Sunday, November 27, 2016

Grateful for gratitude.

Today was the perfect ending to Thanksgiving break! My newest cousin was blessed this morning and then I got to go to church with my family. So that was great. :)

My thoughts during the sacrament today were really just thankful thoughts but that's okay. :)
Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. I am so grateful for Him. Thankful that He loves me, hears me, knows me, prays for me, and atoned for me. I'm grateful that I can repent, and start over each week. I'm grateful that I can be changed, and experience change, through my Savior and my Heavenly Father. 
Something someone said in sacrament meeting stood out to me. She said, "Gratitude isn't a nicety, it's a necessity." Gratitude also does more for us than it does for our Heavenly Father. Gratitude is really for us–I know that I am always humbled when I think of my blessings and the things that I have been given. Gratitude is an expression of our love for our Heavenly Father and our Savior. In the song "Count Your Many Blessings", there are many repeated lines, and for good reason. Repetition becomes a habit. So if you're repeatedly grateful, every day, it will eventually become a habit. Gratitude is essential to our wellbeing. I'm grateful for gratitude–it helps keep me grounded and humble.

One thing that I am grateful for, especially this weekend, is that I was able to come home, and that I didn't have so much homework. Because I needed to work on my prescreening stuff for my application into the school of music. And I was very stressed about it. But I decided to just let go and just do it. I need to put my songs on a CD, and I need to finish some write-ups I have to do, and I am going to try to meet with my career counselor for finishing touches on my resumรฉ for it, and then I will send it in (I may mail it or just drop by the HFAC, I'm still undecided). Anyway, I had a ton of things to do this weekend and I was able to mostly get it done. :) I'm also thankful that this semester is almost over. I'm not entirely prepared for next semester lol but I'm ready for this semester to be over. I'm hoping to be able to get through this semester with nothing below a B grade. If I work really hard, I can do it. This weekend was a great break. Now it's time to get back to work. I'm in the final minutes of the fourth quarter–I'm so close!!

As this holiday season is starting, I just want to remind everyone to be kind (especially to yourself–you are an amazing person. I love you and your Heavenly Father loves you. Don't forget that. <3). Be grateful. Do service. Go out of your way to make someone's day easier or just a little brighter. You'll be rewarded in their gratitude and smile, and you will feel great, knowing that you helped someone. I know I always do. Don't forget to be safe when traveling! Especially when the snow starts to stick and it becomes icy on the roads. Be careful.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Putting aside your needs and wants for the needs and wants of others.

I love my ward! I am so thankful for the beautiful souls that I get to see all the time. They've blessed my life and I learn so much from them. <3 <3

Today during the sacrament, I was thinking about patience, and this thought came to my mind:
Sometimes being patient and letting God take the reins is hard. When you want something to go one way, and it doesn't happen that way, or it happens down the road, can be frustrating. But honestly, God knows what's best. He knows what you need and when you need it. Trust Him. He loves you and wants what's best for you. Take your time and just know that it will all work out.
Here's some of my favorite things that were said in sacrament meeting:
Even when we're going through hard things, Christ is there. He is cheering us on. You can do hard things.
"Secure your own mask before you attempt to help others." You can't help someone if you can't breathe on your own. That won't help them or you. Be secure in your own testimony before you start to help someone else.
Forgiveness helps us.

In Gospel Doctrine, we talked about 3 Nephi 17-19:
We talked about how the Nephites might not have understood all that Christ said but they understood enough to know that what He was saying was important enough and they wanted Him to stay with them.
Even though He was probably exhausted, He stayed to heal their sick and afflicted, and He made time for the little children.
Christ put aside His own needs and wants for the needs and wants of the Nephite people. "If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat them as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming." ~~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Christ is the epitome of charity, which is why charity is called the "Pure Love of Christ".

Relief Society was great! We talked about charity. So it was kind of a continuation of Gospel Doctrine. :)
I loved this quote from Elder Marvin J. Ashton that was shared: "Real charity is not something you give away; it is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself...Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other." 
I loved this. Charity is so much more than we often remember it is.  
The Savior taught us to love everyone, including those who may be difficult to love. "Excuses [not to do so] are easy to find; they spring up as readily and plentifully as weeds by the wayside." ~Elder James E. Talmage
I love talking about charity because I've had so many examples of charity and Christlike love in my life and it's something that I try to always do/be. Charity isn't something that I usually have trouble doing but sometimes I have trouble remembering all the things that encompass charity and so it's always a nice lesson to have because it helps me remember all the times I've had/done charity but also all the ways that I could be better at it. Charity is something that often is something we have to choose to do at first, but if you do it long enough it just becomes a part of you.

This week is Thanksgiving and I'm excited to be going home! I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to spend time with my family and I'm grateful for the holiday season that is upon us. It's a time to remember to be thankful, and a time to spread love, and a time to be and do so much to help those in need. At this moment in my life, it (life) is changing, slowly and surely, and oftentimes it's so crazy and I have a lot going on, but I always try to make time for my friends when they need me. And then things [in my life] go better than I thought they would. I know that putting aside my to-do list when a friend or family member needs me is not only what I need to do but what I want to do. I want to be there. I want them to know that I love them and they are more important to me than my to-do list. Because they are.  I would choose them over my to-do list. And I would do anything to show them that I love them, and that God loves them, and that they are loved and needed here on earth.

I hope you guys have a great Thanksgiving! Travel safely and enjoy your time with your family! :)


Sunday, November 13, 2016

"Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you."

Today was ward conference! It went by sooo fast!! It was a really great day!

My thoughts during the sacrament today were more of a reminder to me but I know that I'm not the only one who needs to hear them:
Hoping and wishing (and praying) for things in our life that we want or need is something that everyone does. But we forget to leave it to the Lord, or to do our part, and we get frustrated when things don't go the way that we wanted them to do. Sometimes it doesn't happen at all, and sometimes it doesn't happen for awhile. Either way, the Lord knows what He's doing. Sometimes you just have to let go and trust Him. He'll take care of it. 
We got to hear from Bishop Anderson in sacrament meeting today and I loved everything about his talk:
-All things change when we anchor on a future reward.
3 things that will help (us anchor on that future reward):
1) Diligence
-Anything that is good and righteous takes effort
-Don't stay down. Get back up.
2) Having the Spirit with you
-It's not how the sacrament is passed, but why it is passed.
3) Nourish your soul
-Don't worry about opposition/resistance. It will come.
-Scripture study, prayer, attending church, etc. is how you get spiritual nourishment.

President Acerson also spoke:
The theme of conference today was Doctrine and Covenants 88:63-64
-There are blessings that will come–maybe not in this life, but they will come and all will be made right.
-We understand doctrine through the Spirit.
"Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you"

The last two hours were absolutely fabulous! The stake Relief Society president, Sister Radmall, spoke and she's great! I love her!
First she mentioned three things she told her kids when they were looking for a spouse and I thought they were great:
1) They need to have a testimony and be committed.
2) Find someone who can make you laugh.
3) Someone you're somewhat attracted to.
Then we watched this video and talked about the three things that cause us to resist receiving blessings. They were Fear, Doubt, and Sin. The way to overcome these can be found in Doctrine and Covenants 88:63-43. :)
*Seek~through the scriptures
–Ask~in prayer
**Knock~through obedience
*Scriptures are little packets of light.
*They have potent power to heal and help.
–The moment you say "Father in Heaven", He hears you.
–Heavenly Father can helps us in things both large and small.
–Prayer can result in miracles.
**Obedience leads to tender mercies.

President Radmall also spoke:
-In life, we often want an alternate ending that we decide.
He decided to focus on one specific line of the conference theme scripture:
"That is expedient for you"
In order to come accept the Lord's answers to our prayers, especially when it is a non-answer or an answer we don't like, we should do a couple things:
-Express gratitude for all things.
-Ask the Lord "what lack I yet? Is there something I've forgotten that needs correcting?"

President Moon:
He focused on the line:
"Seek me diligently and ye shall find me"
-Start with why.
-It (the Gospel) is true, because He lives.
-There is a plan specifically for you.

One last thing President Acerson said was, "Heed promptings and allow the Lord to lead and guide you."

It's been a good day. I soaked up and learned so much today. The three hours flew by so fast, I didn't even think it was three hours. Around 12:30 I was like, "It's 12:30?? There's half an hour left? No way!" I was really surprised. It was a good meeting and I was sad that it was over. I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to hear from our stake leaders and hear messages that the Lord wanted me to hear. I heard some things that might be answers to my prayers but I'm not quite sure so I have to do some more looking. But that's okay, it'll be fine. Turn to Him, and walk to Him, and He will walk to you in return. :)

I'm grateful that I go to school at BYU; it's been such a blessing in my life. I love my ward, and my roommates, and my professors. I am so blessed to be where I am, physically and also in my life. I love my Savior and am so grateful that I can turn to Him, especially this semester as it's been tough in many ways. I'm grateful for my Heavenly Parents and for Their love and support. I am grateful for the heavenly help that I have been given in my life. Some things have been beyond my power but I've had help beyond the veil and I'm so thankful for that. I hope that everyone has a great week this week, and I hope that you know that you're loved and wanted and you're absolutely vital to this earth; you have so much to give to the world.


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Look for the blessings in your life.

I drove home this weekend to help my mom out while my dad was out of town.

I am grateful for the opportunity I had to go to church today. I heard many things that were helpful to me in my life right now.

My thoughts during the sacrament this week were short but (hopefully) sweet:
Nothing is more important to me than having the ability to turn to my Savior. I'm so thankful that He was willing to sacrifice Himself for me. I will never be able to repay Him.
This Sunday was fast Sunday, and as I was listening to some of the testimonies I had this thought:
"I am a daughter of a king. A child of God. A daughter with a divine destiny and of a divine inheritance. I am who I am for a reason. I'll find my way, and I'll find my true calling, as I look to the Lord and my Savior."
Sister Greer bore her testimony and something she said stood out to me very much: "Look for the blessings in your life." Turn to your Heavenly Father. He will give you strength.
I really needed that reminder–don't focus on all of the things that didn't go so well or aren't happening right now. Look for the blessings.

In Relief Society, Sister Worthington talked about the article entitled "The Perfect Lie" that popped around last week, found here. She talked about three things that we can do to help us become more like Christ, and they were:
1) Sacrament. The sacrament is the only ordinance that we do for ourselves over and over again.
2) Scriptures. Make your scripture study more meaningful. 
3) Prayer. Every relationship hinges on communication. Especially our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Stop and listen for an answer after your prayer. 

I didn't necessarily hear anything new this week but I did hear things that I needed a reminder of. Turn to the Lord when you need to. Listen to Him, and listen for an answer from Him. Focus on your relationship with Him because that's the only way it will grow and develop. Trust in Him. Believe that He knows what is best. I know that He knows what He is doing. I know that He will not let you fall. He will catch you, and He will carry you when needed. He loves you so much and He understands you. I promise He won't let you down.