Dear Family and Friends,
This week was really quite good, not in a totally overwhelming temporary way, but in a calm pervasive way. I really didn't recognize how different of a week it had been until I looked back at my journal for the week and realized how many good days there were. It makes me so grateful for the atonement that has carried me thus far. It also makes me grateful for the tender mercies along the way that help me keep going. There in an incredibly fitting verse from Alma, shown to me by a high school friend put it in her weekly mission letter home. When I read it I felt like she wrote it for me, so thanks Sister Derbidge!
Alma 8: 14-15 "And it came to pass that while he was journeying thither, being weighed down with sorrow, wading through much tribulation and anguish of soul... it came to pass while Alma was thus weighed down with sorrow, behold an angel of the Lord appeared unto him, saying:" Blessed art thou, Alma; therefore, lift up thy head and rejoice, for thou hast great cause to rejoice; for thou hast been faithful in keeping the commandments of God from the time which thou receivedst thy first message from him..."
Reading these verses was exactly the words I needed to hear as a reminder to lift up my head and rejoice in all the miracles and blessings around me! I have tried my hardest to be faithful and obedient, even though sometimes that has been difficult in times of anguish. There has been a lot of "wading through much tribulation and anguish of soul" this semester, and it was so fitting that this verse would be shown me during a week that I have really felt from Heaven and through the voices of angels on earth how it is time to "lift up [my] head and rejoice." There really is so much to be grateful for. I am on a good path, and my discipleship is settled. Sometimes the path of discipleship has challenges that cause us to be weighed down with sorrow, but when we are following path God has shown for us individually to follow there is always reason to rejoice! My hope is that those of you reading this, no matter what you are going though, can find a reason this week to also life up your head and rejoice! God is good, even when life doesn't feel very good. I know there are some wonderful things coming, sometimes it just takes a little more time than we expect it to take, so that it may come in God's time and way.