Faith is huge. It's basically the most important thing in life. With faith in Christ we can and will be able to do anything. Without it we'll just stay natural men and women, going along through life, thinking we're progressing, but we won't be. And we won't be happy. Occasional good moments, but no real happiness. We'll be bitter at life because it didn't give us any of the joy that we instinctively thought it would. But if we have faith in Christ, miracles will occur within and without ourselves. All the dreams and hopes that we instinctively felt would come our way will come. We actually will have a happy ending (well, kind of - we actually won't have an ending, but we will have happy). Our progress will be real, and our joy will be real. We'll be grateful for every moment of our lives if we've lived it with faith in Christ. Is there really anything more valuable and important that we could do than cultivating and using our faith in Jesus Christ?
I'm still studying faith, if you couldn't tell. There's so much! I might be on this subject for quite a while... Then it'll be onto repentance. I'm thinking that one won't go much faster than faith...
Hooray for the gospel!!!
Monday, November 29, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I spent almost the entire day with my brothers and my youngest sister, trying to keep them entertained so that they wouldn't watch any movies or play the computer. It was exhausting. I got pretty grumpy. But I also grew closer to them, and had some awesome moments with them. In an effort to get out of the house (I ran out of ideas of things to do there, and I felt lonely), I texted Jeff and asked if we (Joshy, Charles and I) could come up to his house. We walked there, which was an adventure of its own, (but also included some awesome teaching moments and a gospel conversation), and eventually got there. Jeff took a break from his schoolwork, and we played Hide and Seek, then Sardines, and somehow Charles initiated a change to Monsters. The four of us spent a long time chasing each other around the house as monsters, killing by tickling, healing by kissing, and making things up as we went along. It was a blast. I love living like a child. I've done it a lot more in recent days, and I feel great. =) I'm learning to not care what others think, and just have fun, and do what's right. I'm sure it'll take a lot of time and practice to truly not care about what others think, but I'm working on it.
Though they are frustrating and rambunctious at times, I think I pretty much have the best little siblings ever. =) And I'm dating the best guy, who is willing to take a break from his work/study to cut off a robot scorpion's poisonous tail with a light saber and tickle said robot scorpion until he turns into a human. The best brothers, and the best guy. Am I blessed or what?
Tomorrow I get my haircut. Nervous!! I'm planning on making a big change in my hairstyle... We'll see how it goes.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
"Alex Haley would be proud..." / Teaching with power, unto the convincing of others / Live with hope and faith!
So, I got some awesome personal revelation today. And I also went on a walk, which led me to the cemetery. I tried to find Gottlieb, my great-great-grandfather, but I haven't found him yet. Though I did find some people with my last name, as well as some people with the same last name as Gottlieb's third wife. It was enjoyable. The sky was overcast, but the air was pretty warm (about 55 degrees). It was very relaxing. I was there for quite a while.
The Relief Society meeting turned out okay. I hope the words I said sounded real, and touched their hearts. I only spoke for a few minutes. And it was kind of ramble-y. But I tried to really say what I was thinking and feeling.
Jeff had an awesome day too. He was able to be witness a miracle, a true teaching and learning experience. It was a meeting about immigration, and Jeff and his friend were able to teach with the spirit, in a way that everyone in attendance changed their stance and their opinions about the whole issue. And it all happened with no contention. That is truly a miracle! He sounded so happy when he told me about it. I'm so happy he got to experience that. I wish I could've been there to witness it. I wish so much that I could teach with power, through the Spirit, "unto the convincing of all those who heard." Someday. =)
I'm going to live with hope and faith. Not doubt and fear. I'm deciding that. I think its a pretty good decision. =) My life is going to be epic. At least to me. =D
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
It hasn't actually been a whole year yet since I got back from serving in Florida...but it's getting close. I was about to get in bed a while ago, but I got distracted (and stayed distracted for at least twenty minutes) by my screen saver, which is a random slideshow of all the pictures I've taken on my mission and afterwards. Each picture had so much to tell. I thought of how I never predicted my life to go the way it has so far. Before my mission, I wouldn't have predicted anything in those pictures. First of all, a mission to Florida, which includes the amazing members, investigators, and companions who would change my life, and who are now some of my closest friends, my sister Talita, attending Snow College and making friends there, dating Jake, going back to my old summer job (thought I wouldn't be returning, but it actually was great), dating Jeff, teaching primary, attending USU, and so forth. I could never have predicted things the way they are. And with every picture I saw on my screen saver, my gratitude increased. I've had an amazing 29 months... =) Amazing people, amazing places, and amazing experiences. My prayer is going to be full of gratitude tonight. =)
Monday, November 8, 2010
I saw an old friend tonight that I hadn't seen in quite a while, and seeing him reminded me of one of the most amazing times in my life. It was during a time I was going through a lot of stress, related to the guy I was dating. The friend that I saw tonight was friends with me back then, and he could tell I was stressed. He took me on a bike ride, probably around 8:30 in the evening, during March, in Rexburg. In other words, it was completely dark, and rather cold, but that didn't matter. The bike ride was exactly what I needed. I experienced a true escape for the next hour or hour and a half. No one, except the friend I was biking with, knew where I was. There was basically no one else outside either (too cold!). I wasn't tied down to anything. I felt at home on that bike. We were riding wherever we wanted to, in town, and even it into the countryside for a while. I really felt like I wasn't tied down to anything. I could go as fast as I wanted, wherever I wanted. I didn't have to worry about getting lost, because I knew my friend knew the way back. I also knew that he truly considered me a friend. He didn't take me on this bike ride so he would have a better chance of dating me. He was truly a friend. We talked about simple happy things. We sang. We tried to figure out some constellations. No pressure. No deadlines. No expectations. No limits. No fear. No stress.
I've tried to explain why that night was great. I've tried to recreate it at times. But I've never had everything line up so perfectly since then, to produce such a free feeling. I'm so accustomed to living with stress. I hope I can find that same feeling again. It was a truly miraculous feeling.
And I'm so grateful I had such a good friend, to help me when I needed it. I'll never forget that kindness, and how much it meant to me. =)
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I miss the days when my purpose was summed up in one sentence and repeated aloud frequently. "My purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." Life's not quite as simple now. Maybe it should be.
My purpose now is more like "Invite people to come to Christ. And prepare myself to be a competent loving music therapist. And prepare to get married and raise a family." Okay, so I actually thought that list was going to be a lot longer, but I can't think of anything else that big. Most of my other tasks fit under one of those categories. Sweet! Still, it's more than one purpose, so it gets rough sometimes keeping it all going. Sigh.
But on the bright side, I am gaining more and more interest and excitement in music therapy. I still don't know which population I want to work with. For some reason I have always been afraid of working with people with intellectual disabilities, yet it really interests me. I'm focusing more on autism right now. I don't know if that's the population I will stay focused on, but I'm focusing on it right now...even though it scares me a little. (I have also been thinking of helping with childbirth, as a music therapist. That would definitely make my mom happy...)
Inviting people to Christ...I could definitely be doing better. I'm coming closer to Him myself, but I have the hardest time communicating honestly with others and inviting them to come closer to Him. I hope this changes soon....
Marriage and family? In its own due time. I'm working on it, at my own pace (which is rather a slow one). I'm preparing for the future the best I can, and I really look forward to being married to someone amazing, being amazing to him in return, and raising children of my own. It seems surreal, but I know it will actually happen to me someday. =)
Anyway, not a typical post, but I just felt like it.
I guess I better mention a miracle. Here's an excellent one: Temperature above 60 today! In November! And the leaves are still on the trees, in their beautiful colors. I went on a mini-hike today, and I don't think I'll ever get over the beauty that is autumn. =) God's creations are so awesome!!
Monday, November 1, 2010
Slept in a little too much. My Music Therapy class starts at 8:30. I woke up at 8:37. I was in class by 8:42. Impressive? Yes. Impressive as having the discipline to get up when the alarm goes off, getting ready, and being to class on time? No.
Lots of homework and stuff. Nothing too exciting today, other than that the weather was absolutely beautiful for a November day. Loved it.
I'm going to get up early tomorrow. Happy day. =)