December 20, 2019



Elder Serranilla

12/20/19 To Family & Friends: Understanding our fathers love

hey my friends and family,

I wanted to dedicate my letter to any one of you who feels brokenhearted, who feels weighed down through imperfection, or feels that their pain is too hard to bear. I hope that as I share the feelings of my heart, that you may find greater joy and happiness
in life. Because, despite the many challenges in life, we were always meant to be happy :)

we live in a time where it is so easy to get caught up in the social media. so easy to get caught up in the contention and pain that surrounds us. we sometimes find ourselves feeling broken and alone. please remember you are never alone. the savior
has been where you are and mourns with you when you mourn. as we come to better understand our father's love for us and learn more about the Savior's atonement, we will receive the strength to combat any feelings of inadequacy we have. we will feel joyous
and start to recognize all the little blessings- manifestations of God's love for us.

The way to find joy in this life is through understanding our father's love for us. A recognition of god's love and learning to love ourselves as children of god is the foundation for happiness in this life. Our father in heaven created us and knows us
personally. he knew our imperfection and loved us despite it. he sent us to this earth that we may grow and become like him. despite our constant shortcomings, he is eternally patient with us and wants us to be patient with ourselves. ha has promised us
constantly that as we draw closer to him in our individual prayer, he will manifest his love unto us. This manifestation, through the feelings of the spirit "which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men" is the "most joyous to the soul"
(1 nephi 11:22-23). This is the source of true happiness. that as we ask our father how he feels about us, and listen to the still small voice of the spirit, our hearts will be overcome with feelings of peace and joy. This experience with the father will
cause us to see the world and ourselves in a different light. we will see the world as a brighter place and think of ourselves more positively. this is the way to overcome loneliness and self criticalness. When you feel that overwhelming feeling of love
in your heart, there will be no room for doubt and fear. we will be lifted up in the joyful truth that we are sons and daughters of God! that we have the potential to become like him. I have felt this love in my heart and that has what has helped me feel
happy. In times of personal hardship, I have knelt down and prayed with all my heart that I might be filled with this joy. the feelings of comfort I received gave me courage that my heavenly father loves me and gave me the desire to help other people feel
his love ad to feel cared about.

please try it! for anyone who feels burdened by sad thoughts or personal problems, try it. find a space to be alone and pray to your heavenly father. tell him everything that is going on and ask him to show you what HE feels about you. I promise your
heartache and the weight upon your soul will be taken away. that as you kneel there, you will feel overwhelmed with s sensation of peace and joy unlike anything you have ever felt.

this joy will help you recognize the many blessings and the beautiful things around you. it has helped me recognize the simple, happy moments in life that give me joy. it has helped me appreciate small things like a breeze on a hot day, a starry sky,
or puddles perfect for driving your car through. It has helped me develop greater love for my family and for the people around me. I am so grateful for God's love. and i testify that he truly does love each of you.

Another way that we may feel peace in our lives is by coming to understand the savior's atonement. he suffered "pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind" that "he may to succor his people according to their infirmities" (alma 7:11-13)
his bowels are filled with mercy. he understands and has felt our pain personally. he suffered in the garden of gethsemane so that he could reach out to us in our darkest moments, and help us come back into the light. there is no sin too great or pain too
unbearable for him to rescue us from. when we feel like no one understands our pain, he does. I have felt this redeeming power in my life. there was a time in my life where I was weighed down by pain and sorrow. there were trials in my life that left me
hurt and broken. I searched the scriptures, hoping to learn something about christ. I sat and read alma 7:11 and was amazed. it had never occurred to me that christ had suffered for my pain. that he knew what I was going through and could help me. I bent
down on my knees and asked Heavenly Father to remove the pain from me through my faith in christ. the weightlessness and peace I felt was unexplainable. before, my heart felt like it was going to explode with so much emotion and anger, but upon my prayer
to god, I felt whole again. that the joy I felt afterward "was as exceeding as was my pain" (alma 36:18-20) I know christ lives. he is the light and the life of the world (mosiah 16:9) and our way to overcome sin and pain.

Never feel like you are below the atoning power of christ! please never feel like you have gone too far or that your sins are to great. never feel that because of your imperfection, that christ couldn't possibly love you. because he does! Satan would
have us feel that we have messed up too bad, or that we have strayed too far. that is NEVER true. the power behind the atonement is the love of christ. the atonement has been referred to as the greatest act of love ever done. therefore, it is christs perfect
love for us that enables us to exercise his atonement in our lives. when you exercise his love and his power in your life, you can change. you can come out of the darkness that surrounds you and enter into his light. This will cause your "souls to expand"
and cause you to "sing the song of redeeming love" (alma 5:9). I have felt to sing that song of redeeming love.

My dearest friends and family. I have come to understand the love our father has for you more from being away from you. love is unimpacted by distance and time. that is something I have learned. that even though i have been away from you all for a
long time, I still love all of you just as much. I still think about you and pray for you. our father feels the same. however far you may be or how long you've been gone. he loves you so immensely and nothing could ever change that.

These two simple truths have filled my life with so much joy. as I exercised the atonement of christ and learned how to feel God's love, I have become a much happier person.

I love you friends and family. I really do. thank you for the light you bring to those around you. you may not see it, but each of you burn brightly for others to see with you individual personalities, talents, and passions. May god bless you with
the feelings of his love and greater happiness is my prayer for each of you.

till we meet again

Elder Dyches


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