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Saturday, December 18, 2010

The never ending goodbye

I easily could say that I never had the perspective before my mission of what good-bye meant! Leaving a host of family and friends behind in Colorado I thought was a big deal and hard enough. Little did i realize that other members of the church, investigators, recent converts, fellow missionaries, and various others would mean so much to me through my journey as a missionary! Let it be known that this is why the mission is the most bitter sweet experience of my life! I call it the DREAM :) !! Last night our mission just sent home a group of faithful returned missionaries and it was another time to "tear off" a band-aid. As I contemplated on this reoccuring pattern of "saying good-bye" this poem came to mind

I’ve said good-bye a thousand times.
Each mother does,
Then, patient, praying, waits at home.
I said good-bye
When toddler’s feet first moved
Beyond safe whitewashed kitchen door,
When youthful hands
Found Joseph’s dark oak bench and tools
To practice craft of carpenter,
When joyful boy discovered
God’s will writ bold in temple text
And heard bright angels’ promises.
I said good-bye
When John baptized him in the stream
And a lone white dove descended
As emblem of his Father’s love,
When faith turned water into wine
And every miracle in turn
Confirmed that he was God’s
Not mine.
I said good-bye
When neighbor’s stone turned sharp,
Ears closed against his tongue,
And mocking people drove him
From green Galilee.
And finally
Standing in the empty crowd
I saw stupidity not men
Pound spikes into his gentle hands
And cursing lift him up
To goad and mock out loud
Until I said good-bye a thousand times
And fresh salt tears poured down
To mark the ground that we were left upon.
Good-bye my son.
I will be lonely
But not alone.
Good-bye my son.
We’ll wait for you
At home.

Christ: The Real Gift of Christmas

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Christ: The Real Gift of Christmas

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Service: A seasonal tradition or our attribute?

In this time of Christmas we all know that the true meaning of the season is founded on Christ. We celebrate who he was, what he represented, what he did, and what he means! Christ: the perfect example, taught each of us countless things including a lifestyle of service. My hope is that we might all know how to become more service oriented in not only celebrating this Christmas season but rejoicing in the life of Christ as we strive to become like him! May we enjoy this depiction of what it truly means to follow the perfect one!

Friday, December 10, 2010

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Is it ever to late?

Another day in the mission field isn't just any ordinary day. From meetings, to appointments, to meals, to service... our lifestyle is anything but dull. Today is "unique" because I am participating in a missionary exchange which is when my companion and I split with another companionship for 24 hours and we learn from one another. It is the best teaching and learning opportunities we are given. Elder Lawter is my companion for the day and I have learned how prepared and stellar he is as a person, missionary, and friend! Instead of me describing one of his most recent triumphs, this video will testify to all that it is never to late...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Until We Meet Again

I easily could say that I never had the perspective before my mission of what good-bye meant! Leaving a host of family and friends behind in Colorado I thought was a big deal and hard enough. Little did i realize that other members of the church, investigators, recent converts, fellow missionaries, and various others would mean so much to me through my journey as a missionary! Let it be known that this is why the mission is the most bitter sweet experience of my life! I call it the DREAM :) !! Last night our mission just sent home a group of faithful returned missionaries and it was another time to "tear off" a band-aid. As I contemplated on this reoccurring pattern of "saying good-bye" this story told by President Monson, a modern day prophet, depicts how one feels in such situations!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

My thankful list... it's a TrAdItIoN

Being away from home for the holidays is... well you got it... tough! In order to feel of the traditional holiday cheer I figured I would continue a family tradition that my family currently is practicing this very day. Thanksgiving was always celebrated as a family including grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, ect. Together we put up a large "roll" of paper on a door or a wall and each person writes the various things they are thankful for. My first thought was "hey this is easy I have all the room I need..." Hence I'm going to take advantage and write some of the things I'm most thankful for... because I will miss some things for-sure I would ask that you all comment below and add to my list. HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL :) 

My list:
Todd, Juliet, Megan, Mike, Cameron (Elder Rogers), Landon, Dillon, Madison and all family members!
The Broncos
The fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
The priesthood
The Holy Ghost
The Connecticut Hartford Mission
President and Sister Pehrson
My country
My rich-filled life
Heavenly Father
All my experiences to grow and become
The Atonement... Jesus Christ

please add to the list

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Half Full of Half Empty?

Now think of someone you know who isn’t happy at all. Perhaps they seem 10 years older than they are, drained of energy—perhaps they are angry or bitter or depressed.
What is the difference between them? What are the characteristics that differentiate the happy from the miserable? Is there something that unhappy people can do to be happier? I believe there is.
Let me tell you a story to illustrate this observation.
A long time ago in a faraway village lived a man who everyone did their very best to avoid. He was the type of person who believed that there was only one competent person in the world, and that one person was himself. Consequently, he was never satisfied with anything. His shoes never fit right. His shirt never felt comfortable. When his food wasn’t too cold, it was too salty, and when it wasn’t too hot, it was too bland.
If a field wasn’t sowed by himself, it was not sowed well. If he didn’t close the door, the door was not closed properly.
In short, he made a career of frowning, lecturing, criticizing, and mumbling about the incompetencies of every other person in the rest of the world.
Unfortunately, the man was married, which made matters all the worse. No matter what his wife did, in his eyes it was wrong. No matter what the unfortunate woman cooked, sewed, or cleaned—or even when she milked the cow—it was never satisfactory, and he let her know it.
She tried very hard to be a good wife, but it seemed the harder she tried, the less she pleased him. Finally, one evening she could take no more.
“I’ll tell you what we’ll do,” she told him. “Tomorrow I will do your chores and you will do mine.”
“But you can’t do my chores,” the man replied. “You don’t know the first thing about sowing, hoeing, and irrigating.”
But the woman was adamant. And on top of that, she was filled with a righteous anger that frankly astonished and frightened the man to the point where he didn’t dare disagree.
So the next morning the wife went off to the fields and the man began the domestic chores. After thinking about it, he had actually convinced himself he was looking forward to it. Once and for all, he would demonstrate to his wife how things should be done.
Unfortunately, not everything went according to plan. In fact, nearly everything the man touched turned into disaster. He spilled the milk, let the pig get into the house, lost the cow, burned the dinner, and ultimately set the house on fire, narrowly escaping with his own life.
When his wife returned, she discovered her husband sitting on a pile of ashes, smoke still rising from his clothes. But the woman wasn’t the type to rub things in. She helped him up, wiped the soot from his beard, fixed him a little something to eat, and then prepared a bed of straw for them to sleep on.
From that day forward, the man never complained about anyone or anything else for as long as he lived.
What do you suppose this story teaches us?
For one thing, it teaches that those who complain make their own and others’ lives miserable. The story also teaches humility. It reminds us that “pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18). It teaches us not to judge others until we walk in their shoes for a while.
In addition, the story illustrates a quality that the Roman orator Cicero claimed was “not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others” (Marcus Tullius Cicero, Pro Plancio, 54 b.c.). It is a quality I have found in every happy person I know. It is a quality that instantly makes a person more likable and more at peace. Where there is an abundance of this virtue, there is happiness. Where there is an absence of this virtue, there is often sadness, resentment, and futility.
The virtue I am speaking of is gratitude.
In our story, it was the absence of gratitude that made the man miserable. His inability to appreciate others caused him to be critical of their efforts. Not only did he not empathize with them, he could not allow himself to acknowledge their contributions. (The full talk)

May we acknowledge all that we have as we celebrate what we have! God bless all those who walk with Gratitude!

Are you in the Spirit of Thanksgiving?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Who really are our friends?

After wrapping up a relatively busy week of zone conferences it has been enjoyable to reflect on what I have learned and experienced. I got such a real sense of how the gospel just fills in the gaps... one of the highlights of the zone conference was to listen to each missionary in the mission bear their testimony... or tell us of what spiritual truths they know are true! As I have said earlier, so many people have their taste on life based off of their past... allowing them to add a flavor of life to us all. Hearing about various missionaries struggles, triumphs, paths, and stories gave us all a neat spiritual bond... it added flavor to my perception, conviction, knowledge, and wisdom! No matter where we all come from, we all had one VERY important thing in common... that was that we all know the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and it is our foundation. I love having and spreading this blessing to all. I am amazed that God has given me an opportunity to have such an army of young warriors around me who fight for the cause of a better world... bringing others unto Christ! We are counseled to "count our blessings... name them one by one...", no matter how great or small.... significant or insignificant... noticeable or unnoticeable... blessings are there! I am MADE unique because of my missionary friends! Talk to us :) Thank the one above for such examples!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Called to serve

I always chuckle inside as I see eyes glued at me in any given situation while I walk around in public as a missionary. Here I am... 21 years old, relatively inexperienced, wearing a white shirt and a tie and doing something that we don't find typical young adults doing: preaching the gospel. It's obvious as to why everyone looks then, right? It's not the ordinary... but rather unique! Fighting Crohn's disease, living in a family of 8, being a "Mormon", supporting a cancer fighter in my family, and  life back in Colorado Springs are important elements about me that people Wouldn't know at first glance. Yet, they have shaped me from the inside,which makes me portray who I am on the outside. My unique current lifestyle didn't just come about randomly, but rather was formed through life's course. I enjoy who I am and I'm not bashful nor ashamed... that must be why "eyes are glued at me and I just chuckle inside". I am CALLED TO SERVE as a missionary because of who I am! This blog will consist on how I feel my life is unique through past and current experiences. Because I know we all have books of stories within us that makes our own lives unique, I ask all to join with me in sharing your "unique" life highlights and post them in the comments below!