Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Teachers

Teachers are so amazing! 

My ultimate teachers in life have been my parents, I am so grateful for the things they teach me everyday! And I love them so much!

But this is dedicated to those who have taught me through my academic education.

Throughout my life I have been so blessed to have pretty amazing and inspiring teachers at school.
I would like to dedicate this to a few really important ones. You see, these teachers, these people in my life not only taught me about religion, art, music, english, history, math, science and psychology. These people helped teach me how to be a good person. They taught me the value of a kind word, work ethic, responsibility for my work, actions and what I leave in the world. They taught me the value of professionalism but to also laugh! They taught me to not be ashamed of my life and my beliefs and to stand up for them. They taught me how to care for those around me and how to want to go beyond what they teach and be curious about the world. They taught me through their examples and the little actions. These people, and some now friends of mine, have impacted my life for the long run. I just hope that they know how appreciative I am. And I hope that they know that they mean something in the lives of their students.

Thank you Mrs. Fry, Mrs, Schultz, Mrs. Taake, Ms. Harpstrite, Margaret Voke, Mrs. Morgan, Mr. Beauchamp, Ms. Bear, Mr. Kaminsky, Mr. Gracey, Professor Phillips, Professor White, Brother Gee, Brother Clay, Brother Lowry, Brother Williams, Brother Taylor and Brother Whoolery!

You really have helped make a difference in the person I am and the quality of character I possess.

Have you ever had a teacher who has meant a lot to you?





Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Grateful

On a day so close to Thanksgiving, I feel even more grateful for everything the Lord has blessed me with in my life. Most importantly today is knowledge of a loving Father in Heaven and elder brother, Jesus Christ.

I would like to share lyrics to a song entitled Grateful.

I've got a roof over my head
I've got a warm place to sleep
Some nights I lie awake counting gifts
Instead of counting sheep

I've got a heart that can hold love
I've got a mind that can think
There may be times when I lose the light
And my spirits sink
But I can't stay depressed
When I remember how I'm blessed 

Grateful, grateful, truly grateful I am
Grateful, grateful, truly blessed
And duly grateful

In a city of strangers
I've got a family of friends
No matter what rocks and brambles fill the way
I know that they will stay until the end

I feel a hand holding my hand
It's not a hand you can see
But on the road to the promised land
This hand will shepherd me
Through delight and despair
Holding tight and always there

Grateful, grateful, truly grateful I am
Grateful, grateful, truly blessed
And duly grateful

It's not that I don't want a lot
Or hope for more, or dream of more
But giving thanks for what I've got
Makes me so much happier than keeping score

In a world that can bring pain
I will still take each chance
For I believe that whatever the terrain
Our feet can learn to dance
Whatever stone life may sling
We can moan or we can sing

Grateful, grateful, truly grateful I am
Grateful, grateful, truly blessed
And duly grateful

Truly blessed and duly grateful.

I hope you are able to keep this message in your heart through this Holiday season and throughout the entire year!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Image of Healing

My roommate hung up this picture in our apartment a few weeks ago and I have come to cherish pondering it this past week. It is called Forgiveness by Greg Olsen

Some Thoughts from an Emotional Few Weeks

Life sometimes feels like more than I can handle. Assignments are given and homework has to be done, church callings, volunteer work, extra curricular work through school that is great but a lot at times, the hassles of the world seem too much, the conflict, war and terror in the world seem so bad, Satan creeps in and begins to play on my insecurities, sometimes there is homesickness... There are times when I just want to hit snooze on it all and retreat from my life. I did that these past two and a half weeks.

This all came down on me and instead of taking it head on like I usually try to; I retreated. I missed some deadlines for assignments, didn't leave my apartment other than to go to school, missed a meeting at school I should have gone to, didn't talk to family or friends for a few days. skimped on my prayers and scripture reading, I stopped caring... I saw myself descending down a hole that I have been few other times and stopped myself before it became to terrible.

It began with an almost honest conversation with myself and with a friend. It also came through sharing a special message of the gospel with one of my oldest friends. Healing also came through reading the scriptures with the girl I speak English with bi-weekly (she has become such a light in my life). Healing came through soul-searching at Mt. Auburn Cemetery last Sunday, Veteran's Day.

Veteran's Day, a day that is mostly overlooked for its true purpose and meaning. Veteran's Day is a day that we can thank those who have served and are serving our country! Veteran's Day, a day that we can really reflect on their sacrifices for us and what we can do for them. I feel that it is extremely appropriate that Thanksgiving and Veteran's Day are so close together. It helps me have the opportunity to not only reflect on Veteran's Day but to feel the immense gratitude that is embedded in my soul for the men and women who protect our country. It helps me to see the beauty in every moment that I live.

Since High School, one way or another I have tried to watch Band of Brothers on or around Veteran's Day. My favorite part of the series is when the actual men depicted in the miniseries reflect on the experiences that they had. I tear up every time and am inspired by their humility and sense of service that they had to their nation and to each other.

 On a Sunday where we learned about teaching light and truth to children, and finding faith and hope in my life...I have really reflected on the stories in this series. While in a degree program studying conflict, murder, violence, arguments, threats, stereotyping, moral exclusion and the other follies of conflict and war; there is still time to talk about resolution to conflict. We talk about mediation, listening and truly coming to understand the people we may come in contact with. We talk about teaching others resolution tactics so they can help others in their community. Thankfully we try to figure out ways to a more peaceful world.

So whenever you are having an emotional day, or a few weeks...try to find the good in the situation. It may be by talking with a friend, it may come through sharing a message important to you with a friend. It may come with saying a prayer to God, or the higher power you may believe in. It may come through reading the scriptures or by reflecting on everything you have been blessed to have.

Friday, November 9, 2012

A New Life

I have recently deleted my previous blog to move things all under one account. The last thoughts I shared were about my summer of transformation. So, it has been awhile.

The past eight months of my life have taken me on a journey that I could have only imagined before. While working through some deep, personal trials I was able to work on strengthening and rebuilding my relationship with my Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ. I was also able to build a better relationship with myself. I began to trust myself more as I was also placing more faith in God. It is truly amazing how much I could learn once I replaced my trust and faith in God. He is truly an amazing part in my life.

As I continued this spiritual progression, I was also continuing in a temporal preparation towards the move to Boston. I found that as my faith in the Lord increased, my anxiety was extremely manageable. I was better able to function in my relationships with my family and friends as I kept preparing. As the time got closer to move here, I did get a bit nervous but I was still enthusiastic.

Before we left Illinois, my mom and I went to Nauvoo to see the pageant. It is about Joseph Smith and some of the significant moments in his life and in the history of the church. The pageant also focuses of the lives of a family come from England to join the saints. The story follows the husband through his conversion and building relationship with Joseph. It goes through the Preach My Gospel manual which shares ways to share the gospel. But it is also a fantastic manual to help us enrich our own lives and become better people. While we were watching I really felt like I came to know the spirit of one person sacrificing their life for the best cause, spreading the news of the gospel. I want to love something so much and care so much about the cause that I feel I could lay down my life for it! Joseph truly became one of my heroes that night.

On our way to Boston we stopped in Kirtland, Ohio and Palmyra, New York to visit more church sites and my care and admiration for all the saints and their great sacrifices became etched in my heart.

Once we made it to Boston my faith was being tried beyond my emotional limits. I was feeling uncertainty and despair at being left in a large city where I knew no one! But the thought that fear and faith cannot exist together kept coming to my mind. So as the anxiety built, I tried to remember that my life is in the Lord's hands and he will take care of me if I do my part. I prayed and received a blessing from my dad and felt like I could make it.

Now almost two and a half months later, I am doing well! My life has opened some doors for me that I had not thought previously possible. I have also began to make some great friends at school and a few at church. I am getting into my program and am constantly reminded in some way why I am even pursuing this degree. I do like Boston, but I do know that I am not a city girl. I try to make the best of every moment I am give but it is hard sometimes. There are times when the loneliness and despair get to me but I take a step back and try to learn from it.

Heavenly Father has blessed me so far with safety, caring individuals in my life, kind visiting teachers and two wonderful roommates! Though we are all busy the majority of the time, we get to talk and grow together.

I wonder what I will learn next!