Saturday, December 23, 2017

Obtain The Unobtainable

While living in Taiwan I had the experience of riding almost entirely nonstop, from my home to the coast or various destinations depending on the day. I was doing this because I wanted to achieve a goal of being a long-distance rider. One of the rides I went on, began from my apartment past fields, homes, and farms. Riding along, to my right I could see a train making its way to a nearby town. Along the way, a good distance out, I thought to myself, “I’m so tired. I’m cold. I do not know how much further until I get to the coast.” I wanted to give up. For a moment I began to be frustrated. I took a glance at the train and instead of feeling sorry for myself I decided I would race the train. Race a train?! I must have been thinking rather irrationally. But, off I went, racing on the road many feet away from a train. I pushed myself, feeding off frustration. It led me a good distance ahead of where I had been and for that I was grateful.

It was in those moments of despair where I thought it would be easier to give up and head home, that I succeed. At what? I rode 30 kilometers, exactly 18 miles. I succeeded! Not just that day but repeatedly for years. I used the stress, frustration, and challenges I faced as fuel to propel me forward while I rode.

This taught me a valuable lesson on success. What I’m saying here is this; you can succeed at what you desire. Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re probably right.” The only thing getting in your way of success is fear. It is in those moments of nearly giving up that we grow and may obtain that which we thought was unobtainable. You do not succeed until you overcome the fear of failure, of what others will think, and the fear that resides deep in the midst of your own mind. Success is measured by the amount of determination you have. By how far you’re willing to go to achieve something you’ve never done before.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

H.O.P.E. Hold On Pain Ends


A Husbands Testimony
Last night I went to an earnest, heartfelt fireside with speaker Josie Thompson. Before Josie came up to speak her husband spoke a bit about what they have dealt with. He mentioned that we live in an imperfect world with real, difficult adversities we must endure. He said,"What's temporal? Money, degree, your home, car...but family is what lasts. You can go without the other things, but without family, everything else falls apart. It's upon that foundation of God and family that we should build our lives." He added,"I told Josie I loved her and asked her to marry me. Josie knew I would be marrying her darkness. I said to her 'I will go to hell and back if it means being with a perfect Josie for eternity.' I'm going to school full time and working almost full time, there are still difficult days we face." 

Motivational Speaker
Following Brighton Soloman's remarks, Josie's came up to speak. Josie spoke of the overwhelming struggles faces in her day to day life. Never once did Josie pretend or make it appear that her struggles were ever easy. It was not long before my eyes began to water. She spoke of living away from family and her traveling a bit around the U.S. living with strangers. Josie was provocative in informing the audience of her exasperating battle with mental health. "There were mornings I had trouble just getting out of bed. I would just lay there and not move," she says. She goes on,"I left home. One day my mom advised me to stay gone. I was living life and although my struggles were still there, I was getting out of bed." 

God's Promise
I usually avoid going in depth of my own personal story and I will not go into much detail now. However, I will say that I understand and have family members with similar stories. I have dealt with storms which consisted of strenuous, infuriating, and almost impossible days. The Gospel makes it possible for all of us to more fully face our struggles with Gods help. In Joshua 1:5 we read of Gods promise to us,"There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." I humbly hope and pray that you find comfort in knowing that pain ends. One day the pains and adversities we face will go away. We will be perfected. Peace will then fill our souls as we live life eternally. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Promptings from The Spirit and A Bag of Cherry Tomatoes

I went to Eslite a bookstore here looking for some books, etc. When I left I came out and was going to go across the street and then maybe do some more shopping. I have seen this woman so many times selling fruits and vegetables, but I didn't think she was homeless. 

I had my one foot a little further out than the other since I was about to cross the street, then I had promptings from the Spirit just a feeling that I should turn around and buy something. I heard the Spirit then promptly say,” Go back! Go back! Don't leave her! Go back!" I responded to the prompting immediately and turn around. The woman was drifting off to sleep, I came behind her near her left shoulder, and I touched her and said in Chinese,” Excuse me." At first there was no response, so I touched her and again said,” Excuse me." She then responded by waking up and smiling at me. I said in Chinese while pointing at a bag of three bananas,” How much are these?" She said in Chinese,"100 N.T." I thought about it, step back looking at the other fruits and vegetables she had, and then said in Chinese while pointing at a bag of four oranges,” How much are these?" She said,"100 N.T." She was starting to pick up the bag for me, even though I hadn't decided yet. I then thought about it a little longer, then pointed to a bag with cherry tomatoes and said,” How much is this? Is this also 100 N.T.?" She said,"100 N.T." I dug in my pocket getting two 50 N.T. coins, put them in her hand while smiling, she then gave me the bag of cherry tomatoes, and I said thank you.

During the time of me deciding there were two girls near her and one said to the woman in Chinese,” How much is this?" The woman said,"100 N.T." The girl said to her friend in Chinese,” Wow that's so much." However, after I was leaving crossing the street I heard a different voice (I think) asking the woman in Chinese, “How much is this?" I was smirking while hearing that and cross the street...turn into a ripple effect. I thought,” That’s awesome!"

As I was getting on my bike, I didn't want to do more shopping, and decided to just go home. I thought on the way home,” What are we going to do with these. Well, the family does like salsa." By the dad makes some really good homemade salsa. A little while after coming home and inside the house I told her what had happened and I handed her the bag of cherry tomatoes. I was crying while telling her. She said,"I'm proud of you! You know the true meaning of Christmas." She said to my dad,” Do we want to use these for salsa? Is it gonna be enough?" My dad,” Yeah, should be." My mom promptly took one from the bag and put it in her mouth (she loves tomatoes). Yay, I was right gonna use them to make some salsa! 

Christmas is in two day, it felt right for one thing, and for another serving and or giving isn't just for doing on the holiday's. Remember that please. I love serving and giving to others, always have. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Unselfish Service To The Homeless

Yesterday December 21 I got the idea to go out and buy something’s for the homeless, I've been wanting to do so for a long time. Well, me and my friend Julian decide to try it! 

We bought something’s, and then looked around and there weren't any people in sight. We walked around the train station, there were two homeless guys with blankets, coats, clothes, etc. and were smoking so we decided to keep searching. 

We went down into the tunnels near the train station we looked again no one in sight. We were walking when Julian pointed and said,” Look there is someone." Finally, I was hopeful and excited to help! We walked some to not draw so much attention, but got some courage and went for it. We approached a man with not much. Julian looked at me and said,” What should I say?" I grab a pair of gloves from out of the bag and said,” Just say this is for you." 

My Chinese isn't very good so I just watched hopefully waiting. Julian talked with the man he shook his hand showing that he didn't want them. Julian got up and told me that the said he didn't want them. As we were walking away the man said in Chinese "thank you." We started walking up the stairs out of the tunnel when Julian looked at me and said,” Do you know what he said to me?" I said,” No, I tried to understand but couldn't. What did he say?" Julian replied,” He said he doesn't want the gloves and was going to commit suicide." I said,” Wow! That breaks my heart." 

I prayed in my mind for the man and my eyes started to water, no tears came out though. Julian later told me how it's common here for homeless people to not want things from others, how they feel if they don't have a job then they don't deserve it. I was still grateful for the opportunity to go and try to serve.

"When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." Mosiah 2:17

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hello All- Sister Milligan (Shannon)

Hey, everyone!
     I'm doing good right now. Only three days left of my 2 week short-term mission!

    Today, Monday(p-day; preparation day), we're going to watch a movie called "Ephraim's Rescue"....which Sister Boyer has a small role in. :D Also, we're going to have cinnamon rolls while watching it, thanks to Sister White's hard work over the past couple of nights and this morning. (Sister White and Sister Boyer live with us, but are serving in the other ward.)

    Last night was kind of hard. I broke down and cried because of stress, homesickness, and feeling kind of overwhelmed. After talking to my dad on the phone about it, I prayed to have the strength to open up about it to my companion. After that and taking a breather, I finally just told my companion, Sister Gruwell. She was so sweet and helpful. We just sat and talked about what I was feeling until I finally felt better. Then she gave me a copy of a booklet about adjusting to missionary life. Reading it is helping.

    After that, we went contacting (handing out flyers to get people to come to church or English class) at the train station. That also helped me feel better. We handed out 48! The day before we handed out 60 though haha.

   Even though parts of it have been hard, I'm grateful to have been given this oppritunity. I know it is helping me improve in so many things and is teaching me so many things. I know the Lord has truly blessed me thoughout all of this.

   Oh, also, I have also been figuring out how to share the gospel with 3 of my friends! :D I'm excited to get started once I get back.
   I'll be back on Thursday afternoon (Wednesday night for those of you in the U.S.).
   I love y'all and miss y'all! I'll talk to y'all soon.
    Shannon Milligan

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Re: Dear Sister Milligan

Dear Sister Milligan,
I know with all my heart that as you pray to the Lord when your in struggle the Lord will answer you. Turn to Heavenly Father in prayer! As I have experienced myself when serving a short-term mission I was taught it was important to let my companion know how I felt, even when I thought it would be hard to do so. It's actually not hard, it's great letting your companion know your feelings, and it's like talking to a best friend. Your companion will help and guide you, remember we are human it's okay to express are feelings. In a book called "Missionary Miracles: Stories and Letter from the Field" there is a great example of a sister missionary expressing her feelings;

"The Best Day I've Had"
Brazil Belo Horizonte-Mission

This last week was truly a great one. Things have been pretty frustrating the last little while, so we had a meeting with the elders in our ward about how we can turn this place around. Our meeting ended with a desperate prayer to our Heavenly Father to help us and guide us to be able to help this ward grow.
I think the next day was the best day I've had on my mission so far. We went out to the “end of the world” for a couple of discussions with families there. The first discussion was with a family we've been teaching for a few months. The mother has a testimony and wants to be baptized, but the father has been very hard-hearted because of their financial problems and thinks that God has abandoned him. They also have had problems with their marriage due to the financial stress. The father had to go to work for his father—four hours away on foot, in the middle of nowhere. When we got to their home, he had returned from work as a completely different person. He told us that he now trusts God and has faith that God knows what’s best for his family.
After that we went to our next appointment. The husband has already heard the discussions twice and has really changed but always has some excuse not to be baptized. Right now his excuse is that he doesn't know how to pray correctly, even though he has a testimony and goes to church every week. We gave a lesson about the Savior’s sacrifice and asked him to choose someone to pray for us. He hesitated, and his wife asked him again to choose someone. He turned to us and asked if he could say the prayer. We quickly agreed and bowed our heads before he could change his mind. It was a beautiful prayer. He cried, his wife cried, we cried, everyone hugged, and we left in complete awe of the spirit we had felt.
Well, if that wasn't enough for one day, we had planned to visit a family who had been taught by some other missionaries but hadn't yet been baptized. When we got there they were excited to see us. The mother cried as she told us that she had been praying for God to send us to them.
My companion and I couldn't do a thing after that. We just sat by the edge of a dirt road at the “end of the world” for about thirty minutes and thanked our Heavenly Father for the changes we had seen. Everyone always asks if we ever get homesick—yes, I miss you all, but I feel like the luckiest person in the world to be here and to be able to witness so many miracles, even something as simple as a prayer. Don’t ever doubt it; don’t ever forget it.
Love you,
I hope this story helps and up-lifts you! It has done so for me many times in the past, for that I'm grateful.
We're truly proud of the accomplishments you've made and that your coming to learn the language easier. As you continue to pray to Heavenly Father that your tongue might be loosened, practice speaking to and teaching others, I'm sure the Lord will strengthen your language skills. 

The Family

P.S. Elder Boyd's companion Elder Chen asked dad if you sent pictures to us, dad said no. However, now he's thinking ya'll have taken some crazy pictures at ya'lls zone meeting. haha

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Enduring Struggles

When a situation arises whether it is adult rivalry, your boss telling you that you need to work hard, or a child miss behaving at home, we all at some point in our lives have these struggles. But...what do we say, what do we do, and how do we feel? Some of the times we exploded to the point of physical and or mentally harming ourselves and or others.

In a speech called “Big Issues” of Faith, Family, Religious Freedom, Elder Jeffery R. Holland says, “Regarding religious freedom, it’s important to give faith the freedom to flourish, because humans have both the ability and the responsibility to make choices with the hope — indeed, the confidence — that we will ultimately choose that which benefits the individual and the larger society in which those individuals live.

Faith, family and freedom are big issues inextricably linked with the hope and promise of democracy. And they are intertwined, interlinked, and interlocked so tightly that when one of them is struck, the other two are damaged; so that when one of them is cut, the other two will bleed.”

I suggest you all to watch and deeply ponder this video, then apply these things to your own lives and also strive to do the righteous things advised.