October 27, 2013

-sunday thoughts

Today I woke up, nervous as could be. I was asked to speak a few weeks ago in my new singles ward on becoming a witness of Christ and I would like to share with you bits and pieces of my talk-sharing my thoughts, experiences, and testimony.

 Right when I heard “BECOMING A WITNESS OF CHRIST”, the very first thing that came to my mind was, missionary work. For those of you that know me, you know that I absolutely love and adore missionaries.

I love writing them. I love supporting them. I love their sweet testimonies. I love that they carry a special spirit with them at all times. I love honking and waving at them when I see them on the streets. I love their willingness to serve. I love that they are representatives of Jesus Christ and are bringing souls unto him…. I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK!!

With me loving missionaries so much, I thought it was appropriate to write them, asking what BECOMING A WITNESS OF CHRIST meant to them and how it has affected their missionary experiences so far. I want to start off by sharing what they wrote back about their thoughts, testimonies, and experiences of truly BECOMING A WITNESS OF CHRIST.

Elder Dahlberg serving in Leon Mexico said…. We should pray to God with all of our heart so that we can be filled with the love that he has given to us, that one day we can appear to be like him and to be pure like he is pure. Mom told me once; the right thing and the hard thing are often the same thing. It isn’t always easy and it is a lifetime process to become a TRUE witness of Christ, but that is what we are called here to do.

Elder Rummler also serving in Leon Mexico said… To be a witness of Christ, we need to first gain a testimony by living it. Walk in his shoes, feel a little of what he felt and then share it with others.

Elder Dingman serving in San Diego California said…. With the help of the Holy Ghost we can strive and live as if we have seen him and share our testimonies to others. We don’t need a perfect knowledge to live like we do. That is why faith is so powerful. We did know him before this life and we will all know him after. Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that he is the Christ.

Elder Marberger serving in South Carolina said… Being a witness of Christ is NOT a monumental task. It can be as simple as loving someone or following a prompting of the Holy Ghost, sharing the gospel with someone, and most importantly; keeping our baptismal covenants. The Savior loves us all. We can show our Savior we love him by showing charity and love to all people. Learning to love the Savior- you will learn Christ-like attributes to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ.

Now as you see, no matter where you are in the world or what your story is.  Whether you are at home, or a full time missionary. Becoming a witness of Christ and being an example to others is a very important key to the gospel.

 All of us who are baptized and confirmed have taken upon the name of Jesus Christ and it is our commitment to stand as a witness of God at all times.

I was given a talk to read by Elder D. Todd Christofferson to base my talk off.
He explains what truly being a witness of Christ is, in three ways.
We are a witness of Christ when we receive a sure personal testimony that he lives, we are a witness of Christ when we live so as to reflect his teachings, and we are a witness of Christ when we help others come unto him.

I would like to share with you some personal experiences that have strengthened my testimony and helped me to become being better at standing as a witness of Christ.

ONE-----We are told that we are being a witness of Christ when we receive a sure, personal testimony that he lives.

Some testimonies may be small or they may be big.  They may be struggling or they may be strong. No matter where you are, each week that we come and feel of the spirit, our testimony grows and our love for the savior becomes stronger and stronger. I am so thankful for all of your examples and testimonies because they make my testimony stronger. Each time I feel of the spirit, it is a sweet reminder and a witness to me that the savior truly lives and loves us. He knows and cares us individually. He knows our story and wants us to be happy and successful.  He knows the big picture and has a plan for each one of us.

Two-----We are a witness of Christ when we live as to reflect his teachings.

We are told to-“Hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. “ Elder D. Todd Christofferson said, “People should be able to see in us something of Jesus Christ.” “The way we act, speak, look, and even think will reflect him and his ways.”

Throughout my life I have been blessed to have friends of the same faith. They love the gospel and live their lives very righteously. They build me and help me to stay on the straight and narrow path.
A few months ago I had an experience that strengthened my testimony. For our senior trip seven of my closest friends decided to go to Hawaii. Each of us brought our moms to tag along. 14 girls in total, to say the least, we had the time of our lives.
One day we decided to go take surfing lessons, getting out of the car excited as ever, smiling and laughing, we started our lesson.

After a few minutes in the ocean on the surfboards, the surf instructor turned to us and asked if we were Mormon girls.  We quickly responded to him yes. He soon explained that he knew the moment we stepped out of the car that we were Mormon because of they way we talked, acted, and dressed.  He had told us that he wasn’t a member and wasn’t very interested in being apart of the gospel. He emphasized on how Mormons always seemed to be happy and thanked us for having a special light that made him happy.

To us we woke up that morning thinking we were just going to have surfing lessons and little did we realize others were watching us and noticing the way we talked and acted. That experience has really strengthened my testimony to each day, act in a way to represent the savior because you never know who is watching or listening to you. We can stand as witness of Christ by showing others our light of Christ that we carry with us as members of the church.

Three--- We are a witness of Christ when we help others come unto him.

Missionary work. We don’t have to be set apart as full time missionaries to help other comes unto Christ. We can be our own missionaries each day at home, to our friends, at work and school.

When I was fourteen years old, I had the opportunity to take a nonmember friend to EFY with me. I told her if she came to EFY with me, I would go to her Baptist church with her and her family for a few weeks. She agreed and came. At the first of the week, she didn’t open up and had told me she wanted to go home multiple times. Little by little- each lesson and testimony she heard she started to open up, participate, and ask questions. At the end of the week, we had testimony meeting. Half way through the meeting she turned to me with tears in her eyes and whispered, “Brooke, I feel like god is setting next to me.”  With tears in my eyes and a warm heart, I turned to her and explained that, that was the spirit she was feeling.

Although my dear friend still isn’t a member, I know on that Summer day sitting on the bench at testimony meeting as fourteen year old girls, The Savior let her feel of his love for her. He planted a seed in her heart and let her feel of his spirit. I hope that someday, maybe soon or maybe down the road, that seed that was planted that day will grow and she will turn to the Savior to know and love him. Missionary work is so important. I challenge all of you to reach out to that nonmember friend to come to church and church activities, so they have the opportunity to feel of the Saviors spirit and love, let Heavenly Father place that seed in their heart to learn and grow.

 I know that we each have different trials, temptations, and struggles. We all have a different story. I know that it is our commitment as members of the church to be a witness of Christ, by doing our missionary work, serving others, sharing our testimonies, reflecting and living the teachings of the gospel, and helping others come unto the Savior.  I know that by doing these things we will be blessed. The savior knows you and knows your story. Hold on to the iron rod and never fall away. The gospel is the key to true happiness.

( sorry for the long post,  but I thought it was appropriate to share with you on this beautiful Sunday evening and I hope somehow, someway it touched you.)

Wanna know the other great thing? My parents were down for the weekend for a nice weekend visit AND they got to come listen to me speak. People say, you don't realize what you have until it is gone. I find this to be very true, you truly don't realize how much you love and miss the people you love, until you are apart from each other. I love my family and am so happy they could come to St. George for a lovely weekend visit.

I am so happy the stresses of the church talk are finally over. YAY!

One last thing- I got to Dixie, where the weather is absolutely perfect- clear skies, warm air, red rocks, and last but not least- PALM TRESS EVERYWHERE. (Livin' the dream, right?) 

Sunday walks with a best friend to end a perfect Sunday. 
Tomorrow is Monday ( bummer, right?). I need another day in between Sunday and Monday. The weekends never seem long enough. 

Enjoy your week friends.

p.s- who is as excited as me for Halloween on Thursday?


Love- B|Dee

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