Saturday, March 8, 2014

We are never alone

The purpose of the Gosple of Jesus Christ is not to help us avoid problems or trials, but to help us to be able to overcome them. If we take a step back and think about why exactly we are here on this earth, it becomes clear that trials are a necessary part of life. God is trying to make us into Gods. He wants us to become exactly like Him. His joy is full and complete, and He wants us to experience what He has. One could question how we could ever be happy with trials. Doesn't being "happy" mean being free from hard things? No. There will always be hard things. Even God has trials. Imagine how He feels when one of His children, who He works endlessly for, rejects Him, and foolishly chooses to cling to the "small things" of the world. Things will never be easy. It is contrary to existence. However, we can find happiness even throughout the trials that come our way. It all depends on our focus. If we thought that God was helping us to grow and become like Him because He loves us enough to teach us, every time a hard thing came our way, I am sure we would take it smiling. If we stopped to think about our grand potential and how small most things really are, happiness can be found anywhere. I have a testimony that every human being on this earth can be happier than they now are, based on their application of the tools God has given us.
It all starts with the Atonement. When something hard happens, when we make a mistake, when others offend us, when we are sick, when we are scared or worried or simply unsure and anxious, we can count on our Savior to help us carry the load. WE DON'T HAVE TO DO THIS ALONE. We are never alone. Jesus Christ is always at our side ready to help us carry the cross we have been given. He is strong and able to help us, no matter what problem we have. He can erase guilt. Help you to forgive an offensive comment. Give you peace when your soul is in unrest. He can do it! We have no idea just how close He is to us in moments of hardship, just waiting for us to ask for help. Pray for help, and it will come. I have seen it so many times. No person is strong enough to successfully make it throught this life alone. And that is why we always have Him. The friend who never tires, never betrays us, never stops caring, and never leaves us to ourselves when the hard times come. When we rely on Him, we find that we can have unbreakable spiritual strength. I always think back to Van Heder. I am still in awe at his example. He affected my life forever when he came walking out to the stake conference pulpit all those years ago. He had Lukemia. I can only imagine how hard it must have been to even sit up that morning for him. But he was not a man of excuses. I wonder if I would have had the fire that he did to deliver that message that Sunday. I can't remember a word of it, but I remember what his actions taught me that day. That we are not subject to trials. In Brother Heder's own words that I once heard him say, trials do not define us, they reveal us. We have the power to overcome it all. Jesus Christ stands ever-ready to walk the road with us, no matter how bleak it may appear. I love Him and I know that He lives. I know that He died for me so that I can someday be with Him and Heavenly Father again. It is the plan. We are supposed to be happy. I testify that the only way to that lasting happiness is through Jesus Christ. I am grateful to have spent one year now in His service with my whole ability and self.

I wish the Schofield family well. I love them all. I will pray for them. President Schofield is an inspiring man, and throughout my youth, has taught me many things. Hayden has been a good friend to me for years. And Sister Schofield was patient enough to let me spend a lot of time at her house making a lot of noise.
I hope Courtney does well in school. It is so important. Don't blow it off. You make or break yourself in high school. I know it isn't easy, but it is worth it to stay home on a weekend if it means being to able to study for a test on Monday. We can do hard things.
By the way, Sister Halligan..... thank you for teaching me that quote. "We can do hard things" has been a constantly repeating sentence in my mind for my whole mission. You are awesome, and I love you! I also understood the birthday picture. I laughed super hard.
I got the pillowcase and snowballs, Grandma! Thank you so much! I had to teach the Latins how to snowball fight..... most of them have never even seen snow.... it was fun.
Dad..... buy my truck. Ha ha ha. Don't forget. I'm starting to get worried. I know how KSL works, sometimes..... I love you.
Kaylee Hopper....... How is your "way back" going? Don't give up on this. It is worth it.
Did Roberto get his shirt?

Austin King Bieber.... I missed you this week, you dork.
I love you, mom. I look forward to your letters every week. I wish I remembered the tune for "cast away" You might have to sing it in a video for me. Ha ha ha.
I have to go now..... man these weeks go by fast. Changes happen this Monday, and then I will have 8 changes left..... which is halfway. Crazy, huh? Missions are short. It just feels like normal life, now.
I think Dad might be the ONLY one who understands this poem.... it's pretty "Pink Floyd"-ish. Maybe you'll like it...... meh. How many have I sent home now?
I love you all,
-Elder Boekweg
The Road to Where I’ll Was
I walked a million miles from home, and saw a million things alone,
Helped a million crippled walk, so they themselves could make it home,
My back with sweat from half day’s work, my face with half day’s dirt,
I look towards the sun again, to see it stop and make a turn,
For where it rose, it starts to set, to tell me things will change,
I hear that it gets darker now, and darker seems so strange,
I never thought I’d get this far, to stand in half day´s sun,
To see my face, in time’s own pools, and know what I’ve become,
I have come so far from where I was, and what I used to be,
The road’s been rough, and steep enough, to ask the most of me,
I write my dearest April now, as March kicks through again,
Let her know, I don’t know how, we’ve stayed to such an end,
The start, I guess is over now, and night time’s coming soon,
It’s getting fast, and day’s roll through, to greet the rising moon,
Here and there, and there and here, a trip from B to A,
I’ve found that time forgets itself, if we close our eyes and pray,
It’s hard to carve a word in stone, a message chipped away,
But harder still to carve in heart, a word that always stays,
I’m running even faster now, though I have lost my feet,
No longer to depend on me, I fly through city streets,
This war will take the best of men, and give it back anew,
But better still, than that before, if those who give are true,
I till the ground to plant the seeds, my Master has so asked of me,
The season grows to point of age, as I walk out to center stage,
The middle of the show, they’d say, I work the set of patterned ways,
My back turned to the high-noon sun, I count the million days,
Each is but a moment, a memory fleeting fast,
And soon I fear, my labors here, will all be quickly passed,
This race is only halfway through, and yet is halfway done,
The work my Father gave to me, a symbol of His Son,
The suffering, the sacrifice, and all the bitter tears,
Are hidden up, in works of love, and spread through two whole years,
I’m older now, or so they say, and I’ve been gone awhile,
But don’t know how, I lived to now, to walk the second mile,
I’ve bled and been so soaked in sweat, that my own soul, my work would wet,
Working under half-day sun, I wondered where I’d get,
My life is not my own these days, myself I must forget,
At times it’s hard, to heal the scars, that mankind has long kept,
I’m sailing through an ocean, of risky rising tides,
I’d like to say, I know the way, as sailors love to lie,
I chase the light, that turns the night, to bright and hopeful day,
And pray to someday catch it, and in its presence stay,
I wait for days of sunshine, of snowfall, and of rain,
The flavors of the universe make every day a change,
I sit on stars at night and think, about the world that lies beneath,
And from my glowing seat, I see, the gleaming people speak,
My boat only stays afloat, although the ocean’s deep,
Because I’m unaware of it, I am too small to sink,


  1. I love his testimony that we are never alone :) I needed that!

  2. What a deep poem. Well done, Chance and thank you for sharing your art on the blog. Say hello to Elder Seth Fankhouser in the mission home. He will not know who I am. I am only aware of him through his friend in the Rome, Italy mission, Elder Daniel Baggaley. It is a wonderfully small world. One of the missionaries teaching me is Elder Brookston Jeppson, who also knows and played soccer with Taylor, Seth's older brother. Know that all of your are in my prayers morning and evening. Love, Sister Grace Duffy