Monday, March 28, 2011

Giant Hamster Balls Are Like Sin

This afternoon I saw an ad online about 365 things a person should do in Salt Lake before they die.  There are a lot of them that I see, and honestly most of them really don’t look like any part of Utah that I have seen.  But there was one specifically which caught my attention as it seemed problematic.  It was what looked like a person running in a giant hamster ball on water, similar to the one pictured on the right.  I had two questions enter my mind, when I saw it.  One, is if the ball has holes in it, how do they keep the water out?  The second was if there are no holes, how does the person breathe?  I thought of these because if water can get in, I can see it filling up very quickly and drowning of the person in it.  And if there are no holes, it seems the person would run out of air very quickly, and they would suffocate.  I have not taken the time to research it for myself, so maybe there is some clever design to it that I do not know.

I will admit that running around in a giant hamster ball does seem like fun.  I am not really sure what I would do in one, but I think it would be fun for at least a little bit.  However, even with the fun I think it might be, I really don’t like the idea of, one, being trapped, two, drowning, and three, suffocating.  I can leave the scurrying to the hamsters; I can just keep them away from any water.  And now, as I look at it more, it seems those giant balls are a perfect analogy for sin in our lives.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Headless Birds and People

This morning we all had the amazing opportunity to all go and have breakfast together as a mission.  It was very delicious and amazing, but while we were there, one of the Elders I serve with noticed a quail in the yard that we could see from the window where we were.  It gave me the opportunity to relate a hunting experience I had with a grouse.  I was with my Dad, brother, and a few family friends.  We were really hunting for elk, but we did end up with a grouse as well.

If I remember right, we were either just walking out with a heavy load of elk meat or we had stopped for like a mid-day snack or something.  Either way, we were all together and as we were sitting there, a grouse came out of the bushes in front of us.  I would estimate it was about 10-15 feet from us.  I am not sure what was wrong with it, but it didn’t really seem to mind us.  One of the other hunters we were with, mentioned to my brother that he had a small game license, and that if he wanted to try for the grouse, he could have it.  The only rifles we had were those for hunting large game, like elk, so not really something a person would use to hunt a bird, as shooting it with one would destroy half of the bird.  But that isn’t what happened in our case.  I remember my brother laying down and taking time to aim and shoot at the grouse.  It felt like forever, but was probably only a minute or two before he shot.  As he did, the grouse took off flying, it rose about 20 or 30 feet then dropped like a rock.  And then it did it again, I think repeating it three or four times.  I don’t know how many of you have been to harvest chickens, but you may know that chickens also run around for some time after they have lost their head.  And that is exactly what happened to the grouse my brother shot, he had blown the head off.

Now, you might be wondering how this could relate back to the gospel, and I was wondering how I could relate it at first, but then Elder Howden reminded me of this verse from the Book of Mormon

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Blessings From a Bad Experience

Have you ever tried to do something good, and as you do something just totally bad happens?  Well, I had just that happen to me yesterday.  I had just finished in the bathroom, and after washing my hands and looking around, I had noticed there was a lot of trash all over the floor.  I reasoned it would take me about thirty seconds maximum to clean it all up, and I would be able to do a great service for everyone else who used it.  It worked great except for the fact that I like to keep the little white handbook for missionaries in my shirt pocket.  So, as I was trying to reach and grab the trash which was right next to the toilet . . . plop.  A chill shot through my back from hearing a little splash in the water.

I try and do something good, and it almost seems like I get punished.  All of us here on earth have been given the ability to choose.  We can choose good or we can choose evil.  God wants us to use our ability of choice for good.  It almost seems ironic sometimes when I choose to do good things and then bad things seem to come from it.  It made me think about how from God’s perspective it might also seem that many of the things He has chosen to do have worked against Him.  But a closer look helps us to see how He has used those things for good.  We know one of the choices God has made is to give us our agency.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Humbling to the Sole

I remember when I had first gotten my mission call.  A lot of different emotions and other things, but lately I have been thinking about the shoes I bought. 

I purchased them from Browns Shoe Company.  I remember about a week before getting the shoes; I had had my right hip replaced.  From that, I think my legs and foot was a little swollen.  And maybe it was just me not being really able to walk on it.  But either way the shoes I ended up with were too big.  And, when I took them back to exchange them for a smaller size, I think I ended up with the same shoe I tried to replace.

I certainly do have big shoes to fill, both literally and metaphorically.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Daily Glimpse, What I Do as a Missionary

I love being here as a missionary!  I love the work and the service I am able to give here.  I know being here and the blessings I have felt is something I would have never anticipated.  However, I think for many people there may be a little bit of a mystery about what exactly I do as a missionary every day, both for members and those who are not members.  As we are a part of new mission, how we work is a little different than what has been standard missionary procedure in the past, different than what most members are familiar with.  And I assume most non-members do not have much of an idea of what being a Mormon missionary entails to begin with.  So hopefully this will be something interesting to everyone who reads it!  I want to first talk about why I am here, then what do we do here as missionaries, and last, how we do it.

I am here because I love being a missionary!  I am here because this church is true.  I am here to share with others the blessings and comfort I have found from Jesus Christ in my life.  I feel blessed with the trials and struggles I have had in my life.  They have helped me better understand the role of Jesus Christ in my life.  We all have times of difficulty, and times when we feel we have more than we can handle.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is designed to help us with the struggles we have.  Trials and hard things are a part of Gods plan for us.  It is through relying on Jesus Christ and His gospel that we can use these struggles to come closer to God in our lives.  As I felt abandoned, I was able to find He was there for me.  As I felt lost, I have been able to find direction from Him.  As I was confused, I have found understanding from His gospel and His plan for us.  Because this has been such a blessing for me in my life, I am now here as a missionary to share it with others.  I am here because this is something which will bless and help the lives of all those who accept it.  I am here to help others find the same lasting joy and peace in their lives despite the challenges they have.
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