Sunday, December 8, 2013

Mormon Messages


I am trying to keep posting consistently but I don't have much to write about at the moment so I found these Mormon Messages a while ago and I really liked them. I thought it would be cool to put them on here:) Enjoy! 



Sunday, December 1, 2013

Belated Thanksgiving post

It was once said, then said many times again, that if you are sad, depressed or down, count your blessings. It was also said long ago that if you cannot sleep at night, count the sheep. To be tired and lack rest or to be tired and lack happiness, looking back on ones blessings is sure to help. So, just to be discrete, lets just say, this month has not been easy for me, more internally than anything. Today was just another day in the month of hard and confused with that side dish of sick. I was working on seminary, quietly asking heavenly father all these questions that I'm sure just make his head spin and make him want to strongly say "SARAH, I KNOW WHAT I AM DOING!" Because I'm sure he does, and I like to think I don't know what he is doing but I do. He is shaping me and strengthening me for even more shaping and strengthening and tough things ahead. But so often I think of the pain instead of the growth. Why? Why do I do that? It just makes things worse I'm sure! Well, while sitting doing seminary I had the thought cross my mind, go look at your sister and sister - in - laws blogs. So I did. I got on the computer and looked at there blogs. I have to tell you, just looking at those blogs made the whole difference. Looking at my gorgeous nephews and nieces, remembering what blessings all my family members are in my life, thinking about each of them and the struggles they underwent to be where they are now. My brother, has no doubt I'm sure and I know gone through a great deal of struggles to be where he is today, but look where he is today. He has a wonderful wife and five amazing, beautiful and fun children! He provides for and loves his family! He is able to help many people by giving them advice and help and just by walking into the store with his children! My sister-in-law, what a sweet heart she has, she is so patient and loving in raising her children it makes me want to cry! (That is good tears) My sister, my sister has told me so many stories of her struggles and experiences and look where she is, she too is a beautiful, wonderful mom to her beautiful children. She always knows what to say and gives good advice and she can do that because of her experiences, her writing comforts and advises and i dont know what i would do with out it.She combines talent with experience to create.. what i dont even have a word for! Her husband, equally is an amazing example to me of a good father and provider. He loves my sister and his children and that makes me happy. My brother, who never writes a negative letter home to us, always being positive and strong and showing us pure service and love of others. being an instrument in the lords hands all while having dengue twice and now having to be changed! Nothing but love, come to pass through tears and trials and working together. You think, how could it get any better? But it does, think of the two loving parents who raised these children, grand children, these generations. My mom, she has gone through many things, having to move many times when she was young, dealing with temptations and people and being the oldest sister in her family, trying her best to set a good example for them while growing up. My dad, grew up in Mexico in a very humble life. He had to do things to contribute to his family by working young, giving his time and energy to help his family. That is how it has been ever since, and now his family is also his missionaries. Put those two together and you have this family of experienced, loving, soldiers. There are so many out in the world like this, and we are all just fighting the challenges we receive in life side by side. Thinking of this and my family and what blessing they are to me, has helped me more than these few words or any words can express. Heavenly Father has blessed us so much, but sometimes we (i) forget that. Some of his greatest blessing live in the same house as I do and share some of the same facial features as me. And others look nothing like me but are related in spirit and heart, a part of my daily life and sometimes having them here is like just taking another breath, so natural we hardly think of it until it's gone. I don't want it to be gone. Blessings such as these, such as family, are the most greatest blessings of all in my opinion. So instead of counting sheep, why not count your blessing. Instead of measuring the pain, why not measure the growth. Instead of dwelling on myself, I'm going to dwell on others. So, those are my thoughts and these are my favorite blessings(my family). Happy Belated Thanksgiving.
Be thankful
be thankful

Saturday, November 16, 2013

November 16, 2013

Hello! What a month already!! Holy cow! So my brother Josh who is serving in El Salvador has been there about five months now, about the same time as we've been out, is in the hospital with dengue for the second time! He didn't tell us he had it the first time or anyone but now he and his companion both have it for a second time and were taken to the capital, San Salvador, for better care. He is doing alright but his platelet levels are low. It would be much appreciated if you would pray for him and his companion :) I know they can feel all the prayers. Josh has been such an example to me even being hundreds of miles away. He never writes a negative letter, he is always positive and looking for the good, he always tried to see the good in others. We got the opportunity to talk to him on the phone for an about an hour on Monday and one of the things he told me was "Sarah, be so grateful. You don't know how good you have it." I mean, how true. So often we just get used to having it good we dont know any other way. I am so grateful for him. On a positive note, our family is coming to visit in a little more than a month!! I am so excited! I miss my family so much! All the screaming little kids and family conversations and fun funny things we do together. I love my family and am so grateful for them and soooo excited they are coming! We've had so many cockroaches this week it is not even funny! Actually two weeks in a row, these really huge ones will come out from under the sink and the dish washer. There have been so many times when one of us have been in there and the rest of us hear a scream from the other end of the house. We automatically think cockroach. haha not that great. I went to the zoo a couple weeks ago (I'll post pictures later) and it was sooo cool!! The fences didn't seem very strong though and some of them were kind of low, but i was walking by the ostriches and this one was starting at me! Death glare! He started putting his head over the fence a little like he was going to wack me... yeah i didn't like that animal so much. The meerkats were so cute and all bunched together in a group while one watched guard. I held a wild parakeet that we found and it liked me! So cool. Another thing, I joined the soccer team and that had been really fun!! I'm loving soccer down here. I learned the Mexican song Cielito Lindo and I sing it all the time like non stop! When I'm having a bad day I always say the Canta y no llores. My dad thought it was funny I came to Ecuador and learned that Mexican song but I love it! My parents are doing great, and they have been wonderful mission presidents, I could not be more proud. When I'm missing home which I have been alot I've been trying to look at the things I love here and think of the good and of course sing Cielito Lindo. But it has often crossed my mind how blessed we all are, even when hard things cross our path. Thinking of those things makes it a little easier. I guess it is true that if we look at all the lord has given us everything else is in a minimal, that as we count our blessings Heavenly Father will bring us new ones. I'll post pictures a little later, just thought I would update:) Have a great Saturday.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Be still and know I am God

So this week was a kind of rough week, my parents were gone for meetings in Peru and I had a few hard things happen. Many times I was really tempted to just get mad at heavenly father and feel bad for myself but something I remembered was that scripture, I don't remember where it is from but it is "Be still and know that I am god.". So that's what I want to talk about. That scripture means so much more than just eight words, that scripture sums up one, maybe many huge big topics but the one I thought of the most was, keep calm, heavenly father knows what he is doing. Heavenly Father has a much bigger plan for us than we have for ourselves, he knows us better than we know ourselves and knows what will help us most and lead us to the most happiness. This mission was very out of the blue and we weren't expecting it as were many of the things that have already happened to me on it. What i've seen though is this, so many of the things I have already gone through have made me a better happier person, I get to experience another way of life, I get to see it everyday, and in a way.. that changes me more and more with each look. I've noticed, everyday I drive to school I see poverty, all over, but, it doesn't disgust me, yeah I feel bad for those that don't always have what they need, but it makes me appreciate more and more what I have. The gospel, in Utah, is something many people have, we've grown so used to growing up in it and being in a very sheltered environment because lot's of people have our standards, so we don't really recognize or feel what it is to be with out them. Holy. Crap. Big difference. I feel so grateful for the safety that I have, for the spirit in my life, not having to feel completely alone, knowing that if someone dies we will see them again and that families are forever. There are so many people in the world that don't think that, and they are miserable! I've witnessed that! I mean, how blessed are we to know the things we know and have the things we have. I think there are many things I have come to realize on this mission.. as is kind of evident by everything I write about on here haha but really. If you are going through a hard time, if you have to make a hard decision, it is so easy to worry.. it is so easy to feel completely defeated by the world, I know because I have felt that way before and still do, this week in fact. Don't go through it alone, trust heavenly father that everything will be okay, his eye vision can see farther down the road than ours can hah;) So, in my situation right now i figured I just need to continue learning to be patient and trust heavenly father (not been that easy but i'm still getting there:) And ooh great news my family comes in six weeks!! So excited to see them and we will be able to see my brother josh!! Gotta be patient for that too:p Well that is my thought or this week. Hang in there my friends, we are all on this a crazy, scary, fun ride of life together..we're gonna be here a while so we might as well make the best of it and ourselves!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Why in the world did I create this blog? Let me tell you.

So today I thought I would tell you all why I decided to start this blog, because some people may have the wrong idea or just think I like to vent on my blog. I admit, there have been a couple times but those couple times do not define my true intent. So when my dad was called to be a mission president I was both shocked, scared and excited. I thought about it everyday until the day we got on that airplane, but, one of the ideas I had early on was to create a blog. I started thinking about why I should write a blog and who it would benefit and I then started thinking about the song 'Lean on Me'. We were called my brother's senior year and to those of you who know me really well you will know me and my brother are really best friends, we would do tons of things together all the time ranging from video games to brother sister date nights, he was the person I "Leaned on" the most. Since coming here I haven't had him anywhere near and at first I was really sad and depressed. My brother was the person I told ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to, he was my role model, my friend, my confidant and still is, but now when I yell his name in the house he isn't gonna show up around the corner or holler back, because obviously, he is not here. My brother is doing amazing work on his own mission, teaching people and sharing god's light and love, and I would want nothing less but since he's not going to be at my beckon call I thought I might be at other's, so to speak. So that Is why I created this blog. To be a big sister, or friend to those who need one. Someone who understands, another mission president's child passing along the stories so that other kids out there will know they're not alone. I post the things I do, not to gossip, not for my own selfish wishes but for the benefit of others and for the reason that I can better understand my situations and help others, by writing. While I cannot do big things to change the world, I can do small things that make a big difference, this blog just so happens to be one of those small things. I try to contribute to the world in anyways that I can, not too much is available to me to do right now but I can start with myself, I can start in my community and neighborhood, and this blog reaches many places, so, this is how I am contributing to the world. I have found through many experiences that service and helping others and being of help not only helps others but it helps ourselves too. A couple of years ago I had started going to a service camp in Utah called BBY (Be the Best You) hosted by Barbara Barrington Jones (such an amazing woman). At these camps each summer we would hold a special needs camps for special needs woman, visit old folks homes, take children from the boys and girls club to the petting zoo and museum and many other things. PEOPLE, THAT WEEK I SPENT THOSE SUMMERS WERE THE BEST WEEKS OF MY LIFE!!! Just seeing an elderly lady light up when she talked about a memory from her childhood or the way the special needs girls got so happy when they saw balloons or the kids when they saw the animals, those things sparked up joy inside of me, and by the time I left each time I felt I was on fire!! I have been looking for orphanages here in Guayaquil that I can go volunteer at or other opportunities but for now, this blog is fanning my service flame. This blog his how I am contributing and will continue to do so. Maybe this service is not changing the world and traveling around the world like UNICEFF or other organizations but it is traveling around the hearts of those in this world, and I can honestly say that not many things feel as good as knowing there is someone who understands, knowing you are not alone in what you are going through, someone who can be that shoulder to lean on, a friend. So I say to you, my reader, that not only am I your friend, but so is our Savior Jesus Christ, and he understands more than I or anyone will ever know. That is what the atonement is for, he died on the cross not only for our sins but for our struggles and heartaches. Just remember these things, and you will never be alone. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Lessons Learned

Hellloooo my family and friends!! I am so sorry I was going to write on my birthday but i totally forgot so here is my birthday post 14 days after my birthday haha So this month has been very good for the most part I still have great friends and more have come and I have learned a few things. So I have never been the most consistent reader for the scriptures i'll do it morning and night for a while and then i'll stop and only do it sometimes. Well, this week and last week i did it!! Consistently! Not only did I feel my day was more productive but I noticed something! For the first couple days that a did it my days were horrible!! Like Satan was trying to get me to stop reading out of anger and frustration.. I was receiving so much opposition and hard things and so depressed and I was wondering to myself "If i am doing the write thing.. why is all this bad stuff happening?" Well after the few days my situations didn't improve all that much, Satan was still going at it trying to make me mad buuut I was stronger, I started being more positive and looking for the good and making a good day even if it wasn't, if I didn't like my situation I made it good I did things to make myself like it..  AND IT WORKED!! Now some of you might be thinking well thats just coincidence, you're just a positive person.. BUT NO. I have not been a positive person all the time I usually just get discouraged and call it a bad day, no questions asked I can go cry in my room for hours and ask heavenly father why he is doing this to me. I have a testimony that reading the scriptures and praying and reading conference talks really does help and improve your day and yourself. Not only did I make myself happy I was given the strength to do it, the want to do it. Sometimes I just like to wallow in self pity and feel bad for myself but not this time!! With the help of heavenly father I could lift myself up out of that darkness. That is one of the greatest things I have ever known, and such a great gift. I have power over my own day, my own life. YOU have power over your own day, your own life. I am so grateful for all my hard trials. They make me stronger. Okay, here is the other thing. The other day I was having really bad growth pains in my legs, which usually that means you are growing, so I got so happy because I was like "YES!!! I AM GETTING TALLER!! WOOT WOOT!!" haha I was so happy and then I realized life is much the same, you have to go through pain to grow, to know, to feel all the things you wouldn't otherwise. I realized even more than I have before , that through all this, even though it is just the beginning (It feels like we have been here a year haha) I have been growing and I have been getting better. So yay!!! That to me is cool. Muy chevere. Nuestro padre celestial saven que el esta haciendo. Si se puethe!! So another cool thing... ME ESPANOL ESTA MEJORANDO MUCHO!!! My spanish is getting alot better!!! I can understand everything and I can speak pretty good and get my thoughts across!! pretty cool huh?! Another thing I realized... the missionaries wear name tags that have three names on them: elder/sister - theirs, The church - god's and Jesus Christ and their last name which is their family's name. Whatever they do is a reflection on all three and people are going to notice. PEOPLE!! MISSIONARIES ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES WHO WEAR THESE THREE NAMES!!! WE DO TOO!!! I realized this and immediately thought about all the things i was doing that i should't be or would reflect bad on those three names. I have had to be very careful because as a wearer of these three names I (we) stand as a witness, an example and a representative for them. Keeping this in mind I noticed I was more able to be a better person and keep my standards, because not only am i standing for myself I am standing for many and knowing this has helped me to stand. I feel like the lord has been carrying me through so many things and I am so grateful to him. Whoever you are, whatever you are doing, wherever you  are, DO NOT GIVE UP!! If you need to change some things about yourself to make yourself better, DO IT. But please, never give up. I wouldn't be the bettered person I am today if I had just given up. Love you all!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

September 15, 2013

Hello everybody!! Sorry I haven't written in a while I've been very busy and the internet in our neighborhood goes on and off whenever it likes haha it stinks. Things here have been great! I love Ecuador! It is so beautiful and I have already made very good friends and met very nice people. Lately we have been going to different stake conferences and my parents have been speaking in those. The spirit is so strong and everybody is just so kind. I love meeting all the different people and the missionaries's investigators. A couple weeks ago we visited this stake in Garcia Moreno and this older lady came up to me and was holding my hands and asking me my name and how old i was, and then she asked me when my birthday was and i told her then she said she wanted to cook for me:) haha it was awesome. I have the very great privilege of meeting many sweet people. So while things have been great, as always i have my inside problems.. i've been getting a little better with being patient but not a whole lot. My biggest problem lately is i get really disappointed when things don't go how i want or expect them to, I get really irritated and it kind of sets me off. So lately when this happens I get really sad and negative and that is not good. Obviously. I was thinking about this and I came to the conclusion that either, one, I am not believing and having enough faith, or, two, Heavenly Father has something else in mind for me that is even better. I think you can see as well as I can that both things require patience. Joy. I get so worked up about things that when it doesn't happen or turns out a different way I tear myself up about it and even if it's not my fault I find something in myself to blame. I don't think that's what heavenly father is intending for me, or for anyone. I have been having lots of good experiences but then I see the bad and forget the good. I don't exactly know what to call that but.. it's something that has been eating at me for a while. There was this quote that I read that was in a school packet we got, I would like to share it, " The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.” -Vincent Van Gogh 
So what Mr. Van Gogh was hinting at was that we cannot live in constant fear of the future if we want so badly for our lives to be good, if we constantly expect the bad that is what we are going to get. The other day my mom said to me "Sarah, your brain is powerful, if you keep thinking something bad is going to happen, it probably will. The thing is, that thing hasn't even happened yet, but you're living your life as though it had, why not live your life as though something good had happened, it's pretty much the same thing... and then it probably will happen." Or something like that, that's just how I remembered it but If the fisherman never went out to sea they would never bring back fish. While in my case some bad things have already happened I can stop worrying and start being positive instead of negative, because someday, all those negative and positive thoughts are going to add up for me weather or not I like the outcome. Better to not live in fear of the storm when it isn't even upon us yet, and better to think positive when it comes. Yes this is another goal of mine:)
 "And now oh my son Heleman, behold thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for i do know that whosoever shall put their trust in god shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day." - Alma 36:3


♥

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Patience, Sarah, Patience

This week has been great! I have great classes and teachers and my overall experience has been pretty good. I have a great nice group of friends who are fantastic and I've hung out with them a couple of times and that has been really fun. At first when I got here I didn't think I would make friends so quickly but I did. Thank-heavens. I've really been trying with the language to speak and learn, no, learning a language is not easy but I'm sure in the end the struggle will have been worth it. As I said I keep having these reoccurring experiences that have to do with me being patient and trusting in heavenly father and so I think heavenly father is trying to teach me patience and trust. I haven't always been a very patient person and still am not which is why I think things keep happening in that certain area. I've been trying really hard but not hard enough I guess. So this week I am going to focus being patient and trusting heavenly father that things will be alright. With every situation I could be impatient with I will try my hardest to be patient which of course will not be easy but I'm going to try. Heavenly father is so patient with us, we mess up, all the time in fact almost everyday, but he is patient with us and forgives us so we should learn to be patient with him and trust his judgment. I keep having to remind myself that even though I don't know what heavenly father is doing, he does. He knows what is good for me and what is not good for me. He knows what he is putting me through and he wouldn't put me through it if he didn't know I could do it and make it through. So I've been doing my patience thing for the last couple days and it has been really hard but very good at the same time. I know I can make it through anything and everything heavenly father brings me to and that with his help I will be alright and maintain patience and trust in him. I don't know if there are any other mission presidents kids who read my blog but if there are I just want to tell you, hang in there, everything will get better with time but you just got to give things time. I've had to learn that over and over and still am right now! But I can promise you there are good, even great things to come.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

First Week of School

The first week of school was great!! Minus the first day haha but it was good. My classes are good a couple of them are really hard but it's okay I'll get things eventually. I have made some really nice friends and I'm so grateful for them. It's been so cool getting to know lots of different people from lots of different places with all sorts of different personalities. Already it's been a pretty neat experience!  The only thing that had been getting me down this week is the Spanish. I want so badly to speak it! All of my friends speak it but I don't (well at least not a lot) and I have been trying so hard to pick it up but it's not exactly that easy. Even though I don't think I am I feel slightly out of place. I slightly feel like I don't belong here but I feel that I will or just can't see it. Satan has been putting my thoughts in my mind all week weather its in class where he puts the thoughts "You can't do this, you're too stupid. You'll never get this, you'll fail." Or weather its just walking "You're going to trip and embarrass yourself." Or even with friends "They don't want you here, you're just the last wheel. You're stupid you should just be alone. No one wants you anywhere.". Those are the thoughts he has been putting in my head and in my head I keep telling him to cut it out or I try to push them to the back of my mind put when I do that they always tend to linger. I have been trying so hard to keep myself together and stay strong and for the most part I have but it's always those little thoughts that pop into my head that just make me want to scream. But I know I can do this I just gotta hold on and not give up. In the past giving up has many times been the first resort but I'm not going to do that here. I can't. I don't know why but physically and mentally I cant like I've tried to just let go of things but I can't and that is where I can feel heavenly father helping me. On Thursday we got Josh's letter but as always we have our conversations on the side of the family letter and he was telling me how when he was praying on Monday he had the distinct impression to pray for me and he asked heavenly father to tell me he loved me and that I would be okay. Which of course he didn't know what was going on because he hadn't gotten my letter yet, he wouldn't until Thursday. So, In the bathroom sitting against the wall crying on Monday I heard those words. That was one of the coolest experiences ever. I was thinking about doing something that night and I don't think I would have done it but even thinking it hurt me and then I felt those words and I picked myself up off that ground and for that minute I felt strong. Invincible. Like nothing could stop me. Like someone was holding me up. And then instead of letting the worl act upon me I went and acted for myself. Yes there will be hard times but heavenly father is going to be there to hold you up. I know more hard things are on there way but I feel I have more strength to do it.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Second Day of School, much better.

Yesterday was horrendous. I was having such bad cultural shock and felt so out of place and scared. It is way different from Utah. I guess as Utahns we live a very sheltered life because of our environment and because of the way our religion had kind of impacted where we live. I kind of started to adjust to things better today and was more happy. I looked for the good and actually had a really good day anyway. The people that I have come in contact with are very kind and very accepting of me. My first class was geometry, I don't know how I tested into that class but I did. The teacher was very nice and everything went really good. My second block was database. I am one of three ninth graders in that class and the rest of the class is seniors. At first it was awkward but then we all got comfortable and I think it should be a really cool class. Next we had ninth grade English which was also fun and also my favorite subject. I love the teacher, she is hilarious and she likes to tell stories, she's pretty cool. I'm excited for that class. And then my fourth block was Spanish. Oh my heavens. Favorite. Class. Ever. The teacher completely understands me and my want to speak Spanish because she speaks a bit of English but she finds herself at a loss sometimes with words too. The amazing thing was I was able to understand almost everything she said and reply back okay. Which Is truly amazing. There were only five of us in the class which made it a little less stressful and tense. There is this Italian girl who doesn't speak any English, she only speaks Italian and Spanish. Her accent when she speaks is sooooo cool!! I love it! Since I couldn't talk to her in English we talked in Spanish as best we could with the teacher and it was really neat. Come to find out we are both in the same position only our native language is different. It has been so cool meeting all these different people and hearing their backgrounds and how they think it is very cool. So back to Spanish class there are only five of us which means she will be able to help us each more individually which is a big blessing to me!! She told us she would be taking us to McDonalds in a month or so and that she would make us order our own food in Spanish. Um awesome!! I really think I'll be able to learn things quickly in this class. I have really been able to see heavenly father helping me, particularly in this area with the language.. I've been picking up things so much faster than I normally would and I'm able to speak more and use more of what I learn.. as well as I don't feel as scared and uncomfortable to try. I KNOW he is helping me, because I wouldn't be able to do any of this without him. I wouldn't have had a great day today if he wasn't in my life, because I wouldn't have had any hope or felt like there was anything to look forward to. Seriously I keep having this reoccurring lesson and it feels like heavenly father is really trying to teach me to rely on him and trust him more. Because yesterday I wasn't trusting ANYBODY. I didn't want to. I felt so vulnerable and so able to be hurt that I didn't even want to trust heavenly father. Which is wrong. I know I can trust him and that next time again something hard is happening I can just remember how it all got better and heavenly father helped me through it. I think he's going to keep giving me this lesson until I learn it so I better learn it now and stick with it.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Spiritual break through

So I'll admit. This month has been very hard. I have been depressed almost everyday and cry almost every night. Not the greatest thing in the world. If you could imagine. I started thinking about my situation and if I really had control over anything and had decided that, no there was absolutely nothing I could control and that I was indeed in perilous times. False. Throughout the cours of the day today and yesterday I had been thinking about dance and " Oh where am I going to find new point shoes?" and what not but then I started thinking about ballet itself. In ballet, in point at least, when you get your new shoes you have to break them in before you can dance in them. Sometimes the process is long, sometimes it is short but everytime is usually different. Sometimes it depends on how much time and energy you take in doing it. The girls who are determined to break their shoes in and are persistent can break them in pretty easily, not at first but after practice, yes. The girls who neglect to break in their shoes and forget about it until their next dance class roles around usually break theirs in last. Only putting as much effort into breaking their shoes in as they have at the moment and giving up after a few tries. If only they would just be persistent the dance teacher thinks. Life is very much the same, in order to live a positive, happy life, we must be positive and happy ourselves, in order to break point shoes in quickly you must be dedicated and have a good attitude. In life we are thrown trials all different, in ballet there are many different types of shoes. But no matter how different we can chose the same attitude and slowly and through experience we can learn our own tactics and strategies to pull ourselves through the hard parts and get to the good, so as in ballet, after you break your shoes in you can dance! With school coming and all the mini trials it brings with it, I feel like I will be all right if I can pull myself through this and get myself to my own spiritual break through. Heavenly Father is our dance teacher so to speak, what is he thinking about you? If only she/he would be persistent and try? Thank-heavens she is giving her best effort? It is your choice. No one can do it for you, people can help motivate you but you have to do it yourself. While breaking in your shoes you build up more strength to dance in them. In life our trials give us strength to live our very best. My new goal is to start seeing the good in EVERYTHING and trying my very hardest so that when our 'dance teacher' looks down at me, he is thinking: "Thank-heavens, she's trying and giving her best effort!"

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The People in Our lives

Yesterday was great and today has been pretty good for the most part. I love the missionaries in our area, they have become like adopted siblings to me. There is this one Sister missionary who is exactly like me, I was talking to her and we totally connected with everything! It was so neat, and then we would share thoughts we had on certain trials and how we thought and how we coped with things and then I started thinking.. no one comes into our lives by coincidence. No one. We learn lessons from everybody, weather good or bad. With every person you meet you take something from your experience with them. This sister is having trouble with the language and so am I. I thought none of the missionaries would have much trouble with the language because they had the MTC and would receive the gift of tongues but no. I think that with every experience we have we can better help others and grow ourselves. Because of the things this sister had gone through, I was able to relate to and talk to her, which all the while I was thinking "Heavenly Father you are great! Grand even! I LOVE you!" I was so happy. But then I also thought, we need to thank him even when we are going through the hard times because the good times will come soon and the bad times shape us to a better version of ourselves. I've been talking to my brother's best friend and it has been such a blessing talking to her. If my brother hadn't met her I obviously wouldn't have and where would I be now? We have all met that someone or a few someone's who either we have impacted their lives or they have impacted ours, but I don't think we cross paths with others for no reason. I am so grateful for all of the wonderful people in my life and all of the people who will be in it in the future. Whenever your going through something hard just remember you will be able to help someone in the future who will be going through the same exact thing.
                                             Or both^^

Thursday, July 18, 2013

My Small Miracle

Today we got our first letter from Josh! I was so excited. After reading I can already tell the lord is changing things in him and working inside of hime and through him. It was so neat to read all the experiences he's had just in the couple of weeks. It does not feel real. I can still remember him and I sharing a room and a bunk bed when we were little like it was yesterday. It feels so unreal. Heavenly Father really does work in mysterious ways because I've been having the worst week and at the end of Josh's letter he wrote the scripture Alma 26:6-8 which says " Yea, they shall not be beaten down by the storm at the last day; yea, neither shall they be harrowed up by the whirlwinds; but when the astorm cometh they shall be gathered together in their place, that the storm cannot penetrate to them; yea, neither shall they be driven with fierce winds whithersoever the enemy listeth to carry them.
  But behold, they are in the hands of the Lord of the aharvest, and they are his; and he will braise them up at the last day.  aBlessed be the name of our God; let us bsing to his praise, yea, let us give cthanks to his holy name, for he doth work righteousness forever."
I love josh so much and am so grateful to heavenly father that he sent us that. I needed that at this time. Though I've been having a hard week I've been able to get closer to heavenly father, and that is what trials are for, right? Something happened the other day and spiritually I just kind of snapped, but because I'm getting better I went straight to heavenly father and prayed about it, told him about it, asked him for help, for advice. I had read the scriptures for a while and while they comforted me and I was able to sleep I did not get a direct answer. Until today. I have a testimony that god works through others to answer our prayers and see to our needs just like he did today which was a big tender mercy to me. I know I will continue to have these experience that will help to refine and form me into a better person all throughout this journey but today, I was starting to doubt. So for next time I need to remember not to doubt that a answer will be given or a miracle will take place, because to doubt something is to slowly diminish it's possibility. We just have to believe. So with all my inside things and with my Spanish, I'm going to believe and know that everything will be alright and that I will be able to speak Spanish with the help of my heavenly father.
 

Friday, July 12, 2013

In which the week was almost uneventful..

This week was not exactly all boring and not exactly exciting. Millipede sightings in our home have become a normal occurrence, and we try to be as kind and polite to them as we can and try to leave them alone (except for today in which mom accidentally stepped on one and felt mortified to have committed such an awful crime. So terrible. I assure you.). Then there are our loud neighbors who like to have parties till five AM on Saturdays and also don't mind laughing as loud as they can when the other neighbors (us) are enjoying a nice relaxing down time in the house, or so we had hoped for. We being me. I got quite annoyed with their little rat of a Chihuahua and am convinced I am the one who was sent here to Ecuador to put it out of its misery. I fully intend on buying a sniper rifle and shooting it dead before its next barking fit, which usually occurs around 3 AM. I am of course kidding but do wish the little dog would 'accidently' disappear. Today we had to go by immigration office to have papers filled out that were needed to get our stuff here.. which by the way could take up to six months. No. Thank-you. Again this  week I've been having a hard time with missing people but heavenly father has been helping me to deal with it better.. than I was at least. I've been kind of a worry baby but I'm trying to get over it. I just have to keep trusting heavenly father. So besides the little goings on and the worrying not much has been happening.. which I'm sure wont be the report for long but as if now it is. Goal this week: work on not worrying and get over fear of the little millipedes.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Elder Josh Dennis

Tonight we had the amazing experience to watch and listen over Skype, from 4000 miles away, as my older brother and best friend was set a part as a missionary. Advice was shared and tears were shed, hugs were given and a warm spirit felt. I felt so sad we couldn't actually be at the house with Josh when he was set apart but nonetheless we were there in a way. I want to say a little about my amazing brother Josh who I love so much. Josh has been one of the greatest examples I have ever had and known. He is so smart, kind and funny, he has a fun, colorful personality and is a real people person. He's easy to talk to and he's very laid back. There have been so many times when I have been having a hard time and Josh always just knows what to say, he knows how to handle people. I greatly respect him for that.. not all people can do that. I think that that talent of his and all the others he has will help him out greatly on his mission. I love my brother and he has been and played such an important role in my life. I miss him so much and I'm sure I will more. I don't deserve a brother like him. Josh Dennis, my brother has and will touch so many lives. As the quote says "Missionaries leave their homes and families for two years so others can be with theirs for eternity." I'm willing to share my Joshy for this purpose and this purpose only, that the church is true and that so many people will be touched by his wonderful spirit and great shining light. My mom used to tell Josh and I stories about how Josh would ask when he was little before I was born and before they even knew they were having me "When is Sarah coming?" my parents would ask, "Who is Sarah?" then he would reply "She is my sister and friend, we used to play together in heaven." So, yes I suppose me and Josh have been connected for longer than this earthly life and I guess that is what makes it even harder to be apart from him. I love him so much and want him to be happy. I know that heavenly father feels the same way and even more so for Josh and all of his missionaries. This is a great work that is taking place and Josh is just one of the amazing people out there who are going to see and help perform miracles.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Church today was awesome!!

This morning we awoke to a flooded down stairs due to a broken pipe. This house seems to e cursed with water problems haha but no matter. This being the case dad stayed home to clean up the two inch high lake that inhabited our living room and kitchen. My mom and I went to church. As we got into the parking lot I got kinda scared and almost started to cry. I was really scared to be so immersed in the language I wasn't ready to be thrown in. I felt scared and slightly embarrassed with a hint of stupidity then walked inside. Thank-heavens it was fast and testimony today so I could make out about mm maybe 75% of what people were saying. After sacrament was over we went to sunday school. I got there scared that I would be sitting in the back corner alone.. my a.d.d just so happened to be horrible today, but no, the girls welcomed me warmly and sat next to me in the front. Two of the girls sitting next to me spoke English to my great astonishment!  I was so happy I almost hugged them. As my mind wondered and raced, not able to concentrate one of the girls I was sitting by talked to me. This girl had come from new York, her family lived in Ecuador and she is Catholic. She told me about how she had gone to a all girls Catholic school in New York and how she would be staying in Ecuador for a year. We became friends quickly and it felt nice to have someone that understood a bit. Next was young women's.All the girls passed around my scriptures and looked through them, they ran their fingers along my name embossed on the front and smiled. They hadn't seen a quadruple before. Next we separate for classes. All during the class M would translate my answers to the teacher and I would explain a concept to her when she didn't understand. It was one of the coolest experiences I've ever had. I explained to her why our children are baptized at 8 instead of when they are babies, I explained to her what ordinances were and when we make them. All this while (me understanding Spanish but not yet possessing the talents to well speak it) she translated my answers to the teacher and helped me out with words when I did speak in Spanish. Before sunday school she told me she would probably not come but after young womens she said she wanted to try to come. I'm so excited that I have made this friend that I can help in this way and others for example she is going to be learning chemistry and physics but I already have learned it so I told her I could help her with that if she could help me with my Spanish. This is just to cool to be true. I think this girl, this friend of mine, may be one of the reasons I am here. I feel so grateful to have her in my life! I'm glad I made this friend. So, again I say, church today was awesome!!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Today I was thinking..

Why do people say goodbye? I mean the good part, what is that supposed to mean? That you're parting on positive terms? That you're happy to be leaving them? That the day was good? What? I really don't understand.. why do people say goodbye at all? Saying goodbye is just depressing.. why not see you later weather that means later that day, later that week, even later in life or in eternity. Saying goodbye when I left for Ecuador was like knives on the  inside and smiles on the outside.. but in reality and the eternal perspective of things we never have to say goodbye. We will always see the ones we love again weather it be a long time or short time we will. I think if we all just started looking at things the way god does it would save us a lot of sadness and regret. So my new goal is to look at this move and this life the way god sees it, or at least learn how to do so. Things on the inside have been kinda rough for me, but I think if I did this it would help. So that being my thought for the day I will talk to you all later. :)
Never say goodbye

Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 4th

Today has been really hard.. seeing everybody with their friends and families and all the fireworks.. I didnt think they celebrated fourth of July here but sure enough there are tons of people partying.. but all of it just reminds me of my friends and family that I can't be with today. After holding it in for a few weeks I finally broke down and just had a good cry. I feel so sad and alone (alone in a way). We have been traveling around our mission to see and speak to the missionaries in the different zones which has been really neat but not being at our house today just makes it a bit worse. Usually our neighbors in our neighborhood all get together and to fireworks or friends will get together and go watch them at the golf course but not today, not next year, and not the next. Just thinking that I'll be gone for three years back for one and then gone for two again on my own mission. To be quite honest I really have been kind of having a hard time.. I try not to let it show but every hour there is a time when I just feel like hiding and crying. I know heavenly father is helping me through this and without him it would be much harder but its just hard and painful for me to think about not having my cousin and best friend minutes away from where I live and being able to talk to her or Josh who we wont even be able to see off on his mission.. he who is also one of my greatest friends.. I just feel so sad. I know things will get better but at the moment I'm having a hard time. I just need someone to talk to.. but I guess for now and always I need to keep talking to the lord.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pictures (A few)

Around Guayaquil
Some of the missionaries






Around the city and driving

The Office

Our House and Dad

Mom, dad the Amayas and me

 The back:))



 Guayaquil Temple (soo Pretty)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Week 1

Its amazing how fast your feelings can change towards something or a situation. In this case, I was so happy to be in Ecuador and the happiness lasted about two days and then last night it was just horrible. I tried to think about other things, positive things and to be grateful for all the things and people I do have but it just wasn't working. Last night I was thinking about all of the people that I had left and my dog, thinking about Josh leaving on his mission and not being able to be there when he left, thinking about all the things that I really had no control over. Church yesterday was amazing but the rest of the day was down time which meant mentally a lot of time to myself. So with this time on my hands and these things I just couldn't get out, not feeling I could talk to anyone I resorted to writing poetry. Before I did it I said my prayers and as if by some unseen force the words flowed out of me fingers, down the pencil and onto the page, and before I realized.. I had a poem. And an answer to my hearts questions. Though some just pinpointed the problem, others pinpointed and answered themselves it was quite amazing. Last night was a hard night for me and tonight has been a little rough too but if Heavenly Father is a god of comfort (which he is) I know I'll be just fine even if its not for a few days I know eventually I will be. I've had such a bad habit of looking at the bad and it didn't just drop when I came to Ecuador. But as we see in every case, looking at the bad brings sadness and looking at the good brings happiness and when we know that we start getting a little bit better. I hope I will be able to start looking at the positive more and being more Christ like.. this has definitely been out of my comfort zone but I know I will grow to find sources of comfort within the growth zone even if it does not at the moment seem possible. "The word impossible itself says 'I'm Possible'" - Audrey Hepburn

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Guayaquil, Ecuador

What  a day!! First day in Gayaquil was AMAZING!! First thing we got picked up at the aeroporte by President Amaya and his wife and they took us to lunch at Rioko (which was sooo good and it was very elegant) then we were taken to the mission office and met with several of the missionaries who now call me Hermana Sadita hahaha. The office had a beautiful view of the mountain and of the fountains down below. Next the Amayas took us to our house. We got lost a few times getting to our house and ended up taking an hour or so to get here. When we got to the house I was instantly mesmorized by the gorgeous flowers and the ginourmous eight foot wide and about twenty foot tall wooden door. The house is amazing with a beautiful pool and waterfall. I have already fallen in love with beautiful Guayaquil. With flowers of all different varieties everywhere and the beautiful hills and historic buildings it was hard not to love it. While I miss everyone and am terribly scared to go to church tomorrow I have also become very excited and happy here in my new home. I never thought it was possible that I could even be somewhat happy this soon but it happened. Heavenly Father could not have picked a more perfect place for me and my family, all of us are so comfortable and calm. Heavenly Father knows what he is doing and has our best interest in mind. If I had just trusted him in the first place it would have saved me alot of pain, sadness and greef. Although this is just the beginning of things I have a feeling things are going to get much better. (Besides the flood in our house on the first day haha but that was taken care of and the two lizards in the kitchen as well as a lrage cocroach) Love to you all. Keep in touch. I´ll post pictures soon!!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Lima, Peru

Hello!! Phewf! What. A. Week. Yesterday was our last day in Utah and in the United States. We left at 8:30 in the morning for Atlanta, Georgia.. what a long plane ride!! So tired yet not able to fall asleep. Once in Georgia we waited about three hours to fly to Lima, Peru. Afterwards on the plane we got to Lima after another five hours. Going through customs and retrieving bags took about an hour then we boarded the buses and took an hour to get to the hotel. At three o'clock in the morning we arrived at the hotel very tired. We slept for four hours and then left in the morning for a meeting. While the adults were in the meeting all their kids went to another mission presidents house who was preparing to return home. More friends were made and we all had a wonderful time, playing games in the park, jumping on the trampoline, eating, talking and helping out the mission president's wife. Tomorrow we will leave to Ecuador at six thirty in the morning and arrive at about one. Tomorrow will officially begin our mission!! It's been so crazy but.. ha that was only the beginning! I have been pretty good.. sad off and on but more excited than I was.. I know heavenly father has been helping me because usually if something like this happened where I was parted from people I would just be depressed all the time but I haven't been I've actually been okay. My parents are doing great too and getting excited. I'm so proud of them. They have been dealing well with everything and have been trying to make the best of things. I still can't say I'm absolutely happy about this but I know I will be eventually. Heavenly father is helping me and for that I am grateful.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

1 Day

Well here it is! My last post before I head off on my adventure to Ecuador. While I am very scared I am also very excited. I am so excited to get out there and serve the lord weather it be by serving in an orphanage, helping out a friend or missionary, going on splits or being a good example. I am sad to be leaving everyone, but I know that it will bless the lives of me, my family and my friends. I love you all and hope the best for every one of you. I know this is what heavenly father wants me to do and I know he loves me. While I feel like this is the end of alot of things I feel like it is also the start of many things, the beginning of a 'new' life and a new me. I hope that I will learn to deal positively with the negative things I am given, with every trial I am given I hope that I can grow from it and become better and better with each day. Leaving in itself is a trial but I know there is more to come. I hope I can learn to be strong and never again feel that I am alone. There was a time in my life that was very dark and alone. A time where I felt no one cared and no one was there for me. How wrong was I?!? I have had depression since about fifth grade and I had become a very negative person. I never felt valued or of worth and I wondered if heavenly father was even listening to my few prayers or if he was even there. I would like to give you my testimony now, that I now KNOW that he was there and that all the while he was trying to reach out to me. With every situation I handled badly he wanted to comfort me but I had distanced myself. Since then I have grown to be better. A resent trip to EFY did a lot for me. It grew my testimony and I have been able to feel heavenly father's love with me at all times. I hope with this challenge that I will be able to maintain a spirit within me and be able to grow from whatever is thrown at me. Failure and rejection have scared me badly in the past but I am choosing to start dealing with things more positively on not doing it alone like I have previously done. Please keep us in your prayers and in your hearts and please keep in touch. The next you will hear from me is in Ecuador.. so until then, thank-you and au revoir!

Friday, June 21, 2013

5 Days

Today was an incredible day. I repeat, incredible. We woke up at about 8:30 this morning and got ready then we headed off to the church office building were my dad would be set apart as a mission president for the Guayaquil west, Ecuador Mission. We drove down to the underground parking and went inside the cozy lobby. There we were received by Elder Christopherson's secretary (who was very nice)  and taken to an elevator which let us off at the first floor. We were directed to some glass with gold doors and ushered inside another door to a conference room. Once all of us (Me, Josh, Mom, Dad, Jorge, Monica, Aaron, Cameron, Megan, Ryan, Tyler, Grandma, Anne, Tia Dominga, and Tio Omar) were inside in walked Elder Christopherson. Never before have I felt the spirit so strongly. His presence brought with him a warmth and a kind air. Kind he most definitely was, as he shook all of our hands, (which I have to say was pretty cool)  said hello, and introduced himself. As we were all seated in the chairs around the large table my mom and dad first said a few things to us all after which commenced the setting apart done by Elder Christopherson. Next my mom received a blessing and was set apart as a full time missionary and companion to my dad, which I know touched her very much, things were said and blessed in both  that we as a whole family had been praying and fasting about. Next, I received the great privilege of receiving a blessing. As all the preithood holders who had come stood around me with there hands on my head I couldn't help but cry a little. Just previously the day before I had been speaking with my aunt about some of the things that were troubling, and to my great appreciation, he addressed ALL of them and more. I could not have asked for a better blessing than the one I received today, just by being in the presence of one of god's chosen apostles, but heavenly father blessed me with more, just as I'm sure he does for each one of us everyday. I have a new found faith and confidence that this is the lords will and that I will be alright. Although worry still lingers a bit, I am not frightened, neither need I be.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

1 1/2 Weeks

So.. one and a half weeks now and I'm really starting to feel it. It was feeling unreal until now and now it's right on my door step. My dad is being set apart on Saturday by Elder Christopherson and my mom, brother and I are receiving blessings and my parents will also be leaving to the MTC. I am starting to worry even more and I'm getting pretty scared. I went to EFY last week and one of my friends that I made there told me something that really helped me, he said " Sarah I'm sure the lord is sending you and your family down there for a reason and to be a blessing to others just like you've been to me and the rest of our company." I hadn't thought of something up until then.. what if I'm going to make an impact on someone else's life? What if I befriend someone and completely turn their life around? This kind of hit me hard because even though I'm not serving a literal full time mission.. technically I am. So.. I've decided that when I start feeling sad I should start thinking about the people I'm going to help instead and think about the difference I'll make. I'm going to miss everybody so much and already am but I know I'll see you all again someday, weather it be in person or weather it be at the feet of god, I feel reassured that I will. Please keep in touch. I'll write next week before we leave on Thursday. Only one and a half weeks left in Utah, one and a half weeks until starting over again with heavenly father. 
 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

4 Weeks

So today is our third to last Sunday. The time has gone by so quickly, too quickly you might say. I find it hard to believe it is only four weeks until we leave, the movers are coming to take everything tomorrow and we will be living off of suit cases the next little while. Today our family got together every child and grandchild of my parents, and we had a testimony meeting. Never have I felt the spirit so strongly. Though tears were shed and sadness was lingering the overall warm feeling overcame it all. I am going to miss my family and friends so much, I cant think about it in order not to cry, this being the last week of school and all. I just cant help but think there are some people I might never see again but I feel so strongly and sure that we are meant to go on this mission. I know Heavenly father knows what he is doing and has our best interest in mind.. he knows and can see the big picture even when we cant. I know that this has been already and will be one of the greatest trials for our family but at the same time one of the greatest blessings. I have really come to understand two things: One being that you never know what you have until its gone. And two, trials are really blessings in disguise. This has been such a hard week for me.. everything I see weather it be the mountains or a friend or a family member, even my school, everything just makes me want to cry. While I know this is hard I know that this too shall pass and as everyone keeps telling me "It can only get better." I truly hope so. In  this area I really have no other choice than to put my trust in the lord, because only he knows what will happen and what our needs are. If its not too much to ask, please keep my family in your prayers. It is the prayers we need the most. "God is making things happen for you. Even when you don't see it, even when you can't feel it, even if it's not evident.. God is working on your prayers."

Friday, May 10, 2013

Well.. GREAT!

So, we just found out that we are living an hour away from my school and the traffic will be horrible, there are no lanes so everything is bumper to bumper. The house is outside of our mission and I am already staring to worry.. I guess I just have to keep putting my trust in heavenly father and look at the positive side of things.. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

8 Weeks

Well, what a month! My parents and I had to fly to Pheonix, Arizona to get our visas for Ecuador. We flew there and back all in the same day, most of the day was spent in an office waiting room and the other percentage of the time in a conference room or an airplane. This week the movers are coming to look at what we are taking and calculate how much it is going to weigh and cost and what not so we have been packing quite alot lately as you could imagine. This coming friday we have to get our yellow fever and typhoid shots (eek!! I don't like needles, last time we got my blood drawn a was hyperventalating and nearly passed out!) Along with another great visit to have my wisdom teeth removed, all four that is, in two weeks. I am NOT excited. Quite terrified if you will. This mission requires alot mentally and physically but I'm sure it is worth it even if it does cause alot of pain and anxiety. I have a couple anxiety disorders and have very bad anxiety attacks sometimes in which I cannot breath and feel very scared and alone. I have had alot of these throughout my life but when we first found out they increased a bit. I have learned to deal with them better since then and have learned to control them a bit. All of my family have been stressed to some extent but heavenly father has been and will be helping us through it all. "I can do all things through christ which strenghthens me." - Phillipians 4: 13

Friday, April 5, 2013

12 Weeks

It is now 12 weeks before we leave on the mission. We are making lists of things to make sure to take, starting to box things up, and the closer and closer it comes the sadder and the more excited I get, both at the same time! But I have to keep reminding myself what a blessing it will be and how it will greatly impact and change my life for the better. Sadly there are lots of people I have to leave behind, lots of experiences I will miss but at the same time I am reminded that this is a once in a life time opportunity that not many get to have, I'm sure in the end I will come out grateful and feeling as though I would not trade that experience for anything. I guess Heavenly Father knows me (and everyone) more than I know myself, so I guess I need to trust him to know whats best for me and what is in my best interests and what will enrich my life instead of bring it down. I've come to look at things differently already, I've started to become more grateful for things I had previously just disregarded for everyday things and events, I guess the saying "You never know what you've got until it's gone" is really true. I just hope the adjustment wont be so bad, because guaranteed things are going to be different than what I'm used to. "There is no growth in the comfort zone and there is no comfort in the growth zone."

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Life before the mission

My dad was called as a mission president February 15, 2013. We always had a hunch it would happen but never knew when. These past weeks have been full of tears, excitement, and faith. One quote that has really been sustaining me is " Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase." Reality has never hit me or my family so hard. I have never moved once in my life, so this is a big change but I know Heavenly Father will help  our family through it. I'm very nervous. But I'm choosing to have faith. We are leaving to Ecuador this summer and I can't wait to bless the lives of others. If there is anything I already know it's service blesses lives and that gives me hope for the adventure awaiting me in a few months to come.