Monday, 7 December 2015

Sacrament Experience

 Hey everyone!
     Sorry I don't have a lot of time to write this week, we have a very busy P-Day ahead of us so I will write quick so sorry if the letter is a little short!
     The week was a little slow simply because Final Exams are here for all the students, so we are trying not to bother them to much so they can finish the semester strong. Christmas is also playing a little factor in that, but we still had some solid lessons this week. I love this area and I love this mission, it's the best!
     I had a very cool spiritual experience I want to share with you all. I think it will benefit all of you if you apply it into your life. 
     Yesterday we were at our first sacrament meeting, we usually attend 4 every Sunday because that's how many wards we cover in our stake. The first ward we go to is called the Westminster Ward because it covers the area around Westminster College which is in the Sugarhouse area. It's fun to play basketball with the members that play college ball for them. Anyways, we were sitting there listening to the Sacrament prayers and observing the bread being passed around. Usually, during the sacrament I try to focus my attention on Christ's Atonement and how I can improve that week. This time, I focused my attention completely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I imagined Christ's body laying on the sacrament table, just like it symbolically represents, and for a second it was like I saw Christ actually laying there and rising from the dead. It was just for a split second, but then I realized something. By taking the sacrament every week worthily, we receive the Holy Ghost as promised in the Sacrament prayers which therefore prepares us to Endure to the End, which brings eternal life. Christ's Atonement and the sacrament are so linked that we can even relate us taking the sacrament weekly to us preparing ourselves for the resurrection and eventually living with God and Jesus Christ forever in the Celestial Kingdom. Now the sacrament has much more meaning to me than it ever did before. I also read an article in this month's Ensign, on page 48, entitled, "The Last Sacrament Cup."  
     This story also enlightened me this morning as I reflected on my experience I had yesterday. This week was tough numbers wise, but honestly God blessed me so much to finish the week. I know that he lives, and loves each and every one of us. I had an experience this week that confirmed that truth for me. I was having a tough week, but God answered my prayers for help and strength through a spiritual experience that changed my perspective. I now realize that things being easy or tough is a matter of perspective. I thought I had a tough week, but after my recent experiences I now look back at my week and see all of the miracles God gave me. I'm so grateful for this gospel and the opportunity I have had to serve this mission. Experiences like this have constantly given me the opportunity to change, and I'm so grateful for that.
     I hope you all are enjoying the start to this beautiful Christmas season. I am so grateful for the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I love him so much and I hope I can continually feel his love throughout this week. I know he will give me opportunities to do so, I just need to have the correct perspective and be optimistic.
                                               Elder Gowdy and I at Temple Square
     Happy Birthday Mom and Dad!!! Haha you are old, but think of it this way. This upcoming March, I'm going to be 20.... 😷 talk about old... Freak haha. I can't believe how fast time is going by, it's crazy. 
      Sounds like you had a good week, I'm grateful for that. I saw Erika McMahon at temple square yesterday and she took a picture with me and sent it to her Mom. Her Mom told her that dad gave a very powerful testimony yesterday at church which is great to hear. Remember the bearing of a testimony is what strengthens it the most.
      Has Grandpa and Grandma still been attending church? Please let them know how grateful I am for their examples for me, they've always been great examples to me as leaders and as honest people. They are always so full of love and that means so much to me.
     I love the Lord! Have a great week!

      Love you
        Elder Strate

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