Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year, New Beginnings

This is always an interesting time of year, with the holiday rush still winding down, and the new year looming before us.  It's somewhat intimidating to realize how quickly each year passes by, bringing new adventures and challenges to life.  Many people use this time of year to reflect on the past twelve months, and set goals and resolutions for the upcoming year.  Whether or not those resolutions last beyond the first week or two is often an entirely different story.

So what is it this year that I will focus on?  For me, I look back over the last year, and I'm simply amazed at what has happened.  For the last calendar year, and a little bit more time before, I have been serving as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It has been an incredible year of growth and learning for me, and I've come to more fully realize who I am as an individual, and who the Lord wants and needs me to be. 

Has this last year been perfect?  Of course not.  I've had many shortcomings and hard times, and I haven't always responded the way I should have to them.  So one of my resolutions for the upcoming year is to rely more fully on the Lord, and trust that He knows what is best for me, regardless of whether or not I can see it all at the time things are happening.

Another resolution of mine is to continue my daily scripture study and personal prayer.  I never fully understood the importance of those simple actions until I began serving as a missionary.  Before then, I didn't really study my scriptures as often as I should have, and I realize now how much I was holding myself back.  There have been many mornings that I have received answers to my questions as I have prayerfully studied the revealed word of God.  And even when I haven't received as direct of answers, showing Heavenly Father that I'm willing to put Him first in my day has helped me to invite the Spirit into all that I do.

As we face this new year, filled with hope, anticipation, perhaps a little anxiety at times, it is my prayer that we do all we can to be obedient to the Lord and turn our lives over to Him.  In closing, I'd just like to share a statement made by President Henry B. Eyering, First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church, when he said,
“We cannot see the future with precision, but we can know what the Lord intends and what it will take [for] each of us to qualify personally to participate.”

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