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Don't Miss Out!
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I have had a lot of reasons to brag to you about this young man recently. He graduated from High School and was awarded his Eagle Scout Rank, and now he has received and accepted a mission call for our church. I will reveal where he is going later in the post! It is so exciting! But, first I want to address some questions about missionary service in our church that people often ask me.
3 Reasons why LDS Youth Serve Missions:
"And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
That is just one of the places the Savior gave this instruction. We believe that his instruction to preach his word is still in force today. So, our youth begin at an early age to prepare to know and understand the gospel well enough to teach it to others. For young men who are given the Priesthood, it is an obligation to keep themselves "physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight", as taught and said so well in Boy Scouting, in order to be able to be ready to fulfill their duties as a Priesthood holder. If they are prepared and have a desire to do the work, they will choose to serve a mission. Missionary service is always an individual choice. For young women, it is also an individual choice, without the Priesthood duty attached to it.
Young men and young women are equally prepared to be missionaries throughout their lives, as they receive Gospel instruction in the home and at church that is centered on Jesus Christ. When they reach the age of 14, they begin to attend Seminary everyday where they study the scriptures in depth for 4 years. They also are given opportunities to serve others, such as the sick and elderly. The Young men serve and officiate in the ordinance of the Sacrament on Sundays. They are also given chances to speak and teach during these teenage years. All of these experiences help them to learn the Gospel and to gain confidence in their ability to teach it and know what they are talking about. As they go through these processes, they learn to love Jesus Christ and their Father in Heaven and develop the desire to serve.
"But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another."
We try to teach our children from an early age to love their fellowman. We are not always perfect at it, but we try. Think about this. When there is something in your life that makes you extremely happy and you know that it makes your life better in so many ways, don't you want to share that thing with the people you love? And, if you know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ will help to bring love and peace to a very conflicted world, doesn't that motivate you to share that good news with anyone who hasn't received it? I have seen my children feel the excitement of realizing that they have something true and wonderful in their lives and want to share it with others. The shine in their eyes when they tell me about their opportunities to share their love of God with others makes my heart fill with joy. That joy is why I am sharing this post with you today! That is why these young missionaries work and save their money to be able to go and serve for 2 years. They aren't paid to go on missions! They pay their own way! They live on very little as they go out to preach. They also go where ever they are asked to go. They don't get to pick the place they go. They have faith that the Lord will send them where they are needed. I recently heard one young man, who had just returned from is mission in Uganda say, "I didn't go halfway around the world to live like that in order to teach a lie, I was teaching truth." I found that very profound
I am so excited to tell where Jacob is needed! Wait for it...
So....Are you excited to hear where Jacob is going? Cote d'Ivoire in West Africa! Oh my gosh! Can you believe it? Luckily he took French for 4 years of high school. He wasn't great at it, but it should help him as he goes to the Missionary Training Center in Ghana for about 5 or 6 weeks before heading off to Cote d'Ivoire. We have so much to do to get him ready! Shots, Visa, we've sent for his passport already, clothes! He leaves December 19th, so we will be busy, fitting it all in with the holidays. Yup! He leaves before Christmas! But, we will make sure he enjoys all of the fun leading up to it. As long as he gets some Florida Fudge, I think he will be happy!
Stay tuned to find out more about the Ivory Coast as we do! If you want to know more about our church and our missionaries, be sure to click on www.mormon.org/.
I am home from our church's girls camp! It was a lot of fun, yet a lot of work! We were in a beautiful area of Arizona, with lakes, streams, tall pines, billions of stars and bumpy roads. As you can see from the photos above, I loved being by the water. There weren't too many days when I could just sit and dip my toes in the water, but I did it when I could. We thought that there was going to be mostly cool temperatures up there, but a high pressure ridge over AZ made it very warm. We were thankful not to be in the 120 degree weather of Phoenix, though. And, the rain that came a couple of times helped to cool things off.
When you are working with a bunch of teenage girls and their leaders, there are bound to be some tears and frustrations to deal with. The first day we were there, as my partner leader and I tried to get the girls busy doing their tasks, I found myself getting frustrated less with the girls and more with some of the other adult chaperones. I knew that it was because I was tired from the long day of getting up there and the long weeks of preparation. I hated feeling irritated like I did. It was silly and I knew that I didn't want to ruin my entire week and possibly the week of everyone else by being a grouch. I needed a positive attitude and fast!
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
That was the theme of camp this year. I knew that I lacked wisdom. I needed to know the best way to lead my girls. I needed to know the best way to connect with the other leaders and how to be positive and humble and to have a good attitude. So, that evening I poured my heart out in fervent prayer. I knew that the only way to change how I felt was to change myself. So, I prayed and then I got some sleep! The next morning, my perspective had changed and the fun of camp really started. I tried harder to talk to people one on one to understand them and share good times. I especially tried to connect with people who I was feeling self conscious around and I learned that they are just real people, too and I didn't need to feel bad about myself at all. I had nice conversations with the girls and listened to their ideas and feelings. They often helped me to feel less worried or confused about our schedule and the way we needed to be organized. One of my girls had given us a daily devotional idea that went as follows: "Compliment, don't compare. Look for Christ in others." I tried to implement that in my perspective. I tried to find the good attributes in everyone. My partner, Jazmin, also helped me in that area. She noticed good qualities about people and pointed them out to me, too. The answer to my prayers came quickly and life was so much better.
Here are some other great things about camp:
Camp was such a great experience and although I started to feel my age as I walked over all of the bumpy ground and dealt with high altitudes, I am so glad I went and learned the things I learned. Even old ladies like me have a lot to learn! What a blessing these girls have been to my life this summer!
Even if you don't have the opportunity to go to a church camp like I have, there are a lot of lessons to learn by being in the great outdoors and by turning our thoughts to our Heavenly Father who blessed us with the beauties of this earth. I hope you can take the time to get out in it, turn off the electronics and just commune with the Spirit and with your loved ones and remember what is really important in life!
P.S. The camp bags I made were a hit!
As I work on Friday Fave's posts, it makes me realize one thing, Fridays come around really quickly! Sometimes, coming up with a question is harder than you might think! Take this past week, for example. It was Presidents Day on Monday, so I thought, maybe I will ask who was everyone's favorite President before the year 2000. (I didn't want to get too political). But I realized that all of us would probably choose George Washington, so that wasn't going to work. Those thoughts made me start thinking about history and I thought, "Why not, What are our favorite Historical Books?'". Madalynn didn't really like that idea because she prefers science and science fiction. On the other hand, Lindsey had so many books that she loved that fit the historical genre that she had a difficult time choosing. Alicia had quite a few as well, but one of the ones she mentioned interested me so much that I encouraged her to choose it. We decided to narrow down the choices to nonfiction only this week. Fiction will have to be an entirely different post. If you want to see past Friday Fave Posts, click on that link. So, here goes! This weeks question is:
What is your favorite Historical Nonfiction Book?
This week, we will begin with Maddy's fave because she found a way to combine her love of science with history. She chose The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus by Richard Preston. The title is self-explanatory. This book tells the horrific story of how a deadly virus from the African rain forest made its way to Washington D.C. Madalynn said it was intense and fascinating. It is recent history, but history none the less.
I am going next because I have talked about my choice before, in a previous post, about my 10 Books to Read Again and Again. It is The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Her book takes place in Holland during WWII. Her family hid Jewish people from the Nazis until they were caught and Corrie and her sister were sent to a prison camp. In spite of the many hardships she faced, her faith never waivered and her courage never failed. The story is both heart wrenching and inspiring. If you haven't read it, you must. You really must. I think I may just have to go read it again now, because I am thinking about it.
Next is Alicia's choice. She is also a science loving daughter of mine! (She is a science teacher!) The book she chose is Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel. This book is based on 124 surviving letters from one of Galileo's daughters to him. She was a nun in a convent and she changed her name to Maria Celeste in honor of her father's work. The story of the book is more about Galileo than her, but her letters give insight into his character. His letters to her were presumably burned after death by the convent in order to avoid association with Galileo. Alicia liked this book because it brings a different view to the whole situation of religion vs. science. It doesn't vilify either side. It is easy to read and understand even for those who do not feel they understand science. It shows how Galileo, although persecuted by the Pope, still had faith in God and was supported by other Bishops and Priests in the church. It also shows that the story depicting the Catholic Church vs Galileo is much more complicated than one might think.
Since Lindsey had such a difficult time choosing just one book this week, we told her that she could be the one to cheat and pick two books.
Like me, Lindsey loves books about WWII. So, it isn't surprising that one of her picks is from that time period. She chose Christ Stopped at Eboli by Carlo Levi. This is the story of an Italian man during Mussolini's fascist regime. He was banished to the south of Italy with other exiles and spent a year living there in bad conditions. He learns a lot about humans and has a lot of time to think about whether it was worth it for him to speak out against his government. Lindsey likes this book because it is shows another aspect of how dark and bad the actions of people like Hitler and Mussolini can be, which serves as a reminder to us all to always stand up for what is right.
Lindsey's top choice, and also a choice that each of us would also make, is The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. This book contains the ancient history of the America's and teaches what the roots of our nation really are. Most importantly it shows that we have a Heavenly Father who loves all of His children and He wants all of them to have the gospel of Jesus Christ. It teaches that we choose our course in life. We get to decide how we want to act, and then we must receive the consequences of those decisions, whether they are good or bad. (Hint: It is always a good decision to keep the commandments.) Lindsey says, "The teachings in this book shape everything I do and I love it and read from it every day." I love it, too. I hope you will read it and find out for yourself the truth contained in it.
Whew! Those are our Friday Fave's for this week! It was hard work to narrow down to these choices, but I think there are 5 good ones here! I hope you find something new to read in them! Let us know if you have any good Historical Nonfiction that we should consider as well!
If you have already read all of these, here are some other suggestions that we have made in the past:
The Top 10 Books You Will Want to Read Again and Again
Best Books to Read on Kindle
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to seven so far. I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, and my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Read more about us here!
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