Leslie Chia returns from his mission (October 2013 to August 2015)

Leslie Chia returns from his mission (October 2013 to August 2015)

I am honestly in awe of His power… my heart is forever changed.

I am honestly in awe of His power… my heart is forever changed

Hi! My name is Leslie Chia and I recently returned from a two-year volunteer mission in Northern California. A companion from Texas once told me he always wanted to serve his mission in a foreign country and was happy to be sent to California as it is like a foreign country to him. Northern California is certainly a unique place different from any other, and I love it because of the diverse groups of wonderful people I was able to meet.

I will treasure and remember the friendships and people I met in the Santa Rosa and San Jose missions - missionaries I served with and people I was able to serve and teach. Serving a mission has helped me gain a testimony and knowledge of many things, things that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

My mission helped me strengthen my testimony of God; as a witness to miracles performed by His hand, whether through placing prepared people in my path, or saying something that someone needed to hear, which would not have been possible without the Holy Ghost. Relying on the Holy Ghost and learning how He speaks to me is still something I'm figuring out. I can't tell you how many times acting on an impression, even if it was just a hunch, has benefited me and strengthened my testimony. In 2 Nephi 2, Lehi told his sons that “there is a God, and he has created all things... Both things to act and things to be acted upon.” I have a testimony that nothing happens in missionary work or any kind of work in the kingdom if we don't act on revelation we receive from God, through the Holy Ghost.

I also learned the importance of setting goals and striving to achieve them, even if it is hard - God is always there to help us. Therewere many times when I failed to achieve certain goals and felt like a failure, but I learned not to feel that way, as that is what Satan wants us to feel. I know that God does consecrate our efforts and he is always patient with our mistakes. I know He is willing to help us as we choose to rely on Him instead of ourselves. At the end of the day, He is always proud of the effort we put in, and He does not care about what we did today or who we were. But instead, He is concerned with where we are willing to go and the things we are willing to change to become more like his Son, Jesus Christ.

I have gained a greater understanding of the Book of Mormon and how to use it to bless my life and the life of others. I know that this book is true and brings more peace and clarity in our life than any other book. It truly testifies of Jesus Christ and contains His teachings. I encourage all to read this book, and pray, and ask God if it is true. You will feel its power and guidance in your life and you will know the book is true. I know Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon through the power of God and he was called as a prophet to restore Christ’s church, on the earth.

Joseph Smith also restored God's power, the priesthood on the earth today and it is used by worthy males of the restored church to bless individuals and families. I have witnessed and felt the power of the priesthood made manifest as I see worthy priesthood holders around me use it to bless the life of others, including me. I have been given an opportunity to harness that power and it has helped me appreciate God and His power. I am honestly in awe of His power.

My testimony of prayer has grown tremendously. The sacred relationship that I have built with Heavenly Father from keeping the commandment to pray will remain the most precious thing to me throughout my life. There were many times on my mission, especially in challenging times, when I received an answer to my prayer through a comforting feeling that He is there. I know that He loves me infinitely and will always be there for us no matter what. The greatest manifestation of His love is the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, who atones for all our sins.

I have also felt the cleansing and enabling power of the Atonement on my mission and have witnessed it help others as well. I know that this power is real. I know that Jesus Christ did indeed suffer and die for our sins, and He lives today so that we can return to live with Him and Heavenly Father and be with their families forever, if we choose to follow Him and obey God's commandments. My heart is forever changed and I will never stop sharing this divine truth!