Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Spider Incident

Something that struck me the other day while I was reading the Book of Mormon was something that was in Alma 53:5. At this point in the Book of Mormon, the Nephites (good guys) had captured a bunch of the Lamanites (bad guys). Instead of just guarding them or putting them in jails, they decided to put them to work. They began to make them build up their fortresses and fortifying them. Something that I found interesting in this verse is where it says, " was easy to guard them while at their labor..."
I always try to compare the Lamanites as sin and the Nephites as ourselves. If we are constantly on our guard and doing the things that God has commanded us; we can always be on alert. It is when we are busy doing righteous things that we can receive the most protection.
One more example. While I was serving my mission in the Philippines, I came across some pretty gnarly bugs, my favorite being the banana spider. These spiders can grow to be as large as my hand!
One morning, I found one of these spiders in our apartment. My companion got a plastic bag and used his hand to get the spider inside so it couldn't harm him (while I watched from the other side of the room). He turned on a fan, put it in front of a chair, and then set the spider on the chair. The wind generated by the fan was strong enough that if the spider was to let go, it would lose its grip and fall of the chair into the unknown. We would turn the fan on the lowest speed and the spider was able to move but as soon as we turned the switch to 'HIGH' the spider would have to use all eight legs to maintain his grip.
Now here is my question: How is sin like this spider? How is the fan similar to keeping the commandments? Think about it and let me know what you come up with.
I promise that if you will keep the commandments and be diligent in keeping them, you will be able to withstand any temptation that Satan throws your way.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I know that we learn best by experience, but why does pain have to be a part of it all? Pain is just so painful that I would rather stay away from it all together. But, pain is a necessary part of life. We learn to avoid things that bring pain and we also have an opportunity to feel God's love for us. Yeah, I just said that! Pain helps us to feel God's love in a whole different way.
Let me share with you an experience that I had with pain and how it helped me.
I had a sickness a while ago that really affected me. I lost a lot of weight and my stamina was all but gone. I constantly had head aches that just wouldn't go away. This kept going for a long time until one day when I was rushed to the hospital. If I can remember anything from that night, it was pain.
As I lay there on a hospital bed going through the worst pain I had ever experienced, I just remember this over whelming feeling that I would be alright.
I stand today as a witness that God does comfort His children in every circumstance. The scripture in      Alma 7:11-12 puts it best. He felt our pain and he knows our afflictions. He has suffered them all.
Pain can bring us closer to God because it humbles us. It is hard to go through such things, but we always learn from it. Death can be very difficult for family members. It is hard and we will miss them so much but we must remember that Jesus Christ broke the bands of death.We will see our loved ones again and we can rely on the knowledge that Christ felt our grief.
He knows what each one of us goes through and we can receive comfort if we will seek it through prayer.

Friday, October 28, 2011


We were in Fayette the other day for a big mission conference at the Peter Whitmer home. Getting out there was fun because we don't have a GPS. (I know, I should get one but I like using maps more) We found the place and had a great meeting with President Christianson giving us some very valuable advice and direction for our work.
On the way back from this meeting, everything looked so different because the clouds had rolled in and we could no longer tell if we were going North or South. Luckily, the car ahead of us had a GPS so we were able to follow them until we got to a place that was familiar. Getting back home was easy from then on.
We all get a little lost sometimes. Whether it be spiritually or physically, the path ahead of us can be clouded and without a solid land mark, getting lost is easy. That is why we have the prophets and the scriptures! They show us the way that we need to go when we get all mixed up and lose our sense of direction.
We have a living prophet today named Thomas S. Monson. He has been called by God to lead and guide the church today. He is like our "compass" so we may know what direction we need to take on our path back to our Heavenly Father's presence.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sometimes change can be really hard. This is something that we deal with everyday and as missionaries, we invite people to make changes that will bring them closer to Christ. Change can be a good thing! Change make life a little more interesting if you ask me!
Let me tell you a little about a time in my life when change became difficult. See that picture with all the other missionaries in it? That was my original group that I was a part of when I first entered the Missionary Training Center. I LOVED my district so much! We grew so close and it was just like being with family. We were all going to the Philippines so we had the same experience of trying to learn a language that we had never really been exposed to before.
We all got to the Philippines and went our separate ways; embarking on our journey and mission of a life time! We had become tools in the hands of the Lord...but some of us would learn, eventually, that He had things for us to do, even if we didn't like the sound of it. I happened to be one of them.
I was in the Philippines for 6 months total. I had just become fluent in the language and I had grown to really love the people. I began to suffer from many different health issues and was sent home after a month-long battle.
It was hard being home and hearing from all of my friends that were still out doing the things that I wish that I could have done. This became a time of recovery for me. Not just physical but also spiritual. I prayed a lot for the 5 months that I was home. I knew that I needed to go back out on a mission but I didn't want to because it would never be the same as my mission in the Philippines.
Finally after 5 months, I got to come back out on my mission and it has been the best decision that I have ever made. I can see why I have been sent here. The change has been difficult but the Lord knows all.
Change may seem difficult. All we have to do is trust in Him and watch the miracles happen.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Peace Through the Scriptures

Of all the times that I have read in the scriptures, there have been very few times that I haven't been comforted. Whether it being stress or just a difficult day, every time I am always edified in some way. This is something that I LOVE about missionary work--we get to bring peace and comfort to people every day!! It is so worth all of the early mornings and aching feet!
We were in a lesson with some people who were having a hard time keeping their commitments due to being tired and just not having time. Their lives are like a car wreck right now and they are just struggling! We know where to turn when life becomes that way so out came the scriptures.
We read a couple of verses with them about keeping the commandments and how the Lord will bless us spiritually and temporally if we will follow Him. This was helping them a lot. We could see their countenances change while we were with them. But, there was still something missing. We needed to share more! So, I whipped out my favorite scriptures about enduring through our trials which is 3 Nephi 22:7-8, 10-11. That was what they needed to hear, that the Lord will never forsake us and that He is aware of our situations.
God has given us a way to be happy. If we will but keep the commandments, we will be blessed!
There isn't a single person in the world that can go through life without having some kind of trial...That's part of life and there isn't much we can do to escape it. However, when we are going through life's ups and downs, we can always rely on the scriptures to speak peace to our souls.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just Laugh

  We have a meeting every week where we get to learn some teaching skills and we get to be edified by each other. I have always loved these meeting because you never know exactly what will happen. The District Leader always prepares something for us to learn and it can get pretty crazy when we all start talking about different things and we always end our meetings with sore sides due to a healthy dose of laughter.
We had that meeting today. We were practicing teaching people about different things and the entire time, my companion was just struggling to keep his face straight. I don't know what was so funny but eventually we all broke down into laughter along with the other two elders right next to us.
After five minutes of trying to compose ourselves, we were able to get through our practice and get things accomplished.
Laughter has always been called "...the greatest medicine." Science has done a lot of studies on it and have shown that laughter helps to relieve stress and anxiety.
I love laughing. It helps so much! The other day, my companion and I were stuck out in a tiny little city that neither of us had been to with no gas and a dead cell-phone. What was my companion's suggestion? Laugh about it! Don't worry! So, we did! It was hilarious to see ourselves standing on the side of the road trying to wave someone down at 10:00 p.m. Eventually it all worked out and we got home.
At the beginning of my whole missionary experience, I had to make the very difficult decision to go home. I didn't want to but I would have died if I had was that bad. I remember the words which my Mission President said to me, "Elder Hulse, attitude makes the difference..." I will never forget those words. There is so much meaning behind that. Don't let the little problems become big. Laugh a little...It's going to be okay.
I wish I could insert Bob Marley's song that goes like "...Don't worry, be happy..." But, I will just leave you to go to that song by yourselves. And, while you are on the computer, make sure that you check out the talk by Elder Wirthlin; Come What May and Love It

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Weapons of War

I was reading in the Book of Mormon the other day and I read something that really hit me. A group of  people (Nephites) were about to be attacked by their enemies (Lamanites) yet they were so fearful of shedding the blood of another man that they prostrated themselves on the ground and began to pray. One thousand and five of them were killed in the act of praying to God.
The Lamanites saw that these people would not fight back and their hearts began to swell within themselves. The knew that they had shed innocent blood. They were stung by what they had done so much that they threw down their weapons and covenanted that they would never take them again. They even buried them.
This act of the Nephites caused many Lamanites to repent of their sins and change.
Now I ask, who are you in this story? Are you one of the Nephites who was killed because they loved their brethren too much to fight? Or, are you one of the Lamanites that fought and killed so many? Are we going through life brandishing our weapons of war so much that we hurt and ignore those that the Lord has placed in our path to help us? How many will it take before we are "stung" like the Lamanites were?
God loves us and wants us to return to Him. All we have to do is repent and change...bury our weapons of war and never return to them again. He can help you.