Archive for July, 2012

My Final Email.

This week, to all of my answered prayers, has been one of the best of my mission. I earnestly fasted last Sunday for focus, determination, miracles, etc. and all of the above and then some were seen.

I think our finding Marina has been one of the greatest blessings/miracles of my mission. She grew up in a hard environment: she is the only person in her family who isn’t a heroin addict and because of her brother’s drug dealing was falsely accused and imprisoned for almost three years. She got out of prison 7 days before we met her. I am so grateful for President Van Bruggen after our interviews urging us to ask for referrals from everyone, if we hadn’t, we’d be down one investigator who is so excited to be baptized on July 28th. We met with her the next day and taught her the first lesson, and it was one of the most powerful of my mission. It ended with her accepting a baptismal date. She began reading the Book of Mormon right away and after church yesterday said "It is obvious that the Holy Ghost is in your church and that is how God wants to be worshiped.

On Wednesday, we tried a new finding activity that Elder Beutler brought with him from the Baltic States. It was a "branch tour" teaching the message of the Restoration going from room to room. I think it may have been one of the most spiritual experiences of my mission and the members who were there said it was the best activity they had been too since they had been baptized. We gave them the commitment to share the feelings they had with friends and anyone they could. I think it really earned their trust as they saw us teaching and felt the Spirit as we did it.

We met with our investigator Soren yesterday, he is still in the hospital. He said he knows that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that he can’t stop thinking about the Restoration movie because it left such a deep impression on him. He wants to be baptized, but sadly will not be able to until his family is finished tying up loose ends in Iran.

I am in shock sitting here knowing that this is my last email. I knew this day would come, but I can proudly say that I have not anticipated it. We worked hard until the very end, and still have three hours of work to do before our interviews with President Van Bruggen today.

My mission has changed my life. Looking in the mirror and at my spiritual state of being I cannot recognized the punk 19 year old kid who walked into the MTC two years ago. I have seen my life change as I have repented daily and made every effort to stand a little taller and be a little better. I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, that even though I made mistakes, I served with no regrets. Every mistake I have made is no longer on my shoulders. I did everything in my power to change, be better, and learn all I could from it. I truly understand the meaning of repentance and the refiner’s fire with the fuller’s soap. This Gospel and the Book of Mormon will change the life of an person who will come with a worthy heart and willing hands.

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Joseph Smith was chosen to open this last dispensation of the fullness of times. He saw what he said he saw and he did what he said he did. This church must come from some kind of higher power, it simply cannot be the musings of a mortal man. The Savior said, "by their fruits ye shall know them". Look at the church, look at the people, look at the good. The scriptures bring power into our lives to change us down to our very core and nature.

Being without my family for this time, I have really understood how much I care for each and every one of them. I am so grateful for the knowledge of the Atoning Sacrifice of the Savior, that we can live with our Heavenly Parents again as an eternal family. I always made fun of missionaries who get married right when they get home, but now I understand:

The truest joy anyone can ever find in this life is within the bonds of a family that is striving with all their might to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullest.

At the start of my mission, my testimony felt like a little flame in my chest. Now at the end, after two hard years of grueling labor, when I testify and feel the Spirit, I am encompassed from head to toe and feel almost invincible. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s church on the earth today, and the only organization existing that has the fullness of the Gospel and the power and authority of the Priesthood and is led by a living oracle and prophet of God. If every single one of you bailed on this church and said it was not true, I would be left standing alone and willing to be that way to ensure my own salvation.

The Savior and our Heavenly Father love each of us dearly. They know what our imperfections and understand and our patient with us. The key is that we must understand that they are the ones who know how to erase these imperfections and lift us to a higher plane. Perfection is an eternal process, but it can always start today. I am grateful for the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation that I have, that I know my purpose, I know God’s plan. I have the knowledge and understanding that the world is yearning for, but too blinded by vain things to see.

I am about to walk out the door to do the last three hours of missionary work as a full-time missionary in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. This may be the last chance I ever have in my life to preach the good news of our Savior’s ministry and Atonement in the Russian language. But when all is said and done, when the final count is made, I will be able to say that Elder Garrett Jon Roberds McClintock served with all his heart, might, mind and strength, to the best of his ability. Every second was worth it and every second can be useful if we are willing to humble ourselves and seek what God wants us to learn from everything we do as we work towards our pending state of perfection.

I love each of you and am grateful for all of your support and prayers during my mission. There were times when I felt as if I couldn’t take another step and go any further when I felt something lift me higher. God hears are prayers and more importantly He answers them.

Jesus is the Christ, the Atonement is real, and the church is true. Nothing else in this world matters.

Elder Garrett J McClintock