Elder Anthony Scott Lee

Elder Anthony Scott Lee

Tony can be reached at...

Portugal Lisbon Mission
Rua Jorge Barradas 14C
1500-370 Lisboa

Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 98 Letter

Monday, April 20, 2015
This week is the last week of my mission that I will be writing to you all. As a good friend once wrote me as he was ending his mission, the sand in the hour glass has all fallen, and my time is all but up. It is with immense gratitude that I write this my final letter as "Elder Lee", a full-time representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.

"How great reason have [I] to rejoice; for could [I] have supposed when [I] started... that God would have granted unto [me] such great blessings?"
These last two years have been the most important 2 years of my entire life. In these two years I have passed through the "furnace of affliction" and I am blessed to be able to say that I am coming out of my mission a refined work of the Lord. I know that it has been through the grace of Jesus Christ and His atonement that I have had any measure of success or growth during these years.

"I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God."
I cannot relate to any of you the millions of spiritual experiences, miracles, tender mercies, or divine manifestations that I have been blessed to witness and receive while in this beautiful land, nor would it be fair for me to try. My mission has been something incredibly sacred to me, something special between my Father and me. All of these things have brought me so much closer to Him and His son. As Russell M. Nelson taught, we sometimes think (erroneously) that we construct or gain a relationship with God. We already have a relationship with Him. We are literal sons and daughters, of "His generation." We spent our entire first estate in His presence; He knows us and we know Him. However, we can bring ourselves closer to Him through the process of aligning our will more perfectly with His. I have learned to do that more fully on my mission. I am long from perfection, but looking in the other direction I am long from where I was 2 years ago, and thus I have come closer to my God, thanks to the changing power of the atonement.

"Yea, we have reason to praise him forever, for he is the Most High God, and has loosed our brethren from the chains of hell.

Yea, they were encircled about with everlasting darkness and destruction; but behold, he has brought them into his everlasting light, yea, into everlasting salvation; and they are encircled about with the matchless bounty of his love; yea, and we have been instruments in his hands of doing this great and marvelous work."
One of the most significant blessings I have received on my mission was that of seeing blessed fruits of my labors. I did not earn these fruits, rather they were mercifully given me "after all [I could] do." His hands did the work and I was blessed to be one of the small and simple tools in His masterful hands. For this I am forever grateful. I had the opportunity to see many lives touched and changed by the powerful influence of His teachings and His ways. Such joy I have felt through seeing these my brothers and sisters discover, embrace, and dwell in the light of His love.

"Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions and I will give unto you success."
My mission, as missions go, was not easy. "For I [have] pray[ed] continually for them by day, and mine eyes [have] water[ed] my pillow by night, because of them." As any missionary could say, I passed through moments of great rejection. I was never chased from the top of a city wall by those who did not want to hear this glad message, nor was I cast in prison, nor burned for my beliefs. However, I did face great amounts of affliction due to the hard hearts or blind eyes of others. However, "I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry."

Perhaps one of the most important things that I have learned on my mission was to love. I have been blessed to be able to feel God's love for His children on a level that I never before had reached. Such love has brought me the most anguishing heartache. The most difficult afflictions I have experienced on my mission came because of the love that I felt for my brethren here. Yet the most sweet, miraculous and beautiful experiences I have been blessed with have also all come because of that love. This love has brought me to understand my Heavenly Father just a little bit more, because it is His love. My motivation in the good times and in the bad has been love. I love this passage:

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."
Before ending this letter I have to thank you all. Mostly you mom and dad. If it weren't for you, I couldn't have had all of these blessings. I love you so much. You have taught me to be who I am today. I love you siblings. I love all of you.
I know that my Father lives. I know that His son lived, died, and lives once more. I know that through Him each one of us can reach a potential that only they understand. We all must know that God knows all. I trust in Him. I know that He has given us means to re-conciliate ourselves with Him through His Son Jesus Christ. I know that the merciful conditions of this reconciliation are the laws and ordinances of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is His church. This is His work. We are His children, and we can return safely home to Him. Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Anthony Scott Lee
A Servant of the Lord

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