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Anxiety and the Atonement; from an early returned missionary.

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It was 7:25 pm at the Tuesday Devotional at the Missionary Training Center. I had just experienced my second panic attack while in the MTC and was alone in the bathroom trying to calm myself down. That was the first time I prayed out loud by myself while being there. I cried out to Heavenly Father and told Him I couldn’t do it anymore. I had spent a year getting healthy so I could serve a mission and here I was two and a half weeks into my mission and falling back in to my anxiety I had spent a year healing from. It was a hopeless feeling because I had given everything I could possibly give, but it wasn’t enough.
Two days later I was sitting alone in a small room making the phone call home to my parents. I cried from the shame I was feeling for even calling. I wasn’t supposed to be calling home except for on Mother’s Day and Christmas but this wasn’t that occasion. When I hung up the phone thirty minutes later, I laid my head on the desk and wept. I didn’t understand why God just wouldn’t take my anxiety away so that I could serve Him. People had  told me that they believed He would if I gave myself to Him. Did I not have enough faith in Him? Did I not trust that He would? I felt like I had suffered long enough from this cancer of the mind and that the least He could do is take it away so that I could “invite others to come unto Christ”.
It took me five months later to realize that I did invite someone unto Christ; it was me.

I have gained an undeniable testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Before my mission, I believed it was true. But after coming home early from my mission, I know it is true.
I was broken in so many different ways. I felt like a failure for coming home early, I felt guilty for asking God for help because of how much more suffering people are experiencing in this world, I felt like I was being judged, I felt I had let the people in Brazil down, I felt hopeless about a future filled with anxiety, I felt alone and forgotten by God, and I didn’t know how I could possibly be healed from this broken, dark place I was in. My heart and soul were hurting so deeply that it caused a physical pain.
I had to learn to give my whole soul to Jesus Christ because I couldn’t heal the pain on my own. I needed strength to keep going and He gave it to me.
I had to come unto Christ so that He could heal me. Not heal me from my anxiety, but from my broken heart.

No earthly mortal has the power to heal like the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
The sister that was broken is made whole.
Sometimes I wonder why we have to go through trials. I have come to realize that through all my struggles and trials in life, my testimony has been strengthened only by enduring those struggles and the suffering. I know that when we are at our lowest point, that if we turn to Heavenly Father, He will help us. Maybe not in the way or timing we want, but as we endure, the blessings of heaven will be poured upon us.

The Atonement is real.
Jesus Christ has picked me up when I couldn’t stand on my own, He carried me when I couldn’t walk, and held out His hand when I called His name. The Atonement made that possible. Jesus Christ didn’t just suffer so that we would be forgiven. He suffered and atoned for our weaknesses and heartaches, too. When nobody is able to understand the depth of your dispair, He is able to because He felt that for you so you wouldn’t have to go through that alone. The Son of God did that for you because He loves you.
Never forget that you are not alone.
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, the most Supreme Beings in the universe, love you.
I know with everything inside of me that God lives. There have been events in my life that have occured that could not have happened without a God and I cannot deny that it was His loving hand. He will never leave us alone to endure our trials. They will never turn their backs on you even if you are the one to turn your back on them.

Even though I no longer physically wear Jesus Christ’s name, I will always have it over my heart because after all that He has done for me, that is the least I can do to repay Him.

Throughout this year, I have found one of the lessons I have been needing to learn from this experience- When we turn to God in our struggles, He gives us strength. I didn’t have the strength to continue on as a missionary, but I had the strength to continue on when I didn’t know how I could.

Turn to God in your struggles and trials, it will change your life- because it has changed mine.

Lord, Give Me Strength

Oi amigos e familiares,

I feel like today is a good day for this post.

Please know that talking about this is extremely hard for me but I feel it is the best thing to do at this point.

Back in 7th grade, I started dealing with anxiety. I struggled through so many things because I let it control my life. It was consuming me. But in 2014, I finally decided it was time to get it taken care of. I was able to go get help and improved SO MUCH. I was finally able to not let anxiety control me. I still felt some anxiety but I had improved in so many ways. That is what helped me go on a mission. The significant improvement that I had felt.

I have hid talking about anxiety because it is so embarrassing for me. It’s embarrassing for me to talk about and especially right now.

Yesterday, I came home from my mission. I came home because I fell right back into the old anxiety routine I had spent a year trying to get out of. I am home to get help so that I can get back on my feet again. I have planned on staying “in hiding” because I feel like I have failed all of you, but I feel that would hurt me even more. I didn’t want this to happen, but I need to take care of myself before I can help other people in Brazil. My mission is not over. I feel like I still need to go back out and serve, but I trust that the Lord knows what’s best.

My 20 day mission was an amazing experience. It was obviously very difficult under my circumstances, but it was amazing. My testimony has grown so much in 20 days and I can’t wait to feel that again. If you don’t know whether serving a mission is right for you, do it. Please do it. The Lord needs you.

Please know that I appreciate all the prayers in my behalf. I appreciate the concern from each one of you.

As I am still trying to adjust to the fact that I’m not at the MTC anymore, I would love to talk about it in about a week. 🙂 I’m very emotional right now, so trust me. You won’t want to talk to me for a week anyways.

Eu sei que o Pai Celestial e Jesus Cristo vive.

Eu sei que a Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Últimos Dias é verdadeira.

Eu sei que o Senhor vai me ajudar durante este julgamento difícil.

Eu sei que o meu Redentor vive.

Amor,

Sister Tremblay

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Week 2

Finally it’s Pday! I feel like it’s been weeks since I’ve been able to talk to people. The days and weeks blend together here because of how we do the same thing every single day. We have Portuguese class six hours a day and then personal, companionship, and language study for another three hours. Nine hours of study later it feels like my head is going to explode. I’m totally exhausted in every way when I go to sleep at night. I don’t sleep that well at night because of the different environment I think. Plus there is a window with a lamp shining on my face. Ha-ha. It works though.

So language. Monday was the best day I’ve had with Portuguese so far. We were roll playing as a companionship and me and Sis. Thacker were the missionaries and sis. Juarez was the investigator. We’ve been using notes to read off of every lesson, but yesterday when we were roll playing, we hardly used them. I was able to bear my testimony to her without looking at anything. it was a proud moment for me.

About the food; since you all got some information that was supposed to be a family letter 😉 yes, it does weird things to you. It may be because it is way over processed or something but even the elders struggle with it and aren’t they supposed to have stomach of steel? I would stay away from the “meats”. I don’t think anyone really knows what it is.

Our investigator Amelia was our second teacher. We knew she would be our teacher but wasn’t supposed to know. We now have two teachers and it’s both of our teachers that are our investigators. They just role play, but in TRC, we could have real investigators.

Nothing really crazy happened this week, everyday feels the same: Sleep, study, eat, study, eat, study, eat, study some more, then sleep. I have less than a month left! This coming up week will mark the halfway mark!!!! I made it halfway through the MTC!!!!!

I would just like you all to know that I would NOT have made it an hour here without the prayers and without my faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I have been able to spend 14 days doing something I never thought I would be able to do. It’s still hard, but I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are there. I have felt more power from heaven during these last 2 weeks than I have my whole life. Please know that God will not leave you alone in your trials; it may not seem like anyone is there but God is and he will help you.

Stockton!!! Your girlfriend was rooming right next to me! Every time I walked out of my room I saw your face. Ha-ha. I don’t think she knows I am your cousin because I never told her. She was super sweet though! From what I’ve seen, she’s doing great! 🙂

When the missionaries were walking back to our housing last night from a classroom around campus, everyone started singing “Called To Serve”. It was one of the most amazing things I have experienced. As everyone was joined together singing the spirit was so strong. It was just a random thing that happened when we were walking outside, but as I looked up at the stars while we were singing, I could feel the love of my Heavenly Father. I could feel the angels protecting us here at the MTC and the joy that God has for us as we are dedicating ourselves to bringing others unto Christ. It was amazing.

I heard a quote that said “We are called to speak the language we can testify most powerfully in.” We are called of God!

Thanks for all the love and prayers and emails and letters. They make my day so much better when I receive mail.

Amor,

Sister Tremblay.

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Week 1 Part 2 :)

The first week 1 post is from a letter we received from Kaisha. We had this all worked out before she left how she wanted me to post things to her blog, however :)) her time to write a blog post and send it to me is far less than she imagined. So with her first letter and everyone wondering how she was I wrote what I could and today I was pleasantly surprised (so so super excited) when I got the mail and she wrote a blog post for me to share with everyone.

Anyone who would like to comment, I will print the comments off and send them to her.

March 4 – 10, 2015

It’s finally Pday! I never thought this day would come! It’s been the longest, most exhausting week of my life! I’m looking forward to my nap today after the temple.

On Wednesday after I arrived we jumped right into things. I went through a maze of rooms and got my name tag and badge for the MTC. After that I took my luggage to my room, went to the bookstore to get my supplies, and then went straight to class. There are ten missionaries in my district. Three elders (Elder Gomez, Elder Rodriguez, and Elder Gines) and seven sisters (Sister Thacker, Sister Juarez, Sister McMakin, Sister Cole, Sister Weatherford, and Sister Thomson). Sister Thacker and Sister Juarez are my companions. We are in a trio and going to Recife. It’s hard having another person you always have to be with, but we make it work.

We have started teaching our first investigator, Amelia, she is 25 and is a dance teacher. It’s hard to teach her because sister Thacker and I don’t know what she is saying sometimes because she speaks so fast. Sister Juarez speaks spanish so she is able to carry on a conversation with her while we sit there with blank stares on our faces. Ha-ha. It would be so much easier if I could just speak to her in Portuguese, but I can’t yet.

My Portuguese is coming along. I can understand more than I speak. I sometimes add french into it for some reason so it makes it interesting. I will say something like “oui!” instead of “sim!” I don’t know why I do that but it happens. I’m able to bear a simple testimony and say a simple prayer and that’s about it so far.

Sunday’s are my favorite days so far. They are more relaxing and easy going. In sacrament on Sunday we had a guy vising that is in charge of problems at the MTC. As he was trying to hold back tears he said “We have had special visitors at the MTC this week.” It was so amazing to hear that. It’s just a reminder how sacred the MTC is. We are also able to do a temple walk on Sunday after our district meeting. We walk to the temple and take pictures with our district. It’s so nice to be able to leave the MTC for a little bit and be around other people besides missionaries. I was also able to leave the MTC on Thursday to take my companheira to the doctor. We walked down the street to a health clinic. It was so weird when we went inside and there was a t.v. going and normal magazines all over the tables besides scriptures and Ensigns. It was weird! I also love Sunday’s because of the naps!! They are SO needed here. By the time you go to bed, your so exhausted. I love naps when I can get them.

The food here is alright. Everyone warns us about certain foods like the OJ, tilapia, and chicken cordon bleu. They say it does weird things to your body after a week, and it really does. Ha-ha. The hardest thing about the MTC is probably the rules. They just keep piling up and it’s so overwhelming but they are there for a reason. One of my favorite things about the MTC is seeing so many people from different backgrounds coming together for the same purpose. Missionaries who have joined the church and being “disowned” by family members for serving. Missionaries from China, Florida, Mozambique, etc… It’s such an amazing thing to experience and to see so many people coming together.

On Sunday, we were able to watch a movie after the devotional. We watched a talk by elder Bednar called “The Character of Christ”. It was amazing! I would highly recommend looking it up and watching the whole thing. It’s about an hour long but so worth it. He talked about how the character of Christ is when Christ turns outward when the natural man would turn inward. When Christ had just bled from every pore from the weight of the world on his shoulders and was suffering, when his three friends let him down by sleeping when he asked them to stay awake, when his friend betrayed him; he still took the time to heal the guard who had his ear cut off. He turned outward when the natural man would have self pity and turn inward. He gave a personal example while he was serving as a stake president: one morning he received a phone call from a sister in his  ward, she called elder Bednar to tell him there had been a terrible car accident involving three teenage girls from their ward and one of the girls had died at the scene. She asked if he could go to identify the body of that girl who had been killed and give a blessing to the other two surviving girls. As the woman was on one phone with elder Bednar, she had another phone pressed to her ear receiving updates from the nurse who was working on the girls. The nurse said that the girl who had passed away was the woman’s daughter. The woman did not think of herself she told elder Bednar they needed to inform the other mothers that their daughters had been in an accident. That sister had just lost her child in an accident and she was worried about the other mothers. She turned outward when the natural man would turn inward.  The Relief Society president from elder Bednar’s home ward had a daughter killed in the accident, she was a single mother and her daughter was her only child. On the day of her daughter’s funeral she received a phone call from an irritated sister in her ward complaining that she did not feel well and was suffering from a cold, she chewed out the Relief Society president for not being compassionate enough to arrange meals to be brought into her home. Just hours before the funeral of her only child the Relief Society president prepared and delivered a meal to the woman. Once again, she turned outward. It was such a great talk and was such an eye opener.

I am grateful for this opportunity I’ve had even though this is the hardest thing I’ve done.

Jesus Cristo vive. A Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Ultimos dias es verdadeiro.

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Week 1

Oi, Familia.

So, we can write letters here on other days than Pdays. We start laundry at 8:15 and then can write our families after.  It has been a really cool experience here. It’s powerful when all the missionaries come together and sing. On Wednesday, the first day here we jumped right into everything. My poor host (the girl in the pictures the last post) carried my two bags up three flights of stairs to my room on the third floor. Ha-ha. That sweet girl!  All the girls in my room from my district were amazed how much my bags weighed.

I have two companions. We are in a trio; me, sister Thacker, and sister Juarez. The second day at the MTC I was able to get off the MTC campus, sister Juarez needed to go to the Dr. and get a chest x-ray because her arm from her tb shot was huge. We walked to the health center in Provo. I had my camera with me so I will send those pictures. Yes! I have blisters on my feet from walking.

We taught our first lesson to an investigator on Friday. It went ok. I just can’t pronounce any words so that was hard. Thankfully I can understand more than I can speak. The second time we taught Amelia was AWFUL! We decided to sing a hymn in Portuguese to bring the Spirit. When we got there and started singing,,, it was so bad. We sounded terrible so I started chuckling and sister Juarez started laughing and we couldn’t stop. Ha-ha. When we were with sister Juarez at her appointments we missed a lot of class time so we are behind on the language.

The food here is like my dad’s food from the cafeteria at work. I have gotten sick off of something I ate. It’s awful when you have three companions that need to go with you to the bathroom when you have a stomach ache.

Sunday’s are my favorite here so far. We went to sacrament meeting in the morning and something cool happened. There was a guy that was visiting and takes care of the problems at the MTC, as he was trying to fight back tears, he said:” We have had special visitors here at the MTC this week.” It just reminds us how sacred this place is. Relief society was cool too; the second counselor in the general young women’s presidency came and spoke to us. It was a great talk. We also went on a temple walk with our district. We walked around the temple and took pictures; it’s so nice to get out of this gated community. When we got to the temple and climbed a hill behind it, I got so homesick, looking out into the valley and seeing the lake reminded me of the Great Salt Lake. After the temple the best thing happened. We took a nap!!! It was only an hour and sister Juarez was going through her suitcases most of it but it was so needed because of the change of time on Sunday and the girls screaming because of a mouse in their room at 12 A.M..

We went to a devotional Sunday night and the MTC speaker talked about the Holy Ghost. It was a long hour to sit on hard chairs but it was good. We watched a movie later that night too, it was a talk by elder Bednar called The Character of Christ. The character of Christ is to turn outward when the natural man would turn inward. Even when Christ had just finished in the garden and was suffering, three of his closest friends let him down by sleeping, and then he was betrayed; He still took the time to heal the man that got his ear cut off. He turned outward when the natural man would say “Why me?” It was a great talk.

I didn’t sleep very well on Sunday night because the girls leaving the MTC were excited and loud dragging their suitcases down four stories of stairs all night. We got up early and went to the morning workout. It was hard. I really, really miss talking to people It is definitely harder than I could have imagined. We get to go to the temple today.

I love you guys so much.

Love,

Sister Tremblay.

Sisters in my district

Farewell

It came and went. I remember when I thought the day would never come but I did it and it’s over! I can’t believe how stressed I was for 6 months about giving my farewell talk. When I was up there, I felt more relaxed than I ever have giving a talk in sacrament. And I didn’t even need to use my barf bag I packed in my purse. God is good. 🙂

It was such a great day. I’m so grateful for every single person that was there supporting me. Even if you couldn’t make it, I still felt your support in spirit. It’s so overwhelming to think how many people are cheering me on. It moves me to tears to think about. I have such great people in my life and I will be forever grateful for each one of you.

I thought (hope) my farewell talk turned out great. I had been working on it for over three weeks. I was really struggling writing it because I felt it was all just a jumbled mess and it wasn’t coming together like I wanted it to. But when I got up there and read it, I felt it was just how it needed to be. I just hope I got the message across through my manly sounding cries. Haha! For my family that couldn’t make it to my farewell, I’ll post my talk at the end of this post. ßßß I also think the farewell gathering turned out awesome besides the lack of seating. I’ve never seen more people in my kitchen and living room than I did on Sunday. But there was so much love also.

It seems so unreal that I will be leaving in eight days to go preach the gospel to the people in Brazil, but I’m ready to embark on this journey and see the miracles unfold in my life by serving Jesus Christ. Every person deserves to know about this gospel. I’m so grateful for the testimony I have and I know that through Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, all things are possible to them that believe. “Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come.” (D&C 68:6-My mission scripture.)

Keep believing and keep the faith. 🙂

Xoxo,

Kaisha.

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“I was given the topic “Being Converted and Being a Disciple of Jesus Christ”. I would like to split my talk into three different sections. First, gaining a testimony. We need a testimony in order to be converted. Second, being converted to the gospel. And third, being a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Testimony

What is a testimony? A testimony is a spiritual witness given by the Holy Ghost. Dallin H. Oaks said: “A testimony of the gospel is a personal witness borne to our souls by the Holy Ghost that certain facts of eternal significance are true and that we know them to be true. Such facts include the nature of the Godhead and our relationship to its three members, the effectiveness of the Atonement, and the reality of the Restoration.

We know what a testimony is; now how do we gain one? We must have the desire. Alma 32:27 says: “But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.”  We gain a testimony by acting. For example: If you want to lose weight, you aren’t going to start by sitting on the couch watching The Biggest Loser. You need to take action. By eating right and exercising. The same can apply to gaining a testimony. We need to act. And the way we can take action is by studying the scriptures, praying to Heavenly Father, going to church each Sunday and attending all of our meetings, and so on.

When on a quest to gaining a testimony, we must ask by praying. “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”

So first, we need the desire. Second, we need to act on that desire. And third, we need to pray and ask Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost will confirm truth to us.

I would also like to add another step in gaining a testimony. Just like growing a plant, our testimonies need to be nurtured of they will wither. Obedience to the truths you know is what will keep our testimonies alive and growing. We need to nurture our testimonies. If we do not feed our testimonies, they will die. Elder Bednar said: “Testimony alone is not and will not be enough to protect us in the latter-day storm of darkness and evil in which we are living. Testimony is important and necessary but not sufficient to provide the spiritual strength and protection we need. Some members of the Church with testimonies have wavered and fallen away. Their spiritual knowledge and commitment did not measure up to the challenges they faced.” We must always be true to our testimonies and continue to strengthen them because testimony is a point of departure; it is not an ultimate destination.

Jeffrey R. Holland in his conference talk “Lord, I Believe”, shared an example of a young boy. He said: “A 14-year-old boy recently said to me a little hesitantly, “Brother Holland, I can’t say yet that I know the Church is true, but I believe it is.” I hugged that boy until his eyes bulged out. I told him with all the fervor of my soul that belief is a precious word, an even more precious act, and he need never apologize for “only believing.” I told this boy that belief was always the first step toward conviction and that the definitive articles of our collective faith forcefully reiterate the phrase “We believe”.”

I would like to echo the words Elder Holland said. Belief is the start. If you feel you don’t have a strong enough testimony or it’s lacking, keep doing the things necessary to gain and strengthen your testimony. When you gain a testimony, be true to it and always “Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.”

We must always continue to strengthen our testimonies because strong testimony is the foundation upon which conversion is established.

Conversion

Conversion is a deepening base of a testimony. True conversion brings change in someone’s beliefs, heart, and life to accept and conform to the will of God. In the Bible Dictionary under conversion it says: “Conversion will change a natural man into a sanctified, born again, purified person—a new creature in Jesus Christ.” In order to be new creatures in Christ we need to honor our covenants and ordinances we have made, be steadfast in Christ, and endure in faith. By being converted, we give of our self to Heavenly Father for the gratitude we have for the gift of our testimony. As taught in 2 Nephi 28: 30, conversion comes line upon line and precept upon precept as we continually give ourself and our loyalty to Heavenly Father.

Samuel the Lamanite described five ways in the Book of Helaman we can become converted:

  1. Believe the teachings in the scriptures.
  2. Exercise faith in Jesus Christ.
  3. Repent.
  4. Experience a change of heart.
  5. Be firm and steadfast in your faith.

If those five ways are followed, it will lead to conversion.

Elder Bednar gave an example of the Ten Virgins and used that parable to describe the relationship between testimony and conversion. I would like to also. When I read the story of the Ten Virgins, I want you to think of the lamp as the lamp of testimony and the oil as the oil of conversion.

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps [of testimony], and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

They that were foolish took their lamps [of testimony], and took no oil [of conversion] with them:

But the wise took oil [of conversion] in their vessels with their lamps [of testimony].

While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps [of testimony].

And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil [of conversion]; for our lamps[of testimony] are gone out.

But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”

Elder Bednar then posed the questions: “Were the five wise virgins selfish and unwilling to share, or were they indicating correctly that the oil of conversion cannot be borrowed? Can the spiritual strength that results from consistent obedience to the commandments be given to another person? Can the knowledge obtained through diligent study and pondering of the scriptures be conveyed to one who is in need? Can the peace the gospel brings to a faithful Latter-day Saint be transferred to an individual experiencing adversity or great challenge? The clear answer to each of these questions is no.”

Our conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ cannot be borrowed, it cannot be given, and it surely cannot be transferred.

Our testimonies are not enough to keep us from the storms of Satan. Like from examples in the scriptures, we know that if we have a few great moments of spiritual power, it will not be enough. Peter denied Christ even after he received confirmation that Jesus Christ was the Savior of the world. The Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon directly had testimony given to them that the Book of Mormon was the word of God, but still it was not enough and they faltered. While testimonies are the basis of conversion, we need to be converted to withstand Satan. Just like Helaman 5:12 says:  “And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.” The rock we are built upon is our testimony but the foundation we must build is conversion. Being converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ will bring us safety in times of trial.

Disciple

A disciple is a follower of Jesus Christ who lives according to Christ’s teachings. There are many different ways we can be disciples of Jesus Christ. President Uchtdorf gives 10 ways we can become disciples. He says: “You and I can walk in the path of discipleship today.

  1. Let us be humble; let us pray to our Father in Heaven with all our heart and express our desire to draw close to Him.
  2. Have faith.
  3. Seek.
  4. Serve the Lord by serving others.
  5. Be active in your ward.
  6. Strengthen your family by living gospel principles.
  7. Adjust your lives to be able to have a temple recommend AND USE IT.
  8. Have family home evening, read the scriptures, and pray earnestly to Heavenly Father.
  9. Fill our hearts with gratitude.
  10. Embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ and walk in His way.”

He then continues on and gives a promise, he says: The lord will bless your life, endow you with knowledge and joy beyond comprehension, and distill upon you the supernal gifts of the Spirit.”

What an amazing promise he gives each one of us. Joy beyond comprehension. Don’t we all want that? Don’t we all want those things he promises us? We can start today by walking in Jesus Christ’s way. It’s never too late to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

A disciple of Jesus Christ is one who learns to be like Him; by learning to think, act, and feel like He does.

D&C 41:5 says: “He that receiveth my law and doeth it, the same is my disciple; and he that saith he receiveth it and doeth it not, the same is not my disciple, and shall be cast out from among you.”

The time is now. It’s time that each one of us strive to follow in Christ’s footsteps. It’s never too late to start, but I ask you to start soon. We cannot delay any longer. “I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.” We cannot procrastinate any further. We have been sent to this earth at this time because we were valiant in Heaven. “He has walked alone once” and may He never have to walk alone again without our aid. We can aid Him by following in His ways and being converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and being disciples.

As we fill our lives and hearts with the teachings of Jesus Christ, our faith grows and our desires change. Our desires begin to align with Jesus Christ and we start the journey on the road to discipleship. Our walk on the road of discipleship will take time. We don’t acquire eternal life in a sprint—it’s through endurance that we acquire it. We need to apply and reapply the teachings of Jesus Christ and gospel principles everyday in order for it to be a normal part of our lives. We need to be diligent and continue to walk the path even when it’s hard to do so. The eternal rewards we will receive as we dedicate our lives to Jesus Christ will outweigh any earthly joy we can experience in this life.

Before I end, I thought it would be appropriate to share why I want to serve a mission.

I want to serve a mission because of the sweet blessings it brings in each one of our lives and I want everybody to feel the happiness, the true happiness that comes with being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I want the people in Brazil to know that someone loves them always, that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know them, and that the Atonement of Jesus Christ can heal the deepest wound and forgive the broken hearted. I want to share the gospel because I have seen the miracles and blessings it brings in my life, and I want others to feel of that.

But I also know how hard it’s going to be. When I first opened my call, I remember thinking: “Are you serious. Did they mix up my call with someone else’s and put my name on everything of theirs? Because you’re sending the queen of dehydration and heat stroke 8 degrees south of the equator AND I am going to be sharing the gospel in Portuguese, not French but Portuguese.”

When people would ask me before I received my call where I wanted to serve I would tell them: Anywhere but Mexico, Africa, anywhere in Asia, or South America. So pretty much keep me in the United States or Canada. One word of advice for future missionaries. Never voice out loud where you don’t want to serve.

I know that may sound selfish, but before I received my call, I prayed that the General Authorities assigning my call that day would know exactly where I needed to go and would be filled with the spirit. I prayed so hard for those men to be inspired and when I received my call I was so disappointed. I was disappointed because I thought I knew where the best place for me to go was. I thought I knew what language I needed to speak. Sadly, I thought I knew better than Heavenly Father. But I have come to realize over the past 4 months that those men were inspired. They were inspired to send me to the Brazil Recife mission. I have no idea why I have been called there, but I do know there must be a pretty good reason why because Heavenly Father has called me to serve in a place I never thought I would be able to handle. I know that I am “in the hands of the divine potter” and He is shaping me into the person I need to become.

There have been times along the way where I wanted to turn back. Times when I didn’t want to leave my family and leave my comfort zone. There still are times when I feel those feelings but I have to remind myself why I chose to serve. Why I chose to leave my family for only 18 months. There are souls to save and those people in Brazil deserve to feel the happiness that the gospel has brought me in my life. “I cannot let my selfishness deprive someone of happiness.”

It may be the hardest thing I’ve done and I know there will be days when I wonder why I’m out, but I know the eternal blessings and rewards others and myself will receive because of my choice to serve will be worth every minute of it.

I want each of you to know, that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know you individually. They know exactly your circumstances and the things you are going through. Heavenly Father hears your prayers. I know that from personal experience, that he truly does hear our prayers. He is there. I know with everything inside of me that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live. They will not leave you to walk alone in your trials. If you don’t have a testimony of them, I challenge you to go home and kneel down in a quiet place and pray to know that they are there and that they love you and I promise you, if you have faith and listen to the promptings, the Holy Ghost will confirm it to you…… Because it has been confirmed to me.

I’m so grateful for this gospel and the hope it brings in our lives. In a world full of turmoil, the gospel is what will keep us safe. I hope that we can all try our hardest to be converted to the gospel and be disciples of Jesus Christ. “If in the end you have not chosen Jesus Christ, it will not matter what you choose.” I know this church is true and I know the Book of Mormon is true. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

Mission Call: October 8, 2014

October 8, 2014 was an exciting day. The mail came about an hour earlier than it had all week. (Trust me, I checked even though I knew it wouldn’t be there.) I walked down to the mailbox with composure and opened it. I didn’t see my call! The sneaky mailman had put the magazines and bills on top of it. I grabbed the mail like I had never grabbed mail before and smiled the whole way home.

Now the waiting game began. I waited, and waited, and waited, AND WAITED. Six hours later, it was finally the moment of truth.

Family and friends filed in the doorway making guesses to where I might go. You never know how loved you are until you see so many people surrounding you and supporting you. (Side note: Thanks to everyone that came or in some way participated in this. It meant so much to me and I’m so lucky to have such great people in my life!)

After what felt like only two minutes of greeting people, it was time to open my mission call. I made my way to center of attention. (My least favorite place to be may I add.) The opening prayer was said by my lovely mom and the tears started flowin’. I knew this was what I was supposed to be doing.

I struggled to open the perfectly sealed envelope. I opened it and hid the words with the packet that was provided.

Dear Sister Tremblay:

You are hereby called to serve (lost it) as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I paused for a couple seconds. I couldn’t get myself to move the thick paper down to the next line of the letter. I slowly moved down to the next sentence and the first word I saw was Brazil. In the recording of me opening my call, you will notice this is the part where I start crying uncontrollably. I was so overcome with fear at this time. There is more to it, but I know that at that time, Satan knew the impact I would have on people in my mission and didn’t want me to go.

You are assigned to labor in the Brazil Recife Mission… You should report to the Brazil MTC on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the PORTUGUESE language.

I definitely wasn’t expecting Brazil. If you would have asked me before I got my call where I wanted to serve, I would have replied: “Nowhere foreign!”. I do not know why I have been called to Recife, Brazil, but I do know that Heavenly Father knows best. Honestly, it will take time to know why I have been called there because I didn’t think I could physically or emotionally handle somewhere like that. But the faith I have in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is enough for me at this point.  I cannot let my selfishness deprive someone of happiness. And besides, when I have the most Supreme Being in the whole universe on my side, what do I have to fear?

Porque eu recebi muito, eu também devo dar.

XOXO,

Irma Tremblay. 😉

The official letter. :)

The official letter. 🙂

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