Monday, October 31

Happy Halloween!

lets go titans






            I love my little brother. Not to mention Halloween. How grateful I am that families are forever.

Tuesday, October 25

waiting.

wait on also wait upon
1a : to attend as a servant
b : to supply the wants of : serve
2: to make a formal call on
3 : to wait for 
Waiting is sometimes hard. This is something I am learning to do. The promises of the Lord are great though, and I know he keeps his promises as long as we do his will. 

" But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." -Isaiah 40:31

I'm grateful for this promise. And as I've tried my best to be patient in this new experience I am going through with my health, I can truly say that my strength in some ways or another have been renewed and that soon enough I'll be able to run and not be weary.
Waiting, for me, is an action word. It doesn't mean to sit idly by, but rather to press forward trusting and relying on God. 
Here are two reasons why I am grateful for my current situation and how I am learning to wait:
1. I'm get to learn, A LOT.. and I love learning.
2. Because I  don't get to eat all the "normal" foods I used to eat, I've been experimenting and actually making my own meals. Like instead of putting in my favorite hot pocket or snack on tortilla's all day long, I get to learn how to make real, good, wholesome food. It's fun. 
Here's one I did just today. It looks like Mac n' Cheese, right? Guess what? It's not. 
 The recipe:
Brown rice shell noodles
1/4 cup of Cashew Carrot Ginger soup
1/3 cup of mashed up squash (or more)
and a little bit of sea salt and pepper.
W/ asparagus on the side.

Fun, right? Now if you were like my "brother and sister you would say that looks disgusting and probably is digusting." But I like it, and I guess that's all that matters.

Experimenting and cooking different meals is a lot of fun and sometimes a bit of a joke. At times I have a pretty creative mind and come up with things that are absolutley disgusting, I admit. Like that one time on my mission when I really wanted oatmeal, so to improvise I got some Rice Chex cereal, poured some water in it, and stuck it in the microwave....... ya, don't do it. Bad idea. However, my point is, waiting can be fun, in whatever manner it has to be in. 

For a great talk on "Waiting Upon the Lord," I would suggest watching or reading this talk by an Apostle of the Lord, Elder Robert D. Hales, I love him, and know he truly is a man called of God. I know if you listen to this talk you will feel the Spirit and the Truth of his message. Enjoy! And don't forget, waiting can be fun!


 

Monday, September 26

Find joy in the JOURNEY

little BABY!

Sister Cosper and I after a few days we spent together on exchanges







Life is full of moments where you have to choose if your gonna experience joy or saddness, laughter or tears, peace or chaos. The oppurtunity to choose is all around us. And with many moments we face we could experience many different emotions in one day. One of my favorite sayings is "Happiness isn't a station to arrive at but rather a way of traveling." As well as "Find Joy in the Journey." I love life. Here is a few moments in my life the past couple months were I got to experience pure joy even on days when I thought it wouldn't be possible. Just remember our Heavenly Father put us here on Earth so we can experience joy, so don't forget to find moment in each day where you have JOY!
my first time holding a CHICKEN
Just some crazy Elders I came to love.

Who Doesn't love LAMB CHOPS?!
My trade mark JUMPING


Chasing chickens could make ANYONE happy.. especially when they are zebra stripped!

Gotta love Jose who called me squirrel for some reason. Oh an Baptisms are GREAT JOY!
Nikki with the back up lights she bought us so we could be pro backers in the mission!


If you only knew what we went through this day.
Sister TARATIERU! I LOVE HER!



Sister Findley aka Napolean
Julie Murray! AMAZING. Not to mention me and sister Barnes sweating because for some reason we walked a LOT!
Just watching the Elders do some community service.

Thursday, September 1

Made STRONG through Christ

Before my mission I ran, prepared for a marathon, danced, wake-boarded, and did pretty much anything that involved myself doing something active. I love being active. I love anything that showed physically I am STRONG. Come to think of it I often thought of myself as strong, though I knew that inside I was still working on those inner weaknesses.

Since I've been on my mission slowly with time I've watched my inner weaknesses become strengths. It was great, I started to become more confident in talking to people and my trust in the power of the atonement became stronger day by day. I know that this was possible only through Christ, because it is only through him that our weaknesses will become strengths; we have to rely on him.

As I've watched my inner self grow I've slowly watched my physical self weaken. Long story short I have Celiac's Disease, which means gluten is no longer my friend. Which means no wheat, processed foods, or corn. It's a bit discouraging. And yes at times I let myself be discouraged. But through it all I've learned something amazing.

That is the power of the Atonement. Only Christ has the power to heal and strengthen us. Let me list a few things I am grateful for through this all:

- Prayer. Through prayer I am able to talk with my Heavenly Father. I can tell him all my worries, concerns, and ask him for strength. Through prayer I can receive Christ's healing power as I feel peace, calmness, and even joy. Through prayer I've been reassured that everything will be okay as long as I trust Him and have faith in his Son Jesus Christ.

-Friends. It's amazing how blessed I have been to have encouragement through it all. In those moments of complete sadness and tears I have a companion right near my side to remind me that it will get better, that my situation could be worse, and encourage me to laugh instead of cry. Not to mention letters or e-mails from loving family members and friends.Or even the people that are sent to me like kind caring families who spend the time looking up meals they can feed me, or even just help me find joy when at times I feel weak.

-Scriptures. Specifically the Book of Mormon. I love scriptures. It is how God speaks to his children. I love the Book of Mormon because it reminds us of the love God has for his children. HE LOVES US SO MUCH. If you have ever wondered if God really loves you or exist read the scriptures and specifically the Book of Mormon, because you will be reminded that God does LOVE you, and knows you.

-Christ. I know that he is the only way I can have peace. And the only way I can receive His peace is to seek it through obedience to his commandments. Through Christ I know that my sicknesses and illness are just part of this mortal life and that because of him one day I wont have them anymore. I know that through him I can be healed.

"Faith in Jesus Christ and following His teachings give us a firm hope, and this hope becomes a solid anchor to our souls. We can become steadfast and immovable. We can have lasting inner peace; we can enter into the rest of the Lord."

I know that everything is going to be okay, and I know that because the Spirit has testified to me. I know that its going to be okay because Christ, He truly does have the power to heal and strengthen our souls, and I know this is what he is doing for me. I know that because of Christ I can and will be strong as I rely on him.

When have you felt Christ's peace in your life?
Why is it important?
What can you do today to help you feel this lasting peace in your life?


To learn more about peace read:
"Finding Peace in troubled times" 
Matthew 11:28-30
John 14:27





Thursday, August 18

Trust that God is Near

 34 "O Lord, I have atrusted in thee, and I will btrust in thee forever. I will not put my ctrust in the arm of flesh;" -2 Nephi 4:34

In our lives we face many different situations. Each of us go through periods of joy and success, and then even failure and sorrow. As a missionary and representative of Jesus Christ it seems that you see this cycle often, whether its in my own life or in the life of those whom I teach and work with. Most times our joy and success are based on if we are living completely the commandments God has giving us. Other times it can be when we chose to have joy in those moments of pain and sorrow, trusting that God is still near your side.

The other day I experienced a little bit of this cycle. It was Zone Conference- an all day meeting with surrounding missionaries- and the Spirit was strong. I was being taught so much and felt so much love as we learned how we can be better instruments in helping bring God's children closer to him. After lunch, amongst all the light, truth, and strong Spiritual promptings slowly I started feeling darkness and hopelessness settle inside me. My body started to shake, I felt disoriented, and I felt like I was going to pass out. This reaction, I have come to find out, is something that happens whenever I accidentally eat gluten.  I turned to my companion to ask her if I looked sick and immediately she knew I was having an allergic reaction. A few minutes later I was able to get a priesthood blessing. After this blessing I felt once again restored to this light I had been feeling all day. I didn't regain my strength immediately but I felt peace, light, and love; I knew everything would be okay.

Isn't this amazing?! Okay it sounds a little bit pathetic at first, but then illustrates hopel. This is the message of Jesus Christ, that even though there is darkness and hopelessness in the world we can find peace, light and love through His gospel which is fully restored.

What does this mean?

It means that the same Priesthood that Christ ordained his apostles with is now fully restored on the Earth today. The same Priesthood that John the Baptist used to baptize Christ with is fully restored. The same priesthood that was used to heal the sick and afflicted is restored. Not only that but the same priesthood that allowed His principles to be taught is restored. Isn't this wonderful? I know its true. I feel its power in my life daily as I pray, read from the Book of Mormon, and even those moments when I need a Priesthood blessing.

That's the message we as missionaries have to share, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has fully been restored, priesthood and all. I'm so grateful for this and I love watching it bless the lives of those I teach as they accept these truths. I know that you too can learn these truths as you turn to God in prayer and trust that he will answer you.

Will you pray to know if this Priesthood truly has been restored? By knowing this truth you and your family's life will be blessed.

Learn more about the Priesthood and how its been restored:
"Priesthood: the Authority to act in God's name"
"..Learning to Trust in God." 
"The message of the Restoration"

Friday, August 12

Elder Marvin J. Ashton (1915–94) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Real charity is not something you give away; it is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself. And when the virtue of charity becomes implanted in your heart, you are never the same again. …
“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” 
Charity. Its a simple word with lots of meaning. Charity is something taught a lot about in the scriptures. Christ taught us to love everyone. In 1 Cor. 13 Paul teaches that without charity we are nothing. "And though I have the gift of aprophecy, and understand all bmysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing."

To me charity is a bunch of words combined in one. Words like patience, hope, kindness, love, slow to anger, etc. Charity is the ultimate love and takes time to develop. Charity is something we have to pray for in order to receive and in order to keep.

 The best way I can describe it is the love it takes to have a pet. This is something I struggle with. I always had a bunch of fish growing up. I would have them for about a week and be excited, then after that I would loose interest and forgot I had them. Sad, right? Or my family about a year ago decided to get a puppy. Little did I know how much work it would  be to have a puppy. LOTS of love and effort were put into making sure he was obedient and respectful. No matter what we had to love him, even when he dug 50,000 holes in our backyard. It took effort sometimes to love him, like in the moments when he chewed up my mom's flip-flop or even chewed up a very important document I kept by my bed. But in the end with all the long-suffering we could handle, we loved him, and still do. Just like how a parent feels towards a child who may be wayward at times.

Loving everyone isn't easy but I know that with prayer its possible. Yep, it really is, we can love everyone, even those who make it hard to love. And that's true charity. I know that once we learn to try to love and express that love to those around us we will be happier. Our life will have more meaning. Instead of nothing, we will have something in our lives, and that is the "pure love of Christ."

Can you think of some things you can do to increase your charity?
Do you have a story related to charity? Feel free to share.

For more information on charity:
Moroni 7:44-47
"Serving w/ Charity"
"Feeling the Love of the Lord through Charity"

Tuesday, August 9

"I felt peace!"

"and if it so be that ye believe in Christ, and are baptized, first bwith water, then with fire and with the Holy Ghost, following the cexample of our Savior, according to that which he hath commanded us, it shall be well with you in the day of judgment." -Mormon 7:10
In excitement for a baptism coming up tomorrow, I thought I would write a little of my thoughts about baptism and why it is so important. As I thought about what I could write or say I came across this story in the New Era- a magizine, from our church, for youth. This story is about a girl who had the faith to follow what she felt to be right in her heart. By doing so she felt peace and joy she could hardly describe. Even though it was hard for her, she knew it was the right decision.

"Stepping gingerly into the baptismal font, I felt a surge of peace flood my mind and heart... At the threshold of baptism, I stood comfortably and intently waiting my purpose...In the font I knew the rest of my life would be different. It would be a lot harder, but I realized that part of growing up is making choices that are right. As I leaned back into the water, I felt peace! I could hardly believe the joy. I had decided what I believed and took joy in that conviction. " -Alexis Ence, "I Chose Baptism, Aug. 2011 New Era." (click this link to get the full story, IT'S AMAZING).

I know that baptism is so important, and not just any baptism, but baptism by immersion, by the proper authority. I know that its important because Christ was our ultimate example in doing the will of the Father.
In 2 Nephi 31, Nephi explains why Christ was baptized:
4Wherefore, I would that ye should remember that I have spoken unto you concerning that prophet which the Lord showed unto me, that should baptize the Lamb of God, which should take away the sins of the world.

5And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!

You might ask why this simple act is so important. It is important because in order for us to turn to our Father in Heaven we need baptism. Christ was the example to show us our way back. Baptism helps free us from our sins and leads us down the path to HAPPINESS.. Which is living in the prescense of God one day. I know that because of that the Priesthood to preform this special ordinance has been restored. That same Priesthood Christ had is on the Earth again and makes it possible for us to become clean and free from our sins. You, too, can learn this for yourself, all you have to do it pray and ask God, he will tell you.
Sometimes following what we know to be right can be hard but just as Alexis said, doing what we know to be right leads us to happiness, peace, and joy.

"Growing up, trusting my decisions, and receiving consequences was not easy. But such joy has entered my life because I made the right decision. That moment of peace at my baptism has guided my life. Every big decision I make must have that peace, or I cannot live with it. I believe that if we choose what is right, we can get through anything." -Alexis


Do you have to Faith to do what you feel to be right?
Do you desire to have more peace in your life?

I know that as you follow God's commandments, this peace can become a reality.

Wednesday, August 3

cheer UP! and remember who you are!

A few months ago my mission companion was having a rough day, in order for me to cheer her up I decided to make up a cheer. It was amazing because as I sat and thought of what I could write the words just came to me. And now its something I recite in my mind whenever I forget for a split second who I am or I even find myself saying it for others to cheer them up;
Who are we? What do we do? We're missionaries and we teach about the truth.
We love and we serve and we help those in need.
Teaching the pure doctrines of Christ.
We don't get discouraged and we much rather laugh,
for we are proclaimers of TRUE happiness!
So, what do we do when that negative thought comes to mind?
We BEAT EM' DOWN, KICK THEM OUT, AND TEAR THEM UP!!

...........
Who are we? What do we do? We're missionaries and we teach about the truth.

Cheesy, right? Its so important to remember who we are though. I know that we are all children of God. He loves us more then we can comprehend and imagine. Satan is going to try everything in his power to make us miserable, sad and depressed. He wants us to forget that we are Children with Divinity. Sometimes in a world with so many voices its hard to remember that we are children of a KING. We have potential to become like him. We have SO much worth! Remembering who we are takes effort; we can do this by following the commandments God gives us, therefore qualifying us for the Spirit, who teaches of Truth. We can pray, serve others, or even look for ways to be positive. I found that the best way for me to remember that is by reading our scriptures;

Helaman 3:29 in the Book of Mormon we states :
 29Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the aword of God, which is bquick and powerful, which shall cdivide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and dnarrow course across that everlasting egulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked—

What are some things you do to Remember who you are? There are many things we can do. Any suggestions?

I hope that everyone takes the time each day to remember who they are. When those negative thoughts come know that you can push them away. You are a child of God.

Saturday, July 30

Friends and a story about a boy.

Friends are great. Everyone loves a friend. Friends are people we can go to for anything whether its for a good laugh, advice, love, or just plain company. In my life I've been blessed with some pretty amazing friends, people who have helped me remember who I am and my potential as a daughter of God.  I will be forever
Family made friends :)

 grateful for the friends sent in my life. Good time or bad times our friends stick with us. Lately I've been thinking a lot about friends.  Everyday we have the opportunity to make new friends and meet new people. My dad seemed to be a pro at this. Everyone we came across quickly became a new friend.
 John 15:13 Christ says: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
 He was willing to give everything for his friends, and He did. Now its a quick story time that I think y'all will enjoy it has to do with a cute young boy and a picture of Christ. 

This past week we were visiting a home with a cute family. The children are full of love and light. While sitting in their kitchen we enjoyed each others company as the children told stories of their summer. As it got close for us to leave their home we asked one of the children to choose a picture from the pile of pictures we had. The young boy very quickly chose the picture of Christ. We all looked at him with wonder. We asked the young boy to tell us why he chose the picture. He simple explained because it was Christ and that he loved him. We then asked him what this picture meant to this young boy. He then simply replied, "He means everything to me." Astounded by his sincerity as tears swelled up in his eyes we asked one more question: "Why does He mean everything to you." Again he simply responded that it was because Jesus died on the cross for him and loved Him. This little boy knew that Christ is his friend. He knew that in a very literal since his sins can be forgiven because of the Savior who died on the cross for him. How wonderful! I sat in awe and couldn't say anymore to this little boy who had such a powerful, real testimony of Jesus Christ.

It's true. Christ lives and just as this little boy said, I too say, "He means everything to me." You wanna know why? Because I know that because of Christ I can be happy, live in peace, and know that I am a daughter of God. I can repent of my sins and become worthy to stand in the presence of God one day. And because of him I have commandments that help me know how to live and what I need to do to become more like him: The greatest friend of all. I know that because of him we have his church on the Earth once again. Isn't that wonderful?! I love him and I love my Heavenly Father for their mercy and love.
What does Christ mean to you?






Tuesday, July 26

lose your life.

Have you ever tried looking for something and not been able to find it? Or have you tried looking for something like a house and instead gotten lost?

This has happened a few times to me throughout my life. Like last week when sister Barnes and I tried to find this ladies house (whom we didn't know) to wish her happy birthday. We drove, drove, and drove.. then come to find out her house no longer existed. Good news is we put the happy birthday card in the mailbox and maybe she'll get it some day. But the point is is that we tried looking for something we both desired and couldn't find it.

Something I've learned in my life is that each day we do things that ultimately lead to our happiness or misery. I know that serving others as Christ would is something that brings us lasting happiness.. even if we may not notice it at first. I also know that the quickest way to love someone is to serve them. As I've lived my life the more I try to do kind deeds for others the more I understand Christ and His personal love for me. Its interesting the times in my life that I've "lost" myself in service are the times when I learn more about me and who I am and who I can become.Christ tells us in Matthew 10:39 that:

 39aHe that findeth his life shall blose it: and he that closeth his dlife for my sake shall find it.

The more I live the more I find this to be true: That is we truly come to understand our relationship with our Heavenly Father as we serve others. We come to remember we are Children of God and have SO much worth as well as the people around us. It's amazing!

What can you do for the people around you to help yourself get lost in the way Christ would love and serve? I promise that this type of lost is the kind that will bring you lasting peace and joy. I know because I've experienced even just a taste of it in my life and hope to experience more.






Will you strive to "lose yourself" in the service of those around you today. Even if it's just a simple smile for someone your walking past, or a hello to someone who looks lonely. And feel free to share your experiences on here :)

Wednesday, July 13

He Hears



I'm so grateful for prayer. The simple principle behind it is that we are children of a loving Father in Heaven who wants to hear from us. He has given us prayer and the gift of the Holy Ghost so we can communicate with him everyday. It seems that I've always had a testimony of prayer, I just know that when I pray someone else is listening, someone of divinity and power. Everyday I am reminded of this as I recieve answers to my prayers whether its during my prayer or answers to prayers from years before. Its amazing.

Last week, Sister Barnes and I had a few struggles to say the least. Our car broke down about 60 miles away from our area, sister Barnes struggled from heat exhaustion, and I struggled from an allergic reaction to an ingredient in peanut butter. At one moment I went to my room and I prayed. I told Heavenly Father the struggle we were going through, that I felt alone, and that no-one knew how I felt (yes I was having a momentarily pity party). The moment I started saying those words an image came to my mind. It was a picture my 18 yr old brother had drew for me a few weeks after I left for my mission. The picture is his way of saying I love you (which doesn't happen often): the words I love you written in graffiti form on the paper barely hard to depict. As this image came to my mind I was instantly reminded that I have a loving family at home supporting me and that my Father in Heaven knows my needs and loves me more then words can describe.  At that moment God answered my prayer very quickly. He answers our prayers in his timing and when he knows will be ready and need them.


I know our prayers are answered. Sometimes it may not be how we expect but I know God answers our prayers. He calls for everyone to come to him and partake of the joy the comes from His Son. God answers our prayers through the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost speaks quietly to our minds and our hearts as I've described before in my other post about "the still voice of perfect mildness.


Prayer is simple all we need to do is address our father in heaven, give thanks, speak to Him the feelings in your hearts, questions, desires, help for others, and close in the name of Christ.

When was the last time you talked to your Father in Heaven?

Wednesday, July 6

Joy through Christ

"men are that they might have joy," 2 Ne. 2:25
Sometimes with the craziness of life its easy to forget that we were sent here to this earth to be JOYFUL. Yep, we weren't sent here to wallow in our trials, or hold grudges against those who may have caused us grief. We were sent to this earth by a loving father in Heaven who wants us to have joy. Most the time though it takes an extra effort to find joy.. and we have to be looking in the right place to have a fullness of it. 
For me JOY comes from:


living the gospel of Jesus Christ.


It comes from laughing even when in the current situation I could cry.

It comes from greeting a friend I haven't seen in a while.

It come from spending time with those I love, especially my family.

It comes from taking moments to "be still" and know that there is a God in Heaven who loves me. 


remembering who I am: a daughter of a loving Father in Heaven.

Sharing the gospel with people I love.
"may God grant that your burdens be light, through joy of his Son, Alma 33:23" 
There are many ways to find joy, but I know the one way that will bring us the most exquisite joy is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Through him we can be cleansed from our sins, be reunited with our bodies one day, and be freed from pain, sorrow, and heartache. I'm so grateful for the Savior Jesus Christ. I know that we can find joy as we live His gospel of Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the end. This is my main purpose as a missionary: to invite all to come unto Christ, through his gospel. As you do so, I know that you will find joy. 

Will you pray, read your scriptures or serve someone today so you can come to the Savior and feel of His joy?
 

Feel free to comment on experiences of how you've found joy through Jesus Christ.

Thursday, June 30

"be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

The past couple days I've been thinking about Jesus Christ with his call to "be of good cheer." As I've thought about this its caused me to reflect about the wonderful parents I've been given. They have always been an example to me of  good cheer.

Growing up I was always "daddy's little girl," I never wanted to leave his side and I loved observing the things he did. As I look back on the life he lived my heart fills with love for all he suffered and all he went through and still managed to make people smile and inspire those around him. My dad had a few loves: his family, being active, and making others laugh. Though when he was in his mid upper 20's he had an accident which would effect the rest of his life. Slowly with time this accident caused the feeling in one side of his arm to go away and continued to spread throughout his body as the years went on. This caused him to have many surgeries, medications, and doctor visits. At times it changed the person my Dad was: friendly, giving, and full of love. But even when this trial got the best of him you could see him doing his best to reach out of himself and be the person he knew he was: A loving, selfless, son of God. Even though it seemed all odds went against him from time to time he still managed to love with all his heart, make people laugh, and try his best to be the person he was before his accident.

As I've thought about the Savior's invitation to be of good cheer, I sometimes wonder how it is possible to be of good cheer when sickness, saddness, hate, envy, and even death pass by us. But them I am once again reassured that it is through Christ that we can "be of good cheer." Not just a superficial cheer, but a lasting cheer that brings peace, hope, love, and joy.

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have apeace. In the bworld ye shall have ctribulation: but be of good dcheer; I have eovercome the world." -John 16:33
Christ calming the stormy sea (matt 14:27)

"When we acknowledge that we each face difficulties, that the Savior overcame the world, that He has lifted and strengthened and given vision to each of us in very personal ways, we will realize that we are never alone. We will feel a peace within even though the crisis without still rages. We will be filled with hope and even cheer." By Camille Fronk Olson, "Be of Good Cheer," July, 2011 Ensign

I'm grateful for the hope Christ brings. That even when life has challenges we can still be of good cheer because we have the hope of his Atonement. I know that his invitation to be of good cheer is real, and doable. Even though my Dad experienced trials I'm grateful for his example of finding cheer. I know that that cheer comes through Christ.

What can you do today to help you find the cheer Christ offers?

Tuesday, June 28

"A still voice of perfect mildness,"

Amongst all the chaos these two missionaries Lehi and Nephi were experiencing- in the Book of Mormon- they heard the voice of the Lord, and so did the people who were persecuting them.
Helaman 5
29And it came to pass that there came a avoice as if it were above the cloud of darkness, saying: Repent ye, repent ye, and seek no more to destroy my bservants whom I have sent unto you to declare good tidings.
 30And it came to pass when they heard this avoice, and beheld that it was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but behold, it was a bstill voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul—


Paducah Zone with President and Sister Hutching's
This scripture reminds me of an experience I had the other day at zone conference- a meeting with 10 other missionaries in the surrounding area, as well as a few others. Normally during this meeting we are trained on certain topics to help us become better teachers and missionaries. That day our mission president decided to teach us more on the Holy Ghost and how he works in our lives.

Since most of us learn visually he took us to another room and asked for a volunteer, normally I would reserve this for someone else, but for a split second I was not myself and raised my hand. He had me go in a separate room for a few seconds while he instructed me and blind folded me. He told me that when I go back into the other room it wont be the same and that I would need to get to the other side of the room blind folded. He blind folded me and left to go instruct the other 11 missionaries. When he came back he guided me back to the room. On the way there he told me to go slow, that it would be noisy, and nothing else. In my mind I didn't know what to expect; that I needed to get to the other side and didn't know how.

Being led to the "Tree of Life"

He opened the door and immediately it got really loud. I heard people yelling, felt a fan blowing on my face, and heard a piano in the distance with intense music to make me even more confused. Just when I was wondering how I was possibly going to do this, with out getting hurt, I heard a quite, distinct voice, that said: "I'm the Holy Ghost." As I went along he guided me through all the noise and chaos. With each step he told me to go left, right, or straight. At first it was hard to distinguish His voice from all the noise around me, including others trying to pretend like they too, were the Holy Ghost. But as I completely blocked out all the noise I felt myself being carefully guided from one side of the room to the next. When I got to the other side of the room, He told me to turn around and take off my blind fold. As I did so I was amazed at what I had just walked through. IT WAS A MESS! It comforted me that I was able to get through all the chaos and noise by listening to the "still small voice."

This reminded me quickly of how the Holy Ghost works in our sometimes crazy lives. He doesn't shake us or speak loudly but rather he speaks in a quiet way that only our heart and mind will understand. If we listen to the voice He will be constant in guiding us safely through this sometimes messy world. As the world continues to get deeper and deeper in sin we have the hope of the gospel that all will be well as we heed the voice of the Lord. All it takes is a willing heart and a ready ear to listen. I'm grateful for the Holy Ghost. I know that with out His still small voice I wouldn't be here on a mission teaching others what makes me so happy. I know that through Him I've been safely guided in my life and led to where I've needed to go. And most importantly it is through the Holy Ghost that I know Jesus is the Christ and that His gospel has been fully restored to how it was when he established it while He lived on Earth. And the happiest thing is, that I'm not the only one who gets this gift, its offered to everyone who is willing to ask and recieve Him.

If you want to learn more about the Holy Ghost click on this link.
How have you been blessed by heeding the Voice of the Lord?

Tuesday, June 21

Blessings from Heaven


I'm grateful for the Book of Mormon. It's one of the main reasons I am serving a mission so I can spread the happiness this book brings. With the testimonies of the Prophet and Apostles I add my testimony that this book has brought me closer to Christ as I have applied the teachings from it. Not only has it brought me closer to Him but it has helped me come to know Him more personally through prayer and service. We invite everyone everywhere to read this book and watch it bring you closer to your Savior Jesus Christ. I know that Christ lives and that through Him we can return to live with our Father in Heaven. And most importantly we can live happy lives through Him and his teachings, which I love because I love being happy. Not only temporary happiness but happiness that will last through anything life may throw at you:

 12And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the arock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your bfoundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty cstorm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

How has reading this book blessed your life?  
Please feel free to share stories, experiences or a short testimony explaining why. 

If you haven't read this book yet, I invite you to do so. And if you have read it before I encourage you to read it again. I know that your life will be blessed by doing so, I've watched it bless my life, my friends, and my family.

Friday, June 10

MIRACLES!

Moroni 7
27"Wherefore, my beloved brethern, have miracles ceased because Christ hath ascended in to heaven, and hath sat down on the right hand of God, to claim of the Father his right of mercy which he hath upon the children of men? 
28For he hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those who have faith in him; and they who have faith in him will cleave unto every good thing; wherefore he advocateh the cause of the children of men; and he dwelleth eternally in the heavens. 
29And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men."

I know that this is true, miracles happen. Sometimes they are big or small. However the size most the time it takes a little bit of effort to recognize them. For me its the little daily miracles that keep me smiling.

Like: A family who can stick together even through the hardest of times. A beautiful sunset. Starving people who somehow get the nutrients to live one more day. A smile from someone passing by on a day that you may have thought unbearable. Laughter from a child that brightens your day. A tired missionary who somehow can keep on going even when all they want to do is sleep.

The Johnson, my greatest example of  the strongest family centered in Christ.
a cute elderly friend who brightens your day

 Amongst these one of my favorite is knowing the Gospel of Jesus Christ is once again restored. That our loving Heavenly Father called a young boy, Joseph Smith, to establish the Church that was once on the Earth and became lost. It truly is a miracle. I'm grateful for God and Jesus Christ, that through them we still have miracles today.

I know the church of Jesus Christ has been restored and I'm grateful for it! If this is something you desire to  know for yourself, all you need to do is pray and listen for an answer, I know God answers our prayers.

Sunday, June 5

just pondering a somewhat crazy transfer.

FAITH my dear friends, this is what this post is about. A little insight in how our faith is tested from time to time.

In the Book of Mormon, I feel like sometimes in my life I can relate to Sariah, Lehi's wife, who can't fully see the Lord's purpose in all things. In this story Lehi, a fairly weathly man who lived in Jeruselam, learned from God that he needed to leave his inheritance with his family and go into the wilderness to be led to a different land. Obedient to what he felt he and his family left on to follow the will of the Lord. As their journey continued Lehi learned once again from the Lord that his sons needed to return to their hometown to return an important record. Again Lehi and his family we're obedient and his sons traveled their way, to again follow the will of the Lord.

As time went on Sariah (Lehi's wife) became worried that her sons had not yet returned:


"For she had supposed that we had perished in the wilderness; and she also had complained against my father, telling him that he was a visionary man; saying: behold thous has led us forth from the land of our inheritance, and my sons are no more, and we perish in the wilderness." 1 Nephi 5:2


Sometimes in life we follow the feelings of our heart and the direction the Lord leads us.. and we become worried, doubtful, or even sorrowful, if we don't see immediate results or blessings. Even I have experienced this (I'm trying to improve my natural complainy ways).



I feel like this is how I've slightly been this past transfer, as I've been put here with a new companion (sister Barnes) and a brand new area. As a missionary, I trust that this is where the Lord needs me to be.. but as time went on and trials came I started to become doubtful and even sad from time to time. Yesterday was my breaking point, I had had enough from family trials, to car trouble, to personal inward trials. As I sat and pondered I decided to turn to the Lord. I prayed. I prayed simply and fervently. I asked that I might be able to see the purpose for serving where I now am. As I went about my day today I felt comforted and peace. I was reminded that sometimes it takes a little while to see the Lord's purpose for guiding you to a specific place. I can see that he has molded me into a better person, helped fill my heart with Charity, and most importantly has caused me to humble myself and rely on him more than ever.



After Sariah's sons returned, she rejoiced. She was comforted and her trust in God became strong again. She became confident in the commands of the Lord. Often times in life it takes a trial of our faith to recognize the greatness of God, and to learn to trust in him more. I know that God knows us individually. He knows what we need to become people filled with His light and love.

Can you think of a time the Lord has led you to a place and you weren't quite sure why? Or asked you to do something you didn't think you were strong enough to do? Remember to put your faith in the Lord. He loves you and me. I know it's true.



I love the Book of Mormon and how well it relates to exactly what I'm going through, if you haven't read it, or maybe its sitting on your bedstand collecting dust, I invite you to read it, to pray to know if its true. Your life will become more peaceful and you will be comforted.

Thursday, June 2

Dreams, Desires, Faith.

Since I was little I've always been intrigued by talent and the gifts others have. Growing up I never thought I had any of these talents I loved to see in others: like a beautiful ballerina being able to do a perfect Fouetté or even my sister who could play almost any sport with out being taught.
State Capitol 2010 in SLC, UT



As the dreamer I am I wanted to do everything and be everything; a basketball star, a swimmer, a dancer, a cheerleader, a musician, a singer, etc. you name it and that's what I wanted to be. Though as time went on I decided to focus more on dance. I started dancing when I was 12 years old. I danced with girls who had much more talent than I and had been dancing since they were three. But I persisted, because I wanted to be a dancer. Because I had such a great desire this caused me to spend lots of hours trying to become a dancer. Maybe 5 or more hours in class each week, then the time when I would come home and dance, plus all that I would do to help me be able to be on the dance teams I wanted to be on, like good grades. As time went on I tried out for dance companies, Drill teams, etc.. With lots of failure, trial and error, slowly with time I started to become a dancer. I wasn't naturally born with this talent but it was something I desired so much that with time I was able to become it. 

I feel like this is just how Faith works in our lives. We have a desire (hopefully righteous) and we work towards that desire. In the book of James it states  "26For as the body without the aspirit is bdead, so faith without cworks is dead also. "So, faith without works is dead. Faith is an action word. And for it to bring us happiness it must be centered in Jesus Christ.   If we have that desire to have more light in our lives or even to be just a little more like Jesus Christ, it takes effort. 

I know that as we put our Faith in Jesus Christ he can help us become the people we want to be. As me, Allie, I'm somewhat of a shy timid person when it comes to expressing exactly how I feel and what I know is right. Since my mission I've had this strong desire to become "Bold as a Lion." Silly, right? But its a desire I know I can achieve through Christ. With diligent effort and Faith in Christ we can find peace in our lives, we can become happy, we can find truth, and we can feel love. 

What is it that you desire? What do you want to become?  I know that through Christ we can find peace, happiness, hope, and joy. He is the only way to receive these things and have them last.

Monday, May 30

Happy are we, Happy are we.


 I love singing and hearing others sing. A few of my favorite hymns mostly include happy upbeat music like, We are all enlisted (I like singing the part over and over again, HAPPY ARE WE HAPPY ARE WE"), There is Sunshine in my soul, etc. I think you get the point.

These past couple days I've had this one song lingering in my mind: "Count Your Many Blessings." You see, this is mine and Sister Barnes theme for this transfer (6 week period). We even have a wall of our many blessings we put on sticky notes and hang up each night.

Part of the song goes, "Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings and your doubts will fly, and you will be singing as the days go by." Isn't this a lovely song? I love it. Because, I've seen in my life when we focus on the good we are happier and people can see that reflect off of us, even when we are experiencing hard times.

So let me tell you some of the blessings we've experienced this past week:
- Some how getting everywhere we need to go even with a broken down car.
-Weeding our neighbors garden, I LOVE WEEDING.
-The flowers our neighbor gave us after weeding!! AMAZING! They we're even PINK!
-Laughter. Lets just say we've laughed A LOT! Like when we had a hard day, we we're walking and a dog started CHARGING us and my companion slumped over and said with drama "I HATE EVERYTHING." HAHAHA. Lots of laughter this past week.
-Food to eat even with no food in our house.. miracles really happen.

-Sister Bakes (the bishops wife) randomely finding us whenever we needed a ride!
-The little flower seedling I'm growing from a cup is starting to grow! EXCITING!
-Priesthood Blessings :) Healing.
-Finding solace in the scriptures and going to church.
-An AWESOME ward!
-A letter from a friend at home during a rough week (miss soderberg shout out).

I'm sure there are more, this is just an example. The Lord is FULL of mercy, lots of tender mercies daily. What has the Lord blessed you with lately? Think.. once you get going its hard to stop. Write some down and then give thanks to our loving Father in Heaven for his abundant grace :)