My heart is once more full this week as I read everyone of your letters. I had many from my dear friends and from many of my family members. Dad, first of forgive me for not getting that email off to you... I really have no words to describe how that happened nor will I try too haha thank you for your patience with me and for your love. Also that Elder Rogan Clay that wrote that on facebook, haha was my trainer send my love to him Dad on Facebook haha when you get a chance. Anyway as I read everyones emails today I felt such a serenity overcome me. I love you all so much and thank you for your emails. It means so much of to me. Hearing of everyones lives back home and the roads that everyone is taking. Im so grateful for the Gospel in my life. The other day as I was walking in the street with my companion a man called me over as he was crying. I could tell from his eyes he had been involved with some type of drug. As I made my way over to him he explained how crazy his life is and how much he needs to change. He began to explain to me his life story and how at a young age (16) he began to use drugs and become involved with pornography and eventually other things. As I listened to his story and saw the sadness develope in his face and the captivity he was under I couldnt help but say a silent pray of gratitude for my savior Jesus Christ, for the chance I had to be born into His church with parents who honor their Temple convenets and taught His principles within our home. My testimony and message to you all this day is how blessed we truely are to be members of The Church of Jesus of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The commandments will not bring captivity to us but freedom. As I saw this man sitting on the side of the road my heart was torn, but I realized in that moment how blessed I am to have this wonderful Gospel in my life. I want everyone of you to truely realize this blessing we have. We have everything at our hands to have an eternal happinness without end as King Benjamin taught us. (Mosiah 2: 41) I know this church is true... I have no doubts.
With this on our minds that we belong to the church of Chirst where we can have an eternal happiness we need to think of how this is all possible and thats through the great Plan of Salvation which includes our savior Jesus Christs infinate atonement. This past week this very tpoic was on my mind and also I had many emails today talking about the difficulties in this life but how through the Atomement of Christ we can all be made whole... I know this is true. We had the chance to teach a wonderful family the Plan of Salvation last week. As missionaries in the morning we often do practices with our companions to prepare to teach our investigators. Living in a house with the Zone leaders is a blessing because we can all practice together and take the role as an investigator, this particular moment was my turn to be the investigator. When I take the role of an investigator I like to really become the investigator and put myself in their shoes. As I sat there listening to this Great Plan that our loving Father in Heaven has prepared for us, trying to really be the investigator, Elder Albernaz said something to me that touched my heart and brought so much peace. He pointed to the photo that read "Celestial Kingdom" and said "Here is the place you can be with your family and loved ones forever..." He said just this... but I was overcome by the spirit and I began to cry. As I know all my family relationships and relationships with my friends will last forever if I keep the commandments and do all I can to endure to the end... I too can have this, which I truely believe is a happiness without end. I can have this and so can all of us if we do all we can to live worthily.
I was touched by this simple statement that "we can be a family forever" a principle that is so basic within our church but not fully understood to the power it holds as we hear it so often. I pray in this moment I may share my feelings with you all in a way that the spirit will direct as I share a tender moment in my life when this phrase changed my life. Two years ago on April 19th I lost my dear friend, Cody Simmons. This past week as I have taught The Plan of Salvation to many families Cody and his wonderful family havent been able to leave my mind. I love them with all my heart and want them to know and all of you that I so testify that Jesus The Christ overcame death and our loving Father in Heaven prepared this great Plan to one day live with our loved ones again... I believe it, I know it, and I will do everything I can to recieve this priceless blessing and gift from God. I hope and pray that you too all can feel the power in these words this week "WE CAN BE A FAMILY FOREVER" as you ponder this out in your hearts and pray unto God for a greater understanding. I want the Simmons to know how much I love them and how much this Gospel and knowledge has changed my life. I want them to know my thoughts and prayers are with them at this time as im miles away but my heart is with right there with them. I love you all so much.
This week was a powerful one for me as I felt my testimony grow and my understanding of our Saviors infinate Atonement applied in my life. I know this is all true... I know it. As I mentioned we taught a wonderful family this truth last week and they all plan to be Baptized and start they journey to have an eternal family. I am so grateful for you all and for this Gospel in my life. Im grateful for the Mission is has wrought within my very being in helping me to shape the reat of my life and my life and purpose has become so much clearer. I pray you may all feel my spirit and love for you all. I give my utmost gratitude and thanks for the emails and letters I have recieved from you all and hope you know how much it has blessed my life. You all are my angels bearing me up to bring this glad message of... an eternal Happiness. :) I love you all once more and pray you have an amazing and blessed week. Know Im alive and well here in Brasil and couldnt be happier to be a servant and representative of my beloved Savior... What a true honor.
God be with you all till we meet again.
Ama Élder Benjamin B. Doggett