Giving Thanks


“Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”
Maya Angelou

Ah, the season of Thanksgiving. Yes, I know it’s an American holiday, but the world could benefit from gathering and breaking bread and reminiscing on things for which they are most thankful. The great thing about gratitude is that you don’t need a feast to inspire you, just an open heart and observant eyes.

We touched on this subject in a lesson for one of our investigators here in France. The topic: Faith in God can shift our perspective to see struggles as actual blessings. Continue reading


Hinge Moments


“It has long been an axiom of mine
that the little things
are infinitely the most important.”
Arthur Conan Doyle, Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

“Let me tell you something big:
Give importance to little things.”
Mehmet Murat ildan

“Sometimes the little opportunities
that fly at us each day
can have the biggest impact.”
Danny Wallace,  Yes Man


My son, Connor, loves cars.  One of his favorite shows is Great Britain’s Top Gear (and we thoroughly enjoy the show along with him). Whenever I point out a car on the road, “Oh, that’s a pretty car,” Connor will chime in with the make/model/year, gas mileage, perks and quarks, and if a competitor’s version is better or worse.  He’s no expert, but if you hang around Connor long enough, you gain an appreciation for fine cars.  Maybe that’s why this car caught my eye. Continue reading

Farewells and Elmo’s World

Airport Photo3

Lauren’s 4am Farewell at the Airport. Landon is still half asleep.

“‘You’ll stay with me?’
‘Until the very end,’ said James.”
J.K. Rowling,
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

“If there ever comes a day
when we can’t be together,
keep me in your heart,
I’ll stay there forever.”
Winnie the Pooh

After sending Lauren off on her mission, everyone has been asking how I am doing. Well, thank you.  I am doing great now because a few weeks have passed and I have heard happy news and received all sorts of smiling pictures from her.  Now I’m doing great, but if you asked me a few weeks ago, you would have seen tears welling-up at the very question. Continue reading

Are You Overlooking a Buried Treasure?

Hoxne Hoard

Hoxne Hoard displayed in the British Museum, London

Where your Treasure is,
there will your heart be also.
Luke 12:34

Professional farmer, Peter Whatling found his life changed on 16 November 1992 when he discovered a treasure he didn’t know he possessed.

On his farm near Suffolk, England, Whatling somehow lost his trusty hammer in the field.  Not wanting to suffer the loss, he asked good friend, Eric Lawes, to bring over his metal detector and help him look for it.  Lawes was more than happy to help.

As the two friends set about the task of slowly scouring the field, it wasn’t long before the metal detector began pinging and buzzing like crazy.  Must be the hammer, they thought. After a little digging, the men discovered, not a hammer, but remains of an oak chest. Inside the chest were smaller wooden boxes with locks and several fabric sacks.  With a little further inspection of the contents, they realized they had just uncovered a legitimate ancient treasure!

This was the real McCoy, folks.  They were stunned. Continue reading

Home Again, Home Again (Jiggity-Jig)

Getting picked up from the San Jose Airport. My bro Landon is taking the photo.

Getting picked up from the San Jose Airport. My bro Landon is taking the photo.

My name is Ashley Nef. I just completed my service as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I served in the Italy Rome mission, meaning for a year and a half I lived in southern Italy as a representative of Jesus Christ, spending my days helping people learn of Him, of His teachings, and of His church, as well as providing service for the people and communities in which I lived.

I loved my mission, and I worked my hardest to diligently invite people to come to Christ. On September 17, I came home and was released from my full-time missionary service. Continue reading

It Was Mom

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there!

I would like to pay tribute to my amazing mother – the biggest influence, example, and inspiration in my life. She has made me the woman that I am today, and I owe everything I am to her.

She spends her life serving her family and everyone else around her, devoting all the time and energy she can muster.

Since I was a child, she has taught me the importance of service, a sense of humor, knowledge, strength, and faith.

She is my mentor, my confidant, my comforter, and my best friend.

I love you, mommy. Happy Mother’s Day.




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