I'm Still Alive

25 November 2014

Dear friends and family,

I am sorry I have not written in almost a month. Missionary life is keeping me pretty busy, but that's no excuse to NOT write my beloved family and friends. A lot has happened the past month. I'll just narrow it down to the highlights.

The Golden Investigator. 

I briefly mentioned her in my past e-mail as "the lady that came into church and asked to meet with us" Well... she was baptized last Saturday! She progressed so quickly, she just soaked up all that we taught her. She is absolutely incredible. Two weeks ago she asked us for forgiveness because she was only at the end of Mosiah... after only reading the Book of Mormon for 5 days! We were like, "Uh... you're forgiven?" Haha and then we asked for her forgiveness because we were just barely out of 2 Nephi. The biggest hurdle we thought we would have is the Word of Wisdom because we saw some alcohol and a coffee maker at her house. When we taught it and its importance she drove straight home and got rid of everything. WHAT?! I was reminded of King Lamoni's father in his firm declaration, "I will give up all my sins to know thee." I was moved to tears at how fast she was making this difficult and complete change in her life. She asked me to baptize her and after she came out of the water she was a new person. I have felt Heavenly Father's love at various times in my life, but at the specific time, place, and moment I can distinctly recognize the love He has for each and every one of us.

J. aka "The Truth" 

Two days ago I stood in the circle as he received the priesthood. A week ago he got rid of everything in his house that would remind him of his past transgressions and made restitution with his family and friends. A month ago he cut his dreads and said he would return to church. I wish I could have taken a picture of him before this true change occurred. He looks like a brand new person, like "extreme makeover status". He is a miracle and a reminder to me that God DOES NOT forsake nor forget His children. He has been called as a ward missionary to help in the work of the salvation of souls. He said that if it wasn't for the missionaries he would not come know of the love that was and has always been there for him to just reach out and grasp. We thanked him for his kindness and sincere comment and explained that we are just messengers to remind him of the things he knew from the very start. I've come to know that as I sit in people's homes and teach them the doctrine of Christ, that all I'm really doing is reminding them that there is One who loves them beyond their comprehension and reason. That despite their problems, tribulations, set-backs, and sore trials that there is a way out. That peace and comfort can be a part of their lives. That the healing balm of Gilead is there. Believing is a good start, in fact that is the first principle of the Gospel. Faith is what causes us to have the hope that all will be better, but believing that there is a help and happiness ahead is not enough. We must act. Nothing worth having is ever easy. Salvation does not come at a easy price. I know that at times it can be a deterrent because sometimes we can never see the end of our sorrows and pains, but it is there. "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high"

 I beg you my dear friends and family... do not give up. In whatever you are going through, no matter how difficult it is to bear, do not give up. You have within you the power to overcome, to not only be changed but to become. So many people ask God to change their situation, when in reality God gives you the situation so that you can be changed. When your heart is heavy and you've given it all you've got turn it over to Christ, you'll realize that from the very start, as we reminded our brother J, that He was always there. Pray and I promise you as a representative of Jesus Christ that He will heal, comfort, and console your broken heart.

I am learning so much out here. My weaknesses are brought to the surface and there are challenges each and every day for me to overcome, however I am not alone in climbing over these obstacles. I know that I have a loving Heavenly Father that WILL NOT allow me to fail. I know that I have a Savior that has already paid the price and pleads that I will use His Atonement. When we are yoked together nothing is impossible. 

Till next time 
Your eternal brother and fellow missionary,
Elder Jalla

p.s.  All those that have written me, I promise I will reply back! Again, I am using snail-mail to reply because e-mailing time is not enough! :) I love you all your e-mails uplifts my heart and brings joy to this missionary who is being pelted by bananas (I will tell this story some other time)

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