Thursday, October 18, 2012

What Have I Done For Someone Today?

"When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the Service of your God."

"The Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives.  Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and figuratively lose their lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourish."

"Man's greatest happiness comes from losing himself for the good of others." - David O McKay

"Often we live side by side but do not communicate heart to heart.  There are those within the sphere of our own influence who, with outstretched hands, cry out, "Is there no balm in Gilead?""

"How many times has your heart been touched as you have witnessed the need of another?  How often have you intended to be the one to help?  And yet how often has day-to-day living interfered and you've left it for others to help, feeling that "oh, surely someone will take care of that need."

I have wept in the night
for the shortness of sight
that to somebody's need made me blind;
felt a tinge of regret
for being a little too kind.

"We become so caught up in the busyness of our lives.  Were we to step back, however, and take a good look at what we're doing, we may find that we have immersed ourselves in the "thick of thin things."

"It is difficult for those who are young to understand the loneliness that comes when life changes from a time of preparation and performance to a time of putting things away...To be so long the center of a home, so much sought after, and then, almost suddenly to be on the sidelines watching the procession pass by-this is living into loneliness...We have to live a long time to learn how empty a room can be that is filled only with furniture.  It takes someone...beyond mere hired service,beyond institutional care or professional duty, to thaw out the memories of the past and keep them warmly living in the present... We cannot bring them back the morning hours of youth. But we can help them live in the warm glow of a sunset made more beautiful by our thoughtfulness...and unfeigned love."

-President Thomas S. Monson

Saturday, October 6, 2012

"Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others." -Thomas S Monson

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

" Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it." - Abraham Lincoln

Make Yours a Great Life

Make Yours a Great Life
Of the Seventy
Adapted from a commencement address given at LDS Business College on April 9, 2009.

Your future is not determined by the conditions around you. It is determined by your faith, your choices, and your efforts.
Make Yours a Great Life
The world today seems to be on an economic roller coaster. We see businesses and governments trying to stabilize the situation. There is conflict and war in the world. Many are abandoning morals and eternal truths in favor of the deceptions of the adversary. More and more, we see evil being called good and good evil (see Isaiah 5:20). These are challenging times.

The Example of Faithful Parents
However, there have always been challenging times. My parents grew up during the Great Depression. They didn’t have much in the way of worldly goods, but they had the gospel of Jesus Christ, their bodies and their minds, and a bright future.

When my father received his mission call, Europe was engaged in war, and about a week after his call came in late 1941, Pearl Harbor was attacked. He left for his mission in early 1942. By the time he returned, the war had escalated to a world war that many thought would be the end of civilization, one in which about 22–25 million military personnel and about 32–49 million civilians were killed. In addition, nearly 6 million Jews perished in the Holocaust. The amount of property damage is impossible to accurately estimate, but the earth still bears physical scars from Europe to the islands of the Pacific, even though the war ended more than 60 years ago.

Can you imagine what my father thought about his future as the whole world seemed to be spiraling downward? I don’t know what his exact thoughts were, but I do know what his actions were. He joined the military on a track that would train him as a dentist, and he continued his education.

My mother came from poor immigrant parents but was able to finish college during wartime, when the ratio of women to men on campuses was skewed since so many of the young men were at war. She went on to raise eight children and lived a faithful life.

I am grateful that my parents pushed forward with faith during challenging times. Their actions were instrumental in their personal development, and our family was blessed because of the type of people my parents became.

Historical Accounts of Faith in Challenging Times
There are many historical figures with whom we are all familiar who went forward with faith in challenging times. One such person lived in a country occupied by the Romans. She was from humble beginnings and probably wondered about her future. Her espoused husband couldn’t find a decent place for her to give birth to her son, and later, because people wanted to kill her baby, the young family had to flee to another country. It seems like such a difficult way to start out in life, yet Mary went forward and helped raise the Savior of the world. Most people who looked at her early life might have thought she didn’t have much of a future, but because of her faith and willingness to do the right things, she was truly “blessed … among women” (Luke 1:42).

Moroni grew up in a time when his society was crumbling. (See Mormon 1–8; Moroni 1, 9.) The people rejected God and were on their way to destruction. It was a time of slippery riches, great violence, sexual immorality, and war. Moroni’s father, Mormon, almost single-handedly staved off the destruction of his people for a time. Both Mormon and Moroni lived in extremely difficult times but fulfilled their destinies.

Joseph Smith did not start out in a promising position for success as far as the world was concerned. His family was poor. As a young man he faced tremendous opposition, which continued throughout his life. Yet he persevered and overcame the obstacles in his path.

None of these people allowed the challenges they faced or the conditions of their world to determine the trajectory of their lives. They went forward with faith, and through the blessings of the Lord, they all became what they were meant to become.

A Bright Future for You
Your future is not determined by the conditions around you. It is determined by your faith, your choices, and your efforts. Yes, you live in challenging times, but so did Mary, Moroni, and Joseph Smith. You don’t have to be carried along in the current of the times. The Lord can and will help you set your own course. The challenges you face will serve to strengthen you as you move forward with your life. Each of you has a bright future, a future you cannot now fully comprehend.

How will you face your challenges? Some people complain and blame circumstances or other people for their problems. They won’t let go of bad feelings. They portray themselves as victims and become bitter. They seem to spend so much time and energy justifying themselves and pushing off responsibility to others that there is no energy left to go forward with their lives.

Others seem to live in the past and dwell on how things used to be. They are so unwilling to leave the past that they don’t turn around to face a future that would be bright if they approached it properly.

Some people dream about the future but don’t do much to move into it with power. They don’t realize that what they do—or don’t do—now will profoundly affect their future.

People who go to work with faith, knowing the Lord will bless them if they do what’s right, are the ones with a bright future. The title of the last conference address given by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve, (1917–2008) explained how these people handle challenges: “Come What May, and Love It.” Elder Wirthlin said: “If we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be times of greatest growth, which in turn can lead toward times of greatest happiness.” 1

Your individual future is either bright or cloudy, depending on you.

I guarantee that you will face challenges. That is part of mortality. It is expected. It is OK. In fact, it is necessary. But remember, your future is bright.

In 1993, when President Howard W. Hunter (1907–1995) was president of the Quorum of the Twelve, he told young adults:

“I am here tonight to tell you that despair, doom, and discouragement are not an acceptable view of life for a Latter-day Saint. However high on the charts they are on the hit parade of contemporary news, we must not walk on our lower lip every time a few difficult moments happen to confront us. …

“Knowing what we know, and living as we are supposed to live, we really have no place, no excuse, for pessimism and despair.

“In my lifetime I have seen two world wars. … I have worked my way through the Depression and managed to go to law school while starting a young family at the same time. I have seen stock markets and world economics go crazy, and I have seen a few despots and tyrants go crazy, all of which causes quite a bit of trouble around the world in the process.

“So I am frank to say tonight that I hope you won’t believe all the world’s difficulties have been wedged into your decade, or that things have never been worse than they are for you personally, or that they will never get better.” 2

There are no better days than these days, because “these are [your] days” (Helaman 7:9). You are here on earth at this time for a reason. You have what it takes. You have skills, knowledge, and natural talents given to you from God. If you live righteously, you will have access to the inspiration and strength you will need to triumph over any challenge you face. You will have the protection of a worthy life; guidance from the Lord through the Holy Ghost and prophets, seers, and revelators; and the power of sacred promises that are yours because you keep your covenants.

Take these things that are yours and have a great life!

The reason I am so confident about your ability to find a bright future in the midst of a challenging world isn’t because I know each of you individually, but because I know that the Lord lives and loves us. He is the real reason each of us has a bright future. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (see Philippians 4:13). Because we are children of our Heavenly Father and because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I know our futures are bright.

Yes, we live in challenging times, but so did Mary, Moroni, and Joseph Smith. We don’t have to be carried along in the current of the times.

I know that the Lord lives and loves us. He is the real reason each of us has a bright future.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life's deepest joy: true fulfillment.
- Tony Robbins

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Opportunities multiply as they are seized.
- Sun Tzu

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.
- Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.
- Vince Lombardi

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Camping, Canning, & BYU Football...Oh My!

As I just started a brand new job and my brain seems to be bursting at the seems with all the new found knowledge and job responsibilities I have been looking forward to this weekend as a life line of rejuvination! 
On Friday I hurried home after a very busy day at work, changed into more camp appropriate attire, threw some necessities in a bag, grabbed my pillow, and headed out the door to meet Dustin at his house.  We carpooled with Lize & Josh as they had an excursion...which was necessary for us to even make it to our campsite.  Dustin and his friends have a secret camp site way, way, way up American Fork Canyon!  It is honestly one of the best camping spots I have ever been too!  You are pretty much secluded from everyone else and you have awesome view of the surrounding mountains.  After getting to our campsite & meeting up with Jim & Tiff, Andrew & Ashley, tradition (these boys have traditions for everything) is that we set up camp (quickly), and then we HAVE to go down to the "pond" to do the Log Walk!  I'm not making this stuff up!  The "pond" is now all dried up and the game Log Walk trails back to when there was a pond and the only way to keep from getting wet was to walk across the maze of logs on the top.  Well there is no walter...thank goodness, because I fell multiple times...but the Log Walk still lives on!  After the walk we headed back to camp to warm up by the fire and to start cooking our surprise tinfoil dinners that Josh & Dustin had made!  We all sat around the camp fire telling stories, talking about wedding plans for Tiff, eating sun flower seeds to curb our appetites, etc.  The tin foil dinners were a huge success!  These boys know how to cook & I love it!  After dinner was the surprise dessert!  Banana Boats!  Which is a banana (sliced down the middel) with chocolate and marshmellow on top, wrapped in tinfoil, and placed in the fire to cook!  They were delicious!  Most amazing thing!  The rest of the night was more stories (about Wart) which had us all rolling with laughter!  It was such a fun night we stayed up well past midnight.  The worst part of this camp trip was how cold it was that night.  I honestly didn't sleep very well because I kept waking up with my toes and nose freezing!  The next morning we enjoyed a fire(to defrost in front of), cinnamon rolls, & bagels!  It was a great campout...even though it was pretty darn cold up there.  I think I'm going to buy a heated sleeping bag for next time!
My Friend Jamee has introduced me to the deliciously tantalizing realm of canning!  I've always thought of canning as a time consuming, Grandma, boring thing to do!  I have always loved homemade blackberry jam, apple butter, etc, but I never thought I could or would ever make them myself!  Well I might have actually found a new favorite past time!  Yesterday morning after camping I woke up and thought "I'm going to make Jalapeno Jelly today!"...and I did!  I borrowed a large pot from Dustin, found a recipe online, bought canning jars, jalapeno's, liquid pectin, apple cider vinegar, and sugar.  Aside from the sugar I had never before used any of these ingredients before!  One batch took me a little less than two hours to make. I'm pretty sure I can get this process down to one hour or less!
Things I learned while my first time making Jalapeno Jelly:
1. Jalapeno's will burn you!  Bad!  And if you aren't careful you'll end up having to put burn cream all over your hands and walk around all night avoinding touching anything because your hands are grease balls!
2. Get a large processor!   Small ones take way too long!
3. Add the green food coloring to give the Jelly a better color!
All in all it was a great first experience and best of all the Jelly tastes great!
BYU vs UTAH!  Being from Washington I had no idea there was such a huge rivalry between BYU & UTAH!  Since living in Utah I quickly learned of the rivalry but never really got into the politics of it all.  This year has been completely different.  As I am marrying one to the most TRUE BLUE fans out there, the BYU vs UTAH game was life or death.  Before the game Dustin & I went to grab food at Cafe Rio...on our way home (10 minutes before game time) Dustin didn't say one word to me.  He just kept looking over at me.  I had no idea what was going on.  He told me as we were heading into the house that he was really nervous for the game and it had just him in the car!  Seriously?!  He was so nervous for his time he wasn't capable of holding a conversation!! It still boggles my mind.  The truth of the matter is that I also get sucked into the game and shout and scream right along side my favorite TRUE BLUE fan!   The game was great!  However, we ended up losing at the very last 3 points!  Ugh, it was a hard game to swallow!  Hopefully, next year we can break our losing streak to the "U"!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.
- Marcus Aurelius

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I don't believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process.
- Oprah Winfrey

New Job!

Wow feeling completely overwhelmed today! I just started my new job with Wasatch Transportation today! The job is great and challenging and the office staff i work with are great! Ill feel a lot better once i get a hang of everything! I have been so busy and running around with my head chopped off today that I forgot it was the anniversary of 9/11. It's still boggles my mind that 9/11 really happened. It's been 11 years since that horrific day. Seems like it was just yesterday.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Daily Inspiration

Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it's holy ground. There's no greater investment.
- Stephen Covey

My Life In Photos

I've been horrible about blogging and keeping up to date...I still need to blog about out engagement reunion...our fun dates we have been on new job...etc, etc! So in the meantime to make me feel better about my blog slacking here are some pictures from my phone about my life as of late!

Top left...first BYU football game of the season! Top cocoa and scripture reading at work(6 am). Bottom awesome boss at the hospital made us homemade pumpkin pancakes and homemade whip cream...yum! Bottom right...I made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies as my parting gift for my jobs!!!

September Photography Challenge!

I Promise I Am Going To Do So Much Better With The Challenge This Month!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us.
- Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Increasing Our Faith

Faith is a gift from God, but we must nurture our faith to keep it strong. Faith is like a muscle. If exercised, it grows strong. If left immobile, it becomes weak.
We can nurture the gift of faith by praying to Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ. As we express our gratitude to our Father and as we plead with Him for blessings that we and others need, we will draw near to Him. We will draw near to the Savior, whose Atonement makes it possible for us to plead for mercy (see Alma 33:11). We will also be receptive to the quiet guidance of the Holy Ghost.
We can strengthen our faith by keeping the commandments. Like all blessings from God, faith is obtained and increased through individual obedience and righteous action. If we desire to enrich our faith to the highest possible degree, we must keep the covenants we have made.
We can also develop faith by studying the scriptures and the words of latter-day prophets. The prophet Alma taught that the word of God helps strengthen faith. Comparing the word to a seed, he said that the "desire to believe" can lead us to "give place" for the word to be "planted in [our] heart[s]." Then we will feel that the word is good, for it will begin to enlarge our souls and enlighten our understanding. This will strengthen our faith. As we continually nurture the word in our hearts, "with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life." (See Alma 32:26–43.)

It will entirely depend on myself

As a young missionary, Elder Orson F. Whitney (1855–1931), who later served in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, had a dream so powerful that it changed his life forever. He later wrote:
“One night I dreamed … that I was in the Garden of Gethsemane, a witness of the Savior’s agony. … I stood behind a tree in the foreground. … Jesus, with Peter, James, and John, came through a little wicket gate at my right. Leaving the three Apostles there, after telling them to kneel and pray, He passed over to the other side, where He also knelt and prayed … : ‘Oh my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will but as Thou wilt.’
“As He prayed the tears streamed down His face, which was [turned] toward me. I was so moved at the sight that I wept also, out of pure sympathy with His great sorrow. My whole heart went out to Him. I loved Him with all my soul and longed to be with Him as I longed for nothing else.
“Presently He arose and walked to where those Apostles were kneeling—fast asleep! He shook them gently, awoke them, and in a tone of tender reproach, untinctured by the least show of anger or scolding, asked them if they could not watch with Him one hour. …
“Returning to His place, He prayed again and then went back and found them again sleeping. Again He awoke them, admonished them, and returned and prayed as before. Three times this happened, until I was perfectly familiar with His appearance—face, form, and movements. He was of noble stature and of majestic mien … the very God that He was and is, yet as meek and lowly as a little child.
“All at once the circumstance seemed to change. … Instead of before, it was after the Crucifixion, and the Savior, with those three Apostles, now stood together in a group at my left. They were about to depart and ascend into heaven. I could endure it no longer. I ran from behind the tree, fell at His feet, clasped Him around the knees, and begged Him to take me with Him.
“I shall never forget the kind and gentle manner in which He stooped and raised me up and embraced me. It was so vivid, so real that I felt the very warmth of His bosom against which I rested. Then He said: ‘No, my son; these have finished their work, and they may go with me; but you must stay and finish yours.’ Still I clung to Him. Gazing up into His face—for He was taller than I—I besought Him most earnestly: ‘Well, promise me that I will come to You at the last.’ He smiled sweetly and tenderly and replied: ‘That will depend entirely upon yourself.’ I awoke with a sob in my throat, and it was morning.”1

Daily Messages

"I do not know who in this vast audience today may need to hear the message of forgiveness inherent in this parable [of the laborers in the vineyard], but however late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines."
—Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Monday, August 27, 2012

Day 28 Photo Challenge "After Dark"

This week is already starting off very hectic! I left my room for a few minutes and I came back to Dustin completely out! He looked so cute I had to take a picture;)

Photo Challenge Day 27 "something fun" & "summer love"

Dustin had a lot of fun on his old tote goat last night!
Isaac loves his Uncle Dustin & Uncle Dustin loves his Isaac!

August Gratitude List

1. I am grateful for Dustin and the great man that he is.  
2. I am grateful for my family.
3. I am grateful more of my siblings are in Utah!  Abby & Seth just started school at USU.
4. I am grateful for good friends both new and old.  
5. I am grateful for my new job!
6. I am grateful for my bishop.
7. I am grateful for my roommate who is always so thoughtful and is always willing to listen.
8. I am grateful for the gospel.
9. I am grateful for the power of the atonement.
10. I am grateful for the Savior and for his sacrifice.
11. I am grateful for my calling.
12. I am grateful for temples.
13. I am grateful for the prophet and other general authorities.
14. I am grateful for the plan of salvation.
15. I am grateful to have wonderful parents who love me unconditionally.
16. I am grateful for the warm weather:)
17. I am grateful for rain storms.
18. I am grateful for the experiences I have gone through that have shaped me into the person I am today.
19. I am grateful for prayer.
20. I am grateful for the scriptures.
21. I am grateful for changing seasons and I am looking forward to fall.
22. I am grateful for the power of change.
23. I am grateful for love.
24. I am grateful for my ability to run.
25. I am grateful for free agency.
26. I am grateful for peaches.
27. I am grateful for pedicures (I experienced my first REAL pedicure this last weekend)
28. I am grateful my friend Jamee is still alive and well after a very serious infection in both of her arms.
29. I am grateful that I am engaged to my best friend:)
30. I am grateful for my health.
31. I am grateful for service.
32. I am grateful for my life!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Work trip to DC

 One of my THREE jobs is as the CASA Program Assistant!  CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates.  I used to be a CASA Volunteer and recently became their newest employees:)  This June our National Conference was in Washington DC!  It was an amazing experience!
 One of my favorite parts of the whole trip was riding the Metro!  I know I am lame!
 Cute Kerri!  I became really good friends with the girls that I work with on this trip.
 Brittany and I
 ...and again...
 Kerri, Myself, Brittany, and Gwen
 ...and Brit and I again...
 Look at how amazing the architecture is.  It was so breathtaking and there was so much history here.
 The Capital Building

 Kerri snapping pictures.
 In front of the Capitol Building!
 Melanie, Me, and Jennie!  I have some of the best co-workers.

 Kerri said that I looked like Courtney off of the bachelor and called me Courtney the entire trip.  Courtney is a pretty I'll take that as a compliment but that girl is I hope she wasn't referring to how I act;)
 Being in Washington DC has stirred me to try and dig up more history about our country and get more invovled with politics.  It's sad to admit how little I know about politics and the history of our country.  I swear I learned it all in school I just some how supressed a lot of it!

 Seeing our American flag stirs something inside of me.  It means so much to me and this country.  I am so proud to be an american and I am so proud to of the men and women who have given their lives for our freedoms that we take for granted day to day.

 My absolute favorite part of the trip was George Town!  I can honestly see myself living there one day.  It was so old and historical with tons of bright colored buildings.  My one regret from this trip is not stopping at "Serendipity" in George Town to get the infamous frozen hot chocolate.  Another trip right?!

 I spent the whole day with these ladies and really came to respect them!  We also had a lot of really good laughs!

 The sculptures were amazing!
 My favorite momument was the Lincoln Memorial.  It was really inspirational reading his speeches around the walls of the memorial.  Some of my favorite quotes come from this great man and I have decided to study his life in depth!  I think history is fascinating.  Sometimes I think I should have become a history teacher.
 We were the three amigas this trip!

 Let us always remember the men and women who have died for this country.

 This wall is very sobering.

 Amazing Buildings!
 I have been to Washington DC one other time in my life and that was when I was a lot younger.  I remember thinking that the white house was so big!  In all reality the actual house is not that big!  They have underground wings and what not added on but the original house is pretty darn tiny!

 But it's still pretty darn cool!
 We did a lot of walking this trip.  I loved all of the streets and all of the little shops.

 Here is Occupy DC...enough said!
 One of our days in Washington DC we met with Senators Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch.  I honestly can not tell you how much this makes me itch to want to get into politics!

 The interns for Senator Lee took us on a tour of the capitol.  It was amazing!  We went the underground route on the tour and passed so many senators!  Im turning into a political junky!
 The pictures speak for themselves so enjoy!

 Our last day was spent at the Zoo!  Honestly this Zoo was very dissapointing.  No wonder it was free.  There were no animals!

 And the last picture of the day...Mall Cop!