Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012 was a very special day. Elder Britten Schenk reported his mission in his home Ward.
I had been concerned all week because our meeting starts at 9:00 am and the past 2 weeks Britten had been nauseous every morning. As Britt was trying to prepare what he wanted to say, we went over and over words that were very difficult for him to pronunciate, like...very short attention span. He also wanted to bear his testimony in Portuguese but couldn't say Heavenly Father.
When Sat. night came Britt was very emotional as he expressed to me his concerns. He said, "There are so many things I want to say, especially about Jesus Christ but I don't know how to say them. I know them in my head , but I don't know how to say the words."
I told Britten that the spirit would guide him and people would feel of his spirit and they would know how he feels about the Savior. Words weren't necessary.
Steven then gave him a blessing, a beautiful blessing. We have learned to rely on the Lord and ask for his help, even if it is small and simple things, for he is wanting to bless us.
As we entered the church at 8:30 am our dear, sweet Bishop and Stake President were there to greet us. Britten gave them his warm, missionary handshake. My heart was full of love for these two men, who have supported us and shown great love for our family. As Britten entered the Relief Society room, there sat twelve handsome Return Missionary's, radiating. The room glowed with their spirit as they greeted Britten with big smiles on their faces! They were friends who brought happiness into Britten's life, but also the lives of others, as they shared the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Steven and I sat on the stand and we were able to look at the faces of people we love. People that have loved and supported us through out our life. We observed our family and extended family that had traveled so far, with love beaming on their faces, to be with Britten on this special day. Sitting by our family was Aline, our dear sweet friend from Brazil, who has become part of our family. Britten shared the gospel with her brother Felipe, who is now serving a mission in Brasillia, Brazil.
As I looked into the eyes of Britten's friends and their families, love filled my soul for the family ties we have made. There sat Britten's past Bishop and wife, other previous Ward members and friends dear to our heart, who have had an impact on our family. We will always have a great love for them as they have truly blessed our lives.
Then, there sat our Ward family, who have served our family so unselfishly. So many acts of service Big and small, have been showered on our family as we have felt our Savior's love, through them! The entire Chapel was full of people we love, people we call family. Brothers and sister's in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It Was A Glorious Sight!
As Britten entered the chapel and walked to the stand, his entire being glowed with the spirit. He then shook the Bishopric and Stake Presidency's hands. He was delighted to be there. As we sat there through the beautiful music and prayers, my soul absorbed the peaceful, serene spirit.
Britten did an beautiful job as words flowed from his mouth. He testified of the holy spirit, of Jesus Christ and of his love for his mission and the people of Brazil. (Britten has shared his testimony and love for Jesus Christ his entire life, through his thoughts, words and actions. He is truly a disciple of Jesus Christ.) Britten then closed his testimony in Portuguese testifying of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Britten's testimony was pure and sincere.
Britten then joined his friends to sing a most powerful song, "To Bring the World His Truth". All 13 missionary's had returned home from their service, yes, one wounded, but they ALL returned home, just like the 2000 stripling warriors! As tears filled the eyes of the congregation, (including the mothers of missionaries), they bore witness of the truthfulness of the gospel. It was magnificent!
Then Steven shared his testimony of Christ. We must not only "believe and have faith in Jesus Christ, but also, believe Jesus Christ."
The Stake President added his testimony that Heavenly Father lives...He is in charge! Our Stake President has a unique perspective of these miracles as he had many conversations with the Church leaders in Salt Lake Ciy, Brazil and also with the doctors.
The rest of the sabbath day was shared with family and friends, enjoying the spirit of the day. Five months ago our family's lives changed. Yes, there have been several difficult days, but we have grown closer to our Savior. Elder Schenk's homecoming was a most perfect, beautiful day and we give thanks to our Father in Heaven for his safe return home.
It was a Most Perfect Homecoming!