Monday, December 28, 2015

Whitney Rancheros

Hey everyone!

Hope that everyone had a great Christmas! My companion and I had a great one!
So we have been transferred into a new area. And there has been so many miracles we have seen since we have got here! It has been pretty hectic getting used to our new area and zone. But we have had a great time! The lord truly has been blessing us! I don't have much time to share many stories, but I wanted to share a thought I shared in Sunday at sacrament meeting. I didn't use it word for word but these were my thoughts.

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness." Genesis 1:1-4

The darkness proceeded the light. That is a principle that happens so much in our lives. Before great spiritual experiences challenges arise. I cannot tell you how many times the week before an investigator is to get baptized something comes up that tries to hinder them from that blessing. Darkness always proceeds the light, but light will always prevail.

I remember one day returning home and taking refuge in our home as a storm was brewing outside. As the storm got progressively worse we felt safe in the confines of our home. But soon enough the entire house went black, and our power went out. We had no light. But thankfully we were able to light candles and have an enjoyable evening in the candle light. We had enough light to see, and it was fun for that one night. But when our power returned I was grateful for the invention of the light bulb and the electricity we had.

And so today I wish to speak of the light we have inside ourselves. We all have been given the light of Christ. Giving us the ability to choose right and wrong, and to be influenced by the Holy Spirit. But once we are baptized we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost to have his spirit with us continually. However it is conditional on our obedience. That light which is in us can be however dim or however bright we allow it to be. Just as the candles still lit our path and gave us vision. It was limited. We had to take a candle with us everywhere. And blow it out when we weren't around for fear of burning our house down. But with our power back on. All it took was a flick of a light switch to have the whole house lit up.

Elder Uchtdorf said in last general conference "Why would anyone walk through life satisfied with the light from the candle of their own understanding when, by reaching out to our Heavenly Father, they could experience the bright sun of spiritual knowledge that would expand their minds with wisdom and fill their souls with joy?"

Let us not be limited to the norms or customs of society. Or the ideals of man, or our own rationalization, but rather let us experience greater light and hope through our savior Jesus Christ. Let our faith burn bright and steady as a light bulb and we will not be dismayed. The great part about celestial light is that the power never goes out, that power is our savior. And he is ever ready to welcome us and give us light. All we have to do is plug into that power. We plug into that power by the greatness of our faith.

Elder Neil l Anderson said, Faith emits a spiritual light, and that light is discernible. Faith in Jesus Christ is a gift from heaven that comes as we choose to believe and as we seek it and hold on to it. Your faith is either growing stronger or becoming weaker. Faith is a principle of power, important not only in this life but also in our progression beyond the veil. By the grace of Christ, we will one day be saved through faith on His name. The future of your faith is not by chance, but by choice.
If we do not have faith it is by our own choice.

Elder Uchtdorf once said, “If we make no effort to believe, we are like the man who unplugs a spotlight and then blames the spotlight for not giving any light. Are we blaming the wrong object for the lack of our faith or are we asking "Lord is it I?” If we look at how the light bulb was invented we can learn the tireless efforts we must have to keep our faith burning.

In the period from 1878 to 1880 Edison and his associates worked on at least three thousand different theories to develop an efficient incandescent lamp. By January 1879, at his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey, Edison had built his first high resistance, incandescent electric light. It worked by passing electricity through a thin platinum filament in the glass vacuum bulb, which delayed the filament from melting. Still, the lamp only burned for a few short hours. In order to improve the bulb, Edison needed all the persistence he had learned years before in his basement laboratory. He tested thousands and thousands of other materials to use for the filament. He even thought about using tungsten, which is the metal used for light bulb filaments now, but he couldn't work with it given the tools available at that time.

The electric light has caused me the greatest amount of study and has required the most elaborate experiments," he wrote. "I was never myself discouraged, or inclined to be hopeless of success. I cannot say the same for all my associates." Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration."

Edison decided to try a carbonized cotton thread filament. When voltage was applied to the completed bulb, it began to radiate a soft orange glow. Just about fifteen hours later, the filament finally burned out. Further experimentation produced filaments that could burn longer and longer with each test. By the end of 1880, he had produced a 16-watt bulb that could last for 1500 hours and he began to market his new invention.

Luckily we don't have to try and find 1000 different ways to grow our own light, but we can turn to the one that will never go out. As we exercise our own faith we can grow into a beacon of light to all others. Let us tirelessly search for that light. To study his words and pray unceasingly in his name. As we do this we will be like a light bulb that will never go out. It will not happen overnight, but as we chose light over and over again we will "grow brighter and brighter until the perfect day."

Let the lower lights be burning;
Send a gleam across the wave.
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman 
You may rescue, you may save.

Christmas 2015 Jammies
Elder Clark and Elder Valles
Zone White Elephant Gift Exchange
Christmas, 2015
It's Christmas!!
Eating Balut at a Filipino restaurant with Elder Valles

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