Sunday, December 20, 2015

Endings are Beginnings

Sometimes lasts can be hard. I feel like I'm currently swimming in an ocean of lasts. I had my last day of the semester. I had my last conversation with my friends from my classes. I had my last day of living at college with my sister. I had my last final for a long time (not complaining)! A lot of these lasts aren't final, thank goodness, but they're lasts for what seems right now to be a LONG time. I'm about to have my last Christmas Eve at Grandma's for 18 months. I'm going to have my last Christmas with my family for 18 months. I'm about to say goodbye to my parents and siblings and nieces and nephews and friends. It all seems like a lot of endings to me.

But through the lens of faith I know that these endings are just the start of some fantastic beginnings! I'm going to say hello to so many new friends. I'm going to get a whole family of missionaries and Argentine people. I'm on my way to having tests of my faith and trials of my patience and stamina that will bring me much closer to God than any final for a class would. I'm always going to have my sister, whether we live together again or not. I'm going to learn Spanish. I'm going to live in a foreign country. I'm going to be more frustrated and down trodden than I have ever been, and I'm going to feel higher and closer to the Lord than I have ever been as well.

So really, all these endings are just leading to some great beginnings that will open more doors in my life than I can possibly imagine. I'm nervous and so excited for everything to come. I know the Lord answers prayers and that He answered my prayers by calling me on a mission. I'm excited to do the Lord's work and pray that I can do it the way that He wants me to.

Photo Credit: Michelle Photo & Design

Monday, November 23, 2015

Just My Life

Ya know, lately I've only been posting when I had something I really wanted to say. Today I just want to post what I've been up to lately.

 Football and Cousin Time

 All of our Birthday's! We were all born on the 26th of a different month and October 26th was the last 26 we'd be together for... so we went out to dinner!

 Some sweet new nike's for running... So far mostly used for lifting and life.

 Halloween!! Biker Chick and Rosie!

 An EPIC Harry Potter party thrown by Rach and Eden! 
(Left to Right: Oliver Wood, Molly Weasley, Helga Hufflepuff, Godric Griffindor, Sybill Trelawney)

 A MUCH needed weekend with my sisters and parents! 

 Hunger Games! It was pretty dang good!

 Hangin' out with Taffy and her kids!

And brushing up on my artistic coloring skills!

Happy Thanksgiving Break Folks! 

Friday, November 6, 2015

What I Needed First


     If you have known me well for a while, you know that I said, "I'm never gonna go on a mission." Well, I obviously was wrong. I am going on to the Argentina, Buenos Aires East mission on December 30, 2015! I am a mix of emotions from excited to nervous to sad and everything in between. When I made the decision to go, about a month and a half ago, I immediately got started on my papers. I knew that once I had my answer I needed to act fast.
     Since that decision was made, I've thought, why now? Why couldn't I have gone when all my friends went? Why couldn't I have served before I was "old"? I was talking to my cousin Mary about that and she said, "Well, why are you ready now?" That got me thinking and I realized that I wasn't ready to serve 2 years ago. I needed these last 2 years. I needed to learn so many things and have a lot of experiences before I could go and serve.
     First off, I needed to be fully recovered from knee surgery. If I had gone at 19, I would have been sore a lot from walking and riding a bike and I would have been nervous to do a lot of things. I don't have that limitation any more.
     I needed to live in Alaska. I needed to live away from my home and what was my comfort zone. I needed to learn how to improve relationships with people I didn't know super well. I needed to have time with my grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles. Also, during my summer in Alaska, my testimony about the Prophet grew so much and found a deep root within me. I will need that testimony forever. Because I got that testimony, I'll be a better missionary.

     I needed to watch Olivia go to Peru and realize that I could be an individual. I grew a lot as my own person without her. I'm not saying we're better when we're apart, because that's not true. We improve while we're apart, but we're pretty dang good together. I also needed to live with Olivia in a college setting and get out of the "little sister" stage.

     I needed my roommates. Roommates are a good way to learn how to live with a companion I suppose. I have been blessed with some AWESOME roommates! When I had my interview with the Stake President he asked me how my experience with getting along with roommates has been and I could honestly say it has been fantastic!

     I needed to learn how I receive answers from the Lord. I had some experiences where I had to pray fervently and learn to listen. Without this practice, I may have missed the answer to my prayer to serve a mission.
     I needed another summer living with my parents. I got in a lot of family time and strengthened a lot of my siblingships this summer. We had so much fun with family reunions and half marathons and rafting the river and just spending time together as family.

     I needed to work at Weed and Pest because I needed to learn to go to bed on time. Another wonderful things about Weed and Pest was working with Coach Linford. He's been such a help and example for me. I'm kicking myself now that I didn't ask for Spanish lessons every day! But we had a lot of Gospel lessons. We hit on a lot of topics of the Gospel and he really helped my testimony grow. I didn't really expect my testimony to grow riding in a ranger behind Raymond  Mountain in the cold mornings while trying to get control of the never ending thistle, but as we shared our testimonies with each other, my testimony grew so much.
     Finally, I needed to feel like it was my decision. There was a lot of pressure for me to serve as a 19 year old and I didn't go just because "everyone else was doing it."
     I feel like I've grown closer to the Lord and experienced these things so that I could be more prepared to go to Argentina and serve how the Lord needs me to. I know these experiences will be for my benefit as I serve. I made this decision with the Lord and I know it's what I'm supposed to do.

   Argentina--here I come!! 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Don't Forget His Message

    Last week I held my breath as our beloved Prophet struggled to finish his address in the General Conference for our church. I was worried about him. I, along with everyone, wished I could hold him up. I wanted to help him. I was sad that he may be leaving us soon. And with all of this worry and speculation about his health, I forgot to listen to what he had to say. I didn't hear his message because I was so concerned for him.
    This week I saw a lot of posts and participated in a lot of conversations discussing his health. There were posts of what was going on behind the scenes: how President Uchtdorf was right there as soon as he finished his message. However, I haven't read any posts about his message and that makes me sad. A friend pointed this out to me and it really hit me.
    Instead of talking about his health, we need to remember his message (President Monson's Address). We need to always strive to be a light to the world. We need to use clean language. Speaking kindly and uplifting others will never make us feel bad. We need to serve others and do things that will help lift other's spirits. He said we need to "strive to have in our lives kindness, gratitude, forgiveness, and goodwill." We need to always have the undeniable light of Christ in our eyes. We must have faith: faith in our Lord and Savior, faith in the prophet, faith that our lives will workout. We have to treat our bodies right. They are special gifts from God. He taught us that the world is moving farther and farther from Heavenly Father's ideal and that we must stay close to our Father. We've got to be different from the world. Even when it seems hard to do these things, we have to try. We have to give our best effort every single day to stay close to the Lord. We have to grip tightly to the iron rod. He finished his message with a poem that sums up how we should live our lives:

I met a stranger in the night
Whose lamp had ceased to shine.
I paused and let him light
His lamp from mine.

A tempest sprang up later on
And shook the world about.
And when the wind was gone
My lamp was out!

But back to me the stranger came--
His lamp was glowing fine!
He held the precious flame
And lighted mine! 

    Yes, we can acknowledge that President Monson looks a little sick. We can be applauded for our desire to serve him as he struggled. But we need to sustain him by remembering what he had to say. He stood there weak but determined to finish his message because his message is of such importance. For all of us he finished instead of giving up because what he had to say were the words of the Lord for all of us today. Don't forget his message. 
    I wanted lastly to testify that when we stand with the prophet, President Monson, we stand with God. And when we stand with God we are on the winning side. When we stand with Heavenly Father we will become the heavenly beings that He knows we can become. We will not be led from our Father when we stand with the Prophets of His church. We have to stand with them. We have to sustain and support them and by doing so, we're showing our Father that we stand with Him. I know we're led by a living Prophet. I know that Heavenly Father is mindful of us and that is why He sends His words to us through His servants. I testify these things are true in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

If We All Were a Little More Like Her

We all have good role models. Some of us are lucky to have multiple role models. I'm fortunate to be one of the lucky ones who has many people viewing me as a model... haha. Just kidding. I'm lucky because I have a lot of wonderful people I can look up to. I'll name a few:

  1. My Mother
  2. My Father
  3. My Sisters
  4. My Brothers
  5. The Prophets and Apostles of God
  6. My Roommates 
  7. My Teachers
...and the list goes on. But there's one in particular that's not on this list that I have been looking up to a lot lately. Her name is Anne Shirley. Anne is a young girl, about 10 or so. Her young life was spent as an orphan until she got adopted by Matthew and his Old Maid Sister Marilla. Her best bosom friend in the whole wide world is Diana Barry. She's got beautiful bright red hair and freckles. 

She can imagine anything, anywhere, whenever. Anne's smart--she's the top in her class. She is mostly obedient and she's extremely loyal. Anne likes to have a good time and having her around always seems to stir the pot just a little. She can make you smile when you're not expecting it. She says the most hilarious things! Anne is one of my role models. She's said a lot of things that have inspired me to do better. Here are some of my favorite Anne Shirley quotes:

"What a splendid day! Isn't it good just to be alive on a day like this? I pity the people who aren't born yet for missing it. They may have good days, of course, but they can never have this one. And it's splendider still to have such a lovely way to go to school by, isn't it?"

This is how I feel when I think about Olivia sometimes: "I love Diana so, Marilla. I cannot ever live without her. But I know very well when we grow up that Diana will get married and go away and leave me. And oh, what shall I do? I hate her husband--I just hate him furiously. I've been imagining it all out--the wedding and everything--Diana dressed in snowy garments, with a veil, and looking as beautiful and regal as a queen; and me the bridesmaid, with a lovely dress too, and puffed sleeves, but with a breaking heart hid beneath my smiling face. And then bidding Diana goodbye-e-e--."

When Anne got a dress with "puffed sleeves" for Christmas: "I don't see how I'm going to eat breakfast. Breakfast seems so commonplace at such an exciting moment. I'd rather feast my eyes on that dress. It's at times like this I'm sorry I'm not a model little girl; and I always resolve that I will be in the future."

"Oh, Marilla! I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn't it? Look at these maple branches. Don't they give you a thrill--several thrills?"

The thing I like most about Anne is how she can love people and love life so deeply. She has a knack for seeing God's creations how we all should see them. If I could go through my life seeing things and people as Anne does, I think I'd be one step closer to becoming like my Heavenly Father. He created all things for us to find joy in, for us to notice and love. He is the Father of all the people on earth. He loves them like Fathers do and more. And that's what Anne does. She's amazing and I hope I can grow up to be more like her.  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Love MY Sister-in-Law :)

You guys!! Check out my new blog design!!

Obviously, if you're reading this, you can see it.. But did you know that my
sister-in-law Michelle did it for me?!?!

She's the best. If I didn't have two sister in laws, I'd say she's my favorite!! ;)

Pretty much, I love her.  && I LOVE my "new" blog.
That about sums it up.

THANKS MICHELLE!!! You're the bestest EVER!! :)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Behind Social Media

Olivia and I have a lot of fun. It seems like all we do is have fun! At least that's what everyone sees and comments on. People say to us a lot, do you do anything but play? And the answer is yes. Playing is actually a fairly small part of our lives. We do a lot of things, but things that nobody really cares to see. Here are some of the things that we do, that we don't show on social media.

   Both are enrolled in 16 credit hours of school.
   Read, Study and do Homework for all 16 credits.
   Work about 16 hours a week.
   Wake up every morning at 5:50 to work-out.
   Wake up at 5:20 every Thursday to go to the Temple.
   Donate Plasma twice a week.
   Are on 3-4 intramural teams.
   Go to bed between 10:00 and 10:30 every school night.
   Grocery shop and cook meals together.
   Do laundry.
   Work all summer to pay for our own school.
   Apply for scholarships year after year to help pay for our education.
   Sometimes feel like we can't do it.
   Almost crack somedays.
   Read our scriptures every morning before school/work.
   Attend FHE each week.
   Make our beds every day.

And we play. We work so we can play. We get everything that has to get done, done before we play. We balance our lives so that we can play without feeling guilty. We like to show people the fun things that we do, because the rest of this is kind of boring to everyone else. To us it's real life and we are doing it and enjoying it. Playing is how we reward ourselves for the many hours of hard work and dedication that we put in every day to becoming better people. And playing makes us better people as well. So the next time you see a picture of us and think, Do they ever do anything but play? The answer is yes, but we make time and means to do the fun stuff too.