Sunday, April 28, 2013

I Love the Pioneers

Today the power went off about 3 minutes after I started cooking dinner. Great, huh?  As we had to adjust plans to cook our food and prepare for the possibility of an evening without lights, I started thinking about the pioneers, and was again reminded of my gratitude for their sacrifice.

They left all that they had come to know and love.  They suffered long months of death, pain, heat, freezing cold, crossing rivers, small food rations, Indians, wolves, and so much more.  They had to have a ton of faith to put themselves through that suffering.  In addition to these, the pioneers did not have electricity, telephones, heaters, microwaves, toasters, ovens, televisions, phones, tablets, iPods, or computers.

I could never begin to imagine what exactly the pioneers went through, but this past November I was able to go on a state Youth Pioneer Trek. It was the absolute best experience of my life and changed me forever.  I can't go into too much detail because words cannot do the experience justice. The Spirit I felt the entire time was amazing.  We crossed a few creeks/rivers, ate more Bisquick than I had eaten in the rest of my life combined, slept under tarps, told stories around the campfire, laid under the stars, had a very humble sacrament meeting on blankets on the hillside, were delivered letters from our parents through the "Pony Express", sang songs while we pushed and pulled and pushed and pulled, and in all had an unbelievable time. It really is something you have to experience for yourself.

My heart will always be grateful for the pioneers, especially those women and children who were left to take the journey without their husbands/fathers.  Their sacrifices never cease to amaze me.  There was a song played at the Nashville Tribute Band concert last night that fits with this perfectly.  It is called One Who Understands, and although it is written about the pioneers, it can be true for all of us.  There is always One who understands exactly what we are going through and that is our Savior, Jesus Christ.  I love Him with all of my heart.

He Walked a Mile in My Shoes

Yesterday we went to a Nashville Tribute Band concert in Franklin, Tennessee.  For anyone who does not know who this band is, look them up now! They are so, so, so good! Individually they all have professional music careers, but together they form one awesome LDS country group. NTB has three CD's released currently, paying tribute to Joseph Smith, the pioneers, and Missionaries.


The concert was absolutely amazing! The Spirit that was present was undeniable and incredible. What's so wonderful about this music is that it is totally clean, well written, great music that teaches truths of the gospel.  There is not a song on any of these albums that I do not like. (Here is one of my favorites)

In today's world, it is so nice to know that there are still some things that are "virtuous, lovely, or of good report". With so much language and suggestive material in a lot of the popular music, it is a relief to find wholesome music that I can enjoy.

So, even if you don't like country music, you should definitely look these guys up.  You will feel an amazing spirit, and I bet you will love it!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

In the Service of Your God

Today we had a stake day of service, pulling weeds at a local cave. To make it even more of an adventure, it was raining. A TON. We spent several hours on the side of a cliff, tearing out weeds, drenched in mud. A few times we almost slipped down in a mudslide, but thankfully we were always there to lift each other up. Today I was muddier than I have ever been in my whole life.  (This picture was AFTER I cleaned off to get in the car, if that says anything)


So, I could have spent the day relaxing at home, but instead I chose to get covered in mud.  Being a person who doesn't usually like to get dirty, this doesn't make much sense.  But this scripture sums it up quite perfectly.

Mosiah 2: 17 ~ "And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom;  that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."

 I love God and want to serve Him in any way that I can. By serving others, I am serving Him.  It doesn't matter how dirty I get in the process. I love Him with all my heart.

And just like the young men in my ward were there to lift me up slick patches on the hill, when I serve others, Christ will always be there to lift me to safe, higher ground.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Through His Eyes

Yesterday I was babysitting for a family with three little boys and a baby girl. The kids were really good for me, but, being little boys, of course had their moments.  One kid decided to continuously turn up the volume of the movie really loud, while another tried to eat everything he could get his hands on.  It was after the kids had camped out in the living room after Friday movie night that I started to put things in perspective.

1. We all make mistakes.
Yes, it is frustrating when a child doesn't immediately do what you ask, but don't we do the same thing? Our Heavenly Father gives us commandments but we are not perfect.  In fact, sometimes it takes us a long time before we do what we know is right. I think Jeffrey R. Holland summed it up perfectly.


2. Being a mother is a ton of work, but so worth it.
 I will never truly know until I become a mother myself, but from my experience babysitting multiple families over the years, I have started to pick up on what a parent goes through for their child. Each time I care for children, I gain a deeper gratitude for my mom and the endless hours she has spent raising me, making my dinner, doing my laundry, driving my everywhere, buying me clothes, signing papers,etc. The list could go on forever.  Even though being a mother is such a huge responsibility, I know it will be such a blessing to me. I saw this quote on Pinterest the other day and wanted to share it because it works so perfectly.

3.  Our Heavenly LOVES us, despite those mistakes that we make.
 As I put a blanket on top of each child and watched them slowly drift to sleep, I thought about how much my Heavenly Father truly loves me. No, they weren't my kids and I have no comprehension of the love a parent must feel for their own child. I do know, that no matter what I do, He will always be there for me.  And because Christ loves me with a perfect love, I can repent and return back to live with them again.  

So, to all the mothers out there.. Please don't ever feel that you are not enough because in the eyes of your child you are SuperMom.

And to everyone out there.. Know that you are loved with a pure and perfect love. Nothing you could do can ever take that away.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pray for Boston

My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who have been impacted in any way by the events that took place in Boston yesterday.  To the victims and families, it is my prayer that you may feel God's love for you at this time and always. I know that those who passed on yesterday are now in his watchful care in a place of peace and happiness, and it is my hope that you may come to this knowledge as well.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Gettin' Up Early In the Mornin'

Here is my typical morning routine:

4:45 - Alarm clock goes off.....SNOOZE.
4:55 - Alarm clock goes off again...SNOOZE.
5:05 - Alarm clock goes off one last time, and (usually) I start to come to terms with the fact that it is morning and I will  to get up.
5:07 - Morning prayer
5:10 - Begin getting ready for the day (Straighten/braid my hair, choose an outfit, etc.)
5:40 - Breakfast
5:50 - Leave the house for Seminary

So, at this point I am all ready for school and pulling out of the driveway for the church while most of my friends are probably just now waking up. You may be asking yourself why I would do this when I could allow myself another hour of well-needed sleep. Sometimes, I ask myself the same thing. So, to clear up the situation for all of us, I've made a list.

The TOP 10 Reasons I Go To Seminary :)

10.I don't have to ride the bus.

(And if that's not reason enough, here are 9 more)

9. Food Fridays (Yum!)
8. Playing Scripture Mastery Games with Fly Swatters
7. Random Hilarious Comments
6. Being mostly awake by the time I get to school because I have been awake for 2.5 hours already
5. Laughing at Cheesy Scripture Mastery Songs
4. Hanging out with some awesome friends that share 
the same values.
3. Learning from the coolest teachers on the planet 
(The Fedors are amazing!)
2. Being able to quote 25 New Testament Scriptures from memory (eventually 100 total scriptures)
1. Having a spiritually uplifting beginning to my day that puts me in an amazing attitude and helps me to feel closer to my Heavenly Father throughout the day.

What more could I ask for? Yes, I love my sleep, but early-morning Seminary is one of my greatest blessings ever! :)

Oh, and watch this video to see what our living prophet thinks about seminary! (It's pretty cool :)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Hope of God's Light

So, this past weekend, my church had our semi-annual General Conference, where we get to hear AMAZING inspired talks from our leaders. These talks can be applicable to everyone, however, because the gospel of Jesus Christ is a message of hope, peace, and love: something we all could use a little more of in this tribulant world.

If you want to learn more or read/watch some of the these talks for yourself, check out the following link:

One of my favorite talks that I would like to share some thoughts on with you was Dieter F. Uchtdorf's "The Hope of God's Light"

President Uchtdorf talks about the darkness that exists in the world, and how sometimes we feel like we are enveloped in it.  However, God's light will always shine through and overcome the darkness. It gives us a hope and a strength to overcome the evils around us. 

He discusses that to open our eyes to the hope of God's light, we must:

1. Start where we are.
2. Turn our hearts toward the Lord.
3. Walk in the Light.

As a teenager in today's society, it is not hard to tell that there are temptations in this world. Daily I see and hear things that are immoral and go against my standards of belief.  While it could be easy to go into a state of despair and lose hope for a brighter future, I know that cleaving to the light of Christ is the only way to be eternally happy. I know that His light will prevail.

 As Pres. Uchtdorf said, "Yes, from time to time our lives may seem to be touched by, or even wrapped in, darkness. Sometimes the night that surrounds us will appear oppressive, disheartening, and frightening.  My heart grieves for the many sorrows some of you face, for the painful loneliness and wearisome fears you may be experiencing. Nevertheless, I bear witness that our living hope is in Christ Jesus! He is the true, pure, and powerful entrance to divine enlightenment. I testify that with Christ, darkness cannot succeed. Darkness will not gain victory over the light of Christ. I bear witness that darkness cannot stand before the brilliant light of the Son of the living God!"

 Isn't that a wonderful message of hope and peace? I think it is!