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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Stayin Alive or Biting the Dust?

Many many years ago, in a state not so far away, I wasn't a missionary (gasp!).  Yes, once upon a time I was a real person that did things other than preaching the gospel.  One of those things was working at the local recreation center as a pool coordinator.  While working at the pool, I was able to become certified as a CPR instructor.  Last night, I was thinking about the 2 songs used when doing CPR.  I realize this sounds a little strange, but hear me out.

The compressions for CPR are supposed to be about 100 beats per minute.  An easy way to know if you are doing that is to get a rhythm going in your head.  There are 2 songs I know that are the exact beat needed when doing CPR, "Stayin Alive" and "Another One Bites the Dust."  Obviously, one of them is a LOT more encouraging then the other....
Being an acronym lover, CPR has become a whole new thing while on my mission.  It usually stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation,  which keeps us alive physically.  In mission terminology it is Church, Prayer, and Reading.  Those are the things that help keep us alive spiritually.  It seems so simple right?  That's because it is.  The catch is, we have to continually do those things.  If we take a break or stop, our spirit suffers for it (or "Bites the Dust).  " small and simple things are great things brought to pass."  It is the little things we do each day that keep us on track and healthy spiritually.  Stay Alive!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


There has been a lot on my mind lately.  So many questions and concerns that my head has become it's own swirling cosmos that seems to have no end.  Needless to say, I have had a lot to sift through.  Things I thought I knew and had planned out are being questioned.  Concerns about what lies ahead have become rather daunting.  How can peace come to such a madhouse as this?  First, I said a handy dandy prayer and asked the Lord for some guidance.  That's always the answer it seems right?  To pray.  But it is true and it works! 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Down by 1

Elder Trevor Nestman, Elder Christopher Nestman, Sister Nestman

For those faithful followers of my blog, you are aware that I have 2 brothers out serving missions as well.  Major blessing for my family!  But, that can only last so long.  My brother, Elder Christopher Nestman, sent his last email as a missionary today.  He will be headed home in less than 2 weeks.  He shared some words of wisdom with the rest of us in his email that I would like to share.
"So as my last e-mail to my sister and brother while I'm a missionary I just want to say that being a missionary is the most amazing experience you can ever have.  It really is a chance for you to let the Lord work on you and improve you more than any other time in your life.  While we're teaching our investigators we really are the Lords investigators.  Be humble and let Him change you.  When the two of you really let that happen, that's when you're mission becomes a life changing experience and you become a better you." 
I love when he says "we are the Lord's investigators."  We are always learning from Him.  He is the ultimate teacher and one that can guide us to where we need to be.  Too often we lose sight of that.  Forget who really is the teacher in this life.  We are all investigators.  Each of us is learning daily how to become better then we are today.  Each day we have a higher 100% we can reach.  Become a better you.  Be humble and let Him change you.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Give up my Stuff?

There are many questions that we ask in life.  Some questions, are ones we ask to ourselves, others are directed at someone else.  While reading in Matthew, it is easy to see that the master question asker is Jesus Christ.  Not only does he ask profound, thought provoking questions, but he also gives some of the greatest answers as well.  The story I would like to share today is found in Matthew chapter 19 verses 16-23.  It begins with a man asking Christ a question.

16 ¶And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have aeternal life?  (important question)
 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none agood but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into blife, keep the ccommandments.....
  20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
 21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be aperfect, go and sell that thou hast, and bgive to the cpoor, and thou shalt have dtreasure in heaven: and come and efollow me.
 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had agreat possessions.
This man was asked to give Christ all that he had and follow Him.  Not just some, but all.  Elder Bruce C. Hafen said "If we must give all that we have, then our giving only almost everything is not enough. If we almost keep the commandments, we almost receive the blessings."  Do we shrink at the thought of giving all we have?  Do we go away with sorrow in our hearts, putting the treasures of this life behind us?
I love how Jesus emphasizes doing away with the worldly things and focus on the "treasure's in heaven."  That is what matters.  The things of this earth will pass with time, but the things of heaven are eternal.  We should be striving to reach eternal life daily.  It should be at the forefront of our minds.  "We can have eternal life if we want it, but only if there is nothing else we want more." (Elder Bruce C. Hafen)  It is up to us to use our agency and choose eternal life.  If we give it our all, it will be enough.  Put aside the natural man to become something more.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Maybe we are all like Cain

This past week I have been reading a talk by Hugh Nibley entitled "Leaders and Managers."  At first, I found it a bit intense and had to re-read parts of it over and over.  But, by the end, a giant light bulb turned on.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  Biggest "a-ha" moment I have had in a while.  I could go on and on about the talk and why everyone should read it, but I choose to focus on a particular part of the talk.  Towards the end, Hugh Nibley speaks of an assignment he gave to his students where they were to compare themselves with some character in the Pearl of Great Price.  The student he quotes chose Cain.
Many times I wonder if many of my desires are too self-centered.  Cain was after personal gain.  He knew the impact of his decision to kill Abel.  Now, I do not ignore God and make murderous pacts with Satan; however, I desire to get gain.  Unfortunately, my desire to succeed in business is not necessarily to help the Lord's kingdom grow [a refreshing bit of honesty].  Maybe I am pessimistic, but I feel that few businessmen have actually dedicated themselves to the furthering of the church without first desiring personal gratification.  As a business major, I wonder about the ethics of business--"charge as much as possible for a product which was made by someone else who was paid as little as possible.  You live on the difference."  As a businessman will I be living on someone's industry and not my own?  Will I be contributing to society, or will I receive something for nothing as did Cain?  While being honest, these are difficult questions for me.
All I could think was wow!  I have NEVER thought of my future desires that way.  Am I working towards the betterment of the Lord's kingdom?  Is the first thought when I ponder my future "how will this help the Lord?"  Honestly, this has changed how I view my future.  There is so much re-analyzing that needs to happen.  This student made me realize how much like Cain I truly am. 

Many of the plans I have for my future involve the betterment of myself.  It may sound selfish, but it's true.  I want to finish school and further my education.  But my desire for that isn't, or wasn't, to help God's kingdom.  A new challenge has been erected in my mind.  My future goals are being re-evaluated and being sifted.  The new goal for my goals (if that makes sense) is for them to help in the furthering of the church.  This task is far from easy.  In fact, it is down right hard.  I am too human for it to be any other way.  But, I know that with the Lord's help, it can be done.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I think we missed our exit......

The other night I had one of those "special" moments we all know and love.  It could also be referred to as a "blonde moment", but we won't go there.  So, my companion and I were over in Fairfield using the Family History Center to do online missionary work.  We have been there numerous times and know exactly how to get there.  Which is a fairly big accomplishment for me (not the best with directions.....).  After working online for a while it was time to head home for the night.  We drove the usual way.  Veering another way is never a good thing in the "Driving Handbook of Sister Nestman."  Just gets me more lost and confused.  This time going home, for one reason or another, we missed the exit to our house.  We were either distracted, not paying attention, or lost track of where we were.  In any case, I got off the right path and had to make a detour.
As I thought about my little escapade, I immediately thought of how there are times in life that I have had to take a detour.  There have been soooo many times in my life where I have found myself distracted from my main goal.  Times where I have lost sight of my actual destination.  It's not called the "straight and narrow path" for no reason.  It wasn't meant to be easy, but it is worth it and we do have help.  If I had been paying better attention, I would have seen the sign that said "Cordelia Exit."  The Lord also gives us street signs and warnings.  He gives us direction so we can find our destination.  Some of these "street signs" or "directions" are the scriptures, prophets, the spirit, and so much more.  He is ALWAYS there to guide us.  It is up to us to follow or not.   

For those that miss their exit, like me, there is a way back.  We can always change the direction of our travel.  This is done through repentance.  Knowing you aren't living in accordance to the Lord's teachings and then changing your ways.  Relying on Jesus Christ and His infinite atoning sacrifice for us.  Sometimes, changing our ways can be a long process.  You may not be able to turn around right then.  It may take time.  But, there is always a way back.  Always a way to get back on track.  Yes, I did make it home and yes, I am still working on getting back home to my Heavenly Father.  Again, not easy, but worth it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

How can I go on?

I would like to share a letter I received.  It cut me to the core when I read it.  There has been some editing for privacy, but I'd like you to visualize how this person feels as you read it.

"I guess I just have a lot on my mind that I need to get out....  There are so many things going through my mind I feel like I am almost going insane.  Literally going insane.  I cannot make my mind just think straight, I want too; I really do, but it just won't.  I wake up every morning and I ask myself, "Is life worth living?  Do I ask for help?" 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

You are not Alone

There are moments in life that make you think.  Make you take a step back and wonder what it is that really matters.  Today, I met someone and had one of these moments.  We walked up and the first thing they said was "I don't recognize you, but come on in and let me show you my garden."  It is people like this that just make a missionaries day.  Those with a warm heart and a kind smile.  After seeing the garden and the yard we went inside to talk.  Conversation began with the usual "what's your name, where are you from, how long have you been a missionary" type questions.  Then, we started to learn more about her.  After a little we learned that the past few years had been extremely lonely.  She had been divorced, children had little contact, and she really had no one around.  My heart hurt for her.  Feeling lonely is not how anyone should feel.  
How many people are there out there that feel this way?  That need to feel love in their life?  Need to have someone there that cares?   While reading in Matthew chapter 12 the other day, the last few verses really stuck out.

48But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
 49And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my amother and my brethren!

 50For whosoever shall do the awill of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my bbrother, and sister, and mother.
Christ loves everyone perfectly and equally.  No one is placed above another.  He loved the stranger on the street the same as He loved His own mother.  His love is there for every one of us.  You are not alone.  He is there!
This is why I am here.  To help others to learn of His love and be enfolded in it.  It is one of the greatest gifts we could ever have and is given freely to all.  I love my Savior and know that He loves me and each of you.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tyrant or Leader?

What makes a good leader?  Is it the person that is the loudest?  The person who wears the coolest clothes?  The one with the biggest sword?  Maybe the individual with the most money?  Yesterday morning, during the trainers meeting, we discussed what a good leader is like.
We began by saying what we liked and didn't like about our trainers.  The good and the bad.  For some, this was hard.  For others, it was fairly easy.  The general consensus for what a good leader should be came out to a couple of things..... 

First, was to be confident.  A good leader is full of confidence in themselves and those they work with.  They trust in those they work with and around.  Second, be happy.  Love what you do!  No one wants to follow a stick in the mud.  Be energetic and excited!  If  you want others to be enthusiastic and happy, you have to be that happy and enthusiastic.
"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way , and shows the way."  The ultimate example of a leader, was Jesus Christ.  He showed us the way and the path that we should follow.  He invited us in 2 Nephi 31 to "....Follow thou me." 
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