Well we did not get snow for Christmas which to my was quite depressing, but I got over it and had a good Christmas. I am actually really grateful for the the chance to be one the mission cause I know that I would not be able to truly feel and understand what Christmas is all about with out being here. Things what when on this week;
We were able to find actually lots of new investigators this week, :) #christmasmiracles. One of which is named Emma. We had been going over to Emma's house for some time now to visit her father, and a sister that He takes care of. Neither of which are able to come to church but re figure that Christ would visit them, so we do. Before this time we have only said Hi, and By to Emma. But when we went over this time, her father and friend were asleep so we ask is we can share a message with her. :) well it was great. She is going through a divorce and looking for answers. She asked us for a copy of the Bible and we were able to also give her a Book of Mormon. i will Definitely keep y'all updated on her. i know she has been prepared!
Many of you ask about the weather, it has been great! Sunny and 50 to 60 degrees this past week :) currently it is raining but here, can't be perfect weather all the time. Still no snow though :(
I bought a sweet awesome sweater and wore it to mission conference. hahah I will get y'all a pic of it next week. #thriftshop
After going almost a whole week without chopping wood, I was able to get back on the AX and boi have i missed it. I was feeling great and even included a video for you :)
|Another Selfie, I love the sunsets here!|
|Elder Crowley and I doing our stretches during a meeting|
Elder Jensen one me. Lover the kid
|Elder Springer and I ready to ball before Zone Sports|
|HAHA me and my Groopies driving. You can kind of see my awesome sweater|
|These dogs barked for like 2 hours straight while I chopped wood.|
|HAHAh this one kind of embarrassed me but i got it nice!|
|Love -in it!|
So we got a call Sunday morning at like 7:30 from the new Stake President. He asked us if we could fill in for the High Counselor who was suppose to speak in our branch that day. Well of course we say yes and and then we rush to get our talks ready. It is cool how the lord works cause normally we have Missionary correlation at eight but that day our branch mission leader was at a baby blessing for a family member. So we had that extra 40 minutes to prepare this talk. I thought that I would share it will you all because I was pleased with it :) sorry i didn't record it, I thought about doing that and i forgot.
Before I type the talk, wanted to mention one other thing that was cool. All 3 people that spoke, spoke on similar things, and none of us discussed what we were talking on before. #lordswork
Well with the excitement of Christmas winding down, and the New year coming upon us this week. Many of us see this as a time to change. Maybe some of you are going to set weightless goals, Maybe some to gain weight, Spend less money, or shop the sales more. Some might see the need to make some major life changes in the coming year, and many of us see the fine turning that we can make in our life.
The idea behind the talk that i have prepared today comes from two recent General Conference Addresses. One given by President Utchdorf titled, OF REGRETS AND RESOLUTION, and the other is by Bishop Stevenson titled, "4 MINUTES."
First thing that we need to understand though is that we are all mortals and we all make mistakes. None of us will be on earth very long. We have a number of precious years which, in the eternal perspective, barely amount to the blink of an eye. In a sense, your four minutes have already begun. The clock is ticking. The words of the Apostle Paul seem so fitting: to run the race, that you may obtain the prize. When we are young, it seems that we will live forever. We think there is a limitless supply of sunrises waiting just beyond the horizon, and the future looks to us like an unbroken road stretching endlessly before us.But as many of us know, or are slowly finding out, our sunsets our limited. There are certain steps are essential in the very brief performance of an Olympic athlete—jumps or maneuvers for ice skaters and snowboarders, negotiating the turns of a bobsled run, or carving through the gates of a downhill slalom course—so it is in our lives, where certain things are absolutely essential—checkpoints which move us through our spiritual performance on earth. These spiritual markers are the essential God-given ordinances of the gospel: baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, priesthood ordinations, temple ordinances, and partaking of the sacrament each week.Now, flipping over to the talk Given by President Utchdorf. He echos the words of a nurse that works with terminally ill patients. And is able to talk with them in there final moments of this mortal life. (then i just read my favorite quotes from his talk about the 3 main responses).
I Wish I Had Spent More Time with the People I LovePerhaps the most universal regret dying patients expressed was that they wished they had spent more time with the people they love.
Men in particular sang this universal lament: they “deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the [daily] treadmill of … work.”3 Many had lost out on choice memories that come from spending time with family and friends. They missed developing a deep connection with those who meant the most to them.
Isn’t it true that we often get so busy? And, sad to say, we even wear our busyness as a badge of honor, as though being busy, by itself, was an accomplishment or sign of a superior life.
I think of our Lord and Exemplar, Jesus Christ, and His short life among the people of Galilee and Jerusalem. I have tried to imagine Him bustling between meetings or multitasking to get a list of urgent things accomplished.
I can’t see it.
Instead I see the compassionate and caring Son of God purposefully living each day. When He interacted with those around Him, they felt important and loved. He knew the infinite value of the people He met. He blessed them, ministered to them. He lifted them up, healed them. He gave them the precious gift of His time.
In our day it is easy to merely pretend to spend time with others. With the click of a mouse, we can “connect” with thousands of “friends” without ever having to face a single one of them. Technology can be a wonderful thing, and it is very useful when we cannot be near our loved ones. My wife and I live far away from precious family members; we know how that is. However, I believe that we are not headed in the right direction, individually and as a society, when we connect with family or friends mostly by reposting humorous pictures, forwarding trivial things, or linking our loved ones to sites on the Internet. I suppose there is a place for this kind of activity, but how much time are we willing to spend on it? If we fail to give our best personal self and undivided time to those who are truly important to us, one day we will regret it.
Let us resolve to cherish those we love by spending meaningful time with them, doing things together, and cultivating treasured memories.
I Wish I Had Lived Up to My PotentialAnother regret people expressed was that they failed to become the person they felt they could and should have been. When they looked back on their lives, they realized that they never lived up to their potential, that too many songs remained unsung.
I am not speaking here of climbing the ladder of success in our various professions. That ladder, no matter how lofty it may appear on this earth, barely amounts to a single step in the great eternal journey awaiting us.
Rather, I am speaking of becoming the person God, our Heavenly Father, intended us to be.
We arrive in this world, as the poet said, “trailing clouds of glory”4 from the premortal sphere.
Our Heavenly Father sees our real potential. He knows things about us that we do not know ourselves. He prompts us during our lifetime to fulfill the measure of our creation, to live a good life, and to return to His presence.
Why, then, do we devote so much of our time and energy to things that are so fleeting, so inconsequential, and so superficial? Do we refuse to see the folly in the pursuit of the trivial and transient?
Would it not be wiser for us to “lay up for [ourselves] treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal”?5
How do we do this? By following the example of the Savior, by incorporating His teachings in our daily lives, by truly loving God and our fellowman.
We certainly cannot do this with a dragging-our-feet, staring-at-our-watch, complaining-as-we-go approach to discipleship.
When it comes to living the gospel, we should not be like the boy who dipped his toe in the water and then claimed he went swimming. As sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, we are capable of so much more. For that, good intentions are not enough. We must do. Even more important, we must become what Heavenly Father wants us to be.
Declaring our testimony of the gospel is good, but being a living example of the restored gospel is better. Wishing to be more faithful to our covenants is good; actually being faithful to sacred covenants—including living a virtuous life, paying our tithes and offerings, keeping the Word of Wisdom, and serving those in need—is much better. Announcing that we will dedicate more time for family prayer, scripture study, and wholesome family activities is good; but actually doing all these things steadily will bring heavenly blessings to our lives.
Discipleship is the pursuit of holiness and happiness. It is the path to our best and happiest self.
Let us resolve to follow the Savior and work with diligence to become the person we were designed to become. Let us listen to and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit. As we do so, Heavenly Father will reveal to us things we never knew about ourselves. He will illuminate the path ahead and open our eyes to see our unknown and perhaps unimagined talents.
The more we devote ourselves to the pursuit of holiness and happiness, the less likely we will be on a path to regrets. The more we rely on the Savior’s grace, the more we will feel that we are on the track our Father in Heaven has intended for us.
I Wish I Had Let Myself Be HappierAnother regret of those who knew they were dying may be somewhat surprising. They wished they had let themselves be happier.
So often we get caught up in the illusion that there is something just beyond our reach that would bring us happiness: a better family situation, a better financial situation, or the end of a challenging trial.
The older we get, the more we look back and realize that external circumstances don’t really matter or determine our happiness.
We do matter. We determine our happiness.
You and I are ultimately in charge of our own happiness.
My wife, Harriet, and I love riding our bicycles. It is wonderful to get out and enjoy the beauties of nature. We have certain routes we like to bike, but we don’t pay too much attention to how far we go or how fast we travel in comparison with other riders.
However, occasionally I think we should be a bit more competitive. I even think we could get a better time or ride at a higher speed if only we pushed ourselves a little more. And then sometimes I even make the big mistake of mentioning this idea to my wonderful wife.
Her typical reaction to my suggestions of this nature is always very kind, very clear, and very direct. She smiles and says, “Dieter, it’s not a race; it’s a journey. Enjoy the moment.”
How right she is!
Sometimes in life we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to find joy in the journey. I don’t go cycling with my wife because I’m excited about finishing. I go because the experience of being with her is sweet and enjoyable.
Doesn’t it seem foolish to spoil sweet and joyful experiences because we are constantly anticipating the moment when they will end?
Do we listen to beautiful music waiting for the final note to fade before we allow ourselves to truly enjoy it? No. We listen and connect to the variations of melody, rhythm, and harmony throughout the composition.
Do we say our prayers with only the “amen” or the end in mind? Of course not. We pray to be close to our Heavenly Father, to receive His Spirit and feel His love.
We shouldn’t wait to be happy until we reach some future point, only to discover that happiness was already available—all the time! Life is not meant to be appreciated only in retrospect. “This is the day which the Lord hath made … ,” the Psalmist wrote. “Rejoice and be glad in it.”6
Brothers and sisters, no matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it.
Perhaps we should be looking less with our eyes and more with our hearts. I love the quote: “One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”7
We are commanded “to give thanks in all things.”8 So isn’t it better to see with our eyes and hearts even the small things we can be thankful for, rather than magnifying the negative in our current condition?
The Lord has promised, “He who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold.”9
Brothers and sisters, with the bountiful blessings of our Heavenly Father, His generous plan of salvation, the supernal truths of the restored gospel, and the many beauties of this mortal journey, “have we not reason to rejoice?”10
Let us resolve to be happy, regardless of our circumstances."
"Now, many of you may be thinking to yourself, “I already blew it. My four minutes are already a disaster. I may as well give up.” If so, stop thinking that, and never think it again. The miracle of the Atonement can make up for imperfections in our performance. As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has taught:
“To those of you … who may still be hanging back, … I testify of the renewing power of God’s love and the miracle of His grace. …
“… It is never too late so long as the Master … says there is time. … Don’t delay.”10
Remember, you are not alone. The Savior has promised that He will not leave you comfortless.11 You also have family, friends, and leaders who are cheering you on."
"One day we will take that unavoidable step and cross from this mortal sphere into the next estate. One day we will look back at our lives and wonder if we could have been better, made better decisions, or used our time more wisely.
To avoid some of the deepest regrets of life, it would be wise to make some resolutions today. Therefore, let us:I know that many of the deepest regrets of tomorrow can be prevented by following the Savior today. If we have sinned or made mistakes—if we have made choices that we now regret—there is the precious gift of Christ’s Atonement, through which we can be forgiven. We cannot go back in time and change the past, but we can repent. The Savior can wipe away our tears of regret11 and remove the burden of our sins.12 His Atonement allows us to leave the past behind and move forward with clean hands, a pure heart,13 and a determination to do better and especially to become better. "
- Resolve to spend more time with those we love.
- Resolve to strive more earnestly to become the person God wants us to be.
- Resolve to find happiness, regardless of our circumstances.
It is my pray that we will all strive to make 2015 and even 2016 "the best two years". In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen
- Elder Young