Sunday, April 26, 2009

Every Member a Missionary


Yesterday my son Gregory was baptized. He is the oldest of my four children. What an awesome blessing it was to watch him take such a major step in his life. He chose to be baptized, was eager and excited to do so. While sitting at the chapel the thoughts came to my mind of how often we loose that excitement about life and the gospel. He is young and this is new. Many times in our lives I think that we allow other things to bring us down, or distract us and we lose the excitement and the joy that the gospel plain and simple brings to our lives.

While serving my mission in Brazil my American companion and I decided that we would make snicker doodles for all of our investigators, and neighboring members. I really wanted to make chocolate chip cookies but we didn't have brown sugar or chocolate chips accessible. So we went to the next best thing we could. We worked hard in the kitchen during our P-day, then later that evening we went out and delivered them. Everyone was so excited to receive their little plate of home made cookies, something many of them had never had. I only imagined how much more they would have liked the chocolate chip cookies.

The sun had started to go down on us and we were heading out to our last home, when from off in the distance we heard footsteps running faster towards us, and a voice calling louder "sisters, sisters wait." A young boy caught up to us.

He asked "Sisters what are you giving to all the people."

"Cookies." We told him.

"Can I please have just one?" We looked at our last little plate with just six cookies on it for our last family. We knew there wouldn't be enough for them, but who could resist the asking of this young boy, who was so eager to have what we were giving to others.

We handed him the cookie and off he ran. No we didn't ever teach him or his family the gospel but it taught me a valuable lesson.

I have the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life, I have the full chocolate chip cookie! I have the blessings of being baptized, of having gone through the temple, having been sealed to my family for all eternity. I have a testimony and know that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ and through his atonement and the plan of our Father, I have happiness. Every day I should be filled with this excitement of having the gospel. And with that I have the responsibility to teach and share with those around me, members of my faith and those who are not.

I had planned to only share those cookies to those that I knew, those that I had planned to share the cookies with. I had no idea that I had to share with that young boy. I could have chosen to not give him the cookies and told them they were for someone else, but I didn't. He was excited about the cookies and wanted them, just as those around us are wanting and needing the joy in their lives that the gospel brings.

We never really know who is watching us and waiting for us to share with them the gospel.

At that time I had the full time responsibility of sharing the gospel to the people of Fortaleza and now my responsibility has changed some but is still there.

Each of us as baptized members of the church are required to share the gospel.

In Mark 16:15 the Savior commands us

  ".... Go ye into all the world, and apreach the bgospel to every ccreature"

And how do we share the gospel? How are we as members of the church to be a missionary, especially when we seem to be surrounded by already baptized members?

  1. We start in our homes, through daily scripture study, prayers and kind acts. Also with a formal weekly family home evening. President Hinkley said:

"We have a family home evening program once a week [Monday night] across the Church in which parents sit down with their children. They study the scriptures. They talk about family problems. They plan family activities and things of that kind. I don't hesitate to say if every family in the world practiced that one thing, you'd see a very great difference in the solidarity of the families of the world" (interview, Boston Globe, 14 Aug. 2000).

"[The Lord] expects us to have family home evening—one night a week to gather our children together and teach them the gospel. Isaiah said, 'And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord.' That is the commandment: 'All thy children shall be taught of the Lord.' And the blessing: 'And great,' he said, 'shall be the peace of thy children' [Isa. 54:13]" (meeting, Nouméa, New Caledonia, 17 June 2000).

  1. Being a friend to those around us, regardless of their faith, race, nationality, economic status, is another great way of being a missionary. I think many times we correlate missionary work to conversion through baptism. Many times those around us will not become baptized into the church, or appear to change their ways, and that is ok. The most important thing we can do is love them and be their friend regardless. In True to the Faith it states: "

Our expressions of love for others may include being kind to them, listening to them, mourning with them, comforting them, serving them, praying for them, sharing the gospel with them, and being their friend.

Our love for those around us increases when we remember that we are all children of God—that we are spirit brothers and sisters. The love that results from this realization has the power to transcend all boundaries of nation, creed, and color.

  1. Another way to be a missionary is by serving those around us. Whether it is offering a ride to a neighbor walking home, or bringing dinner to a family, or going to visit elderly in the retirement home, or just calling up someone when their name pops into our head. Service brings us closer to others, it brings us closer to the spirit. It also shares with others the true love of Christ. The story of the good Samaritan reminds us of true charity and service. In a lesson in the Gospel Principles about Charity it states:

The parable of the good Samaritan teaches us that we should give to those in need, regardless of whether they are our friends or not (see Luke 10:30–37; see also James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, pp. 430–32). In the parable, the Savior said that a man was traveling to another city. On the road he was attacked by bandits. They stole his clothes and money and beat him, leaving him half dead. A priest came along, saw him, and passed him by. Then a temple attendant walked over, looked at him, and went on. However, a Samaritan, who was despised by the Jews, came along, and when he saw the man he felt compassion. Kneeling beside him, the good Samaritan bandaged his wounds and took him on a donkey to an inn. He paid the innkeeper to take care of the man until he recovered.

Jesus taught that we should give food to the hungry, shelter to those who have none, and clothes to the poor. When we visit the sick and those who are in prison, it is as if we were doing these things to him instead. He promises that as we do these things, we will inherit his kingdom. (See Matthew 25:34–46.)

We should not try to decide whether someone really deserves our help or not (see Mosiah 4:16–24). If we have taken care of our own family's needs first, then we should help all who need help. In this way we will be like our Father in Heaven, who causes rain to fall on the just and on the unjust alike (see Matthew 5:44–45).

President Harold B. Lee reminded us that there are those who need more than material goods: "It is well to remember that there are broken hearts and wounded souls among us that need the tender care of a brother who has an understanding heart and is kind" (Stand Ye in Holy Places, p. 228).

    We need to serve those around us regardless if they are our friends or not.

  1. The last way and I feel the most important way to be a missionary is being an example through our own conversion, our own way we live, through our daily lives. This reminds me of when on an airplane, and they explain the air bags and how we are to put our own mask on first before helping those that need assistance. If we aren't receiving oxygen, we will be unable to help those around us. Same goes for the gospel and missionary work. If we aren't teaching and sharing the gospel to ourselves through our daily scripture study, prayers, church attendance, home and visiting teaching, service, we will not be able to share the gospel with others.

We have been blessed to have the restored gospel in our lives. We have the fullness of the gospel that is meant to bring a fullness of joy into our lives.... we have the brown sugar and the chocolate chips to make a tasty cookie. And we have the ability to share it with those around us.

As we go through out our lives, and strengthen our own testimonies through the studying and living of the gospel, I pray that we can remember the simple and plain truths so that we can be missionaries to those around us. I know the Gospel is true. I know God lives and loves us. And am so grateful for the atonement of Christ and the blessing it is in my life. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Faith and Hope: Week Two

Faith and Hope go together like salt and pepper, oil and vinegar, bread and butter, you really can't have one with out the other.  
Lately my faith has been missing its hope, and I wondered if I really had any faith at all.  Faith in my future, faith in my existing life, hope for a better future and hope for my life, were gone.  I don't think they left in an instant.  They slowly were chipped away with each passing event: losing a job, moving, moving again, again moving, hospital stays, kids getting sick, money disappearing, me stopping doing the things that bring me daily enjoyment. 
My life seemed to be scattered across the fields, taking with it my faith and hope. 
I have found them recently. 
I have faith in The Lord Jesus Christ, and know through him all is possible. 
I have faith that He is leading and guiding us, he is holding my hand, not running in front of me wanting me to chase him, as I had been feeling.  Winded and unable to catch up to something that was next to me not in front of me. 
I now have hope in the fact that things are going to turn around.  I have faith that the humbling that has been happening to me, will lead to a very promising future. Not one with out bumps, but one filled with hope.  And one where I follow in faith knowing that with Him by my side, all things are possible. 

Thursday, April 9, 2009

NOah: Who would have thought??

This morning our toilet backed up....I was informed by my seven year old, soon to be eight in a few days, who yelled from the bathroom "the toilet is about to throw up water everywhere, pooh is going to get on the floor!"

I ran in and sure enough he was right, luckily none of the insides exploded on to the floor.

I packed the little three in to the car and headed out on a mission to find a plunger. Who would of thought it would be so hard...I mean I swear the last time I was at the store I saw one sitting right next to the toilet cleaning wand...but not today!

My first attempt was our local grocery store, where I swear I saw it before....I looked up and down the aisles...some how filling my cart with other things that I really didn't need, like the doughnut holes that were calling my name....or the large fresh strawberries that jumped into my cart, I swear I ate breakfast before I left.

Anyway $40 later, I was out the door. I called home to let Eric know I failed on my trip but got some groceries and asked him to call our upstairs neighbors to see if he could borrow their plunger, as we have had to borrow it before. He was not willing to do it. And told me on my way home before coming in to go ask her, since I would be outside anyway.

I got a little irritated and instead of coming home and borrowing the neighbors I set out on a mission, in hopes of finding one and to let Eric suffer holding his morning need to use the toilet.

I didn't go too far, but was driving really slow looking at all the stores, wondering if they carried a plunger...

scrapbook store--Probably not....

Reams cowboy gear...Um no they probably don't even use a toilet :).....

party gift shop...usually plungers aren't on the list of birthday gifts, would shoving hellium balloons down the toilet help???

another grocery store---not worth taking my kids out of the car to check....

AHHHHHHH Standard PLUMBING supply!!

Totally...Totally a plumbing store! They have to have a plunger Right?????


I walked in and looked around at all the pipes and gadgets and finally asked Noah the man at the counter, "Where are your plungers?"

"Oh we don't carry plungers believe it or not..."

"Really??" See I thought he was kidding...wouldn't you?? I mean Standard PLUMBING supply store??? What plumber doesn't need a plunger???

"Yeah we don't carry them, sorry."

"Ok thanks..."

I walked out a little dumbfounded....and determined to go find one.

Bee, as we drove away, said "that's crazy that a plumbing store doesn't have a plunger!"

"i know its like an ice cream store not having ice cream!"

"Yeah that is crazy totally like a grocery store not having food"

"Or a shoe store not having shoes!"

"Yeah that is CRAZY" and the game went on forever and she then said "I bet Home Depot has it"

"I bet you are right....."

And well we came upon a LOWEs and low and behold the plunger!! Yeah for me, mission accomplished.....and when I got home, I even was able to successfully unplug the toilet!

Moral of the can't judge a store by its name!

Posted By Corrine to 4 Kids, no dog, and living the American Dream! at 4/08/2009 10:22:00 PM

Earth Worms

As the rain clouds slowly blew away, the sun shone a little light on the ground inviting us to creep out of our house, where we had been locked in all day.  With four small kids, keeping them happy indoors for too long, can be come extremely difficult. So the minute the rains let up, we were out the door.   I think I already said that didn't I.  None the less, we were eager to get moving and smell some fresh wet pavement and cleaned out air.
After strapping the baby in the stroller and locking the front door, we headed on to our little mile walk.  Seems that the eyes of children see things clearer and notice things better, far better than my own aged eyes. 
Coming out of the ground, most likely eager as us to get some sunlight, was a long skinny pink earth worm.  My own son mistaking it for a small snake, quickly asked if he could keep it for a pet.  
"Really you want to keep this as a pet? You can I guess. They just need dirt.  Where are you going to put it?"
"Umm I don't know."
We all looked around for something to put him in.  My son tried the flat rock, but the worm wiggled off.  Then there was a straw, he thought to have him climb in, but the worm would have nothing to do with that.
Then my eyes caught a hold of the empty water bottle in the bottle of the stroller.  I convinced them that it would make a great home for the worm.  Just add a little dirt, and voila you have a cool worm home.  So they filled the bottle up.  And now we have a pet.  Wonder if we can teach him any tricks?