Monday, December 29, 2008

Testimony as a Missionary

I was going through some old e-mails that I had from my Mission. One of the best testimonies/e-mails I wrote was this last one. It is my testimony, and something that is of most worth to me. I wrote this on Tuesday, April 24th 2007. Here it is:

I, Elder Trevor Duersch, as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ,
know that God, our Heavenly Father lives! I know that He has created a
plan for all of us so that we can enjoy the blessings and happiness which
He posesses. I know that Jesus Christ is my Redeemer and my Savior. He
is the Son of the Living God! I know that through the Atonement we can be
cleansed from our sins, and that we can repent of the mistakes that we
make, so we can continue forward in progress. I know that He has called a
Prophet of God in 1820 by the name of Joseph Smith to restore His true
Church here upon the earth. As I began to share my testimony yesterday at
our District Meeting, I shared my testimony about Joseph Smith too. The
things which he has accomplished in life, and the more that I learn about
him, the more respect and love I have for him. I began to cry as I
explained how thankful I am for the courage.. and strength that he took to
go into the sacred grove to pray. He has given his own life for something
that he believed in, and that has blessed the lives of others. As he
restored the church, he went through so much persecution. His life was
somewhat similar to our Savior's life, but didn't go through as much as
Jesus Christ did upon the earth. I am very thankful for the example that
Joseph Smith has given to us all, and for me. I have had some real
challenges and one may say struggles out here in the Mission field. But
my challenges and struggles are not as big as what the Savior went
through. I know that through this experience that I have done from the
last 2 years, that it has strengthened me. My Mission President,
President Webb, told me that the Mission is hard and should be hard, is so
that we can understand the Savior better, by going through some things
that He has already gone through.
I know that Joseph Smith was called by God to restore this Church.
I know that he translated the Book of Mormon and that through
this book, we can gain personal revelation and come closer to
Christ. I know that the Bible and the Book of Mormon contain the
fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am very thankful for
the love that Heavenly Father shows us by calling a Prophet of God
today, Gordon B. Hinckly. I am thankful for Gordon B. Hinckly and
for everything that he teaches us. It helps us to better
understand the Will of God and we can overcome the firey darts of
the advesary when we obey a Prophet's words.
I know that the Priesthood of God is a real power. I have had the
opportunity to bless others with the Priesthood and I have also
recieved blessings from the Priesthood on my Mission. It is the
power today to act in the name of God. I am thankful that I can
honor my Priesthood by going on a Mission. I have learned so
much, and I have a lot more to learn. I hope and pray that I may
continue to live worthly to excersice my Priesthood to bless my
future wife, and family. I am thankful for the mercy, love and
trust that the Lord has given me to hold this power.
Last of all, I want to say how thankful I am for my loving
parents. Without my Parents I would not be here today. Thank you
Mom and Dad for the example that you have given me when you have
raised me. Thank you for your love, trust, and support that you
have given me as I have been out here on a Mission. I hope that
one day, I can raise a Family just as you have, and that I can
raise my children up unto the Lord. This is His Work and His
Glory to bring to pass the immortallity and eternal life of man.
Mom and Dad, I love you. I am very humble to know that I have
been blessed with parents such as you. That is probably one of
the greatest blessings that I have recieved in this mortal
existence. Thank you!
To all of my friends, I want to thank you all. I know that you
have also encouraged me and have given me hope and joy as you
wrote me. I am very thankful to have you as Friends, and I wish
that the Lord will continue to bless you.
This Testimony, is the Testimony that I leave at the close of my
Mission. I have become a man from my mission. I am very
thankful for this time that I have had. This is the testimony
which I have, and I leave it with you all, in the Name of Jesus
Christ. Amen.

Your fellow Missionary,

-Elder Trevor Ronald Duersch

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More Savior like thee...

Tonight a group of friends from the Ammon 20th Branch and I went to the new Joseph Smith movie at the Idaho Falls Temple's Visitors Center this evening. I have to say that it has been the third or fourth time that I have seen it. It is an excellent film! I have had some feelings and thoughts that I want to share with those who read this and who know me.

I have a firm testimony that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God. He went through so much, and did amazing things while he was here upon the earth. He was a tool in the hands of the Lord. He really was and is a man of God.
Some of my friends know that I get teary eyed at some points in this movie because it is very touching and sometimes sad to see what happened to members of the Church when the church was restored. As Joseph Smith told one of the preachers: "It is not my church... It is the church of Jesus Christ". I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true church upon the earth that was restored through a Prophet. There is a part that is very touching for me in this film. There is a part where the Saints had to leave their homes and everything behind because of persecution, and because God had a work for them to do. There were a lot of Saints who were sick and/or afflicted and a wife asked her husband if he believed that Jesus was the Christ. Accompanied by his wife, he brought his sick child to Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith, with the authority of the Priesthood that was restored, healed this sick boy. He went around and healed other Saints. As he did that, there is a scene where you see just his hands pulling away from somebody he just healed, and it brings a shiver down my spine. It reminds me of Jesus Christ himself and how he performed many miracles and how merciful he was to those around him and the love that he has. I have a very firm testimony that Jesus Christ is mine and your Savior. He did very many miracles, and did the Atonement for us. He lives, loves us, and He is The Christ. We are all children of God. This is the other best part that also brings tears to my eyes. This Priesthood is on the earth today, and I am very humbled to know that I hold it. I have given and received amazing blessings from it, and I know that it is the power of God.

I am very thankful for this knowledge, and wanted to share these thoughts, and feelings with you. I want to become a Christ-like Father and Husband one day. I know that I'm not perfect, but I do what I can to reach this goal. With the help of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost can I reach this goal. In the Pearl of Great Price, God told Moses: "For behold, this is my work and my glory--to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39). Jesus Christ has also commanded us to be perfect, "Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect" (3 Nephi 12:48) . This is why the Gospel means so much to me, and why I'm very thankful and humbled to know that the Priesthood has also been restored to do the Father's Will. I pray that His Will be done and that I can also be a tool in His Hands.

- Trevor R. Duersch

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Great Sunday

Dear Blog World, Family, and Friends,
I wanted to write another Blog, and this time it isn't going to be about something on the Internet that bugs me or was fixed or anything of that nature. Katy and Annie Hall, good friends of mine, were wondering when I was going to post a real blog, and so I decided to do a real one this time. I want to write about a wonderful Sunday experience that I had this last Sunday (November 30th, 2008).

On November 30th, 2008 this Sunday was a really good day. I enjoyed Church, and felt like I learned quite a bit that day and I got to go and see friends, and do some home teaching that I really needed to get done. During this month of November, our branch is in charge of doing the Sacrament at the hospital. It has normally been a good experience. On this Sunday I saw some pretty amazing things. Nathan O. and I were partners on this particular Sunday. We went around to the different rooms offering the Sacrament to people, and one particular guy who was from Burly Idaho was very touched after we gave him the sacrament. We stood there and he said, "Brethren..." then there was a pause for a good half a minute. After he was able to get his words put together, he looked up at us with tears in his eyes and said something very special. I don't recall what he said word for word, but said that there will be people or angels thanking us one day. As I stood there, looking him in the eyes and smiling, I felt like what we were doing was very Christ-like. I felt like an angel sent to do a marvelous thing. I thought that was something very special.
We continued, and there was one room where we visited a very friendly lady, who was visiting with her daughter and grand-daughter. She had just experienced a miracle because she had a lung that collapsed earlier, and right then she was doing amazing. We blessed and gave them the sacrament, and afterwards she wanted us to give her a blessing. I asked her who she would like to give it, and she looked at me and asked me if I would. I told her that I would. I don't remember her name, but her initials were E.B. I just remember that. :) So I went ahead and gave her the blessing, and did it with the words that came to my head. Afterward she was very thankful. She also wondered how we knew that she was a member, and we explained the process and how I also overheard her talking to her grand-daughter about a sister missionary or something.
After these two experiences, it made me feel really good that day and I felt like I was forgetting myself and serving. Not just serving other people, but also serving God. In the Book of Mormon it explains: "... when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." (Mosiah 2:17) It is an amazing feeling to know that what you are doing is right and is what the Savior would do if he were there. It is a peaceful and happy feeling that makes you feel like a disciple and follower of Jesus Christ.

So to those of you who reading this, just remember how wonderful service can be, especially if our heart is set in the right place. I know that we will recieve blessings from selfless service and joy.