"Go ye therefore and teach all nations . . ." Matthew 28:19

"Go ye therefore and teach all nations . . ." Matthew 28:19

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Week 25 - Eternal Families

Bonjour mes amies et ma famille!

This week was a harder week emotionally. We met with two of our investigators for lunch this week and talked about the Plan of Salvation. It was awesome and they started reading the Book of Mormon on their own. We are meeting with them again next week. 

After our visit, one of them, Sarah, texted her friend Mark, our buddy and recent convert going to school in Texas. She asked him about baptism and how it worked and she told him she wants a temple wedding one day!! 

On Friday, our good week took a downward turn. We were getting ready for our upcoming church services when we received a call from our Branch President's wife. She told us that Chantale needed us at the hospital as soon as we could get there because the doctors told her and her family that her mom wouldn't make it through the day. We rushed over to the hospital where we saw Chantale, her husband and daughter and her siblings all fighting back tears. 

They had given her mom morphine for pain, but before she slipped out of consciousness for seemingly the last time, Elder Shaw and I were able to give her one last blessing. Chantale asked me to give the blessing and I had to fight back tears as I spoke. Being led by the Spirit I told her of our Heavenly Father's love for her and that He was with her and was aware of her pains and trials and that He would support her. I expressed her family's love for her and told her that Heavenly Father would watch over them. I couldn't help but cry as we stood in the hospital room with her family and witnessed their sorrow and pain. Over the past month she had become like a grandmother to us. We had visited with her numerous times, talked with her, laughed with her, and shared the gospel with her. 

John 11:33: "When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled"
John 11:35: "Jesus wept" 

Standing there in the hospital, I gained a stronger understanding of these scriptures. I know without a doubt that her family will be with her again. I know without a doubt that she is now free of pain and sorrow. However, seeing their sadness, worry, and pain caused me to cry as well.

I learned yesterday that one of my older sister's (Hayley's) best friends was killed in a car accident last week involving carjackers. A few summers ago I was able to become close to this friend and her brother as my sister invited me to go on hikes with them and to have night games and board game nights. As I read what happened in an email from my parents I found myself experiencing mixed feelings.  I was extremely sad for her family and at her senseless loss of life. But I also had a feeling of hatred in my heart toward the people who had done this terrible act. As I read the rest of the email from my parents, I learned that the parents of this young lady had forgiven these people and wanted others to do the same. 

They have heartache beyond anything I can ever imagine, but the strength and testimony to extend forgiveness to the people who had hit and killed their daughter. This act of forgiveness and the strength of their faith is beyond anything I can comprehend and more than I could ever hope to have in this life. 

I know that our Savior Jesus Christ lives. I know He loves us. I know that He took all of our pains and sorrows and sins upon Himself so we can live with Him and our families forever in a state of never ending happiness. I am thankful for the knowledge I have of the Plan of Salvation and the hope it gives me while on this earth. I hope I can share that knowledge with everyone I come in contact with because the peace and comfort it gives me is indescribable. 

I love you all and pray for your safety everyday. I hope you all press forward with faith to overcome the challenges that come your way. 

I love you all more than I can put into words. Stay safe, stay faithful!


Elder DiReda

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