A Mighty Change of Heart

Dear family and friends,

I can't possibly explain this "mighty change of heart" that I have had the privilege of experiencing every single day. I lay my head on my pillow every night in wonder and amazement at all that Heavenly Father has given me. In complete awe, I look back at all that had transpired in the span of 24 hours and my mind is completely blown! Heavenly Father is truly in the details of our lives, every little action results in a miracle, every street contact is another person coming just a little bit closer to true and everlasting happiness, every missionary that I talk to has become my closest friend and brother, and each and every day I come to know and understand the Atonement more in my own life. I've never been this close to my Savior--- I feel His love. 

If there is one thing that I fully expected, took time to recognize, and now embrace wholeheartedly is the concept that missionary work is HARD WORK. I'll be honest there are some days when I want to throw in the towel. Your testimony is constantly being attacked and you do get worn down. Sometimes you don't know what to say when the person in front of you is, although not directly, pleading for help. Other times you spend an entire day riding your bicycle and for hours no one would listen to you or your companion. 

In moments like these I am reminded of the words, "Nevertheless--not my will but thine be done" I am an instrument in His hands, I made a promise to Him one day when I was biking that despite how disheartened I can get, despite the tears and the inadequacies, despite the people who "know not what they do" I WILL not give up! Someone out there has been waiting their whole life to come to know that they are loved, that they are not forgotten. That Heavenly Father is waiting to hear from them just so He can whisper in their hearts that He loves them and He has ALWAYS been there. That Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer and he has died and suffered for them, his arms are outstretched. As I've looked into the eyes of those who know him not I see in their hearts a yearning to be embraced by the One who is mighty to save. We as missionaries bring the most important message to those that "are kept from the truth, only because they know not where to find it". 

A mighty change of heart--- as I've thought deeply about this phrase I came to realize that as a missionary your heart is broken each day for the people you serve. I feel the smallest fraction of what Christ must have felt for each of us as he suffered in Gethsemane. He felt our pains, sorrows, burdens, trails, tribulations, all that we would ever suffer through in this life---- why? Because He would not allow us to go through it alone. Because if the Gospel teaches you anything--- it is that EVERYTHING that Jesus Christ has done has always been out of love. I can never comprehend just how much he loved me personally but as I bike and walk around the streets of California I see his love evident in the lives of those I serve. It is truly a wonderful time to be a missionary!

My dear friends--all those that are preparing for or have even the slightest desire to serve-- DO IT! You will bless lives, you will change yours, you will feel the Savior's love. Your heart is broken each day because it allows Christ to mend it and build it back up stronger than ever before. It truly is a mighty change of heart because it is not the same heart-- you begin to see and feel and love as the Savior does.

I sincerely and wholeheartedly love you all.

Your eternal brother, friend, and fellow missionary
Elder Jalla

p.s. We have a time limit on e-mailing so I am answering your personal e-mails through mail. Please supply me your address. I have letters to send but no addresses to send them to!

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