Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Mission Farewell Talk #1

Inviting Christ Into Your Life

Oi, tudo bem! That was Portuguese 101 off of a YouTube video I found.  It is a greeting that means, "Hi (or Hello), is everything fine?" so it might not be correct but I sure hope that it is!  For those of you that do not know me my name is McKayla Menlove, I am the daughter of Von and Annette Menlove.  We have recently moved form this ward out to Spring Lake, since I grew up in this ward I do know most everyone here but there are a lot of new faces also.  I am really glad that I have the opportunity to be able to speak to you today, but in the words of President Dieter F. Uchtodorf, "To describe my inner feelings, I would say I am as calm as a hurricane".

I recently received my mission call, and will be serving in the Brazil, Brasilia Mission! I report to the Brazil MTC, March 7, 2017 or in other words 78 days.  A couple of weeks ago Brother Johansen asked me to speak on, "Inviting Christ Into Your Life" so like any other teenager I went to the best possible source, Google.  Now we all know that Google was not going to give me the direct answer I wanted, (that being a wonderful talk by one of the general authority that happened to be on that exact subject I was assigned) but it did guide me to a bunch of wonderful talks about out Savior.  As I was preparing for this talk I had a few questions that I wanted to answer, How can I invite Christ into my life?  And Why is Christ important in my life?

How Can I Invite Christ Into my Life?

There are many ways to invite Christ into your life, but I decided to make a list of the little things that we can be doing everyday. 
  1. Develop Christlike attributes in yourself:
    1. Our Savior has many attributes some of which are: humble, obedient, healer, kind, teacher, courageous, selfless, and patient.  In PMG (Preach my Gospel) it reads:
      "At the beginning of His mortal ministry, Jesus Christ walked along the shore of the sea of Galilee and called out to two fishermen, Peter and Andrew. "Follow me," He said, "and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19 see also Mark 1:17).  The Lord has also called you to His work, and He invites you to follow Him.  The invitation to follow Christ is an invitation to follow His example and to become like Him....  The restored gospel enables you to become like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  The Savior has shown the way. He has set the perfect example, and He commands us to become as He is.  Learn of Him and seek to incorporate His attributes into your life.  Through the power of His Atonement, you can achieve this goal and lead others to achieve it also."
    2. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf explains,
      "To follow Christ is to become more like Him.  It is to learn from His character.  As spirit children of our Heavenly Father, we do have the potential to incorporate Christlike attributes into our life and character.  The Savor invites us to learn His gospel by living His teachings.  To follow Him is to apply correct principles and then witness for ourselves the blessings that follow.  This process is very complex and very simple at the same time.  Ancient and modern prophets described it with three words: "Keep the commandments" -- nothing more, nothing less.....Christlike attributes come into our lives as we exercise our agency righteously.  Faith in Jesus Christ leads to action.  When we have faith in Christ, we trust the Lord enough to follow His commandments -- even when we do not completely understand the reasons for them."
      1. Moroni 10:32 "Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in Him."
  2.  Read your scriptures and pray daily:
    1. When reading your scriptures you don't want to make it just another thing to check off of your list.  You need to be actively engaged while reading them, so that you are increasingly getting to know Christ.
      1. Psalms 119:105
    2. Same thing goes for prayer.  You do not want to have a repetitive prayer, you are talking with the Lord and he is listening.  Prayer does not have to be scheduled, you can pray to the Lord at any given or place.  He will always be there to listen to you and answer your prayers.  The Lord wants to help you with whatever you might be going through; it might be something as simple as needing help finding your car keys or asking to be given just one more day with a terminally ill loved one.  He wants to be able to communicate with us in every aspect of our lives. 
      1. 3 Nephi 20:1 "...And He commanded them that they should not cease to pray in their hearts."
  3.  Attend Sabbath day meetings:
    1. Attending church meetings should only be hard when you are the one speaking in sacrament.  In all seriousness though there is a reason that we have a whole day devoted to Christ.  All of us, who believe in the same thing come together to partake of the sacrament in which we renew our baptismal covenants.  While we are in our church meetings we learn of Christ through lessons or through the members strong testimonies which then helps us to strengthen our own.
  4.  Tell others about Christ:
    1. You don't have to get the mission call to be a missionary, ALL members are missionaries and should strive to be.  Missionary work dos not necessarily mean walking or biking 20+ miles a day and preaching to people, it's as simple as giving a smile to someone that needs it.
    2. "We remain under covenant today to take the gospel to "every nation, kindred, tongue, and people."  As we do so, both givers and receivers will be blessed...  Ours is the responsibility to teach His children and awaken in them an awareness of God." - Russell M. Nelson
      1. Romans 1:16 
  5. Develop your faith in Christ:
    1. "Exercising faith in the Lord is a necessary preparation for following Him." - Elder David A. Bednar
    2. One way to develop faith in Christ is repentance.  Repentance plays a significant role in developing faith in Christ.  When you repent you are to rely fully upon Christ and know that He can and He will bring you out of despair and darkness.  You need to have faith and trust that Christ will lift you upon His shoulders and carry you home.
Why is Christ Important in my Life?

So, why is Christ important in my life? Why is Christ important in your life? 
"Jesus Christ was chosen to be our Savior.  His Atonement makes it possible for us to be resurrected and to repent and be forgiven so we can return to Heavenly Father's presence.  In addition to saving us from our sins, Jesus Christ, our Savior, also offers us peace and strength in times of trail.  He sets the perfect example for us, and His teachings are the foundation for happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come."
We need Christ in our life, because WHEN life gets hard, confusing, painful, and discouraging, you will want to push everyone away, including Christ, and you will want to try and fix things on your own, but you don't have to do it alone.  When we mess up we are going to feel so overwhelmed that we feel like shutting down and that life is too difficult to handle.  We have all had those moments when it seems that nothing, and no one can help us, moments when we are utterly, and literally, exhausted.  These are the moments when we should give up.  That's right, give up.  When you have hit a wall and there is no escape, take all your confusion, all the pain, all the "I can't," the "help me," and the "It is too much," and give them up to Christ.

When Christ suffered in Gethsemane, it was not only for our sins, it was for our sorrows, our pain and everything else we go through in this life.  Christ was rejected by his people, beaten, and spit upon.  He felt every sorrow, every pain, every suffering any of us have ever had.  There will be nothing on this earth you will experience that He has not.  So why carry all your sorrow alone? Give it up to the Savior, let Him help you!

When Elder O. Vincent Haleck, of the seventy, was a boy his mother would put out the picture of the Savior knocking at the door, around Christmas time.  At this point in time he and his family were not members yet, Elder Haleck would always ask, "Why is Jesus knocking at the door? Who is on the other side?" A few years later he recognized that there was no handle on the outside of the door that the Savior was knocking on.  The person on the inside needed to be the one to open it.  Elder Haleck realized that we are the ones on the other side of the door, the Savior is knocking, and all we have to do is open the door and invite Him into our lives.
"What if there were things you could never take back?  Words, decisions, mistakes?  A world where every heartache lasted forever or every wound never healed.  No auto correct, no backspace, no delete.  A world where man only drifts father and father away from happiness, from peace, from God...  That's what the world would be like without a Savior. Thankfully, that 'world' doesn't exist, because one quiet night, long ago, in a tiny town a child was born.  Born to change ALL hearts, end ALL goodbyes, fix ALL mistakes.  Born to overcome anguish, regret, depression, fear.  He understands YOU, He heals US.  He can bridge the lonely gap between God and man and bring us home IF we let Him, IF we LOVE Him, IF we FOLLOW Him.  That's why we celebrate, that's why we sing, and that's why He was born." -Why We Need a Savior - A Christmas message about our Savior Jesus Christ. #ASaviorIsBorn.
I am here today to bear witness to you that inviting Christ into my life has by far been the best thing that I could ever do.  Christ is waiting and wanting for you to let Him into your life.  I promise that once you do let Him in you will be blessed in not only this life but for the next life after this.  You will see all the amazing things that He has done for you and that He wants us to have unfathomable joy in our lives.  He love you. He cares about you. He wants us to come home to Him one day knowing that we have done everything in our power to make it back to Him.  Brothers and Sisters, I am so thankful to have been born  into this amazing gospel and that it allows us to have eternal families.  I am so extremely grateful for President Thomas S. Monson and all his counselors and their words of encouragement, love, peace, and guidance that they are receiving form our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ.  I know that Thomas S. Monson is the true prophet on the earth today.  I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love and care about me and are watching over me.  I know that the decision to serve a mission will bless me in many ways and I am so excited to be able to have the opportunity to serve the people of Brazil and to help them to come unto Christ.  I know this church is the true church and I am so grateful for our Saviors sacrifice so that WHEN we do make mistakes we can and we WILL be forgiven.  I say these things, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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