Monday, September 15, 2008

Family Weekend

This weekend my parents came out from Arizona to see my football game and Eric's play. When they got out, they took Claire and I out to dinner at Acapulco. We had a great time telling embarassing stories. Ethan, however, stole the show with his enerjetic display of emotions. More of his food ended up on the floor than it did in his mouth, it was quite a spectacle to see. We all then went to Eric's play. Eric and Erica put on quite a show, and really did great. It was really great to spend time with all of the family like that. Ethan was as cute and big as ever, and is bigger than his older sister. Hannah is almost in Middle School, and Bailey just started pre-school. Times are going by fast, and as Ashley says, I'll be off on my mission in no time.

Next I had my game playing a higher division school down in El Centro. My dad, being the dedicated father that he is, drove all the way out there just to see our butts handed to us. But with it all, it was a great experience. I loved having my dad on the sidelines next to my grandpa cheering me on. It really means a lot to me that my parents would take time to come out and see us, and support us like this. I love them very much.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Baptisms for the Dead

This week, the youth of my ward had the opportunity to do Baptisms for the Dead at the San Diego temple. This experience helped my testimony to grow and allowed me to better understand the importance of this work. Anthoer thing that showed me the greatness and peace that comes through the temple was the way it can change your mood and demeanor instantly. Being that my football practice doesn't get out until 5:30, and we were meeting at the church at 6:00, I knew there was going to be some sort of difficulty getting there on time. My practice got out late, automatically making it a rush for time. Then someone who I was supposed to be giving a ride to wasn't ready when I needed him to be. I found myself in a very agrivated mood, not necessarily the best way to start off a trip to the temple. Thankfully, they hadn't left yet and we all got to go. On the way down I was still somewhat angry and bitter, but as soon as I saw the temple, my mood shifted to reverence and peace. This proved to me that what I was doing was right, and beneficial to me. When it was time to start the baptisms, I took the initiative to use my time wisely while in the waiting room. I started it off with a prayer, asking the Lord to help me understand the importance of baptisms for the dead. I spent the idle time reading the scriptures and various church magazines. Then came time for me to do the confirmations and baptisms. I could really feel the spirit throughout the whole thing; it was remarkable. The answer to my prayer came as I was next in line to be baptized. I thought to myself, "What do I want most in life?" The thought automatically popped into my head, "Eternal life, to be sealed with my wife for all eternity, and be have an eternal family." Then a small voice came into my head, "Don't you think all these people in heaven want the exact same thing?" If they weren't baptized, they couldn't be sealed, or have their endowments, or anything like that. It was then that I realized the importance of the work that we do. Not only are they able to enter into the kingdom of heaven, they are then able to live with their families for all eternity, just as we strive to do one day. What an amazing experience.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Give Meaningful Service

This week I have had many opportunities to give service, and my week was blessed because of it. Monday, Steven Thurston was working on his Eagle Scout Project and I volunteered. We spent our morning with the youth of our ward working to renew the horseshoe pits at Felicita Park. The project was physically demanding, but spiritually rewarding. By giving ourselves in the service of our fellow men, we propitiate our relationship with God. When this activity was finished, I started my way home expecting and longing for a long hot shower. This however, was not what was intended for me. Turning on Citracado, there was a woman there who had a flat tire. Part of me wanting to just skip by and let someone else help her, but another part of me knew that stopping and helping the lady would be the Christ-like thing to do. Upon stopping and asking if she needed help, it became obvious that she was a tourist and knew no English. This truly was a fun and remarkable experience. Although all I did was help her change a flat tire, I knew that I was serving my fellow men, and in turn, my Lord. This week I had lost myself in the service, and felt the joy it brought into my life. The spirit of service broke through the language barrier so that both our lives could be blessed. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve and to help those around me. Keep a look out for any opportunity to serve, you never know what the Lord will put before your very eyes.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Testimony Builders

Today I gave the Family Home Evening lesson, on Being One with the Holy Ghost. I took this as another opportunity to prepare for my mission. I was a little nervous about giving the lesson because I want to make sure that I am reverent and teach what I am supposed to. I had a prayer in my heart that I would do well and teach through the spirit. When the time had come to give the lesson I found the words falling out of my mouth with ease. I knew that it was through the spirit that I was able to teach effectively. These small things help to strengthen my testimony every day.