Thursday, December 23, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
I received a letter from my father a while back. It reads...
"I had an interesting experience at work on Friday. I'm serving as scoutmaster for the troop, and we had a merit badge clinic at our ward building this weekend. My troop had three boys signed up to take some merit badges for the clinic, and I had to sign the blue merit badge cards for the boys to give them permission to take the classes. So on Friday, the boys' mothers came by the office to get the cards from me. Sister Martinez, Sister Behnke and Sister Benjamin all came by during the course of the morning.
After they had all come by, the lady working at our front desk (Celeste) asked me, "Are those three ladies also Mormons?"
I said, "yes, why?"
She answered, "I thought so. Mormons look different."
"How so?", I asked.
"You always have this smile and this look on your face," she said. "You must know something we don't know."
Yes, we surely know something they don't know. I've known it since my conversion in April 1978....."
So the question arises, "What do you know that is different that makes you so happy?"
Elder Russell N. Neslson, a living Apostle addressed this very topic this last October General Conference...
Many years ago two colleagues of mine—a nurse and her doctor husband—asked me why I lived the way I did. I answered, “Because I know the Book of Mormon is true.” ( Be thou an example of the believers )
I too like my father and Elder Nelson know something that will make you and any human being happy, its the fullness of the everlasting Gospel found in the Book of Mormon. If you haven't read the book, take heed to my words, because I have. I am a living witness that the Book of Mormon is a true book. My very life has been changed because of the words of that book that I have applied which have ultimately turned me to the one and only Prince of Peace, Christ the Lord Jesus.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Thought I'd drop you a line to give you an update on our family's latest conversion story. Michael has had a non-member friend with whom he has hung out for several years now. His name is Paris Demille. Paris has always been a "good kid" who has done very well in school and who is quite popular with his peers. Ever since James started the practice of sharing a scripture each evening, Michael has carried on the tradition and began to include Paris a year or so ago. Michael, by the beginning of this their senior year, finally persuaded Paris to take seminary during the school day. By September Paris consented to taking the missionary discussions, but we had to get permission from his grandparents, with whom he and his little sister, London, were living at the time. I made a visit to Gail and Nancy Demille and procured their permission, so that the discussions with the full-time Elders could begin. They even granted permission for 11 year-old London to sit in on the lessons.
By mid-October a baptismal date had been set for either the first or second Saturday in November, but by the end of the month concerns had arisen as to whether or not Paris' mother, Camille, would consent to the baptism(s). She had been living out of town, and began to express some reservations. The baptismal date was finally set for November 13th, but when Camille moved back to Monroe on Nov. 4th and met with the missionaries, she decided that she would not allow either Paris or London to be baptized due to her unwillingness to have them affiliate with a church that seemed to discriminate against gays and those who had participated in abortions. Her concerns arose when the missionaries informed her of the questions that Paris and London would be asked during their baptismal interviews. On Sunday the 7th I met with her and we spoke together for some time. I was able to help alleviate her misunderstandings, and she consented to allow Paris' baptism to go forward on the 13th, but London would have to wait until she was a little older and "mature enough to make her own decisions."
Camille's consent to allow Paris' baptism obviously elated us, so the missionaries began to prepare for an early-morning service in a baptismal room that might not contain all the people that were planning to attend. Things had to happen early that day due to the fact that many of the high school students (including Michael) were scheduled to participate in the school play, "My Fair Lady," during the 1 PM matinee.
When we showed up at 9 AM on Sat., the 13th, there was London, all dressed in white alongside Elder Jared Harlan, also dressed in white. When I asked Elder Harlan what happened, he told me that London's mom had thought about it some more and felt good about consenting to London's baptism as well. She literally gave the O.K. the day before!
We only set up one row of chairs in front of the baptismal font for the family. The rest of the room was packed, standing room only, with Paris' high school friends. The feeling I got was hard to describe as I watched my 17 year old son baptize and then hug his friend in front of all that support. The service was spirit-filled as was the sacrament meeting the following day when London and then Paris were confirmed members of the Church. As they say, "It just doesn't get any better than this!"
Monday, November 22, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
For the last 6 months, I have served in Bennett Valley, Santa Rosa area. That is typically a long time to serve in one area so I knew I was soon due for a move. When President Bunker told me that he has prayerfully selected Shiloh Park, Santa Rosa to be my new area, I was immediately excited. I love Santa Rosa so I knew it would be nice to stay in the city. But that's not what its about...
I recognize my purpose as a missionary of the Lord which is to bring others unto Christ through baptism. So the call to go to Shiloh park means nothing to me if I am not fulfilling my assignment. That night I prayed earnestly to God that he would prepare souls for me to find, teach, and baptize. For the next week, that same cry was made to my Lord. I believe in the promise given in Matthew 7:7 "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:".
Sure enough, it was given to me...
Our very first dinner/appointment in Shiloh Park was with the Ritter family. Sis. Ritter joined the church in 1976. Her husband, Bob Ritter, grew up with no religion. As we sat across the dinner table there was no doubt that this family had been prepared by the Lord to be taught by us. Later on that evening, we invited Bro. Ritter to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. Bro. Ritter will be baptized December 5th.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Have you seen Gods hand in your life today?
Let us remember Him in all things.
We must never forget that we are indeed placed on this earth for a distinct purpose; and by remembering Him each day, we will receive the comfort and guidance that will help us overcome the trials of life in mortality.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Behind the babies (LF to RT) : Jared Abbott (younger brother); Terri Abbott (mother) ; Hal Abbott (father); Tara Abbott (older sister); Nigel Cockroft (brother-in-law); Me; Derek Abbott (older brother)
Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3)... The family is ordained of God. -( The Family: A Proclamation to the World )
Thank you Mom & Dad for your righteous example.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
1 out of 4 woman are victim to this disease. WOW! That is a very a high percentage. Most likely there is someone who is dear to you that has been diagnosed. So what can we do about it?
Making it known is the 1st step. I'm not saying everyone needs to run and get pick ties that they can wear on Tuesday, (even though that would be sick!). Make donations, join groups, visit this website http://www.facebook.com/gillettevenus?ref=ts&gclid=CJLfu9SP96QCFQgEbAodeWokhA, you can figure it out... Lets just not "do nothing".
But most of all, remember these brave woman in our thoughts and in our prayers. "Yea, cry unto him against the power of you enemies." (Alma 34:22). Lets fight this enemy called Breast Cancer!
And wear pink next Tuesday!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Today I want to address that question. So I thought it best to hear from Elder Gary J. Coleman who is a great leader in our church.
Watch the video.
I want to bear my humble testimony that Jesus Christ is who He proclaims to be, "the light and the life of the world" ( 3 Nephi 11:11 ). He truly did suffer and die for the sins of all mankind and is our perfect example in every way. Learn of Him. If you have not read the Bible and the Book of Mormon, you are cheating yourself and missing out on gospel truth that has been restored by God Himself. To obtain a free copy of the Bible and the Book of Mormon, visit http://www.mormon.org/ and request a visit from a missionary like myself.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Lets reach out to those who need it the most: The "unpopular kid" who sits by himself at school, the person who is around but is never noticed or talked to, the "weird dude", that "funny looken person", the guy who goes outside to smoke a cigarette by himself, the lonely alcoholic, the single parent, the single adult, the guy who comes into church smelling like smoke and booze, the annoying kid, the poor family, the new guy, the foreigner, the forgotten man... the list goes on.
Lets serve The One (God), by serving the one unnoticed
"And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." - Mosiah 2:17
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
A common question that I hear from people is "do you have any siblings?" I tell them I have two brothers and two sisters and I am right in the middle. Than I proudly inform them that I have little brother serving a church mission with me right now and he is in Chile. That's exciting stuff!!
My little brother Jared and I started filling out our mission papers at the same time volunteering to serve the Lord. We helped push each other to live righteously and increase our faith. I was living in Utah at the time, so we would talk on the phone every now and again. Every night we would text each other a scripture that touched us that day from our studies. I would read his and he would read mine. It was neat. We later recruited others to join us in our little activity, Derek (my older brother), Micheal and Aubrey (my cousins). We did this for about 5 months.
Than the day came when I received my mission call to serve in the California Santa Rosa Mission. So in March, I headed west. While in California, Jared received his call to the Chile Rancagua Mission. He departed in October. So for the past year we have both been doing the same exact thing just on different sides of the equator. It is such a boost to me to know that I have a true friend that I look up to, praying for me and fighting the same fight that I am fighting everyday. We are called to baptize.
Jared in Chile (Ill give you a hint... he is the one with the blond hair)
The lovely Rochell family
If your in Chile or northern California the gospel of Jesus Christ is the same. We teach the same exact thing!
That always amazes me. But it is also so very simple. I have talked to many people of many other faiths and they all seem to disagree with each other; even if they claim to be from the same church, faith, or religion. There are Christan's arguing against Christians.
"One Lord, one faith, one baptism" - Ephesians 4:5.
He doesn't say, One Lord, 2 faiths, 2 baptisms
He doesn't say, One Lord, 45 faiths, 44 baptisms
He doesn't say, One Lord, 1098 faiths, 987 baptisms
I think you get my point...
God is a god of order; just look up at the sky or into a flower. So it is with His church and gospel.
Elder Jared Abbott and I are striving to spread the good news "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:" -Ephesians 4:13. That is was Paul's mission, that's Jared's mission, that's my mission, and most of all, that's Christ mission.
To learn more on how God has once again called a prophet to the earth to unify His people, visit http://mormon.org/
Monday, October 18, 2010
I love this little message. Is it not true?
We all have burdens that need to be lifted. So lets always look to the source of the ultimate relief, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I recently have felt one of my burdens lifted from the Savior. Because of His atoning sacrifice, a wrong that I did, suddenly was made right through repentance. I know I have harmed many people in my past; and because of the natural man that I am, I will harm people in my future. Because of these experiences that I have gone through, I realize that I can do nothing on my own. I need help and assistance. No matter how much I try to "fix things" or "make things right", I fall short. I just can not do certian things on my own. There is some "fixing" that can only be done by him. Elder James Abbott needs mercy! I know now more than ever that "it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do."(http://scriptures.lds.org/en/2_ne/25) . We can not fully be forgiven or have fully burdens lifted on our own accout or efforts. We must turn to Him! We must do our part so He can do His. I thank God everyday for my sending His Son to save me and lift my burdens when I can't. He is the ultimate "fixer upper". Learn of Him and than turn to Him, so He can fix the mistakes that we all make. Remember, it is only beacuse of Him that my sins and your sins will be blotted out. I love Him.