Sunday, February 8, 2015

How Firm A Foundation

This week has been bearable. I had loads of homework to be done, just as I do every week, but it wasn’t terrible. It was only terrible in the middle of the week. I was able to turn in my passport application and I should be receiving my passport in the mail within a few weeks.

I decided where I will be doing my internship this summer. Drum roll, please…. The Philippines! I will be working with special needs children. I’ll be assisting in special needs classes to kids between 5 and 18 years old that have different physical and mental disabilities, including cerebral palsy, autism, downs syndrome, autism, deafness and blindness. I’ll mostly be working in a classroom setting, but if I wish to work longer hours, additional work may also be available at a small home for children with special needs. Because of my experience in therapeutic treatments, I can also work one-on-one with the children at their homes. I will be in the Philippines from mid-June to the end of July. I am so excited! It took a lot of praying and study to decide that this is what I was to do. I feel that I am supposed to go and the Lord has made it possible for me. I am looking forward to being able to help those that can’t help themselves.
"And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matthew 25:40
"...When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."  Mosiah 2:17
I joined my Ward’s intramural volleyball team. We had to forfeit, however, because we didn’t have enough girls that showed up, so that was a bummer. But it was still fun. A bad idea, but fun. I was in so much pain the days following. Playing volleyball when you have a bad back isn’t the brightest decision. Oh! And I also fell, like the day, or two days before playing volleyball. I tripped over a sign in the library and fell onto my tailbone and back onto my backpack and back. It wasn’t too great. I was in loads of pain afterwards, and then the volleyball just added to that. I was hoping that the popping which occurred after my fall would pop everything back into place, but it didn’t seem to work that way. However, I still have hope that the Lord will heal me to go back on a mission, if that’s what I am supposed to do. I have no doubt about it.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9
This weekend was loads of fun. I met up with my roommates, and others, at The Cheesecake Factory on Friday. After Cheesecake, we were gonna go to do Karaoke, but apparently you had to be 21, because it was in a bar. And guess what? I wasn’t 21… I felt bad because pretty much everyone else was old enough. So, instead, we went to H&M and went shopping.

On Saturday, my roommates and I went up to the Northshore. I wanted to get my hair done, so I invited them to come with me and we could have a girl’s beach day. Getting my hair done took longer than I thought (3hrs, because she had to do different things to be able to get it the color I wanted). By the time I was finished, we were all starving. Lo and Tor were at the beach during my appointment, so they got some good sun time. When I was done, we went to get food and then headed back home. This week is Ward Conference week. So there’s a Fireside tonight at the Temple Visitor’s Center. I’m excited.
"But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God." Moroni 7:13
I realized last night that I had a talk that I had to give today. So, I then wrote that and it only took me like 30 minutes. Luckily, the library was still open so I was able to print it out last night. I spoke on building a testimony of faith. I focused on my Savior and how we can do nothing without having faith in Him (the talk is on my blog, as well). And I know that to be so true. I have received so much strength from my faith in my Savior. I know that I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for Him. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to continually be changed and to become more like my Savior. I love this Gospel, and I love you all! <3

Building A Testimony On Faith


I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to share my testimony with y'all. There are so many different ways that I can take this topic, but I want to focus on our Savior, Jesus Christ, because without Him, joy and happiness and all things good would not be possible.  The first two foundations of a testimony are knowing 1) Heavenly Father lives and loves His children and 2) Jesus Christ lives and is the Son of God. He carried out the infinite Atonement. The first lesson for missionaries to give to investigators is on the Restoration. But do y’all know what the first subject is that we address? “God is our loving Heavenly Father.” He loves us. We teach others from the very beginning about the importance of that love, the importance of that faith. This includes having faith in His son. The first principle of the Gospel is faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ. Without that, we can do nothing. Preach My Gospel says, 
“Having faith in Christ includes having a firm belief that He is the Only Begotten Son of God and the Savior and Redeemer of the world. We recognize that we can return to live with our Heavenly Father only by relying on His Son’s grace and mercy.”
So, the question is, what do we do with this faith? We accept and apply His Atonement in our lives as well as His teachings. We trust Him. We trust what He says. We obey Him. And we listen. In the Topical Guide under Faith, it says to see also “believe, confidence, faithful, obedience, trust, trust in God.” 

I never really thought of it that way. That having faith would mean being obedient. But it makes sense. It's like when we were little kids and we were obedient to our parents. We would fully submit to our dad's will. We didn't know any better. We had to trust him and trust that he had our best interests in mind. And that's what the Lord asks of us now. 
"[Put] off the natural man and [become] a saint through the Atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." Mosiah 3:19
I’m reminded of the scripture in Proverbs that states, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”  That truly is all He asks of us. We are blind. All we know is what is given to us through the Book of Mormon and modern day revelation through prophets. But that doesn’t mean that we can fully see. We still have to take that step. We have to trust Him and trust what He has planned for us. There is so much that we don’t understand and that we can’t quite comprehend. But should it matter? No. He has asked us to act in faith. There’s something that the Lord wants for each of us. He has plans for all of us. Whether it be going on a mission, getting married, going off to Grad School, or whatever, He knows. We need to trust Him and have the faith to accept His will

President Monson said something that we all need to fully embrace…
“Unless the roots of your testimony are firmly planted, it will be difficult for you to withstand the ridicule of those who challenge your faith. When firmly planted, your testimony of the gospel, of the Savior, and of our Heavenly Father will influence all that you do throughout your life.”

I have definitely seen this in my own life. Even amidst all the tough classes, uncertainty, the pain of loss, homesickness, and feelings of inadequacies, because of my faith, I know that I can be strengthened through my Savior and He has provided a way for me to be happy. The decisions I make right now are of the most importance, and I am so glad that I have the opportunity to turn to my Heavenly Father to seek His help and His counsel. He truly has influenced me in the choices that I make and I’m able to see His hand in my life.

Some of you may know this, others may not… But I served my mission, and then injured my back and Mission Medical sent me home early to get treatment and then said I couldn't go back unless I was 100% better, which wasn’t going to happen, so, here I am. The reason I share this is because it all took faith. When I first decided to serve a mission, I trusted that it was what the Lord wanted for me. I received the assurance that it was right, so off I went. I took that step of faith, to help others increase their faith. But then, I was hit with another opportunity to put my trust in the Lord. When I was sent home, it took every ounce of me to be confident that the Lord had a plan for me. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew that He could see the big picture. Honestly, I still don’t know why things happened the way they did, but it had. I stressed and feared about it for a while. There’s saying that goes like “Know fear, No God. Know God, No fear.” When reminded of that, I realized that my fear was a lack of faith. And once I strengthened that faith and came to a better understanding of His plan, I was able to accept this and learn from my experiences.

Because of what I had to go through, I believe I grew so much, because truthfully, I had NO idea what I was going to do with my life. I literally had to give myself to the Lord and turn to Him completely to help me. If I didn’t have that solid faith, I would’ve never received a confirmation that what I was doing was right. 

My Mission President placed a special importance on increasing our own spiritual capacity. He  focused on the missionaries becoming stronger in the faith and being truly converted. This is where I developed a greater faith. I had a deeper desire to repent. To learn of all His commandments, and to obey them. I had a better understanding of my purpose. I was led to want to become more like my Savior. I had a stronger desire to pray and to read my scriptures. That’s what faith does. Faith leads to action. The reasons we pay tithing, pray, repent, read our scriptures, keep the Word of Wisdom, are all because we first believe in Jesus Christ strongly enough to keep His commandments. We’re living a life of faith

I am so beyond grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I don’t deserve it, but I’m grateful for the chance I have to hand over my burdens and pain to my Savior. Through our faith, He can heal us. I am so grateful for that. Because of Him, I can smile, Because of Him, I can feel joy. Because of Him, I can repent. Because of Him, I can love. Because of Him, I can live. I am so grateful for all He does for me and for all He will continue to do. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.