Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sculptors of Life

“Sculptors of life are we, with our uncarved souls before us. Everyone of us is carving a soul.”
-President David O. McKay

Here are just a few experiences that have shaped me.
I guess I'll claim 'em ;)
My family
Dad taking time for me-shooting hoops, reading to us at night when i was really little. Mom calling us together for family prayer. Brian picking me up from a curb after I'd bombed a test and taking me to ice cream. Kevin, growing nasty mustaches. Yearly birthday letters from my Grandparents wishing me happy birthday and sharing their testimony of the Savior. Working in Grandma and Grandpa Stubbs yard. Yeah, wasn't a fan of that one at the time but it taught me a lot :)

Coolest girls I know
Good Friends
The kind that make you laugh at yourself. The ones who challenge you to be more than you are but accept you where you're at.
Snowmobile. 4 feet of snow. Me and my brothers. Stuck.
Making mistakes, overcoming grief, standing up when everyone else is sitting down, pulling out of stagnation. Giving it to Jesus Christ and applying the gospel teachings to my life. There always seems someone to turn to when I'm at a low. One time, my mission president's wife just called me up out of the blue and asked how I was doing. Little did she know, I had been praying all morning for an angel.

Richard Pape, Steven Jones, me, Sister Nielsen, and Sister Kao
Being converted as I help convert others. Just one example, being able to see Steven accept the gospel of Jesus Christ just months prior to his death. He accepted the truth so quickly and happily. His strong and simple faith was a great example to me. I know that I will see Steven again as will his family.

I realize that the greatest gifts in life truly come from family and dear friends. All centering in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that this is the way to things that are real and true. Herein lies true and lasting happiness.

"Learning to endure times of disappointment, suffering, and sorrow is part of our on-the-job training. These experiences, while often difficult to bear at the time, are precisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character, and increase our compassion for others."
-Elder Wirthlin

I know that living the gospel of Jesus Christ allows God to sculpt us into the best we can possibly be-even as He is (Moroni 7:48). Because of Him, life is good. It is beautiful. We can have joy even as we carry great burdens.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Here's your sign...

We saved a turtle.  Some might call us hero's, others just good citizens.  I prefer just to be called a
missionary: one sent to do charitable work in a territory or forigen country.  It all happened last week we were driving down a typical country road.  Thanks to Sister Stubbs' sensitive eye we dodge our reptile friend just in time.  These are the country roads mind you so coming to a complete and sudden stop is not considered an unsafe move.  Just the thought of leaving him there with one and a half lanes of road to still cross made us ill.  We found a comfortable box to put him in, made sure his seat belt was secure, and kept a watchful eye out for a safe home.  Turtles do not belong in the middle of the road.  We played the phone a friend card, and with some help from Google I'm sure, they informed us that our little friend, who we lovingly named Gary, belongs in a muddy wet habitat.  Having a slight understanding of what kind of environment we were looking for, and where to find it amidst all the farm land we pressed on.  Not five minutes later we came to a road sign...GARY LN.  Hello red flag, I think we will stop here.  Not twenty feet from the sign was the ideal home for any turtle named Gary.

I admit my missionary nerdiness regurlarly.  Now is no exception.  As I thought about this experience I thought a lot about all the people that I often talk with about signs and answers from God.  Might seem crazy, but I am grateful for the GARY Ln sign because it is hard to say how long we would have been looking for a home for our beloved friend.  He could have died on our watch!  And really we have more important work to do.  I consider it a serious tender mercy from Heavenly Father.  People are constatnly looking for signs and answers to help them better understand what God wants for them.  Too often we are watching for some giant display from the cosmos or a literal sign on the street to tell us what to do.  Although that would be super convenient its not how it works.  Heavenly Father requires faith, and patience to hear the gentle whisperings of the spirit that are sent to give us answers.  I am reminded of a group of peole in the Book of Mormon:

Helaman 16:
13...there were great signs given unto the people, and wonders; and the words of the prophets began to be fulfilled.
14 And angels did appear unto men, wise men, and did declare unto them glad tidings of great joy; thus in this year scriptures begn to be fulfilled.
15 Nevertheless, the people began to harden their hearts, all save it were the most believing part of them, and began to depend upon their own strength and upon their own wisdom saying:
16 Some things they may have guessed right, among that all these great and marvelous works cannot come to pass, of which has been spoken.
22 And notwithstanding the signs and the wonders which were wroght among the people of the Lord, and the many miracles which they did, Satan did get great hold upon the hearts of the people upon all the face of the land.

Everyday God sends us the answers that we are begging for.  As hard as it may be to admit it we all at times harden our hearts and depend on our own strength when the signs are there.  I testify that if we watch with a sensitive heart we will recognize the answers and the signs from our loving Heavenly Father. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Choose your own Adventure

I love this video because of her personality and testimony! The gospel is for everyone and it helps us take on our individual goals. I know that the gospel helps me be my best self and live the dream!

Yesterday, we had the opportunity to help one of our friends quit smoking. She is so determined, she even let me film her crushing her cigarette! I know that she will succeed and that it is through her faith in Jesus Christ that it will happen. I'm grateful that I have the opportunity to be a part of her adventure.

Please share how God has helped you live happily!