Saturday, September 17, 2011

Get Interested! It's for your own Benefit!

Over the past 17 months there has been one phrase I have heard often, as a missionary, that has always bugged me a little more than others. That phrase being, "No thanks, I'm not interested right now." When I first got out in the mission field I would leave the situation thinking, "How could you not be interested, it's Jesus Christ we're talking about!" But as I reflected on the statement I thought back on my life and how for years I "wasn't interested" in the Gospel, I wasn't worried about praying, I wasn't down on myself all the times I missed church. Life seemed fine, why should I give interest to something, when I am satisfied with where I am?

The phrase still troubles me today as I think of all the people who will not take the time to listen to the message of the Restored Gospel simply because they feel that life is adequate for their needs as it is. I think back to my life and all the years I wasn't interested, the main, and pretty much only, reason I wasn't interested was because I didn't know what the Gospel of Jesus Christ was. I didn't know all the peace, happiness, insight, direction, comfort, encouragement, and many of the other blessings associated with the message that flowed into my life. I had no clue that it would help define my character and put to use all the traits I had developed from youth up.

It is sad to think that so many people will only find interest in the Gospel when life is at its lowest point, when they are at the last of their list on the search for happiness. And moreover, it is sad that most people will follow the Gospel but as soon as life gets more manageable they will forsake the Christ that has lifted them through their trials and has blessed them with all that they have. I think of how our Heavenly Father must feel as he reaches out to his children to offer a path that will lead them through any trial and eventually back to dwell in His heavenly kingdom.

The challenge that I would give to all who "aren't interested at this time" is to give the message of the restoration a chance and do the things that so many people rely on to bring them peace and serenity in life, little things such as praying, scripture study and attending church. I would guaruntee that if you put forth the effort and put the Gospel to the test and see if it doens't enhance your life, if it doesn't bring greater meaning, if it doesn't paint a clearer picture of life. The Gospel is not just meant to help the lowly in heart or the poor in spirit, it is here to help us all, no matter what background or situation we come from, are currently in or planning to get to. This message is something that is meant for everyone and has the ability to benefit us in any aspect of our lives. I can bear a solid testimony of this truthful message in Chist's name.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Battle of Good Vs. Evil: Tips to Win!

 I like comic books, not to the extent that I actually read them. Because honestly I rarely read any books besides the gospel. But just so everyone knows it's way better that way because someone else creates the characters and the super powers, their stregnths and weaknesses and their enemies, and I get to make up their story. So in the end it cuts out a lot of the work for me, which is always a benefit in my book.

But in my life of comic book people the battle between good and evil is always very different. One aspect I want to cover is the fact that bad guys always want the attention and good guys rarely take any glory personally. Mainly I'm going to focus on this because I can apply it to the gospel, and most of the people I know wouldn't pay attention if I didn't tie in something worldly.

First off we will look at the villains side of life. They usually come from some weird background where they weren't loved as a kid or they didn't like their boss or something "totally dramatic". They in turn decide that the world owes them something go crazy and decide to build octopus arms on themselves or make a mask that turns them psycho or whatever else they can come up with to help them take their revenge! They end up causing all this even more drama with everyone and taking lives or whatever it might be.

Villains are like the temptations of Satan. No one even likes them but for some reason they won't go away. They are loud and attention hogging. We've all come across one or another maybe a computer pop up shouting at us to click for some fast entertainment (or whatever), or a movie preview telling us "Watch me I'm crude, I can get you to laugh come watch me!", or maybe it's a little more subtle but just as destructive like, "Take this job you'll make tons of money! Money leads to happiness! Don't worry about the sacrifice you'll give up with not having time with your family!" All of these temptations are apparent, loud, attention grabbing, hard to ignore. Frankly, they are everywhere. But yet we are supposed to ignore them, brush them off, stay on the strait and narrow path to eternal life.

Now to the hero, hero's start out being hurt or affected in some way by some bad guy's action and they devote their life to helping those who are afflicted by the trials of evil. They for the most part are pretty humble and silent about their identity and task, for instance they will live in this cave in a side of a mountain when they are ridiculously rich, or they live in this ghetto apartment in New York City (no thanks). They usually only come out when they are needed, when the so to say "cry for help" is made. Most of their technology and skills have to be one step ahead of their villains so that they can effectively carry out their duty.

Hero's are like the spirit, the Holy Ghost. In all the scriptures the instances of the Holy Ghost reaching out to man it is through subtle, humble, quiet ways. Almost never (I say that cause it might be in there somewhere but I can't think of an instance) is it described as shouting at an individual, unless its accompanied by a divine visitation or something like that (which I'm still waiting for my personal one). It touches our inner most feelings, something that if we aren't in tune with, the loud temptations can easily drown out.

So what are we supposed to do to come out triumphant when the battle seems so outweighed? Well let me mention a couple things, first off remember, no one really likes Satan and his temptations, so don't be afraid to step up when you feel something is bad. Secondly, Umm I dunno maybe try to make your life more spiritual so its easier to recognize those signs given to us. Stay one step ahead of the game, that's what Batman does and he's successful. Thirdly don't be intimidated, what would've happened if some hero came up against a bad guy and got scared? "Well that's easy Elder Trujillo", you say "The vilian would end up getting away with murder, quite literally, and who knows when his havoc would've stopped!" That's what I was thinking too! So don't hesitate! If you are hesitating to make the changes in your life whatever it may be to quit an addiction, to learn about the gospel or whatever! Take Nike's advice and "Just Do It"!

I promise you if you heed to the teachings of Jesus Christ and follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost, getting rid of all evil, bad and even the "not so good" stuff, your life WILL be blessed. I know this because of two reasons. One, because I did it and am continuing to do it and I love it, it makes me happy, it keeps me safe! Secondly, because Jesus Christ asked us

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Faith; Its Easy... Like Building a Puzzle

I was recently reading a 2011 April General Conference talk, by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, titled "Waiting on the Road to Damascus". The talks subject is centered on not waiting for a miraculous experience to clear up any questions or doubts we may have in regards to our faith. Many may know that as a missionary I rely heavily on analogies to portray the workings of the Gospel. I'd like to spend some time focusing on the powerful analogy that President Uchtdorf presents in his talk, comparing our steps of faith to the construction of a puzzle.

When starting a puzzle you most always start with the border or edge pieces, its almost essential to the overall accomplishment. You could compare this first step, the starting of our faith with a scripture in Alma 32:27, "But behold if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words (the words of Christ), and excersise a particle of faith, yea even if ye can no more that desire to believe (starting our puzzle), let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that you can give place for a portion of my words (our border is completed)."
While working on our puzzle we know that some pieces come right after the other, and some often stump us (If your like me it's way often) at where or what piece goes where. Our Testimony (a spiritual witness given by the Holy Ghost) of the Gospel can like wise at times come easily or can take time and effort. I dunno about you but when attempting a puzzle an overall result (picture on the box) is too often required to guide me through this task. Likewise after we may have started our journey ,by desiring faith and experimenting on the words of Christ, it comes to a point where we need to take the steps necessary for baptism by immersion, by the Priesthood of God, to continue adding pieces of faith to our masterpiece. When we are baptized we receive the Holy Ghost (our picture of the puzzle) to help lead us to further finding and placing our spiritual experiences to the growth of our knowledge of the Savior.

This is essential, the Holy Ghost knows perfectly the workings of God and Jesus Christ (3 Nephi 28:10-11). With his constant companionship we can endure life's trials, doubts, and temptations and can be lead to our overall joy of completing our puzzle.

I would like to end with a portion of the talk I have been inspired by,"The truth is, those who diligently seek to learn of Christ eventually will come to know Him. They will personally receive a divine portrait of the Master, although it most often comes in the form of a puzzle- one piece at a time. Each individual piece may not be easily recognizable by itself; it may not be clear how it relates to the whole. Each piece helps us to see the big picture a little more clearly. Eventually, after enough pieces have been put together, we recognize the grand beauty of it all. Then, looking back on our experience, we see that the Savior had indeed come to be with us- not all at once but quietly, gently, almost unnoticed.
This can be our experience if we move forward with faith and do not wait too long on the Road to Damascus."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Silver Surfer Perspective One

My favorite comic book hero (recently) has been the Silver Surfer. I think what makes me so drawn to this character is his heroic change of heart and turn around. I like to think of it compared to those, sometimes difficult and drastic, changes to live the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In the comic/movie Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, the Silver Surfer makes a pact with Galctus, to help prepare other planets for destruction, in hopes to save his own planet from that very fate. he is given powers and a childhood dreamed mode of transportation (his surfboard) to help with the task. His job is to prepare the planets for easier "digestion"(so to say) for Galctus. In turn you can imagine how many civilizations and planets destruction the Silver Surfer is greatly responsible for. Soon it is time for the Silver Surfer to prepare earth for its destruction.

When the Silver Surfer comes to earth to open the door of doom, he is met by the heroic team called the Fantastic Four comprising of The Human Torch, The Thing, The Invisible Woman, and Mr. Fantastic. After the capture and rescue of the Silver Surfer the team gains favor in the sight of the Silver Surfer. In hopes to save the near extinction of life as they know it the Silver Surfer puts all he has, his life included, on the line in the final battle with Galactus.

With the Silver Surfer's triumphant turn around and victory over evil his mighty change of heart brings him to a life of good.
I can only imagine the hope the Silver Surfer had (if this were real) as he gave up evil in an epic battle (really you should watch it!) for good. If the Silver Surfer didn't act on his "good intentions" the destiny of the world would have been all together very tragic.
Most of us may be partial to a line from a Fall Out Boy song which says, "the road outside my house is paved with good intentions". I think that line can be accompanied with a quote from Elder Steven E. Snow's Conference address titled "Hope", "Our hopes can lead to dreams which can inspire us and lead us to action... Hope alone does not cause us to succeed. Many honorable hopes have gone unfulfilled, shipwrecked on the reefs of good intentions and laziness." Let us better our eternal fate by acting on the hope to live the gospel standards and do what is right.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Understanding A Mormon: W of W

Everyone seems to have difficulty understanding why Mormons (Latter Day Saints) do what they do. My purpose today is to talk about a topic that many people are like, "What? You guys ask too much."
I wanted to start of talking about cars... cause that's pretty much all I think about... except while I'm on a mission (in case my Mission President is reading ;). But I want to talk about a situation. Imagine you need to go somewhere not near where you live. Lets say you need to go to an interview for a job or a movie role that you are very well qualified for the position and you are sure you'll ace it. If you can make this trip you will be able to grow and experience new things. But you're broke and you ain't got no way of getting there.
Luckily a friend who loves you very much knows how much you can benefit from this trip so he goes out and buys you a nice new reliable car to get you through the trip. so this car is pretty cool, it smells all new, the paint is all shiny, B-E-A-Utiful!

Now, of course you are very grateful for the opportunities this car presents, and you know your friend is very particular about his cars and keeping them in pristine condition. Now hopefully you'd be respectful and grateful enough to not smoke in the car! Or spill a Pepsi in the car and put off the cleaning (hopefully, you'd be more respectful to not spill Pepsi in the first place! ;) Hopefully you would take care of it to honor and show appreciation to your friend.
On February, 27 1833 the Lord reinstated a code of health, so to say, "Showing forth the will or God" known to us as the Word of Wisdom. In the New Testament of the Bible in 1 Corinthians 3:16 we learn, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you?" Comparing our bodies as a temple give us and idea of how much God values them. We are taught that we had to get a body to progress in this life, learn what pain, happiness, sorrow, guilt and all that fun stuff is. Without our God given bodies we wouldn't have been able to make this trip. Thus stopping our progression.
As a follower of Jesus Christ when the Word of Wisdom was given, we were instructed to refrain from putting certain substances in our body namely, tobacco, coffee, tea, alcohol and illegal drugs. If you understand anything of how Heavenly Father feels , giving us our "car"(body) to make this much needed trip, we would follow gladly his desires to help keep it clean and in top condition.
I can only imagine at the second coming when God and Christ  are "preparing" our "bodies", "cars", "temples", however you want to look at it, for the Resurrection and they cry at some of the things they have to clean or repair because of the amount of appreciation we showed for this wonderful opportunity.
So pick out your favorite car, for me I'd like to think of myself as a Mercedes Mclaren SLR
 Yeah I can see that, for my brother it would probably be a Saleen S7...

Except with a moustache of course.
Now that you have your car picked out recognize what God has given you to make this trip and show gratitude through how you treat it! That is just a little analogy of why Mormons do one of the things they do. I know that this is true because I live it and feel of its blessings. Thank You for attending Mormonism 101 with Professor Trujillo.
I got in trouble by my sister for not putting her on. I also one uped her choice of car!

Ford Raptor for a BOMB sister!!! 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Kindness ACT 1

I was recently moved by a talk that I read from General Conference by Henry B Eyring called "Opportunities to Do Good". The talk's main subject was being helpful and who and how it helps. I have always thought that each situation we are put in our lives whether it be having children, working, suffering, or anything else is to help us somehow understand our Heavenly Father. One of the best ways we can come to know our Father in Heaven and his love is to serve those around us. When we serve we become His hands in helping and better come to and understanding of the love He feels towards us. As I reflected on this talk I started to think of the service in my life. 

One of my favorite stories of service took place when I was a wee lad, of like 14, (way back in the day). My parents had just divorced and my father had left our family with very little furniture, it was to the point where my mom was sleeping on a futon (not fun). Not long after the initial situation, we received a knock on the door one night. When we answered we realized it was a group of the relief society ladies in our ward who kinda barged in (politely... because they're ladies) carrying furniture that they had gathered together after they had heard of our situation. That day was a remarkable day for my family and I as we felt the love of God through those ladies.

The months that followed were just as much of an adjustment as the beginning. Those faithful daughters of God continued to pull our family in and spoil us with an abundance of love. I remember I wanted to do something extra nice for my mom for her birthday. I decided I was going to paint her room and her furniture to match, to show my appreciation for all the extra effort that was needed on her part due to the circumstances. Tricky part was I wanted it to be a semi-suprise. Like I said I was young, so I don't even remember how it got set up (early Alzheimers), but the same people came to help me buy paint and  keep me from completely ruining my mother's room. They also organized a birthday party at one of their houses, which was a bonus. It turned out to be a very good birthday for my mother when she needed it the most (I remember that part).

Simple acts of kindness have the ability to impact people's lives far beyond we will ever know. Their acts of kindness have influenced me until this day, and have made me watchful for the needs of others. My call to everyone is to find a way to reach out, make sure you are in the situation to help those in need when they need it the most. Heavenly Father sent us to earth to dwell as a family, as brothers and sisters, it is our responsibility to seek out those whose heads hang helplessly low. Let us find the love of Christ as we serve those around us.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

He Suffered For Me

Jesus Christ suffered the pains, afflictions and sins so that he could come to our aid and we could return to live with God again if we so chose to follow Him.<-True that.

That's a lot of sin! That's a lot of pain! That's a lot of love!<-True that.

Focusing on me (because that's what I do best), Christ suffered in the Garden so that He could help my mom put up with my stubbornness. Christ suffered in the Garden so that my mom could put up with my laziness. Christ suffered in the Garden to help my mom laugh at those times I would crash both her and my car (not at the same time... I'm not that talented). Christ suffered in the Garden so that He could help my mom have strength to stay up with me all those nights I procrastinated homework, not to bring up all the times I just needed someone to talk to.  Christ suffered in the Garden to help my mom find love for me even when I would spout off mean things to her. Christ suffered in the Garden because he knew all the patience my mom was going to need raising me. 

Christ suffered in the Garden so that my sister could make it through my mean big brother phase, all the mean things I would call her, not thinking of how much I could potentially damage her. Christ suffered in the Garden so that my sister would have the heart to forgive me and find love for me, so that we could be best of friends. Christ suffered in the Garden so that after all those years of constantly fighting with my brother,after the broken lights, broken humidifier, broken TV,  and so on he would somehow find good in me and become one of my biggest idols. Christ suffered in the Garden so that my friends would still find love for me after all the pain I put them through, most of the time because I was selfish (I can be pretty good at that). Christ suffered in the Garden to help my teachers, co-workers, employers, family, friends, enemies... all put up with me.

Christ suffered in the Garden to make up for everything I lack. Christ suffered in the Garden to help me through the loss of friends, loved ones and so on. Christ suffered in the Garden so that I can get back to my Heavenly Father. Christ suffered in the Garden so that I can wash myself of my sins and move on. Christ suffered in the Garden because I don't have what it takes to do it myself. Christ suffered in the Garden because He loved me and was worried about my salvation. So in the end Christ suffered in the Garden for me.

I'm glad that I have some knowledge of my Savior. I'm glad I can share this message with everyone. I hope everyone comes to realize just a portion of what Christ has done for them. Christ suffered in the Garden and died on the cross for us, let's LIVE our appreciation.