Sunday, July 21, 2013

Becoming a Great Home Teacher

I've never really understood why home teaching is such a difficult task for members of the elders quorum within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It's an assignment that if completed leads to great blessings like friendship, service, and many other wonderful experiences. It is an assignment that allows each family within the Church to be watched over, and given aid in times of need. Truly, it is a blessed task in which both parties greatly benefit. Then why is there such a staggering disconnect? Why do so many people choose not to fulfill this assignment?

It wasn't apparent to me that this was such a problem until I served a mission. It wasn't until I witnessed countless Elders quorum presidents plead with their quorum to go home teaching, and still they did not. This pleading penetrated deep into my heart, to the point that I promised myself that I would try to be a consistent home teacher. I made it my goal to have 100% home teaching for every month, and this is still my goal today. 

However, I learned a very important lesson from this past month. I learned that although it is important to go and visit each family every month and share with them the supplied message; it is even more important to pray for their needs and listen to the Lord's guidance. I learned this lesson from a friend, and someone who I admire. I learned that I must not just offer to serve and hope that they take me up on the need, but that I must be proactive, and seek out opportunities to serve them. 

Even though we are charged with the responsibility to visit these families monthly, we have a higher responsibility to seek out their well being. The Lord's plan is that we include these families in our prayers, and then to listen to Him as he councils us on what they may need. Listening to His promptings is the true purpose behind home teaching. It is only through receiving revelation that we can bless the lives of those we're assigned to watch over. Unfortunately it took me a little long to learn this important lesson, but I hope that through my growing pains my children can be taught at an earlier age. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lockwood Family Update

Well it has been awhile since my last update, actually about 6 months. A lot has happened within that time period as my wife is in her final semester of college and Skylar now weighs 16 pounds! We have been truly amazed and grateful for the progress that Skylar has made. He is now scooting, blabbering , and rolling in circles. As my wife says he is now starting to become fun, but she also does not like that he is growing out of his baby phase.

As for me nothing new has changed that much, I am currently still in school and will be for the next two years as my expected graduation date is 04/2013. I am currently debating majors, I have been pursuing a career in medicine but with my job at Property Solutions I am thinking about majoring in accounting. I know that in both careers I will be successful but I want to choose a career that will allow me to serve in the church and in the community where I live. This whole aspect of growing up and establishing myself and my family takes a lot of faith, but I know that the Lord will lead me as long as I listen to His promptings.

Other than that nothing really has changed. Taylor and I are excited for this semester to be over so that we can continue to progress in our life.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The longest 37 hours of my life

I can honestly say that Monday - Wednesday afternoon were the scariest hours/days of my life. I now understand how it feels to watch someone you love work so hard and there is nothing that I can do to help.

We knew that this might happen from our visit to the hospital last Friday (08/28/2010). The day began like every other day as I went to work and Taylor got ready for her Doctors appointment. As I was at work I received a text message from Taylor informing me that she was heading to the hospital for a non-stress test. I left work to find her checked into a room in the labor and delivery floor of the hospital. She quickly updated me on how Doctor Grover was concerned that she might have preeclampsia. Little did we know that she did have preeclamsia and that it was severe.

After a full 24-hour urine collection, many blood tests Doctor Grover prescribed strict bed rest for Taylor. Which we strictly followed for one day, because Doctor Grover told us that she would like another non-stress test on Monday (08/30/2010). Well Monday came and I went to work and Taylor tried to relax so that her blood pressure would be lower than it had been previously.

Lets just say that I received a text from Taylor at 3:30pm informing me that she is again at the hospital waiting in one of the Triage rooms, for another room to open up. As we moved into another room and started another 24-hour urine collection, we were told that we would again be spending the night.

7 hours later Doctor Grover informed us that the blood pressure is not reducing and that she will be inducing Taylor, this started the longest 37 hours of my life. Since Taylor was only 35 weeks pregnant she had to be put on Pitocin to help her body to start preparing for labor. They also had to put her on another drug to prevent the side effects of the Pitocin. Lets just say that her body did not like this at all. It took her 30 hours to progress from being 1cm dilated to 4cm dilated. Doctor Grover came in and told Taylor that when she came back if Taylor was not to 5cm dilated that they (the doctors) who have to preform a C-section.

Well when Doctor Grover came back in to the room Taylor progressed from being 4cm dilated to 7 cm dilated, this was definitely a miracle and Doctor Grover was convinced that she would get to be 10cm dilated. Well she did, but as she would contract Skylar's heart beat would drop. At first it would only drop from 120 beats per minute to 90 beats per minute. Then it dropped to below 50 beats per minute. Causing the Doctor's to roll Taylor into the operating room.

Doctor Grover respecting Taylor's request to have the c-section to be the last result decided to have Taylor push a couple of times to see if she could give birth vaginally. After 3 contractions and 9 attempts at pushing they put her asleep and started the c-section.

The next 30 minutes flew by as I watched them pull Skylar from the womb and bring him into the room I was in to clean him off and give him his apgar score. As I watched him being cleaned off I could not stop thinking of the miracle I just witnessed. I witnessed a Doctor listen to her patient until she felt prompted to started surgery. I witnessed another life come from the DNA of my wife and my DNA. And I witnessed nurses work miracles as they took him for not breathing, to Skylar breathing without any assistance.

The past 5 days have been my longest, but they have definitely been the most rewarding. You will never know the feeling of holding your child for the first time until you do it. And you will cherish it for the rest of your life. Or at least I will, and I will continue to reflect on the miracles that brought him here. I will forever be grateful to my Heavenly Father, and for all the work he continually preforms for my wife and sons well being. I would never forget the feeling that I had when I picked him up and listen to his heart beat. Becoming a parent has been one of the best experience of my life.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Accepting the Invitation

I briefly forgot how much I love reading the writing of Nephi. The reason why I briefly forgot is because I am now in Alma with my personal scripture study, and I have not had a reason to go back to the books of Nephi until yesterday.
For those of you who do not know, Sierra my cousin is taking the lessons from the missionaries and has set a date to be baptized. This is very exciting because Sierra has been very outgoing in wanting to learn more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Sierra is being taught by Elder Cook and his companions, which she is enjoying a lot because the can use Facebook. When I first heard that the missionaries were using Facebook I thought that maybe they were breaking the rules a little bit. Then I stumbled onto an article that informed me that the missionaries in the Rochester New York mission were allowed to use Facebook for missionary work.
I asked Sierra if it helped having the missionaries on Facebook, and her answer was an outstanding yes! She said that it is so much easier to talk to them in private then having to worry about her Grandma, and mom hear her questions and become inquisition on why she is learning more about the L.D.S. faith. Sierra also said that it helped a lot with planning the next appointments at our Grandparent's house because then no one she did not want to know yet would over hear the conversation.
Anyway since the Elder that is teaching my cousin has Facebook I thought that I should befriend him so I can also talk to him and be available if he had any questions or concerns about Sierra. Well lets just say that Elder Cook was thrilled to be my new friend and also invited me to join his group discussion about the Book of Mormon on Facebook. And this ladies and gentlemen is how I stumbled upon reading Nephi's words again.
Elder Cook wanted everyone to read 2 Nephi chapter 26. This is one of my most favorite chapters in 2 Nephi as it shows the unlimited invitations that the Savior gives to us to follow him. I realized that my cousin Sierra was accepting those invitation to follow the Savior, and that she was striving to become a better person/daughter of God. An Epiphany happened as I read this and understood that I needed to follow my cousin's example and follow the Savior to the best of my ability.
This was a great testimony builder for me as I am learning even more now that the Lord knows what is best for all of his children. I have also learned that the Lord does nothing for his children unless it is for their benefit.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My Testimony of the Book of Mormon

Today we had a great lesson in Elders quorum. The lesson was on Elder Holland's talk from the past general conference in October of 2009 titled "Safety for the Soul". The instructor had us read a couple of quotes and then read Elder Holland's testimony. When we were finished reading his testimony I looked at the clock and saw that we still had 25 minutes left.
I then started thinking about what we were going to do for the next 25 minutes, and then my question was answered. The teacher bore his own testimony about the Book of Mormon and then turned the time over to us to be able to bear our testimonies.
As I took the time to think about the Book of Mormon I thought of how much it had blessed my life. From being raised in a family who read the Book of Mormon together, to now having an extended family who is focused on living its principles. As I pondered, I had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for the blessings that this one book had brought upon me from living it teachings.
I then thought about the peace that I feel in my heart when I read from it at night with Taylor and when I read it by myself. I also thought about the desire I have to be a better husband, priesthood holder, and son of Heavenly Father when I read the Book of Mormon. It has truly blessed my life.
I am so grateful for the examples I have around me of those living its teachings, and who have taught me by example of how I should live and govern my life. I love the Book of Mormon and everything that it teaches and I hope that I can continually progress to be the my best for Heavenly Father, and for my family.
As I concluded pondering about the Book of Mormon I again found my testimony of it. I then realized of how I knew the Book of Mormon was true. There was no voice, no vision, or any other modern miracle, except that I felt the Spirit whisper to my soul and every other fiber of my body that it is true.
Like Elder Holland I was not there when Christ visited the people of Nephi, nor was I at the trail of Abinadi but I know the Book of Mormon is true, and I know that it came from God. I know that "the Book of Mormon will bring men closer to God than any other book." I know that it is given to us today to learn of the things that are most important for us to be able to return to live with Heavenly Father and I am so grateful for this knowledge. I cannot express my level of gratefulness but it is my prayer that I will be able to reflect the examples of those faithful family members and others that I have had in my life. That like them I may also be a faithful child of our Father in Heaven.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The fun experience with Conjunctivitis

Who ever thought that "pink eye" could be such a irritating bacteria. To fill all of you in, I came down with conjunctivitis or "pink eye" about three weeks ago in my left eye. With a nice long visit to B.Y.U.'s health clinic I received the medication that I need to fight this dreaded bacteria.
All went well as I religiously used the eye drops to make sure that the irritation left, and it did go away in about three days use of the medication. Thinking I was out and clear I stopped using the medication until today!
I woke up this morning to get ready to go to work and while I was putting my right contact in it felt as if something was between the contact and my eye. Thinking that my eye would flush it out I left. the drive to work was not fun at all either because the light bothered me and I had blurred vision even with my contacts. Knowing the signs and having just gone through with having "pink eye" I knew that it was back.
Moving a little farther ahead I made it to work and was beginning to start taking phone calls, when my manager started to ask me to do something. He then noticed my right eye and asked about it. I then went ahead and informed him of the trouble that I was having with my right eye. My manager then went ahead and let me go home for the day. Which I thought would be a great blessing until I had to deal with light, blurred vision, and school work and this began my second battle with conjunctivitis.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Notebook Recognition lie

For the past couple of nights I have been prayerfully asking Heavenly Father in which ways I can improve my studying for exams. This has lead to a lot of thought the past couple of days on how I can improve. As I was sitting in my humanities classroom about 15 minutes before the class started I was thinking about ways that I can improve my studying. The normal ideas came into my mind, flash cards, reading over lecture notes, meeting with T.A.s, and lecture review sheets. I then tried to think of new ideas that I can improve my studying habits and "break the mold" of traditional studying habits. Then my Professor walked into the classroom.

Just like every class we start out with a review. Instead of jumping right into the review my Professor wanted to bring up an important point when it comes to preparing for the next exam. Her first subject on the matter of studying was "The Notebook Recognition Lie". "The notebook Recognition Lie" is where you do not truly know the material but you can recall where it is in your notes. You notebook could look like this...

but as long as you know where it is on the page you will be able to recall it. This she reminded us is not knowing the martial but just memorizing where it is in our notebooks. When I heard this it reminded me of how I can do this with my scripture, and how I can do it with all my notes and text books, and how she is right that it is not truly knowing the material but knowing how to find it within my notes.

Then came her main point of just using repetition to remember what is taught and the principles that need to be applied. I thought of my mission and how President Ellsworth would always say "Don't fix something if it is not broken!". And there was my answer to the prayer that I have been asking for the past week. "Don't fix something if it is not broken!".

I now understand that learning is nothing more then repetition and applying the things taught into everyday situations. Will it take a lot of repeating, hopefully with only understanding the principle and not applying it. I am grateful thought for how the Lord understands me and is willing to answer my prays to let me know how to become a better son in every aspect of my life.