Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I am a Mormon, but why?

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because at the center is a gospel of hope, family, and joy. This gospel provides knowledge that my Savior has not left me to struggle alone. I know that my Heavenly Father would not send his son to this earth to suffer temptations, trials, and extreme pains and then just leave me alone to experience this world without guidance. That despite any trials and hardships I may experience, my Father will be there to comfort and guide me through them. This knowledge fills me with hope. Hope for myself, hope for my fellow man, hope for my future family. Another thing I love about being a member of the LDS church is the concept of the family unit. I know that I can be with my family on this earth, but also through all of eternity. What an incredible gift to have. And what an incredible reminder to love & serve my family as much as possible while on this earth, knowing that our relationship will continue after this earthly life. Through this gospel I know that someday I can be with my complete family in heaven. How wonderful it is to know of the importance of families while I can still be with mine here on earth. This knowledge of eternal families strengthens my relationships with my family and encourages me to actively give of my love and support. But most of all my knowledge of the truthfulness of this gospel give me immense joy and happiness. I feel as if my Heavenly Father has blessed me with a beautiful gift. Having an understanding of my purpose on this earth and a knowledge of my salvation is what makes my foundation in all things strong. I feel as if I can overcome anything that may pain my heart as long as I rely on my Savior and my Heavenly Father for divine guidance. The love I have for people is indescribable, even people I don't know. I want more than anything to share the amazing gift that is this gospel with all of God's children, my brothers and sisters through Him. I eagerly await the opportunity to discover where my specific mission may take me on this earth, but I have made a solemn promise to my Father in Heaven that no matter where I may be in my life, I will serve and represent him with all of the faith, joy, and diligence of the Savior.

I have been assigned to be a direct representative of Jesus Christ. My Heavenly Father has chosen and sent me. I have been given the divine authority to deliver glory. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My own.

I have a testimony of my Savior, of my Heavenly Father, and of the truthfulness of this gospel. Not my mom or dad’s testimony, not my leaders’ testimony, but my own. A testimony developed from experience. Heartbreak, trials, joy, and love, they’ve all shaped my testimony, shaped my faith in Christ. A testimony grown strong from loss, from sadness, a testimony strengthened by pleading with my Savior for strength. Mental, physical, spiritual strength. A testimony that blossomed within my soul as these earnest, contrite prayers yielded answers, comfort, and relief. My testimony is my own. Sometimes it’s sufficient, sometimes I find weak spots and opportunities to improve. It’s a knowledge that my Savior, Jesus Christ, lives within me. Most times, my testimony is quiet, unlike ninety-nine percent of the other things in my life. My testimony is one filled with love for my fellow children of God, love for this specifically crafted world that I lived in, love for the family unit and the joy brought forth through that bond. I have a testimony, which just means that I know. Not with my mind, but with my heart and very soul. I know that my Heavenly Mother and Father sent their son, Jesus Christ to atone for my sins so that one day I may return to live in their glory. I know that I have been prepared to serve a mission through the trials I have been given in my life. I know that Heavenly Father has taught me valuable lessons and helped me to develop understanding so that I may be an effective missionary. That I may relate to people, love them like their Savior does. I have a testimony, it’s not learned, it’s not copied, it’s mine. And it may not be eloquent or refined, but it is the most sacred possession I have and I am more than willing to give 18 months of my life so that others may one day also feel the joy of spirit.

Here are some pictures of my cute roommate & I during our Sunday walk to the Provo temple.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mission Preparation Class

So here I am at BYU and I've decided to take a missionary preparation class from one of the best teachers in the world, Brad Wilcox. If you haven't heard of him or his endless amounts of wonderful literature, do yourself a favor and click right here. For his class he has given us several assignments that will help us to prepare to serve as missionaries. I will be using this blog to keep a journal of my experiences and thoughts as I attend his classes & complete assignments.

Below are the course assignments I have been given and how I plan to execute each:

Read the material
-This is easy, the material is our scriptures and his book The Continuous Atonement. Two of my most favorite works.

Limit TV & Electronics
- The goal I have chosen to set is to leave my phone at home during church on Sundays. Something that is seemingly small, but I hope will help me to pay better attention and allow myself more opportunities to feel the spirit.

Prepare Short Answers to Difficult Questions
- Throughout this course I will use this blog to write some of my ideas on difficult questions asked of me personally as well as those discussed in class.

Memorize D&C 4 and the Articles of Faith
- I'm going to do my best, okay? I've never had a knack for memorization.

Teach a Gospel Principle
- During this semester I must approach & teach a stranger the first lesson in Preach My Gospel. I will then receive feedback, make adjustments, and repeat the process. I'll let you know how this goes.

Atonement Essay
- A 2-3 page paper about what the Atonement means to me. This will be a wonderful thing to have on hardest days of my mission. A reminder of the hard work I owe to my Savior for allowing me this earthly journey which I have been give the opportunity to partake of.

Complete all Visiting Teaching
- I love visiting teaching. Getting to know girls in my ward more personally, praying for their specific needs, and learning to love them; I love it. So bring it on.

Participate in Dating 
- Oh dear. I'm not crazy about dating. I just don't...I don't just makes me nervous. But, I've made a goal that I will go on at least two dates a month. Small, I know, but I'm trying.

Greet People and Start Conversations
- This is actually an assignment? Fabulous, because I love doing this anyways. On the bus, in line, at the store, watch out, I'd love to talk to you.

Volunteer at the Teaching Resource Center
(The TRC provides an opportunity for missionaries to practice teaching volunteers a lesson in their mission language.)
- I've always wanted to do this, so I'm super excited. I think I may even volunteer to do it in American Sign Language. It would be good practice for the both of us. I'll let you know how this goes.

Alter Eating Habits
- My goal: No soda, less sugar. Y'all wish me luck, I'm going to try my hardest.

- My goal: Physical exercise at least three times a week.

Personal Scripture Reading
- One of my all time favorite things. I'm currently reading the Book of Mormon with my missionary, so I love this one.

Journal Writing
- This blog will serve as my online journal, documenting all of my experiences within this class and the mission to come.

Attend Devotionals
- Every Tuesday BYU has a devotional. They're uplifting, interesting, and engaging. I'm going to try my best to attend as many as possible and takes notes each time.

So that's a lot of to-do items huh? I'll keep you posted on all of the happenings as I take this class and continue to prepare to serve the Lord on a mission. Here's to a semester of big things to come. 

The beginning.

This post marks the embarkment of a huge chapter of my life. Something that's rushing towards me bringing along excitement, nervousness, joy, and terror. Twenty-five days from now I will be submitting my paperwork to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for a year and a half. I am so eager to share the wonderful gift of this gospel that has been given unto me. I hope that I can share the peace, comfort, & joy it provides me with others searching for the truth.

Let me catch you up a little on my current life. I just started my sophomore year at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. I am studying communication disorders, which covers speech therapy & audiology. I never thought I'd be a BYU student, never thought it quite fit me, but here I am, enjoying myself rather nicely. I was born & raised in a south Georgia town by two wonderful parents and the most incredible extended family a girl could ask for. I am the oldest of four children, two sisters & a brother, whom I love dearly. I am the oldest grandchild of sixteen, whom I also love love love. I'm currently (absolutely crazy about) writing a missionary who is serving in the Italy Milan Mission as of June 2013. I love a good baseball game, photography, cooking, volunteering, and talking to just about anyone. I love new places, new people, and new ideas. That's me.

So stay tuned, because things will only get more exciting from here!