Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Decisions Determine Destiny
Sister Christine Masters, Full Time Missionary
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Human beings are a species of dreamers.  We remember, for example, Martin Luther King saying, “I have a dream”, we see the American Indian “Dream Catchers”, or we look into our own hearts and visualize the dreams we work so hard to have come true.

From the famous to the not so famous, our choices in life have the power to make our righteous dreams come true! 

How is this possible?  Well, when we left Our Father’s presence and came to earth, we began a most precious experience, as Thomas S. Monson recently explained.  Our Father sent us here with one of the greatest gifts we could ever imagine.  This gift is the gift of being able to choose for ourselves. 

Cutting right to the core of this concept, we are not coerced, but have the freedom to choose between good and evil in this, our mortal journey.

As each of us left Our Father’s presence, we were  fortified, blessed, and protected by commands and instructions that, if followed, would lead us to our true destiny – coming back into His presence.

Where can we find these commands and instructions?  The commands and instructions can be found in Jesus Christ, our perfect Example for honoring and obeying Our Father. The admonitions of the Savior, “Come follow Me”, and “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light”, ring crystal clear in our hearts and minds. The Lord Jesus Christ guides us to fervent, earnest prayer, to frequent, daily pondering of the scriptures, to giving our all in serving others.

When we really study the life of Jesus Christ, we come to the realization that He encountered  similar life experiences very common to each of us. These experiences include challenges, such as disappointment, sorrow, rejection, pain, and temptation, but also joys, such as love, obedience, friendship, peace, service, and prayer.

As we follow The Lord Jesus Christ by making the choice to obey the two great commandments of loving God with all our might, heart, and strength, and loving our neighbor as ourselves, this correct decision will lead us to our fondest dream, that of returning and living eternally with Our Father in Heaven.

Our decisions DO determine our destiny!

Upper Country News Recorder   Cambridge, Idaho   October 2014 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Autumn Air Filled With Energy
The Rodriguez brothers had quite a day of a 5K Run and an antique car show.
Elijah placed third with an 8 minute gain over his last year's run! 
Way to go, Elijah, and we've got our fingers crossed for next year!
Timothy kept going even when he was thinking, "How did I let myself be talked into this?"
Way to go, Tim!
Nicholas had the enthusiasm.  Way to go, Nicholas!
Elijah Rodriguez  5K Run Arbuckle, California 

Timothy Rodriguez  5 K Run  Arbuckle, California

Timothy At Antique Car Show

Nicholas Hanging Out    Is He Happy Or What?

Nicholas    Amazing Smile     Amazing Boy


I Am Small.  I Am Pretty.

For The Beauty Of The Earth
For the beauty of the earth
For the beauty of the skies
For the beauty of each hour
For the beauty of hilll and vale
For the beauty of  tree and flower
Lord of all
To Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

LDS Hymn #92
A Hymn Of Grateful Praise

 The Beauty Of The Earth

The Beauty Of Hill And Vale

The Beauty Of Tree And Flower

The Beauty Of Each Hour

The Beauty Of The Skies

Another Unique Road Sign
We have come across many unique road signs both in Idaho as well as in Eastern Oregon.
This one especially caught our attention.
Somehow at that moment we felt very privileged to be standing on  a spot exactly  halfway between the Equator and the North Pole!  Wow.
On The Way To Riggins, Idaho Just Outside New Meadows, Idaho

I'm In First Grade And Am So Happy
This is Brandon's first grade school picture.
It is easy to see how happy he is to be in school!
Brandon Lee Masters  First Grade  Lindcrest School  Yuba City, California

Monday, October 20, 2014

Elder Norm And Sister Christine Masters     Riggins Idaho Branch  October 2014

Along The Little Salmon River    Riggins,  Idaho

If Jesus Were To Come For Dinner
Elder Norm Masters   Full Time Missionary
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 

In a book entitled, “Refined By Christ”, by Toni Sorenson, she surmised what might have happened behind the scenes when Jesus came to the home of Martha and Mary to have a meal with them.  The biblical account of this event is found in Luke chapter 10, verses 38 thru 42.  In her book, she explained that Jewish tradition would have her go outside of her home to greet Jesus and invite him to come inside.  If she had advanced notice of His coming to eat, would she have gone to the store to buy the best food available to feed Him?  What would the meal have consisted of?  Would He be dining alone, or would others be coming with Him?  Would she change the carpets in her home to honor Him?  The author stated that surely she would be stressed, as was Martha.

Consider what we would do if we found out that Jesus Christ was coming to our home for dinner?  What if He simply showed up without advanced notice?  How would we receive Him?  Would we be gracious hosts?

What do we do when we hear a car door close and unexpected guests arrive at our home?  Do we run around picking up inappropriate magazines, dirty ash trays, and picking up scattered toys and clothes?  Do we duck down and simply not answer the door?  These techniques simply won’t work if the Savior comes to our door.

Of course, our homes are “lived-in” and may not be as presentable as we would like them to be.  However, would we be embarrassed by the pictures hanging on the wall, or the magazines on the table, or other items that we have in our homes?  Or, do we have a gospel-centered home where we would always be ready to accept the Savior with honor?

Our homes do not have to be fancy.  They may be humble and yet have a great spirit within their walls.  However, great or humble, our homes do reflect how we live our lives.  Do we love the Savior and does He hold a place of honor in our homes?  Or, does He not have a place of honor in our homes?

Getting back to the account in Luke, chapter 10 verses 41 and 42, the Savior said to Martha, “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things. But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”  In other words, Mary wasn’t concerned about the mechanics of the Savior’s visit.  Rather, she wanted to hear what he had to say.

In the final analysis, what we would serve the Savior for dinner would not be as important how we receive him. The Savior counsels us not to stress over the meal.  Do we appreciate His visit and do we LISTEN to what He has to SAY to us?

When the Savior does come, as He promised us that He will, will we be prepared to receive Him as the Son of God and our Redeemer?  Let us be virtuous and humble and always be ready to receive Him.

Upper Country News Recorder   Cambridge, Idaho

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The River Of No Return
When Lewis and Clark explored this area of the Salmon River, the Indians called it the "River of No Return."  In other words, one could navigate down the river, but it was impossible to navigate upwards!
Riggins ,a tourist town sporting fishing trips and rapids rides of all sorts, has been added to our current assignments of Cambridge and Council!  We are beginning to meet the wonderful people who call this town home. The rugged beauty of this area is awe inspiring.
Mountains Bordering Riggins, Idaho

Bridge Over The Salmon River, "The River Of No Return"

Sunlight On The Salmon

Postcard Perfect Reflection On The Salmon River

Gateway To A River Paradise

Where Did The Green Water Come From?

A Wild Sunset Above The Cuddy Mountains Seen From Our Backyard!

Go West, Young Man!
The Oregon Trail Interpretive Center near Baker City, Oregon tells the story of the pioneers along the Oregon Trail.  It was a two thousand mile journey of approximately six months duration.
One would be very fortunate not to be bitten by a snake, killed by a wild animal, starve, get cholera or another illness, die in childbirth, drown in a river crossing, etc..
Despite the above possibilities, most pioneers made it across the plains and on to a land that they hoped would fulfill their dreams.
Oregon Trail Interpretive Center    Baker City, Oregon

The Wagons Are Circled!

Since An Ox Is Such A Strong Animal, You Would Definitely Want Oxen To Pull Your Wagon On The Trail West!

The Baker City Valley Was Filled With These Radiant Yellow/Gold Flowers

Elder Norm and Sister Christine Masters With The Blue Mountains In The Background

Wagon Wheels Turning Along The Oregon Trail

This Is "Easy Street" Compared To The Hardships The Pioneers Faced Going West

The Oregon Trail Wagon Ruts Near Baker City, Oregon

Autumn In Our Backyard
These Autumn pictures were taken right in our backyard!
Would You Be Willing To Bet This Flower Will One Day Be A Zucchini?

Dried Cornstalks With The Council Mountains In The Background

Glowing Red Apples In The Council Valley

Sophia Masters    I'm Growing Up Fast!

Briana Masters

Grandpa and Grandma Masters at Caedon Masters'  Middle School Graduation

Chela Davies Masters With Her Boys      Caedon and Preston     Fort Bragg, California

Chela Davies Masters' Marriage To Garth

Council Ward Cleanup
On a very windy Saturday morning,  the Council Ward met for a ward landscape cleanup.
The results were very satisfying and all were treated to a soup, chili, and homemade rolls lunch!
Sister Christine Masters  Council, Idaho   Ward Cleanup

Principal's Award
Brandon won the Principal's Award for academics and good conduct.
Good job, Brandon.  You are on your way to a great year in First Grade!
Brandon Lee Masters    Lindcrest School   Yuba City, California  2014

Rededication Of The Ogden Temple
Here is the Wald family at the rededicaiton of the beautiful Ogden Temple!
Monalisa, Thomas, Catherine, Tessa, and Dave Wald

Dreams Can Come True
Dreams can certainly come true if God is on your side and if He knows it will be to your benefit.

"You're not inconveniencing God by having big dreams.  In fact, it's just the opposite.  If you can achieve your dreams with just your own strength, abilities and resources, your dreams are too small.  Believe big! So big that you have no choice but to call on God.

Don't stop believing.  Every dream, every goal GOD puts in your heart, He will bring to pass (if it is to your benefit)."  And sometimes, He might even supersize it!

Proverbs says, 'Where there is no vision, the people perish.'  With no vision your dream will die, and part of you will die with it.  Is there something you see every day that reminds you of what your dream is, something that inspires you and ignites your faith?

Thank you, LORD, for bringing my dreams to pass.  For helping me become everything you created me to be."
 Pastor Joel Osteen, Houston, Texas