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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

Friday, October 14, 2011

Clear Vision

So, get this!  The other day I had this brilliant idea for a blog post.  I told my companion all about it, she told me someone has already written a book about it (who knew?), and then I had an experience that put it into an even greater perspective.  If ever there was a blog to be excited about, it is this one!

Wednesday of this week I went to see the eye doctor.  Yes, the optometrist.  I've been having some issues with my eyes going blurry for no apparent reason.  No good right?  I figured it was time to have the problem looked at.  To sum the experience up briefly: we got there, signed papers, tried not to listen to the distracting music (bah!), escorted to the back room (dun dun dun), had bright lights shined in my eyes, orange dye put in my eye (that rhymed), blue dye dabbed into my eye, a little chit chat, eye drops given, and off on my merry way with a prescription for some eye drops. 

The drops aren't bad.  They feel rather refreshing.  The gel on the other hand..... Not as much fun.  It feels as though I am putting lotion on my eyes and everything goes all cloud-like.  My companion, bless her heart, thinks it is the most entertaining thing in the world.  Myself, I like being able to see.

Friday, October 7, 2011


It's been seventeen months now in the mission field and I can still say that receiving mail still feels like Christmas.  Snail mail is the bee's knees in my book!  Today I received a letter from my "adopted" grandpa.  He is one of my best friends and the story of how we became such good friends is one of the greatest stories ever told, by me that is.

By now all of you are well aware that I worked at a swimming pool prior to coming on my mission.  Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning from 9:00-1:00 I was in the pool teaching swimming lessons.  While swimming lessons were going on there were a few water aerobics classes, lap swimmers, and people getting in their pool exercises.  It's like seventh heaven there!

Every day I was there to teach swim lessons there was a man that would come and do one of the water aerobic classes.  Because I am a talker and like to say "hello" to everyone and their dog, I started to talk to this elderly man that was attending water aerobics fairly regularly.  First thing I noticed was his German accent.  We talked about his days growing up in Germany, what it was like to be a member of the church there during that time, and he told me all about himself.  Each bit of information intrigued me to no end because my grandpa Nestman is from Germany. 

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