As of July 1st, I will now be serving in the UTAH OREM MISSION! I have been transferred to the UVU YSA Area. So I know cover all of the YSA stakes in Orem. So it is crazy! But I am super excited about this opportunity! My new companion is Elder Herrington. He is pretty awesome! He is actually going home after this transfer so I am again with someone who is going home! It is kind of a lot crazy! It means I will likely have to learn my way around Orem pretty quick and figure everything out. It is already coming pretty quick. We are a little slow right now due to a lot of the students at UVU are home for the summer, so we work with what we got! Which is still pretty big as we cover 31 wards. It's pretty awesome here! Who knew my first time attending a YSA Ward would be on my mission.... But hey has to happen sometime! Lol so for those who may not know, YSA stands for Young Single Adult. My bad! So I have incredible news though!! I have a baptism in my old area on June the 20th!!! I'm super excited for them! It is a great opportunity for them to follow Jesus Christ. So that is one thing, in my last area I worked with a lot of kids, in this area you know who you are working with. It is actually very different here in the new area but a great opportunity to learn and grow! Driving in Orem is a little busier than what I'm used to and the roads are a little odd, but I've got the hang of it pretty good! With the help of the Lord of course. Funny enough, a week before I got called to this new area, I made sure to mention to Elder Shields, I don't ever plan on going to YSA ever in my life...... Lesson learned, God is always listening! So let me sort of run through this really busy, nervous, exciting, super cool week with you all! So on Monday, I found out I was getting transferred. I was actually pretty sad. We also did some packing and did a zone activity where we played basketball. Funny enough I was on fire! I was one of the best ones there! It was sweet! We then also went up into the mountains in a jeep (in which I am getting one when I am home) and it was great! On Tuesday I spent some of the day doing as much packing as I could. We then went out and I tried to do as much as I could to help Elder Russell out so that when I left he would know everything very simply about the area. I also said goodbye to a lot of people. That was actually pretty difficult. I'm going to miss the people in Springville and it will always have a place in my heart. It was such a great place. Oh! Almost forgot! I was the first one in the 2nd Ordinance room to go through an endowment session at the Payson Temple!! It was so cool and it is so cool that I will be able to say that now! I love that temple! On Wednesday it was transfers! So I finished up packing all my stuff (which is a lot) and said good bye to the Singletons! I am going to miss them. They are such a sweet and funny family. We then went to transfers and he was going through for the list. So we were going and going and I was so nervous! We got to the last Orem area and they didn't call my name! So I was like yay and celebrating quietly with Elder Shields. I get to stay in Provo! Then Elder Herrington spoke up and said what about the UVU YSA area? So he looked back in his papers and said "Sorry about that, Elder Herrington you will be with Elder Noad in that area! I was a little devastated! I celebrated to early! So I gave my bus and said farewell and I we were off! It was pretty crazy not going to lie! We then got back and discussed people and shopped for some food. We then had dinner with a lady and her husband and son. Come to find out it was Elder Oaks daughter!! I was like what! I'm eating with an apostates daughter! It was so amazing! That's where my good manners I learned back home came in handy. On Thursday we did some more finding. We did dodgeball as a morning exercise as a district, but we are no longer aloud to do that. Bummer. On Friday we then had District meeting and weekly planning which both went great. On Saturday we spent a lot of time at the Orem fair trying to contact people. It was fun and it worked pretty good! I also got to see the Senior Couple I worked with in Springville who I had totally forgot mentioned their choir was singing there! So that was pretty awesome! It was a hot day but luckily here in Utah, we are taken care of. I was offered multiple waters, and given a free snow cone. So that was great! We also had the opportunity to do a blessing, at a fair! Kind of odd but it was very good for us and the receiver. We then got stuck in heavy traffic that evening due to the fair being pretty close to where we lived. It took quite a while. On Sunday we then went to some YSA wards and some meetings that went very well. I got my first "aggressive driving" on Tiwi due to these darn Orem streets :P I had to stop quicker than I thought due to a very big and odd intersection. Then right after I stopped quicker than I should have, it turned green :/ ya was pretty upset about that one. I'm sure Heavenly Father was pretty upset with me getting an aggressive driving as well so I guess I shouldn't have been upset. I then met a guy at church who is actually in one of the church videos on Christ's Grace! He is such a great guy! This past week I also had to spend quite a lot of time cleaning up the apartment. It was very dirty here and took me quite a while, but I got it clean. Also the car was pretty dirty as well. There was peanut shells on the floor in the back that was covered with a floor mat. All I could think was wow. That is pathetic. Oh well, we did some cleaning. As we were cleaning out the car it actually started pouring out and thundering right above us! We were like in the middle of the storm it was insane but super cool! This week has been busy but very fun :) I also got a new suit! Since my other one has gotten to small (luckily we don't get fed much in the YSA wards!) so I will lose some weight. Anyways thanks for all the love and support! I'm excited to be able to serve in a second mission! Keep reading and praying diligently! God knows you and loves you and will shape you into who he knows you can be. Have a great week! Love you all and know I am here for you all!
This has been a crazy week! We went on exchanges, we were put into a trio, and I am getting transferred! So we started out the week on Monday just playing some games and hanging out and doing some shopping. It was a good Pday. On Tuesday we made a lot of visits to people to try and set up appointments. It is very hard to catch some of the people home and sometimes we go a couple weeks without catching them just because they are so busy. We know they want to meet, but it is hard for them to make time for the Gospel and it holds a lot of them back. On the other hand, we have a lot of people here who are really starting to make progress. We have people giving up bad habits, some putting faith in the law of the fast, and some who are starting to come to church! It is amazing to see when you have people who are making progress and the changes you see in their life. They start to have a special light to them and it is such an amazing thing to see. I have been truly blessed to serve here in Springville and it has been such a great experience. I am sad to leave but I know this next area is where Heavenly Father wants me to be. This Wednesday we went on exchanges and it went well. I was able to teach some thing and help out a little bit. On Thursday we got up and started our studies and then all of the sudden got a text saying "y'all coming to Zone Training Meeting?" We totally thought it was on Friday like always, but this time it was on the Thursday. So we quickly got ready and ran and picked up the other Elders and drove to Spanish Fork for our Zone training meeting. It was crazy, but a very good ZTM. On Friday, we got put into a trio! So we went and had to get together and plan everything out to match each others days 5 days before transfers. So that was crazy hectic. We then had lessons on Saturday fall through and Elder Russell went to a baptism and I stayed with Elder Shields and covered the 4 stakes we were now covering. 29 Wards. It was pretty insane trying to balance two dinners with 3 companions and all but we managed. We then had a baptism that night and it went so good! It was great to see a baptism happen and to have someone come closer to their Savior. On Sunday we had the Kolob stake fast for missionary work. What a power fasting brings and I know that this was a very memorable fast and that we will see the blessings from this fast. I'm so blessed to have been in this area with such diligent stakes. It was a great Sunday and really was perfect for a refreshing of the mind and seeing the progress people were making. It has been a great, but crazy week. And yes, I am being transferred after 6 months in Springville. I am deffinatly sad to leave here and the people I met, but I know the Lord has a reason for everything. I am so blessed to be on a mission and I know the power of fasting. I know that lives have been and are being changed for the sacrifice that we make when we fast. I know that fasting brings promised blessings. Well I got to go but I love you all! Have a great week and I will update you next week on the new area and companion!
This week has been a pretty good week. We were able to get into some homes that we have struggled to get into. The lessons and the time spent with them was very good. It was uplifting for them and helped us to invite the Spirit into their homes. I have grown to love everyone that we work with. Sure I have a temper and often get upset with the choices they make, but it is such a blessing to know that they are all Children of God and that I love them and know what they have the potential to be. I have learned a couple things from being on a mission. One, I have learned to be bold. I have learned that when we hold back what the spirit or the Lord tells us to say, we are holding back things that could bless their lives. Sure I still have times where I don't say it because I think I might offend people, but I am learning that when your bold, the Spirit will speak louder then words. The spirit will always accompany short, simple, powerful statements. Second, I have learned how to love people I don't even really know. It is amazing to see the difference I have seen as I have started to just have love to all of Gods children. It is so amazing to see the relationships built and the progress they make. I love seeing their potential as children of our Heavenly Father. The potential that all of us hold. This mission has taught me so very much and I love the opportunity to help people to become what the Lord knows they can be. This week has gone by really quick! This upcoming Wednesday will be 6 months! So on Monday we played some ultimate frisbee and it was great! Very fun! Then on Tuesday we had some great opportunities to do some teaching and finding and it was a great day! On Wednesday we were able to have some more lessons and it was again a really good day. On Thursday we had exchanges and I went with Elder Shields. We had the opportunity to see a baptism and see someone I used to work with who is getting baptized here soon! It was awesome! It was so funny, these kids brought me a book to read them and they knew all the words so it was really funny and fun to read that with them. It was a really good and fun exchange. On Friday we had a District training Meeting and Weekly planning, so most of our day was already planned. Then on Saturday it was really good. We taught more lessons and did a lot of service! It was a lot of fun and a great day. I have been working out more trying to get in shape and trying to run 2 miles in 20 mins a day and do a bunch of push-ups and sit-ups. So I am excited about that. This Sunday the temperature got to 90 degrees and wow was I hot! It was awful and it is only the very start of the summer!! I don't know how I am going to handle the heat! Anyways it was a good week and I hope that everyone's week went really well! Love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week! Keep on reading the Book of Mormon!
Here is the talk I spoke on, it is about keeping an Eternal Perspective--
Today I have been given the wonderful opportunity to speak on a talk from this previous conference called "The Eternal Perspective of the Gospel" by Elder Rafael E. Pino. I pray that the Holy Ghost can be here with us and leads you to your own personal understanding of what I portray to you. In the talk that Elder Rafael gave he says "Understanding the plan of happiness provides us with an eternal perspective and helps us to truly value the commandments, the ordinances, the covenants, and the trials and tribulations. -Elder Rafael."
To understand and to gain an Eternal Perspective, we must first understand the Plan of Salvation. We are all Heavenly Fathers Children. Because we are his Children, we hold a divine potential, to be like Him. That is our purpose here on this earth, to "prepare to meet God" and to "Become perfect even as our Father is." We were sent here to this earth to "Prove that we will do all things which the Lord our God shall command us." After this life, we become resurrected beings in which we receive a perfected body. With this perfected body, we are judged and enter into a Kingdom in the which we will attain our reward. There are 3 separate Kingdoms. The Celestial, the Terrestrial, and the Tellestial. It is only in the Celestial Kingdom that we can "inherit all things." In D&C 14:7, it reads "7 And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God." The only way into our Fathers Kingdom is to enter into the Ordinances of Baptism and Confirmation, the Covenants of the Gospel, and to be obedient to all of the Commandments of the Father" Only in and through Jesus Christ are we given the opportunity to attain and accomplish these things The Lord God has said "39 For behold, this is my work and my glory--to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. -Moses 1" All of us are here to inherit Eternal life and Immortality, which comes from being obedient to the Commandments. This is our Eternal Perspective, to become as Our Father in Heaven. To attain his same Glory.
Obedience comes through having an Eternal Perspective. When we keep the end in mind and know what we have the potential to attain, we desire to be obedient to inherit these things. Elder Rafael shares an experience with us, and it says, "In our home our children liked to do jigsaw puzzles. We have probably all had the opportunity to do a puzzle. Some are made up of many small pieces. I remember that one of our children used to focus on the individual pieces, and when one did not fit in the place where he thought it should, he would become angry and assume it was no good and want to throw it away. He finally learned to do the puzzle when he understood that each small piece had its place in the final picture, even when he did not know where it fit at a given moment.
This is one way of contemplating the Lord’s plan. We do not have to concern ourselves with each of its parts separately but rather to try to bring the entire picture into focus, keeping in mind what the final result will be. The Lord knows where each piece belongs so that it fits into the plan. All the commandments are of eternal importance in the context of the great plan of happiness.
It is extremely important that we do not make decisions of eternal value from the perspective of mortality. For decisions that affect eternity, having a gospel perspective is essential.-Elder Rafael" Our decisions need to be decisions of eternity. We must always make decisions focused on being obedient. Understanding that the way into the Celestial Kingdom comes from being humble to the Commandments that God has given us and striving to be obedient to his council. Obedience is key to becoming "Perfect even as Him." Hope is so essential to have to attain an eternal perspective. We hope that through our obedience, and through Christ, we can receive what our Father has and to live with him again.
"President Packer has said, "ordinances and covenants become our credentials for admission into [God’s] presence. To worthily receive them is the quest of a lifetime; to keep them thereafter is the challenge of mortality. -President Packer". As Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we hold the ordinances and covenants available to enter into Gods presence. We must remain true to these covenants and always follow Christ. We must keep an Eternal Perspective when making our decisions. These Covenants that we make are found within the Temples. President Uchtdorf has said, "These temples are sacred structures in which eternal questions are answered, truths are taught, and ordinances performed so that we can live with an understanding of our divine inheritance as children of God and with an awareness of our potential as eternal beings. The house of the Lord helps you to see the end from the beginning. -President Uchtdorf" We must always direct our lives to be worthy to enter the Holy Temples. It is the Covenants we make in these Temples that bring us back to our Father. We must enter into these Covenants to attain all that our Father has. President Lorenzo Snow has said, "There could not be placed before men more glorious prospects than are placed before the Saints. No mortal man could wish anything greater or that will ultimately prove more satisfactory. Everything that pertains to perfect peace, happiness, glory and exaltation is before the Latter-day Saints. We should enjoy the spirit of this, and keep it actively before us. We should not let our prospects be darkened in the least by doing that which is not acceptable before the Lord."
Of course, life is not easy. President Spencer W. Kimball wrote the following: “If we looked at mortality as the whole of existence, then pain, sorrow, failure, and short life would be calamity. But if we look upon life as an eternal thing stretching far into the premortal past and on into the eternal post-death future, then all happenings may be put in proper perspective.” When we keep an Eternal Perspective, the trials we endure and the sorrows we have are what shape us into the person God knows we can be. Elder Jensen has said, "When we understand the great plan of happiness, we are gaining an eternal perspective, and the commandments, ordinances, covenants, and the experiences, trials, and tribulations can be seen in their true and eternal light. Remember, however, that Satan will dim the brightness of hope and eternal perspective by the dark, compelling urgency of now. -Elder Jay Jensen" We cannot lose an Eternal Perspective. We must always press forward with our eyes centered on our Eternal Perspective. Elder Jensen has also told us, "Those without an eternal perspective, or those who lose sight of it, make their own standards to benefit themselves and their own selfish interests. Their mortal perspective becomes their standard and for some their god. -Elder Jay Jensen" We must hold strong to the Covenants we have made. Obedience brings happiness, even through the difficult times. As Joseph Smith suffered in Liberty jail, his Eternal Perspective became diminished and He asks "Oh God, where art though?" And this is what the Lord tells him "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; “And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.” With that eternal perspective, Joseph took comfort from these words, and so can we. Sometimes the very moments that seem to overcome us with suffering are those that will shape us into the person God knows we can be. Our afflictions are but a small moment in the Eternity. We must Strive for Eternal Life.
So what can we receive in the Eternities if we do the will of the Lord? Knowing what we can have helps us to receive that full Eternal Perspective. We must know the end from the beginning. President Snow has said, "Through a continual course of progression our Heavenly Father has received exaltation and glory and he points us out the same path and, inasmuch as he is clothed with power, authority and glory, he says, “walk ye up and come in possession of the same glory and happiness that I possess. This is the high destiny of the sons of God, they who overcome, who are obedient to His commandments, who purify themselves even as He is pure. They are to become like Him; they will see Him as He is; they will behold His face and reign with Him in His glory, becoming like unto Him in every particular." We can and will become as God is. It is through obedience and the covenants we make that we can qualify for this inheritance. In Revelations 21:7 it reads, "He that overcometh shall inherit all things." Also In D&C 84:37-38 it says, "And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father, And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him." That is our goal. That is why we are here. To become like our Father in heaven and to attain all that he has. President Snow has also said, "We are all aiming for celestial glory, and the grandeur of the prospects before us cannot be expressed in human language. If you will continue faithful to the work in which you are engaged, you will attain unto this glory, and rejoice evermore in the presence of God and the Lamb. This is worth striving for; it is worth sacrificing for, and blessed is the man or the woman who is faithful unto the obtaining of it." I know that we are here to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. As we keep our Eternal Perspective and follow the path to the temple and to The Celestial Kingdom, we learn to be obedient and desire to be faithful. President Snow lived by a statement that was revealed to him that helped him to keep an Eternal Perspective, and it says. “As man now is, God once was: As God now is, man may be.”
It is not enough to just say, I have an eternal perspective. You must come to understand your potential into the eternities. As we are obedient and press forward with faith, hoping that we can and will attain these promised blessings, we keep an eternal perspective. Youth, follow the standards in For Strength of Youth and set your mind on the temple. There is nothing more important than you keeping the Gospel standards and being obedient. For us to attain the highest blessings in the Kingdom of our Father, we must enter into the New and Everlasting Covenant of Eternal Marriage only found within the walls of the Lords sacred temples. To enter, we must be obedient and worthy. That worthiness begins for you now. Parents, help your children to understand the Plan of Salvation, help them to understand that there is great potential for them. This potential is Eternal. We are heirs to the Kingdom of our Father in Heaven. This is attained through the temple. We must understand that the temple is the center of our Eternal Perspective. It is important to point the youth in the direction of the temple and the blessings which come of it. As you do this, your Children will come to understand that the temple is more than just a pretty building, it is a taste of the Kingdom of heaven. Read as families, pray, and always hold an Eternal Perspective. I invite you to take yourself and your family to the temple and renew that Eternal Perspective. I know as you go you will see a change in your family. A very positive and blessed change. I testify that Christ lives. He has made it possible for us to attain the Glory of God. I know it is through his atoning sacrifice that we can achieve our divine Destiny. I know that in temples, we come to understand the sacred nature of our humble existence. Through obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we can and will inherit kingdoms. In this I testify, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
This week has been a pretty great week! On Monday I played a lot of tennis with Elder Shields. We spent about 5 hours playing it. It was pretty great! We then went and ate dinner with a Less Active family and that was great. We helped them move in a while back and we are now teaching them and helping them out. It was a great dinner. On Tuesday we had a Zone Conference. It was very good! I love Zone Conferences. I always feel the spirit so strongly and always receive ideas in ways that I can further help the Lord in his work. It was such a wonderful opportunity to talk about how baptism is not the goal, it is Temples. As well as being a consecrated missionary. Also talked about working in unity. I learned a lot and I am working on applying many of these things in the work and my life. We also got a new system for our vehicle called a Tiwi. So this system basically rates my driving and gives a report and if I'm good enough I keep driving, if I'm not I lose vehicle privileges. So this Tiwi (which we call Steve because it sounds like Steven Hawking when it talks to us) takes info from if we drive over the speed limit, stop or start to fast, hit bumps to hard, or don't have our seat belt on. In the meeting they made it sound like it was going to be awful to drive with, but if your a good driver you barely even notice it there. It is pretty good though because it keeps missionaries accountable to taking care of a vehicle which is not theirs. So all in all, we got a Tiwi. So the rest of the week we had some lessons and helped some people out. We are helping this one guy named Todd and we helped him out with fixing up his bathroom so he can get it ready to rent it out. He is a good guy, sometimes he just gets overwhelmed and thinks he has to do things that really can be saved for a later time. So we are helping him with the things that are needed done soon. We are still doing good in our area and are having half our people committed to changing and half not so much. We are going to be working on that as well as working on building more unity with the wards. That is one thing that is easy, but also difficult in Utah. We have lots of members to help, but we cover 15 different wards and can't really get to know many people. I love it here in Springville and it is always awesome to see the progress it makes. This week has been a great week and quite fun. Elder Russell and I are really getting to know each other more and it is good. He is a great companion and we work well together. Well it has been a great week and I am going to be doing some sports today. Oh I almost forgot! I had to say a talk yesterday! So we found Friday that we would be giving a talk so I spent a long while preparing, and then we said it. Most times during the holidays the church is not very filled, well in the Kolob 10th ward it gets more packed on holidays! So that was fun. I will send a copy of my talk out to some of you. Ask my Mom and Dad if you would like to have a copy. Well thanks for the emails! Love you all and I am so blessed to have this opportunity to learn and grow and help others find Christ! Have a great week!