Hola mi querida familia.
escribo with my corazón so so full, this being my final email to you all in the country of Ecuador. This week was truly amazing. José was baptized and it was a beautiful service. My companion and I sang soy un hijo de Dios. José gave his testimony about how much he believed in these things and how grateful he is for Christ in his life. he was confirmed and we went over to visit him. He had brought his aunt over so that she could listen to us as well. She is having some difficulties right now in her life. I felt so grateful because i could truly SEE the conversion process in him. He bore a stong testimony in which he said that he felt happiness and peace... and that happiness and peace is from the spirit. I was reminded of when Lehi partook of the fruitin 1 nephi .
12 And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.
THAT is true conversion. And i have felt that on my mission. I had the opportunity to visit some old converts today in my first sector. The familia Sabando and The familia Quishpe. They are both doing so great. As I sat there with them I think i was waiting for a special feeling of like "wow Hermana Neff, look at all you did for these people." But it didnt come. Instead i had such a peaceful feeling. I felt 100% that these people are by no means MY fruit. They are the fruit of The Lord Jesus Christ. Of the work that He has done through me and countless other missionaries. I have wished my whole mission to be remembered by others for what I have done. But i am realizing that i truly havent done anything. Christ has done it all. And He has allowed me to be a part of it. I cant believe that it has taken me so long to realize that missionary work is not about ME. It is about THEM!! It is about their salvation and their relationship with Christ and their eternal progression. So it doesnt matter if they always remember the name "hermana Neff" The name that i want to be forever engraven in their hearts and in their lives is JESUS CHRIST. HE is the master. It is to HIM that we should be grateful. I am so infinitely grateful for Him.
We were blessed this week to have Elder Holland come to our mission. WOW. I will tell you all about it when i get home. Truly amazing. The focus was mainly the Book of Mormon.
I would just very simply like to express to you all the deep and sincere love i have for this country, and the people that reside here. The food, the culture, the excuses for not coming to church jaja (that i dont love too much). I love it. I feel like The Lord has to know me perfectly because He knew that He had to send me to this incredibly beautiful country. I love it. I love it. I love it. Words cannot adequately express the pain i feel to have to leave it all.
Neither can words adequately express the gratitude i feel for my mission. I wish that i could explain how full of love my heart is for Ecuador, the people, The Savior, The Holy Ghost, Our Father in Heaven, my mission, the book of mormon. I am infinitely grateful for the decision i have made. Not one day have i felt that the mission has been a sacrifice. The blessings are eternal and far greater than anything i could have done with my life at home during this time.
I love my Savior so dearly. I love the gospel. I know that it is true. My simply testimony is that Jesus is our Savior. He has taught us His gospel through prophets of old and living prophets today. This gospel, after being lost, was returned to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon is evidence of that great truth.
I know that through Christ I can truly be perfect though I am so far from it. In my mission The Lord has revealed to me MANY of my weaknesses, for which i am so grateful. It has been a time that He has helped me to overcome these weaknesses throught the incredible lessons i have learned from others, from the scriptures, and on my knees. I have spent many nights weaping for the difficulties and many nights weaping in gratitude for everything that i have experienced. I am not quite ready for it to end.
However, i am very very excited to see you all. It is amazing how much my love for our family has grown in this time. I am ready to do our Noche de hogar every monday night!! Thank you all for your prayers and for your incredible support and love. I feel so blessed for all that you have done for me. I have recieved countless emails that have been from guided family members and friends that have KNOWN how to follow the promptings of the spirit. You are all so dear to me.
I feel that this scripture has been kind of a theme for me in my mission, and really a theme for my life.
32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.
34 And now I bid unto all, farewell.
con todo mi amor,