"You will be an official representative of the Church. . . . Your purpose will be to invite others to come unto Christ . . . Greater blessings and more happiness than you have yet experienced await you as you humbly and prayerfully serve the Lord in this labor of love among His children. We place our confidence in you." Thomas S. Monson

Monday, June 16, 2014

A loving, kind Heavenly Father watching over

Dear friends and family,

This has been a rather special week.  I think it’s safe to say that I’ve tasted of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows this past week.  All of my experiences have enlightened my mind and opened my eyes.

There are forces all around us.  Many forces are physical and surround us at different times.  There’s the wind, the sun, the light, the dark, hunger, thirst, sleep, etc.  Most of these forces are easy to see and feel, and they are accepted by the whole human race.  However, there are forces around us that we don’t see.  Man through the ages has tried to reason through certain experiences.  The truth is that there are really only two forces acting on us that are not apparent in the current scientific realm: God and Satan.

I can personally testify that these forces act upon us at every moment of every day.  We do not see them, and many times, we do not even know that we feel them, but they are there.  Even though we may not be aware or may choose to ignore these forces, they are very aware of us.

Satan knows our divine potential.  He knows what we are capable of. Most of all, he knows what God has given us.  His work and his glory are to destroy us and drag us down to endless misery and woe.  He wants all of us to be miserable like he is, hence the phrase “misery loves company.”  Satan concentrates all of his forces on us to trip us up, to stop us, to prevent us from pushing forward.  Satan would have us give up, get angry, and curse God.  Satan would have us forfeit our eternal reward for instant gratification.  Satan, the father of all lies, would have us abuse the sacred gifts that God has given us. Satan is evil, and he is real.

But that is not the only side in this fight.  We have a loving Heavenly Father who has given us everything that we need to succeed. His work and His glory is our immortality and our eternal life.  He seeks for everything that is good in us.  He understands us and knows us perfectly.  He would have us come unto Him, so that He may help us. Our Heavenly Father, even Almighty God himself, who has all power throughout the entire universe, is on our side.  Every single person on earth is a child of God.  There is not one of us who is not a child of God.  For that reason, He is very aware of what we do at every moment, and He stands ready to lift us up when we fall, to strengthen us when we need His help, and to comfort us when we feel all is lost.  God would have us obey so that we may learn.  God would have us learn so that we can progress.  God would have us progress even unto perfection, so that we might become like Him.  THAT is His work and His glory.

I am a personal witness of this war that is raging all around us.  I have felt Satan’s power.  It is power enough to destroy us, if we left him.  I have felt God’s power and there is no sweeter feeling.  It is power enough to save and deliver us, if we let Him.  Elder Jeffery
R. Holland once told us that the final score has already been posted on the scoreboard.  We know who is going to win, and it is going to be a landslide!  The only confusing fact is that we’re all still trying to decide which team’s jersey we’re going to wear!

This week, I have been a special witness of God’s love and power for us, His children.  Here in Benin and Togo in West Africa, I have met many people who have next to nothing as far as personal possessions. Some have let this worry take over their lives and crowd their thoughts and push them further and further down.  Some, however, have accepted God’s love for them and have put their trust in Him, with a hope that this world is NOTHING next to our reward that is waiting for us.  One of these very special people is named Clémence.

Clémence has been talking with Elder Sahue and I for about a month now.  Her house is the farthest house away in our area, and it takes a great effort to get there.  However, her faith and diligence have given us the strength to make it out there several times during the week.

Clémence was baptized this past Saturday.  It was a great service, and she bore a heart-warming testimony afterwards.  However, Sunday morning came and she was not at Church to be confirmed a member and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (see Acts 19:1-6).  I called her with 5 minutes to go before Church started, and she told me that she
had given birth the evening before right after her baptism!!!

We had asked her a couple of weeks ago if she was pregnant, and she told us that the doctors had just told her that it was an infection. With that in mind, we were pretty confused after that.  So, right after church, Elder Sahue called and asked if it was a boy or a girl, and she said “It’s a boy!”  We were super surprised and shared that with President Kazotti.

After choir practice at 4 o’clock, President Kazotti and his wife took us out to Akogbato, where Clémence lives, and another family joined us out there.  We walked into the “clinic” (a room divided into two by a piece of plywood), and we found her with her older sister and older brother!  And there was the new baby boy!!!!!!!
Elder Sahue and I with Clémence and her newborn son!
He's so cute!!!!
We got everything situated with her.  Afterwards, pondering about it, I realized how much of a miracle this was.  It is impossible for me to put this in words, and my weakness in words is starting to show, but I pray that you feel the significance of this event in even just a fraction of how I have.

Clémence, in the eyes of the world, is not a grand person.  She is humble and lowly in heart.  She is not a super-star, and there are not even very many people that know she exists.  However, she, along with all of us, has a loving, kind Heavenly Father that is watching over her at every second.  He has manifested himself in this very special experience, and he has shown that Clémence is as important to Him as any other person on this earth.  I have been so blessed to be able to witness this event take place.

This has been but one of the miracles that I have witness in my full-time service for the Lord, and I wish that you all could witness what I witness.  It is the sweetest feeling to know that there is someone, more powerful than all, looking out after us.

This is His work.  This is His will.  This is His Church.  I pray that all of you who read this today gain a testimony of these things.  This is His message to the entire world today.

I love you all, and I hope you have a great week, seeking out the miracles of our Heavenly Father all around you.
Avec amour,
Elder Jenkins

Made some pizza this week!  And yes, I ate my salad out of a pan.

No comments:

Post a Comment