Thursday, December 13, 2012

Missionary Reminders

     HOLY COW!!! This is my second to last entry for the year! I cant believe I kept my new years resolution to have this gratitude blog! It seriously has been thee best thing I've done. I cant tell you how many times I've looked back at my entries just to remember how blessed I truly am! This year has been so amazing, memorable, shocking and fantastic. I'm so glad I was able to record some of my favorite blessings!
      As I start my second to last entry, I want to say how grateful I am for Missionary Work!! It literally is the life blood of the church and am so glad so many people sacrifice to keep it going. I think of all those who have served a full time mission and those who are missionaries everyday! They are making a difference! And I cannot wait to be able to serve! Exactly 2 months left from today!! I CANNOT WAIT!!

     So my entry today is a great one! My grandparents gave me a book called, "A Little Book of Missionary Reminders" by Mark W. Newman! It has over 400 instructions, suggestions or observations for being a great missionary! I thought I'd use this entry to tell you some of them! Now some are hilarious, but some are seriously prophetic!
#6-After opening your call, write a brief letter to yourself and seal it. 3 Months into your mission, read the letter to remind you of your eagerness to serve.
#18-Remember that companions are just Siamese twins joined at the Spirit.
#33-Take photos of the common, everyday scenes from each area (laundromat, supermarket, apartment).
#40-When your companion gets transfered, make sure you claim the apartments best mattress and blankets.
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST... It's definitely my favorite!
#90-When a big dog chases you, remember you only have to outrun your companion, not the dog.
     That just barely scratches the surface! There are so many other tips that are amazing and funny! I know for sure they'll come in handy. I've already done the "Letter to Self for encouragement." I'm very grateful to be able to turn to that in the future for a reminder of how excited I am, even though it'll be hard! I'm so grateful for my wonderful inspired grandparents who thought to give me this book! I love them and love this book!

     And I feel I must end this entry a bit different since it's almost my last one... I just have to tell anyone and everyone who reads this how true this church is! It's amazing to me that I'll be given the opportunity to teach others about it. That I can be an instrument and declare truth to those around me. I seriously could not be more excited!!
     I'm so beyond grateful for the examples I've had around me my entire life. I feel their strength as I prepare to serve. I'm so grateful for my knowledge of this gospel, for all that it means and represents! I hope all will come to know of the truth for themselves!

Love always,
Sister Samples :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Music!

     FINALLY DECEMBER IS HERE!! The month I wait all year for! Honestly, nothing is better than Christmas time! May we all remember what Christmas is really about! That we can really prioritize and remember what is most important! This time only comes once a year! So spend your time wisely and with those you love!!

     I think this entry will be short! But I thought I'd share with you a challenge I gave myself. When the announcement came out I knew right away I was going to be going on a mission a lot earlier than before planned. Many of you know that I'd always planned on a mission, but thought it was still so far away. So as the events transpired, I realized I needed to get intune with the spirit and be sure this is what I am suppose to do!
     In my efforts to find an answer I realized I shouldn't listen to any more non-church music, so as to not offend the spirit. Not that I listened to bad music by any means, it just didn't exactly invite the spirit. So I only listened to a certain cd with church music on it!
     I received my answer a bit later and confirmed to me what I thought as well. It was the greatest :)!! But then as I started to prepare to really serve now by filling out my papers and such, I tried to transition back toward my old music. And in so doing felt so guilty for some reason! It seemed so odd! And after a lot of praying about it, I realized that there was nothing for me right now in my old kind of music! That this new change I had made had helped my life in more ways than I noticed. And to prepare for such a hard work, I should be starting those good changes now to help me.
     So long story short, from then on I do not want to listen and will not listen to anything besides church music! It really has been so great!!! Dont think my life stinks or anything, I've become so much happier and just smilier... If that's a word! I get church songs stuck in my head, I mean what's greater than that!!
     So incase any of you feel like you need an added measure of the spirit in your life, go listen to Pandora and choose the station LDS HYMNS OF WORSHIP! Super modern church songs that help your stressful day SO much!!

Here is the link to one of my FAVORITE church songs of ALL TIME!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xwzItqYmII
"I Can Only Imagine" by MercyMe! Do enjoy :)

Love always,
Tuned In ;)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Day of Giving Thanks

     I'm sure you were all expecting this entry, but I would be ungrateful to NOT have a post about Thanksgiving! It's the real start to the holiday seasons in my opinion. The family traditions, recipes and jokes come out! It's the greatest time of year!!

     So a few years ago in Seminary we were challenged by our teacher to create a gratitude list of 100 things we are grateful for! Now at first glance that seems somewhat challenging, but do able. However, he also challenged us to be as specific as possible. Now that made it easier. Because instead of being grateful for my family, I can say I'm grateful for my mom, my dad, my sister, etc...!
     I'm sure he noticed how that made the challenge easier for us. So he then promised that if we would truly be sincere in our gratitude, think of why we are grateful for each and every item, and then pray to our Heavenly Father with the list in hand, we would have a better holiday season. Seemed like a great thing to do the night before Thanksgiving and so I did!
     My list began with the common things such as, family, friends, technology, transportation, the church, my testimony, the covenants I've made, opportunities given to me, my education, my future, and so forth. Sadly, once I got to around 40 I believe, it became harder... I didn't want to foolishly write down things just to fill the space. I really wanted to have a list of things I really was grateful for! After sitting for a good while, pondering what I had written and what I was missing, thoughts just started flowing. Slowly but surely I was being reminded of so many blessings. Such as, being raised in the great state of Utah, having the culture that I do, having so many temples near by, being able to be an example to my family and friends, having food so easily available 24/7, never going hungry, safety, having a wonderful working car, a warm bed, enjoying the beauty of all 4 seasons, my health, my youth, the clothes on my back, the support around me, the gospel around me, love all over the place, examples all over the place! Sheesh the list cannot stop!!!
     It was the greatest thing ever to have filled out that list and then some with honest items I felt so grateful for. I love the holiday seasons so much! Its always filled with love, humility, gratitude, and service!

     I challenge you all to create a gratitude list of 100 items as well! Once you have felt you have completed it with honesty in every word, pray to your Heavenly Father and read it off one by one. You're eyes will be opened to all you've been given and man is it a humbling experience!
     I love you all and wish you a very safe and loving holiday season!

Love always,
Attitude of Gratitude

    

Sunday, November 18, 2012

CALLED TO SERVE

     This week my appreciate for the Brethren of the church, namely the Prophet Thomas S. Monson, his counselors and the 12 apostles, has grown beyond comprehension. For many reasons, most of which are too personal to share.

     But to answer the question that was brought up in my last post... I GOT MY MISSION CALL!!! I have been called to serve a full time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the California, San Jose mission. I will report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on February 13, 2013. I will preach the gospel in the Tongan language and will serve for 18 months!!!
     I was blessed enough to have opened my call surrounded by the majority of my family and my close friends! It was one of the greatest experiences of my life! The spirit was so strong and I knew that wherever I'd be sent was where I needed to go!!
     So the time has come to really truly prepare. I feel like I've been preparing my whole life, but now is the time to really know the doctrine. I can now picture where and who I will be serving! It makes it all that much more real and important! In a morningside at my highschool Larry Gelwix, a rugby team coach taught up about hardwork. He said, "We can either feel the pain of HARDWORK or the pain of REGRET!" And I feel that is especially important when it comes to missionary work! The number one thing I do NOT want is regrets! So in order to accomplish that I'll need to remember President Monsons words. "Life by the yard is hard. But life by the inch, is a sinch!" And lastly, the greatest quote in reference to missionary work has to be the one given my Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the quorum of the 12 apostles. He said, "Much of the time we are just too casual about all of this. This is eternal life. This is the salvation of the children of God. Eternity hangs in the balance!" Oh how I pray I wont take my mission lightly. That I will work hard every single day because the people I'm serving deserve that. This is much too serious!

     I am so grateful for my calling to serve in San Jose, California! I'm grateful to serve the wonderful Tongan speaking individuals and more importantly, the Lord. I know this call came from God and that the apostles that decided on it and the prophet who signed off on it, are men called of God. They are here to direct His church. They are righteous men who are doing their best to be more like our Savior. We would all be wise to follow their counsel.

Nofo A,
Toko Ua Samples

( goodbye and sister in Tongan (: )

Sunday, November 11, 2012

D&C 100:6

     Holy cow!!! This week I am super thankful for institute! I am learning so much and my mind is somehow being able to take it all in, along with all the school junk that has to be slammed into my brain as well!
     Some exciting news to share!!! MY MISSION PAPERS ARE IN!!!!!! Last Sunday I saw my Stake President and he told me he'd submit my papers to church headquarters that day!!! AMAZING!!!! So the call should be here in about a week! I'll be sure to write all about it for my next entry and let ya know where I'll be serving the Lord for 18 months!!

     So in preparing for the mission I am in the temple prep class for Sunday school! It has been thee most amazing class and I feel like I am learning so much!! Last week we were taught about qualifications for the temple. Why we have to be worthy, what it means to be worthy, how to become worthy, ect...
    Our teacher used a great analogy! He said that going to church, fulfilling callings, going to seminary, and mutual was all like Elementary, Middle and High School things. They are really just there to prepare you for the University, or the Temple!! It completely relates in the sense that you cant skip any of those, you might be able to skip little grades, but definitely not the whole step. Also along with the thought that everything you learn in the younger grades is exactly what you learn in the higher grades. The only difference is that it is more in depth, with more information, but the same stuff!
     So since the majority of my family aren't members or aren't active, what could I do to help explain the reasons why they aren't allowed in the temple. My teacher was totally inspired! He said, well it's not that Heavenly Father doesn't love them! That's not it at all. He does love them and want them in his home as much as possible. However, there are a lot of reasons why someone cannot enter into his home. First off, within the temple you gain further knowledge about principles taught at church. If you are unwilling to go to church or dont like it, you wont like the temple. Another, going to church strengthens and grows your spirit. By not doing so, it shrinks. Therefore your spirit wouldn't be able to comprehend things within the temple because it hasn't grown enough, nor become strong enough. (He listed someother things, but these are just the ones I liked the most.)   
     I hope that made sense. Another thing I thought of was just the fact that the Savior, Jesus Christ has walked the halls of His home. If you were unworthy you wouldn't want to be there. You'd want to be clean in His presense wouldn't you? It's the same thing!

     So that's my thoughts on it anyway! If you have questions, feel free to ask!!
     I love this gospel and the peace is brings to me! I'm very excited to be found worthy of a temple recommend and covenant with my Father in Heaven. That I will keep His commandments, do what He would do if He were here and love everyone like He would love them!!! This gospel is true! It's what He needs His children to know and understand in order to come back to Him!!! I cant wait to serve a mission for Him!

Love always,
WHERE AM I GOING?!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Entitlements

     This week I am grateful for my church leaders especially! They are helping make my life so much easier, better and way more spiritual!

     We've been talking in institute a lot about entitlements. Like how someone can feel entitled to someone or something. We were asked to ponder about something we feel we justify even though we shouldnt.
      I hope that made sense.
      But my entitlement was anger. For those that know me, it really takes a lot to make me angry. I just stay bottled up inside until I explode... Not healthy!!! But I always feel entitled to anger. I'd say to myself, ya know, you never get angry. So it's okay to be mad now, they deserve it!
     Man was I wrong!! What makes me entitled to such a feeling??

     So this was really short and way random, but wanted to share. If you want, you should ponder about things your do that you feel you're entitled to feel. Then ponder all that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are entitled to, seeing as they created you. And yet they are constantly giving you the freedom to make choices, loving you and blessing you. Then decide to be better and become more like Christ!

     Sorry if that didn't make any sense!!

Love always,
Not Entitled

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Unless You Let It In

     Today I wanted to share a great poem I'm sure many have heard! It's one that teaches me so much and makes me feel the spirit because of how true it is. I think of Christ and how He is trying to teach me something with this poem. I think of all of His children, and how He wishes they could hear it and understand that we have our agency. And that it means a lot more than you might think.
   
     So without further delay...

     All the Water in the World, By Jack M Lyon.

All the water in the world,
However hard it tried,
Could never sink the smallest ship
Unless it [gets] inside.
 
 
And all the evil in the world,
The blackest kind of sin,
Can never hurt you the least bit
Unless you let it in.
 
     We must remember brothers and sisters that it is our choice to sin. We could be strong and not let it inside us, but sometimes we aren't that strong. Our Heavenly Father knew that. He knew that sometimes our ships would get leaky and that we would be tossed over board. So he provided a way to seal and patch up every single whole, every single thing that needed repair could be completed resolved! That was the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He died for me. He died so I could repair the holes in my sinking ship, because they were inevitable.
 
     I know that my ship is still a float because of Christ and what He did for me! I have to thank my Heavenly Father for creating this entire plan and helping me everyday of my life become better, repair my leaky ship, and continue on in the hopes of being more and more like Him. So that I can hopefully one day live through all eternity with Him!!
 
     I love this gospel and know that it's true!! Please study it out for yourselves and come to know of the joy that it has brought me! You can have so much more peace in this life, hope in the next, and direction through it all! I love my Savior and my Father in Heaven! This church is true people, and I pray you'll study it, accept it, and go to the rescue yourselves, to all those without this light in their lives!
 
Love always,
Ship Samples