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Monday, March 28, 2016

He lives. I know it.

This week I join my voice with Paul; "Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift." 

This Easter week has reminded me once again of the gifts that the life, Atonement, sacrifice, and resurrection of Jesus Christ brings to each of us. 

The gift of having someone who knows exactly how we feel. Sister Ann-Katrin Rückauer and I walked the streets of Berlin again, our long legs making our steps falling into our same old tempo. Julius-Leber Brücke, Südkreuz, Lichterfelde Ost; it all felt like home. Never in a million years did we ever think we would be able to be on exchange with each other - much less in our old stomping grounds, but here we were again, almost a year after our first day together. We visited one of our favorite members in Dahlem, ate at our favorite cafe, taught our Bulgarians about the Temple, and walked back home that night with her arm looped through mine. That walk home through the streets of my favorite city on earth reminded me that the Lord is always going to answer my prayers. He knew that I needed to be with someone who knows me well and loves me. The Lord sometimes shows us His character through the the people around us and through Sister Rückauer that night, I felt the Savior's compassion, understanding, and unconditional love. "I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20)

The gift of our future resurrection as perfect beings. Schwester Hormann's face beamed with pure happiness as I twirled around in her 1960s Dirndl. "You look like a princess!" she exclaimed as she clapped her crippled hands together. I kissed her cheek and thanked her again. "No need to thank me, Sister. That hasn't fit me in years!" She folded the dress up carefully and tucked it into my backpack. "Now, Princess, do you two have a spiritual thought for me?" We watched the 'Hallelujah' video together and asked her what the term 'new life' meant for her. "It means that this life isn't the end - it means that there is something better waiting for me. I have accepted the challenges of this life and I know that I can talk to my Father in Heaven for the strength to get through them. But I do know that something better is waiting for me on the other side. That will be my new life." The cadence of her voice as she struggled to get the words out through her speech impediment was slow, sure, steady, and confident. 

The gift of promised light to break through the darkest days of our lives. Jacky cried through the entire "Because He Lives" video as baby Marissa crawled around the primary room floor. We sat on the carpet and talked about how, through the Savior, light always follows the darkness. "I would have never imagined the darkness that I have had to live in," she said. Then she looked at the painting of the Savior on the wall. "But there is light. I just need to roll away the stone." 

There are countless gifts that are ours for the taking through our risen Redeemer, Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the light the He is and brings.

He lives. I know it. 

Sister Grace

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