Hi I am Elder Atticus Shelley and I have been called to serve a two year mission in Eugene, Oregon, English speaking. Some interesting facts about Oregon are; Salem in the capital, the state animal is the American Beaver which Oregon gets its nickname from as the Beaver state, Oregon is the only state that has a state nut which is the Hazelnut, the State rock is a geode called the Thunder-egg, the state beverage is milk, and the Nike swoosh was invented in Oregon. The list could go on forever about the interesting things about Oregon and how beautiful it is, but that is not why I am here. I am blessed to be going to such an amazing place. I have the convenience of being able to speak English, and not worrying about the water if it is ok to drink.
Bishop Peterson told me I could speak about anything I wanted to, but I have to know the subject very well so I am able to teach it really well. So I am going to be talking about food. I have always liked the quote, “We are all kneaded from the same dough, but we are all shaped and baked in different ways.” I would like to break this quote down a little bit and tell you what I always think about when I hear it. Some people have been pushed and kneaded too much which makes them tough. Some have been in the oven for too long which makes them stiff and hard to open up. On the other hand some people jump out of the fire at the first sign of trouble which makes them soft. In a way I am jumping back into the fire. I may get burnt or I might come out the perfect piece of bread.
On a more serious matter I am going to be talking about tests and tribulations. When people hear tests and tribulations they usually think about affliction, misery, suffering, or trouble. When I think of tests I think of might, overcoming, power, and strengthen. In Alma 20 verse 4 it states, “I know, in the strength of the Lord thou canst do all things.” We will always have trials but with the Lord on your side you can do anything. Also in D&C 63 verse 47 it says, “He that is faithful and endureth shall overcome the world.” No matter what the world throws at you, you can overcome it, get past it, and learn from it.
In my senior year of high school I got to take some college classes on Physical Therapy. I learned a lot with these different classes. I got to see people all over the valley that have been injured in some way or form that they need help. I saw things from surgeries to sport injuries, and things like Shaken Baby Syndrome to a kid whose parents didn't enforce them to wear a seat-belt where in seconds their child’s life changed forever. This child now when they get sick they can’t control their own muscles enough to get the mucus out of their throat, they have to get the mucus pumped out multiple times a day so they can breathe with a clear airway. These people are tested every day and have a lot more trials to overcome then we do. I have also seen the love that a select few have for these people.
I would like to also talk about gratitude. We don’t realize how easy we have it. Most of the time we hear people complain, “My work is too hard, gas is getting expensive, wow the price of milk is getting high.” Always think about the good in life. Instead of work is too hard, think of how lucky it is that you have a paying job. Instead of gas is expensive, think of how glad you should be that you have a working car and that you don’t have to walk everywhere. Instead of worrying about the price of milk, think about the convenience of being able to go to a store and having milk ready for you to drink. Imagine having to take care of your own cow and milking it every day just for your cereal in the morning. If you learn anything from me today, it should be always look at the brighter side of things. My psychology teacher taught me to point out the good things in life. My psychology teacher tested this theory out on his dad when they were driving. When my teacher would park in a spot that was close to whatever they were going to he would point it out to his dad, but if he had to park really far away he wouldn’t say a thing. All that his dad remembered was his son always getting a great parking spot. If you always look at the bad things you will have a bad day or a miserable life. Even think of things as simple as how lucky you are to be able to have the strength to be able to walk out of your front door, out of the shelter that protects you against harmful weather, and you have the freedom to do whatever you want to do.
I know that I will be tested on my mission but I have gratitude because I have the choice to go on a mission. I would like to bare my testimony… In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.