Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Overcoming Opposition

This... Is Elder Coles.  My companions and I went biking the other day for our P-Day (the one day a week where we get to do laundry, shop, and prepare for our week).  It was pretty great, but pretty short because we are all out of shape.  It kind of reminded me of this story I heard one time................. (This is a true story, names are of course fictional.)

I once heard about this scout group that was on a biking trip in the canadian rockies.  Frent, Creston and Zolan were in this scout group, and they were good friends.  They rode this beautiful trail up the a glacier lake, with clear blue water and stunning trees surrounding the lake.  There is a glacier that you can climb up into as well.  In order to get to the glacier though, you had to walk through a shallow part of the lake.  The water was FREEZING! (or so I hear)  So the scout group climbs up into this glacier and they have a great time and ate their lunches and laughed together.  Then it was time to go back.
" Boys," said Ghys to the scout group, "I'm going to swim accross this lake," and he jumped in the lake and swam accross.  It was pretty impressive because the lake was probably like 0 degrees.  Then all of the sudden alot of the other kids in the scout group started jumping in and swimming accross!
"Those kids are nuts!," said Frent, who was astounded by their courage.
"Guys, are we going to let them show us up?" Zolan asked Frent and Creston.
"We have to do something big," said Creston.  "Lets climb up on top of the glacier, jump in, and then swim accross."
"Then everyone will think we are the coolest!"  Frent and Zolan were super excited about this idea.  So the three of them climbed up on top of the glacier and were getting ready to jump in, when they did something they all regret to this day.  They thought about what they were actually doing, instead of just doing it.
"Guys, this isnt a very good idea, that water is so cold!"
"Pff we can't think about it!  Just do it!"  By this time it was too late though, and they didnt want to jump in anymore.  While they were standing on top of the glacier trying to decide if they were going to jump or not, a group of hikers came walking up to the lake.  This was not a ordinary group of hikers though, it was a group of Japanese tourists and there was like 50 of them looking at these boys, telling them to "jump in the lake!" and "do it unless your scared!"
"Awe man we have to do it now!" said Frent, who was ready to jump in.  But then, they thought about it again and thought "why would we do this? we will just be cold the whole rest of the way back" and to everyones disapointment, including the Japanese tourists, they didnt jump in.

 I often wonder, why is it when we are about to do the greatest good in our lives, that is when opposition is the strongest?  Even though I think about this lots, I know what the answer is.  The answer is that Satan doesnt want us to do good!  So he puts things in our way that will keep us from doing good!  Such as fear, or peer pressure, or temptations that we struggle with.  Its really annoying.  I remember before I came on my mission, I was given so many reasons not to serve.  I'm glad I overcame fears and decided to serve a mission. 
It is also very frustrating when we are teaching someone about the restored gospel and they are ready to take the biggest step towards Christ, which is baptism by proper authority, and then the opposition hits hardest.  They cant find time to read the book of mormon, or to come to church, or they may have a problem with peer pressure from friends.  It is always something.  But here is a comforting thought.  The reason why he hits the hardest then is because he knows you are about to take a step in the right direction.  We need to know this, and we need to push throuhg it!  We need to say "Satan, why do you even try?  You basically just told me that this is a step in the right direction with everything you are throwing at me!  I know this is something I need to do, and I will now thwart you in your plans to keep me from choosing the right and I will follow Jesus Christ instead."  I know that overcoming tempations and following Jesus Christ is the way to happiness in this life.  I hope that when we are about to do the greatest good, and satan starts throwing us curve balls, that we can over come them and follow our Savior Jesus Christ.
(In the story, I'm not sure if they chose the right by not jumping in the lake... or if they should have jumped in but gave in to the tempation of not jumping in the lake... I'll let you decide!)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Confessions of a Convert

This... Is Elder Coles.  I came accross a great blog the other day, and I want to share it!  It is written by one of my cousins friends who joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints just recently.  Her testimony is amazing and you can tell she knows, just as I do, that this Church is the true church once again restored in its fullness.  Click [here] to check it out!

Some other great blogs....

Heed them not

Marvelous Things

Blogs are a great way to share the gospel and I am so happy that I have the opportunity on my mission to try to share the gospel with everyone.  If you would like to learn more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints add me as a friend on facebook!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Kung Fu Panda

This... Is Elder Coles.  My favorite movie of all time is Kung Fu Panda.  One might say I like it a little too much.  Sometimes my parents would be looking for my little sister (7 years old) and would hear that Kung Fu Panda was playing downstairs and they would assume that it was her who was watching it and they would come down stairs expecting to find her but instead they see me sitting there watching Kung Fu Panda by myself and having the time of my life.  It is just so great. Examples of how awesome it is....

"I see you like to chew.  Then perhaps you should chew ON MY FIST!"
"He was so deadly, that his enemies would go blind from over exposure to pure awesomness!"
"There is no charge for awesomness... or attractivness."
"The invisible trident of destiny!"
"I've only seen paintings of that painting!"
"Ok, I'll go now...Your awesome... last thing I'm going to say."
"I'm not dying you idiot!"
"Hey!  Those are sensitive in the flabby parts."
I could quote this movie forever.  But there is a message contained in this movie that I want to focus on.

When Po is given the dragon scroll (the scroll is the key to limitless power) he looks at it and its a mirror.  Po sees his reflection and says "its blank!"  Po did not understand where the power from the dragon scroll came from at first, until he spoke with his dad.

Po's dad:"I think its time I tell you something I should have told you a long time ago"
Po: "What is it?"
Po's dad: "The secret ingredient to my secret ingredient soup.  The secret is... nothing!"
Po: "Huh?  You mean its just plain noodle soup?  You dont add some kind of special sauce or something?"
Po's dad: "Nope, you dont have to.  To make something special you just have to believe its special."
Po then looks at the dragon scroll again and sees his reflection and says "there is no secret ingredient!"

I love the message that this movie gives.  To make something special you just have to believe its special.  To feel special you have to believe you are special.  How special we are.  We are all children of God.  Sometimes, we forget this message, and we focus on how ordinary we are.  There is so much we can learn from this movie though.  When we look in the mirror and see our reflections do we say like Tai Lung does in the movie "Its nothing!"  That is exactly what satan wants us to think.  But if we look in the mirror and we say to ourselves "I am a child of God, and I am special," then we can reach our full potential, just as Po did.  The gospel of Jesus Christ has helped me realize that I am a child of God, and that I have so much potential, and that he loves me!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


This... Is Elder Coles.  I have been out here for four months now and I feel like I should be using more stories from my mission on this blog.  So thats what I'm going to do.  This one day.............

It was 10:00 pm.  We had a hard day full of missionary work and we were super tired.  After planning out our next day, we layed on the couch like fat blobs for a long time, not saying anything to eachother, just lying there.  I was feeling so lazy and I was contemplating just going to sleep right there on the couch and not even going to my bed.  My companion Elder Olsen felt the same way. 
It was almost bed time and Elder Olsen said to me "Elder Coles carry me to bed."
"Dude are you joking me??"  I was amazed that he would ask me something like that.  "I cant even get myself up the stairs to bed, let alone carrying a big guy like you up there with me!"
Then, Elder Olsen said something to me that made me think.
"Elder Coles, if you love me, keep my commandments.  I command you to carry me up to bed."
Now at this point, I wanted to punch Elder Olsen in the face.  But then I thought about what he said, and I do love the guy.
"Elder Coles, keep my commandments,"  he said to me again
Then I was like you know what, he is right.  I'm gonna do it!  So I jumped up off of the couch, picked him up(he is 185 pounds) like a princess, and carried him up the stairs and I put him to bed.  I was super, super tired after that, and we all slept like babies that night, and I felt good about what I did for my companion.

Jesus has said these same words to us.  "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)  What a simple, yet powerful statement.  If we really do love someone, then we are going to do everything we can to do what they ask of us right?  Why is it that we as childeren obey our parents?  Why do we do what our husbands or wives ask of us?  Why do we try help out our brothers and sisters when they ask for it?  It is because we love them.  Do we love the savior enough to keep his commandments that he has given us?
Sometimes, it is very hard to do what the savior asks of us.  There is so much temptation in this world that looks so appealing that sometimes we do break some of his commandments.  We all do.  But, the savior loves us.  And we can be forgiven because of him.
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." (John 15:13-14)
Jesus Christ loves us so much that he layed down his life for us, so that we might be saved if we listen to him and keep his commandments.  I am so greatful for this love, and I want to show my love for him by keeping his commandments. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


This... Is Elder Coles.  We just went through a crazy storm the other day.  We were driving and it was raining so hard we couldnt even see out our windows!  The wind was blowing trees over and ripping roofs off of buildings.  It was nuts.  And kind of scary.  The rain and wind was so powerful!  Anyways this kind of reminds me of a story.  This one day....... (This is a true story... and I am in this one.)

Last summer, we were watching a lighning storm and I took this picture

Pretty legit right?
The end

Alma 30:44
"Though hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God?  Will ye say, show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets?  The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."

Thinking about the storm... looking at this picture of lightning that I captured on camera with my lightning quick reflexes... It just reminds me that there is a God, and that He is all powerful.  I can testify that there is a God who loves us and wants the best for us, and has given us this opportunity to live on this earth and to learn and grow. 

Friday, April 1, 2011


This... Is Elder Coles.  I looove my family.  They are the greatest.  I am so thankful that I was able to come to this earth and to be with them.  I grew up in a loving atmosphere with my brothers and sisters and I learned how to live the teachings of Jesus Christ and how I can be happy after I am all grown up.

My family
Aren't they great?!  This is at my sister Lisa's wedding and she married Mark (he is great).  On the left that is my little brother Weston (biggest stud ever... more details to follow) my brother Matt and his wife Danielle (they are going to have a baby soon!) Me! (yeah I used to rock that haircut) my little sister Tamara (I miss her so much!) and my sister Erin and her husband Kellen (he is great too) and their two kids Gracie and Cole!  They are so awesome I love my brothers and sisters.
Mommy and Daddy
My Mom and Dad... They are the best they even email me every week!  haha I love to hear from them and they have set the best example for me and when I grow up I want to be just like them!

I loved growing up in a big family and I love all my siblings the same.  My brother, Weston, we are a year apart.  We grew up together.  We had the same group of friends, we hung out all the time, and we had some good times together.  Here are just a few of those good times.

preparing for our missions

At my brother Matts wedding

Me squishing his head

Me with my two brothers before I came to Tennesse

Being Nerds
Sigh... Good times. 

Like I said before.  I love my family.  I wish I had more pictures with my other siblings.  The family is one of the most important things that we are apart of.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has put out an official statement called The Family: A Proclamation to the World to emphasise how important family is.  One of the greatest blessings we have now is the oportunity to be sealed as families for time and all eternity in one of the Lords Holy Temples here on this earth.  I am so happy that I am sealed to my family and that I will be with them for ever.