Sunday, December 26, 2010

Thank You For... You! (part 1)

As the revolving door of time opens us up to a brand new year, I recently have found myself thinking about what has changed for me in the past 365 days. Quiet a bit has happened, but nothing as bold as the opportunity to serve a full time mission. Although I am still relatively "young" in the mission life, I have already come to see that my perspective has changed, forever altering my future. In reflection, I can safely say I attribute this perspective shift to the very spirit of the mission: Service.

President Hinckley being Jovial
 There are many ways to serve, many venues in which one can do it. You can serve your neighbor, your community, your family, or your country. The list goes on, but the nobility of the principle stays the same. I quote President Hinckley's father who, in response to young Gordon's plea to come home, said, "Forget yourself and go to work.”

How many of you have been forever changed because of service rendered? How many of you have a permanent brand of love on your heart because of some kind soul's selfless act? I can remember one such experience, when a close cohort of mine perceived me struggling, and offered a time tested remedy that he had found was his only source of respite in his own personal trek through the 'gall of bitterness'.

I had been struggling for a while, searching for a sense of identity and purpose. I felt that I was doing all that God had asked, and yet still could not see a way out. I was spiraling downward, and in this inward struggle to find self worth and value this friend offered a solution. "Hey, my mom needs help with the yard, how 'bout you come over and trim our trees?" At first I wasn't super excited, but agreed to do it. Little did I know what a profound impact that suggestion slash blessing-in-disguise had been.

It was a hot summer day, and the trees were tall. The hedge trimmer's plug was old, and the extension chord had been well used, resulting in a constant effort to keep the chord plugged into the hedge trimmer. As I tip-toed on the ladder, sweating as I swung the trimmer to and fro, something marvelous occurred; I forgot about myself! I was so completely focused on how awesome these trees were going to look that I failed to remember the worries that had so easily beset me the day before. Before I knew it, I was standing in front of a large pile of debris, drenched in sweat staring at a sweet looking yard with a grin on my face. It was only after I rewarded myself with a gulp of cool water that I realized that for a moment, I had escaped myself and been truly happy. I was too focused on how his mother's face would look as she pulled into the driveway to be thinking about my lame sauce worries. Revelation exploded as I realized that I had found the key true joy.

It is my testimony that as we "forget ourselves and get to work," we will find happiness. As we put ourselves out of the picture, we are forced to release our own pride and blindness, and inadvertently make room for the Comforter to fill the void. We will find renewed sense of purpose as we follow our greatest example, our Savior, and lift the hands that hang down. Christ gave His life, every moment of it, to better ours; it is an inevitable conclusion that we too will partake in His glory and joy as we strive to do the same.


This post was dedicated to this person who, through a small act of sharing his favorite remedy for the blues, had changed a life forever. He gave me new perspective on service, one that has changed the way I view my mission before it even began. In his mind's eyes, I'm sure this was the least of his acts of service to me (Dude helped me out A LOT) but it was the one that has changed my life. Thank you so much, John and all those who stuck around this long to read this far. I love you all, now go and do!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

President Monson is the man. Truly Christmas is a wonderful time to feel and spread love. As it says in Moroni chapter 7, charity is just the "pure love of Christ." How fitting it is that we exchange gifts on Christmas, and give freely to those we love, to commemerate the greatest gift ever given, even Jesus Christ.  It was the gift that still brings peace and happiness to people across the globe. It was the gift, that when taken advantage of, holds the keys to the gate of eternal life. What shall we give Christ in exchange for His matchless gift this Christmas season?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Scipture of the Day 12.18.10

2 Nephi 32:8-9

"And now, my beloved brethren, I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing. For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray. But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul."

It is sad to me how many people don't feel like they can pray. I've heard a lot of reasons, "I'd be hypocritical," "He doesn't want to hear from me" " He doesn't listen"... The list of excuses goes on, yet all are false. God wants to hear from us, we are His children! Anytime you feel like you can't or shouldn't pray, I would council you to get on your knees. The Adversary tries hard to get you to not pray, don't let him win!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Scripture of the Day 12.17.10


2 Nephi 32:3

"Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do. "

Feasting upon the words of Christ has changed my life. As I feast (i.e. read scriptures and listen to the words of the prophets) I have noticed the Holy Ghost flood into my life, and inspire me daily. My path has become clear, and I can press forward with faith, fully confident I am doing what the Savior would have me do.

The Power of a Testimony

The Power of a Testimony can never be overlooked. Every single day I have the wonderful opportunity of sharing knowledge I have gained through inspiration from the Holy Ghost. Being a missionary, I get to see a lot of testimonies being borne, however usually they spring from my companion or I. Despite the frequency of testimonies, I am still astounded how effectively testimonies invite the spirit. It is a wonderful gift when someone, be it friend of years or someone I recently met, shares his or her testimony, and I too get to feel the power of their words. I would like to share a testimony that was recently borne to me that struck me with great force.

"[Elder Vomocil] my friend, I know that this church is true. I know that Jesus Christ is my redeemer and the best news is he lives. I know that i have a father in heaven who lives as well and whose love for me is so strong that I can never fully comprehend it. I even know that I was set aside from my family to join this church and was protected by my God. I know that God invites everyone to repent and would gladly grant forgiveness and that forgiveness is possible only through our savior Jesus Christ. I know that the days of revelation are not over nor did they end. That god speaks to us through the holy ghost. I know that I and all can be saved as long as we believe that Jesus is the Christ and be obedient to his word. God gave us a prophet. His name was Joseph Smith. I know that he was called of God to usher in and translate the book of mormon. I know that this gospel is true"

I am and will be forever grateful for the testimonies that have been borne to me, but this one was especially powerful. Hopefully you all can feel the power of the Holy Ghost bearing witness to you the truth of everything that was said. Truly it is as Matthew Describes it in verse 20 of chapter 10,

 "For it is not ye that speak, but the aSpirit of your Father which speaketh in you"

A testimony is found and strengthened when one shares it. It's strange, but I testify to you that it is true. I would invite everyone who reads this to share with someone their testimony of what the Holy Ghost has showed them is true. You will not only find the blessing of a stronger testimony, but will bless the lives of all those who hear it. Lastly, I want to thank this special friend of mine who shared their testimony with me. It was recorded by angels in heaven, and will forever be remembered in my heart.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Scripture of the Day 12.16.10

2 Nephi 28:7-9

"Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us. And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God — he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God. Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark. "

 One day we will have to account to the Savior for all we have done, be it good or bad. It's sad how good the Adversary has become at fooling people into thinking that they will be able to slip by, say sorry and be good. The Savior preached repentence, and that is what is needed to be able to live with Him.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Scripture of the Day 12.15.10

 "Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself"

Satan is out to get us. Anytime we seek instant gratification at the expense of something greater, we fall into his trap. God gave us the choice, but when we sin, Satan wins. Choose Liberty!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Lost Psalm

Nephi's Sorrow
As I ate my breakfast this morning, I had the wonderful opportunity of opening up the Book of Mormon in an effort to soak up all the Lord had for me this morning. I am continually astounded as to the things I read in the Book of Mormon but was especially touched by the words of Nephi in what is commonly reffered as his Psalm. The whole Psalm can beread in Nephi chapter 4 verses 16-35, verse 28 really stuck out to me. It reads,

"Awake, my soul! No longer adroop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the benemy of my soul."

How often has my soul felt asleep, my heart and mind lonely because I felt I was drooped in sin? How often have I been bogged down because of the Adversary, the great enemy of all our souls? As I read, I could feel Nephi's pain and really related to this rallying cry. I read on, and began to feel empowered when he went on to say,

Scripture of the Day 12.14.10

"Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy."

'Nuff said. God put us here so we can be happy. The best way to do that, to find that real lasting joy, is by turning to Jesus Christ. What are you doing to find real joy?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Scripture of the Day 12.13.10

"And I did read many things unto them which were written in the books of Moses; but that I might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer I did read unto them that which was written by the prophet Isaiah; for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning"

The scriptures are here for us, so we should start by reading them...  Hah, after you get that down, try relating them to yourself. Next time you read through Alma, put yourself in his shoes. Have you been feeling you need to fix something in your life, or are yoe going to wait for an angel to call you out?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Scripture of the Day 12.12.10

"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."

This is one of my absolute favorites. Anything, I mean anything God asks of us, we can do... The kicker - He will prepare the way. Think about that - If we put forth our best effort and try our hardest,
 He will take care of the rest. Pretty sweet promise if you ask me...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

President Henry B. Eyring, "The Gift of a Savior"

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to start off the christmas season by watching the First Presidency's christmas devotional. I have always loved being able to listen to prophets, but this talk really stoof out to me. In a world where Christmas is becoming more and more commercialized, President Eyring truly helped me refocus on what this wonderful time of year is all about; the birth and gift of our Savior Jesus Christ. I just love the spirit President Eyring brings, and his powerful testimony of our Savior. It made me wonder how I can better show to my Heavenly Father that I appreciate such a grand gift.

I know that Jesus Christ lived and died for me. Knowing that has really helped me through the most intense and crazy parts of my own life, where I didn't feel as if I could make it through by myself. Because of those times, I know that faith in Him can help you through all your hard times as well. This Christmas season, I would invite you all to take a little extra time to remember Him, and find ways in your own life to better show Heavenly Father how much you appreciate this wonderful gift. All He wants of us is to come unto him and repent (2 Nephi 26: 27) I know if we all do, we will soon be able to realize the wonderful blessing the Herald Angels sang of so long ago, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:14)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Remember who YOU are!

Cute huh? I was thinking the other night about how little Elise Vomocil was with our Heavenly Father just a month ago, and it really struck me. That precious little person was with our Eternal Father saying her goodbyes and promising she would make it back. How long ago was it that you were with Him making the same promise?

That thought is a big one. Let it sink in for a second. You are a son or daughter of God. You knew Him, and He knows you. Before we came to Earth, He understood our personalities, and because of that placed us in positions where we would most likely succeed. This fact is written and portrayed plainly in the Bible, unfortunately many overlook it. In Jeramiah Chapter 1 verse 5 we learn that God knew the ancient prophet Jeramiah well when he says,

"Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."

God knew Jeramiah, and Jeramiah had obviously done something before He came to earth to merit him becoming a Prophet. If it was like that for Jeramiah, wouldn't it be the same for us? I witness to you that although we may not be able to remember our lives as spirit children of Heavenly Father before we came to Earth, we did live with and learn from Him. We chose to follow Him, and promised that when we came down here to earth that we would do all we could to remember Him, and follow what His servant Jesus Christ taught us.
I think when we begin to understand who we are and where we came from, we start to gain real perspective on life. Little Elise there is a daughter of God, much like you and I, she's just newer at this whole "life" thing than you and I are. When we understand who we really are, we begin to realize what we are truly capable of, and life gets a whole lot more bearable. I would invite you all to ponder on that thought, to try your best to remember who you are.