Monday, December 29, 2014


I can't believe 2014 is almost over. This year has just flown by with miracles, heartache, love, laughter, tears, and faith. I have seen the hand of the Lord so many times this year. Even in my darkest times when things have not been going the way I wanted them to, I know He has never left me and He has never stopped loving me. The same is true for every one of us. Heavenly Father hears your prayers. He is always reaching out to you. It is up to you to take hold of His hand and let Him lift you to something higher and better, even when it is difficult.

Here are a few pictures to wrap up my week:

Sister Gull and I made a ginger bread house with a family

We had a Christmas miracle and it FINALLY snowed. All day on Christmas

Someone cut down their tree for the winter and they did it in a very creative way

Well, right around the corner is 2015. Everybody is setting goals and hoping that maybe this year they can accomplish just one of their yearly resolutions. So, here's one that I will suggest to you that I promise you can not only complete but it will change your life if you let it.

When a new missionary enters the Utah Salt Lake City South Mission, it's a whirlwind day of emotions and change. Everything about your life changes that day, whether you are expecting it or not. You meet President Chambers and he tells you a little bit about the mission, the expectations for what you will do while you are serving here, and he issues you a challenge. It's the Book of Mormon 12 week challenge. This is a challenge I completed in 2013 when I got here. It is that we will read the Book of Mormon in the first twelve weeks of our mission.

I now have twelve weeks left of my mission, and I decided to do that challenge again. I invite every one of you to make this a new year's resolution. read the Book of Mormon with me. The great thing about this is that you will be done with it in March. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. It testifies of our Savior and helps us come to know Him better. I promise that if you will read it and pray to know that it is true (whether it's your first time, send time or one hundred and second time) the Holy Ghost will testify to you that it is true. 

The Challenge

-Circle or highlight every reference to Christ. make a list of different names and titles for Christ.
-Underline the spoken words of Christ
-Indicate where the Doctrine of Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, endure to the end) is being taught or referred to

Reading Schedule
Week 1 - through page 46
Week 2 - through page 88
Week 3 - through page 132
Week 4 - through page 178
Week 5 - through page 223
Week 6 - through page 266
Week 7 - through page 309
Week 8 - through page 354
Week 9 - through page 400
Week 10 - through page 442
Week 11 - through page 487
Week 12 - through the end

This is seven pages a day

Monday, December 22, 2014

Have a Very Merry Christmas!

With Christmas being this week, I've had a lot of different thoughts going through my head. Most of them have had to do with the fact that it doesn't really feel like Christmas when you are away from family in a place that snows, but still has no snow.

Being in different places, even just Utah, you get to see the different cultures of Christmas. Everybody celebrates it a little bit differently. The Dumas family for instance decorates their home but just adding bows and hats to their normal decorations. Brother Dumas used to be a big hunter, so their normal decorations happen to be a bunch of different dead/stuffed animal carcasses. This makes it Sister Dumas' favorite time of year, because it's the only time she's even a little okay with having the animals in the house.
These animals are getting pretty festive for the holiday season. What can we do to get a little more into the holiday spirit?

Christmas lights are going up everywhere, and there's an added number of lights that are a little bit different this year. I'm told they're LED lights, but I don't know anything about lights and I won't pretend to, but maybe you know what ones I am talking about. They're very colorful and the colors themselves are bright, but he don't shed light on anything. This has given me something to think about as we knock doors at night in the cold. There are two different kinds of lights in general: the normal kind that are bright and light up the whole house, and this newer kind, that are very pretty but the house still looks dark when you look at it. 

The first kind is just your average strand of Christmas lights. You look at them and they're nothing special, just another light, like the thousands you've seen before. Their glow brightens up the whole house and just looking at them you are almost filled with the warmth that surrounds thoughts of Christmas: memories of past Christmases, time with family and loved ones, traditions, comfort, happiness. They may be ordinary, but with them come feelings of love and joy.

Now let's think of the second type of lights: unique, interesting, new. You look at them and you're eyes naturally pass by. But then you look back because you realize those lights weren't what you were expecting. They're more exciting than the average lights; you realize you've been looking at the lights for a couple minutes, kind of struck with the strange beauty of the different colored lights. But then you look around the lights and realize that while they themselves are bright, they light up nothing around them. The yard is still dark and cold, and the house lacks the Christmas magic that comes with your average Christmas lights. 

So, what does that mean for us? Both of these lights are bright and beautiful, but only one of them shares the beauty they possess and makes everything around them beautiful as well. the other selfishly hoards its beauty and shares nothing with its surroundings. We are all like these Christmas lights. We have unique traits, talents and our own inner beauty. And we each have a choice. We can either share, making the world around us a more beautiful, happy, and cheerful almost magical place, or we can keep our talents to ourselves, using them to bless only ourselves and no one around us.

Jesus Christ would have us share those talents with others.
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

“Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:14–16.)

This Christmas season, let your light shine. Recognize your own worth and your individual talents. God has blessed you with many. You are magnificent, you were created by a loving God who cannot make mistakes. Find ways to share your talents with others and as a gift to the world, make it a better, brighter place.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Thanksgiving was pretty fun this year. I got to spend it with some great people, and some families I have really grown to love. Even so, holidays are always a little it weird serving a mission and being away from family. It doesn't feel quite like a holiday, just a good day with more food than normal, and decorations.

We found an awesome gargoyle on a mailbox this week. He's pretty festive for Thanksgiving.

At one of our Thanksgiving meals, they had made super cute table decorations. Some people are just very crafty. They also had their butter carved into a turkey which I wish I had taken a picture of, but it melted too quickly. By the end of the meal it just looked like a lump of butter with a turkey's head. 

And, the Christmas decorations have started going up. This is a terrible picture, but you get the idea. It's the best Christmas decoration I have seen so far. Simple and funny. A classy decoration.

In the midst of the holidays and hustle and bustle of our lives, let's all remember the reasons we truly are grateful and the reason we have Christmas. Let us not become so overwhelmed with the commercial aspects that we forget what we have been given that can't be bought or sold.

The most important gift that has ever been or will ever be given was from our Father.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16