I suppose in a missionary's last email, it would be something very profound and deep, but I honestly haven't put much thought into what I would say.....I just want to testify that I know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith in the spring of 1820 and answered the prayer of a faith-filled boy that changed the world. I know that Joseph Smith was called of God to restore the only true Gospel upon the earth. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know it. I know that President Thomas S. Monson is called of God to lead and guide us in these latter-days. I know that my Savior lives. I know that He loves us. I know that through the enabling power of the Atonement, we can be changed. I have seen it and I have felt it. I know the Atonement is real.
I know Heavenly Father loves all of His children. I have felt his deep and abiding love for the Filipino people and they are my family now. I know families can be forever, including my family here in the Philippines. I don't know if I'll ever see them again in this life, but I know that because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and because of His Gospel, I will see them again. I'm excited to see all those I have helped and invited come unto Christ, even in the most insignificant of ways, grow in their faith and progress in happiness and joy of the Gospel. My heart breaks at the thought of leaving these people. I feel like I'm one of them now. But my hope and peace is renewed as I remember that my service among them is not coming to an end. Even though I won't be a full time missionary, I can continue to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, with His name painted next to mine on my heart. "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his words among his people, that they might have everlasting life." I know that this call is eternal. I know that one of the central purposes of life is change. Consistent growing, progressing, learning, repenting....all until the the day when we are perfected and become like Him.
I know that we have a perfect, loving Heavenly Father. Oh how great the wisdom and the love of our eternal Father in Heaven. I have felt the love and perfectness of His plan more than ever in my life as I have been able to help others know of this glorious plan. I have also felt the arms of love of our Savior as He has stretched them out to our investigators, to members, to my companions, and to me. I know His love is always there, despite the shortcomings and weaknesses we may have. He is always waiting and welcome to lift and to guide and to change us for the better.
I am eternally grateful to my Father in Heaven for guiding me to choose to serve a full-time mission. It's been the best 18 months of my life. Not because I baptized everyone or enjoyed every second of it, but because I gave it everything I had. I pray that I may continue to give a willing mind and all my heart in all that I do for the rest of my life as I continue to labor with love among the children of our Heavenly Father. "I'll go where He wants me to go..."
Thank you so much for all the support, prayers, love, emails, more prayers, and even more love for the past 18-months. They have sustained me and helped me endure the hard times throughout my mission...the happy times too. I truly have felt the love of all of you, wherever you are in the world. Love is a powerful thing I tell you. :) Thanks for everything and I'll see you soon!
Palangga ko gid kamo!
All my love,
Sister Jessica Dixon
PS Thank you for all the birthday wishes! Sorry I didn't have time to reply them, but I truly am grateful! xo