Monday, October 22, 2012

Missionary Miracles

Hey guys! I just wanted to tell you about someone incredible. Her name is Shantelle, and she is one of the greatest people I know. Period. Shantelle devotes her life to helping other people and making sure that they are happy.  Hands down, she is the most optimistic person I know. Shantelle is such an example to me, and everyone around her, and I have looked up to her ever since I was a young girl. When I've been in some of my darkest hours, this wonderful, dear friend has been there to help me through. Shantelle blesses so many lives through her example and her attitude. I can honestly say that Shantelle is one of the most Christ-like people I know.
A few Saturdays ago, there was a very important announcement in General Conference; it changes Shantelle's life forever. When she found out that she could serve a mission two years earlier than she originally planned, Shantelle was ecstatic. Soon, she began to see astounding miracles in her life every day while she was preparing for her mission. Shantelle started a blog to share her faith and the beautiful miracles she has seen with other people.
Her blog is beautiful. Her words are wonderful, and it's amazing to read! I know that you all would really enjoy reading it, too.  And, I know that she would love it if you did.

Here's the link:

You won't regret it!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Beauty All Around Us

Today I'm posting from...FLORIDA! I'm on vacation for fall break. Everyone in my family is taking a nap right now, so I thought I'd write a little post. :D
Today, as I was frolicking in the ocean, I noticed that every time a wave would come to shore it would bring tons of tiny little minnows with it. Then, the minnows would struggle back to the ocean so that they wouldn't wind up on shore. When the wave receded into the sea, it took the minnows back to their wet homes.

So, I sat close to the shore in shallow water and watched all of the minnows swim and swarm around me. It was really incredible. I'm just in awe of all of Heavenly Father's beautiful creations which He made just for us. God loves us so much. He created the magnificent, beautiful earth, and everything on it, for our happiness. I'm so grateful for all of the wonderful things we have to enjoy on this earth.
As I was riding to and from the places I went last week, I was struck with how beautiful my town really is. I never realized how much beauty I saw in my every day life and didn't realize it. I know that I definitely never want to overlook any of the beauty God gave us ever again.. So often, people take for granted the marvels around them.

Enjoy your day! I'm definitely going to enjoy my time at the beach!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Testimony Meeting

Greetings friends. I hope you're doing well. :D I am on fall break right now, so I am doing very well. :D
Sunday was fast and testimony meeting. I woke up feeling kinda...grumpy, not really grumpy... I was just really tired and feeling kind of moody that morning. I tried to quell my moodiness by having a positive attitude, but it just wasn't working. So, we got to church and we listened to the testimonies. I remembered that earlier in the week I had wanted share my testimony during this fast and testimony meeting. But, I was just wasn't feeling the Spirit. I was feeling really tired, and kind of dejected, maybe. I can't really describe my mood. You know that feeling when you feel like a mixture of sadness, apathy (apathy means that you don't care about anything), and grouchiness? But it's not so strong to be really terrible, just annoying? That's how I felt. So, anyway. I really wanted to share my testimony, but I just couldn't get over this mood and receive the Spirit in my heart, and I knew that having the Holy Ghost with me is vital when sharing my testimony. So, I prayed that I could have the Spirit with me. I prayed several times for this. But, all throughout the meeting, I just didn't' feel it. Now, by this time, there were about seven minutes left in the meeting. A woman got up and bore her testimony. Her testimony really touched me because it was about a subject that is very dear to me. Through her testimony, I gained the Holy Ghost with me. right when she was finished, I stood up and walked up to the pulpit. There were probably about three or four minutes left.  Usually, I kind of have a rough idea of what I'm going to say before I bear my testimony, but this time I only had wisps of topics floating around in my head that I couldn't put together. But, I went up there anyway and started speaking. I spoke about a special experience I've had this month, and of how my testimony has really grown in a certain area lately. I was crying, and I felt the Spirit very strongly. When I walked off the stand, I knew that I had said exactly what I needed to say. It was wonderful. I'm so grateful that the Lord answered my prayer and allowed me to kick my bad mood and gain the Holy Ghost with me again.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Some Random Thoughts and Stories...

Good Friday to you all. Someone posted the words which are on the picture below as a facebook status, and I thought they were so great that I had to make a meme. I hope you like it!
This week has been pretty awesome. Our high school is putting on the show "Guys and Dolls". I went and saw it yesterday. It was phenomenal!  I had lots of friends who were in it, so it was tons of fun.
These next two weeks are fall break for me. I may or may not write any posts. But, I'm super excited for the much needed break!
Ohh, guess what? I gave away a Book of Mormon today. I think this will make either the second or third one this school year. I gave it to a friend in orchestra who always teases me about being Mormon. When I gave it to him, he looked through the index and said "Where does it say you can't drink coffee? Why do you have a dictionary in your book?" He was teasing me, but I also gave him a mini copy of the For Strength of Youth. Even if he doesn't read these anytime soon, he may eventually read them.

Here is the link to his extremely awesome conference talk from last week!

Hope everyone has a stupendous weekend full of donuts, sleeping, and watching Phineas and Ferb. Wouldn't that be a wonderful weekend? :D Anyway, even if your weekend isn't like that, I hope it's wonderful!

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Cure For Not-As-Good Days

Hello everybody. How are you guys doing? Have you had a good day? Most of the time, I have really good days. Probably about 98.5% of the time. I'm really good at having good days because I work very hard at being optimistic. But, I also have not-as-good days. Notice, I did not call them bad days.  I don't believe in bad days. No matter what may happen, you can at least learn from that experience. And learning is good, therefore, there are no bad days. :D Haha.
Well, today I had a not-as-good day. There were good moments, and not-as-good moments, as there are in every day, but today I had some particularly not-as-good moments. I was criticized by my friend. She was trying to help me, but I don't take criticism well, and she didn't say it in the nicest way. I've been having a hard time in one of my classes, and I was worrying about that today. I've also been struggling with some interesting, unwanted emotions lately. And, I had a terrible time on the bus today. In a nutshell, my bus ride consisted of: hearing people talk about taking drugs, those same people passing around pornography, swear words whizzing past my ears every other second, and inappropriate music blaring from the bus speakers. Unfortunately, I forgot my headphones for my iPod so that I could listen to it to block out all of those things on the bus today.

I felt kind of like this today.

So, I got home, and was really upset. After pacing around the house in distress, I finally managed a sobbed-out prayer. I asked over and over, "Father, please help me. I need Thy help. Please help me." After a while of that, a thought/image/feeling came to me. It was of the Savior and I sitting, and my head was in His lap. He was stroking my hair and calming me. This answer to my prayer, which came from the Holy Ghost, helped me realize that I'm not alone, and that my Savior loves me so much. He is rooting for me, and will always be there for me.

He is at our door; we only need to let Him in, and He will help  us bear our burdens.
I'm so grateful for the power of prayer, and for the Holy Ghost. I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers. I never want to do anything that will block this sacred communication I have with my Father in Heaven. I know that Jesus is my advocate and that He loves me.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Blessings of Trials

Lately, I've been feeling the most wonderful joy inside of me, for no apparent reason at all. Well, sort of. There hasn't been any big, extraordinary event in my life lately, and I still have struggles, but my life is just so happy.
I feel so overjoyed to be alive. I know that I have a special and divine purpose here on earth. I can feel that. I am starting to see my part in life and it's so exciting.
As you may know, this past winter, spring, and summer were really tough for me. They were the hardest months I've ever known. I went through many long, drawn out trials. I prayed over and over again for solace, healing, and peace. They were months filled with pain and desperation. Now, however, I'm seeing those trials come to a close and I am experiencing a very blessed reprieve. I feel so grateful to my Heavenly Father that He gave me the strength to come out on top. I am so blessed.
Looking in retrospect, I can see just how much those painfully, seemingly excruciating trials helped me grow. I can see how much my relationship with my Savior, Father in Heaven, and the Holy Ghost have grown. I have learned to pray with all of my might to my Heavenly Father. He listens, and loves me. I've realized how magnificent and marvelous Christ's atonement is for me. And, I've come to recognize the Holy Ghost's influence more precisely in my life. These are incredible gifts that help me every day.
For example, the past seven months I have worn a back brace. When I first got it, I was devastated. It looked so awful on me, and I felt so self conscious. Sometimes I didn't even want to leave the house. Plus, it was uncomfortable. I tried and I tried to accept it. I prayed continually that Father would grant me the power to see myself as He did, instead of just seeing how I looked. It took a long time, about six months, but finally I started being able to see myself as a beautiful daughter of God. This is one of the main things I learned from wearing my brace. I realized that it truly is not what's on the outside that counts. My identity is not what color my hair is, or how shirts may look on me, that is just an earthly shell. My identity is a noble, royal, elect daughter of God, saved through the ages for such a time as this. Finally, a few weeks ago, my doctor gave me permission to stop wearing the brace. I feel so incredibly liberated and exhilarated. I didn't realize how much of a blessing it is to be able to bend over, twist my torso, and stretch my back until I had a large, ugly, green piece of plastic wrapped around my body everyday.

This is kind of what my brace looked like, except it was forest green (it had a water droplet pattern), and the straps were a little different. But, the top went to a bit under my neck, the bottom went over my hips.

Also, ever since last fall, one of my dear friends has been suffering a devastating trial. It practically destroyed this wonderful person. It was so difficult to see my friend in so much anguish, and know that they wouldn't accept the Lord's help. I've been praying for this person everyday for a year, and fasting for them every single fast Sunday. Sometimes I even fasted for my friend on non-fast Sundays. But, about a week or to ago, I put this person's name on the temple prayer roll. I'd never done that for anyone before, but I knew it couldn't hurt. Almost immediately, I saw a change in this person. My friend's habits have begun to change for the better. I've seen this person begin to draw closer to the Lord. And my relationship with this friend has increased ever so much just in this short period of time. I'm so extremely grateful that the Lord is answering my prayer and helping my amazing friend. I have developed a testimony of the temple prayer roll. I'm so incredibly thankful for it. And I'm so very glad that my friend is beginning to be healed by the Savior's atonement.
This, my dear friends, is why I am so full of joy. I am just so wonderfully glad that I have such a loving and merciful God. My testimony has truly been strengthened through my trials, and there have been many. I'm so eternally grateful that I am the daughter of my Father in Heaven. I know for sure that there are great things in store for me. I know that He has a plan and purpose for me here on this earth.
If you are struggling, upset, angry, afflicted, depressed, grieving, or are in any other way facing trials, turn to the Lord. He holds the balm for your pain. I know this to be true with every fiber of my being. The Lord loves you. I know this. You are a precious child of a King.

Christ's arms are always open. He will carry you.