Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Smack Dab In The Middle!

As I come to the close of my mission, I've pondered and reflected on the many lessons and experiences I've had! What a journey it has been. Many people have been asking me however, "How do you feel almost being done with your mission?" Elder Uchtdorf explains it best ;)

"There will be moments of beginnings and moments of endings throughout our lives, but these are only markers along the way of the great middle of our eternal lives. Whether we are at the beginning or the end, whether we are young or old, the Lord can use us for His purposes if we simply set aside whatever thoughts limit our ability to serve and allow His will to shape our lives.

Being always in the middle means that the game is never over, hope is never lost, defeat is never final. For no matter where we are or what our circumstances, an eternity of beginnings and an eternity of endings stretch out before us."

Wherever we may be in our lives, never forget that we're only in the middle! Be happy with where you are and find joy in the journey :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Smokey sky, wish you goodbye!

 While on my mission here in Montana, I've enjoyed seeing and taking in the beauty and grandeur of it's landscapes and terrain. There are endless mountain ranges, valleys, lakes and so forth. Truly fits it's nickname as "God's country."

Recently though, the air has been filled with smoke along with ash falling from the sky! Something I've NEVER experienced before and quite frankly, it's not pretty and hard to breathe :/
Anyways, it has been about 3 weeks and every morning I wake up and say, "Today is going to be the day! No smoke baby!" Then I look out the window and what do you know it's still smokey :/

Today was different though. I said the usual, "Today is going to be the day! No smoke baby!" Looked out the window and what do you know?! IT IS CRYSTAL CLEAR :) Taught me a lesson. No matter how gloomy our day may be, no matter how hazy our circumstance is, regardless of how long it may all last. There is hope! There is hope that one day things will improve if we endure and remain positive. Never lose hope and know that all things will be made right through the atonement of Jesus Christ. :)


Friday, September 7, 2012

Wax it up!

Have you ever made a homemade candle before?! Well it's a pretty sweet process! You start with merely NOTHING! Just a simple piece of string is all! What happens next is a miracle to me. You dip that little piece of string into a pot of melted wax. You pull it out, let it harden up and then dip it back in again. Time and time again you dip it in and pull it out and wait for it to harden before you stick it back in for another coating.
The same is with our relationship with God and prayer! It starts out by just having a little bit of faith. As you continue to pray, your relationship with God continues to grow and becomes stronger!

"And by day have I waxed bold in mighty prayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me." -2 Nephi 4:24

I know that as we pray, our Father in heaven is listening and will answer our prayers! Keep prayin' and waxin' stonger every day :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

You're supposed to say YES!

Have you ever asked your parents something and they gave you a response that wasn't what you wanted them to say and you thought to yourself, "They don't know anything! I just want to have fun. Why don't they understand?!"

You then proceeded to do it anyways. Ever done that before? Pretty sure we're in the same boat, because I've done that a few times myself. At first, I felt I was being so independent and rebellious with my defiant stance! I soon came to realize all I did was lose the trust of my parents, felt awful about doing something wrong and lastly, I restricted myself even more from further opportunities. 

We do the same thing with God's laws and His counsel at times. It's illustrated pretty well in the scriptures.

"Behold, they do not desire that the Lord their God, who hath created them, should rule and reign over them; notwithstanding his great goodness and his mercy towards them, they do set at naught his counsels, and they will not that he should be their guide." 
-Helaman 12:6

When we "set at naught" the counsel and commandments we receive from God, we lose the light we once obtained and our lives begin to be filled with darkness. Our agency becomes limited and we have no promise from God. 

Let us listen and obey and know that God is on our side and knows what is best for us!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Time to get messy!

Thinking of my childhood and reminiscing on all the crazy things I did for entertainment, I remembered one of my favorite things to do. That was to play in the mud after a good hard Texas thunderstorm! Mud in Texas is a bit different though, It's really just a bunch of clay. I could be really creative with it most the time, but usually just made a mess everywhere ;)

Clay for me, back in the glory days, was simply something fun to get dirty in and play with. Now clay has a much more significant meaning for me. My understanding has been enlarged as I've studied the scriptures.

The Lord is our potter and we are clay in his hands. He is the one who shapes and molds into what He knows we can become! :)
"But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand." -Isaiah 64:8

When we remember that it is the Lord shaping and molding us, we will have a greater understanding and perspective of why certain things happen in our lives.
"Hath not the potter power over the clay," - Romans 9:21

When we allow the Lord to shape and mold us, as He sees fit, He will use us to bless the lives of others! 
"When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay." -John 9:6

Who we are and what were made of is a great deal of how much we've allowed the Lord to work in our lives! :)
"..for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? -Isaiah 29:16

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mountains to Climb


I love this picture because when you look at someone on top of a mountain, you can be sure that they didn't just "arrive" at the top. It took effort, dedication, work and a desire. 

I think the same is with our lives. We don't just "arrive" at various pinnacles in our lives. We have to work everyday to climb higher and further!

Since being in Montana the past few months I have LOVED gazing at the beauty and grandeur of the mountains here! There is just something refreshing about standing on top of a mountain and knowing,
 "I just climbed this! Look how far I've come!" 

"On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow." 
-Friedrich Nietzsche 

Never give up hope! Sure the climb is steep. Sure it's rocky. Sure there may be cracks in your path. Just never stop! I know you can keep going :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Get out of the maze!

Have you ever been in a predicament where you feel like you have no direction? Where you feel you don't know how to get out  or away from your current problem? Do you feel lonely and like no one is there for you? Maybe you're just frustrated about your situation and want a change!

We ALL experience feelings like these throughout our lives! Sometimes more frequently than others. Regardless, we may feel trapped in a maze with chaos and confusion all around us.

So what do we do?! 

Remember first of all that everything happens for a reason! 
Remember that we are sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father!
That we chose to come to this earth to progress and grow!
Remember that we must look at things from His perspective, not our limited view!

L. Whitney Clayton once said,
"Our unique individual experiences can help us prepare to return to Him. The adversity and afflictions that are ours, however difficult to bear, last, from heaven’s perspective, for “but a small moment; and then, if [we] endure it well, God shall exalt [us] on high.” We must do everything we can to bear our burdens “well” for however long our “small moment” carrying them lasts."

I testify that as we remember these things, and remain positive and optimistic, relying upon God, that we may overcome any obstacle or tough time in our lives :) When we do we will have a perspective from on high! 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What Did You Say?!

This blog I want all of us to go back to those glorious days where we took peanut butter and jelly in a brown bag to lunch and had an hour for recess! Yes I'm talking about those wonderful days of school :)

We all had a teacher in our classroom. On the first day they would go over what the rules of their classroom were, how we were supposed to behave, what would make us good students, etc. Throughout the year they taught, instructed, supervised and helped us to become the best students we could be! Sometimes we listened to the teacher and other times we didn't.

So why in the world did we even have teachers? We knew what to do didn't we? I'm sure you can think back and remember what would happen in a classroom the minute your teacher walked out of your classroom can't you?! Everyone went chaotic huh? At least in my class they would! Kids would pull out their phones, paper airplanes would be flying, friends started talking to each other, and on and on! Just think for a second what it was like when your teachers left the room! What happened to those rules that were there for us to follow and make us successful? We threw them out the door with the teacher! haha

This is exactly how it was and has always been when God has called a prophet as well! A prophets role is primarily to testify and teach of Christ. They also instruct us on matters that are necessary for our salvation, they prophecy of things to come, they interpret scripture and most of all lead us on the path of righteousness! Like a teacher in a classroom, the prophet provides the way for us to be successful in our lives. The way to find happiness and eventually return home to our Heavenly Father. We can either choose to accept and follow his direction and counsel or choose to disregard it. It's up to us.

I testify that God has once again has called a prophet in our time. We don't have to be like the students in that chaotic room. The heavens are still opened and God speaks to us just as in times past! His name is Thomas S. Monson and I'm proud to say he has been called of God to lead and guide us in this troubled world!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

What Is That?!

Ever seen some of these things before?! This is what we would call, SHOE TREES! You stick them in your shoes to keep the form! It's like the cardboard and paper in your shoe when you first get new shoes.

While on my mission, I've been asked so many times what these things are and then have to go into this whole explanation of what they are, why I use them and so forth. They may look really odd, out of place and pointless, but once you understand the purpose and the stability they will give to your dress shoes, you really can't go without them! 

Missionaries shoes get dented, wrinkled, oddly shaped, loose and so on from countless of hours walking each day. Mine on the other hand stay firm, tight, formed and still look brand new after a year and a half! How do I do it? I use shoe trees! 

If these shoe trees were related to anything it would be to the gospel! At first glance you might think, "How in the world is going to church, praying, reading my scriptures or helping others really supposed to help me?" Once you try it out and apply them, they begin to have a whole new meaning to you! The gospel will support you when you feel all has fallen or is lost. It will bring stability to a hectic and busy life. It will strengthen you in times of trial and agony. The gospel of Jesus Christ will truly mold you into what our Father in Heaven wants you to become!  

Using the shoe trees or applying the gospel in your life doesn't mean you will never have any troubles or worries in your life. The gospel will simply allow you to deal with the obstacles in your life to overcome and solve them, while others fret and stress over the simple wrinkles in life. So you could use shoe trees if you'd like to, but more importantly, use the gospel of Jesus Christ in your life! You will be amazed how it will support and strengthen you :) I know it will because it has ALWAYS helped me! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Does God Really Love You?

 I was reading in a magazine this morning and came across this WONDERFUL thought! At times in our lives I know we wonder if God is really there or if He really loves us. You may go through a hard time and feel God has forgotten you or maybe you've gone through your entire life and have never felt God's love in your life. Whatever your circumstance may be I want you to read and remember this thought given to us by an apostle of the Lord.

“[God] loves us because He is filled with an infinite measure of holy, pure, and indescribable love. We are important to God not because of our résumé but because we are His children. He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken. God’s love is so great that He loves even the proud, the selfish, the arrogant, and the wicked. 

What this means is that, regardless of our current state, there is hope for us. No matter our distress, no matter our sorrow, no matter our mistakes, our infinitely compassionate Heavenly Father desires that we draw near to Him so that He can draw near to us.”
      -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

I too testify that no matter where we are, who we are, or what we are going through, GOD LOVES YOU! And so do I!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Don't forget to check yourself!

So I've been thinking about the world we live in today and how easy it is for us to sin or fall short with so many distractions and temptations fighting for our attention. It's pretty ridiculous if you ask me! I can hardly walk down the sidewalk without seeing something offensive or vulgar.

 I was reading in my scriptures the other day and came across this verse, from the prophet Mormon in the Book of Mormon. He gives this counsel for every single one of us. This is what he says...

"Be wise....'strip yourself' of all uncleanness."
-Mormon 9:28

What in the world does it mean to 'strip yourself of all uncleanness' ?

Well hopefully this will help you understand! I've just taken the word 'strip' and created an acronym with it!

Stop : Take a second to ponder the things you think about, the things you say, and of course the things you do!
Think : How do these things affect you? Are they uplifting and wholesome? Do they inspire you and drive you to become better? Is it satisfying a need, diminishing the spirit? Do you justify your actions or make excuses? Do you feel like you have to hide what you're doing or do it in private?
Realize & Respond : If anything you're doing is wrong or not beneficial for you, realize that you can make a change in your life and make it right.
Implement : Make a list of things you could do to change these things in your life. Whether it's refraining from a certain group of friends, doing different activities, making new hobbies, etc.
Press Forward : Our change for good has to be greater than our desire for sin. As you make changes, rely on the Lord's help and strive each day to become cleaner!

Remember that each day is a new day! Wake up each morning with a stronger determination to do a little more to become a little better! I know you can do it!