Miracles and Thoughts

Dear friends and family, 

 Happy New Year! I know I'm 12 days late but I've been under the weather for the past week. Everyone in our area is coming down with something and I was no exception. I'm all good now though. As soon as we finished planning at night I would get ready for bed and just crash. Waking up half dead at 6am to run was no fun, but exact obedience calls for some sacrifice. There was one day when I just could not move and I was able to sleep in till 6:30, which was nice :) 

There is something rewarding about giving it your all to the literal point of exhaustion that makes it all worth it. I have little "motivators" that keep me going. The main motivator is realizing that no matter how tired or sick I can get the Savior has endured it all, He suffered, bled, and died so that I can have immortality and eternal life. 2 years is too short of a time to spread the gospel and make it known to all that they can receive the same blessings. I'm coming to realize that every second counts out here, there is no breathing room when the salvation of souls requires so much more than you can give. And because this is Heavenly Father's work and His glory, you are given power from on high to rise above and become super-human. 

 Remember my last e-mail about Elder Mo'o and I staying together for another transfer because we felt impressed that someone is prepared specifically for us? Well, last week we had the honor and privilege of baptizing a family of four into the church! 

The family began meeting with missionaries almost 2 year ago. In fact, all the missionaries that taught them are all home from their missions. I truly count it a blessing that I happened to be the missionary that asked them to be baptized and them saying yes. I don't think I did anything different than the past missionaries, and so my testimony that everything is done in God's perfect timing has been solidified. 

I didn't cry in my own baptism, nor any after, but I wept when I witnessed the baptism of this family.

The baptism was packed, all the leaders of Peachwood ward was there, the mission president and his wife, and past missionaries that taught them. I was asked to bare my testimony in front of all of them, of course, in true missionary style, on the spot. 

 Nervous yet feeling empowered I got in front and bore with power and authority the testimony that I had in me about baptism and the love that God has for each and everyone of us. My entire frame shook as I stood there bearing down in pure testimony. I remember sitting down afterwards and realizing that I had tears streaming down the side of my face. 

I can't say that I am a perfect missionary, in fact I know that I am far from it, but I do know and can say without a doubt that God loves us and knows us individually. We all have a reason and a purpose in the little time we have here in mortality. What a wonderful event, what a glorious work--- I love being a missionary. 

And now I wanted to transition this e-mail over to the Rockford YSA. 

 My dear beloved YSA, 

 How I've missed you all so greatly, I wanted to say thank you for all the experiences and memories that helped shape me into who I am today. I often reflect back on just how much of an impact the YSA branch was for me. The friendships made and the lessons learned during my short stay has prepared me immensely to be a true disciple and servant of God and Jesus Christ. I wish I could serve there with all of you because I think I finally understand just how important this work is and what great potential you all have to bless the lives of the people of Rockford. Your friends, neighbors, and family members need what you have -- The Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

 "What you know will always trump what you do not know." 

 Lead with your faith and allow the Lord to make you a most powerful force for good. 

I recently found out that we no longer have our own set of missionaries. We are back to sharing with another ward huh? Do Not Let That Stop Or Slow Down The Work! You, each of you, owe it to the missionaries past that gave their blood, sweat, and tears to that part of the vineyard. Remember when Sister Ferguson and Sister Hunter opened the area and how barren the field must have looked like? And yet through fasting and prayer look at the fruit that was reaped and how missionary work became the priority of the branch! The many Aloha's from Sister Umphress as she inspired us to stretch beyond our capacity to reach out with love. Sister Clayton taught us how to be humble and was desirous for all of us to be missionaries. Sister Holmes and Sister Yates showed us that missionary work can be fun and that we are a family, "we can be facebook friends forever". Sister Winward taught us to be bold and not fear. Sister Dias inspired us to go beyond our comfort zone and to do as directed when prompted by the spirit. Sister Carver showed us that we are loved immensely by a loving Heavenly Father. 

 Each and every one of our missionaries taught us individually something and left a legacy of faith, hope, and love in the Rockford YSA. The fire that they ignited and kept alive within the branch and each and everyone of you still burns bright. Don't Let It Die. Fan the flame of your faith. Keep in remembrance what they did to build up the Lord's kingdom in that special part of His vineyard. 

 I add my testimony to theirs as a representative of Jesus Christ that this work is true and that we are all called as His missionaries to save our brothers and sisters. 

I ask you all individually, will you re-commit yourself to the work of salvation? Will you be a disciple of Christ this day? 

I know that someone out there is prepared specifically for you to open your mouth and share what you know to be true. To share what brings you happiness allows you to love as Heavenly Father does is a gift that will be bestowed upon you as you endeavor on this labor of love. The past, current, and future missionaries of the Rockford YSA truly were, is, and will be a part of a most glorious work. 

Remember that with God all things are possible. Jesus Christ suffered, bled, died, and was resurrected for you. Remember Him and use the atonement. Learn of Him and your purpose will be made known. Yes, remember the missionaries that brought us so much love, laughter, and joy, but never forget that it is because of the love that they and we have for the Savior that we are called to the work. Miracles are brought to pass and you are called to the work. If ye can no more than desire to believe, let that work in you. I love you all so much. I wish my mission would slow down and I could serve forever with my badge, but I also can't wait till see you all again. 

With love 

Your Eternal Friend and Fellow Missionary 

Elder Jalla

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