Wednesday, December 29, 2010

NONE WERE WITH HIM

"Brothers and sisters, my. . . message today is intended for everyone, but it is directed in a special way to those who are alone or feel alone or, worse yet, feel abandoned. These might include those longing to be married, those who have lost a spouse, and those who have lost—or have never been blessed with—children. Our empathy embraces wives forsaken by their husbands, husbands whose wives have walked away, and children bereft of one or the other of their parents—or both. This group can find within its broad circumference a soldier far from home, a missionary in those first weeks of homesickness, or a father out of work, afraid the fear in his eyes will be visible to his family. In short it can include all of us at various times in our lives.
"To all such, I speak of the loneliest journey ever made and the unending blessings it brought to all in the human family. I speak of the Savior’s solitary task of shouldering alone the burden of our salvation. Rightly He would say: “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me. … I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold me.”
Watch this video.


The bitter sweet pain of life comes with a challenge. We must feel the bitter pain before the sweet will come. My last post about our challenges was symbolic to a "Warhead" but is so true. The Warhead is so sour right at the moment, but after a few minutes turns to sweet. I can tell you from experience that our trials of faith can and will turn into the sweetness of Christ. It will, but only if we let it. Just like Alma says "But behold, because of the exceedingly great length of the war(or our trial, challenge, sickness etc.) . . . many had become hardened, because of the exceedingly great length of the war(trial, challenge, sickness, etc.); and many were softened because of their afflictions, insomuch that they did humble themselves before God, even in the depth of humility." (Alma 62:41)

We too have to take our "trials, challenges, and sickness" and learn from them. Remember Christ bled from every pore. Remember him who suffered all, "For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all . . . . Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit. Take your trial, take it to the "depth of humility!!" Learn from it, remember it, and never give up!! "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."

“Blessed are they who … come down into the depths of humility and are baptized. …
“Yea, blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. …
“And blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. …

I promise you in the name of Jesus Christ, He cares, and He knows what YOU are feeling. He's suffered it, seen it and walked in your shoes, but just as he said to Joseph Smith,
. . . "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
"And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.
You will reap "rewards" from heaven, you will be blessed in your acts.  "Exalted on high," what could be better?



Sometimes we feel alone?  Why?

 You feel alone . . . I feel alone . . .  why . . .?   I don't know. . . . I ask the same questions at times. . . .-- Maybe so we could get up on our own and learn . . . . . Learn emptiness so we can feel the fullness of love.  I can just tell you one thing, when sorrow, doubt and fear pass, I feel ABLE, because I know God will help me.  Then in return God softens my heart so I can feel his love for his children. I can offer my sacrifice and broken heart to whatever he wants me to do, and they (meaning people who need the gospel) will feel it. We must take these experiences and learn from them, and ("soften" your heart with love) and not ("harden" your heart with anger).
"We cannot really feel charity—Christ’s love for others—without at least tasting His suffering for others, because the love and the suffering are but two sides of a single reality." (LDS.ORG)  And when we do come to feel and understand one millionth part of what our Savior bore we become "joint heirs" with his will.

I know these things to be true my brothers and sisters.  Your purpose lays waiting unwrapped underneath what seems to be impossible.  Though the tape is strong, and the cardboard isn't loose you can open your gift awaiting you at the end of your journey.
Ask yourself, ---will I take my trial? Will I overcome the world with Christ?-- Do try and understand why this is happening, because God does. He is ABLE!

Take care my good friends, and have a happy, safe new year. God be with you.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Bitter Sweet

Have you ever tasted of the intensifying impact of a sour object or food?  It devastates you, wakes one up, and merely sends shivers down you spine.  Your mouth may form a squint and tears create from your eyes. Even at times you can lose your senses or taste.  Whatever sour impact or experience you've had, it will always leave a mark, whether detailed deep in your soul, maybe physically marked or numbs your
tongue.



One example which is on my mind is the lip biting, puckering taste of the candy "Warheads".  The impact of this weapon no larger than a quarter, and comes with a verity of colors, even chewables.  Small, yet lethal when entered into the dark abyss of the mouth.  Those who know, have also endured the horrifying reality of sourness.


The power of the Warhead!!

The reason I write of the impact of such a eccentric candy is to the effect of our saviors atonement.  The sourness of His experience in this life.  He freely subjected to His Fathers will to endure the bitter, sour pain of reaching and fulfilling every gap of sin for us.  Just so we could humbly submit to our fathers will, and when offering our devotions of repentance, willing to change our acts, we could be healed-- clean from all unrighteousness, become something, someone our Father in heaven wants us to be. 

When we partake of sin, we embrace pain, we pay somewhat of the consequence for our actions.  For the moment some say, "all is lost" or "I cannot be healed of such sin".  I tell you my friends, "sin was never happiness", such as sourness is never sweetness.  The point I am trying to make is when we first feel, taste, live the life of sourness, we learn lessons.  We learn that through our savior Jesus Christ we can be healed from those pains.  The taste of the warhead is much more tolerable when the sourness is gone, just as if we repent and ask forgiveness we can partake of the tree of life, which is in Jesus Christ.

Look back into your past and ponder your most difficult trials.  How did you feel during and after the trial?  What did you learn?  How were you strengthened?  Why did god let this happen to you? 
 There is always a lesson to be learned.  There is ALWAYS a sweetness after our bitter trials.  But only through our Savior can we become 100% healed, clean, and sorrowful free from our mistakes or sins.

I know through His love we can be healed, we can be free.

Life is bitter but ever so sweet. 


 

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Light Unto All

TESTIMONIES OF CHRIST



To wrap up my Christmas blog this season I want to testify I know these things are true.
We will find TRUE happiness with the embracing love of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Come together with your family, feel the spirit with love and joy.
Choose Christ.
When we choose Christ we choose change, and when we choose Christ, he helps us change. And Changed men can change the world. Bring change into your heart this year, and be the example for your family. They need you.
This is my one of my favorite accounts of the Birth of Christ from a Prophet in America. The prophet's name is Nephi;

"behold, the prophecies of the prophets began to be fulfilled more fully; for there began to be greater signs and greater miracles wrought among the people.

"And it came to pass that he(Nephi) cried mightily unto the Lord all that day; and behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:
"Lift up your head and be of good cheer(Nephi); for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign(star) be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.

"For they(the people) knew that the prophets had testified of these things for many years, and that the sign which had been given was already at hand,

"And it came to pass also that a new star did appear, according to the word . . . . bringing glad tidings unto the people because of the sign which did come to pass, according to the words of the prophecy of all the holy prophets.

As a representative of Jesus Christ I add my words the those who were before me, I know the Savior lives. I know He Cares about each and everyone of us. Even me, a sinner, that through "faith in his name hath made this man(me) strong, whom ye see and know" http://lds.org/scriptures/nt/acts/3.16?lang=eng#15

Tonight, whoever you are, "that dwelleth in the land; yea, . . . . all, both old and young, both bond and free; yea, I say unto you the aged, and also the middle aged, and the rising generation" to have a MERRY CHRISTMAS.

With Love,

Elder Cameron Wright

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Song in the Night

PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO!!!



By focusing on your loved ones, enjoying or building holiday traditions, and following the Savior's example of service, you can give yourself and your family true, lasting Christmas gifts.

I am not the best writer or speaker, but if there was anyway to express my inter most burning feelings of this Christmas season, this video hits it. I love my Savior.. I love my family.. My wish this Christmas is to help someone, anyone in need. Simple acts of service make a difference!!
Take care, I love you all. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Greatest Gift, Part 2

I love these short clips about Christmas, they are by latter-day Apostles and a Prophet of our Savior Jesus Christ.



Christmas means the Christ child, the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger while angels sang and wise men traveled far to bring gifts. It is a beautiful and timeless story, and I hope that you will read it again this season.
I Challenge each and every one of you to read the account recorded in Luke chapter 2 and see if this next quote isn't true.
"Part of the purpose for telling the story of Christmas is to remind us that Christmas doesn't come from a store. Indeed, however delightful we feel about it, even as children, each year it 'means a little bit more.' And no matter how many times we read the biblical account of that evening in Bethlehem, we always come away with a thought—or two—we haven’t had before....
---Jeffrey R. Holland---

My Christmas is to share the gift of Christ with others, and to bear witness to them the truth of His message. I love you all. Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Greatest Gift

WATCH THIS VIDEO FIRST

.

I would be shocked to find out most of us haven't been in this situation. When we have some feelings of disappointment because "Santa" didn't bring us what we wanted. Although as we grow and come to understand the "GREAT GIFT" of Christ, we hold close to ourselves what is most precious and sweet. God so loved the world he sent His son, His Son so loved the father he gave himself for you and for me, we in return can show our love by keeping His commandments. As Christians we celebrate His birthday, and come together with our families. We show our love for him, and by so doing, he gives his love bringing the Spirit of Christmas into our homes. The power of unifying family is the Gift. "Giving, not getting, brings to full bloom the Christmas spirit. Enemies are forgiven, friends remembered, and God obeyed. The spirit of Christmas illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in people than things. To catch the real meaning of the “spirit of Christmas,” we need only drop the last syllable, and it becomes the “Spirit of Christ.”
--Thomas S. Monson--
I love my Savior, and I am ever needful for His love and support. I know He gazes over my trials, he understands my weaknesses, and feels the disappointment when I sin. I am ever grateful for the blessings in my life and family. Christ is Gods Gift for this world. What can WE give back to him this Christmas season? I leave these things with you in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas, the TRUE GIFT

Sometimes we can get lost in a world full of presents wrapped in colorful attire, sparkling lights and long lines at toy stores. Christmas spirit is indeed felt as we express our love for others by giving. But what does giving entail? Is it merely going to the crowded shopping malls and spending money that we sometimes don't have? I don't mean to preach to the choir because we all know this concept of how we really need to give.  This quote given by James E. Faust is one of my favorites:

"We all enjoy giving and receiving presents. But there is a difference between presents and gifts. The true gifts may be part of ourselves--giving of the riches of the heart and mind--and therefore more enduring and of far greater worth than presents bought at the store."


My note is that we focus this Christmas season not primarily searching for that "perfect" present, but to diligently search in our hearts "gifts" we can share with our family.  Open the door for an opportunity to serve your family, friends, and neighbors. This will be my second Christmas away from home. I can tell you family and friends are the Christmas Spirit. Merely being in their presence is the best gift one can give or receive.  Spread your arms and keep them tight within your love.
"As we seek Christ, as we find Him, as we follow Him, we shall have the Christmas spirit, not for one fleeting day each year, but as a companion always. We shall learn to forget ourselves. We shall turn our thoughts to the greater benefit of others" --Thomas S. Monson --
Presents come and go, but family gifts are eternal. Show your love by giving service, make breakfast, doing the dishes for your mother, cleaning your dad's car, give your mother a break and clean the house for the holidays. Simple acts are great acts of love, gifts deep within our heart are PRICELESS.  They will not and cannot be bought!  I love my family with all my heart, and I know the greatest gifts we can give are those simple acts and cherished moments with our family.Watch this video, it's one of my favorites.



"I, like you, need to remember the very plain scene, even the poverty, of a night devoid of tinsel or wrapping or goods of this world. Only when we see that sacred, unadorned child of our devotion—the Babe of Bethlehem—will we know why... the giving of gifts is so appropriate"
---Jeffrey R. Holland--
I know as we spend our time and give our special "gifts" with those who we love, you will feel the spirit of Christmas.  You will have the light of Christ present in your life.   Have a merry Christmas.


Picture from: timespaceorg.blogspot.com

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Masters Hand

Karate Kid
I want to briefly paraphrase the movie Karate Kid.  It demonstrates life lessons we can apply to our own lives by listening to Our Master. 
Daniel LaRusso moved from New Jersey to Reseda, CA, and finds it hard to adjust to life in the new city. He is promised a swimming pool and a beautiful house but when they get there, it was complete opposite.  His life in his eyes seems to be nothing but trouble after meeting some gangsters who only want misery for Daniel.  All he lives in his new promised land is continual rejection, harmful abuse and is afraid to show his face around high school. He meets handyman Mr. Miyagi, who takes naive Daniel under his wing and teaches him Karate and how life isn't all about power and strength. It's something deep within your soul that makes you what you are. Daniel is the underdog and faces the biggest challenge of his life, to overcome his enemies and become something great.


 This story relates to a Man who has touched Millions of God's children in this world: 
JESUS CHRIST, our Master.
He can take us in his hand and make spectacular designs.  But only if we let him, only if we keep his commandments.  By obedience to his commandments we learn who we are and who we can become.
Jesus said, "if ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15)  He will yoke with us any burden we have, any trial we face, and build us to who we want to become.
This is like Mr Miyagi: he taught Daniel to work, to clean and wax his cars, sand his deck, and paint his fence.  Daniel had no clue as to why he was performing such a task.  Although, he knew he had made him a promise, if he performed the task in which he was assigned, the master would show him the way.  Show him he could be a fierce fighter.

TRAINING BEGINS

"Up...Down...Up...Down....Up....Down....."

Paint the fence.  Not only paint them, but paint the way Mr Miyagi paints, Exactly!  No difference. 
Don't stop!  Through pain, weakness, or heart ache, don't stop!

What does this have to do with karate fighting?
How is painting a fence going to make me a good fighter?

Start again

"Wax on, wax off"... Wax on, wax off".. 


When you sand, Sand the exact way Mr Miyagi sands.  No difference.
The method of "wax on", "wax off" over and over again, don't stop until the job is finished.

By this time Daniel doesn't understand how this affects his ability to fight, to do anything of that matter. 
After losing the strength of his arm, he gives up.  Tells the master he's done with all the trials he faces.  He sees no need for the sweat which has been wasted on such a selfish task. 

 Why would the Master give such a trial?
How can this help me fight the battles of life?
Why does the Master make everything so difficult?

When we face difficulties, we may ask ourselves these questions.  The Master know all the reasoning behind our challenges. 

Mr Miyagi knew what was best for Daniel.  After the pain and suffering of all the work that had been accomplished, he was about to give up.  When the temptataions were about to take over him, the Master stepped into the picture to show him the meaning of his hard work. 
He had sculpted his shoulders, tightened his forearms, and strengthened his upper body.  The Master showed him the work truly paid off.  He was now fit to perform the act. 
Mr Miyagi, through trials had helped him become strong and ready to begin his life as a fighter.



Through our Master Jesus Christ, we will overcome challenges, and when trials seem to difficult, the Master gives us comfort.  He will sculpt us, and prepare us for eternal life.
Listen to the Master, and apply his atonement in your life.
The example of young Daniel will ever instil my mind to always listen to our Master.  Take his heed and counsel, He knows the way.


Pictures from: atxvibe.blogspot.com, deadspin.com

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

WAR OF LIFE

In our everyday world we fight two ongoing wars.  Unfortunately we see and hear the blood cry of war in various countries.  Wars are fought in behalf of power, pride, or prejudice genocide. 
The tension battles of North and South Korea, are beginning to become more tense.  Power struggles between two nations lead to unfortunate losses in recent days.
Sad to think our world faces such horrific challenges, with an outcome of a fractured nation or people.  Evil- inspired men seek for control and the poison of power.  These men gambit over such foolish traditions, seeding from the source of all lies: Satan. 

I am thankful for the men who risk their lives everyday for our benefit of freedom.


We fight Two battles everyday, between men inspired of the darkness, or the devil with His temptations, and all that is holy and good and pure.  Satan was "cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."  He is literally on this earth to "decieveth the world".  Satan has a plan for each of us, to make war against those who keep the commandments of God.  Alike those men today, Satan "seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself." (2 nephi 2:27)

The questions are, who can we trust? 
 How do we succeed in defeating our everyday battles?

As a missionary, I see the spiritual carnage every day on the front lines of this war between Satan and God.  They are both working for the souls of men.  Our God love us; His work and His glory is to bring to pass eternal life.  To bring happiness.  As any father loves his son or daughter, he yearns for us to succeed.  Our God anticipates our good decisions, he rejoices.  Who should we trust?  "In God we trust."  Trust in him who seeketh not his own, but for you.

How do we defeat our everyday battle of temptation? 
 1.  A simple answer--Prayer.  "Pray always, that ye may come off conqueror; yea, may conquer Satan,.."   Put on your armor before the day begins, "For we wrestle . . . against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world . . ."   Pray in the morning to withstand the evil day. --When you pray, Pray like it's all on God, when you do, Do like it's all on you.-- God expects us to act, and put on his "whole armor" of truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the spirit.  Believe his gift and apply it into your life and He says,"ye shall have eternal life."

      

2.  Scriptures.  Follow the words of Christ.  "See that whosoever lay hold upon the word of God . . . shall divide asunder all the cunning and snares and wiles of the devil" (Helaman 3:29), which shall lead the man of Christ through a gulf of misery to the right hand of God.

joseph-smith-holding-bofm1

This is literally a battle for our eternal lives.  We choose this day whom we serve, either God or mammon.  In a world of chaos, when you suddenly feel you're alone, give our God a chance to open your heart.  Take His "armor" to fight this everyday war. 

How do you fight the war of life?


Images from: Photobucket.com, wholenot.blogspot

Monday, November 22, 2010

SURVIVAL

DEER HUNT

We can survive the most wretched tribulations.  When the point of no return has begun, you will find yourself maintaining your existence.  I would like to relate my experience to a simple, yet scary experience.
As we take our journey into the mountains, driving up and down muddy roads, we scout our options and head up to the place of our desire.  It was a deep canyon, with a few miles of pine trees grouped at the bottom.  My brother dropped me and my father off at the tip top of the mountain, and told us, "I'll be back at dawn," with a big smile.  I was so excited, I couldn't wait to explore the vast variety of God's creations. 

Despite my excitement, my father warned me, "don't forget your survival kit," I whipped it into my bag and we were off. 
About 2 hours had past, the view of the canyon, and many wonders had caught my vision.  I was amazed how much humility can be brought to one when standing on top of a mountain. 

My attention was so caught away that I hadn't noticed what lay ahead for me and my father.  A storm was rolling to the west of us; much to our chagrin, it would hit before we could radio to my brother.  It had descended upon us like a thief in the night.  

Without warning the storm had let out snow the size of cotton balls, and after no time, began to reach my ankle, then my shin, and to the middle of my hip.  My father was beginning to worry.  Me a 12 year old boy and 55 year old man stuck on a 10,000ft mountain; as the story takes its twist, we could not do anything but wait.

After two or three hours, I became uneasy.  We set out and found cover in a small cove of trees, where we could stay free from wind and snow.  I gathered wood, bark and all I could find to start a fire.  We both came close to our small but warm fire and huddled until the storm had passed. 

It was the longest 2 hours of my life.  I contemplated how we were going to survive--how could we live through such horrible circumstances?  I told myself we were doomed to eternal misery on top of this lifeless mountain.  But that was not the case; I had been prepared.  I brought my survival kit, which included a knife, matches, blanket, food, and water.  It was enough to survive for a couple days.

Why should I have worried?  I had my father with me, even though I felt alone.  When I was young and scared, I didn't know the mountain well, but my father did.  He knew the plan, the path, he knew what I needed to be safe.  That is why he warned me to bring my survival kit. 

I want to relate this story to our Heavenly Father.  He cares and He knows what we are going through.  He knows the path, the way.  He sent his son Jesus Christ to comfort us and create a path for us to return to him.  Heavenly Father knows the way to be safe.  Have patience, read His word and He will show you the way.

Although I was nervous and losing touch with hope, my father looked at me and said, "everything will be ok, the storm will pass."  Those short words comforted me like a warm blanket.  Everything will be ok. 
As time went by, the storm eventually passed, and we were able to walk down the mountain to our destination.  

We need to listen to our fathers more, not only our ''earthly fathers'' but our Heavenly Father. 
"Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?"

 Just as the survival kit could have saved our lives, Heavenly Father has given us spiritual survival kits.  Scriptures, Prophets, and the Holy Ghost.  We need to be in tune, and remember His survival kits.

How do you survive your hardest storms?


Photo from: http://www.snowscenes.net/

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Online Experience




As a missionary I see hundreds of people each week. I talk to everyone. I work with the members in our wards in Ukiah, California which is part of the California Santa Rosa Mission.
 


Elder Chris Spendlove (left)  Elder Cameron Wright (right)
Elder Chris Spendlove and I invite people to come unto Christ and would love to share the gospel with any of your friends or family near us.

My experience on my mission has been without a doubt a life changing experience. With the growth of technology and the cyber world we live in today, we needed to expand our horizon and take step towards reaching those who are ready to hear the gospel using social media techniques. Those who are willing to follow Christ.

Being a missionary is the most difficult experience I have faced in my short twenty years of life. There has been heartache, discouragement, and the evil one creeping into my mind from time to time. Although it has been rough, my mission has been a LIFE CHANGING experience, that money couldn't buy and is worth the effort.

Online missionary work to me is complementary with regular proselyting missionary work. We invite, we find, and we teach. I have found it very useful in my day-to-day activities, particularly using it for finding people who are hard to catch at home or are otherwise busy. I send them my blog posts or I  send them a Facebook message. I ask them about their fears, desires or wants. I refer them to Mormon.Org to read my experience or others real life stories of people struggling with similar concerns. Anything to open a door for a question, or concern about there own life. I know it helps with missionary work to use these new tools for communication.

I hope to find better ways to find, teach, and bring those who are searching for the truth unto Christ. Bring those who need to be aided by his hand, giving love, and comfort.

[Image]I know through our online missionary efforts, we can help the Savior with His work in bringing His lost sheep unto him.  I know these things to be true. I am here to help those in the Ukiah, California area find answers to their gospel question. Check out my blog to get to know me better:
http://www.eldercameronwright.blogspot.com/

Or contact me via Facebook or my email.
Elder Cameron Wright, California Santa Rosa Mission (LDS Online Missionary)
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Sunday, November 14, 2010

FAMILY MATTERS

What matters most?






I know with our Savior we can strengthen our families. 
We don't have to fill the loneliness of heart.  We can be strong in our Saviors love.
My family is an example of few.
We are still together, not because of us, but because of Christ
.
I know through a living prophet, our Heavenly Father has revealed principles for us to live by.
We can be safe from the world's evils.

"BE A LIVING MODERN WITNESS IN WORD AND DEED
OF THE DIVINITY OF HIS GREAT, AND LATTER-DAY WORK
HOW GREAT IS OUR CALLING"

THE WRIGHT FAMILY

My Mother and Father

Oldest Brother

Second brother

Third brother

Fourth brother

Then me


The "fruits" of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Matthew 7:20) 
A wonderful family who loves each other.  Comforts those who stands in need of comfort, lifts those who need to be lifted.  Fills each other with gratitude and kindness.
 When one has a stormy day, the other unfolds the umbrella.  We are here to be with our family, not only for time, but for eternity.
"And, ye fathers . . . . bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
The gospel of Jesus Christ will unify your family.  Bring them together and strengthen them against He who wants to destroy your family.
I love my family, I am so grateful for the sacrifices my mother and father have made for me and my brothers.  They really put up with a lot.

HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOUR FAMILY?

http://www.mormon.org/family/

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"THE BOYS"

I want to begin with a story which happened to me about nine months ago.  I was serving as a missionary in the small town known as Middletown. Fits its name right, really small.
The start of a long road had accompanied me and further training was needed.  I was currently on an exchange, or a training guideline with a older, more experienced missionary.  To detail the story somewhat more, we were on this exchange north of Middletown, in the city of Clearlake.  To all those who know Clearlake they can tell you somewhat more of the surroundings of this wrecked and rusty little town.  People are poor and the roads have three foot pot holes every ten feet.  Half of the town is paved with dirt and ditches, where if you don't have a four wheeled vehicle, you wouldn't make it to your destination.  As you can imagine, old buildings with dark and dreary bars, streets covered by those who infest the late hours of the night.  "Depressed city" would be a good name for this sad little town.  
I want to tell a story which evolves a family of five boys, one little girl and a single grandmother. 
As I was on this exchange with an missionary named Elder Wilkerson, he told me about a humble and loving family, who the missionaries called "The Boys".
The day swiftly went by, as we taught the Gospel of Christ to all those who would receive it.  Around 7:30 in the evening we drove our truck down a small dirt road, heading towards a trailer park on the edge of the Clearlake.  We pulled up, put the truck into park and discussed what our lesson would be.  As we were conversing, I peered around to see our surroundings.  The trailer we had pulled in front of was old and the paint had faded to a degree of red, the molded, cracked deck was falling into pieces.  The overhang of the deck was made out of fiberglass and was beginning to come apart.



We jumped out of the truck, stepped onto the wobbling wood steps and knocked at the sliding door. With hand prints and smudges on the glass, an older woman drug the door open.  She grimaced with a overwhelming smile and said, "Elders, come on in."  The first thing she did was yell, "BOYS!! the missionaries are here to teach!"
She was so happy we had taken the time to come over to her house.
Our next movement was welcomed into the small 15 ft x 30 ft trailer.  I felt as if I was dungeoned into a small cave and given no oxygen to breathe.  The midst of the home was covered in cigarette smoke and only a two seat couch, which was taken by an older man in his 70's.  The floor was a smashed down carpet, leaving a person to think it was tile.  The couch was ripped, kitchen floor was cut, and the mold from the wet winter had seeped in the ceiling.  From my encounter, these people were very poor, and had little money to spare.
Surprisingly, in the corner of my eye I noticed some "Boys" walk down a shoulder to shoulder hall way.  One at a time they filed into the room to meet the missionaries.  Each of these boys (not to mention a small girl about 6 years of age) were holding a set of scriptures and were cleaning up for dinner. The oldest boy was in his mid teens, I would say 15, and the youngest of the 6 was a six year old girl.
The grandmother of the boys led the children into the small kitchen, where stood a round table, with a red cloth laying over it.  Around we gathered with six dinner bowls, and a pot filled with a watered down roast beef soup.  The grandmother handed me a large spoon and said, serve the children.  I did as I was told, and served one by one till all the bowls were filled with scanty portions of the supper.
After every bowl was filled, Grandma expressed gratitude for us being in their home, and mentioned a prayer would be necessary before they began their meals.
The oldest began with a humble prayer of gratitude.  As the silence filled the room, everyone bowed their heads and he began his prayer, thanking Heavenly Father for everything he had in his life: his shoes, shirt, socks, baseball, food, school, and his grandmother, etc.  He told Heavenly Father he loved him, and  he was so thankful for all the blessing he had in his life.  He asked if he could have an opportunity to play a sport in high school.  He asked God for safety, to watch over his little brothers and sister; to watch over his mother who was, unfortunately, in jail for drug abuse; to be with him throughout his day and night. 
After a close of his humble prayer,  I looked at my companion with tears in my eyes, and couldn't hold back. He was so thankful for all the blessings he had in his life and what seemed to me as nothing.  This family's possessions were of no worth--they had no vehicle, owned nothing of any worth, yet this boy was so thankful for what he did have.
When the first was over, the next child had a turn to pray over the food to thank our Heavenly Father for all the blessings they have had received.  One after another, they all gave thanks for the blessings in their lives.  My companion and I were in drowning tears.  I couldn't hold back the water from my eyes.  My heart was touched by the love of God for His children.  He cared for each and everyone of these kids, and they knew it.  They knew God!  They understood Him far more than I did at that point in my life.
I was greatly humbled this day.  I really know why we need to be grateful.  We have so much.  Our Heavenly Father loves us and knows what blessings we receive in our lives.

This led me to become more grateful and to write a post about my experience.

One of our Latter-day Apostles gave a wonderful talk concerning the Christlike Attribute of Gratitude. Gratitude is thankfulness, or appreciation of a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.  Being grateful for someone or about something, is a great characteristic one can achieve by love and caring.
The attribute of Gratitude has been on my mind for quite some time.  I keep reflecting my life at home, seeing the things I could have done better.  My family is my support, and I somewhat took advantage of their love and kindness.  I need to be more GRATEFUL!!
I can't name all the wonderful blessings in my own life.  I thank my Heavenly Father for all the things I have in my own life. Sometimes when we get down on ourselves, we don't realize or remember our wonderful blessings.
President Monson Quotes:
"We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude".   

I would like to thank my mother for carrying me for nine months of her life, waking up sick, wanting to eat but her body rejecting any piece of  food she struggled to inhale, then putting up with me for 20 years.  Thanks Mom.
I am grateful for my father who would push me and push me to do my chores, waking me up for work everyday, giving me the gift of carpentry, and showing me love when I made unwise decisions.
I'm thankful for my grandparents that tuned into the foundation of righteousness, and setting good examples for generations to come.
 We truly have been given so much.  I cannot wait until the day I can give my grandpa a big hug and tell him I love him.  I would tell him so much.  Fortunately someday I will see him and I will give him a big hug.  I will thank him. We need to be grateful for what we have now!!
We all have different stories but we can still find something, anything we are thankful for.  God loves us.  He wants us to be thankful for everything we have.  When we have nothing, we have God, and he truly is all we need.
 "ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE"  As we have a Grateful heart, we will see Heavenly Fathers blessings in our life.  He sincerely does care about Everyone!!

Sincerely,

Elder Cameron Wright

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Safety for MY soul

  The Testimony of the Book of Mormon
  1. Have you ever wondered if the Book of Mormon is the word of God?
  2. Was Joseph Smith a prophet? 
  3. Did he really see God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ?
Watch this Video Clip



Joseph Smith gave his life for our Savior Jesus Christ.  He died for him like unto apostle's of old.  Remember the history of Paul?  He was well to do in the Jewish culture. His birthright, education, and standing in the Jewish community was of high honor. He said, "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, "  He was taken later in life and killed for what he manifested to be the word of God.

Many of the Apostles were martyred, for the sake of Christ, and God. 
Andrew and Bartholomew, both being put to death by Crucifixion. James, Son of Alphaeus, was stoned to death by the Jews. James, Son of Zebedee, was killed by King Herod. The brother of James, John the baptist, was beheaded for the ministry.  For the Cause of Christ.

We see that these men died and sealed their testimonies with their very own blood.   Joseph Smith being a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, sealed his testimony with his OWN blood.  The work of the ministry can and will move forward.  Joseph Smith brought back the small and simple truths that were lost, taken and misunderstood to be understood.  Through Joseph Smith, Christ could bring back His gospel to its fullest.  By reading the Book of Mormon, you can pray about its message and gain your own conviction.
 
"We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10: 3-5.)
"Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is his revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah. "
 
I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.  I know those who receive an answer of it's truthfulness will have many questions answered.  I know Heavenly Father loves us, and he wouldn't leave us here alone not knowing the secrets of Him.  He called a Prophet to guide us in these latter-days.  I know through our Savior Jesus Christ, we can receive salvation, and the comfort in these comfortless days.  Please comment and write your testimony of the Book of Mormon.  Feel free to write your thoughts.

Monday, November 8, 2010

SIMPLE ACTS OF SERVICE

This last Tuesday after one of our missionary meeting went out to lunch.  Which is unusual because of the limited funds we have.  As me and my companion walked into a well known Mexican restaurant, we were noticed by an older man, maybe in his sixties or seventies.
He said, "Do you work at Safeway?"  (Which we get a lot of because of our black name badges.)
We replied, "No, we don't work at Safeway, but we are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ.."
Drinking from his coffee cup, gave us a different look, being a little embarrassed by his accusation.  We both smiled and he asked us where we were from. 
We replied, "UTAH."
The conversation went back and forth about subjects of family and interest.  He asked us why we had black name badges and in uniform.  I explained our purpose as missionaries and invited him to learn more.  I asked him if there was any type of help he was needing around the house, garden or anything. 
He stopped, looked up from his coffee cup and said, "Are you an Electrician?''
"No" I said, "but I can do the small things." 
Almost tipping over in his chair, Said  "I need someone to help me put batteries into my smoke alarm.  Can you help me?  The smoke detectors keep me and my neighbors awake because of the beeping."

It was a simple job to be done.  I told him no problem.  We exchanged information, and agreed in one hour we would meet him outside of his house.
The hour went by and came time to meet our new friend.  As we walked into his square apartment, by the looks of his one seat couch, he hadn't had many people into his home.  He lived alone, with only a small radio as his company.  He was a retired vet, living off of what seemed to be nothing.
The old man showed us the project he had in store for us and set up a small latter.  He handed the batteries to my companion Elder Bevan, and took up his long arms to adjust the smoke detector.
 Out of the blue this old man started yelling at us.  He said, "YOU BE CAREFUL! Don't screw it up!  Can you read?! Open your eyes and read!!  You don't know anything about this!  You broke my smoke detector!!" 
Consistently he told us we didn't know what we were doing.  He said to Elder Bevan, "open your eyes to see."  Ranting and raving, he kept giving us rude remarks about how we had no clue what we were doing. 
I about had enough of his yelling and telling us we had no idea what we were doing.  Just a simple act of service was my objective.  Not to be yelled at for trying to help.
After we figured out the problem with the smoke detectors, and put in the batteries.  The beeping noise coming from the smoke detectors had shut off.  The old man finally realized we weren't crazy and settled down a few seconds.  He put away his ladder, and paused in the middle of his room.  Looked at me and Elder Bevan, and told us how grateful he was for what we had done for him.  He said, "Now I can get some sleep tonight."  The old man was so thankful for us.  He took out his wallet and willingly wanted to give us money.  We told him no, but thanks and gave him a card and told him we would be back to visit.
It was interesting to be in this mans home.  He had no family, small possessions and little to entertain him.  Although he was ranting and raving, but was so grateful for our service. 
The Lord wants us to be a tool in his hands.  Sometimes we don't understand all the reasons of the Lord, but there is always something in store for us.  The Lord used me and my companion to serve, even though at a time I didn't know why we should have been helping this crazy old man when he was yelling at us.  But I found out soon after how thankful he was for our help.
"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."  Ask Heavenly Father to help you serve others, to place you into opportunities to serve.  As you do so the Lord will bless you and your family because of your love and kindness. 
Check out this web page about service and how it can bless your life. http://www.mormon.org/service/

I know how service can bless us in our lives.  I know that when I do help and give service I feel better about myself.  I can have a comfort in my heart telling me my service was acceptable.  Service is love towards our Heavenly Father.  He cares for you and me.  Write an experience you had in the past about service?  Why it changed your life or the life of someone else.  How did you feel the love of God in your life?  When did you need service the most?  Did Heavenly Father send help?  
I love stories so let me know..

Friday, November 5, 2010

FOR A CAUSE

F.A.I.T.H  
" Forsaking All I'm Trusting Him"
When lifes greatest battles are fought, they are battled on the frontier of your F.A.I.T.H.
Do you trust our Eternal God to take your wounds and heal them?
How can we show Him our love by "forsaking all?"

As a missionary we give all we have for the space of two years to our Heavenly Father.  We know what we share is true. 
  "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. "
This life is the time to prepare to meet God, we only have 100 years to prepare.  It's difficult at times, but its worth the fight.  We must not, we cannot give in to the enticing temptations of the Enemy.  He knows us and can strike at anytime.  We must "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Ephesians 6:11-17)

We must be prepared to understand what is right and what is wrong by having the spirit of truth within us.  Everyone has a weakness.  Heavenly Father knows it, and also Satan.  Protect yourself by supplicating your thoughts, deeds, and actions unto Heavenly father!  He loves you and wants you to win the battle fought each and every day. 

WE FIGHT FOR THE CAUSE OF CHRIST

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Who You are

Do you know who you are?

Stand at the mirror. Stare deep into your own eyes, search the inside maze of your life and then close your eyes. Sense the silence, listen close, and say a soft prayer..... Heavenly Father are you there?

I know he is. I know we are children of him who loves us. We have an Identity.

What is your True Identity?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Christ is There

A year ago during the summer, I was making plans to come on a LDS mission(which I am serving now).  I was preparing myself by working at my dads sign business, saving up the necessary funds to come on a mission, and studying to become a effective teacher. 

I received my call in Las Vegas, Nevada, approximately around ten o'clock at night.  My mother calling me on the phone, telling me where I was called to serve. 

She told me "Called to serve in the Santa Rosa, California Mission."  First thing that went through my mind was, Santa Rosa California?  Where in the World could it be?  I had no clue where this place was, I had the idea it was southern, towards the border of Mexico.  It was a bit surprising to learn it was on the opposite end of the state, Northern California. I looked on a map and peace instantly came over me.  I was needed here.  Thoughts kept running through my head, what was it like there?  Who's going to be my first companion?  What are the people like?  I was so excited.

Just for your information I had never left my home for more than a week, especially from my parents. 
The excitement of going on a mission was overwhelming. As a couple months went by, the day grew closer to enter into the training field.  It came very soon.  The day I reported to the missionary life of the MTC(Missionary Training Center), I quickly expressed my gratitude to my parents, gave them both hugs and I was off on the journey.   Feelings of joy, anxiousness, and desire were swelling in my whole body.  As I walked off, my parents were filled with joyous, happy tears.  I was ready to go.

Everything was perfect, I was learning, teaching, and was in the center of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 
The day came when I entered into the field, it was wonderful. My first area was Middletown, California.  I loved it, nothing could take away my joy and excitement.  My companion was awesome, the area was beautiful, and life couldn't be changed. 

After about 4 weeks in the mission field everything from the change had settled down.  My new life had begun.  I quickly realized something... something I hadn't felt in my whole life.....I missed home.....I missed my family, friends, and the activities I enjoyed at home.  Everything felt so distant in my life.  People who I cared about were so far away.  I...just...missed them.

For the first time in my life I felt alone.  Rejection became more noticeable, people didn't understand how I felt.  It was dark, and even in the light I couldn't feel the warmth.  Everything seemed to be lost, my desire, excitement, and joy faded away.  I wanted to give in to the world, to go home.  The contempt of the inadequacy had entered into my mind.  The torture inside, or Satan working diligently to bring you down is treacherous.  I was sure I could do this by myself,  that I could conquer the pain. 
  
Two or three weeks later, I was reading a talk given by Elder Holland(one of many leaders of our church).  He Directed his talk to those who feel completely alone.  Those who have felt forsaken, betrayed, befriended, or lost.  This talk was directed straight to me or anyone who has felt these bitter pains. 
Although I was troubled by my own fears or discouragement, I had missed the whole point of the Saviors ministry. I didn't understand his gospel, his work.  I didn't realize, I could use Him who knew me and knew how I was feeling.  He walked the road of every trial, pain, sickness and temptation for us.  I could use him, I could understand he would be there to help me.  He knows what I felt.  In the Gospel of John, Jesus Said, "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you."  He will walk beside you during your trails, take his yoke. Understanding he was the only one who could help me overcome my challenges was difficult or hard for me to grip.  My problem was not letting him in or giving him a chance to work His miracle into my heart.  After much prayer and reading the scriptures, I let him into my life.  .  One of my favorite quotes is "When you choose Christ, you choose to change."  I needed to change, and I did.
  In Romans we read,  "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come...Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

I am so thankful for the Sacrifice Christ made.  For in Him we are made alive, through Him each of us can live the love of God, and by Him all things are possible.  Don't separate yourself from god.  He cares for you!!  All he wants from us is putting our trust in him.  "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all  these things shall be added unto you."  (3 Nephi 13:33)  He promises us great blessings, he is bound when we do what he says, but when we do not what he says, we have no promise.  Great things await us.

Take his yoke, and not only overcome your situations, but defeat them with glory.  We are in a fight everyday against those who do not want us to be happy.  Those who want us to be against God.  Pray always to conquer him who upholds his work.  Heavenly Father is there for each and everyone of us.  We are His spirit children.  I know these things to be true, in His name, Jesus Christ, amen.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Beauty of Forgiveness


Repentance and forgiveness has been on my mind for quite some time.  I feel urged to write about my experiences with repentance, and feeling forgiveness.  Everyone who has inhabited this earth has sinned or made mistakes.  Some mistakes or sins are larger than others, and some are small, but we all make mistakes.  When we use our agency to make decisions, we have the opportunity to learn and grow, or to be careless and fall.  When we make a decision there is always a consequence, whether it be good or bad. 
 For example, driving over the speed limit may have an effect on the cause.  Cause; You, overlooking the speed limit and becoming vulnerable to the law.  Effect; You then have to face the consequence of paying for an unwanted ticket
  We've all gone through those routines in our daily lives.  We see the effects of wrong choices everyday in our small world.  When we make wrong choices, we have a guilt or sorrow weighing on our shoulders, which has a negative effect on us throughout our days, weeks and unfortunately, months.  It can drag us down.   Fortunately we have the Savior to help us make it through and obtain forgiveness.
A few months ago I had made some "Mistakes" in which brought me grief and pain.  There was a person who I needed to seek and ask for forgiveness.  I had talked with our Heavenly father about the situation and required of him what I should do.  Like any father would say, he told me to give up my sin and confess so I may continue my life with no hinderment.  
As months went on, I procrastinated the time to ask for sincere forgiveness.  The thought of what I had done kept creeping into my mind.  What does the Savior think?  What does he expect of me? I came to the conclusion that I needed to give up my fear and confess what I had done wrong.  I gave the person a call and talked with him for a time. We counseled with each other and it became a learning experience.  Everything is OK, and now I feel good, released, and a weight lifted off of me.  I could feel Christ working his miracle in my life.
   Do not wait to use our loving Savior, to take us in his arms, to release the bitter pain of regret. 
 “Do not endeavor to excuse yourself in the least point."
"For most, repentance is more a journey than a one-time event. It is not easy. To change is difficult. It requires running into the wind, swimming upstream. Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” Repentance is turning away from some things, such as dishonesty, pride, anger, and impure thoughts, and turning toward other things, such as kindness, unselfishness, patience, and spirituality. It is “re-turning” toward God."
Let us take up his cross, give up our pride and look towards the love of God to help us in our lives.  Do what is right, keep the commandments and love thy neighbor as thy self.  When we feel fear of confessing, or repenting to Heavenly father, remember fear doesn't come from God.  He(Satan) doesn't want you to become free from sin, he wants you feel like your at a dead end.  In my case I felt I was at a dead end, he held me down only for a time.  The Savior will show you the path.
He said, "will ye not now return unto me,
 and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?
Let him heal you, like he healed me.  I know through the power of repentance and forgiveness we can be free from burden.  We can become clean through him, who makes sins which are scarlet, as white snow.  Become free through him who forgives.
What does Christ expect of you?  How can you change for him?


Friday, October 29, 2010

Lessons I Learned as a Boy

As we help others we can notice the change in their lives , and also our own lives. We can make a difference.


"Christ changes men, and changed men change the world."


What are you going to change today?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Catch the Faith

Looking over a cliffs edge, seeing the amazing wonder of Gods beautiful creations
He ponders thoughtfully of his life and what God wants for him

Suddenly a gust of wind catches him towards the bottom of the steep rigid mountain
He catches a branch,  and holds on tight
He crys out loud, "Lord help me!"
 The Lord replies; "Do you believe I created the wind that caught hold of you?"
He earnestly says, "Lord I do."
"Do you believe I can create a wind to carry you to life?"
As he closes his eyes, he says, "I do Lord"



Christ softly whispers, "Then let go."


How great is your faith?  Do you trust God? 
How can you let him catch you when you fall?

Trust in him who knows you.  Trust he will love you to help you.
I know with Faith ALL things are possible..



Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blessings of Adversity

What is Adversity?
Adversity:  Adverse fortune or fate; a condition marked by misfortune, calamity, or distress.

 The root word of adversity is adverse. 

What is adverse?
Adverse :  Preventing success or development; harmful; or unfavorable.

Why does God let adversity happen?

My family owns a small sign business in Ogden Utah.  It's a small business which means few workers and few large orders of signs.  Just like any other business, when times were hard, money scratching months were put in place to cover your expenses.  You needed to be careful an what you spent. 
There was a time towards the end of my senior year of high school, money came short.  I was playing Lacrosse, and having a good time with my few remaining months of high school.  My parents came to me one day and told me the situations at work. With tears in both of their eyes, asked me to give up my beloved sport and put my effort towards the family business.  They both knew how much Lacrosse meant to me, but to keep the business running was our first priority. 
 I was crushed, we were in the championship finals, and my team needed my help.  I asked myself why? 
Sometimes we don't always understand why. Sometimes it takes time.  We got through the hard times of the business, but I learned a very strong lesson. Through the trial of maybe loosing everything I possessed, I learned one of the most important lessons in my life.  I still had my family, I still trusted my Heavenly Father would take care of my parents.  Nothing can take our faith away, but yourself. 

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf  once said;
"It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life’s story will develop. He says to you, as He(Heavenly Father) said to Joseph Smith, “[Your] adversity and [your] afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if [you] endure it well, God shall exalt [you] on high.”3 Enduring adversity is not the only thing you must do to experience a happy life."

As we face adversity there is always a lesson to be learned, a problem to be fixed, and a trial to be faced.  We become strong!!  What doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger. 
I know our Heavenly Father is watching over us and wants us to overcome our trials with success.  It is up to us to make the most out of our trials.  To learn and grow or fall and become weak..

How do you overcome adversity?