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Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Next Chapter

It's no secret that my life after the mission has been exciting; that would be the understatement of the year.  Things have been on the upward slant and there are new horizons I never could have dreamed of.  Due to the fact that this blog is for my life as a sister missionary, this will be my last post here.  You can continue to follow me and the happenings in my life on a new blog entitled "The Book of Bri."  Not only will you be following the adventures in my life, but the adventures of me and Brian Menasco (my soon to be husband).  I have loved keeping this blog and feeling the spirit as I have done such.  The gospel is and always will be true.

Some pictures of the post mission events

Obviously mom had to be first
My family minus 1 (keep serving the Lord Trevor!)
Yep, that's us!
First Temple trip with fellow former CASR Missionaries
Trip 2 with the gang
Vegas Airport with Sister Kahrs, I mean Jaclyn, and Brian
DC temple, where I said yes

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Endings and Beginnings

Right now I am almost at a loss for words.  There's so much going on within my heart and mind that it seems nearly impossible to share even a portion of it.  But, you all know me, I will try my best. 

Memories, ah....good times!
It's here; the end has come.  The eighteen month journey is at it's close.  Over the last few weeks I have found myself laying awake and reflecting upon my mission, my life as a sister missionary.  I see the faces of each person I have met, the people I have loved, the people that have changed me more than I have changed them.  I love them.  I cherish the bonds I have made and the spiritual moments shared.  It's like nothing else I have ever experienced.

Though this chapter in my life is ending, a new one is beginning; my life as Brittany Nestman.

What will life be like at home?  Most likely it will be much like it was before the mission: church, work, school, family, friends, and dating (o.0).  Something I have found myself asking is "what will be different?  What is it that I am taking home from all of this?"  Yes I'm taking home all my memories, cherished thoughts and feelings, but what else?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Flag Poles

Now that I have your attention, let's kick this bloggaroonie into action!

My companion and I have been ranting and raving about this topic for a while now: Progression.  "A movement or development toward a destination or a more advanced state, esp. gradually or in stages."  So it's moving forward.  Going from one stage to a harder more advanced level.  Each of you think back to your Super Mario days (yes, for some that was only a second ago (good for you)).  What would it be like if at the end of the stage, there was no flag.

I can hear the answers now, "What?!?!  No flag?!?!  How could that possibly be?!?!"  There you would stand; stuck in a world you have already mastered.  Sure you could jump around, maybe jump on a goomba or two that you missed, but that's it.  No underground, underwater, or castle levels.  Not to mention that in future Mario Bros. games you'd never experience Yoshi!  <GASP> I know I know, it's all seemingly unimaginable.  But, is it really?

Let's take a look at our own lives.  We go through life and what do we hope to accomplish?  Do we have a vision?  Like in Mario, the big "vision" is conquering the game.  Beating every level and foe that stands in your way.  Our vision should be to live with God again one day, ergo we set goals to achieve it.  So, are there any "flag poles" in our lives (aka, goals)?  Once we have these goals, it's time to do everything we can to achieve them.  Give it our all to reach those "flag poles".

Word of caution, it's not going to be easy.  Hopefully we have all realized this by now.  The comforting thing is, that as we rely on the Lord and stay close to Him, it's easier.  Still not easy, but He gives us a LOT of help.  He gives us the little helps we need such as the Prophet, scriptures, friends, family, prayer, and so much more (like the fire flower, super mushroom, starman, and 1-up mushroom).

For those that don't have a vision, get one.  For those that have goals but aren't doing anything to reach them, get on it!  There's no time like the present!  Consider this blog a push forward.  As we speak I am setting goals and making plans to achieve the vision I have for myself.  I've got the flag poles in my sight and have that vision of defeating Bowser, do you?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

True Identity

"What is your true identity?"  Over the past few days, this question has been bouncing around inside my brain.  Almost like flubber; it just won't stop bouncing!  As one would guess, a portion of my personal study each morning has been devoted to answering this very question.  Let's break it down.

First, 'true': what does it mean?  We all see it as one of the choices on a "true or false" section of a test, but what's the actual definition?  You better believe I looked it up.  "Steadfast, loyal, agreeing with facts or reality, consistent, properly so called, rightful, comfortable to a standard or pattern, placed or formed accurately."  Fair enough.

Now, what does 'identity' mean?  "Sameness of essential character, individuality, the fact of being the same person or thing as claimed."  After reading these definitions I decided to also look up individuality, which is "the sum of qualities that characterize and distinguish an individual from all others, separate or distinct existence."  Hmmmm.... Very interesting.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Over the last few weeks I have been doing a lot of pondering.  Dangerous past-time right?  My thoughts have been over the goals that I want to have for after the mission.  Some are obvious, such as finding a job and getting back into school, but others are deeper.  Something my mind has been drawn back to again and again is joy.  My companion, Sister Kahrs, knows all about joy and has opened my eyes to an incredible goal for the rest of my life.  Here's the teaser to my goal (before I go into it further):

Classic! Robyn, Me, and Miliana at the Sacramento Temple
I love to laugh
Loud and long and clear
I love to laugh
It's getting worse ev'ry year

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Conversion of Korey


 Okay my religious background was none. Didn't pray, wasn't sure of a 'God', and I had no idea about anything concerning Jesus Christ. Religion was something I was never forced to participate in and it was always something I avoided. In life you tend to avoid the unknowns, because there is fear of inadequacy from the lack of knowledge, or a fear of the 'what if's' as well. That was the case for me. I had friends that went to a number of different denominations, but was never motivated to follow their example at any point in my life. But all that, of course, changed.

The year was 2006, the start of my senior year in high school. I had yet to have a direct encounter with the church yet at that point, but was finally made aware that it even existed. At no point in my life do I recall ever seeing missionaries, or hearing about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (it wasn’t until much later on in the process that I realized that many times over the years I had seen, on late night infomercials, ads for the Book of Mormon). But, I had come into contact with a member of the church at work. We were actually really good friends. I worked at a restaurant and my coworker was a girl by the name of Shanda.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ladder of Hope

This poem was sent to me by a very dear friend.  I am not sure who the author is or what it is titled (so if someone does, please let me know), but I loved it and wanted to share it with everyone!  Please read and let these powerful words touch you the way they've touched me.

I had been in that hole for a very long time
In the dark and the damp, in the cold and the slime.
The shaft was above me; I could see it quite clear
But there's no way I ever could reach it from here.
Nor could I remember the world way up there
So I lost all my hope and gave in to despair.
I knew nothing but darkness, the floor, and the walls
Then off in the distance I heard someone call: "Get up! Get ready! There's nothing the matter.
Take rocks and old sticks and build up a fine ladder."
This had never occurred to me--had not crossed my mind.
But I started to stack all the stones I could find.
When I ran out of stones, then old sticks were my goal, For one way or another I'd get out of that hole.
So I soon had a ladder that was sturdy and tall
And I thought, "I'll soon leave this place once and for all."
I climbed up my ladder. It was no easy chore,
For from lifting those boulders, my shoulders were sore.
I climbed on up the ladder, but soon had to stop
For my ladder stopped short--some ten feet from the top.
I climbed back down my ladder and started to cry I'd done all I could do. I gave my best try.
And in spite of my work, in this hole I must die.
And all I could do was to sit and think, "Why?"
Was my ladder too short? Or my hole much too deep
Then from way upon high came a voice, "Do not weep."
And then faith, hope, and love entered into my chest
As the voice said to me that I'd done my best.
He said, "You've worked very hard, and your labor's been rough,
But the ladder you've built is at last tall enough.
Do not despair. You have reason to hope
just climb up your ladder; I'll throw down my rope."
I climbed up the ladder, then climbed up the cord.
When I got to the top, there stood the Lord.
I couldn't be happier; my struggle was done.
I blinked in the brightness that came from the Son.
I fell to the ground, His feet did I kiss
I cried, "What can I do to repay thee for this?"
Then He looked all about Him. There were holes in the ground They had people inside, and were seen all around
There were thousands of holes that were damp, dark, and deep The the Lord turned to me and He said, "Feed my sheep."
Then He went on His way to help other lost souls, And I got right to work, calling down to the holes: "Get up! Get ready! There's nothing the matter.
Take rocks and old sticks and build up a fine ladder."
It now was my turn to spread the good word.
The most glorious message that man ever heard.
That there's one who is willing to save one and all
And we've got to be ready when He gives the call.
He'll pull us all out of the hole that we're in
And save all our souls from death and from sin.
So do not lose faith; there is reason to hope
just build up your ladder; He'll throw down His rope
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