Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dobra Dan! Saratov and a Quote

My hands have been full with studying for an anatomy test.
I apologize.

So, Saratov Approach. It's about two missionaries. Two starjeĊĦine in Russia. (By the way, Russia looks incredibly a lot like Serbia.) I finally saw it. The music is incredible. I have the music and I love listening to it. It will transform any and every moment.
The story is great! It's not like these silly little mormon movies we have all over the place. It's meaningful. It can be shared with people of all or no faith. Although I never got kidnapped while in Serbia, the movie still captured some of the important essences. The companions trying to make the best of their situation together, the neighbors who you talk to from your balcony, putting your faith in the Lord and in those you are with, and having that faith propel you through the day. Also! My favorite element of the mission are the "never before" moments. The things that have never happened before and the things you decided never could or would happen.

Go see it. Please.


With that off my chest, I will share a recent spiritual thought. I ran into this sucker shortly after seeing the film. I was feeling down that I couldn't finish my mission because of some unknown illness that prevents me from walking up the stairs by myself, yet those two got to finish after getting kidnapped.
So these words hit especially hard. I might have cried.
"Please don't nag yourself with thoughts of failure...
Simply do what you can do in the best way you know how
and the Lord will accept your effort."
-Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley
I've heard the all the cute little sayings about how the devil will try to make you focus on the past and all that jazz. I guess there's just something about the Lord's Mouthpiece that cuts you to the very spot you need it to. I know the Lord speaks to His children through a living prophet. Although Pres. Hinckley is no longer alive, I know he was a true prophet of God.
I was pondering this quote in my mind. It dawned on me! It's all about repentance! Repentance means gaining a fresh perspective of yourself, God, others, and the world. In physics, it's the equal or opposite force acting on an object in motion. It redirects our course. This quote for me was my equal or greater force. Does this make sense?
I apologize. My thoughts often go faster than my hands and mouth, and I tend to make leaps (they're more like bridges, but bridges only I can see).
It doesn't matter what you have done. You repent and move on. What matters is what you can do. Which is the now. You can't change the past. Only make choices now. You move your motion in another direction. The Lord will help you know which direction to go. As long as you are doing good now, RIGHT NOW, then what you did in the past really doesn't matter.

As was said in Saratov Approach, "Light will overcome the darkness."

Questions? Concerns? Comments? I would love to hear them.

Your Ever Faithful Friend,

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Music Spotlight: Savior, Redeemer of My Soul

I love this song. It's not sung very often in church, and the hymnal version is a little different than the one we are use to hearing. This song is played at the MTC about as often as If You Could Hie to Kolob (which is at LEAST once a week. One time we heard it 3 times in one day. Lucky us.)
I first became aware of this song while watching 17 Miracles. Simply put, it's powerful.
I think no one does the famous arrangement as the original performer, Dallyn Vail Bayles. Next to him is BYU's Vocal Point.
It was the Vocal Point version I was listening to (shamelessly on repeat) when one of the lines clicked with a new meaning. My favorite verse has always been the third.
  1. 3. O'errule mine acts to serve thine ends.
    Change frowning foes to smiling friends.
    Chasten my soul till I shall be
    In perfect harmony with thee.
    Make me more worthy of thy love,
    And fit me for the life above.
"Change frowning foes to smiling friends" held new meaning (after about the 14th time listening). Maybe it clicked because I had talked to one of my friends about our fears. Maybe I, unfortunately, need repetition to get the point. Whatever the reason, it now held meaning.
Frowning foes could be anything. It could be temptation. It could be fear. Maybe it's a personal weakness or short coming. It could be trails. It could be an exterior problem, like a neighbor, or school or it can be something internal and personal. But through Christ's infinite atonement, he can change these foes to friends. Smiling friends.
What was once a burden can become a joy. A weakness can become a strength. Frowning foes can be changed to smiling friends. Good can come from bad.
Sometimes this change happens outside of us, the thing that is bothering us will change, but most often than not it will be internal. Which in my opinion is better. It won't be the world that will change but us. Instead of solving only one problem, we are given the ability to face many future problems and help others along their paths. In essence, this is repentance. To get a fresh view of yourself, of others, of God, and of the world.
Happy New Year!

P.S. I know this song is meaningful to many of you. If you have thoughts, comments, or stories, I would love to hear them.