Saturday, August 6, 2011

As simple as Checking the Mail...

Beep...beep...The timer goes off, and the pizza is finished.  Elder Barrett pulls the pizza out and the peperoni's are just sizzling.  The pizza needs to cool for 5 minutes or so, to pass the time we decided to go and check the mail.

AIR BOX!!! (meaning looking into the mailbox with hopes of seeing something inside, but then sadly seeing the back of an empty mailbox.) With slight sighs we headed back to our apartment, to devour our lunch which awaits us.  As we climb up the staircase back to our apartment, we hear shouts "MISSIONARIES!!! MISSIONARIES!!!"  We turn to see a little boy about 4 or so, and his sister chasing after him.  The little boy wrapped around my legs as soon as he got to me.  His sister pulled him off, and by now their slightly embarrassed mom gets to us. 

After prying the little guy off me, and exchanging hello's, turns out the mom is a new member of only 2 weeks and she is visiting her family.  While she told us her conversion story (she had a huge smile the whole time, and she was so happy! ) the rest of her family came over.  As she finished her story, we asked the rest of the family if they would like to learn why their sister was so happy, and how they to can find this happiness?

With anxeious head nods, we set an appointment.  Heavenly Father had much more instore for us that lunch break rather than just checking mail and eating pizza.  He is always working to bring His children to this eternal happiness.  As a missionary, I get to see these miracles unfold right before my eyes daily.  I am so humbly grateful to have this chance to serve!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Lessons Learned from my Dad

I was thinking about Father's Day coming up.  I thought about all the lessons I have learned from my dad, and the example he has set.  He could out work anyone I know.  My dad is very focused and driven.  One of the lessons that stands out to me, that my dad taught me was, "if you are going to do something, than do it right, don't do it half speed"

The importance of this lesson rings true each day I walk out the door.  What I am doing is missionary work, my goal in mind is to bring as many of my brothers and sisters unto Christ.  My dad's slogan playing in the back of my mind, motivates me to always be striving to improve.  The way a missionary can be successful is by working with the Spirit.  Lack of effort or disobedience destroys that connection with the Spirit.

What motivates me also is the love I have for the people! Another lesson I learned from my dad.  He is a superintendent for a construction site.  As I worked with him, I saw the way he handled his employees.  Sometimes stern, but the employee always walking away knowing my dad cared about them.  Most the guys on the site would always talk about my dad like he was their hero.  Each one of them trusted and respected him.  As a dad he fulfilled that role for me too, even at times he would be stern, I always knew my dad loved me.

This lesson has help me make the connection with my Father in heaven.  Romans 8:16 says, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God"  I know that God is much more than just some powerful being up in the sky.  God is my loving Heavenly Father.   His and mine relationship works in a similar fashion as my dad's and mine.  Each time I kneel and pray I know He is always listening and will answer.  Sometimes His answer maybe stern, but each time I stand up I know He loves me.

My Father in heaven has given me a chance to be on His job site for 2 years,  and just the same as I saw in the relationship with my dad and his employees, most people love, respect, and trust their Father in heaven.  I will always be grateful for both my Fathers!  Both my Fathers have taught me valuable lessons, which have made me into the person I am today!  I love my dad here on earth, and I love this opportunity to remind people of our Father in Heaven!

To all the great dads out there, ENJOY YOUR FATHERS Day!  I love you dad!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Love not Judge

As I walk around I see people from all walks of life.  There are those who seem to have life pretty easy, and those not so much.  There are some who try to avoid eye contact, while there are others who joyfully greet me with a warm "hello".  There are some that are God fearing people, and others who would not set foot into a church building.  As I go door to door, meeting so many kinds of people my love for people begins to grow.  Even as contrast as we may seem on the outside we are all brothers and sisters in God's eyes.

As I have met and talked with all sorts of people I have learned lots, and heard a lot of interesting stories.  Amazes me how some are so open to share their life story, but others instantly slam a door in my face.  But you still gotta love them all just the same.  No matter how far off or different we may be we all still need our Heavenly Father.  For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God.

I have loved my opportunity to come to know so many of my brothers and sisters.  Each one unique and special in their own way.  People are amazing, every one of them.  Sadly, judgement clouds our minds at times, and these lost brothers and sisters take the form of strange and different.  We place in our minds judgements which limit our chance to love them.  We skip out on the chance to learn from one another...but why?

Is it natural for us? Are we all just programmed to do so?  Do we do it out of fear of the unknown?  I have asked myself this question countless times in the pass few days....I feel the cause of these judgements is from lack of love, or simply forgetting who the people around us really are.  Our minds operate in a manner of stereotyping and trying to arrange and categorize life as it comes towards us.  As I remind myself of who these people are, " my brothers and my sisters", the walls of judgement begin to fall.  My love for those around me regains strength and becomes and outward flow towards them.

This is one of my favorite pictures, which teaches this lesson to me over and over again.  When a woman caught in serious sin was brought before Christ, he was not quick to judge, but instead taught us all a lesson with a simple statement... "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."  We are all on the same playing field.  None of us are above another.  We must drop our stones of judgement, and love our fellow brother!


Monday, May 16, 2011

Our Time to Change

Knowing Christ is my Savior has changed my life.  But when? How?  Once someone knows Jesus Christ when should they change?  How soon should they begin to follow?  More than not we question this, and catch ourselves saying "I can change tomorrow...Or it won't hurt just this one last time."  These justifications or slight excuses to put off following Christ only do harm to ourselves.  Choosing a life style of living Christ's teachings should not be a something we dread, if so we have missed the message.

Here is a passage from Acts that puts the decision of when to follow Christ into a good perspective for us all...

 37¶Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
 38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
 39For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
 40And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
 41¶Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

The moment they felt something in their hearts they desided to change.  Not only did they think to, but they immediately did.  Words or a desire can only take us so far, life does not change or improve until we act.  Christ and his teachings become a reality as we live them.  I know this to be true.  Choose Christ now, don't wait for tomorrow, or put it off for another day, but make the choice and act! 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Momma comes next to God

We were talking to a man named Ray (25 year old average guy in a rush to catch his bus).  He was in a rush so we walked quickly down the sidewalk them him.  As he hurried on his way, we asked if he believed in God.  Ray was quick to respond "absolutely my brother".  Well Ray we have a message for you...

With our persistence, it perked Ray's interest just enough that he said "alright, I have about 5 minutes until I have to catch my bus, what is your message all about?"  We began to teach Ray all about how The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored back to the earth in its fullest.  Ray was rather intrigued by this statement, with a curious look on his face he asked "well now what?"  We invited Ray to follow the example of his Savior Jesus Christ when he comes to know the message is true by being baptized.  Ray with a smile responded back, "I got to check with my momma first, my momma comes next to God in my life."  We exchanged numbers and set up a return appointment.

Ray's comment stuck in the forefront of my mind.  Ray was a confident man, seemed rather well to do, and was not afraid to admit he was a momma's boy.  What an example to all of us.  Just by Ray's smile and demeanor you could tell how much he appreciated and loved his mom.  Every one's momma should come next to God.  Without our moms' we would be nothing, literally.

There is no love, like a mother's love,
no stronger bond on earth...
like the precious bond that comes from God,
to a mother, when she gives birth.
A mother's love is forever strong,
never changing for all time...
and when her children need her most,
a mother's love will shine.
God bless these special mothers,
God bless them every one...
for all the tears and heartache,
and for the special work they've done.
When her days on earth are over,
a mother's love lives on...
through many generations,
with God's blessings on each one.
Be thankful for our mothers,
for they love with a higher love...
from the power God has given,
and the strength from up above.
I love my mom!  I am so grateful for her love!  She is always there, and has always been an example.  My mom is one great lady!  Just like Ray, my momma comes next to God too! Don't be afraid to be a momma's boy, let your moms know just how much you love them on this special Mother's Day!!  I love you PPPEEEAAACCHH!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

A,B,C's of FAITH!

Today I asked myself what do I have faith in?  Is my faith in Christ, or is my faith in myself?  This question should be a no brainier...FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST.  But all too often we have a natural tendency to forget where our faith should lye.  I have seen in instances I begin to trust in my own strengths rather than relying on the Lord. 

This question of faith reminded me of a door I had knocked a few days ago.  A elderly man answered the door.  He openly shared his view on Christ, and then began to question ours.  He said something that stuck with me about faith in Christ. 

 He said "well boys I am gonna speak to you like your grandpa.  I have got quite a few years on ya, so I think I know a little more on faith.  Let me give you the A,B, C's of faith.."


As we walked away the man was still no closer to letting us in his home than when we had first knocked on it, but the door was not a failure.  I learned about faith, and we gave the man a chance to testify of his faith in Jesus Christ. 

As I apply the simple A,B,C's of faith to my origin question of where my faith should lye the answer is rather easy.  We alone can not make it through this life, or overcome/fix the mistakes or sins we commit, but as we act on our belief in the saving power of Christ with confidence we can overcome the obstacles in life.  Our faith must be in Christ.  Without Christ the end result is failure, we can not accomplish this alone!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter is just around the corner.  Soon kids will be scavenging for cleverly hidden Easter eggs eager to see what tasty treats await inside.  As they search some move quickly and race around the yard impatiently, others scan the yard first to survey the obstacles that lye before them.  After 30 minutes or so with only a few eggs left to find, usually a helpful parent steps in and shows the way or gives hints to where the last few eggs can be found.  Once the hunt is over everyone rushes home to rejoice in their findings.

We can relate this Easter egg hunt, to our lives.  We all may take different approaches at it, some fast, others slow, but in the end we all need a little help.  That is why our Heavenly Father is just a prayer away.  He has a plan for us, and is more than willing to help us with our obstacles in our life, but we must trust in him.

The hints or plan that God has for us are perfect.  He sent His son to show us the perfect way to find the "Easter eggs" or the happiness which await us in our lives.  Not only did Christ show the way, but he also made the ultimate sacrifice.  By this act of love Jesus Christ made it possible for us all to make it through this life, eventually finding all our eggs, and then returning safely back home to rejoice with our loving Heavenly Father!

Happy Easter!!!  Hope Egg hunts all go well!!!  Remember Christ!!