Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Grateful Heart

Over the past year I have tried to focus on finding gratitude in my every day living.  I mentioned my personal quest in this post back in January.

For the third year in a row, I have read Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts...It seems to refocus my mind and heart on this whole gratitude thing.  It really is quite amazing...I guess it has become a tradition.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow with our families and friends, make it a goal to live with a grateful heart all year long.  It truly is life changing...

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Transfers a Conference and {Miguel's Missionary Moment}

October 14, 2013

Well this week we had Stake Conference, and they threw down on missionary work.  It was super cool.  Transfers happen this week, and I'm still staying but my companion is leaving.  I'm getting a new Elder who has been out 3 months.  I am also going to be district leader again.  I hate  leadership. Hopefully we can get the area going now. Oh so I got to see one of my baptisms from Dacula at Stake conference!!! He has the Melchizedek priesthood and is planing on driving to the San Diego temple to be sealed! It was so cool to see them! A less active family I was working with got sealed.  I was so pumped! !

Elder Hamer out!!

Alma 31: 34-35 "O Lord, wilt thou grant unto us that we may have success in bringing them again unto thee in Christ.  Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee."

October 21, 2013

Hey family!  This week has been pretty sweet! My new companion is awesome!  We have been laughing so hard my abs hurt! This week was great.  We just started finding a lot more people to teach.  One day we knocked on this ladies door and she was like I dont know why you are here. I told her I was there to invite her to be baptized by the Authority of God, but she wasnt down. It is starting to get chilly here so I bought a sweater on the card mom, sorry :p it is cool though! We taught Marlon this week.  He was legit but wouldn't accept a baptismal date.  It was still a great lesson.  I decided a baptismal date sounds cooler if you think that you just set someone on a day to change their eternal destination! haha thats cool right?? Well I don't have much to say, but I love you all!!!

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Winter Pause

The weather has grown the afternoons I want to wrap up in a blanket and read by the fireplace.  That's not always possible, but it is my secret wish...There are things I love and hate about the changing...I love the crisp puffs of breath, the crunchy leaves, the feeling of nesting.  I love the anticipation and excitement with the first dusting of snow.  But, I hate the shorter days...It makes me crave bed way too early, and then I just become way too lazy.

One of my favorite treats when the weather turns is a nice cup of herb tea.  I grew up on herbal tea and love it,  myself, but I can't get Ladybug to enjoy the experience with me..And tea drinking is an experience.  When I grasp that warm mug between my hands and inhale it's steamy goodness I feel all homey and warm inside.

The one thing I've find about herb tea drinking is that it creates a pause in our day.  As I take a pause to sip some warm tea, I also take a moment to reflect, and those moments create more moments of gratitude and who doesn't want to feel ALL THE TIME.  So in honor of Thanksgiving and all that is grateful, sit back and have a warm cup of herb tea and just inhale...

These are the fixings for my favorite cup of tea...

What is your favorite drink to chase off the chill?

Amanda’s Books and More

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

It's a Tradition...Craft Boutique's, Jewels and Marshmallow Caramels

Hello Friends, Happy Thursday to you...When I was a little girl, my mom used to take me to this craft fair called Grandmother's House.  They held it every year in Denver in model homes.  It was pretty fun...Fast forward many  years later...too many to count, and my mom (who coincidentally is a grandma) is a crafter in a similar Craft Bazaar.

If you live in the South West Idaho area, you might want to check out the Holiday House Boutique...My mom has lovely handmade jewelry.  Just look for the Simply Sassy designs by Cindy.  Cute, cute, cute...Another favorite of mine are the Marshmallow Caramels...However, I'm not sure if in my post back surgery weight loss plan that is allowed.  Ah heck!  What's life without a little treat...

So, I will be taking my daughter, Ladybug, to this here craft boutique...It is tradition:

See you there!  And save me some caramels.  

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Art of Creating

Sometimes on those rare occasion, I can be down right crafty...but the mood has to strike just right, and the moon has to align a certain way...other times, I can be crafty when someone else has been inspired and done most of the work.

The other night I participated in this most awesome night of women gathering together to craft and eat and chat...It was amazing.  I didn't even have to brainstorm a thing...just go, pay and craft away.  The kits were already done, I just had to paint and put it together.  I felt so accomplished coming home with three projects.  If you live in the area, you can follow her blog...check out the cute projects she offered and watch for future events.  She is uber reasonable.

This is by far my favorite..

Creating makes me happy, and I am grateful for good friends.

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Trials and Faith {Miguel's Missionary Moment}

September 23, 2013

"Crazy week!! So not a ton of missionary work went down this week.  My companion has depression and we had to go to Atlanta all day on Thursday so he could go to the doctor.  He got evaluated, and it took all day. Then Friday morning President Wolfert called me and asked me questions.  Then he he set up a time to meet with my companion, and told him he thought it was best for him to go home.  We had a long day... it is sad...I love my companion, he is a stud!  So the area sort of paused for 3 days because we didn't know what was going down.  Then the next day we had to bike to the church so my companion could tell his family in an email and it was just pouring rain! We got soaked and just biked through big puddles, but after all that fun we were still just out of it and didn't know what to do.  Then Sunday was finally a good day...Church seemed to take forever and until our after dinner appointment.  We had an awesome lesson with Zion.  He had gone to youth conference that weekend, and he was super depressed because he came home to his bad situation.  He felt terrible and we came over and talked about how, if there is light then darkness cant be there because darkness is nothing compared to the light.  My companion was just listening to me and another member talk about this, and when we got back to the apartment he called President and told him he won't go home.  It is awesome he is staying!! I'm excited, but now we have to catch back up on everything.

That's what went down...

Elder Hamer"

September 30, 2013

Elder Hamer

Hey family!!!!
This week was good...I actually get to go to the Atlanta temple next Friday! That is gonna be cool.  I haven't been in a while.  This week has been good.  We got a bunch of referrals, but right now its been kinda hard to find people who will progress.  I think it is just the missionary cycle find, teach, baptize, then find again.  

This week we had a 2 hour class on missionary work at church and a member of the Seventy was there.  It was awesome when he talked he talked about how the missionaries are here to help the member not the members help the missionaries.  He talked about how we need to be used to full advantage, and have us help their friends receive the gospel. It was cool.  I hope the Ward acts on it, if not then it will be sad.  We did find three people that seemed pretty interested! We are excited to go and talk to them and teach them.  This one guy named Marlon works for the Church and we see him all the time at Church.  He is legit and he has a wife and a 8 month old daughter in Columbia still. We are teaching another couple named Matt and Tammy.  They are a refferal from a member who is their boss so it should be legit, too. The mission president talked about how if we go door to door two hours a day that the Lord will bless us.   Luckily, I am known as one of the missionaries who does the most tracting in the mission so I already do it. 

I have been reading Ether 12 a lot this week.  I love how Moroni's story plays into it.  He talks about how he is weak in writing, but the Lord commands him to make the record and he trusts the Lord that the gentiles will be brought to the truth if he acts and he will be made strong in his weakness. I think that if we all apply that to missionary work more, we can invite a lot more people.  If we have faith, and just invite, the Lord will give us what we must do and we can be made strong. I just think we wait to long to invite.

Ether 12:26-27 "26 And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying:Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness;  27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
Elder Hamer!"

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Faith and Miracles

I mentioned earlier this week about the Philippines and the typhoon and helping those in need.  I also briefly mentioned the LDS missionaries that were missing and unaccounted for, for a time.  Since missionaries are near and dear to my mother heart, this news article brought me to tears.  It is filled with Faith, Hope and Miracles.  I hope you enjoy it too,

Have an uplifting Sunday...

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Wrapping up Gratitude Like a Gift

You can read Part 1 here
You can read Part 2 here

I’m sure we are all familiar with the Great Oprah Winfrey.  We may snicker and giggle about Oprah and her counsel for happy living, but her advice on Gratitude Journals was surely inspired.  As we thank our Heavenly Father verbally for our many gifts, is it not also appropriate to write them down, to journal them for later reflection?  There have been studies done on the effect of keeping gratitude lists or gratitude journals.  Studies have shown that those who keep lists have

  • A significant absence of stress and depression
  • They make better progress toward important goals
  • These people report high levels of energy and determination
  • They feel closer in their relationships and build stronger relationships
  • Feel an increase of happiness of more than 25% over those who do not list their gratitude's
I don’t know about you, but who doesn't want to live happier!  This gratitude thing is like the “Holy Grail” of happiness. 

In Luke Chapter 17 we read about Christ and the Ten Lepers.  We all know the story…Christ healed ten, but only one returned and gave thanks to the Savior.  What I find interesting is the Savior in verse 19 says “arise, go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole.”  Hadn't the Savior already healed the Leper?  I wonder if the Savior was referring to the healing balm of gratitude in this man’s heart.  His heart was healed.  Thomas S. Monson said of this, ”Through divine intervention those who were lepers were spared from a cruel, lingering death and given a new lease on life.  The expressed gratitude by one merited the Master's blessings; the ingratitude shown by the nine, His disappointment." End quote.  I don't know about you, but I don't want to disappoint my Savior.  

 Joseph B. Wirthlin goes on to say in his article Living in Thanksgiving Daily, “Those who live in thanksgiving daily, however, have a way of opening their eyes and seeing the wonders and beauties of this world as though seeing them for the first time.  I encourage you to look around you.  Notice the people you care about.  Notice the fragrance of the flowers and the song of the birds.  Notice and give thanks for the blue sky, the color of the leaves, and the white of the clouds.  Enjoy every sight, every smell, every taste, and every sound.  When we open our eyes and give thanks for the bountiful beauty of this life, we live in thanksgiving daily.” End quote.   

When the Lord went up to teach the people in what has been called the Sermon on the Mount.  After realizing that the multitude was 5,000 strong and that there were only a few loaves and fishes to feed them, the disciples became concerned.  But Christ, blessed the food and gave thanks, and it was enough.  Brothers and sisters, it was enough.  Thanksgiving precedes the miracle, and it will be enough!

I really love Psalms, in Psalms 69:30 & 32 it says “I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving…The humble shall see this, and be glad; and your heart shall live that seek God.”  A thankful heart is a heart filled with God.  I’d like to close with the words of President Thomas S. Monson, “Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings but it also unlocks the doors of heaven.”  


**Originally published on 11/28/2012**

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

When Prayers aren't enough...

When you believe, prayers should always be enough...But sometimes you are the answer to someone's prayers.  In the wake of the horrible typhoon that hit the Philippines this past week, there are so many opportunities to help and serve those in need from afar.  Numerous organizations are collecting goods and money towards this relief cause.   I'm grateful to be a part of an organization that had relief and aid on the way almost immediately.   They delivered food and hygiene kits to the  evacuation centers.  They are even providing temporary housing to over 14,000 people in many of the church meetinghouses throughout the Philippines.

There are approximately 200 LDS Missionaries serving in Tacloban.  That is 200 eighteen to twenty one year old young men and women who have volunteered of their time and money to teach and serve the people in Tacloban, Philippines.  For a time, there was no contact with them.  Then all but twenty-four were unaccounted for...then they were all found.  Safe.  Such a blessing and a miracle, considering...Their church mission has turned from one of proselything to one of serving and helping to rebuild this hard hit community.

We can't all be in the Philippines to help rebuild, but we can all offer prayers and aid from home.  I can think of no better way to show my Gratitude to my Heavenly Father right now than by helping my fellow brothers and sisters.  I am not touting one organization over another.  As long as they are legit, they are all good...

If you can, think about donating this season to those who are truly in need.

Source for facts in article

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Little More on Gratitude

Read Part 1 here...

"Isaiah 11:6 says, “And a little child shall lead them…”  I am reminded of the prayers of my own children when they were young.  They would often say things like, “Thank you for our matchbox cars, for bugs, milkshakes and butterflies.”  Their young, innocent spirits still could recognize all the God given gifts in the world around them.  As an adult, I have found that my prayers of thanksgiving often become rote, maybe saying things like, “Thank you for our many blessings” but never actually spending the time naming them one by one.  Perhaps a meaningful mother’s prayer could include gratitude for the car noises her young son makes or for butterfly kisses from her daughter.  In the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, Ann reflects on an epiphany she has.  She is a farmers wife and a homeschooling mama.  She works all day long.  Standing before her 3rd sink of dishes of the day she is feeling tired and despondent.  In that moment, the sun reflects on the bubbles in the sink and she sees the rainbows and a display of bright colors.  She realizes that even in the mundane task of washing dishes that the Father blesses us and she gave thanks. 

Elder Wirthlin states that “Our minds have a marvelous capacity to notice the unusual.  However the opposite is true as well:  The more often we see the things around us-even the beautiful and wonderful things – the more they become invisible to us.  Because we see things so often, we see them less and less.”  End of quote.    Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, “The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life.” End of quote.  The opposite of Thanksgiving is ingratitude or apathy.  Apathy to our blessings creates greed, resentment, jealousy, covetous living, dissatisfaction, depression and as some prophets have said is a very serious sin.  Apathy is like a cancer eating away at our soul.  When we can’t open our eyes to our God given blessings, not expressing thanks, then we are living empty lives not filled with the capacity for true joy.  An Author wrote "Both abundance and lack of abundance exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities.  It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend...When we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that's present-love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us happiness-the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth." End of quote.   

Let us not forget to thank the Lord daily.  As a popular hymn tells us, “When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, when you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, count your many blessings name them one by one  and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.  Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?  Count your many blessings every doubt will fly, and you will be singing as the days go by.  When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you his wealth untold.  Count your many blessing money cannot buy, your reward in heaven nor your home on high.  So amid the conflict, whether great or small do not be discouraged, God is over all.  Count your many blessing, angels will attend, help and comfort gives you to your journey’s end. “ Alma 34:38 says “…Humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessing which he doth bestow upon you. “  The Lord makes us a promise in D&C 78:19 , “And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.”
Some ways that we can show gratitude to our Heavenly Father besides the obvious Thanksgiving in prayer are.
  • Choosing not to complain
  • Being good stewards of our possisions and people
  • Writing Thank you notes and expressing gratitude to others
  • Enjoying the little moments and not letting them slip by unnoticed
  • And Making lists
To be continued....................

**Originally published on 11/27/2012**

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Monday, November 11, 2013

A Baptism and Memory Loss {Miguel's Missionary Moment}

September 2, 2013

Well this week has been pretty sweet!  Zion is gonna be baptized this Saturday, he is super excited.  He was at school talking about getting baptized, and his teacher started telling him a bunch of anti mormon stuff. So he walked out of the class.  Then he told us that he wanted to slap his teacher with a Book of Mormon.  So we told him to ask God for what to do, and he did and felt like he had to say something.  He told his teacher how much the book of Mormon has changed his life, and how depressed he was before, and how happy he is now.  The teacher was in tears, and Zion gave him a Book of Mormon the next day. Zion is a stud! Oh and last night we had another lesson with Zion about Joseph Smith, and about all he went through.  Zion was amazed and the spirit was super strong. 

Then we went and contacted this internet referral and this kid said he just meant to order a free Bible, and I asked why he wanted one and said he was looking for truth and we just testified! It was awesome! Then right after that we went to this ladies house but she wasn't there.  We were with a member through all of this, and I saw some people outside so I tried to talk to them.  They ignored me so I decide I was going to knock on a door and no one answered there either. But when we were walking back, Lydia got home and she invited us in and we taught a short lesson about the restoration the spirit was awesome!!!! It was a sweet night! 

Elder Bronson is leaving me, and I'm getting an Elder named Elder Poole he is cool!! That's all!!
The Elder Hamer!!!!"

September 9, 2013


This week was great! Zion was baptized on Friday night! It was awesome! We had a lot of people there.  We were scared the room wouldn't be big enough, but that is a good problem to have! After the baptism, Zion bore his testimony and said he was so grateful Elder Hamer kept getting on him about his language and reading and coming to church and said how much it has changed his life.  It was a sweet baptism!!!! But, Elder Bronson missed it, and it was his first baptism!  He got transferred out.

Elder Poole is my new companion. He is super cool, he is just a little guy...he is short!  haha tallest I have ever felt! We had a good week because we found a lady who was baptized in California and moved to Georgia and never went because she was scared of some place new, and she came on Sunday with her 13 year old nonmember son.  We get to teach him this week.  We don't have any super solid people at the moment, but we have been teaching a ton of people at least the first lesson.

Oh Elder Loertscher my son! Got sent home :'( He passed out and hit his head or something on the cement and lost 3 years of memory.  He thought he was 15 and so he had to go home. He was like my best friend out here now he doesn't even remember all our good times!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sad! I miss him a lot! 

That is crazy to hear about your back mom! It better never happen to me!  I will definitely be praying!!!! But all is good out here.  Miss you all!!!! Get better mom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love Elder Hamer"

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Friday, November 8, 2013

All that Gratitude

I had to speak in church last year.  Now that in itself is a miracle, because I despise, no, HATE, public speaking.  The rapid heart bead, sweaty hands, shaky knees....yeah, it's not my thing.  But, I thought I would  share my thought with you that I shared on Sunday.  This will be a several part series, because, it is along, and if you have a little attention problem like me, then long posts are a deterrent.

"Between the Bible and the Book of Mormon, the word Thanks and it’s derivatives are mentioned approximately 340 times.  That would be Thank, Thanks, Thanked, Thanksgiving, Thanksgivings, thankful, thankfulness, thanking and thankworthy.  Clearly the Lord is trying to send a message to us on how important it is to Live in Thanksgiving Daily and surely this is a divine principle.   A little research into the word Thanksgiving revealed some interesting observations.  Thanksgiving comes from the Greek word Eucharisteo.  Eucharisteo is a word often associated with the last supper, communions or the sacrament.  The root word of Eucharisteo is Charis which means “Grace or favor”.  When we are thankful we are grateful for a favor or grace.  And a favor or grace from whom?  All favors or graces or blessings ultimately come from our Heavenly Father.  But, there is more.  The root word for Charis is Chara meaning joy.  When we fully are appreciative and thankful, we can live with more joy.  

We can learn as much as we can about the topic of Gratitude and Thanksgiving.  We can listen to or read talks and a book on it, but Thanksgiving is more than learning, it is acting.  Putting into action Thanksgiving, allows us to feel that gratitude all the way through to our heart.   Gordon B. Hinkley said, "When you walk with gratitude, you do not walk with arrogance and conceit and egotism, you walk with a spirit of thanksgiving that is becoming to you and will bless your lives." end of quote. 

In the last hours of Christ’s life he broke bread with his disciples and gave thanks.  He knew he was going to be crucified, but He still gave thanks.  If our Savior is our brother and mentor, the one we try to emulate in all we do, should we not give thanks continually?  When we partake of the Sacrament we do it in remembrance, and we are thankful.  Just as Christ expressed Thanksgiving that last night, we, too, express gratitude as we partake of the Sacrament.  We remember we thank and we partake of the atonement; the greatest gift ever given. 

The act of Thanksgiving or expressing gratitude is so important that our modern day prophets have reiterated it over and over.  “Be Grateful” was one of President Hinkley’s 6 B’s to the youth.  There is a whole section in For the Strengthof youth devoted to Gratitude.  We often hear of the importance of gratitude during General Conference.  Modern day scripture indicates that this being grateful and expressing Thanksgiving is not merely a suggestion but a commandment.  D&C 59:7 says, “Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things” But do we really do this?  If we are honest, my bet is that more than often we fail to thank the Father yet, expect so much more...."  

To be continued....

**Originally published on 11/26/2012**

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What I love most about Autumn

The change of seasons make me happy...I am a sensory person.  The colors, the smells, the sounds...everything about Autumn just appeals to me.  AND the weather has been unbelievable.  How can you beat 65 degrees during the day.

Football!  Two weeks after my back surgery I was able to go to my first BSU football game.  I missed two!  Had to give my tickets fact, I watched one of their games from my hospital bed.  For a girl who didn't grow up playing sports, I sure do love to watch some BSU football...Ladybug and I wear matching blue and orange shoes...

I have enjoyed afternoons walking my dog...the sound of the leaves crunching beneath my boots, the smell of damp leaves, the golden sun warm on my skin...

I've been busy...probably much to busy for my own good.  I'm back to pleasing my daughter again.  Not that I haven't pleased her in the past, but there was a while there when I couldn't do anything.  So, I made her a Minion.  He was entered in a Pumpkin contest, but we didn't win.

Oh, and I went apple picking.  Don't you just love those beautiful pictures of the apple orchards and gathering apples.  It is an experience I tell ya.  But, I don't do apple picking quite like that, unfortunately...Walmart, is a different kind of an experience altogether.

What do you love most about Autumn?
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Monday, November 4, 2013

Miguel's Missionary Moment

August 26, 2013

"Hey how is it going!!!!??????

This week was good! Zion the kid who is getting baptized on September 6th is going strong He is a stud! The Spanish Elders where in his neighborhood and caught him reading the book of Mormon on his porch.  He asked me to be the one to baptize him!  He basically bore his testimony last lesson about how hard his home life is, but when he is around the Church and people from the Church and reading the Book of Mormon he just feels at home.  It is so sweet! He actually reminds me a ton of Oshea.  He is a good kid!

Oh this week we had a ton of stuff come up that we weren't expecting and we fell super far behind on our contacting goal...We had three days to get like 54 contacts so we got all but 15 by Sunday.  On sunday we had lessons all day and only an half an hour to contact so I prayed where to go, and a area came to mind so I biked there and we were able to talk to 16 people in a half an hour and hit our goal. None of them were that interested but I realize I was showing the Lord my effort by trying to hit the standard the mission president set for us.

I think I'm really starting to understand the atonement and the fact that we can't do anything by yourself.  I finally realize that I have to rely on the Lord wholeheartedly. I realize that when Christ said pick up your cross and follow me it is about submitting yourself and giving your own desires and lusts up, and doing all the Father commands no matter what he asks. It went a lot along with studying the fact that those who are endowed are under covenant to give all heart, might, mind and strength.  It doesn't sound like a lot, but I realize how much I give is how much more the savior will give me.

The mission is good gottta tear it up on bike another week. I got a flat tire this past week :p lame but game on!

Elder Hamer out!"

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