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.