Saturday, November 12, 2011

Good-Bye Montana

One of the most influential times of my life has been the last year and a half. No more emotion, sweat, tears, time, energy, spirit, love, and devotion have been given at any other time of my life. Yet, no more hope, love, joy, acceptance, support, growth, understanding, and learning have come at any other time of my life. My mission has changed me and I have had the blessing and opportunity to help other change as well. The Lord is willing to give so much if we will but let Him. That however does not eliminate our own personal responsibility. We have to put forth effort as well.

I began with a very small seed at the beginning of my mission I had very little to offer the Lord. Yet I mad the choice to plant that seed and see what happened. I went out and I worked everyday. Not everyday was easy in fact most days I came home exhausted, but I was out there, and I loved it! When we choose to not act it is like holding that seed in our hand and believing that it will sprout without dirt or water. Where is the nourishment? It will never grow! So I planted it, then I nourished it. I studied, I prayed, I gave my whole heart and soul. With that the Lord was able to turn my little seed in to a sapling. I am still nourishing it and it will continue to grow.

There is no doubt in my mind that I will one day be a great oak. But I must continue to work at it. This stage of my life is over. "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7). But my progression and work are never done I must press "onward, ever onward, as [I] glory in his name; Forward, pressing forward, as a triumph song [I] sing. God [my] strength will be. . .Called to serve [my] King" (Called to Serve).

Saturday, November 5, 2011

First Snow Fall

Sometimes I am confused by the amount of accidents that happen when snow first falls each year. It's not like people have never seen snow before, didn't they drive in it last winter? It's not like they grew up in western Washington where it never snows. They live in Montana where they get feet of snow and ice every year. So why all of the sudden is it something that causes so many accidents. Perhaps we forget that we have to slow down and begin stopping earlier. Is that what happens in life? Things are going so well that we forget. We forget how we are supposed to act. Things start slipping, we think well things are going so well that I don't need to pray, the Lord will bless me anyway. Or I don't need to go to church I'm spiritually fed at home. It is in those times that we begin to slid though the stop sign, or even spin out of control.

Perhaps we need to slowdown and take a look at where we are and think about the things that might be slipping. We don't want to end up in the ditch. Just remember that there is always a way out of the ditch and that is repentance and the Savior. "we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved" (Acts 15:11).

Friday, November 4, 2011

More Love in our Hearts

I have recently discovered that I need to find more room for love in my heart. So . . . I am working everyday to be more like Christ and He loves each of us enough to be our Savior if that isn't unconditional love I don't know what is. He suffered for us, in Luke it says "And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." All this that we might be mad clean and return to our Father in Heaven. I know that he is the only one that could have accomplished this task. Anyone else would have balked at what was being asked of us in the service of others. So how can we begin to have even a measure of the love that Christ has? This much I know we cannot do it on our own. On my mission I have had the wonderful experience of finding more room in my heart for another, something I'm not sure a lot of people have received from me before this. I know that my increase of love has come as a direct result of prayers, study and truly being open to all that the Lord has to offer me. Each of us has an unmeasurable capacity for love, however we don't always love to the capacity that we are able. Let us each be more loving in our lives as we go forward embracing others instead of pushing them away.

Friday, October 14, 2011


I remember as a child trying to go up the down escalator. It wasn't easy you had to sprint to even move forward and you had to full out run to get all the way to the top in a decent amount of time. If it was a particularly long way up, you would want to take a break and catch your breath, but that just sets you back as the escalator carries you back the way you came. Sometimes life feels like a down escalator that we are trying to go up. We are constantly striving to move forward and upward, reaching for the aspirations of Heaven. It isn't an easy climb, sometimes we are running full out and at other times we are merely striving to keep from being set back. When we stop going to church or reading our scriptures or praying it as though we are standing still on a down escalator. The moment you stop you aren't moving forward any more, you are moving back, there is no real standing still. The closest you can come is walking up instead of sprinting. At least then you are staying in the same place but you still have to work, to strive, to take action toward moving forward.

The Lord expects us to do our part. Christ suffered for us but that does not relieve our personal responsibility. If we never take steps up then we are standing at the bottom, thinking 'the Lord will just come get me when the time is right.' We need to come to him. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matt 11:28-30). Press forward up the down escalator.

Familiar Strangers

Have you ever met someone and felt like you have known them for an eternity already and then you become instant friends? I know that I have. It has happened for me over and over again in my life. Have you ever thought about where those feelings of familiarity come from? Have you known them before? I would most definitely say, that you have. We all lived in heaven before we came to this earth. Just imagine one big happy family. We had the opportunity to get to know not only each other but also our Heavenly Father. Not only that but he took his time in getting to know us. I love this confirmation of meeting people that you "already know" It helps me remember that my Father in Heaven Loves me and that I lived with him before. To Jeremiah the lord says "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee" and so it is with us.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Are you Forgotten?

I spent a good chunk of my growing up life attending church and going to activities that were planned for my edification and development. Somewhere along the lines I sort of lost it all. I stopped believing. I didn't know if any of it was true. I turned away from the Lord. I no longer went to the activities that were planned for my edification and development, I no longer went to church. I began to feel forgotten and abandoned. I didn't have the sense of care that came with being close to my Father in Heaven. So did the Lord turn away from or forget me? No! I can now look back on my life even during the time when I wasn't doing all the the Lord wanted me to do where he was still leading me by the hand and bringing me back. "The Lord uses a scale very different from the world’s to weigh the worth of a soul. . .At times we may even feel insignificant, invisible, alone, or forgotten. But always remember—you matter to Him!. . .God sees you not only as a mortal being on a small planet who lives for a brief season—He sees you as His child. He sees you as the being you are capable and designed to become. He wants you to know that you matter to Him" (Dieter F. Uchtdorf).

During this time of my life I made a major move on a whim. A friend called me up and said why don't you move over here? I said if I can transfer I will. I was able to so I moved. Where before I had NO direction in my life I began to move forward! I went to college because my friend lived in a college town and I thought well I'm here I might as well go. Then I got active in church again. The Lord knew exactly where I needed to be and who I needed to be around. The Lord had not forgotten me as much as I felt abandoned. He was literally picking me up and placing me lovingly where I needed to be. I know that he has a great plan for my life and it is much easier for me to fulfill it when I am following him. "The Lord doesn’t care at all if we spend our days working in marble halls or stable stalls. He knows where we are, no matter how humble our circumstances. He will use—in His own way and for His holy purposes—those who incline their hearts to Him" (Dieter F. Uchtdorf).

Friday, September 30, 2011

Warmth of a Blanket

What is it about a blanket? They are so soft and comforting there are times when all you want to do is snuggle up with a blanket and forget the world outside. It just makes us feel better. It warms us body and soul to be engulfed in something so wonderful. When we are sick a warm blanket can make the difference in healing. Imagine a cold, drafty house, on a cold night in January. Now imagine the most amazing blanket: big, warm, soft. How important does that blanket become? A blanket is more than just something we put on our bed.

As I was growing up, I can remember my mom telling me a blanket is like the Holy Ghost. It speaks in soft tones. It comforts us when things go wrong. It warms our bodies and souls as it testifies of truth. The Holy Ghost can most definitely make the difference in healing, if we will only listen. Remember our imaginings? Think of the world these days what a cold, harsh, lonely place it can be. Think of the Holy Ghost how it can comfort us and bring us peace. The Holy Ghost is our blanket in this cold world we call home. What a wonderful blessing that we are able to have him as our constant companion. How can we earn his companion ship? I think Moroni Explains it quite well "Because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God." He is the Comforter. As the warmth of a blanket can quiet a crying child, the whisperings of the Spirit can calm our fears, hush the nagging worries of our life, and comfort us when we grieve. I would invite you to live a life where the Holy Ghost can live with you at all times.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Time is one of the most precious gifts that we are given. We think of it so resolutely, time has boundaries and our life is only filled with so much time. Each period in our life has only so much time. You can only be a child for so long. How often are we wishing that we could be out of a phase of life sooner. When I was in college I loved it, that was one my favorite times of life. So many friends and good times but I felt very done with school and wanted to finish, so I set about to finish my degree with haste. Now that I am done with it I miss that time of my life. I look back and think how could I have made more of the time I had.

I am right now faced with the impending end to my mission, and have lately been reflecting on what I could do to make the very most of the time that I have left. The months that I have been here seem to fly by and sometimes it is hard to remember the details. But, have I done all that I could in this phase of my life? Do each of us put forward the effort that will fill us with the knowledge that we have done all we can? Or are we left with regrets? Charles Darwin said "A man who dares to waste one hour of life has not discovered the value of life."

"To live more fully each hour and to glean the most from each day is wisdom. How unwise we are to waste our todays when they determine the significance of our tomorrows. We should wisely live a day at a time because that is all we have. . . the message is loud and clear. If we work, serve, improve now—each hour, each day will lead us onward and upward to a significant tomorrow in his paths. Today is the time for decision. Now is the time for action. Believe me when I tell you God is well pleased when he sees us using our time wisely" (Marvin J. Ashton ). So what are we waiting for? Get up and get moving time is moving forward let's move with it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sea Glass

A while I was given a piece of sea glass. Now for those of you that have never heard of this before let me describe it. It is pieces of glass found on beaches that has been tumbled and smoothed by the waves, water and sand, creating smooth, frosted pieces of glass. Now I put my small piece of glass in my jewelry box and thinking oh that is neat but what am I going to do with that. Now a lot of people are like me others however, spend hours of time combing the beaches searching for these small pieces of glass. What would anyone want with an old piece of glass?

Think about the journey that this piece of glass has been on. It began long ago in a bottle making factory. It was then filled with some liquid defining it's existence.It didn't get to choose that life it merely had to live it. It was put on the shelf of a store where it was eventually bought and its contents were drank. After it had been emptied the bottle is tossed aside.

This is when that simple bottle becomes something of value. It doesn't come over night but over years. It is tossed in the sea and waves unsure of it's eventual end. It comes to shore and is roughly sanded. If it is taken to soon it still has rough edges. The most beautiful and prized pieces of sea glass are completely smooth; they have spent the most TIME in the uncomfortable folds of the sea and sand.

We are in the waves and the sands of life we have not yet come out smooth, that takes time. "Be assured that there is a safe harbor. You can find peace amidst the storms that threaten you. Your Heavenly Father—who knows when even a sparrow falls—knows of your heartache and suffering. He loves you and wants the best for you. Never doubt this" (Joseph B. Wirthlin). That is why our Heavenly Father has lovingly let us be tossed about so that we can become smooth.  We were given situations we did not get to chose, but we unlike that bottle get to make a choice about our reaction. We often think that the waves and sands of life are to much to bare. Think of a small piece of glass and how fragile it is. I'm not sure how the glass did it but I know that if we will but turn to our Father in Heaven the waves and sands of life will not seem so harsh. "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matt 11:29-30).

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Be Still

How often do we see people walking around with those little buds in their ears, rocking out to the latest tunes? It reminds me of when I was in college and seeing all the people on the bus with there ear-buds in. Now I see people running together and not talking but listening to their separate music. Who of us has put on music to relax or think? I know I have. I even put on music to study. But it is only on very rare occasions that I spend time in just quite peaceful thought? Now don't get me wrong, I love music it seems a little strange to me to not have music playing as I am driving. Perhaps however, we need to take time to simply be still, and listen.

When I was in college I can remember a day where life just felt overwhelming. I had just heard that my dad had kidney cancer and I was struggling with the idea of mortality. After about a day of freaking out and crying my eyes out, I decided that I would spend some time and just talk to God about it. I turned off the music and sat on the floor of my bedroom. I said a prayer, which consisted of very little, and then just sat. As the stillness and the quiet overcame I was able to listen to the spirit and have a better understanding of what the Lord had for me to hear. I was able to understand that no matter what happened that everything would be okay, that my dad would be taken care of even if that meant in heaven. The Lord has said "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalms 46:10).  I believe that if we take the time to be still and listen to the Lord we will be able to truly know that he is God and is looking out for us and our needs.