Wednesday, June 8, 2011


So this little project has come to an end. I can't lie I am going to miss writing on this little blog thing but I guess this new obsession will have to wait until I return home from the mission. Every time I wrote on this website I wrote with a specific person in mind. Whether it was a friend from home or a person on the Square, I always wrote hoping that something that I said could or would help resolve the concerns of the reader. Life is constantly changing and as you can see from this being my last blog entry as a missionary, so is missionary work. I will return home from the mission shortly and this fact has had me reflecting on the past few months as a missionary. I have spoken to a lot of people and shared with them the thing that I hold the most sacred, my testimony of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I suppose there is no better way to end this experience than to leave you with that very testimony.
Christ lives. He is the same yesterday, today and forever and because of this undeniable truth He has called a prophet again today. God's current prophet, Thomas S. Monson, holds the keys to the power of heaven and leads and guides Christ's Church through divine inspiration. There is no greater happiness that can be found than in and through Christ's Gospel. I can promise you that if you will humble yourself enough to ask God if this is true that He will tell you because He told me. I pray that you can find the truth that speaks happiness to the soul and peace to the mind. There is nothing of greater value that I have to leave you with except for these things. They may be simple but they are true, of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mon ami

I have been sitting here in front of this screen for thirty minutes now. I have written and erased over and over again yet I still sit here not having a clue of what to say. There are so many things going through my head that to put these thoughts in any logical order seems impossible. The atonement, repentance, faith, life after this... all of these things circle in my head but not one lands on the feelings in my heart.
Jesus Christ
It seems like this last week the only person that I have been able to think about is one of my best friends from home. She has had a rather tough year and me having come on a mission doesn't really seem to have helped much. See, she and I have been friends for a long time and there are very few things (if any) that we don't share with one another and me being on a mission doesn't allow us the free form of communication that we have grown so accustomed to. I know it's been hard on her but it's also been hard on me not being able to talk her through any struggle or situation she may find herself in. So I'm going to take this opportunity to speak to her (hoping that she will read this)... 
 A big part of this mortal experience is that we face trials and struggles to help us grow closer to our Father in Heaven. We will all struggle, it's a fact of life but God has promised us that with faith in Him then He will "make weak things become strong." When  we look back on the journey of our life we can see all the times that we have struggled and fallen; all the times that we made choices that were in complete contradiction to the will of the Lord. We've all made mistakes, we've all sinned but we must always remember that Christ died so that we wouldn't have to carry that guilt and pain. In the Book of Matthew Christ pleads with us, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." If we will turn to Christ in our trials and humble ourselves enough to ask for His help He will give it to us. He wants to help but it is up to us to seek it out, "ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for he that asketh, receiveth; and unto him that knocketh, it shall be opened." In the Garden of Gethsemane Christ paid the price for our sins, He paid it so we wouldn't have to. How dare we not give Him that which he rightfully paid for! We cannot be afraid of the consequences that we face as imperfect beings because we must have faith in our Lord and Savior. He wants to take care of it, now allow Him to. My prayers are always with you, until the end.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Les paroles de vie

It has been quite a while since I last sat in front of this computer screen. It's amazing how quickly time passes, especially as a missonary. Soon I will be approaching my half way point (my family lovingly reminds me of this everytime they write) and let me just say I look forward to the day with feelings of nausea. It's scary to think that some day I will have to return to the real world and leave this work in another's hands. There is still so much to be done and with time quickly coming to a close my heart is filled with an emense sense of urgency. How can I possibly accomplish all that I have planned to do since I chose to come on a mission? How will I ever be able to say, "I've done all I could"? Will it ever be enough?
A missionaries greatest fear is going home. Whilst on your mission you come to love people and truely see them as Christ does, sons and daughters of Heavenly Father, and you desire nothing more then their eternal welfare and happiness. That's where the fear comes in. Did you do all that you could to help God's children come closer to Him? Did you tell everyone about Christ? Did you "open your mouth"? Once you return home things change. You still love people and you still want to share the message of Christ with them but you are no longer a set apart missionary. It becomes difficult to find the confidence to "open your mouth" for fear of rejection and causing offence, but how important it is to share with others something that will change their life. Every missionary leaves their mission with the intention to continue working just as hard teaching other's the gospel, but as life begins to invade our spiritual quest that desire often dwindles into a past memory. It is imparative to continually nurtur that desire we have to share with others the one thing that can bring them happiness far beyond that which is offered by the world. We must "treasure up in [our] minds continually the words of life" so that we may be given the things to say. If "[we] are prepared [we] shall not fear" because we will know just what the Lord would have us say and do to help God's children return home. Studying the scriptures can often seem such a daunting task. With school, work, family and an array of other responsibilties it can be hard to find the time to dedicate to studying the words of God but what better way to spend your time? As we find time in our busy lives for the Lord and the things which He has asked us to do we are promised that the Lord will be with us in all that we do (Joshua 1:9). Let us find time for the Lord and His words in our lives that we may always be "missionaries" inviting others to come to Christ. What greater promise can we be given then to have the Lord our Savior as our companion?

Friday, May 6, 2011

La prière

With Mother's Day just around the corner the mission is all a buzz as we prepare to call home for the first time in a while (in order to help maintain focus and avoid feelings of homesickness, as missionaries we only call home twice a year, Mother's Day and Christmas). For the past few day's I have been thinking a lot about what I am going to share with my family. Since I do write home every week I feel as though all of the stories, at least the good ones, have already been told... So what am I left with? Nothing. Nevertheless I know that my family will be sitting around the speaker phone in great anticipation. So what do I say? What do I share? I certainly don't want to share the same stories that I wrote about last week but there is something about the flair of a verbal story that cannot be conveyed in a written message. As I continued obsessing about what to share with my family my companion drew an interesting parallel. Just as my family is already aware of all the funny and entertaining stories of my missionary experience my Father in Heaven is aware of them as well but nonetheless He still wants to hear them from me. Having a good teaching companion like Sister Nieves helped me change my distracting obsession to a creative contemplation about her proposed parallel. Could a call home really be that similar to a prayer?
Mormon Message : Prayer
Every night and every morning we get on our knees to pray. I can't lie, often times I find myself sitting thinking "What do I say? I don't really even remember what happened today." Or thinking, "I don't need to say that, He saw it, He know's I'm sorry." But there is something to be said for expressing gratitude or penitence verbally. So once again I thought about my Mom and Dad, could my Heavenly Father really want to hear all the silly things that I tell them? Does He really want me to repeat what He already saw? As I continued to think about it I finally came to this conclusion... Of course He does. He is our FATHER in Heaven. Just as we call home to tell our family something exciting He wants those "calls" too. He want's to rejoice with us and bring us comfort during our trials because He is the only one that understands us perfectly. We have been given the blessing of prayer as a form of communication with our Heavenly Father. Each prayer is simply a phone call home where we can tell our Father in Heaven the concerns of our hearts and He can bring us answers and comfort through the Holy Ghost. We would never deny our parents a phone call, how then can we deny our Father in Heaven a prayer?

Therefore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name; and whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you." - 3 Nephi 18:19-20

Friday, April 29, 2011

Le Saint-Esprit

This is one of the first chapels built in Salt Lake City.
Having a companion that speaks Spanish has certainly made for an interesting transfer.Especially when you consider the fact that I do not speak a word of Spanish, except for maybe "Hola amigo, como estas." Yes I know, my knowledge of the Latin Tongue is pitiful but it has taught met that regardless of the physical language barrier the Holy Spirit can bridge all gaps. In the Book of John it states, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance...(John 14:26)." When you drive by a local church on a Sunday afternoon you will often see the parking lot filled with cars of all different shapes and sizes. Inside the four walls of that chapel there are families, neighbors and friends gathered together to learn more about Jesus Christ and His gospel. Someone who has never heard of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may be surprised when the walk into an LDS Chapel to the sound of kids munching on Cheerios in the back row. The real surprise would come after having sat down for a few moments and witnessed the sacrament, or communion, being passed in complete solemnity or when they hear an ineloquent man speak plainly on his experience with the strengthening power of the gospel. It is undeniable that a special feeling resides there. For many it is a familiar feeling that is often unidentifiable but can be found in moments of prayer, when looking at art or even enjoying the serenity of the outdoors. That special feeling can only be given by the power of the Holy Ghost. It is the Holy Ghost that brings us comfort through our most difficult times. It is the Holy Ghost that helps us learn about Christ and His eternal plan for us. It is that same Holy Ghost that can help a non-Spanish speaking missionary know that the words of her teaching companion are true. What a beautiful gift we have been given so that we can know "the truth of all things."

"And I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder them in your hearts. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." Moroni 10:3-5

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Joyeuses Pâques

Can you believe it's Easter time already? It feels like just yesterday I was getting ready for finals as I sat in my apartment watching the Easter Devotional on the BYU Channel. It's amazing how time can fly and how quickly things can change. This time of year my thoughts, like many others, are turned towards that infinite atoning sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ.
In my last few posts I've written a lot about choices and how they can both negatively and positively effect our lives. As I think about the role of the atonement in my life my thoughts are once again pulled towards the many choices that I have made. Inevitably we all make mistakes, none of us are perfect but because of the perfection of Christ we can be forgiven of our transgressions and be made clean. My favorite account of the healing nature of the atonement is in The Book of Mormon and it's about Alma the Younger. His father was a prophet yet he went around trying to destroy the Church, destroy Christ's Church. When an angel appeared to him he was struck down and brought to a complete remembrance of all of his many sins. Of this he said, "I was racked with eternal torment, for my soul was harrowed up to the greatest degree and racked with all my sins...I did remember all my sins and iniquities, for which I was tormented with the pains of hell; yeah I saw that I had rebelled against my God... (Alma 36:12-13)" Now we may not be in such excruciating pain as Alma but we are all tormented with feelings of guilt. Elder Scott Grow said, "There is no sin or transgression, pain or sorrow, which is outside of the healing power of His Atonement." No matter what we've done that has brought us the pain of guilt we can be comforted in the promise that there is nothing outside of Christ's healing power. I know that my life has been far from perfect but I also know that as I continue to exercise faith in Christ I can be forgiven of my many mistakes and face each day with a "perfect brightness of hope."

"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." -2 Nephi 31:20

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Prophet Gordon B Hinckley once said that "Love is of the very essence of life (The Greatest of These is Love, Ensign 1984)." As my new teaching companion (Sister Nieves - Mercado) and I have been getting to know one another we've been talking a lot about the love that we have for our families and friends. We have also spoken a lot about how we show that love to those around us and we always seem to come to the same conclusion; we all show and receive love in different ways but one thing remains the same, we all need to feel loved. Through out society you see displays of love in all forms. Large statues like the one posted here can be seen in various places all over the world. We can also see young kids helping the elderly with their groceries, we can even see people donating their time to visit hospitals or homeless shelters to help lift the spirits of those with a broken heart. All of these are great way's to show our love for our fellow man, for our brother's and sister's, but the greatest exemplar of love is still our Savior Jesus Christ. Of the love that He showed us President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, "Love is what inspired our Heavenly Father to create our spirits; it is what led our Savior to the Garden of Gethsemane to make Himself a ransom for our sins. Love is the grand motive of the plan of salvation; it is the source of happiness, the ever-renewing spring of healing, the precious fountain of hope. As we extend our hands and hearts toward others in Christlike love, something wonderful happens to us. Our own spirits become healed, more refined, and stronger. We become happier, more peaceful, and more receptive to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit." In the Book of John Christ says, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." Christ gave us the greatest gift of all, the gift of eternal life, the only thing that He asks of us is to show our love for him by keeping the commandments that He has given.One of the greatest commandments that Christ gave us is in the Book of John as well and it states, "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." It can be so hard sometimes to show our love for others but when we do we can find greater joy and peace in this life. Timothy inspired us by saying, " Let no man despise thy youth, but be thou and example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." I pray that as I continue my mission I will be able to grow in that Christlike love and return home to be an "example of the believers."