Thursday, May 5, 2011

Endure To The End

   It has been a while since I have made a post about sports (or any post for that matter).  One thing I have been thinking about lately though is the importance of Enduring to the end.


    I think back to when I was in 7th grade playing AAU basketball.  I was on a team named "the running rebels".  We were having a great season, we had only lost 2 out of about 55 games, and won every tournament we played in up to that point.  We worked very hard to get to where we were at.  Then came time for the state tournament, the only tournament that really mattered.  We were favored to win it and didn't look like we would have much of a challenge.  We breezed through all the games up until the championship game and were set to play a team we beat earlier in the year, but this game proved to be a big challenge.  We came out stagnant and weren't playing up to our ability.  We were behind most of the game, and with just 2 seconds left in the game we were down by 2 points with the other team shooting free-throws.  It would have been easy to throw in the towel at that point.  The opposing player missed his free-throw however and my teammate rebounded the ball and passed it up to our shooting guard about 3/4 of the court away from the basket.  He launched a hail mary shot, and the ball banked off the backboard and into the hoop. We won the tournament and finished our season victorious.

     Each of us are at a different stage in life, some are on course and others are far from it.  In the game of basketball the final minutes and even seconds are what determine the outcome of the game.  In our lives it is the same thing, we could have worked hard our whole life to keep the commandments and in the end if we neglect our faith, we can lose all that we have gained up until this point.  At the same time we could have made alot of bad decisions in our life, but if we regroup and do our best at the end, we can come off victors.

     Enduring to the end is such an important step of the Gospel, it is where we prove our faith and sincerity of our repentance and determination to follow our Savior Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

An Easter Declaration

The following video is of Jesus Christ and all the things he did for us, all leading up to his triumphant ressurection, at the end is the testimony of  the prophet of God on the earth today:

          On this upcoming easter Sunday, may we all remember our Savior Jesus Christ and all the things he did for us, and especially remember his ressurection.  Most importantly may we all remember that he did these things for each and everyone of us, because he loves.  Jesus said "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)  May we all follow and do what he has asked of us.

      I know that Jesus Christ lives and that he is our Savior, I am thankful for this testimony and I pray that I can continually draw closer to him, because I love him.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Oh Vallejo

    These past couple of days have been awesome.  I was able to go back to one of the cities I used to serve in, Vallejo California.  Every time I go back to an area I used to serve in I am reminded of how much I truly miss it, and how much I truly love it.   When you are away for so long you tend to forget a lot of things and how dear and precious it really is too you.  When you finally go back it just feels like home.


        Now Vallejo isn't exactly a "Heavenly place" but I can't help but think this is what it is going to be like to return back to our Heavenly home, except that it will be a much greater scale of joy and happiness.   I can only imagine the joy that is going to fill my soul when I get back to my Father in Heaven and my Heavenly Home, a place I love.   I have heard it said that when you return to God you will be shocked at how familiar he is too you.   This is because before this life we knew him and lived with him.   He sent us here to earth to learn and grow and his goal is that we will eventually return back to him.  This should be the focus of our life here on earth. As it says in the Book of Mormon "This life is the time for men to prepare to meet God." (Alma 34:32) We all need to take a look at our life and say, "Am I prepared to meet God?"  I know that as we make this our goal we will realize things we can do to prepare for that day when we will see him again.


        I am so glad that my Father Heaven gives me small glimpses, like that experience I had today, to help me remember what I am striving for.  As the prophet Enos said " And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father. Amen." (Enos 1:27)  I can't wait for this day!

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Book With A Promise

     I as well know that the Book of  Mormon is true.  I know this because I have read and prayed about it and by the power of the Holy Ghost have recieved my answer.   The Book of Mormon tells all men what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come.  I have felt that Peace already and know that one day I will live with my Father in Heaven again.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

150 Days of General Conference

Good evening, everyone!  I’m grateful for the opportunity Elder Bevan has given me tonight to “guest-blog” for him.  I have to admit, I’m a little overwhelmed putting my thoughts out for the entire world to read; I’m not really much of a blogger.  Not that I never would, but just that I have almost no experience with it whatsoever.  But nevertheless, I do have a few thoughts that I would like to share. 
Reading back, I saw that Elder Bevan had talked a little bit about the recent General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in his posts “Men of God” and “Push a Handcart or Share the Gospel”.  I wish to add a little bit more on this subject and I hope that you will bear with me. 
First of all, I’m kind of a stats guy.  I didn’t ever study statistics, nor do I plan to, but trends and the idea of totals and things like that really fascinate me.  So, this section of the post starts with a little history lesson.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was formally organized April 6, 1830 with only six members.  Two months later, on June 9, 1830, the first General Conference was held in Fayette, NY.  From 1830 until Church members moved to Illinois in the early 1840s, conference was held by request of the First Presidency at various times during the year.  It was not until the Saints reached Illinois that the traditional cycle of April and October conferences was established.  Through the years, Conference has evolved into the series of sessions that we recognize it as today; a Saturday morning and afternoon session, a Sunday morning and afternoon session, with a special priesthood session (for men) held Saturday evening.  A little investigation on the Church’s official website,, helped me learn that forty years ago, there was even two full sessions held on Friday.  So, just like anything, Conference has had its own personal growth.  Its importance to members of the Church is immeasurable.  Now, in the 21st century, 21,000 members flock to the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City, tune in on their radios, televisions, and internet browsers, all with the purpose of receiving instruction from their leaders, one of whom they sustain as a prophet, seer, revelator, and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  And when a prophet speaks under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, his word is considered scripture.  So for 181 years, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and in fact, the entire world (whether they choose to participate or not) has been receiving new scripture.  So if we just assume for a moment that General Conference has followed the same pattern it does today for the last 181 years of its history, that would add up to 1810 sessions of two hours each (3620 hours) which translates into a little over 150 days worth of addresses from inspired leaders called of God.  That’s five months, folks.  How long would it take you to read all of that material?  If the technology were available, how long would it take you to watch it all on DVD?  (You could try and read at least part of it; text from conference addresses is available on the Church’s website as far back as 1974.)  But the point is that there has been so much new scripture literally revealed from God since at least 1830 and, evidently, according to the statistical report of the Church given last Saturday afternoon, only 14,131,467 people of the world’s what, 6 billion plus (?) have realized this and consider it significant in their lives.  So what are we waiting for?
That question leads me to my next idea, taken from a talk given by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church.  He spoke on Sunday morning about a man named Saul who lived during the 1st century.  Saul was kind of a nasty character as we read about his beginnings in the book of Acts, but an event that takes place on the road to Damascus changes his life forever.  We read in Acts 9:3-6 “And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”

Are we looking for some kind of experience like this to get us to wake up and realize that God really speaks to men today?  And when I say today, I mean TODAY, the day you are reading this!  Our message as missionaries and messengers sent from Jesus Christ is that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us dearly and wants so much for us to return and live with Him in His kingdom to obtain all glory and all blessings!  That is what would await us if we would just repent and follow the example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and follow Him down into the waters of baptism.  Let us not “wait on the road to Damascus”, as President Uchtdorf said, for some kind of earth-shaking experience.  Many people today don’t believe in God for various reasons.  Maybe many of them want to believe and are expecting the heavens to open unto them and for the big, booming voice of God to declare to them in majesty, pomp, and circumstance His existence!  Does this even ever happen?  The answer is yes, on occasion, but 99.9% of the time the answer is no.  God gives unto us our testimonies and our knowledge gradually; line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little and there a little.  Then, one day down the road, when we look back, we’ll realize how far we’ve come, how much our faith has grown, how much we trust in our Savior, and how much we can’t wait to be with Him once more. 
I testify that the heavens are open.  God does speak to man.  He has a prophet here on the earth that receives divine revelation for every one of God’s children.  If we heed his counsels, it will be well with us at the last day.  We have five months worth of reading material to prove it.  I invite you to consider your relationship with your Heavenly Father.  Pray to Him in whatever way you know how.  He will always listen and He will always respond.  He loves you.  He wants you back.  Listen to His voice “whether by [His] own voice or by the voice of [His] servants, it is the same” (Doctrine and Covenants 1:38).  May each of us, Mormon or not, learn more of Heavenly Father and of His prophet, His apostles, and other servants in the world today is my prayer for all of you. 

                                                                                                                                -Elder Caleb Condie

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Push a Handcart or Share the Gospel


    Today while listening to General Conference, I was intrigued by the words of Dieter F. Uchtdorf when he said "Some members in this church would rather push a handcart hundreds of miles, than talk to their friends about the Gospel."  As I thought about this I laughed a little bit, but the reality is that there are some members who would rather do this.  But why?  We have the "Good news" of the savior!  This Gospel is something that has changed our lives and has the ability to change the life of every individual we know.  What joy would it bring to us, to give each person we knew a $100 Bill.  We would love to see the reaction on their faces, and we would be stunned if they were to turn us down.  We have in our possesion something that is above any earthly amount of money.  So I ask again, Why not share this with everyone we know? 


     The Savior said  "Lift up your voices unto this people;  speak the thoughts which I shall put into your hearts, and ye shall not be confounded before men" (D&C 100:5)  All the Lord asks is that we talk about the Gospel to our friends and say the things he would have us say.  I know that by doing this and sharing the Gospel, we will feel as Ammon did when he said "My joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God. … I cannot say the smallest part which I feel."(Alma 26: 11, 16)


     May we all lift up our voices and talk to our friends about this wonderful Gospel that our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ has given us. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Men of God



     These men are called of God!  With Jesus Christ as  their master and leader, they direct the work of the Lord on the earth today.  President Thomas S. Monson (above, middle) is the Lords prophet on the earth today.  He recieves direct guidance and revelation from the Lord, for the whole world and every individual on the face of it.  His two counselers assist him in this work and help him lead and build up the kingdom of God here on the earth. 


 These twelve men are  Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ.   Apostle was the title Jesus gave to the twelve whom he chose and ordained to be his closest disciples during his ministry on earth, and whom he sent forth to represent him after his ascension into heaven. The calling of an apostle is to be a special witness of the name of Jesus Christ in all the world, particularly of his divinity and of his bodily resurrection from the dead.

All of these men are going to be speaking to us this upcoming weekend.  Who wouldn't want to hear what they have to say?  Come and hear the words of prophets and apostles, I promise that if you do so and give heed to their words and counsel, you will be blessed and protected.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Best Two Years

      As a full-time missionary in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints we have the opportunity to be a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ for two years.  Many people may look at this as a burden.  What about school?  What about a career?  What a waste of two years!  I have heard these things 100's of times as I have been on a mission.  The joys and blessings of serving a full-time mission are so personally sacred, they are hard to express adequately.  I will try my best too explain just a few of them.


    The last thing that the Savior said before leaving his apostles was "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (Matt. 28:19)  This commandment is still in effect today and he calls each and every young man to go and serve a mission.  It is our responsibility to accept this call from the Savior.  When we accept and follow the Saviors command, blessings follow.  As a full-time missionary I have never experienced so much joy.  I have been able to serve and help so many people.  I have made so many friends out here, and more importantly I have seen many of these friends choose the savior and follow his example, and now these friendships can last an eternity. 

    I had an experience last week that reaffirmed to me how much joy missionary service brings.  I went back to my first area for the day, up in Mckinleyville.  While I was there I was able to visit the Sonato family.  Maria one of the daughters was the first person  of whom I helped baptize on my mission.  Going back and seeing her brought back so many memories and in that moment the spirit helped me realize that this joy and this friendship will be eternal.  Her life has truly been changed as she has chosen to follow the savior.  And as a result our friendship will last throught the eternities.  Is there anything else I could be doing in my life right now that would be better than that?

     I am so grateful to be a missionary.  I know that there is nothing at this time in my life that would have a greater benefit to my future than serving my heavenly father.  Something else that is bringing me such great joy is that my brother leaves on his mission this Wednesday.  He is going to be a powerful missionary.  I know the Lord will bless him for his service.  The Lord Jesus Christ is truly at the head of this work.  May we all share the gospel as our Father in Heaven commanded us.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Follow the Prophet: He Knows the Way

        With General Conference coming up in one week, I have thought about how important it is to follow the counsel of the living prophet. 


      Many people live in darkness, unsure of God’s will. They believe that the heavens are closed and that people must face the world’s perils alone. But as Latter-day Saints, we are blessed to know that the Lord, through his prophet, will instruct us on current matters.  In Amos 3:7 the Lord says, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."  Our Father in Heaven is not an absent Father, he will never leave us alone.  He will always guide us and give us counsel.  This is why he calls prophets, so that we are no longer in darkness. 

      Early in this dispensation the Lord made it clear just how important the counsel of his prophets is: “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” (D&C 1:38)  It is reassuring to know that in our time, when self-proclaimed experts on every topic and issue offer conflicting advice and opinions, we can rely and trust on one source for the truth. As we listen to the counsel of our latter-day prophets,  we will find clear, consistent answers and leadership.

   I know that there is only one true prophet on the face of the earth who speaks to all the world on behalf of the Lord, whose servant he is. Following the guidance given by our prophet is vital and will lead us to happiness and safety.

     P.S. General Conference is next weekend, Apr. 2nd-3rd.  Come and listen to the prophet of the world!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Earthquake and tragedy in Japan

                                      Why does God allow evil and suffering to occur? 

   This is a question that is going through peoples minds with the recent disaster in Japan.  Does this question have an answer though.  Through the scriptures we learn of several of the answers to this question. 

   First off we read in 2 Nephi 2 in the Book of Mormon "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so...righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad."(2 Ne. 2:11)  There will always be opposition, on a personal level and on a larger level.  This is how we grow, we each have experiences that test our faith.  They are there so we can become stonger and better, and ultimately closer to our Father in Heaven.   

         There is another verse in the Book of Mormon in Alma 62:41 that says "But behold, because of the exceedingly great length of the war between the Nephites and the Lamanites many had become hardened, because of the exceedingly great length of the war; and many were softened because of their afflictions, insomuch that they did humble themselves before God, even in the depth of humility."  It is interesting that each of these people went through the same trials, and they were big trials.  Some chose to harden their hearts and some chose to soften and humble their hearts.  When we are faced with trial and opposition, which do we do?

    "Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith.
 Nevertheless—whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with this people." (Mosiah 23:21-22)   I know that this is true, each and everyone of us has our own trials and tests of faith.  Disasters and tragedies happen but if we put our trust in God, we will be lifted up at the last day.  May we all be humble and have faith and trust in Lord.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

March Madness 2011


     This month has alway been an exciting one for me, I love the college basketball championship. The upsets, the cinderella stories, the competive atmosphere, the buzzerbeaters.  I love everything about it.  Basketball is my passion, I love playing it and I love watching it.  For the past two years though I have not been able to see it. Why?  Because I am dealing with my own madness as a missionary.


  This March has sure had a lot of great things, definitely worth missing a little basketball over.  I have seen three of my friends and people I love get baptized, Dennis and Linda Peters and also Aaren Benning.  Also I have moved to a new area, Sebastopol, CA.  There has been a lot of "madness" as I said.  The great thing though is that there is always one steady thing.  That is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  No matter what we are going through, The Gospel is a constant.  Jesus Christ is always there to guide us in our lives and as we rely and look on him we can stay calm amist all the "madness" we face in life, Good and Bad.

    I am thankful for the Gospel and for all the things it has done in my life.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011



               I have been transferred again to a new area.  I am sure going to miss the Bennett Valley ward, but the work will continue to move forward there.  I am excited to be able to serve the Lord in Sebastopol, CA.  I know I am going to meet some really great people there who are ready to receive the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

        In Alma 16 it says, "the Lord did pour out his Spirit on all the face of the land to prepare the minds of the children of men, or to prepare their hearts to receive the word."(Alma 16:16)  I know that this is true, the spirit of the Lord has been poured out upon the people of Sebastopol.  I am so excited to go and labor there with all my might.  I know that I will come to love it there as I have loved everyone one of my previous areas.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Humanitarian Services

   With the recent happenings in Japan, with the earthquake there, I have decided to write a post today about the humanitarian efforts of the church.        


    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides relief and development projects for humanitarian purposes in countries all over the world. Projects operate without regard to the nationality or religion of the recipients. Humanitarian service may include emergency response to natural disasters, such as an earthquake or a tsunami, or man-made disasters, such as the effects of war and famine.   Within hours of a disaster, the Church works with local government officials to determine what supplies and food are needed. Materials are then immediately sent to the area.  After urgent needs are met, the Church looks for additional ways to help with the long-term needs of the community.  

         Donations, principally from Church members but also from people around the world, are used to make relief projects possible. One hundred percent of the donations given to the Church’s humanitarian services are used for relief efforts. The Church absorbs its own overhead costs.   The Church  provided immediate  assistance in December 2004 to the tsunami-hit areas of Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka. The Church sent food and emergency supplies from the United States to the devastated areas.  In some areas, Church leaders, missionaries and Church members have worked to help individuals return to their livelihoods. Fishermen, farmers and weavers have been given the necessary tools that allow them to work and provide for themselves, their families and their communities.

     I am so grateful to be a member of this church, I know that as we serve others we are only serving our God.  May we all help out in whatever way we can to assist those who stand in need of our help.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Thou Mayest choose for thyself

   Agency is ones of God's greatest gifts.  Each and every one of us has been given the opportunity to make our own decisions.  This is a gift that is overlooked alot of the time. However, just think about how many times each day you utilize this gift.  Just imagine if it was taken away.


     Imagine going out to eat and ordering a steak, only to have the waiter tell you that you may not have it, that you must have the burger instead. How would you feel? The choice between steak and a burger is a fairly simple one, but it demonstrates a characteristic of human nature: we don't like to be forced into decisions we're capable of making for ourselves. Even when we face more serious decisions, ones with moral implications, it is important that we choose for ourselves. God gave us our agency and will always respect our freedom to make choices. While we are “accountable” for our choices and there will always be consequences for those choices both good and bad, God has never approved of using force. In fact, God has the spirit of freedom and He knows that the human spirit requires freedom to effectively serve and believe in Him. He told Adam and Eve not to eat the forbidden fruit, but He also said, nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself.” (Moses 3:17)

        We are encouraged to stand up for what we believe, regardless of prevailing opinion. It may not be easy, popular, or fun. Sometimes taking a stand means subjecting yourself to ridicule, slander or even abuse. In this kind of situation, a person can rely on the Lord to help them maintain their beliefs. He expects us to do what we believe is right in any situation, and He will help us have the moral courage to do it.  For example, just because many films portray physical intimacy before marriage as perfectly acceptable doesn’t mean it is. Our character will be developed and refined when we make choices based on what’s morally right. And despite prevailing wisdom, there really is a right and wrong in the world. Truth isn’t relative to ones circumstances and neither is sin.

       I know that as we use our agency to do good, we will be blessed in our life and we will find ourselves happy to the end of our lives and in a state of "never ending happiness" in the life to come. (Mosiah 2:41)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Good Things to Come

Today we were driving to go and visit someone who lived near our church. On the way we saw a couple of people we are teaching walking up the road. I didn't think much of it, then as we kept driving we saw their truck parked on the side of the road. It then clicked in my mind that maybe they needed help. So we drove to their house and asked them if they needed anything. They mentioned that their car ran out of gas. So we went with him to his car and he put a little bit of gas into it. It started right up, we gave him a few bucks so he could get some gas, and went on our way.

It reminded me of this mormon messages video:

This family that we have been teaching has been going through some tough times lately as well. They have been down on their luck in a few things. They have found peace and joy in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It has given them the hope to not give up.

We have all had times in life where things just don't go our way, we must always remember that if we follow Jesus Christ there are good things to come. They may not even come in this life, sometimes it will be the life to come that we will experience these good things. But eventually they will come.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Family Home Evening

What is family?  How can family home evening bless me and my family?


       Family home evening is a night of the week set apart to be with your family.  Traditionally, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints set Monday night as the day to be with the family.  We do things such as:  Sing songs, say prayers, do fun activities, share a gospel message and eat some dessert.   The family is the best place to teach the Gospel.  Only at home in families can children learn the true nature of families as appointed by our father in heaven. 

      Families who set a night apart to be together, to talk and to teach, will grow closer together as a family and will receive blessings from the Lord.  Family contention will decrease as we spend this time together and get to know each other better.  We all can too easily get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life.  We fill our days with too many activities and spend too much time trying to provide for our families.  Sometimes in this hustle and bustle we are so busy that we don't have anytime to spend with the family we are supporting.  We need to slow down and focus on the things that matter most to us.

     I am so glad that we have been counseled to set apart this day to have family home evening.  I know that as we take this time to be together, happiness in our family life will increase and the Lord will bless our families with the things we need.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blessings for obedience

     Yesterday we were teaching a family and they brought up a concern, they said "In the Book of Mormon it talks about how the Lamanites were cursed with a skin of darkness."  They then went on to ask, "is dark skin a curse, and are dark skinned people all cursed?"  

  This is a concern that many people have.  So the question:  Is dark skin a curse?  Does God really look at the color of our skin? The answer:  of course not!  In the Book of Mormon the Lamanites were cursed because of their own disobedience.  The Lord said early on the the people "Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper...and inasmuch as thy brethren shall rebel against thee they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord." (1 Nephi 2:20-21) The Lamanites did not choose to follow the commandments of the Lord and they rebelled against the prophet, thus they were cursed.  The curse was that they were cut off from the Lord's presence.  He no longer was there to help or guide them, until they would repent and return to him.  The skin of darkness was placed upon them to distinguish them from the Nephites.  


      Later on in the Book of Mormon the Lamanites did repent, and they were blessed again with the help of the Lord.  The prophet Nephi said of the Lord, "He inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile." (2 Nephi 26:33)  

     I know that the Lord looks at the level of our obedience, not at the color of our skin or any other physical trait or charecteristic.  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The peters


      This is the Peters family, we have been teaching them for about 4 months now.  This is a picture of them and their family during there daughter Athena's birthday.  It was so great to see them all together.  The Peters are going to be getting baptized on March 6th.

    They have had an interesting journey thus far, she was raised as a Jehovah's Witness and he is a native american with a Christian backround.  When we first met them they were willing to learn but the thought of joining the church was not even in their mind.  As the weeks went by things started to happen that helped them build a testimony.  They still felt unsure and not ready, they could see themselves joining after months more of learning.  These past few weeks they have made great strides though, and feel 100% that the church is true, the seed grew within them to a point where they can taste of the fruit.

    I am so happy to see them at the point they are now, the spirit has filled there life.  They are going to be such great additions to the kingdom of God.  They are going to bless so many peoples lives.  I love the Peters family

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Vallejo Reunion

       Yesterday and today I had to opportunity to go back to one of my old areas.  I went back to Vallejo where I served just over a year ago.   It was great to be back there and see some of the people I remember.  It was great to see that things are still doing great and the people I love are still going strong.

   There was one person in particular who I was especially joyous to see, his name was Marlon Jones.  I first met Marlon in December 2009.  We were walking down the street and we saw Marlon.  We went over and talked to him and he mentioned he just got out of surgery and that it would be best to come by another time.  At that time I had no idea that this encounter would lead to a strong and eternal friendship.    We went over the next night and taught him about the restored gospel and it brought hope and a sense of freedom to him.  We taught him for several months and he was baptized.  His life has been greatly changed ever since he has embraced the gospel.

    Today when I saw him again I felt the same way as Alma and the Sons of Mosiah did when they met together again for the first time in several years, Alma said "Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord" (Alma 17:2)   As I saw and talked to Marlon today, he is still my brother in the Lord.  He has such a strong testimony still and a devotion to follow Christ.

     I can't wait for the day that I get to reunite with all those I have met, and to see them still strong in the gospel.  It is what gives me added strength to always be obedient and live faithfully.  As Joseph smith said "there are many of whom I have loved, to them I am determined to prove faithful."

     May we all live faithfully in our testimonies of the gospel, so we can dwell in joy together.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

There is sunshine in my soul


    The past couple of days have been dark, cloudy, and rainy, here in Santa Rosa, CA.  I feel that when it rains there is a dreariness that comes over us and our moods are changed.  These feelings seem to last until the rays of sunshine fill the air again.

     Likewise we have times in our life where our soul is filled with a dark, cloudy dreary feeling.  These feelings come from the storms of life.  These may be caused from a lack of obedience to Gods commandments, recent hardships in our life, or other things that draw our attention and thoughts away from the Savior.  Many people do not know how to get rid of these feelings.  They don't know how to bring in the rays of sunshine into their souls.

   I Think of a song that we sing in church that goes like this 

There is sunshine in my soul today,

More glorious and bright
Than glows in any earthly sky,

For Jesus is my light.  

Oh, there’s sunshine, blessed sunshine
When the peaceful happy moments roll.
When Jesus shows his smiling face,
There is sunshine in the soul.

Jesus Christ is the light that will illuminate our souls and bring the joyous, peaceful, warming rays of sunshine back into our life.  I know that he lives and that as we turn to him we will be filled with light.  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

O Remember, Remember

We each have times in our life where we think to ourselves "God has forgetten me." or "God never answered my prayer." We look at the immediate circumstance we are in. I have these same feelings alot. I look back at my day sometimes and say what a crappy day, nothing good happened. When I reflect more carefully though I see the tender mercies of the lord, and I can see his many blessings in my life.

A big problem we all face is that we forget. We have experiences that are given to us to build our faith and we forget. We pray at times for guidance and direction and we don't recognize when God sends us the answer. Sometimes it is in a different way than we were expecting. I know that the Lord does answer each and every prayer. If we truly reflect upon it we will see the Lords influence in our lives.

I think of a story I heard a couple of months ago, it goes like this:

A man has been notified that his house is going to be flooded and he needs to get out of the house. He says no I don't have to, God is going to take care of me. Then the flood starts to rise and a sheriff comes along and tells him to get out. The man says no, God is going to save me. So, the floods continue to rise, and he climbs on top of the house. A boat comes along and he's told to climb into the boat. He says, no, no , God is going to save me. Finally, a helicopter comes along and they lower the net to rescue him. The man says, no, no, God is going to save me! Well, the man drowns and goes to heaven. When he gets to heaven he says to God, "why didn't you save me?" God says, "I sent the sheriff, I sent a boat, I sent a helicopter, what more did you want me to do?"

  I know that the Lord does answer prayers and that he does guide us in our lives.  May we all remember the blessings he has given us.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

As I have loved you

"As I have loved you, love one another.

This new commandment, love one another.

By this shall men know ye are my disciples

If ye have love one to another." 
(John 13:35)


  On this holiday may we all remember the words of the Savior and his command to all of us. We know that he was the perfect example of love and as we try our best to emulate him people will recognize us as his followers and disciples. We also learn in 1 John 4:8 that "God is love"

Friday, February 11, 2011

Awake O My soul

  Yesterday we were visiting with a man who just two weeks ago was in the depths of addiction.  He is a recent convert to the church and after he was baptized fell back into his old lifestyle of drugs.  He has been struggling with it for several months now.  When we went by two weeks ago, he was discouraged, depressed, and down. We told him to pray everyday for strength to go forward.

    We went by yesterday, and immediately as we walked in something felt vastly different.  He was happy, he was optimistic.  He was beaming with joy and hope.  As we continued to talk he mentioned that he has received answers to his prayers, and that he had been clean for 2 weeks now.  He mentioned how much better he felt and the hope he had for the future.  It was such a cool thing to see.  And it reminded me of verse from Nephi's Psalm in 2 Nephi 4 in the Book of Mormon "Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul."  (2 Nephi 4:28)

      His soul truly has been awakened!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Faith has a short shelf life

   Today we had a meeting with several other missionaries serving in the California Santa Rosa area.  We talked about various different things.  One thing that stuck out to me that I wanted to talk about today was that of faith having a short shelf life.


    We are told various times in the scriptures to nourish our faith and exercise our faith.  But what does this really mean? What does it mean to "nourish" or "exercise" our faith?  And what can it really do?

     I think of the scripture in Alma chapter 32 in the Book of Mormon that talks a lot about faith, and it compares it to a seed.  One verse that sticks out to me is Vs. 38-39 "But if ye neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out. Now, this is not because the seed was not good, neither is it because the fruit thereof would not be desirable; but it is because your ground is barren, and ye will not nourish the tree, therefore ye cannot have the fruit thereof."

    Sometimes we invite people to learn about this gospel, which can produce fruit that is "most desirable above all other fruit"  The people plant the seed and it might even grow a little bit.  But then they don't take time to water and feed the plant, by reading and praying.  The seed dies and they never taste of the fruit.  Or they do get to the point where they see the fruit, but then think all is well.  Then the tree withers away and they have no more fruit. It is essential to always nourish, and water the tree.  If we let our faith sit on the shelf, it will grow old and die. 


    The phrase "exercise our faith" sticks out to me alot as well.  Think about when we physically excersise... It takes along time to build up muscle even with daily training.  But if we were to stop for just a month or even a week, those muscles we build are weak again. We must at that point start all over.

      I know that we all must continue to strengthen and nourish our faith and never stop.  No matter where our tree is, if it is sprouting or it fills the sky.  We can never stop nourishing and exercising our faith.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Be ye not weary in well doing

   Today my thoughts will be brief.   We played basketball today, and it was the first time I have done so in about 2 weeks.  The whole time I was feeling fatigued, and tired.  Afterwards, I was exceedingly tired and sore.

     Sometimes we feel this way in life, we may feel too tired to do the right thing, we want to lower our standards at times because it is too hard to live a Christlike life.  We let opportunities to serve and help people slip by because we are "weary."  When I feel this way I think of what the apostle Paul counseled us to "be not weary in well doing." (2 thes. 3:13)  There are times in our life that we feel tired.  It is in these times that our true character shows.  Will we make the right decision or not, will we reach out to those who need our help or not.  Will we keep the commandments or not.


       I know that Christ can give us strength.  Paul once again said "I can do all things in Christ which strengtheneth me." (Phill. 4:13)  As we put our trust in Christ, we will have strength to push forward in the times when we feel tired in our lives.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Too hard to believe?

   The message of the restoration of the Gospel is miraculous.  Many people find it hard to believe, and many think that we are crazy to believe what we do.

     Joseph Smith, a 14 year-old boy, prayed to know which of all the churches was true.  In answer to that prayer, God the Father and his son Jesus Christ appeared to the young boy and answered his prayer.  They told him that the Gospel in it's fullness was going to be RESTORED to the earth again.  They told him that he would be called as a prophet and help in this great work.  Later he was led by an angel named Moroni to ancient scriptures written on golden plates.  He was able to translate them by the gift and power of God.  The priesthood was then restored to the prophet by the laying on of hands by Peter, James, and John, three of Christ's original apostles. 

    I know that this is true and that all of these things did indeed happen.  So how can you come to know these things are true?  How can one possibly believe a story so crazy as this? 

    I think it is important for one to first believe that God is a God of miracles. Many of us believe that in the past God was able to work many mighty miracles.  We read about them all the time in the Bible:  the parting of the red sea, the raising of the dead, the healing of the blind, the visitation of God in the burning bush to the prophet Moses.  Many of us believe that God wrought miracles in the past, but it is hard to believe that he could do so now.  "And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with power and great glory at the last day, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased?" (mor. 7:35)  We must each answer this question for ourselves.


     When we firmly believe that God can indeed work miracles we can then come to know that God has indeed restored his gospel upon the earth.  And the way we come to know is the same way Joseph Smith did.  We must Pray,  "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.   And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." (Mor. 10:4-5)

  I know that God is a God of miracles and that he appeared to the young boy Joseph Smith and called him to be a prophet.  I know this because I have read and prayed about the Book of Mormon.  I know that you too can come to know this is true by the same power. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Alex Boye

We all come from different backrounds, different experiences and different lives. But no matter who we are and where we were at one point, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is for us. Everyone in the world can find greater peace and happiness by living the Gospel. Alex Boye is one of my favorite examples of this, as he has embraced the gospel he has found true happiness. He is now one of my favorite singers.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

sharing the gospel

    Today I am going to share with you some thoughts I have had on sharing the gospel and how vital it really is.  I was lead to do this, after I watched a video "by small and simple things." In it President Henry B. Eyring shared some insights about sharing the gospel with your friends.


   "All of us who are under the baptismal covenant have promised to offer the gospel to others.  Sometimes, fear of rejection or of giving offense looms before us like an impassable obstacle. Yet some members clear that barrier with ease.  There is no single pattern in what they do. There is no common technique. Some always carry a Book of Mormon to give away. Others set a date to find someone for the missionaries to teach. Another has found questions which draw out feelings about what matters most in life to a person. Each has prayed to know what to do. They each seem to get a different answer, suited especially to them and to the people they meet." 

     "The Lord trusts His true disciples. He sends prepared people to His prepared servants. You have had the experience, as have I, of meeting people where you were sure the meeting could not have been by chance."

      President Eyring later said "Pray for the chance to encounter people who sense there could be something better in their lives. Pray to know what you should do to help them. Your prayers will be answered. You will meet people prepared by the Lord. You will find yourself feeling and saying things beyond your past experience. And then in time you will feel yourself drawing closer to your Heavenly Father, and you will feel the cleansing and the forgiveness the Savior promises His faithful witnesses. And you will feel His approval, knowing you have done what He asked of you, because He loves you and trusts you."


   I know that we all can be a tool in sharing the Gospel, it doesn't matter how much we know, all that matters is that we have a testimony.  The lord never said that he commands his knowledgeable children to share the gospel, he commands all his children who have tasted of his love to share it. 

    The lord has blessed us with the great gift of the Internet and social networks which makes communicating and sharing the gospel fast and easy.  It is a non-threatening way to invite people to learn of the gospel and receive answers to their questions.  I invite each of you to share the gospel with one of your friends either in person or via the Internet and partake of the great joy our Father in Heaven has promised us.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

living as an amputee

We all have trials in our life, these can either bring us down or lift us up. I was inspired by the story of Jarem frye, as his trial was one that brought him to great heights

May we all endure life's trials with faith and courage, afterall that is why we came here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Living prophet or dead prophet


Which one is more important to us, a living prophet or a dead prophet?

    President Ezra Taft Benson once spoke of "14 fundamentals in following the prophet" you can read the whole talk by clicking on the link Obedience to the prophets.   I want to talk about one of these fundamentals today.

   The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet:


      We learn a great lesson about this from the scriptures. In the times of Noah it was easier for the people to believe in the dead prophets, but it was difficult for them to believe in Noah. We know that because of their incredulity they did not survive the Flood.

       The living prophet will always counsel us to read and listen to the words of the past prophets and will never say anything contrary to that which they have said.  The reason however that a living prophet is more important is that he reveals to us what the lord wants us to hear now, while also revealing things past and things to come.  He has the power given to him to lead the lords kingdom on the earth today.  In Amos the we learn about the great importance of a prophet, it says "surely the lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secrets unto his servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7) We in these days need the lord to help and guide us, but he won't do this except he reveals it to a prophet.  And only a living prophet can receive this counsel.

   I know that Thomas S. Monson is the lords prophet and that he receives revelation from god for the whole earth.  The Lord promised us that if we believe in the holy prophets, we should have eternal life ( D&C 20:26)  I know that this is true!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Faith vs. Science


Can faith and science really o-exist together? Many people say that the two do not mix. I am here too say that they do, that you can't believe in the one without the other and that the more of one you learn the more knowledge you will have with the other. I love this example by Sergio Sanchez:

May we all have faith in the creator of this universe and all things pertaining to it!