Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dear Mom and Family,                                                                                                   July 9, 2013
My first day here was one thing after another. since the fourth celebration was the next day we had to do all of our orientation in that first day when normally it's done in two. the hardest thing was the fact that my shoes, new with heat and sweat combined together...gave me blisters. and i've never had blisters before. which i thought honestly was funny. until i actually looked at them. those things are gross. bleh.  The girls in my room {S Hauet - meu companhiera, S Mills e S Cotton} all helped me figure out the best way to make it so i could walk because i was literally limping by the end of the day. the next day was so bad i cried. then i prayed and i don't know why but i thanked God for my blisters, because i felt so weak and humble because of them. it was a beautiful experience.
My district is WONDERFUL. E Carney is the district leader and SO incredibly smart. he's blond but has a red patch of hair. he and i bounce off a lot with spiritual comments, and i absolutely love it. he's from Colorado. E Thomas is E Carney's sr comp and is also from Colorado. He's hilarious and acts like all of ours little brother {although he didn't like it whent i told him that ha} He has a sense of humor too. Then there is E McLaughlin and E Wilson - they are both very quiet honestly but great guys. i don't know them very well but E Wilson kind of reminds me of how dad would have been on a mission and E McLaughlin is just... nice {as S Cotton who is from the south would say - Bless his Heart}. E Turk and E Frazier are amazing too. E Turk and I kind of have a lot in common - we spent quite a while talking about plays before one classroom time, he's also the oldest at 21, he was in the army and has a very sweet spirit. E Frazier sounds like one of the ninja turtles although no one but me can hear it.  He's also very interested in politics and likes to sing {oh as do Es Carney and Thomas and Turk}. S Mills is like mom with no comfort zone at all and twice as friendly ...i love her so - she's also very uplifting to be around and a VERY distinct laugh haha. S Cotton is probably one of the sweetest girls i have ever met. she looks kinda like Megan but acts with the grace of gramdma A haha. we all love her accent especially "water". (: she was the one who helped me the most with my blisters. she's like the quiet mom of our group, although S Mills is definitely the "leader".
my compy gets her own paragraph! (: tall beatiful red head who i have never seen unhappy, although she tells me i am usually the external manifest of what she is feeling {overwhelmed, scared, sick to my stomach, confused...etc hahaha} although i can't say either of us have been homesick yet. she's from logan and did swim, and she thinks she may know seths' family up there - the Pecks. could you add us on facebook Lo? her name is Rachael Hauet and she went to Logan high school. she also wants to be a marine biologist and i told her since seth didn't teach me how to swim that she needs to (: but obviously not for another 18 months. we love each other - we seriously have more things in common than you can possibly imagine. she is also a 19er, loves musicals, dr who, humor, cello, music....gah. it's awesome. we really get each other. she also reminds me of a mix of Kels and Lo. (: probably why i love her. 
Anyway i better finish up yikes!
Everyone here is so beautiful, the devotionals and meetings are all so life changing. i've probably cried every single day but because every day is so long it doesn't really feel like that. :P i love having elders and sisters in my district as well, young and old {Es McLaughlin, Wilson and Frazier are all 18, the other two are 19 and turk is 21} S Mills' family i believe will be posting pictures she sends and you can see them then {sorry, i didn't have time for pictures today but i will try next time, it's hard to find a computer fast enough to do it and still write an email and still do everything else needing to be done. it may take a while.......} my teacher Irmao McGill is inspired of the Lord. I don't know how it's possible but i feel as though i have learned a third of what i learned those three months in spanish in only one week with him. if not more. it's crazy. he also talked to S Hauet and I yesterday and we discussed some of the difficulties we've been having and he left a note on our desks this morning and it was just very uplifting and inspiring. each and every teacher here is the right one for those people in that district, it's so incredilbe how things just work out like that here in the MTC, or i guess...anywhere.
so much to tell you! I thought i had bed bugs but no, we checked and it wasn't and i'm okay now. just a small rash. i have also learned to take even faster showers than i was expecting. there is a whole floor of girls to only eight showers every morning. talk about stress to wake someone up haha. Lo if you can take a shower in 5-10 min you will be set though. S Hauet and I have been running and doing core. mom if you could maybe explain a workout? we need more ideas, things that don't include stress on the shoulders because S Hauet had an injury and can't do those. i will be VERY in shape by the time i leave ha. it's beautiful here as well. oh and send me a frisbee! we can't play ultimate but we can toss it and i miss it (:
i love you all so much! next time i will try and do better to tell you what spiritual things i am learning. also let everyone know DEAR ELDER is amazing and it's the best way, because then i can also write you a handwritten letter {i get those in person the day after you send them i believe, and keep dating them because they don't. in fact tell dad to do it, i would LOVE that} also i need Kaytlyn's PHYSICAL address and email. thanks!
I love you all so much! The phrase that keeps going through my head today is that "I can do hard things" i don't know where it's from but it is so true! I love you all, thank you for your love and support and if you write me I WILL write you back. it's like in the Joseph Smith film where and he says to one guy, the Lord brings us low so that we can rise higher or something to that effect. I hope and believe that is true with all my heart. I have learned the beauty of humility this week.
Love and Safety to you, m beautiful family {and HUGS! lots of them}
Sister Kaylla White

FAMILY!!!                                                                                                                                         8-19-13

Heavens, do you know how much i love you!? please always remember that i love you, each and every one of you more than you can ever imagine.

Arizona is hot!!! most days it is about 105-115....and that 105 is a good day. it is so hot that their fire hydrants are silver so they don't explode. crazy right? My first day here at least three people told me that in Arizona "everything is dead or wants you dead" and it is so true! and then the worst part of it is that everything is brown. my first day here it was so bad that i wrote in my journal "the ground is brown, the trees are brown, the people are brown...the houses are brown and even the sky is brown!" ps i wasn't trying to be racist - it's true. and you'd think that somewhere so ugly the houses wouldn't be brown but they literally try to match the ground in all their coloring. it's horrid. and then they don't have grass. everyone landscapes with gravel. different colored gravel is about as creative as you can get. and just wait till i tell you about the cacti! {ps cactus = one poky weed and cacti = more than one poky weed!}

so my companions are Sister Foss from Burlington Washginton and Sister Magallanes {mag-ah-zsh-ahn-ess} from Taylorsville utah but her family is from Venesuala and she is fluent in Spanish. I LOVE THEM TO DEATH! we seriously get along really well, like 97% of the time we are rockking the tri-panionship! S Mags and I have a ton in common too - in fact we have a plan to go on a road trip when we get back to go visit s Foss in Washington and see seattle because it's awesome (: i'm so excited. i love these girls. we made dinner and it was the best. i wish i had enough time to tell you everything about it! gah.
In our companionship we have this joke {that i started yay!} where one of us will say "how many sisters does it take to -----" it's kind of based off of the how many something does it take to screw in a light bulb joke- anyway we replace lightbulb with whatever we're doing whether it's easy or hard and then the other two will shout "THREE!" because we all love our three-some.

also in Arizona it's a big thing to know your cacti so they were teaching me. suhuaros take 90 YEARS to grow and arm and are illegal to cut down here in AZ. you have to landscape or build your house around them. i don't know why but some people even plant them. yuck. they're the creepy ones too....S Foss thinks they are beautiful in an odd way and i can kind of see it but then...NOT. then there are Prickly Pears! MOM! you should try and get some prickly pear syrup! i had it at my first breakfast at the mission home and it was the BEST SYRUP i have EVER HAD. it's just as sweet but much lighter than maple and not gross like fruit syrups. i'll bet money that it's healthier too. in order to make it they have to peel away the prickles to the fruit and because it's so hard it is expensive so don't buy a lot but just enough to try it. it's WONDERFUL. then there's paddle cacti which are ugly and flat. then my LEAST FAVORITE THAT I AM TERRIFIED OF: Choyas....i don't know if that's how you spell it but they SHOOT POKY BALLS OF HECK at you. no joke. and they are ALL OVER THE PLACE. worst thing ever. S Foss says that AZ is Heavenly Father's TIME OUT place for his children....i'm willing to agree. oh and as a mental image: TATOINE from star wars!!! (:

One of our investigators named Virginia we're trying to get her to stop smoking. she has this adorable 9mnth baby and we love them both so much. she didn't come to church though and she wont stop smoking so if she doesn't keep her commitments this week we will have to move on.......that makes me sad. but she's been responding more to our messages. i think they are helping and i think that after last night {we are now all reading the BoM in two weeks! and me in Port. so pray for me !!!}she will begin to realize the truth and how she needs now to act. she has faith...she just needs action. it's incredible to be doing this for real now. it's crazy.

Also we have a baptism this Saturday! hopefully.....hopefully she won't get worse.. she's about 45 but looks 70 and she's been in the hospital. i've only met her once it's that bad. we're praying for her though and i know the Lord will bless her for her faith.

oh funny story (: on our way to the Mission Home I asked the APs which way was North and they couldn't figure it out...We're in the middle of nowhere! they've been here 17 and 22 months. hopefully i'll be able to find my way around soon. i get lost a lot. also i am in an area called Sahuarita(sp?} it's about 30-45 min from the border on the southeast end of AZ. and my area is Midvale. just in case you were wondering.
You met elder wilson!!! haha he would say that. [He told Aaron and Megan that Kaylla was very opinionated] good. glad i made an impression. its true though. oddly enough. if you see any of the others tell them i say hi!!! and that i am ROCKING IT IT AZ!

Woot Woot for Meg's pig! [Megan's pig won in the state fair they attended] that's awesome and the pictures are adorable! i love the one of Halle (: she's so adorable! and i love the picture of all three of my big brothers (: i have some DARN HANDSOME brothers. (: we must be related ;P hehehehe. and yah! kakakaka is how brazilians spell laughter (: it's awesome. S mags (Sister mags) wants me to teach her Portuguese (: i love her!!!

oh! my address is:
Sister McKaylla White
Arizona Tucson Mission
939 W. Chapala Dr.
Tucson AZ, 85704

PS - You thought Utah construction was bad? come to AZ and you will be thankful.

and now for a spiritual thought! (: I think that maybe the reason that the Lord has sent me here is to learn something that i can only learn here. personally i think i am here to learn to be more courageous. to learn how to talk to everyone. Already S Mags is an incredible example. she is fearless! i want to be better than her by the time i leave. ALSO because of that thought...i think the Lord will keep my VISA waiting until i have learned that. so i'm going to make myself learn my lessons quick!!!

i came at the perfect time btw. zone conference this week and temple trip next week. so blessed. God loves me. (:

ANYWAY. gotta go. I love you all! thanks for all your love and prayers and the pictures!

all my love (:
Sister {Kaylla} WhiteFAMILY!!!


Sunday, June 30, 2013

{ MISSIONARY WORK } : Sacrifice, Obedience & Service

{this talk was given the Sunday before i left for my mission, also it is not exactly what i said as there were some things that just needed to be said differently, i lost my spot and also my testimony - although the same as below - needed to be spoken differently. you just can't read your own testimony...it does not work.} enjoy!

Good Morning Brothers and Sisters!

A month ago after Bishop told me that I’d be speaking on missionary work {which I might add is a very VERY broad topic} I came up with three basic but what I saw as some pretty significant aspects of what I will be doing for the next 18 months. Those aspects were Sacrifice, Obedience and Service. Coincidentally in that order they create the acronym SOS which was a Morse Code Distress Call and has come to mean things such as “send out succor”, “save our ship” or the one that strikes me the most: “save our souls”. I found that very fitting.

Sacrifice has always been an interesting word to me. When I was a young teenager I began to correspond it with Love. Love for your friends, love for your family and love for your God. Love being an action word, we show it in many ways but most often people will show their love by giving something of themselves. Sacrifice is defined as giving up for the sake of obtaining something else.

The word Sacrifice actually comes from two Latin words {and forgive me if I don’t pronounce these correctly…} sacer which means “sacred” and facio which means “to make”; to make sacred. The sacred offerings that we make to God show that we are not only willing to obey His commandments, but also show our devotion to and love for Him.

Elder Monte J. Brough stated that “some of our greatest blessings come from our willingness to sacrifice as the Lord directs.” He continued to talk about Adam and Eve after they had been cast out of the garden and how they were commanded to give up offerings unto the Lord and when asked by an angel why they did so, Adam answered honestly “I know not, save the Lord commanded me.”

Like unto Abraham when he was asked to sacrifice his only son whom he loved dearly, neither of these great prophets knew the “why” they simply obeyed. And because of their faith they were blessed. In Moses 5:10 it says “And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God.” Thus we find that Adam was blessed with “wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures” {Doctrine & Covenants 89:19 – which is a part of the Lord’s promise to His saints if they obey his commandments concerning the Word of Wisdom} and in Genesis 22:17-18 the Lord blessed Abraham that He would “multiply [his] seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and [his] seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in [his] seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou has obeyed my voice.”

The center of the Lord’s gospel is Christ’s incredible sacrifice for us, His atonement for our sins and in turn we are to sacrifice to him as well. In the days before Christ’s death those were literal sacrifices symbolic of Christ’s but now as that sacrifice has already been fulfilled, we offer up to Him a “broken heart and a contrite spirit.” Our willingness to obey this commandment does bring His blessings, as one beautiful scripture states: “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it.” {Matt 16:24-25}

Obedience as you may be able to tell from Adam and Abraham is a big part of sacrifice. Without their obedience to the Lord’s commands they never would have received the blessings given to them.

A few things about obedience: to be obedient, you have to know the law or the rule to which you are being obedient. The action done in obedience also must be done in submission to authority, and obedience must be in consequence of knowing a command or order of restraint. Also to be obedient does not imply servility or obsequiousness, rather a dignity and voluntary compliance with the knowledge of guidelines set for us.

So how exactly does being obedient give us blessings? Well to answer that we look to the laws and commandments given to us. In Matthew 22:36-40 Christ is asked by a lawyer “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

In the Gospel Doctrine lesson manual in the lesson on obedience it asks: how do we show our love for God? And then it offers the answer from John 14:21 “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father.” In other words it’s a big circle! If we desire the Lord’s blessings then we will follow His commandments, His foremost commandment being to love Him above all else. Then if we keep those commandments, we show our love for him, and in turn He will show His love for us.

President Thomas S. Monson said that “There is no need for you or me in this enlightened age, when the fullness of the gospel has been restored, to sail uncharted seas or travel unmarked roads in search of a “fountain of truth.” For a living Heavenly Father has plotted our course and provided an unfailing map – obedience.” When we desire to be obedient, God will prepare a way for us.

Service is missionary work, and missionary work is service. Voluntary service is done by a servant and involuntary service by a slave. It is given to a superior for hire or can be given to anyone for no personal gain at all. All of these things define service, so which one is it that we need to follow. For the answer to that I looked to Christ. He served all of those around him, whether high in political or religious status or the lowest of the low such as the lepers. So should we serve, giving of everything we have for the progression of His work.

One of my sister’s favorite Hymns is A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief. In this song the story is told of multiple encounters with a man who is suffering from trial after trial. Each and every time this stranger is come upon in dire need, the one telling the story gives of all that he has to save his life. Although I’d love to read all seven verses, I will simply read the fifth:

{5} Stript, wounded, beaten night to death,
I found him by the highway side.
I roused his pulse, brought back his breath,
Revived his spirit, and supplied
Wine, oil, refreshment – he was healed.
I had myself a wound concealed,
But from that hour forgot the smart,
And peace bound up my broken heart.

In each verse the stranger suffers from a different trial, and each time when the teller gives of all he can, he is blessed twice over, but the blessings are not as tangible as you might suppose. Then finally in the last two verses the stranger asks the teller if he will give up his life for him, and although he barely understands it…the one telling the story does! Then it is all revealed that the stranger all along was the Savior, and just as he said in Matthew 25:40 “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

And so the Lord asks of His missionaries to get up and go, to obey the call of Doctrine & Covenants section 4: “Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that he may stand blameless before God at the last day. Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work.”

Heber C. Kimball when called by Joseph Smith to serve a mission in England was at first reluctant, but after realizing the will of the Lord, went wholeheartedly, and through him hundreds were converted to the gospel. Later after he had returned and had served the Lord in bringing up Missouri, sick with Malaria he was called yet again to go serve in England. Putting everything down to answer the call, he sacrificed, leaving all the money that he had with his wife and children, knowing that the Lord would provide for him and his companion Brigham Young, who was also sick with Malaria couldn’t walk without aid. Putting all the trust and faith they had in Christ they got in that wagon and as they were almost gone Heber and Brigham decided to give up a cheer. Bearing one another up, they stood in the back of that wagon and cried out “Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah for Israel!”

Their example is …incredible to me, and a full embodiment of Sacrifice, Obedience and Service. The Lord asks of us to sacrifice for Him in the cause of His work to “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man”, we are asked to be obedient in exactness so that we may reap such rich blessings of happiness that mankind was meant to have; “Adam fell that man might be and men are that they might have joy.” I’m so excited to serve in Brazil. More than anything I know that His plan for me is just that, tailored exactly to fit me.

I know that the gospel is as true now as it was in the days when Adam walked with God. I know that His prophet, President Thomas S. Monson is the living prophet for our time, called of God and through him we can find the truth in all things. I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Eternal Father and Jesus Christ in the sacred grove, and through Joseph the true church was restored again. And more than anything…I know that He loves me. And it is because He loves me that He atoned for my sins, my personal sins, my shortcomings. He has loved me when I have fallen and felt like the light at the end of the tunnel had gone dark. In the words of Samuel Medley: “I know that my Redeemer lives, what joy this sweet sentence gives.”

I say these things in the holy name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

{ t h e y } THAT BE WITH { u s }

{just a small thought i'd like to share...}

every time i go through the temple now recently i am reminded of that scripture in 2 Kings 6:16 : "...Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them." and i have this image of my head that although the temple sometimes doesn't look all that full, in reality it is jam packed with angels.

my family did family names on my mom's side of the family this passed week. it was an incredible experience, especially since my mom's dad and grandpa were among the names along with the {however many} greats grandmas that both me and my sister are named after.

it felt like...a family reunion. and i felt their presence there so incredibly strongly that i nearly cried. listening as my father was confirmed in proxy for my grandpa who i never knew...it felt as if someone in the room were literally singing as loudly as possible, not caring as to whether or not he was in tune...simply the pure joy of the experience and he could no longer hold in his excitement.

i've often wondered if the veil between this earth and our life and friends who haven't come or have already passed on is quite thin there in the temple. now i know it. it seems so obvious to me now, i almost wonder at my having not known that it would be that way.

and it is so beautiful.

this gospel is true, and as i see it work miracles and bring happiness and peace...over and over again i am reminded as to why i am going on this mission to Brazil. it's to share this beauty, this gift with all those who are ready, who are searching and yearning for it...who somehow know it's there...just haven't yet understood. like me and my new understanding of the company we have while in the temple...

they just needed the right epiphany and the right moment.

all my love,


R E A L I T Y { W H A T ? }

as the time winds down, going from triple to double to single digits {yippee!} i feel kind of strange about the way i feel. i'm not scared, yet extremely nervous. i have no clue really what it will all be like, and honestly it hasn't really hit me yet that i leave on my mission in 9 days {i'm up way passed my bedtime...ooh oh...}

sometimes it will hit me, like when my dad asks me what time i'll need to be dropped off at the MTC and i see his eyes go all watery, and inside my heart is breaking...

but then at the same time it feels as if i'm just reading off a time and passing along information, as if i were going away to girl's camp and i'll be back in a few days. but it's not, and i won't and i am beginning to wonder if i won't realize all of this until my first night there, when i haven't given my mom a hug goodnight {call me little or immature but i haven't gone a single night without that hug for as long as i can remember}.

so what's the deal? am i still in the "honeymoon" phase of the mission call? absolutely in love with everything, believing i am invincible, feeling as though i could convert the whole planet if i could only get to them, thinking that all those issues and difficulties couldn't possibly apply to me...

tonight i asked my mom....what if i am paired with a companion who i can find nothing to relate with? {which is an issue for me because i've always kind of felt that i could at least find ONE thing in common with everyone if given the chance}. in so many ways i feel as unprepared as a student who slept through their alarm clock and class starts in three minutes and today is the mid-terms.

{my best friend would tell me right then that it's the fact that i'm worried about all of this in the first place and am thinking about all of this before it happens and thinking through these things that will make me such a good missionary...}

i want to be prepared, and yet i'm told that no matter what i do...i'll never be able to prepare enough! which is so frustrating because i'm the girl who likes to be ready for church an hour early, who writes a list of things that need to be done before the next day, who read through her primary lessons over and over again, who hates being late or unprepared for any activity...

what's a sista' supposed ta do?

i know that somehow everything will work out. He promised that "all will be well", and i trust in that. and i'm still not scared. but really...has reality already hit me and it's just not that bad or am in in for a huge surprise?



Monday, June 17, 2013

{ F E A R } vs. { F A I T H }

i get asked two questions a lot recently. first is "how many days?" {today the answer to that is 16 by the way. and my mom is freaking out more than i am...heh heh.} and the second question is "are you scared?"

the answer is: no, i'm not.

which is so strange! because honestly i'm a scaredy-cat {sp?} and i constantly push myself beyond my limits, expanding myself ....but i will always admit that i would rather stay with what i know than venturing out to something new. but like i said, i extend past my limits. if i hadn't, i wouldn't even have started my mission papers.

but i did. and here i am. and i'm not afraid. i'm still nervous about the airport honestly {but i'll always be scared of those places...sketchy sketchy things...}and anxious about certain habits i haven't quite kicked yet but all in all i feel as though...i can do this. i just have to keep moving forward and never look back.

when i first got my call, shortly afterward i was really concerned. i was getting terrified in fact. i knew i wasn't ready in basically any way at all, at least that was how i felt. and then one of my wonderful brothers texted me. he started asking me very simple questions such as "do you believe that your call came from the Lord?" and obviously i said yes, and his questions continued. in the end he basically hit it: i am not serving for myself, i am serving for them. and anything about me...i need to forget about it. yes, be prepared...but don't worry. the Lord wouldn't have called me to Brazil if He knew i couldn't handle it.

and i have Faith in that. and that's the funniest thing of all, when you have faith in someone or something, you can't doubt them at the same time. it's one, or the other. and even more than that {and possibly more shocking...} is that it is a Choice. we get to choose whether or not we are ready to put our whole lives in the Lord's hands for those 18 months or whether we should just go home.

it's a decision between whether or not we will have Faith or Fear. will i let myself be molded in the hands of the master? or will i let myself be crushed in satan's death grip? and the choice has to be made.

and so i decided i would take a Leap of Faith! and i have felt so much peace, and whenever i feel that fear creeping in i remember that, i remember the faith and His love for me and i push away from me the doubts. and i am no longer afraid. just like Karola Reece's mother {from the book We Were Not Alone} never lost her faith in the Lord and through that same faith, preserved her family...i believe that the sisters who are now flooding the earth today will perform miracles...and we will not be afraid.

{ t h e // end }

Thursday, June 13, 2013

From the Land of { W A R D R O B E }

{please take note of the awesome tan-line on my feet}

so these are some of my outfits. i haven't counted number of shirts or skirts or dresses but i do know that so far it ALL only takes up about half of my big suitcase {which i have to tell you...i fit inside!}

which happily means that i will be able to go to brazil with only two suitcases, a backpack and handbag. this fact makes me very happy - as my brother was kind enough to inform me that americans are a joke in brazil. apparently the ones who come with three suitcases are spoiled rotten, because no one in brazil has that kind of money. at this point in my mission preparation journey, i'm finding it hard to believe that people really have enough stuff to bring three suitcases. { H O W ? } what in the world are they even bringing?!

no offense intended of course sisters. it's just my opinion that we're not going to a fashion show, we're teaching the gospel and as such....unless you're going to washington d.c. and need to look businesslike...a little restraint is probably wise.

anyway! { C I A O ! }

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The { J O U R N E Y } : Before The Call : Part Two

i'm not all too sure of how i'm going to write this story. first of all, it's pretty personal...but after hearing from many other sister missionaries their stories, i feel like it might do some good to share mine as well.

as probably noted by other sisters, once your papers are in or you have made the decision to serve, there appears before you a brilliant array of temptation. mine came in the form of a certain young man {and for his privacy i won't state a name or anything that will implicate him i promise, i simply want to convey a principle}. he was nice, and he was funny and i was extremely attracted to him.

but he wasn't active, and he lived a very different lifestyle than anyone i have really met before. in fact in this sense he was precisely the type of person whom during any other time in my life i would have avoided wholeheartedly. but i didn't. i dipped my foot a little into the water, testing it out. and although nothing serious happened, a door was opened into the room of curiosity for me. i don't know if i wish i hadn't, but i do know that i wouldn't take back this experience now that i have had it.

in the end i fell for him {no i didn't love him, but i did like him a...lot.} and i made a bit of a fool of myself trying to see if he liked me, and trying to get him to like me. in the end i had nothing to show for it but having made a huge fool of myself, of course.

but i learned a lot about myself in this process. it's funny how experiences like this can show you just how true your colors are. my experience showed me how willing i was to listen to my parents warnings and advice, even when i didn't want to. my experience showed me that you can't tiptoe along the line of black and white...that you need to steer clear of it. this experience showed me how people whose lives are completely different from your own are not...bad people as i think i may have thought before. they still have a light inside of them, that makes them a beautiful human being. and i learned how truly weak of a human being i am, and how much i do need His strength sometimes...strength to endure through the distractions.

{i would like to note though: even though meeting and getting to know this guy was probably not my best move ever, i still believe with all my heart that he is an incredible guy. he taught me a lot about loving people, despite their pasts, their habits, their choices...he may not know it but he helped me to love people in a deeper way than i had before.}

in the story of adam and eve, satan tempted eve and convinced her to partake of the fruit. he thought he had won then, but what he didn't realize is that he was only helping along Heavenly Father's plan, by causing eve to make a CHOICE. adam and eve couldn't progress without it, thus in a very odd way...satan was only helping along the plan.

with that in mind...i think that is what this experience was for me. although it wasn't right...good things came of it, and i don't believe i would be the stronger woman that i am now without it.

The { J O U R N E Y } : Before The Call : Part One

once i had made the decision to serve, the last thing on my mind was passing the physical. it shouldn't have been. but i thought i was in complete health, maybe not as healthy as i was back when i used to ballroom dance...but i had great abs and i'm naturally thin. plus! yah...no.

apparently i have Hashimotos Disease {long explanation short: my thyroid is swollen and i'm not getting the chemicals i need to have normal sleep patterns, weight, mood swings and [[cough]] stool. heh heh. sorry.} anyway. my doctor told me that my hormonal levels etc were {CRAZY} wacked. for most people normal levels i believe is somewhere near 5 i think? well mine were at about 37 {which according to the testing method used actually doesn't mean i'm on the high end, rather on the low end of thyroid levels. don't ask me, i don't understand and probably never will.}

so my doctor told me that because my levels were so off, she wouldn't be able to sign my physical papers until they were fixed and she predicted that that wouldn't be for another SIX months! i was devastated.

that night after finding out, i was probably in the lowest low i had had in nearly eight months. luckily it was the weekend and my best friend was back in town from his job up in northern utah and he took me to go get some hot chocolate {or ice cream, either one i can't remember ha} and everything just came pouring out of me.

you see...when the announcement first came about the age change for girls, it meant that suddenly my best friend and i were three years closer to a possible future together. we were going to "not wait" for each other while on their mission and then see where things were afterward. after the age change...our journey changed from five years to only two. but with my health issue...

to put it simply, it felt like the Lord was giving me mixed signals. He made it possible for things to work out, and then he made it more difficult than ever? i was just confused. and i'm...human, and hopelessly flawed and...i got mad at my best friend. i said a lot of things that i shouldn't have. and for a while there...our friendship was scarred. but...time healed that wound and even though i wasn't able to get my call before he left for his mission...after a lot of prayer and fasting and going to the temple and going and talking to my "godfather" {a close family friend who i have always looked up to, who is like an uncle to me}...i learned to trust in the Lord again. and ....finally, i was at peace.

and then a miracle happened. after only a month of taking my new medication i went in for my first monthly blood test....and when my doctor got my results, she called me and told me....i was good to go!

it may have been only a small miracle for the Lord to pull...but to me, it was the most beautiful miracle of all. He wants me to serve this mission and even though there are obstacles...i know that they are only there to strengthen me so that i may be a better missionary.

this strengthened my testimony so much concerning the power of fasting and prayer and temple attendance. i know that when our hearts are in alignment with the will of our Father's...great things can happen. and because of that, i am beyond excited to serve a mission! to be able to tell people of His love for each one of just individually...what more can i ask for?

{to be continued.}

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

of { M I S S I O N S } and { M E N }

first i'd like to state this: it really is the first priority of women to begin a family.

that being said, it is also the place of a woman to be completely devoted to the Lord and when He says "go" you go and when He says "stay" you stay. and either way, you endure and as i believe Pres. Hinckley stated, enjoy! the Lord wants each of His children to be happy, and just as every good father here on earth has a special place in his heart for his little girls, so does our Father in heaven. He only wants what is best for you.

so. if a righteous young man comes along who is worthy, who you are attracted to and who has expressed interest in you as well...in my opinion, i believe it should become a matter of prayer with your Father. don't be so set on serving the Lord in the way you think He needs you that you lose track of the whole reason woman was created. to be a help meet for man.

everything is a matter of prayer when it comes to missions.

now on to juicy-er topics!

are you waiting for a missionary? are you asking a missionary to wait for you? {i've been both places by the way} and both times when i took it to the Lord, it was confirmed to me that it was not right. and good thing i listened! now this was a completely personal experience, i know that. but i would like to caution my fellow sisters: don't let your heart be so in love with a man that you can't truly love the Lord. the Lord and His will should always be your priority. if the young man cannot except that, then he or you or both of you need to consider where your priorities are, who you are truly worshiping and why you are choosing to serve in the first place.

then another thing that i heard recently and absolutely LOVED! i had never thought about it or even realized it until a fellow sister mentioned this in her blog {read HERE, she's amazing by the way} and i'd like to re-iterate. if you are "waiting" or whatever you want to call it {"we're not waiting for each other, we just plan on both being single after our missions and both love each other very much"}, he is not "your missionary".


ever since i read that, i've heard it everywhere! and let me explain why it bothers me now. the word "your" is possessive. but whoever he is, he is not teaching your gospel, he is teaching HIS. putting it simply. you shouldn't even be a real focus in his mission {i'm sorry! i know it hurts! i've been there, am there in a sense too}. so anyway...just no.

not planning on serving a mission? take note of the influx of men that come when you decide and do turn in your papers. my best advice? if you like him...go on a date! dating is fun! and doesn't have to mean any more than that if you don't want it to. if however he is in-active or creepy or has ill-intentions...steer clear. please please please steer clear. i wish i had had someone who could warn me about this. since i turned in my papers i have had two guys ask for my number {which never happens by the way} one of whom was very determined and even stalked me at work for a while, two amazing young men who sadly weren't active became interested in possibly dating {short-lived both of them, sadly at the cost of at least one good friendship} and a few other encounters which resulted in seemingly harmless flirting but had my heart confused for a while each time {guys are devious but wonderful creatures...}

but my point is. don't be distracted by all the fish in the sea. sharks are fish too. if it is right, then the Lord will confirm it to you.

that's all i have to say on the matter for now. hope i didn't offend {if i did, know that i was only speaking from my heart and i didn't mean for any of it to be hurtful or rude.} i love you all {especially any fellow sisters out there preparing to serve, despite any issues dealing with them boys}

{ c i a o ! }