reception of the Gift of the Holy Ghost are essential for salvation, and there is great power and a great spirit felt at every one.  There is also great power in the sacrament, and the spirit is present in every chapel every Sunday.  Our eyes need to be fixed on the temple, because that is the House of God, and there we also participate in the ordinances of Salvation.

I have been studying very hard the Old Testament, and today I read the last page of Malachi.  As I have studied, I have realized that there are four very specific things that the Old Testament prophets prophesy: 1) the scattering of Israel, 2) the birth of Jesus, 3) the gathering of Israel, and 4) the second coming of Christ shortly after the gathering of Israel.  I have also realized that we are living in very historic times.  The gathering of Israel is NOW, much more than any other time.  Israel was scattered in the days of Jeremiah and Daniel and all of the Old Testament prophets, but today during the ministry of more than 80,000 full time missionaries and more than 15,000,000 member missionaries, Israel is being gathered at a rate much faster than ever before.  This truly is the long-foretold time!

From Waco to Denton to Stephenville to Fort Worth to Copperas Cove, I have met and befriended many of the Saints of God.  I have cried and laughed and prayed and worshipped with them.  I have mastered Spanish and gained many more cultures.

I have given my soul to Christ, I have served him with all my might.  Now, just like Paul, I know that, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:" (2 Timothy 4:7)

I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  I know that he lived and taught and died and loved for me!  He is my Saviour and He does reign as King!

See y'all Sunday, if not Thursday,
Hermana Julie Anna Sanchez

Monday, January 13, 2014

Baptism and Confirmation -- The gate into heaven

Hello everyone!

Martina got baptized this week!  She felt the spirit super strong, and she had a powerful manifestation of the spirit during her confirmation.  They also stayed for the classes, and it was fabulous!  They are such a good family.

We were helping them get started on their family history last night, and Martina is so excited to go to the temple!  She can't wait to go to the San Antonio temple and do baptisms for her ancestors. We are so excited for her as well.

Best wishes,
Hermana Julie Anna Sanchez
 
 Pictures from Hiedi's baptism


11 nonmembers at Hiedi's baptism and 1 more during her confirmation, so she will be the means of bringing at least 12 people to Christ!

Christmas!

Martina's baptism!

My exchange last transfer

Our District Last Transfer

Timmy and the Olivos children

Acting out the Christmas story with the Wilson/Gutierrez family

Monday, January 6, 2014

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be...

Strep throat.
 
Sunday, I started feeling the effects of strep throat.  I was very sick.  I have had strep throat before, and I knew what I needed: antibiotics.
 
By Tuesday, I texted Sister Ames.  Wednesday, I was given permission to go to the doctor.  The only problem was that all of the clinics were closed for the holiday. 
 
So on Thursday I finally went to the doctor.
 
We met some cute little ladies while we were in the waiting room.  At this point, I had completely lost my voice, so conversing with them was interesting.  I would tell Hermana Black something, and she would repeat it for the ladies.  One of them was a lost member, so even though we weren't able to do a lot of missionary work last week, God still guided our path.
 
The ladies gave me lots of suggestions, like all you need is to eat some honey.  Or to gargle salt water with a little bit of pepper.  Or that all I really needed was Sudafed. 
 
When we finally got in to see the doctor, he asked me, "What can I do for you?" 
 
I told him promptly, "You can tell me that I have strep throat, and give me some antibiotics."
 
Without even pausing he said, "You have strep throat." 
 
He didn't even do a swab test, because he said, "If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck..."  My tonsils were huge and they had all sorts of white spots all over. 
 
After being on Amoxicillin for many days, I have started to feel better.
 
-----
 
So that was the parable.  Here is the interpretation:
 
Antibiotics are the Gospel.
Strep Throat is the effects of sin
The Cute Ladies represent other churches
The Doctor is a worthy priesthood holder.
 
Even though I knew what I needed, and could preach about Antibiotics all day long, I myself had no authority to get any.  Antibiotics can only be administered by the proper medical authority.
 
Although many good people do know about the gospel, and they do preach about it, they lack the authority to get to it.  Many parts of the gospel can only be administered the proper priesthood authority.
 
The advice that the women in the waiting room gave me was good.  There was nothing wrong with it.  But it also wasn't complete.  There is no doctor I know of that would say it is bad to drink honey or gargle salt water, but there is more of a cure available.  No one is asking anyone to give up honey or salt water, but just come and get some antibiotics as well.  You will be cured.
 
Much of what comes from other churches is good, but it isn't complete.  You don't need to give up anything good that you have, just come to Christ, and receive the cure.
 
Now I have the antibiotics. They were administered by the proper authority, and I am starting to feel the positive effects in my life.  However, there is a big warning to make sure that I will take every last pill of the antibiotics.  If I don't the strep throat may return, and it may be harder to treat future cases of strep throat. 
 
Even though, baptism and confirmation are essential.  They by themselves is not enough.  We have to endure to the end.  Otherwise, we can never receive the full cure, and the effects of sin will return.
 
Feliz dia de los reyes!
Hermana Julie Anna Sanchez
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