Friday, December 20, 2013

What will you give Him for Christmas?

What is your favorite part of the Christmas season?

I love the warm smells of hot chocolate, spicy cider, freshly baked cookies. I love curling up under warm covers in the chill of the night. I love helping my mom set out the presents. I love waking up on Christmas morning to check my stocking with my brothers and sisters. I love the pretty decorated trees and learning about the traditions that other families have.

However, my very favorite part of Christmas came when the Christmas decoration boxes came out. I would excitedly look inside and help my mom find places for everything. There was the tree and the tinsel and the special table cloths and the lights. The Santa's and reindeer and elves. The bells and poinsettias and holly.

And then my mom, my siblings and I would start to find room for the nativity sets. There were ceramic ones, wood ones, marble ones. There were large ones and small ones, some that had many pieces and some that were Mary, Jesus, and Joseph all clinging to one another in love and adoration. There were ones that were carefully hand painted, some that didn't have faces that left the viewer to imagine the emotions of that night, and some that were fun and festive. I would lovingly set them out, placing all of the people and animals of the particular set around the tiny baby Jesus, who was always the highlight of the scene. When I would walk past these joyful scenes in my house, I would often take a moment to pause and take them in and feel something warm growing in me. I have always felt happy when looking at those scenes, even when I was little and didn't exactly understand what they meant.

As I've grown older, I've come to know my Savior Jesus Christ. I've felt His influence in my life and the comfort and support in my trials. I've seen His pure love working in others, and I've seen it changing me and helping me to BECOME who He knows that I can become.

This year I have thought about what I can give my Savior this Christmas. What does He want from me? What can I do to help Him? How can I follow His example better?

So I leave you with the same questions. What does Christ want from you? What can you do to help Him? How can you follow His example better?

Answer in the comments below!! :)

If you know of anyone who would benefit from a message about Christ, or if you yourself would, go to this link and send in some info :) Ask the missionaries, they can help you!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Answering My Father's Call

When I had just received my driver's license and was on the road for the first time, I found myself shortly afterwards in need of buying gas for my car. I stopped at the gas station and put my card into the card reader, typed in my information, opened my gas tank, and went to fill up. To my surprise and confusion, the pump didn't do anything. No gas was going into the tank. So I tried again. After a moment of trying everything I could think of, I called my dad in frustration. Through the phone, I told him what my problem was and asked him for help. He told me a few things to try but I was upset and nothing was helping, so I hung up the phone and left the gas station, not having been given the information that I wanted in the way that I wanted it.

I tried to fill up my gas at the same gas station a day later and, in frustration again, finally went in to the gas station and asked the man at the front desk to help me. He came out and showed me the way, doing the one thing that I hadn't done and hadn't known to do.

Different gas stations have different procedures. They all do generally the same things, but there are a few different steps that vary from station to station, such as needing to pull up the lever in some, put a zip code into another, or pushing separate buttons. Sometimes you have to ask for the receipt, sometimes the receipts are automatically given to you, and sometimes the machine will ask you if you want a receipt.

Sometimes it's hard when we pray to be able to wait for the answer. Sometimes the answer we receive doesn't come the way we want it and sometimes it isn't the answer we want. But God asks us to pray, and then, if we pray with faith that we will receive an answer and with the intent to act on the answer that we receive, He will give it to us.

I have been blessed to know of the truthfulness of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have seen miracles happen and I have felt peace in my heart. But it came through action and through doing what I know Heavenly Father has taught me.

I know that Heavenly Father loves me and that He wants me to happy. And I know that He has given me His gospel so that I can reach that joy and that happiness that He intends for me to have. I know that the same applies to you, too.

I encourage you to pray to our Heavenly Father tonight. Pray to be able to gain knowledge and wisdom. Pray for strength or peace. Pray for anything and have faith that He will answer your prayers. I testify that as you do, He will bless you far more than you can imagine!

Also check out Elder Mark Knobbe's blog post about prayer. It's a good one!

And if you're feeling REALLY adventurous, go and read Elder Nathan Nelson's blog post about rules and principles and how they connect with each other. Apply it to yourself with God's commandment to pray day and night 2 Nephi 9:52!