I forgot to write a few things last week that I'll include in this weeks. Conference was awesome. There were a lot of technical difficulties, which doesn't surprise me at all, but other than that it was awesome. I really loved the talks in the Priesthood session and my favorite talk was by Richard G. Scott about the fathers of the Stripling Warriors and the power of the Atonement. That is one thing that I have really come to appreciate is the power of the Atonement.
This has been a really tough time for me waiting here in the Philippines. I have had more struggles and trials than I ever have had in my life and it has been tough. But even through all those times, there have been two constants that have really helped me to overcome the trials -- my family and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. As I have the opportunity to study each morning, my latest studies have been marking scriptures that refer to the Atonement of Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon, and learning from Preach My Gospel on things that I need to do to improve and become better.
I'm grateful for the refining moments I've had. Is it hard? Yes. Is it a struggle? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes. I have felt the love of my Savior on my mission and I know that this work is true. I know that the Savior has stood in my place, has felt my pains and the weight of the troubles of my soul, and that gives me solace. I don't worry about when I go back anymore. I try to focus on why I'm here. I try to refine and improve in hopes of returning, but that is not the driving factor for me anymore. I do the things I do for the Savior and because I want one day to hear Heavenly Father tell me, "Behold my son, in whom I am well pleased."
I'm grateful for this gospel and the healing power that it has. I have seen tormented souls and troubled pasts washed away and made clean as they accept the healing of the Savior's Atonement. For those who are struggling, for those who have trials and problems, for those who feel they have lost hope -- don't. Always remember that there is Someone there who understands, whose arms are always wide open to accept and comfort, to heal and bring peace. I know that my Redeemer lives and that He loves me. A lot.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.