Saturday, February 23, 2013

Analogy of the pen!

One of the amazing blessings of being a missionary is that occasionally we have Apostles come to our mission to speak to us and today was one of those days!  It was such a joy to see an Apostle of the Lord, Elder Dallin H. Oaks came and inspired us with how we can improve as missionaries. He taught in such an amazing loving way that we are instruments in the hands of the Lord and we must be sure to allow the Lord to use us as he has planned.  He used this great analogy about how if someone is going to use a pen it needs to have ink, it needs to be in working order and it needs to be in a position to be used by someone. If we apply this to ourselves; we need to have knowledge inside of us, we need to be in working order by following God's commandments and we need to be in a position to be used by the Lord. I loved that! If any of those things are not working quite right then the pen isn't fulfilling its purpose! It's the same with us; if we don't know God's word, are not following his commandments and are not letting him use us for his work then WE are not fulfilling our purpose here on earth.

Look into your own life and see what you need to change to allow yourself to be a better instrument in the hands of the Lord. If you need more knowledge then start reading and praying and doing the work to gain knowledge. If you are not in working order, following the commandments, then take an inventory of your life and repent and realign your actions with of the Savior's. If you don't feel that you are being used by the Lord to do his work then pray for opportunities and don't let your fear overpower your faith and act on those promptings!

I know that as we repent and change and better ourselves we will be used to do amazing works in the hands of the Lord. We will change and we will be more like him.  Now as my amazing mission president, President Mckee would say, "Let's repent with rejoicing" and get on with the rest of our lives! I hope you are all having a wonderful happy Saturday! :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Beautiful to Him

I haven't been very good at keeping up with my blog and its not because I don't have anything to write. I've just gotten really busy when I'm on line! I will be better...I only have 6 weeks left in my mission and I'm going to post be sure to post 3 more times before I go home! 

As I've been reflecting back on my mission and all the things I've learned and done I've been thinking a lot about how important every person I meet is to God. We often get frustrated and discouraged in this harsh world we live in but as we turn to our loving Heavenly Father in prayer he will show us our worth. Jesus Christ tells us throughout the scriptures that "the worth of souls in great in the sight of God." God knows and loves us all individually. I was reading a talk by President Uchtdorf entitled 'You Matter to Him' and I loved this quote from it;

"And while we may look at the vast expanse of the universe and say, “What is man in comparison to the glory of creation?” God Himself said we are the reason He created the universe! His work and glory—the purpose for this magnificent universe—is to save and exalt mankind. In other words, the vast expanse of eternity, the glories and mysteries of infinite space and time are all built for the benefit of ordinary mortals like you and me. Our Heavenly Father created the universe that we might reach our potential as His sons and daughters."

I'd like to end with this beautiful song that I was introduced to on my mission by an amazing woman.  She had this song sung at her baptism and the spirit was so strong in the room.  Its called 'Beautiful to Him' by Rachel Thibodeau. 

"I'm not going to buy the world's little lies. 
I define myself and find my beauty in the light he gives.
I'm refined by his divine intentions everyday I live.
It does matter what the world believes
or what they say that beauty means.
It comes from within I want to be beautiful to him."

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Reach the top!

Waterton National Park in the day!
So today I was thinking about how sometimes life just isn't what we expect it to be. At the start of my mission I was so overwhelmed, confused and unsure of what to do and how to be a powerful missionary. I got this amazing letter from a friend of mine that had this great encouraging analogy!

When I first came to Tennessee I didn't think I was making a difference and my experience wasn't living up to the picture I'd had in my mind.  I just wanted to throw in the towel and return to the wonderful easy fun filled life I had left behind, but little did I know the joy I could feel out here in good old Tennessee! 

So on one of those particularly hard days I got this epic letter from my friend and he reminded me of this great night in Waterton National Park in Alberta (that's in the beautiful country north of this one...CANADA!).  We had set out to climb a mountain called 'Bear's Hump' in the dark!  I remember starting off the adventure with a big group of us all together ascending the mountain by the light of the moon.  It started off fun and exciting and then it got hard.  It was a steep incline and even though I thought I was in shape I soon found myself at the back of the group struggling to catch my breath.

That's how it was at the start of my mission, I had a strong testimony of the things that I was going to teach to people but then all of a sudden when I had to actually do it, I felt like a fish out of water. I didn't know what I was doing and didn't think I would ever figure it out. 

Happy Hikers!!
But just as I did when I climbed 'Bear's hump' I continued on.  I had this great friend who stayed with me all of the way up!  He waited with me when I needed to take a break and he offered just the right amount of encouraging words as we climbed together. 

As I found myself struggling on my mission one day I got this great letter from this same friend, in it he said
"It won't be easy, but it is more than worth it.  Remember when we were in Waterton climbing Bears Hump?  It was hard and there were times when you wanted to turn back but when you reached the top and saw the moon reflected on the lake and felt the wind on your face, I know that made it all worthwhile!"

He was so right! In that moment I was struggling but I just needed to keep on going and now as I'm getting close to the end of my mission I can look back and see all these amazing moments where I grew stronger in my testimony of Jesus Christ and his restored gospel.  There have been some hard times on my mission but they are outnumbered by the amazing moments where I was able to be an instrument in the hands of God to help others grow in their faith.  Nothing beats that feeling of knowing that you were in the right place at the right time and God was able to use you move his work forward. I have reached the top of many mountains on my mission and seen the beautiful view and felt the peace and love of my Father in Heaven!

As we came to the top of the mountain and I saw the beautiful view with the mountains surrounding the  lights of the town below I felt so much peace and accomplishment! I remember going off by myself and sitting there marveling in the beauty and the peace. Just remember that the trial will one day be over and you will find the peace and the comfort and you will know that God loves you.  Be patient!

Ill end with another quote from the letter..."Not everyday is going to be super fun or full of joy, but a lot of them will be! And the blessings you get are beyond compare! Just remember that I am rooting for you and praying for you, so when you get discourages, put that finger in the air and say "Shove it Satan!" I know you can do it!"
The view from the top of Bear's Hump, the picture doesn't do it justice!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Personal Prophetic Epistle

Its General Conference this weekend!!! I'm so excited to hear our beloved Prophet speak! What an amazing opportunity we have to go and listen to the Prophet and other inspired men and women speak to us about the gospel.  Last General Conference Elder Holland of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles said this,

"If we teach by the Spirit and you listen by the Spirit, some one of us will touch on your circumstance, sending a personal prophetic epistle just to you."

My friends and I waiting to watch conference live!
I love that quote! When I heard that last conference it was such an inspiration to me. So I decided to test it out.  As I sat there at conference I focused on questions I had and inspiration that I needed to better fill my role as a missionary. I know that my Father in Heaven loves me so much and wants to communicate to me, he's just waiting for me to ask. So all throughout the conference I wrote down all the inspiration I was given, the feelings that I had and the great quotes I wanted to remember. I looked for answers to my questions and concerns in the things that people said and in the thoughts that the spirit brought to my mind. The result was revelation specific to me and my concerns. I compiled all the moments where God answered my questions and the times I felt inspired to act or change and now I have my own Personal Prophetic Epistle!  It was another witness to me that God loves me personally and will answer my questions!

Our Prophet! Can't wait to hear from him!

So it's that time of year again!! Its conference this Saturday and Sunday.  I'm excited to get another Personal Prophetic Epistle and I hope you are too!  So get your pen and paper ready and bask in the love you will feel from our loving Heavenly Father.  Let me know your experiences!! I can't wait to hear from you all!

Check out this website to watch it online or tune in on BYU channel or go to your local meeting house to watch 10am and 2pm Mountain Standard Time October 5th and 6th. Or come watch it with me in Nashville at 11am and 3pm at 3600 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville Tennessee!

Check out this link of how to prepare yourself for General Conference!

Check out this video about preparing for General Conference!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Why Do we Need to go to Church???

For the past year I have been working my hardest at getting people to come to church! I am constantly inviting people and trying to help them see the reasons why we need to go to church and how it will benefit their lives. So lets list some of the reasons why we go to church

- To partake of the sacrament and renew our baptisimal covenants and be cleansed from our sins
- To show God our love and faith in him
- To build our own faith by the things we hear and feel
- To follow the commadments God has given us
- To recieve blessings from God
- To build close relationships with fellow christians 
- To recieve personal revelation from God, answers our questions and concerns

The reason I want to focus on today is that last recieve personal revelation from God.  I am so grateful to know that I have a Father in heaven who loves me and is willing to answer my questions.  Last week I went to a meeting and the speaker at the meeting had us all write down the questions that we had and to listen for answers throughout the meeting. As I sat through that meeting and pondered on my questions I recieved answers to all of them, either through something one of the speakers said or from a thought placed in my mind by the spirit. It was an amazing experience to remind me that I am important to God and he WILL answer my questions.  I know that as you come to church and have questions in your heart God will answer you! He wants us to be happy and to make right choices, pay attention to the things that are said and to the thoughts that come into your mind.  Personal revelation is amazing!!

I challenge you all next time you are at church to come with a question in mind and listen and seek an answer.  God will answer you!

I'd like to end with a quote from President Utchdorf

"In our learning, let us not neglect the fountain of revelation. The scriptures and the words of modern-day apostles and prophets are the sources of wisdom, divine knowledge, and personal revelation to help us find answers to all the challenges in life. Let us learn of Christ; let us seek out that knowledge which leads to peace and truth."

Check out these talks for more thoughts on personal revelation

Friday, July 27, 2012

I have been thinking a lot about motivation these past few weeks. What motivates a person to do good and what motivates a person to do bad? What motivates us to wake up every morning and go?

If we take a look at my life as a missionary.  I start every morning promptly at 6:30am and I get up exercise and get ready for the day and by 8am I am sitting in my chair studying. I study my scriptures and a study manual called Preach my Gospel and prepare for the lessons I have planned to teach that day.  Some mornings I feel excited to study and to learn from the scriptures and some mornings I long for more sleep.  Then I spend my days from 10am until 9pm teaching people about the gospel of Jesus Christ and looking for people that I can teach.

So why do I do it? Why do missionaries knock on your door uninvited? Why do we try to share our faith with people who already have a faith in Jesus Christ?

We do it all because we ourselves have been transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ and we know that as the worlds lets us into their homes they to can be transformed by our message.  We have another Testament of Jesus Christ that every Christian person should be excited to read and to ponder on.  I have seen the gospel and this book transform my life, it gives me reason to live and work hard everyday.  I know that I have a Father in Heaven who loves me and cares about me and wants me to communicate with Him through sincere prayer. I love to read the scriptures and as I read The Book of Mormon and the Bible I feel the love of my Father in Heaven and I find answer to the many questions that plague my heart in the scriptures.  

Catherine Cantwell a wonderful missionary!!

My life right now is quite different from what I had ever imagined it to be like.  I never imagined myself to be living in Tennessee serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but here I am.  I love talking about the gospel and sharing my faith with those that I meet because I know that I am doing what my Saviour Jesus Christ would be doing if he were here on the earth.  I have the great opportunity and responsibility to be a representative of Jesus Christ and that's why I do it, because I love Jesus and I want him to be proud of me.  I wouldn't be out here on a mission if it weren't for the great people that have been a part of my life and their great examples!  This picture is of my friend Catherine Cantwell who was arguably one of the greatest missionaries I've ever know!

"A testimony of the gospel is a personal witness borne to our souls by the Holy Ghost that certain facts of eternal significance are true and that we know them to be true" -Dallin H. Oaks

Friday, June 8, 2012

What thinks Christ of Me??

In this past general conference there was an amazing talk given by Elder Neal L. Andersen (one of the 12 Apostles) entitled "What Thinks Christ of Me?".  I love this question, its a perfect question to ponder and to help us to recenter our lives on Christ. He also asked “Does my life reflect the love and devotion I feel for the Savior?”  Those great questions made me think about my own life and think about how my actions reflect my devotion to my Savior. Right now I am a missionary and everyday I get to wear a name tag that has my name and Christ's name on it.  Putting that name tag on every morning is a great reminder of the great responsibility I have as a christian to represent Christ.

We have many choices throughout the day and in every choice we have the opportunity to honor Christ.  When we are faced with challenging situations we can choose to do what the Savior would do or we can choose to do what we want to do.  Often the things Christ would do are not the easiest or most convenient choice but as we put our faith in Jesus Christ he will help us to do the things he requires of us.  In the same talk Elder Andersen said;

"Wherever you now find yourself on the road of discipleship, you are on the right road, the road toward eternal life. Together we can lift and strengthen one another in the great and important days ahead. Whatever the difficulties confronting us, the weaknesses confining us, or the impossibilities surrounding us, let us have faith in the Son of God, who declared, All things are possible to him that believeth.”

We need to believe and have faith and follow Christ, it doesn't matter where on that road to following Christ we are it just matters that we are moving forward.  We need to do the things we have been asked to do, follow the commandments and do our best.  As we do these things we are promised blessings.  I love this scripture in The book of Mormon, Mosiah 2:41

"And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it."

I'd like to end with Elder Andersen's parting words at the end of his talk.

"I testify that as you love Him, trust Him, believe Him, and follow Him, you will feel His love and approval. As you ask, “What thinks Christ of me?” you will know that you are His disciple; you are His friend. By His grace He will do for you what you cannot do for yourself."

For a link to the original article click on this link: