Friday, June 18, 2010

And for today's selection ....

Especially for Youth 2000: Forward with Faith
  1. Forward With Faith -Kim Bracken
  2. A Call I Hear - Peter Breinholt
  3. The Olive Tree - Felicia Sorenson
  4. Memory Lane - Jake White
  5. Any Other Boy - Peter Brienholt
  6. Her Garden - Tammy Simister Robinson
  7. I Know That My Redeemer Lives - Linda Rowberry
  8. What About - Peter Brienholt
  9. Waterfall - Jon Schmidt
  10. Amazing Things - Julie de Azevedo
  11. Safe Inside - Nancy Hanson & Kevin Corbett
  12. A Quiet Prayer - Nancy Hanson
Today's album is one of my favorite religious music albums. This CD was sent to my by my sister Jessica while I was serving in the Washington DC South Mission in Northern Virginia. It's a CD that has been listened to multiple times both on and off my mission, and makes me cry almost every time.
Now most people will talk about their missions and tell you that it was the greatest experience in their lives, but my mission was the hardest thing I have ever done. I learned to love more and hate more there than I think I have ever done my entire life, or will ever do again. I learned about death and loss, and joy and pain in those short 18 months. However, You will never hear me say that I wish I was a missionary again. There is not enough money in the entire world to bribe me into ever re-living THAT experience...
But at the same time it was a good experience for me. I learned about others. I learned to love people who I would never give the time of day to before. I learned that some people might seem nice from a distance, but I would never want to live with them or even speak of them ever again. I learned that God doesn't always answer your prayers. I learned that life is hard and some days I just didn't want to be a part of it anymore.
And yet, I found some of my best friends in Virginia, companions and members and converts and other missionaries. People that I discovered lived within a 40 mile radius from the home I grew up in, but never knew they existed. I wouldn't trade those people for the world. I look back on my mission and think that maybe I didn't go out for "them" maybe I went out for "me". I learned more as a individual to be more tolerant of people and more open to change. I had my testimony shaken to the core and rebuilt to be something I could be proud of. I became a better person because of my personal experiences within the walls of my own body, and not out on the streets knocking on doors. Over the years I have forgotten a lot of that, my trials and experiences have made me doubt, and I grown depressed and bitter and though I don't think I've lost my way, I've have definitely just been walking along side the iron rod instead of hanging on.
So if my mission was sot bad, why is this CD one of my favorites, and why did I have to tell you all that before I could get into the reasons why I love this??
Today I had lunch with my supervisor. It was a "working lunch" so we spent 10 minutes talking about work and the other 50 minutes becoming friends. In the middle of the conversations she asked me a personal question "Are you LDS?" and of course my answer is yes. She told me that she is a convert and used to be a Baptist and that right now she is struggling with the church. I heard myself telling her that I also haven't been to church for over a year, and that I struggle everyday with "The People" of Mormonism. I told her that the church is true, and that people fail but you need to hang on to the gospel and do it for yourself and not for others. (I think I needed this lecture just as much as she did.) I know I am right, but sometimes it is so hard to go and be with people that say they're supporting their fellow man, but ignore their neighbors in their times of need.
As we spent our hour talking I shared with her my life and my dreams, my fears and anger and my begrudged faith in God... and she understood me and knew how I felt. Then something happened that hasn't happened in years. She said to me "Inside me, I know it's true. I can feel it," and she placed her hand on her heart, "right here. When you said the gospel is true and that people mess up, I feel it here, and I know."
And you know what happened next? ... I felt it too.
All the songs on this collection are amazing. Thank You for giving this to me Jessica I truly do love it. This album represents all "those" feelings to me. Because I KNOW that my Redeemer Lives, Joseph Smith was NOT just Any Other Boy,  and Faith the size of a seed CAN do Amazing Things.
After my conversation today I had this song in my head:
Amazing Things - Julie de Azevedo
What would it be like
To have faith to move a mountain
Faith to walk on water
Such faith I've never known
What would it be like
To ride a chariot of fire
Or to see God's very finger
Write upon a stone

What would it be like
To sleep among the lions
Or to build an ark
While laughter floods my ears
What would it be like
Facing death to save my nation
Or be betrayed by my own brothers
And not harbor it for years

Faith the size of a seed
Can do amazing things
Amazing things

What would it be like
To defeat a mighty giant
Or see the belly of a whale
And live to tell
What would it be like
Stripped of every last possession
To remain a true and faithful servant still
Faith the size of a seed
Can do amazing things
Amazing things

What would it be like
To behold the son and father
Or see visions of what was and what will be
What will it be like
If I drink from heaven's fountain
Having faith to move a mountain
Faith the size of a seed
Can do amazing things
Amazing things
With faith the size of a seed
What will He do through me?

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