Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Waiting, even for little things can be a hard task for some. I would definitely put myself in that category. I have always struggled with the attribute of patience. Growing up I sometimes found it hard to wait patiently for things to happen. Sometimes this even spilled over to things that are spiritual. One of the things that I have come to realize over the course of my life is how important patience really is. At times I have felt like the things I ask for in prayer are good things but I don't receive the blessings immediately. I use to wonder why that was. God knows us better than we know ourselves and will always do whats best for us. As we accept His timing we will be able to develop greater faith in Him. Patience is not something that comes overnight or even only because of ourselves. Patience is a gift of God that we should pray for. God is always very patient with us so we definitely have a reason to be patient with God.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Time For Change

The Christmas season is definitely one of my favorite times of the year. I really enjoy the mood and atmosphere that comes with this special time. It seems to me that it makes a lot of people a little kinder and happier. For me it really helps to look for the good and focus on the joy that comes from this season. It is a time that I am able to truly see all that I have been blessed with in this life. I also see it as a good time to make changes for the better. I am able to reflect on the year that has come and gone to see what has happened to me. Most of the time I can look back to see some type of improvement but still a lot of room for change. It is a good time for me to evaluate how I can become better now and in the coming year. The Christmas season gives me a renewed motivation to more fully repent by becoming like the Savior. He was the ultimate example for us all and wants us to be like Him. I am very grateful for the opportunity that I have along with others to make changes for the better. I know that God can help us to make those changes as we express a sincere desire to follow His example. Joy comes as we do what the Lord has asked of us.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Trust in God

Gaining the trust and confidence of someone is something that doesn't happen overnight. It takes effort on both parts for trust to be established. Over the past couple of weeks I have been thinking about that and how it applies to trusting in the Lord. At times I feel like the certain challenges I go through may never end or that they will get the best of me. It is at these moments in which my trust has fallen. I have come to a greater realization of the love that God has for all of His children and that He truly wants the best for us. He can always be trusted, we just need to look for ways that we can gain greater trust in Him. Sometimes that means that He will allow us to fall down. I do know that as we accept our challenges with a good attitude and have confidence in God that all things will work out. He is anxious to bless us and will always do what is best for our spiritual development. We must learn to trust God, not doubting His wonderful power.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Hope is a word that I hear a lot yet feel like I don't really understand. Just recently one of the General Authorities in the church came to visit our mission. He was able to talk with the mission in a large group setting and discuss certain principles of the gospel. Many things were brought up during the meeting but one of the items was hope. Over the past couple days I have been thinking a lot about what was said and how I could increase my own hope. Sometimes the word hope is used to describe something that we hope will happen, something like winning a prize from a drawing. Hope in more of a gospel sense though has come to me to mean that there is something better. In our church we believe that our hope should be centered on Jesus Christ and how through Him we can return to live with our Heavenly Father. This knowledge has meant everything to me and is the reason why I do what I do. If I didn't have hope that there was something better to look forward to after this life then it would make it almost meaningless. But because I know that God is there and that He has prepared a plan so that we can return back to Him I feel as though I can get through the trials that life throws at me. Hope to me has come now to mean having a clear vision of where I am going and doing what I need to so that I can get there. Many things in life can really cloud our vision if we let them but the gospel of Jesus Christ can give us hope for a better future.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Adventures in Michigan

Before I came to Michigan I didn't really know what to expect. I had been raised for most of my life in Washington State and had spent some time in Phoenix. I didn't know much about what life would be like out here more towards the eastern side of the United States. I was really stoked to see how I would adjust or how different it would even be. I have served in some pretty diverse places which has given me a really good taste of Michigan as a whole. I would definitely say that I have enjoyed my time thus far.

I started my mission over in the Thumb of Michigan and it was quite an experience. I was pretty comfortable in a suburban environment and it was very different. I spent about a month in Cass City and then moved up to Bad Axe for a while. I met of lot of really nice people and really learned to like the little towns out in the Thumb. It was a great experience for me and I really felt that I learned a lot.

My next assignment took me across the state over to another smaller town called Paw Paw. I had heard some really good things about that area so I was really excited to go there. The people there were all really nice and the fall foliage was awesome. I stayed there for only 3 months but felt like it was a good amount of time for me to be there.

After that I moved over to the Kalamazoo/Portage area. It was definitely a change of pace from the other two areas that I had previously served in. I was there through the winter which luckily was not too harsh. I was in this area for about 4 months and got to meet some really amazing people. I really enjoyed my time there in the Kalamazoo area.

Then I moved up north a bit to the wonderful city of Mt Pleasant. This turned out to be the longest area of my mission comprising about six months or so. This was my first experience on a college campus and it was really cool. Central Michigan University is a pretty good sized place but still has that smaller school feel to it. I enjoyed talking to kids my own age for a change and met a ton of really cool people. I really felt at home there and would definitely love to go back again sometime.

That brings me to where I am today, serving at Michigan State University. I have only been here a couple months but have loved my time so far. The campus here is really awesome along with the fact that it is absolutely massive. I have enjoyed still being able to work with a lot of college aged kids. I guess I will just have to wait and see what the future has in store.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Trials to Faith

Everyone has trials that are unique to their specific situation. We all experience things that test not only our patience but even sometimes our faith. Opposition is not meant to derail us from the right path that many of us are trying to go down. When handled in the right way the adversity that we go through can actually help to strengthen us and make us better people.

I just recently had surgery to remove my gallbladder. It is a pretty minor procedure so I was not too worried about the results. Going into the surgery I received a blessing from my mission president promising me that everything would go smoothly if I had faith in God. Over the past few days I have had a lot of time to think about things. I thought about where my faith is now and where I would like it to be. I thought about how I could improve and what I needed to do to see that improvement. I came to the realization that I truly do need to show my faith at all times. I know that God is there and that He is watching out for all of us.

Recovering has not been an easy thing but I have seen the blessings of God in helping me get through the days. I know that the trials we all face can help us increase in our own faith and trust as we allow them to. He is always there we just have to look to Him.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

An Optimistic View

A lot of things in today's world can really get us down, if we let them. Being on a mission can at times be like riding on a roller coaster. One minute things are going way good and the next minute something can happen that could ruin your day. At times I thought that my life would get better if only something would happen or when this one bad thing stops. I have come to realize that life is full of challenges but the trick is to be able to be happy even on the rough roads. I think one of the things that has helped me the most has been trying hard to look for the good and be optimistic. Attimes I was so focused on the bad things that happened to me that I was completely overlooking how blessed I had been. When I have made an effort to look for the good in things and have an optimistic view things seem to go a lot better. I think that when we desire to be happy it starts with thinking that we can no matter what trials we are going through at the time. I have never succeeded when believing that I couldn't do it and that has been something that I have tried to steer clear of. Thinking positively definitely sets up a course of success and happiness.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Power of Prayer

Recently I have had a few experiences that have strengthened my testimony on how powerful prayer can be. Throughout my life it has sometimes been easy for me to slip into the routine of saying prayers instead of praying. I feel like there are times in my life when I do very good at that but then I fall back into the same old thing. Recently I have tried hard to pray sincerely and specifically. Since doing that I have seen miracles happen in my life. I have received specific answers and specific blessings because I was willing to pray sincerely. I have also seen recently how prayer has blessed others around me. Since beginning to pray this friend of mine has seen his life change for the better. He has been doing well and has seen many wonderful things happen. Prayer is an act of faith and a form of work so at times it can be difficult to pray instead of just saying prayers. I know that God listens to all prayers and that He is ready to bless us with the things that we need if we just ask.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Why I Came on a Mission

     Growing up in a Mormon family I heard a lot about going on a mission. From an early age I was taught that going on a 2 year mission for my church was the thing to do. It was something that I always looked forward to and was very excited to embark on. Some of the songs sung at church by the children with titles such as "I Hope They Call Me On A Mission" instill the idea at an early age. For some reason I always looked at a mission as a future event, something that I would always have to look forward too.

     I feel blessed to have grown up in the family that I did. My parents did a great job in trying to teach me and my siblings values and principles that would help us to become better people. The church and its teachings were never forced on me but were something that they made me want to have in my life. I saw the blessings that came from living the gospel of Jesus Christ and I definitely wanted to be a part of that. Many members of my family had served missions for the church. I saw the example they had set for me and wanted greatly to follow the path they had paved.

     After graduating from high school I went off to college to live on my own for the first time. It was a neat experience even though it was unlike anything I had done before. I was able to meet a lot of really neat people who had a great impact on me. Being away from home also though presented an opportunity for me to have an expanded amount of freedom. I didn't have parents around to make sure I was doing what I should. Fortunately the friends I had made greatly helped me to live the standards of the gospel I had been taught since I was very young. I still though had to exercise my own will to act, especially in matters of religion.

     I had always believed the church was true but a lot of that came from the borrowed light of my parents. Going out on my own caused me to rely more on myself and what I truly believed. Later in the school year it came close to the time that I could put my papers in to serve a mission. I was really excited to have the opportunity to turn them in since it was something I had looked forward to my whole life. I came to the conclusion though that I had to find out for myself if what I had been taught all my life was true. Over the course of a few weeks I read from the Book of Mormon and reflected on the things I had been taught my whole life. I prayed earnestly to know if this was the right path for me. When it came time to submit my mission papers it felt like the right thing to do. I felt a sense of peace that what I was doing was what the Lord wanted me to do.

     My testimony of the Book of Mormon has been my motivation to share the gospel. The Book of Mormon has brought me a lot of peace and that is something that I want to share with others.