Monday, April 26, 2010

Busy, busy, busy and a Spirit Driven Talk

The past couple of weeks have be CRAZY. Needless to say the new blog has been just a little bit neglected (: It'll be hard to remember what's happened but I'll try my best to get it all down. On April 15th, I presented my senior project to a class. All seniors have to pick a project, spend at least ten hours on it, write a research paper about it, and present it in order to graduate! I killed two birds with one stone this summer when I took a college course about writing analytical essays about something in the history of Idaho. I wrote about the Teton Dam Disaster and it was really easy and fun! I had all my hours and my paper done AND I got published in two magazines! What a easy project (:
Then I had the talent show on April 23rd. I did it with some friends and it turned out to be a AWESOME experience. We ended up doing a little person dance that was killer and everyone went absolutely crazy over it. We did three big practices that were either very late or very early! We ended up doing two practices at six in the morning but it worked out because we had caboodles of fun doing it. I'm so thankful for good friends who have influenced my life in good ways.
THEN this Sunday we had the first annual seminary fireside! I'm on the seminary council at our school and it's turned out to be a HUGE blessing in my life because of all the opportunities to meet new people and learn how to serve them. We have four stakes in the Bonneville High school area so we put the Iona and Ammon stakes together and the Idaho Falls East and Ucon stakes together and had two separate firesides. We all agreed on the topic of "The Worth of a Soul" and it turned out wonderfully. I had to talk on the worth of our own souls individually and I thought I was going to pass out I was so nervous! All of my friends came and they sat on the very front row so it was great to feel their support and love for me. I teared up and almost lost it at the end but everyone told me that I did great so I'll take it (: I'll post my talk on here for anyone who wants to read it because it's the best talk I've ever given. Totally spirit driven. Here it goes:
As you all know, our overall theme for this fireside is “The worth of a Soul”. We’ve all learned about the worth of the souls of others but now I’m going to talk about the worth of our own souls individually. In times like these we are plagued with how society thinks we should be or what we should look like. We may compare ourselves to other people and wonder why we just aren’t like them. We may feel that we aren’t good enough and that someone else if more qualified for something than we are. But all of this is a lie. We are deceiving ourselves. Our Heavenly Father has made us who we are for a reason. We are individuals with an eternal purpose in this life. Heavenly Father knows who we are. But the question is do YOU know who you are? You are your Heavenly Father’s precious child. He adores you and he misses you. He is willing to give you peace and comfort. He is anxious to comfort you. Stop listening to Satan telling you that you are less than what you are. Do not listen to his lies. Never believe that you’re not worth it.
In an issue of the Ensign from 1989 this article came up. “No matter what our social status, appearance, or circumstance, our Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to recognize our worth. Our behavior may sometimes prevent us from feeling esteem for ourselves, but we can change that behavior. If we sin or make mistakes, we can repent. The Lord suffered “that all men might repent and come unto him.” When we struggle with self-worth, we need to remember the story of the widow’s mite in Mark 12. Jesus did not call attention to the wealthy, who made a great display of presenting their offerings; instead, he pointed out the widow. She was not well-known or fashionable. She had few possessions. But Jesus saw her worth as a great woman who was willing to share what she had. Like her, each of us has a contribution to make to the Lord’s work and to mankind. Paul taught this principle when he explained how each Church member is a member of the “body of Christ.” He also wrote, “We are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” What great value we each have as a child of God and an heir of his kingdom!”
We all know that we can be our own worst enemy when it comes to ourselves. We really are our own worst critics. Elder Anthony D. Perkins of the Seventy said this about feeling worthless and how we can stop it. “When you feel worthless, “remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.” Refrain from repeatedly thinking or saying negative words about yourself—there is a clear difference between humility and humiliation. Identify and use your unique talents rather than dwelling on your weaknesses.” Think about the unkind things you may say to yourself. Things like you’re worthless, you can’t do anything right, why can’t you be more attractive or other negative ideas can drag us down. Why do we say hurtful things to ourselves when we wouldn’t even think of saying these things to other people? In an issue of the New Era from January 1998, Jack Weyland wrote an article about the worth of yourself. “You need to know that if your opinion of yourself is negative, it is wrong. Consider this: Heavenly Father has a high opinion of you. You are his son or daughter, with divine potential. Your exaltation is his work and glory. If he sees good in you, if he values you, shouldn’t you also feel that you are worthwhile? Heavenly Father wants you to have joy, and true joy comes from knowing you are his son or daughter, that he has a plan of happiness for you, and that you are living according to his plan. “
In one of my favorite books a conversation between a brother and a sister takes place and it caught my eye because of the advice it gave: “You’re not just any girl, you’re my sister. If you never learn anything else in life, you need to learn who you are so that you can believe in yourself. You know I love giving you my advice but following your own heart will get you a lot further in life than following any advice I could give you. Being your best self is enough, Ash. You just don’t know that yet.” There were tears in Ashlyn’s eyes. “How do I learn that? There are no books titled “This Is You and It’s Enough.” “It’s not something you can read up on Ash,” Austin said. He paused and turned to face his sister... I wish I could show you a mirror that reflected the really great you that I see. This mirror would assure you how wonderful you are from the inside out. Then, I would break the mirror that you look into every day. Your mirror doesn’t show you your true self. The only time you see someone worth looking at in your mirror is if you have perfected some monumental challenge. Your mirror doesn’t reflect the whole picture, only the deed.” Ashlyn shrugged. “I hate to make mistakes and when I do, I’m afraid that I’ll look in the mirror and find someone who failed.” Austin smirked. “I’ve got news for you Ash. You’re going to fail sometimes, even when you do your best. We ALL do. Otherwise, we’d be translated. For some reason, you’ve gotten it in your head that people won’t love you if you make mistakes. But all a mistake means is that you’re human like the rest of us.” Sometimes we may feel that if we can’t do everything perfect, then we aren’t good enough. That’s just another lie that we tell ourselves. We are here on this earth to learn otherwise we wouldn’t be here. The church is for people who are working towards perfection not because they are already perfect.
Never doubt your purpose on this earth. We all have special gifts to help others. The Savior sent you here to be a messenger. You have the power to make a difference. Don’t let the adversary make you forget that mission. He wants you to forget how much good you can do. Remember your mission in life. Never doubt the difference that you can make in someone’s life and never think that you are alone. Many people have felt this way including myself. I went through a period of time where I felt like I was worthless and I didn’t appreciate the body that my Heavenly Father had given me. I didn’t want anyone to know how badly I felt about myself because I felt like I was the only one. One day I was invited to each lunch with a group of kids that I knew but I wasn’t friends with. My life was changed that day. These kids helped me to save my life spiritually and get myself back on track. I began to understand who I was as a daughter of God and I was shown how much my Father in Heaven really loved me. I don’t know how I can ever thank these kids for the difference they made in my life. Never doubt that you can make a difference in someone’s life. Remember that if we want to learn to love others then we must first learn to love ourselves. You are wonderful children of our Heavenly Father and He loves you. You have a purpose in life and that purpose is a great thing. I bear my testimony that the Lord loves you. I know that this gospel can get us through the hardest times of our life and I know that my Redeemer lives. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Holy cow, longest post EVER! I'll try to keep up more (:


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Beginning

For a long time I've thought about starting a blog but because I wasn't married or didn't have kids I kind of figured that I didn't have much to write about! But here's to starting a new chapter of my life that's a little more blog worthy. I graduate in May which is very exciting but a little unsettling at the same time. I'm a little afraid of flying out of the nest! I'm starting at Utah State University in the fall and I'm super excited! It's kind of funny because I always planned at going to BYU-Idaho and being close to home. I applied to Utah State as a back-up school and then I got accepted to both. What a dilemma. Finally, after a lot of praying and thinking and then some more praying I made my decision and its never felt more right. I think it might be a little hard at first but I'm ready to try some new things like moving away from home (two hours away)and living with people I don't know. College just sounds so exciting and new and fresh! I know it'll take a little while to get used to but I'm ready for it.