Many times in life we wonder how it is that God loves us when we have so many trials. As we continue through life, our experiences will teach us, if we let them, and ultimately guide us back to Him. The following is an excerpt of a missionary's letter from Missionary Miracles: Stories and Letters from the Field compiled by Chris Stewart with John Crowley:
I am in big trouble. I still feel like a greenie and no one believes me anymore. They expect me to know how to do things. I have learned a lot. More than I can put in words. I believe I am truly beginning to understand what it means to work with all your soul, heart, might, and mind. I hardly sleep anymore but talk with God all night, pouring out my soul unto Him. When I finally sleep, I dream of the work, putting the thoughts of my heart into the charlas in a way I am not able to do in the conscious world. I plan every minute of my day and exhaust all my strength. I have lost all reserve.
I remember things from my childhood that apply to the Lord’s investigators. Last week a man asked me when I first knew that God loved me, to which I responded, “As far back as I can remember.” I told him about a time when I was very young and Dad was mowing the lawn. I was mowing the lawn beside him with a bubble-blowing toy mower. I remember that Dad picked me up and put me on his shoulders, and I remember how happy I was. I told the man that I felt the same way when I was baptized and that I feel the same way now. I know that God loves me.
I think trials and tests are hidden messages of love. People who know me a little more personally know a few of the trials I have gone through and ask me how I keep smiling. I tell them that my mother says I have always smiled since my youth up. I tell them that they would smile, too, if they knew where their trials were taking them. Sometimes I am so happy I just laugh! I can’t keep it in. It just strikes me as so funny that as far as the world is concerned I have nothing but the clothes on my back and yet I am so rich!
My patriarchal blessing says that the Lord will bless me with powers that I never thought I would have. I was fourteen then; now I am a twenty-year-old missionary who can testify that the Lord keeps His promises. I have seen and heard and done things that I never thought I would or could see and do.
I love you all and pray that the Lord supports you in your trials. Just trust Him. I close with a scripture that reminds me of my life, “I have written according to the best of my knowledge, by saying that the time passed away with us, and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream” (Jacob 7:26). Life is a dream! A great dream! May we live it well so that in the last day we may awake to the glory of our Father and abide in the full light of His eternal love!
Your brother and son,
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As anyone who has ever known a full-time missionary will tell you, there is nothing quite like the e-mails and letters the young men and women send home. There is a spirit in these “epistles” that captures in a unique way the essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ.