Sunday, May 29, 2016

Remember and hold on to what you know and believe.

The other week I was just thinking about how I still don't know what I want to do with my life. It was making me nervous and unsure, and I mentioned it to my friend last night and she said that that's okay. It's okay not to know; I have my whole life ahead of me. And I really needed to hear that, and I'm so glad it came from her.

I was blessed this weekend with the opportunity to spend time with a bunch of little kids–I babysat for two different families Friday and Saturday night, and today I was able to sub in the nursery at church. :) It was so great! The kids were so cute!!

A couple weeks ago, I started doing something while reading my scriptures. I randomly open my scriptures and start reading until I find a verse that stands out to me. Then, I write that verse down in the front of my scriptures. The first one I wrote down? Moroni 7:33. "And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me."


Lately I feel like that's what I have been focusing on in my blog or thinking about: Trusting and having faith in my Heavenly Father and my Savior. Maybe it's something I need to work on. I haven't exactly ever had trouble with it, but sometimes I think I have forgotten. Maybe that can be (one of) my summer project(s): remembering it and holding on to it. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland addresses it best: "In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited." :)

During sacrament meeting, I was thinking about the song we had sung to prepare for the sacrament. It was "He Died! The Great Redeemer Died", and I wrote this in my notebook:
He died for me. He loves me so much He died for me. Through all of my mistakes, He has loved me and been there for me. I know I'm who I am and where I am today #BecauseOfHim. <3

I know God loves me, and I know He's watching out for me. He knows exactly what I need, when I need it, and He knows when I need to hear something from someone specific. He knows where I'm going, and He knows how to help me get there. So thankful that He sent His Son, and so thankful that He blesses me with great friends and people in my life who love me, believe in me, and want what's best for me, just like He does. And I know that the same applies to you. He loves you and He knows you, He believes in you, He wants what is best for you, and He knows what you need and when.

He will never give up on you! You are too precious to Him. <3

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Start from where you are.

First off, Porter was just singing bits and pieces of the Primary song "Holding Hands Around the World" awhile ago and it was so adorable!! Then, Lander asked me how work was, and then he was like, "Good?" and I was like, "Yeah, good" and he said, "Called it!" He sounded so proud of himself. He's so funny! :)

So, as you may have guessed, I had to work a bit today, which definitely wasn't ideal, but hopefully it won't be a regular thing. It's looking like my job may be prepping, making, and cutting the dough, in addition to just doing random jobs that need done, like sweeping and wiping counters/tables, amongst other things. I'm not entirely sure if that is the case, though–I still have two more training days–but we will see how the rest of the week goes.

Also! When I was driving home from work, it was POURING!!!! I was like, "I'm going to die!!" (I don't drive all that often, and the one time I drove somewhere in the rain it was only drizzling.) At one point, I felt like the brakes were going to give and I was going to go gliding, but I didn't. Anyway, I lived, obviously, and the car did, too. It was a blessing that I didn't come upon too many people on the road–maybe five or six total on the way home. :)

Anyway, I was able to make it for most of church today–I missed the first 35 minutes of sacrament meeting, but that's okay. I was able to make it in time to hear some things that I needed to hear, so it's all good. :)

In sacrament meeting, I got a couple of things from what Sister Andrews said:
  • We need to keep the will of the Lord in our mind/ahead of our own. 
    • This was basically what she said. I thought it was super inspired because sometimes I forget to do that. 
  • Our focus should be on the essence of the Gospel.
    • When she said this, I was like, "Ding!" Sometimes we get so caught up in some things that we forget the essence of the Gospel. 
    • Going off of this, she started talking about charity and love, which are key aspects of the (essence of the) Gospel.
  • Turn to God and He will show you what you need to work on.
    • This was what I summarized from what she said. She read Ether 12:6, "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble..." 
In Sunday School we brushed across the topic of prayer via Mosiah 26:14 and Brother Asay said, "When you have need, pray." I made some notes: don't give up on them (prayers), and pour out your whole soul. Speaking from experience, pouring out your whole soul to God is very helpful, even if it's only to make you feel better after getting a load or two off of your shoulders and giving them to God. (Though that's not the only thing that happens because of prayer :) )

In Relief Society we talked about family councils, which was super helpful for me because it gave me a lot of ideas for how to do them when I have my own family. :) Sister Nielson also brought up how it can be helpful in college! (I was like, that's me! I'm in college!) It can be helpful for roommates to have a family council because while we're living together, we basically are family (at least, hopefully we're basically family). One other thing that we talked about that I thought was very important was this: Involve Heavenly Father in all your family councils, and try to put technology away and focus on your family. Sister Nielson said, "We can start from where we are. The blessings will come."

Though she was talking about family councils, it applies to all parts of the gospel. Having trouble with prayer? Start from where you are. Start with praying once a day, if that's where you are. Scripture study? Start from where you are. Start with one verse, or five verses a day. That's what I love about the gospel: there are many parts of the gospel that work with other parts. So if you're stronger in one area, there is probably an area that it works with that you are struggling with, and it can help you become stronger in that area. Just start from where you are, and know that Heavenly Father will always help you. :)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Trust Him.

This morning before church I was thinking a lot about life in general, just because it's been on my mind the past couple of weeks (*cough* months, really *cough*). I'm kind of an impatient person sometimes. I'm working on it, and usually I'm not so impatient, but there are a couple of things that I really want in life that I have to wait awhile for, and it's been difficult trying not to think about it so much.

Anyway, I was looking on, and I found a talk by Elder Robert D. Hales from October 2011 entitled "Waiting upon the Lord: Thy Will Be Done". He says, "As we ask these questions, we realize that the purpose of life is to grow, develop, and be strengthened through our own experiences... What, then, does it mean to wait upon the Lord? In the scriptures, the word wait means to hope, to anticipate, and to trust. To hope and trust in the Lord requires faith, patience, humility, meekness, long-suffering, keeping the commandments, and enduring to the end. To wait upon the Lord means planting the seed of faith and nourishing it 'with great diligence, and... patience.'"

It's a really great talk, and I definitely recommend it. It applies to a lot of different things! It applies to such things as physical sufferings, trials, answers to prayers, etc. So it means a different thing to me than it will mean to you, and it means a different thing to us now than it will in a couple of years. Because you won't be going through the thing that you are currently going through in a couple of years, different things will stick out to you in the future than what will stick out to you today.

I am so grateful for the prophets and their messages. Though the things I want didn't really go away, reading that talk helped me a lot. I just have to be patient.

Speaking of being patient, I found another article, this time from the August 2015 Ensign. The link can be found here. It has a really great message, and it was definitely something that I needed to hear. She said something that I really loved. It was, "It’s discouraging when plans fall through or don’t pan out as expected. To our mortal minds, divine timing can be hard to understand. But what I can understand is that God is a loving Father who has a plan that guarantees eventual happiness if we are faithful, and I am learning to accept His timing with confidence—not with anxiousness."

If you know me, you know that I often get anxious and I worry about things a lot. So that part of her article was really helpful to me. I will be blessed if I am faithful, and He will bless me in His own time. I just need to accept that. His timing is perfect, and I just am not ready for those things that I want right now. I don't know when I will be ready, but I hope that I will be ready soon enough. But right now I just need to not worry about it. I need to not be anxious about it. It will happen when it happens. I need to trust Him and just. let. go.

A thought came to my mind during sacrament meeting today: Christ suffered for you. Do you really think that He will leave you to suffer in silence/by yourself? He won't let you suffer alone. He suffered alone so you don't have to.

I found this picture this morning on Facebook and thought it went perfectly with what I was thinking about this morning. Trust Him. Trust your Heavenly Father. Trust your Savior. His timing is perfect, and He knows what He is doing. He loves you. So trust Him.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day! To my own mom, and to all of the moms in my life. I love you! Being a mother is a special calling and I'm so grateful to be able to have so many examples of wonderful mothers in my life. They do so much!! Including love, give their time, teach, and pray for their children, as well as others. I am excited to be able to follow in their footsteps when I become a mom someday. I found this talk by Sheri L. Dew about mothers that you should read if you have the time. I loved this quote from it: "For reasons known to the Lord, some women are required to wait to have children. This delay is not easy for any righteous woman. But the Lord's timetable for each of us does not negate our nature. Some of us, then, must simply find other ways to mother. And all around us are those to need to be loved and led." I'm so grateful to be loved and led by so many amazing mothers. Happy Mother's Day! I hope you all have a great day! ❤

Sunday, May 1, 2016

"Where words fail, music speaks."

I decided to do something a little different today. I decided to start my blog post this morning before church, and have it be an all day thing. I actually kind of like it, so I may end up doing it more often, but we'll see. :)

Before Church:
Yesterday I was able to attend my cousin's baptism. As we were singing while we were waiting for him and my uncle to reappear, I could really feel the Spirit. I almost started to cry, because Friday night I had prayed for some answers to be given at his baptism, and they were given in my favorite way: music! I felt so blessed to be surrounded by so many members of my family, and to be surrounded by so many members of the church. I'm so grateful that my cousin has taken the first big step to following and becoming more like our Savior.

One of the things that I like to do on Sundays is listen to a playlist that I created called "Church/Inspirational music". I have two of them, one on my iPod and one on my phone. They have a lot of music from my favorite LDS singers, as well as some Christian singers. It's a great way to bring the Spirit, and I often need many of the messages/testimonies given in the songs. In addition to listening to them on Sundays, sometimes when I'm having a bad day, when I'm having trouble sleeping, or something like that, I turn it on and listen to it. Usually that was exactly what I needed.

I can't really explain it, but music is my language. Especially hymns and music with uplifting messages, including ones about my role as a daughter of God, ways that I can spend my time better, how the Spirit speaks, etc.

Music is very powerful, for both the performer and the listener (I know this because I've been both). We use words to talk to each other, but music is a way for us to speak to our souls. Music brings a calm, peaceful spirit to me, and it helps me relax.

Performing music is a way for me to share my testimony in a manner that I am more comfortable with. Speaking in front of people isn't exactly my forte, and yes, I still get a little stage fright when I am performing, but once I start, that goes away, and it just becomes me doing something I love, and sharing that love with others. It is easier for me to share messages through music. I love hearing others tell me how the message helped them, or how beautiful the music was. That's my favorite part–knowing that I was able to change their life and help them.

During Church:
I was thinking about this during sacrament meeting. The church isn't perfect. Policies aren't perfect. But the Gospel of Jesus Christ is perfect. And I know that it is true. I know that He has placed people in my life that I have needed, and I know that He has given us prophets to listen to. Their counsel and testimonies are great strengths to me. I know that they are special witnesses of Christ, and I know that they speak for Him.

After Church:
Today was fast and testimony meeting, and that ^ paragraph is where my thoughts went while I was listening to people bear their testimonies today.

In Sunday School, we talked about King Zeniff and his people, the story of Abinadi and King Noah and his people, and then we talked about King Limhi and his people, and we started to talk about the twenty-four plates of the Jaredites.

One of the things that we talked about near the end was to not discount your spiritual gifts–your gifts of the Spirit. Yours may not be super big, like the gift of tongues or something, but your spiritual gifts are important.

In Relief Society, we talked about visiting teaching. We watched a video where someone said that (and I'm paraphrasing here) revelation is when it becomes the Lord's work. She said when she gets a thought in her head and she feels it is right in her heart, she knows it is revelation. We talked a lot today about revelation and visiting teaching, but one of the main things I got out of the lesson was just to be there for them. And I feel like I won't have any trouble doing visiting teaching as my life goes on because I am already trying to be there for those around me. Another thing we talked about was that we are all different for a reason. We are also all at different stages in life. And that is okay. Figure out how visiting teaching works for you, and it will be all right. In the end, so long as the sisters you teach feel loved, it doesn't matter how you teach. Just be there for her, serve her, and let her know that she is loved by God, and by you. <3

P.S. I know that the title doesn't exactly cover the messages of the whole post, and I generally try to do that, but it's harder than you think to summarize a whole post that includes several different messages! :)