29 January 2015


Let me tell you a little story. Once upon a time there was this girl who decided to serve a mission. She was called to the Washington Vancouver Mission and away she went to serve the Lord for 18 months. When she got to Vancouver they told her that her mission was a mission that was using Facebook to spread the gospel to all around the world. She was in shock because this wasn't a standard thing for the time. She contemplated how she could possibly use Facebook to spread the gospel and fulfill her purpose as a missionary. Then she heard that not only could they use Facebook, but they could also keep a blog while on their mission. Excited this sister missionary began her journey in the blogging world. A little over a year later and she realized that even though her posts were good they could be better. Every time she opened her blog she pondered and thought about what in the world she could write about. Then, it came to her.

Spoiler alert, that girl in the story is me. I've tried my hand at blogging many, many times. Trying to make it beneficial for me, but also something other people could read and possibly enjoy. And you know what, I've really struggled. Because let's face it, I'm no celebrity and the things that happen in my life aren't earth shattering. But being the writer that I am, for some reason I just can't give up blogging. Every time I drop it I always have this desire to pick it back up and try again. Even on my mission, I feel like I need to pick up this little blog of mine and try again. So try I will.

An idea came to me about a week or so ago as I was thinking about what I could possibly write about and share on my blog. I thought about sharing experiences from my mission, but I wasn't really feeling it (and honestly, y'all can read about those in my weekly emails). Then I thought maybe I could just do random, uplifting posts. The problem with that idea is that it's random and inconsistent, and I felt as if my blog needed consistency. Finally, the idea came to me to create a theme for my blog (aside from being a missionary's blog). That really got me thinking. A theme. What theme could I write about for six months? I've come to the conclusion that I want to share my story, my experience on a mission and the lesson I've learned. You learn a lot about yourself while you serve the Lord for 18 months, but I've noticed a theme in my lessons. Changing myself and becoming my full potential. Simple, right? Everyday I feel like God is giving different ways of learning this lesson and each day I get a little better at it. I'm not perfect, but I'm learning.

That is the message I want to share with everyone, that we can change and become the potential God sees in us. It's not easy and it takes work, but in the end what we become is far worth the price we pay. I now have purpose for writing and I'm excited! I'm excited to share my experiences, but also learn more in the process. I'm also excited to be able to refer to a scripture that has become very precious to me in the past year, Ether 12:27. This is where I feel God leading me. I know that He sees all that I can become and He believes in me. Christ made it possible for me to overcome any weaknesses and live up to that potential. If I have faith, and I show that faith by word and deed, I will be able to overcome and become.

22 January 2015

A Year Full of Joy

Time is a strange thing, a funny thing. Somehow it just seems to escape me. Like how I've been on my mission for one year. How does that happen? Time...

I don't think there are words to even describe how I feel. At this time last year I was saying goodbye to all of my friends at BYU and entering the Missionary Training Center (MTC). The day before I said goodbye to my family and friends back in Florida. Honestly, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I knew what a mission was, but I didn't know all that it would entail. All of the struggles, the early mornings, the times where I just wanted to go home and be done. But never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined the great joy that I've come to know while being in the service of the Lord.

I would tell you everything that I've learned, but that would take a century and a half, and really, there's no words to describe it all. So, here's my attempt to describe some of it in a poem:

One year to serve the Lord,
One year of people slamming the door,
One year of studying from books,
That contain the word of God.
One year of bringing souls to Christ,
And serving those who need my help.
One year of changing who I am
And becoming who I'm meant to be.
One year, the hardest year of all
But one that has brought the most joy.
One year is really not a lot
When you're in the service of our God.

Excuse the terrible poem. That was my attempt to try to convey how much my mission means to me. In short, it means everything to me. Let me explain why.
My mission has brought me closer to my Savior, Jesus Christ, and closer to the person I want to become and I know I can become. Never before have I felt this confident, this sure in myself and the worth I have in God's eyes. I know that He lives and that He is my Heavenly Father. We're all His children and through Christ we can make any change, we can overcome any trial, and we can do anything. There is nothing more important to me than this gospel and my family. The way is sure, the path is marked. My mission will be something I reflect upon everyday of my life and something I thank God for everyday. The people I've met mean the world to me, and seeing the joy in their eyes as they come closer to finding themselves and getting to know Christ is indescribable. If ever you need someone to rely on, know that Christ is always there. He is waiting for you to come to Him. Choose Him and find happiness, just as I have.

14 January 2015

Just Be Happy

Before I said goodbye to my everyday life and become a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a friend of mine gave me some advice. "Just be happy." Three simple words that I have pondered time and time again on my mission. The advice seemed simple; of course I would be happy, I was about to go off and do the most fulfilling work one could do with their life. As my mission went on I came to find out that being happy is more than just doing things that we think will make us happy, it's a state of being.

Everyday we are bombarded with different people telling us different things that will bring us the most happiness in our lives. Television ads, newspapers, celebrities, friends, blogs. I don't know about you, but it has definitely affected me. In the back of my mind I knew where I could find happiness, through the gospel of Jesus Christ, but for some reason it just wasn't clicking. I kept trying to chase after what I thought would bring me happiness. The gospel made me happy, but I wasn't letting it fill me with joy. Instead, I tried looking in all of the wrong places for it. And through looking in all of those wrong places I dug a ditch of despair for myself. I wasn't happy. I was tired, stressed, burnt out, and just done. Nothing I did was bringing me the lasting happiness I was so desperately searching for. That's when I was brought low. That's when I reevaluated what I was doing and why it wasn't working. Here's what I learned.

Think of something that brings you joy without fail. For me, it's reading books. Give me a good book and I can be content for hours. The problem arises when I finish my book and have nothing left to read. I call this a book hangover. Suddenly I went from loving life with my book to no longer having the joy of reading. All in an instant. Now I have to start searching for another book to read to bring that joy back. My happiness is dependent on a thing. For the longest time this is how I viewed happiness. My thoughts went along the lines of "I'll be happy when I read a book" or "I'll be happy when I have some chocolate" or "I'll be happy when I am less awkward." So I waited and waited and tried and tried to gain happiness through these things. After all, it's what I've been told brings happiness. But you know what, I've realized something. Happiness isn't found in things we have or things we do. Happiness doesn't come from situations we're in or places we are. True, lasting happiness is a mindset. Like I said before, it's a state of being.

You are what your thoughts are. My Mission President told a story about his son (we'll call him Sam). Sam was a happy little boy, until one day his teacher at school started giving him a hard time. This teacher did not like him and over time Sam lost his glow. No longer was he the happy child he once was. His parents decided to try a little experiment to help their son. They began referring to Sam as their "happy child." They would introduce him to people this was and always brought it up in conversation. Over and over Sam heard how he was the "happy child" and overtime he was able to get his glow back. All because of his thoughts. Daily, he thought of himself as the happy child, and so he became the happy child.

Do you realize how powerful your thoughts are? I didn't, until recently. When we have positive thoughts about ourselves we become those positive attributes. When we have negative thoughts about ourselves we become those negative attributes. It's as simple as that. We can experience this lasting happiness and joy because we have a loving Heavenly Father who sent His Son so that we can overcome the sorrows and shortcomings of this world. We can overcome all of our weaknesses and negative thoughts. My favorite scripture reads:
"If they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." Ether 12:27
So, how do we find happiness in this world? Well, it's as simple as "just be happy." Think positive thoughts. See the good in the world. Be the good in the world. Rely on Christ. Through Him all things are possible. Through Him we can find true, lasting joy.