Sunday, December 11, 2016

Spiritual Gifts

I spoke today in the Billerica Ward on spiritual gifts and how Heavenly Father wants us to use them. As usual, I've included the notes below. I also put a link directly to my Google Document notes. Part of my preparation for this talk included asking Reddit for some tips, so I'm including that link too.

Google Document
Reddit post

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Healing Power of Faith and Hope in Jesus Christ

I spoke in the Acton ward this past Sunday on the Healing Power of Faith and Hope in Jesus Christ. I had looked forward to this assignment when I originally received my High Council speaking assignments back in February. I figured I could have a bit of fun with it as I spoke in the ward from which I and my siblings left on our missions. I could say something like: "ha, ha, remember me? I'm on the High Council now. Isn't that funny?" While I'm not sure I would have ever actually delivered on that plan, recent events in the ward indicated the need for a more professional tone.

While we receive our High Council speaking assignments for the whole year, we only receive topics for a quarter at a time. When I received the topic for this talk a few weeks ago (since it's the start of a quarter), I felt overwhelmed. How could I talk about THAT topic to THAT ward. I solicited help with writing my talk from many people, and then solicited more help from other people. As always happens, I learned a lot through preparing this talk, and hopefully somebody also learned from hearing it.

The High Councilors in the Nashua Stake are supposed to bring companion speakers with them this year. The goal there is to utilize recently returned missionaries, and to alleviate the burden of planning from local bishoprics. I struggled with deciding who to ask to accompany me, as I wanted to find somebody I could especially trust with the responsibility. While discussing it with my wife, she suggested her father. That instantly felt right so I asked him to accompany me. After some wailing and gnashing of teeth, he agreed to do it.

Of course, he gave an excellent talk. He took a completely different focus and approach than I did, which then made the two talks go really well together (at least, to me).  He led with an overview of the Savior's example of healing during his ministry, and then moved to how we can and should follow that example. I felt during my preparation that I had not covered that adequately, instead focusing on hope and how to secure more of it. He covered the area I felt I was deficient, and did so masterfully.

Unfortunately, I spent my father-in-law's talk and the special musical number actually listening to them, instead of modifying my talk for time and planning the transitions. So I ended up rambling and fumbling. I should plan items to chop off in the future and how to transition the shortened versions, so I can always pay attention to the actual program (which is what I should do anyway). For those who have an interest, here's the outline and additional notes:

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Personal Revelation

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I spoke on "Personal Revelation" today (9/18/16) in the LDS Heritage Park Ward. I had an object lesson in the middle that involved using Google assistant on my phone. It had worked fine the half a dozen times I had tried it previously. It worked fine the time I tried after. It did not work during the two times I tried during the talk. That left me a little flustered. Oh well. I'm including the notes I used below.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Whom do we serve

I spoke on "Whom do we serve" this past Sunday (7/17/16) in the LDS Lowell Ward. I should have practiced some of the transitions between points a bit more, as I rambled a bit at times. However, I think that it went well overall. I'm including the notes I used below.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Why Do We Serve

I spoke on "Why Do We Serve" today in the LDS Keene Ward. I had to significantly cut down my talk from what I had prepared, but that probably worked out better for everybody anyway. I'm posting my notes below for anybody that's interested and bolding the parts I actually used. My attention-getting analogy was that of Lightning McQueen finding himself through service.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Talk on Life and ministry of Jesus Christ in Spanish

After speaking at the Nashua New Hampshire ward yesterday in English, I spoke at the Nashua Spanish group in Spanish. Same topic: The Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ.

I had been dreading this talk since I saw it come up as my first speaking assignment on the High Council. I knew that I needed to at least give it a good try and doing it in Spanish, but my Spanish has never been very good and I haven't really used it since the year after I got home from my mission. However, I committed myself to doing it in Spanish and then had to go through with it.

Luckily, these days I can dump my English talk into Google Translate and get Spanish on the other side. It's not very good Spanish, but it's better than what I would come up with on my own. I then used a number of long quotations from the New Testament that I could copy from the Spanish scriptures. Finally, I asked a mission companion of mine from Puerto Rico to edit my talk.

I should have gone through the talk verbally a few times before Sunday. I had meant to, but I just didn't make the time. I got tripped up on the pronunciation a bunch of times, plus I was very nervous. The congregation did appreciate my Spanglish jokes at the beginning, although the first one caught them a little off guard; it's not every Sunday that the High Council speaker says they hope they don't get pregnant.

The Merrimack ward also feeds into the Spanish group, and it was their ward conference yesterday. So 60-70% of the group seemed to be absent, so I was really only speaking to a few families. That helped a little with my nerves. At the end, I asked the presiding bishopric counselor if I should just not bother with the Spanish next time, but he said I did fine.

So I guess I have until December to get better.

Talk on Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ in English

I gave this talk in the Nashua New Hampshire ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints yesterday. Unfortunately, most of my attention for speaking went to preparing the Spanish version, but this seemed to go okay. Luckily, both the other speakers were dynamite. I cut out about half of it on the fly due to time. The talk is also available in Google docs.

Friday, February 12, 2016

My Bit9 posts are dead, long live my Bit9 posts!



Bit9 recently renamed itself to Carbon Black. It looks like they won't be carrying over the Bit9 blog posts to the Carbon Black blog. Makes sense, but it's still kind of a bummer. Good thing we have the WaybackMachine! Nothing dies on the internet, folks:

You can even go and see my old blog profile at Bit9.