Friday, June 29, 2012

June 29th, 2012

Wow, is this already my third email?  Que Loco!  Anyways, some pretty crazy stuff happened this week.  Here we go.
First of all, I got to meet my mission president and his wife.  The new mission presidents all got here Saturday for their little Mission President's seminar, so that night each of them met with their future missionaries.  It was pretty cool.  I got to see all the other guys going to our mission (remember Cameron Rogers from my UC Strikers team?  He's going there too!).  Mom, I did see that Elder Morales you asked about, but I didn't ever talk to him.  President Wagner seemed pretty cool.  He's super smart and nice and his wife is really friendly too.  So that was fun. 
Because of the mission president seminar, we were inconvenienced all week.  The whole main building was closed, including half the cafeteria, and so was the gym because it was permanently set up for devotionals.  But it all paid off on Tuesday night.  Our devotional speaker that night was L. Tom Perry, and also in attendance at the devotional was Russell M. Nelson, Jeffrey R. Holland, M. Russell Ballard, Dallin H. Oaks, Quentin L. Cook, D. Todd Christofferson, Neil Anderson, Richard G. Scott, and David A Bednar.  That's right, 10 of the twelve apostles were there! Oh, and I forgot to mention that the entire first presidency of the seventy was there as well.  The feeling in that room was incredible.  Wow.
So the teaching is going well.  We started with two new investigators this week:  Nicolas and Wilmer.  Nicolas is a little more difficult than Leonardo.  He's super nice and friendly, but kind of weird.  Like, he asked Elder Ringer and I if we were gay.  He did it politely, but still, weird.  Then, while I was giving the opening prayer, he repeated every word I said out loud.  And he wouldn't take our Book of Mormon.  But other than that, the lesson went pretty well.  We taught him the right way to pray without offending him during our second visit, and he seems to be pretty receptive to everything we teach him, except he doesn't feel any need to read the Book of Mormon, so hopefully we'll be able to get him to do that next time.  We taught Wilmer for the first time yesterday, and it went really well.  We had him read Joseph Smith's account of the first vision and then look at an illustration of it, and it really had an effect on him.  It was amazing!  He was dead silent just thinking about it and the Spirit was pretty much tangible.  So he seems like he'll be golden.
Elder Ringer and I really teach well together.  There's lots of balance between each of us, we're pretty much always on the same page on where the lesson needs to go, and our Spanish is improving rapidly.  We even taught Sunday school this week on the Book of Mormon ( in English) and it went really well. 
So to answer some of your questions, Hermana Rood has to go everywhere either with the other sisters in our zone who live in the same room as her or with all of us.  She doesn't mind it though, because we take good care of her.  One time we even walked in a big circle formation with her in the middle all accross the CCM, which I should have taken a picture of.  And I don't know what will happen to Elder Duncan when Elder Bonner leaves.  As of right now, Elder Bonner doesn't have his visa yet and won't be leaving for at least another week or so.  So we'll see.  Elder Ringer did have to move into our room.  There was an open bed since there were only three of us in there before. 
Thanks for updating me on Sam's mission call (his old roommate from BYU).  So excited for that boy!  And say hi to Eric Seamons (a friend in the ward who just returned from his mission) for me. 
I have been sleeping better.  I got really sick Wednesday and Thursday, so I was really wiped out those nights and slept just fine.  So hopefully that continues.
I have in fact seen Austin (another BYU roommate).  Believe it or not, he lives in the same building as us!  We're on the 3rd floor and he's on the first.  So he came and visited us the other night and it was a party.  He seems to be doing just great.  We took some pictures that you should be very excited to see, so yeah, be ready. 
Me he dado cuenta de los fuegos.  The smoke made it to Provo and was stinking everything up the last two days.
Mom, thanks for all those letters from the other missionaries.  Everyone was amazed that I got 10 letters that day, until they found out 9 of them were from my mom.  (ha, ha I knew I'd forget if I didn't send them then!) Next time, can you maybe send them one day at a time?  Because DearElder is actually pretty lame and it totally freaked out and printed pieces of them on all different pages, so I had to put them all together like a big puzzle.  Also, you don't really need to send me Scott's.  I know what that boy's up to.  Thanks.
I am very glad that my scriptures were finally found!  I lost those about a year ago and have been desperately missing them ever since.  If you could just send me the case and whatever paper is inside, that would be great, and then I'll sort out what I need and don't.  Also, another 1-2 pairs of regular underwear would be nice!  Love you!
Things are going really well.  Missionary work rocks!  Our district has come really close.  Some members of our district went through some really tough times this week, but through Priesthood blessings, prayer, and faith, all is well.  It's been such a great thing to witness.
Thanks for the packages and the letters!  I felt almost overloaded this week!  Those fruit leathers were a great idea.  Elder Ringer and I have tried all the flavors now, I think.  They're delicious.  Congratulations Gwen on losing your first tooth.  I hope the tooth fairy brought you something nice!  Timo, good job on that talk!  Keep up the good work!  Thanks everyone one else for the letters and drawings.  Sounds like you liked Brave and had a fun time at Granny's this week.  Katie and Charl--letter on the way for you!  Thanks everyone!  I love you all!  Esta iglesia es verdadera!  (the church is true) Talk to you next week!
-Elder Pew

Friday, June 22, 2012

June 22, 2012

Hello everyone! I'm officially not a new guy anymore! So that means absolutely nothing, because I still have no clue what is going on around here. But whatever.
Thanks so much for the package of brownies and letters. My district enjoyed them mucho (the brownies, not the letters). They were very good.
I'm glad everyone had fun at the Family Festival. Sounds like they took it up a notch this year. Zane, thanks for the very informative drawings. I especially liked the one of the Lorax. Micah, everyone here was amazed at how good your handwriting is. Also, nice job in your lacrosse game! Izak, sounds like you had fun at Scout Camp--that's good. I'm glad you weren't one of those three hospital trips. And Gwen, what happened? Why didn't I get a letter from you? Slacker. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say that you wrote one that didn't make it into the box. Next week. Mom, Dad, Emily, and Timo, letters are on the way.
Also thanks for the pillow. I'm still not really sleeping that well, but I'm a lot more comfortable now while I'm lying there in bed not sleeping.
So things are going pretty well. I'm over the first weekend hump and time just seems to be flying. We had two devotionals this week. The one on Sunday was by Sheri Dew--so AWESOME! and then Tuesday night with one of the 70, can't remember his name right now. But yeah, our district is really coming together and bonding. We've had a lot of awesome discussions/testimony meetings this week, so that's been great. We taught our last lesson to Leonardo yesterday. I guess we're getting "transferred" or something. But we challenged him to baptism the lesson before, and he said although he is interested and he likes the way he feels when we come over and teach him, he doesn't feel the need to change his religion yet. But he wanted to keep learning. So yesterday we taught him more about the apostasy and restoration and why it was necessary to have the proper authority of God restored. Then we asked him if he would read the Libro de Mormon cover to cover and pray to know if it was true. He said yes. So then we challenged him to baptism again and he said that if he finds out these things are true and knows that this is what God wants for him, that he'd ask us if he could be baptized! It was way awesome and there was some hard core Espiritu Santo going on in there. So hopefully the "new missionaries" will get him to that point.
So mom, you asked about my district and branch president. Our branch president is President Tyler. I have now heard 3 different lessons from this guy, and when he talks it's like gold is just spewing from his mouth. He knows everything and he's an amazing teacher. He's also a walking set of scriptures--he knows literally every scripture there is! We all love him.
Our teacher is Hermano Lee. He served his mission in Columbia Bogota and he got back 2 years ago. He's superchevere. Also, he got engaged on Tuesday, so that was super exciting!
These are the Elders/sister in my district:
Elder Duncan: I told you a little about him last week. He's from Cedar City, going to Guadalajara also and that's where most of his extended family lives. He really likes to tell stories.   But he's super easy going and layed back and friendly.
Elder Bonner: He's from St. Louis, going to Lima Peru East. He likes St. Louis way too much and he's always talking, singing, or making noise, but he's really enthusiastic and works really hard.
Elder Ringer: Elder Ringer is from Las Vegas, and his twin brother, Blake, was actually in my BYU ward. He is going to Torreon, Mexico. He is one of the funniest people ever. He's so quiet and chill most of the time, but every once in a while he'll say something hilarious and it's great. He talks like the turtle from finding Nemo. Funny dude.
Elder Rassmussen: Elder Rassmussen is from Minnesota going to Hermosillo. He's really friendly and his Spanish is incredible.
Elder Plowman: Elder Plowman is from Dallas and he's going to Ogden, Spanish speaking. He plays tennis, has a girlfriend, gets about 4 letters every day and is super funny.He's a good guy.
Elder Woodward: Elder Woodward is from Kansas City, Missouri and is also going to Ogden. He's pretty quiet and big and a little stoic and scary looking, but he's cool and super nice. And amazing at basketball.
Elder Mathis: Elder Mathis is from Reno, Nevada and is going to Tijuana, Mexico. He's quiet, but nice and a really hard worker and secretly super awesome.
Elder Rice: Also known as Elder Arroz, he is from Tremonton Utah and is going to Culiacan, Mexico. He's quiet also. He has the kind of glasses that make his eyes look enormous, so that's awesome. But he's a really nice guy and not really awkward, just quiet. Also, he says some pretty funny stuff.
Hermana Rood: Hermana Rood doesn't have a companion. What? yeah, weird. But she's great. She is from Michigan, and she converted to the Church when she was 15. She's going to Tampa, Florida and even though we're immature, she loves us.
So here's the crazy thing. Elder Rassmussen actually ended up getting moved up to the advanced Spanish class, so that left Elder Ringer without a companion. So, they broke up our trio and put me with Elder Ringer! I am very pleased by this. Elder Ringer is hilarious! So yeah, that's the crazy story for now. I actually taught that last lesson with Leonardo with Elder Ringer about an hour after finding out I was his new companion. It was awesome.
Well, thanks for all the stuff this week. I would love it if you could send me 3-4 more pairs of regular socks, because they get pretty nasty after recess each day. Also, another t-shirt an pair of gym shorts would be nice. Maybe some day I'll have everything I need from home. Write me some more! I love you!
-Elder Taran Pew
P.S. Quotes of the week: "Why can't I just be a bush?" -Elder Ringer "Hey Elder Rice, do you want a quis (kiss)?" -Elder Mathis "Oh, I was just showing you my armpit." -Elder Rice

Saturday, June 16, 2012

First Letter From the MTC June 16th, 2012

Hola everybody!  This is it!  My first email.  How crazy.  I don't even know what to say.  It's been a long couple of days.  There's a really weird time warp here.  Each day feels like two days, but then I look back and can't believe it's already Saturday.  Crazy.
Thanks for all the letters.  Unfortunately, I've only had time to read one of them--the first dear elder one from mom.  They keep us pretty busy around here.  So thanks to Steph and whoever sent the other two DearElder letters I got yesterday.  I won't be able to respond to them until next Friday, because that is our first P-Day.  Today we just had some time to do laundry, so they told us to email our parents real fast to let them know we're still alive.
So I'm one of the lucky elders who gets to have two companions.  It's pretty great.  Their names are Elder Duncan and Elder Bonner.  They are both cross-country runners, so I kind of feel like a third wheel sometimes, but it's all good.  Elder Duncan is from Cedar City; he is half-mexican and most of his mom's family actually still lives in--guess where--Guadalajara.  Also, they are all Catholic, so we've already got some work to do there.  He's cool, kind of quiet but super nice.  He's also going to Guadalajara with me.  Also, he was a wrestler in high school.  Elder Bonner is from St. Louis.  He's going to Lima Peru East and he leaves in three weeks for the Peru MTC.  He's super outgoing but pretty awesome and he works really hard.  The rest of our district is pretty awesome.  We're bonding pretty well.  In case you are wondering, Scott and Dylan are both in my zone; we all live in the same hallway--and these are not big hallways.  So that's fun.  Cade Larsen and Jordan Turner also live on this floor.  Crazy.
Some funny things:  I've heard a lot of funny spanish mistakes.  Elder Bonner has twice accidently said that Christ atoned for our "pescados" (fish) instead of our "pecados" (sins)."  Another elder in our district said that Adam was the "primo profeta" (cousin prophet) instead of the "primero profeta" (first prophet).
The food here is really weird.  Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's gross, and almost every time it makes you feel like you just ate a bunch of rocks.  The breakfasts are almost always nasty, so I think I'll pretty much just stick to the cereal from now on.  Last night we had Papa John's pizza for dinner, so that was awesome.
The Spanish is coming.  I already half think in Spanish and it's really hard to not write half this letter in Spanish.  I already don't speak English anymore, but I definitely don't speak Spanish yet either, so communicating is kind of hard.  I'm definitely the best Spanish speaker in our companionship, but there are a few guys in my district who really know it pretty well.  It's amazing to me that after three days I can already competently pray in Spanish. 
Gym time has been fun.  I scored three goals in my MTC soccer debut, and after playing with some different guys yesterday who really didn't know what they were doing, my average is up to about 4 per game.  The rest of our district seems to like to play basketball, so maybe we'll make it in there to play with them sometime. 
We started teaching our first investigator yesterday.  His name is Leonardo; he's from Columbia and he works construction here in the US to earn money for his family back in Columbia.  Yesterday we taught him the restoration.  He talks really, really fast so that was kind of hard.  This is when it is nice to have 2 companions, though, so if you are talking and your mind goes blank there are two people there to save your bum instead of just one.  It was amazing to me that even though this was a simulation and even though our Spanish was utterly pathetic, the Spirit was so strong.  Apparently, one of Leonardo's hijos died a while back, and after he told us this we taught him that he would see his son again some day, and the feeling in the room was incredible.  Leonardo was almost in tears.  I don't know if he was just a really good actor or if it really was the Spirit, but it was still pretty awesome.  We're teaching him again today, so hopefully that goes well. 
Hmmm, Que mas?  I haven't been sleeping that great at all.  I am so tired all the time, but once I get into bed, my mind starts racing and then trying to translate everything I am thinking into Spanish, and by the time I finally fall asleep, I've already been lying there for an hour.  Also, my pillow did not seem to make it down here, so if you could send that to me, that would be great; because the pillows here are not much better than sleeping on an empty pillow case. 
Well, I'm about out of time.  HopefullyI'll get around to reading those letters soon so I can answer any questions you all might have or anything.  I hope Izak and Timo had fun at scout camp and made it back without any broken arms or legs.  I love you all!  I miss you!  Talk to you soon.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Setting Apart and the MTC drop off

Elder Pew with President Noble, his dad and grandfathers
 Taran was set apart for his calling as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Tuesday night.  Our Stake President Richard Noble set him apart.  It was a great blessing, I wrote it down in Taran's missionary journal so he can reflect on it when he needs it.  We are grateful both grandparents made it and all the kids but Izak (who is at scout camp this week) were there.  The stake president had Taran bare his testimony.  He bore a powerful testimony of Jesus Christ, even Timo was touched to tears. 

Everyone but Izak at the setting apart and both grandparents.

Taran and the kids are watching videos the church asks each prospective missionary to watch before they come to the MTC.  Talk about the last minute!  They are actually really cool!

At the Creamery on 9th for ice cream before the drop off!

Elder Pew and his cousin Erika

Our family minus Timo (who left for Scout Camp that morning) and Izak who was already at Scout Camp.  Luckily you can't see our tears.

Elder Pew at the MTC drop off.  The elder on the left was Taran's escort into the MTC.

Overall it went well.  I mean tears are normal, aren't we glad we love him!  We will miss him but he is going to rock the world with his testimony!  Keep checking for updates!  

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Elder Taran Pew's Farewell Talk

In preparing to leave on a mission, there are a lot of things I've had to do. One of which is figuring out what to do with my guitars while I'm gone. Why can't I just put them up in the attic with everything else? Because guitar strings need to be constantly strummed and tuned to keep them in good condition. If they are not, they will go out of tune. The longer they are left alone, the more out of tune they get. Once the strings get to this point, it is really hard to get them back into tune and to keep them that way for longer than a few minutes, because they have developed a natural tendency to loosen up and go flat. What does this have to do with anything? The strings on my guitar are like our own personal spirituality. When left alone, it cannot maintain its previous state, but inevitably deteriorates. The longer it is left alone, the harder it is to get it back and to keep it from going “out of tune” again. So how can we keep this from happening? How do we keep our own spiritual strings in tune? Elder Quentin L. Cook gave this answer: “Clearly, a dividing line between those who hear the music of faith and those who are tone-deaf or off-key is the active study of the scriptures.” Daily, active study of the scriptures will provide us with divine protection from the adversary and ensure that our spiritual strings are in tune. President Spencer W. Kimball once said “I find that when I get casual in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that no divine ear is listening and no divine voice is speaking, that I am far far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures, the distance narrows and the spirituality returns.” I have been assigned to speak on the scriptures, specifically how I have used them to prepare for a mission.
The way we study the scriptures has a profound impact on how in tune we are to the spirit and the blessings we receive from our study. Notice that Elder Cook did not say that “casually reading” or “passively glancing” at the scriptures would keep us in tune to the music of faith, but that it takes “active study.” President Kimball did not strengthen his relationship with God through “half-heartedly browsing,” but by “immersing himself in the scriptures.” In Lehi's dream of the tree of life, those who made it to the tree were those who were “clinging” and “continually holding fast to the rod of iron,” which represents the word of God, or the scriptures. Nephi tells us to “press forward, feasting upon the words of Christ,” while the Savior in His ministry to the Nephites commanded them to “search these things dilligently.” Do you see a theme here? Scripture study should be active.
So what does it mean to actively study the scriptures? To me, that means study with a purpose. Whether you are looking for guidance in an important decision, more clarity on a certain topic, or comfort in a time of trial; if you study with a purpose, your study will not only be more effective, but you will receive the answers and guidance you are looking for.
Another way to keep our scripture study active is to study with a pen. Underline verses you like and write down any insights you receive or lessons you learn. Elder Richard G. Scott said “Knowledge carefully recorded is knowledge available in time of need. Spiritually sensitive information should be kept in a sacred place that communicates to the Lord how you treasure it. That practice enhances the likelihood of your receiving further light.” You may still gain insights and inspiration while studying the scriptures, but if it is not written down and kept in a sacred place, it won't do you much good beyond the day you received it. I finally started doing this a few years ago and it has made all the difference. I've learned a lot more since then, and I can remember specific verses I've read and lessons I've learned; and I can look back and revisit things I have learned in the past. I know that by doing this we can make our scripture study more active as well as enhance our opportunities to receive more revelation.
Another important thing to remember when studying the scriptures is that the words of the living prophets are also scripture. The Lord has said “And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.” Likewise, President Ezra Taft Benson taught that “The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works.” Many of us do not take this as seriously as we should. The most important words we have are that of our living prophet, and we should include this in our scripture study as well. The Church pays for a current copy of the Ensign to be sent to each missionary apartment throughout the world every month. That's how important it is. I know that as I have studied the messages shared at General Conference and in the Ensign that I have gained important insights and knowledge. I have a testimony that these men are called of God to declare His word to us in our day.

There are many blessings that come from daily scripture study, both individually and as a family. If you think your children aren't hearing any of the words read during your family scripture study, you're probably right. But more important than the words they hear is the Spirit that will come into your home from your obedience and persistence in studying the scriptures as a family. And some day, your children will grow up and will start to pay attention, and they will thank you for forcing them into it all those years. I'm grateful that my parents have been so persistent in holding family scriptures each day. As much of a circus as it is trying to get everyone there and attentive, I do notice a difference between days when we've had family scriptures and days when we haven't. It's helped me develop a testimony of the importance of the scriptures and has a profound effect on the Spirit in our home.
We can also invite the Spirit into our lives by studying the scriptures individually. President Monson, in an address during priesthood session a few years ago stated “Every holder of the priesthood (and I would add every member of the church) should participate in daily scripture study. Crash courses are not nearly so effective as the day-to-day reading and application of the scriptures in our lives. I promise you . . . that if you will study the scriptures diligently, your power to avoid temptation and to receive direction of the Holy Ghost in all you do will be increased.” Daily scripture study will provide us protection against the adversary as it invites the Holy Ghost to be with us. Just as in days when we have held family scripture study, on days when I study the scriptures personally I notice a difference. I'm happier, more kind, and not as easily bothered if things don't go as I planned. When I started Jr. High, my mom encouraged me to read my scriptures each day before doing my homework. It took me a while to get into the habit, but when I did, the results were amazing. It was hard to wrap my mind around the thought that even though I had so many other things I needed to do, that I should still put scripture study first. But on days when I felt overwhelmed and that I had to much to get done, if I read my scriptures first my mind was more clear and focused and I was able to do what I needed to. I know that one of the major reasons for my success in school throughout all these years, especially in adjusting from high school to college, is because I did what my mom suggested and put scripture study first. Studying the scriptures, much like attending the temple, can take a cluttered, worn out mind and make it clear and focused.
The scriptures, in particular the Book of Mormon, are written for our day. We can learn great lessons by applying the stories we read in the scriptures to our own lives. We can learn obedience from the example of Nephi. We learn from Captain Moroni and King Benjamin what qualities to look for in choosing righteous leaders. We learn from Abinadi's example of how to stand for what's right in a wicked world. We learn about repentance from Alma and missionary work from Ammon; faith from the Brother of Jared and prayer from Enos. Most importantly, we learn how to prepare for the second coming of Christ from the account of the years leading up to his visit to the Nephites. President Eyring shared this story about applying the scriptures in his own life. “I was once invited to speak at graduation services at a university. The university president had wanted President Gordon B. Hinckley to be invited but found that he was unavailable. So by default I got the invitation. I was then a junior member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The person who invited me to speak became anxious as she learned more about my obligations as an Apostle. She called me on the phone and said that she now understood that my duty was to be a witness of Jesus Christ. In very firm tones she told me that I could not do that when I spoke there. She explained that the university respected people of all religious beliefs, including those who denied the existence of a God. She repeated, “You cannot fulfill your duty here.” I hung up the phone with serious questions in my mind. Should I tell the university that I would not keep my agreement to speak? It was only two weeks before the event. My appearance there had been announced. What effect would my failing to keep my agreement have on the good name of the Church? I prayed to know what God would have me do. The answer came in a surprising way to me. I realized that the examples of Nephi, Abinadi, Alma, Amulek, and the sons of Mosiah applied to what I was. They were bold witnesses of Jesus Christ in the face of deadly peril. So the only choice to be made was how to prepare. I dug into everything I could learn about the university. As the day of the talk grew closer, my anxiety rose and my prayers intensified. In a miracle like the Red Sea parting, I found a news article. That university had been honored for doing what the Church has learned to do in our humanitarian efforts across the world. And so in my talk I described what we and they had done to lift people in great need. I said that I knew that Jesus Christ was the source of the blessings that had come into the lives of those we and they had served. After the meeting the audience rose to applaud, which seemed a little unusual to me. I was amazed but still a little anxious. I remembered what happened to Abinadi. Only Alma had accepted his witness. But that night, at a large formal dinner, I heard the university president say that in my talk he heard the words of God. Now, such a miraculous deliverance is rare in my experience as a witness of Christ. But the effect of the Book of Mormon on your character, power, and courage to be a witness for God is certain. The doctrine and the valiant examples in that book will lift, guide, and embolden you.” President Eyring was able to have courage and success because of what he had learned from the Book of Mormon. As we apply the scriptures to our own lives, we too can learn important lessons that will give us courage, strengthen our testimonies, and ultimately prepare us for Christ's second coming in the latter days.
The scriptures can provide us with answers to our prayers. Elder Robert D. Hales stated “When
we want to speak to God, we pray. And when we want Him to speak to us, we search the scriptures; for His words are spoken through His prophets. He will then teach us as we listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.” We find similar counsel in 2 Nephi 32:3 “Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.” We do not receive answers to our prayers simply by praying. Answers come by praying, pondering, fasting, and studying the scriptures. By “likening the scriptures unto ourselves,” we can receive answers to our prayers.
As well as providing answers to our prayers, the scriptures can also provide us with a feeling of peace and calm. When I was a wee lad, from the ages of about 8 to 12, I was really intense about BYU football; like, I would cry when they lost. It was unhealthy. I remember one particular day, in 2005, I was home, by myself, watching BYU play against the University of Utah. This particular game went into over time, and at the end of regulation I was feeling extremely anxious. I did not want them to lose to the Utes again. I wasn't really sure what to do with myself. Then, the thought popped into my head that I hadn't read my scriptures yet that day. So, during the commercial break before overtime, I grabbed a Book of Mormon sitting on the shelf, and opened to a random page, and this is the verse that I read: 3 Nephi 12:44: “But behold, I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you.” After that, I knew that Utah was going to win. But I was okay with it; in fact, I was even a little bit happy for them. Ever since then, I have not been nearly as upset about my favorite sports teams losing, but more importantly, I gained a stronger testimony that day of the power of the scriptures to bring peace and calm into my life, as well as the enormous amount of love that my Heavenly Father has for me.
The most important blessing we can gain from the scriptures is a witness and a testimony of Jesus Christ. This is the whole reason they exist. As John declares “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” You cannot seriously study the scriptures without receiving a greater witness that Jesus is the Christ, “Now these things are written unto the remnant of the house of Jacob, and for this intent shall they go—that they may be persuaded that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.” “And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!”