Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dazed and Confused

So, here is the deal.. I'm actually sitting on a flight from Nashville to Phoenix as I'm typing this.. I've been having a few medical problems for the past while now and it's just gotten to the point where I'm being sent home to recover. Basically y'all, I'm not goingto be s missionary much longer.. BUT I have decided to continue with the blog. Yes, there will be a few changes, but the ultimate goal and purpose will be the same.. Also I'm going to start another blog that is more personal and link the two together.. Thank y'all so much for the love and support y'all have shown me! God Bless Y'all! Please keep on reading and I'll keep on blogging!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


    Here is an interesting question that I found myself thinking about today... What was the first miracle that the Children of Israel saw performed by Moses?... Any answers? Most people I've asked that to say something along the lines of Aaron's rod becoming a serpent or cleansing his hand from leporsy.. But that's not exactly true. Yes, those were some of the first miracles that were performed, but the Children of Israel were not there witnessing what Moses and Aaron had been doing in Pharaoh's court. The first miracle that all of the Children of Israel witnessed was turning all the water in Egypt into blood for seven full days.

    Personally, that seems like a pretty big let down as far as a first miracle goes! If I was expecting God to deliver me from my enemies in some miraculous way, I would expect something a little less miserable for myself! But the children of Israel were "smitten" right along with the Egyptians.

    What was the second miracle performed by Moses? Frogs. Next? Lice. After that? Flies. The old testament tells us that these plauges were throughout "all the land of Egypt" (Ex. 8: 24). So how's that fair? The Lord is supposed to be helping His people and delivering them from their bondage and their afflictions.. Yet, it seems that from the story, that the Lord enjoys inflicting pain and suffering on both parties, regardless of lineage...

    Obviously, we know that the Lord doesn't want His children to suffer. He DOES, infact, love each and everyone of His children. He wants us to be happy and to prosper. You might be asking yourself, "ok Jake, what is the POINT?!!" Well, i'm gettin there! The Lord will sometimes bring us low through our trials, our afflictions, our pains, our weaknesses, and any other infirmities, that we may become the people He knows we can be. He wants us to learn and to grow and to progress in this life. He wants us to lean on Him and strive for His support. As we submit our will to His, we can continue through our struggles in life and not see them as a nuscience but as a time of self improvement... Even though I'm just a 20 year old kid, I KNOW that that's true. A mission has taught me this very difficult lesson to learn. But I know that as we all strive to endure our trials with our "eye single to the glory of God", we can learn the nessicarry lessons and become the followers of Jesus Christ that the Lord would have us be. Thanks for Reading! As always, I'd love feed back! God Bless Y'all!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning...

    I LOVE this hymn! The words really touch me personally. The Spirit of God, or the Holy Ghost is a gift that Jesus Christ promised his Apostles He would send after He had left them. He called him the comfortor. Christ promised "peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you..." The Holy Ghost brings us that peace. He IS the Comfortor.

Moses and the Burning Bush    What does it mean to have the Holy Ghost give us that peace? How do we know where it comes from? How do we know when we feel it? Why does the Holy Ghost do this for us? These are all somewhat difficult questions to just answer, because it can be different for EVERYONE!!!  But there are some ways to try to determine if the Spirit is influencing us..

    In Galatians 5, Paul clarifies the fruit of the spirit (or the evidence of it) as "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, [and] temperance..." Meaning, if we have these feelings as we pray or read our scriptures we can KNOW that this is the Spirit of God, or the Holy Ghost; and He is fulfilling his role as the comfortor and testifing of the truth of the word of God.

    As a missionary, I rely on the spirit to help me on a DAY-TO-DAY basis. Folks, I'm really just a 20 year old kid... I've NEVER done anything like a mission before.. This is the first time I've been a missionary!! Granted, I have been doing it for about 20 months.. but really, its NOT an easy thing.. I rely on the Holy Ghost to teach me how and what to do... So, i'd really like to hear from y'all now.. how have you relyed on the spirit? What are some personal experiences with the Comforter? I hope y'all enjoyed this! Have a Happy Easter! God Bless Y'all!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Who is God?

 The First Vision

 I like this picture because it CLEARLY depicts Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father as 2 seperate and distinct beings.

    Here is an AWESOME clip of one of my favorite speakers.. Jeffery R. Holland.

   I hope that y'all enjoyed that!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What's Love Got to Do With It?

    You may be wondering why the Cheezey reference to an early '90's Tina Turner love song... Well, it was honestly just kind of a fluke.. I wanted to talk about charity today; and charity is ALL about love, right? Charity is, in my opinion, probably one of the most important Christ-like qualities that we can attempt to develop in this life time. Moroni describes charity as the "pure love of Christ". ( This means that when we have charity, we see others the way that the Savior sees them. We love them the way that our Father in Heaven loves them and the way that Jesus Christ loves them. In the same chapter, Moroni tells us that we should "pray unto the father with all energy of heart" to obtain this Christ-like love for all men.

    The reason that I think that Charity is so important is because if we have real true charity and we really love others, we won't want to do anything to hurt them or harm them. Take for example, the 10 commandments given by Moses after returning from Mt. Sinai; most of these commandments pertain to how we interact with and treat our fellow men. If we have true charity, we won't want to kill each other, or steal from our neighbor, or lie to each other, etc. Charity, as the bible says, "covereth a  multitude of sin", but that scripture can more accurately interpreted as "Charity preventeth a multitude of sin." If we have this pure love for one another, we will want to show each other the evidence of this love.

    Jesus Christ is a PERFECT example of this charity... obviously. He spent his ENTIRE ministry in the service of His fellow mortal beings. He healed the sick, raised the dead, provided food for those who were hungered, cast out unclean spirits, and a plethora of other miracles. Our Savior did nothing for himself, but only did what he could for others. As we strive to follow this example and emulate the Savior's love for eachother, we will improve our own lives and, in turn, the lives of those around us. God Bless Y'all!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Perfection. How and Why?!! [part 2]

    Thank you Sue for the comment! I can now give you my little "discourse" on how we can keep Christ's commandment to "be ye therefore perfect". We as people and individuals are, as you are well aware, very very VERY imperfect in our current states. The very idea of being perfect seems immensely difficult and overwhelming; but this is NOT as difficult as we make it.

    I strongly believe that the level of "perfection" that Christ has required of us in this life is more actually ontology. Ontology is not "true perfection" in the sense that God the Father has achieved, but is more of being all that we as individuals can be. Obviously, we all have weaknesses; one may have a certain susceptibility to pornography and another may have an addiction to theft...  Madeleine L'engle, in her book "A Circle of Quiet" gives us an example or idea of how this ontology applies to us personally. She talks about the burning bush that the Lord appeared to Moses in. The bush was doing all that it could to fulfill it's purpose to be a bush. Was it absolutely perfect? No. But it was perfectly content to be nothing but the bush. It was perfectly fulfilling it's purpose to the best of it's ability. That is what is required of us.

    Of course, none of us will attain true perfection in this life. We will all "fall short of the Glory of God" as Paul says. We all have weaknesses and strengths. One man's strength is another mans' weakness. But as we do our absolute best to follow God's commandments, repent of our sins, and strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ, we can all be held as "perfect" through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Perfection?!! HOW and WHY?!!

    I have been puttin off updating my blog because I've been waiting for a "special project" to be finished... but (unfortunately) it's not quite finished... it should be up tomorrow though.. :) i'm excited.

    Today, I wanted to talk about "perfection". I'd like to start by quoting a song that many of you probably won't be familiar with..

          "Perfection is my Direction. Even if that's all I had"
           It's not like I need no correction, I just know that
           Life's not so bad."

    ... Honestly, been thinking a lot about what it means to be "perfect". In the new testament, Jesus tells us to " ye therefore perfect..." How is that POSSIBLE?!! Being human is the definition of being IMPERFECT!! How is it that we can even be commanded to be perfect? Nephi, in the Book of Mormon, tells us that "the Lord giveth no commandments to the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."  (    Why then, would Jesus Christ, knowing that we are all human and imperfect beings, command us to be perfect? Kind of at a paradox here... I'm going to ask the world at this point to tell me how that is possible? I want people to give me their answers as to HOW and WHY Christ would command us to be perfect, knowing that none of us would be able to be perfect in this life... Please comment! And post this link to your facebook or send it to your friends, I wanna hear EVERYONE'S answers to this question.

    Now, I have an answer... But I'm not going to tell y'all until someone breaks the ice first!! I want COMMENTS!!! I will give y'all my answer soon! (hopefully) But it all depends on the rest of y'all.. God Bless Y'all!!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

    So, last night, Elder Hyde and I got home from a hard day's work and lemme tell ya, it was HOT yesterday. We got home and we realized (of course) our AC is dead... With temperatures of low-80's with higher humidity, we were a couple of VERY unhappy campers. After a long day of sweating in the sun, the last thing we wanted was to come home and sweat in our apartment. Sitting in the living room last night, I was reflecting on the past couple of days; being in the state I was in, my thoughts were influenced by how absolutely dirty and gross I felt, covered in nasty sweat and feeling like I had just taken a bath salt water. I recalled an event that happened in the not too distant past while I was working at the library.

    I was sitting in the library the other day, working on another one of my blogs, and the gentleman next to me was watching something that I felt was VERY offensive and inappropriate! Of course, the only thing that one CAN do in that circumstance is to either ask the offender to cease such behavior or to do their best to ignore the lewd images. The Apostle Paul, from the New Testament, states that we should “walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5: 16) And in Matthew, Christ also tels us,

“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.”

“For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:”

“These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.”  (Matthew 5: 18-20)

    Here is an AWESOME video from Pres. Boyd K. Packer about purity and the moral cleanliness that the Lord Commands of us.

    We know from the scriptures that the Lord delights in the chastity of His people.(  God has told us that our bodies are the temples of the Spirit, do defile it with harmful substances and acts is literally a sin in His sight. Just as the Children of Israel were not permitted to enter the Tabernacle if they were unclean, so we must also be forbidden to enter into His presence at the Day of Reckoning if we too are found unclean. I know that this world is a cesspool of temptation and of social decline, but God has asked that we remain clean and pure. He has promised that as we do this, our lives will be rich and happy. As we obey His commandments, God can bless us with all that we are in need of. I know that God lives and He loves His children. Thanks Y'all for reading. God Bless Y'all!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Come Unto Me

   This morning, I wasn't feeling the greatest, so I (admittedly) slept in just a little bit in an attempt to recover from some illness. I woke up, got out of bed, and I saw my companion, Elder Hyde, sitting in a chair in our apartment living room; just barley conscious and desperately trying to finish his personal study. He and I both haven't been feeling the greatest this week. So you might be asking at this point, "Ok, Elder Barnhart, what does this have to do with missionary work?"

   Well, seeing my companion desperately trying to stay awake reminded me of Christ's invitation, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." That sight really made me turn to my Savior today. Even as a missionary, we are CONSISTENTLY relying on Jesus Christ for constant support and strength. Seeing my companion in his desperate fight to remain faithful this morning, made me think of how many people out there are also desperately trying to "keep the faith" and "fight the good fight" as Paul would have put it. This world we live in is a CRAZY place... We as missionaries don't watch tv or keep up with the news, but even just BEING around other people, we hear bits and pieces of what is going on in the world. This place we live in seems to be getting worse and worse... Changing constantly for the worse. But one thing that doesn't change, is our Savior Jesus Christ. He is ALWAYS inviting us to repent, and come unto Him, so He can heal ALL our wounds and strengthen us in our darkest hours.

    I know that Jesus Christ can, and does heal our deepest and most painful wounds; if we will but let Him. As we learn of Him, Grow closer to Him, and Follow His teachings, Christ's ultimate Sacrifice and His Atonement can take effect in our lives. I love my Savior. I know He lives. I know that He loves each and every one of us. Thanks for Reading Y'all. Once again, please, please, please!!! What can I do to improve? Leave me a message, shoot me an email, leave a comment, just let me know what you think I can do to make this better. God Bless Y'all!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Time and Talents

  Today, I wanted to let y'all know how much I appreciate all that y'all do for us missionaries! Anything and EVEERYTHING that y'all do really helps us out. Recently, I've been trying to think of things that we can all do or give to each other to help one another out... So far, I think the most valuable gifts I've thought of, that anyone and everyone can give are our time, our gratitude, and our talents. Really, those are pretty much the only things that every person on this earth has available to them, regardless of circumstances. Yes, some of our circumstances may make it more difficult to sacrifice these precious commodities than others, but we all have a certain amount of time and particular talents given to us.

   In the New Testament, Jesus Christ gives us the parable of the talents. In it there were 3 servants; one recieved 1 talent, another recieved 2, and another received 5. The servants who received 2 and 5 took their talents and used them to gain their master more than what he had given them. The servant who only received one, hid his talent until his master returned, thinking it would be better not to use it. The master returned and was pleased with the servants who had used the talents given them to gain. However, he was very displeased with the servant who did not use his talents, calling him "slothful" and "unprofitable".

   Why has this been on my mind lately? Well, lately, I've been working on a little project that will hopefully help out the missionary work here in cyberspace. While I've been working on this, we have had an immense amount of help from one of the members here in the Cumberland Branch. I wanted to thank this brother for sacrificing his time and his talents to help us out. It's been SOOOO much help to have him working with us on this project... Hopefully, y'all will get to see his handiwork soon!

   Now, here's the question; how has someone offered their time or talents to help you lately? Tell us all about it! Leave us a comment so the world can hear! We're anxiously waiting!! Thank y'all so much for reading! God Bless Y'all!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thank You!!!

   Wow... I am a SLACKER!! I'm sorry y'all, it's been a few days since I've posted anything new here... But hopefully I'll make it up to y'all with an AWESOME post today!... Well, hopefully. :) For the past few days I've been really thinking about gratitude and giving appropriate thanks. This idea of saying thank you to each other in some places seems so natural and in others it feels so difficult and uncomfortable. But I think giving a recognition to one another and to God for what we receive is VERY important.

    In the Old Testament, the Children of Israel, in the Law of Moses, were given as a commandment, to make specific offerings and sacrifices. Some of these offerings had the sole purpose of giving thanks to God. Many times throughout the Old Testament, after a miracle was performed or when the people attributed a great success to God, they would of their own free will, offer sacrifices as a token of gratitude for what God had done for them. I think it's really interesting... What can we do to show God our gratitude? Have we shown God that we are thankful for what he has done for us?... Just a few questions to think about.. and perhaps comment on?

   Another story of gratitude that sticks out in my mind is found in the New Testament. (Luke 17: 12-19) When Jesus healed the 10 lepers, only 1 of them returned to thank him. Thinking about this, yes being healed is a great thing, but it meant SOOOO much more than just being healed! At that time leprosy was almost untreatable. There wasn't a whole lot that the people could do for you if you were a leper. Having leprosy basically meant that your life was OVER. You couldn't really work, you couldn't go in the towns, and pretty much the only people who would associate with you were other lepers... who, coincidentally, also were at a HUGE social and economical disadvantage. You were the outcast and there wasn't anything anyone could do about is. When Jesus healed these men, he gave them their LIVES back. They were now able to do everything that they needed in order to be a part of society again.

   Keeping this in mind, why would only one person come to Christ and show him that gratitude? Would we ourselves be the one to return and thank Him? I think we all say we would, but in today's world, I've seen that showing others our gratitude has become less and less common.

   Applying the story to us, I'd like to ask a few questions and invite ANYONE and EVERYONE to leave a comment! How often do we show our gratitude to those around us? Why do we do it? Why don't we do it? Who do you feel that we should thank? Is there someone that you need to thank in your own life? If so, I encourage you to do so!

   Going along with my own invitation, (I'm not really going to invite anyone to do anything that I myself am not willing to do) I would like to thank a few people... I'm not going to name very many by name, just because I know that if I do I'll FOR SURE miss a lot and I don't want anyone to feel left out. First, I would like to thank all the friends I have made on my mission. All the people who have shown their love, their support, and done so much for me; I sincerely thank you. Next, I would like to thank my parents. Mom and Dad, thank you for sticking with me. I know I was NEVER the easiest child to raise, and I'm sorry for all the struggles, and the hurt that I put y'all through. But really thank you for all that you two have done for me. I'm eternally grateful. Lastly, I would like to thank Jesus Christ. I'd like to thank him for spiritually healing me. I know that Christ has suffered all things for me. I know that He has made it possible for all my sins to be forgiven and for my burdens to be made light.  I know that He made it possible for all mankind to be raised from the dead and to receive His Father's kingdom. I am eternally indebted to Him.

   I would ask y'all to please leave a comment showing your gratitude to someone in your life or a short story of how someone's thanks has helped you personally. Thanks y'all for reading this! Hope y'all have a WONDERFUL day, and I hope y'all enjoyed this post. God Bless Y'all!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I Will Not Leave You Comfortless

    Today, my little message for the world is one that INDEED has helped me personally... Even today in fact! Jesus Christ told his Apostles in John 14: 18 "I will not leave you comfortless..." Today, that really helped me out. I was in the process of getting an MRI, and for those of you who aren't familiar with how that is done, you are inserted into a tube horizontally.. kind of like you're laying on a bed, but you are surrounded by the machine with barley 3 or 4 inches in ANY direction except for out of the machine... I am, embarrassingly enough to admit, claustrophobic... As I'm lying in this tube, the first thing that comes to my mind is... "OH NOOOOO!!!!" After a few minutes, I calm down and tell myself that it isn't that bad. I'm going to be ok. So I am able to remain calm for a little while, but about half way through the MRI, I start to panic again. I'm supposed to be holding very still, but all I can think is, "I'll bet I have just enough room to shoot my arms up and pull myself out of this thing!!" So I began to pray.

    Just as Christ told his apostles 2000 years ago, He will not leave us comfortless; which, oddly enough is the scripture of the day! I began to pray for help. I prayed for COMFORT. I prayed that I would be able to remain calm until the test was finished. As I prayed, I felt the Holy Ghost. It brought me feelings such as, "love, joy, PEACE, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith... meekness, temperance..." (Galatians 5: 22-23" I felt the Lord help me in my own moment of weakness.

    But what I want now, is to hear how YOU have had answers to your prayers. How God has sent the Comfortor to you... If you have a story, that isn't too personal, I'd like y'all to leave it in a comment for the world to see! Thanks y'all! God Bless Y'all!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Safety for the Soul


sorry I couldn't find a clip that had both parts in it... but I love this talk by Jeffrey R Holland. He is an apostle and a member of the quorum of the Tweleve Apostles.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Soooo What's Next?

   Today was transfer meeting... For all of y'all who don't exactly know what that is, it's when we are either moved from the area we're at into a new one with a new companion, or we lose the companion we've been with and get a new one. Today, my companion Elder Kato has actually left. He's moved on to bigger and better things. I'm still here in the Cumberland branch in East Nashville. So now I'm partnered up with Elder Hyde. Elder Hyde is from Idaho. He's a good guy. I think he's been on his mission for about 4 or 5 months now...

   I don't really know what to say now... I'm kind of at a loss of words. Everytime I get paired up with a new person, I go through this phase where I'm almost not exactly myself.. I kind of don't know how to function. It's almost like a part of me is gone. It's weird. What I think it is, is that I'm with a person for a while and I get to know them and I get along with them, and when we get switched, it's almost like I glitch. I have to almost re-boot. I feel like there is an adjusting period.. But I'm not for sure if that is what it is or not... Leave me a comment and tell me what you think it is! Anyone and Everyone! Please! Its almost a struggle or a trial of some sort.. Please help me out with this!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


   Today, while I was sitting in sacrament meeting at church, I was thinking about what I should put up here for my blog post today... And I had the idea that I should talk about weakness. We are all weak in one capacity or another. Some of us have little weaknesses like chocolate or like not being able to say no when food is offered to us.. (that would be my greatest weakness!!) Others have really big weaknesses, even to the extent of an addiction, like pornography or alcohol. Regardless of how big or small our weaknesses are or how much they effect us, we ALL have a weakness... Isn't that WONDERFUL?!! At this point, you're probably thinking something along the lines of, "Yeah... This guy is nuts!" But because we all have these imperfections, we all have the opportunity to be uplifted and strengthened by our Savior.

    Jesus Christ has suffered for EVERYTHING that we can and ever will experience in this life. I know that Christ has done this because I have felt the healing powers of His Atonement in my own life and I've seen how it has helped those around me. This brings us to our scripture of the day! (2nd Corinthians 12: 7-10 see tab) I LOVE this scripture! This is the great apostle Paul speaking to us; and in this particular section of this epistle, he is showing us that even he has a weakness. Paul, the apostle who wrote the majority of the new testament, has a "thorn in the flesh". What really gets me though is he tells us that the reason that he has been given this thorn and this messenger of Satan, so he will NOT be able to do everything on his own. But through this thorn he is able to rely on Jesus Christ; and when we trust in God and do as He as commanded us, we can have the power to overcome our weaknesses. Another great scripture that talks about this is Ether 12 in the Book of Mormon. I'm so grateful for the opportunity we all have to trust in Christ and rely on Him. God Bless Y'all!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Becometh As A Child, For Of Such Are The Kingdom Of God

   Today Elder Kato and I were invited to come to a primary activity for the branch. It was GREAT!! I realized while we were there that I really do miss primary. In case you're not sure of what that is, Primary is the Sunday School class for the kids from age 4 to about 12. Primary is so cool because while the kids are in these classes, they learn about our Savior Jesus Christ. They sing songs, read stories, and have little lessons and activities specifically designed to help their young minds learn of The Savior.

    While we were at this activity, I was thinking alot about what Jesus says about becoming as a little child... Obviously, we are not all supposed to wander around the playground and eat dirt like a small child would, but Christ is telling us that we are to become as the children are and to be loving to all we come in contact with. We are to be innocent, just as the little ones are. We are to trust our Father in Heaven just as we trust our parents here; and in turn, how our children will and do trust us. It's really quite amazing that we are commanded to revert back to this state of love and innocence. I, personally, am especially amazed when Christ says that (speaking of the children) "of such are the kingdom of God".

     That's the reason for the scripture of the day. Watching the kids today at the park; how they talked, how they played with each other, just their innocent state and how happy they all were, reminded me of what Christ has asked us to become and emulate. God Bless You All!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Oh How Lovely Was The Morning..."

   Man oh man!! Today is a BEAUTIFUL day!!! I know that this blog is for spiritual experiences, so bear with me for a minute. The sun is shining, it's about 65 degrees (Fahrenheit), slight breeze is blowing, awesome day! :) Elder Kato and I walked to the library this morning and I couldn't help but notice the amazing world around me. It was a great experience to take a few minutes to just see and consider all of God's exquisite creations.

   Yesterday, Elder Kato and I had the opportunity to take 8 hours and actually practice our teaching. This was a little different than the normal practice though. Yesterday we were practicing teaching with the Spirit. We were really focusing on having the Spirit with us as we were teaching. We were really trying and striving to understand and then follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost as we taught. It was a VERY spiritual experince... Probably one of the most I've ever had. I know that God loves us and wants us to learn and follow Him. I know that we can recieve inspiration from the Holy Ghost. (see Moroni 10: 3-5) I love y'all! Hope y'all have a wonderful day as well! God Bless Y'all!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Christ Can Help

  I'm sorry that I've been kind of a slacker for the past few days! Elder Kato and I have been so busy, I barely have time to stop and think, let alone write anything!! But I'll do better I promise!

  On Sunday, Elder Kato and I had the great opportunity to give 2 more priesthood blessings! (If you have any questions regarding the priesthood or blessings either see the previous post or shoot me a message via email/facebook/ or leave a comment on this post) I'd like to quickly reiterate the fact that I LOVE being able to give others a blessing. It's a humbling and very spiritual experience. Church was also very good on Sunday. We had a very interesting lesson on the Gifts of the Spirit. (feel free to visit to learn more) I think it's a very interesting topic personally. But, unfortunately, on Sunday we also had some discouraging things happen to us... It's nothing too bad or nothing that we can't handle, but honestly, sometimes missionary work is frustrating. Hence, the scripture of the day... (see tab at top of page)

   The scripture of the day is from a prophet by the name of Alma. Alma is testifing (around 83 B.C.) that Jesus Christ would come to the world and suffer for all humanity. The reason I've chosen these verses as my scripture of the day is because what it says Christ has suffered for us.. Pains, afflictions, temptations, sickness, infirmities, sins, transgressions, and death... Honestly, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING we can and have suffered in this life, Christ has suffered also. The scripture also tells us that he did suffer all these things so he will know HOW TO HELP us... As I said earlier, being a missionary is definately the hardest things I have ever done.. But it is also the best and most rewarding thing I've ever done. When things in this life are not as we feel they should be, we can turn to our Savior Jesus Christ and He can help us through our trials...
   I'm reminded of a story, there was once a man walking through life. His walk was represented as a walk down a beach. At the end of his life, he and Christ are looking back at the path he has taken in this life. The man notices that sometimes there are 2 sets of foot prints and other times there is only one. He asks Christ, "I thought you said you would always be with me. I thought you would never leave my side. Why? Where did you go? Those times when I felt so alone is when I needed you the most, and you left me... Why?" And Christ wraps his arms around the man and says, "Those times when there is only one set of footprints, those were all the times I carried you."
   Moral of the story is our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ are ALWAYS there for us. They love us and they have done ALL things for us. They will never forsake us. I know that this is true because as I struggle with my day to day problems, whether they be big or small, I can feel of their love and I know that Christ is carrying me through them now. Thank you all for reading this! I hope y'all have enjoyed it! Please feel free to post any questions, comments, concerns, complaints, or constructive critisisms! I'd really appreciate all the help I can get! I'll post some more spiritually uplifting messages tomorrow! Have a Blessed Day!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

When ye are in the Service of Your Fellow Beings..

   Today Elder Kato and I had the awesome opportunity to do some service! Hence the reason for the new scripture of the day! (see the tab at the top of the screen) I love, love, LOVE doing sevice! Especially on my mission! (it gives me the chance to get out of my white shirt and tie) We were asked by our Elder's Quorum President to help him and a few other people from the branch move one of the members. We, unfortunately, weren't able to make it to the home until about noon. But when we got there, it turned out that all but one person had something come up, so they weren't able to make it out to help... But that was fine! We helped for about 2 hours. I love helping others, especially when they can't help themselves. It makes me feel more love for the people I serve. It makes me feel good. As Christ said in Matthew 5:40 "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me." I love following the example of Christ and serving others because of the great feelings that follow. That was the best part of my day!

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Sure Foundation

    Today, Elder Kato and I have had an AWESOME experience. We have been so busy today! We have been teaching, preaching, expounding, and exhorting... But the best and most spiritual experience we had today was the opportunity to give a young man a blessing..

    In the book of James, in the fifth chapter, James is speaking to the sick and the afflicted; he asks if there are any of the saints who are sick, to "call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil, in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick..." (James 5:14-15) Giving a blessing is a SUPER spiritual experience. We, being elders of the church, have an authority, called the priesthood. This allows us to do as James says we will, that is, anoint the sick and afflicted with oil and bless them. The blessing is something that our Father in Heaven gives to the sick through us. Its a really cool experience, because while we are giving the blessing, the words we speak are completely guided by the Spirit. We are speaking the words as given to us by God to speak to those whom we are blessing. Its a super humbling experience to be able to perform that kind of service.

    The reason for the scripture of the day is because the gentleman who requested the blessing was in a position that his trials and afflictions were really bringing him down. But because of his faith in Christ, those things don't seem as bad to him as they would to most. I know that God lives and that He loves His Children; and I know that Christ is the ONLY sure foundation in this constantly changing world.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Some Ideas... Any Thoughts?

   So my companion, Elder Kato, came up with an AWESOME idea last night! He had the cool thought that sometimes when we're posting up on our blogs that we don't really feel "real".. So, he and I are going to try to start posting an occasional video! Instead of posting a written summary of the day and what we did that day in our missionary work, we would actually show y'all!... Kind of... We're still working on the details for that but, I think it's definitely something worth looking into.

    Last night, Elder Kato and I had a GREAT discussion with some of the members at dinner. We talked alot about judgement. Mostly how we as people judge one another. Jesus told the world in His sermon on the mount, "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." (matt. 7: 1-2) Judging each other is extremely harmful. It not only harms the feelings of those we judge, but in turn, we also put ourselves in front of the great stumbling block of pride.

    We also talked about Christ and His atonement.. The scripture of the day (numbers 21: 7-8) might seem a little strange, but I think it is a REALLY cool scripture. When the Children of Israel were wandering in the wilderness after leaving Egypt, we are told that fiery serpents came to them and bit them. People were dying so they inquired of Moses of how God would help them. This is what Moses is told to do. I think it's really cool because it is an allusion to Jesus Christ being lifted up on the cross. With Christ being lifted up on the cross, as we see His sacrifice, and turn ourselves toward Him, He can heal us of all our pains, weaknesses, afflictions, trials, and everything we suffer. Just as the Children of Israel were healed, so can we also be healed.

    Tonight we're going to have dinner with our Elder's quorum president! That'll be great! Then we're seeing our baptismal dates! :) I'm excited for that! Please pray for them! Thank you all for your prayers! As always, please, please, PLEASE leave me any questions, comments, concerns, complaints, constructive critisims, ect. I'm looking any kind of feed back as to how I can make this better! Tell your friends to check it out too! I'm looking for any and all suggestions on how make this blog to the best of my ability! Thank Y'all for your love and support! God Bless Y'all!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


    Me and my companion, Elder Kato, are coming to the sad realization that there literally is NOT enough time in the day! Each day that passes by I have to seriously stop and ask myself, what did I do today? I feel like the whole day has just slipped by us and we have almost nothing to show for it! Now, realize that yes, in fact we do have evidence of our labors, but honestly, I just feel like there is so much more we could be doing... if we only had a few more hours in a day. But I digress; the time that we do have is so important! We have an AWESOME opportunity to teach God's children the Gospel! Today, we had a meeting with some of the missionaries here in the Nashville area. We actually just got out of it about half an hour ago. So we've planned on working here on the computers for a while and after this we're going to go have dinner with some of the sweet members in the branch.
     Today in our meeting we talked alot about sacrifice. Sacrifice is a very interesting subject. If a sacrifice isn't difficult, then it is NOT true sacrifice. I've been thinking alot about the sacrifices that we as missionaries make compared to the sacrifices that Jesus Christ made for each and every one of us... Christ had it MUCH worse than we do. Not only did Jesus die for us, but He also LIVED for us... Every day of His life He was perfect. I think that anyone can say they would die for another, but to truely LIVE for someone is much more difficult... It is much longer and requires much more dedication and perserverence... Thinking about this makes me feel so much more love and gratitude to our Savior. What more can we sacrifice for our Savior? What more can we do for Him? Just some questions that have been on my mind.

     Please!! Feel free to leave me questions, comments, concerens, complaints, and any constructive criticism... I hope that y'all are having a blessed day! May God watch over you all!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!!

Yes, today is a BEAUTIFUL day!! The sun is shining, there is a light breeze, it's not too hot, not too cold, not to humid... actually it's borderline perfect! Yesterday was kind of hard honestly, it hurts when all you're trying to do is help others and it's like they tell you they don't want your help.. (sigh) oh well. We've just gotta keep on trying... keep on working hard and doing our best. Today is great so far though! We just got finished practicing our teaching skills with some other missionaries. That is a VERY valuable experience.. And after this we're going to see a man and his wife that we're teaching.. We are actually planning on extending a baptismal invitation! :) I really hope they accept! PLEASE PRAY FOR US!!! Also, pray for my companion... He's a good guy. Got some stuff that I think he's worried about... Nothing serious, but he might need the help.. and I know FOR SURE that he deserves the help. Then later tonight, we're going to go out with our Elder's Quorum President and see some of the less-active members of the branch. That'll be great!  Well, I'm sure that I'll be updating this again! God bless all of you! Tell your friends and family to check out this blog! Leave me some questions, comments, and concerns!! I LOVE feed back!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Opposition in ALL THINGS

Man, yesterday was kind of a downer... No one came to church with us!! Oh well, I know that It'll be a better week this week. We had a great day other than that though! Church was still really good.. regardless of the fact that no one came; there were really good lessons and sacrament meeting was super spiritual.. as usual. After Church, we met with a recent convert and her husband and they fed us dinner! It was fantastic! So I guess knowing the bad or having the disappointments helps me more fully appreciate the good... (see 2nd Nephi 2: 11,23) This week will be great though! We're actually planning on seeing one of the guys we're teaching in about half an hour... hope it all goes well! Pray for us! God bless y'all!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

It is raining here in Nashville... It's actually kind of cold today! So far it's been a pretty good day. Elder Kato and I go to go up to Madison and practice teaching with some other missionaries this morning! That was cool. Then after that we tried to go see Allen. We pulled up and he said now wasn't a good time, but hopefully he'll still come to the dinner appointment he was invited to tonight! That would be AWESOME!! Then we stopped by a members' home. We had a great discussion and we read Alma chapter 7 with them... That's one of my FAVORITE chapters!! It's a prophet testifiying that Christ would come into the world for us... Read it if you want to! I'll post it at the bottom. Tonight we're planning on eating dinner with some members and hopefully Allen and his wife, Sonya... Then we'll be going to see Erik! He's our baptismal date! He's awesome! He's being baptized on March 19th... Exactly 2 weeks from today! :) I'm excited! Until next time, God bless you!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Just another day...

The past couple days have been so busy I've barely had time to think! Yesterday, I had a doctor's appointment to get a shot... I hate NEEDLES!!! So while I was there I was CONSTANTLY praying for help!! Yes, thanks to the goodness of God, I was able to get my shot and survive because of His help.. Really, I'm deathly terrified of needles.

Then today me and my companion had an awesome lesson with a part member family we're teaching. We had planned to teach the whole Plan of Salvation, which answers the questions "where did we come from?", "what are we supposed to do here?", and "what happens when I die" or "where do we go after this life". It's one of my favorite lessons to teach actually. Alot of people can't answer these questions, that's why it's my favorite lesson to teach! Because of the restoration of Christ's church and His gospel, we CAN answer them!! But, we were only able to teach half of it today, they had some really good questions and alot of great insight. So we're going to plan on teaching the rest of it next time!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 1!

  So I've actually really wanted to make this blog for a long time, but for the first 18 months of my 2 year mission, I've only been allowed to use a computer to email my parents once a week... But that's just changed! :) So now I can tell the whole world how and what being a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is like! Hmmm where to begin.. Well, I'm actually kind of short on time, but there will be more to come! God Bless us All!