Saturday, June 21, 2014

Final Letter

June 16, 2014

Dear family and friends,

This will be my last letter home from South Africa. It has been an incredible two years in the service of the Lord, and it's hard to believe that it's coming to an end. This past week has been amazing, we continue to work hard and build up the church in our area. I'm grateful the Lord has continued to bless me with the strength physically to serve Him and the people of this country.

On Tuesday we met with a brother named S_____. He was a referral from some other Elders, I believe I spoke about him last week. We had our second lesson with him and his understanding is incredible! He read the entire introduction, testimony of the witnesses and the testimony of Joseph Smith. He agreed to be baptized when he comes to know the Book of Mormon is true. There is nothing greater then when you teach people as a missionary and they understand the message so well.

We continue to help our investigators D_____ and S_____ prepare for baptism. They came to church on Sunday, we're preparing them for baptism in July. They are really great guys and they have such a strong desire to learn. They have been answering all of the questions in the pamphlets and writing down their answers on paper before we come to visit them. I remember the first time we met D_____ he told us: "I wish to be like you guys someday." He says that he has seen changes in his life since he started meeting with us and learning more about the true gospel. They support each other so much as brothers, when we find guys like this it always motivates me to continue to knock on doors.

I got a letter from L______ (he was baptized when I served in PJ) and he is preparing to leave on his mission. It's great to hear that one of the people we were able to baptize will now take those steps to serve the Lord. Seeing people progress in the gospel step by step is a wonderful feeling, I've come to feel the joy that the Lord speaks of in D&C 18 in a small measure as a missionary. I'm so grateful I've been able to visit many of my previous areas since I've had the privilege of serving as an assistant in the mission. It has been a true blessing to serve the Lord in a leadership capacity, I've learned so much in the service of others and it has been a humbling experience.

Serving a mission really has been the best two years of my life. Was it always easy? No, but it was worth it, and it was the challenges that made it rewarding. I'm thankful for the trying times in missionary work because that's how I've grown stronger. I'll never regret these two years I have given up in the service of the Lord; I've grown spiritually beyond imagination. I have become more converted to the Lord and His gospel; conversion is the process of a lifetime, but I've made steps up that ladder more then ever before in my life. I'm eternally grateful for the people I've met and the lives I've seen changed because of this gospel. I have no doubt in my heart that this is the Lord's church, He directs it through a living prophet and this gospel was truly restored by the Prophet Joseph Smith. I have come to know more than ever before that the Book of Mormon is true. I know it's true because it testifies of the Savior Jesus Christ and through its words we have the fullness of the everlasting gospel. I know that Jesus Christ is indeed the Savior of the world, I have felt His atoning blood in my life and I will forever be in His debt.

I am so grateful for the love, support and encouragement I have been shown by so many of you in these two years. You have no idea how many times I have felt the influence of your prayers; I have felt the presence of God's angels in His service.

I'll see you all on the other side.

Much love,
Elder Summers

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