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)