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When was the last time you ordered Pizza? What was the conversation like? Did you call Mark’s Pizzeria and say “Hey! I want two large pepperoni pizzas delivered to my house,” and then hang up the phone immediately without a response? Surely, you’d want to have the pizza man to ask for your address, tell you how much it would cost you and then notify you of the time you’d spend anxiously awaiting the delicious meal. If you hung up the phone right away, the process wouldn’t be complete.

Now, think about the last time you talked to your Father in Heaven.  Did you check in and tell him all the things you’re grateful for, ask for some help, then hang up the phone without taking time to listen to the answer in return? Our world is constantly clamoring for our attention with noise so loud there is no way that we can possibly hear what He is trying to tell us.

Answers do not come in lightning bolts or thunderstorms.The Prophet Elijah was seeking for an answer to his prayer and it came in an unexpected way.

“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:

And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still, small voice.”

1 Kings 19:11-12

To get answers to our prayers, we must take time to listen when the Lord is trying to speak. He will answer if we will but listen. So, lets take some time to ponder, to reflect, to turn off the noise of the world and hear what the Lord has to teach us. Answers do come as we patiently seek the Lord in faith. The Lord loves to guide us if we will let him.

“Be thou humble and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand and give thee answers to thy prayers.” (Doctrine and Covenants 112:10)

How would you eat an Elephant? Where would you start and at what pace would you chomp away? How long do you think it would take you?

Eating an Elephant is quite a daunting task. I can’t imagine trying to accomplish it all in one day. First of all…it would probably wouldn’t taste very good and secondly, I don’t think my stomach could handle it. So, rather than expecting to complete the task in one day, I think I’d give myself a couple of years to work on it.

Reaching perfection is like eating a gigantic elephant, it takes time, consistency, effort and patience. Becoming who our Father in Heaven desires for us to become is work and requires patience. So, how do we get there?

In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Alma teaches us how to approach perfection and eternal glory.

“Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.” –Alma 37:6-7

So, by SMALL and SIMPLE things do great and marvelous things come to pass. What are some of these small and simple things that can help us along our way?

Fervent heartfelt prayer. A young 8 year old boy we’re teaching, taught me that Christ was crucified for me so I can get down on my knees and pray. I’d have to agree.

Read the scriptures. This is our Heavenly Father’s map of directions. It’s the evidence that He still loves us!

Have you ever thought…if I don’t read or pray today what difference will it make? Its just one day.

Every little thing helps us along our way to get back to our Heavenly Father. So, if you feel like you’re not getting anywhere…just remember that its the small things that have a huge impact on our journey to perfection.

“We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.” –Richard G. Scott

Lets do the small things and patiently watch as the Lord refines us. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and that He is the master refiner. If we can just put all our trust in Him and do what He asks, we will find that He can make more out of us than we can on our own. I know these things are true!

Visit: www.mormon.org

What does our Savior and Redeemer mean to you? Who is He and what did His sacrifice do for you? Many people in the world know who Jesus Christ is but sometimes we do not understand the magnitude of what He experienced and how it applies to us.

We are all Children of God. Our Heavenly Father sent us here to Earth to learn and to grow and to be strengthened through our experiences. Our Heavenly Father’s plan was to bring all of us back into His presence but we had to be perfectly clean in order to come back. But, because we make mistakes every single day, and live in a world that is full of wickedness, we needed a way to rise above all of the filth and be made clean. We couldn’t do it on our own and so our Heavenly Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ to live a perfect life so that when we make mistakes, He could lift the guilt and shame from us and we could be made whole again. He has the power to reach down and pull us out of our lowest lows and lift us to experience the highest highs. Not only did he suffer for our mistakes but for our pains as well. Heartache, sadness, loneliness, disappointment and discouragement can all be overcome through our Savior Jesus Christ. He walked the road each of us walk to bring us genuine strength. Who better to comfort us than someone who has experienced the very things we experience?

So, how do we feel this healing and comforting power that comes through our Savior Jesus Christ? If we kneel down a

nd pray, pour out our hearts and souls to Him and seek for His love and then do what He asks of us, we will feel a burden lifted from us. We will be able to receive strength and feel His loving arms surround us that will bring us more comfort than any thing else.
I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He loves each and every one of us. I am so grateful for the power that His sacrifice brings into my life. This hymn, “Where Can I Turn for Peace” is my favorite and describes what the Savior has done for me.

Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When, with a wounded heart, anger, or malice
I draw myself apart searching my soul?

Where, when my aching grows?
Where, when I languish?
Where, in my need to know?

Where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.

He answers privately.
Reaches my reaching.
In my Gethsemane, Savior, and friend.
Gentle, the peace He finds
For my beseeching.
Constant He is, and kind.

Love without end.

I know that if we reach for the Savior’s hand and allow Him to take over the pains and the burdens we carry that He will lighten our load. He is there. Trust and believe Him. He will never fail us.

The Finest Remedy

The Book of Mormon: For sale in Palmyra New York on March 26, 1830

What do you do when you’re having a bad day? Curl up on your couch and eat chocolate? Drown your sorrows in a long nap? Distract your mind with a movie or some television? Life’s challenges are unpredictable and you never know when another storm is about to hit so, what do we do? How can we find solace in the roller coaster world we live in?

President Gordon B. Hinckley teaches the power that comes from reading the Book of Mormon:

 “Those who have read [the Book of Mormon] prayerfully, be they rich or poor, learned or unlearned, have grown under its power….without reservation I PROMISE that if you will prayerfully read the Book of Mormon, regardless of how many times you have read it, there will come into your hearts…the spirit of the Lord. There will come a strengthened resolutions to walk in obedience to his commandments, and there will come a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.”

As a missionary, all coping mechanisms for trials are no longer within my reach. As a result, I have found the finest remedy the world has to offer: reading from the pages of the Book of Mormon. As I read, my heart is filled with peace, my relationship with my Father in Heaven is strengthened and I gain a greater testimony that Jesus Christ is my Savior. Every time I have been having a hard day, and have turned to the Book of Mormon, I have found renewed vigor much greater than a little cat nap has to offer. It’s a drive that comes from the greatest source of strength in the universe–Jesus Christ.

I know that the Book of Mormon is true. Not because my parents told me, or because I have to say that so that one day I can marry a Mormon boy, but because I have prayed and experimented on the teachings of the book and have felt the spirit testify to me of its truth and divinity.

So, lets open up the Book of Mormon and taste of the sweet peace it brings. I promise that you will feel its power as you seek the spirit.

If you would like a free copy of the Book of Mormon, visit this website: http://mormon.org/free-book-of-mormon/

Mortal Weakness

How often do we self-examine to find fault after fault, weakness after weakness, and mistake upon mistake? It can become almost an hourly routine if we let it, and at the end of our self-dumping session we feel like dirt. In today’s society it seems to be that we almost have to interact with one another in this way so that we don’t seem prideful or haughty. Think about it, have you ever been amongst a group of friends and everyone is trash talking on themselves? Automatically, we begin to pick apart every single weakness we’ve ever fallen prey to, just to attempt to soothe someone else’s soul. As a result, we become discouraged, depressed and downtrodden.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that it doesn’t have to be this way. We are glorious creations created by the most powerful being in the universe who loves us with an infinite amount of love. Of course we are tempted and often times fall short. We each have mortal weaknesses that act as a “thorn in our side” (2 Corinthians 12:7) but we are taught that if we turn these weaknesses to the Savior and exercise faith in Christ and repent or change, then He can be made strong in us. (2 Corinthians 12:9) Our weaknesses are truly a lever that allows the Savior to be more fully a part of us and we become closer to Him. The Savior has made it possible for us to over come our faults, weaknesses, mistakes, guilt and shame. His arms are outstretched to us and he invites us to come and taste of His redeeming power and to feel His love.

http://mormon.org/jesus-christ/#faith-in-jesus-christ

Our Savior and our Heavenly Father want us to recognize the beautiful talents and characteristics that we have been blessed with. Nelson Mandela explains this perfectly.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves: who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be. You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are meant to shine as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, its in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our fear our presence automatically liberates others.”

So, this week, as we get up and go to work, school, family life, etc.,  think of three things you love about who you are as a child of God. Seek out the Savior’s hand to overcome your weaknesses. I know that as we do this, we will recognize more and more who we truly are and will feel more joy and happiness in everything that we do. Those we are surrounded by will feel our light and will have the freedom to recognize who they truly are. After all, we are all children of God.

Life on Earth is short and we never know when our time will be finished. Some of us may live to the ripe age of 98 while others of us may not. Life here is beautiful and we must cherish every single moment that we have. Its so easy for us to procrastinate what we know we should do for what is easier and more comfortable. The Lord has promised us that if we serve him TODAY, follow Him RIGHT NOW, that we will find more joy in this life and we will be prepared to meet our God. It will be more challenging and will require us to work, but living each day to the fullest will bring us the greatest satisfaction. The Lord will sustain us.

So, let’s not wait for SOMEDAY, let’s choose THIS DAY to follow the Savior’s example and live the way He would have us live. Let’s not live with regrets but with our minds and our hearts focused on serving Him. I know that as we do this, our lives will be full of everlasting happiness. There are great things in store for those who love and serve the Lord.

http://www.mormon.org/jesus-christ/

 This week has been unpredictable. As missionaries, every six weeks we have whats called a “transfer”. Missionaries are moved around into different areas to work with new companions and new people. Its an inevitable change. However, sometimes, a missionary may be assigned to one area for a prolonged period of time.

I have been serving the people of Penn Yan, New York for 6 months. The months I have spent here have been the most incredible and miraculous 6 months of my life. I’ve grown to love the people, the area, the challenges and the miracles…this has become my home.

This past week, the transfer came and my companion, Sister Stone and I were called to serve in Penn Yan for another transfer. We were pretty surprised because I had felt so strongly that I was being prepared to leave. Missionaries typically stay in their areas for 6 months or less and I had been here for quite some time. But, after praying and searching the scriptures, we felt so much peace and we felt that it was 100% where we needed to be.

Sometimes in life, however, the unexpected comes and we are all required to make changes without much preparation. Just yesterday, our Mission President, President Jack R. Christianson, called us to ask us if we would pack up and move to Palmyra to serve the people of Farmington, New York. We were SHOCKED! We had just settled in for another set of six weeks and thought that this would continue to be our home. President Christianson informed us that through a process of prayer and searching, he felt that the Lord needed us to move to serve the people in Palmyra and that a set of young men–Elder Myers and Elder Hoffman, would come to move in to our area. So, this morning, Sister Stone and I packed our bags and cleaned up our apartment and are preparing to move tonight.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this experience and I have learned so much. In life, we rarely have control over every single detail. We expect for our lives to be one way or the other but, how often are we sorely shocked by abrupt changes in our lives? We are tested and tried to see how willing we are to leave everything to follow the Savior. It is a test of our faith when we are asked to pick up and move, or take a new job in a foreign place, attend a new school, lose a loved one or experience any kind of drastic change.

The only constant in this life is CHANGE. But, when we found our lives on Jesus Christ…we can be certain that we will always have a friend to walk beside. The Savior will carry us and will comfort us as we experience the twists and turns of life.

So, when life changes come your way, kneel down and pray. God will show you the way. He is preparing us for the things that are to come. He will never leave us. Reach out and take his hand.

I know that although the future is unexpected, there are miracles waiting to happen as I put my faith in my Savior. He lives!

May we find joy in the journey as we experience the changes of life!

http://lds.org/general-conference/2008/10/finding-joy-in-the-journey?lang=eng&query=only+constant+life+change