Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thou Hast Had Signs Enough

"But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator." ~ Alma 30:44

When I read this scripture last week, it really got to me. 

Sometimes it's so easy to forget.  Easy to forget all of the signs and testimonies we have been given.  It's easy to hear someone else's story of an incredible "Sign" they have received and think..... "Why them...not me?" It's easy to compare their signs to ours and think theirs are so much better. 

I think it's easy for me to think.... well Heavenly Father... if you'll just give me one more clear sign, then I'll believe. 

But it's HARD to remember all of the signs he has already given us.  Especially when we live in this ultra - distracting world. And especially when Satan is trying so hard to get us to forget... to doubt. 

A couple of months ago, I was inspired by Elder Holland's talk "Lord, I Believe". Which is fabulous. He talks a lot about how we need to "Fan the Flame of our Faith" and be careful not to lose the testimony we have gained.  

I love this quote......

".....hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes."

I started thinking about how I personally "Hold Fast" to the knowledge I have.  What am I doing to guard my testimony?  And I got this pretty fabulous idea.  Sometimes the Spirit has some really, REALLY great ideas to share with us. This was one of those times.

So I started my search through old journals and thought back on old experiences and talks and asked for the Lord's help to remember all of the "Signs" and witnesses I had received over the years.  Once I started digging.... the memories and feelings began to rush back. When I started recording......even more. 

My goal is to reflect on this list of "Testimony Builders" often and add to it! It doesn't have to be anything big or crazy.  Just something simple.  To hold fast to what you know.  

Something to show our Heavenly Father that we love Him and recognize and appreciate these gifts - because that's truly what these experiences and signs are..... GIFTS.

Gifts that our Heavenly Father picks out and packages just for us.  Because he knows us individually.  He knows what we need and how we will be most receptive.  

It makes me so sad to think of all of the gifts that my Heavenly Father sent me that I didn't fully appreciate.  Gifts that I didn't thank him for.  Gifts that I didn't hold sacred and value.  Maybe even gifts that I didn't notice.  

I think that the best way we can thank Him, is to take special care to Recognize them and hold them sacred.  Record them and reflect on them when we are discouraged.  


How sad are we when we plan and sacrifice for the perfect gift for someone.... when we are so excited to see the reaction on their face.... and then.............


They don't even give it a second thought.  All of that preparation and anticipation and sacrifice. And they barely even notice.... let alone express gratitude.  

I'm sure this is how our Heavenly Father must feel when He sends us specific answers to prayers and touches our hearts to testify of a certain principle.  When He gives us life changing experiences.  When He sends personal revelation to guide us in our lives.  When He lets us explore and discover the beauty of this world He has created for us. And we don't even give it a second thought. 

My goal is to not let these Gifts - these Signs, slip by un-noticed in my life.  I know when I will recognize them and hold them sacred, I will be blessed with more and more and MORE! Until it is like Christmas every day.  And who wouldn't want that? :)

So when times get tough and you get discouraged..... 
When you feel doubt creeping in.......

Look around you at all of the Signs.  

Because "Thou hast [truly] had signs enough" 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Farewell Talk

           I’m so grateful for the opportunity to speak this morning on Loving your neighbor. I love this topic because it is so completely central to this beautiful Gospel. The Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I’m going to try and outline my thoughts on Why it’s important to love your neighbor, How we can learn to love others with the pure love of Christ, and how it all fits in with missionary work!

I would like to start my talk by sharing with you a scripture…. A scripture that you are probably all familiar with.  …..John 13: 34-35 ….. it reads…..
“A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
What a simple yet beautiful scripture! We know that the two greatest commandments are to love the Lord our God and to Love one another.  I think this commandment, as simple as it may sound, can be quite overwhelming at times! Are we really supposed to love everyone?  As Christ loves us? That’s a lot of pressure right?  How in the world are we supposed to do that? Luckily, our Heavenly Father didn’t leave us alone to figure it out for ourselves.  He sent us a whole set of instructions for us to study and better yet….. He sent His son, Jesus Christ who is a perfect example of Love, to show us the way!
As we study Christ’s life we can see countless examples of his perfect, unconditional love for each of us….. for EVERYONE! Even those who crucified him. Can you even imagine? What a perfect and pure love! That love, the pure love of Christ, is Charity. 
I have always been fascinated by the word Charity.  Growing up I always thought it was a place where we gave all of our clothes that were too small.  I thought charity was just putting your change in Santa’s red bell outside of Walmart.  But I have since then learned that Charity is soooo much more! ……”And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.I would encourage you all to study this scripture, Moroni 7:45, often. 

But Why? Why is it really so important that we love one another.  Love one another with the pure love of Christ? Wouldn’t it be so much easier to let the natural man take over? Sometimes it takes a lot of time and energy to go out of your way to love others.  Where’s the motivation?  I think  Moroni 10:18 gives us a little bit of motivation.  And except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God” If that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is! Loving others with the pure Love of Christ isn’t optional… it’s a commandment! But luckily we know that our Heavenly Father gives us commandments to make us happy.  He knows that even though sometimes it’s hard for us to see, we will truly be happiest when we love everyone! I have seen this in my own life and I know it’s true!  The more you love, the happier you will be!
I think there is a tremendous amount of power in this commandment….the  commandment to love. The following quote from Mary Ellen Edmunds teaches us why…… it says…..“If we could really figure out how to love, we wouldn’t need a whole lot of other commandments.”  How true! Think about it…… if we truly loved our Savior, we would have a deep burning desire to do what he has asked of us.  We would WANT to read our scriptures and learn more of his life.  We would strive to diligently serve Him in our callings.  We wouldn’t need to be commanded to pay our tithing or to go to the temple.  If we genuinely loved all of those around us, we wouldn’t need to be told to stop gossiping and judging.  We wouldn’t need commandments like “Thou shalt not steal” or “Thou shalt not covet”. And serving others would come naturally. Once we learn to love, everything else falls into place.

            Like with anything else in life, the best place to start is prayer.  Once we truly desire to love others with the pure love of Christ we can turn to our Heavenly Father in prayer.  I think one of the best things we can pray for in regards to Charity is that we will be able to see others through the Lord’s eyes.  That we will be able to see all of those around us as Children of God.  Children of God that may not be perfect, but individuals that have divine potential, each with unique strengths and talents.  Moroni 7:48 teaches us…… “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love.” I love this.  We must pray with “ALL THE ENERGY of HEART” it can’t be just a fleeting thought.  It can’t just be….. Eh… Heavenly Father….I guess I could use some help with charity, if you feel like it.  We have to truly desire and show Heavenly Father that if he blesses us with Charity we will be willing to do our part. 
            So what is “Our Part”? Well I think first we need to be willing to not judge.  We need to be willing to look for the good in others and not the bad.  As human beings our natural instinct is to find the bad, because then we can justify ourselves right? And sometimes it’s just easier to pick out.  But it is so much harder to truly love someone when we are picking out everything they do wrong. Look past the flaws.  We all have flaws! We are human beings! I think Mother Theresa said it best when she said……“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
How true! I had an experience about a month or so ago that really taught me this concept.  We were working on building a classroom for a school in the Philippines and as part of the project we had to paint every single inch of these long metal beams so they wouldn’t rust in the rain storms and humidity.  It was pretty tedious work because they had these little lips on the inside that were really hard to paint.  After about an hour or two of this, class got out and one by one students would come offer to sacrifice their free time and help us paint.  We excitedly handed these willing students paint brushes and a can of paint and off they went.  As they started working across from me, I started to get really uptight because from my angle I could clearly see that they were missing tons of spots under the metal lip.  My perfectionist brain started forming plans on how to fix their sloppy paint jobs without offending them.  I started trying to think of other things for them to do so I could fix their paint job.  I’m ashamed to say that I was relieved as they finished that row of beams and moved on.  I quickly replaced them in the spot across from where I was previously standing so that I could re-do what they had done. To my astonishment I noticed that from this new angle…. This new point of view….I could clearly see that I had missed even more spots than they had.  I had done an even sloppier job but hadn’t noticed because I was too busy judging them.  I was immediately humbled and felt awful.  I realized that not only had I judged them but I hadn’t taken the opportunity to talk to them.  To take time to learn about their lives and to show that I cared about them.  I had been too busy judging them and consequently had no time or energy to Love them.  From that point forward I was able to see them as the generous, loving, selfless, beautiful students that they were.  And I loved them.  Please learn from my mistake! Don’t judge!
            In one of my all time favorite books called Love is A Verb, the author starts out with this simple yet profound thought.  “ Love, without service, like faith without works, is dead.” This makes so much sense! I know this concept is true! As I have reflected back on my life.  I have realized that when I have served those I love, small as it may be, my love for them is awakened and strengthened.  You love those you serve, and you serve those you love. It’s a never-ending cycle of Charity. 
We have been told that the best way to provide service and show our love for other is to follow this simple formula…… “Observe, then Serve.”  I think there is so much truth to this! If we truly love someone and want to help them, not just “get some service hours” ….we will observe and find what they truly need and how we can help.  We will serve out of love.  There is a quote that states “The major components of Love are an awareness, and a willingness to act.” To me this means be involved! Be aware of what is going on in the lives of others and be willing to help! Not just when it’s convenient for you or when it fits neatly into your schedule but ALWAYS! And especially when you can tell it is needed. It doesn’t have to be big! One of my favorite quotes of all time teaches us about this.  Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”(Leo Buscaglia) I think that if we really knew….. if we really understood what kind of a difference some of these tiny seemingly insignificant acts of kindness can make in someone’s life we would never turn down or miss an opportunity to love.  We would do more of these “small things with great love.” And not only would others feel loved, but we would be significantly happier.
A while back I went on a trip to South East Asia with my sister.  We spent two weeks doing Humanitarian work in Cambodia then went to Thailand for another two weeks to be beach bums.  While I loved my time in both countries, the people of Cambodia are so much closer to my heart.  When I hear the word Cambodia, my heart races and my soul is flooded with the love I have for those people.  I can’t necessarily say the same thing about Thailand. I think they are wonderful people, but I don’t have the same deep love for them. I think the difference is how I spent my time.  Because I served and labored with the people of Cambodia I have a special place in my heart for them.  I can promise you that if you go out of your way to serve someone….anyone…. with the pure love of Christ, your love for them will increase.  You will begin to see them as Christ sees them. 

            I have also learned a lot about loving others as I have studied the Book of Mormon lately.  I don’t know if it’s just because I’m quickly approaching the day I will enter the MTC or if it’s just the part of the Book of Mormon I have been reading, but it seems like that book is chuck full of Missionary work.  Alma, Amulek and the Sons of Mosiah have taught me so much over the past week or so.  And the biggest thing they have taught me is the importance of Love in missionary work.  There are countless examples of this.  These missionaries were able to bring thousands of hardened and wicked Lamanites to the Gospel through the power of Love.  Ammon asks to be a servant to King Lamoni and Miracles happen.  Alma and Amulek love and forgive Zeezrom, an Anti-Christ who caused them so much grief, and once again miracles happen. But perhaps my favorite example of the power of Love in missionary work is that of Ammon and King Lamoni’s Father.  After Lamoni is converted, he and Ammon are on their way to rescue Aaron and the others in Middoni but they run into Lamoni’s father – the Lamanite king.  And he is not happy, in fact he’s pretty angry.  Angry enough that he commands his son Lamoni to kill Ammon, then when, of course, Lamoni refuses, the King tries to kill his own son and later Ammon as well.  Well, when the tables have turned, and the King’s life is in Ammon’s hands, what happens is incredible.  The king offers half of the kingdom to Ammon…. and Ammon only requests that the King let Aaron and his brethren out of Prison and that he let Lamoni rule how he wishes and not be displeased with him.  Alma 20:26 says…… “And when he saw that Ammon had no desire to destroy him, and when he also saw the great love he had for his son Lamoni, he was astonished exceedingly.”  This Love caused a tremendous change of heart.  Not only had this ferocious Lamanite King spared their lives and granted religious freedom to his son, he was desirous to learn more! Later, when Aaron tracts into him, the king greets him with “for I have been somewhat troubled in mind because of the generosity and the greatness of the words of thy brother Ammon…..” He goes on to be taught and converted unto the Lord, which opens up the way for successful missionary work throughout all the Lamanites.  These Lamanites later become the Anti-Nephi-Lehies and then the Army of Helaman. What a miracle! All because of one act of great love.
I have learned that perhaps Love is the greatest missionary tool of all.  Because as we truly begin to love and care about someone, hard work, sacrifice, patience and all of those other essential ingredients for successful missionary work come naturally.  We are willing to look past the discouraging times and endure to the end.  I think Ammon says this best when he says “And we have suffered all manner of affliction, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some.” This is after they have been starved and beaten and despised and cast in prison. Do you think they would be willing to suffer all of this for some soul? Notice that doesn’t say some souls, That’s singular. One person.  Do you think they would sacrifice 15 years of their lives and suffer like that If they didn’t have a tremendous amount of love for them? I think they knew the secret to successful missionary work.  I think they truly understood that Pure, Christlike Love is the key to the work. 
The Lord understands this as well.  And he does something tricky.  When he calls his missionaries to serve, he almost immediately blesses them with an overwhelming, undeniable, and tangible love for the people they have been called to teach.  I know this is true for me.  Almost the moment I opened my mission call I felt a huge rush of Love for the people of Fiji.  It’s like Heavenly Father was saying.  “Aimee, you are my precious daughter and because I love you so much, I have called you to Love and serve my precious children in Fiji.  I have let you feel just a sliver of the Love I have for them so that you can testify of my Love and bring them unto me.” Our Heavenly Father knows what he is doing.  This is truly HIS work.
I love the story of Lehi’s dream because it teaches us that when we discover something wonderful (whether it be a new treat, a great deal, a delicious piece of fruit, or the Beautiful, life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ) our first reaction is a desire to share it with those we love! We want those we love to be happy!
This is truly the key to successful missionary work. Love, Love, and more pure Christlike LOVE! I can promise you that as you strive to love one another with this same love, you will become happier.  I testify that our Father in Heaven lives and loves each of us. He wants us to be happy! He wants us to love one another! He wants us to share his glorious Gospel.  I testify that he knows us individually and has a plan for us.  I know without a doubt that serving a mission in Fiji is exactly what I need to be doing right now. I am so grateful for the incredible support system of family and friends that I have. And I am so thankful for the book of Mormon and the power that it brings to my life.  I’m thankful for the Prophet Joseph Smith and for a living prophet on the earth today to lead and guide us.  I know that my Savior lived and died for me.  I know that this gospel is true and that it truly changes and blesses lives and I am so excited to share it with the beautiful people of Fiji.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

I'm a lucky girl to have such a fabulous support system of family, friends, and leaders. I only got pictures with a few, but Thank You to everyone who came to support me! You are all wonderful!

The Fam.

We're best friends.

These girls are the best! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Decision: Not When, but Why

I've always been jealous of those girls.  

Those girls who can put their finger on the exact life-changing moment when they knew.

The moment they knew they were supposed to go on a mission.  

The moment the world stopped spinning and nothing else really mattered.  

Because the path of their life had been completely changed. 


I always secretly wished that I had one of those fabulous, mind blowing stories.  You know what kind I'm talking about.  The story of how a mission was never in the plan.  Then one day..... POOF! An answer is received and the course of life is forever changed.  

But that's not my story.  And that's ok. 

I feel like the desire to serve a mission has been woven into my life from the time I was young. I have always just assumed that I would go on a mission if I wasn't married by the time I was 
 Typical right?  

And I DEFINITELY wasn't planning on that.  I had too much to see and do before I got married. Thus a mission was the default. 

But that was pretty much it.  The default plan.  I was kind of planning on it, but I hadn't given it much thought.  


Fast Forward a few years.........

It was April 2010.  

I had just turned 17.... like 2 weeks ago. 

I was on a bus zipping through the lush landscapes of Guatemala headed to Quetzaltenango. 

I had nothing but time.  

Time, a journal, gorgeous landscapes, the old lady sleeping on my shoulder and me.  

So naturally I started pondering life.  I started thinking about what I really wanted out of life. I started thinking about my life goals and where I wanted to be in 10.... 20..... 50 years. I dreamed about all of the countries I would go to.  All of the kids I would have.  I thought about where I would go to school, what I would study.  How I would contribute to society.  Then it popped in my head.  "What about a mission?"

I remember feeling overwhelming peace.  

And Goosebumps

This was not a new idea.  It was tentatively in my plan. But this moment was a tender mercy from the Lord.  Something small to look back on when I wasn't sure. 


Fast Forward another 2 1/2 Years......

It was October 6, 2012

I was an English teacher in China.

And I was on vacation to one of the most beautiful places in the world.  

Guilin, China.

We had spent the day exploring an adorable ancient village (above), hiking up waterfalls, eating street food, and enjoying beautiful Guilin.  And we were exaughsted. 

I decided to skype my family in the Hostel Lobby.  I knew they would all be together since it was conference weekend and I could say hi to everyone at once.  Plus I could get the scoop on conference.  Favorite talks to study first etc. 

Family: "AIMEE,AIMEE! Guess what? You could be on a mission right NOW!"

Me: "What are you talking about? I'm not 21.  I'm only 19."

Family: "They just changed the age! Girls can go at 19! You could be 1/3 the way into your mission already. How does that make you feel?

Me: [Silence and goosebumps]

Family: "What are you going to do? Are ya gonna go?"

Me: [More silence and MORE goosebumps]

I went back and wrote in my journal.  I had always planned a mission into my life.  It was in the plan........ for when I was 21.  Now I had a decision to make.  Not whether or not to go.  But WHEN to go.  What would I do?  Should I start my papers now?  Leave after the semester? After summer? When I was 21 like I was planning? When I finished school? I had a lot of thinking to do.


Fast Forward another 13 months........ 

3 weeks from TODAY I will be set apart as a full time LDS missionary. 
Called to serve in the Fiji, Suva mission. 

I am so excited. 

And I know without a doubt that this is what I am supposed to be doing right now.  

I can't tell you exactly when I made the decision to serve.  But I'm sure glad I did.  


As I have reflected back on all of this "mission business", I have come to realize that it's not so important when I chose to serve a mission.  

What truly matters is Why I have chosen to serve. 

These are 3 of the many reasons. 

[One.] The Gospel will change the world. 

I have always had a huge interest in humanitarian efforts.  

I am fascinated with developing countries.  The Cycle of Poverty.  Recovering from natural disasters. Self-Reliance. Education. Helping people help themselves.  Micro Loans. You name it.  I love studying theories on how to help these countries and their struggling economies. 

 I love the people of this world! I want to learn about each of their lives! I want to help them.

 As I have visited a few of these countries and interacted with people, and thought long and hard about how to truly help them, I have come to realize that the answer is simple.  

The Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

The Gospel is the greatest gift you can possibly give these people.  Greater than a new school or a month's supply of rice.  Greater than even a scholarship to a university or a micro loan. The Gospel changes lives.  

The Gospel gives purpose to life.  Purpose to working hard and gaining an education.  It gives commandments to live by that bless lives.  The word of wisdom. The law of Chastity.  Tithing. It's all because our Heavenly Father wants us to be happy. 

The Gospel emphasizes the importance of eternal families.  It blesses and strengthens families.  Strong families in turn help the economy.  And society by teaching children values. The Gospel will improve countries.  Individual by individual.  Family by family.  

The Gospel is the answer.  

{For more on this idea see this talk. It's fabulous.}

[Two.] I am so blessed. 

I have been so blessed to be born into a family that values the Gospel and strives to live it's teachings.

I have been so blessed to have grown up with the Gospel in my home.  To have learned correct principles from my parents and my leaders. 

I have been blessed to have the Spirit to guide and direct my life.  To have the comfort It brings when I have needed it most.  

Blessed to have a knowledge of my Savior.  Of the Atonement.  Of the plan of Salvation.  Of my Heavenly Father's unconditional Love for me. 

Blessed with the purpose that these things bring to my life. 


I want to show my gratitude for these blessings my giving 18 months of my life to the Lord. So that through me, he can bless more of his precious children.  And I know that by giving and trying to repay the Lord, I will only receive even more BLESSINGS! Crazy how that works. 

[Three.] Love. 

I have a desire to serve because of Love.   I love the people of Fiji so much! And just like Lehi learned in his vision..... when we find something wonderful (like a great book, a delicious treat, a great deal, a delicious piece of fruit, or the Gospel of Jesus Christ) our first reaction is a huge desire to share it with those we LOVE!

I think that the Lord does something tricky.  When he calls us to serve somewhere, he almost immediately blesses us with an indescribable and overwhelming love for those people.

 He is real smart.

Love drives hard work and sacrifice and all of those other important ingredients in successful missionary work.

I love the people of Fiji and want with all my heart for them to be truly happy.  I want them to feel the happiness that living the Gospel brings.  And that's why I'm going on a mission.

Friday, November 1, 2013

I Love to See the Temple.... I Went Inside THIS WEEK!

"I love to see the temple.  I'm going there someday.
To Feel the Holy Spirit, To listen and to pray.
For the temple is a house of God, A place of love and beauty.
I'll prepare myself while I am young; This is my sacred duty."

"I love to see the temple. I'll go inside someday.
I'll cov'nant with my Father; I'll promise to obey.
For the temple is a holy place where we are sealed together.
As a child of God, I've learned this truth: A Fam'ly is forever."

What a beautiful song.

Over the last 20 years, I have waited.... and hoped..... and dreamed.... about the day I would finally be able to show my recommend and enter the temple to receive my own endowments. 

That day was Tuesday.  Tuesday October 29th, 2013. 

It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL. There are no other words to describe it. 

I can testify that the temple truly is "The House of the Lord."......That His Spirit fills every ounce of that sacred building. 

As I reflected back on my experience, something crazy happened.  I realized that I have not been the only one waiting.  I have not been the only one counting down the days.  My Heavenly Father has also patiently waited.  He had been looking forward to Oct. 29th, 2013 as much if not MORE than I had.  I imagine Him excitedly running around Heaven telling everyone that the day was finally here! I imagine Him making sure everything was perfect for this blessed day.  Smiling ear to ear when I showed the adorable temple workers my recommend. Shedding tears of joy as I made sacred covenants with him. 

But then, why wouldn't He?  I am his precious daughter and he wants more than anything for me to be able to live with him again! And this was an essential step!  He wants all of us to return to live with him! I am absolutely positive that he rejoices for each of us individually as we enter His holy temples. 

As I thought about entering the temple, I knew that I wanted to be well prepared for this sacred experience.  

These are the things that I feel helped me prepare:

1. This Book:

This is an easy quick read but definitely worth your time. You can purchase it here. The biggest thing I took from this book  (and I have reflected back on it often) is this formula.....

Preparedness = Worthiness + Knowledge

Preparing for the temple can be overwhelming.  But I think this breaks it down into something a little more digestible.  Worthiness and Knowledge.  I can handle that.  Keep in mind the temple recommend interview questions as you strive to become worthy.  

2. This Pamphlet:

This one is a given.  The things in this pamphlet are the things the Lord would have us understand before we enter his Holy Temples.  The Brethren have been inspired to know what the Lord wants us to learn and do as we prepare. READ IT! Study it.  Mark the crap out of it.  Take notes.  Pray about it.  Learn! Pray about any questions you may have before you read it.  Then be attentive as the Lord answers your questions through the spirit as you study this pamphlet.  

This paragraph was one that hit me hard. 

"If you are going to the temple for the first time it is quite normal for you to be a little unsettled.  WE are naturally anxious about the unknown.  We often become nervous over new experiences.

BE AT PEACE.  You are going to the temple. You will have someone to assist you at every turn.  You will be carefully guided - be at peace."

and it makes sense.

  The temple is a place of peace.  We need not be afraid.  (And it's true.  There really is someone to assist you at every turn. :))

3. Parents, Leaders, and Friends.

Righteous parents, leaders, and friends love you and want to help you prepare for this experience.  I am so thankful to all of those in my life who have given me advice and supported me in my decision to go through the temple.  I have had fabulous examples throughout my life that have made me so excited for this beautiful experience. 

One piece of advice / insight that stuck out to me as I was preparing, was concerning my new temple recommend.  

"Don't ever loose track of it.  Keep it safe.  It is the most important and most valuable card you will ever hold.  It is quite literally the KEY to our Heavenly Father's home."  

What beautiful advice.  My Father in Heaven has trusted me with a key to His home.  I will strive to always cherish it and use it.  To not take it for granted. 

Temple Goals:
1. Go to the Temple once a week before my mission.
2. Go to the Temple at least once a month for the rest of my life. 
(In the mission field is probably an exception.)
3.  Learn something new EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Like the above quote says, I know sometimes going to the temple may appear as a sacrifice at times in my life, but I have faith that it will be WORTH it.  It is an opportunity for my Heavenly Father to bless me. 


I am so  Grateful.

Grateful for the blessing of growing up in the Gospel.

Grateful that I was introduced to the beautiful song "I Love to See the Temple" at a young age. 

Grateful that I was taught and inspired by Leaders and parents and friends throughout my life who have helped point my life in the direction of the temple. 

Grateful for my Savior who lived and died for me.  

Grateful to my Heavenly Father who has ALWAYS been rooting for me. 

Grateful for Temples and for the blessings received within their walls. 

Grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission in Fiji and share these beautiful blessings with the people I love so much. <3