My sister, mom, and I went to Nauvoo, Illinois to meet up with family, see church history sites, and visit my grandparents who are serving a mission there. It was so much fun! The trip was also a huge blessing! I didn't realize how great it was going to be to see family again. Also being immersed in church history strengthened my testimony and desire to get out there and be a missionary!
Two days after returning from Nauvoo, my friend Kelley came to visit for a week! We had so much fun together. We did a lot in the week he was here!
Not only was it fun to have him here, it was an incredible experience as we were both only a week or two away from our missions (he leaves next week for the Washington DC South mission). We really serve as a strength to one another. I cannot wait to hear about all of his adventures and share my own stories with him!
This past Sunday (the 28th) was my farewell talk. I'd had ideas about some things I wanted to include in my talk, but nothing seemed to really be flowing. By Saturday night, I was getting a little worried as to how the talk was going to turn out. It wasn't until I finished a long conversation with my friends Chels and Chelsea that ideas really started to flow and connect in my mind. I sat down and wrote an outline of things I wanted them to know. I felt so blessed to have two of my best friends there to listen and support me. Here are some things that are important that I touched on in my talk:
- You can receive personal revelation (direct answers to prayers) using a few steps. He will help you make important decisions if you will include Him in the process.
1. Study the options out in your mind
2. Pray: ask your question and explain the thoughts you have about it
3. If you're trying to make a decision and the answer does not seem to be coming, use your judgement and take a step in the direction you think is best. After taking this step, see how you feel.
4. Trust in the Lord. Once you get that peaceful feeling, act! Don't hesitate. Trust that He has given you and answer and that this answer is what is best for you.
5. Look for His hand in your life. It's there, I promise. Especially as you find and follow His will for you.
- You can be in the right place at the right time.
1. I promise you will not find more joy on any other path than the one Heavenly Father has planned for you.
2. He will lead you to that path if you allow Him.
3. He loves you! You are His spirit child.
4. Life is hard BUT He has not left you alone! He gives us trials so that we may grow and become refined, becoming more and more like our perfect example, Jesus Christ.
5. Heavenly Father sent His son, Jesus Christ, for us. He lived a perfect life so that He could be an example for us. He suffered for your sins, pains, sorrows, and afflictions. He died on the cross and He rose from the dead. All for you. He suffered all this so you never have to feel like no one knows what you are going through. He does. He's felt everything you have felt, now feel, and will feel.
6. "The gospel is the good news that can free us from guilt. We know that Jesus experienced the totality of mortal existence in Gethsemane. It's our faith that He experienced everything-absolutely everything. Sometimes we don't think through the implications of that belief. We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family. But we don't experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually. That means He know what it felt like when your mother died of cancer--how it was for your mother, how it still is for you. He knows what if felt like to lose the student body election. He knows that moment when the brakes locked and the car started to skid. He experienced the slave ship sailing from Ghana toward Virginia. He experienced the gas chambers at Dachau. He experienced Napalm in Vietnam. He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism. Let me go further. There is nothing you have experienced that he does not also know and recognize." Because of this, you NEVER have to feel like no one knows what you are going through. There is always someone who knows and He is always there with an outstretched hand. It's up to us to take it.
- To those who don't have as much faith as they would like to have...
1. It's okay! You probably have more faith than you think you do.
2. There's always something that you know. Have that be your anchor. Don't focus on what you do not know, always remember and focus on what you do. What you know trumps what you do not know!
3. You can ask for help. There are people around who love you and will give you the help and strength you need. Also rely on your Heavenly Father. If you plead with Him, He will send help from both sides of the veil.
These truths are why I am going on a mission. These truths bring me such joy and I want everyone to have a knowledge of them! I know the things I have written are true! Don't take my word for it. If you kneel down and ask Heavenly Father if these things are true, He will testify to you that they are. I promise.
So here I am heading to the Provo, Utah Missionary Training Center tomorrow morning. I cannot wait to serve the people in Brazil and share with them what I know. Here I go!