Good Afternoon.

It’s been a while since I’ve written on here. My baby sister was the one who inspired me to write again. She asked for the url to this blog, and it hit me I hadn’t written in my blog since just after the passing of my grandmother.

This page still serves as a gospel resource for me. Somewhere I can share my testimony with the world. That testimony has been tried and tested these last 8 months, but that testimony that I know the Gospel is true, and that Jesus Died for our sins is still real in my heart. I know all this to be true, and I plan on writing more in the future. But until then, I bear this testimony in the name of Jesus Christ,

Amen…

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Grateful for the Opportunity to Serve

Sunday I was formally released from my calling as 2nd Counselor in the Elder’s Quorum Presidency in my ward. This is the same ward I was baptized into about 5 years ago. I remember hearing from a previous Bishop with such a release can come a flurry of emotions. My most powerful right now is gratitude. I will not lie, I was sad to be released.

For starters release is a term we use in the church to acknowledge our current Calling (position/job) term has come to an end. The only callings that you cannot be released from are if you are called to be an apostle or Prophet/President of the church. So local and area positions can come to an end.

It was indeed an honor to serve the brethren of my home ward. Of course releases can come without warning. sometimes followed by another calling, or the basis that the Lord saw fit for your skills and gifts somewhere else. I am planning on moving soon, and while I am sad to see my time in the Elder’s Quorum Presidency come to an end, it will allow me time to focus on house hunting and packing.

When I called my girlfriend after my meeting with the High Priest, she reminded me of something I had told her a year or so ago, that “It’s a part of serving God, and that the Lord will indeed find work for you to do…”. I pondered long and hard about it, and found comfort in the fact that indeed there will always be work for me to do in the Lord’s kingdom.  One quote, my favorite Book of Mormon quote comes to mind…

“But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words. And thus it, Amen”

1Nephi Chapter 9, Verse 6

No matter what I know the Lord will guide me towards my truest potential!

As I said before, it was an extreme honor to serve my brethren, some of who helped me out and showed great fellowship when I was a new member of the church. I feel through my service in the presidency, I was taught more lessons from those good brethren. I have no idea what the next few months hold as I prepare to move to a new town, and a new ward, but I’m confident in the strength of the Lord Jesus Christ, and my kind and gracious Heavenly Father.

This summer has been a very emotionally draining one, and I do know I will now have time to focus on feelings I may have tried submerging regarding the loss of my grandmother. I think within the next month or two, finding myself spiritually and emotionally will be of priority. I’m so grateful for the love of a wonderful family, an amazing girlfriend, and great friends, through this. As I have said, it was my grandmother and her Christ-like example that led me to my faith. She always urged me to follow God in everything I did, and I know I wouldn’t be here without her.

Through it all one thing is for certain and that is the growth in my testimony, that I know that Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father are there every step of the way in our lives. I know and wholeheartedly believe that families are eternal, and that This church is true! I know that we have a living prophet in Thomas S. Monson here on this earth, and I know no matter how old I am or what my condition is, the Lord will always put opportunities to serve and teach in my path, and I leave that with you in the name of Jesus Christ….

Amen.

Gerald R.

 

Sorry for the Hiatus

Yup the title says it all. Now I could say that I’m saving all my typing for this wonderful trip in 5 days, but that’d be a lie. And that’s a sin, and that’s not cool as well. No I’ve been legit distracted and busy, and I took some time off. But as the season gets warmer, and the Earth wakes up during the months of spring into Summer I’m sure there will be countless more posts.

Plus those of my readers that remember last year’s instagram/facebook flooding of pictures and posts from the Palmyra roadtrip will know there will be much to type and read in the coming week.

I look forward to sharing my experiences with you, and bearing my testimony. I love you all, and hope all of you are doing well

Gerald

Gospel Principles- The Gift of the Holy Ghost

So I felt impressed to share with you my thoughts on the gift of the Holy Ghost. A few months back I gave a talk in sacrament on the subject, and I felt that it was a good talk. So here’s that talk! (This talk is from October of 2014)

Good afternoon. Today I was asked to give a talk on the Holy Ghost. I’d like to introduce myself formally to those of you who may not know me.

My name is Gerald Royster. I’m the assistant ward mission leader. I currently work for Verizon as a DSL tech support agent and im currently in school for computer networking. I was born here in Maryland and as of October 30th  I will have been a member of This church for 3 years!!

As I said in the beginning I was asked to give a talk on the holy ghost. And I’d like to do things semi unorthodox before getting into the bulk of my talk by bearing my testimony of the holy ghost and how much of a spiritual compass it had been to me and.truth be told it was what brought me to this pulpit after all my 25 years of life. Amen…

Think of a GPS. A GPS can get you from point A. To point B. GPS are pretty awesome. Your cars GPS is good for. You the best possible route .

Much like the holy ghost…..

Think of life as a road. A series of high ways, overpasses and back roads. Our personal destinations are to live and return to our heavenly father.

The holy ghost is Our constant companion to get us back it’ll help give us detours in moments of struggle and strife. But like a GPS in the middle of nowhere sometimes it can falter and we may find ourselves. Off track. The holy ghost can. Work the same way when we find ourselves in situations we know we shouldn’t be in.

So last night Jared and I were out a an Apple festival earlier that day with my girlfriend and her friend and used the GPS to get back home. And we wanted to take a route the GPS didn’t want us to take. We wanted to take a route that would avoid the tunnel because we didn’t know if we had cash. Sadly they don’t take credit. I mean it is the 21st century.

So anyways we tried going our own way and the GPS kept saying no go this way through the tunnel of 895 after trying our own route the GPS kept rerouting us and eventually we gave in and took the route probably best. Luckily I had a ten tucked in my wallet from earlier.

The holy ghost works the same way. When we start trying to take our own route, that could possibly lead us in a bad direction it tries to get US on track. Now if we hadn’t listened to the actual GPS we would’ve ended up in Baltimore city and who knows where we would’ve ended up.

The scriptures in doctrine and covenants 130 verse 22 say

22 The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.

Being a personage of spirit allows to holy ghost to be any where and everywhere. Think of a constant companion that’ll always be with you. It’ll help ya out and like the GPS anology get you from point A to point B. But it’s powers can be weakened when we find ourselves in places we shouldn’t be.

Think of a loud party. A large house party. As your driving your friend is telling you, “maybe we shouldn’t go here. This seems like a bad idea”. You continue on your way. Yet you can hear his voice loud and clear in the comfort and safety of our cars. But you dismiss his council

You get to the party and as you walk up the lawn his voice a little bit more faint yet you can still hear it says “look man THESE people are up to no good. We could just go home and play video games or do some studying for that big test. I just don’t think we should be here”. You’re not inside the party. But the closer you get to the door more louder the music got. You hear conversations in the background. You even here some loud laughter and familiar voices. You push that counsel away again.

You open the door to the party and the music overwhelms your ears. People come to greet you pushing your friend to the side but you can only faintly hear his voice say “please let’s get out…” by that time you’re so engaged in the party your friend is virtually non existent.

Eventually you find yourself engaging in less than righteous activities… Only to wake up with a headache, some half memories and a heart full of regret and sorrow. Because you didn’t listen to that friend.

That friend is the holy ghost…. He’s with us always but his influence can be weakened when we find ourselves in places we shouldn’t be.

Elder Robert D Hales in the April 2013 conference said
“Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved. Standing obedient and strong on the doctrine of our God, we stand in holy places, for His doctrine is sacred and will not change in the social and political winds of our day.”
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Now it is important to remember that these holy places aren’t always geographical. It can mean avoiding certain websites, and certain forms of entertainment. We must always be in constant search of the companionship of the Holy ghost!

We live in a day and age where values of man are being rewritten… But Our heavenly fathers values cannot be rewritten. No they stand eternal.

I wouldn’t be where I am without the companionship of the holy ghost. Before I was a member I sought out this church. A few of you know this story…

I was about 19 or 20. It was 2008 In the news they spoke about our church and they also spoke about a radical sect. I’m a writer and have always had a curious mindset. I was so curious as to number 1 who were the Mormons and number 2 why in the world won’t they stop talking about them… I me an other church’s were in the news at this time. There was the Catholics and a radical sect of the Baptist church in the news but no it was this mormon church that made me so curious.

Hbo had TV shows about this extreme sect where they virtually villanized our church. I was so confused why they villanized the Latter Day Saint Church.

So I sought out answers. I began researching. I swore I studied out the lds church better than the mid terms due around that time.

Well after months I discovered something. I discovered a book .I went on mormon.org where it offered a Book of Mormon. I hit the accept offer button, entered my address and number and that was it. Little did I know that I had created a digital missionary referral. I also ordered some dvds that never came…. But most importantly that book was the book of mormon.

One day my door bell rang. I opened the door up to 2 elders driving a red Ford focus. They told me they were with the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. They gave me the book and we said a prayer and then they left.

The whole time I thought the Book of Mormon was going to show up via UPS or FedEx. I was wrong.

They kept calling. I was an insecure 20 year old kid. I was nervous and scared what people would think If I were taught by these elders. At the time in was preparing for college football and a million other excuses that I could think of.

I went off to college after dodging those elders. Believe it or not I enjoyed that hbo show. At the time it was as close to the church as I could get. I was smart enough to know the differences between the two sects And wanted to follow the true lds sect. .

Like I spoke about the party that’s how college was for me. It wasn’t always a party but it was cloudy and loud spiritually. I became an insomniac abd in those late hours alone I was on the net taking a personal inline course teaching myself about the church.

I came home that summer and things spiralled out of control until I asked a friend who was a menber if I could truly learn.

She invited me to the visitors center and then through conference where I heard our prophets voice. 1 month later on october 30th 2011 I was baptised.

A week later I received the full gift of the holy ghost by the laying on of hands and baptism by fire.

Brothers and sisters the Lord wants us to return to him. And he sent us the holy ghost to get back to him. He sent the holy ghost to a 21 year old boy at an overpriced school in a four bedroom apartment that now stands before you as a man today. The voice was faint but it was just enough to get through. It was enough to get me here

It guided the prophet Joseph smith towards the restoration and guides each and every one of us today and everyday. Its our jobs to live in a lifestyle that can harness that constant companionship . .

3 years later and I still know this church to be true. I know that the gospel is alive and we are led by men directed of God and the holy ghost. I know the holy ghost to be our companion forever and I leave these things with you in the name of Jesus Christ… Amen

Free Write (1/6/2015)

I looked up from my scriptures as I sat at my desk. I just smiled. The song “To build a Home” by  the band Cinematic Orchestra Featuring Patrick Watson is coming from my headphones, and in a moment admist the surrounding sounds of my co-workers, the stress still surviving from this morning’s commute in the snow and being at work today, I was at peace. In a moment I thought of everything I was so thankful for. I thought of how precious each moment with those we love are. For a moment the peace of mind and spirit was mine. As I write this that peace still remains. I decided to free-write, jotting down my feelings and my gratitude for my Heavenly Father. As the sun sets on this random snow day I am grateful for so much.

I am Grateful for God being with my Girlfriend’s sister as she went into an operation this morning. I’m grateful I was able to get to work safely despite my fears of driving in the snow and the rather bad shape of my car. I’m grateful that despite I’m stuck at work, that I actually have a job, and a career plan. Whereas a few years ago I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I look down at my scriptures with my place marked by the my Ward’s Mission plan, and I’m grateful for the gospel, my scriptures and the burning missionary spirit that drives me. I’m grateful for my girlfriend and my family and my friends who kept me in their prayers today, and I’m just so filled with joy I can’t contain it!

I believe it’s in our times of trials that we really need to remember just what we are blessed with. I catch myself at times getting angry or frustrated about a current situation, and think to myself just how much of a blessing that trial might be. I think of others who may not have as mucha s I do, and how ungrateful I may seem in the moemnt. I think it’s a human condition though. I think if at times instead of getting angry we focussed on what we are blessed with there’d be less stress in our lives.

So I’m sitting here at my desk with abotu 1 hour to go, and I sit here grateful because God woke me up this morning for a purpose. He woke me up to be the best me I could be today. Simply put he woke me up….

Thoughts from Sacrament- Fast and Testimony

So first off I’d like to wish everyone a Happy New years! Hope everyone had a good holiday!! I know I did. I also look forward to keeping this train rolling as long as I can. So  lets kick this off!

This sunday was the monthly Fast and Testimony Sacrament meeting. Each month, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint devote a sunday, usually the first sunday to a fast. There are many Reasons behind this, some use it to ponder out important decisions that may lie before them, or pray for guidance, or any other matter that may be apparent at the time. Nonetheless this time is a time of reflection.

Usually this fast will go from Saturday night after dinner, until Sunday evening, (dinner). Some Wards like the Singles Ward I attend have what they call a “Break-The-Fast” potluck, where the entire ward eats together right after church.

During Sacrament, instead of the weekly talks given by two members of the congregation, members are given the opportunity to stand at the pulpit and bear there testimonies. Seeing how there is no subjegated talk assigned, I will therefore bear my testimony…

I find myself looking back on the last 25 years. With a new year in front of me, I like to look back, and I think of all the crazy moments in my life where most likely I shouldn’t have survived, or made it out. I thinik about all my trials, and there’s only one thing I can do, and that’s give thanks to our Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ. I wouldn’t be here. I shouldn’t be here. I’m 25 years old, and I am blessed with a family that would do anything for one another, that’s fights together for one another! I’m blessed with a loving girlfriend, who’s supported me and been by my side for the last 5 years more than anyone outside my family. I’m blessed with friends that I know that I can go to for just about anything. I’m blessed with a job, that I probably didn’t qualify for when I started but due to the grace of God I was able to focus just enough to learn and progress.

I am so grateful and humbled by the influence and strength the Lord has given me in  my life. For that reason it is why I choose to share my testimony and spread the gospel using my God given gifts! I know this Gospel to be true, and I know my Heavenly Father loves me. I’m so grateful for all the blessings he has given me and still gives me each day. I know his son Jesus Christ died for our sins, and through the atonement we can be cleansed of our sins and the sins of this world. I am so grateful and filled with Joy, and I leave my testimony with you in the name of Jesus Christ’s name

Amen

 

What a Year it’s Been! Now Here’s a Look Back (and what’s in store)!

It’s honestly hard to believe that 2015 is upon us! I feel like it was just yesterday 2013  ended, and Jason and I were at Green Turtle eating massive burgers on New Years eve. But no doubt about it, shortly 2014 will be over and we will be looking into the eyes of 2015.

To be hoenst, 2014 didn’t begin as awesome as it ended! But nonetheless it’s more or less about the lessons we learn not the trials we dwell in. So lets look back at some top moments!!!

Travel– This year I discovered a love of travelling, probably covering more mileage than I have in my entire life. It started with a trip with 4 of my friends to Palmyra!wpid-img_46647089073029.jpeg Being able to see the Sacred Grove and walk where the prophet Joseph Smith walked was just amazing. The Spirit was so powerful in those sacred locations, and it was an amazing weekend vacation I’ll nevet forget.

I also had the opportunity to travel as far west as I’ve ever gone, and that was to another historical Church site, “Kirtland OH”. I was lucky enough to go with my girlfriend and two very good friends of mine. It was such a blessing to go on this trip, and inspirewpid-20140802_193415.jpgd me to visit every historical church site in the continental United states before 2020. With plans already in formation to Go to Nauvoo this spring, and possibly Salt Lake for General Conference, it seems like a very likely feat!

wpid-20140614_194708.jpgI also got to go into the heart of Nature with my brother this summer. Doing primitive camping in the mountains of Maryland!. And what would be any type of travel log then mentioning one of my favorite cities outside of Baltimore and Annapolis, my third home Philly! Definitely had my share of subs!

3 Years!- 2014 marked 3 years since my baptism. I don’t thinkwpid-img_20141030_101124.jpg it ever really feels like 3 years. It either feels like a million or like yesterday. Nonetheless I’m grateful for every moment since. I’m grateful for all the experiences I’ve had in the last three years. I’m so grateful for the friendships made and restored, the family stabilized and gained, and just an incredible part of me that was missing.

Adversity-  2014 in the early part of the year, I saw some painful and stressful trials. Things once planned did not go as planned, and moments that seemed impossible appeared. I learned a lot about myself and those I choose to associate with, and I learned through it all, family and friends and faith are key to making it through the strongest storms. I was in a bad place emotionally in the beginning of the year, but towards the middle part aroudn April Conference, a change began, and I was able to look beyond the situation and focus on what I truly wanted! I’m grateful for those trials, and I’m grateful for the life lessons learned.

Love sometimes is right in front of you- Funny enough, I was just talking to one ofwpid-img_20141203_111325.jpg my oldest Friends Matt about this Saturday night, when I told him that my girlfriend and I had been “officially dating” for the last 6 months. In reply he laughed and said, “I thought you guys wpid-img_43380778757253.jpegwould’ve dated about 2 years ago…” Funny enough to the outside world, that’s probably what it looked like, and deep down it’s probably what it actually was more or less. My girlfriend Colleen and I have been great friends wpid-img_20141127_233915.jpgso long. A little over 5 years now. We’ve been through a lot together, and have been there for each other through it all. I’m so happy and blessed for the past 5 years, but definitely the 6 months we’ve been dating! I’m very hopeful for the future 🙂

Family- I don’t know where I’d be without them. wpid-wp-1420043906787.jpegReaching a quarter century this year, made me really think about just how far I’ve come. Honestly I wouldn’t have been there without my family. So many times my parents have bailed me out of crazy situations that without them I’d be lost. wpid-img_20141206_213446.jpgI’m so grateful Heavenly Father chose my parents to raise me, and just the amazing example they’ve been in my life, showing me what true love looks like. I’m grateful for sisters, that even though we don’t see each other as much as I’d like, that we’re still there for each other and can help one another out in times of need.

Friends- I’ve learned at times that family isn’t always blood related. And that proved true this year. wpid-img_46767956763452.jpegSome friends have become like brothers to me, ones I know I can trust for sure, wpid-img_20141011_175559.jpgand I’ve also been blessed to make some new friends. 2014 showed me just who’s true and who isn’t. I’m grateful my circle which is slightly bigger, is wpid-img_20141015_110519.jpgcompiled of people I can trust and know support me.

School- Yes I’m still in school. Jeez and it feels like I’ve been here forever. But I think choosing to go to BYU Idaho (online) is probably going to be a good thign for me in 2015. ITT tech was good for a time, but its not for me, it doesn’t work for me anymore, and I can’t see myself spending anymore money there. So BYU-I it is! It’s not Provo, but heck I’ll take it lol.

My Art- To be honest not mentioning this would be a crime against myself. This year I finished the first Manuscript in my first professional book series! “Maniac” It’s now in Post-production, and I plan on releasing it via Kindle next year under my own writing group name “Max Literature Group”. It’s exciting! I’ve been writing for exactly 10 years and now have reached a point where I’m ready to make something of it. On top of that, I’ve created a new Blog (This one!) And I’m so happy I can share my testimony and thoughts to all of you, and the web. It’s very exciting!

MAx Literature Group (Mario, Colleen, and I()
MAx Literature Group (Mario, Colleen, and I()

The Road ahead….

If only I knew what 2015 would hold. I said at the end of 2013 that 2014 would be a big year, and this proved to be so true! I sit on the edge of 2014 trying to conciously think of what in the world is coming 2015, I have some goals and plans and ideas of what are to come, but honestly I’m just happy enjoying the ride for once! I’m so happy for all of you who have been there this year, and look forward to many more memories with you.

To my new friends who are readers of this blog, look forward to more to come! This ride isn’t over! It’s barely just begun!

So happy new years. See you guys in 2015…