Friday, January 31, 2014


I have some explaining to do. Maybe it's a vent. Eh, just stick with me. This might not make sense but let's take a shot at it. I have missed my mom in so many ways in the last few days that I'm not even sure what has happened in my life to have this happen. I know I recently posted a blog about the strength and power that we are given as children of God but boy is it hard to access that strength and power sometimes. 

Let's start by saying what wonderful women I have in my life. I have countless of mother figures who I'm so grateful for and I have many friends who stand by me and tell me what I need to hear. I have beautiful sisters who have encouraged me to do better in life and have protected me. Tonight I was able to talk to a few close friends and they gave me advice that I've been needing to hear longer than I thought. Sometimes you feel like climbing into that hole and crying but it's so much better when you have someone in there with you. 

This last week has been interesting to say the least. I have felt many emotions that I haven't had to deal with for the last couple years. Okay that's exaggerating. Maybe feeling them all at once is what I'm not used to. There were moments when I felt like something great was going to happen, I felt that one of my desires of heart was going to come true, but then it just walked away and opportunities faded. There were moments where I was proud of myself. Moments where I couldn't stop laughing. Times where all I wanted was to call my mom and have her tell me, "Baby, everything's going to be okay." My mom understood heartache the most. I know how terrible that sounds but it's true. I have come to learn more about my mom and I'm so grateful for that. She would always tell me to not settle for anything less than what I deserve. After serving a mission, truly finding my identity, knowing who I am, I now know what I deserve. I know that I have to work for what I deserve. There's a difference between knowing and believing though. And I need to believe it. 

I don't want pity by any means but I can say that at points in my life, I am tempted to ask why me? I have been given a fair share of trials. Each time I'm thrown another one the response I hear is how strong I am. Each time I hear that it makes me feel weak. I sometimes wonder what Heavenly Father is doing when I'm crying over missing my mom or when I'm frustrated with someone for putting me through something or even as simple as academic frustrations. Oh get over it. You signed up for this. Or, Eh, everything's going to be fine. Just get up and dust yourself off. What? Of course He isn't doing that. Like I mentioned last time, He had to hide Himself in some part of His universe so He didn't have to watch the dying struggles of His Son. I am a child of God. He doesn't want to watch me go through any of this. However, He knows that what I'm going through is going to make me such a better person. A friend I met this semester who I have come to love dearly reminded me of His way and His timetable. We see timing differently than He does; we see timing in a linear perspective as Heavenly Father sees it as a panorama perspective. What we see (or what we don't see) is daunting. What He sees is inspiriting. I can't look back. In every aspect I have to learn from stupid mistakes that I unfortunately make (even when I do feel like a fool). Then when I have the chance to have the panorama perspective, I will see that it all had to to happen. Someone had to take this spot. Whether I "signed" up for it or not, I'm grateful for what I learn in each trial. And ultimately, I do access that strength and gain experience. Which is all this life is about after all.

My heart has ached over many things this week which I choose not to go into detail about. What I have come to find out though, is that my Father in Heaven's heart is aching with mine. He rejoices when I'm happy. How many times have I taught that in Oregon and it's now just really making sense to me? I not only have to have faith in Heavenly Father and that timetable of His but I have to have faith in what He has promised me. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Be obedient. Be prayerful. Be constant.

Lately I have been thinking what I can blog about. I don't want to blog about random things that are happening in my life (what I did over the weekend, what happened at the stop light today, etc). I want to blog about things that I'm passionate about. Things that have changed me for the better. I want my blog to encourage others.

That being said, I'm very passionate about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Obviously. Today I was able to attend a farewell of Tamsyn who will be serving in the Indiana Indianapolis Mission. Let's start of by saying what a beautiful job she did. That testimony of hers is going to take her far. Tamsyn is part of the family that introduced me to the Gospel. The Lowe Family (not just Ron's family-- the entire family) is an amazing family who has set the example of  what a righteous family should be. People who keep their covenants (promises) and strive each day to become a better person than they were yesterday. I could go for days about what this family has done for me.

Today in sacrament meeting, I knew it was going to be an emotional day when the opening hymn was "called to serve." Of course it was going to be about missionary work but I thought I could keep it together. Wrong.  I am well pleased at where Heavenly Father has taken me since I've been home. I know Provo is where I need to be. There are people who need me here and I know there are people here that I need. However, there are days when I miss being a missionary. To put that badge on and go and share the Restored gospel. I'm so jealous that Tamsyn has 18 months ahead of her to go and do exactly that. Again, her sweet testimony is going to get her into doors that no one has ever been able to get into.

I think what stood out the most today was the love my Heavenly Father has for me and for all His children. I mean, everything depicts that love. I really like what Tamsyn said today in her talk; "Heavenly Father has sent us His perfect son." It made me think about how hard it must have been for our Father in Heaven to watch the dying struggles of His son. What a selfless act of love. In the sacrament hymn "Reverently and Meekly Now" verse four stood out to me.

"At the throne I intercede;
For thee ever do I plead.
I have loved thee as they friend,
With a love that cannot end.
Be obedient, I implore, 
Prayerful, watchful evermore, 
And be constant unto me, 
That thy Savior I may be."

My advice to Tamsyn would be just that. Be obedient. Be prayerful. Be constant. I love that. We can't just choose what we want to do and when we want to. It's not our timetable. It's His. Or in this aspect; it's His work. He knows my needs (and trust me, I have a lot of them). I have been promised that if I do what He wants me to do-- not what the world wants me to do-- I will be given those things.

3 Nephi 13:32-34 "For Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things... But seek ye first the kingdom of God... Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself..." 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Power and Strength

I got the best compliment today. It made my entire day. I'm still flattered and that was nine hours ago. I got into my math class a little early and sat down. Minding my own business, looking over some math problems before class started and I heard, "are you a returned missionary?" I replied, "Umm.. yes?" Then a guy piped in and says, "Oh! It's a compliment. You radiate that light." Now you see how that was the best compliment? After math I met up with some mission friends and we went to the Temple to do a session. It was just what I needed. I love how much I learn each time. Then it all got me thinking. Dang, I have so many weaknesses. I constantly bother Heavenly Father with them-- as everyone does. Yet, He listens. What a beautiful concept. Prayer is real. Prayer is powerful. We are powerful.

One of my favorite responses to Satan is when Moses is being tempted by him. Moses asks Satan, "Who are you? I am a Son of God." As children of Heavenly Father, we have power! When we continue to put the armor of God on we don't have to be bothered by the dark of the world. We receive not only power, but strength to push temptation, sin, darkness, out of our lives. Temptation of fear.One gem I learned on the mission from President Samuelian is Christ simply can't help us when we are afraid. It's not that he doesn't want to help us. He just can't. When we have fear, we are lacking faith. Faith and fear are never near.

We are all faced with that temptation, sin, and darkness in our lives. That's part of this mortal progression after all. In the Oregon Salem Mission, we were given the opportunity to take a strengths assessment. Result of this assessment, you are given your top five strengths. One morning I was studying the story of David and Goliath. In essence, Heavenly Father provided David five stones to slay Goliath. What I'm trying to say is that we all have a Goliath (temptation, sin, darkness) in our lives but Heavenly Father has provided stones (strengths) for us to overcome them. We have been prepared to overcome the things of the world.

I know what I believe in, I know who I am, I know who He is. I need to remember what I do know. What I know, makes up for what I don't know. I need to trust in Heavenly Father. I have that power and strength like David did when he slayed Goliath. Of course I'm imperfect but Elder Holland reminded us that that's all Heavenly Father works with. And it's true! We have to take it to Him. Remember? He listens. He's waiting for us to take it to Him.

Doctrine and Covenants 6:34 "...for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail."

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Things can be better tomorrow than they are today.

How beautiful is that promise? Like everyone else I have been thinking about change. Not only change within myself but how much can change over a span of 3 years or even 18 months. How something could happen today that could change the rest of my life. I returned home from a mission approximately two months ago and though I miss having that purpose I have faith in the future and what it has to bring me. When I was nearing the end of my mission I was talking to a few of Sisters that grew to be great friends. One of them said that when missionaries get home the only reason it's hard is because they make it hard. I agree. I think we sometimes use it as an excuse. We need to continue to do what we have taught the last 18 to 24 months.

One Sunday night while visiting an elderly couple in the ward I was currently serving in I had the exact thought I mentioned early. Something could happen in ten minutes that could change my life. I had no idea why I thought that. I later came to find out. I went on with introducing my companion to this couple and left the spiritual thought. We got into the car and we noticed there were quite a few missed calls from President Samuelian, our Zone Leaders, and the Assistants to the President. One of our Zone Leaders called back and I had asked him what was going on. I had many thoughts going through my head as to what was happening. He asked if everything back home was okay. Right then I thought about my mom. I had a calm assurance that whatever happened-- even if it wasn't okay-- was okay. I then called President Samuelian back. He asked if my companion and I could come into the mission home that night because there was something he needed to talk to me about. Of course I was still panicking at this moment but I agreed.

We show up in Newberg at the mission home and after President finished up a few things he asked if I could come into their bedroom to have a kneeling prayer. At this point, I knew my mission was coming to an end. We had a kneeling prayer and afterwards President and Sister Samuelian sat next to me. President had told me that my stake president from back home had called. My mom. Right then I knew. He went on telling me that my mom had passed away. I wanted to ask, why me? I again felt peace. I flew home the next day to be released as a missionary and to be home with my sisters.

I think of her everyday. I realized I miss her in the small moments; when I want one of her recipes, to let her know I made it to Provo safely, to call when I'm sick so I can hear her voice, to just see how she is doing. I sometimes wish it would have never happened. Then I think of what a loving Heavenly Father we have who has presented a plan to us. He has promised me that I will see her again. My mother knew the battles she would face in this life. She knew I was going to serve a mission. She knew at the end of 18 months, she would be gone. I was weak. I still am. My mission gave me strength-- the strength I needed to handle this. The day she passed away, she was going to send me a key-chain sized telescope. In the box she had wrote a note saying, "I'll be watching out for you." I know she is here with me in those small moments. I love my mom. I never spoke highly of her-- and yes, I regret it. I wish the world could see how wonderful of a lady she was. I hate to admit that even though I was tempted, I would never trade my mom for anyone. She really was a wonderful women who, from the beginning, knew what was going to happen.

Heavenly Father has a grand plan. What a privilege it was for me to see a glimpse of it. I can't ask, why me?  Because I know why. Death seems so final here in this mortal life but it's only the beginning. We hear over and over again how it's never meant to be easy. I read a blog the other day about a women who lost her father and kept hearing the phrase. She diligently sought the scriptures but could never find it. However, she found that we need to give our pain over to our Savior, Jesus Christ. I'm a firm believer that we grow from pain. We learn and progress. We cannot, however, do it alone. "And he will take upon him death... he will take upon him their infirmities... that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." Christ wants us to give over our pain to Him. Why? So He can understand us. So He can help us. I have had to practice a lot of Faith in this throughout my life. I learned on my mission that if I'm afraid, He can't help me. We know that where there is faith, there cannot be fear. He wants to help us but when we are fearful, we bind Him from helping us.

Some days are a lot harder than others. I understand now. I get it. I'm a 23 year old who lost her mother. She wont be at my wedding. My future children wont know who their Grandma Laurie is. She wont see me graduate with my degree. That's all very unfortunate. But my mom wouldn't want me dwelling on those facts. All I can do is remember her for what she taught me and what a beautiful women she was. She is now in a place where she's healthy, happy, and progressing.

Things can be better tomorrow than they are today.