Friday, April 3, 2015

The Book of Truth! - MM

So I finally finished reading the Book of Mormon since I started my mission! And after finishing the book, I prayed.

I may have not experienced anything that was extraordinary, but I honestly felt at peace. The words that I had read a couple weeks ago came to my mind.... "Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?" (Doctrine and Covenants 6:23).  I knew then that was my answer!

I have been talking and bringing the Book of Mormon to many people, and I just got a stronger testimony! At least I finished the goal of reading the Book of Mormon before General Conference!

I reflected back on the stories that I had read and it is crazy! I watched Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's talk, "Safety for the Soul" and I was left in amazement of how strong his testimony is of the Book of Mormon. And I was reflecting back of prophets and apostles of what they had to go through, from Noah to Joseph Smith, to even the living apostles and prophets. I just love the faith they have, to go and do the work that Heavenly Father has for them.

I have a strong sense of faith that the Book of Mormon is true, that this is the restored gospel that Jesus Christ put in this earth, and that we have living apostles and a prophet who guide this church, which is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! I know that God is love and He knows and understands us. I have faith, it may not be a world changer, but it is a life changer!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Trial of Faith - MM

So I was reading the Liahona of April of 2015 and there was a talk called, " The Power of Faith," and at the very end, they had put a quote by Spencer W. Kimball and it says:
 
“Is there not wisdom in [Heavenly Father] giving us trials that we might rise above them, responsibilities that we might achieve, work to harden our muscles, sorrows to try our souls? Are we not exposed to temptations to test our strength, sickness that we might learn patience, death that we might be immortalized and glorified?
“If all the sick for whom we pray were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the wicked destroyed, the whole program of the Father would be annulled and the basic principle of the gospel, free agency, would be ended. No man would have to live by faith.”
President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985), Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball (2006), 15.


And I had already pondered this before, but it hit me stronger that Heavenly Father does hear our prayers, and He is concerned for us, but He may not answer our prayers in the way we want it. We still have to go through hard times and still have to endure many trials and hardships because we have to learn how to have faith. We have to learn to be stronger than what we were yesterday.

Yes, it is hard and I have struggled many times, but I have faith that Heavenly Father is loving and I know that He loves us, that Jesus Christ also understands us and will help us to progress. Heavenly Father knows everything, so I have faith in His purpose, and I am grateful that He has put me through the refiner's fire, again, and again..... until hopefully one day, I can be what Heavenly Father intends me to be.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

O My! These is My Beloved Songs - MM

So I was listening to hymn music, and I remembered a song that I once sang in primary, the few short months that I was able to be in it, and I couldn't remember what my favorite hymn was called. A couple weeks ago, while driving, a song play in the car. I just heard the rhythm and Mormon Tabernacle Choir started to sing the primary song..... I was just so excited and I felt shivers because I loved the lyrics. I focused on the part where they sang the 3rd verse:

3. Joseph saw two glorious beings
Shining brighter than the sun.
God again presented Jesus:
"This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!"
 
I just felt this sense of peace and I just felt the Holy Ghost and it was a very confirming sense of what had truly happened. I just love the way Motab was able to produce such a beautiful tone when repeating the words of our Heavenly Father, with such reverence. I finally found my favorite song, "This is My Beloved Son" (Children's  Songbook #76).
 
Another of my most favorite hymns is "O My Father" (#292). We sang this song with a family during Christmas, and while singing it, I just felt the Holy Ghost so strongly during that song and I was tearing up! The part that just got my attention is verse 1 and part of verse 4.
 
1. O my Father, thou that dwellest
In the high and glorious place,
When shall I regain thy presence
And again behold thy face?
In thy holy habitation,
Did my spirit once reside?
In my first primeval childhood
Was I nurtured near thy side?
.....
4. When I leave this frail existence,
When I lay this mortal by,
Father, Mother, may I meet you
In your royal courts on high?
Then, at length, when I've completed
All you sent me forth to do,
With your mutual approbation
Let me come and dwell with you.
 
 
I just felt the spirit testify so strongly of what I have faith in, what had happened and what will come. The spirit that I feel when listening and even sing these beautiful tones have just captured my attention to what Heavenly Father is, which is LOVE (1 John 4: 7-9). He is love and that is what I  have come to understand through my trials and through my experiences, that God is here to make us joyful, and He shows it differently with everybody. He has helped me understand what love is and what He is through the things in which I had to go through and I am very thankful for them! Blessed is His name, for my soul sings cheerful praises unto Him! 
 
 

ALOHA New Area! - WK 41

 Semana entre 9 - 15 March 2015

So I am now in Aloha! It is a big area..... well at least it looks
like it, and I am with Elder Hutchings! He is from Las Vegas, he is a
really chill and funny elder, and he is a really hard worker!

So this week has been kinda crazy, trying to get to know everyone and
working hard. There is this one family that is so funny and in the
Spanish branch, there are several people who remind me of families
back in Arizona. This is going to be a good transfer, I could just
tell.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Remember Your Name! - MM

I was reading in Helaman 5 in The Book of Mormon, and Helaman gives specific instructions to his sons, Nephi and Lehi, to remember their names. I thought for awhile of how that relates to many of us. I know that in many cultures, bearing our last name is of high honor and that it is very important to keep your last name of the highest standard. Even during The Book of Mormon time, names were very important. I was reading in the institute manual to get more information of what it means to remember our names. I came across a quote that President George Albert Smith said:
“One day … I lost consciousness of my surroundings and thought I had passed to the Other Side. I found myself standing with my back to a large and beautiful lake, facing a great forest of trees. …
“I began to explore, and soon I found a trail through the woods which seemed to have been used very little, and which was almost obscured by grass. I followed this trail, and after I had walked for some time and had traveled a considerable distance through the forest, I saw a man coming towards me. I became aware that he was a very large man, and I hurried my steps to reach him, because I recognized him as my grandfather. In mortality he weighed over three hundred pounds, so you may know he was a large man. I remember how happy I was to see him coming. I had been given his name and had always been proud of it.
“When Grandfather came within a few feet of me, he stopped. His stopping was an invitation for me to stop. Then—and this I would like the boys and girls and young people never to forget—he looked at me very earnestly and said:
“‘I would like to know what you have done with my name.’
“Everything I had ever done passed before me as though it were a flying picture on a screen—everything I had done. Quickly this vivid retrospect came down to the very time I was standing there. My whole life had passed before me. I smiled and looked at my grandfather and said:
“‘I have never done anything with your name of which you need be ashamed.’
“He stepped forward and took me in his arms, and as he did so, I became conscious again of my earthly surroundings. My pillow was as wet as though water had been poured on it—wet with tears of gratitude that I could answer unashamed.

Zacharias tells the people that his son’s name will be John
“I have thought of this many times, and I want to tell you that I have been trying, more than ever since that time, to take care of that name. So I want to say to the boys and girls, to the young men and women, to the youth of the Church and of all the world: Honor your fathers and your mothers. Honor the names that you bear, because some day you will have the privilege and the obligation of reporting to them (and to your Father in heaven) what you have done with their name” (“Your Good Name,” Improvement Era, Mar. 1947, 139).

Just like what President George Albert Smith says, we will one day have that privilege to report of what we have done with the name we were given, I know that by following God's commandments and doing His will, we will find ourselves confident in front of His throne and we will gladly and eagerly proclaim our lives unto Him. I know that Heavenly Father loves all of us, and He is eagerly awaiting to hear what things we have done with our names.

Disciples of the Digital Age - WK 39 & 40

So these were my last two weeks in CANBY! But hey...... where the
Lord wants me I'll go!

On Monday, February 23; we had a missionary training meeting on the new iPads
we are getting and what we will we be doing with them, and how to
better keep up the the Hastening of the Lord's work! So the church is
really going big with how the internet will be used to help youth
understand better missionary work and how returned missionaries can
help with the course of everything! It is truly AMAZING how the Lord
is helping the world! And what is also AMAZING, is how the first
presidency and the twelve apostles have SO MUCH TRUST in us
missionaries, even after being told by so many that we will just be
wasting time and money. It is truly a privilege!

Tuesday - TREAT YO' SELF DAY! Had p-day today and just bought things
that I wanted...... kinda selfish but hey, I bought some really nice
socks and it was nice to buy something for me :)

Wednesday Temple day! So it was AMAZING being able to go into the
temple again! the temple is truly the most spiritual experience,
because inside the temple, it just feels like you are in a different
world! All the worries of life just somehow are gone and you can just
think of eternity and feel that Heavenly Father truly has a plan for
all of us! I love being able to just feel that calm spirit and peace,
especially from all the stresses of life and missionary work. I am
grateful for the privilege of entering the temple and having that sure
hope of being with my family forever, and that I will be able to see
my creator and my savior after this life! I just love feeling that
eternal love!

On Monday, March 2: we went ICESKATING on Preparation Day! it was
AMAZING! I havent Ice-skated in almost a year! It was really fun, even
though I am not that good, I just love skating on ice. *Next olympic
ice skater!....... just kidding!

Thursday we were able to go visit Carmen, a friend of a member that
the Spanish sister missionaries taught a couple days ago! She is SO
FUNNY and AMAZING! She is suer shy, but she is loves that we teach
her, and she listens and understands everything that we are talking
about!

Saturday was transfer calls and I am going to Aloha with Elder
Hutchings! I am super excited because I've heard good things about the
ward and the area!

~Elder Soriano~
1400 NW Compton Dr. STE 250
Beaverton, OR 97006

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Pure Love - MM

Well I just wanted to share this message with you all about CHARITY! I was studying this morning about charity and what it exactly means. In the Institute Manuel of the Book of Mormon in Ether 12, it says:

"The Savior showed the most perfect charity or sacrificial love when He gave His life and atoned for each of us. We must pray that we 'may be filled with this love' so we can inherit eternal life.

Elder Marvin J. Ashton explained what it means to have charity:

'Charity is, perhaps, in many ways a misunderstood word. We often equate charity with visiting the sick, taking in casseroles to those in need, or sharing our excess with those who are less fortunate. But really, true charity is much, much more.

'Real charity is not something you give away; it is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself. And when the virtue of charity becomes implanted in your heart, you are never the same again. It makes the thought of [putting others down]repulsive.

'Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don't judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone's differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn't handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another's weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other' (in Conference Report, Apr. 1992,
24; or Ensign, May 1992, 18–19)."

It just stood out how charity is more than just giving things and time to others. it shows that the pure love of Christ is charity. You can have that pure love in our hearts by giving time to others AND being charitable in out minds! I just love that I was able to come across this because charity is something special to me and I love how it shows charity to us, from the physical work to the mental thoughts.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Service and Bills - WK 37, 38

So I totally forgot about last week so this will be worth two!

We on Wednesday, 11-feb-15, we had a service day where we baked cookies and wrote notes of appreciation to some of our investigators and members who we are working with. It was SO MUCH FUN! I felt really good about this small service we did for them.

We had a good week in a way that we were able to be blessed so much with small little things, like finding people who we used to teach,
etc. It has been awesome!



So on Monday 16-Feb-15; We went to go hiking and it was really fun. I went to that same hike 6 months ago and I didn't get as tired as I did last time...... PRETTY AMAZING how I am changing throughout the mission! I just feel so happy that I was called to Oregon!

Saturday 21-Feb-15; We went to a special service at the Canby Adult Center and it was special because we had to make brunch and serve veterans, the focus on WWII and Vietnam War. It was super fun and it was awesome to see how thankful the wiser generation were for us to
serve their brunch. It was a very nice service and it was super fun, and the best part was to be able to eat some food also! It was
#SUPERDELISH !

So one thing that has was mentioned to me was of how we should see our lives. They told me a comparison of our lives and a hundred dollar bill ($100). If we had a $100 bill, fresh off the printer and perfect, the you bend it in half. Does the bill lose its value? If you crumple the bill and unfold it, will it only be worth $90?

Of course it doesn't, so then why would we think that Heavenly Father disregards us because of our past mistakes? Heavenly Father will always love us no matter what! There are times when we don't do the right thing, but Heavenly Father has blessed us with His son, Jesus Christ and being able to help us become new, and being able to find that peace that we all look for.


I want to say my testimony that I know that the work which I am doing, is not a waste of time, because this is the truth! That this is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! And I have been called, even though I may struggle with feeling weak, I know that Heavenly Father understands and He has a plan for me and every single one of us! I know that life isn't fair, but I have thankful for all I have gone through. I could of become bitter because of what Heavenly Father has let me go through, but I know that I have become better because I accept it and learn from it.

~Elder Soriano~
1400 NW Compton Dr. STE 250
Beaverton, OR 97006



Friday, February 13, 2015

Tortillas y PelĂ­culas - WK 36

So last week has been really fun! We talked with one of our investigators in which she invited us to help her make flour tortillas and it was super fun! My tortillas did not look round at all, gotta get more practice. She has been really nice and always is happy to see us and to talk with us. The following morning we came over for breakfast, she had made some pancakes! We got to eat and talk with her and her husband, who I haven't seen since New Year's Eve. They are really funny and very friendly.

On Thursday we got to watch 17 Miracles with Alejandro and Patty. It was really cool, because we got to explain what had happened before the events, as in the restoration. After the movie, we got to explain the importance of personal testimony and how we get to obtain that, in which we stressed a lot about reading the Book of Mormon. We also explained about temples and what Zion meant. It went really well, because he was able to visualize the personal conversion that people had so they follow the Savior, which is Jesus Christ!  

So we have been doing A  BUNCH of service, especially last week. On Thursday, we went to go sing to the elderly. It was super nice and I hope we brightened someone's day! We help at the Food Bank on Thursday, by going to Fred Meyer (or a Fry's store if you live in AZ) and picking up donations! They donated A BUNCH of bread and meat! it was AWESOME seeing that the food bank got more stuff to donate! And on Friday, we went to this Canby Adult Center where we helped out prepare and serve food for the older generation. It has been really fun, we even got to become friends with a lady named Gertrude and she is from "Jersey" and she grew up on a "Dairy." she was SUPER NICE and she was really funny. It is nice to sit and listen to different life stories that people have to offer, whether it be from their own experiences or a relatives of theirs.... its always cool to imagine the different perspectives people have. 

One thing that stood out this week while we were at a family home evening with some member, I thought of a quote and changed it a little to fit the situation. "Never do anything if you wouldn't walk over broken glass to get it." which means that we must be careful for every decision we make, and if we wouldn't want to walk over glass, even after the consequences then why make them? We know that everything has eternal consequences, whether they be good or bad. 

Also during sacrament on Sunday, Sister Bean gave a WONDERFUL talk and she mentioned something that stood out, Love is the law that Heavenly Father commands us to follow. Jesus Christ explains that we must LOVE! Sister Bean said, "Broken commandments show that there is NO LOVE and Jesus said, 'IF YE LOVE ME, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS' CHARITY IS THAT PURE LOVE.'" I know that when I did charity this week (service), I just felt happier to focus on others instead of myself. I am so happy to be here serving the people whom the Lord has sent me to teach. 

~Elder Soriano~
1400 NW Compton Dr. STE 250
Beaverton, OR 97006

Friday, February 6, 2015

Post uno! 16 Months left!! - WK 35

Well, I am really happy to be here in the Oregon Portland Mission!
I just want to say something really quick! I am here serving in Canby, Oregon and has been an AMAZING place to be. So many good people here. I am currently serving with Elder C. Smith and it has been really great! I am heading close to my 8 months out on the mission! And I am just having such a blast here! I have learned so much and I am growing both spiritually and mentally. I just want to say that I know that which I am is doing the Lord's work! And that I know this is His gospel, fully restored and that we have a latter-day prophet who guides us, exactly how the Lord did it back in ancient times. I know He lives and that He loves all of us, and that we can know it by praying, and reading His words through the Book of Mormon, as well as the Bible.