Wednesday, November 24, 2010

sorry, I have to start a new blog

Sorry but the library I use changed the computer programs so there are now some parts of blogger that wont work for me.  So I have to start a new one on a different site.  I transferred all the blog entries from here to the new site.  Please check it out at

Saturday, November 13, 2010

College isn't the end?

I have always planned on going to college, finding a career, and a long time later retiring.  Apparently that isn't good enough.  I know we are supposed to be always learning but I always thought of that as informal things like watching a history channel show about ancient Greece or reading a non-fiction book. 
I was looking at the Church News site and saw this article about how the church is helping and encouraging people to continue their education.  As I was reading it I realized how easy it is to do.  We all have our busy schedules and it is hard enough to fit in what we already have going.  The article was about part of the Brigham Young University Independent Study program where they are offering FREE courses in a lot of different areas.  It is set up so you can do it on your own schedule (with no test deadlines to stress you out) but you still have a structure to keep you focused.  Unfortunately as a missionary I am one of the few who can't take one of these classes now but I would encourage everyone to make the time and study something they want to.    If it is going to be so available that it is possible for almost anyone, except missionaries :(, to do it, it must be important.  So go to this site and commit yourself to continuing your education.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What defines an Angel?

As we enter the Christmas season (I know Thanksgiving isn't past yet but I think this subject is appropriate) we think of the story of Christ's birth.  This story is full of angels bringing "glad tidings of great joy".  Often we think of Angels as this kind, those from the other side of the veil, but more often than not Angels are everyday people in our everyday lives.     
I believe an Angel is anyone who does anything to brighten someone elses day.  Often we don't think of simple things we do as "Angelic" or out of the ordinary but someone else does.  We don't know what impact a small act of love can do for someone in need.
Also being an angel doesn't mean you have to do something; sometimes being an Angel simply means being there, showing others we truly care and that they are more important than any "thing" in our lives.  I believe if we follow the advice from President Monson in this Mormon Message "What Matters Most" we can be Angels to those we meet.  
We need to let the Light of Christ shine through us by lifting up those that really need it.  As you go about your way think "What can I do to be an Angel to the people around me?"

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Have you ever noticed when you start telling somebody something other things happen that make you "put your money where your mouth is"?  This happens a lot as a missionary.  We share the gospel then things come our way to test us and make sure we are truly sincere.  
Elder Miller and I have been sharing a message with people about getting through trials.  We use a talk from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin in 2008 called "Come What May, and Love it."  Elder Wirthlin gives a few different things to do so we can get through trials.  I want to focus on the first one.  Learn to laugh.  Of course this isn't appropriate in all situations but it helps in some of the more embarrassing and frustrating ones.  Most peoples first reaction to adversity might be to get angry, or if they have better control to simply move on.  But when we learn to laugh we relieve the stress of situations and can pay attention to the bright side of things.  Here is what happened... 
Last week we were going to dinner and had a little bit of a fender bender.  It was pretty stressful but we didn't have too much time to think about it.  At the end of dinner we shared the message, Come What May, and Love it...    After we were talking and decided that we had better practice what we preached and laugh it off.  It helped ease the stress quite a bit but there was still a lot we had to deal with because of the situation.  We got over it and whats done is done right?  Apparently we didn't learn our lesson.  A few days later we went and shared this message with a different family.  We felt like it was a good visit and everything was going great.  It was a very cold 8 pm and we left the appointment to go to the library... and got a flat tire.  Because of our previous experience we knew there wasn't any point in doing anything but laugh it off, fix it, and move on.  So we did and it all worked out.
I know these situations really don't matter much and that's the point.  Laughter made us realize how little they mattered.  So when things don't quite go our way, laugh it off and find the joy in the journey.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What's the most valuable resource on earth?

Think about that question. 
Today we had an amazing meeting of all the missionaries from the area around New Haven, Connecticut.  It was a very spiritual meeting and I learned a ton.  In preparation for these meetings (we call them zone conferences) our mission president gives us different things to read and study to prepare.  One of the main topics we learned about today was studying.  We were given a talk by Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles titled A Reservoir of Living Water .  I highly recommend reading that talk.  Elder Bednar has some very good insights on how to get the most out of our studies.
He starts by asking that question, "what is the most valuable substance or commodity in the world?"  The answer is water.  Elder Bednar shows how this is true both physically and spiritually.  We all need the living water of Jesus Christ to help us survive.  We get this by doing as Elder Bednar says and using all types of study tools.  We have to really work for it if we want to get the living water that is there waiting for us.  The scriptures are full of insights that can solve the problems we are going through now but everything takes time and effort.  One of the missionaries who was giving the training today, Elder Kunz, offered a really good interpretation of the famous verse in Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given‍ you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
He wrote it      Ask, and it shall be given‍ you; [where to] 
Seek, and ye shall find; [where to]
                         Knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
That is a really good way to put it.  I would encourage everyone to read Elder Bednar's talk and apply those principles to their studies of the scriptures. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

"Is there a better way to spend November 6th?"

I don't have too much time so this will have to be a short post.  I saw this facebook event "Is There a Better Way to Spend November 6th?" that is very inspirational and shows how easy it is to spread the gospel.  The scriptures are all about unity.  When people work together things happen.  This event is going to help us work together so others can see real testimonies.  The bearing of a testimony is the greatest missionary tool.  The people who created that event named it very well.  What better way to spend your day than to tell others about what is most important to you.  It isn't a hard thing either.  If necessary you could do it in only one sentence.  A good example of how easy it is to share the gospel is the new site.  It lets people make their own profile about why they are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Many of them start with only the persons name and then "I am a Mormon".  How simple and profound of a testimony is that?  It is a declaration that we are followers of Jesus Christ and that we are not ashamed.  (Romans 1:16)  I hope that everyone will become part of this event to help others come unto Christ.  Sharing the gospel online works. 
A few days ago I heard a story of a family in my mission (Connecticut Hartford) who is going to be baptized soon.  They found out everything about the church because of the internet and people they didn't know.  They came across and looked into it.  They were able to have all their questions answered by people who were using a little time to share the gospel.  They got in contact with some members in the area who invited them to church.  They were then able to find out all they needed about what church was like (once again through complete strangers) and were prepared when they went.
It is a miracle what technology can do for missionary work.  I hope that as I get this blog going I will be able to help people to learn about Jesus Christ and follow his example.  Whether I ever meet them isn't the important thing.
So my challenge to you is to become part of this event and spend November 6th, as well as every other day :), sharing your testimony.  I don't think there is a better way to spend November 6th.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sunny Hours

Last week we were in Derby, CT and outside the library was this sun dial.  I thought the inscription on the top carries a great message.  That is what I want to write about today.  Counting the sunny hours.  This has a lot to do with my last entry about hope.  The message of this sun dial is to have hope that the sunny times will come and also not to miss them.  A lot of the time we are spending so much talking about how good it is that nothing bad is happening that we miss the opportunity to enjoy and be grateful for the good that is happening.  This brings to mind the hymn " Count Your Blessings".  Not focusing on the bad isn't what makes us happy, focusing on the good brings happiness.  I think we all know this but sometimes it can be very hard to do.  It is one of those things that takes time and we have to get in the habit of it.  When we are in the thick of those times that don't seem sunny at all, we have to keep that hope.  This video with Jeffrey R. Holland says it much better than I could.  (I also really like it because it takes place near my hometown and I get to see a little bit of where I grew up) Good Things to Come.  It took a while before everything worked out in that video, lots of persistence and work.  We need that opposition to enjoy the sunny hours and to have true gratitude for what we have.  2 Nephi 2:11  
I hope everyone enjoys and "counts none but the sunny hours".

Saturday, October 23, 2010


So I am trying to get this blog going and I am having a very difficult time doing it.  I have been trying to figure out what to do for a few days now and couldn't really figure it out.  I finally came to the conclusion that I simply had to start.  So I put a couple of things together and it started working out.  I was trying to figure what to do for my first post and decide I might as well do it on starting.

This week we had a meeting with some other missionaries and were talking about Faith and Hope and why they are so connected.  I believe that Hope is what makes you act, you hope that you will be able to reach your goal (I hoped that I would be able to make a blog).  So once you have Hope you use it to motivate you to have Faith.  I had Faith by starting and actually doing something to get this blog going.  Once I started going I saw the results of my Faith, my Hope was becoming a reality, so then I was even more motivated to keep going, always keeping the Hope of what I wanted in mind.

I went to our church website and I just searched for anything with the word "starting".  I was surprised, there were over 12,000 results.  I picked one of the first ones and found "The Important Thing Is to Start".  It is a fictional story that shows how Joyce, a teenage girl, exercised her Faith to start her family on the path to having food storage.  Check it out.  It really puts this principle in a very realistic situation.
A story often used to emphasize action as part of Faith comes from  Joshua chapter 3 in the Old Testament.  The people of Israel are supposed to cross the river Jordan but God doesn't clear the path first.  It isn't until after the priests step into the water that the way is opened for them to cross on dry ground.  We "receive no witness until after the trial of [our] faith."  A few days ago I was looking in my study journal and I read that Faith is trust enough to act.  President Henry B. Eyring's talk in the recent general conference really showed the truth of this.  I love the title of his talk: Trust in God, Then Go and Do.  We need to trust God's guidance, whether we receive it through the scriptures, the prophet, or whatever, enough to Go and Do.  Once we start using our Faith we will be able to see fruit. 

So I am going to exercise my Faith and start this blog.  I Hope that I will be able to see it all work out.