Tuesday, January 13, 2015


I'm not going to lie, its pretty weird to come home from a mission. You are on the go constantly. You don't stop thinking about others. You give all of yourself to the work. Missions are not EFY. They are HARD! But they are worth it. The things you learn as a missionary are incredible. For my last blog post, I would like to share the top 10 things I learned as a missionary:

2. Fasting works. If we sacrifice just a little bit, the Lord is always willing to bless us.
3. Obedience ALWAYS brings blessings. 
4. Love is what motivates everything. Love for our Heavenly Father. Love for the Savior. Love for your fellowman. Love for your mission president.
5. If two people want to get along, they will.
6. Generosity brings generosity.
7. Your Father in Heaven wants to communicate with you the same way your earthly father wants to.
8. Hard work is hard.
9. The Book of Mormon is true and is the evidence that Joseph Smith was a prophet.
10. Heavenly Father knows you best. He knows your name. He loves you. Trust in him, and he will never let you down.

I want to say thank you to everyone who helped me learn and grow. You have all taught me something, whether you know it or not. I feel so blessed to have been able to serve in the Washington Vancouver Mission. My life is changed. Thank you for your prayers, love, concern, good times, and testimonies. I know this church is true. The gospel was restored. These are the things I treasure the most!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Luke 2

Luke 2

 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

 Luke 2:4–6, Mary and Joseph enter Bethlehem

 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

 Luke 2:4–6, Mary and Joseph search for an inn

 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.


 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.


 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
 15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
 16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

 Luke 2:6–7, The holy family

 17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
 18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
 19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

  Luke 2:6–7, The virgin Mary with baby Jesus

 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.


I, like the shepherds, feel the desire to glorify and praise God and his son, Jesus Christ. I know that God loved us so much that he gave his only begotten son to save us. Christ truly came to this world as a baby. He is our Savior. I love him and am grateful for the opportunity to serve him at this time of year.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

I Know That He Lives

This morning, I had the opportunity to sit with a group of missionaries and listen to one of our leaders talk about sharing the love of Jesus Christ during this Christmas season. He shared an article from the Ensign (a magazine produced by the church) titled, "I Know That He Lives" by Elder Melvin J. Ballard. This touched me, so I decided to share it with all of you!

"I love to contemplate what it cost our Father in Heaven to give us the gift of His Beloved Son, that worthy Son of our Father, who so loved the world that He laid His life down to redeem the world, to save us and to feed us spiritually while we walk in this life, and prepare us to go and dwell with Him in the eternal worlds. …

"I recall an experience which I had … , bearing witness to my soul of the reality of [the Savior’s] death, of His Crucifixion, and His Resurrection, that I shall never forget. …

"… I found myself one evening in the dreams of the night in that sacred building, the temple. After a season of prayer and rejoicing I was informed that I should have the privilege of entering into one of those rooms, to meet a glorious personage, and, as I entered the door, I saw, seated on a raised platform, the most glorious being my eyes have ever beheld or that I ever conceived existed in all the eternal worlds.

"As I approached to be introduced, He arose and stepped towards me with extended arms, and He smiled as He softly spoke my name. If I shall live to be a million years old, I shall never forget that smile. He took me into His arms and kissed me, pressed me to His bosom, and blessed me, until the marrow of my bones seemed to melt! When He had finished, I fell at His feet, and, as I bathed them with my tears and kisses, I saw the prints of the nails in the feet of the Redeemer of the world. The feeling that I had in the presence of Him who hath all things in His hands, to have His love, His affection, and His blessing was such that if I can receive that of which I had but a foretaste, I would give all that I am, all that I ever hope to be, to feel what I then felt!

"… I see Jesus not now upon the cross. I do not see His brow pierced with thorns nor His hands torn with the nails, but I see Him smiling, with extended arms, saying to us all: 'Come unto me!'"

As I listened as this was read to me this morning, I could not deny the spirit bearing witness to me that our Savior, Jesus Christ, loves us so much! I can't even begin to imagine the day when I will meet him. The Saviors invitation to us all is to come unto him. He desires us to make covenants with him like baptism. This time of year is the most special because we have the opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ with everyone we know. I hope that we can all remember the reason for this season! I love my Savior. I, too, know that he lives.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

He Is The Gift

I remember waking up early one Christmas morning to open presents. I opened up cake mixes, a rolling pin, cupcake pans, and other cooking items. That year I had asked for an easy bake oven. I'm not sure if my parents just couldn't afford it or what, but it hadn't happened. As I opened up present after present, I didn't even think about how I hadn't received an easy bake. Throughout the day I remember baking in the kitchen with my mom all of the fun things we had just gotten. The time spent with her was special to me.

As I have reflected about that Christmas, I have pondered why it is one of my most memorable Christmas'. I have come to understand that it is because it wasn't about what I was receiving. It was about family. It was about love.

John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

This special time of year is all about celebrating Christ's birth. He was the first gift. Our Heavenly Father loved us so much that he sent his beloved son, Jesus Christ, to save us.

Russell M. Nelson said, “Christmas is a time of reflection on what we can become because of God’s sacred gift. As we discover the gift, we learn of the immeasurable love of God and our absolute need for a Savior. As we embrace the gift, we strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ and our desire to become more like Him. As we share the gift, we follow in the Master’s footsteps, who invited all to hear His message.”

My testimony is that Christ came into this world to save us from our sins. He is the literal son of God. If we will believe in and follow him, we can return to live with our Heavenly Father again one day. I am grateful for the opportunity to share this gift with all those that I come in contact with each and every day. I love my savior.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Mostly, I cannot even begin to say how grateful I am for the many blessings that I have been given. I desire to express my gratitude for a loving Heavenly Father who is always there to bless me. I am grateful for his son Jesus Christ and his infinite atonement. I am grateful for the Holy Spirit that leads me, comforts me, and warns me. I am grateful for the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the Book of Mormon. I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to make promises with God, like baptism.

I am blessed to have a wonderful, supportive family. Without them, I would not be where I am today. I am grateful for Panaca, and the wonderful people there that played a role in my conversion. I am grateful for talents, food, and friends.

Please know that this is definitely not close to a complete list of things I am grateful for. My heart is full with love and thanksgiving. There is no place that I would rather be than here in Vancouver serving my Heavenly Father and Savior. I hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

What Would You Give to Know God?

There is a story in the Book of Mormon that I love. There is a missionary named Aaron who is preaching to a group of people called the Lamanites. In this particular chapter, Aaron is teaching the Lamanite king. Found in Alma chapter 22 of the Book of Mormon, the king expresses to Aaron that he does not know who God is. After bearing testimony to the king that there is a God, Aaron begins teaching him about the opportunity to live with God again. I love the kings response:

This particularly struck me recently as I read this. The king was willing to give up EVERY WORLDLY POSSESSION that he had to know God and to learn how to live with him one day. A few verses later he prays to God:

This time the king expresses that he will give up things that spiritually hold him back from God. As I studied this chapter in the Book of Mormon, I could not help but think to myself, "What would I give up to know God?".

What kinds of worldly things keep us from knowing God? Is it our jobs? Material things? 

What is holding us back spiritually? Are we reading our scriptures? Praying? Attending church?

The Lamanite king had an amazing, spiritual experience that solidified a testimony of God. Most often, we don't have a miraculous experience that brings about a testimony in us. We usually have to put in effort to know God. It means we have to do all things spiritual like reading the scriptures, praying, attending church, and every good thing. We have to align our priorities and not allow worldly things to clutter our time. 

I didn't have an amazing experience to a gain a testimony of God. But through different experiences in my life, I have been able to learn that I really do have a Heavenly Father that loves me. He is aware of each and every one of us. He wants us all to know him. The best way I know of to come to know him is to pray. Ask like the Lamanite king did, and you will come to know that he is real.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Singing Praises to Him

Many who have watched me grow know that I have participated in choir's, musicals, and all other kinds of musical events my entire life. For those who know me well, know that this was NEVER my favorite thing to do. Don't ask me why I did the things I did. Simply put, it has just never been something I enjoy doing.

Just recently, the missionaries in my area were asked to prepare for a meeting by inviting others to participate with us in a large choir. Maybe I shouldn't confess my sins over a blog post, but I groaned a little bit inside when I heard this. Like I said before, singing has never been my thing. As I have learned about what we will be participating in, the spirit has confirmed to my heart that this is in fact something that the Lord wants me to do.

1 Chronicles 16:9, "Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works."

Psalms 96:1, " O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth."

Isaiah 44:23, " 23 Sing, O ye heavens; for the Lord hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel."

 1 Nephi 21:13, " 13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; for the feet of those who are in the east shall be established; and break forth into singing, O mountains; for they shall be smitten no more; for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted."

D&C 25:12, "For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads."

These scriptures, along with many more, show us the nature of singing like unto prayer. In the First Presidency Preface to the hymn book, it says: "We hope to see an increase of hymn singing in our congregations. We encourage all members, whether musically inclined or not, to join with us in singing the hymns. We hope leaders, teachers, and members who are called on to speak will turn often to the hymnbook to find sermons presented powerfully and beautifully in verse."

So this is what I have learned--its not about how well you sing. Its about singing praises to God. Its about the DOCTRINE found within the Hymns. The preface to the hymn book says, "Brothers and sisters, let us use the hymns to invite the Spirit of the Lord into our congregations, our homes, and our personal lives. Let us memorize and ponder them, recite and sing them, and partake of their spiritual nourishment. Know that the song of the righteous is a prayer unto our Father in Heaven, “and it shall be answered with a blessing upon [your] heads.”

It is my testimony that we are to sing praises to our Heavenly Father. It is another way that we can pray to him. We can learn so much from the hymns. I know that singing is the best way to feel the spirit. Singing can help us conquer temptation and bring an increase of the spirit into our lives. I know that the hymns were written by inspiration and will bring us closer to God.