Saturday, August 31, 2013

Morning Time

6:30am
Wake up. Roll out of bed onto my knees.
Pray.
Try not to fall back asleep.
"In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."
Exercise.
Shower.
Pray.
Eat.
Pray.
One hour of personal study
Pray.
Study with my missionary companion, one hour,
One last prayer for the road and
Out the door we go...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Post on Prayer

When I was a young child, every night, before they tucked me into bed, my parents would kneel with me and help me say a nightly prayer. Kindly whispering gentle words in my ear they helped me to thank God for everything. My dinner, for the day I had, good health, my family, clothes and many blessings. To ask blessings upon others, and for myself.

In my innocence and naivety, I relied on my parents faith that there was someone on the receiving end of those prayers. Someone far away, someone very kind, and dear, who loved me, who was the source of all things good in my life and wanted me to be happy. I was nourished by their honest faith for most of my youth.

Eventually, as I grew older they stopped kneeling with me and allowed me to pray on my own. Most of the time, I repeated the same words, which probably sounded more like a sincere grocery list with few variations, ended with an "in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen", and hopped into bed. 

I still felt good, and I know it helped me.

The teenage years were a conflicted time for me. I was dealt with adversity that I had never faced before. I still had a good life, I had parents who loved me, but I realized I was lacking something, there was a void in my life.

Prayer then became more than words said and wishful thinking. It became a resource of strength, healing, peace, guidance, encouragement, enlightenment. I asked questions, I asked for forgiveness, I didn't just pray at night, but I tried praying always. 

Prayer has been a learning experience with me.
I still make a lot of mistakes.
I'm still twenty, and highly ignorant.
I am constantly developing a personal relationship with God.
And he has answered me,
It hasn't always been instant. 
Not with a pillar of light,
Not with a yes or no,

He answered me through the guidance of other people, through my thoughts and my feelings, if I felt peace and warmth after I prayed, I knew I was heading in the right direction.

There were times when I struggled, and prayer was the last thing on my mind. I made choices that conflicted with everything good I had learned, I felt like God would never listen to me, because of the choices I had made. I eventually learned of his love and constant forgiveness.

I stepped away from my clouded judgement, and got back on my knees.
Like a wanderer traveling in the hot desert, it was like a pool of cool water that quenched my thirst, replenished my soul, and gave me the strength to continue my journey.

To pray, we admit there's something greater than us.

I have met many people where prayer has played an essential role in their life. And I have many people who do not view the same way. I don't know your life and I won't pretend too. Maybe the only person you have ever been able to rely on is yourself.

You may feel the concept of religion, and God, and prayer is a crutch, or a psychological ploy.

I ask you, to try something beyond your own strength and experience for yourself. I know there is greater peace you can find in your life.

I believe in a loving supreme being, who is our Father. He hears the things of our hearts that no one else can understand. I have felt an unseen power work in my life and I know it can work in yours as well.

"Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weaknesses. It is better in prayer to have a heart with out words than words without a heart."
-Mahatma Gandhi

“Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.”
 -Victor Hugo

“I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time – waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God – it changes me.” 
-C.S. Lewis

I invite you to leave a comment or ask a question!
Would your life benefit from prayer or would it be worse?
What have your experiences been when you have prayed?
In what ways do you pray?
Who do you pray to and why?

I said a prayer before I started to write this post.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Adjustment

One year ago, I lived at the bottom of this mountain.


I stayed there for over seven months of my mission, when I first arrived to 
North Ogden it was a time of major adjustment, 

I was a new missionary, I did not know a lot and I was completely unsure of myself.

Month after month, I expected to be whisked away and taken somewhere else, 
and then it ended up being the longest area of my mission. 

I walked through snippets of cut summer grass, crunched across fall leaves, and waded through the snow. I found out a lot about everyone, I was familiar with the main roads, and the shortcuts. People's histories and heritages, some shared their secrets. 

Many of my neighbors were not members of the church, I learned to love them and befriend them even if they were not interested in my invitation to learn about Jesus Christ.

I thought I was destined to serve there for the remainder of my mission.
And before I knew it, it was all over.

God taught me something by keeping me there.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Learning How to Walk

I don't like it when I make mistakes.

I could be wrong but I'm sure you don't enjoy making mistakes either.
For the longest time, I would feel bad about the mistakes that I would make.
And then I heard this quote, and it helped me not feel so bad anymore.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

When life changes

I received an unexpected call a few nights ago, and I was informed that I was moving from Syracuse, to Riverdale. I was shocked, but some how I felt okay about it, I do not know why.
But I do know that it will be okay. It's hard leaving a place you put your heart and soul into.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Because of Christ

Today I participated in three different services of Church.
 There were three separate congregations, two different buildings, and three different time periods.
I was able to speak about Jesus Christ, and why I'm a missionary for Him.
In another congregation, I sat in the audience as someone presented a talk 
(Mormon lingo for sermon)and expressed exactly what I needed to hear, 
words that encouraged me, answered my prayers and filled my heart with happiness.
And more importantly, I was able to reflect on the blessings on my life,
and what Jesus has done for me.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Learning to Listen

Everybody has a story inside of them. You just have to take the time to read it. I have met many people, and have read many of their stories. My mind is a pool of these collected experiences, swirling around inside my head. Stories of happily ever afters, adventures, quests, and triumphs over challenges. Others tell of abuse and oppression, some only knowing misery. I have rejoiced with many as they have rejoiced. And at other times I have wanted to cry along side with these people as they cried. There is once instance in particular on my mission that surfaces the pool occasionally. And I will be forever for that experience, let me share it with you.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Families Are Forever

Finding the strength to leave the environment I had lived in for my nineteen years of life came from a heavenly source. At first, I really did not know what to expect before I stepped on the plane. As I hugged each member of my family, and walked over to board, the reality of a two year separation sunk in. But somehow, it felt natural, I would be okay. Adrenaline pumped through my body, a twinge of uncertainty poked at me, but a reassuring stillness filled my heart, and guided me gently on the plane, with the security that I was heading in the right direction.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

My Purpose

To the world, the most common image of a Mormon Missionary is a young man, draped in business apparel, skipping door to door to preach to you. My purpose as a missionary, goes beyond preaching, it is an invitation to learn, to bring your family closer together, and bring  peace into your life. Peace that comes by following the teachings of Jesus Christ. I carry this message, not only from door to door, but from my heart to your heart.