Thursday, December 22, 2011

Life Takes Some Fixing

A few days ago Sister Punaa and I were headed to Santa Rosa for our all mission conference. We were really excited! We made it there safe and sound. We had a wonderful conference filled with love, the spirit, and the joy of celebrating Christ's birth.

After conferences like that you feel so inspired, and are anxious to go out and share the wonderful message of our Savior Jesus Christ with the world. Which we were. Well our excitment came to a jolting hault when we were informed, "Sister's did you know your car has a flat tire?" Of course our response was, "no???" We rushed outside to find our car was tilting to one side.
Isn't that the same with life? Sometimes we are just so ready to move forward and continue on. But we realize we are stuck and we have to fix something before we can keep on going.

In life there is such things as 'quick fixes.' But those fixes only last for so long. Such as the spare tire Elder Jenkins and Elder Tomoser so kindly put on for us. The spare tire was great! A life savor really. But it would only last for so long before we needed to get a new permanent tire.

We will make mistakes in life. It's only human. But if we don't fix them properly eventually we are going to get to a point where we can't move at all. We are helpless. And we are, that is all helpless without the Atonement of Jesus Christ. In Mosiah chapter 4. King Benjamin teaches..

 " ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel. And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true."

Christ can and will heal us. He knows how. He is all powerful. He has all knowledge. He can do what we cannot do. Just as Sister Punaa and I had no idea how to fix our tire. We had to turn to someone who knew how. If we hadn't and would have just drove along we wouldn't have gotten very far until we had even more problems than what we started with.

I know Christ lives. He loves us. And I know that His Atonement fixes all pain.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Faith Is Taking The First Step Even When You Don't See The Whole Staircase...

Have you ever thought how something so small can grow to be so BIG?

The other day we were at Sister's home in our ward. She had asked her to help her with some yard work. When we got there we found out we were going to be helping plant a small garden. I was so excited! Growing up I remember we always had a garden, but I don't remember ever helping plant it, I always just helped eat it. As we took the seeds in our hands I noticed how tiny they were! And the thought crossed my mind how incredible that was, that something so small, could turn into something much greater.
For example take a sunflower seed. It doesn't look like much does it? But after some nourishment and care, it becomes something so beautiful and magnificent. Or a catipillar... I mean come on, those things are kinda gross looking, but think that they will someday be a beautiful butterfly!

There is a process to growth. It doesn't just go BAM! Sunflower! Or butterfly... but it takes time. Just like the garden we helped plant. We didn't see anything instantaneously, but over time that seed will begin to grow and flourish.

"Compared to God, we are nothing; yet we are EVERYTHING to God." -President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Just like the seed or the catipillar we too look very small compared to the world that we live in. But just as the seed into the sunflower, we too can and will grow and develop into something magnificitantly beautiful!

"Because of the conflicts and challenges we face in today’s world, I wish to suggest a single choice—a choice of peace and protection and a choice that is appropriate for all. That choice is faith. Be aware that faith is not a free gift given without thought, desire, or effort. It does not come as the dew falls from heaven. The Savior said, “Come unto me” (Matthew 11:28) and “Knock, and it shall be [given] you” (Matthew 7:7). These are action verbs—come, knock. They are choices. So I say, choose faith. Choose faith over doubt, choose faith over fear, choose faith over the unknown and the unseen, and choose faith over pessimism."

There really is so much power behind the word FAITH. I'm sure you have heard the saying, "FAITH can move mountains." Well it can, and it can do and has done much more. In the Book of Mormon it teaches in Ether... "Behold it was the FAITH of Alma and Amulek that caused the prison to tumble to the was the FAITH of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy was the FAITH of Ammon and his brethren which wrought so great a miracle among the Lamanites...and even all they who wrought miracles wrought them by FAITH, even those who were before Christ and also those who were after."

Lets CHOOSE to have faith, and then CHOOSE to act upon it. I know that Jesus is the Christ, and through having faith in him, "you shall have ceternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Clubs, Caddies, and Christ

I grew up with a father and a mother who love to golf. As their daughter i've grown to enjoy it too. Usually only when i'm playing good though. But for any of you who golf you know that it can be very frustrating at times. And other times very rewarding. My favorite holes are the par 4's, and as you tee off the flag is a straight shot in front of you, not to the side, or around a corner, but directly in front. Oh and not to mention there isn't any sand traps or water just ready to eat your ball up. But for those of you who golf know that doesn't happen very often. Back home at the golf course I usually golf at, there is a par 3 that I don't get along with too much. I know a par 3... your probably thinking those are the fun ones. Well right in front of the green is a pond, I can't even tell you how many times i've lost my ball in that pond. I remember so many times pulling up to the tee off, getting my ball and my club, usually an 8 iron. Walking up to the tee with full confidence that I'm going to smack that ball over that pond and if not in the hole right next to it. Before stepping up to the ball, I do a few practice swings, and then its the time, i'm thinking, "i'm gonna get it this time." As I swing the club back keeping my eye on my ball, keeping my knees bent my shoulds square, and then smack! The ball goes flying, and then SPLASH! The worst sound ever, right into the pond. "Ughhh!! Are you kidding me??" One time there was even these little kids sitting off to the side of the road selling golf balls, and they were laughing so hard when that ball dropped in the water, in fact that time I think I did it twice. I would have been laughing too if it wasn't my own.

Our life is sometimes a lot like that par 3. We have a goal, we have the vision in our mind of 'what's going to happen', but then all these road blocks start coming up. Time after time, if it's not the pond, then it's the wind, if it's not the wind then its the sand trap, if it's not the sand trap then it's the trees. Why??

In the Book of Mormon Nephi teaches that there has to be "opposition in all things."

When I first started golfing, and even now, I rely on my mom or dad to tell me what club I should use, and especially when I am going to take a difficult shot. For example when I am hitting out of a sand trap. Those are really hard for me. And sometimes I forget the motion of how to swing, or what club to use. So I have to rely on my dad or mom to show me and to give me advice on what to do.

Like in our own lives, when things are easy the road seems nice and smooth, we think we got it. And then a road block, and we realize that we need help, we need guidance from someone who knows better, who has been through it before. It's during those times that we come to know who are Heavenly Father is, and how we can come to know him through his Son, Jesus Christ. "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." -John 17:3

Just like golf, life has it's easier moments and it's harder moments. "...for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day." -Alma 36:3

Life is like a game of golf, but we have the greatest caddy ever. Jesus Christ. A caddy is is the person who carries a player's bag and clubs, and gives insightful advice and moral support. A good caddy is aware of the challenges and obstacles of the golf course being played, along with the best strategy in playing it. This includes knowing overall yardage, pin placements and club selection.  Christ is there for us when we need help calling the shots. He can see the whole course, he can see the sand traps, the trees, the bends in the course, the ponds, he can see it all. He can give us the insights we need to make the best decisions. He has already played the course.

 "And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of hi peaple. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverane; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me." -Alma 7:11-13

 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -John 16:33

Life was not intended to be easy, but it was intended to be filled with joy and happiness. "....wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin." -2 Nephi 2:23

"The trials and tribulations we go through in this life, is the education we came to gain."

Enjoy the journey! It is a great one!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Footprints In The Sand

"One night I dreamed I was walking
along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed
across the sky. In each scene I
noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of
footprints, other times there was one
only. This bothered me because I
noticed that during the low periods of
my life, when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints,
so I said to the Lord,
"You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you, you would walk
with me always. But I have noticed
that during the most trying periods of
my life there has only been one set of
footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, have
you not been there for me?"
The Lord replied,
"The years when you have seen only
one set of footprints,
my child, that is when I carried you."

I know that Christ is always there for us. Guiding us and helping us along the path. Whether he is carrying us, or walking beside us holding our hands He is always there. He loves me, and he loves you.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

-Marco's Conversion-

I come from a large family of Catholics, there's twelve of us to be exact. The youngest being 22 and the oldest 53, myself being the second youngest. As you can see, the youngest of us are separated by a whole different generation then the oldest of my siblings and by being so there's an anvantage that comes with it. That being that as a much younger sibling I get to sit back and looked/look at how my older brothers and sisters live their lives as parents and even grandparents, who do not have the fullness of the Gospel and their lives. As I looked at the limited happiness in their lives and how they raised/raise their children, I saw a glimpse of myself as a father and I didn't want that kind of life for me and my future family. Therefore, I began the task of looking for our Heavenly Father, who is always there for all of us but that up untill then I refused to accept him into my life.

Coming from a Catholic family I was always taught as a child not to open the door on people from other religions, however, I always thought that to be disrespecful and uneducated. So one day two elders came by and nocked on my door, and thankfully I was there to open the door on them and from then on my life is changed for the better: They both had a big smile on their face and they both seemed really happy, and that was my first impression of them. They asked me if I had afew minutes of my time to talk to me alittle about the book of Mormom and I happily accepted. They told me alittle bit about it and right away they asked me if I wanted to get baptized, which at first it took me by surprise and I responded "I'm already baptized." So they explained to me how the LDS Church truely does have the fullness of the Gospel and why it is important to get baptized in it. To which I responded that "I'd think about it", they gave me a book of Mormon and asked me if it'd be ok if they came by sometime. I agreed, however, for two to three weeks I didn't read the book and I avoided them.

Untill finaly they did come by and talked to me alittle more about the Gospel and how the LDS Church does things. I enjoyed our session and started reading the book of Mormom, and about two or three weeks after that I attended church for the first time. I was surprised at how happy people seemed to be and that first day although I enjoyed the talks and Sacrament meeting, 3 hours seemed alittle long coming from a church in which you attend for just one hour (not that I went much). That was only the first day, from then on I've enjoyed every minute of it. I'm glad I made the choice to read the book of Mormon, come to Church and most of all, get Baptized! I was told by my wonderful Missionaries that in the future when I looked back to how I used to view life, I'd be able to see a difference in my life after getting baptized. But honestly I've seen a great change in my life since I started coming to church and I'm grateful for my Missionaries, my new friends, our Church leaders but most of all for our precious Gospel. I'm grateful for our savior Jesus Christ who atoned for our sins so that we could have a chace to live with our Heavenly Father again and I know I want to be more like him and be the best I can possibly be.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

I am Sister Bethany Cottle. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ

What does your banner say about you? What do people see...? A mother...a smoker...a workaholic...a father...a lawyer....a drinker....a daughter...a son... Do they see you as relaible? Honest? Faithful? Willing to sacrifice? Confident?

I am Sister Bethany Cottle. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.

"I am part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed. The dye has been cast.
I Have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of
Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down, or be still. My past is
redeemed, by present makes sense, and my future is secure. I'm finished
and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams,
tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarf goals. I no longer need
pre-eminence, positions, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to
be rgiht, first, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by
faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience, am uplifted by prayer, and
labor with power. My face is set, my gait is fast, and my goal is Heaven. My
road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable,
my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away,
divided, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the
presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at
the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up,
shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, and paid up for the cause
of Christ. I must go till He comes, five till I drop, preach till all know, and
work till He stops me. And when he returns for His own, He will have no
problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear."

Whatever your banner use to say or does say, you can change it. The past can't be undone, but it can be forgotten, and the present can be changed. You can change your banner, so that when Christ comes, "He will have no problem recognizing you..."  I'm dedicating my life to Christ, forever. I will not go back to who I once was, or who the world might think I should be, or the things I should do.. It's about sacrifice, it's about time, its about showing our love and our gratitude for the one who gave us all, the one who gave  His life, so that we could gain ours. And when He does come, He will have no problem recocnizing who I am. My banner IS set clear.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration

This is probably one of my favorite church movies! I love the Joseph Smith movie. It makes me so much more grateful every time I watch it for what Joseph Smith did, and went through, so that we could have all the things we have. Like the Book of Mormon, the Priesthood, Temples, and much much more! I know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, and that through him Jesus Christ was able to restore is Gospel on the earth again. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, it is another testament of Jesus Christ, and as we read it we will become closer to him, and we will come to know more of our purpose here on this earth. I know that through the Priesthood authority, the same authority that Christ had when he was on the earth, that we can be sealed for time and all eternity with our families. I love my Savior Jesus Christ, I know He lives!