Saturday, November 29, 2008

Coming Together, Gathering Sheep

Something that I've thought of several times as I've been thinking about my mission is that missionary work unifies. It's exciting how people all over the world can feel unified in the gospel in spite of cultural and language barriers. I'm excited to learn a new language and share what I love with others. In John 10:16, the Savior mentions that he has other sheep that he must bring and that they will hear his voice and there will be one fold and one shepherd. My grandma mentioned this verse to me as we were talking about my mission and told me that as I am doing missionary work in Singapore, I need to think of the people as my brothers and sisters and to think of them as the other sheep that Jesus mentions. It's exciting to think that I will be helping out in the work of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ -- the work that missionaries have been doing and continue to do. The gospel is not exclusive to one group or one ethnicity; it is inclusive of all because all are God's children. God loves all of his children, as this verse shows, no matter their backgrounds or ethnicity, and missionary work is evidence of that love. It is that love that God has for his children that dwells in the hearts of missionaries, leading them to serve missions. They serve because they feel God's love and they want to share it with others.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Singapore is a nice place...

I just got my mission call today! I will be serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Singapore mission, which also includes Malaysia. I will be speaking the Indonesian language, which my roommate tells me is Bahasa. It's a weird feeling to finally know where I am going. I had not expected something so exotic. It's exciting!!!! I hardly have a clue about anything regarding the culture or language. So, I'm going to learn a lot! The challenge now will be to focus on finishing up the semester without getting too antsy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Different Perspective on Nourishment

In Sunday school this last Sunday, the teacher made an interesting analogy. She had us think about what we do when we have lost something and then likened that searching process to how we search the scriptures. Then we talked about how as we search the scriptures more intently through consistent and persistent scripture study, we are able to find deeper meaning in the scriptures and they become treasures to us because of our enlightened understanding. They become treasures in the sense that they gain a more personal meaning as we find ways to apply them in our personal lives.

I was reminded of this analogy yesterday as I read in John 6 about Jesus feeding the five thousand. After they had been fed, the multitude follows him. In verse 26 he rebukes them because they are following him because they had been fed and wanted more food, not because they were interested in his teachings.

Jesus then tells them that rather than seeking after food for the body, they should seek after spiritual food or "that meat which endureth unto everlasting life" in verse 27. He goes on to say that whoever eats of this food "dwelleth in me, and I in him," in verse 56, and that they "shall live by me," in verse 57. Then, Jesus ties up this analogy in verse 63 saying, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteht nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are the spirit, and they are life." So, as much as we may think food is the substance of life, the words of Christ are the real substance of life. They give life to our spirits which is more important.

In taking the same approach with my spiritual nourishment as with my physical nourishment, I am able to see how much my spirit is in need of that nourishment. It is an interesting analogy and I think it works really well and is worth giving some thought. I think when I starve my spirit by not reading the scriptures or putting as much effort into studying them, I forget about the benefits of such study that I am lacking, just as if I were anorexic, I might forget how good it is for my body to be nourished by food. In either case, that sate is a dangerous state in which to be.

If you go here, you can read a talk I like by Dallin H. Oaks about nourishing the spirit.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Telos Turkey Tri

Last Saturday I did the Telos Turkey Tri in Orem, UT. It was way fun and I felt pretty accomplished afterword, although I felt pretty whipped too. The running was definitely the hardest part for me. There was also a killer hill that we had to climb twice for the cycling portion. I had to walk my bike up the hill or else I probably would have rolled backwards down it trying to bike it. Then, I got a pretty bad charley horse in my calf trying to hop back onto my bike (it was my friend's road bike, and I think it was probably a tad bit too big. Despite that, it made all the difference in the race. Road bikes are fast! I love riding them).

The procedes from the triathlon are going towards funding the registration for Team Telos in their upcoming events. I didn't know that much about it before, but was pretty impressed when I learned that Team Telos helps get youth into doing triathlons. I think that's a brilliant cause. I am a firm believer in the benefits of physical activities. In my own life, I have enjoyed the added energy and endorfines that come from exercise. Triathlons, or any race or sport for that matter, are great because they give you a goal to work towards and they help develop character. If kids were to be more involved in sports, boredom wouldn't be as much of a problem and concequently drug usage and crime would also become less problematic. People would have more ambition and self confidence and would take better care of the God-given gifts that are their bodies. So, koodos to Team Telos for helping kids get involved in triathlons.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


So, I think this is a great idea. My mom used to collect stacks and stacks of used computer paper and I think converting the paper into notebooks is an ingenious way to recycle such paper. Of course, it is also becoming easier to recycle computer paper through the recycling services now as well. But, this is also a fun way to use old paper. You can find instructions on how to make these notebooks at Design*Sponge. (This image is from Design*Sponge)