Saturday, February 15, 2014

Late Night Inspiration

  Do you ever get inspiration at really weird, sometimes inconvenient times? Like, for example maybe I was about to get into bed and I felt a wave of inspiration come on of what I could/needed to write next on my blog and because of this I hurried and got on here while it was still in my brain.

    Earlier last week in my math class we had an upcoming test we were going to be taking, I was super nervous but at the same time I felt super confident because I felt I had understood everything and that I would ace the test. Well when I went to do the test I felt like everything went good and I got home later that day and felt fine about how I had done only to get on and check a little later in the week to see my grade was a D! I was soooo frustrated, I felt so sad because I had felt so confident and so at ease about the test, and so frustrated because the adjustment coming here had made an impact on my performance and ability to concentrate because of the move and culture shock. My grades had started to sort of come back to the way they usually were at home and so I had started to feel a little bit more confident that my grade point average would go up and that I would be alright. Then I took this test and got these result. I cannot tell you how hard and fast my heart plummeted as if going off of a cliff. (If you know me, you know how much I like to plan and have everything neatly mapped out and organized, you also know I am that way with my future and how every little thing scares me that  could potentially knock that hoped for future off the edge for me (that future being a good college education, serve a mission, traveling around the world to help people, possibly creating my own organization as well as having a family and a hand full of other things... I know WIDE RANGE aspirations but, hey, I'm me haha)) .

     I think I might have over exaggerated a bit (alot) that night, I had sworn that test score had condemned me to a horrible future and then I went on complaining about how the school systems nowadays are messed up and how they are caring more about the grade letter than the learning and how I was going to be thought as stupid by colleges and on and on. I dragged this on FOR HOURS. It was sort of the straw that broke the camel's back (I think if it had been at a different time I wouldn't have over reacted so much but seeing the other goings on seemed to have made a difference) because I had been feeling overwhelmed but it all just happened to pour out at this very given moment. Anyway my mom had helped to calm me down and I went and prayed and thought for a while and tried to rationalize. I told God what I wanted, I told him about the good life I wanted and about all of the good, righteous, aspirations I had (I hadn't exactly been remembering though, he too had plans for my life and that no matter what plans I made, his purpose would prevail.. next to the fact that he knows us all better than we know ourselves and probably knows what will make us all happy.. I had completely discarded the fact. Ha.) I told him about everything, I poured my heart out to him telling him everything I hoped for. I had been waiting to get an answer and hadn't. Only peace. Maybe that was the answer, I had thought, just peace, just have peace. While I think that was part of it I found the other part today.

      Success is a good word in everybody's mouth, everyone wants to be able to taste it and have it, some for different reasons than others. Me, I want success for a couple reasons, one, I want to make a difference and I want to prove to many people that I can do things, that I am more than what I am judged and made out to be. The second, albeit a little more humble is to help people. Like I said earlier one of my aspirations is to travel the world and help people and do big things for them, it might be kind of selfish but not only because it makes them happy but because it makes ME happy. In one sentence, I want to use the money I make in my life to help people. That is one of my biggest, greatest joys in life. Weather it be giving advice, sharing the gospel or doing something I love it, I crave it. I fill with warmth and joy whenever I can physically see I have made a difference in someone's life or helped someone or made them smile or laugh it makes me happy almost hyper sometimes (actually very hyper like I've eaten alot of sugar and care about nothing more than smiling and singing). So, when I got this bad test score, Satan used it as leverage to pull and bring out all of my doubts and fears and bring out all the negativity because he wanted me to fall fast and hard with a thud. Even crying I could feel his smile and happiness which just made me more angry, but as I said I was eventually able to feel peace and alright when my parents were out the next couple of days. The answer I had been waiting for, the answer of reassurance came today while doing my home study seminary.

       I was in Jacob 2 reading and learning about the negative effects of pride (Which just so happened to be helping me with another problem I am trying to get over (It is coming along great thank-you for asking)). As I got further and further into it I read a couple of versus and reread them a couple times after which remembering my test score fiasco. The verses in which I read were Jacob 2: 17-19, "17. Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you. 18. But before ye seek for riches seek ye for the kingdom of God. 19. And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good - to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted." To me, what heavenly father was trying to tell me through this was, first (having to do with my other problem), get rid of any of your pride and ignorance, help others become how you want to become. Second, before you go after success and money, first, do all you can to please God and what he wants you to do, obeying his commandm-
-ents .That will bring you MUCH  happiness. Third, have hope in Christ that he can help you do those things in your life that he knows will be to your benefit and happiness. And last, if you still think you need money to do all those things after that and if you still have a greater desire to do more good, God will provide. That is what I got from that.

        I just thought I would share that experience with you all, well that is what I felt prompted to share at this late hour of 11:40 P.M, hope it helps or is just a good reminder like it was to me to trust Heavenly Father and seek first the kingdom of God. You all are awesome! I am starting to fall asleep at my desk now so goodnight and I hope you all have a wonderful, restful Sunday!

Father I give it all to YOU and I choose to trust YOU today! Forgive me for all the times I didn' the name of Jesus Amen! Ps 71:1 In You, O Lord, I put my trust; Let me never be put to shame. #trustintheLord

I am a worrier, always thinking about the worst case scenario. And while it is good to be prepared and knowledgable about dangers in our world, I'm trying to trust God more and let go of the stress and fear.    Knowing He has my back is so amazing!

Lord, I want my plans to be whatever You want! It usually works better that way. :)

quotes about trusting god - Bing Images

quotes about trusting god - Bing Images

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Service is Joy, Service Changes Lives!

         I wasn't planning on writing a post today, I wanted to to have up a post and start getting it regular but I hadn't had any inspiration or feelings of what to talk about but today I thought I would write about service and how much it has impacted and brought joy to my life.

         As some of you might have known from reading earlier on in my blog I went through a very dark time in my life. Nothing seemed of much interest to me any more, my opinions lost their edge and my likes and dislikes really didn't matter to me anymore. Nothing did. Life had lost it's taste, be it bitter or sweet and had just turned a dull and colorless nothing. I really didn't have much of a desire to change or doing anything about it, sure i didn't like the feeling but I didn't feel the motivation or see the point in doing anything differently. Anyway time passed and I would get better some and then worse some and it was just an up and down hill thing. Finally my mom sent me to this camp, it was a service camp called BBY (Be the Best You Camp founded by Barbara Barrington Jones). At the camp we had activities and really good food, we had a movie night and a silly night and it was really fun, but what turned my life around completely was the talks and the service. Ever since my first visit to this camp I have seen that my growing and learning has just gone up and my understanding of things has skyrocketed! It was that year, my first year at this camp that I realized what made me happy. Service. Being able to brighten someones day or help out, being able to interact with different people, young and old, gave me new perspective. To be able to see the world through their eyes and be able to make them smile or just be with them made me so incredibly happy like I hadn't known for a long time. Not only did we help them and spend time with them, they spent time with us, making us smile and laugh and happy. Being able to interact with young children and elderly and special needs girls was a PRIVILEGE given from God. You see, service is two sided, not only does it help the person who it is being done/given to it is also benefiting the person giving so really service is self fulfilling which is why I think it was such a big turning point in my life. Sure we had done service before in our family, it was some what of a family tradition to do things for people on holidays and go visit people etc. but I didn't really understand why we were doing it, I think I was too young to fully grasp why my parents had us go buy things and leave them on people's door steps or visit a widow, sure I felt good after I did it and it was fun but that was it I didn't really now why, it was just something we did. Now I look at it so differently. That year in BBY was a turning point for me because I gained understanding, I gained a purpose, I gained experience, I gained purpose and reason. Life was no longer flavorless or black and white, things didn't seem so dull, because I could make someone happy and by doing it make myself happy AND gain the spirit.

          In our mission or any mission, you see very often missionaries that are so eager to serve, to help out, to help others and to share what they have with others. Missionaries get here and it is sometimes not exactly what they expect but as you watch them you can see them start to gain that understanding and meaning and feeling of purpose for their mission. The missionaries that truly has grasped the concept of the pure love of Christ and service don't feel as strongly the need for technology or earthly things but instead are so focused and excited about their work and what more they can do to serve, teach and further move along the work of the lord. A mission, like regular plain out service, is a blessing in and of itself, it's self fulfilling. When an investigator understands something or comes to church or starts really understanding and getting into the gospel the missionaries get really excited and you can tell just by looking at them that they have joy because they have brought joy to someone else and blessed a life. A couple weeks ago at a stake conference in one of the zones I was sitting with the sister missionaries and one of the nurses was waiting on some investigators to get there and they looked and looked for them but they couldn't find them and you could just see they were kind of sad but they were also hopeful. After the meeting they found out their investigator had been sitting a few rows in front of us and we just hadn't seen them but the joy! They were so happy and so excited that they had come that they were able to hear all the speakers had said and share in this conference. The same thing with my brother, every time he has a new investigator he is so excited and so happy for them and is always talking about what they've been able to do for them and what the gospel has done for them and how their lives are changing! It's amazing to see and so inspiring (Yes, I cannot wait to serve a mission).

         As you can see, Service is one of God's greatest blessings to us (or at least in my opinion it is). He has given us this easily accessible gift that if we use it we can have this pure, fulfilling happiness. I think sometimes people get confused with temporary happiness and true happiness. I don't think money is true happiness unless you are doing great things with it, helping people, changing the world, making a difference, that kind of thing that is making a difference in generations where as buying yourself all this stuff may bring temporary happiness but not long lasting. True happiness is not having the perfect outfit or driving the nicest car or even being in the most popular group of friends, it's making a change, acting and not being acted upon, having a purpose, being of use, using our talents, being around people that enrich your life, loving and being loved, changing lives, growing, learning and finding true joy in our day to day lives. Happiness is so much more than what can be bought in a store or hours spent on the computer. Yeah, I'm not perfect. Yeah , I like material things too. I like nice clothes and shoes and all that just as much as the next person does, It is only natural, but the difference is, I am not consumed by it, that is not what my life is all about. Some people don't even know what life is for, some don't care, some can't fathom why they feel so empty but maybe that's because they haven't found something worth living for. When you round your life around something as meaningful as the gospel or service, the reason for living is never a question, it's never an unknown, your purpose is clear and you don't have to feel alone or that life is tasteless because it's not, not unless you make it that way. You have control of what flavor your life is. If your flavor is gross and bitter spit out whatever you're chewing and stick something in sweet, DO SOMETHING. NOTHING IS EVER GOING TO CHANGE IN YOUR LIFE UNTIL YOU DECIDE TO GET UP AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! I believe service is something that adds sweetness to life, adds flavor and color, adds meaning and I only discovered that because I got up (more like got pushed up but I kept standing I didn't sit back down I did it!) and did something! I opened my head to the world and I learned something! For example I have a goal right now to read the whole Book of Mormon in Spanish and work on speaking some everyday so that maybe by the end of this year I can be fluent. I've decided to get up and do something. So, do something. Decide to serve someone, be kinder to someone (Yes, that is service too), make someone smile or laugh, offer to help someone out with their homework or watch someones kids, go visit the elderly or shovel your neighbors snow. DO SOMETHING. It feels so good. I promise. I swear by it. Besides becoming happy, service humbles you it makes you more aware of others and their needs, it pushes away pride and anger and is replaced by love, understanding and compassion. Service thought a sacrifice, really, is no sacrifice at all. In this poem below, all the things of the world fade out but what still stands is the sacrifice, which in our case is service and the heart of the person that has been changed for the better because of the "sacrifice".
The tumult and the shouting dies;
The captains and the kings depart.
Still stands thine ancient sacrifiece,
An humble and a contrite heart.
-Rudyard Kipling, (from a talk A Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit  By Bruce D. Porter of the Seventy)

        "And behold,  I tell you these things that ye might learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." - Mosiah 2: 17 The Book of Mormon. Last, when we serve others we are serving God. Why? How? Because we all are his children and by helping his children we are helping him. Who knows, what if something you do is an answer to someone else's prayer or hearts plea? What if someone had been praying for help and heavenly father sent you to see it out? Basically, you are running errands for the lord and being blessed and blessing at the same time. There is a story somewhere, I can't remember where I heard it but, in a place there was this statue of God that they had in the town square or something like that. Anyway, during the war there were bombs and things like that and the statues hands were blown off, but by the time the war ended and after the people did not repair or replace his hands but instead began to say "We are his hands." (I'm sure there's more of the story but that's all I remember and what I wanted to show) In life, and in service, WE are God's hands, we are his instruments, he uses us for good and changes our lives at the same time when we allow him too. He brings joy to others life all the time but sometimes he needs us, his field ops, to take care of some things for him.

        I hope you all realize how important service is and how much it really does impact lives, I know it has mine, I may not even be alive today if it wasn't for service and the blessings it and the gospel brings. Don't hesitate to involve yourself in service it is WONDERFUL. I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday afternoon and do something for someone else. Besides my testimony of service when I do it, here is something for those who have done service for me. Thank-you to all the people who have showed service and charity to me in my life and done things for me, it doesn't go unnoticed or unappreciated and it definitely has made an impact on me and my life, to see that somebody cares is a very great gift and it has helped me through a lot tough times in my life. Thank-you.

"What Kind of world do you want
think anything
let's start at the start 
build a masterpiece
be careful what you wish for 
history starts now."
-World by Five for Fighting