Tag Archives: Change

Worthy Not Perfect

The need to be perfect in all aspects of my life is a major problem that I have. My competitive nature doesn’t help either but instead adds to having to be perfect and better than those around me. On my mission, I came to realize that this was a bad thing, especially when comparing to myself. My mission president, President Paul Craig, use to always tell me to stop beating myself up for falling short from being perfect. We spent a large amount of time over coming my perfection and realizing that I am going to fall short from the grace of God. He taught me that the Savior Jesus Christ would be the one to help make up the difference of my imperfection. Though it makes sense and something I always want to do, it is the hardest thing for me to do. It’s hard for me not to beat myself daily or weekly for not being perfect. There is always something that I should have done better and something that keeps me from being perfect.

Lately, I’ve been taking an institute class at UVU in which Brother Longmoore teaches us daily to give it all to Christ. Last week he taught us ways to allow the Atonement of Jesus Christ to help us and to trust in the Lord’s grace. Brother Longmoore has been truly inspired as a teacher because I’ve realized that it’s a terrible thing to beat ourselves up for living the gospel. He tells us that the good news should be enjoyable and we should get credit for the great things we do. Last week, he taught us that sin is not sin. Sin is just a mistake and a chance to learn, grow, and become a better person. It’s an opportunity to come closer to our Savior and Father in Heaven.

Going into General Conference this past weekend, I wanted to know how to not beat myself up daily anymore. I wanted to know how I could trust in the Lord more and use the Atonement of Jesus Christ more in my life. (Side note, this conference was a special one for me as I got to attend it in the flesh for the first time!) However, conference taught me that it is ok not to be perfect. God still loves us for not being perfect. He is proud of the progress we make daily and he is there at all times. He is grateful that we want to be better and have him in our lives.

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Elder Gong of the seventy taught that being worthy is not perfect. Rather being worthy is striving daily to keep the covenants we made with the Lord. Being worthy is willing to change and allow the Savior to be apart of our change. We shouldn’t beat ourselves up for the mistakes we make like I do. So the past few week have been eye-opening to me. Its going to be hard but rather than tearing myself apart each night and Sunday, I’m going to work on forgiving myself and letting the Savior take over my insecurities. I’m going to work on my problems and let others help me more. I have a strong desire to be better person to myself and those around me. I might not be perfect but thats ok. I have a God who knows and loves me. I have a Savior who died for my sins and is there to hold me up and wrap his arms around me. I have an amazing family who loves me and looks past my faults. I have so many amazing leaders that teach me ways to be better. I have the best roommates who help me laugh at life’s ups and downs. I have so many great friends who teach me through their examples of what it is like to be disciples of Christ. Moving forward, life is going to be good and in time, I will overcome my shortcommings. Yoked with the Savior, I will be perfect one day.

For Elder Gerrit W. Gong’s full talk: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/04/media/session_5_talk_4/4829550348001?lang=eng

 

 

 


A Year Of Progress: I love tough things

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A year ago today, March 6, 2015, I left the land of Chomping Gators, Screaming Indians, sweet potato eating, southern people of Jacksonville Florida and Southern Georgia. A year ago, I took of my name badge and became a “return missionary”. Going on my mission, I was told that it would be the hardest thing of my whole life however, this past year has taught me that going home has been the hardest thing I have ever done. This weekend, I have taken the time to reflect on all things that has happened to me in just 365 and the person that I have become. The past year has taught and brought me closer to my savior then ever before and I’d like to write about a few ways how.

Coming home with a torn achilles tendon was one of the hardest things ever as I have had to learn how to re-walk and eventually learn how to run again. In a slow progression, I learned how to become whole again. Physically, I got to be healed and restored new. I’ll never forget the look of my mother’s face when I walked out of the doctor’s office in a giant boot. She was so shocked. Months of physical therapy where at times I was discouraged and left thinking I would never get to run again. The atonement of Jesus Christ was there in every aspect and helped me get rid of the fears that lingered in the back of my mind.

Coming home was a mental challenge. All return missionaries experience heart break as they leave the one place that their true love is. Words can’t express how challenging it is to mentally pick up life in a new world after your heart has been shattered. My mission motto was “I love tough things, I am the first to do tough things, I do tough things first.” I can remembering the plane taking off and my heart felt like it was being ripped out and then a familiar voice telling me that I love tough things. Coming home, that has been my motivator to do things that I don’t mental think I can do. Mentally, the Savior has helped me over come the struggles in my mind of insecurities, regret, and fears. The Savior is there to remind me that I can do the tough things that I don’t feel that I can do.

Moving to Provo, UT has been greatest blessing and I never thought I would say that. I live with three amazing men of God that teach me daily what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. I can see through their examples how to Love God and Jesus Christ so much more. They have looked past my faults and challenge me to be a better person. They have helped me over come my addiction to the word hell and all the bad days that have come from heart break, bad break ups, terrible test days, and to not getting an internship of a life time. They continue to pick me up and help me be a better man.

Provo has given the Provo City Center Temple. This temple, though not dedicated, has been the biggest blessing me. I live five blocks away and makes me so happy every day. It has given me a deeper prospective of an eternal life and its where my soul feels the happiest. Its where I escape the world and remember the importance of all things in life. This temple has helped me to think of Jesus on such a different level that I can’t help but thank him for all that he has done.

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The past year has been a rollercoaster but as I continue to move forward I know that my Savior will be there for all aspects. I am so grateful for the amazing people that I have met this year to help me on this path of coming to the world and moving forward. At first, I was very hesitant on adapting but as I sit here in my Gator hat, I am very glad that I have. I am glad that I have had the experiences that I have had this past year from the heart aches, to the new loves, to new adventures, to the many new mountains that I climb daily. Though I miss Florida and Georgia deeply, I am glad for this new phase in my life and the person that I continue to grow to be. I love the Tough Things that I have overcame and face head one with my Savior there to help me.

 


My Toms

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Today, a lady at school told me I should consider getting new shoes because they are covered in paint and have holes in the heel as well in the toe. At first, I was rather irate with this lady as I was thinking she doesn’t even know the story that this pair of shoes and I have made.

These shoes are the first Toms I ever bought. The purchase was made in Missoula, Montana on get away trip with Hayley Harned our junior year of college. They’ve literally gone everywhere with me. They started as my lazy shoe to wear school and work so I didn’t have to wear socks, which I hate, or lace my shoes. They became my bus shoe as we would travel almost every weekend to a meet in Track and Cross Country. They have traveled all over the state of Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Utah to be there before and after the race. They have walked through loads of snow in the cold Montana days. In the summer, they went to Glacier National Park to see hidden lake and Yellowstone Nation Park so I could see a moose. They went on a New Orleans trip to build homes for Katrina victims and walked up and down the poor streets. They got their white paint from Selena Spees throwing paint at me while we were suppose to be working. They’ve been to Soup Kitchens in New Orleans, Washington, and Oregon.

They traveled back home to Washington and became my go to church shoe before my mission. They were there to help me work and save money to get ready for a mission. They saw me after many pool workouts when getting injured. They climbed Mount Rainer and Mount Hood. They’ve long-boarded down massive hills of the Tri-cities and Prosser.

I choose to take them on my mission where they become the most use. In Georgia, they helped find millions of bricks in the Corbits yard. They helped the Corbits build a deck and cleaned many yards. They were there to help build a fence for the West family even though Diane thought they were ridiculous.  On my mission, they were there to be my relief. After a hard day of work, I could slip these shoes on and take my troubles away. They helped me transition out of the world as I still had a piece of me.

Moving to Jacksonville, these shoes have rakedtheir fare share of leaves! There were two weeks sold were they were used to rake massive amounts of leaves for many people. They’ve fished off the docks of Beth and Kendall Williams and ran through the fields of Arlington. They obtained the teal paint from painting for BriAna McGhee, my favorite part. She finally let James Collins and I do something for her and we had just a little too much fun. They got the white paint from painting in Hendricks. They smelled up the car and had to be placed in the trunk in Hendricks and planted flowers for Jim Colney.

In Chiefland, these shoes saw manual labor as they helped dig ditches and feed livestock. They raked the grass of the Gibs and pulled weeds for an Irish couple. In St Johns, they became my doctor shoe as they saw many doctors regarding my tendon.

Coming home from my mission, these shoes have climbed Mount Rainer with my mom, watered the Jensen’s lawn, and feed sheep for the Holdens. They’ve been in the kayak on the Yakima River and the Columbia. They’ve been my adventure buddy. Recently, they been my shoe to feed the homeless in Salt Lake and a reminder of the adventures I’ve had. Four weeks ago, they hiked the Y in Provo. These Toms have literally been everywhere with me and will continue to see a lot of life. They are there to ride my Penny board down the hills of Orem and Provo. We’ve had a good five years! So to that lady, I’ll continue to keep my “ugly” worn Toms that let my big toe hang out.

 

 

 


Embrace the Change

Coming home from a mission has been the weirdest thing I have ever done. Coming back to the world is awkward. The world just seems so weird. There are times where I just have no idea what is going on. The world is a rather weird place. There are times coming home where I am grateful for the chance to be home and then are times where I just want to go back on my mission. My mission truly was a great time of my life that I hold it very dear. It was a blessing however, I have come to learn how important change is in life. Change is probably the worst thing at times. It takes us out of the comfort zone or “My Box”. It makes us get uncomfortable and really work at new efforts. Whenever change comes upon me, I find myself calling more upon my Heavenly Father. I find myself really praying harder and searching for answers. With the help of the Lord, I have come to learn that change can be embraced. There have been days that are rather difficult and sad from coming home. There have been moments where I just want to go back. Where be home really isn’t being home. In those moments, I am truly blessed as I call upon the lord. The greatest blessing has been being able to live twenty minutes away from a temple. The temple has truly helped these past three weeks. I feel that its the only place where I feel the spirit as much as I did on my mission. Its the place where I can feel that I am home again. This has been the hardest change ever for me but I am coming to learn that I must change to progress and grow again. It is what is best for me. Change is something that we must all come to terms with. Change is not a bad thing nor a terrible thing. “Hard things are not bad, they are just hard.” Through this change, I have been blessed to see the Lord’s love poured out to me.


Lessons Learned

Change has once again found its way into my life. I’ve come to learn that change isn’t a bad thing but rather a chance to grow and progress. A few days ago, I asked to take my name tag off as my mission came to an end. Serving in the great land of Georgia and Florida was but a blessing from the Lord. I would like to take a moment to share some of the greatest lessons that I learned while serving the Lord for two years.

I learned how to love. I never thought that I could just love people the way the Lord does. Being on a mission, I learned how to instanitly love one for who they are. My heart grew so big as I met so many amazing people. Each person has a beautiful story to tell the world. I learned that God truly loves each person for who they are and not for how the world sees them.

I learned how to cherish the Book of Mormon. Before my mission, I knew that it was the word of God but never did anything about it. My mission taught me how to treasure it. I love the Book of Mormon so much. Its the greatest gift that has ever been given to me. The Book of Mormon is the key to my life. It teaches me more than anything else. I can find the answers to the many questions I have about life. I like to think that the Book of Mormon was written just for me at times. Its my life line. Its what helps we get through the hardest of times. I am so grateful for this book. It has changed me. It has showed me the light of the God. It has given me hope, love, courage, strength, wisdom, and so much more. I love having it in my life each day. I came to love it so much.

I learned how to have a personal relationship with Christ. He is the greatest gift that our father has ever given us. He truly lives and I know that. Each day we can have his atonement in our lives and I am grateful for that. I have come to know how to have him in my life. I have learned how to come unto christ. I will now grab hold of his hand each and every day. I love my savior so much. I truly love Jesus. He is my rock and salvation. He is my best friend. I am grateful for his loving kindness. He is the most important person in my life next to the father.

I have learned to truly love this gospel. Its the best blessing ever. I have watched the gospel of Jesus Christ truly change people’s lives. I have watched it bring the greatest blessings and miracles to others. I have seen it solved the worst things in life. The gospel of Jesus Christ truly is something that we need each day in our lives. I am beyond grateful that I was blessed to share this glad message with the world.

There are many more lessons that I have learned while serving the lord. My mission changed my life and woke me up. It has been the greatest blessing in my life. I am so grateful that the Lord called me to be his representative. I honor the two years that I was given. It truly is a scared experience that I hold dear in my heart. The people in Florida and Georgia have a special place in my heart for ever. I learned so much that would take days to read.


Abandoned Love

In the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we are taught to forgive and forget. We are taught that true repentance is when we move forward in our life and we don’t take the past with us. We have to learn from the past but we can’t let it be dealt on.

The hardest type of forgiving can come when one abandoned you. When one left you stranded with questions of wondering why. For years, this abandoned love can really take its toll on us. Thoughts, questions, and memories begin to haunt our mind because of it. We begin to blame ourselves and find fault in ourselves because of this abandonment, which is wrong. For whatever reason that person chose to leave and they are forever gone. They tell us to “just get over it” but getting over it is harder than it seems. The worst type of abandonment can come with the loss of a parent.

I’ve never met my father. I don’t know who he is or what he looks like for the most part. He left when I was an infant. Growing up was fun with a single mother but it became very difficult. It became embarrassing though time. I grew up in a small town where the rumors are more than true and in a church where everything was centered on the family. I felt like the fact that I didn’t have a father was constantly being shoved in my face. More so, I didn’t understand so many things. I grew to hate this man that I never met more than ever. I even named him my sperm donor or sd for short. I grew to have such build up. I had a hard time understanding why someone could just leave. Then he never paid his child support, which to me was more than just the money. In my mind, it meant he didn’t care about my welfare. I could be dead on the street for all he knows. Needless to say, I felt abandoned.

Time and time again, I would reach out to people to try and solve this problem. However, most would tell me to just get over it. That it was wrong for me to feel this way. Well let me tell you, one can not just get over it, especially when you go to church each Sunday and everyone is expressing how grateful they are to have both their parents. Someone would say that I just needed to experience the atonement more in my life and it would be good. I admit, I am in the wrong. One should never have this much build up inside of them. Its bad for one to hate anyone in general. Christ teaches us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44) and to love everyone. I’ve been trying to overcome this short coming in my life. For the most part, I just throw it in the back of my mind and vaulted it up. Hoping that it will all work out. I try not to think about it and don’t let others see that I have weaknesses.

Being on a mission has been hard. I’ve come to know that one can’t teach about eternal families unless one has a testimony in it. For about twenty months now, I’ve been trying to learn how to truly forgive this man. It’s been hard. I’ve come to learn that part of forgiving is also asking for forgiveness of the things you have done. For example, it wasn’t good that I named him sd. I took for granted the fact that he help bring me to this life. I took for granted the promise and trust that our Heavenly Father gives us in our family. I have learned many life skills and the importance the role the father plays in a child’s life. Though I haven’t fully come to forgive him just yet, I can find peace through my savior Jesus Christ. I can find peace that each experience helps us to become better. I’ve come to learn that the atonement of Jesus Christ can be applied in all aspects and that it can help us overcome the abandonment in our lives. Through Jesus Christ we can feel that the father in heaven will never abandon us. We can be loved through all the hard times. My father might have left on a sunny day but my father in heaven will be there through all the thunder storms.


Light in the Tunnel

There are moments in life where we are just done! Where we traveled and can’t seem to get a break. We try so hard to over come the short comings that we have but for some odd reason, all our work just doesn’t seem to pay off. After we have tried everything we can’t just seem to make it right. It can be rather exhausting and depressing at times. We convince ourselves that we are never going to be able to solve these issues at hand. Then, out of no where a glimmer of hope is given to us that allows for us to carry on for a while. However, there are some days where we are bogged down and the glimmer of hope is only able to carry us to the next step or never comes at all. We begin to endure with all our might. We begin to try to not let it get in the way of things that are coming are way. We begin to fight through it and try to put a smile on our face.

In these moments in life, the thing that seems to help the most is Prayer and Reading the Scriptures. These two things are the light at the end of the tunnel when it seems that we can’t seem to see it. If anything, these two vital actions can allow us to God’s love for us, even when we can’t see the love for our selves. Through prayer, we are able to tell our Father in Heaven the things that are bogging us down. We can tell him the things that worrying us. If anything, God can be the one to talk to even when it seems that there is no one there to talk to he. He listens to every word we have to say and though at times it seems like he doesn’t, he is. We can find peace in knowing that he will answer our prayers.

The second aspect, reading our scriptures can help us learn the things that God needs us to do. I was once told that the scriptures are love letters written from God to us. We can read the love that God has for us. We are able to see that there is someone out there that does care for the welfare of us, even when no one around you does. I love to the read the scriptures with the attitude that they were only written for me. Its a bit selfish but in those moments, I can find the strength to carry on. I get so much out of the scriptures knowing that God wrote them for me to find strength, love, and wisdom. I am able to get more out of them.

For months now, prayer and reading the scriptures have seem like the only source of my happiness. I have been able to see that God is there for me, even if the world is not. It has been my light to help me endure through one of the biggest trial of my life. I am so grateful for the Love that my Father has in me. I’ve been able to see God’s light so much more in my life. Its the glimmer of light that helps me make it through the roughest of times

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