Today’s scripture study was a flip and find:

Alma 5:53

And now my beloved brethren, I say unto you, can ye withstand these sayings; yea can ye lay aside these things, and trample the Holy One under your feet; yea, can ye be puffed up in the pride of your hearts; yea, will ye still persist in the wearing of costly apparel and setting your hearts upon the vain things of the world, upon your riches?

I thought living in Germany would be an exercise in going without many things we were used to. I thought living in Europe in general would encourage us to live “smaller,” however, that has not been the case. Our house is even larger than our house in the States, the kids still all have their own rooms, we have a car we use daily, etc. I think this is certainly an area of life that I can be challenged with. I wouldn’t consider myself prideful, per se, but I am sure my privilege means I have plenty of room for improvement in this area.

Believe and doubt not

Mormon 9:21

Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.

I hope this applies to me getting family history work done in Germany….which includes speaking and understanding the German language!

Don’t shrink!

Today during my scripture study I read the verse from 1 Nephi 4:10.

And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban; but I said in my heart: Never at any time have I shed the blood of man. And I shrunk and would that I might not slay him.

I was actually studying this in German, and when I came across the words “ich schrekte zurück” and translated them to “I shrank back,” it reminded me of my experience with singing in the stake choir and the CES Devotional by Elder Bednar that was shown during one practice. I looked it up again and read it.

Never at any time in my life have I needed to hear what Elder Bednar quoted from Elder Maxwell.

Not shrinking is better than surviving.

I have been shrinking back this entire time in Germany. I have allowed my fears to overcome my faith. I am scared to speak German. I don’t know why exactly. I don’t feel like I am afraid to make mistakes. I just feel like I am so inadequate! Sometimes I just don’t know where to begin and my mind goes blank. Another quote by Elder Bednar:

[T]heir experience was not primarily about living and dying; rather, it was about learning, living, and becoming.

That is what I want. I want to have bold faith in the Lord; trust in Him and his timing for everything. I am not even searching for peace that many need amidst a difficult trial. I just want confidence- confidence to move forward in life in a place where I feel so completely different and insufficient. I want to learn. I want to truly live. And I want to become whatever it is the Lord would have me be. I know this opportunity is part of the Plan for me. I feel like we have been moving toward this for a long time. So I want to rise to the challenge and be led by the Spirit to accomplish whatever it is the Lord desires.

I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord,

Over mountain or plain or sea;

I’ll say what you want me to say, dear Lord;

I’ll be what you want me to be.

THAT is my goal.

Stake Conference March 1-2, 2014

This was a draft I never published. Better late than never!

*****

Stake Conference this morning and last night was phenomenal! It was such a spiritual experience. I was fighting back tears of the Spirit almost the whole time. Here is a bit of what touched me and what I would like to remember:

1. The Youth of the Church amaze me. Last night (it is normally an adult only season, but the youth were invited to attend) a senior in high school spoke about his upcoming mission. He entire talk was really well done, but one thing especially struck me. He decided to not play sports his senior year of high school in order to be able to work so he could save enough money for his mission. That just blows me away. The sacrifices that today’s youth make for the Lord are– really there are no words for them. It is humbling to me to think that in a few short years I will have a “youth” living in my own home! I hope I am up to the challenge of teaching everything my kids need to know to navigate the choppy waters of today’s world. Both of the youth that spoke last night gave me the insight that homeschooling for life might not be such a bad thing.

2. The music. Oh goodness, the MUSIC! More than one of the speakers this morning mentioned how great the stake choir was. After we sang the closing song (How Firm a Foundation) the whole stake center was nearly silent. The sister who gave the closing prayer was even moved to spend more than a few moments giving thanks for music and musical talents. I was seriously fighting back tears on most of the musical numbers. It was beyond words amazing.

3. My children were the Lord’s children before they were mine and it is his full time job to nurture and strengthen them, so why not mine too? I am utterly and completely humbled. May the Lord grant that I might strive to be a better mother each day, that I might understand more fully this divine role appointed me and not shrink from the work I have.