Friday, May 13, 2011

More Than a Comic

This comic gives the primary steps from the Book of Mormon in Moroni 10:3-4 which explain what God expects us to do before he will give us an answer whether the Book of Mormon is true.  To apply this challenge, which I know for myself works, order a free copy of the Book of Mormon.
Made this comic on

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sunday Scripture- The Power of the Sacrament

Today was a special treat for me when I went to church. I got to bless the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Something that I haven't done since the start of my mission. as I did so, it really hit me what a sacred ordinance it was. During the Sacrament each Sunday we renew our covenants with God to stand as witnesses of Jesus Christ, and to always remember Him. As we do so we receive a continuing remission of our sins.

"O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen." Moroni 4: 3

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Learning to Be a Missionary

Video Courtesy of

Many wonder how someone becomes a missionary.  The MTC is a final stage of preparing to go serve the Lord and announce his Gospel.  Segment three gives a glimpse into the efforts of "digital missionaries" serving at the missionary training center.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Testify of Christ: Second Session

As shared in my last post, the primary purpose of modern prophets and apostles is to testify of Christ and stand as witnesses of him and his resurrection.  This morning I studied my notes from the April 2011 LDS General Conference and gathered up what was shared about Christ as these prophets and apostles filled this role.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Testify of Christ

Over the last weekend was the 181st annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  As is typical for any General Conference, the messages focused on our Savior Jesus Christ.  Every speaker related his or her topic to Christ and finished with a testimony of him, his divinity, his resurrection from the dead, or his sacrifice for us.  This fulfilled their special calling from God to act as a special witness of Jesus Christ, "...for the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy." [Revelation 19:10]

I'm spending this morning reviewing my notes from the first session of conference shown above.  The first thing I'd like to do before I can read the transcript is search through my notes for some of the things that were taught about Jesus Christ, especially things that were new to me.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Juggling African Jugs in Our Lives

So I got a crazy e-mail this past week from one of my friends who is also a French-speaking missionary on the other side of the world on a little island off of Africa called the French Reunion, and she is going to be transferred from this little island to Madagascar in a couple of weeks.  This doesn’t seem as if it would be that big of a change since it is all around Africa, but as far as I can tell, the French Reunion is a little more like France and Madagascar is a little more like the rest of Africa.  I’m actually very excited for my friend because, having lived in Africa for four months, I know how incredible of an experience being there really is.  I have been reflecting quite a bit about the experiences that I had in the Ivory Coast and how it definitely contrasts with my mission and life now.

I can remember everything as if I had just left there yesterday, and I really do miss being there.  I’m not sure if I will ever have a chance to go back and visit there, but I will always remember the things that I experienced and saw in the Ivory Coast, such as people carrying things on their heads as they walk down the road.  I can still remember a little girl that stopped my companion and I to ask for help in carrying a huge jug of water on her head.  She was probably between the ages of 6 and 8, and she asked if we could help her lift the jug so she could stand up because when she got it on her head it was too heavy for her to stand up.  Once she was upright with the jug on her head, however, she set off for home, balancing the jug as it was the lightest thing in the world.  Even though I know it was not very light because I helped her to lift it up, this experience reminded me of something very important.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Super-Star Super-Saint

"Before there was Danny Ainge and before we even knew what a Jimmer was there was Krešimir Ćosić. Krešimir Ćosić was born in Yugoslavia in 1948."

I served the first eight months of my mission in Slovenia, which is one of the three countries of the former Yugoslavia to which we have Krešmir to thank for introducing the gospel. The picture of him jumping up for a throw hung in our kitchen in my apartment in Slovenia.  Elder Davis brought back memories of my mission when he posted Krešmir's story in the Mormon March Madness segment of his blog.
When I'd bring up the restoration with people in Slovenia, most people were atheists and very few of them had heard of Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon. Personally, they had no interest in it, but when I'd bring up Krešmir Ćosić they light up with interest and find a little desire to learn what he dedicated his adult life to. A great man that I helped to join the church was once personal friends with him.
Krešmir was an important part of my mission, even though he passed away before I gave any serious thought to going on mission. Thanks for sharing this. I'm glad that his efforts mean something to you too.

See Elder Davis' full post about how Krešmir Ćosić brought the gospel of Jesus Christ to the former communistic Yugoslavia and watch a video about Krešmir's inspiring life combining basketball and the gospel.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Don't Get Caught!!!

As much as I love fly fishing, I've never been good at it. Thus, I probably wouldn't be good at the Devil's job either. What really matters is the job we've got head of us as we try to avoid the devil's lures....

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fantastic Blog Badges!

This morning after studying in Ezra which was a great example of how important temples should be to us.  The Book of Ezra in the Old Testament accounts how the Jews returned to their homeland to rebuild the temple to the Lord that had previously been destroyed.
And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy, [Ezra 6:16]
mormonIn response, I felt like displaying how important the temple is to me and my family in some way on my blog to celebrate a bit.  I admit, going there myself and walking the grounds or serving inside is a better way to show my gratitude for the temple, but I won't be able to go to see the temple at least until Sunday afternoon.  I looked online for a picture of one of my favorite temples and found a great blog with a ton of temple blog badges ready made to put on a blog.  I know it's called "One Cute Blog Blinkies" and that a lot of the badges are just too cutesy for me, but I still found some that were sufficiently manly.  :D
The Washington DC temple has always stood out to me as one of the most beautiful.  I chose it to show on my blog today, and also found a great badge with a quote by President Gordon B Hinckley about books.  See if there's a badge you'd like, especially about the temple.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Elder Neubert's Favorite Videos

On his blog "The Missionary Talk," Elder Matt Neubert has posted his three favorite videos from the quickly growing list of profile videos on  Check out what he's posted, and then look through some of the other profile videos.  Comment below and share your favorites.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sharing Faith in Christ on the Web

There's little stopping most of us from sharing our testimony online like this.  I know that Jesus Christ continues to live today and the major work of preparing for his return is to tell the entire world that he lives and appears to modern prophets.  As Lindsay says in this video, we have the privilege of being able to share our faith.  Let's put it to good use.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Which Is The Way We Ought To Go?

I have found many times that the most successful ventures we have in life are those we take the time to plan and prepare for.  We can plan for homework; we can plan for our days.  Planning is a principle for us to find success in our lives.  It is when we neglect to plan that the hopes and aspirations we have are not able to come to fruition.  Planning is nearly impossible if we do not have a goal or objective we are planning for.  I feel many times planning helps us to realize the goals we have and helps us focus on achieving them.

I am reminded of Alice from Alice and Wonderland by Lewis Carroll:

"Cheshire-Puss," she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider.
"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don't much care where---" said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
"---So long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

As the Cheshire cat says, when we don’t care where we are going “it doesn’t matter which way we go.”  Does each of us know where we are going in our lives?  Do we know what our purpose is and are we planning on going there?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Finding Some Light Because of Cancer

I love the video at the bottom! :)

“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, they whole body shall be full of light” – (Matthew 6: 23).  Have you ever noticed how some people just seem to have a real glow about them?  Some people, all we have to do is make eye contact with them and suddenly our day is just a little better.  These people seem to expel sunshine from their face, something truly angelic.  I notice for myself, as I meet these people in my own life, I am drawn to them, and I have a desire to be close to them.  I do not believe this is happenstance, but rather a part of something which they have truly a part of them.  The source of this inspiring light is Jesus Christ.  He is the light we need to let shine for all men.  I know as we focus on serving and following Him, the periods and pieces of darkness in our lives can made clean and whole through the sacrifice and atonement of Jesus Christ.

Striving to make the light of Christ a part of us takes a daily effort on our part.  It is a continual effort of putting off the natural man, and turning, and then yielding our hearts to Jesus Christ.  Just as cancer can erode us physically, sin also can damage us spiritually.  Just as recovering from cancer is more involved than a simple pill, repentance also is much more than a simple confession in our lives.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Purpose of Life - Made Simple (A Must See!)

I've served as an Mormon missionary online for nearly a year.  In that time, I've learned that having something to show makes a big difference when you've got a message to show.  I love the videos produced on the Mormons Made Simple site.  They are often the perfect thing to share with someone who has questions about our church, or isn't sure what to expect when they visit.
Recently, they launched a video that everyone should certainly find interest in, "The Purpose of Life."
Our unique understanding of the purpose of life is something that sets Mormons apart.  The answer to life, the universe, and everything is a great deal more fascinating than "42."
So sit down with a snack, be prepared to take a note or two, and enjoy the show!

This is a great clip to share with a friend.  If you have questions about this plan, and I hope you will, feel free to chat with a Mormon missionary.  Ask away.  :-D

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Random Thursday post!

I was listening to a talk by an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, Bruce R. McConkie today, and it led me to finding this slideshow about our Savior. The talk I listened to is called "The Purifying Power of Gethsemane". It is a powerful witness by a SPECIAL witness of Christ. I would highly recommend it for anybody who wants to know just a little more about the story of Christ's last 24 hours in mortality. For now, here is the slideshow. Comment and give YOUR testimony of Jesus Christ!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Unto A Lively Hope"

Hope.  Like faith, it's another one of those words that seems difficult to define at times.  What exactly is hope?  And what is worth hoping for?

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary has several definitions for hope, some of which are "to cherish a desire with anticipation", "to expect with confidence", and "desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment".  The dictionary then gives several examples of "hope" being used in a sentence.

    Everyone in your family is well, I hope.

                      The latest reports hold out hope for a possible end to this crisis.

                                       I hope you're feeling better soon.

While all of those examples are good things to hope for, the hope that I have found in life is a lot more certain.

Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance. It is believing and expecting that something will occur.

The apostle Peter writes in his epistle that through the mercy of Christ, we can gain a "lively hope" (1 Peter 1:3), and Paul speaks of hope as "an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast" (Hebrews 6:19).

The prophets in the Book of Mormon are not silent on the attribute of hope either.  In 2 Nephi 31:20, Nephi writes "Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life."

 Hope is a truly powerful thing.  For me, hope is the force behind my faith.  Without hope in Jesus Christ, His Atonement, and His gospel, I have no reason to do the things I do.  President James E. Faust, who at the time was serving as First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church, stated, "Hope is the anchor of our souls. I know of no one who is not in need of hope—young or old, strong or weak, rich or poor." ("Hope, an Anchor of the Soul") Our hope reaches far beyond the limits of what we are sure of, and helps us to believe in a world where disbelief is often viewed as easier, less restrictive, and increasingly common.  It is in this type of world that hope becomes all the more important, for if we refuse to find hope, then we will most likely never find joy.

Elder Wood - Michigan Lansing Mission
On days when the world seems to be against me, I can find joy in the hope that tomorrow will bring a new day.  When I feel lost or sorrowful, I can find joy in knowing that there is always at least One who is reaching out to me in love.  Elder Neal A. Maxwell said, "Those with true hope often see their personal circumstances shaken, like kaleidoscopes, again and again. Yet with the “eye of faith,” they still see divine pattern and purpose (Alma 5:15)." ("Brightness of Hope")

I have come to realize that of all the things in the world that I could hope for, none are more beneficial to me than having hope in and through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. (Moroni 7:41)  Even when the world turns upside down around me, and I don't have any idea where to turn next, as I center my life and my hope on Our Savior and His teachings, I know that things will turn out alright.  My hope is sure, and I know in whom I have trusted.

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Friday, February 4, 2011

Plan of Salvation

I recently finished a new prezi presentation on the Plan of Salvation, or plan of happiness which God has for us. I do know God loves us, and I know we do have a purpose here on earth. Take some time to read through it, and learn, where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going after this life.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Hand of Providence!

One of the big parts of missionary life is getting transferred.  We get a phone call that moves us to a new city with new people, spending every hour of the day with someone we may have never talked to before.  A couple weeks ago I was transferred to Providence, Rhode Island.  Things have been really busy here and that is why I haven't been posting anything.
Moving to a new state changes a lot of things and sometimes I wonder why I couldn't stay where I was before.  But I always learn really quick that I am where God wants me to be.  Allowing God to direct our lives isn't about sitting back and letting him have the wheel.  It is taking directions from him and doing what he would have us do.   As missionaries, getting transferred reminds us of who is in charge but more importantly it gives us the opportunity to listen to what God wants us to do.   It helps us stay focused on what we are doing and we have get new ways to learn and different struggles to deal with.  Being in a city like Providence is much different than being somewhere like Hamden, CT.  Even though I have been on my mission for quite a while, every time I get transferred it helps me think about all the things I need to work on that weren't concerns where I was before.  It can be pretty hard to change and let change happen but as we trust in God then it works out. 

 The lady in this video went through a lot more than we do as missionaries and it shows the great lessons we can learn from accepting change and adversity.
-My name is Elder Stakland and I am a Mormon
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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Living as an Amputee

We all have trials in our life, these can either bring us down or lift us up. I was inspired by the story of Jarem frye, as his trial was one that brought him to great heights

May we all endure life's trials with faith and courage, afterall that is why we came here.
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The missionary social media experiment on the Bloggernacle | Mormon Times

To our surprise today, Missionary Media was featured on 'the Bloggernacle' of Mormon Times:
And did you know that there is a new community blog that features 20 current contributing missionaries? Wow! It’s called Missionary Media: A new way to display the gospel and features online testimonies from these missionaries, essays, video features, links to other missionary resources and one of my favorite features: some Prezi powerpoint interactive slideshow creations that simply explain such gospel topics as “The Plan of Happiness” and “The Gospel of Jesus Christ” and more! I’d love to see more blogs that utilize missionaries in this collaborative and creative way! 
We're glad to hear such high praise of our handiwork and for the help in spreading the word about these resources.   I hope you'll check out that full article if you haven't seen it already, and take a look at the missionary Prezis that we've made or navigate to the missionaries' blogs to get to know us more personally.  Please share them with friends, family, or use them in a lesson or ward activity if you've got the setup.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Movie Monday- Continuing our Savior Jesus Christ

As I was making my blog post yesterday I thought of this short video that condenses a talk given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. It's one of my favorites about the Savior.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What difference does it make?...

Laying a foundation

When people look at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, too often, they do not see any difference. I am asked more times than I could possibly count, "what makes the Mormon church different from any other Christian denomination?"  And the answers to that question can be given in relatively short descriptions, but the deeper meaning cannot fully done justice through the answer that many desire.  There are things that set apart the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from any other church on earth, but to understand that, some of the points that do make the difference, must also be truly understood. I think as well, one important thing to realize, said by the prophet Joseph Smith, is that "The fundamental principles of our religious are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it." Central to all that we believe, the very church and gospel itself, the foundation of all of it, rests on "Jesus Christ, Himself being the chief cornerstone." (Ephesians 2:20). Now in our day, ...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Remember Your Father(S)

To be honest I got on here and had no idea what I wanted to talk about. I started watching videos and reading talks to see if an idea would come. I watched this video of father and son, and it hit me real hard. Even though this is of a father and son it reminded me of me and my father. I love my dad, he knows I love him but I felt the same way Dylan did in this video. I rolled my eyes when he wanted to talk to me, and talking to him was just weird. During the video I started thinking of my dad and our relationship, I've thought about him alot, being here on a mission. I wouldn't say our relationship was terrible but I know it wasn't the best. To me there is nothing like a father and daughter relationship.
I think about my relationship with my Father in Heaven. To me that is very important and I know its important to Heavenly Father as well. If I want to have a close relationship with my Heavenly Father, I have to do these things that Elder Ballard counsels..
1- Trust Your Father- I know that Heavenly Father knows what is best for me and wants me to be happy.
2-Take an interest in your Father- I know that enjoying His creations we can take part of Him and who He is. I believe our talents are a huge part of this. I believe that when we share our talents with others we are taking an interest in our Heavenly Father.
3-Ask Him for advice- I know that we can talk to Him about anything. I have asked my Father in Heaven for advice, and I know that He has given me counsel.
My Heavenly Father has blessed me with a great earthly father. I want to take counsel to Elder Ballards counsel to my earthly father. I know that it is just as important to be close to him as it is with my Heavenly Father.
Thank you Heavenly Father for being there for me when I need the advice. I do trust you and am willing to do whatever you ask of me.
Thank you for my earthly father. I'm sorry for not showing my gratitude towards either of you. I am grateful for him, and I will do better to be an example to my father.
Remember who you are and what you stand for!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Can We Ever Expect the Unexpected?

Why is it that we can never seem to prepare ourselves for difficult events that happen in our lives?  Even when we strive to be more on guard from what we faced before, I think that we are still taken aback when we have to face something newly difficult.  I have faced something like this the past week that I hoped never to have to deal with, and I won’t go into too many details but I find myself asking questions such as “If I had been more prepared spiritually and relying more on God, would things have happened like this?” or “If I had made different choices, would this thing not have happened to me?”  I’m thinking that these probably aren’t the best questions to ask myself, especially since they highly focus on what has already come and gone—things that I cannot change no matter how much I stew over them and wish that things had turned out differently.

I have always thought that I faced some difficulties in my life that would prepare me for most things that I would have to face, but I found that thinking was not quite correct this past week.  Perhaps it was more difficult for me because I thought that I would be able to handle anything that was thrown my way and I wasn’t relying enough on the Lord.  After all, I know that I have certainly been guilty of pride many times even when I did think that I was being guilty.  But on the other hand, perhaps this was just something new that I had to experience to continue learning and growing.  If it wasn’t difficult for me, then I probably wouldn’t have to step back and reflect, turning to Heavenly Father for strength and support.  So I suppose something that I have been asking myself quite frequently as of late is what is the best course of action to take as we move our lives forward?  Do we be cautious to avoid getting hurt or having to face difficulties, or do we push ahead, ready to face what we have to deal with, and realizing that it is not going to be easy? 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The White House... of the Lord

After being closed for several weeks because of the holidays, the temple reopened this week.  On Thursday mornings I volunteer with my mission in the temple to help make the temple a reverent place where people there can worship.  We assist people through a ceremony that outlines for them God's plan for our happiness and the means by which we can return to him.  Today we were able to do that again, and I loved it so much that we're probably visiting again tomorrow morning.

With the Christmas season well over now, it's wonderful to have the temple as a reminder of Christ to keep the Christmas spirit going.  I really do feel close to God in His temple.  I wonder, if it feels that good to visit the temple after it was closed for several weeks, it must be so much more of a difference between a world where there was no temple to our God after the temple in Jerusalem and now when God has enabled His people to build a temple again.

Monday, January 3, 2011

1 Nephi 14 - Bible + Book of Mormon = Good

The Name's Elder: 1 Nephi 14 - Bible + Book of Mormon = Good: "The prophecies in these chapters are beautiful. They feel good. Towards the end of this chapter, Nephi is told that he shall not write the remainder of the things which he has seen, but that one of the Apostles of the Lamb of God shall write them. Hopefully this sounds familiar, but if not, verse 27 leaves no room to err. The Apostle's name would be John. Let me think for a moment, where was it again that I've read about the end of the world and the events preceding Christ's second coming? I believe that would be the Book of Revelation, written by the Apostle John.

Let us also reflect on some of the teachings of the preceding chapters - that many of the plain and precious truths and covenants contained in the record of the Jews (Bible) would be lost.

So - for events concerning the end of the world, we turn to the Bible. For a more clear and all-encompassing collection of the doctrines of Christ's Gospel (faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, endure...), we turn to the Book of Mormon. For a more detailed description of the life of Christ, we turn to the Bible. For a second testament of His life, we open the Book of Mormon. And so on, and so forth.

What I mean to suggest by all this is that BOTH are very desirable. Both have much to offer us. We need these two testimonies as one in our hands, as prophesied would be the case in Ezekiel 37:15-17. One supports the other. What a blessing to have such access to the precious word of God. May we all be overcome with gratitude in so much that we take advantage of these wonderful blessings. "

Posted by Elder Kunz
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Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Gift of Love to You: My Testimony

A Brief Introductory Documentary of Me When I was 15

In the spirit of this holiday, the best gift I can give to everyone is my testimony of this glorious Gospel.  I have been given many blessed gifts in all of my life and I want to express to you my gratitude of all those blessings I have.

Leaving the orphanage brought about so many new experiences for me.  It was a whole new life as my mom mentioned in her writing.  Even with all the miracles of the adoption story alone, the blessings didn’t stop there.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Beginning

Hope Exists: A New Beginning

It is that dreaded time a year again. It is a new year. Prepare to start messing up the date every time you write it. That is what I do at least. A new year is a time of new beginnings. Not only do we have to be wary in writing the date, but also a time to set goals, to change something in our lives. Whether it be a bad habit or a good habit we want to develop, there is always room for improvement.
With all these resolutions we have to do better, somewhere along the way we screw up. It is inevitable, we are only human. After so many times of messing up, some of us give up. We say it is much too hard to change and I keep failing every time I attempt to do so. That is not true. We can change. The reason we can change is because of our Savior , Jesus Christ.
The true power to change comes from relying on Jesus Christ for our source of support. Experts say the best way to break a habit is by having a support system. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, he is the best support system. He knows exactly what it feels like to try to change. 
Trying to quit smoking? He knows what it feels like to have the gnawing need for nicotine. Trying to lose weight? He has borne the pain and sorrows that come from trying to take care of the temple (our bodies) that God has given us.  When we turn to Jesus Christ for help, he gives us the necessary strength to change.
In order to truly change, our hearts need to be changed. When that happens everything else falls into place. That doesn’t mean everything will be perfect, but we will have peace. The peace that in the Lord’s timing everything will work out. We can change and we can improve ourselves, especially if we ask for help from our Savior, Jesus Christ. With His help, we can have hope and experience joy, even in times of troubles.
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Posted by Sister Amanda Kissel
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