Dear Mom and Dad,

  I’m sorry I have not written a letter in a while. It’s hard to find time as a missionary, but I could do a lot better.  How great is the Atonement of Jesus Christ!  Because of His sacrifice, He remembers our sins no more!  How great should our joy be for this and our willingness to share this message!!  As the great prophet Isaiah saw and heard from God, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord:  though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;” (Isaiah 1:18)  This is the greatest gift, to be clean and to enter in the presence of God and live with Him for eternity.  It is amazing that the Lord would give His all to “rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine.”  I am so excited to put on a name tag each day and be a representative of Jesus Christ and His church.  I am glad to be called a “Guererro de Dios.”  (Warrior of God)

   The Lord definitely works through small and simple means. I have to give it my all.  I must serve the Lord with all my might, mind and strength and with an eye single to the glory of God.  I have seen miracles on my mission.  I have been the power of the Priesthood heal people.  I have seen lives change because of their reading of the Book of Mormon.  I have seen a cigarette addiction vanish because of a desire to be baptized.  God has not ceased to be a God of miracles.  He has changed me.  I know that He restored His church through a young man who had a strong yearning for the truth.  The Book of Mormon is true.  It may seem bizarre, but I remember Nephi saying somewhere somehow that he didn’t make his writings easy to believe, that faith needed to be executed and used.  We have a living prophet who guides the Church today.  He speaks to God and God speaks to him. 

     I have been blessed so much in my life.  I remember telling you both that I wondered why I was born in the Church and if my faith was just from my childhood.  My patriarchal blessing says to continue learning the Gospel of Jesus Christ because there is much Heavenly Father wants me to do.  I have gained through my years in the church such knowledge of the Doctrine of Christ.  Through my years at Fairview Christian Academy I have developed a love of the Bible.   Through further study of the Bible and the companionship of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, I have obtained an understanding of the Bible that is more complete than before.  

     As my favorite Book of Mormon missionary Ammon says, “Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in His strength I can do ALL things; yea behold many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise His name forever.”  (Alma 26:12)

   The Lord has blessed me in every aspect of my life and prepared me for now and for my future.  I have had an amazing childhood and teenage years.  I have been blessed to come from a home that loves God, Jesus Christ and the Gospel.  Thank you so much for raising me in the Gospel and sending me on a mission.  You all have done so much for me that I can never pay it back!

   I love our tiny branch here in Oregon.  The faithfulness of some of these members is astounding.  I am learning to love putting on my suit, tie and nametag every morning and to preach the blessings of the Restored Gospel to those who need it!  My district of missionaries is awesome here! We are all best friends.  We have district meeting today and I’m excited about it! 

     I can’t wait until December to listen to my Christmas CDs!  Don’t worry about me getting fed. We get fed all of the time!  The days are starting to fly by! How is the Athens Ward doing?  I love you all so much!  Keep reading the Scriptures and praying.  Yo se que familias pueden ser para siempre!


Love, Elder Laing

PS:  Quote from Gandalf:  “All we have left to decide is what to do with the time given to us.” 

PPS:  Transfers are Monday… I may not be able to email until Tuesday next week…don’t worry mom!