Monday, December 26, 2011

Testimony of Christ

Dear friends, family, and those somewhere in between,

Merry Christmas, Feliz Natal, and all that jazz. Christmas was
wonderful! Skypeing (now a word) home was fun and very fulfilling. I
hope the family enjoyed it as much as I did--I mean... I'm so boring!
All I want to talk about is Angola (yeah... It's flippin' awesome,
but still) and missionary work. Thanks for being patient though.

On Saturday we partied at Panchita's, I got a slick green tie, cuff
links, and a pocket handkerchief. We ate A LOT of food, talked a lot,
and just had a roaring time. It was fun. Portuguese is going very
well and I'm excited to say that I keep receiving compliments on my
accent. I can understand the world around me very easily and, most
days, have no real trouble talkng. I definitely need to focus more on
my studies, however.

I realize that I promised you one of the pieces that I have been
working on, but I never got it quite where I wanted to... Maybe next
week, maybe never. We'll see. Sorry (I know you all REALLY want to
read my awful poetry, after all).

It sounds as though my family is doing well and had a great Christmas.
To the rest of you out there (yes, all 2 of you): How was Christmas?
I hope you all felt the Holy Spirit this year and thought back on the
life of Christ a bit. A miracle such as His birth has never been
replicated. And a life such as His was never before and never shall
be lived again. He truly realized the Atonement and saved every
single person from the bonds and depths of hell. That's done. It's a
free gift. Then, he told us all how we could rise even higher than
just salvation from physical death--If we will but take up our
crosses, follow His way, and become who we truly are (note that--it's
important), His grace is sufficient to save every soul eternally and
offer us all that the Father hath. Truly, we are indebted to Him in
all ways. We should follow and serve just because we EXIST... And
yet, still, we are receive incentive. Blessings--more than you can
possible count or imagine--come from His path. It also happens to be
the one path to surefire happiness in this life. Sounds like a good
deal, no? I hereby testify that the Gospel of Jesus Christ (or "His
way") is the greatest gift ever given to man for all other blessings
flow from its most base principles. There is NO other path, way,
course, or road to Eternal Salvation. The holy name of Jesus Christ
is the only name under which we can be saved and receive what we were
always meant to have. The Father loves us. We praise Him eternally.
And if we do it correctly--that is, in the name of Christ--He will
bless us with His Holy Spirit which will be for a guide to us in all
things, in all ways, and in all places so long as we are worthy and
diligent. Do not be casual. Do not be complacent. And, please, my
brothers and sisters, do not turn away from the light of truth. Yes,
it is bright. And yes, at times it appears glaring and difficult to
take... But it's not. We quickly become accustomed to the light and
it becomes a comfort and a protection. If we maintain our course with
all heed to that light, we will not err. Find it, keep it, and love
it. It will truly change your entire being into someone whom you are
more familiar with. I leave these words with you in the name of Him
whom is mighty to save, even the Lord, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Your brother in the Lord,

Elder Cody R. Eckman

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