Ads 468x60px

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dawn of a New Era

Transfers have come and gone, again, and this time it affected me.  I have been sent to the northernmost zone of our mission, in a city called Eureka, to be companions with Hermana Haslam.  Yes, that is correct, Hermana.  We are in an English/Spanish companionship.  So far it has been full of excitement and challenges.  Both of us are new to the area and thus have no idea what it's like, where anything is, who is in the ward, or which way is North.  But, don't you fret, we are up to the challenge.  The area is gorgeous and the people are extremely welcoming and kind.
One of the bigger challenges has been cleaning up the apartment and going through all of the information about the area.  It has taken us some time (and still is).  While going through the apartment we did find one of the neatest things I have seen on my mission.  Take a look....

It is a history of all the Elders that have served here since about 2000.  Crazy right?!  I was amazed at how many there were.  I mean, that is a rather long heritage of missionaries here in Eureka 2nd ward.  After the amazement I noticed the bottom of this very very long list.  Look below...
"The End of the Elders."  A legacy at an end.  From what I have gathered, there haven't been any Sisters here.  Hermana Haslam and I are the first.
A new legacy has begun and I am very excited about it.  This new transfer comes with new challenges and trials, but also new blessings and miracles.  Each area I have served in has taught me a valuable lesson. 
 My first area was where I truly learned what it meant to love the people and to have charity.  Loving everyone is not an easy task, but as we strive to see others the way Christ does, we are blessed. 
In my second area I learned a lot about myself.  What my weaknesses are and what I can improve on within myself.  Rough, but very rewarding.  "1And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." 
In my third area my future kept coming into mind.  Somewhat of a daunting idea, but it seemed to be in the forefront of my mind.  What would I do with my future?  What kind of person do I want to be?  How can I become the person the Lord wants me to be?  These questions continued to swirl around within my mind for what seemed to be forever.  What I learned was that I have become a different person than I was and that I want to become so much more.
I am so exited to see what Eureka has in store for me.  The people we will teach, the people I will meet, and everything the Lord has planned out.  What will Eureka teach me?  Well, I'll keep you posted on that one.

Friday, April 22, 2011

And the Sorting Hat sends you....

We all know I am a nerd.  This much has been established.  I embrace it.  Being the nerd that I am, undoubtedly I love love love Harry Potter.  What nerd doesn't?  Well, a few months before my mission my friend and I came up with the greatest Gospel-Harry Potter analogy ever!  Here it comes.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Double take

The last few weeks there have been 2 verses in the Book of Mormon that keep running through my head.  They are in 3 Nephi 11, which is an amazing chapter!  It is when Christ first comes to the Americas and begins to teach them about His doctrine.  Verses 37 and 38 are the ones that I keep coming back to.
 37 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.
 38 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.
Notice anything?  They are almost identical.  Very few differences.  But, the differences are what have been calling to me.  Let's focus on verse 37 for a minute.  We are to "become as a little child" before we are baptized.  We need to be humble and submit ourselves to the Lord.  Then, in verse 38, we are told to "become as a little child" after baptism.  Be humble and continue to do what the Lord asks of us.  Humble before and after.  Interesting....

Humility is being grateful to the Lord and knowing that we always need Him.  It is an knowing and accepting that our talents and abilities are gifts from God.  Really, what isn't a gift or blessing from Him.  Look around.  Everything on this earth was given to us by our loving Father in Heaven.  It is our responsibility to recognize this and give a little credit where it belongs (or a lot).  I love how Ammon puts it in Alma 26:
Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever....  Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel
I am nothing, but in the Lord can be made great.  By putting the Lord and His will first I allow Him to step in and make me into something better.  Humility is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign that we know where true power comes from.
To close, I'd like to share some of the lyrics from a hymn.  "Be thou humble in thy weakness, and the Lord thy God shall lead thee, Shall lead thee by the hand and give thee answer to thy prayers.  Be thou humble in thy pleading, and the Lord thy God shall bless thee, shall bless thee with a sweet and calm assurance that he cares."

Friday, April 15, 2011

Nerd Unleashed

A few weeks ago Sister Tucker and I stopped by a members home to see how they were doing.  While we were there, the boys started to talk Pokémon with us.  Of course I remembered the good old days when that frenzy first started and yes, I was a part of it.  Who wasn't?  It was the cool thing to be into.  Anyways, the longer we were there the more I realized I knew a LOT about the subject at hand.  I hadn't forgotten a thing.  From Pikachu to Vaporeon, I knew what was up.  All my companion could do was look at me in shock.
Part of what we do as missionaries is reach out to the lost sheep.  Those that had a strong burning testimony at some point, but have since forgotten that feeling.  Luckily, that knowledge is never completely gone.  Just as the nerd inside of me came out from seemingly no where, so can a long lost testimony shine forth from obscurity.  Elder Henry B. Eyering said:
"It won’t be easy to remember. Living as we do with a veil over our eyes, we cannot remember what it was like to be with our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, in the premortal world; nor can we see with our physical eyes or with reason alone the hand of God in our lives."
Moses too warned of our forgetting.  He said "... take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life.."  It is easy to forget things.  Even easier, sadly, is to forget the Lord.  We get caught up in pride and things of the world and forget that the Lord's hand is in all things.  But, the Savior gave us the key to remembering. 
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
The Holy Ghost is that key.  He will help us to remember the things that we may have forgotten.  We may forget, but if we strive to be worthy of the Holy Ghost then he can help us remember.  "O Remember Remember" is said over and over in the scriptures for a reason.  Let's not make the Lord have to repeat himself 3 times.  Remember Him and receive His blessings.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thanks to my Friends

Today I would just like to briefly share something that has been on my mind.  As I have been online today, talking to others, reading blogs, and pondering upon what I wanted to say, the thought that kept popping into my mind was friends.  My thoughts kept being drawn to the many amazing friends that I have in my life.  Some I've known since birth, some from before my mission, and some I have found while on my mission.  As I continued to ponder about all of my friends, I remembered a quote from the movie "The Little Rascals":  "You only meet your once in a lifetime friends... once in a lifetime."  All I can say to that is "Amen!"
There are so many people that come in and out of our lives.  Many come and go, but many come into our lives and stay forever.  Each person I have become friends with has changed my life.  Some are drastic changes, others  are smaller, but each person has helped mold me.  To all those that have come into my life, thank you!  Who I am is because of you.  To all those I have yet to meet, I'm excited to be friends.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Unavoidable Danger

You know those times where you see something coming and there is nothing you can do to stop it?  When you are literally stuck in a corner with no way out.  Well, you're not alone.  There was one experience in my own life a few years ago.

It was a hot summer day and it was time to head to work.  Being the pool junkie that I was, you can only guess where it was I was working; the pool.  Usually I would drive our little Toyota Corolla to work.  It was basically my car.  But, on this occasion, I found the car missing.  The curse of younger brothers!  Yeah, he borrowed my car thus leaving me the giant mammoth to drive (aka our Suburban).  The Suburban wasn't really that bad to drive.  It was just incredibly hot.  No AC=death in the summer time.  Slightly annoyed, I left for work. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Please let me Help!

As missionaries, we are asked to look for opportunities to serve and help those around us each day.  It is part of our calling, along with teaching and proclaiming His gospel.  Usually, we will ask those we meet if there is anything we can help them with.  You can probably guess what the reply is about 99% of the time; "no, we're good.  But thanks."  I feel like Russell does a lot of the time.  There must be something I can help with.
In the Book of Mormon, a great king and prophet named King Benjamin gave us this counsel.  "1And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."  Likewise, the Savior taught this parable in Matthew to emphasize the importance of service.
34 Then shall the King say unto them..., Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
As we serve others, we are serving God.  After studying about the Savior and everything He has done for us, I have come to discover for myself that his whole life was one giant act of service.  Jesus Christ never had one day of being selfish.  He never stopped serving.  We can learn from His example.  “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).  May each of us go out and serve.  Show God that you are willing to help His children and be a disciple of Christ. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Felt like Dying!

Fasting is to go without food and drink voluntarily for a certain period of time.  Sounds crazy right?  Well, that was my opinion when I first started fasting.  At the age of 8 my parents start to have us fast.  Being the oldest in my family, I was the first of my siblings to join my parents in fasting on fast Sunday.  It began with a prayer.   A prayer to dedicate our fast to a specific cause or for a specific reason.  At this point, I was doing good. 
As the day went on, my insides began to yell and throw a tantrum.  I was beginning to think that this whole "fasting" thing was a new way for my parents to torture me.  It didn't help that I had to watch my brothers eat ALL day long....Or so it seemed.  Death was upon the horizon for me.

I continued to wither away, laying on the couch, waiting to break our fast.  As I laid on the couch I kept my handy bag of potato chips clutched in my grasp till the time I could partake of them.  Luckily, the time FINALLY came!  My mom and dad told me it was time.  As they spoke I pictured a ray of heavenly light beaming down and a chorus of "ah's" rang within my ears.  It was time!  We broke our fast with a prayer and then I ripped apart the bag of chips and chowed down.

Reflecting back upon this experience I know what it was I was missing.  I wasn't focused on the reason we were fasting.  When we fast with purpose, we are able to put aside our carnal needs for a greater need or desire.  A more righteous desire we want from our Heavenly Father.  "Fasting, coupled with mighty prayer, is powerful. It can fill our minds with the revelations of the Spirit. It can strengthen us against times of temptation" (Joseph B. Wirthlin).  Someone once told me "fasting without a purpose is just stupid starvation."  Allow yourself to be spiritually fed when you fast by fasting with a specific purpose.  I can promise you that the Lord will hear your prayers and enlighten your mind.  It works!  Try it!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

He likes me for Me!

When people try and guess my name, it usually doesn't take very long to get it right.  I look exactly like the stereotypical "Brittany."  Blond hair and blue eyes.  Yep, I'm a Brittany.  One of the streets I lived on had 4 of us, all on one street!  It was crazy!  We were also all around the same age (twilight zone music starts now).  To sum this up, I have felt, at times, unimportant and have struggled to feel unique. 
Each of us has to struggle at some point in our lives with who we are.  Develop our own sense of self worth and become our own selves.  The Lord said to the prophet Jeremiah "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee..."  A simple truth that God knows us.  He knows us personally, individually, perfectly, and eternally.  He is our Father and He cares about us.  There is something special in the parables of the lost sheep when Christ talks of going off in search of the one.
  4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
 5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing
Each one of us is special in the eyes of our Savior.  He is willing to go out in search of us and bring us back into the fold because we are that important to Him.  "1Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;..."

I matter.  I am a wonderful, beautiful, chosen daughter of God.  I know that each of you is a child of a loving Heavenly Father that wants you to be happy now and forever.  He loves you no matter what!  "Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one... (emphasis added)"  Be happy to be who you are; a child of God.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...