Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Thoughts, Pondering, and Prayers

This last week was Spring Break for Utah State.

I really had no plans except to just go home for the week.

Most days I just stayed around the house, hoping to get some homework done, and especially some scripture and PMG studying... but none of that really happened.

Not many of my friends were around due to school, work, and mostly missions. It's one thing to know that your friends are gone and unreachable, but a whole other thing when it really hits you in the heart that they aren't there at times that you need them, or want to see them.

After a few days of being extremely bored and actually quite depressed because of this reason, I decided to take a trip, by myself, to Temple Square.

It was an absolutely beautiful day.

I had the opportunity to spend plenty of time in each of the Visitor Centers, Joseph Smith Building, Tabernacle, and on the temple steps.

While sitting in the North Visitors Center at the Christus statue, I had time to write in my journal.

While writing, with the sun shining through the window behind me over the temple, I was able to observe many people coming in and out of the room. Some were missionaries, some were members, non-members, alone, with a family, some were kids, and grandparents, and some were from other countries.

I observed some of the sister missionaries that were teaching a couple that had two little kids. They all just looked so happy, and when the sisters turned on the recording of Jesus speaking, I swear I saw a glimpse of the Celestial Kingdom in the eyes of this little girl that was staring up at the statue.

I saw a couple of Elders teaching a teenage boy and overheard them proclaiming their testimonies to him. I wasn't close enough to hear word for word what they were saying, but I could sure feel the spirit that was with them and even I felt peace and joy in their words.

I thought of my dear friends that are Elders already throughout the world. These are the people I had been missing so much all week. After seeing these Elders at Temple Square, I pictured my friends out doing this exact same thing and my heart smiled for the first time all week. I am so blessed to have such amazing examples in my life that just constantly remind me to do better.

It's okay that I miss them, but we're all out doing awesome things-- so no need to be sad about it.

It's insane how much I already love the people of Nebraska so much. After seeing these missionaries, I wanted nothing more than to get out in the field and share this love in my heart with the people.

I'll get there soon enough. But for right now, I still have a lot of preparing to do.

After sitting in the Visitor Centers, I wandered over to the steps on the backside of the temple. Here, I had the opportunity to just sit and read the Book of Mormon for an hour or so.

It was so peaceful and such an amazing experience. I encourage everyone to just take a day to go by themselves to be more open to receiving inspiration and clarity. It really helps.

Ever since I've gotten my call, I do catch myself at times letting Satan get into my thoughts....

Dang it.

Suddenly that tank top on the Target commercial looks 10x more cute and I want to try it on.

Suddenly I'm wishing that i'll be home in 8 months in order to go to the Catching Fire midnight premiere.

Suddenly that bikini and those shorter sun dressing are finding their way into my work store.

Suddenly Harry Potter sounds a lot better than reading my scriptures.

Suddenly my body is becoming exhausted faster and i'm wanting to sleep in and go to bed earlier without prayers.

Suddenly these pop songs are entering my mind and i'm realizing how much i'm going to miss music and concerts.

Suddenly I just want to eat all the chocolate in the world. (Okay, so that's not new)

And i'm still having the hardest time staying focused on any one activity. Whether it be homework, studying, exercising, listening to a lecture, or even concentrating on conversations with friends.

And i'm having the weirdest mood swings... So I apologize to all those who I socialize with :/

Often times I just want to be alone and in isolation.. realizing that I can't' do that with a companion.


And it will be worth it.



This is the map in my room; full of all my friends on missions.

The Church is TRUE. And God loves you.

Monday, March 11, 2013

My Ward

The 12th Ward of Clinton, Utah.

It doesn't get much better than this. 

I have made the greatest friends in this ward and I am soooo excited to be able to serve at the same time as these wonderful young men. They are such amazing examples to me and I'm so glad we have grown so close!

Sending love from Maryland, Nebraska, Mexico, and Uganda! <3

The Destination!

Well, I opened my mission call!!

I will be serving in the Omaha, Nebraska mission!

I have updated the "Nebraska" tab with all of the awesome facts that I have learned about it.

I'm sooooooooooooo excited!!!
It's such a relief to finally know where I will be spending the next 18 months.

There are people in Omaha that need me, and there is a reason that I am going there.
I can't wait to find out what that reason is.

Everyone I've talked to says that I am going to love it so much. I know lots of people who are related to others that have served here and they all just rave that this is the best mission ever.
I'm sure i'll be saying the exact same thing <3

The people are going to be the sweetest.

My mission president and his wife are actually from Logan, which is way cool!

The thing i'm most excited for is that after my mission, I will very much keep in contact with those that I come to love and serve. My mission president, my companions, and my investigators. That's one of the great perks of serving in the U.S. I'll be able to visit as often as I want <3

Omaha has no clue what's coming ;)

The best trip to the mailbox anyone could ever ask for!

Ahhhh I love my ward more than words express!

Been friends with this girl since before I can remember!

I have such an amazing group of friends. Couldn't ask for better <3
Love her <3

This girl is going to Omaha!

And Libb just couldn't stop watching Disneyland <3

Monday, March 4, 2013

Stories and Lessons

First of all, if you're not going to read this whole post, at least skip down to the last story in it. I promise, it will be worth it! ;)

I have had the most incredible week.

Every church lesson, mission prep lesson, and story I have heard has just been amazing and left my heart completely smiling!

First was Sunday.

I was a part of history! Sunday was the VERY last Stake Conference that was to ever be held at "The Golden Toaster".

Now, for those of you who are wondering what in the heck that means, it's the on-campus stake center that is here at Utah State University. It's a LANDMARK. And after this semester, they are tearing it down and the lucky individuals that live in our dorms will be attending the new stake center that is right across the street.

I'm so sad to see the toaster go.... Although I was only here for a year, it's crazy to think about all the testimonies that were made, the laughter and spiritual experiences shared, the friends that were made, and the soft spot that a building can bring into our lives.

My brother attended church here, and for some reason that was always such a cool thing to know. When he was my age, when he was struggling with some of the same loneliness that I feel from time to time, he was in this same building.

Anyway... it was a historical day.

Stake Conference was absolutely phenomenal! It was allllllllll about missionary work. Which makes COMPLETE sense after President Simmons announced these numbers.

This time a year ago, there were 60,000 missionaries out in the field.

Right now, there are (wait for it) 120,000.

When Summer comes, from OUR STAKE ALONE we will have sent out..... (wait for it)

500 missionaries. 


That sends goosebumps all up and down my skin.

So put your right hand in, and your right hand out.

And forget the Hokey Pokey.

Missionary work is what it's all about.

The talks and testimonies hit right at the heart. Just some insights I gained:

What are things that I can do to PREPARE to PROCLAIM?
-Have a testimony
-Know that we have not received all there is.
-Know that the Lord will not give answers if we don't ask Him the questions.
-Involve my parents in the process (attend temple, and scripture study together)
-Come into the mission physically and emotionally ready
-Learn skills to take care of myself (cooking, laundry, cleaning etc.)
-Exercise (Couch potatoes make horrible missionaries)
-Have a positive mental attitude (It comes in handy while dealing with difficult investigators and companions)
-Look your best (when we're confident in ourselves, we focus better on others)
-Go to sleep early and rise early (Early morning hours are hours of revelation)

The Gospel is not just the truth to certain individuals. It is EVERYONE'S TRUTH

1. Listen to the Holy Ghost
2. Get out of your comfort zone
3. Remember who you are.

Whooooooo for Stake Conference <3

In mission prep today we also had an amazing lesson about FAITH and REPENTANCE.

Our job as missionaries is not to tear others down, proclaiming that what they believe is completely wrong and that they need to join us, the true church, in order to be saved.

Heck no.

Our job is to become experts in SEEING other peoples faith, and adding to it.

"You bring with you all the good that you have, and let us add to it" - President Gordon B. Hinckley

Another gospel truth I learned today in Mission Prep was about repentance.
We usually only see repentance linked with sin. Yet we are told to repent daily.

Does this mean we sin that often? Well, we might... we are human.
But repentance is not just linked with sin.

We see the traditional repentance cycle:
-Recognize what we did was wrong
-Feel sorrow or guilt
-Pray for forgiveness
-Do /restore
-Commit to never do it again.
But this is not all repentance is.....

-Find repentance in the Bible Dictionary- Here it states:

Repentance is: "a change of mind, i.e., a fresh view about God, about oneself, and about the world"

Repentance is also linked with light.

While reading during scripture study, we might repent in this way:
-Recognize the good
-Feel joy
-Pray in gratitude
-Do become Godly
-Commit to SHARE what we know

And there it is.... always learning!

Now my mom just called and told me a sweet story that I just MUST share.

THE BEST STORY I've heard all week.

One of the lady's that lives next door to my home is a sister missionary down at Temple Square. She does Family History work down there and often gets to travel in the underground tunnels. She has come across some of the quorum of the 70 every once and a while. But this last week she had a whole other experience.

She was walking around down there, when one of the tunnels was taped off - this was not normal. She stood and waited for a few minutes to see if someone would come to move it. While waiting, she saw headlights from a golf cart coming down the other end of the tunnel.

As the cart approached, she noticed Pres. Uchtdoft driving the cart with Pres. Monson in the passenger seat. She just stood there, stunned.

I mean, wouldn't you be stunned too?? ;) Two of the sweetest men on planet Earth.. riding up to you in a golf cart!

The cart stopped right in front of her, and President Uchtdorf motioned for my sweet neighbor to come towards him. He held out a tray, smiled and said "Pick one!" In the tray were a bunch of..

See's chocolates. ;) (I just love these guys)

She picked one, said thank you, they exchanged 'good day' greetings, and the cart took off.

She continued to stand there, kind of dumbfounded. :)

(wait for it)

(it gets better)

Then all of a sudden, almost the entire Quorum of the 12 Apostles came running down the tunnel behind the golf cart. All of them! And you have to remember, these men are like 90 years old.

Greatest. Story. Ever. Right???

After my neighbor told my mom this, she asked what day this was.

This happened last Thursday about 11 o'clock.

My call was made last Thursday about 9 o'clock.

My neighbor then said:

"They were just all SOOOOO excited about where they chose to send Megan that they were running around handing out chocolates to everyone!"

Let's be honest, that's probably not the WHOLE reason. ;)

I'm stoked to open my call in a few days.

WHOOOO I love this gospel!!!!