Saturday, September 28, 2013

Recent History

I'm not even sure where to start! A LOT has happened since I last posted (and that was only two weeks ago!). I started school! And it would appear that I have turned into quite a little nerd...I get giddy to sit down at my computer and do my coursework. It also helps that I'm in a program that I love and I'm taking classes that I'm really interested. I will always remember some advice my grandfather gave me regarding school (or really any decision in life). He told me that it didn't matter what anyone else wanted. I needed to do things in life for me because I wanted them. If I had really followed that advice, I would have changed majors (and possibly schools, so I'm glad in the end I did what I did) as a freshman right out of high school. But when I took a break from school and took time to work, that was what I wanted and felt good about it. And, though it isn't right for everyone, I'm so glad that I took time to really prepare myself. I wasn't ready at 18. At this point in my life, it is what I want!

Also, my dad went through his heart valve replacement surgery. This man is a trooper. It hasn't been pleasant for any of us by any stretch of the imagination, but it's been a good learning experience. I gained a greater appreciation for the things my parents have done for (and continue to do for me) and of being able to be here in Georgia at this time. Had I still been living in Utah with everything going on, I'm pretty sure I'd have already had some sort of panic attack worrying about them (they have a tendency not to tell me everything that is going on). While I know they still don't tell me everything, by being around often, I'm hoping to be observant enough to know how to help, and when they REALLY need help (yes parents, this is about to me!). :)

Okay, so maybe not a TON of things have happened, but it sure has been busy. I love this little life of mine! I'm so grateful for a loving family that currently is scattered all over the place. I have older siblings I haven't seen in quite some time, but I'm so grateful for them and love hearing and seeing what is going on in their lives. I'm so proud of this family of mine. :)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

2013 Primary Program - I Am a Child of God

Today was one of my favorite days!! Each year, the Primary children focus on a theme for the year, with sub-categories for each month that tie in with a song that we teach and practice. In September, the children present that year's Primary program. For our Primary, today was the BIG day! I'm currently the music leader and so it's sort of the culmination of the work we've been doing all year. I stress EVERY year. I worry I haven't taught them well enough. I think of all the things I wish I'd done differently. But then the day comes and there is no more I can do than to lead them and help them remember what they've learned.

Today was one of the BEST programs I have ever been a part of. The words the children spoke were their own, it was not a canned presentation where parts were assigned. This was their testimony and we all sang together. It was wonderful! I was one happy Primary Music Leader. It was one of those days where I NEVER want to have any other calling. It makes all the long days of music time worth it! I LOVE these kids and I'm so proud of them. They are such a force for good, a righteous generation, and at this point, some of them may not even realize it, and if they do they have no idea the scope of influence they can have!! I just love KIDS!! They truly are children of God!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

September Higher Challenge

I subscribe to posts from Time Out for Women. I attended one of their events with my good friend, Heather, several years ago. It was an incredible experience. Now, getting daily/weekly messages from them is equally cool! This year they have implemented a "Higher Challenge". Each month focuses on something different. The September challenge is this:

Think Higher & Learn Something New

I'm pretty sure that, unless I change my mind (like we ALL know I do so well), my September goal will be to learn to make French croissants. This is also something on my bucket list. I feel like if I can master that, I can do basically anything. Anyone want to be a taste tester??
I think this is an incredible opprotunity to learn something that you've been putting off, or settling for mediocre results on. So, are you on board? Will you do this with me?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Leading By Example

Last night (okay, so I'm late in posting...last Wednesday night) was spectacular for many reasons, but I will only share two. The first? I moved the first load of "stuff" into MY apartment!! I even put the pots and pans away in the cupboard!I'm just a little excited (!!!!!!!!!!!)! The second? Institue class started again! I have missed having this class every week to give me an extra spiritual boost.

This year we will be studying the Book of Mormon! I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about that! Please don't misunderstand. I LOVE the Bible. I just completed reading the Old AND New Testaments this year for the first time in their entirety. That just meant the Book of Mormon was next in my goal to read the standard works this year. When I started reading from it again consistently and more in depth (its hard to divide reading time between multiple books, you know?), I felt a power that I hadn't really noticed before. I know there are always blessings and power that comes from reading the scriptures, but it was amazing how much MORE power I found when reading from the Book of Mormon as opposed to the Bible. Again, I love both books. They testify of the the same truths. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ (which the Bible also does). I can't explain'll just have to read it for yourself to feel what I feel (and it's amazing!!).

So, back to last night (anyone else notice just how much I ramble?). We discussed the introduction pages to the Book of Mormon, as well as the first five chapters. We talked about Lehi being commanded to take his family and flee Jerusalem before it would be destroyed. We talked about how Lehi and Sariah taught their children, and ultimately we came up with their example.  And I guess that's an obvious answer, but what our teacher, Sister Christiansen, said next was what struck me the most and is encouraging me to change even more (for the better).

She said that we should live so our children will know the scriptures through the way we live. Sure, we want to teach them to read and study, to make sure they know the stories and how to apply them to their lives, but what we really want them to know is that we know them because we live what we're taught in them. I'm clearly not a parent yet, but I'm trying to become NOW the parent I want to be SOMEDAY! As I've mentioned multiple times on this blog, I've made some pretty big (and equally small) changes in my life over the last year or so to help me accomplish this end goal, so to speak. I KNOW I have more to do, but statements like this get me thinking, and more importantly, doing.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

My Testimony

The first Sunday of each month, we have testimony meeting at church. Members of the congregation who feel so inclined may go the pulpit and bear their testimony. Today, I wanted to share something I learned at the YSA conference and then bear my testimony, but I just get nervous and forget what I wanted to say. So I shared what I learned, but forgot the most important part. So, instead of kicking myself for forgetting what I REALLY wanted to share, I will share it here.

I know that we are children of a loving Heavenly Father, who loves us! I know that he sent His son, Jesus Christ to earth, to set the perfect example for us to follow. I know that Christ atoned for the sins of you and I, and all mankind! He was perfect and didn't "have" to do it, but he loved us enough to lay down his life so that we may repent and return home to our Father in Heaven. But even more than knowing that He died for us, I know that three days later He was resurrected and now he LIVES for us! I know that the young man, Joseph Smith, went into the Sacred Grove where he prayed with real intent, seeking for knowledge as to which church to join. I know that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ appeared to him, and they called him by name. I know that through him, the Lord restored His church on the earth, just as in bible times and other times through history. I know that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, as well as the Bible. Both testify of Jesus Christ and His ministry, and that the Book of Mormon was translated by the Prophet Joseph by the power of God. I know that we are lead today by a prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. He leads and guides the church, but it is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and Christ is the head of His church. I know that we can receive revelation through the power of the Holy Ghost to guide and direct our lives, that he serves as the third member of the Godhead and his purpose is to testify of truth and help us also to return to Heavenly Father. I know that through priesthood authority, or the authority given by God to act in His name, families can be sealed to be together forever. I know that this life is not the beginning, nor is it the end. I know that we can repent and be forgiven of our sins and one day live with our Heavenly Father again, and that it will be a wonderful homecoming if we have chosen righteously. I know He loves me, and I love Him. I want to be a disciple of Christ, and help others to come to know Him as well. 

There is so much more I want to write and that I feel in my heart, but just as I wouldn't be able to say everything I feel at the pulpit due to time constraints or the personal nature of my feelings, so I will end for now. But I do KNOW these things to be true. I have studied them out and prayed directly to my Heavenly Father to gain this knowledge for myself. I challenge you, wherever you are in your life, to pray to Heavenly Father to gain this knowledge for yourself. Read, study, pray. Pay the price to gain this knowledge. I certainly don't know everything, but these things I know. He loves me, and He loves you!