Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Service Unto the Lord

My Dear family and friends,

So much has happened!

I have found that when I am in the service of others I am in the service of my God.

I will let the pictures do the talking....

My eyes are filled with tears as I write; Tears of joy for the knowledge of how wonderful and loving our Heavenly Father is. He has blessed me and my children with miracles. 
For me - it is a new heart.

In my mission, they ask each Elder or Sister to share their conversion story. I would like to share with you the one I submitted…I know it will change with time, but this is where I have arrived; and the journey continues…

May God bless each one of you with His choicest blessings. I love you and miss you so much.
Thank you for your prayers, love and support. It is because of you that I am who I am today, Thank You!

Sister Cassita

                       My Conversion Story
                             April 29, 2013 
     I was born and raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am the youngest of 13 children. I figure by the time I came along my parents must have been very tired. But no worries; I had plenty of siblings who all helped take care of me. I had a wonderful grandpa who taught me many things; the most important was that he loved me.
     My mother and I didn't get along and my poor father was put in between the two of us, on many occasions, to try and keep the peace. We lived double standards, it seemed. We would go to church and learn how to be like Jesus, (loving, kind, gentle,) and yet, in my home there was much of the opposite. I don't share this at all to judge my parents, but it placed a lot of confusion in my mind through my growing up years.
     I have endured many kinds of abuses; some so severe, that where I find myself right now in my life, is truly a miracle. At 18 years of age, I left the church and was sure that I would never return. At 22 years of age, I became pregnant. After I gave birth to my first son, I was alone one day, while still in the hospital in Holland. While I was holding my child, feeling overwhelmed and fearful of what lay ahead, I asked God what I was supposed to do with this child. The answer came ever so quickly.  "Teach him what you know."  My mind immediately went back to my Primary days and I knew that this is what I must do for my child. I had been lost for 4 long years; completely let go of the iron rod. It was a long road back but worth every step.  It began first as a desire, and not so much for me as it was for my child, for I knew that he was my responsibility; then came repentance.
     I had 3 more children, to make a total of 4. I loved being a mother and we were eventually sealed as a family in the House of the Lord. I divorced after 10 years of marriage, went to nursing school, and did my best to raise my children in the Gospel, all the time feeling like I was just hanging on. Life was difficult and I had many struggles that challenged my faith and trust in my Heavenly Father. I felt lost and alone.
     The major event that would turn my face toward God and change my heart was the day I went to take my own life. My brother had taken his, (later, his son took his, as well) and it seemed like an easy way out.  But also, I wanted to try and get back at others for hurting me through their judgments. (I know... not Christ-like at all...)  In His mercy and compassion, God placed a little lost girl outside my door, which saved my life, as Satan’s grasp on me was interrupted through my service to help her. In that same hour, He brought me a new best friend who stayed with me and kept me safe. I was so blessed that day and I am still blessed to this day. Through many trials, which seemed to increase in their intensity, I have been given many answers to prayers, often through my best friend and her service to me.
     As I find myself now serving a mission and pondering how I got to this place, my eyes are filled with tears. Only through the Grace of God, am I here, and because of the many prayers offered on my behalf, by my family and friends.  I find that I am truly converted to Jesus Christ. I have learned to prioritize and order my life through being obedient to His will. I recognize that my every pursuit, passion, thought and behavior must always be in line with His will. I had to become susceptible to the Light; a complete turning around and trusting Him. This was huge for me - To face His light and truth and then know that I am capable of perceiving, and then following the will of God with complete trust; a trust that is spontaneous and innocent, like that of a child.  And now with that trust, I am an Ambassador for Christ.
    Through true conversion, my conversion is real. It has become all that matters to me. It is what helps me to endure and God has promised that if we endure to the end, we shall be saved. I have a new hope in my heart, knowing that I am imperfect but acceptable to God.  My heart has changed through the gift of the Atonement of my beloved Savior, Jesus Christ. Oh, how I love Him with all my heart, might, mind and soul! Oh, how I love my children with all my heart; they are so dear to me. I love my extended family and all my friends; you are precious and wonderful.  Line upon line, precept upon precept, my conversion will continue to grow. My heart is and always will be - His. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church on the face of the earth. I love, love being a disciple of Christ. This is my testimony, in His holy name, even Jesus Christ, Amen.