Sunday, November 18, 2012

Curly Hair

Jami permed my hair, and I'm loving it. =)

Wings of Lightning

To quote a line from a song I wrote recently, "Well, a lot of things have changed."

Not a drastic amount of change, but definitely enough to provide an update.

Over the summer I ran two half-marathons and only got injured in one of them. =) I also hiked the Wellsvilles with my friend Darrell, and the Jardine Juniper trail with my friend Steffen. I almost changed majors and schools as well, but eventually decided to stay.

I also became a volunteer at the FamilySearch library here in town and I am there once a week for six hours, helping patrons, teaching classes, and working on my own family history. It's pretty great. =)

Still not dating any one person, but have gone on a few dates in recent weeks with a few different guys. Also, I'm trying to spend lots of time with my music therapy gals who are graduating this spring and leaving me behind. I'm definitely going to miss them!

And my hair is curly now.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Music Improvisation

"Music...can at the same time belong to the patient's world and be part of reality perceived by the senses of hearing, seeing, and touching." (Alvin, 1966, p. 138) 

Audible, visual, tangible thoughts. =) I love music.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Humility and Confidence - Ammon

One of my current scripture study projects right now is to see what the disciples and prophets and followers of Christ in the scriptures say about themselves. Is confidence the same as pride? Is it possible to have confidence and humility at the same time? How?

Here is a quote from Ammon, one of the sons of Mosiah, after his mission to the Lamanites:

10 And it came to pass that when Ammon had said these words, his brother Aaron rebuked him, saying: Ammon, I fear that thy joy doth carry thee away unto boasting.
11 But Ammon said unto him: I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.
12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.
13 Behold, how many thousands of our brethren has he loosed from the pains of hell; and they are brought to sing redeeming love, and this because of the power of his word which is in us, therefore have we not great reason to rejoice?
(Alma 26)

The green text means that he is talking about himself and/the others with him. The red text is when he is talking about Jesus Christ. As seen by looking at the green text, he expresses both humility and confidence. He says "I do not boast," "I am nothing," and "I am weak." But he also says "I can do all things" and "we have wrought many mighty miracles" and "the power which is in us has saved our brethren." How does that work? How does someone who is weak do all things?

Then, by looking at the red text, it's seen that something confident (and green) is never said without red text nearby. Instead of just "I can do all things" it's "In his strength I can do all things." "We have wrought many might miracles, for which we will praise his name forever." Not just "the power which is in us," but "the power of his word which is in us."

Ammon's example shows that confidently talking about oneself alone might be boasting, and our words might be false, but when we talk confidently about the team "the Savior and me" or "the Savior and us," we're not boasting, we're praising God.

The difference is Jesus Christ.

The take-away I get from this is that I shouldn't express confidence in myself alone. When I express confidence, my goal is to include (either out loud or at least in my head [to keep me humble]) an acknowledgement that anything good that I've done only happened through the help of Jesus Christ.

Not only will it keep me humble, I believe it will also keep me happier, because I can look forward to more great things, as I know that Christ will never run out of the power or the love to help me.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Why so happy?

So, I was able to to do a lot of awesome family history work today! I found people who hadn't been entered into FamilySearch yet! And I can do their temple work! Well, several were men, so I'll need to find a kind male to help me. But yeah! I'm doing REAL family history!! This descendency research idea is working well for me! =) It's odd, but good, how happy my family history success has made me. It's helping me out of my mini-depression I've had for the last few weeks. For which I'm very very grateful. I'm grateful the Lord led me to do this. And after years of off-and-on trying, I'm so grateful to finally be having success!!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Brand New Day

Feeling better now. This is my new theme song. I'm in love with it. And the sun completely agrees with me today. =)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My Occasional Grouchy Post

We all have our bad days. I won't go into everything. But I'll admit that sometimes I just want to kick something - really hard - because I'm really tired and frustrated of being alone. End of story.

Next post will probably be happy.

And maybe I'll delete this one later. We'll see.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Missionary reawakening

Well... a lot has probably gone on since I've written. I won't try to catch up on everything right now, but I did want to mention that I have a new desire to do missionary work. Part of it was talking to the sister missionaries for a while during the Saturday Institute thing (the "When Thou Art Converted" conference). And we're gonna start doing visits again to the girls in our Relief Society, so I'm gonna feel tons better pretty soon here.

Not focusing on boys is going really well. I'm grateful the Lord let me know not to worry about it this semester. It helps a lot to know that I don't need to, and shouldn't, be thinking about it right now. Much better than wondering if I should be giving it more thought, and just being wavering and confused. So I'm grateful. I just prepare by learning how to better serve and do the Lord's will, and how to give Him my whole heart, might, mind, and soul.

Trying to have faith that being 25 will be at least as awesome as being 24! I only have a few days left... =) So much incredible stuff has happened this year. 24 was epic, but 25 will be, as I've said before, amazingly beautiful. =)

One more thing I want to mention is that the Spirit of Elijah is working on me. The rest of life feels like an interruption from doing my family history work... I have a lot of excitement for doing descendency research and finding people to do the work for. It's going to be great. =)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I've never noticed before how well-prepared the people of King Benjamin's day were. They had worked to get rid of all contention in the land, and everyone had love towards their fellow men. That takes a lot of work and help from God! They were diligent in keeping the law of Moses, as they brought animals to sacrifice, in order to keep the law of Moses and to show gratitude. They wanted to hear the word of God from their king and prophet, and were willing to gather (and with pretty short notice) in order to do so, and they brought their whole families as well. I'm just really impressed by the goodness and diligence and preparation of these people. It's my opinion that they couldn't have had the marvelous discourse, experience, and change of heart that takes place in Mosiah 2-5 if they hadn't prepared themselves first through their charity, obedience, diligence, and gratitude.

What amazing experiences are we missing out on by not preparing ourselves? How awesome will our future be if we do choose to prepare as they did?

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Today was packed. Much cleaning, running, talking, eating, and being with family the whole time. My dad and I went running on one of the local high school tracks, and then dropped me off on Goosenest to run home from there, as part of my half-marathon training. I didn't run the whole time. I'm definitely not used to hills, or running in the cold. But it was a beautiful day. I hope that I can be ready for the race by May!

Life is pretty good. I absolutely love the fact that my dad and I are getting along so well. Some prayers take years to be answered, but they are answered. =)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Edible Beauty

Best thing that's happened to me all day...

Strawberries, whipped cream, raspberry honey butter, and cinnamon honey butter, on frybread. =D

$3 outside the TSC

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day

Today has been surprisingly and unintentionally themed. In Family History, we learned about marriage records. =) And today as I studied the New Testament, I came across the topic of marriage and learned more. And then, while reading the Book of Mormon, I came across this verse about the Lamanites:
"Behold, their husbands love their wives, and their wives love their husbands; and their husbands and their wives love their children..." (Jacob 3:7).

Very cute. Happy Valentines Day from God. =)

This is the first Valentines Day after my mission that I've been single. And I'm having a fantastic day - I'm filled with peace. Which is a rather pleasant surprise!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lift Up Your Heads, Feast Upon His Love

This morning I read Jacob 3:2, in the Book of Mormon.
"O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, your minds are firm, forever."
And I just wanted to talk a little more about the last few days.

God has been reminding me of past experiences, and has been softening my heart towards myself. He inspired my bishop to remind me that I may have helped people and not have known it, or that things I do now will help people later. Then God reminded me of the woman from Colorado who read my Elder Holland book on the plane. What if that became a small turning point in her life? I thought of a conversation that I had with my friend Riley this summer, that seemed to be somewhat of a turning point in his life, raising his sights and helping him to expect more from the future. And yesterday, God sent me Elder Fielding to let me know that I helped him find people to teach, and that Damien, the young boy I taught the gospel to in 2008, is obedient and diligent in his priesthood duties, willing to do whatever he is asked to do.

God let me know that He is proud of me for walking alone, but that I won't always have to. He let me see a glimpse of how much love I will feel in the future.

He also helped me be brave and honest. And He helped me reach out in confidence and friendship to others.

He nourished my soul. Helped me be excited. Helped me to love. Helped me to hope. And He let me know that He loves me.

I feel fantastic. I don't know how long this spiritual high will last, but let me tell you, I'm going to cherish every second.

You know what I just realized? I have been praying for a couple years now for faith, hope and charity. To be happy, loving, and brave. And yesterday was one amazing example of the Lord answering that prayer. =) And so, I can testify that He answers prayers. In His own time and way, He has answered this prayer. And I hope (and believe) He will continue.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Heaven's Light

How do I put into words the experiences of today, and of the week that just happened?

One of the feelings that I had today is summarized at the 3:00 mark on this video. From 3:00-3:15.
I feel like a curse has been lifted. And everything is right.

And I've felt more love in the last few days than I've felt in years.

I will probably not be telling this story in detail on here. But let it be known that I feel more free than I can remember feeling. I feel more love than I can remember feeling. I feel more like me than I can remember feeling. And I am looking forward to the future. I feel safe in God's care. I know He's watching over me, and He has more happiness in mind for me than I ever imagined.

Monday, February 6, 2012


I was reading in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 15, verses 1-3.
Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,
Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
BAM! I love that answer. =)

It reminded me of one of my previous posts, entitled "Inheritance." It's one of my favorites. Take a look.

Hope you like it! Let me know your thoughts.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


My subconscious is a lot smarter than I am, especially in the associative musical aspect.

Things happen (events, thoughts, or feelings). Then a seemingly unrelated song will sneak into my head unannounced and make itself at home before I realize it. And eventually I find out why. Looking back, it always makes sense, and sometimes teaches me something profound.

Today I woke up with "Breakable" by Ingrid Michaelson stuck in my head. I like the song, but had a hard time understanding the flow of ideas in the second verse. Is the car a good thing or a bad thing? Why does she talk about a car anyway? Is this rhetorical, and is it a love song?

I found a meaning for me. I don't claim it's the only one. The car is definitely a metaphor. It's a "two-ton death trap," but you don't normally think about that when you get in. It's normal to get in a car and ride or drive. We probably all personally know people who have died or been seriously injured in a car accident. But we get in anyway, day after day, assuming that it will work out.

It sounds ridiculous, foolish, and dangerous when you think of it that way.

But... what if I never did get in? Would I know my grandparents? Would I be here in school? Would I get to pursue very many of my dreams? Would I have seen the beautiful mountains of Idaho? Would I ever get to reunite with family or friends that are dear to me? Also, two of my most significant spiritual experiences happened in the car, to tell the truth. Basically, it's "taken me to places I'll never forget."

I was in a relationship last year that, although it took me to places I'll never forget, ended in a figurative crash. I walked away alive and with only minor injuries, but I don't know how badly he was injured. Perhaps enough for the figurative ICU. Which makes me somewhat terrified to get back in the car. Was it my fault we crashed? Is he going to be okay? Was there anyway I could've prevented it? Its hard not to look back and cast blame, and dwell on the violence of the crash.

Understandably, I don't really want to drive anywhere yet. And it's going to take something special before I plan on getting into anyone else's car. But I will. When I'm ready and the time is right. And I'm going to love it. And I'll be reminded that not every road trip ends in a crash, and sometimes it's completely worth the risk.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Turning to my fathers

I'm on many good journeys right now, and one of them is a result of Elder David A. Bednar's most recent conference talk, combined with the second Sunday School lesson of this year. As I was studying the Sunday School lesson, it asked  
Why did the people of Jerusalem reject the message of Lehi and other prophets? Why do some people today rebel against the Lord and His servants? How did Nephi respond to his father's message? What can we learn from Nephi about how to make our hearts more receptive to the teachings of the prophets?

I thought about it a lot, noting that sometimes it's laziness, sometimes fear, sometimes it goes against what we're used to hearing, and so forth. And as I thought about how I could be more obedient and receptive to the prophets, the thought that kept coming to me was that I needed to listen to Elder Bednar's talk. And that I needed to obey and act in faith.

And so I did! I signed up for a Family History class at the Institute, and it's going really well. Its become a lot easier to do family history work, thanks to New FamilySearch (no more PAF and a bunch of different databases!) and I'm actually finding work to do. It's a fantastic feeling. I will let you know how things continue to go. I can't wait until I know how to find new names in my family, so that I can go to the temple and serve them there.

I just want to testify of the importance of putting the things that the prophets say first. I'm so glad the Spirit spoke to me and helped me understand I needed to do this. I know God wants me working on it right now. And I hope I can help other people do it too, because as Elder Bednar said, "the youth of the rising generation have a key role to play in this great endeavor." I'm excited to be a part of it.

Friday, January 13, 2012

My Family

I wanted to show my progress in ASL, be it ever so slow. Bonus points to hearing people who know what I'm saying! The title is a clue. =)