Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Skype Call

So I know I have been really, really, really bad at posting.  There were a lot of things I had to work on for the mission that have taken my attention away from my blog, but I am back!  I am going to make sure to post more.  So without further ado here are some of my thoughts :)

What matters most to you?  What do you cherish?  What do you hold dear?  Now if you answered "my family" to any or all of those questions then we have something in common  :)  Families are so incredibly important but yet I think we take them for granted.  Often times we seem to find it easier to be nice to complete strangers then to get along with those that should matter most to us.  That seems a bit backwards to me, but what do you think?  
Family Photo (Taken while I'm on mission, hence the floating head) 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?

As an online missionary I teach people all over the world about our basic beliefs.  Sometimes the discussions and questions lead to deep doctrine or speculative queries.  Other times the chats turn to topics or questions of a trivial or inconsequential nature.  I like to remind them that I am here to teach about and share our basic beliefs, not the things God hasn't revealed to us yet.  Ultimately I am here to help people to solidify their gospel foundation.  Sometimes though, people are impatient and want to start building from the top down which we know doesn't work.

Thinking about this reminds me of my time as a little kid at church.  The classes for the young children about 3-11 are broken up by each grade, but they are collectively referred to as primary.  If you are in that age group you attend a Sunday school class with your grade and then a joint primary meeting.  The reason I share this is because the lessons for those children have to be simple.  They are rooted in the simple but important doctrines.  Doctrines and teachings like God is your loving Father in Heaven, God speaks through prophets, God answers prayers, Christ is our Savior, teaching about the importance of attending church, reading the scriptures, saying your prayers, and keeping the commandments.  All these things are so simple; they are referred to in our church as the primary answers.  The thing is, the primary answers, although not exciting to some, not deep enough to really be studied and dissected; they are the foundation of what we know to be true. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I know, I know, work before play...

You know the principle, do your homework before you can go outside and play or sadly nowadays do your homework before you can sit and watch T.V.? This principle is often mentioned as "work before play".  I have grumbled about this principle in the past when it applied to me at unwanted times.  After all who wants to do work rather than spending time having fun and hanging out I thought.  However this week this principle really (and finally I might add) hit home.
Work comes first!!!
As a missionary we are constantly teaching people.  It is a constant stream of work, not play.  Lately we have not been as successful or effective in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ online.  It is a dilemma that we have all been racking our brains trying to figure out.  We haven't changed (or so we hoped) so why has our success in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ suddenly changed?  Why have our results been so underwhelming?  A lot of theories and ideas have been tossed around but I have realized that the only thing about the situation that I have any control over is me :)  I cannot control most of the variables but I can make sure I am giving it my all.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Do you like Broccoli?

I love my Dad.  One thing I admire about him is his speaking ability.  Whenever he speaks, or gives a talk, he includes stories, jokes, analogies et cetera to illustrate his point.  I love that because I know that as a little kid, whenever I would listen to a talk at church if there wasn't a story or something to grab my attention I was not going to make it through the talk without nodding off.  I try to model my talks after his to keep things interesting and I figure that applies to blogging as well :)  

God has told us that we need to become like little children in humility, faith, enthusiasm, love et cetera.  Little children display so many Christlike attributes as well as some humorous sayings It makes me think of my nieces and nephews praying at the dinner table or at night before they go to bed.  Since I do not remember the exact words of their prayers I would like to share a joke that makes the same point.  

"A 4-year-old boy was asked to give the meal blessing before dinner. The family members bowed their heads in expectation. He began his prayer, thanking God for all his friends, naming them one by one. 
Then he thanked God for Mommy, Daddy, brother, sister, Grandma, Grandpa, and all his aunts and uncles. Then he began to thank God for the food. He gave thanks for the turkey, the dressing, the fruit salad, the cranberry sauce, the pies, the cakes, even the Cool Whip.
Then he paused, and everyone waited-- and waited. After a long silence, the young fellow looked up at his mother and asked, "If I thank God for the broccoli, won't he know that I'm lying?"'

I like this joke because the little boy takes his prayer so seriously.  He doesn't want to lie to God.  We need to be just as open and sincere with God, our Father in Heaven, when we pray.  Do we take the time to really pour out our heart and commune with God or do we simply mumble a few rote words before our head hits the pillow?  This little boy named everyone and everything one by one in gratitude.  Think about that and make sure that you are taking your prayers seriously enough that you are expressing appreciation to Heavenly Father for those things you are grateful for.  I will let you decide if broccoli is included in that list.  :)

Pictures:  Broccoli

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sarah's Penguin Book

In this life we are encouraged to compare ourselves to others.  We are under constant pressure to live up to other people's expectations and to be smarter, richer, better-looking, more athletic, more popular et cetera than everyone else.  Famous lyrics echo this prevalent attitude the world has adopted.  

"Anything you can do,
I can do better.
I can do anything
Better than you."

We need not be proud or look down upon others but rather we need to stop worrying about living up to the world's expectations. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others.  We need to be ourselves.  Have some self-confidence.  You are a wonderful child of God with unique talents and abilities.  If you need a lesson in self-confidence I recommend my niece Sarah.  She certainly is very confident in herself and that is a good thing! Here is a humorous example from my sisters blog :)  
Here is what she told my sister, her mom.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Do you know the final score?!

In case you don't know me very well you should know that I LOVE sports, especially football and basketball.  I love playing and watching them and with some of my health difficulties I have had to live out my dreams through my active watching, reading sports articles and participation through sports oriented video games haha.  I even thought about a career in sports you get the point :)  Since I love sports I of course have a few analogies or sports stories that relate to life and here is one that I learned from my grandpa...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

How big is your appetite?

                                                                     I love food...

Whenever I go to a buffet, an all you can eat type of restaurant I rub my hands together and lick my lips in anticipation.  I get excited about all the good food I am about to eat.  When I get there and I see the amazing spread of food before me I quickly grab a plate and load up.  I make sure to get my money's worth and eat until I can't possibly eat any more.  I think we all can relate to this feeling of excitement and appreciation when we have a feast in front of us.  But how many of us feel this way when it comes to the spiritual feast before us?  

We have the scriptures in front of us and if you are not aware of it, we actually have a living prophet on the earth today, and apostles just as in biblical times, leading and guiding Christ's church on the earth today and counseling the people.  We have a very literal spiritual feast, a spread of knowledge and the word of God in front of us, readily accessible that we need to take in.  If we ate spiritually as much as we did physically we would all be better people.  

As for me, I know that too often I take the scriptures for granted.  I need to take advantage of the word of God.  No matter how much I try I don't get full from looking at food...I have to eat it.  That is the way it is with the word of God.  We cannot just look at it, or know it is there.  We have to take it in and partake of it.  When we do that we will have our appetite sated.  Not our physical appetite, but our spiritual appetite...

I love the scriptures...