Dear family and Friends,
Happy belated Mother's Day! I hope yesterday was a wonderful day for all of you. It was an incredible day for me too :) Being able to Skype with my family was priceless. I felt like I saw them just a few days ago (Christmas) and then after ending the phone call it felt like a dream. It is hard sometimes to understand and feel that we are so far apart and in two completely different countries. Technology is really incredible. As I was talking to my parents, brothers, and sister, I could not help but feel reminded of what pure joy feels like. To hear Nicole talk about life and how excited she was to tell me that she said the prayer in Primary yesterday was so special, and to even hear that she even organized my new closet for me in our new purple bedroom. She is adorable and really knows how to make her big sister emotional. I am so grateful for my family and the support and love that they give me. I am so proud of their progress in the gospel and in life in general. I really am so proud to be a Sender. I am constantly reminded of that each day when I put on my nametag. I am a sister. I am a Sender. And I am a servant and representative of our Savior Jesus Christ. It is an honor to put on my nametag each day and remember what I have been called to do and who I represent.
I have been thinking a lot about my calling to serve and also a little bit about my future calling to one day be a mother. The other day when i was studying 1 Nephi 11 I learned quite a bit about a mothers love and purpose. Chapter 11 is incredible and talks about when Nephi is shown in a vision the Tree of Life. Nephi sees the life of Christ, His baptism in the Jordan River, His ministry, and his atoning sacrifice, but the part that stood out most to me is verses 13-23. (Please patiently read this and try to understand me as I explain my thoughts)
The angels shows Nephi, Mary in Nazareth and describes her as "a virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins" Then in verse 16 the angel asks Nephi, "knowest thou the condescension of God?" Nephi responds in verse 17 saying, "I know that He loveth His children, nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things." This showed an interesting idea. Nephi, doesn't know all things, but he knows that God loves each of His children. The angel then testifies to Nephi in verse 18 (returning to the story of Mary), "The virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God" and then in verses 20 &21 Nephi says, "I looked and beheld a virgin again, bearing a child (Christ) in her arms" (20) "and the angel said unto me, behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father!" I love the next question the angel asks, " Knowest thou the meaning of the Tree which they father saw?" and Nephi answered "yea, it is the love of God... wherefore, it is the most desirable about all things" (22) and the angel responded "yea, and the most joyous to the soul" (23).Nephi wanted to understand his father's vision and as a result of his faith, a angel of the Lord showed him the same vision, but in order for Nephi to understand to meaning of the Tree of Life, he needed to understand what is the love of God. Nephi finally understood after seeing Mary, the mother of the Son of God and the purest love of all. A mother's Love.
Once Nephi understood pure love, he could understand God's love for each of His children. He also understood that the Tree of Life is a symbol of God's love as our goal to one day partake of the fruit of the Tree of Life. I love the description Nephi and the angel use to describe the love of God. He said it is the most desirable above all things and the most joyous to the soul. We each desire pure love and the love and acceptance of our Father in Heaven. It brings pure joy. However, when I think of a mother's love, the love my mother has for me and that I have for her, I can truly understand what is pure love and pure joy.
I am so grateful for my mom. She loves me for who I am, even with all of my imperfections. Her love brings me pure joy and it is something that is most desirous to me. Mom, Thank you for choosing to be my mom and for just loving me for me. I am who I am today because of you and your example. I look forward to one day being a mother and sharing even more pure love with my future children.
As I ended the skype call yesterday, my family knelt in prayer. First, Nicole said a heart felt prayer, and then my dad offered a spirit filled prayer asking for so many needed blessings and for my success. In that moment, my family was together again. I wasn’t in Brazil, Nathan wasn’t in Louisiana, my parents, Ben, Zach, and Nicole were not in Ohio. We were together in the most calm peaceful place. As I said goodbye and I love you to each of them by name, I wont ever forget the look on my dad's face, as he said looking into my eyes, "Haley, (Sister Sender) we love you and I am proud of you". I hope that one day our father in heaven can look each one of us in the eye and say the exact same thing. This is our goal and purpose in this life. Return with honor.
I love my family and I love my mom more than words can express. Talking to them yesterday was the best gift I could have received. I hope you all have a wonderful week and feel of my love and prayers. Like I said to my family, " See you in November!"