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Thursday, June 13, 2013

I LOVE the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!!

Here is an AMAZING talk on the principles of Justification and Sanctification. It is explained so clearly, and renewed my appreciation and awe at the Savior's Atonement. It truly is incredible.

Justification and Sanctification -Elder D. Todd Christofferson

*Note- it's a little on the long side, but definitely worth the read.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Valiant in the Testimony of Jesus- Elder McConkie

"Divine Redeemer"
“What does it mean to be valiant in the testimony of Jesus?
“It is to be courageous and bold; to use all our strength, energy, and ability in the warfare with the world; to fight the good fight of faith. … The great cornerstone of valiance in the cause of righteousness is obedience to the whole law of the whole gospel.
“To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to ‘come unto Christ, and be perfected in him’; it is to deny ourselves ‘of all ungodliness,’ and ‘love God’ with all our ‘might, mind and strength.’ (Moro. 10:32.)
“To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to believe in Christ and his gospel with unshakable conviction. It is to know of the verity and divinity of the Lord’s work on earth.
“But this is not all. It is more than believing and knowing. We must be doers of the word and not hearers only. It is more than lip service; it is not simply confessing with the mouth the divine Sonship of the Savior. It is obedience and conformity and personal righteousness. …
“To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to ‘press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.’ It is to ‘endure to the end.’ (2 Ne. 31:20) It is to live our religion, to practice what we preach, to keep the commandments. It is the manifestation of ‘pure religion’ in the lives of men; it is visiting ‘the fatherless and widows in their affliction’ and keeping ourselves ‘unspotted from the world.’ (James 1:27)
“To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to bridle our passions, control our appetites, and rise above carnal and evil things. It is to overcome the world as did he who is our prototype and who himself was the most valiant of all our Father’s children. It is to be morally clean, to pay our tithes and offerings, to honor the Sabbath day, to pray with full purpose of heart, to lay our all upon the altar if called upon to do so.
“To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to take the Lord’s side on every issue. It is to vote as he would vote. It is to think what he thinks, to believe what he believes, to say what he would say and do what he would do in the same situation. It is to have the mind of Christ and be one with him as he is one with his Father” 
-Elder Bruce R. McConkie

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Finding Plan B

I'm a girl that likes to have a life plan. I'm sure Heavenly Father just laughs hysterically at that little fact. And I'm starting to laugh right along with Him... because I have yet to live out my "Plan A" even once. I've come to the conclusion that I need to get in better tune with what the Lord's Will is for my life- then maybe I can skip over all the "plans" I create for myself and just get straight to the actual plan that He wants for my life!! (I don't think anyone lives out "Plan A" actually. If that person does exist- I'd love to meet him/her.)

I'm starting to ask myself- "Why do I even keep trying to make life plans?" (The answer to that is: a) it's just inherently in my nature; b) we're taught that "Men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness"- D&C 58:27; and finally, c) as my wise sister told me, to really get anywhere in life- you must "be proactive, not just reactive". And if it's the Lord's Will... it will work out. If not- good luck. ;) )

So where is all this "life plans" talk coming from? Well... recently I've decided that I'm no longer going to adhere to the life plan I've had for myself ever since I graduated high school. 

I'm not going to Grad School to become a therapist. 

And the terrifying thing about that fact is... there is absolutely no back up plan. No "Plan B". At least- not right now. I'm in the process of finding/creating "Plan B". But I know that this is the right thing for me to do because despite the terrifying "unknown" and overwhelming task of figuring out what to do with my life now... there is just so much peace. So much evidence that Heavenly Father has been guiding me for a while to reach this point and come to this conclusion. 

So how/why exactly did I come to this decision you may ask? Since I've been working at LDS Family Services, there have been times where people on the phone or at the window will start to tell me more information about their problems than I ever needed to know. I told them to tell that to their therapist. But in telling them that I always thought, "But if I where their therapist... I would have no idea what to say to them and how to help them!" And maybe I'd learn some techniques in Grad School about how to respond to clients in sessions. But deep down- I just feel that that is a skill that you can't really teach. Develop- yes. Teach- no. And I don't inherently have that gift of knowing how best to respond in those type of situations. Which is pretty key in therapy- don't you agree? 

Also I am a very sheltered girl. I readily admit to that fact. However- I don't really want to change that. But I can't possibly keep that while listening to people tell me about their problems (deriving from some very serious and horrible experiences in some cases... a lot of cases I'm willing to bet) all day, every day. In discussing with my brother (who is a therapist), he mentioned that if he were to rate his therapy sessions, he'd rate most of them R... for both language and content. Frankly- I just don't want to deal with that on a daily basis. There's a lot of pain out in the world... and hearing about that all the time would be extremely emotionally and mentally challenging. There's a good reason why counseling has a high burn-out rate.

Finally, my mom. She knows me better than anyone on the planet- and she has always had her reservations about me being a counselor (while always being supportive of whatever I wanted to do). And it just seems to me that if the person who knows you best isn't overwhelmingly convinced that the path you're heading on is the best one for you... maybe there's something in that. And maybe it's worth taking a minute to stop and re-evaluate. I'm not not becoming a therapist because of my mom. I promise. But she is one more piece of evidence that this is the right thing for me to do. 

It's amazing how I can look back and know how divinely designed me ending up at LDS Family Services really was. And one purpose (among others) was to help me realize that being a therapist just isn't right for me. It's also amazing to see how the Lord won't let you go too far down the wrong path without letting you know first. I'm beyond grateful and relieved I came to this conclusion now and not after Grad School. After I'd already put in all that time, effort, stress, and money into it! 

Hindsight is truly 20/20, and I can see so clearly how the Lord has guided me throughout my entire life. He has been right there beside me in everything I've done and experienced. I know with everything in my soul that He will continue to guide me through life. I can't wait to see where this path will take me... and I'm so grateful for the family, friends, and especially the Lord who are loving and supporting me along the way. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Commemorating Calvin

Tuesday, the 23rd, marked a year since Calvin passed away. To commemorate, Spencer and Tiffany came up from Arizona to be here for the 1 Year Anniversary. To start the day off, Spencer & Tiffany, my mom & dad, Tiffany's parents, and I all went to the Jordan River Temple to do a session. I love the temple. The Spirit is always so strong and being there helps keep an eternal perspective on life. 
Tiff and I after the temple. We have matching diamond necklaces!!
(And diamond's just happen to be the birthstone of April...)
I love her so much, and am so blessed to have her as my sister-in-law.
I can't believe I'm one year closer to seeing & holding my perfect nephew again!
I love & miss you so much Calvin!! 
That evening our family and Tiffany's family met at the gravesite where we each wrote messages to Calvin on a balloon before releasing them up into the sky.

After the gravesite- we all went out to dinner at the classic Pace's Dairy Ann. And then back at my parent's house we just visited and looked at the scrapbooks Tiffany made of Calvin- from the pregnancy to the funeral. It was great day spent with family and in remembrance of Calvin. 

While it's still sad to not have him here with us, I am so grateful for my testimony in the reality that families can be eternal. There is life after death. We will see and be with him again in the next life. I can't wait. I'm so excited to hold and get to know him. So grateful for the Plan of Happiness.

Thanks Spence & Tiff for letting me share in this day with you guys!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Home Alone

So my parents were out of town to Florida visiting my sister and nieces for the past 2 1/2 weeks leaving the house all to myself (besides the week my uncle and aunt and their 5 kids from California stayed at the house... but that's besides the point of this post.). I've had the house to myself for stretches of time many times in the past, and each time I rediscover why I love/hate it. Those reasons are as follows...


  • Coming home to a dark house at night- for some reason that can be really depressing to me
  • Not having anyone waiting at home to hear how my day has gone and just to talk to about whatever random thoughts come to my head
    • And when I say "anyone" I mainly mean my mom. She's my absolute best friend and I miss her greatly when she's not around- even though I call and talk to her every single day...
  • Having to figure out what I'm doing for meals each day
    • Interesting observation- the most common concern from people is- "What do you do for meals?" (Lots of Lean Cuisine's & Hot Pocket's!!)
  • Getting the mail/newspapers everyday
    • Actually this isn't too bad and I even enjoy it sometimes when it's nice weather outside. However when it's freezing cold & windy outside then I'm not too much of a fan. Crazy of me I know.
  • There's no one else around to kill a spider should there be one. And unfortunately- this last time there was. (It was traumatic... but in the end I won!!)

  • Full control of Volume- whether that be the TV, Stereo, Computer, etc.
  • Full control of when the TV/Stereo is on or off
  • Not being accountable to anyone but myself. 
    • I can come and go as I please without having to keep someone else informed of my plans. And I can go to bed as late as I want without having to report the time the next morning.
  • Sometimes I just need some time and space away from others
  • The feeling of independence
  • Seeing and feeling the love and concern from family, friends, & neighbors all around me when they know I'm home alone. While my parents may be gone- I know I have countless people surrounding me who would be there for me in an instant if I ever needed anything. I am truly blessed by the people I have in my life.
So all in all- it's a bittersweet experience having the house all to myself. And by the end- I'm just so glad to finally have a home-cooked meal and my mom home again! But I'm also glad that my parents had the opportunity to go visit my sister and nieces. It was good for both my parents and my sister. From what I hear- they had a really fun trip!

Oh and P.S. No- I'm not scared while being home alone. I don't know why- I guess I just have peace and faith that I'm being watched over and protected by my Heavenly Father. And I know that if anything were to happen- I have so many people I could call on to help me out (as mentioned above).

Monday, April 15, 2013

Articles for Safe Keeping

So I've come across these articles and I absolutely love them! So I wanted to post them here to share with others and have them for future references.

So without further ado...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

National Sibling Day

So apparently it was recently "National Sibling Day". To celebrate I just wanted to do a quick shout out to my awesome siblings (including my in-laws)! I respect and admire each and every one of them for so many different reasons. I'm so blessed to have them in my life.  They're honestly my best friends and there's not a group of people I'd rather hang out with than them. I love each of them so much!!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

"LDS Family Services, how may I help you?"

... The phrase I probably say the most while at work. I'm just waiting for the day when I answer my home/cell phone this way.

Me at work. Interestingly enough- it's not even in the LDS Family Services office. It's at the Front Reception Desk. I had to cover someone's shift (well- I volunteered) for coverage one night. The security guard who normally comes and talks with me wasn't there that night. So I was bored and resorted to taking pictures of myself. Doesn't Christ in the background add a nice touch? ;)
I get asked a lot how I'm liking my work. So here you go: I love it!

I honestly do.  Are there stressful and frustrating moments? Of course. But that's going to be true of every job in existence.

It's been more of an adjustment than I thought it would be going from a service missionary to an employee. There's more details I need to know and understand. I feel an overall greater sense of responsibility/pressure than I did as a service missionary. It also took some time getting used to a different schedule. (Didn't help that they kept changing my schedule. But thankfully they figured out a schedule that's been consistent for a few weeks now. Better yet- I don't think it's changing anytime soon... yay!!)

However, I still absolutely adore all the people I work with (including the security guard mentioned above). During the weekend I look forward to seeing them again on Monday.

I still love knowing I'm part of an organization that is striving to help people overcome their problems through the gospel.

I love how much I've learned and grown from being there. I know this is where I'm supposed to be and what I'm supposed to be doing with my life at this time. This is exactly what I needed in my break between undergraduate and graduate school.

I love that when I go home at the end of the day, I'm done. There's not another few hours of work still waiting for me when I get home. I don't miss having homework from school. Not in the slightest.

I love how short my commute to work is. Couldn't pick a better location if I tried.

In short I consider myself incredibly blessed by the fact that I actually look forward to going to work each day.

Dry Spell

Welp- seems like I've been stuck in a dry spell when it comes to blogging lately. Just haven't had anything exciting and "blog-worthy" happen in my life. Guess I should get a more exciting life, eh? I'll work on that.

Because honestly this is what my life mainly consists of:

  • Work
  • Institute (Taking the "Pearl of Great Price" class)
  • Keeping up with my TV Shows (Once Upon A Time, Psych, Person of Interest, The Mentalist... and I'm re-watching Gilmore Girls)
    • Talking with my sister about Once Upon A Time. See? Family bonding is also involved.
  • Going to the Temple with my Mom (We're slowly, but surely, continuing on the "Temple Tour")
  • Preparing Sunday School Lessons (I'm a Gospel Doctrine Teacher)
However- there have been some other things mixed in here and there. Such as...

My parents went out of town for almost a week a little while ago (and they leave again in a week...)- and during that time I was able to see my best friend, McKinzi, and her adorable little girl for a day. So so excited that her and her husband are going to be moving up here from St. George this summer. Then hopefully I'll get to see their kid more often! (Oh- and I guess McKinzi and Tom too. ;))
Could she be cuter?? I don't think so!!!
Then I went out to my aunt & uncle's to stay the night. That was a lot of fun to spend some time with them. It was also very spiritually uplifting since it was their Stake Conference. During the adult session on Saturday night, I ran into my 7th grade Math teacher. Crazy random right? It was great to see him again. Also during their Stake Conference I heard this amazing definition of meekness:
Meek: to be injured without taking offense or becoming resentful
I seriously love that. And I need to be so much better at it.

I've also visited my Grandma in the new nursing home she's at now. (Which is conveniently only 5 minutes (or less) away from my house.) I must admit though- it is so hard to see her like she is now. That's not the person I knew growing up. It's sad to know that in reality, although her body is still here with us, we've already lost her. She sure was an amazing lady though. Oh how I love her.
My Grandma & Grandpa before they left on one of their missions. 
I've also spent some time with this girl:
No day can be bad when you see this cute face.
Can't believe she turned TWO!! She's such a doll.

**Also celebrated my sister's birthday, who happens to be this girl's mom. But no pictures to document.**
Made Banana Bread for people at work:

And before you think, "Oh that's so nice of you to do that for them!", I have to admit- that really this is just my lame attempt to repay them for all the goodies they bring me at work. I'm spoiled, what can I say?
Of course there's always the consumption of chocolate in my life. That's just a given and vital to my basic functionality... I dare say even my survival:
Both delicious & festive for St. Patrick's Day!!
Oh, and finally, I continued the "Mother-Daughter Choke Hold" Tradition:

See? Totally normal.
There you have it. That's my life these past few weeks in a nutshell! I'll try really hard to lead a more exciting life--and therefore be better at blogging--in the future.