Jun 29, 2011

for the one

“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
“And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
“And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
“I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance” (Luke 15:1–7).

The other day Sister Turner and I were talking about our traveling life.  Every day we drive hours to see just a few people; maybe even just one person.  We spend hours studying for just a few people; maybe even just one person.  We help them have faith in Jesus Christ enough to repent of their sins.  When they feel ready, we help plan their baptism. Baptism in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a very sacred experience.  We do not call ninety nine people to the front as a spontaneous or momentary expression of faith.  Instead we spend days, weeks, maybe even months guiding that one individual through the beautiful process prepared by our Savior.  When that special day comes, the one feels ready.  The one understands the gospel of Jesus Christ and feels his love.  To me, seeing the change take place in that one... makes it all worth it.

"And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul: and we suppose that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some." -Alma 26:30

Jun 18, 2011

tender mercies

A few years ago Elder Bednar spoke about the "tender mercies of the Lord" mentioned in 1 Nephi 1:20.  Every day there are tender mercies given to us from our Father in Heaven as a reminder that he loves us and is watching over us.  The closer to God we become, the more we recognize these tender mercies. 

I remember the first night I arrived in Tennessee. I had spent two and a half weeks in the M.T.C. and still felt completely unprepared to go out and share the gospel with strangers full-time.  I didn't know much about serving a mission, or about my new home.  I was the only sister at the mission home, therefore I got my own room and queen bed to sleep in that night.  I remember sitting on my bed that night and staring out the window into the backyard.  There were rolling green hills and trees as far as I could see, and it was raining.  Green hills, trees, and rain are three of my favorite things.  In the distance there was lightning; another one of my favorite things.  Heavenly Father knew I needed those green hills and lightning that night, and he provided those tender mercies for me.  I thanked him for those tender mercies.

That was almost a year ago, and every day since then I have recognized tender mercies the Lord has given me.  Here are a few as of late:

 Fireflies (Sister Koford loves them too)

 Gallatin Ward Picnic

 Singing the National Anthem at the Sounds baseball game and seeing Sister Larsen and Wendy!

 Serving with one of my favorite companions.. again!

Passing signs for my favorite American town! (I have yet to go there but I've seen signs!)

I know that God is aware of me.  He is so aware of each of us.  He knows our needs, our wants, our likes and our dislikes.  He wants us to be happy, and provides many opportunities for us to be so.  It is up to us to recognize those tender mercies he gives us.

What are some tender mercies God has given you lately?

Jun 15, 2011


"Awake, my soul!  No longer droop in sin.  Rejoice, o my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul." -2 Nephi 4:28

I have been incredibly tired lately. There has been so much going on the past week and I just can't seem to get enough sleep!  For some reason my body also decided that 5:00 a.m is the new time to wake up, so even when I do get some rest I am wide awake by 5 and can't fall back asleep.  It doesn't help that I am a traveling missionary now and will spend approximately 4 hours in a car every day driving all around Kentucky.  But I am not complaining!  I love it so much.  Waking up at 5 just means I have more time to prepare (mentally and spiritually if not physically) for the day and traveling all over the place means I get to meet so many great people!

I just felt like finding (and then sharing with you) a scripture reminding myself to stay AWAKE! 

(this is also for my dear Sister Larsen.. who is leaving the great TNM after serving here honorably for 18 months.  I sure will miss that woman.  "O MY HEART!")

Jun 11, 2011


How would it feel to know that the one you love the very most, the one you promise your life to, can be yours in the afterlife too? What would it be like to know that your marriage is not just "till death do us part" but "for time and all eternity?"  Well most of my best friends I was just telling you about.. they know what this feels like.  Because they were not just married for time but were sealed for all eternity in a house of God.

Most were married here..
 or here..
 or here..
These three temples are all in Utah, but there are actually 134 temples like these throughout the world. People often ask me about these beautiful temples: where are they? What are they for?  What do we do in them?  I tell them that one of the things that occurs in these sacred temples is these forever marriages.  A beautiful blessing of having the restored gospel is knowing how our families can be sealed together forever.  In the year 1836, God restored his priesthood and the sealing power of Elijah, which "turns the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers" (Malachi 4:5-6).  This is one of the main purposes of having these temples.

Although I am not yet married, I am able to go to the temple to worship and make covenants with my Father in Heaven.  I can also go there for peace and inspiration.  The temple is a sanctuary from the world; the closest thing to Heaven here on earth. Yesterday I was able to go to the Nashville, Tennessee Temple, where I felt God's love for me so powerfully and received many answers to my prayers.

I love to see the temple!

Jun 2, 2011

the kind that last

I've written quite a bit about my family in the past few months; more specifically about how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has strengthened my family and made us who we are today. It's something that has been made very clear to me as I've been thousands of miles away from them in a world where most families are falling apart. Something else I think about quite often is the impact that good friends have had in my life. Because most of my friends at home share my faith, the same principles that have blessed my family also made my friendships what they are today. A lot of my friends have been my friends since the beginning of time (or at least the beginning of our time). We played kickball together in elementary school, choreographed lip syncs together in Jr. high, suffered through braces and break-ups together in high school, and supported each other through college finals. Some of my best friends I didn't meet until after high school, but those friendships are just as strong. When most people think about large groups of college-aged girls, they probably think of one word: drama. But when I think about my girls, the words that come to my mind are love, trust, kindness, support, honesty, respect, creativity, and lots and lots of laughter.  I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ  has a lot to do with the good feelings my friends have and the high morals and standards we've helped each other maintain throughout the years. 

These are most (but  not all) of the girlies.  I love them so so much.  Always will.

"Living the gospel and being true to gospel principles is the key to true, lasting, triumphant friendship." -Jeffery R. Holland
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