Thursday, July 28, 2011

TIME OUT....I met an Albanian

Kam takuar një shqiptar!!!



I just want to take a time of from the FOR THE STRENGTH OF THE YOUTH posts to inform you I met an Albanian. I prayed for two weeks straight that I would meet at least once. I am here to tell you that prayer works. That the VERY last night of pageant at 9:05 p.m. right before it started my Site Director came up to me and asked me if I would like to meet an Albanian. I replied with "OF COURSE I DO!!!!" I was able to talk to him for about 10 minuets in Albanian. Seriously, it was a great lesson of prayer. That when we do ask we receive, when we do everything in our power! I know that this church is true, and that
I AM A DAUGHTER OF GOD
and that is all that matters....

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Money in the Bank'

TITHES &
OFFERINGS

EFY 2010

"The law of tithing is an important commandment that you should obey throughout your life. A tithe is one-tenth of your income."


I will be the first admit, this is my least favorite commandment. I am someone who LOVES to spend money. For some reason spending moeny makes me feel so good! I think its because I feel like I have worked so hard and so I should be rewarded. I am the child that always had "incentives" growing up.
We all caught pop flys!
Catch a pop fly then you get a Gatorade.
Get %100 percent on your spelling test then you get to go to a movie.
Go without television for a week and get a swim pass.
Make your bed for a month and you can have a new comforter.
  Now, DO NOT think that incentives are bad. They are actually a great tool to motivate people, espeically me! I have realized while writing this that  the law of tithing is is an INCENTIVE. I have honestly never picked up on it. When we are willing to give up ten percent of what we earn, then Heavenly Father is willing to give us blessings. Even though tithing has been something that I have struggled with, I have done my best in faking it untill I was making it. I always paid it, but with a BAD attitude. After reading the  FOR THE STRENGTH OF THE YOUTH and realizing it is how we show our Heavenly Father how grateful we are. I decided to start paying it with a willing heart, because I am truly greatful for the things he has given me.  Tithing is a great way to show our Heavenly Father our gratitude. I have realized how selfish I am when I would choose to buy a new movie over paying tithing.

Passed all of my spelling tests, even with a mullet!

 
As a missionary, I receive lots of letters about peoples spiritual experiences. Someone from my home ward sent me a letter as I was leaving the MTC. She said her family had really been struggling with money, and they were almost out. She only had two twenties left, and so she decided to pay their tithing, having faith things would work out. I know that because she had this faith, her husband was able to receive work the next day, and they were able to pay the bills for the month. She might have found a way to provide without paying her tithing, but I KNOW, that it was because of her willingness....She has strengthened my testimony of tithing, and has taught me you pay it always, not when you can, but always.
When you do what the Lord asks he will provide a way.

How has paying your tithing blessed your life!?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cherry on Top :]

Sabbath Day Observance


“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8).

"The Lord has given the Sabbath day for your benefit and has commanded you to keep it holy. Observing the Sabbath will bring you closer to the Lord and to your family. It will give you needed rest and rejuvenation. Many uplifting activities are appropriate for the Sabbath. Worship the Lord, attend church, spend quiet time with your family, study the gospel, write letters, write in your journal, do family history work, and visit the sick or home bound. Your dress before, during, and after church meetings should show respect for the Sabbath."
My Stallion like parents who taught us to take family walks on the Sabbath
 Sundays are the perfect days to have that "quality family time." Growing up my parents were very good at teaching us to keep the Sabbath day holy. Even when we went on vacations or trips we would try and do our best. 
I am not going to lie to you, I still think it is hard to keep the Sabbath day holy, but remember we can do hard things.
I remember one Sunday we went over to our family friends house for dessert and to watch the Christmas Devotional. I was with my little brother Max. They had gotten out this HUGE thing of ice cream. We started to dig in. Then we added in the toppings. I put my favorites of chocolate, caramel, and Oreo cookies. Max started to do the same things. However he had mixed up the barbecue sauce with the chocolate sauce on poured it all over his ice cream. He did not realized until he took his first bite, boy was that a face to see. To make him feel a little better, I told him I would try it....bad choice... I started to think about this particular "sundae." I thought I just had this barbecue sauce on some chicken and it tasted great, but on ice cream it was just NO GOOD! It all comes back to what we do on "SUNDAES." The sauce was good just not on the ice cream, lots of the activities are good, but not on the Sabbath. I know it is hard to come up with ideas for the Sabbath but I know as you do your lives will be blessed. I know for the youth it is hard to take a day out of our social lives, but I can tell you, in the end its worth it!

Don't Make it this complicated....


What are some ideas of things to do on the Sabbath???
Comment them to give others ideas!
www.mormon.org

Thursday, July 21, 2011

It hurts the way you lie.....

HONESTY
It hurts to lie, even if its just one!


Capital's State Team 2008
I have been golfing since I was in third grade. It has been the only thing that has come naturally to me. I absolutely love golf and all of the experiences I have gained from it. The first day on the High School golf team, I made a goal. I wanted to make it to state. My school had not done it in 18 years, and so I wanted to change that. Together, our team practiced hard every day. We did everything we could to do our best because we wanted to go to STATE!

Qualifying Tournament for State
In one of the bigger tournaments, our team was not doing very well. I was defiantly doing the worst that day. I had already hit like 6 balls out of bounds, and my game was totally off. We came to the 15th hole and our four some was already behind. We decided to do quick play. One of my opponents got up and hit her ball out in to the rough grass. The two other girls went to help her find her ball while I went to hit mine. I had put my bag up just right in front of my ball. I got all set up to hit it, when I heard the girl yell  "I found it!" I had jerked up to look and in the process my club hit the ball and it moved about two inches forward. I looked around as fast as I could. Then I quickly looked around and hit the ball onto the green. I thought YES, no one saw, I don't have to count that hit. As I walked the remaining 150 yards to the green I had an internal struggle. To tell the truth or not. I was trying to rationalize it, no one knew, it was only one stroke, and it was a HUGE tournament. When we finished the hole, I did it, I lied. I told them I got a 5 when I had shot a 6. We continued to the next hole when I realized I had the worst feeling inside. I had this thought come into my head, you will be blessed for telling the truth. So with that in mind, I told what had happened and to change the score. Some of the girls said it was not a big deal and they wouldn't count it, BUT I knew I needed to that day we did not finish even close to first, but I knew that my Heavenly Father would bless me, I did not know when or how.
I received my blessing only weeks later. We were in the qualifying tournament for State. I was playing with the top two golfers in Idaho, and I was nervous. I was playing okay but these girls, were rockin' it. I was not doing well enough to qualify individually, but I knew my team could. My group was the last ones on the course. I had heard that my team was only 5 strokes away to qualifying, and my last hole was a par 5. All I could think was I need to get a PAR! It was the 18th hole, and I got up and drove the ball, it was my longest drive ever. I was getting pretty excited, my next shot I got up and hit it with all my strength hand had put it right above the green. When I got up to the ball again, I was scared. All that in front of me was the hole and then the lake. I said a little prayer, and then this thought came into my head, you will be blessed for telling the truth. My coach turned his back, I closed my eyes and I chipped the ball.......IT WENT IN!!!!!! I had shot a 3 on a par 5, which is basically a hole in one. I fell to my knees and said a silent prayer of gratitude. My team made it to state for the first time in 18 years. I can tell you, that being honest pays off and that Heavenly Father will bless you!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Coming Clean.....

Repentance

“He who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more” (D&C 58:42).



My first winter break from college was in 2008. I had come home from Utah State for almost a month. During that time I got to bond a lot with the family and also relax and participate in my favorite activity...Popcorn and a Movie. At my house when its night time, we all gather around and my mom makes like a million batches of kettle corn and we each get a soda pop. I can not express to you how in LOVE I am with soda....I have the biggest crush on pop, and it is just something I can not get over. 

Sadly to say my winter break came to an end and I was all packed and ready to go back to Utah State. I was going to miss those nightly Soda pops though. I had already snuck a few into my car, when my dad came out and handed me one. I was so excited because my dad had noticed how much I LOVED soda pop. So naturally I treated this one with care, because it was from my dad. I put it right in the cup holder and started the drive. When I had reached the halfway mark, all I could think about was how thirsty I was, BUT I could not bring myself to drink the one my dad had given me, it was to special. So I left it in that cup holder. A few weeks went by, and I realized it was happy hour at SONIC, and I just could not pass it up. So I went and got my route 44 strawberry slush. After getting it I realized that I did not have room for it, reluctantly I took that soda can my dad had given me and put it in the back seat. After having it roll around for a few months, I had moved the can of soda to the back window, I thought I was so clever because I had some "food storage" in my car for when I got really thirsty.


Always stop to hear the still small voice

It was finally summer, and I was moving apartments. The soda was still there, and I saw it! I had the most distinct feeling come into me, the thought was "SISTER VATERLAUS, MOVE THAT CAN OF POP." All I could think was seriously? The Holy Ghost is not going to waist his time on pop, and so I ignored it. This happened the next day to, and once again I though I knew better. On the third day I walked out and had no such feeling, and felt like I had won, that it was not a big deal...

VICTORY was not mine that next day, I went out and the can of soda had exploded EVERYWHERE. Please remember that I was in the process of moving and so everything I owned was sticky. I tried to clean it out myself, and I failed. All I could think was I should have listened. Luckily I had my brother Mitch and my best friend Rica come and help me clean my car out because I could not myself. It took a LONG time, and it was not a fun process. However with time and hard work the car was clean. The only thing that was left was the smell, and it did not go away for weeks. I kept thinking I have cleaned and cleaned but the smell is not gone. I was still frustrated about it while sitting in Sacrament one day, and I had flipped randomly to the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 58:42. After thinking of that scripture, I walked out to the car and opened the door, I took a big deep breath and found that the smell was gone!

Through all of this I realized,  this was like the repentance process. I had something that was so special to me, a soda pop,which could be compared to a covenant. When I choose to ignore our covenants or put them in the back seat, we tend to forget about them. I even went as far as to ignore the Holy Ghost when I was prompted  to move it. When it was all said and done, I could not clean it up myself. I had to have help, just like when we sin. We must always turn to our Savior, if needed we can have Bishops, Stake Presidents, or parents help us. The thing to remember is we must always keep our covenants in the front cup holder. We must never put them in the back seat, and always listen to the Holy Ghost. After we sin, we need to know, that if we have done everything we can to repent, then the Lord does not remember the sin, and neither should we! 

Come unto Christ, and he will help you!

"Satan wants you to think that you cannot repent, but that is absolutely not true. The Savior has promised you forgiveness if you will do what is required. The sooner you repent, the sooner you will find the blessings that come from forgiveness."

-FOR THE STRENGTH OF THE YOUTH

 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Put a ring on it......

Sexual Purity

“The sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World”).


"Before marriage, do not do anything to arouse the powerful emotions that must be expressed only in marriage. Do not participate in passionate kissing, lie on top of another person, or touch the private, sacred parts of another person’s body, with or without clothing. Do not allow anyone to do that with you. Do not arouse those emotions in your own body."


 Sexual Purity is a subject that most people try to avoid. The power of procreation is a sacred thing that does belong between a man and a woman who have been married legally.YOUTH, I am sorry to say that you are not married yet and you still have some time....So stick to dating! Sex is not a bad thing if it is within the bonds of marriage. I did an experiment with SCOPE and JUICE...
 
 JUICE is pretty magical, it tastes good, its refreshing and can clench your thirst.




SCOPE is great for getting that fresh breath that one needs. It is an easy 30 second thing that will leave your breath fresh for hours.

First I drank the juice and it tasted just great by it self. After drinking the juice I put put some scope in my mouth and it didn't taste funny, it was just right. The second part of my experiment was to swish scope first and then the juice. Let me just say it was AWFUL. Now think about, both the juice and the scope are good things. However the order was important. When I did scope first and then drank the juice, it was sour, and I couldn't even enjoy it. When I drank the juice first and then did the scope it worked out just great.



So when it comes to the LAW OF CHASTITY remember, there is an order. You do not have to try it out to realize it does not bring the best results... Trust me on this one, live the LAW OF CHASTITY and God will bless you :]
I trust you YOUTH! 
Here goes the SCOPE

SO good :)
Drinking after, NASTY
This is what happens when the order is off....

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

DTR....Determine the relationship

Dating
Do not worry, I was over sixteen :)
“The Lord has made us attractive one to another for a great purpose. But this very attraction becomes as a powder keg unless it is kept under control. . . . It is for this reason that the Church counsels against early dating.” (President Gordon B. Hinckley).


Senior Prom
A Girls Mind:
First Date- "Going to the temple and were gonna' get married......"

First College Date






A Boys Mind:
First Date- "Should I get the shrimp and steak or should I get the chicken and steak?"

Dating in your youth, or even as a young adult can be and will be a little bit awkward. However it does not always have to be! If we follow the guidelines in the FOR THE STRENGTH OF THE YOUTH pamphlet we can learn to build lasting relationships and EVENTUALLY (key word youth :) find our eternal companions.

Scavenger Hunt
Through out my teenage years and even my first few years at college, I chose to DATE. I knew that if I was going to find a boy I liked, I would have to date a lot of them to find a perfect one. I am so glad that I chose to follow the prophet and not steady date. It kept me out of trouble and helped me develop friendships and even gain those "great date stories" that are so much fun to tell.
He's Married now......just friends 

After talking with lots of people both young and old I have come up with a few Do's and Dont's for both girls and boys when it comes to dating!
* BOYS- Call the girls to ask them out, do NOT just text them....
-GIRLS- be willing to try new things..whether it be rock climbing, biking, golfing, hiking, ect
*BOYS- Always open the door for the girls no matter where you are going
-GIRLS- Always say thank you for the wonderful date, even if it was not
*BOYS- Always make the first date short, just enough to get them hooked :)
                                             -GIRLS- Don't talk about ex boyfriends or really personal information
Mission farewell, make sure you send them off!

TO ALL:
-Never TEXT ON A DATE...EVER
- Always say please and thank you
-Don't just talk about yourself, get to know your date
-Go on FUN and Creative dates
-Chew with your mouth closed
-BE YOURSELF

What are some great date ideas....comment!!!

www.mormon.org

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

WAIT WHAT DID YOU SAY!?


Language
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good”
 (Ephesians 4:29).''
The first thing I thought of when I thought of Language was "cuss words". After thinking about it all of my Speech Communication classes I came to the realization that it is YOU and only YOU that controls your language. You develop your own habits when you hang out with certain people, listen to bad music, or watch sketchy television. It is always your choice to participate in those things. If you have a problem with language all I can say to you is that you need to change it. In one of my Speech Communication classes at Utah State we discussed how fowl language is used. Most of the time it is used when someone has nothing better to say because their vocabulary is not extensive, so to be simple it makes you look dumb. HOWEVER, that's okay, you can change. When I got to New York, our Director Elder Lenker taught us if we want our language to change and our thoughts we would need to read the scriptures. After reading the scriptures every day I have been able to see the changes in my thoughts and in my language. Do NOT be afraid to pray for help, I promise your language and thoughts change you will be happier and more respected :)
Most people think that the concept of GOSSIP only exists in High School. Well sorry its a MYTH! It is something that exists from the time you can talk all the way until you take your last breath. It happens in school, work, church, mutual, missions, sports, and hair salons. Gossip is something we thrive on! I have realized that sometimes its hard to find other things to even talk about. Many times in my life I should have kept my mouth shut. In the end it only hurt people, and broke the trust that was built up. Even though it might be nice to hear all of the good rumors but it is only harmful...The next time you want to say something you should not picture this tar in your hands and the how hard it would to be clean it up.



Saturday, July 2, 2011

We're all in this together!

Music &  Dancing
“Praise the Lord with singing, with music, with dancing”

Pre-mission life don't you worry :)
"Music is an important and powerful part of life."
-FOR THE STRENGTH OF THE YOUTH 

I love MUSIC. Music can cause us to have many different emotions. The FOR THE STRENGTH OF THE YOUTH pamphlet tells us that we need to... "Choose carefully the music we listen to. Pay attention to how you feel when you are listening. Don’t listen to music that drives away the Spirit, encourages immorality, glorifies violence, uses foul or offensive language, or promotes Satanism or other evil practices." Now this does not mean plug your ears to any sound, it only means that we need to be CAUTIOUS of what we listen to. Now I am going to be straightforward, there is a bunch of music out in this world that falls under almost every category that the first presidency has asked us to avoid. We all know bad music leads to bad things, I do not need to drill that in. I want to tell you how GOOD music blessed lives so much that it changed their souls to the very core. 


video
Last week we had a huge SURPRISE, it was defiantly like getting a toy in a happy meal. We found out that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was coming to sing at the Joseph Smith Farm. The place that Joseph Smith had his first vision of God the Father and his son Jesus Christ. It was only going to be two songs, but we had over 1,500 people come to see them with only days notice. It was the perfect missionary opportunity. Many missionaries were able to get people they were teaching to the historical sites for the first time. On another Sister Missionary blog, Sister Barrus, she talked about the choir coming to the farm. In the comments section on her blog, a member of the choir said that the bus driver and her sister had heard them sing Joesph's First prayer. After the choir director asked them how they felt about it, and they replied with a invite to have the whole choir sing at their baptism, they had decided on their own to be baptized.  It all happened because of the spirit of the music. Music can do good, and make you feel the spirit.

                                                                                     Dancing :]
"Dancing can be fun and can provide an opportunity to meet new people. However, it too can be misused. When dancing, avoid full body contact with your partner. Do not use positions or moves that are suggestive of sexual behavior. Plan and attend dances where dress, grooming, lighting, lyrics, and music contribute to a wholesome atmosphere where the Spirit of the Lord may be present."
When it comes down to it, music and dancing is hands down the best. I love both to the max, and have learned sometimes we must set limits so that we can receive blessings. The more we break these rules the closer we get to the dark side as Darth Vader would say. I trust you and I know God trusts you. These are just guidelines, it is up to you to receive the blessings or not.....

Friday, July 1, 2011

Pullin' the Trigger

Entertainment & the Media

“If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”


What does this license plate make you think of?
Yes it is true, it makes you think of my first literary love, Harry Potter.....


"Whatever you read, listen to, or look at has an effect on you. Therefore, choose only entertainment and media that uplift you. Good entertainment will help you to have good thoughts and make righteous choices. It will allow you to enjoy yourself without losing the Spirit of the Lord."
-FOR THE STRENGTH OF THE YOUTH

                         
It is true, what we read or listen to or even look at can trigger thoughts in our minds. When I first saw this license plate, I relived all of my Harry Potter moments. I remembered all of the times we would squish on the couch to hear my mom read the novels over and over again. I remembered my little brother Max and I fighting over who got to read it again, or listen to the books on tapes. Overall it triggeredsomething maybe not bad, but it sparked a thought in your mind.
 After looking at all of these pictures, I am sure some thought was triggered. Whether it be religion, "I'm lovin' it," eternal families, computer time, Nephi building a boat, or Christmas. These pictures made you think about something! Anything and Everything WILL trigger thoughts in our minds. If the thoughts are not wholesome then we must not entertain these thoughts. That is why the prophet has asked us to be careful. I know that sometimes I will say, one bad movie is okay because I can just pick and choose. However its not the consistency of me watching bad movies, but its what the one bad movie will trigger in my mind.

There are millions of ways to get fill our minds with good thoughts and not the "have our minds in the gutter" as my mom would say. We are surrounded by bad music, movies, pictures, websites so we must come up with a way to PROTECT OURSEVLES. One of the ways I liked to get bad thoughts out of my mind is by singing a primary song in my head or saying a prayer.

    


WHAT ARE SOME WAYS YOU GET YOUR MIND OUT OF THE GUTTER!?


sista v bowling summer of 2008

SO YOU CAN GET A STRIKE!