On June 8, 2013 Sister Johnson wrote:
Konnichiwa, mina san.
So, this has been one of the longest and most difficult weeks of my entire life. I don't really know where to start. I'm not sure what to write, so this post might be short, but I will try my best.
I am so grateful to have the knowledge that Jesus Christ lives and that He is the Savior of the world. When tragedy happens, it's nice that people around you are concerned, but there is no comfort so sweet as the loving embrace and soft Spirit of the Savior. This week, I have experienced pain that I honestly didn't think a human being was capable of feeling. I really didn't think it was possible to be as sad as I was, but that is what happens when someone you love so dearly is taken away from you unexpectedly. Life is hard, but God is good.
I know that Jesus Christ is real. I know that His Atonement is real. I know that He knows exactly what I am going through. He knows exactly and perfectly the pain I feel. I also know that He is aware of the pains of my family, and especially of those friends of ours that are hurting so much right now. I don't understand why bad things have to happen to wonderful incredible people, I really don't. However, I do understand that we have loving and all-knowing Heavenly Parents that have a plan for each and every single one of us. Sometimes, we don't understand that plan and it seems impossible to perform the tasks in which we are entrusted, but I testify to you that nothing is impossible with the Lord, Jesus Christ. There is nothing you will experience or go through that you cannot handle and overcome triumphantly. Have faith in Jesus Christ, always pressing forward with a perfect brightness of hope. All these things shall be for your good and shall give you experience.
I know that we are surrounded by angels. In our darkest moments, the Savior sends angels to lift us, and carry us forward. They support us and cheer us on. They pray for us and give us comfort when all seems so dark. To all who are saddened or going through a hard time, be aware of your ministering angels. I promise you that they are there. You will be able to feel them if you take the time to look.
This Wednesday was especially hard, and my Dad gave me some advice. "Go to a high place, and offer up your heart in supplication. Pour out your whole soul. Go to a high place, and expect healing." I was able to go to the Temple that afternoon (which is the best high place, in my opinion.), and feel the Spirit there. For those of you who don't know, the temple is a sacred place where we can go and feel very close to our Heavenly Parents and to our Savior, Jesus Christ. When I got there, I decided to sit on a couch that was facing a very large painting of the Savior. I sat there and studied that painting for a hour and a half, and I poured out my soul. I shed many tears for my friends and my family, and I pleaded with my Heavenly Father that they might be comforted in this very challenging trial. As I studied this painting, a very distinct voice came into my head:
"Shakira, lift up thy head, and look to me. I will by thy guiding light. I will carry thee through. Find in me thy strength and beacon. Be strong, and of a good courage, for I will lead thee on. Come, follow me."
That was my Savior, Jesus Christ, speaking directly to me and answering my fervent prayers.
I may not know why tragedy happens, but I know that all will be well, because the Lord has promised me. All is well. Jesus Christ lives, and He is the Light and Life of the world. He will carry us through, and we will find joy and love and peace in this life, and in the life to come! I know this with all of my heart.
"I feel my Savior's love, and know that He will bless me. I offer Him my heart. My shepard He will be. He knows I will follow Him, give all my life to Him. I feel my Savior's love, the love He freely gives me."
Press forward, in the ways of Christ, and ye shall have eternal life. I know this to be true. Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Ai shite imasu, mina san.