loving with the spirit and understanding

dearest family,

I feel grateful today — for the mission, for the people, for the hard moments and the glorious ones. It is a strange feeling when one gets to the point of not wanting to return to the same life as before. I read an article by Parley P. Pratt the other day which spoke to my spirit, giving me the words that I have been trying to speak for so long:

"I had loved before, but I knew not why. But now I loved — with a pureness — an intensity of elevated, exalted feeling, which would lift my soul from the transitory things of this groveling sphere and expand it as the ocean. I felt that God was my Heavenly Father indeed; that Jesus was my brother...In short, I could now love with the Spirit and with understanding also."

I feel as if my soul has been lifted from the transitory things and into a higher, more holier sphere. I have come to realize that we are spiritual children living in a not-very-spiritual world, but that even in this existence so far from God, we can still find Him. I hope that I have been able to find Him here, with His children, in His wilderness, and that I have been able to learn to love. I am learning that the power and feeling of love is a lot more holy and eternal than I once thought before. There is a difference between loving, and loving like God and Christ. Their love is acted on with the Spirit and with understanding; with depth and mercy; without selfishness and without recompense. I love them — my Father and my Savior — for their love and their understanding. My heart has been more than full with their love lately as I have come to love others in a way that I hope is unselfish and true. We taught Mario on Wednesday again and my companion and I rejoiced in feeling that our spirits, along with his, had known each other and rejoiced over God's plan before Merida and missions and miracles. He knows everything. He acts on his faith always. He is a good person that can only become better with the Gospel and Christ and His Atonement. 

I feel grateful today, to the point that I cannot write and cannot express. Hope that all is well and happy at home and that you know how much I love you, always.

love love, 
Hermana Rhondeau

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