Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Modest is Hottest

Dress & Appearance

Senior Prom
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? . . . The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Corinthians 3:16–17).

I proved the impossible I found the end of TWO rainbows
on my mission :)
 Trying to maintain modesty today is like trying to find the end of a rainbow. It may seem impossible, but it is not, I proved that on a preparation day in New York. When you serve a mission you get to pick a mission scripture for your plaque that hangs in your home chapel. The scripture I picked is found in the bible Luke 1:37 .
"For with God nothing shall be aimpossible."
I can honestly tell you that that is true! If we put ALL of our TRUST in GOD anything is possible, and if it be his will. When we trust him to bring us good looking young men to date if we dress modestly it is going to happen. If we choose to dress modestly to a School dance you can still be made Homecoming Queen. We always hear how people will judge us because of the way we dress. We have to remember though, that in the end, the only judgement that matters in the end is the final one in front of God.

Queen Kayla and Max Prom 2010 

“Maintain high standards of modesty for all occasions. Do not lower your standards to draw attention to your body or to seek approval from others. True disciples of Jesus Christ maintain the Lord’s standard regardless of current fashions or pressure from others” (True to the Faith, 107).

Converse all the way!!!
Someone I look to as an example is my younger brother Max who is serving a mission in Argentina. For his senior year he wanted to take a girl to prom. His biggest concern was if the girl was going to dress modestly or not. It was something he had considered before asking any girl out to a dance. It was not because the girl was going against his standards but because he wanted to keep himself out of the way of temptation. He ended up taking a girl to the prom who dressed modestly by her own choice. Like I said, even the modest girls can win, his date had won Prom Queen that night. He was so relieved that she had CHOSEN to dress modestly because they ended up being in a lot of pictures.

Remember your dress and appearance shows a great deal about you, its not what people think when they see you but it's what would God think if he saw me!?
It's okay to have personality but make sure it is one that would welcome at the feet of God.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


"A true friend will encourage you to be your best self."

Kaitlyn and I she is serving in NY south :]
In the FOR STRENGTH OF THE YOUTH pamphlet we are told to "  Choose our friends carefully."   From what I understand, that does not mean we need to hand our resumes to people so they can do background checks to see if we qualify. I have found that many times throughout High School that many people took this idea to heart, which is not bad, but it does close a few doors. Students would not talk to people who would drink, do drugs, or have sex in fear that they would be tarnished from their presence. I am here to tell you that is FALSE. That we can talk to ALL people no matter who they are. You do not have to go to the parties they do, you do not have to participate in the things they do. However you can be their friend.
Freshman Roommates: Disney, Renee, Lauren, Jackie, Me, Rica

In High School students feel embarrassed to be friends with the kids who have been labeled as a
loser. Always remember that a loser is in fact a child of God and he loves them. In the end you may be their one and only friend.  

High School Days: Nic, Jason, Me

Rica, Wyatt, Me
I love what the apostle Russel M. Ballard said:
"If we are truly disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, we will reach out with love and understanding to all of our neighbors at all times."

Elder Ballard tells us that we need to help ALL people at ALL times. Selecting friends is something that should be done very carefully. 

Scott, Nic, Jason, Me
I know that the focus of friends is mainly on choosing people who you can enjoy and keep your standards with. I find that RARELY we think of befriending those who have none. My dad grew up in Preston Idaho. For our family reunion a few summer's ago we went to the chicken coups he had worked in (yes they are in Napoleon Dynamite). As I stood amongst the thousands of chickens my thoughts changed when I was given the analogy of PECKING ORDER.

At a chicken ranch there are countless chickens running around and a PECKING ORDER is very often established. For some reason all of the chickens SINGLE OUT one chicken who they relentlessly pick on. They always follow the chosen chicken around and peck him until the chicken has its eyes gauged out, until his feathers are gone, and until the chicken eventually dies. When the chicken is finally pecked to death, they pick a new one. It is a never ending trend. 
I can remember many times in High School where the "popular" kids would pick on the "losers" until they were so low they just stopped coming to school. It is so easy, to fall into the trap of teasing and taunting but it is SO MUCH MORE rewarding in the end to befriend the friendless.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Time out for DAD'S!!!!

Daddy’s Little Girl

      Our Dad's Love us no matter what, no matter if they are in Heaven or on Earth, or most people think they are a piece of dirt. All I know is that they love us :] 

I am the lucky one in the family, I have the BOLD claim of saying that I am
Daddy's Little Girl. I have always loved my DAD  and knew I could trust him. One of my favorite memories was when I was in Elementary School. It was just a random day and my DAD showed up and asked if he could take me to lunch. I graciously accepted his invite. I was SO EXCITED. Not every one's DAD  just stops in to take his daughter to lunch, but mine did. I felt like a Princess! I got to ride in the FRONT SEAT, and did not have to battle it out with the siblings to sit there, I even got to choose the music! He took me to Granny's restaurant and he said I could order whatever I wanted. I chose the BLT and a Root Beer. We got to eat together and talk about school, sports, family and what I liked to do.
 I am now 21 years old and can still remember when he did that in the third grade. My DAD
has made a huge impact in my life, and I am so grateful for him and all that he does.

He taught me how to work hard through his example and ability to support our family.
 He taught me how to serve with all of my heart through his many time consuming church callings.
He taught me the importance of having fun through the many crazy and wild adventures he took me on.
He taught me to try my best and trust in the Lord.
He taught me to be me.
I love my Dad

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cheaper by the dozen......(well half)


“Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities”
(“The Family: A Proclamation to the World”).


The family started when Bret met Kristi at BYU-I. They fell in love and were married in the Logan Temple, together they raised six CRAZY children who each have different talents and abilities. I am so grateful that my parents honored the sacredness of marriage and chose to raise their children to understand that they are children of God.


There is one thing that I absolutely LOVE in this world, FAMILY DINNERS. Sunday's were the only days that every single person could sit down for at least an hour and enjoy each other. Most dinners would break out into long debates, sometimes tears, and my favorite, FOOD FIGHTS. My favorite memory is when my Mom handed my dad his roll that was leftover from the boating trip the day before. Instead of eating it he launched is across the table it at Max and pegged him right in the head. After that we all loaded up on ammo. The dinner ended with all of us running around the house throwing rolls at each other. It was so fun to not have any worries of a mess but to just play together as a family.

My mom would ALWAYS read to us. I think we would spend at least an hour of quality time together listening to my mom reading. I love to see her read to the grand kids now and understand how it uplifts them to have the one on one attention that kids LOVE. I am so lucky to have a mom that read me the classics Harry Potter, The Great Brain, Cheaper By the Dozen, Little House of the Prairie, Box Car Kids, Junie B. Jones, and even The Princess Bride.


In the FOR THE STRENGTH OF THE YOUTH phamplet it says to participate in ttraditions. I love family traditions. Christmas is a pretty big deal at my house. We started the tradition of an UGLY Pj's contest that is judged before the big sleep over. All six of us would sleep in the basement and keep the movie Christmas Story on all night on replay.  In the morning Mom and Dad would read the Christmas Story from the the Bible and pray! Then we would all line up on the stairs and go down one by one to see what Santa had brought us. To finish Christmas Day off we go to Golden Star a Chinese Restaurant and enjoy a nice "Christmas Story" meal. Traditions have changed over the years but you can see we still participate as adults and that we still enjoy them!

Emily, Me, Alex, Mitch, LauriAnn, Max
I grew up lucky. I always had a brother or sister around to play with. There were many times when we would fight and maybe even bite! I remember there were times when I absolutely could not stand my siblings through my teenage years. That is something I wish I could change. As well all got older we became best freinds. Through many "sibling dates" I have been able to get to know each of them to see their strengths and their weaknesses. I have been able to grow to love them and to have them as my best freinds. It is so important to build these relationships young, its going to happen eventually you might as well do it now!


Joe (best brother-in-law), LauriAnn,Alex, Me, Emily, Mitch, Max

I grew up with a loving Father and a kind Mother. I am so grateful because they took the time to raise us each differently according to our needs and our understanding. They strived with all of their might to get all six of their rascals to learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Every morning my Mother would DRAG us out of bed to read the Book of Mormon. Max, my younger brother, would lay on the couch and would yell out his infamous statement "Mom make me some waffles." We rarely made it through a morning with out many comments about how we could have had another 15 minutes of sleep. Even though it was always a fight to get us there, and I still could not tell you every story in the Book of Mormon, but I can tell you that we did read together and we did pray together, these mornings unified my family. I love my family more than anything. It has not always been fun, but when there are PEACEMAKERS families get along alot better and have the spirit in their homes. Like my Mother always said.....
 "Who wants to be the PEACEMAKER?"

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Third Times a Charm

“Learn wisdom in thy youth” (Alma 37:35).

High School Graduation
I am going to be honest here, something that I struggle with is LEARNING. I had a very hard time making it through High School with good grades. I found that the basic concepts of Math, Science, Reading, and English were subjects that I had despised with a passion because I found I had no talent in them. Don't worry this is not going to be a cute story of how I grew to love them, because frankly were still not on good terms.

 "Maintain an enthusiasm for learning throughout your life. Find joy in continuing to learn about yourself, other people, and the world around you."

Reading the FOR THE STRENGTH OF YOUTH pamphlet as a High School student always made me upset. I would think WHYand HOW can I have enthusiasm for learning if I am not very good at it?! Today while reading the FOR THE STRENGTH OF YOUTH pamphlet. I had a major REALIZATION of how I have fulfilled some of the
EDUCATION section in the pamphlet.

During my Junior High and High School years I developed my deep dislike of MATH. My 9th grade year is when my career in MATH started to go down hill. When I reached High School I was registered for GEOMETRY, and I was really excited about it because I had heard it was much easier then regular MATH, boy were those people wrong. Throughout the first semester of it I thought I was doing really well, until the test. I had studied SO HARD but it still came back with a HUGE FAIL on it. I had bombed it completely. I was pretty heartbroken because I had tried hard and I still had failed. After that I started to go in every morning to get help from my math teacher and even had a Harvard Student as my Math Tutor. Yet, I still continued to fail tests left and right. It was so hard to see everyone do so well on assignments and tests when they did not even study. At the end of the year I had failed the class. So for my summer treat my mom signed me up to take it online from BYU. Once again I started to go through my notes from beginning to end. I would have my math teacher come throughout the summer and tutor me and prepare me for the tests. I started to receive passing grades, and my opinion of Math started to grow.
At the end of this course was a HUGE FINAL and in order to pass the class you had to pass the final. I studied for days, did countless proofs and took practice tests. I was all geared up to take this test and I KNEW I was going to pass it. I sat down to take it and felt so GOOD about it, we sent it in and I waited patiently for the results. It was a Saturday when I received my news. I had failed the test by ONE POINT. I honestly wanted nothing more then to spartan-kick MATH in the face.

After the rage, sadness and disappointment passed I knew that my only option left was to take it again, and so I did. This time I put even more effort into it. It felt like all I did was MATH. When I took that final, I prayed and said I will do this as many times as needed, but I feel like I have learned my lesson of persistence. To my relief THIRD TIMES A CHARM. I has passed the test by 5 points. Still not an A+, but at that point I knew I could retire from Geometry.

I may not have become a mathematician but I did learn something about MYSELF,which is listed in the FOR THE STRENGTH OF YOUTH pamphlet as something to accomplish.

 I learned that I could get through something even if it was hard.
I learned that when you fail, all you can do is try again. I learned not to feel ashamed for failing but to feel successful for trying again.
I want to learn as much as I can in this world because it is the one thing we keep after death. The one thing that I have learned to be the most important is that your EDUCATION is for "U" and to help you learn about "U". Find the things you love and if you can't find a passion in your current schooling, think of the different attrirbutes you are learning about yourself through the process.
One day you will find that thing you love and it will click!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hearts, Stars, Horseshoes, Clovers, & Blue Moons...

“He who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious” (D&C 78:19).

My Dad, My Mom, and ME!
I am  grateful for my two loving parents who raised six rowdy kids. I am grateful
 that they took the time to love us. I am grateful
 that my dad taught me how to work hard. I am
  grateful that my mom taught me how to be kind to others. Both of my parents have taught me that

Rica and I :]
I am Grateful
 for my best friend RICA. I am Grateful
 that we met our freshman year at Utah State and that she is still there for me. I am Grateful
that she helped me find my testimony again. I am Grateful
that she has  taught me the true meaning of what a freind is through her love for me and her example. I am Grateful
 for her. 

My Grandparents backyard last summer after a HUGE storm!

I am gRaTeFuL for the world that was created for us by God through his son Jesus Christ. I am gRaTeFuL for the beauty that surrounds us and for the simple things like rainbows and sunsets. I am gRaTeFuL for the eyesight to see these beautiful things.

To Argentina
I am Grateful that my brother Max and I get to share the experience of a mission together. I am Grateful for the verse of scripture found in the Doctrine & Convenants 30 : 5 that led me to the decision to go on a mission. I am Grateful that I had someone going through the same thing as me at the same time, my brother, my bestfreind. 
To Albania?
''Behold, I say unto you, Peter  SISTER VATERLAUS, that you shall take your journey with your brother Oliver  MAX; for the time has come that it is expedient in me that you shall open your mouth to declare my gospel; therefore, fear not, but give heed unto the words and advice of your brother, which he shall give you."
Doctrine & Convenants 30 : 5

Grandma Louise & Uncle Bret

I am grateful for my GREAT GRANDMA LOUISE, whom I am named after. I am grateful  that I am able to spend so much time with her and know her and learn our heritage from her. I am grateful  for my UNCLE BRET. I am so  grateful
that I have been able to learn about down syndrome from a young age and to love those who have it. I am  grateful for the kindness that both contribute to my entire family and to the world.

Me. Mitch.Emily.Max.Madison.Joe.Hayes.LauriAnn.Alex

I am grateful
 for this motley crew. I am grateful
 that I have great relationships with each sibling. I am grateful
 for the endless fun that we have. I am grateful
 for their encouragement to serve a mission and the support I receive on a mission. I am even grateful for my brother-in-law Joe who goes golfing with me. I am so grateful
 for my niece and nephew who have taught me to be an aunt. I am grateful
 that these family members have taught me to be who I am and that they taught me how to love.

Other things I am thankful for...
golf.otter pops.computers.cars.toothpaste.pizza.
pretty much everything.... 
What are you thankful for?????


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Franz & Gretal....Not your normal Fairy Tale

Now you might think I am going to tell you a happy fairy tale about Hansel and Gretal.
Well, I am sorry to say that I'm not! This is a story about the two dogs that my family had growing up, Franz and Gretal. I always wondered WHY my parents bought us dogs, not one of my siblings particularly liked animals and we were all really busy with school, sports and work. However I figured out the WHY, while pondering about the first topic in FOR THE STRENGTH OF THE YOUTH pamphlet, which is AGENCY & ACCOUNTABILITY.

Growing up one of the most common phrases said in my house was "Did you run the Dogs!?" Having grown up in Idaho, our dogs were mainly used for hunting purposes. They were big German Shepard's that we kept in the backyard. Every kid in my family found it such a hassle to go out and let the dogs out of their cage, watch them run for a while, clean up the yard, feed and water them. This was how my parents taught us ACCOUNTABILITY, or the ability to give an answer. Every time they asked us if we had done the chore we had to be able to answer with a YES or a NO. Now, I will not tell you that I told the truth every time :] But when I did not, I sure did get caught! I was able to learn the value of being able to answer in truth, and when I did I was able to build up the trust I needed with my parents that led me to more FREEDOM.
So now to the not so Fairy Tale of Franz and Gretal. Franz was a good dog, he was calm, never bit anyone, and just lived the perfect life of a dog. Gretal on the other hand was the dog from down under! One of the main reasons none of the kids in my family wanted to go out and run the dogs was because of Gretal, none of us minded Franz. Gretal was about to be put down when my dad saw her at the pound. He had no idea about her but decided to save her and bring her home. I was so excited to have another dog, I wanted to be the first one to go out and play with her. Within the first 10 minutes of playing with her she used her BIG teeth and sunk right into my EAR! Obviously we did not get off to a good start, and honestly I can say it was down hill from there.

With time we found that Gretal was a BAD dog. The first few days that we had left her in her cage, she managed to find her way out. She could jump 6 foot fences, she could open gates, and she could dig holes. While I was ready to give up, my dad was not. He put a cover over the kennel, he put a lock on all of the gates, and he filled in all of the holes! However Gretal still found ways. We would have to watch her constantly, and over time we could not even let her out. Gretal would have to stay locked up and maybe get 10 minutes of running a day while Franz could stay out all day. This is when I learned AGENCY. Franz & Gretal were the perfect examples. As I watched Franz be an obedient dog, he enjoyed a lot more freedom. The more
CRAZY Gretal got the more restrictions she had and the more she missed out on. She did not get to go on a lot of hunting trips, long runs, and enjoy times in the sun because she just would not stay inside the fence.

It has been interesting to see them finish out their lives. Franz past away a few years ago after living a very HAPPY life. Gretal is still alive but stuck in the cage, and has a ton of problems running. All of her problems came from jumping the fence, so many times she would get cut on the top of the fence, and now she has tumors because of all of the cuts. I realized that Gretal may have had a few good runs but she did not have the perfect life of a dog because of her decisions. Franz was able to live the perfect dog life because of the decisions he made.

Now thinking about the FOR THE STRENGTH OF THE YOUTH pamphlet, I understand that it is our guidelines, or fence. When we follow in Franz's footsteps we find greater joy, earn more trust from others, and a better understanding for our purpose on this earth. The more that we chose not to follow these guidelines we have restrictions put on us whether it be from parents, leaders, or the consequences of a bad decision.
I now understand WHY we had to have dogs so that I could learn the importance of 
To climb or not to climb, that is the question.

 There is always going to be a choice, and you will always be held ACCOUNTABLE for the choice that you make because God gave us that AGENCY. So think about the consequences before you act, and ask yourself do you want to be Gretal the dog who had no FREEDOM and will be caged until the end, or do you want to be Franz the dog who led the perfect life of a dog?