Take a young 18 or 19 year old youth and throw him out into a place he’s never been to, to speak a language he doesn’t understand and to eat food that’s new and pretty soon, he will feel he is into his situation way above his head. Looking up to a Divine Being and asking for help is the choice that many missionaries make when found in this predicament. That is when the Atonement of Jesus Christ comes into the picture.

We come to this earth and make mistakes. When we do, that increases the distance between us and our Heavenly Father. He is perfect and no one who has sinned and not repented can be in His presence. Jesus Christ stepped in as our mediator, suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane, and freely gave His life. He suffered the penalty for us and we all receive the gift of the resurrection after we die. Those who obey His gospel will receive the gift of eternal life and the opportunity to dwell with our Heavenly Father again. 

We do all we can that’s within our power and Jesus Christ makes up the difference. This is what Elder Wong contemplates this week:

Hi Mom,

I am certainly feeling the urgency now, especially that the end of my mission is approaching. Most of the time I try to just not think of it right now kkk.

The work this week has been a bit complicated, because the actual day of São João was on Saturday, so the entire week everyone was preparing for the party and a lot of people were busy on Sunday, so we had some difficulties bringing people to church on Sunday.

One thing that I’ve discovered that I like doing here on the mission is running. I started in Bayeux running in the morning, and I’ve continued doing that here in Centenário. Luckily, there is always someone in the house who is willing to run with me. I’m thinking that I will continue doing that when I return home.

This week, I was studying intensively about the Atonement. I don’t think that we will ever, despite how much we study, fully comprehend the totality and breadth of the Atonement. One of the scriptures that most touched me this week about the Atonement was Isaiah 49:15-16, which has its parallel verse in 1 Nephi 21:15-16. Coupled with the hymn “I Stand All Amazed”, it helped me to understand better how much the Savior cares for each one of us and what He did because of that love. That, in turn, made me reflect about what I do to show the Savior that I love him back. We are graven upon the palms of His hands. Is he graven upon our hearts? If he is truly graven upon our hearts, we will keep His commandments as a token of our gratitude for the gift that we will never be able to fully repay Him for. At the end of my mission, it has caused me to contemplate more deeply how the Atonement covers my weaknesses and my shortcomings as His representative. I do all I can, and He completes the rest. Isn’t it truly wonderful? How grateful I am for the Atonement of the Savior, I will never be able to fully express, but I strive to do my best to live worthy of this gift.

This week my scripture is Isaiah 53:3-5.

Love,
Brenden