Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Take care, Alexander Hicken

Dear Ocean Branch,

I hope that this weekend will be successful change in my life that I may move forward. 

I have a few things that I wanted to address before I leave; although, Eliza Simunovich intends to continue this blog. The principles that I wanted to leave behind for you to consider applying in your life are the following. You may think that I would encourage writing your journals to keep it updated, but these are the type of things that I will address, the gospel principles that I have been doing the most of, not saying that I am most successful. These are the topics that I am lead to explore according to the wisdom that I have obtained in the application thereof: Journal writing, Develop temperance unto purity, Exercise the most faith as possible, Temple attendance, and be sure to attend the branch that you are supposed to.

I love to write in my journal. When I could afford to, I wrote in my journal each day. You may ask what would you write about each day nothing much happens in a day. A fruit of writing in your journal is that you are reporting your great life to a future generation, so you hold yourself accountable to be the best that you can. Writing in your journal is not an overwhelming task that will consume all your time. The feeling of reporting your life to the best of your view is interesting. It seems to slow down life. It is interesting that I often hear that people want time to go fast. "Oh I just want this day or week to be over." Writing in a journal brings a gratitude for life, seeking to grow each day and serve. There are so many fruits of having a record of your life. Many obvious ones are like being able to keep track of what you have done, what is going on. Writing in a journal is not just a report of your life. "I did this and that;" however, you should view your writing as if you making a relationship with the reader with respect that it may be read with respect it as well. A high standard of living is obtained as you have a better perspective. This standard of living is your character.

Developing temperance unto purity is a view of mine. Temperance means self-control. Many people do things without much thought in anger, jealousy, lust, and so forth. These are weaknesses that we may have; thought processes that Satan may feed on to lure us to actions. In this temperance I see that this encourages a great knowledge of yourself. Personal characteristics are important to know in this knowledge of yourself. We come to know what behavior to shy away from and what to embrace. Christ-like attributes as taught in the Preach my Gospel manual are at the root of the commandments. I say that I believe that the ten commandments of the Celestial law is in the Doctrine and Covenants 4: 5-6.

"And afaithbhopeccharity and dlove, with an eeye single to thefglory of God, gqualify him for the work. Remember faith, avirtue, knowledge, btemperancecpatience,dbrotherly ekindnessfgodliness, charity, ghumilityhdiligence." (the highlighted ten)                                  I seem to be able to write a lot on this topic. I should move on.
Let us always consider these things in mind and in our actions in remembrance of Christ and his attributes. Developing your character in temperance is as embrace of your true character. Many people outside of the Gospel may act not according to their true character because that don't trust various things, but when we come to trust the Gospel, God, and his atonement, our true character comes out. A most important part to this great temperance is the application off all the principles of the Gospel. The word of wisdom, law of Chastity, Tithing and all the commandments entail a great temperance. When we have a control on all these things, we can gauge how much more that we can do. 
Do more. This is a way that I define faith. For myself my definition of faith is not the common ideal to believe in Christ, but it is what the belief leads us to do. Here is it. My definition of faith is how boldly that we fulfill the commandments of God. Boldness can be seen in many ways in my eyes. A bold teacher makes plenty of preparation before the lesson. A bold disciple follows the spirit. Nephi was bold. Our great prophets were bold. In this boldness I have learned that we need to keep a vision in mind. Perhaps it may be to be a full-time missionary or the greatest father or mother. These visions are a couple that I see that are most meaningful. Make sure that they are your true desires. Don't get caught up in the vanity of the world. Seek to be most effective in what you want to develop yourself into the vision of your goal. In this view, we have great purpose and depth in our lives. A goal and vision that I had for myself is to be a temple-going person.
Each person should have to goal to the temple as much as possible. At least here in Santa Cruz, the opportunity is so rare that this commitment is logical. Temples are dedicated to be some of the most sacred place on Earth. They are the Houses of the Lord. The temple is a place for the pure children of God to meet to have the greatest moments of their lives. I say the pure children because I trust each person is a pure child of God at the very core; although, we need to be careful. The nature man is scary. The temple is a place, where the natural man is forsaken, where some of the most amazing people gather. This place is of great guidance and comfort. The spirit of God is abundant there. Each week that I go, I see that my communion there always puts my head on straight, so I can face this crazy world better. I go in battered by the world and come out whole. I pray that as our Ocean Branch tries to regroup and renew our temple attendance that every person will come in humility and gratitude no matter what circumstance you are in your life. It will strengthen your faith in Christ. 
Be loyal in your attendance at the your local ward or branch as well. I see that people often are carried away from church to do other things. We need to be there for each other. Meeting together at church is a way to show the world that you are doing great. Loyalty to your local branch and ward shows a temperance and a stability. You should to be a church each week to fulfill your calling. There is so much Spirit, guidance, comfort, and inspiration in each meeting. The meetings are designed to promote spiritual growth not only at a personal individual level but in a broader sense of the entire community. This is why that everyone of you need to come and join the saints on Sunday. I am inspired, when I act as an Aaronic Priesthood holder, and I break the bread of the Sacrament. I represents so much. It represents the broken flesh of Christ and the Bread of Life. Let us all prepare to partake of the sacrament with all our faith to be loyal and faithful to our duties to God.
I pray that this weekend will work out and be an important step to move forward. When I return from China, I hope to move and settle into the BYU that I will be accepted in. Maybe this should be read at the 29th of January sacrament meeting as my talk, since we will probably not have new counselors for Josh. To the Priesthood, please take care of the Branch.
Take care
Alexander Hicken

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Best Wishes for Rose at BYU Provo

This is a recording of a testimony of Rose Hage. The recording is bad. Trevor did it for Michael because he was gone, and we all love Rose' testimony especially Michael. This recording is originally for him, but Rose let me share it with everyone. The quality of the recording is reflected in the dot-dot-dots.

I am thankful...

...Thanksgiving...It was really fun...but Our oven broke. Our refrigerate broke, and something else would not work...and, so everything is broken around the house. We were trying to figure out how we are going to get everything actually cooked, and Leslie, one of our grandmas,... had a tiny oven, so we just kind of all day... we did not have as many food as we usually do, but I think that even though nothing went well at all. It was really fun because we were all actively trying to make it work. It was not like two people worked to get everything done. We all had to work together to actually make it happen. It was the feeling of being together. I don't think anything beats that feeling. I am thankful for this time of the year even though I hate the weather. I loved the overall festive feeling and the spirit of giving. I would love if it carried throughout the year and I know that personally we cannot create that feeling, but it is really cool that right now while we cannot create that feeling. I don't know. I am grateful that I can come here every week, see you all, and share that feeling. I don't think anything in my life has made me more loving for so many things. I am grateful for this church. I love so many things, but I don't love anything as much as being a member of this church because it helps me more than anything else. We have it all right here, and I am so thankful. I know that this church is true because this is where truth is found....

The article is dedicated to Rose for her great faith, service, and future, saying good bye, since she is attending BYU Provo. We wish the best for you.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Testimony of our Soon Departing Elder Kaupert

My testimony of the gospel is one of not a few large moments in my life; but rather many many small ones. I've always wondered how all these little moments will affect my future, and I never really realized the impact that they were having at the very moment. Looking back, the Lord has never let go of me no matter how hard I pushed Him away, and I see it in how everything seems to turn out. It always amazes me how things could've been so different had I had different experiences.

Happiness in the gospel for me seems to be made up or created by my life's experience. The love I feel from our leader, Jesus Christ, and our Heavenly father is something that can be found no where else on the earth but in this church. I often hear talk of people saying how the church can be so restrictive, and by living by the gospel, our freedom is stripped away. I disagree whole heartily. Life would be bondage without the reassurance of our father, the atonement, and of hope for things to come. We would be chained down by our heavy regrets and trapped by our own loneliness. That is not to say that other churches don't offer a form of this, but this gospel offers the most complete form.

To not share that happiness with others would be a major sin for me; however, the single biggest reason in deciding to go on a mission was not this, but rather the incompleteness I would experience the rest of my life had I not gone. In other words, It would be a sin for me to not do the most I can for all of God's children, seeing how I have been a recipient of what I feel like are some of the greatest blessings he has to offer in this life. And really, that's what the Gospel truly is to me, is the pure love of God for all of us.

This Gospel is true. My life is undeniable proof of that. Our entire existence is undeniable proof as well. God's love for us is real, and I have felt it. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our needs and our wants, wanting nothing more than to give to us everything, which he does provide for us. And so He provided the gospel for to bring all of us happiness. This is my simple testimony.