Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sharing Your Beliefs

Watch this Mormon Message about how we can share the things we believe in using all forms of communication we've been given!

I want to talk about President Uchtdorf''s plea to "always preach the Gospel, and when necessary, use words."

How can YOU help spread a little bit of the happiness you feel when you pray, read the scriptures, or serve others? We have been blessed with so many ways to share the gospel! One of those ways is what you are looking at right now! A blog! I've learned a lot and had some really great experiences sharing what I know to be true through this blog. If you feel so inclined, you can be a missionary through a little piece of the internet! It's fast, easy, and you can be yourself while fulfilling the commandment to share the gospel! 

In the video it showed a girl sending pictures with scriptures. This can be such a fun and easy way to help someone else feel the Spirit! As a missionary I know that the message that I have to deliver is of great worth, but I rarely feel adequate to be the one delivering it. Luckily, it doesn't matter how eloquent I am when I speak! If I am sharing the gospel out of love and I am trying my hardest then it only matters that the people I'm talking to are feeling the Spirit, Heavenly Father will take care of me and make up everything that I lack! And nothing brings the Spirit like the scriptures! Share a scripture and a picture with someone today and help them feel the love their Heavenly Father has for them!

As missionaries in the Arizona Mesa Mission we get to use Facebook to invite others to come unto Christ! Facebook and other social media sites are such an easy and universal way to share your beliefs! Post a picture of the Savior, a temple, or a favorite scripture!

And when you're not using the internet to share the gospel, then " thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12) Just the way you live your life can be the best way to show people that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ!

"And now, behold, I say unto you, that the things which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen." D&C 16:6

I invite everyone who reads this to find a way to use the modern technology that we've been blessed with to share the gospel! I know that this will bring happiness and blessings!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

In The Midst Of The Monsoons

I'm serving my mission in Arizona. In Arizona there's this thing that happens every July-August. It's called monsoon season.

Every few nights there's a storm that rolls through town (or almost every single night if you're talking about last week!). The storms range from mild wind and dust to violent thunder and lightning storms with flash floods and/or dust devils.

Let me tell you, monsoon season is not the most convenient thing when the only mode of transportation you can currently employ is a bicycle. Luckily my companion and I have been saved by many members of our ward who were so willing to literally "brave the storm" and rescue us by giving us a ride in their car!

Example of a lovely Arizona storm.

We can easily draw a lovely parallel between monsoon season in Arizona and our own lives. We often have monsoons or trials to get through before the relaxing sunny days come. The storms in our lives can range from small inconveniences to major tragedy.

Luckily, we all have tools that we've been given to help us brave our storms, we also have people set in our lives to be there to pick us up and make riding the storm a little bit easier.

During a literal storm we have places of refuge and tools to use to protect us from the wind or rain, like umbrellas or rain boots. When our life is storming away we can find refuge in the scriptures. The word of God provides peace and guidance. We may need to know which direction we need to go to stay safe, we can find answers in the scriptures to direct us to safety.
Often, if I'm struggling with something specific I will search out answers by looking up scriptures about whatever I'm struggling with so I can receive the guidance I need directly through Christ's teachings. Using the search bar on I can easily find scriptures that will lift me and guide me through my trials.

I am so blessed as a missionary, I get to be with a companion all the time. I never have to go through anything alone while I'm serving my mission. Admittedly being within sight and sound of one person 7 days a week, 24 hours a day sometimes isn't the most fun thing in the world, but I've come to love it! I'm guaranteed to have someone to check my outfit or my hair for me, I always have someone to talk to when I have a bad day, and best of all, when the monsoons are a-stormin' and I'm out on my bicycle I'm not alone! My companion is right there beside me, peddling away and we can encourage each other to keep biking.

No matter the circumstance or animal involved, we are always there for each other!

Even when I'm not a missionary and I don't have a companion I'm never alone! And neither are you! We always have someone right next to us during the sunny days and during the most violent storms. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, understands every trial we go through and He supports us through everything. Our Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to communicate with Him. When we are in the midst of life's great trials we can get on our knees and pray to God for peace, comfort, and anything that we need.

In the New Testament in the book of Mark, chapter 4, Christ is traveling with his disciples on a boat. During the journey, Christ is sleeping and a great storm begins to rage and beat into the ship. The disciples were obviously a little scared, I don't blame them! They woke their Master and alerted Him to the fact that the ship was going to go down at any minute. He literally calmed the storm, He "rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm." Then He calmed the storm in His disciple's hearts.

Because He is the Christ, Jesus can calm any storm that is raging in our lives. He knows exactly how we feel and how we need to be comforted. I know that through the power of His Atonement anyone and everyone can find peace.

I invite those who read this to look for relief from their personal monsoons through studying the scriptures, prayer, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

I can promise that through the gospel there are sunny days ahead :)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A 5 Step Program For When You Have A Question About Mormons!

I know this might be long shot, but I'm having faith that at least ONE person who reads this blog will have some sort of question about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As a missionary I'm here to answer questions and point people in the right direction! Since I can't answer every single question for every single person in the world, I made up some instructions to follow when a question emerges!

You can follow these steps in any order you want, when a question pops up just choose an option and hopefully you'll get an answer! Ideally you should try all of these options so you can get as much information as you can.

Ultimately, you'll have to decide if the answers you receive are true or not on your own. I'll give you an example:
Q: Who wrote the Book of Mormon?
A: Ancient prophets who lived at the same time as the Bible prophets wrote the Book of Mormon, they lived on the American continent and prophesied of Christ's birth and mortal ministry.
Ok, so hopefully that's a satisfactory answer. But no matter how much I tell you about the history of the Book of Mormon, it's not going to do anything for you until you find out that what I'm saying is true by yourself. With every single answer you receive about anything gospel related you should pray about it and have faith that God will answer you and tell you if it's true.

So here you are!

5 Steps to Take When You Have a Question about Mormons

1. Go to 
This is such a great website! You can find a page of frequently asked questions, a page of our beliefs and values, you can even chat with real live missionaries online! There are lots of cool features that are sure to answer your questions! Check out right here!

2. Ask a friend
Maybe the reason you have a question is because you have a Mormon friend and you're curious about why they do or don't do something. Ask them! If you're honestly curious no one is going to be offended or feel awkward if you ask "why don't you drink coffee?" or "why would you go to church for 3 hours every Sunday?" Asking someone who belongs to the Church will be a much more reliable source than asking someone who isn't.

3. Read the Book of Mormon
The Prophet Joseph Smith once said "I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book." Our entire religion hangs on one book! If you want to know if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has any validity to it at all, read the Book of Mormon. I can promise you with all my heart that this book is true, but my promise won't mean anything until you read the book and pray about it!

4. Meet the missionaries!
There's a reason the church sends missionaries like me all over the world! If someone had a question about the church in Africa, they're covered, we have missionaries there! We sacrifice 18-24 months of our lives just for people like YOU! No matter who is reading this, we are serving for you! We are set apart as representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we are authorized to teach about the Church and everything we believe in. I guess you could say we're the 1-800 number on the back of the cereal box if you have any questions, comments, or concerns :)

Who wouldn't want to ask these guys about Jesus? But I can promise you, whenever I ride my bike, I always wear my helmet!

5. Attend church
If you follow step 4 you will very likely be invited to take this step as well! You can find a church to attend no matter where you live (Find your meetinghouse here)! Every Sunday we gather as wards (congregations) and worship together. We start with sacrament meeting, held in the chapel. In this meeting we partake of the sacrament, listen to talks (speeches), and sing hymns together. The next two hours consist of Sunday School classes, Primary (for children from 3-12), Young Men and Young Women (Boys and Girls 12-18), and Relief Society and Priesthood classes (for adult women and men respectively). Church is a great time to learn about Christ, the Church, make friends, and find peace!

As you take one or more of these steps I can promise you that you will find the answers that you are looking for! Whether you question is "why don't Mormons go shopping on Sunday?" or "Where can I find peace for my life and my family?" you can find the answer!

I invite everyone who reads this to either take one of these steps or invite someone to do so. I know happiness can be found in this gospel.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Marriage Advice From Your Local Expert On Being Single

Ok, I'll admit it. I use catchy titles to make people read my blog! The marriage advice will most definitely NOT be coming from me today!

But it will be coming... just remember that patience is a virtue.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints puts a strong emphasis on family and strengthening family relationships. In 1995 the prophet came out with a proclamation on the importance of families, the first paragraph reads:

WE, THE FIRST PRESIDENCY and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

(Read the entire proclamation here.)

Families are central to God's plan for us! That's why they're so important!

But, as we know, God's plan for us doesn't end after this life. So naturally, neither do families! Another paragraph of the Family Proclamation reads:

"The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally."

In temples we can be sealed for time and all eternity, meaning there is no "till death do you part!" We can literally be with our families forever!

Now your patience shall be rewarded: I'm going to talk about some of the advice that I've gotten for that distant future where I will be sealed to someone in the temple and start my own forever family.

On my mission I've met a lot of families. Like A LOT. And they've all been different! No two families are alike! I'm fairly convinced that the reason I was sent to Mesa on my mission was to have HUNDREDS of examples of how/who/what I need to be when I go home!

I've seen lots of different kinds of marriages and lots of different kinds of parenting techniques. I've slowly gone from thinking in my head "wow, cutest family ever, I wonder how they do it" to actually asking them "Ok, I need your help, how do you make your family so awesome?"

So I've been asking them! And I want to share some of the advice I've gotten with the world! I'll be adding my own personal comments in pink, because I'm obviously an expert that has a lot to say on this subject.

Communication is key, don't be afraid to ask your spouse to do things for you, compromise, talk about big decisions and purchases beforehand, you're allowed to take a few minutes to cool down before telling your spouse what is bothering you, be HONEST.
This is a collection of what many many people told me. Apparently good communication is kind of important! 

Don't fret the little things, don't worry if they don't load the dishwasher the same way as you, don't take anything personally, there are plenty of things that will happen that won't be worth fighting over, LET IT GO.
Love this! When two people get married they are trying to mesh together two very different lives, it makes sense that it won't fit together like a perfect puzzle piece at first. Being adaptable and teachable will make for a much easier time combining two different life styles.

Hold hands, always sleep in the same bed even when you're angry, always always always always always APOLOGIZE!
I can't add anything to this, it's too perfect. BIG thank you to those who gave me this advice!

Attend the temple often together, put God before your own desires, stay active in the gospel together, SERVE TOGETHER.
A marriage should be a triangle, it should be you, your spouse, and Heavenly Father. With all three of you working together you accomplish everything and get through anything!

Last but not least, don't feel like you're settling, go into a marriage as an equal partnership.
If I'm going to spend eternity with someone, it's gonna have to be a good match. For lack of better words, to marry a TEN I'm gonna have to be a TEN. 

So there you have the highlights of my collection of marriage advice. I'm hoping someday I get to put some of this advice into practice :)

I know that I can be with my family forever, both my family I have now and my future family. I know that temples are houses of the Lord and in them we can be sealed for time and eternity.

This is from that one time I graduated high school, glad I get to spend eternity with these peeps!