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Friday, December 31, 2010

Life of a Sister Missionary part 6: Feed the Soul

Each morning we spend an hour in personal study.  We study from the Book of Mormon, Holy Bible, Preach My Gospel, and other church-approved literature.  So basically, we study the "words of life."  As missionaries, we are promised that we will be given the words we will need to say in the very hour we need them (D&C 84:85).  This promise requires us to do our part and study.  What I study usually depends on the day.  What we will be doing makes a huge impact on what we as missionaries study.  We may study by reading straight from the Book of Mormon or Holy Bible.  Other times we may do a topic study. 
To begin the "personal study" time, I say a prayer (see a trend here?).  The next step I take is I get out my study journal and write down what I plan on studying.  It helps me to stay on topic and really get my mind focused.  When I have down what I want to study before beginning, the study time flies by.  The end always comes too soon.  Throughout the hour, I also write down things that stick out to me, things I learn, "a-ha" moments, and whatever else inspires me.  At the end of my study, drum roll please..........a prayer.
How has this helped?  The days I study and the days I don't have a completely different feeling.  There has been maybe 2 days (for shame) that I didn't get to do my personal study on my mission.  Those days were horrible!  The Spirit was not there.  When it did come, it was after a lot of repenting and pleading for help.  Study time is precious.  My days are substantially better when I have a good and focused study.  Basically, personal study is phenomenal!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Life of a Sister Missionary part 5: Feed the Stomach

 Before we study or do anything else in the day, we eat a good breakfast.  Eating a good breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day.  Without breakfast, you tend to be more tired and ornery.  The body needs fuel and expects to get it.  For myself, I am prone to getting dizzy and am not a happy camper.  I have learned the hard way to eat a good breakfast so I am able to function at tip-top shape and not fall over. 
 My breakfast usually consists of either toast, eggs, oatmeal, or pancakes along with my always delicious apples and peanut butter.  My companions are very familiar with the peanut butter smell in the mornings.  After eating my breakfast, I feel more awake, more aware, and ready for what lies in store for the day.  It gives my body the nourishment it needs before I try to feed my mind.  Though, sometimes I don't feel hungry or food doesn't sound good at that time in the morning, I make myself eat and I always see the benefits from it.  Mind over matter....and stomach.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Life of a Sister Missionary part 4: Sunday Best

Before the mission, Sundays were the only days you could find me wearing a dress.  While on the mission, I wear one every day.  This did not appeal to me whatsoever when I was younger, but I now realize how important this is.  We are representatives of our Lord and Savior.  Each day as missionaries we put on the black name badge that bears the name of Jesus Christ.  Usually, we wear dresses on Sundays because it's our day to serve the Lord and it shows respect for Him.  As missionaries, we serve the Lord every day as we share the gospel with others.  So every day we wear our "Sunday best." 
 D&C 42:40-41 "And again, thou shalt not be aproud in thy bheart; let all thy cgarments be plain, and their dbeauty the beauty of the ework of thine own hands; And let all things be done in acleanliness before me." 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Five Minutes to Christmas

Upon one lonely Christmas Eve,                           "This Holly has a thorny leaf,
A knock came at my door;                                      Like those on Jesus' crown;
No one was there, just a little tree                          And berries red just like his blood
That wasn't there before.                                        In great drops falling down."

Upon the tree a paper note                                    Five minutes, I could hardly wait,
Writ with a child's scrawl,                                      I watched the clock tick on,
"My branches green point up to heaven               Then found a shiny golden star,
I hope you will recall."                                          But who e'er left it was gone.

Five minute more, a knock again,                     "We've seen his star shine in the east,
And now a tiny bell                                               The wise men were heard to say,
Was left just where the tree had been;                  Let us kneel and worship him
Who left it, I could not tell.                                   Upon this Christmas Day."

Another note, and this one said,                           I waited still inside the door,
"I ring for all to hear                                            But at the tick of five,
That glorious news that's the report                    Was nothing new upon the porch
Made at this time of year."                                  And no one there alive.

Five ticks again, another knock,                        No more tonight, I told myself,
I rushed, but could not see                                  That's all there is to be,
Ought but a smiling Angel's face                        But a knock came once again;
Looking back at me.                                           I hurried out to see.

She held a paper in her hand,                            A little box with paper bright
And on it written thus,                                      Sat where the rest had done,
"On this day a child is born,                              I picked it up and read the note
And given unto us."                                          Taped to the top of this one.

I waited quietly at the door                              "Three gifts were given to the One,
To hear another knock,                                    Myrrh, Frankincense, and Gold;
Then I burst right through the jamb                 Then He was given as a gift
At five ticks of the clock.                                  With a price that can't be told.

A candy Cane was there alone,                        "This wondrous gift is ours; rejoice!
But no one was in sight,                                    The Son of God is come
Just a scribble about shepherds                        To free the world from sin and death
Who watched their flocks by night.                  And bring his people home."

I waited five and knew that I                            I know not who has brought these gifts
Would open the door to find                            But humbly I receive;
Something also left on my porch                     And now rejoice along with them
Of a Christmas kind.                                       Who blessed my Christmas Eve.

A candle burning brightly on                          I ask you to remember now
Was left before the door,                                These Christmas gifts so sweet
"It was night when Christ was born,"           And how each one will call to mind
The note said, "but no more."                       The Love of God complete.

Five minutes later there was left                  11/17/2009 -Dale Jay Dennis
A branch with a thorny growth,                  
And tiny berries in between                         
The leaves, and then this oath:                     
 I read this poem and completely fell in love with it!  It is the day after Christmas, so forgive me for the post-Christmas post.  But, the message is still true and is a reminder to always remember what our Savior has done for all of us.  Merry day after Christmas!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Partridge, Swans a Swimming, Leaping Lords, Huh?

For those that are following the "Life of a Sister Missionary" series, don't you fret.  More will come tomorrow, but today is Christmas.  It would only seem fitting to write something pertaining to this wonderful day.  So, strap on your thinking caps and tell me what the "12 Days of Christmas" carol is about.  Have you ever wondered that?  I know that I certainly have.  Last night the quest to find the answer to this question was finished.  A family I had dinner with shared the true meaning of the partridge in a pear tree, turtle doves, maids a-milking, and all the others in this seemingly silly song.  Here is the theory they shared with me from an email forward:

"From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly.  Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.  It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church.  Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.
-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.
So there is your history for today."
I hope this helps anyone who has also wondered about why this strange song became a Christmas Carol.  Merry Christmas

Friday, December 24, 2010

Life of a Sister Missionary part 3: Exercise Time!

1 Corinthians 6:19 "What? know ye not that your abody is the btemple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your cown?"  Our bodies are gifts from God.  He wants us to keep them in the best shape possible.  To serve with all our "heart, might, mind, and strength" we exercise for 30 minutes each morning to be able to maintain our health.  Not that we are trying to be body builders, but we need to be in shape to be able to do all that our calling entails.  "Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness"-Edward Stanley.  Be healthy, be strong.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Life of a Sister Missionary part 2: Morning Prayer

After the dreaded wake up, the day begins with prayer. 3 Nephi 18:18-19 reads "18 Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, ye must watch and pray always lest ye enter into temptation; for aSatan desireth to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.  19Therefore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name;"  When the day begins with prayer, we are able to avoid temptation.  It starts us off on the right foot.  As a missionary, we consecrate our day to the Lord.  Nothing begins until we say a prayer.  We pray more times than I can count.  We pray before we leave, before we go in to a lesson, twice during the lesson, after the lesson to thank the Lord, before we eat, etc., and end the day with a prayer.  The day becomes the Lord's.  It invites the Holy Ghost to be our 3rd companion.  I know that the Holy Ghost can be a companion to anyone who seeks him, who seeks the Lord.  James 1:5 aIf any of you lack bwisdom, let him ask of God, that cgiveth to all men liberally, and dupbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Life of a Sister Misionary: the Dreaded Morning

She had some interesting habits.  When ever someone was sitting in front of her, she would cut their hair.  I was not excited to go to the lesson.  Kinda like my hair, don't really want it cut.  We were about to go into the door when BEEP BEEP BEEP.....6:30 a.m.  Day begins now.
Each morning we wake up at 6:30.  Mornings and I are not friends, but we are learning to get along.  Doctrine and Covenants 88:124 Cease to be aidle; cease to be bunclean; cease to cfind fault one with another; cease to dsleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be einvigorated
The saying "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise" is so true.  My mind has been so much more aware of things since I have regularly gotten to be early and woken up early.  It's been hard, but so worth it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christlike Love

John 15:12-13
12This is my commandment, That ye alove one another, as I have bloved you.
13Greater alove hath no man than this, that a man lay down his blife for his cfriends.
We are commanded, not asked, to love one another.  This man is incredible!  He left his job so that he could serve others.  These people are hungry, homeless, and lonely.  They have nothing.  There are many like this all throughout the world.  We don't have to drop everything like Naryanan does, but we all can drop something to help another.  There is always service to be done.  There is always someone who needs a friend.  Reach out to those in need.  Show the love that our Father in Heaven and Christ have shown to all men.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Charlie Brown Christmas

I love how simply Linus explains the true meaning of Christmas.  It is all about our Savior.  He was sent here to give us the way back to our Father in Heaven.  There is a song called "I Celebrate the Day", by Relient K, that helps me remember what Christmas is about.  The lyrics are the following: 

The greatest gift we have been given is the Savior.  The greatest gift we can give Him is to "keep yourself unspotted from the world".  I know that as we strive to do this we will feel peace and comfort.  We will be ready to meet Him at any time.

And with this Christmas wish is missed
The point I could convey
If only I could find the words to say
To let You know how much You've touched my life
Because here is where You're finding me
In the exact same place as New Year's eve
And from a lack of my persistency
We're less than half as close as I want to be

And the first time that You opened Your eyes
Did You realize that You would be my Savior
And the first breath that left Your lips
Did You know that it would change this world forever
And the first time that You opened Your eyes
Did You realize that You would be my Savior
And the first breath that left Your lips
Did You know that it would change this world forever

And so this Christmas I'll compare
The things I felt in prior years
To what this midnight made so clear
That You have come to meet me here

To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me
In the hope that what You did
That you were born so I might live
To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me

And the first time that You opened Your eyes
Did You realize that You would be my Savior
And the first breath that left Your lips
Did You know that it would change this world forever
And the first time that You opened Your eyes
Did You realize that You would be my Savior
And the first breath that left Your lips
Did You know that it would change this world forever

And I, I celebrate the day
That You were born to die
So I could one day pray for You to save my life
Pray for You to save my life
Pray for You to save my life

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Hello Sister Nestman!  I got to go to Utah last weekend, and I saw one of my missionaries, who has now returned home. I was telling him that you have 2 brothers who are on missions too! I told him that your Mom must be missing her kids sooooo much! All three are gone at the same time! You know what he said? He just smiled... and said, "she must be soooo blessed!"
I just love missionaries and their families so much for what they are doing and sacrificing. It would make me so happy to hear how your Mom has been blessed. So, if you know... would you please tell me? Thanks!
After I was asked this question, I shot a message off to my mom asking her what her thoughts were.  This is her response:
Well here's the deal.  As parents we are charged with the calling to raise you up in the ways of the Lord.  The church teaches us that raising our kids and teaching them about Christ, our Heavenly Father, and the gospel, is our number one priority.  We made a commitment before coming to earth to do this. Your dad and I take that very very seriously.  So we have tried to raise you as the Lord would have us and then the rest comes down to free agency.  All three of you have it and you chose to spread the message of families can be together forever through the Church of Jesus Christ.  All we did was try to do all the Lord asked of us in teaching you and trying to be good examples and you three made your own choices.  Our joy is knowing you are building the kingdom of God.  That's our greatest blessing and joy.
I love my mom and the testimony she has.  She is my hero!  When I grow up, I want to be just like her.  She knows what the Lord expects of her and works daily to do it.  All of us could take a page from my her book and just do what we should.  Thanks mom.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Life's Short, but Exciting. Write it Down

My big goal for the mission has been to write in my journal everyday.  This may not seem like anything big, but it is huge to me.  Never in my life have I kept a journal.  There may have been random notebooks that have a thought or two written down, but never any consistent "journal" or "diary" entries.  So far, I have written in my journal every day since entering the MTC.  I have discovered that it is very therapeutic.  Journal writing helps me to express my feelings about the day.  Allows for spiritual promptings and feelings to be written down and read again later.  Not only are they read again, they get to be felt again.  But, it has been a habit that has had to develop over time.  Lets just say, the beginning was very rough.

Towards the beginning of the mission, some of the journal entries were pathetic!  You would have thought I had been in a cave all day and experienced nothing.  Here is one of the entries: "Today was the same.  Nothing really exciting to say".  There's no way I did nothing.  No one can be that boring.  Not only did I have to just write in my journal, I had to pay attention to my day.  Reflect on what happened, how I felt, what conversations I had, and just realize how much goes on in the day.  After realizing this, the goal became much bigger than previously thought.
The latest journal entries are far from perfect, but they are improving.  There are a few things that have helped me to improve my journal-writing skills.  One way my entries have been better is that I write things down throughout the day that stick out to me.  Things that I want to remember and write more about later.  These things can be anything from how a lesson went, "a-ha" moments in the day, funny stories or events, and people I have met.  My memory is equivalent to that of a gold fish.  If it doesn't get jotted down in the moment it happens, it won't be remembered.  Making notes about things throughout the day has made my nightly journal writing that much more memorable and more worthwhile.  

The goal is now a habit.  It is continuing to develop and is becoming something I look forward to.  There are blessings that I never could have imagined from keeping a journal.  Going through past entries helps me to remember how much the Lord really is looking out for me.  He has guided me through everything, whether I realized it at the time or not.  My journal has helped me see where I was, where I am, and set goals to where I want to be.  Life's short, but oh so exciting.  Write it down.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Each year my family gets together on Christmas eve and celebrates the season.  The night usually includes carols, treats, basketball (when in the church gym), and time with the family.  One of the best parts of the night is when my Grandpa, Lo Thar Nestman, pulls out the scriptures and reads from Luke 2:

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all athe world should be btaxed. 
2(And this ataxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called aBethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5To be taxed with Mary his aespoused wife, being great with child.
6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7And she brought forth her afirstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the binn.
8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the aglory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you agood tidings of great bjoy, which shall be to all people.
11For unto you is aborn this day in the city of David a bSaviour, which is Christ the cLord.
12And this shall be a asign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14aGlory to God in the highest, and on earth bpeace, good will toward men.

In verse 9, when it says "And, lo", he pauses and stands up.  Always has to point out his name.  He thinks he is funny sometimes.  But, it has become something we expect and anticipate.  Not just because we find my grandpa entertaining, but because this tradition has always helped my family remember what the true meaning of Christmas is.  It is about the Savior.  It is a remembrance of one of the most important historical events this world has ever known.  I love Christmas time!  As you go through this season, try to remember what it truly is about.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Last night I dreamt.....

One of the things I have started to try and do lately is write down my dreams.  It has been hard at times, due to the fact that I am legally a zombie when I first wake up, but it has proved to be very insightful and entertaining.  Those that know me well are well aware that my dreams are sometimes very.....Dr. Seuss esc.  Here is a couple of example.
The first involves people, and dragons.  Yes, this definitely stemmed from the movie "How to train your dragon". 
If you look into someones eyes, you can tell what they really are.  If there is a yellow-ish glow, you know that they are one of the few that change into a dragon at night.  I was a missionary in Vacaville California and every night when my companion would go to bed, I would go out and fly over the town as a dragon.  Of course, I looked like a night fury.  Each night I would fly with the other dragons that were around town and just enjoy the night.  It was sad, my poor companion was just a normal human and didn't get to enjoy the night like I did.
The second example is a little more, missionary minded. 
It was one of our mission conferences and I arrived in my golf cart.  Not the usual Corolla in this dream.  Once in the church building, sat down in the pew and listened to the mission president speak.  He taught us the usual "be better", "work harder", and "be obedient".  Lunch time came and all the missionaries filed into the gym.  At this conference, one of the elders happened to be on pain medicine for a surgery he just had.  The side affect to the meds, he was incredibly delirious and out of it.  When introducing himself, he insisted on hugging everyone.  This included the sister missionaries, which is a no no in missionary land.  He kept insisting that he didn't want to hand shake, that it had to be a hug.  All the other elders around found it absolutely hysterical! 
Why write down such nonsense?  What good can this do, aside from merely entertaining?  Well, you never know when inspiration will come or how it will help.  There have been a few times in the last while where I truly have had a dream that taught me something important.  A few nights ago was one of these times.  When I awoke, I was confused.  Was it inspiration?  Or was it just my crazy mind?  I wrote down the dream and later reflected on it.
The dream was of me teaching someone with one of my companions.  The lesson went the way it usually does when we teach, until the end.  Instead of the normal "see you next week", we said "we will see you tomorrow.  Hope it is the day your work gets done".  Huh?!?  Well, I realized it was me in the spirit world teaching.  They were being taught because they never received that chance to learn here.  The person was waiting for the members on earth to do their temple work for them. 
 I realized even more how important it is for us to do all we can in this life so we don't have to wait on others in the next life.  It also made me realize how important it is for us to do our family history work so we can help those that have gone before.  Temple work is key and is an incredible blessing for us and our ancestors.
D&C 128:15 reads "And now, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their asalvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul says concerning the fathers—that they without us cannot be made perfect—neither can we without our dead be made bperfect."

If you don't already, write down your dreams.   Even in my "Dr. Seuss" dreams, there are things to learn.  It may seem silly and weird at first, but I can promise that you will learn new things daily.  Whether they are spiritual insights or not, they will help you.  The Lord speaks to us in so many ways.  Be sure that you are paying attention to them.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Do you have a streak going?

"You want to get a streak going.  You can carry a streak forward, but when you start losing a few you can get in a real dive."  Personally, I don't think President Monson was applying this statement just to sports.  We learn in science from Newton's first law that "an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force".  Our daily efforts to do what's right can be considered our "spiritual streak". 
At first, it is hard to start.  Starting from ground zero is always a daunting task.  An unbalanced force is necessary to get that streak going.  But what force can help?  Well, here's a couple of things that have helped me out.
1.  Pray daily.  By doing this, we invite the spirit into our lives.  "As you make a habit of approaching God in prayer, you will come to know Him and draw ever nearer to Him"1.  Heavenly Father wants to hear from us.  He is there for us whenever we need him.  His line is never busy. Moroni 7:48 reads: "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, apray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true bfollowers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall cbe like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may bedpurified even as he is pure. Amen" 2.
2.  Study the scriptures.  Scripture study is key!  The purpose of the scriptures is to draw us closer to Him.  They testify of Christ and lead us to eternal life.  Daily study will help us to be receptive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.  It is also how we put on our daily "armor" to protect us from the things in the world.  Helaman 3:29-30 reads "Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the aword of God, which is bquick and powerful, which shall cdivide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and dnarrow course across that everlasting egulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked— And land their souls, yea, their immortal souls, at the aright hand of God in the kingdom of heaven, to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob, and with all our holy fathers, to go no more out" 3.
3.  Attend Church each week.  It is a commandment, plain and simple.  The Lord has asked us to set one day apart, Sunday, for worship and rest.  Sunday is a day for us to partake of the Sacrament and remember what our Savior has done for us.  "Our Sabbath-day behavior is a reflection of our commitment to honor and worship God" 4.  By going to church and keeping the Sabbath Day Holy, we will be filled with joy and peace.
By doing these 3 things, it will be the start of a whole new streak.  You will be able to feel the spirit more abundantly in life.  It will make it easier to continue to make right choices and stay on the straight and narrow path.  We will be prepared for the things that the adversary will throw at us.  Starting them may be rough and you will face challenges, but I know that the Lord will provide a way for you to be able to do them all.  He will help you down the path and help keep you there.  The "spiritual streak" is the "streak to success".  Get the ball rollin'!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Different or Amazing?

8 years ago something amazing happened in my life.  Something that has shaped who I am today, taught me many valuable lessons, and changed my entire perspective in life.  That event was the birth of my youngest sister Amanda.  She is a wild little child that loves to run, jump on the trampoline, sing and dance to Miley Cyrus, and play with her older siblings.  Amanda also has Down Syndrome.

For those that don't know, Down Syndrome is a genetic condition in which a person has 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46.  Those that have it will typically learn a little slower and may have other problems that come with it.  Before Amanda came into my life, I knew nothing.  To be honest, I knew nothing about any disability.  It was all foreign and a little scary to me.  The unknown always is.  But, when my sister was born, a new world opened up before my eyes. 
People with disabilities are no different then those without. When I was a senior in high school I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a special needs youth group.  We all had a "buddy" and would go each week to hear a lesson then participate in some sort of activity.  My buddy taught me more then I ever would have dreamed!  Not only could she show me up on the dance floor, but she had a rock solid testimony.  She knew she was "different", but it didn't matter to her.  She is a chosen daughter of the most high.  No matter what someone said or how they may look at her, she was a daughter of God! 
There is a song by Carol Lynn Pearson that literally brought me to tears the first time I sung it with the special needs group.  It is called "I'll Walk With You".

If you don’t walk as most people do,
Some people walk away from you,
But I won’t! I won’t!
If you don’t talk as most people do,
Some people talk and laugh at you,
But I won’t! I won’t!
I’ll walk with you. I’ll talk with you.
That’s how I’ll show my love for you.
Jesus walked away from none.
He gave his love to everyone.
So I will! I will!
Jesus blessed all he could see,
Then turned and said, “Come, follow me.”
And I will! I will!
I will! I will!
I’ll walk with you. I’ll talk with you.
That’s how I’ll show my love for you.

Christ loves everyone.  He is the perfect example of how to love.  The first time I saw someone look at my sister funny, my hackles flew!  My thought was "how dare they!"  After taking a step back, I realized that I had done the same thing once before.  It took me having my dear sister to really see that everyone is the same.  We are all sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father.  He is not a respecter of persons.  He loves each of us individually and infinitely. 
I love my sister.  She is the world to me.  She may not learn as fast as other children, may not be able to talk yet, may not even be potty trained yet, but she is perfect!  Amanda loves everyone the way Christ does.  There is no discrimination.  A goal I have set for myself is to see everyone the way my sister does.  Treat them the way Christ would if he were around.  "Jesus walked away from none.  He gave his love to everyone.  So I will!"  I will! Will you? 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wait, did you say 3?

2 Corinthians 13:1 reads: "...In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established".  My parents either seriously internalized this scripture, or are poor planners.  Currently they have 3 children serving missions around the world.  We joked as I was growing up that this could potentially happen, but didn't really think of it as a reality at all.  The day I decided to serve my mission was the day we realized that we would be serving for at least 9 months all at the same time.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Why I'm On A Mission

Since I was young I have wanted to go on a mission.  As I got older, the mission idea kinda faded further and further into the back burner.  It just wasn't as much of a priority.  After high school I went to college and worked.  Loved my job!  Working in and around pools was my life.  Things were going great.  There were some trials thrown in the mix as well, but I endured them and grew from them.  Life was good and things were progressing as planned.

The time for my 21st birthday was coming and the thought of a mission came to mind.  I wasn't sure whether to keep going and doing what I had been doing, or put it all on hold for 18 months.  What better way to decide then to ask Heavenly Father?  It's what I grew up learning and doing; so, I did just that.  I prayed for a few weeks and fasted about whether a mission was right for me or not.  After the fasting and prayer I got the answer no.  So, I continued doing what I was doing.  Everything was the way I wanted it.

Time went on and more trials came.  Things at my job weren't going as well as they were before.  Changes were made and they weren't to my liking.  But, work was work and I needed a job.  Just kept truckin' along and doing my thing.  Spring semester of school was coming and I was going to get back to taking some classes.  Had my plans set and ready to go......or so I thought.

Work, got worse.  I went from loving my job to dreading it.  When I went to register for classes, couldn't.  After talking to the enrollment office they told me "sorry, but I guess you have to re-apply".  The plans I "thought" were great, were falling apart in front of me.  Nothing was working out at all.  All I could think was "now what?"

During all of this, there was a little voice in the back of my head that would say "what about a mission?"  Of course, that thought was pushed far away.  I had gotten my answer a few months ago.  "Why ask again" was my logic.  No need to re-think about a mission.  Besides, I didn't want to be labelled as one of those sisters that went on a mission because they "couldn't get married".  Can you say "hard headed"?
(This is the part my mom dislikes)

One wintry night, while home with my family, my mom and I got into a little argument.  I decided to leave and put off some steam.  Didn't know where or what I was going to do, but it was away from home.  After driving for a bit I realized I was on my way to the Draper Utah temple.  Parked in the parking lot and just looked up at the temple for a while.  It was snowing (which is my favorite) and everything was peaceful.  As I was sitting there, the overwhelming impression that I should go on a mission came over me.  I continued to sit there and ponder for a while, then decided to pray about it.  Said a prayer in the car and then drove back home.  Sunday was the next day and it just so happened to be fast Sunday.  Perfect!

As soon as I began my fast I could feel what Heavenly Father wanted me to do.  At the end of the face, it felt as though I had been "spirit slapped".  The most incredible feeling came over me that screamed "YES!!!  Go on a mission!"  How could I deny it at this point? 

2 weeks later, my papers were in.  3 weeks after that, my call letter came in the mail.  I'm here on my mission because the Lord wants me here.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that this church is true.  That Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer.  That He lived and died for me and everyone else.  The Atonement is real and there for everyone.  Joseph Smith restored the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth today and we have a living prophet now.  President Thomas S. Monson leads and guides the work of the Lord today.  The Book of Mormon is another testament of Christ.  I love this church and I love serving the Lord in this great work.  There is nothing better I could be doing with my life right now.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mail Time

In my heart, I will forever be 5 years old.  Each time I check the mail I find myself singing the Blues Clues "Mail Time" song.  No matter what age you are, what race, or where you are at, it is always nice to get a letter.  There's just something special about it.  It shows that someone has thought of you.  That someone has taken time out of their day to write you or send something to you.  Life is so fast pace and hectic it seems now-a-day.  There just doesn't seem to be enough time to accomplish anything.  Between work, family, school, and other activities, time just flies right out the window.  There are many times that I have been guilty of being overly busy, but was I really?  Was there really too much to do?
Just as we feel too busy sometimes to write a letter or give someone a call, it can be just as easy to forget to talk to our Father in Heaven.  As excited as I am to get a letter from someone, our Heavenly Father is that much more excited each time we kneel down to talk to him.  Unlike mail, email, or a telephone, Heavenly Fathers line is always open.  No worrying about stamps, how long it will take, or if we have the right number, address, or any of that.  His line is always open and ready.  All it takes is us taking the time to talk to Him.  He is always there for us, waiting patiently for us to talk with Him.
I know He is there for us at all times.  He is there to lift us up when we are down.  To answer the questions in our hearts.  To comfort us, help us, guide us, and give us what we need.  There is always time to pray.  Even in the most hectic of days there is time.  Heavenly Father is NEVER too busy to talk with us, try not to be too busy to talk to Him.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Have you had an "Ah-Ha" moment today?

Each morning, as a missionary, we study for 2 or more hours.  To some, this may be considered the ultimate torture.  Others, don't think this is even close to enough time.  I'll admit, sometimes, the first one is how I feel.  Studying has never been a strong point for me, but I am learning to develop it.  As I have been developing my study habits, I have found that the more effort I put into it, the more results I see.  Yes, a shock I know.  But, it truly does make all the difference.  The days I am completely engrossed in the study are the days when I have put forth the right amount of effort.  We get what we put into our studies.  As that effort is applied when studying the scriptures and other church doctrine, the spirit will manifest new truths that we have not known before.  “True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior.” (PRESIDENT BOYD K. PACKER).  We can each have our own "Ah-Ha" moments as we study the scriptures.  We will realize truth both in our heart and mind.  Open your heart and mind so you can learn the things that the spirit will make manifest.  I know it has helped me and can help others.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Endure to the End

For those that know my family, they know that it is full of sports fanatics!  They will watch just about any sport that is broad casted and play most of them as well.  It has made for a lot of lasting memories.  Out of the many lessons I have learned from participating in and or watching all of these sports is that you must endure to the end.  NEVER give up!  Even when things are looking down and the chances are slim, you must hold strong and keep pressing forward.  Push past the doubt.  When things get hard you work that much harder to reach that goal.  In sports, the goal is to win or do better then you have done before.  In life, we do the same thing.  The ultimate goal is to reach eternal life.  To live with our Father in Heaven.  We need to continue to push past the trials and adversity that comes our way.  Our time is short here, but we can make each moment count.  Every second matters!  I know that we all can make that "buzzer shot" if we continue to work throughout our life.  He is there waiting for us.  Continue to Endure and stay strong until the end.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude"

The little things in life can pass us by without being noticed.  It takes an effort sometimes to notice all of the amazing things that we are blessed with daily.  We are blessed with so many things in our life that get left unnoticed.  During a dinner the other night, the mother asked us to name 2 things we were grateful for.  My first thought was "easy, I know a lot of things", but then she added that they had to be small things.  Something that we don't ever notice or hadn't thought of as a "blessing".  Much to my surprise, this was a lot harder then I thought it would be.  At that moment, I realized how much I truly take for granted.  There is so much around to be grateful for!  Notice the little things.  Don't let them sneak by unnoticed.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


"The only constant in life is change."  A very common quote that has been said many many times by numerous people.  The last time I heard this was in an email from my father the other day.  It was nothing profound or new, but it got me thinking.  Change happens ALL the time whether we like it or not.  Why is change so scary to so many?  For me, it is a fear of the unknown.  I don't like not knowing, but I have to rise above that fear and accept the change.  Staying stagnant is not a good way to live life. 

"There is nothing so unchanging, so inevitable as change itself. The things we see, touch, and feel are always changing. Relationships between friends, husband and wife, father and son, brother and sister are all dynamic, changing relationships. There is a constant that allows us to use change for our own good, and that constant is the revealed eternal truths of our Heavenly Father." (Elder Marvin J. Ashton).
Change helps us learn and grow.  It helps us grow as a person, become something better.  "Yes, there is pain in change, but there is also great satisfaction in recognizing that progress is being achieved. Life is a series of hills and valleys and often the best growth comes in the valleys" (Elder Marvin J. Ashton).  Keep changing and growing and becoming better.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Time with the Family

I love this video!  It reminds me of all the days of pretending as a child.  All of the quality moments spent with my family and my poor parents being dragged into a lot of it.  Those moments are now lasting memories I have with my brothers and sisters.  Playing "airplane", building forts, being Power Rangers, and all sorts of other fun games.  I know it was these simple/silly things that have bonded my family together.  My family members are my best friends and I love them dearly.  A little time does go a long way.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

" thou an example of the believers"-1Timothy 4:12

All of us are different, but we are all God's children.  How can we represent him best?  By being an example to others around us.  This video is of a boy that is an example to all and has shown each of us how we can be better.  He took a stand for righteousness.  Each of us need to do the same.  "Be not ashamed, neither confounded...." (D&C 90:17)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Infinite Power of Hope

When the world says, "Give up,"
Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Live Long and Prosper

We are all here in this life for a reason.  Preach My Gospel states: "Our purpose in this life is to have joy and prepare to return to God’s presence."  Our Father in Heaven wants us to be happy and wants us to have joy.  "This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now." (President Thomas S. Monson) 
The time to prepare is now!  For us to prosper in heaven, we need to do all we can in this life to prepare.  What can we do to prepare ourselves?  By doing the simple things.  Read the scriptures, pray, keep the commandments, go to church, and strive to be better then we were yesterday.  Find joy in this life by preparing for the next.  Live Long and Prosper

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Our "Pillar of Light"

16....I saw a pillar of clight exactly over my head, above the brightness of the dsun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.

  17 It no sooner appeared than I found myself adelivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I bsaw two cPersonages, whose brightness and dglory defy all description, estanding above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My fBeloved gSon. Hear Him! (Joseph Smith History 1:16-17 ( 
When Joseph Smith inquired of the Lord, he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ.  Not all of us will have an experience like Joseph did, but we can all have our own personal "pillar of light".  The prophet Moroni tells us:

  3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how amerciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and bponder it in your chearts.

  4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would aask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not btrue; and if ye shall ask with a csincere heart, with dreal intent, having efaith in Christ, he will fmanifest the gtruth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. (Moroni 10:3-5 (

This is a promise, that if we ask God, He will give us an answer.  Whatever question's we may have in our hearts can and will be answered.  The Lord will bring light into our hearts and minds as we diligently seek Him out.  But, to get a SPECIFIC answer, we must ask a SPECIFIC question.  The Bible dictionary states "The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them".  The last part is what sticks out to me.  "....conditional on our asking for them".  Joseph Smith asked a specific question, and got a specific answer.  If you aren't asking specific questions, start.  Let the Lord show you your own "Pillar of Light".

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Who I Am Hates Who I've Been

This is a song that has always reminded me that we can change our life around.  We do not have to stay the person we are or were.  Anyone can change and become better.  "If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living" (Gail Sheehy).   Let's all change for the better and not look back at who we were.
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