Category Archives: Oregon

“Finding Joy in the Journey”

A good friend of mine, Carly Upton, brought this talk to my attention. It is exactly what I needed to hear right now. However, it is a good talk to watch or read anytime. It totally changed my perspective of life, and it reminds us of what is truly important in life. Take the time to read this talk or watch the video. It’s well worth your time.

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Cherishing Time

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As the time gets closer to my departure, I am coming to cherish the time I have with the people I love more and more. It’s easy to forget that time is precious, people are precious, and life is precious. I don’t mean to throw the word ‘precious’ around, either. I mean it in the traditional sense; “Of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly.” I have always felt love within my family and home, and I’ve always known how blessed I am to have this amazing family in my life, but I don’t think I have really, truly put it into perspective until now. They are so dear to me, as are the other friends and family in my life that I love. I have always believed that every single person we come across throughout our lives is put into our lives for a specific reason. The people who love you, those who annoy you, those who do favors for you, those who deceive you. Everyone has an impact on your life and makes you who you are. I know that my family has had such a positive impact on my life and I want to thank them for that.

As I am really cherishing the time I have with my family, I am also cherishing the time I have living in this beautiful city. Eugene is really beautiful. She has all of my favorite quirky, delicious restaurants. There are bike lanes and running paths everywhere. It is just so perfect. I’m going to have to adjust to not having these things around me that are so familiar to me. And even though I will be missing these things a lot, I know I will come to love Ecuador and the different forms of beauty she holds as well.

I am cherishing the luxuries I have in my life now too. Like simply being able to drink out of the faucet. In Ecuador I will have to filter or boil the water before I drink it, or just drink out of bottled water. Such a simple thing like that can still be a pretty big adjustment. For example; I have to make sure the water is clean before I put it on my toothbrush–I can’t just use faucet water like I do in my usual routine. This isn’t a huge deal, but it’s still something I will have to adjust to.

One more thing I’m cherishing right now is time itself. Time goes by fast. Really fast. We all know this!! But it is so much more evident to me now. There are only so many hours in a day and with this date getting closer and closer, running errands has been taking up my entire day! I never realized how fast time goes by when you’re busy. This makes me sad and happy. (Again, the very bittersweet feeling) I’m excited because if these 18 months go by fast, I will be seeing my loved ones again very soon! Which realistically, it is pretty soon. In the big picture, 18 months of my life is nothing. Then again, I know I will grow so close to the people, the culture, and the environment–I won’t want to leave! I know that my love for them will also grow with my love for this gospel and for Jesus Christ. It will probably be hard leaving Ecuador and going back to normal life. It will be so amazingly fun serving others and making others feel of Christ’s love for them. Not having to worry about myself or focus on myself will be nice too. So, I will also be cherishing the time I will have on my mission. I won’t ever get those 18 months back, so I am ready to give it my all and work as hard as I possibly can.

Okay, my venting is over now. I just really wanted to stress how crucial it is that we recognize how precious everything is around us. Everyone and everything in our lives. Take time to appreciate the people and the environment you live in. These passing days are days we will never get back. Cherish them.

The Power of the Holy Ghost

ImageRecently, I have made a really good friend named Krissi Brunoe. We have a lot in common and she knows exactly how to uplift me and show me how much the Savior loves me when I’m feeling down. Tonight I hung out with her and some other friends, and then I took her home. When we were sitting in her driveway, we were talking about really spiritual things and I felt the Holy Ghost so strongly. However, I was not aware that I was about to have the most spiritually uplifting moment of my life.

I started driving home and began to pray out loud. I thanked Heavenly Father for blessing me with Krissi in my life. And I told Him I knew that literally every single person I meet is placed in my life for a reason. I continued to thank him for the blessings and the help emotionally He has given me recently while preparing for my mission. I started bawling. Not just crying. Full out bawling. It’s late, it’s dark, and I honestly could barely see the road at all because of how much I was crying. I knew at that moment that He was keeping me safe on my way home. I could hardly see where I was going, but I know I didn’t pass a single car the whole way home. Not one. I believe He was keeping me from potentially getting in a car accident.

So as I am bawling, I am literally gasping for air. Praying with all the strength I have in me. Thanking Him over and over, telling Him all of my concerns and worries and problems. I felt His love so deep in my heart like I had never felt before. It felt as if it was just expanding in my heart and I felt the most peace I have ever felt before. Talking about my worries, about my future, about my fears, and about my mission normally gives me so much anxiety. I usually feel so uneasy and scared. But it felt as if every part of my body was at peace. Totally calm. My heart was full. I had never felt so much love and happiness and peace in my entire life. I can’t even put into words how I felt. The tears continued to roll down my cheeks which was crazy because I have never been so happy to the point where I cry this hard so it was a really amazing experience.

I continued to ask Him questions about my future, about my life, about what I should be doing. What He wants and needs me to do. I had the strongest feeling in my soul and this thought kept repeating in my head : “Everything will be okay. You need not worry about your future now. It will work out how it needs to. You will be happy. Your Heavenly Father loves you and He will guide you.”

I needed to hear these words of comfort more than anything at this moment. I have been having so many fears and questions and anxiety about leaving on this mission. But all of those worries and fears have totally vanished. Like I said before; I have never felt more at peace.

I know our Heavenly Father lives. He knows each and every one of us. He loves each and every one of us more than we can even comprehend. I know he is everready for us to pray to Him. He will guide us. He will bless us. He will comfort us. I testify of His love and know Him to be a living, loving, and eternal God.

I say these things in the name of His beloved son, Jesus Christ, amen.

“And it came to pass”

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I have been very stressed out and scared to serve a mission lately. I feel weak emotionally, and thnk this will be too hard for me to handle. The missionaries in my ward came over last night and I told one of the sisters my concerns and how scared I was. She said, “I’m going to give you some advice that has helped me through the rough times on my mission. In the scriptures, it repeatedly says “And it came to pass…” never “and it came to stay”. Whatever it is, it will pass and you will come out okay!”

This hit me so hard. She’s so right. No matter what trial we are going through at this time, it will eventually pass and we will be okay. It’s such a comfort to me that I can also go to my Heavenly Father in prayer and ask him to bless me with strength and comfort. I can beg him for help, tell him all my concerns, and He will help me. There is no doubt in my mind that He will.

Through every trial, there is always light present and that light will eventually take over and everything will be okay. I chose this picture to go with this post because I love how the sky is all foggy, but there is still that drop of sunlight peaking through. The smoke is from all the California fires and even though it is a reminder of sorrow or loss for some people, there is still that sun shining through as a symbol of hope. Eventually the sky does clear up and everything is okay.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Overcoming Fear

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I am sharing this experience because it was very eye-opening for me. I have been going on splits with the missionaries lately and running to uplifting music…and I’ve basically been on a spiritual high these past few weeks, and I think it must have been too much for satan to handle because now I feel like I’m at an all time low. I sang for sacrament meeting today and people complimented me afterwards but I still felt really down for some reason. And even though i LOVE going on splits, negative thoughts have been popping in my mind… Stupid, downer thoughts. It caused me to really start to question going on a mission and I became really scared. It has been the weirdest thing to experience this because so far, until today, I have been super gung-ho and animated about serving a mission! I haven’t experienced this part yet. I burst into tears crying to my parents, telling them how I felt, and it got to the point where I was hyperventilating. I just felt like there had been a total change in my heart and I hated it. My dad served a mission 20+years ago in peru, which is right next to Ecuador (where I’m going) so he shared some things that I may experience down there. It was so comforting, and he mentioned how you really do need to forget yourself on your mission. I have heard this SO frequently, and I’ve always thought “I am a very caring, loving person. I’m not self-centered or cocky…I’ll be fine.” But that’s NOT what it’s all about. It’s about forgetting that you miss family and friends…forgetting that your feet are sore from walking…forgetting that no one celebrated your birthday because no one knew when it was…forgetting that you’re tired…forgetting that you don’t know anyone…forgetting your pet peeves…forgetting your critical thoughts. I now know that this will be very trying, as everyone has said before, but I KNOW that we all have the strength to do this. I know that our Heavenly Father is there to comfort us, lead us, strengthen us, humble us…HE IS THERE. I am no longer fearing this mission thankfully, but I do know that when it is hard I CANNOT just give up. It is 18 months out of 80 or 90 years of my life. That’s all. So I need to put all I have into it because I will reflect on it for THE REST OF MY LIFE. I love this gospel and I know that we can overcome Satan’s awful negativity. I love reading through Moses and seeing how Moses puts him in his place. It shows how truly insignificant satan is compared to our beloved Heavenly Father. If you ever need to read something where satan is totally dissed…that’s the place to go!! I love this gospel and I know that every single one of us has the potential and the ability to save lives. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Miracles Still Happen.

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So my cousin Julia told me this story and I got chills. I have to share it because it is a true story and is proof that miracles REALLY DO still happen today. Here it is, in her words:

“So I went with the sisters in my ward to go contacting. We were walking through an apartment complex and came up to a kinda sketchy lookin dude with a whole bunch of tats fixing his car. He asked us if we had a screwdriver, and we randomly did!! (coincidence??? i think not…)
Anyways, he asked us what we were doing out there and we started to tell him and he stopped us and said he felt different when we were around. One of the sisters said that was the Spirit, and asked if he was religious. He said he was searching for something true to believe in. The sister then asked him to read a paragraph from the introduction of the Book of Mormon that talked about praying to find out if the book was true. He started reading and then just broke down in tears!! At first we thought he was really feeling the spirit (and he was…) but then he told us that HE CAN’T READ!!! He dropped out of school in 3rd grade and has never learned to read, but he understood EVERY WORD. Um… wow. I was blown away. I honestly know that the Church is true. If that isn’t an example of that, I don’t know what is 🙂 Totally pumped me up!!! :D”

I agree with her. I know this church is true. I know that God made it possible for that man to read in that moment, and I know that God is omnipotent and can create any miracle He wants. This is just one example of many that shows that miracles still happen today.

I don’t think that God would give miracles to the people in the new testament, and then totally disregard the rest of his children throughout history. I know that God is a loving God, a God who has love for every single person to walk this earth. And I know He wouldn’t leave us in the dark and take away the blessing of miracles for us.

I am so thankful that my cousin shared this with me and that she had the opportunity to witness a miracle. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.