Sunday, August 31, 2014

Life is Good.. Even When It's Hard :)

        Hello!!! How is everyone? I hope good. ahhh I have so much to say!! We'll see if I can put all my thoughts and feelings into words.. first off, this year already has been so much better than last year. It's amazing, I really wasn't expecting it to be any different I wasn't expecting to feel happy or glad to be in Ecuador and not even wanting to go home but I am that's how I am feeling. There have been hard days but ahh I can feel my self growing so much!!! It is sooo cool!! So a few things that have made these few weeks so great, I have been able to be more myself! Last year I felt like I couldn't be myself I was so afraid to be judged and so unsure about everything and just worried all the time and while I learned and grew a lot I just never really was myself. I was so shy and timid and I felt so abnormal. These  few weeks I have been able to be myself.. a little more.. not all the way.. I'm getting there but it's such a blessing I've been able to not be so shy and talk to people and they are talking to me too! These people are so nice but you just don't know how much until you talk to them and get to know them. While I was feeling judged last year I bet they felt like that a lot too. I realized yeah I may be being judged by some people but I am doing it too! I don't know them and they don't know me. Heavenly Father has really helped me these first couple weeks to get to know some people better and has just shown me that everything is going to be more than okay. Next, I've had a ton of homework and while sometimes it is overwhelming, heavenly father has helped me feel not so burdened by it. In fact, it makes me feel more productive and more happy because I feel like I'm accomplishing things and learning and improving and the feeling of just checking things off just makes me smile I have no idea why it's such a simple thing but it just makes me happy.

           It's funny because lately, when things have been hard I have been telling myself instead of "Oh my gosh this is going to be so hard!" I say "Ooh!! Growing opportunity!!" (The majority of the time.. there was one math test I completely just wanted to upturn my desk but other than that..) It's so weird but I do and it makes the hard things not seem so hard it makes them seem more fun and like a challenge that I have to beat, something that is going to earn me points or send me soaring up a mountain and make me happier. It's so weird but just having that mindset has been such a blessing. I really see more now how trials really are blessings, every trial gives us the opportunity to better ourselves, give us the opportunity to challenge ourselves and to become happier. I feel like overcoming these challenges and trying our hardest to be happy and be more like Christ, how we live our lives, is how we show him our gratitude.. we could never repay him for what he did for us but we can show him our gratitude and live our lives in such a way that his sacrifice doesn't go to waste. He died for us so that we could be happy, so that we could grow, so that hard trials would not be the end of us. He died so that we could truly learn to live. How many of us truly live? How many of us have actually felt what it is to live life to it's fullest? I don't thing any of us have to be honest.. imagine.. being so happy having hard times but being excited for the chance to prove yourself to God, learning to laugh at yourself, getting close to heavenly father, reaching our full potential, serving others and truly achieving the pure love of Christ.. that is my goal. That is what I want to work towards. I probably won't achieve it in this life time but seriously what a great goal! What a great ending point to work to! What a great image to keep in mind when the going gets hard! At the end of my life I don't want to have frown lines on my face and the lines of frustration, I want to have smile lines from a history of happiness and trying to better myself.. when the time comes for me to die I want to die with peace, knowing I did all I could to glorify God and live life as it was meant to be lived and for the purpose it was meant to be lived for. I really think that Ecuador, being here, experience the different ways of life, being in the middle of different cultures and people and adapting to it, is what has catapulted me forward is what has sent my happiness skyrocketing. Living my life for Heavenly Father has made it all the more meaningful, knowing I want to see him again and knowing he is there and real and watching and helping me day to day through the worst of times and the best of times makes me feel of worth and my little sojourn worth while.

             I really don't know what else to say.. I don't know how to voice my feelings or all of my feelings. I just want to give you my testimony. Any of you who are reading this I want you to know that God lives and so does his son, our brother Jesus Christ. I KNOW they care about us and that we ourselves are the reason why we are here on this earth, to grow, to learn.. all of this is for us! It is what is going to help us get back to them! To our family members who have passed, to our family members who we've never met and be for eternity with our families that we've grown with here on earth. I know that God cares about us. I know we matter to him. I didn't think so before, I refused to believe, but now, I cannot deny what I know. I cannot deny the love I feel even when it seems I'm alone, I cannot deny the feeling I get when I read the scriptures and the peace I feel down in my bones, I cannot deny the growth I can see and the help I have when I go through something hard. I do not walk alone. None of us walk alone, no matter how alone we may feel or how lonely life may seem, someone is always there, God is always there, waiting, hoping we will let him in and believe in him because there is nothing he can't do if we believe in him. He values our agency so much he wont do anything with your life unless you ask him and allow him to. You have to make the choice. Happiness is a choice. Change is a choice. Growing is a choice. Learning is a choice. Living a full life is a choice. It is our decision and he will assist us as soon as we decide to let him in and include him in our plans. He is at the door ready to come in, sit down, and show us the map and the way, but first we must unlock and open the door. He will not force it open. For me, opening the door meant wanting to want to open the door which led to wanting to open the door which led to actually doing it. Things in our life still wont be easy and for a time things might get harder but it is so a million times worth it. I would not trade any experience I have had for anything I have gained experience and knowledge I would not have gained otherwise. I am so grateful for my life. I am so grateful for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and I know he paid the price for us to come back to him. I know that through them, we are full, we are enough and we always have a home. I love this church and I know it's gospel is true and that it is the true gospel of Jesus Christ, it has changed my life and the lives of so many of my family members and friends. It rescued me in my time of need and has guided me since.

None of us came to this earth to gain worth.  We brought it with us.  Sheri L. Dew.


Words of wisdom and a prophetic message to carry us through difficult days! “It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don’t worry. I say that to myself every morning. It will all work out. Do your best. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence.” Enjoy more from President Hinckley;


"God rarely moves the mountains in front of us but He always helps us climb them. --Sheri Dew #byuwc #womensconference #lds

Don’t overlook the basics: 9 ways to tune your heart to the Spirit.

The ancient wisdom of Socrates

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Breaking My Silence..

Hellllloooooo everyone!!!! I apologize and recognize I have not written for... two months. Summer vacation came and I kind of forgot to write. Ha. About my summer, Tillamook cheese has never tasted so good to me. I'm pretty sure I ate the equivalent of at least one block of it. Food, I think was the highlight of my summer. Food, family and friends. I got to see so many of my friends and family and talk to them it felt so refreshing and nice to see everyone!! Also, I learned how to drive this summer.. annnnnd I DIDN'T DIE!!! That alone is saying something!! But yeah.. my summer was superb.

While my summer was superb.. it wasn't as great as it could have been. About a month or two before I had left to Ecuador I had started falling to some of Satan's temptations. Some days I would put off doing seminary until later, while my goal had been to put first the kingdom of God. Then I would put off doing seminary altogether and just read scriptures.. and at night so I was already tired. Then it got worse and I would just read without meaning at all and my prayers were kind of quick and not heart felt. After which I began just reading one verse.. not really caring what it said just doing it to do it which then led to just reading a quote off my wall and calling it good. With each of these declining steps my strength to avoid other temptations fell with it. I started eating more sugar and started procrastinating more in school.. I started making excuses for myself and started being really lazy and tired and bored all the time. I couldn't think of things to write on my blog and so I just stopped for a while. CAN YOU SEE A DIFFERENCE??? I CAN!!! This summer I completely went back to plate 1, reading and praying because I had to and forgetting more than alot. NOT COOL. Looking back, my summer could have been so much better if I had stayed close to heavenly father. Before I had gone to Utah I had told myself I wasn't going to eat unhealthy and I was going to exercise and all that good stuff but when I got there I wasn't doing the things that kept and made me strong and happy so I gave in big time to eating all the crap that was placed before me. I lost my temper easier and got sad easier and worried more than was usual. Ladies and gents, if you will remember back to some of my posts when I was really close to heavenly father you will see that not only was I super healthy, it was easy to be super healthy, I was happy, I was positive, I got really good grades and felt really grateful all the time. This summer was quite different.

As my summer in Utah drew to an end I started realizing more and more what I was doing/ not doing and realized why a lot of things could have gone better or were worse than I had so naively expected. The last couple days in Utah I felt really bad about what had happened.. I didn't want it to be that way.. I realized how much better my life was when I was close to heavenly father.. I wanted it to be that way again. So, I started doing everything with purpose again, I turned back to God and I started trying again. The whole summer, though fun, I had spent worrying about coming back to Ecuador and going back to school. Every time I thought about it I felt so in-confident and sad to leave everything again, I couldn't stop being negative and everything was spiraling downwards with useless thoughts of "What if.." . The last couple days, however, were like day and night. After I turned back I was happy even excited to come back to Ecuador.. to go to school! I felt confident and ready, full of vigor and enthusiasm, even though I was going to be leaving everyone, everything and the most delicious Tillamook Cheese.. I felt hope that I would see everyone and everything again.. I had faith that everything would be alright and that it would all be there when I came back. I had motivation to work hard and become better and started getting excited thinking about what was yet to come and what lessons I had yet to learn. What a difference huh? I in no way think this to be a minor coincidence or a coincidence at all. I know that turning to heavenly father, believing in him and having just the desire to come back is what made all the difference. I gave what I had to him and he did the rest. He can do the same with you. I am living proof that no matter how many times you mess up or fall away you can always come back. I am proof that even if it's never been that great before or there has been nothing before that you can come to him. His arms are open and always will be ready to embrace you and welcome you in if you try and let him.

I've said before that being away from Ecuador has made me more grateful for it and now I can say the same of Ecuador. Being away from it has made me realize how much I have needed it, how much it has taught me and grown me. Being away from Ecuador has made me so much more grateful for it, because I realize now just how much of a difference it has made. Before, I thought I was cursed, that all mission president's kids were cursed for that matter, we were the ones that got dragged to other countries because we didn't have it bad enough. Or right when things were awesome our parents were like "We have great news!! We are moving to another country!!!" and with all the will power we could muster, we smiled just to insure they didn't worry. I seriously thought this was what it was, that this was some burden to all involved but now I know I was clearly mistaken... wayyy wrong. To all of you in the same position, this mission is the biggest blessing heavenly father could give you at this time in your life, you are having opportunities that many people don't get in a life time, this time is a gift if you chose to learn from it. Weather this time is a burden or a blessing to you that is completely your choice. I didn't decide to see it as a blessing for months into it. Chose to see it as a blessing, try to see it as a blessing. You can change, learn and grow so much if you try to see it that way. To everyone else who may be going through something that seems unnecessary, burdensome or hard, think of how heavenly father sees it. Could he be trying to grow you? Could he be trying to tell you something? More often than not that is the case. Be strong!! You got this!! Everything will be okay, you've just got to believe. Believing is the first step in seeing miracles. Belief is the catalyst of miracles. Miracles are not always angles coming down from the sky or hearing a loud thundering voice, sometimes.. most of the time.. miracles are the little day to day things that keep you going.. miracles are the things that build you up and those great "coincidences" you have in your life, miracles are God showing you through every day things that he is aware of you and that he is taking care of you. Miracles happen when you chose to see them.. which really means they are happening all the time.. you've just got to look for them. So chose to believe. I know that Ecuador is a miracle.. that being here is a miracle and that my dad being called as a mission president was no coincidence. This has blessed my life, my parent's lives and my family's lives more than we could ever imagine. When you are going through something hard, remember it just might turn out to be one of the biggest blessings you've ever had:)

I love you all and hope you are doing great. I know God lives and that our savior Jesus Christ lives and that if we turn to them we will progress and find true happiness.. happiness that never goes away. Have a great week and remember to look for miracles and believe:)
What are you grateful for?

LIKE and SHARE if you agree with Jeffrey R. Holland that bad days come to an end, faith triumphs, and heavenly promises are kept.

ODLO Running inspirational #quote. #hawaiirehab

Inspirational Quotes Of The Week – 32 Pics