Thursday, February 2, 2017

Something to talk about....

So I got a call last Tuesday. It was Jeff Bullock calling....I thought it was about Cub Scouts.....boy was I wrong. He asked if I could speak in Sacrament meeting the next Sunday. I was in a pickle...he knew it...I knew it. I had just had him fill in for the Cub Master the week before...I owed him and I am sure he knew it. I agreed to talk. Now I can't trust calls from across the street or to the left side of me...haha...I am almost surrounded. I sulked about for a few days. You see talking in church is one of my top least favorite things on this earth. 1st: Haunted Houses 2nd: Root Canals 3rd: Talking in Church 4th: Onions and 5th: Doing Dishes.

I was asked to speak about: How Does Serving Others Bring Us least that is what I ran with. Kendall was giving me tons of unsolicited advice. I am sure he was super jealous it was me speaking and not him. I listened to his advice and then did my own thing. I am super unteachable when it comes to things like this. I did a little bit of research each day and on Friday during nap time I sat down to write my talk. Of course Kendall came home early to work from home.....for some reason Dyllon came home early and then two of my Littles were dropped off late and I need to get them a late lunch and get them to nap time. Kendall and Dyllon wanted to talk sports and much for a quiet time to work on my talk! Such is my luck....

Anyway...I was able to come up with a little something to talk about in church. I was super nervous and I am sure I dropped 5 lbs during my talk from shaking up there. I started out with....I was cool until Kai said Amen.... I started out with some laughs.  I adlibed here and there and well.....I think it turned out okay. Well anyway...I though I would post it here because bishop promised me I dont have to speak for five years and I though my posterity would appreciate it. I am currently dreading the year 2022. Here is what I came up with to talk about, hope you like it!

Good Morning Brothers and Sisters. My name is Mindy Brown for those of you that do not know me. My family has lived in the ward for about 16 years.  In my Patriarchal blessing it tells me that I will live in many stakes and branches, that statement has come true just by living in our home.  We have been a part of  3 stakes just by the area growing and the stakes splitting…..not too sure about the whole branches thing though….but I guess it could happen.  Look at Marty White.

I currently serve as the Cub Committee Chair. I am married to Kendall Brown…you see him roaming during sacrament meeting counting all of you.  We have 4 kids….Dyllon….who was kicked out of this ward and now attends the singles ward. He is a student at UofU. Avery is studying  Diesel Technology down at USU eastern.  Aushlynn is currently serving a mission in the Piura Peru Mission.  She will be home on May 3rd  in 93 days, 22hours and 23 minutes  I don’t keep track of the seconds….I mean I’m not some crazy missionary mom.  We’ll probably go and pick her up at the airport…or she could take an Uber or Tracks….well decide in May…it’s not a big deal. Just kidding…I will probably camp out at the airport on the 2nd of May! Madison is our caboose…she is also our boss.  She is a Jr at Bingham and is running track.

Today I was asked to speak on how does serving others bring us joy?  Love one another; as I have loved you. These words were spoken by Jesus just hours before his great atoning sacrifice. Jesus not only taught us to love, but he also lived what he taught. Throughout his ministry, Jesus “went about doing good” and “entreated all to follow His example.”4 He taught, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”

President Thomas S. Monson, who has understood and lived the admonition to love, said: “I believe the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and … lose their lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourish—and in effect save their lives.”

True Christ like service is selfless and focuses on others. One woman who took care of her invalid husband explained, “Don’t think of your task as a burden; think of it as an opportunity to learn what love really is.”7 I can see this statement is true by watching my father in law care for his sweet wife.  Kendall’s parents are advancing in age and are in there mid 80’s.  Kendall Mother has developed early onset of  Alzheimer’s.  His dad patiently takes care of her every need.  No matter how many times she asks the same thing or tells the same story he responds as if it is the first time that he is hearing it. What an amazing example of patience, love and service.

Oftentimes we are like the young merchant from Boston, who in 1849, as the story goes, was caught up in the fervor of the California gold rush. He sold all of his possessions to seek his fortune in the California rivers, which he was told were filled with gold nuggets so big that one could hardly carry them.

Day after endless day, the young man dipped his pan into the river and came up empty. His only reward was a growing pile of rocks. Discouraged and broke, he was ready to quit until one day an old, experienced prospector said to him, “That’s quite a pile of rocks you are getting there, my boy.”

The young man replied, “There’s no gold here. I’m going back home.”

Walking over to the pile of rocks, the old prospector said, “Oh, there is gold all right. You just have to know where to find it.” He picked two rocks up in his hands and crashed them together. One of the rocks split open, revealing several flecks of gold sparkling in the sunlight.

Noticing a bulging leather pouch fastened to the prospector’s waist, the young man said, “I’m looking for nuggets like the ones in your pouch, not just tiny flecks.”

The old prospector extended his pouch toward the young man, who looked inside, expecting to see several large nuggets. He was stunned to see that the pouch was filled with thousands of flecks of gold.

The old prospector said, “Son, it seems to me you are so busy looking for large nuggets that you’re missing filling your pouch with these precious flecks of gold. The patient accumulation of these little flecks has brought me great wealth.”

This story illustrates the spiritual truth that Alma taught his son Helaman:

“By small and simple things are great things brought to pass. …

“… And by very small means the Lord … bringeth about the salvation of many souls” (Alma 37:6–7).

I liken this story unto service.  When I was asked to give this talk I sat down and tried to think of the service that I render.  I could not come up with any great big and wonderful acts of service that I have performed and that I could tell you about.  I could only find little flecks of service that I have performed.  But, I am slowly filling up my pouch and by the time my life is through here on the earth I hope to have it bulging.

So, I got to thinking, what are the types of service that you can render.  The first that came to mind is service in your family. I think that when a couple decides to get married that in essence they are agreeing to serve one another and family that they create. In my family, I feel that I do very little for myself throughout the day….but the majority of what I do is to make my family happy and their lives easier. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, homework…the list goes on and on. I guess being a mom, the number one job qualification is being able and willing to serve.  It goes back to what President Monson said; unless we lose ourselves in the service of others there is little purpose to our own lives.  If I did not serve my family, I can’t even begin to imagine the person that I would be. I remember that when Kendall blessed Dyllon as an infant he blessed him with a life of service.  As soon as he said that in the blessing he started crying.  Service is a lot of work…but it is worth all the time that you put into it. I guess Dyllon was just realizing what he was getting into as his dad blessed him.  One recent service that I am doing for my family is reading the book of Mormon with Madison.  We got an email a few days ago showing what she needed to do to finish up her medallion. One of the last things she needed to do is finish the book of Mormon.  Last Sunday I asked her if she would like to read it with me and finish before Aushlynn gets home from her mission.  She quickly agreed and we found a 90 day reading chart and are currently reading each night. I am not only serving her, but spending quality time with her. I find great joy in serving my family…by serving my family I am putting gold flecks in my pouch every day.

Another type of service that we can render is service in our callings. I have found great joy in the callings that I have had throughout my life.  Today, I would like to share with you some of the blessings that come through our service in the church. Specifically, our church service brings us joy. In my years of church service I have found that my callings have given me new talents. Who knew that I would enjoy being the primary Chorister?  Now when I get the call to substitute I jump at the chance. I enjoy working with the kids and seeing their enthusiasm for singing. Be warry of them though…sometimes they like to sing do as I’m doing and when they do.. they will want to hop on one foot and you can be for certain your knee will get swollen because you sprained it. Serving in callings builds friendships. I have gained numerous friends by serving with others. You can’t help but become friends with those you serve with. That is a gift of service. Service in church blesses us with knowledge. Without my service in the church I would not have the understanding of the cub scout program, I would not know how to lead the music, I would not know how to throw a party for over 400 people, I would not know nearly as many scripture stories or primary songs.  One of the great joys of church service is also missionary service.  I am coming to an end of 5 years of missionary service from my children.  It has been a joy to see them learn and grow through there service as a missionary.  Sometimes I think that all the stuff I messed up as a parent on is fixed thru missionary service. I also find joy in serving the missionaries that serve in our area. The missionaries know that they can call us and we are willing and able to support them in any way that we can.  I have gained life long friends in serving the missionaries in our area.  By serving in my callings and in church I am able to fill my pouch with gold flecks.

The last area that we can serve in is in the community. Serving in the community does not have to take a lot of time. But on the other hand if you are looking for opportunities to serve you can find service projects that could fill emptiness in your life. You could mentor refugee families.  You could serve on a city council. Since I don’t have a lot of time, I look for opportunities that are simple and easy to accomplish.  The other day I was walking in the Walmart parking lot.  I noticed an elderly gentleman struggling to load his groceries in the back of his car. I stopped and asked him if I could help him put his groceries in his car and take his cart into the store.  It turned out that he recently had knee surgery and it was a struggle to walk and stand for him. Loading the groceries was easy for me to do…I am pro…and it was fun to chat with him for a minute and put a smile on his face. It took a minute of my life and it made me feel good.  I was filling my pouch with a fleck of gold.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is simple, no matter how much we try to make it complicated. We should strive to keep our lives similarly simple, unencumbered by extraneous influences, focused on those things that matter most.

What are the precious, simple things of the gospel that bring clarity and purpose to our lives? What are the flecks of gospel gold whose patient accumulation over the course of our lifetime will reward us with the ultimate treasure—the precious gift of eternal life?

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