Monday, January 26, 2015

I Wanna Be a Missionary so Fetchin' Bad

I believe that all of our missionaries are talented. Some kids get brains, some get brawn and some....get pipes! And this kid's got some pipes!!!

Elder Dakota Striplin, a 20 year old Elder from Redland Bay, Queensland, Australia, is serving in the Micronesia Guam Mission, currently on the island of Palau where he has been for over 8 months. At 18, Elder Striplin got to go to Nauvoo as a Young Performing Missionary, at this point in his life, he had already had lead roles in professional musicals such as "Hairspray" AND he had made it to The Voice Australia as well as Australia's got Talent!


His Momma...or Mum, Elizabeth said this...
"Serving in Nauvoo really sealed his testimony and shortly after he returned he put his papers in for a 2 year mission. During the time that his papers were in, he was asked by the Nashville Tribute Band (finding each other on Facebook) to be part of the Album 'My Call to Serve'. He is featured in two songs on that Album 'I'm Gonna Go' (older boys voice) and 'M.O.M. (mothers of missionaries). Can you imagine how that song makes me feel as it was released just days before he left. Anyhow, while he was in Nashville there was auditions for America's Got Talent. He found himself auditioning and making it through to NYC and then to Vegas. We saw him a few times on TV in the background but they didn't show his audition, even though it was successful, because he pulled out to go on his mission. He knew that these things would wait and that his mission was far more important."

Striplin's have always had missionaries visit their home and Dakota liked to sit down with them and play and enjoy their company! He has written 2 missionary parodies. The first one, "I Wanna Be a Missionary so Fetchin' Bad" he wrote when he was only 15! "Mormon Dream" was featured in a Deseret News Article a couple of years ago - they knew nothing about it until a 'fan' put it on Dakota's Facebook wall.

Elder Striplin loves his mission and is very happy. He always tells his family how important it is to be a forever family and that he is, and will always be, obedient because he never wants to jeopardise them being together forever!

See if you can pick out Elder Striplin's voice in this may know a couple of these kids too! ;)


Saturday, January 17, 2015

All Creatures of Our God and King

All creatures of our God and King,
lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
O brother sun with golden beam,
O sister moon with silver gleam,
sing praises! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

O brother wind with clouds and rain,
you nurture gifts of fruit and grain.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
O sister water, flowing clear,
make music for your Lord to hear.
Sing praises! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

O brother fire, so warm and bright,
chase off the shadows of the night.
Alleluia! Alleluia! 
Dear mother earth, who day by day
unfolds such blessings on our way,
sing praises! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

All who for love of God forgive,
all who in pain or sorrow grieve,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Christ bears your burdens and your fears;
so, even in the midst of tears,
sing praises! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

And you, most gentle sister death,
waiting to hush our final breath:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Since Christ our light has pierced your gloom,
fair is the night that leads us home.
Sing praises! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

O sisters, brothers, take your part,
and worship God with humble heart.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
All creatures, bless the Father, Son,
and Holy Spirit, Three in One!
Sing praises! Alleluia!

~Hymn 62

Monday, January 12, 2015

Take It Personally!

Yesterday in my ward, something kinda different happened. The sacrament service began as usual, we sang a hymn, the 16-18 year old priests broke and blessed the bread and the 12-14 year old deacons passed it to all the congregation. Once they returned, they became aware of one sister who is gluten intolerant, she brings her own gluten free bread to be blessed and then passed to her. But yesterday... somehow... that bread got forgotten. Now, in the interest of time it would have been easier to just say -sorry, we'll remember next week-... this sister is not much of a sinner anyways and could surely wait an extra week to partake of the sacrament.....right???

WRONG....dead wrong! A member of the Bishopric gently instructed the boys to prepare and bless that one piece of bread and then take it the the sister. We all sat quietly as she renewed her covenants and once again had the blessing of being as clean as the day she was baptised.

Two things sank in for me yesterday. First, just how important the sacrament is. I mean, I've always known that it is important... but yesterday I realized how much Heavenly Father wants each and every one of us to have the opportunity to participate in that sacred ordinance. Second, as I sat there watching these pre-missionaries receive counsel from our Bishopric and then reverently follow those instructions... I thought about how wise Heavenly Father is to begin training and molding us from the time we are very young, to become missionaries... because are we not all missionaries?

I am grateful that we belong to a church that gives us opportunities for "public speaking" as young as sunbeam age. I am grateful that we have Cub Scouts and Activity Days to teach self-reliance and service...and fun! I am soooooo grateful for the Young Women and Young Men programs that teach life skills to awkward teens! All these programs in place to help us become better sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers....people....MISSIONARIES!


Thursday, January 8, 2015


We are we count! We miss our missionaries in a way that no one else on Earth does! Don't get me wrong, we are elated that they are out serving the Lord... but... we miss them and we count the days till they return home. We look forward to "THE HUG"... you know, that
I-am-sooooooo-glad-you-are-home HUG!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Are We Not All Beggars

Guest Blogger Julianne Brown Clegg lives in Lehi, Utah. She is the mother of 6. Tanner is her oldest and first missionary out. Julianne works as an aid at an elementary school. She loves to read every missionary blog she can find. Julianne served a mission in California, San Bernardino 20+ years ago.

My son, Elder Tanner Clegg, has been serving in the South Africa, Johannesburg Mission, for 6 months. Growing up, soccer was a huge part of his life. When he received his call, he googled what the main religion in South Africa is and one site said "Sports.... it brings us together." He was excited to go to a country where he thought he would be playing soccer in the streets with kids. It's true. He loves playing with the kids...but it's not how he played in Lehi. There's no matching game shirts or underarmour material or nike shorts. There are no nike balls or bright colored cleats, socks, and shin guards. The kids and youth congregate with a ball made of tied together rags or plastic bags. They make a goal post out of a random piece of wood or something already sticking out of the ground. The field is not nice grass or artificial's uneven dirt with clumps and rocks, or more recently, it's mud.  

Johannesburg has had a postal strike (which just ended) for 4 months. The MP emailed families and told us to put money in their accounts instead of trying to send Christmas packages. Grandma & Grandpa put $100 in Tanner's account and told him about it in his email on the Monday before Christmas. I told Tanner to go buy himself something and he said "I can't, not when those around me have so little." So, he and his companion Elder Savage, went to a little store and bought out all the soccer balls.  

He said: "I dumped like 1000 rand ($100) on little soccer balls, i bought like 19 of them and am giving like 5 to the ward, and the others just writing our numbers and a little message saying like “Jesus Christ can make us smile every day, find out how by calling ________” type-thing. I'm just gonna drive out to the poorest areas tomorrow. "

Because they had a busy Christmas day planned, they chose to give them out on a rainy Christmas Eve afternoon.  

His words from his blog are:
"Christmas Eve was the best. My grandma sent some money this side so we went and bought out all the soccer balls from this store. We drove out and just gave them to little kids who looked like they needed some love on Christmas.("

Tanner told us about it on our Christmas Skype. It made all of us happy for those kids to get balls...a luxury they don't get very often. He has told us over and over about their poverty and their needs and how he just wants to give them the clothes off his back. In fact, he did do that about a month ago. He said there is a man known for always being the "naked drunk". Many have offered him clothes, but he is not interested. My son happened to luck out. Tanner took his nice new pajama pants from JCPenny, and the man accepted them, and has been seen wearing them.  
He also teaches a young boy who reminds Tanner of his little brother Max who he baptized 2 years ago when he turned 8. So, Max decided to send some of his own shirts to the kid who's name is Austyn. My son would tell us how Austyn wears the same Mickey Mouse t-shirt each week to church. So, Max sent him some of his shirts from his closet. And it's fun to see Austyn in the shirts.

I love being a MM and watching my son grow. He's always had a generous heart and I knew when he left that he would probably come home with nothing. Mostly because he loses everything. So, it makes me happy to see him give it all away, instead of losing it all. I know all of our kids are learning these amazing life lessons and are doing great things! And President Hollands talk "Are We Not All Beggars" couldn't hit closer to home for all these young missionaries.  


PLEASE NOTE:  Before organizing a project similar to this, please consult with the Mission President and receive permission from the proper Priesthood Authority.   In some areas of the world gift giving by the missionaries is not permit for various reason.

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year’s Resolutions from the prophets for 2015

So it's a new know what that means...yep, time to make some New Years Resolutions. I have been thinking real hard about what I should work on this year, of course at the top of my list... 

- Read the Book of Mormon again, cover to cover
- Exercise 5 times a week
- Eat Clean

...and then... someone posted this really neat article on FB, and my curiosity got the better of me... 
and I read it!!!

I think I may need to add to my list of resolutions!!!

Our own sweet Christine Bates did a little research and found the talks that each of these Resolutions came from! There is so much wisdom here in these links! Too much to keep all to ourselves! Soooooo....we are sharing with you! Thanks Christine!!!

Choose Wisely
“I encourage everyone, young and old, to review goals and objectives and strive to exercise greater discipline. Our daily conduct and choices should be consistent with our goals. We need to rise above rationalizations and distractions. It is especially important to make choices consistent with our covenants to serve Jesus Christ in righteousness.” "A wonderful example of the need for moderation, balance, and wisdom is the use of the Internet. It can be used to do missionary outreach, to assist with priesthood responsibilities, to find precious ancestors for sacred temple ordinances, and much more.The potential for good is enormous. We also know that it can transmit much that is evil, including pornography, digital cruelty, and anonymous yakking. It can also perpetuate foolishness. As Brother Randall L. Ridd poignantly taught at the last general conference, speaking of the Internet, “You can get caught up in endless loops of triviality that waste your time and degrade your potential.”

1. Avoid contention
Loving Others and Living with Differences
“Followers of Christ should be examples of civility. We should love all people, be good listeners, and show concern for their sincere beliefs. Though we may disagree, we should not be disagreeable. . . . We should be wise in explaining and pursuing our positions and in exercising our influence.”

2. Find more meaning in temple service
Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority
“If you don’t have a temple recommend, qualify to get one. When you have a recommend, use it often.  Schedule a regular time to be in the temple. Don’t let anyone or anything prevent you from being there. While you are in the temple, listen to the words of the ordinances, ponder them, pray about them, and seek to understand their meaning. The temple is one of the best places to come to understand the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Seek Him there. Remember that many more blessings come from providing your own family names in the temple.”

3. Take care of your body
Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence
“Take responsibility for your own physical well-being... “Feeding the spirit while neglecting the body, which is a temple, usually leads to spiritual dissonance and lowered self-esteem. If you are out of shape, if you are uncomfortable in your own body and can do something about it, then do it! … Please use good judgment in what and especially how much you eat, and regularly give your body the exercise it needs and deserves.”

4. Learn more about the gospel
Stay in the Boat and Hold On!BY ELDER M. RUSSELL BALLARD
“In searching the scriptures and the words of past and current apostles and prophets, we should focus on studying, living, and loving the doctrine of Christ,  In addition to developing the habit of personal scripture reading, we need to be like the sons of Mosiah and give ourselves ‘to much prayer, and fasting.’ It seems that these things which are not easily measured are of great importance. Stay focused on these simple things, and avoid becoming distracted.”

5. Be a better parent
Finding Lasting Peace and Building Eternal Families
“It is my firm conviction that there has never been a period in my many years of life when our Father in Heaven’s children have needed the guiding hand of faithful, devoted parents more,”“… We must find within ourselves that same determined spirit and overcome the challenges we face with the same spirit of sacrifice. We must instill in future generations an ever stronger reliance on the teachings of our Lord and Savior.”

6. Improve personal scripture study
Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority
Don’t yield to Satan’s lie that you don’t have time to study the scriptures, ”Choose to take time to study them. Feasting on the word of God each day is more important than sleep, school, work, television shows, video games, or social media. You may need to reorganize your priorities to provide time for the study of the word of God. If so, do it!”

7. Serve someone every day
Are We Not All Beggars?
“A journalist once questioned Mother Teresa of Calcutta about her hopeless task of rescuing the destitute in that city.” “He said that, statistically speaking, she was accomplishing absolutely nothing. This remarkable little woman shot back that her work was about love, not statistics. Notwithstanding the staggering number beyond her reach, she said she could keep the commandment to love God and her neighbor by serving those within her reach with whatever resources she had.”“... we obtain a remission of our sins by pleading to God, who compassionately responds, but we retain a remission of our sins by compassionately responding to the poor who plead to us.”

8. Have more meaningful prayer
Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority
“Choose to converse with your Father in Heaven often. Make time every day to share your thoughts and feelings with Him. Tell Him everything that concerns you. He is interested in the most important as well as the most mundane facets of your life. Share with Him your full range of feelings and experiences.”

9. Increase your fast offering
Are We Not All Beggars?
"When speaking about caring for the poor, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland asked Church members to be “as generous as circumstances permit” in their contributions.“Cherish that sacred privilege [to fast] at least monthly, and be as generous as circumstances permit in your fast offering and other humanitarian, educational, and missionary contributions,” he said. “I promise that God will be generous to you, and those who find relief at your hand will call your name blessed forever>"

10. Repent daily
Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence
"Repentance has some negative connotations, but daily repentance helps disciples of Christ become closer to the Savior.“Because the Atonement of Jesus Christ is very practical, you should apply it generously 24/7, for it never runs out,”“Embrace the Atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance as things that are to be welcomed and applied daily according to the Great Physician’s orders. Establish an attitude of ongoing, happy, joyful repentance by making it your lifestyle of choice. … Keeping your eyes on the Savior, care more about what He thinks of you, and let the consequences follow."

11. Have Family Home Evening
Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority
"As Church members strengthen their own testimonies, teaching family members gospel truths will increase their understanding and increase the influence of the Spirit in family members’ lives.“Be cautious not to make your family home evening just an afterthought of a busy day,” Elder Richard G. Scott taught. “Decide that on Monday night your family will be together at home for the evening. Do not let employment demands, sports, extracurricular activities, homework, or anything else become more important than that time you spend together at home with your family. The structure of your evening is not as important as the time invested.”
12. Forgive quickly
Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence
"People who forgive others relieve themselves of heavy burdens that decrease happiness. Immediate forgiveness increases joy and strengthens relationships.“Forgive everyone, everything, all the time, or at least strive to do so, thus allowing forgiveness into your own life.  Don’t hold grudges, don’t be easily offended, forgive and forget quickly, and don’t ever think that you are exempt from this commandment. Spiritual confidence increases when you know that the Lord knows that you bear no ill feelings toward another soul."
13. Maintain a clear vision
The Lord Has a Plan for Us!
"As Church members set new goals and resolve to become better, it’s important to keep the end goal in mind. Elder Carlos A. Godoy taught this important principle:“Making decisions that can impact our lives and those we love without having the broader vision of their consequences can bring some risks. However, if we project the possible consequences of these decisions into the future, we can see with greater clarity the best path to take in the present. Understanding who we are, why we are here, and what the Lord expects from us in this life will help give us the broader vision we need. … We have the scriptures, the temple, living prophets, our patriarchal blessings, inspired leaders, and, above all, the right to receive personal revelation to guide our decisions.”
14. Evaluate yourself honestly
“Lord, Is It I?”
“How can we shine the pure light of God’s truth into our souls and see ourselves as He sees us? May I suggest that the holy scriptures and the talks given at general conference are an effective mirror we can hold up for self-examination. As you hear or read the words of the ancient and modern prophets, refrain from thinking about how the words apply to someone else and ask the simple question: ‘Lord, is it I?'”
15. Emulate Jesus Christ
Ponder the Path of Thy Feet
“As we strive to place Christ at the center of our lives by learning His words, by following His teachings, and by walking in His path, He has promised to share with us the eternal life that He died to gain. There is no higher end than this, that we should choose to accept His discipline and become His disciples and do His work throughout our lives. Nothing else, no other choice we make, can make of us what He can.”