Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Little Things

This... Is Elder Coles.  This... Is a story that Elder M. Russell Ballard used in his talk "Finding Joy Through Loving Service" in April 2011 General Conference.  It goes like this.......

"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.”

I love this story because I often find myself looking for huge gold nuggets, and not realizing all the small gold flakes around me.  This story helps to remind me that there are so many good things around us and that we just need to take time to seek them out and notice them.

"Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass;...and the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes."
-Alma 37:6-7

Saturday, May 7, 2011


This... Is Elder Coles.  Life is all about choices.  That is one of Gods greatest gifts to us, to be able to choose for ourselves what we will do in life.  In 2 Nephi 2:27 it says "Men are free according to the flesh... they are free to choose liberty and eternal life through the great mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil."  No one likes to be told what to do, and the freedom to choose or our agency is something that is a gift from God, and will never be taken away from us. 

As I review the other things that I have blogged about, they all go back to choices.  Weed didnt have to slide down that hill and cut his head open,  Frent didnt have to speed to the store and get a speeding ticket, and Creston, Zolan and Frent could have jumped into the lake (and they probly should have).  I am so greatful that I can choose for myself what I want to do each day. 

Often times we are faced with hard choices we have to make.  Each day we are faced with situations that cause us to ask ourselves "Am I going to do the right thing, or the easy thing?"  Choosing what is easy (sin, laziness, selfishness) will make life more difficult in the long run. It is hard to do the right thing all the time, because the natural man in us is lazy.  But if we "put off the natural man and become a saint"(Mosiah 3:19) that is when everlasting happiness comes.  I think that Joshua put it best when he said "choose you this day whom ye will serve... But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15)

I am so greatful that I chose to come on a mission.  Being a missionary often requires me to make hard decisions, and to go outside of my comfort zone and teach others about the gospel of Jesus Christ  , it can be scary sometimes! and I know I fail to be as bold as I should be and that I can always do better.  But I know that this message is so important, and the more I study it the more I want to proclaim this wonderful message to everyone.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lets Flip a Coin

This... Is Elder Coles.  First off I have to say sorry to the billions of people who are following my blog, and I will be coming out with an official apology in the near future for my lack of posts.  I hope you all got your daily laugh and spiritual thought in some other way during these past weeks.  But now I'm back, and I'm in a new area of the Tennessee Nashville mission, Green Hills!  For those of you who are just tuning in, I'm a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  The message that we share will bring anyone who listens (or reads) so much happiness!  I know that to be true.  But what is happiness?  I am reminded of a story that will help me illistrate what happiness is..............

Sometimes when there was a decision to be made by my friends and I back home, we would flip a coin. 
"Hey should we eat here or should we eat there?"
"Lets flip a coin."

" Hey should we do nothing today or should we do something?"
"Umm... lets flip a coin."

"Hey should we be good today or should we be bad?"
"Lets flip a coin to find out."

 "Should we play with hot wheels or should we play with barbies?"
"Flip it."

"Should we watch High School Musical one... or Three?"
"Lets flip it... and hope it says Three"

"Justin Beiber or Nsync?"
"Either one will do... but lets flip because that is too hard of a decision to make on our own."

It was great fun, because no matter what the coin said, we would do what it told us to do.  And 10 times out of 10, it would make the right decision for us.  If we said that if the coin lands on heads we go jump off a bridge or if it lands on tails we will go get ice cream, and it lands on heads... you better beleive we would be going to jump off a bridge, because something good was bound happen if we listened.  We knew there were special powers in the decision making of the coin.  It always made the right decision. 

This one day we decided that we would do what we thought was the better option and didnt listen to the coin.  We were trying to decide where we were going to eat out that night and everyone wanted to go to this one place that was super good.  But, we decided to flip a coin just to make sure we were doing the right thing.  We said if it landed on heads, we would go eat there.  To our surprise, the coin landed on tails!  We thought "woa no way, there must be a glitch or something"  We decided to go eat at that place anyways.  When we got there... It was closed for no reason!  We should have listened......

The coin is like the commandments that our savior Jesus Christ has given us.  We can choose to follow his council, or to do what we think is best and do what we want.  I can promise you 10 times out of 10 that following the commandments that we have been given will lead to happiness.  Its not always easy, but I know that that is where true happieness lies.  We often think that a new car, a makeover or a sweet party will make us happy.  And they often do... for a time.  True and ever lasting happiness comes from keeping the commandments, and living the way God wants us to.  It doesnt matter what we do have or dont have in this life.  Our deepest and everlasting happiness will come from following Gods commandments for us.

"And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it."

-Mosiah 2:41