Saturday, December 21, 2013

One by One

 


Last year during this time I was traveling back to CT from Salt Lake City. Here I was sitting in the Salt Lake City airport awaiting my oh-so-great red eye flight. As I looked around I could feel the stress on everyone's face. Every one was anxious to get home to their families (including myself). My flight had been delayed once again, but I tried not to let it get to me. As I boarded the plane I rushed into my window seat, plopped my pillow, put on my seat belt and just before I was going to fall asleep a lady tapped my shoulder. She asked if I could switch seats with her so she could sit with her husband. I immediately said yes, not thinking that her seat was all the way in the back of the plane. Thinking about this experience I realized that Heavenly Father had prompted me to forget myself and just help that "one". She said "thank you" and smiled. 

Even though we only have a couple days before Christmas I would invite all of you to step back for a second and reach out to just "one". I know that Christmas craziness can sometimes feel inevitable, but if you look to the Lord for guidance I promise he will lead you to someone that you can serve. It may be something as simple as holding the door, smiling, or letting someone ahead of you in line. Whatever you do, if you do it with love those around you will feel the same love the Savior had when we came down to earth. 

"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." Mosiah 2:17



READY, SET, GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

God's timing

"Humility is willingness to submit to the will of the Lord and give the Lord the honor for what is accomplished"

When I was applying to go to college I applied to 8 different schools, two of which were BYU and BYU-I. It wasn't until I had submitted all my 8 applications that I realized that I really wanted to go to BYU. I felt that I had received an answer to my prayers, but I tried not to get used to the idea because I was still waiting for the oh-so-notorious-acceptance letter. I talked to a bunch of people and every one told me "oh you'll definitely get in". My guidance counselor at the time made it one of my "target schools". I got more and more used to idea and so here I was picturing the next 4 years of my life in Utah. Every one was putting up where they were going to go to college on Facebook and some of my church friends had received their acceptance. I fearfully and excitingly logged on to my computer and there it was DENIED. Now, it wasn't those exact words but I felt like they were. I honestly don't even remember reading the whole letter through. I just ran to my room and began to cry. I was annoyed, frustrated, but mostly disappointed. The next couple of weeks didn't get easier. I had gotten an acceptance to BYU-I, but ignored it because there was NO WAY that I was going to be moving to Idaho. Plus it was the "easy" school. I spent a lot of time on my knees the next couple of weeks.Finally I came to a conclusion that I needed to go to BYU-I. I wasn't 100 % sure why but I knew that I had to go. I knew that going to a church based school would do me a whole lot better than going to a school where I would have to fight a lot harder for what I believed in. I slowly started to warm up to the idea and I even got a little excited for it. A lot of things happened after I made that decision. I moved across the country, made a ton of new friends, but most importantly my testimony grew. The temple was about 5 minutes from my apartment, life was pretty great. Now what does this have to do with humility? Looking back at this whole experience I realize now that God already knew exactly what he had planned for me.It was hard for me to understand that plan at the time, but he knew that I was going to be happy at the end. Moving to Idaho was one of the best decisions I  have ever made. As my testimony grew I knew I had to serve a mission. When the age changed I battled with myself if I should go, but like always heavenly father made it happen. This happens a lot in our lives. Elder Maxwell said, "The issue for us is trusting God enough to trust also His timing." Sometimes that takes some humility because although we accept our change of plans we may not always see the Lord's hand throughout it all. I know that the Lord knows exactly where I need to be.  
And for right now it is in North Carolina :)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Faith is the power to act

"The future is as bright as your faith”
-Thomas S. Monson

When I say Greenwich is a "small" town I don't really mean it was a small town, but compared to many of the cities around me Greenwich, where I spent most of my life was a SMALL town. One of the things I loved about living in small town was that you got to know people pretty fast. We had one high school so you were bound to end up in the same place. That sometimes had its downsides, but it taught me a lot of things. Growing up I had a couple of good friends that I would consider like family. We all lived down the street from each other and did just about everything with each other. When I was preparing to go on my mission. My friends had a lot of questions about what I was going to do for the next 18 months of my life. Since most of them were not members of the church it was a foreign idea that I would just pick up my things and go. 

I remember one day my friend and I went out on a walk. We attempted to go on a "run" but those always failed because we just ended up talking the whole time. One of the other things that I love the most about where I grew up was how close I was to the water. It was definitely not the Mediterranean Sea or anything, but it worked. We walked to the docks and sat down and continued to talk. We talked about how long and short 18 months was going to be. What was going to happen? As time goes by we tend to ask ourselves that question a lot. Where am I going to be in a year from now? Where am I going to be 5 years from now? Who am I still going to be friends with? What job will I have? What kind of trials will I go through? 

I love President Monson's simple phrase “your future is as bright as your faith" It reminds me that although looking ahead is a good thing that there really is no other way of knowing until I act. It wasn't doing any good talking about what the next 18 months of my life until I actually did something. I had all the control in the world. Of course God already had a plan for me, but I ultimately had to choose my own path. I think in life we tend to wait for the big moments to change or to act. We wait until the last minute to plan or we wait on other people to make decisions for us. One of the biggest things I have been working on being on my mission is having more faith. When I have faith I tend to look at the bigger picture. My outlook expands when I gain more faith and I don't wait and dream what will happen, but I trust the Lord and make things happen. I know that God lives and that he has this amazing plan for us on earth. I know that when we act on that faith we gain more of a glimpse on our specific plan of earth. Do your part and God will do his :)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The simplicity of God's creations


I am an East Coast girl . Although I kicked and screamed when I realized I was going to the middle of no where (Rexburg, Idaho) I knew that it is where I needed to be. One of the things I quickly learned to love about Idaho were the sunsets. One of my favorite things to do was, running to the Rexburg temple at night and being able to see the sunset on my run back. I always stopped and looked how the sun settled on the temple. There was always a peaceful feeling that came from watching the sun go down. It reminded me that God lives and that he is in charge of everything on this earth. It reminded me to slow down and enjoy the beauty on the earth. It reminded me how blessed I was to have a temple so close to my apartment. It reminded me exactly why I was there and why I need to be in Idaho at the time. There have been many instances in my life where simple things in nature have reminded me to stop for a minute, stand back and enjoy the moment. I think we often get caught up in blessings we want to receive, but don't enjoy the day to day blessings we already have. May we all stop and enjoy the simple things in life!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Once upon a rock..



I'd never gone REAL rocking climbing. Sure I had been to a rock wall or two, but that's not exactly the same. My roommate had to fulfill one of the requirements for one of her classes so I decided to join her. On our way to the canyon I realized how inadequate I was. Every one in the car was talking about the other times they had been rocking climbing and I just stared at my roommate. " What did I get into?" I thought. After most people had gone up one of the instructors that came with us said if I was ready to give it a try. My roommate was going to belay me and although I trusted her I was still scared. I think she could see that I was a bit frightened so she asked, "do you trust me?" I quickly replied " Uh..yeah" So off I went. I did trust her, but I didn't really trust myself. What if I stepped on the wrong rock? What if the anchor would come loose? What if the rope just broke? Every bad thing that could happen was going through my brain. On the other hand I was ready for the challenge or else I wouldn't have came. I took a deep breathe in and up I went. My roommate and instructor started telling me which rocks I should step on and where I should put my hands. It became easier as I could feel where I was going. Looking back at this experience I learned a lot of different things. I learned that although I may not always know what I am doing or where I am going if I put my trust in the Lord he will guide me exactly where I need to go. The Lord has put different people in our lives like family and friends to help guide us through this journey. We may not know everything, but if we are up to the challenge and take things as they come 

The Lord will never leave our side...



Friday, October 4, 2013

Slow down ...

I'm the kind of person that constantly needs to be doing something because as soon as I have "down time" I loose motivation to do things. Coming home after my first semester of college was hard. I was used to going from one place to another and constantly being busy. Above the rest, I think I missed most having people who had the same standards as me. Growing up I didn't have many friends who were members of the church. I had a good group of friends that respected my beliefs, but it wasn't exactly the same. These group of friends have taught me a lot throughout the years. They made me want to be a strong member of the church because they knew it was something that was important to me therefore, I never wanted to give them the wrong idea about what it means to be a member of the church. Coming on a mission and serving the Lord has been the best decision I've made so far. I can't imagine doing something different with my time right now and every day I learn just exactly where I am here. There is so much that needs to be done on a day to day bases of mission life. Even though at times we're not exactly sure what the day will brings us, it is always rewarding to know that whoever we taught or talked to that day brought them a little closer to our Savoir. Tomorrow and Sunday we get that opportunity to slow down a little bit and hear the prophet speak! So take that time from all the craziness of your day to listen to what the prophet and apostles have to say to us. I promise that there will be something for each of you.


These are some pictures of General Conference last Fall :)

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 :)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I love to see the temple


I love the Manhattan Temple! There's something about going into the crazy city of New York and being able to enter the temple, and it instantly becoming silent. It amazes me every time. The Manhattan temple is unique. It's unlike many of the other temples. Growing up my dad was not always a member. Although I knew he knew the church was true I knew that he had to make that decision on this own. I think being an example to him helped him with his decision to get baptized, along with all the many patient missionaries that came in and out of my house. He was already great, but I knew the Gospel would change him in a different way. I remember being sealed in the Manhattan Temple with my family for time and all eternity. I didn't understand at that moment really what was going on, but I knew that I was going to be with my family forever and that's all that mattered. I remember going as a family to do baptisms or going with our youth group. There was such a peace there.When I was at BYU-I we did baptisms as a ward at the Idaho Falls Temple. After we were done, we sat in the chapel and our Bishop talked to us for a bit. Something he said has always stood out to me. He said that "many times when we leave the temple and refer to the world as "reality" but really when we enter the temple we are in reality. Nothing is more real then being able to be in the house of The Lord.


 



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

L . O . V . E .

"Think of the purest, most all-consuming love you can imagine. Now multiply that love by an infinite amount -- that is the measure of God's love for you." -- Dieter F. Uchtdorf


One of the talks I enjoyed in today's church meeting is God's love for us. Our Heavenly Father is mindful of each one of us because he loves all his children. We all require different things, but the love that God has for his children is all the same. I am a big believer on "things happen for a reason." I try not to look too deeply in to things, but I have always found that God has placed me in a certain place at a certain time for a reason. We may not realize it at the time, but God is mindful of each one of us, therefore he puts different people in our paths. Whenever my plans change I feel of my Heavenly Father's love because its almost like a warning that I should be doing something different.I try not argue with it, even though there have been times where I've asked "why do I have to do this?" In the long run I've learned to trust that feeling.   

Saturday, September 21, 2013

    With General Conference coming up in 2 weeks I can't help but be excited for whats to come. Growing up, my family would dress up for conference and go to our chapel to watch it. We got way too distracted being in my house so going to church made us all focus. During my first year at BYU-I I got to go to a General Conference session for the first time! It was a pretty BIG deal since I had never been to one. We went to the Sunday morning session and got to our seats extra early because we wanted to sit as close as we could. I remember when President. Monson came out followed by the 12 apostles, it was all surreal to me. Before conference started I sat down thinking of how many people were gathered at their meeting houses or homes to watch/hear General Conference all around the world. I also thought about people who traveled thousands of miles just to be in the same room as the prophet. I had only drove 3 1/2 hours from Idaho. It made me grateful for the opportunity to be in the same room as these men. President Monson gave a talk on temples. I don't remember everything that was said that day, but looking back at some of the talks I realize now what really inspired me to start attending the temple more. Going to the temple has to be one of the best things. There is a certain peace there that can be felt no where else. 
   Just a year ago, President. Monson came out with the announcement of the age change for missionaries. I didn't know then that I would be serving a mission, but I know Heavenly Father did, and that he had been preparing me long before. So much has happened since that announcement and it has been amazing to see the response. I am so grateful to be part of this change and to see the Lord's work hastening. I love sharing the gospel because I love to see the change it can bring into someone's life. There is no greater feeling than to see someone else allow Christ in their life and see the difference it makes. 
      

Needless to say, I like General Conference a lot.

Prayer


"Lift up your hearts and be glad, for I am in your midst, and am your advocate with the Father; and it is his good will to give you the kingdom.
And, as it is written—Whatsoever ye shall ask in faith, being united in prayer according to my command, ye shall receive." -Doctrine and Covenants 29:5-6.
I think sometimes we get too casual with our prayers. We forget that our prayers are direct communication with our Heavenly Father. He wants to hear from us and if we have faith, we will receive those answers we are looking for. I know that when we have a willing heart to learn and grow we will grow closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ I know that because I have seen in it throughout my life. Life is too short, pray hard!




Saturday, September 14, 2013

I can do hard things

"Come What May, and Love it".
video 

One of the things I learned really fast on my mission was that attitude is everything. If you have a positive outlook on things then you are a happier missionary. Now, this concept does not only apply while on a mission, but it applies throughout our lives. There are times in our lives that are harder than others, however whatever the situation may be we can always learn from it. I've been out on my mission a little over a month now and it is amazing to see how often I have to apply this principle. In this video, Elder. Wirthlin teaches us a smart phrase, "Come What May, and Love it". When we are going through a trail we are often quick to blame others and even sometimes blame God. When we are faced with a less desirable moment Elder.Withlin suggests these four things: First, learn to laugh. As we go about our days find opportunities to laugh at the situation, rather than get mad. We cannot change other people, but we can change our attitude towards the situation. Second, seek for the eternal. We often let the little things get to us and forget to look at the eternal perspective. The more we seek to look for the eternal, the less important the little things become. Third, learn more the principle of compensation. The Lord does not intend for us to suffer he wants us to learn from those trials we go through so that our faith can grow. We may not see the blessings right away, but the Lord keeps his promises. Fourth, and most importantly, Trust the lord.