Friday, December 31, 2010

A Tribute to the New Year

Happy New Year!!! Well almost. The new year is always such an exciting time. Everyone is remembering what they liked about 2010.  They are also remembering the things that they didnt do and things they should have done better. People are making promises of how they can have a better year. It is a time of renewal and recommitment. 2011 will be different. During this holiday we all think of what we want to change in ourselves. We become reborn as we welcome in the new year. Many make promises with themselves to do better next year. Whatever your thoughts might be, Happy New Year.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

I love Christmas. I love Christmas carols and Christmas caramels. I love Christmas trees and Christmas lights. I love Christmas dinner and Christmas presents. I especially love the Christmas spirit. The spirit of giving and love. It is a time to remember our brothers and sisters. It is a time of service. We express our love for those around around us. I love this season. Mostly, I love the true meaning of Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

God Be With You Til We Meet Again

Goodbyes are hard. It is difficult to leave those we love. As a missionary we are constantly moving. We go from area to area as the Lord directs. In each area we come to love those we serve. We would do anything for them. Then we get shipped off to another place to serve other of Gods children. It is hard leaving what you worked so hard to gain. However, we take faith knowing that God is with those we love when we cannot be there for them.

The main goal as a missionary is to see those we serve again in the life after this. That is why we invite people to be baptized. Baptism opens the gate. We cannot inherit the Kingdom of God except we are baptized and we recieve the Holy Ghost. (John 3:5) It is so important that we share this message with everyone so those we love have the oportunity to follow Jesus Christ in this life. We can become an important part in inviting others to enter in this gate to join the ranks in Gods kingdom. 

How joyful an event this will be when we all sit in Gods kingdom together rejoicing in the victory over sin. Can you just imagine singing praises to our Savior Jesus Christ for the sacrifice he made. Oh how great shall be our joy. To everyone I left in Crescent City may God be with you til we meet again. I look forward to that day of bliss when all shall know Jesus Christ. I know we will see one another in Gods kingdom and we will have eternal life. "Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen." (Mosiah 5:15)
 We all must endure faithfully to the end so we can return to live with our Father. I hope we all do our best to help others come unto Christ so we can all inherit His kingdom. May we be united in this cause to build Gods kingdom is my prayer.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Let It Snow

My companion saw snow for the first time today! He is from Fiji so for his whole life he has only seen rain and sunshine. Never before has he seen snow. He has never made a snowman or a snow angel. He has never went skiing or snowboarding. He has never been sledding. He has missed out completely on the experience of snow.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mary Did You Know?

There is nothing quite like the Chrismas season. It is a jolly time of the year. The Spirit that is in the air is so contagious. I especially love the music that comes at Christmas time. Yesterday I was debating on what songs were my favorite. I narrowed it down to these three:

Monday, December 13, 2010

And The Blanket Comes Down

Last night we got to baptize a wonderful daughter of God. Her name was Dina Caruso. She is my hero. As I reflect on our lessons with her it brings tears to my eyes. I also laugh at all the fun we have had teaching her. She is so honest and she was really looking for God. She asked the best questions and we had some very spiritual experiences with her. God was with us in our lessons.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Take Care Of Your Dirty Clothes

Raise your hand if you enjoy doing laundry! Maybe you're like me who just stares at the pile of dirty clothes and loaths taking it to the laundry mat. It is moments like these where I appreciate my mother. I cant believe she did Laundry for my family of six for all of these years. What an amazing women. Laundry reminds me of how much my mother loves me and how much she has sacrificed for me. For this reason I love laundry because it reminds me of how much I love MOM.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

No Dessert Until You Finish Your Dinner

How many of you enjoyed eating vegetables when you were a kid? How many of your kids enjoy eating vegetables? I dont know why but I to this day remember distinctly not liking broccili. I just refused to eat it. I wasnt too fond of eating the others either. It just didnt taste good. Mothers everywhere have to deal with this problem. Why do you torture your kids by forcing them to eat their greens?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Gluten Free Is The Way To Be

How would you feel if someone came up to you and told you that you can't eat cookies, cake, pasta, or bread anymore? You are forbidden to eat any of them for the rest of your life. Well that is what happened to me. The world of baked goods was from then on off limits to me.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Repenting Is Like Skateboarding

Skateboarders are crazy. Lets face it they have a lot of guts, or they are just plain stupid. I asked someone we teach today how long it takes him to master a trick. He said a week atleast, it depends on the trick. Then I asked him how many times he crashes and burns while he is practicing. Too many times. A couple of scrapped elbows and broken wrists don't scare these kids though. Only a rainy day will stop them from hitting the parks and rails. It is a way of life. It is worth it when you hit that kickflip or stick a grind. The bumps and bruises get farther in between. You just gotta stick to it. Stopping because the board slipped on the rail is no excuse. If you have your mind fixed on landing the trick nothing will prevent you from succeeding.

Life is a lot like skateboarding. We all have to have alot of guts to make right choices, or we are just plain stupid. The world is always trying to drag us behind. Satan really doesnt want us to be happy. He will do everything he can to prevent us from returning to live with our Heavenly Father. It takes us a while to make righteous choices. Following the Savior isnt easy but it is worth it. The way is very simple, we just have to have the faith the take those first steps.

Our Savior commanded us to be perfect (Matthew 5:48). Has anyone took a look around lately? How many perfect people do you see running around? We must be crazy for trying to be like Jesus who was absolutely perfect. Just like skateboarding we all crash and burn. We all make mistakes. We all commit sin and "fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). That doesnt stop us though. We are going to nail that trick. We are going to be like Christ. We just got to stick to it. We repent when we hop back on that skateboard and go at it again. It doesnt matter how many times we fall  we can always get back on the board. Each time we repent we learn something new and we become more like our Savior. The more we repent the farther there is between the bumps and bruises. Soon we master the trick and then we go onto a new aspect of life. There is always new tricks to be learned and new trials to face. If we truly want to be like our Savior we must be like the true boarders. We must fight through the broken bones. We must always be trying to learn new tricks. We enjoy the ride but we are never satisfied. We recognize we can always improve. We can always repent.

It is never to late to try skateboarding. I invite you all to hop on the board and get shredding. It is time to follow Jesus Christ. "And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son" (2 Nephi 31: 11). Just do it. Have the guts to give it a try. Dont be scared of a few broken bones and failed attempts because "This is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God" (2Nephi 31:21)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thank You Mothers Everywhere

Thanksgiving always gets me thinking about what I am grateful for. As I reflect back on my life and remember the things that I am the most thankful for, I always think first of my mother. This was my first Thanksgiving away from home so I contemplated even deeper the things my mother has done for me. I remember her waking up early to make me sack lunches for school everyday.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

He Walked The Way Before

Back home I love to go backpacking. There is something about being in the outdoors. There is no civilization for miles. Nothing but you and nature. There is this one specific hike that I love the most. The trail is an easy hike. It crosses over a couple of rivers but it sticks to the valleys and easy roads to camp. On either side of the trail are huge mountains that stretch as high as the eye can see. It would be easy to get lost. With the tall mountains it would be difficult to find your way back. The terrain is rugged. Big boulders and glaciers are scattered everywhere. If it werent for that path the hike would be brutal. Each time I go on that hike I am so grateful for that one person who paved the way.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It Is Good To Fall Flat On Your Face

Do you know those experiences where you think you've got it all figured out but you soon realize the opposite? The ones where something just smacks you in the face and sets you straight. The ones where you are proud to say, "I fell flat on my face."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I Love Rainy Days

"That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

So, the rainy season is coming up in Crescent City California. I hear that means that I will not get to see the sun for six months. I may regret saying this, but I love the rain. It always reminds me of that quote by Jesus. The rain is not just falling on me. It falls on everyone in the entire city. Everyone will get just as wet as me. That makes me happy. I do not worry about getting wet. I can suffer a little rain because I know I am not the only one stuck in the storm. This is important to remember. Everyone has rainy days.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Beauty of Baptism

"After Jesus was baptized, a voice from heaven said, “Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11). We believe that God is also well pleased when each of us chooses to follow His Son and be baptized. He sees everything we do, knows us by name, and wants us to become clean so we can return to His presence."

It is always a special occasion to witness one of Heavenly Father's children take that step of faith into the waters of baptism. The simplicity of this sacred ordinance is as powerful as the spirit that accompanies it.

To immerse oneself under water symbolizes rebirth. It is a statement to God that we are willing to follow His son Jesus Christ. He paved the way for us. If we truly seek to follow his example we will enter into the waters of baptism. That is the first step. As Paul states:

"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father even so we also should walk in newness of life."
(Romans 6:4)

Baptism offers everyone a second chance. It is a fresh start. After baptism we have a clean slate. Our sins are washed away. God forgives us. After baptism we walk in newness of life. We become a new person. Everyone needs the blessings that come from baptism. It is the beginning of happiness in this life and eternal joy in the life to come.

The invitation is there. Come, follow Jesus Christ and be baptized into his church.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Strengthening Families

"This is no coincidence. God organizes us into families so that we can grow up in happiness and safety, and so that we can learn to love others selflessly—the key to true joy. Within the family is the best place to learn to love others the way Heavenly Father loves each one of us." (

Families are important in Gods eternal plan for His children. He wants all of us to be happy and to develop strong relationships at home. Happy family life is most likely to be achieved when it is centered on gospel principles. When Jesus Christ is the center of our home a greater spirit of love can be found within.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

God Answers Prayers: A Missionary's Testimony

There is a God. He loves us and He answers our prayers. Anyone who prays to Him in the name of Jesus Christ will recieve an answer. This is a true principle that has changed lives. Jesus Christ said,

"Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you."
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."

God extends the invitation, but first you must ask. If anyone wants to know truth they can find it if they kneel down and offer up a sincere prayer. This continues to be true in my life. My testimony of prayer also increases as I hear the stories of others. One of which is my missionary companion Elder Ratuwara.

Elder Ratuwara was baptized in Fiji three years ago. He had just changed colleges and was now attending the Latter Day Saint Church college in Suva, Fiji. Ever morning there was a devotional where the students would get together and study about Jesus Christ. They were using some scriptures from a book called the Book of Mormon. He had been raised Methodist so he was completely unfamiliar with the scriptures that were being quoted. He wanted to learn more about the church so he began taking the discussions with the missionaries. They gave him a Book of Mormon and told him to read it and pray to know it is true. He did just that and God answered his prayers. His second year in the college he was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

His parents were against his baptism into the Church. Elder Ratuwara later decided to serve a mission and his parents did not support that either. He began to pray that his parent's hearts would be softened and that they would be receptive to the message that the missionaries share. They were so against the church he figured he would have to baptize them when they pass away. However, the Lord began to work in their lives. His parents saw a difference in Elder Ratuwara. They knew that baptism had changed him. Soon after his prayer his parents hearts were indeed softened and he was able to baptize them before he left on his mission.

This story is repeated throughout the world. Everyday prayers are answered. Everyday people are reading the Book of Mormon and praying to know it is true. Everyday people are baptized into the Lord's Church. God does answer prayers. I exhort you to get down on you knees and speak with your Heavenly Father. Tell him of your trials. Ask Him to lead you to truth. If you ask "with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ" He will answer your prayers. Through prayer you can come to know the truthfulness of all things.

Order a free Book of Mormon. Find out for yourself through prayer that God has called a prophet on the Earth. It all starts with a simple prayer.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

We Can Make Hard Choices

"The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had agreat possessions." (Matthew 9:20-21)

Life is full of difficult choices. Do I go to college or do I begin working? Can I quit smoking and drinking? Do I choose abstinence before marriage? Do I get married at all? Do I go hang out with my friends or spend time with my family? Do I quit my job so I can  make it to church on Sunday? Do I get baptized or not? Do I read my scriptures today or get that extra 30 minutes of sleep? Do I go out of my way to friendship someone? The list could go on and on. 

In the eternal plan our Father in Heaven has for us there are but two choices: "liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men" or "captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil." (2 Nephi 2:27) Every major choice we make in life will lead us closer to liberty and eternal life or captivity and death depending on how we use our agency. We should all choose Jesus Christ. Choose him as our exemplar and teacher. Choose him as our Savior and Redeemer. Choose him as our shoulder to lean on. Choose to walk on the straight and narrow. Choose to avoid temptation. When we choose Jesus Christ, "Our character will be developed and refined" because "despite prevailing wisdom, there really is a right and wrong in the world. Truth isn't relative and sin isn't just some unenlightened person's "value judgment"".

Jesus lives. He died for our sins. He is God's Only Begotten Son. God is our Heavenly Father. He has prepared a way for us to return to live with Him. When we choose to keep his commandments we are blessed. There is a law. We will be punished for our sins if we do not follow the straight and narrow path Jesus Christ has paved for us to follow. This is reality. There is a God. He loves us. He wants us to be happy so he gives us commandments and gives us the freedom to choose.

Sometimes choosing the right is hard. Well I am here to tell you that we all can make those hard choices. Choose now liberty and eternal life. It all starts with one choice that can change your life forever. Do not be as the rich man in Christ's parable who failed to make that hard choice. Rather, choose Jesus Christ over any worldly treasures and you will find that God has even greater treasures in store for you. Be willing to stand up against the tide of wickedness. We can do hard things and we can make hard choices. We have to make them. It is our responsibility as children of God. Let us show God we love Him and keep His commandments.
For more information on making choices visit:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mans Search for God

I met a man yesterday who said something very interesting. He defined religion as mans search for god. It put a new perspective on what I do on a daily basis. I ask people all the time if they are religious? What does this mean when i say that?

Normally I would say it just to spark up a conversation about God. I want to find more about they believe. I want to know their relationship with God. People give varying responses from "it is none of your business" to "i am religious to a point" to "yes i would consider myself a very religious person." But what does it mean to "be religious." This i have never thought of. I figured someone who was religious went to church on Sunday. They read the Bible, or the Koran, or the teachings of Buddha. Basically, anyone with any sense of a higher power.

This is not the case. Someone who is religious is someone who is searching for God. I would consider myself religious because everyday i strive to become closer to God. I want to allign my will with His. I want to do what he asks me to do. I want to find Him and have Him in my life. Someone can go to church every Sunday or read the Bible on a daily basis but be completely unreligious. The "why" to all of it is what makes someone religious.

Do you go to church on sunday to search for God, or do you go because that is what you are told to do? Do you read any form of scripture to discover more about God or do you read it because it is interesting and it makes you feel good? Do you worship God in an attempt to become closer with God, or do you do it out of ritual and tradition? How much of religion do we take for granted? Often i find myself going to church because that is what i am supposed to do. Oftentimes i find myself reading the scriptures because i know i will be blessed if i do it. Often times i forget who i am praying to when i kneel beside my bed at night.

Let us all repent and be more religious. Let us all seek out God and discover who He really is and develop a personal relationship with Him.

God lives. He is our Heavenly Father. All who seek after Him will find Him. All who are religious will develop a close connection with Him and He will lead you to truth. I promise you that if you will pray to Him and search your heart God will lead you to truth.

I know that God has placed truth everywhere. In all religions. I also know that God and His Son Jesus Christ have organized a church here on the earth where His children can worship Him. That church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Be religious and discover for yourself this divine truth. Everyone should be searching every day for God. It is why we are here. To prepare to meet him. May God bless you with direction as you come to know who He is and how much He loves you.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Gate

"All we like asheep have gone bastray; we have turned every one to his cown way; and the Lord hath laid on him the diniquity of us all"

There once was a man who approached his fathers house at the edge of town. The house was beautiful and it had a long walkway that led to a door that hung wide open. A peaceful melody echoed from the entrance of this mansion. Upon hearing the enchanting hymns the man was filled with peace and he greatly desired to join in on the occasion. Unfortunately the house was surrounded by a fence that was too high to climb over. At the bottom of the walkway there was a gate.

It had been so long since the man had left his fathers house. Against his fathers advice he had wandered the streets of town searching for a place where he thought he belonged. Too many dead ends and unanswered questions led the man back to his home. The first thing that stood between him and his fathers house was the gate. He had forgotten the code that opened the steel door.

From around the corner came the mans brother. Taking him by the hand he pressed the man's fingers over the appropriate numbers and the gate swung open. Smiling brightly the brother hugged the man and, motioning for him to follow, he walked through the gate and started down the walkway.

Like this man we all have left our Fathers house and are wandering through town. Our Father wants us to return to live with him. His door is open to all who wish to enter. The way is prepared for all. Jesus Christ has showed us the way. He has set forth the way to open the gate. That gate is Baptism. The Book of Mormon prophet Nephi stated:

"Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and abaptism by water"
(2 Nephi 31: 17)
In order to enter on the straight and narrow path one must first be baptized. As an online missionary it is my calling to help others to find the gate and invite them to follow Jesus Christ and enter into the waters of baptism. I know that great blessings await all who take upon themselves this challenge. 

The door is open. Everyone can feel of Heavenly Fathers love. He answers prayers. He is waiting for us to ask and he will visit us with His Spirit. I invite others to search the teachings of Jesus Christ and discover the restored gospel. God has spoken and called prophets in our times. Search their words and come feel the warmth that envelops all who seek our Fathers house. We all are searching for truth. God is the author of all truth and he will teach us the things we must do. 

Come, follow my blog. Ask me questions on Facebook. Invite the missionaries over to your home to be taught. Feel of Gods love. 

I, and millions of others have entered through that gate. I have felt the Blessings. I have become a new person. I am here for you. I will show you to the gate. You decide for yourself to enter. The path is placed before you. I invite you to follow it and feel the converting power of the Gospel take hold on your heart. I promise you that you will want to learn more.

I give all my love and my respect. God loves all His children. "We claim the aprivilege of worshiping the Almighty God according to the bdictates of our own cconscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them dworship how, where, or what they may." 
Article of Faith 11
We all have a right to worship God in our own way as we feel prompted. I know, that if all men search for truth that they will find it. God will lead them to His church that He has restored to the earth through a modern day prophet. Come and look upon the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life.

I invite all men and women everywhere to come and discover for themselves the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Your Servant,

Elder Mahrt