Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Holy Ghost and Wheel Chairs.

The blessings of the Holy Ghost seem innumerable to me.  The more experiences and trials I have had in life, the more I have been able to see how much the Holy Ghost does in my life, and how much He has done in the past.  When we are humble and seek after Jesus Christ, we can feel the Spirit work in our lives.

I remember the feelings of sorrow and despair I have had with the trials in my own life.  After multiple injuries and damages to my joints, I remember being in a wheel chair self-pitying myself and feeling as if the hope of a happy future was gone.  It was at this time I was able to go to a devotional where Elder Bednar spoke to just the young single adults in our stake.  He promised us we could write down a question, and if we listened to the spirit, we could find the answer that evening as he spoke.  The question I wrote down was quite simply “how long?”  It was not until after he finished speaking that I was able to find the answer.  The closing hymn was #85, “How Firm a Foundation.”  As soon as the music started, I remember the overwhelming sense of assurance that came over me.  I was not even able to recognize what the words of the song were.  But I do know the feeling of comfort that I felt.  I knew that everything would be fine.  I did not know how long my trial would continue, but I did know that despite what would happen I would have the support of Christ in everything I did.

That comfort and assurance comes to us because of the Holy Ghost.  One of my favorite verses from the New Testament reads; “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” –Romans 15: 13.  I know as we rely on Jesus Christ and following His will, we can be filled with the hope of the future which comes from the Holy Ghost.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Show and Tell With Half Dead Chickens

I have grown up with animals.  My parents had two dogs when I was born.  When I left a year ago to come on my mission we had two dogs, a cat, a cockatiel, an aquarium with fish, and chickens and ducks.  I understand my parents have also recently gotten another dog.  As I think back on the pets we have had many memories come to my mind, mostly of our dogs.

Dogs are typified as being loyal.  I remember our dogs chewing up the sprinkler system at our house, eating the fruit off of our trees, the accidents in the house training them, but being able to later clean the messes outside.  I remember them jumping on me with muddy paws, chasing them when they chased other random animals, bathing them after they were sprayed by a skunk, and countless other memories.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Boo . . . Get off the Stage!!!

I have very mixed emotions about performing in public. I hate the feeling of anxiety, but yet, I love it at the same time. I took piano lessons as I was growing up and most of any performing I did was with a piano piece I had prepared. I remember the anxiety before coupled with the sick feeling in my gut, and the dread and fear of taking my turn on the stage. It was always a wonderful experience when my performance was admirable. But that was not always the case. Some performances went smoothly, and others a little more bumpy. I am sure we have all had experiences when we have failed. We were diligent in preparing; we ironed out the flaws, but still fell short.

More so than the successes we have; it is how we take the failures in life that shape us. It is easy to take the good things in life, but not so easy with the failures. It is mostly how we take the failures in our lives that define who we are. I remember one such failure of mine at a piano recital when I was in High School.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Finding the missing links in my life through leukemia

It is no exaggeration to say that many of the people who we interact with on the chat are very antagonistic to the message we have. I come across many of those who feel they have been picked on or deserted by God in their lives. I think people seldom worry about the cliché starving children in Africa, or those we read about in the news with the suffering all around the world. Many times we give those suffering a pause of thought, or a brief remark to the person next to us about how sad it is. But I feel it is a rare and precious soul who actually acts on those things. I have found in my own life things never really concern me until they hit home.

For me, my experience with leukemia has been something in which I feel has hit home. I feel it helps me to relate to those who feel picked on by life. I have always understood that with every trial we have we are supposed to learn something. People can tell us a stove is hot, but we can’t really know it is hot until we touch it ourselves. I feel leukemia has done the same thing to me, metaphorically touching the stove to know how trials can help me learn. I find it difficult to express the things I have learned in words. I have found there are things like sympathy for others, patience, and dedication; but I think the real thing has been the missing links which have given greater purpose and meaning in my life.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Mormon Mingles;" A New Adventure

I have always liked adventures, whether it is from a good book, or a movie, but most especially the adventures I have had in my own life.  I remember as I was little making “forts” with blankets over the furniture inside the house, also the fun we had “exploring” on camping trips I went on with my family.  I feel the enticement lay in the possibility of the unknown—a possibility that the extraordinary might happen.  Here is a picture of some of the other missionaries who serve here having an adventure of their own.  (Left to right, Elders LeeMaster, McMullin, Edmons, Albright and Baird)  Sometimes I feel that the extraordinary we find in our own lives is often disguised as dull, or boring.  I understand that most amazing feats come from countless hours of preparation, working through the mundane with a hope for accomplishment.

I feel I am able to find the same sense of excitement in my life today as I come across the unknown.  When this happens I have found the time for preparation is gone, and we need to rely on the choices we have made through mundane experiences we have had in the past.  Were we committed then, and is that commitment enough to get us through the challenge we now face?  For me, I feel coming on a mission has been an adventure for me.  As I started I did not know what it was I would be doing when I first arrived here.  I was able to soon learn I would be teaching people over chat or the phone, and it was much more challenging then I originally anticipated.  I find I still have a lot of room to grow and learn.  Recently we are again branching out in what I feel is a “new frontier,” and that is with the “Mormon Mingles.”

Friday, September 3, 2010

One year gone!

As of yesterday, I am now on the downward slope; my mission is now half way over!  It is hard for me to believe so much time has already passed by.  I feel like I just got here, and at the same time I don’t feel that I have enough time before I need to go home.  I have a quote on my wall which I feel has really helped me focus on what I need to do.  I actually got it from the talk by Elder Robert D. Hales in the last April general conference;
The saddest words of tongue and pen are those that say, “It might have been!” –John Whittier

I feel it is a constant struggle to decide between what things are good, which are better, and which are best. And I am grateful for the help that God has given me to meet this challenge.
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