Tuesday, July 26, 2016

"Therefore they hushed their fears..."

As many of you may know, I overthink, stress over everything and worry about everything. Before I came home from the mission, in my departing interview my  mission President directed me to Mosiah chapter 23. We read it together and talked briefly about it. 
Now I've been home 3 months...2 transfers. And I often find a few of the verses from this chapter coming to mind. 
"Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea he trieth their patience and their faith. 
Nevertheless whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea and thus it was with this people." Verses 21-22
I know this may sound crazy but I'm grateful for the hard times I've experienced. Maybe like most not in the moment. Even just lately reflecting on the past lately it's nice to think of just how great it is that the Lord trust each of us. I've never met someone who didn't experience a trial. 
So times are hard and sometimes we have to think about Peter and his experience walking on water and it wasn't easy when he lost his focus he slipped. I think its fair to say we EACH often lose our focus. We often forget what maters most. There is a quote that says "Diligently doing what matters most will lead us to the Savior of the World." 
We have so many distractions in our life and we spend a lot of time wasting time. I know I do. I also know at time its "easier" to stress about something  than it is to remember in the moment to take it to the Lord.
"For behold I will show unto you that they were brought into bondage and none could deliver them but the Lord their God, yea, even the god of Abraham and Isaac and of Jacob." Verse 23
Later Alma goes forth and reminds them to turn to the Lord. The next scripture is one of my many favorites..
"Therefore they hushed their fears and began to cry unto the Lord that he would soften the hearts of the Lamanites, that they spare them, and their wives and their children." Verse 28
They asked to not have them or their families killed and yet they were praying the people who brought them into bondage would  have their hearts softened. Not sure I'm good at that myself I think bondage for us today might be different then people in the scriptures. Example: Do we allow the natural man to control us? 
I love that they hushed their fears because of the faith they had in the Lord. How great is it that our  faith can not  only heal us but protect and save us. 
"And it came to  pass that the Lord did soften the hearts of the Lamanites....."Verse 29
"And the Lamanites had compassion on Amulon and his brethren and did not destroy them because of their wives." Verse 34
Heavenly Father is there for us, He loves us and truly does want us to be happy. And I know he doesn't want us to live in fear, and although we will have our moments, he is there for us and has given of the gift of the Holy Ghost. Our will may not and often isn't the same will the Lord has for us. But we can "...submit cheerfully and with patience  to all the will of the Lord." Mosiah 24:15
"Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will  deliver you out of bondage." Mosiah 24:16
But if we stay with Christ at the center of our lives and shape our lives around Him within our, others will see him within us. Often times life won't be easy some  curve balls get thrown our way and sometimes we have to make tough decisions but I know we are not in this life alone. That in and of itself gives me so much comfort. We may make many mistakes but when we fall we should even then know the Lord will help us just as he did with Peter.  
"But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried saying, Lord save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand and caught him...." Matthew 14:30-31
We can do it, everything we have the power to do it with our Heavenly Father. And oh how true I know that to be. But we truly can't do everything, not without him. I need Him, we all do. 

I thought I'd share a couple of my thoughts, feel free to  add your thoughts in the comment section. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

When The Best 18 Months Are Over....

And you know there isn't any going back...
 What Happens Next......
I still think constantly about the people from my mission...its always going through my head, the events and lessons taught and so on.
What The Hardest Parts
 Its weird being alone often. That was hard for me coming home and sleeping in a room alone, not reading text messages aloud, or talking on speaker on the phone with every call...Most of my mission I was waiting for the moment I could be alone and not have someone breathing over my shoulder...I used to  love being alone. But now when I was alone I realized how alone I really feel sometimes...needless to say I don't like waiting around doing nothing alone all day.
Everything felt so different when I got home-Still does. When I first got home I  was in Kentucky I didn't unpack and had no desire to, I lived out of my suitcases for 5 days...Then I left to South Carolina. When we got in it was late at night...I felt I should unpack...everyone was asleep. The whole time unpacking I cried wishing I could go back to the mission. I knew I couldn't go back. My time being a full time missionary was over. It was that night I realized while praying that my mission wasn't over, it wasn't over when the stake president extended the official release. On the mission I had read somewhere from about how the mission is to prepare us for our eternal one. So here I was at 12 am being reminded of a lesson I learned months earlier. It was a powerful moment of being reminded by the spirit. I love how the Holy Ghost brings stuff to our remembrance.

What Have I Been Up Too
As most of you know I got sealed to my mom and dad in the Louisville, Kentucky temple. It was a lovely day. And I couldn't be more grateful for that experience. Since I've been off the mission I've been trying my best to find ways to stay connected with them and building and strengthening relationships with them. I literally just want nothing more than to love, trust, and to be able to see them as Christ sees them. I'm grateful for the journey it’s taken to get us to where we are now. It’s time to work together for this eternal family. If we want this to work that is.

The 8 yr old &  I
  Why was I in South Carolina you ask...well I was there to nanny while Lauren did her internship. I can't post the kids names online anywhere or pictures where you can see their faces...but they are 4,6,8 yrs old. And I love these 3 kids with all my heart. On days where it was a struggle to get out of bed, and on days I wanted nothing to do with anyone, these kids would say or do something that would just soften my heart. I know now why I was in South Carolina and it wasn't just to watch these kids or to cook  them lunch it was so they could heal my heart. And to help me see first hand what it means to love someone fully. Kids do it so perfectly. And yes none of us are perfect and even these kids have battles they are fighting but I know the battles I was facing internally they helped me overcome. 

Last Night In SC

While in Clemson I met some really great YSA's and the sister missionaries were amazing. And although I didn't get close to all of the YSA's. I couldn't be more grateful for the ones I did get to know. I know some of them are miles away from me right now but they have said some amazing things to me, reminding me of who I am and just supporting me so much. Girls and guys,I met a lot of great  people there. I loved South Carolina -it was the hardest thing  having to  leave there. 

At A Visitor Center
 The road trip was great. I couldn't have been more grateful for it.  Or for the Hardy's bringing me out to Utah. They have been so good to me. It was nice to be able to stop at a couple church historical sites and even to be able to have so many spiritual witnesses that this next step is one I am to take. I was taught so much on this trip. And spending time in the car gives you a lot of time to think. And it was nice to  be able to just relax. 
I know my mission is over, and so is my short chapter of my life in SC, I just hope it's not one that is blinked and missed in 20 yrs. Life may never be easy for me but I've decided it's better that way. If it was easy  it wouldn't be worth it. Adjusting has become my middle name.  Not one I love. But I know just as well as the next person that Christ suffered for each  and  everyone of us. And He will never forget us. What a very special thing to remember. We are loved. Known by name, The whole road trip I was sick, and crying over things didn't help. But the point is, even though I felt alone....I knew I wasn't and I could still feel God's love. When I got to  Utah I got a job right away...which I'm trying to figure out. I'm still interviewing places. I know  things will work out. Just like they always have. Just think who would have thought I'd be where I am now? I surely didn't especially at 16. The gospel of Jesus Christ is all about becoming better. And following Christ example. Plus so much more. But I just know we are special. And even if some days suck we can overcome those days. Look at me, I mean I made it.
Back In Utah