Stockholm Sweden Mission

Stockholm Sweden Mission

Saturday, April 15, 2017

This week I have been pondering deeply on the topic of repentance and the Atonement.  I thought about what we talked about in class found in Romans 3:12 how everyone falls short in life. No one is perfect! In fact, this verse clarifies that there are non that do good because in one aspect or another, we have all been corrupted. It reads, "They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one"(Romans 3:12). We all have things to work on, so we ought to be patient with ourselves and others.
Following this topic, I read a talk by Elder Dale G. Renlund entitled, "Latter-day Saints Keep on Trying". It talks about how God doesn't expect us to be perfect - he actually knows that we are so far from perfect. That is why he provided us a Savior to save us from our sins and to help us improve. My favorite quote from this talk is actually based from something Nelson Mandela once said. "Saints are sinners that keep on trying."
We all ought to have the attitude that we can become better. There is no use in giving up and quitting. We must keep trying. As long as we are trying, the Lord will have our back and we will make it.

Monday, April 10, 2017

This week I have been reading and studying about trust. I was able to watch several Mormon Messages pertaining to trusting in the Lord and His timing.
I found several scriptures pertaining to trusting in God. "Trust in the Lord, and do good..."(Psalm 37:3). I really like how simple the phrase is to "trust" and "do good". The best way that we can align our will with the will of God is to trust in his timing and plans for each and every one of us. Until then, we can only do good. We can and should keep the commandments, attend our weekly worship services, pray and study the scriptures daily, and always give service to others.
"O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm"(2 Nephi 4:34).
The purpose of this life is submitting our will to God's will. Sometimes we get an idea and expectations for the way our lives should go. They aren't necessarily wrong, but they kind of are. There are many variables in this life. If you are living the commandments and living righteously, you will be guided to what is correct over time and in God's timing.
Trusting in the Lord means that if things aren't perfect right now things aren't over yet. There are better things ahead and we must trust the Lord to guide us. We must find the lessons to be learned if things are not currently okay.

Thursday, March 30, 2017
This week, one of my close friends was having a couple of rough days. It seemed as if nothing was going his way and that everything that could have been going wrong, was. He was getting really hard on himself and I tried to help him out but it seemed as if my efforts were pointless. Suddenly, I had the thought to show him the Mormon Message called "You Never Know". In the Mormon Message, it shows the life of a busy mom who is trying to help everybody out. She is constantly serving others and lifting others up. At the end of the video she tries to go and do something for herself and it falls through. She had spent so much time and effort doing things for other people that she didn't have time for herself. She starting thinking back on the day and soon realized that maybe she hadn't done everything that SHE needed to do that day, but that she had accomplished all the things that He needed her to do. The video shows various instances where she tried to help someone else and how much those individuals benefited from her help and service. Though she may not have seen the impact she had, she greatly affected these people. 
Our efforts are never wasted. Sometimes we feel as if we are not enough. That we aren't fulfilling our potential or living up to the expectations that others have set for us. But it is important to take a step back and try to see the bigger picture. Seeing our lives through the eyes of God can change our attitude on a bad day and strengthen us in times of need. We can't do it all on our own.
In 2 Nephi 25 it reads, "...for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do" (2 Nephi 25:23).
We put forth all the effort we need to in order to help others come unto Christ. At times, it may seem that our efforts are wasted, but know that no effort is wasted. Our good intentions can help many and strengthen them in their faith. Christ has made the ultimate sacrifice for each one of us. As we keep our life centered on Him and His Atonement, we can better come to know the sacrifice He made for us as we sacrifice and serve others.

Friday, March 24, 2017

I had the amazing opportunity to go to the MTC and volunteer with TRC.  Returning to the MTC after two years definitely brought it's own spiritual experiences and lots of memories and feelings. I was taught by several missionaries and received a lot of inspiration and revelation that I need in my life.
Something particular stuck out to me in a lesson we had with the elders. As I read and pondered this verse, my mind was enlightened. The verse read,
"Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves - It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me" (Alma 32:28).
This is a classic scripture that I have read dozens of times if not hundreds. However, something was different about reading it this time. I realized that not only do we have to exercise faith in God and believe in Him, but we can apply this principle to other things. If something feels right, and if it begins to enlighten our understanding and enlarge our minds, it is from God and is a good "seed" or thing. As it seems in every aspect of our lives, we can apply this principle. God will help us to know if something is the right thing to do. Even if it's wrong, He will tell us and notify us in some way. That's the great part about the Plan of Happiness is that we have agency to choose between right and wrong. Our conscience helps us to know what is right and wrong, and then it is up to us to choose the right or the wrong.
As we put our faith in God and Jesus Christ throughout everything we do in life, we will be able to feel the true joy that the light of the gospel brings. When we live righteously we can be more in tune with the Spirit and can distinguish between our thoughts and the quiet whisperings of the Spirit.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

This week I was reading in 2 Nephi chapter 2 which talks a lot about the Fall and the consequences thereof. I've been pondering a lot about the decisions we make in this life and how they affect us in the life to come. I believe that there are many decisions that affect our time here on earth, but there are also many that affect us after this life. There are also a handful that are key to both this life and the next. 

After a long week of projects, midterms, quizzes, and papers, my brain is fried. I made the mistake of thinking that an accounting project was due at midnight tonight - when in reality it was due at 5 pm. I had allotted time later in the evening to work on and finish the project as I had previous engagements. In fact, my brother was scheduled to go to the temple for the first time to receive his endowment at 4 pm. When I realized that the project was due at 5 and not later in the evening, I had a minor "freak out". Not knowing what to do, yet knowing exactly where I was needed, I called my mom and explained the situation. She encouraged me to try my best to finish the assignment ahead of time. No condemnation for my mistake was shown, but instead, understanding. I called my strict professor and nearly begged for some way to have an extension on the project as a voice mail message. I chose to forgo the project and take a 0 because I knew that my mistake was no excuse to miss a pivotal moment in my only brother's spiritual growth as he prepares for his mission. I made it to the temple and said a little prayer just outside the car, asking for help to focus, learn, and serve while there in the temple. My thoughts and concerns vanished and I was able to get a lot out of the session.
After exiting the temple and heading to dinner, I checked my email only to find an email from my merciful professor. Though he had been very clear and had reminded us many times about the assignment, he recognized my tricky situation. The email read:

"...I received your phone message. Not to worry. Sometimes things conspire against us. So it is now for you. Get the project done when you can and then take the quiz. Don't worry about this now. You have more important things to think about - like your brother. 
Take care."

What a tender mercy. The decision to forgo the project to focus on eternal matters had led to one of the sweetest tender mercies I have ever seen. Though it seems little, it meant the world to me. We make our own choices in this life - some good, some bad. I make mistakes daily, but I am grateful to have a testimony that it is from these mistakes that we learn. As we learn to understand and grasp the Grand Creator and His purposes, we come to the knowledge of a merciful God. I know that if we have an eternal perspective in our daily lives, then we can make decisions that will affect us positively in both this life and the next.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

This week I was struggling with some major decisions in my life. I thought that I had my life in order and everything was going according to my plan. Within a week, everything changed and I was suddenly questioning my purpose behind each decision I had already made. I started thinking about my future and my outlook on life and my perspective had changed based on recent happenings. I realized that I had been living my life (since being home from my mission) according to my desires and wants. I had to take a step back and realize that I needed to realign my will with the will of the Lord.

When Jesus is suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, he begs the father to remove the bitter cup but then takes a step back adding, "Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done" (Luke 22:42).

As we all go through life it is very important to align our will with the will of the Lord. Though sometimes hard to grasp and understand, God has a plan for each and every one of us in this life. In fact, His plan extends past this life and into eternity. I know that had I not trusted in the Lord and His plan throughout my life, I would not be where I am today. Sometimes we just need a small reminder of the love that God has for each and every one of us and how he only wants the best for us.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Lately, one of my favorite things to do is to separate the various doctrines and principles of the gospel and sort them by subject. From there, I'll pick one particular principle or doctrine and ponder back to the time when I first gained my testimony of that thing. 
On my mission I did this several times and kept noticing that the experiences I had with each subject kept increasing and I was creating a repertoire within parts of my testimony. Not only did it help me to continue and grow this week, but it is something that will continually help me. 
The more I study the scriptures, serve, and continually try to progress, I know that the Lord will bless me with chances to grow spiritually. Though we are far away from our Heavenly Father's presence, we can never be that far away. 
After this self-reflection, I knelt down on my knees and asked God to confirm the points of my testimony that I considered well-developed. I also asked Him to help me to realize any points that I could improve in my testimony. It was such a great opportunity to openly communicate with my Heavenly Father and speak to him like He was sitting right next to me.
This week in particular I have been pondering the Atonement and what it means to me. I thought back to how I was growing up, not really knowing for sure if the Atonement was real, but still bearing testimony of it. For me to truly gain a testimony of the Atonement I had to hit closer to rock bottom. I had to be able to truly experience the pain, just a small fraction, of what Christ felt in Gethsemane. 
The Atonement has changed my life. I know that as we continue to repent daily and fear God more than man, we can lead happy lives full of progression, development, and joy.