Monday, December 2, 2013

Week 83- Thanksgiving week

Another week come and gone! Zone Conferences are back on now! but they're only mini zone conferences,. Since we're not spending all week at zone conferences, we get to do missionary work! And we get a preparation day!!  wohoo!!!

We went to Manassas with Josh (our Elder's Quorum President) again this week, and met some great people down there!

Wednesday we had an exchange with a set of zone leaders, so that was awesome. We got to see and teach some that night as well. Mostly helping people in coming back to church.

Thursday we started the day at GMU! Our district leader had this really cool idea to have people write what they're thankful for on the quad! One problem... I'm pretty sure we were the only people on campus... it was a ghost town... haha But we had fun!

 Bishop Leonard, our Braddock ward bishop had us over for Thanksgiving dinner. He also had some of his family from the Ashburn ward!! it was way fun to see them again and hear how everyone in the ward is doing. 
We are off to DC for Pday.....

Love you all!!

-Elder Hodgson

Imagine for a moment, if you will, a cowboy; an old hero from a classic western. We will call him Evan Benson. He saved a small town from invaders, and then they made him their chief. Now, triumphant and strong, Evan dramatically enters the saloon for the final confrontation with his sworn enemies. Freeze the frame for just a moment. In the background of the saloon there is a game of poker being played. The drunken imbeciles sit at the table, spirits in hand, cards face down on the table, ready to play their part in the fray that will shortly come to fruition. In the table next to one of these players is a knife. This knife is called the “buck” and plays a significant part in the game of poker that so recently was interrupted.
                You see, back in the days of the frontier, this knife - typically with a handle made from the antler of a buck - was an identifying mark of the dealer at the table. Each round, the dealer would “pass the buck” to the next man, who would then become the dealer. However, some players, not wanting the responsibility of the dealer, would pass the buck without ever taking their turn to deal. This is what I would like to talk about today is this buck - this responsibility that we all have. I would like to step outside of the western for a moment, and invite you to all live by these four words: “The buck stops here.”
                This phrase was etched into a wooden sign which sat on the desk of President Harry S. Truman, the President of the United States at the end of World War II.  After assuming office on April 12th, 1945, he  had an immense decision to make. On April 25th, a mere 13 days after being sworn in, his Secretary of War briefed him with details concerning the situation in the Pacific and suggested that the U.S. use nuclear weapons against the Empire of Japan. By August, two bombs had been dropped. Truman to his death assumed full responsibility for his decision to make these attacks. The buck stopped there.
                Elders and Sisters, the buck needs to stop here and now, with us. In our missions and in our lives, we can either get results or we can get excuses. Not both. Each and every one of us needs to own up to our mistakes and acknowledge them so we can fix them.
                George Washington Carver once said: “99% of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” I agree with all my heart! Look at some of the greatest successes of our day. The Wright brothers, aside from the many minor adjustments with each attempt, scrapped and rebuilt 4 completely different models as they attempted to build a plane. Thomas Eddison tried over 1,000 times to create a lightbulb. Never at any time did these men make excuses like: “Well, the wind had a bad cross-breeze,” or “If there was more electricity that would have worked.” No! The buck stopped with each of these men. They knew they made the mistake, so they looked to themselves for the solution. And eventually they succeeded.
                As we speak so often of grace and the role it plays in our lives, we must understand this one truth: grace can only change us if we allow it to. Repentance is the process through which the grace of Jesus Christ changes us, and the first step of that process is recognition. In order to fix a problem, we must recognize that it exists. We must stop making excuses and accept responsibility for our actions. When we constantly shrug off imperfections that we have, we “pass the buck.” We make excuses. As we pass the buck (and the responsibility that goes with it), we say - in effect: I do not need to change.
                Elders and Sisters, we need to change. We need the atonement! We need to progress! Has it ever dawned on you that excuses halt our eternal progression?!
                Please. I invite you all. Do not live your life as an apology. Live it as a statement; a statement of repentance and of reliance on Christ.
                When a problem confronts us, we have to recognize our error if we are ever going to fix the situation. Yes, problems will arise. Isn’t it wonderful?! Problems are the common thread running through the lives of great men and women. Adversity is preparation for greatness. Will you accept the preparation? Will the buck stop at you? It is my hope that when we face opposition, we see it not as a problem to deal with, but as a choice to make.
                As in all things, let us look to the greatest example - our Savior, Jesus Christ. As He knelt in the Garden of Gethsemane, moments away from taking upon Himself the sins of the world, He prayed, “saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39). When Christ faced the greatest pain, the greatest adversity the world would ever face, he did not shrink. The buck stopped there.
                Because He accepted His responsibility, and refrained from making excuses, we now have the opportunity to change and become more like Him. Let us all recognize mistakes we make so we may, with His help, resolve the problems that confront us day to day.
                Elders and Sisters, I love you, and our Father in Heaven loves you! That is why He gives us this wonderful opportunity to become like Him. Let us all make the most of this opportunity and not make excuses ! Let us acknowledge our faults and, rather than seeking for a way to blame someone, seek for a way to improve. Don’t look for a rationalization, look for a resolution. Why? Because:
                The buck stops here.
I say these things in the name Of Jesus Christ…amen

No comments:

Post a Comment