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“Connect,” New Era, August 2020, 40–41


Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Scripture study

Photograph by Michael Morris

Until recently, football, school, and church had always been things that I dealt with separately and tried to balance. After the football season, we were having player meetings with my football coach. He talked to me about leadership and how I could be a better leader. He said something interesting I never expected.

He said, “So I know you’re planning on serving a mission. You’re religious, and you’re OK with talking about God. I want you to talk about God with the other players. That’s why I coach—to draw people closer to God. I want to see people’s lives change. I think you’re one of the best players on the team to do this. When you have a chance, why don’t you talk to someone about God? Some people may reject it, but it may change someone’s life. You never know.”

I had never really connected sports and school and religion. But this conversation connected them for me and got me excited and more ready to share the gospel with others. It allowed me to realize that you can be the same person in football and school and at early-morning seminary in someone’s home and still be successful. Now that I’ve connected them it has made things easier.

This has helped me prepare for a mission. I’m getting more used to talking to people about God, sharing the gospel, and bearing my testimony.

Joseph S., 17, Louisiana, USA

Face Painting

One of the talents Heavenly Father has blessed me with is artistic gifts. Most recently I have been learning how to face-paint. This talent has allowed me to bless the lives of others by cheering people up when they are down and by making someone’s day with a fun character or design. I know that through our talents, the Lord allows us to bless the lives of others.

Aliese W., 19, Arizona, USA

Philippines: Youth

I enjoy spending time with the people dearest to my heart, like my family and friends. I also like to do Wushu, a traditional Chinese martial art.

I feel God’s love whenever I realize how blessed I am to have a family and loving friends who are there when I need them. At times when I feel sad and lonely, I realize that someone loves me for who I am and what I can become. I know that God’s love is always there for us.

Alvin P., 15, Philippines