9/20/14

I'm a fighter.

I met this turtle today at Petco. He's a cutie, eh?
Me and Mr. Turtle here bonded. I was walking around the fish tanks and saw the turtle tank. As I walked up, I noticed one turtle frantically clawing and kicking at the glass cage that he was in. I watched him for about ten minutes. He never stopped. He kept swimming and bumping into that dang glass wall. I wanted to cry as I watched him. "Stop Mr. Turtle! There's a wall there!" But he kept pushing and swimming and fighting. 

Sometimes I feel like Mr. Turtle. I'm coming up on a year since I came home (November 2) and it has been a year from hell. I've felt like I'm constantly fighting a battle against an invisible wall, trying to escape the depression that drags me down. I've kicked and clawed and fought and scratched. But the wall never seems to go away. 

I was talking to my parents about this phenomenon this week and my dad made an interesting comment. "Keep fighting. You can't give up. You may never get back to where you were before your mission, but that's alright. Because you've changed." 

Mr. Turtle is a fighter. He has gained strong muscles from kicking and clawing at his aquarium. I'm getting stronger in my fight. It has been a long, hard battle, and might continue to be so. But I've learned and I've become strong. I'm a fighter. 

9/7/14

Be My Guest:

Sometimes I get sick of listening to myself. And by that, I mean I get sick of only posting what I have to say. So, I am happy to introduce my first guest blogger, hopefully the first of many!




I’ll start this blog post off by introducing myself. I’m Tyler Jones and I am an early RM from the Washington Federal Way mission and Rachel asked me if I would write an article for her blog. I said I would give it a shot, so here goes nothing!

Recently I’ve been studying the Book of Mormon in a somewhat different manner. My bishop gave me a packet with a study guide by topic. Instead of reading the Book of Mormon from cover to cover you skip around a lot for specific sections on different topics. This study guide also points you to resources like the Bible Dictionary and Preach My Gospel. It’s changed the way I think about things and how I approach my study of the Book of Mormon.

I’ve been studying faith each night and a few items really stuck out to me. If we have the faith to follow in His footsteps it’s going to be a hard life. As Elder Holland put it: “Salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.”

While Elder Holland’s talk was directed specifically toward missionaries, I feel that this applies to all members of The Church. As we go through life we will be asked to do things that are hard and things that ask us to cry out as Joseph Smith did in his darkest hour in Liberty Jail: ““O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?”

If we have faith in The Lord Jesus Christ and in His principles and promises even the hardest of times can be filled with an uplifting light and hope. We need not ever feel alone as we walk through our own personal Gethsemanes. While I will occasionally struggle from day to day to find the faith to get out of bed in the morning, I know this to be true. Even in my hardest times the Lord has always been by my side to lift me up and to bear my burdens.

Faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the most important thing that we can have in this life. If we truly believe and have faith that Jesus is the Christ and he atoned for not only our sins but also all of our physical afflictions and pains then life becomes easier. 

Find the faith to look on the bright side!