Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Gardener of our Lives!

Our lives are like a garden plot. At first we are plain and barren, just dirt. But we are not worthless, we have so much to offer. As our life goes on and we begin to learn and grow we begin to better our lives, and allow the Savior to work with us. Sometimes there are things in our garden plots like weeds or sins that cover us and prevent us from being beautiful and full of goodness. But as we work with Christ our plots become ready for planting.
This does not come with little effort, we have to work at it. We have to want to become a beautiful garden, and we have to clean up those things from the past, the weeds and thistles that plague the ground and prevent new growth!

Then, as the land is cleared, the seeds are planted and begin to grow! However, they won't grow on their own, they must be nourished and they will begin to turn into something simple and beautiful.

 The sprout shows progress but it's not all over yet, the continued care and nourishment must still take place!! As the process of nourishment and weed removal continues the simple sprout grows into a plant yielding much produce.

So it is with our lives. We are the plot, empty but with much potential. As we begin to have faith, repent and be baptized, our land is cleared, nourished and ready for planting! As we receive the Holy Ghost our seed is planted and we begin to grow. And as we endure to the end, constantly repenting and allowing the Holy Ghost to strengthen and nourish us, we yield great fruit to there by bless the lives of others!!!

I know that we must have faith, repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and endure to the end, for "this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (2 Nephi 31:21)

I know that "[We] can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth [us.]" (Philippians 4:13) As we allow him to do the gardening in our lives, I know that we will become big, strong and fruitful!

If there are any parts of your life gardening that you are struggling with, you are not alone, there are many people to help. Seek help from God, your bishop, or me!! We would all love to help you!!!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sister's Sunday: A Women's Sacrifice

I know that all of you have sacrificed something in your life, whether it is sleep, time, money, the list goes on and on. So what does it mean to sacrifice? To sacrifice is to give up something of value for the sake of something of greater worth. Sacrifice is an everyday occurrence in the life of a woman, especially a mother. There are countless things that you mothers sacrifice for your children, to make sure their life is great, and that they are happy and have the things that they need! Sacrifice is a must in life, and especially in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to True to the Faith, "If we were not required to make sacrifices we would never be able to develop the faith necessary for eternal salvation."

Last night I learned more about and gained more respect for sacrifices given to bless our lives. As  you may know (from my last post) the Nashville Tribute Band performed here in Madison last night. It was an amazing show, and the Spirit was thick in that room. One of the songs they sang that I love is about Emma Smith. It talks about how strong Emma, the wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith was. I love and respect Emma and the great sacrifices that she gave so that we can be a part of this great church today.

Something that the group did after the show also touched my heart on their great sacrifice. So there were some sister missionaries who had investigators coming to the show. However, they did not get there until after the show had already ended. They had traveled over an hour, and missed it. So the members of the Nashville Tribute Band, even though they had families to get home to and things to do last night to prepare for another show today in McMinnville, played for them. They took another hour or so, to play just for these two investigators and sister missionaries. The spirit was so strong, and I know touched their lives. Such a great sacrifice that I know will make a difference in their lives. I am so grateful for such examples of sacrifice.

I know that all of you give great sacrifices in your lives, and I would encourage you to keep making them! For the blessings are promised and they will come!!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Watch with Wonder Wednesday: Nashville Tribute Band

Who doesn't love music? Music brings great power to influence either for good or evil! There are many people that are blessed with the talent to play, sing or write music. Some of these people use their talents for evil, to drag us down to vanity, immorality and self doubt. However, as we know, there is opposition in all things (2 Nephi 2:11,) and their are those that bless us with their music. They build the desire in us to do good, praise God and keep His commandments through their inspired music. The Nashville Tribute band in one of these groups!!! Their music is wholesome, uplifting and spiritual!!

For those of you that live in the Nashville area, we will be blessed to have the opportunity to see them live!!! They will be having the following shows this weekend:

Friday, May 20 · 7:00 pm
Franklin, TN Stake Center
1100 Gray Fox Lane
Franklin, TN
Saturday, May 21 · 6:00pm
Madison, TN Stake Center
107 Twin Hills Drive
Madison, Tennessee
Sunday, May 22 · 7:00pm
McMinnville, TN Stake Center
562 Shangri La Lane
McMinnville, Tennessee
Check out more information about the Nashville Tribute Band:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Watch with Wonder Wednesday: Service Blesses lives

So, I am back in civilization with a working computer, so here is the post that I was planning to post on Wednesday!

I am sure that many of you have heard about the tornadoes that touched down here in the South and the destruction that they brought with them. This event has caused me to reflect on many things, but especially on service! Tuesday I had the opportunity to go serve at the Bishop's Storehouse (basically a food pantry), and it was a great feeling of joy and peace to help those in need. It made me think of the great effort that the church has put into helping those effected by the tornadoes. Members of the church in this area sacrificed their weekend last week and spent two days working non-stop to help clean up from this disaster. I found this article by the church on the efforts provided to those in need!

Mormon Helping Hands Pitch in to Aid Neighbors in Tornado-Ravaged Southern U.S.

“We have people coming from all
  over the South to help out,” 

“It is important to know that work provided will be free and these representatives will not be asking for any type of donations,”

One Recipient said to her helpers "Y'all look like
a bunch of squirrels running around with
chain saws. You're everywhere!"

“We know that selfless service is an important 
characteristic of followers of Christ. Mormon 
Helping Hands helps us give of our time and
talents to aid those in need, and there certainly 
is an immediate need,”

I know that the service these folks provided changed lives. And we too can do service to change lives, whether it's helping those effected by disaster, or simply giving someone a smile and a wave!

Check out the Church's new website to find ways to serve at You do NOT have to be a member in order to use this website, or serve! But if you are not a member, and would like to become one, let me know, and I can help you out! :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sister's Sunday: The Key to Happiness!

Since this is a blog about dying for Happiness, maybe it would be good to know what the key to happiness is? So what is it? What is the key to happiness in your life?

Well, for me, one of the keys to happiness in my life is... yup you guessed it, my mother!!! My mom brought me into this great earth, and taught me the ways of living in the world today. She taught me how to serve, how to resist temptation, how to repent, how to live the gospel, how to cook, how to handle life, and most of all how to LOVE! My mother is one of the greatest examples of Christ like love. I mean, she has to be, she raised 5 boys for Pete's sake! She is an example of giving that never ceases! My mom was the Relief Society President in our ward for years, she was always busy helping others and never turned anyone away, and yet still had time to love me and be my mother! Then as she served as the seminary teacher, spending countless hours studying and preparing for her lesson, yet still dropping everything to help me with a problem I was having, or something I needed! She was always there to support every step of the way during my life. One thing that I highly respect of my mother, is that no matter how much she cared, and probably often wanted to make my choices for me, she taught me how to make difficult decision and live on my own, by allowing me to try and fail, as I often did! Then, tenderly loving me and guiding me back to where I needed to be! My mom is everything to me and one of the reasons why I am here on my mission! She is a constant strength to me, when something is hard, and I want to quit, I think of my mother, and then gain the courage and strength to continue!

One thing that I often remember doing with my mother is singing with her while she played the piano. I really miss those days! But in memory, I found this video, that I think is great!

Love ya Mom!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Blessing of New Life!

Life is a gift from God, we are here to be tried and tested! We are here to prepare to return to live with God again (Alma 34:32), and we are here to have joy!(2 Nephi 2:25) Life does have a purpose! Joy is one of the wonderful things that this life should be full of! Many of the things that we do in life should bring joy!

Something that brings many people joy is new life! As a baby is brought into this world, it is a sacred experience! One that is filled with much love and joy! My Brother Jeremy, and his wife Jenna have had the great privilege to bring a new life into this world!!! Which also means that I now have a niece! It is an exciting thing for me, so I can only imagine how excited Jeremy and Jenna are to be new parents of a beautiful daughter! I am so happy for them and this new adventure in their lives!!

I am sure that this new baby will soon begin to love life and enjoy every minute of it! So should we enjoy our lives, no matter what happens, for we truly are children of God!!!

This isn't her, but will have to do.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Watch With Wonder Wednesday: Go Pro for God!

Hey ya'll, Who doesn't want to be a professional at something? Don't we all just look up to those who are "Pro"? Well, here is a man that I look up to and he is "Pro." He was a pro golfer and then decided to go "Pro" for God as a Mission President, actually my best friend's Mission President!

We all have our talents, things that God has blessed us with, and He wants us to use them to bless others lives! It is your choice, but God wants you for His team, so choose as President Summerhays did and... go "Pro" for God!!!!

So for lack of time and creativity, today for "Watch with Wonder Wednesday" here is the video from for Bruce!

Check out his full profile!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sister's Sunday: Oh Sweet Music!

Who doesn't love music? I am sure you do! I know that I do, and I know that my awesome sister Alyssa does! So here is Alyssa with the Power of Music!!

Elder Dye suggested that I write something about music, and I thought it would be very fitting since I will have performed my senior recital Saturday April 30! I am graduating this semester in music education.

Like so many other things, I think that the Lord created music to bring about his work. I think the reason I ultimately became a music major is that I have had so many faith building experiences through music. I have had experiences where something, maybe a decision, suddenly becomes clear. I understand that there is a plan, and I can feel my Father's love.

In 1830, Emma Smith was directed by the Lord to collect hymns for a hymn book for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The Lord knew that music was important. It is so prevalent in the way that we worship. If used right, it can bring the spirit into any meeting. I know that that spirit can testify to those listening that the words being sung, often testimonies of others, are true! One of my favorite hymns is "I Know That My Redeemer Lives". Every time I sing or hear this song, I feel so strongly that my Savior does live! It is so comforting to me. I know that he is always there to wipe away my tears and I can feel his love so strongly.

Music is powerful. It is all around us every day. Many of us wake up to music, drive to work with music on, actually work with music on, etc. It is amazing how much it influences our lives, both in positive and negative ways. What if I always tried to listen to music that would uplift me or bring the spirit? I think that I could be one step closer to becoming like Christ, because the choice to listen to wholesome music will bring the spirit, and with the spirit guiding me I know I can do great things. Elder Busche said in a BYU devotional, "...The greatest achievement that can be reached in our lives is to be under the complete influence of the Holy Ghost. Then he will teach us what is really good and necessary to do." I am so grateful for music, and I am so grateful for this gospel and the peace it brings.