Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Best Preparation EVER!!

     So the other day my dad was talking to me about preparation for my mission. Actually that's really all we talk about these days. But this talk in particular was about relationships. I know it's important to serve a mission. But it means I will be gone for 18 months. And so it's important to strengthen my relationships with my family members now. So I've been really focusing a lot lately on bonding with them.
     And so this is a tribute to my wonderful family. I love them and they are amazing. I've decided to spend as much time as I can before my mission bonding with each of my family members. I'm basically obsessed with it. And I also I need to practice taking pictures all the time so that I'm actually good at documenting my mission.(that's going to be a legitimate problem...sorry mom) So anyways. Here's how it goes. Ready? hehe. This is so exciting. I love my fam!

     These are my wonderful parentals. They love me and teach me and stuff. It's really quite adorable how much they are the best. Also they're super in love and everything. It's cute! :)

     My dad here is the bestest. He's the one who really made service a big part of my life. His whole thing is about making everyone else happy. So thanks dad! It's gonna help me on my mission. :) My momma is the best mom in the WHOLE UNIVERSE! There is not a single person more selfless than this lady. I love her so much! She is my best friend ever and I've been having quite a smashing time bonding with her lately.

     Then of course there is my amazing big sis Brittany and her terrifical husband Mike and their precious children. Katie and Josh and Peter didn't necessarily teach me anything that I could use for my mission. But they're adorable. And they're the product of 2 people making good choices and being married in the temple. Brittany and Mike are for sure my role models though. :) They're also just plain cute.

     Oh Hannah. Don't think I forgot about you! You little cutie. Hannah is very special to me. She and I are very close and I think just the way she has really become a new person the last few years has inspired me. She and her hubby Nick are quite the duo. :) I've never seen hunting and camo look so cute! Even though I can't bond with them or the Brittany and Mike & Co., I still love them and think they're awesome. So they're in my little bonding tribute. :)

     Parker guy is my big little bro. Yes. He's quite tall. But he's still great and I love him. I'm the most excited that he and I will be on missions at the same time for just a while. It's going to be awesome! I think he'll be great!!! He's very goofy and his man giggle is hilarious. I was going to somehow tie that into missionary work...but I can't. I just love him. :)

    Emma. Is. The. Best. Ginger. Sister. Ever! She has been the best roommate ever. The best pep-talk giver ever. And she has built my testimony up so much over the last few years. She really is the most incredible little freshman girl I've ever heard of. She is very selfless and I hope one day she can go on a mission so that I can be her biggest fan and cheerleader. :)

     James and Sam are certainly weirdo-heads. But they're hilarious, loving, smart, adorable weird-heads. And I love them. Sam, though very hyper, is so good at recognizing when I need a hug. I just love these guys. They're my men. :)

     Last, but certainly not least, there is Jeff. He's not technically family...:) But he has been a huge inspiration and influence on me. He is currently serving a mission and his advice home is awesome. :) I just love that guy. I miss him like crazy but he's super awesome and the people of Sapporo are definitely going to be blessed from his service. 

     So yeah. I have the best family ever. I'm gonna spend a whole bunch of my time bonding with them. Cause that's allowed. And also productive for mission prep. Right? Well yeah. Yes. It is. :) Anyways. I am so excited to serve a mission!!! I can't wait!! And even though I'm going to miss my amazing and beautiful family, I can't wait! And it's going to be awesome! I wish it were right now!! :) I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK!! p.s. Cindy and Wayne Wilson are also important to me but I don't have any pictures with them...why? I have no idea. It just happened that way. :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

And So It Begins....

          Hooray!! I'm so happy I can hardly stand it!! It's finally that time!! I officially started my mission papers today!!! I got to meet with the Bishop and bear my testimony about missionary work and everything!!! It was so awesome and exciting!! *enormous smile*

          So I'll admit I've been counting down to this day. It's like the countdown to the first day of school. You go out and buy a new outfit. And you wake up super early that day. And dad takes a first day of school picture. I got some new missionary outfits. And I woke up super early today. And I got a "first day of mission papers" picture. See look!

          I just love dressing like a missionary. :) Is that completely ridiculous? Oh man. I'm realizing how totally goofy and random this post sounds. But I'm insanely excited and happy right now!! I've wanted to be a missionary my whole life!! And it's finally starting to happen!! One of my biggest dreams is about to come true! So I'm allowed to be a bit squirrely for a while. (is that how you spell squirrely?) Anyways.

          The interview was easy. It was basically a temple recommend interview except I had to bear my testimony of missionary work. The exciting part happened when I got home and logged onto and started filling out the online missionary application!!! It's super long and awesome!! I've never enjoyed typing my name and my country's name so much!!

          So in other new, I think I can tell I'm starting to be a missionary already. I'm always thinking about things as if I were already out in the field. When I got home, my family was skyping my older sister Brittany and her husband Mike and their family. When they asked me how my interview went, I got all excited and whatnot, but I also got this big 'ole desire to skype everybody in the whole world and tell them right then and there that I wanted to serve a mission and they should hear the message of the restored gospel!! :) It was so exciting!!

          I just have a huge testimony of missionary work. I know it's extremely important to the Lord that we share the gospel. After all, He told Peter to feed His sheep 3 times in a row! If that's not spiritual nagging then I don't know what is! But I do know that I don't want to have to be nagged by the Lord to get this work done. I absolutely love this gospel with all of my heart and I want more than anything to share it's joyful message with anyone who will listen to me. I am so excited that it's finally my turn to serve the Lord as a full time missionary!!!

Friday, January 10, 2014

First Official Missionary Problem

          The other day at work, I had my very first experience where  missionary work WAS NOT easy. Usually I feel comfortable just being open and honest about what I believe as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. But this last time, it wasn't so comfortable.

          So I have this coworker. She is one of my favorite coworkers and I consider her one of my good friends. She and I get along really well and fortunately we are scheduled to have lunch together frequently. I really like her. She doesn't have the best lifestyle...and I have to ask her to watch her language from time to time...but she's really nice and very funny. Overall, she means a lot to me.

          The other day I was talking to her and the conversation lead into the topic of missionary work. I told her about my choice to serve a mission and how I currently have a boyfriend who is in the mission field. I told her how proud I am of him and how extremely anxious I am to get out and be a full-time missionary as well. Well, her response was not at all what I was expecting. She sort of laughed and said she remembered "the missionary days". I asked her to explain and she told me that she used to be LDS. She was going to serve a mission, but then got married to a returned missionary in the temple instead. I'll admit, I didn't believe her at first. This sounds bad, but I just couldn't see her being LDS. So I asked her what happened. Apparently she didn't like her temple experience. She didn't understand the ordinances. She was confused and a little freaked out. And she never got that "warm, happy, peaceful" feeling that everyone says you're supposed to have there. So she left the church. Her husband divorced her. And now she's a single, working mom with 2 kids.

          It made me beyond sad to hear this. I have been constantly thinking about this for the past few days. I didn't know what to say to her. My mind drew a blank! I had never thought about a situation like this. I guess I thought that I would only be dealing with people who had never heard about the church. I never thought about what I would say to a former member of the church. Now I really regret that because I want to know how to help such a dear friend.

          More than anything, I want to share my testimony with this friend and help her find a way back to the joy and peace of the gospel. However, the way her attitude toward the church is set right now, she doesn't seem entirely open to hear my testimony. I spend a good portion of every day worrying about her kids and her lack of time with them. I worry about them and I don't even know them. I want to be a missionary to her. I just don't know how just yet.

          Honestly I think this post is just a big giant request for help from all of you. What should I say to her? What should I do to be a better missionary to her? I don't quite understand why but I feel super responsible for her. I've felt the love that God has for her and I want her to feel it to. I feel that as a close friend and coworker to her, I should use this opportunity to be a missionary to her. It's really getting me down that I've been unable so far to share my testimony with her. If any of you have advice, I would greatly appreciate it. Until then, I think I'll just rely on prayer and scripture study to help me learn what to say.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Attention Youth of 2014: Come Unto Christ!

          Last night I taught the FHE lesson at my house and since I have quite a few youth in my family, I decided to introduce this year's Mutual Theme which is "Come Unto Christ" (see Moroni 10:32). So basically I LOVE this theme! After all, this is the year of missionary work for me and the goal of a missionary is to invite other to come unto Christ. Right? So this is the video the church put out about the theme and to me it perfectly descries the scripture in Moroni.

          My favorite part of the video is when the it says "even though I'm not quite a missionary yet, I always try to share the gospel with others and let Christ's light shine through me." When I hear 'Come Unto Christ' I don't just think about letting Christ into my own life. I think of making His life become a part of my life so that others have the opportunity, through me, to see and feel His love for all of us. I don't wear a black and white name tag every day to remind everyone that I'm representing Christ. My name tag is my actions and my testimony. I'm SOOOOO excited for my full time mission!! But I'm just as excited to be a member missionary and live so that others who don't know Christ will come to know Him by knowing me.

          I 100% have a testimony of this theme. I absolutely love my Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ and I cannot wait to spend 18 months serving Him. I hope 2014 inspires all of us to be more like Christ in all that we do. Come Unto Christ everybody!!