Much of this post can hardly be called ‘serious’ or ‘important’–but what place better than ones’ blog to do a lighthearted introduction?
No, I’m not actually 65 with Santa’s figure, I just love drama, acting, dance, and singing, so I got asked to play the part during a branch Christmas party in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Matter of fact, some of my favorite memories are from 7 Brides for 7 Brothers which we did right before my mission. What an amazing experience that was!
I’m the fellow in yellow.
The musical was a wonderful send off to my mission in the Baltic States
I served for 2 years in the land of angry Russians, freezing winters, vodka, towering castles, and daily miracles.
Often you felt the need to bundle up.
because it could get so cold your eyelashes
or the snow blizzards could strike!
And sometimes a serious Russian face was in order,
and other times, a different expression did the job beautifully.
My mission was a time of struggle like I’d never imagined possible. It was in every way the hardest two years of my life,
but it was and is the best thing that ever happened to me.
I knew the Lord before my mission, but he became my close friend during it.
The Russian culture and language changed me. Russian is now the language of my heart and if I could have any wish granted, it would likely be to return and re-serve those two years with what I now know. My ‘very best’ now is much better than when I left three years ago. I think of the good I could now accomplish. I ended as a better missionary than when I began.
And the Lord walked by my side each day.
I doubt I will ever really be able to share with anyone what my mission was truly like, but I suppose most people feel that way.
Well, here’s my family–the entire crazy 12 of us! Oh, by the way, I’m the oldest.
And thanks to my mom’s bravery, we were/are all home schooled.
Also, thanks to a little parental persuasion, I pushed through all the hard moments of taking lessons and now find some of my greatest fulfillment when I’m sitting at the piano.
(Note: I am the least musically talented in comparison to my amazing siblings who are all one-uping me in their turn.)
And a quick run-over of my hobbies/enjoyments.
I am learning the basics of auto mechanics.
Perhaps I don’t do anything too crazy but this picture is from when I replaced the timing belt and the current project is dropping the transmission and replacing the clutch.
My job is at Applebee’s as a broil cook (that means I do the steak and chicken) and I really love to make good food!
I really enjoy ballroom dancing
and I have found a love for medicine and health. (I’m a nursing major at BYU-Idaho with plans to complete a doctorate and work in the natural medicine field.)
But most importantly, I’m just an Idaho farm boy who loves his family and really enjoys to get his hands dirty.
There, that’s all the light, entertaining things about me. I now want to share some of the things that are a little more serious but far more important. If you want to know me, here’s what you need to know.
1. I am sure of the truth of this statement.
“When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad.” – Abraham Lincoln
I am a living testimony that ONLY by giving your honest best efforts every day to serve the Lord can you find true joy; in comparison, every other source of happiness is shallow and weak. It follows that if you want to be truly happy, (and don’t we all want to be?) there is only one way.
2. I know that repentance is a beautiful process of daily change and perfection.
Repentance means yoking with the Savior to overcome both sins of commission (things you did) and sins of omission (things you didn’t do but should have.)
Making wrong choices
failing to make the very best choices
both separate you from the full light and perfection of God.
3. I strive to always follow the spirit.
The most important role of the spirit is to guide us step by step through the process of change that leads to perfection. It follows that the voice of the spirit must be the deciding factor in all decisions.
4. I want to live without rationalization.
Whenever we seek to justify our sins (whether commission or omission) in any form, we damn ourselves and our progress. I believe that living without excuses is the only way to fully access the power of Jesus Christ. I strive to recognize and admit all shortcomings but never excuse or justify unrighteous behavior.
5. I testify of the essential nature of sanctifying and empowering ordinances.
The key difference between those in the terrestrial kingdom and those in the celestial is Christ’s atonement.
Terrestrial people are good and honest–they did their very best. However, none of us can reach perfection alone. Only those who access Christ’s power through sacred ordinances and covenants will find themselves empowered enough to reach the perfections of our Heavenly Father.
These principles and truths are at the foundation of my joy and my conversion.
Finally, (and what you probably know me as) I am a writer.
And I never saw that coming.
I started writing to speak to an audience I was unable to reach in person.
I started writing to explain clearly those ideas I felt were never seriously discussed.
I started writing to speak the truths that have changed my life.
I am one of the most blessed people in this world and I want oh so badly for those around me to discover the truths that will open the windows of heaven in their lives!
It is one of the deepest longings of my heart to be completely surrounded by other people who have a vision of the true purpose and potential of this life.
I don’t understand everything but every day the Lord opens my eyes a little wider.
I know that the Lord’s blessings and joy are beyond anything I have yet imagined, however, I see more today than I saw yesterday.
It is my prayer that we can learn together and lift each other up.
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. – Ecclesistes 4:9-10