Monday, May 9, 2016

Last letter from the mission field

Hello dear friends and family!

This week will be my last week as a set apart full time missionary and I wanted to thank you all for the love and support that I've received over the last 18 months. I can't tell you how grateful I am for you
all. :)

In honor of 18 months of service I wanted to share 18 of the great lessons I've learned while on my mission. I can't even count all of the things This experience has taught me, but I decided I could manage putting 18 of those great things into words.

1. My purpose as a missionary, and my purpose as a child of God, is to do all I can to bring others closer to the Savior.
2. Charity, the pure love of Christ, must be the motive for all that we do. There is no way for us to bring others closer to Jesus Christ without first seeing them as He sees them. And it's through charity
that we are able to see our brothers and sisters through Christ's eyes.
3. The more you share your testimony, the stronger it becomes.
4. Jesus Christ's atonement is very real. His atonement can be and must be applied in every single aspect of our lives. His bleeding from every pore for the sins, pains, sicknesses etc. of ALL God's children in the Garden of Gethsemane, his sacrifice and crucifixion on the cross, and his Resurrection on the third day, is for EVERYONE!!! It is for all of us, and I have learned that I need it every single day.
Through His suffering Christ has come to know us all p e r f e c t l y and He wants to run to our aide.
5. The way to access the atonement is by living the gospel of JesusvChrist, which we all know from the fourth article of faith. We must have faith, repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. Living the gospel is simple. We convince ourselves that it's hard. The gospel is for everyone. It is the roadmap to help though life's trials.
6. This life is a period is testing, a period of probation. I have been given my agency. I will be tested and tried and it will be up to me to choose to turn to the Lord for guidance.
7. All Heavenly Father wants is for all of his children to return to live with Him again. This life is given to us for those tests and to take part in the saving ordinances that prepare and qualify us to live with Him again.
8. Those ordinances must be done by the priesthood power. The priesthood is the power of God given to man to act in His name for thevsalvation of his children. It was lost, but was restored through
Joseph smith! The priesthood indicates God being in control.
9. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. It was translated by Joseph
Smith. I know and have experienced how the Book of Mormon answers
EVERY question. As you read you will feel the love of Christ and the power of the atonement. The Book of Mormon has taught me what Christ's sacrifice means for me.
10. God answers prayers. If we ask with just a hint of faith and desire and real intent he will answer.
11. The temple is the House of The Lord. It is His home and we must be worthy to enter.
12. I have learned how the spirit speaks to me and the process I need to go through in order to receive personal revelation. I know that this lesson alone will bless me for the rest of my life.
13. I have learned the principle of accountability. What I say and do
is my choice but at the end of the day when I get on my knees I'm accountable to the lord for those choices.
14. The Sabbath is a Delight and Satan knows that. He will give us every reason not to go. We need the sacrament. We need that cleanse. We need the recharge.
15. There is so much importance in expressing our love for others. We
don't know how long we will have them or what they're going through and our love might be exactly what they need.
16. Thomas S. Monson is God's prophet on the earth today.
17. Repentance is just a big fancy word that means change. When we repent we change anything it might be to become more like the Savior. We all need to repent each and every day.
18. Heavenly Father ALWAYS knows best. His gospel will not change. Truth is truth. We have to humble ourselves and have the goal to be submissive to His will.

I can't express just how much my mission means to mean. I've learned countless lessons, met some of the best people on this planet, and I have come to know my Savior more than I ever thought possible. I know that this is God's work. I know that His hand was in every seam of my mission as well as in every seam of our lives. I know that this is His church and His gospel. And although I will be taking off my badge, I will always be a missionary.

Friends and family, thank you again for these 18 months. I will see all of you Utah folks next week. :)

So so much love,
Sister Rachel Petrick

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