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Goodbye Montana…….

Well I guess the time has come for me to say ‘Goodbye Montana’. It seems strange to think of my time serving as a missionary has now come to an end. I am at a loss of words. A flood of memories comes rushing into my head when I think back on my mission. 2 years is a long time; areas, companions, investigators, families, and friends. Each one has different stories and memories. I remember when I first arrived at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) in Provo, Utah. I can still remember saying goodbye to my family as I embarked on an adventure of a life time. I remember the sleepless nights and tender prayers I had kneeling in my top bunk there. I can still recall my first day in the mission field in Riverton, WY with Elder Fry, my trainer. I was asked to use the priesthood and administer a blessing of comfort for the first time. I will always remember my time serving among the wonderful people of Native America in Wolf Point, Mt. The stress I felt when training Elder Johansson for the first time. I look back at Luarel, Mt and laugh reflecting how I literally looked back at Elder Neilson through the rear window as he pushed our car through the deep snow covered streets.  I never will forget the beauty of Eureka, Mt, and the patience a love I learned there. Up-town of Butte, America will remain like a photograph on my mind. The people here are one of a kind, and I love them because of it.

Yes, on my mission for the lord I have learned more then words can describe. I have learned how to love. I have learned how to have patience. I have learned how to work. This mission has without a doubt, been the best two years for my life. I feel I have grown up and matured. I have seen countless blessings, miracles, and prayers answered on my mission. But maybe, perhaps, the most important thing I will remember, is the people whom I have served. The people whom I have prayed and fasted for. The people whom I have loved. The people who have blessed my life and taught me so much. The people whom I have played but a small role in them accepting the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is such a unique joy felt when you, or someone you help, comes unto Christ. And I have seen and felt that. I of course cannot forget  the people I served with, companions, church members, and friends. Each one of my Companions have taught me something. My Mission President, President Garner, will always be a pillar of an example to me in my life.

I wish I had time to share the many stories of the various people and places I have met and been in, but obviously that would take way to long. Have you ever seen the little stickers of “Get Lost in Montana”? Well looking back over the past two years it seems I have done just that. I have gotten lost. I have indeed gotten lost in Montana and Wyoming. I have gotten lost in the Lord. I don’t really want to leave home to go home, but I know it is time. I am excited to be back in Arizona and the things that await me there. But I will be forever thankful for my time spent serving the Lord in the best areas in the world! Goodbye, Montana…….

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The Miami Heat. They Have the Potential, So Do You

So the NBA finals are here again! I can’t believe it is already about half way through the series(depending on how the next games go). As of right now the Miami Heat are tied with the Dallas Mavericks. 2-2. Im excitited to see if the Heat can pull off a few more victories and take home the title. After all, they do have some big all-star players. I remember when I heard the news that Lebron James was going to go to the Heat to play with Dwayne Wade. I sure was excited. Then I found out that Chris Bosh would be joining to make quite the trio. Wow. I was bummed that i wasn’t going to get to watch them play. A lot of people predicted that this ultimate team would be unstoppable. That they would easily take it all the way to the finals and take home a ring. Others predicted that the team would flop. Some said that Three super stars wouldn’t be able to play together, at least not in the first season being on the same team. With all the potential they had they got off to a rocky start. However, they have now came all the way. Will they take home the championship? Will they win the prize after making it this far? Will the Dallas Mavericks keep them from their goals? Only time will tell.

To switch gears a little bit here I’d like to compare the Miami Heat to us. We come into this life with all the potential in the world. Some people are rooting for us. They know that we can go all the way. They root for us to take home that ultimate prize. Others, wish to see us fail and end up miserable. They dont want us to succeed. Now, we might not be a Lebron James, or even a Dwayne Wade. Maybe we are more like Mike Bibby or James Jones. But that is what’s so great about it; Everyone on the team gets the same prize, whether they are a Point Guard or a Center. We are in the game of life (which is a little bit more serious then the NBA). We have the potential as did/do the Miami Heat. Now let us work hard, make good choices, and try our best to win the prize; the prize of eternal life. I think the Miami Heat can do it. I know that we can.

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Caution: Watch Your Step!

Well the other day I took a nice little stumble. Yep, the dang classic sidewalk crack jumped up and grabbed my foot once again. Luckily this time I only suffered from slight embarrassment and I did not fall on my face. I have tripped quite a few times in my life. When I was young, when I was home, when I have been on my mission. Almost every time I have tripped or fumbled it was because I was not watching where I was going. A hidden step, a crack in the side walk, or perhaps a quick foot from a prankster. Of course I wont even start on the wonderful icy roads and sidewalks found in Montana during the winter months that have claimed victory over me more then a couple three times.

I reflect back to a time when I was first learning how to snowboard. Me and my friends went up to the mountain and decided to take the longest lift all the way to the top of the mountain. To make a long story short, me and another one of my friends weren’t really weren’t paying attention to where we were going. We ended up taking the wrong turn and found ourselves on a pretty slippery slope that was very narrow and above our experience. Luckily we didn’t take any huge falls and we made it down just fine. It made me think of a quote, or a proverb if you will: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, so watch your step”.

Often times we do not take enough thought about where we are placing our next step. Do we think about where that one step can lead us? Sometimes we don’t watch and we immediately trip and fall. Sometimes we don’t watch our step and it leads us onto a path that we really don’t want to be on. I am so thankful for our Savior Jesus Christ who makes it all possible for us to get back up. If we do trip and fall, get back up! The path that me and my friend went on in the end gave us experience and made us better because we eventually were able to get back on the correct path. But let us remember to watch our step. It can lead us to a place where we want to go, or it can lead us to a place where we don’t.  A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, so watch your step!

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Covenants Lead to Blessings

The other day I was talking with a friend about covenants. Hold on a second, just what exactly is a covenant? I like to think a covenant is a two-way promise. A pact, promise, or agreement you could say. A dictionary might say: “an agreement, usually formal, between two or more personsto do or not do something specified”. Now the context of the covenants we were talking about was a little different from most conventional covenants. Usually covenants, pacts, promises, or agreements are between two people or two groups or parties. We talked about how unfortunate it is that people sometimes have a less than  reliable record on keeping their promises. Thus, we have lawyers, contracts, and an endless supply of paperwork. This got my mind thinking. The covenants I’d like to talk about have a little more purpose and power than conventional ones. When we make sacred covenants in the church we are not covenanting with another person in the church. We are covenanting with God. Unlike imperfect humans, God will not slack on his end of the deal. We might slack, but he will not. He will keep ALL, EVERYTHING, he promises to do.  The Lord has stated, “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise” (D&C 82:10). There are many covenants we can make with the Lord but one that comes to my mind is Baptism. Here is a simple explanation of baptism: when we are baptized by immersion we make a covenant with God. We promise to be a witness for His name, always remember Him, and keep His commandments. In return He promises us to always have the Companionship of the Holy Ghost (what an amazing blessing!) and to have our sins washed away. Of course we need to be baptized by proper priesthood authority; a lawyer might know the law but cannot pull someone over and give them a speeding ticket. In a similar respect Jesus went to John to be baptized and not one of the Pharisees or Jewish leaders. When we are baptized by proper authority all these blessings can be ours. Not to mention many other blessings that come from baptism and membership in Jesus Christ’s restored church on the earth today. Sounds Pretty good to me.

Well, Elder Freeman you just don’t understand, One might say. I have a lot going on. I have finals coming up. Plus I have been sick lately, and work has been keeping me extremely busy. Not to mention my family has been having financial problems recently. I definitely don’t have time to think about baptism nor prepare for it. Plus, I’m not even sure if The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-Day Saints is the one true church!

Even though these are all real concerns, and can cause a decision like baptism to seem like a huge step or choice, God will help you! This is something He has commanded of us. Why wait? If I offered you a vitamin that would improve your health dramatically would you wait for a later time to obtain the benefits? If we wait till all things appear to be lined up just perfectly it may be too late, or things may never line up. Why hold off on blessings? With all the hardships and trials we face in life the Gift of the Holy Ghost will help us! The countless blessings that result from keeping the commandments will make our lives much more easy and bearable. I know that when we put God first, when we put first priority on Him, everything else will fall into place; including Family, friends, finals, and health. When times seem the hardest what better time to decide to follow Jesus Christ. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). If you’re not sure that the LDS church is true or not, that’s okay. Take the time to find out for yourself. Ask your Heavenly Father if it is true. I know that it is. I know that making covenants with God blesses our lives. I know that this knowledge has changed my life and that it can change yours as well. Even if the time doesn’t seem right, why wait? There is no better time than now!

(Not an Actual number. Try mormon.org to learn more)

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Happy Mother’s Day!!

    It’s mothers day already?!?! Wow! Seems like the last year has flown by. I remember last mothers day and how great that was. Last Mother’s day though I did not have the opportunity to blog about my wonderful mother. As a missionary Mother’s Day is especially special; on Mother’s Day we get to call home to our moms and to our families. Wait what?? You only get to talk to your mom once a year? We also get to call at Christmas, so twice a year. But we also get to email them once a week and write letters as well. That is why Mother’s Day is so special. This mother’s Day, since we (as missionaries) now have the opportunity to have blogs and FaceBooks, show my appreciation for my mom publicly and for the whole world to see (Which is good because I forgot to send a card).

Now I know that just about every son says this but for me I think it is the truth. MY MOM IS THE BEST MOM EVER!! It is true. Everyone else might have great moms, but not as good as mine. She’s got it all. She can cook/bake (oh how I miss her chocolate chip cookies!), she can listen, She can sew (I should’ve learned that one), she can correct (yep, we got the wooden spoon), she can advise, oh and did I mention she can cook/bake. She is loving, honest, caring, and kind. People love her, kids love her. She is always willing to help someone out. She’s got it all!

  (My Dad, Me, and My Mom)

  I know that I would not be who I am today without the love and guidance from my mom. Now my family isn’t a ‘hugin and a kissin’ type one might say. But I always knew that my mom (and my dad) was always there for me. And that she still is! Now that is worth more than words. I don’t think I would be on a mission right now if it wasn’t for them. And if I wasn’t on a mission for my church, I would not be who I am this day.

So I just wanted to say thanks mom, for all you have done and for all you will do. I don’t think I really deserve it, But I am eternally  thankful! I love you mom!

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Come Listen to a Prophet’s Voice!!

     When teaching a nine-year old girl a couple of weeks ago we were talking about prophets. We talked about Noah, and how he prophesied of the flood and saved his family, and the whole human race in reality. We taught about Moses and his faith and his courage in leading the Children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. I then asked the question “wouldn’t it be cool if we had a Noah or a Moses on the earth right now? To let us know if a flood was coming? Or to lead us out from bondage?” Her eyes kind of lit up and she said “Wow. Ya!”

     Well as a representative of Jesus Christ and His church I am called (and even proud) to declare to everyone that we do have a prophet here on the earth at this time. That we have a modern-day Noah, a modern-day Moses, or Isaiah, or Adam on the earth at this very moment  I know! Think about it, If there was a flood coming would you want to know about it? I know I would!

      Two weekends ago, the 1st and 2nd of April, we got to hear from the modern-day prophet. Every six months there is a conference broadcasted around the world, we refer to it as General Conference. There the prophet, President Thomas S. Monson (pictured below), addressed the world along with other chosen servants of the Lord. It is two days packed full of uplifting, ennobling, and helpful counsel. Along with warnings and reminders. I love it. I love to hear those men and women and the love they have for all of us and how they always admonish us to be a little better, try a little harder, and give a little more. I especially love to listen to the prophet. I can simply testify that he truly is the mouthpiece of the Lord. I testify that the Lord lives, and the words that he wants us to know are spoken through the prophet on the earth at this time. Here is video and a link. Check them out for yourself; listen to the prophet, listen to your heart. What a wonderful thing it is to know that Christ’s Church has been restored to the earth and that a prophet is here on the earth to guide and help us!

Check it out:

http://lds.org/general-conference?lang=eng

Click Here to Learn More about Prophets

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