Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sharing Ice Cream

 One day while working at Cold Stone Creamery and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory I had a couple of delightful but weird encounters. Both encounters involved costumers who were at a loss as to which of the many flavors of ice cream they should choose. As an employee part of my job includes satisfying the costumers.
When I first began working at Cold Stone all that meant to me was 'give them the samples they request and make the ice cream they choose with a smile on your face.' As the years have accumulated however, I have found that instead of just standing and waiting for them to ask for samples I suggest things that I really enjoy or that they may ave a particular interest in according to popular demand. It has always been rewarding when I succeed in helping them find the flavor that satisfies their cravings.
The encounters mentioned above, for some reason in particular made me feel elated at the success. In both incidents the costumer and I collaborated for several minutes about likes, dislikes, and previous preferences -both taking longer than the average costumer. Ultimately they chose a flavor that I love. I always love inviting people to taste it and sharing facts about it (did you know our Banana ice cream is made with REAL bananas?! none of this fake flavor business! P.S. It's delicious). For some reason these two experiences sparked a deeper satisfaction and happiness than any others. I didn't know if it was the process we took to get there or what, but today I feel as though it was for my Father in Heaven to teach me a lesson.
Something as simple as sharing an ice cream flavor that I loved and seeing it make others happy reminded me of my time serving as a full time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a missionary I was continuously sharing what I loved and my testimony of our Savior on a daily basis and the feelings that came when seeing others come into the church or strengthening their own testimonies was and is indescribable and brought so much happiness to my heart. For some reason as I have been home and gotten back into the flow of 'normal' life I ashamedly admit that now that 'sharing' happens far less than it should. As I was sitting in a Church meeting today it hit me that sharing ice cream I enjoy with others is okay but that I KNOW and have experienced joy in such greater abundance by sharing things of far greater importance and impact.
So to the lesson: once great truths have been taught to you and you have felt their power and ability to strengthen, lighten, and shape your life share it with EVERYONE around you whether it is through words, invitations, service, or examples and do your very best to NEVER return to old habits or ways of thinking/living. Sure we all falter and sometimes feel we have gone too far in the opposite direction but, our Father is our Creator and there is NOTHING that he can't or isn't willing to fix -and most of the time through the 'fixing' process we become stronger and better than before. He loves us so much that at times it is incomprehensible but it is there and true. I know that if I do more than just share simple things I like such as 'ice cream' and continue to share my love and testimony of this gospel that the peace and happiness I will feel will be so much greater than that of sharing worldly things. I know those that I share it with won't just be momentarily satisfied as they would be with ice cream but that if they accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ and come to love it and live it too they "shall never hunger" nor thirst (3 Nephi 20:8, John 6:35, Isaiah 49:10). I love this Gospel with all my heart and I know it has the power to change our lives for the better if we allow it to. I say this in the name of my Savior Jesus Christ, amen.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Washing machines to Spiritual beings!

I have had this Blog in mind for quite sometime but for some reason it has taken me FOREVER to turn that thought into action so...I hope the time was worth it and that you will be able to get something out of this post.
During my time in Georgia our washer had some started out with the drum just being off balance and not sounding too pretty when it went into the spin cycle. Of course the more we used it the worse it got until finally it sounded like it was going to fall through the floor. Being the little farm girl I am I did my best to fix it but being unable to figure out how to get the front panel off without any tools I had to use something creative to balance out the drum.Looking around the apartment I tried to find something that I could use...finding nothing that even resembled a rope or string I decided to make my own. Now to find the materials. I thought for a while then decided to chop up some reusable cloth grocery bags and braid them together. I did but found the material was not at all as strong as I had hoped so I decided to also braid in some plastic grocery bags for strength. Hot dog! It worked perfectly!!
I now had something to work with! Now, how to use it...I found that by lifting the top of the washer I could tie the rope to part of the drum, which I did. I then made a handle using a butter knife. Now when the washer went into the spin cycle all we had to do was hold onto the knife/rope and compensate for the lack of balance! It worked great. But alas, after a few months this quick fix job wasn't very affective anymore- never mind the fun of being jiggled to death every time.
Now I will do a lot to not have to pay for something and it was the last thing I was going to do to go and pay to get my clothes washed. So I purchased a pair of multipliers and finally figured out how to get the front panel off. Now I could actually see what the real problem was from the inside! I was so excited! I found that the drum had come off of two of the springs. But now I faced another problem...I needed a wrench to be able to fix it properly. We asked several of our neighbors for one but found that most of them didn't own one, didn't know what one was or they were too small so I went back to the drawing board. Without the proper tools I was unable to completely fix the problem so I had to be content with another 'it'll do', temporary fix by readjusting the rope and just placing the drum on top of the springs. It wasn't going to last very long.
Finally, the next week I was able to obtain a wrench that worked and was able fix it properly. It worked perfectly! I was so excited!
Alright. Now to tie this experience into a spiritual analogy! Here are some things that came to mind during my 'fixin it up process': We cannot simply judge things (people, events, experiences, etc.) from the outside and expect to see the whole story or figure out the lasting solution. We cannot fix something from the outside and expect it to last. More often than not the superficial fixes cause lasting and greater damage. Even when we get an inside peek if we don't have the right tools or mind set we won't be able to do a whole lot of good. But, when we look deep inside, when we search for what the real problem is and we have the right tools-when we have a desire, love, hope, and faith- we can with our Saviors help make anything as good as new (and even better!)!
We cannot expect to live up to our Savior and His example if we don't seek to increase the 'tools' or talents He has given us to grow and help those around us. We cannot expect to help a friend who is broken inside by picking them apart. We must serve, love, and become their true/trusted friend. Life is not about the superficial or surface looks, actions, or motives. Life is about love. Life is about growing. Life is about looking inwardly fixing yourself and then helping others along as you learn and grow. Life is about gaining and maintaining an Eternal perspective.
At times our life can appear to be impossible to fix but I know that through our Savior and His Atonement ALL things are possible. I know that He knows each of us better than we know ourselves. He knows how to and can 'fix' a broken spirit. He knows you. He loves you and He has ALL of the right tools to help you come back to Him and our Father. Trust Him. Let Him guide you and He will heal you. I love my Savior with all my heart. I love this-His Gospel and I am so grateful for the experiences I have had and for the opportunity I have had for this short time to be a tool in my Father's hands. I love you, my brothers and sisters, and I pray that each of you will have a blessed day and ALWAYS remember to turn to our Savior. In His precious name, even Jesus Christ, Amen.