10397107_10152193346632823_6022705930107546811_oI feel we all have a few people in our lives that we feel this ridiculous sense of responsibility for, and I have noticed often times we can let those acquired cares and burdens overwhelm us. I was once having a moment like that about two years ago when my cares and worries and fears about others and the circumstances of life that were swirling around us might as well have been nuclear missiles sent straight from Satan to destory us. It was ridiculous… It was not a pleasant time to say the least, but one of my most favorite people, who I respect very much (my High School English teacher, Mr. Becker), once told me that I reminded him of an air craft carrier: I had all these people in my life that I was supporting and carrying along at this current point in time. I don’t remember the rest of what he said, but since that experience and that analogy, I’ve come to a few conclusions….

Being an “aircraft carrier” for other people who “didn’t even ask for your help” is exhausting. However, I believe before we came to earth, these people did ask for our help. I think a major part of our pre earth life was making promises to people that we would cross paths with them in this life to help them, in either a slight or significant way, back to Heavenly Father. Sometimes these experiences are manifested in a parent-child relationship, or a romantic relationship, or just friend to friend. Since I’ve come on a mission, I’ve noticed several times now that there is a very special connection between missionaries and their “people”; that one (or more) investigator or Less Active that you just click with and you just know you were sent here for them…

At another break down moment in my life, when I knew I was supposed to come and serve, but totally absolutely did NOT want to, I was bemoaning this same conundrum to my mother, about feeling responsible for people I didn’t even know and she said to me, “If you don’t go, the Lord will send someone who will take care of them” and that was alarming because I felt accountable for these people who I knew in my heart were waiting for me, not for some replacement. I have a STRONG opinion and testimony that we each have unique gifts, talents and abilities that only we can share with the world and specific people who need us to bring those talents and gifts into their lives. That’s a major reason why I chose to serve. I knew I had a few people that I needed to carry for a bit so they could get safely back to base (aka Eternal Life with God).

I have noticed a common theme among the strong men and women I have met. They all tend to have a tendancy to care for more than what seems reasonable. Their “burdens” in life are not really things of material proportions, but have to do with human relationships, and therefore the things of Eternity. I’ve also noticed, and experienced for myself that we eventually realize we really can’t do this ourselves. It’s usually at this point that true conversion and understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ takes place, and a mighty change of heart and perspective is wrought in us. It’s the accumulation of a much needed piece in our quest to become like our Savior; we have diligence, we have obedience, we have charity, hope and faith… and now (at least for a moment) we have humility. Gaining a testimony of the savior and truly recognizing your own weaknesses, which is hard for a strong person to do, and allowing Christ to be the one who helps you patch the holes of your sinking ship is the best thing you’ll ever do! I find great comfort in knowing perfection as the world requires it is not a requiste of God. We are to be perfect, even as He is, which means we strive to acquire His attributes, walk in His ways, and endure to the end. We strive to help and lift others as best as we can, but ultimately we know He is the one who does all the heavy lifting. We sometimes are allowed to “help” which is a gift to us that we might learn and grow in the process.

In conclusion, I just want to say don’t let yourself get to the point where you feel you are a “sinking ship”. Don’t forget the Master of All can calm the stormy seas of life, and block those pointed missiles from the Advesary. He will keep your ship, and everyone elses afloat. Trust in Him to do so! He always comes through. I can testify that all our experiences, no matter how downright hard and miserable they can get, are truly for our benefit. It’s all necessary for adequate progression so we can truly be prepared to stand before the Lord again someday. Don’t give up. Keep running your “mile”! You have angels from both sides of the veil to help and lift you! And most importantly, you have the Savior to help you… What more do you really need anyways?

Have a blessed day and stay strong!
Love, Sister Yates

This morning I was reading in 2nd Nephi 9 and verses 49, 51-52 really stuck out to me. They say:

49- Behold, my soul abhorreth sin, and my heart delighteth in righteousness; and I will praise the holy name of my God.

51- Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken dilligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken: and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.
52- Behold, my beloeved brethren, remember the words of your God; pray unto him continually by day, and give thanks unto his holy name by night. Let your hearts rejoice.

The part that really struck me today was the last few lines of verse 51, “let your soul delight in fatness.” What I got from it was we all need to have a well rounded, and well balanced life full of happiness, positivity, and inspiration from on High! God didn’t put us here to starve spiritually, phsycially, emotionally, or mentally. May you all be fat and full of the joy and delightful things of life :)
Love always, Sister Yates

Being an “8 Cow” Missionary

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-Tom Keifer

-Tom Keifer

A favorite video produced by the church is the timeless classic, “Johnny Lingo”. It’s about a very affluent tradesman from the Islands, who comes to bargain for his bride. In their culture, the groom pays for his bride with cows. Traditionally, for a good wife one would only pay 3-5 cows for one of those “model worthy” type of wives. 1-2 for a “pretty wife”, and perhaps a goat for the “less fortunate looking” people. In this tale, Johnny blows everyone away by paying 8 cows for the girl the village has always ridiculed and called ugly. They call her “Mahana You Ugly” and her father is very verbally abusive, so she and everyone feels that 2 cows, let alone 8 is too much for her. But the moral of the story, and the moral that I want to convey is that we, whether a boy, a girl, a sister or an elder, if you’re a child of God, you are totally worth 8 cows, if not more!

I’ve mentioned this “self esteem” topic a few times, but I seriously am so sick of people getting down on themselves (and others…) for being less than “perfect”. Perfect, in the greek translation, means “complete, or finished”. There’s nothing in there about being flawless, or beautiful, or accomplished in specified ways. It simply means you are awesome! In a nutshell, anyway.

How I feel this relates to “Johnny Lingo” is what Johnny says to Mr. Harris at the end of the video. He wanted Mahana, whom he had loved since their childhood, to know and feel she is an 8 cow woman. He knew there was great power and greater confidence to be had in an individual if they came to the conclusion on their own that they are and “8 cow” kind of person. This applies to each of us. We need to have a positive outlook on ourselves, and others. We need to be conscious of the counsel of the prophet, which is love. Love, in it’s pure form, is a positive, uplifting, happy, joyful, and fulfilling thing. If we are truly living like Christ, then love should be apart of all we do. People should walk away from us feeling better than before they talked to us. We should never let the mean and negative thoughts that Satan tries to put in our heads about others, or ourselves, any chance to cause harm to our confidence, or to others.

In conclusion, I want everyone to know that you are an 8 cow person! You are of infinite worth, and just downright amazing! Think about this: God has already given the ultimate sacrifice far greater than any mere cow. Not even 8 cows will ever measure up to the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. If God was willing to give His Only Begotten Son for you, why would you ever entertain the thought that you aren’t amazing? Or talented? Or “cool”? Or whatever it is that you need to feel to feel valued and loved? You are valued. You are loved! Don’t for get that.
I hope you have a beautiful day!
Love Always, Sister Yates

P.S. You should totally watch “Johnny Lingo

Thanks to the inspiration from #MoSop , I felt prompted to write about what we gain from a mission that is vital for our lives after this blessed and cherished experience comes to an end. It’s such a short blink, just like the rest of our mortal experience, but the things you learn…. it’s amazing!

#1- The Schedule: Besides basic training, or a really strict prep school, no where else or in any other organization does any body of people have such a strict and absolutely precise daily schedule. Although it can at times be a source of serious anxiety and stress for some, eventually you recognize the blessing it is. It’s a great way to learn to discipline and self mastery. It’s really easy in “real life” to just hit the snooze button 50 times, or to stay up till 2AM, but when you are on the Lord’s time, you know every minute is sacred, and is to be used as such. Therefore, you get up on time. You use only the allotted time for meal breaks, studies, and teaching appointments. You know you only have a finite amount of time to accomplish what you need to do, and you learn to manage your day accordingly. How helpful will that be for a mother or a leader of a corporation or other such leadership positions? Priceless!

#2- The Rules: In a mission, we have this lovely white handbook that we sometimes refer to as the “White Bible” which contains specific insturctions and guidelines for the what and how of mission life. It is very specific, and very strict in many ways, but yet again it is a blessing in teaching us safety precautions, common courteousy, respect, and integrity. Valuable things that play well into the future roles we will each achieve as a leader, spouse, parent, etc. Obedience is the key. If we are obedient, then the Lord blesses us. It’s that simple, yet so profound.

#3- Companionships: …Best prepartion for marriage I think anyone on the planet could ever experience! You are literally hooked at the hip 24/7 for as long as you serve together. It’s either a really great experience, or a really terrible one depending on what you choose to make of it. It’s not the easiest thing to be put with a complete stranger from a completely different background, or culture, or part of the country, or whatever. However, it is an amazing opportunity to learn to love people. To communicate EFFECTIVELY! To compromise, be patient, and learn to not take yourself too seriously. Again, this experience is priceless! And I can testify, it is going to be what you make of it. Like with all relationships, you have to be willing to put something into it. It’s not all on your comp, or all on you. It’s a partnership that requires effort from both sides. So, decide now how you’re going to behave, and then when the time comes “Make it Happen!”.

#4- Accountability: Basically the first 3 things I’ve mentioned all hinge on this. Each day, and each week, and each prayer (which we probably pray at least 20-30 times per day) is an accounting for our efforts. Each P-Day we account to our mission president, and we tell him how the work is going in our areas. It’s great, because it’s good motivation to keep working hard and not slack off. Each night we pray and talk to the Lord about our day, and ask for help on what we didn’t do very well, and thank Him for the things that totally made the day worth it. This important lesson in responsibility is timeless, as well as eternally valuable!

#5- Sacrifices: I’ve addressed this issue a few times, but really and truly it’s the bread and butter to mission life. We have all given up just about every material form of entertainment, all our hobbies, all our friends and family, education and jobs to serve the Lord. The Law of Sacrifice is an ancinet law dating to Old Testament times, but it’s still so applicable in our day! Missions are a sacrifice, but as with all commandments and covenants that we keep, the Lord blesses us ABUNDANTLY for them. I’ve seen great miracles come from giving up even more than what we’ve initally sacrificed when we left home. When we set goals and make plans to use the Lords time more perfectly each day the Lord can trust us with more people to teach, and more trust from the members we serve, and sweet tender mercies that just pop up seemingly out of nowhere and it’s just a beautiful thing! The Mission Handbook is full of great ideas of things we can do better to become more fully consecrated to our work and to the Lord. I feel it’s important to learn how to live this law now because of where the world is headed. We are (or atleast all should be) aware that we are living in the Last Days that have been prophesied since Adam’s time. It’s a great idea to learn to go without, and learn to rely FULLY on God.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to live such a structured life at this time! I’m only 21, and I have a lot of years ahead of me. I am developing, along with 85,000+ other individuals, seriously important skills that many members of our generation are sorely lacking. How many teens or young adults willingly get up each day at a set time and do something productive? There are those out there who are responsible, but they are a bit too few and far between. How many people in our society advocate accountability? Almost everywhere you look, people are pointing fingers and blaming others. It’s terrible! How many people are willing to go without and make and charitable contributions? Not many, unfortunately. I’m defintiely not saying “all” but it’s an unfortunate truth that people are becoming more inward, and not looking out for others to help as much as we should. How many people want to follow rules, or commandments from God? I am constantly surprised to hear about what’s going on in the world about laws being discussed and what people are fighting about. The Laws and Commandments of God are unchangable. Accept it! If our society was living a life based on high standards as put forth by the Prophets, whether Ancient or Modern, this world would be so different!

In conclusion, I’d just like to say I am so grateful for this priceless and sacred opportunity! I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ who makes it possible for me and everyone to overcome our mistakes each day, and try again and be better tomorrow! I am so excited to have compaionship inventories with my future eternal companion and to teach our children the importance of responsibility, integrity, obedience, accountability, and the importance of sacrifce. I am so grateful for my parents who taught me these important values. I am so grateful for inspired Prophets and other church leaders who lead us by inspiration and set a beautiful example for us.
The gospel is true… Missions are amazing! And the future is going to be interesting, but I know it’s going to be possible to endure to the end because of this amazing portion of my “Miracle Mile”!!

“The Errand of Angels”

#CalledtoShare

#CalledtoShare

#discoverthebook

#discoverthebook


There is a lovely LDS themed movie, “The Errand of Angels” and it follows a young convert through her adventures as a missionary in Germany. It’s a charming film that, like most movies has a bit of fluff and silliness, but it really did a good job of representing what missions are like. They totally nailed a few things on the head, like interesting and overfilling meals from our fantastic members, grouchy companions, health conscious companions, bold commitment invitations, the “joys” of tracting, and the ever miraculous last minute miracle baptism.

What I enjoyed most about this movie was the perspective and true representation of the “hard” side of missionary work. For those who have served missions or are currently serving, you’re well aware of what is hard and what is not. A few examples for those not in the loop: first, Satan… He is crazy. In a talk I read recently said he is an “incorrigible insomniac” and I second that! Secondly,
the resources you previously had for dealing with stress are no longer readily available which causes unwanted weight gain, terrible acne breakouts, disturbed sleep patterns, and other symptoms. Third is the spiritual challenges. The rejection you deal with each day as door after door, rude “Christian” after rude Christian tells you to get lost, people mock your beliefs, and ask you questions that you can’t answer, and make you feel unsure of your testimony and your exceedingly elect investigators don’t want to accept the gospel and they “break up” with you the day you’re planning on committing them to baptism… It’s just a terrible work out on so many levels. The spiritual strain is definitely the hardest part of it all.

So why come on a mission, or be a missionary if it’s so stinking hard? Like in the movie, it’s the miracles that keep you going at the end of the day. It’s those amazing people who show up at church who just moved into the area and say “I’ve read the entire Book of Mormon, I know it’s true and I’m ready to get baptized.” It’s the people who have been less active for years but for some reason decided to let you and your companion in to visit and share a message with them, who accept the invitation to attend church again, and then become reactivated and fully participating in the ward! It’s the adorable kids in your wards who make you feel like some kind of celebrity because “You’re a missionary!” And that’s the coolest thing to them.

I’ve concluded that the best part of missionary work is the closeness you gain to the Savior. He was the most rejected, despised, mocked and ridiculed missionary of us all, and one of His closest companions betrayed Him in the worst way possible. It’s helpful on rough days to remember that wherever you now are, Jesus was once there too, but unlike you He only had Himself for company, where you and I are all blessed to have Him along for our adventures. What a blessing!

So I guess the moral of the lesson today is: Hard things pass. They don’t last forever. Despite those terrible testimony shaking questions, the church is still true and the Holy Ghost is eager to
testify that fact to you as often as you need it and earnestly seek for it. The Lord really does bless you for all the tracting, and miracles are very very VERY much a real part of every day whether big or small. I am so grateful to be a missionary, and so grateful for the opportunity to serve in the amazing Florida Jacksonville Mission! I would encourage everyone thinking about serving to really fast and pray on it. It is tough, but it is totally worth it! May you feel the Saviors presence each day of your lives as you walk your mile!

Love always, Sister Yates

las-vegas-nevada-temple-1008906-gallery“10 But behold, this land, said God, shall be a land of thine inheritance, and the Gentiles shall be blessed upon the land.
11 And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles.
12 And I will fortify this land against all other nations.”
2nd Nephi 10:10-12 , The Book of Mormon

Happy Fourth of July! How blessed are we that God prepared this land that we could enjoy and live and thrive in?? God is good… GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Be TRUE to YOU!!

btty

I once was asked to give a training on a section of our mission
scripture, motto, and theme. The portion I trained on was this quote
by Joseph Smith:
“The standard of truth had been erected. No un hallowed hand can stop
the work from progressing. Persecutions may rage, mobs may assemble,
a,r,ones may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will
go forth boldly, nobly, and independent till it has penetrated every
continent, swept every country and visited every climb, until the
purposes of God shall be accomplished and the great Jehovah shall say
‘The work is done’.”

I was asked to “dissect it” and break it down. Here’s what I got out of it:

Throughout my entire mission, I have seen a few types of missionaries.
I’ve seen the two faced self righteous ones, who are their true selves
one moment, and then when they realize they’re not being a “perfect
missionary” they snap into this overly self righteous missionary
persona. I’ve also seen missionaries who are so focused, they forget
that there is life after a mission, or that there was even life before
a mission, and they kind of get on this “robot missionary” kick that
is fine, because they are doing the work, but sad because they’re
missing out on a lot, because robots are not known for their emotional
capacity to love, or feel happy, or what have you. Then, there are
some who are very much themselves and haven’t really let the sacred
call of missionary work change them too much. They aren’t bad
missionaries, they’re just “real”. Who they are with their tag on is
the same person they are without it and that’s ok, but these
missionaries tend to have a lot of regrets because they aren’t putting
forth enough effort to make their mission as sacred as it can be. And
then, the final type of missionary are those who are truly, hard core,
nose to the grind stone, 1,000% focused, meticulously exactly
obedient, leaders, and just amazing missionaries, the type of
missionary everyone dreams of becoming. They’re truly the best kind of
missionary any of us could hope to become.

In my not so humble and very bold opinion, what I have noticed a lot
of missionaries forget as they strive to be an exactly obedient
baptizing machine is that they are still an important individual. They
still matter to God. Yes, we are on the Lords errand, and we need to
be as selfless as we can, but if we forget who we are, or what our
gifts and talents are, how can we be effective?

So here are my questions of the soul for today: (the inspiration for
these questions goes to Carol Tuttle by the way. She’s amazing!)
What is your truth?
What is your personal gift and God given talent that only you can give
to this world, in whatever capacity you are in whether you’re working
a 9-5 job, a stay at home mom, a missionary, a retiree, etc.?

I feel a lot of people sell themselves short by feeling like what
they’re good at is unaccepted or is not needed or not important in
their vocations or social circles, or what ever. I want to tell you
right here, right now that that is a FALSE concept from Satan. You,
and me, and him and her down the street all have a significant role to
play on this earth. Satan, the father of ALL LIES wants us to forget
that fact. I want you to remember how truly incredible you are and I
want each of you who read this to take some time today to ponder on
what your “truth” is. What is your unique gift to give? And what do
you need to adjust in your “management of affairs” so you can more
easily use your gift?

I feel very strongly that everyone needs a reminder every now and
again that they are truly wonderful! You are wonderful, and awesome,
and talented! You don’t need to become a completely new person to make
others happy or to be accepted. You need to live your truth, and allow
God to put you where He needs you. But in the mean time “let your
light so shine
” that you can help and bless the people around you who
need your light right now. Don’t sell your self short. Don’t hide your
truth under a bushel.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

“By Their Feet Ye Shall Know Them”

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In mission life, a few material things become sacred, like scriptures, sleep, food, and shoes. Women already revere their wardrobe too much, and especially their shoes but shoes and missionary work actually have quite a bit to do with each other.

We have definitely come a long ways in the last 180 plus years since the church was restored. We have bikes, really nice cars, super comfy shoes, air planes, and awesome members who tote us around places. However, if you want to be an effective missionary and meet and find many people, you’ve gotta pound some pavement and walk like little pioneer children.

If we didn’t have shoes, we wouldn’t be able to do this work very well. The pavement (actually, every thing in Florida) is hot, there are creepy bugs, and dead Armadillos, and lizards and walking around this crazy place barefoot is not super safe. Also, due to very excellent fashion trends, shoes are a great conversation starter that help us connect with other people and relate to gospel principles. Seriously… I challenge you to find a woman anywhere who doesn’t want to talk about their shoes!

The thing I have come to love most about shoes though, especially the shoes I’ve worn on my mission, are what they represent. They represent countless doors knocked, countless miles walked, many hours on my feet, being out and about serving my God and King. They have become “sacred”in a way, because they tell the story of my mission. If you want to know how hard a missionary has worked, look at their feet first, then their hands, then their eyes. These are the telling marks of a powerful disciple of Jesus Christ.
This past week I had the privilege of listening to the testimonies of the departing missionaries of the FJM. It was such a powerful meeting, and although they were on the stand and I couldn’t see their shoes, I could see their strong hands and their deep eyes, and I heard the words and felt the power of their testimonies. It was a powerful experience I’ll never forget.

When I was in the MTC (I think I have an unhealthy obsession with that place haha I refernce it every ost, and several times throughout each day…) one of the speakers (perhaps even the MTC president) shared a story of a return missionary who’s shoes were just dead! They were cracked, the soles were falling apart, and they just looked bad. But this man had once been a missionary, and he knew what these shoes represented, and so he asked the elder if he could have his shoes to have them bronzed, and he did and under the shoes he posted a plaque that said “Return With Honor” so everyone who saw those bronzed shoes would know what their goal should be: well worn shoes, beaten in while serving God.

I want to testify that there is nothing better, or more AWESOME than being a missionary. I know the work we do, and all the money we spend on shoes (and other mission necessities) is worth it. This work is good. This work is fun! The church is true.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

One of My Most Precious Posessions

photo 3I completely understand that we can’t take anything with us when we die besides our memories, experiences, knowledge, and testimony.  However, while I still reside on this planet, I fully intend to continue to enjoy and appreciate the things God has blessed me with to make this “miracle mile” interesting.  One of those things is my personal copy of The Book of Mormon.

When I was 8 years old, like most Mormon kids, I was baptized and received my personal copy of The Holy Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price.  I was excited! I love books, and reading, and I recognized even at that young age these things were important.  photo 1Another element that has forever made these books especially sacred  to me is my mothers written testimony of the truth of the words and stories contained on the pages.  I read it often and it always helps me feel the Spirit of truth and revelation, and a closeness to my mother that I think everyone needs to experience.

I didnt’ really begin to study my scriptures very well until I was older.  I remember one priamy activity inculded a hand out with specific scriptures we should highlight, and we all got to choose a highlighter crayon to take home so we could mark our scriptures and man…. They look terrible! But, every time I find those verses I just smile and feel grateful my coordination and dexterity has improved at least a little over the past 13 years or so and that my understanding of the signifigance of those scriptures has improved as well :)

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I gained a testimony of the scriptures for myself, but I do know it never really occurred to me to question them too much.  Maybe like my amazing “Mission Mom” I was born with a testimony.  I don’t know, but I do know even when i was young and tried to meet the challenges issued by stake presidents, prophets, and bishops and my own family to read the Book of Mormon and other scriptures, I always felt good reading them.  If I didn’t, I doubt I ever would have given it much notice when I was older.

photo 2 (1)Seminary is where I truly learned to study the scriptures and “liken them” to myself.  It is such an amazing program, and I just think it’s really cool that people want to, and get to, take an hour out of their school day (or, for “hardcore” seminary students you attend early morning seminary) to study the scriptures.  It’s just amazing and I think everyone, no matter what faith ought to have an hour of “Release Time” to study the word of God.

My freshman year of college is a memorable time in many ways, but one thing that will always stick out to me is morning scripture study with two of my roommates.  It really strengthened our friendhips, and testimonies all at the same time!  If friends everywhere would spend time together in the scriptures…. I can testify it will do so much good on so many levels!  It strenghtens your resolve individually and collectively to be righteous and helps you feel confident in speaking up if you see someone in the group faltering a bit, or gives you sensitivity when you don’t see anything, but feel something is off.  The scriptures have power beyond our comprehension!

Long story short, the Book of Mormon and the other standard works of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are some of the most precious material posessions we can ever posess to enrich our “mile” and give us the strength to finish!  I know the Book of Mormon, Holy Bible, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price are all inspired of God, and meant to help and bless us.  They are written to strengthen us, and to help us come to know our Lord and Savior better than we could without them.  If you haven’t started studying them, I would encourage you to REPENT, and get started.  It is SO worth it!

In the name of Jeus Christ, amen.

 

“The Book is blue, the Church is true, and Jesus loves YOU!”-Elder Freeman

thealphadistrict-yates

Back Row: Sisters- Hibpshman, Carr, Hall, Spendlove, Yates, Williams Front Row: Elders- Monson, Curtis, Payne, Larson, Blanchard, Freeman

When I was in the MTC one day, one of the elders had a great epiphany that brought about a quote that we have all kept in our minds, and written to each other back and forth in times of discouragment and just to bring back some great memories, and that is: “The Book is blue, the Church is true, and Jesus loves you!”

Sometimes, when you’re a missionary…  You get backed up very abruptly to the wall of faith, where you have to decide “will I falter, or will I finish?” And I just want to publicly announce that I’m going to finish! I think a lot of people can reach a point where they seriously doubt their faith, and testimony, but I can testify that Elder Freeman was right.  I know for a fact that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  It was written and recorded by the people of this continent, and it is as applicable and uplifting as the Bible, and I invite all people everywhere to #discoverthebook! :)

Secondly, I know for a fact, beyond any shadow of a doubt that the Priesthood of God has been restored to the earth and that God will never remove that authority from His true and living church, which is The Church of Jesus Christ of  Latter-Day Saints.  The pattern God established in Old and New Testament times of revaling His word through Prophets and Apostles is still true today, and it will always remain.

Thirdly, I declare my witness as a representative of Jesus Christ, that He and His Father did in fact appear to Joseph Smith.  No, it’s not impossible that God loves us enough to appear to man again in this last dispensation, after He perfectly orchestrated every little thing so a country could be created where people could worship freely, and therefore the fullness could be brought back after the dark ages of Apostasy had poisoned the earth.  I know Joseph Smith was and always will be a prophet, and I am thankful for the sacrifices he made.  Was he a perfect man? Of course not, but find me any one (save Christ only) who is, whether just an average Joe off the street, or any of the Apostles.  My testimony is not built on these people.  It is built upon the spiritual experiences I have had that have confirmed, time and time again that all the principles, standards, covenants, etc. of the gospel are based on truth and are inspired of God.

I leave these things with you in the name of Jesus Christ, and I challenge each of you to do you part to receive a witness of the truth of these things yoursleves!

God bless you all!

Love, Sister Yates