Sunday, February 24, 2013

Inspired Weekend Message - The One

This weekend was our Stake Women's Conference and as always, I was so glad that I went and completely edified.

The theme was "The One" meaning Christ and seeking out the one person you can help lift. The message I enjoyed the most was when a brother from my ward spoke about our purpose in this life. He said that we all knew what our purpose/mission was before we came and we agreed to fulfill it. We were chosen to come to the earth at this time and to the very location we were sent for a reason. The Lord needed us to fulfill certain tasks that only we could do with our special gifts and talents. Because we have free agency, should we choose to stray off the path and not seek after our purpose and divine callings, the Lord will find someone else to complete the task that we were supposed to and had agreed to do - HOWEVER, that person will not be able to do it as good as we would have, which is why we were the one initially chosen to do it.

That was very powerful to me. Sometimes we think that we are just average or ordinary. That we lack so many things and if only we could do this or that better. We forget to realize that we are all unique. You just might have that certain personality that I need at a certain moment in my life to help me over a tough hurdle. Sure someone else could come along and give it a go but you would have done it better. Isn't that amazing to think about?

Next time you second guess yourself about your abilities, gifts and talents - think about this quote from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf -

"You may feel that there are others who are more capable or more experienced who could fulfill your callings and assignments better than you can, but the Lord gave you your responsibilities for a reason. There may be people and hearts only you can reach and touch. Perhaps no one else could do it in quite the same way."

 I'm taking on a new challenge and I invite you to join me. My new motto is: Forget Yourself

Anytime I am unhappy it's because I'm too worried about myself. My happiness, my free time, my goals, my needs, my wants etc. When I lose myself in the service of others I am happiest. Each morning when you pray, ask the Lord to guide you to someone "the one" who you can help. You will be humbled by the opportunities that come your way.  Anytime you get the opportunity to serve or help someone, be grateful for it. Don't complain or hope to pass it off onto someone else, it was sent your way for a reason! You'll be blessed.

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Humility and a Hospital - The Bright Side of Adveristy

This last week was pure exhaustion! So much sickness has come in and out of our house over the last 3 weeks and I am the only one who has managed to avoid it. My 6 year old son was hit the hardest by a nasty virus that wreaked havoc and everyone for 24 hours. For him, he never seemed to recover.

On the 2nd day of being sick, I was at the church all night as I was in charge of a Relief Society activity. My husband went to give my son a blessing and could not find his oil. So he gave a blessing without the oil. The next day after no improvement, I felt helpless and wanted to see what else could be done. My husband was at work carrying out a huge event that he could not miss. So, I went on Facebook asking if any priesthood brethren were home who could come administer a healing blessing with oil. 

 Within a few minutes several women were offering their husbands, fathers, grandfathers (you name it!) to come help. Finally, a brother from the ward showed up in a white shirt and tie ready to give a blessing. He is a dentists as is his wife. Apparently his wife showed up while he was with a patient and he asked her what she was doing there and she replied, "I'm here to take over so you can go give Sister Rietzsch's son a blessing." He left work, went home and changed and came over to our home.

I was so touched and humbled by this kind act and the many kind acts that followed from everyone in the neighborhood for the rest of the week.

The blessing was powerful and the Spirit bore witness that Gabe would heal in due time. After it was over Gabe was able to rest in bed for 7 hours without having to get up once. It was a blessing!

Late into the night the illness came on strong again, and he was again a slave to the bathroom. Gabe began to sob, saying that the blessing had not worked. I had to explain to him that blessings always occur on the Lord's time and according to our faith. The Lord said he would be healed in due time not "instantly". It broke my heart to see him so discouraged but I knew he was needing to learn this for a reason.

The next morning, not much had changed.After missing a whole week of school, and the doctor telling me to wait it out three more days before I bring him in, I finally drove him to Primary Children's Medical Center and admitted him to the ER.

He was dehydrated from severe diarrhea and his bowels were very irritated to the point of continuous bleeding. He was given an IV and fully hydrated in just a couple of hours. They took samples and sent in for tests. After nothing else could be done, they sent us home. He was starting to show improvement, had the energy to laugh again and was able to sleep through the whole night.

The next morning he was completely himself again! Now, he could see that the blessing had been fulfilled. He was better!

During this experience several thoughts crossed my mind. First I thought about how terrible these viruses are getting and wondered if it's a blessing to help strengthen our immune systems for what is to come. Then, I thought about how the Lord tests and strengthens those he chooses. The younger generations have a lot to prepare for in these last days and they need to be strong. Our patience, endurance, faith and testimonies are being challenged often to help us and the Lord know where we stand. Can He use us in the way that He needs to? What do we need to learn and experience in order to be better prepared and strengthened?

Realizing this helped me get through one crazy week. We learned that relying on the Lord is all you can do in situations like this. We learned that we have wonderful neighbors who care and want to help in our times of need. We learned that we are a lot stronger than we realized. We learned that sometimes being exhausted of all your energy puts you in a position to experience great humility. Humility reminds us of where our strength and blessings come from. We remember that we are nothing without God.

There are several scriptures that teach us about the importance of humility. Here are some that I really like:

Doctrine and Covenants 104:79-80

 And it is my will that you shall humble yourselves before me, and obtain this blessing by your diligence and humility and the prayer of faith.

 And inasmuch as you are diligent and humble, and exercise the prayer of faith, behold, I will soften the hearts of those to whom you are in debt, until I shall send means unto you for your deliverance.

Doctrine and Covenants  112:10

  Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.

This experience has reminded me that the Lord gives us adversity so that we remember him. What a beautiful thing affliction can be when you have suffered through it and become refined. When you remember the Lord in everything- you find your strength!

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Hastening the Work

The leaders of the church seem to be really focusing on this topic lately. A member of our bishopric bore his testimony on this topic as well today. I don't know about you but I really feel that the Lord is hastening His work upon the Earth. In the last few months this has really snowballed!

Today, I was on and read a message by Elder Russell M. Nelson. I love what he shared about his wife and this subject. He said:

“We not only teach this concept, but we participate in it,” he remarked to the departing missionary couples. “We do so as we help to gather the elect of the Lord on both sides of the veil. Marvelously and mercifully, the invitation to come unto Christ can also be extended to those who died without a knowledge of the gospel. Part of their preparation requires earthly efforts of others.”

He said his wife, Wendy, whom he had introduced to the group earlier in the session, “is on night call.” He explained that she feels the call of deceased ancestors and works late into the night doing research to identify them. “She keeps our family supplied with names for those people who are keeping her from sleeping at night.”

I too have felt certain names in my family tree press upon my mind. Sometimes we forget that while it is hastening on earth it is also hastening on the other side. In the last few months our bishop has increased temple work from our ward members. It's going full speed ahead!

A couple of years ago in our old ward there was a couple who spoke one Sunday during sacrament meeting. They shared a beautiful experience that I would love to share with you!

They had moved away from Utah for a job and during that time had befriended a nice couple through that same job. The couple were not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. So many months later, the husband died in a tragic accident. It was very sad and the wife had a hard time with his death.

Over the next couple of months, the husband who was killed  would often visit his friend (the husband of the couple in our ward) and tell him to please do his temple work. His friend was very afraid to approach his wife and tell her that her deceased husband was regularly visiting him and telling him he wanted to be baptized and have all of his ordinances done. However his friend continued to visit him in his dreams and insist that he do his work.

One day the friend gathered some courage and wrote a letter to the wife explaining to her what had been happening and asked for her permission to do his work. She read the letter and called him and bust into tears and said that she had been raised a member of the church and had been baptized and ever since her husband passed away she too had been longing to have that work done so they could be together forever.

So, he went to the temple and did the work on behalf of his deceased friend. When it was complete, his friend came to him in another dream, dressed in white and thanked him for doing his work.

It was a beautiful story and the spirit was so strong when they shared it. The couple could not hold back their tears as they each gave their perspective on the story.

I have really enjoyed doing genealogy these past few years. It never seems like there is enough time in the week to get a lot of it done, but whenever I find the time to work on it I am always blessed.

I know the time is getting near for the Lord's return. Let us all do our part to help hasten this work and we will be blessed for our efforts. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.