Monday, June 23, 2014

Hello Everyone!
This week has been really awesome! I've experienced ups and downs, and I am totally fine with that because that's part of being on a mission.
That reminds me of something that Elder Holland said during one of the devotionals that I attended while in the MTC. I can't quote him, verbatum, and even if I could, it still wouldn't mean the same, because let's all admit that Elder Holland is amazing and speaks with such conviction and power. Anyway, in essence he said that missions weren't meant to be easy, because it was never easy for the Savior. I think about that often, because a number of times I've felt upset, or inadequate but then I remember that Jesus Christ experienced that. Any feeling that you or I will experience throughout our whole entire lifetime, he has already felt. I know what it feels like to feel sad or mad or hopeless and it's not a good feeling, I couldn't imagine feeling all of those feelings at once. I'm so thankful for his atonement.  I think of the sacrafice that Heavenly Father made, to send his only begotten Son down to earth, knowing that he'd be mocked, and eventually crucified. That couldn't have been easy, but he knew that in order for us to learn and progress and return back to him, he had to send the Savior of the world to die for our sins. There is no greater sign of love than that.
Okay, now that I've talked a little about the atonement, I can't stop expressing my gratitude for my Savior Jesus Christ.
I'm not a perfect person, and I've made a lot of mistakes in my life, I am so grateful for the atonement. I know that it can free us from our feelings of guilt and shame, for it's done exactly that in my life. I'm so glad that I can be forgiven by a loving Heavenly Father. It's a good reminder to me, as well that when someone offends me or commits a fault towards me that I need to forgive them. For I know that I will be judged after I die, and if I don't forgive people, The Lord will not forgive me.
Something that has always struck me with awe, is when Jesus Christ is on the cross and he says "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Okay seriously, that is mind-blowing to me. Everytime I read it, I tear up because after everything these people have done to the Savior, he pleads with Heavenly Father to forgive them. I think about how upset I get when someone does the smallest thing, and most of the time it's not even affecting me physically, but it's because I have dumb pet-peeves that get my feathers ruffled, that I get so angry and I just want to give them a piece of my mind. But then here's the Savior that has gone through so much physical pain because of these people and he is asking God to forgive them. I love that so much!
I could seriously go on and on about the atonement. I am just so grateful for it, and I pray that we all use it in our lives, and that we always express gratitude for our Savior, Jesus Christ.
As, I said, I've experienced hard things, but I wouldn't take them back for anything. I love it here in Hungary. I've learned so much and made so many great friends here. The Hungarians are truly amazing people. For everything they've gone through, I am amazed at how open and loving they are once you crack that little shell, that they're encased in.
I love you all, and hope everything is going great for you and your families.
Whitaker Nővér

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