A True Confession

Recently I’ve had quite a few job interviews with various companies. Some interviews have been face to face, but since I am currently out of town from the city I am moving to, many interviews have been over the phone.

I don’t mind a phone interview, especially for sales/customer service jobs. It helps the interviewer understand your personality on the phone, and in my opinion, is a great way to tell if you could do well at the position.

When it comes to interviewing for any kind of sales position, you can bet your entire savings account that you will be asked, “Do you have any sales experience?”

I’ve had one serious direct sales job in my life selling knives one summer. So as an answer to this question I used my missionary service as an example of my sales experience. I would say that it was a lot like sales; the only difference being the product.

Over the past few days I have really reflected on that response. As a missionary, I did not sell anything. I made no money. In fact, many people (myself included) sacrificed financially towards my missionary service.

There was however, a product. This is a product people believe in. A product that has affected the lives of millions. A product that affected me personally. A product I wanted everyone I met to have. And, the best part of all, it was completely free.

It’s change. Complete change through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

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When you sell something, you don’t really care about the person you are selling to, at least not long term. Those I taught the gospel to as a missionary have my heart, my prayers, and my support. Even today, four years later, and for the rest of my life I will care about them and the progress they are making in their spiritual journeys.

My service as a missionary was a special time in my life, full of experiences that I will never forget. I saw people change their lives because of the message I shared with them. The same message changed me, and continues to change me. The message is this: God lives. He lives and He knows our situation. Jesus Christ has restored His Church to the earth to prepare the world for His Second Coming. Living prophets speak for Them today. Families can be sealed together as eternal units. There is hope in a decaying world.

Never again will I use my mission as an example of sales experience. Yes, it was experience, but it had nothing to do with sales. It was life experience. It was experience serving God, doing His errands. His work. It was for Him and His Son. And whenever They need me to do something, I’m ready to serve again.

What Do You Think You’re Worth?

Last night my wife and I decided to start watching The Biggest Loser. Besides all the drama, it’s a very inspirational show. It reminds you that anyone can do anything they set their mind to, and that people can motivate themselves to change their lives for the better, and find happiness in doing so.

One of the contestants on this most recent season was a victim of child abuse. Hearing her recount her story is heart-breaking. She told her trainer that when her mother would hit her, she felt that she was of no worth.

All of us go through times where we feel low. For some, like this contestant, it stems from abuse. For others, it could be because of an ended relationship, or losing a job. Whatever the struggle may be, we can take courage in knowing that we are valuable. We have true worth.

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God; And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with him that we may also be glorified together.” -Romans 8:16-17

Truth is truth. It is unchangeable, no matter what circumstance we may find ourselves in. And the truth is, according to this scripture, we are royalty. We are literal children of a King, with a divine, heavenly inheritance. What is that worth to you?

For me, it’s everything.

Don’t let anyone tell you different. Always remember your true identity as a child of God. Strive to understand what that means for you personally. And most importantly, see and treat others that way too. It changes your whole perspective of the world. In fact, it changes the world.

The Faith of a Child

This past weekend we enjoyed beautiful Lake Powell. It was an adventurous weekend full of fishing, tubing, wake boarding, and jet skiing. The creations of God are a wonder at this special place, with the surrounding red rock during the day, and the sky full of stars at night.

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One time while we were wake boarding out on the lake, one of our boats broke down. Stranded, we noticed a couple of boats near by and started waving our arms and yelling to get their attention. Eventually we were able to tow our boat back.

It took a couple days, but after a bit of tinkering, the boat was working enough to get back to the ramp. One the way back however, the side stripping was falling off! So my wife’s aunt, probably sarcastically, told her daughter (about age 10) to pray that the boat wouldn’t break down again before we got to the ramp. Sure enough, she immediately folded her arms and bowed her head right there on the boat.

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During the Savior’s life, he spoke very solemnly of children.

“But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.” —Luke 18:16-17

After the Savior’s resurrection, he also visited the people of the ancient American continent as recorded in the Book of Mormon. There also he blessed the children…

“And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them. And when he had done this he wept again; And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones. And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angles did minister unto them.” —3 Nephi 17:21-24

“Children are an heritage of the Lord.”(Psalm 127:3, The Family: A Proclamation to the World) Children are a blessing to the world. They are close to heaven. If you find yourself near a child, take a moment and just watch them. As you do, think about the Savior and how much he loves them. These little ones have much to teach us. All we have to do is give them more of our time, attention, and love.

The Man’s Part of Pregnancy: Episode I

As my wife passes the halfway point of her first pregnancy, noticeable changes are beginning to take place. These changes are not just apparent and noticeable for her, but for me too!

Before now, I had only heard stories and rumors, and laughed…

I’m not laughing anymore.

Over the past twenty-something weeks I’ve put on six pounds, my wife has put only one*, which is just the weight of the baby itself!

As if that weren’t enough, since my wife is a little taller, my belly is about the same size as hers!

*Disclaimer: During the first trimester my wife was really sick, and lost nearly ten pounds, so when I say she’s only gained one pound, it’s really eleven.

Of course, I have no excuse. For the past two months I’ve been totally active, playing sports regularly each week. The real issues are two-fold—not working out, and not eating right.

So here’s to a new start. It’s time to man, or, tone up! Time to turn the sympathy weight into sympathy muscle!! It pays to be healthy. Our bodies are a gift, and it is our responsibility to take care of them. As we do so, we will live longer, and be happier.

Let’s just hope I don’t get too carried away with my desire to tone up. I could look like this:

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Yeah, right.

My Father, My Hero

This is a special Father’s Day for me. As I prepare to become a first time father in October, I reflect on the way my own father raised me, and the lessons he taught me growing up.

My dad is one of the hardest working people I know. From the time I was a little boy, I remember recognizing my dad as a hard worker. As I grew up, he was an auto mechanic. During the hot Las Vegas summers, he would be working in the heat of the shop all day, come home, and start working on projects around the house, oftentimes outside. To this day I don’t know how he found the energy to do that.

All my life, my dad has taught me responsibility. He always says if you take care of something, it will take care of you. Though especially true with more expensive items like cars and computers, I’ve tried to apply the same principle to everything I posses. My dad teaches me this by pure example. In his garage and around my parent’s house are lots of tools. Whenever he finishes a project he always takes the time to clean everything up, and put things away in their rightful place.

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This is my dad’s 25th Father’s Day. I wouldn’t be the man, or husband, or future father without his influence and example. He is my hero. When I grow up I hope to be half the man he is. Of all the influential people in my life, I look up to my dad the most.

Everyone deserves a father, and whether or not we have a father figure in our lives, we can rest assured that we have a Heavenly Father who knows us, and loves us individually. Like any father, He wants what is best for us, and does all he can to influence our lives so we can find happiness.

I’m so thankful to have been raised by my dad. He is always there for me, and I can always rely on him whenever I have a question about anything, or just want to say hi. He is not just my dad, he is my friend. He puts his family above everything else, including himself.

Though we praise and recognize our fathers today, these thoughts of admiration and respect remain with me forever.

Happy Father’s Day, dad.

Love, your son.

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