Ruth’s Diner

My drop off time at the MTC was at 1:00 in the afternoon, giving me time to get breakfast with my family in the morning.

We decided to go to one of our favorite places,
Ruth’s Diner!

I ordered the Eggs Benedict with Pork.

After breakfast Krista headed back to California and Shauna went to work.
I went home and changed my clothes and made sure everything was packed and ready to go.

Making it official

The Tuesday evening before I left to the MTC our family went to meet with our Stake President and I was set apart (given the blessing and power to be a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in the Portland, Oregon mission)
Our stake President shared a few things with us and then my mom and dad were asked to share their testimonies.
It was pretty emotional for both of them, especially my mom.
She shared her thoughts and her fears and her faith. She reminded us of her dream – the one she had right after I submitted my papers, before I received my call- revealing to her that I would be serving stateside and speaking Spanish.
My dad shared his testimony, as well, and told us kids that the greatest gift we could give his is to believe.

After this meeting, we went outside and took pictures, of course!


The Sunday before I was to leave, I was asked to speak in Sacrament Meeting. The subject I was given was patience.
I learned a lot while studying.
Below is the text of the talk.

Hello everyone. Thank you for coming out to support me today, I really appreciate it. The topic that I have been asked to spend time speaking on today is patience.
Patience is a very important quality that we all need to develop in order to progress further in life.
It is also important that we are patient with our Heavenly Father.
Elder Maxwell said, “Patience is tied very closely to faith in our Heavenly Father. Actually, when we are unduly impatient, we are suggesting that we know what is best-better than does God. Or, at least, we are asserting that our timetable is better than his. Either way we are questioning the reality of God’s omniscience.”
So, having patience is an important quality to have if you desire to help other people. However, as I have been learning more about patience I have come to realize that patience helps the person who is patient much more than the person who is receiving the patience.
Something Pres.. Uchtdorf said that I really liked, “without patience, we cannot please God; we cannot become perfect. Indeed, patience is a purifying process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace.”
That’s a really interesting statement. “We cannot please God without patience,”
that makes sense to me.  It’s the next line that causes me to think…. “Indeed, patience is a purifying process,” having patience purifies us. “Patience is a purifying process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace.” 
 Patience gives us a deeper happiness.
 I thought that was interesting.
Why would being a patient person give me a deeper happiness?
Elder Wirthlin said, “We will have genuine joy and happiness only as we learn patience.”
I think one reason is because patience helps us stay humble. When we are patient, we are exercising faith.
The apostle Paul said, “we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed”
Speaking of patience, my mind goes to a couple experiences I had when I was younger.
When I was in the seventh grade I was placed into a math class as most seventh graders are…. My math grades were not as high as me or my parents would have probably liked. The problems and formulas just didn’t make sense to me. I really felt like I was trying to understand and I really did want to learn, but when test day came around, I didn’t do all that well.
Luckily for me I had a really good math teacher.  He noticed that my grades were below average so he told me that he would be willing to stay after school with me to help me understand. Well at that time my math grade was a D.   By the end of the year it was a B.  From that point on math started to click for me.  Math actually ended up becaming one of my favorite subjects all during high school.
I think it takes a lot of patience to be a good teacher.  I have tried teaching math to my younger siblings before and it’s a lot harder than it looks. As I’m teaching I think to myself, ‘why can’t you see what I see?’  If you do this, this will happen– It makes sense!
 This particular teacher never lost his temper, when I didn’t understand he would try again and have me try again until it finally clicked for me.  Looking back, I see and now understand the amount of patience that took.
When I was about eight years old one of my friends wanted to do tae kwon do, and wanted me to go with him.  So, we started and I really enjoyed it.  I thought it was a lot of fun.  Well, in order to move up and be advanced,  you must be tested on what you know.
I did not love this so much.
 Each belt has a form that you must have memorized.  With each of these forms you have to memorize a little bit of Korean history.  For some reason this part of the test was particularly nerve racking for me. For quite some time it wasn’t uncommon for me to break out in tears for this portion of the test. My tae kwon do instructor is a very good man. When this would happen he would be firm with me but he was kind about it.  He wanted me to succeed & continued to work with me throughout the years.  As he worked with me I would improve and become more confident and eventually I stopped crying at my tests.
I don’t really love being embarrassed and crying in front of class mates  It can be quite embarrassing –especially considering that I’m not a crier…that’s one of the few times I remember not being able to contain my emotions.  Because of the embarrassment and the stress of these tests, there was a time when I considered quitting the whole thing.  I was grateful for my instructor who continued to be very patient as he helped me gain the confidence I needed to progress in what became my all time favorite sport.
These two stories are examples in my life of people who have had patience with me.  Because of their patience in me I was able to get my math grade up and I was able to have a higher sense of confidence in myself.  Their patience benefited my life.
I think that it is important to remember that we need to be patient with ourselves. We are not perfect beings. We are going to mess up at times. That’s a guarantee, but when we do mess up we have to keep trying.
In Hebrews chapter 12 vrs 1 and 2 it says, “let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Jesus Christ died for our sins. Because of the atonement and the sacrifice that he made in our behalf we can continue to try to be better.  If we allow ourselves to be discouraged than we are not taking advantage of the atonement. We must have patience with ourselves if we are to progress in this life.  If I don’t have patience with myself, I won’t have a hope that I can be better.

Going back to my two stories, I am going to try to make some analogies.
  Just as my math teacher and tae kwon do instructor had perfect patience in me and had a strong desire for me to succeed and overcome my trials of not understanding math and not having confidence, so does our Heavenly Father have perfect patience with us as we imperfectly try to overcome the trials in our lives. However, just like in my stories, if I don’t have patience in myself, or if I don’t believe that my efforts are getting me anywhere, then it does not matter that God has perfect patience in me, because we won’t allow ourselves to progress. We are holding ourselves back if we don’t have patience in ourselves.
Today will probably be the last time I will see most of you so I would like to say some things before I sit down.
I have a lot to be thankful for.  There are so many good people in my life. I don’t know why I am so blessed.
I love my ward. We have a lot of great people in our ward.  I feel very loved by you. When I walk the halls, it is awlays smiles and asking how I am, non stop.
For the past few months I have had the opportunity to teach in primary.  My class is full of boys. They are an awesome group. They are really smart guys. I have fun being with them.
I’m also very thankful for the scouting and young mens program. I have been blessed with amazing leaders. I look up to them and I feel very blessed to have been able to have the leaders that I had.
I have also been blessed with three great bishops.  One of them I actually don’t remember him as my bishop but I do remember the love that he has for me and my family. The other bishop was our home teacher too. I also remember the love he has for me and my family. Then of coarse our current bishop who also was one of my leaders for a little bit.  I feel that he has a love for me and my family, as well.
I have the best friends anyone could ask for. They are a great group of guys.  A few of them I have known for most of my life.  A few of them I met when I moved in this ward when I was 11. We’ve had a lot of good times.  I love them and I very much hope to stay in contact with each of them when I am home from my mission.
Anyone who knows me well should know that I love my family very much.  I love being with them.  I love doing things with them. I enjoy talking to them.
Me and Baylee are movie buddies. We like watching movies together. Something else about Baylee is that each night, when she is going to bed she always makes sure to tell us all good night,  and that she loves us.  I will miss that.
I have a lot of memories with Sadie. We are two years apart so as I was growing up, when I wasn’t playing with my friends I was playing with Sadie.  Sadie can always make me laugh and I just like being with her.
Shauna is also only two years from me but in the other direction.  Shauna always makes me look good. I have a facebook page but I hardly ever comment or write on my wall, but with Shauna as my sister I don’t have to, she will always just tag me.  I really enjoy talking to Shauna, and when I need girl advice she’s the one I go to.
So here is something that Im not sure how many of you know about me. I really like to sing. It’s usually done when I am alone in my car though. Amber also really likes to sing. She is a lot better than I am, I still try.  I can always count on Amber to be willing to sing the entire album of Les Mis with me.  Amber is the sister who I can talk deep with. We like to get in deep conversations about anything, really.  History, a book that we both have read, government, personalities, just whatever.
Krista my oldest sister lives in California.  I really like being with her.  The last time she visited we went running together in preparation for her Ragnar that she was training for. I thought that was a lot of fun.  I’m thinking that we need to do one together when I get back.
I thank my Father in Heaven often for putting me in such an amazing family, with such amazing parents to look up to.  Mom and dad, I love you so much. I look up to you a lot and I hope to be as successful of parents as you are.
Mom, I’m really going to miss talking politics with you. I am also going to miss our lunch dates that we go on whenever we run errands together.  I really enjoy those.  I am also going to miss our bike rides. You help me be a better person.   I love you very much.
Dad I just want you to know how much I look up to you. You are my best friend.  I like to spend time thinking about my future and when I think about the relationship that I want to have with my family I think of you. I hope to be as good of a husband to my wife as you are to my mom, and I hope to be as good of a father as you are to me and my sisters. I love you.
I would like to close with my testimony that I know that God lives and that He has an immense love for each of us.  He knows each of us personally and He wants us to be happy.  That is why He sent his Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.  I know that he is the son of God and that because of his sacrifice; we can repent of our sins, and return to our Father in Heaven.  I know that the church has been restored in these latter days and that we have prophets to help us grow closer to God.  I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and that he did translate the Book of Mormon by the power of God.  I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God and by living by its teachings we can find true enduring happiness.  I know that families can be together forever.
I know all of these things to be true and I say it in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.