Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together.

Doctrine and Covenants 50:22

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Love is All Around/ Choose the Joy.

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Love is in the warmth of a smile, the hug of a friend, and the sunshine that fills your soul in a laughter.

As I was walking home from a long day on campus, drawing nearer and nearer to 9,000 deadlines before thanksgiving break, I ran into one of my roommates and dear friends, Caroline. As we embraced, shared a laugh or two, and encouraged one another on our endeavors ahead, the dark chill of the oncoming storm seemed to brighten and by burdens felt light.

This sudden change in my mood led me to reflect back on the week, the nearly finished semester, and the last 8 months since returning home from my mission.

Through all the hardships and triumphs, trials and joys, and experiences both good and bad, it seems to always connect back to love.  In these last 8 months I have learned what it means to be loved in a hundred different ways. Love from the Lord, from family, from friends, from roommates, from a boyfriend, from classmates and teachers, and so many others. I’ve learned that although relationships may end, and people come and go out of your life, love never does. in a world of ongoing turmoil and ever growing hatred and evil, love continues to be all around. All it takes is to recognize whatever love we have in our life, no matter how great or small, and embody that love, and give it back to the world.

If there is one thing I learned on my mission, it is that there is infinite worth to each, and every individual soul. I came home and felt as if I was yanked out of a better spiritual world into a cruel wicked one, but it is the same world with the same people and the same love. We just have to find it and in return, give it.


Monday, December 19, 2016

I just came across these thoughts that I wrote down and realized I never shared them. It’s better late than ever but I also wanted to share a few other things that I have since learned. It has only been about a month since I wrote the following thoughts down, and while somethings have changed, love remains. I just want to add my testimony to this and express my gratitude for trials, and for people.

Yesterday my mom taught a Sunday school class to the 16 and 17-year-old youth of our church and asked each of them to share an experience that has brought them closer to Christ. Each of their experiences strengthened me and allowed me to reflect on recent experiences of my own. Trials and people. This may sound like a repetitious cry from every return missionary ever, but returning home from a mission was hard. As a missionary I learned all about consecrating my whole heart, might, and mind to the Lord. I had every intention of doing the same thing when I got home, but I was surprised by the challenge of finding balance in that. Instead of living everyday with one very specific purpose, I now had to learn how to consecrate my job, my schoolwork, my relationships, my church calling, and my own spiritual growth. I felt like I wasn’t doing enough or doing it good enough. I struggled with this for a long time until at some point, and I’m not sure really when or how this happened, I had a change of attitude and had pretty much the opposite challenge.  I told myself I was probably doing better than I thought, I got caught up in living life in pilot mode, and started forgetting the role of the lord in my life.

I reached a point when I felt my relationship with the Lord was declining and trials started hitting. When I made this connection I felt a sense of relief, because I have enough knowledge about this gospel that I knew exactly what I needed to do to get back on track. I spent more time on my knees and in the scriptures and making necessary changes without becoming overwhelmed by my imperfections.

It never ceases to amaze me that Christs atonement works. Every time. I still have so much to learn but I am beginning to find the balance of consecrating myself to the Lord and not becoming discouraged and downhearted by how far I have to go. The Lord loves us and encourages us every day to just do a little more to be a little better. He comforts us when we fall and then helps us back up. And what I have seen this semester more often than not, is that he does that through other people.

As I sit and reflect about the many people this semester that have changed me or been answers to my prayers, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. It’s left me with an unfinished blog post for days because I can’t quite put into words the gifts I have been given by so many individuals. I know that God works through people and his light is manifest through each and every soul He has created. I love my savior, and I love God’s children, especially those I have been blessed to have in my own life.

I testify that God knows us and wants us to succeed. I know he places people in our life at specific times for a specific reason. We learn from them, we gain love, and we find happiness. His whole purpose is for us to have joy. He has given us agency and His gospel to find that joy for ourselves, but he never leaves our side as we journey on in this life. I pray that today and forever we can recognize His hand in our life, in whatever way in comes, and choose the joy.

Some moments of captured joy:

When we hardly knew what good friends we would become

 Mission companion/ sister/ best friend. 
Always healing to be with my girl Lauren!

 Few things can bring joy the 
way dancing in the rain does

 Blest to have served in the best mission
 where my favorite people live so close. 

 Catching up with old friends 
is a treasure. Freshman friends.

 Those who know me know 
that Joy= FOOD. And those that know 
Lauren know that she IS joy. 

 The Wyoming temple open house 
almost made me smile as big as 
getting to see Sister Lawson there. 
(mission comp)

The Eberhardt's.
 My Mission President and His wife 
truley embody the light of Christ

 Biggest perk of General Conference is 
running into old companions!
 Sweet Sister Earl was my last comp. 

 Mrs. York! 
A whole day of pure joy. 

 Every so often we put on hoodies and 
red lipstick and say what we love
 about each other. Its our thing. #dressedtobless

 Puppies. Obviously. 

 Celebrated finishing finals with a Polar Plunge. Genious.

 My little Camilla Ri.
Hatch Girls.

Christmas and Sisters are two healing things. 

 Sweet Reunion with my best friend. 
Returned Missionary from Seoul, Korea!

**These are amoungst the few memories with a few of the people I love. Thanks to all of you and more!