I want to start off by saying thank you to everyone who has prayed for me, and has comforted me by writing through out the week, can't begin to tell you how much it has helped me during this time on my mission :)
So if you haven't caught on I'm going to send my emails while I'm on a mission with the title in a short Tagalog phrase. This week is "Faith in God". I believe that this is appropriate for my experiences throughout the week.
So as most of you caught on about my last email, I was pretty homesick and just incredibly stressed out about everything that was going on. After I sent my email last week I walked out of the computer area and was on the verge of bauling because of how much I was thinking about home and how much I just wanted to keep talking to my family and friends. My focus was no longer on the people of the Philippines but instead on worrying about home. I was so "homesick" that day that I didn't even want to go to the temple because I just did not want to do anything. So I prayed. And the impression shortly came after that I NEEDED to go to the temple. What was I thinking about that anyways? The temple is the PERFECT place to go when you're feeling stressed out about something, worried, anxious, homesick...anything at all. So as I went to the temple and finished the session I just sat in a chair and pondered and tried to recall WHY I decided to go on a mission. The reminder soon came to me that the reason I went on a mission is because I felt the Savior's love and mercy and I felt His forgiveness in my own life. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ I was able to completely turn my life back around and be happier than I have ever been. And the reason why I went on a mission is because I felt that if the Atonement can help heal, strengthen and turn my own life around, then it can turn ANYONES life around. That was the message I wanted to share to the people of wherever I was called to serve (luckily it's the Philippines :) ).
The Atonement of Jesus Christ has been the most real thing I have ever felt in my life. I know that if someone has feelings of guilt, or maybe thinking that they can't change the person that they are, The Lord still knows the potential that you have as a child of God. He sees you as the person you CAN become instead of the person that you were. How amazing is His love for each of us? If there's one thing I hope people can get out of this email is to have faith in God, have faith that He sent His only son so that we can become happy, so that we don't have to experience any pain that the Savior experienced during his mortal ministry. He sent His only son to die for us so we can be forgiven and have eternal life! :)
Throughout the rest of the week my faith continued to grow.It's so comforting to know that whatever feeling of homesickness I feel or whatever feeling of self-doubt I feel, The Savior has felt is as well.After that experience at the temple my prayers have continued to be answered through scripture study, listening to talks given by modern day prophets and apostles, and the devotionals that we have here at the MTC. My outlook about the MTC and my purpose as a missionary has flipped completely around BECAUSE OF THE ATONEMENT. There is so much power behind prayer, scripture study, and guidance from prophets and apostles.
Because of the strength I have been able to receive this week, my companionship has been able to develop a stronger bond, the district has been able to develop a stronger bond, scripture study has been able to answer all of my prayers and concerns, the language has been able to click a lot easier, and lessons with investigators have been more meaningful and has invited the Holy Spirit to be there as we teach.
Have faith in God and His Son that they will provide you the strength to overcome any trial you might be having. I love you all so much and think about you still, I know that the Lord has comforted me by letting me know that everything will be alright with my family and friends back home as I hasten His work in the Philippines.
I hope this email helped describe what my experiences were throughout the week!
|Elder Oslund and his first companion, Elder Briskin, from Milan, Italy|
|Redondo 2nd Ward Missionaries: Elder Oslund and Elder Weaver at the MTC|
|Language Study Books|
|Elder Oslund's District|
|To and From|