Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year ~ 2011

Happy 2011!  A new year has begun and it promises to be a great one.  I tried something different this year that I think I will become a tradition for me.  I made resolutions for 2011 back in October/November and I started on them back then so that when today came I would actually be well on my way.

I've been studying Japanese more to better hone my skills

I also wanted to lose weight and as it turns out I started in November and I've lost 33 pounds.  Now that the new year is underway I don't have to lose any (although I probably will) I just have to maintain what I've lost.  247 down to 214 and feeling great.

I want to be very dedicated to learning the piano very well also.  This I must start today and do my best to practice 30 minutes a day.

I will continue to read, study, and ponder the Scripture, with the kids, with Liz, and personal study.

I want to get our Elder's Quorum running smoothly with consistent PPIs and effective Home Teaching assignments.

I want to go on regular dates with Liz and improve our relationship.

I want to improve my relationship with the kids.

Strive for Heaven in 2011!

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Fire of the Covenant

When we first moved into this area we became part of the Rising Sun Branch.  It had been a branch for 20+ years.  At that time I was a branch missionary and I spent a lot of time with brother Kubesh sharing the gospel with non members and doing our best to reactivate non and less active members.

Fast forward 3 years and I've now been the Elder's Quorum President for just over a year and we are now the Bay View Ward.  We've had over 2 dozen baptisms, some of which are still active and some of which who are not.  Some who are zealously engaged in the work and some who joined for self serving purposes.  I am not here to judge, I would just like to share some of the successes that I've observed.

Leonard Evans:  3 years ago a convert of almost 30 years, receptive to visits but came to church once in a blue moon and really didn't grasp the truthfulness of what he had been a part of for all these years.  In recent months, due to diligent home teachers, missionaries, and most of all the spirit, he has been at church consistently each and every week.  He has received the Aaronic Priesthood, his Patriarchal blessing, and is just weeks away from becoming an Elder.  He is also a faithful home teacher.

The Sponenburg Family:  3 years ago we weren't sure if they were here or not.  They too were receptive to missionary visits but not seriously committed to the gospel.  In recent months, a non member daughter (Kayla) was baptized and confirmed, and yesterday called and sustained as a Primary worker.  Josh, the glue of the family has received the Aaronic Priesthood and is working toward the Melchizedek.  Yesterday he administered the Sacrament for the first time and is always engaged in the lessons by sharing his simple yet powerful testimony.  Lisa, mother of the family, anxiously engaged in seeing to her families eternal salvation, expressed that in all the time she's been a member she's never held a calling which she would like very much to do.  Brian, father of the family, has given up coffee and is working hard to give up alcohol so he too can receive the Priesthood and the blessings that come with it.  Samantha daughter and friend has lost herself in the Book of Mormon and gains a stronger testimony of it's power and truthfulness each day.

There are others that have found their way back and are becoming stalwart members of our newly formed ward.  The two examples I've sited have given me great joy, as the scriptures declare, because I've been involved with and witness to these glorious transformations.  I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is had in it's fullness within our church.  This is his church, restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith.  I know our Father in Heaven Lives, I know that Jesus Christ our Savior and Redeemer Lives.  I know the Book of Mormon is true and that we do indeed get closer to God by abiding by it's precepts.

I am so happy and grateful to be a part of the Lord's work in these the last days!