Sunday, May 22, 2016

May 22, 2016 Faith Is Not by Chance, but by Choice

It has been another busy week as we prepare for the coming changes to the boundaries in the Idaho Boise Mission. We still don't have all the details, but we have been advised to expect approximately 100 new missionaries from the Twin Falls area.  Of course that means that we will probably be losing some of our awesome IBM missionaries to the Idaho Nampa Mission.  It is bittersweet, but exciting to see the Lord's work move forward. 
With all the mixed emotions about the coming changes and life in general it has been a week filled with blessings too numerous to count and disappointments in peoples choices, places and things, that has caused us some sleepless nights.
 When life gets hard the best place to find relief is in the scriptures 
or in the words of His prophets.
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Knowing that we were probably not alone in our frustrations, the article found in the November 2015 Ensign, titled, "Faith Is Not By Chance, but by Choice", 
by Elder Neil L. Andersen, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is one article that helped us to gain perspective and we hope it might help you.

"Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is not something ethereal, floating loosely in the air. 
Faith does not fall upon us by chance or stay with us by birthright. 
It is, as the scriptures say, “substance … , the evidence of things not seen.”  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."
 We ran into four missionaries at Sonic's after 8:00 pm to purchase a half price milkshake. Well if we had arrived just a few minutes sooner we would have happily paid for their milkshakes.  But as it turned out they beat us to the punch . Someone had given them an extra milkshake and they decided to pass along the kind act. Since we had already ordered two milkshakes we now had three.  
The missionaries simply would not take no for an answer so we shared a sweet treat the next evening, thanks to four thoughtful missionaries.
Kind acts come with no calories, right?

 We are happy to report that the random inspections are now complete. 
Zone Conferences are scheduled next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday where the winners will be announced. 
We won't spoil the surprise, (stay tuned until next week) but the winners won by a landslide.
Our side yard just seemed to be missing something.  
A Christmas tree! 
Well after a long discouraging search we were finally informed that Douglas Firs and Silver Tips simply do not survive well in Idaho.  The next best idea was a Colorado spruce. 
Fun Fact-The interesting thing about a spruce we learned is that it is green in color when planted at sea level, but turns a bluish tint when planted at a higher elevation.  
Our little tree is currently in the process of turning blue from its originally green color.
It reminds us a little of Cinderella's dress.
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 Introducing the newest member to our family, Cirby. 
He can't wait to get all dressed up for Christmas.

Sister Morehouse, Elder Edralin, from Hawaii and Elder Carter, a city boy from Texas, carefully supervising the weed feeding of the horses.

The Bainbridge Ward's first service project!
We weren't really sure how many would participate, but we had faith and were thrilled at the numbers.  As a result we were able to complete both projects, tree removal and preparing gardens in record time! 

Grandparent Corner
 Wade, in his "woot woo's, trying to beat the Sacramento heat.
                    Kahlen following her first bath.                Kahlen and her Daddy

"How we live our lives increases or diminishes our faith. Prayer, obedience, honesty, purity of thought and deed, and unselfishness increase faith. Without these, faith diminishes. Why did the Savior say to Peter, “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not”? Because there is an adversary who delights in destroying our faith! 
Be relentless in protecting your faith."
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"Although your beginning fire of faith may be small, righteous choices bring greater confidence in God, and your faith grows. 
The difficulties of mortality blow against you, and evil forces lurk in the darkness, hoping to extinguish your faith. But as you continue to make good choices, trust in God, and follow His Son, the Lord sends increased light and knowledge, and your faith becomes settled and unwavering. 
President Thomas S. Monson said: “Fear not. … The future is as bright as your faith.”
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Faith in Jesus Christ is a gift from heaven that comes as we choose to believe and a we seek it and hold on to it.  
Hang on tight, this life will only get harder, but will be worth it in the end.

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