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!