Sunday, June 29, 2014

First Day at the MTC - 6.25

Wow! What a crazy day. I love you all so dearly. I can't believe I'm a missionary. It is amazing. I wandered around for a while with my host missionary. They take such good care of us. It is wonderful. I went to my classroom to meet my teacher Brother Griffiths. We started memorizing the first vision right away. After a bit of that we shared our favorite scriptures with "investigators" aka the other missionaries in the classroom. So interesting. I shared Moroni 7: 47-48. My companion is Sister Jordin Parkinson is from Rexburg, Idaho. She was also at USU! So fun.

I am well. Overwhelmed, but well. I am here to become more converted to Jesus Christ and to help others become closer to him also.

I met Elder Boatman from Lincoln, CA. He is my Zone Leader and he knows Adam and Andrew and Nettie!! Yay!

I have had so many cool experiences. I will tell you more in my email. I love you! I can't even say how much.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Heading to the MTC

Lucky and blessed to spend a few days with grandma and grandpa

She's off! Sister Gilbert heading into the MTC. 

Mission Bound Cousins

After speaking in church and visiting with friends and family, Gretchen and Charlotte Scholl (Gretchen's cousin) pose for a picture. Charlotte's going to the Minneapolis, Minnesoda mission. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

My farewell talk

I had some family and friends who weren't able to attend my talk in sacrament, so I'm posting my talk on here.

Preach My Gospel states: “Your purpose as a missionary is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.”

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have been asked countless times to serve as member missionaries and to help others increase their faith in Jesus Christ, and help them eventually gain salvation and eternal life.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ consists of five main points. I hope to talk about each of these parts and how they can help us come unto Christ.

1. Faith. Faith is based on action. Rather than merely having a hope or belief, we should show our faith by acting. We become faith as we overcome our fears and changing into someone better than we were before. One of these changes is repentance. The more faith we have, the more like our Savior we will want to become.

In 1 Nephi 3, Nephi is speaking with his father, Lehi. Lehi asks Nephi to go to Jerusalem, the city they had just barely left, to retrieve the brass plates – a record of their family history and also of scripture. Now Nephi’s brothers weren’t terribly excited about this. They complain and whined and murmured. Nephi however, says to his father, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Nephi 3:7). Nephi knows what needs to be done and does it. I imagine he might have been nervous about returning to the wicked city of Jerusalem, but Nephi had enough faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to overcome his fears. He knew that they wouldn’t ask him to do something impossible. Nephi’s faith and courage made it possible to lay his fears and worries aside and act in faith.

For me, my decision in going on a mission was not a quick choice. I pondered and prayed for a couple months to try to figure out what I was going to do. I was, and still am, so nervous about leaving my family behind, along with all my personal life and goals and commitments. I finally received my answer, however, and knew what I needed to do. One of the main reasons I’m going on my mission is the fact that I love my family so dearly. I am so grateful that I get to spend eternity with my family, and I want to share that beautiful message with other people. I hope to help people come unto Jesus Christ and realize that they can live with their families for forever also. I have a grandma, grandpa, and uncle who have already passed on, and I feel like we will be doing a little team missionary work. Also, a few nights ago, a friend reassured me that my family was going to be taken care of and everything will be okay. That was exactly what I needed to hear to move forward in faith and pour my heart and soul into my mission.

2. Repentance. Our love for Jesus Christ will lead us to repent and align our lives with God’s will. PMG says, “Repentance includes forming a fresh view of God, ourselves, and the world.” Often when we are carrying the burdens of heartache and sin, the world can seem dark and dreary. However, once we repent and start afresh, we realize how blessed we are. Repentance is a good thing.

Mosiah 5:1-2  
1 And now, it came to pass that when king Benjamin had thus spoken to his people, he sent among them, desiring to know of his people if they believed the words which he had spoken unto them. 2 And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.

This school year, I found myself in a difficult situation. In the course of a several hours, I became grumpy, upset, and hardened. I was so full of anger when I was trying to go to bed that night that I couldn’t fall asleep. I finally conceded, and prayed that I might be able to sleep. I soon realized that I needed to repent and change my heart. The next day, I was browsing through my phone, and I found a picture of a bright yellow flower growing through a cement wall. I posted the picture on Instagram with the following caption. “I’m learning how to give my heart to the Lord. My heart can be solid and unchangeable, but the Lord works with whatever we have to offer. He finds my imperfections and doubts and allows the sunshine and happiness and light of His mercy and goodness shine through the cracks of my cement heart. Lord, help me that I may become more like thee.” I realize how out of control and I had gotten, and I decided I wanted to be more like Christ. This situation that I was so upset about ended up turning out all right in the end, but I learned a valuable lesson.

3. Baptism
4. Gift of the Holy Ghost

We show faith in Jesus Christ by being baptized for a remission of our sins and transgressions. Once you receive the Holy Ghost, you can receive promptings and have a portion of the Spirit in your life. Our baptismal covenant reminds us to repent everyday of our lives. As we keep these covenants, God promises the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost testifies of Jesus Christ and helps us recognize truth.

2 Nephi 31:11-12
11 And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son.
 12 And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.

5. Endure to the End

To me, enduring to the end means more than just surviving life. It means enjoying the journey and pressing forward with happiness.

President Dieter F. Utchdorf in his October 2012 conference address said, “ No matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it.”

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

One of my favorite hymns is 243, Let Us All Press On.

3. If we do what's right we have no need to fear, For the Lord, our helper, will ever be near;
In the days of trial his Saints he will cheer,
And prosper the cause of truth.

Fear not, though the enemy deride;
Courage, for the Lord is on our side.
We will heed not what the wicked may say,
But the Lord alone we will obey.

I know that as we all press on and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, we can endure and make it back to our Heavenly Father. Coming unto Christ will bless our lives. I challenge you to search for ways to draw closer to Him in your own life, and also search for ways to help others come unto Him.
I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve in the Texas Dallas Mission and to tell the people of Texas how much their Heavenly Father loves them.

I know that this Church is true, and that Joseph Smith truly saw God the Father and Jesus Christ as a 14-year-old boy. He restored the true church, and we are so blessed by it.

Heavenly Father loves us so dearly, and He wants us to find happiness in our lives. If we do what’s right and obey the commandments and strive everyday to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, we can find joy and happiness in our hearts and in our lives.

I know that Thomas S. Monson is our prophet today, and he leads this Church with wisdom, inspiration, and kindness.

I know that families can live together forever, and I am so grateful for that principle.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.