Sunday, April 11, 2010

And you didn't think I'd ever Blog again. Well...

Hey so yeah, I had everyone on your toes to see if I was really going to Blog again. That's ok because I was debating it within myself. Since February, it doesn't seem like too much has happened. My ski class ended (that was way awesome idea for me to take the class), I actually got a 98% on a paper I wrote in History (that was cool), General Conference was last week (SOOO GOOD!), and now here I am at the last week of school before finals, and it's rather exciting.

I found out a few weeks ago that some people I taught on my mission were getting baptized. I was super excited to see that because they had been working for a very long time to get to that point. I remember having some very powerful, spiritual, and pivotal lessons with them, and I just kept thinking "What the heck?! Why won't they just go in the water?" They absolutely knew everything about the Church and were very proactive in coming every Sunday. Sometimes they would offer prayers in meetings. This all happened in my last area of Ohio in Lisbon. It's a very exciting thing for the ward which has been struggling for some time now to get converts. The Lord has his own timetable. He understands our needs and our positions, and sometimes it just takes a little bit of heart-softening to get people to where they should be. In that same area where we were working, there's a recent convert family that's preparing for the temple. In fact they should be going either this week or have gone already. I'll be giving them a call to ask about their experience.

I've been thinking a lot about agency lately and the role it plays in making decisions with being directed by Heavenly Father. A great talk to read about this subject is called "Agency or Inspiration" by Bruce R. McKonkie. I think what the Lord expects from us is an attitude of making decisions on our own but always presenting that decision before the Lord. As Elder Bednar would emphasize, he wants us to act and not be acted upon, to be agents within ourselves, knowing that the power (the powers of reasoning within ourselves to make a wise decision) is within us. I think what most of us are afraid of is making the wrong decision and getting a feeling of correction or rebuke from the spirit. However! We fail to realize that a stupor of thought is as great a blessing as a burning in the bosom. Each one is answer to a prayer. And if we're no willing to take it that far and be willing to receive a stupor of thought, then we are letting our pride get the best of us. What we're really saying is "my plan is the better one". These opposite feelings in response to prayer can only come after a decision is made. Humility to feel rebuked is a part of the plan and essential to our progression. Should we ever feel like we "know what we're doing", then we're missing the point and fooling ourselves. The point of choosing is a part of our training in becoming like our Heavenly Father. No fence-sitters will be admitted to the Celestial Kingdom.

Welp, I hope to make this a habit--sharing insights or thoughts that I've had. It helps me to put them in word format. They're not directed towards anyone or meant to demean anyone's ability or self-worth, but rather, to offer a perspective. Have a good day!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Let's make lemonade

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! This has been a pretty fun week. Travis and I were walking home from class one day and through the massive parking lot to which at the end is our apartment and we got to thinking about which way to walk through the parking lot is faster. The entrance to walk through if you are walking from campus is at the top right hand corner, and the exit is at the bottom left hand. If one walks in a straight and diagonal line, they'll obviously get there faster. Well, this parking lot is often packed with cars. There are three rows of cars that span the length of the lot and are in the way of walking in a straight line. And so that was our question, which row is it best to walk down? So we decided that we would establish an equal walking pace and then start down separate rows to see which one would allow us to get to the exit quickest. I walked down the one farthest to the right, and Travis did up the middle. We concluded that the middle row is the best one to walk down. So there ya have it.

Today I taught Elder's Quorum. I had been preparing the lesson for two weeks and spent a few hours on it yesterday. I really like teaching. I miss doing it from my mission a lot. I really like my calling too. It has helped me transition from missionary to student. Now that my lesson is done with, it feels kind of weird--perhaps a little empty. But it's ok. I really enjoyed teaching the lesson. There was great participation coming from the quorum and some people were right on with their comments and insights. I taught about the laws of Justice and Mercy and the affect the Atonement can have on our lives. We talked about agency and how we have to have opposites placed before us in order to help us choose effectively. One of the points that I enjoyed discussing the most is considering the fact that all of us have sins and are all stained. Even if an individual had just one stain, they would be unfit to enter God's kingdom. What then, does that discount us from entering in? What other option exists? The atonement becomes real to us not based on how far up we are on the scale of righteousness, but rather the direction we're facing. If we are at the bottom of the staircase but still facing upwards, we will still make it if we continue onward in that direction. Heavenly Father looks after all of us and knows our circumstances and the challenges that we have. He requires our hearts. He requires our humility. There is no other attribute that produces strength more than humility does. A humble person realizes their dependence on the Savior and his atonement and can thereby move forward and face anything.

Welp, I think I've talked long enough so I bid a very fond farewell. Que tenga un buen dia y adios.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I can't believe I just created a blog

I don't know what the heck I was thinking, but all of a sudden I got the urge to create a blog. I can't quite explain it. All I know is that a few days ago, I was talking to a good friend, Emily Chambers about journal-writing and I decided tonight that I wanted to share some thoughts that I get every now and then. Bueeeno! So here I am.

Many people know that I've established this semester to be The Semester of Dallas. Since the beginning of October, I have been planning out what my new schedule would be like for this semester. Everything worked out great. The only change I made had to do with Accounting 210. I was going to take it but then decided against it. Instead I'm taking a history class which covers a GE requirement. Exciting. Seriously. I love history now for some reason. Three years ago, before my mission, I hated it. I hated reading. Ironically, I also told myself I would never ever make a blog. How stupid I thought it was. Look at me now. Put a 180 degree change on each of those things and that's a little somethin' somethin' about me. There's a song from the Brady Bunch sung by the kids in an episode when they were recording something during the time Peter's voice was changing, and in a real funny voice he would sing "It's time to chaaange and to rearrange." Crazy. That's kinda what a mission has done to me. I feel like I've been rearranged. Me gusta. Me gusta mucho.

I'll lay it out upfront; my reasoning for creating a blog is primarily to put down my thoughts. What a person constantly thinks about is what they become, so the plan is to make it good. Based on that logic, hopefully I don't become like Peter and have my voice change...again. So hopefully I don't completely forget about this die off. I think it would be fun to put down my thoughts. Get in my brain!!