Monday, June 13, 2016

June 13th, 2016

My heart is full of mixed emotions right about now. I'm not exactly sure what it is that I am supposed to feel or to expect. When I got onto the plane 2 years ago on July 15th, 2014 my heart as well was filled with mixed emotions. Everyone told me that 2 years was such a short time and that the time goes by way too fast, but it was hard to believe them at first. Now that I am sitting here at a computer screen, realizing that this will be the last time that I will be sending an email about my mission, I realized that what they all told me was right. I never expected my mission to go by so fast but it did. Something that I have tried to do, especially in these last few months, has been to enjoy my mission and the time that I have had to serve. At times you think about asking God to slow the time down but what I have come to understand is that everything has a purpose and all we can do is to control the things that we have control over. I might have not been able to slow the time down but what I was able to do was enjoy every single second of my mission. Everything must come to an end and I guess that this next week will be that end for me. 

Something that I told myself coming into the mission was that I wanted to learn what Heavenly Father wants me to be and what he wants me to do or in other words I wanted to truly understand what all of the return missionaries mean when they talk about CHANGE. What I have come to realize is that the change that missionaries talk about isn't because of the knowledge that they gained being a missionary. Well at least it hasn't been for me. It is about the actions that I have taken that has allowed me to change and become a better person and to understand what it is that my Father in Heaven wanted me to achieve in my mission. Thinking about why this occurred in me has only brought me to one answer and that is my will. No one caused this change within myself besides the only one who can him being the Savior Jesus Christ. I can honestly say that I have seen this change because I have felt it and I have seen the different person that I am. The way I think, act, react, talk, serve, my attitude. Everything. I've realized that my heart has been changed because I allowed my Savior to change it through his Atonement. Through diligent prayer, study, and fasting I have seen the effects of the atonement in my life. 

I will forever be grateful for what my Savior and Redeemer did for me. There is no other way but full surrender to his will to be able to receive the blessings of salvation.​​ I think many people think that the mission is a way of repaying God for everything that he has given us, but I see it just the opposite. My mission has been a blessing for me in every way, shape, and form and I have a lot to thank Heavenly Father for because of it. I have loved seeing my life change and as well as the lives of all of those that I have taught. I truly have seen such incredible changes in the lives of so many people as they have allowed the gospel to work within them and as they have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. It has been such a huge testimony to me that the gospel blesses all who come unto Christ and partake of his atonement because I have seen it happen in so many different people. 

I testify of an all loving God who is our Father. He lives and loves us even more than we can imagine. He has created a plan that we might achieve the potential of being perfect. I know that it is possible to achieve it because our Loving Father prepared the way for us to return back to him and be even as he is through his son Jesus Christ. He truly is the Christ. The Savior and Redeemer of the world. He came into the world be be raised up upon the cross and to die for us so that we might have everlasting life. It is through him and his gospel that we are able to understand this incredible plan that the Father has for us and it is through him that we might be lifted up. He came to the world to establish his gospel and for it to be taught and brought to the whole world through his church in which he called prophets, apostles, and teachers. This gospel and church has been restored to the earth once again through a prophet called of God. I know that Joseph Smith was an instrument in the hands of our loving Father in Heaven to restore the truths that had been once upon this earth so that through them we might understand who our Heavenly Father is and what his plan is. I know that the Priesthood Authority has been restored to the earth so that the gospel can be taught and so that we can be blessed. I know that this authority has been passed down through all of the prophets of our days up until our dear prophet, Thomas S. Monson. I know that he is a prophet of God and that he has been ordained to be a representative of the Savior Jesus Christ here in the earth. I know that He directs the church through revelation and through the Priesthood Power. I know that it is through that very Priesthood Power that one can obtain the saving ordinances that are needed to return back to Heavenly Father. I know that Families can be sealed for time and all eternity and that if all members pertaining to it keep the sacred covenants that they have made, then they will receive the highest kingdom of glory, even that of the celestial glory and life eternal.

I want to thank all of you for your support that you have shown me here in my mission. Thank you for your prayers, for your love, and for desires for me to do what is right. I truly have felt power from those that love me and those that have supported me this entire time of my mission. I want you all to know that I love you so much and that I am excited to see you all really soon! May God be with you forever and until we meet again. 

Elder Thorpe

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