Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Taking the Road Less Traveled

How to express a mission..... I feel completely inept.  And words are inconveniently failing me at this moment.

My mission is very special to me. Mostly because I wanted it to mean everything. Imagine yourself being given the chance to go out and give all you can to serve the Savior by striving to "feed His sheep" and invite others to come unto Him in a special and unique way for a set amount of time. And while you do this, seek to love others as the Savior loved everyone no matter how they treated you. If this was your opportunity, first of all, would you take it? And if so what would you want to give or make out of the experience??
       I think many desire to give everything. All that they have, and the very best "them."  I assure you dear readers those were the feelings I had in my heart as I started my mission. Along with feelings of being completely overwhelmed and an uncertanty of if I could really do it or not.
   I remember that when I went into the Missionary Training Center I thought I would automatically "feel" like a missionary. But I didn't. And it bothered me.

    But over the course of my mission I have learned that life is about becoming. We never change or become something greater and more Christlike in an instant. But to become more than we are and hope to be is a journey that extends an invitation to all, but is found less traveled.
   I think in part it is because we cannot make it without a guide. The creator of the path Himself, Jesus Christ. We cannot hope to walk in His footsteps without Him showing us the way.
   We often want to do things "our way" instead of His way.  We must be willing to let Him walk with us and trust Him at everyturn.
    It is in persuit of becoming more like the Savior that He draws out the best in us and the best that we have to offer... if we will let Him.

I guess I can try to relate my mission to a difficult hike. And as I start this hike I have this huge backpack that is filled with all my selfish likes and interests, bad habbits, you name it. And even with this huge obnoxious back pack (or "natural man") the Savior invites me to come and walk with Him in steps that He has walked. He continually reassures me that it will bring me experiences and joy that I can experience in no other way and that this is an important part of my journey in life, and He knows because He has experienced everything that I could ever go through and knows me perfectly.
  So off we go and it is hard and as I struggle He points out something in my backpack that if I set it aside it will make the journey not only more enjoyable, but easier.  He shows confidence in me that I can do it if I step where He steps and do what He does.
     There were times where I didn't think I could do it, and that I am not cut out for this journey. But the Savior will just encourage and comfort me and show me what else I can do without to lighten my load so I can become the hiker I need to make it through this hike and so step by step challenge by challenge I learn to trust to hand more of my challenges and weaknesses and shortcomings over to Him.

   Now please do not mistake me that I am expressing that I have come to some great arrival. Quite the opposite. As the Savior has lead me through a mission. I feel so much joy and my soul has never felt so light than it has in the service of the Master. I have gained a friend. I have learned I can love to learn and grow by doing hard things, and as I look ahead to the greater mountains and valleys that lay before me, I am not afraid because I know in whom I can trust and who will walk with me. 
      I am so thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how it fills my soul to overflowing. I know it is true and real. I know that through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can always have hope to become and change for the better through sincere repentance. I invite you all to turn to Him in prayer and to be willing to walk (or hike) the individual paths that He leads each of us. It will require changes and sacrifices but I know that each one is calculated for our good. I know He knows us personally and knows how to make beauty from ashes and build us to all that we can be. He is there with outstreched hands always inviting us to take the road less traveled.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pink Hats and Scary Trucks

  It is often said opportunities are missed because they come dressed in overalls and look like work.  But in relation to missionary work I'd like to say, opportunities are often missed because they come dressed in pink hats and have scary trucks.

Let me explain...

  The other evening my companion and I had an interesting experience. We had spent the whole day trying to look for new people to teach and nearly all of our original plans had fallen through.
   We had stopped at the gas station on our way home to fill the car up with gas.
  As we were doing so, and as a result of being somewhat flustered with the days events, I determined that I was going to walk up and talk to somebody.
   I started to look around for an opportunity, but as people came out out from the station to their cars they were either on the phone, in conversation with some, or looked anything but approachable and I just missed it.
  So more frustrate with myself, I looked around and noticed this big, rather scary looking black truck complete with flood lights on top, high wheels and skull and flame decals on the sides.
  I imagined it belonging to a somewhat rough looking biker type guy, or the villain form that cute Halloween movie "Little Vampires" (do you remember that?)  and wasn't so sure I should worry myself with speaking to the owner of that truck.
 But then again, this is what felt like my last chance to try and share the gospel with someone as we were getting ready to go.
  I'll admit I was a little nervous and was about to forget the idea when a tall lean man with a pink baseball cap, Levi's, and sweatshirt came strolling out to this monster vehicle. (Not what I had imagined the owner to look like at all.)
   I walked up and introduced myself as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. The man greeted me with a friendly smile and we had a great conversation.  He shared what his belief in Christ meant to him and accepted a Book of Mormon as we explained more about it and how it could help him know that God had called a prophet in our day.  We even prayed with him outside his truck before we left.
  I felt great as we walked back to the car and went on our way.
  It is amazing the people you find in all shapes and sizes that are willing to talk about the Savior. I just love it!
  As we were driving home I thought of a quote from a favorite church speaker;

        "You can never judge anyone... once you realize this you will be freed."  - Elder Busche

And also the famous, "You can never judge a book by its cover."

The Savior taught;

1 aJudge not, that ye be not bjudged.
2 For with what ajudgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what bmeasure ye mete, it shall be cmeasured to you again. (Matthew 7:1-2)
I know that God loves and knows each one of us individually. I felt it as we were talking with that man at the gas station.  I know He knew me and my desire to talk to someone while also teaching me an important lesson.  The Savior knows where each of us are in life, each of our quirks, struggles, trials, and short comings. And to all He calls;
28 aCome unto me, all ye that blabour and are heavy laden, and I will give you crest.
29 Take my ayoke upon you, and blearn of me; for I am cmeek and dlowly in eheart: and ye shall find frest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is aeasy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)
I know that God is know respecter of persons. In every shape, size, truck, and baseball cap He invites us to come unto Him to feel whole and find rest. This new perspective has helped me to not judge others.
Will you seek to reach out to someone you normally wouldn't this week?

I know that as you do you will feel the peace and rest that comes from doing what the Savior would do. And also that you will be given better vision to see people as they really are;
 sons and daughters of God.

You just never know what might happen :)

What are some experiences where you might have judged "a book by its cover" and were pleasantly surprised??


Tuesday, September 25, 2012


General Conference has had a great impact on my lfe and has been a source of strength or myself and those I love. I invite you to come and Lsten to a prophet's voice today.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Joy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

   Last month my comanion and I were invited to speak at a chruch youth conference entitled, Especially For Youth. we were asked to help teach the youth how they can have more experiences sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with their friends and those they meet.
  We had a wonderful experience and loved having the opportunity to hear these teens share amazing stories and experiences where they had been able to defend, stand up and invite others to learn more about what they believe.
  As I heard their stories I was reminded of a scripture in the Book of Mormon, in 3rd Nephi 12:16;

 16 Therefore let your alight so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and bglorify your Father who is in heaven.

I know that this is God's work. And that we are His children and he wants us to be a light and example to others. Sharing the message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ has brought me the greatest joy I have ever known. I know that when we let our hands become His hands we experience greater joy as we seek to lift and build others.

We met so many counselors that had their paper work in to go and serve missions or were getting ready to go and we even met a girl who had been home for 7 months from her mission. They had so much light and were so excited and ready to serve and be "Sister Missionaries!"

I am so amazed and so thankful that God calls on us at this time in our lives, for the courage and example that all these women have to go out and serve the Lord and live the joy of the gospel for themselves as they lift and testify to others of the divinity and reality of Jesus Christ.

I am just so amazed at the faith of the rising generation, their faith just gets stronger and stronger. So many young girls came up after the activity and took pictures with us and expressed so much desire to serve and share the gospel with their friend.
I was like, "wow, I definitely don't remember having so much courgae and determination at their age. It was just so cool to see.

Awhile back I recieved a message on facebook from an amazing young woman in our ward. (I want to grow up to be just like her).
Sister Bishop,

I know you probably won't remember this, but it has been on my mind for months. Back in February, we had New Beginnings and when I was at your station you asked me what my favorite YW value was. I told you it was Faith but couldn't explain why. Ever since that time it has bothered me. I've been trying to figure out within myself why faith really is so important. I guess it's one of those things I've been taught my whole life, but never took the time to find out on my own. So, after months of prayer and pondering here is my delayed answer to your question. Faith is my favorite because it is the foundation for everything else in the gospel. It is faith in Jesus Christ that influences my actions every day of my life. Without it, I would be lost. I've been reading the book, Jesus the Christ, and as I learn of His example, it is Faith that He is the Son of God that allows me to turn to those teachings for guidance. I have Faith that keeping the commandments will bring forth blessings, even though I often can't see the results of my actions immediately. One of my favorite hymns is "I Believe in Christ" and this line is one of my favorites: "I Believe in Christ, So come what may. With Him I'll stand in that great day." As I face the trials of life, it is Faith that we can one day return to our home in Heaven that encourages me to try to stay strong. I know that my Savior lives with all my heart and that if I put my trust in Him, He will lead. Faith is what has led me to know this, and what has given me the desire to go on a mission and share the message of the gospel with others. I know that was kind of long, but I just had to share this with you so I could finally get it off my mind. I guess I'm in some ways Im a perfectionist (although I'm far from being perfect) so this would bother me for a long time if I never answered your question... :)

It is people like my friend here that I know God's work will continue to grow, and more and more people will be come to know the love of the Savior because of their faith and desire to serve the Lord.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Errands of Angels: Erasers and Repentance

loved this thought with the start of the coming school year. Repentance is such a happy thing. It makes me think that through daily repentance we can get an A+ in our journey of life this year :). So keep your pencils sharp (through daily prayer) and erasers ready! (with daily repentance).

The Errands of Angels: Erasers and Repentance:   With school starting I really like this thought about repentance. At the beginning of each school year each student is given an eraser to ...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"Feasting Upon the Words of Christ..."

  Lately I have been thinking so much about the power that comes to us from the scriptures.  So many times, day after day I see how the Book of Mormon changes people. They become happier, more at peace, gentle, and most importantly, I get to see their love for the Savior increase.

In the Book of Mormon there is a scripture that reads:

  7 And behold, ye do know of yourselves,
 for ye have witnessed it, that as many of them
as are brought to the knowledge of the truth, and to know of the wicked and abominable traditions of their fathers, and are led to believe the holy scriptures, yea, the prophecies of the holy prophets, which are written, which leadeth them to faith on the Lord, and unto repentance which faith and repentance bringeth a achange of heart unto them—

  8 Therefore, as many as have come to this,
 ye know of yourselves are afirm and steadfast
 in the faith, and in the thing wherewith they
 have been made free.

I know that through the power of God's word we are truly made free. We can be delivered from temptation and sin, and be able to direct well our course here in mortality. They will change us to become more like our Savior Jesus Christ, and we can truly feel the joy and strength from the gospel in our everyday lives.


The study of the scriputes has been a quiet peace that has been a needed anchor to my soul. They have strengthened and lifted my family.  I know each of you can experience the same.

"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a asteadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of bhope, and a clove of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and dendure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eeternal life."- (2Nephi 31: 20)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"Come unto Christ and Be Perfected in Him..."

Over the course of my mission so far, I have realized there is such a special feeling being at a baptism and witnessing their determination to follow Christ.
 I have often reflected on what it is that makes these events so special.

  This past weekend we were able to see two Burmese children make that special promise with their Heavenly Father. I thought to a previous night when we had taught them about following Jesus Christ  and asked each of them why they wanted to be baptized. The boy answered, "So I can receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost." And the girl answered, "So I can return to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ one day."

  And here they were, dressed in white and ready to be baptized!

 Over the past month and a half we had taught them how to pray, and this past week they would take our nametags and teach us all about how God calls prophets. They had learned so much and LOVED IT in a way that I admired. With whatever they learned they would practice and review all week. They would even have their dad pretend to be the student and they would pretend to be missionaries and teach him.

As they each got ready to enter the water I was reminded of a scripture;

"And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.
 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God."

I know that there is so much power in the promises we make with our Heavenly Father. I know that He always keeps His promises. As we enter in and strive our whole lives to keep our promise, or covenant to Him, I know the blessings of God can be each of ours, and our eternal hopes will be realized.
   In The Book of Mormon, Jesus teaches the people and us the importance of these things, He says;

  " And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.
   Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day." (3 Nephi 27:19-20)
I love this scripture because it encompasses the hope of these two children that my companion and I have grown to love. It is my hope I can be more like them, filled with the bright hope and faith of Christ and a determination to follow Him.