It’s not my week to write the family letter, but you have been on my mind so much this week that I just have to write to all of you. I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father for the blessing that you are in my life. I’ve had the opportunity to bear my testimony a few times this past week to members and investigators. Every morning I pray that Heavenly Father will place people in my path that I can tell how much the gospel means to me and tell them of my love for my Heavenly Father, for my Savior Jesus Christ and for the witness of the Holy Ghost in my daily life. I realize that our time here in Botswana is getting short, and I want to have done EVERYTHING that I promised Heavenly Father that I would do while I was here. I know that I knew in the pre-existence that I would serve a Mission in Africa and I certainly hope that I am living up to my end of the bargain and that I am keeping all of my promises and covenants that I made with Heavenly Father.
I want all of you to know that when I tell people about Families being Forever, that I bear witness to them of the support and love I feel from my own family. I tell them that because my children are all member of the church, they have married in the Holy Temple to worthy companions; that you are raising ALL 36 of my grandchildren and my 1 great grand-daughter in the Church; that you go to church every week; you love each other and look out for each other and that I recognize the blessings of Heaven every day in my life. I tell them because Heavenly Father has given me so many blessings and because the Gospel of Jesus Christ means everything to me, I am here in Botswana to share all that I know with the beautiful people here. I tell them that they too are sons and daughters of God and that Heavenly Father has looked hard and long to find a way to bring them the Gospel and that they should hang on to it with all of their being and never let anyone pull them away from the church. I tell them about the pre-existence and that we are all brothers and sisters and that we knew each other before we came to earth. I tell them that we were all taught at the feet of our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ and that we knew about the Gospel before we came here. When they hear the messages of the Missionaries of the Restored Gospel and about Joseph Smith and The Restoration; it all sounds good to them because they have known it in the pre-existence. Their Spirit’s remember, even though the veil is drawn and they can’t personally remember all that they knew.
I tell the Sister in Relief Society how much I love being in the same room with them; and how much the Relief Society organization means to me. I tell them that we were placed here as Sisters and we are to love and look out for each other. I tell them how much I miss being with all 8 of my daughters and even how I miss being with my Sisters in my Relief Society Room at home. I never hesitate to mention how proud I am of my two grandson's that have married beautiful women in the temple and that I also have a grand daughter that is married, also in the temple We are so proud of the legacy you are building for the rest of our grand children and I love to tell our famailies story to the people here. It gives them faith and hope for the future and something to strive for.
I gave each of the Sisters a small wallet sized picture of the Savior when I’ve visited them this time around to our 5 Branches and 3 Wards; and they absolutely loved the pictures and acted like it is the only picture they have ever had of Him. It probably is! Gay sent in some 5 X 7 pictures also, and I’ve framed some of them and given them to special people in each of the Branches as we visit and they really love and appreciate them as a real treasure. They especially love the ones where the Savior is hold the little black baby and also the one where Christ is walking with the little black girl. I love these myself and hope to have one framed and hung in our home as a reminder of our wonderful 18 months here in Botswana, Africa.
Anyway, I’ve been so grateful for each of you in my life. I thought that I’m telling everyone in Botswana how much I love my family and how much the gospel means to me and the most important people that I want to know that are all of you. I am a blessed woman and I want ALL of you to know that I recognize how blessed I am. Heavenly Father has given me so many blessings and I am thankful to have all of your support while Dad and I are serving this mission. We would not be able to be here if we had to worry about things at home. Thanks for all your love and support; we love each of you and we tell people how wonderful our family is. Thanks for loving each other; thanks for taking such good care of your children, your church jobs, for working so hard to provide a living for your family and for recognizing the things that really matter most. When all is said and done and when you are “old” like Dad and I, you will know that all the “things” you accumulate won’t matter at all, it just becomes “stuff”. You will want to walk away from all of that and serve your Heavenly Father and all that really matters is that your children have testimonies of the gospel and that they are living the commandments and loving each other like all of you are. That’s why our lives are so good and that is why we can serve our Heavenly Father full time on this mission. We thank you and we love you with all of our hearts. I just want to make sure that there is no doubt in any of your minds, that I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. I know that we have a Heavenly Father who loves each of us and that we also have a Heavenly Mother who prays with her companion over each of us. I know our Savior lives and loves each of us and that His atonement makes it possible for us to return to live with Him and our Heavenly Parents Forever if we keep our covenants and follow their teachings. Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God who restored the true church of Jesus Christ back to earth; including the Priesthood of God which your father holds and honors with full fidelity. Thomas S. Monson is our living Prophet today and he truly talks with God in our behalf. The Book of Mormon is the most true book on earth and as we study it, our testimonies of the Gospel will become more precious to us every day. The Holy Ghost is the testifier of truth and as we listen for His voice and follow his promptings, we will receive more and more of our Heavenly Father’s guidance and blessings. Know that I love you and I want you to know of my testimony and for there to be no doubt that your Mother knows this church is the only true church on the face of the earth and I love it with all of my heart. I also know that each of you have testimonies and it warms my heart. I am so proud of you and I am so grateful for each of you in my life. You have taught me a lot and blessed me beyond measure.
Last but certainly not least; I want you to know that I love your Father. He makes my life wonderful, peaceful, and I pray every day for Heavenly Father to help me be worthy to be his Celestial Companion. He works so hard here to do all that he can to keep the Botswana end of the mission running. He is constantly in demand on the telephone, at the front door and doing all the running required by 45 missionaries, their cars, their apartments, and also doing 2nd interviews for President Poulsen, buying plane tickets, bus tickets, recording gas purchases and sending reports to the Area Office as well as finding buildings for meetings houses and buying property to build on in the future. I don’t know how he stays on top of everything, but he does! The Missionaries all love him, the Branch President’s all rely on him and his opinion on everything; and our Stake President Pres. Hall calls him to take care of all kinds of Stake business up here also. I think they all think he IS the Mission President; but he constantly reminds them all that he is not; but that he will do his best to communicate with President Poulsen and do what he can for them. It’s is such a treat to serve this mission at his side and we are thoroughly enjoying our time together. Someday we will look back at our experiences here and wish we could return for another “go-around” but this time will never come again and we know it so we are working hard to do our best and make the very most of each and every day.
Know that we love you,