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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!