My dear readers, I have chosen to inform you of two things. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have been for 50 years now. I am not a sometime follower of my faith, I have served in our church for 42 years in every capacity possible, and have served along side my husband as he has served as well. Our children were reared in the faith, and it is sad to us that only one of them has chosen to follow it as well. This does not mean we have abandoned our children or demanded them to return to our faith, quite the opposite. One of the major tenets of our faith is everyone has agency. Agency to choose their own path and make their own way in life, because we teach "God will force no man to heaven." I do not nor have I ever required any of my friends or family members to be members of the church. And because we are currently on the Island of Cyprus in the Middle East serving as missionaries does not mean I preach the Gospel in every post on this blog. However, the time has come that I must.
If you do not want to read my testimony, then don't. I will not take it personally. But if you are really interested in me, my husband and our family then you must know I shall always bear testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel.
Elder Vargas and I serve as Church Education Service (CES) Missionaries and directors of the Young Single Adult (YSA) program on the Island. We co-ordinate the Seminary and Institute programs in the four major cities here. We teach Seminary and Institute classes here, and Elder Vargas is second counselor in the Nicosia Branch Presidency. I play the piano when needed and teach in Relief Society (the church women's organization) when called upon as well. We also teach and preach investigators right along side the young Elders as well. We love our work. It is challenging, tiring and absolutely fulfilling. We love working with the young Elders here, they are a total inspiration to us! They sacrifice everything to go out into the world for two years to preach the Gospel, as do we.
We know our service is necessary. The youth of our church are some of the most valiant individuals on the earth presently. They can now serve missions at the age of 18 (young men) and 19 (young women). Here on the other side of the world the missionaries have been serving at the age of 18 for years. Only in the states were missionaries sent out at age 19 (young men). And now that this has changed we will see a new spurt in the growth and strength of the church. We are excited at the prospect of it all!
I want you to know that Joseph Smith was/is a prophet of God. He translated the Book of Mormon while under the influence and power of the Holy Ghost. He restored the ancient Church of Jesus Christ which includes, prophets, apostles, evangelists and all other appendages necessary for the salvation of mankind. He lived for Jesus Christ and he died in Jesus Christ. He was a martyr and gave his life's blood to bring the world the truth. His successors have also brought the truth to God's children, and the present leader of our church, Thomas S. Monson is likewise a prophet, seer and revelator. I am proud to be a member of this church and especially to be counted among the numbers of missionaries who are teaching and preaching the salvation of the Lord. We are preparing the world to usher in the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is God's handiwork and will bring us closer to God than anything available on this earth. I have read it many times and have prayed to know that it is true - and it is. I want it said that I make no apology for being a member of God's church. I do not spend time denegrating other faiths, nor do I want to. If you already believe in Christ then all the better! Come and listen to what we have to say and we will bring you more of His truth.
I DO NOT worship Joseph Smith nor Moroni, they were prophets. I worship the one true and living God and His Son, Jesus Christ - Savior of the World! I believe in the power of the Holy Ghost, the third member of the God Head, he is my close and ever-present friend, my comforter; and he testifies always of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
If you want to know more about our Savior then contact The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and ask for the missionaries to come and teach you. You will not be disappointed.
Now, may the Lord always bless and keep you in all that you do and say, and may He bless and keep your precious families well and safe. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.