Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Who's Got Your Back?

Christmas last year was my first Christmas away from home. My parents were going to send me a package and they asked me what I wanted for christmas. I told them to send me Emma (see above with bazooka and utility belt), my teddy bear. You might be thinking 'lame.' I thought so too, but then I met "Blankie," Sister Nielsen's blanket, Sister Patterson's sword (yes she slept with it), Sister Winder's chocolate, Sister Barnes' turtle, and Sister Austin's sock (don't ask).

We all have things that we lean on when we get sad, discouraged, scared, lonely, etc. These things, though of value in their own right, can bring only temporary relief to our trials. God gives us a way to overcome and have lasting peace through the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Ghost is also known as the Comforter John 14:16-17;26 because it is the peace that comes when we cast our burden on the Lord. It is the still small voice that guides us to truth, and leads us to safety when in danger.

He sends us the Holy Ghost or the Spirit to sustain us in our trial. The Spirit tells us there is more to life than what is before our eyes. God has a plan for each of us individually and specifically, He knows our potential and restores our hope through the Comforter.

I have felt the Spirit through feelings of peace, love, and a desire to be more than I am. Recently, I have felt the sadness that comes from the passing of those that are dear to me. Though that grief is necessary, I felt great comfort in taking it to the Lord. I know that the Spirit is real. I felt it as I prayed. I actually feel stronger and have more desire to live and share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Member Missionary Work: More Than Just a Good Example

As a missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is our job to share the gospel with everyone we see. We have volunteered to do this for eighteen months because the gospel of Jesus Christ has brought us the greatest happiness we have ever known. Knowing why we're here, where we were before we were born, and where we're going after we die brings us peace. As children of God, we are all entitled to this knowledge, and to the blessings that accompany being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but with these blessings, also comes a great responsibility.

Sharing the gospel can be terrifying! Believe us, we know! It's hard to talk about something that's so dear to you because you don't want it to be rejected. We also hear that there are two things you never talk about with people, politics and religion. However, these are the things that are important and matter in life. When we are baptized into the church, we all make a covenant with our Heavenly Father that we will share the gospel with others, not just be good examples, or wait for our friends to ask us about the church.

In the February 2011 Ensign, there was a wonderful message about sharing the gospel entitled How Great Shall Be Your Joy by President Henry B. Eyring. He teaches of the happiness that accompanies sharing the gospel, and about the duty we have as members, not just missionaries, to share the gospel with others. The promises given to those that put forth the effort are amazing. God has promised us that we will have the Holy Ghost help us know what we can say (D&C 18: 16-18)We are also promised that if we exercise our faith, we can be led to those that are prepared to hear our message.

As missionaries, we have seen miracles as members get involved in missionary work. We are grateful for those that make sacrifices to help the work roll onward. Wonderful bishops, ward mission leaders, and other auxiliary members spend hours helping the full-time missionaries with their efforts. Without them, our work would be in vain.

What blessings has the gospel brought into your life? Who do you know that need those blessings in their lives? What can you do today to share the gospel with others?

Please let us know if you know someone that has questions about the church. Or if you have questions about sharing the gospel. Part of our job as missionaries is not only to share the gospel, but also to help the members be more effective in their efforts to reach out to their friends.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Love Utah

I was raised in Utah-the greatest snow on earth. I have been LDS all of my life. Most of family are members of the church. Perhaps, I was raised in a bubble with protective parents and there is a lot about life that I just don't understand.

So it makes me wonder: what it would have been like if I had not been raised a mormon.

Would I have been willing to:
All this to join a church? The list of sacrifices people make could go on.

I am forever grateful for the experiences I have had as a missionary to help me to gain a better appreciation for those who overcome hard things for the sake of joining the true church. I learn from their sacrifice. I pray for them and cry with them as they struggle.

People tell me all the time that "you just don't understand," and they are right. That is why I am on a mission. I know that I do not understand where people are coming from, but there is one who does understand- PERFECTLY, and He is the one of whom I invite all to come unto.
The message I want to share is that it is in the midst of these trials that we develop our personal faith in and relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Only He perfectly understands. He is the one who has overcome ALL things and knows how to help you to do the same.

I was reading in 1 Kings 17 of the story of Elijah the prophet. He was told to go to a widow for sustenance. When he met her, the widow was preparing for the last meal she and her son would have before they died of starvation. I love the way vs. 13 goes: "Fear not, go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son." Imagine the faith of Elijah to ask such a thing of her. Imagine the faith of the widow to obey, and she did. The scripture tells us that because of her faith they did eat many days.

I testify as we put God first in our lives and go forward with faith, those seemingly large obstacles will diminish in size with the blessings recieved from accepting the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.