Monday, November 16, 2015

"We're not expected to be perfect, but we are required to do all that we can."

Salut ma famille!!

 Well, my last companion, Elder Adjei, was taken by the assistants to go to Benin where he will have his final interview with Pres. Morin and then take his flight home to Ghana. I had a great time working with him, he was a great companion, we had a lot of fun and got a lot of work done, and he had shown me an excellent example as to how I should end my mission once I get there.
 My new companion came in on Wednesday, this has been one of the best weeks I've had since I've been in Bè-Kpota, one of our investigators named Fr. Eloge was baptized last Saturday. Elder Miyasaki and I have been eating very well since we've been living together, although, we ought to make a better budget. We've been doing our shopping in American-equivalent stores. My new companion is from Layton, Utah, his name is Elder Joseph, he is African-American, and he came into the mission with Elder Whitt. My new guy is really cool, we get along very well and we've been working great together so far. 

 Well, everything has seemed to be turning out for the better this past week. I've been making a lot of great friendships with ward members and investigators and I've been able to develop more Christ-like attributes that I've been striving really hard to acquire. 

 So, last Sunday, I finally had the opportunity to watch the morning and evening sessions of conference at church with the ward. I had a difficult time understanding what was being said because the speakers in the room weren't functioning very well. There was, however, one lesson in particular that I retained from what had been said by of the new Apostles. I forgot which one said this, but one of the Apostles said something that stuck out to me, that is, the fact that we need the constant, daily companionship of the Holy Ghost. We have been promised that if we heed and listen to the words of the prophets and continue living according to the principles and ordinances of the Gospel we will have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. I know that we can be worthy to have His constant companionship as we have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ along with His promises and His Atonement, as we apply the Atonement in our lives through sincere and daily repentance, as we live in accordance with the baptismal covenants that we've made and as we endure faithfully until the end by praying and reading scriptures personally and as a family, by going to church to renew our baptismal covenants, and by performing righteous works, rendering service, and keeping the commandments to the very best of our abilities. We're not expected to be perfect, but we are required to do all that we can (Moroni 10:32-33). I know that as we do so, the grace and mercy that come from the Atonement of Christ are sufficient to change our lives for the better, to enable us receive the forgiveness of our sins, to help us overcome our trials and our weakness, to enable us to improve ourselves and to eventually obtain perfection that will inevitably come to all those who willingly accept and do all that which had been previously said.

 There's a fantastic book that I've been reading called Believing Christ that I highly suggest that you read because it completely changed my perspective in many different aspects of my life that has helped me better understand the scriptures along with the Atonement and learn how to apply it in my life. I highly encourage you to read the book because is has also helped me learn about what is expected of me in order to receive perfection and it has given me hope in that I no longer worry about whether or not I'll receive Celestial Glory because I know that that it is completely and 100% obtainable thanks to the Atonement of Christ.

 I know this Church is true, I know that the fullness of the Gospel along with the authority of the Priesthood have been restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. Thanks to the Restoration, we have a sure knowledge of the true nature of God. He is our Father. We are His children. He has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; however, He is different in that He is a perfect, glorified and resurrected being. I know that He knows exactly who we are and I know that He loves us with all His heart. Because He loves us, He sent His son Jesus Christ to the earth to suffer the price of our sins by performing the Atonement, by being lifted up upon the Cross, and then being resurrected so as to give all of His children the possibility to return to live in the presence once again. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and contains the fullness of the Gospel. I know that as we diligently study this book and put into practice that which is there written, we can know exactly everything that we need to do in order to obtain eternal life and that we may know for a surety that Joseph Smith was indeed a true prophet.
 I'm afraid I'm out of time, but I'd just like to let you all know that I love you so much and that I hope you had a wonderful week! Take great care of yourselves and of each other, continue doing great things, and I'll talk to you next week!

Love, your brother and son,
Elder Gonzales

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