Tuesday, August 23, 2011


A dear family friend of mine has gone through a pretty rough year.  Throughout her trials, she has become quite in-tune with the spirit.  Recently, I moved closer to her and have had the opportunity to get to know her better.  She is one incredibly strong woman, and one that I have come to admire completely.

Since being home from my mission this past year, I've had made a lot of mistakes and a lot of discoveries.  It's amazing how much time can change a person and their desires.  I've often thought about who I'd like to be with, who I'd like to date and what traits I truly admire.  I've come up with quite a list of admirable traits, but one of the most important traits that I admire in someone is their ability to converse about the gospel, church, scriptures, teachings, etc, without feeling embarrassed to.  I love when I can have a conversation with someone and the gospel or a principle is brought up.  It doesn't necessarily have to be a deeply spiritual conversation, by any means.  Just the fact that I can talk to someone about doctrine or the spirit, to me, shows a sense of comfort, trust and understanding.  It shows me a lot about ones' character.  And when dating, it can tell me whether or not the person will help lift me up, in hopes that I can lift them the same way.

My friend (whom I've known my entire life) has truly been such an amazing example of this to me.  She has been so strong in an incredibly difficult situation and yet has cried upon the Lord to give her strength, of which I can see she has received.  She is a beautiful, intelligent, a hard-worker and wonderfully talented.

I read something today as I was trying to understand the teachings of Isaiah in 2 Nephi.  It is a quote by Robert D. Hales, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles who speaks on the spiritual strength that follows when we place our trust in the Lord:

"As we put our faith and trust in the Lord, we must battle our pain day by day and sometimes hour by hour, even moment by moment; but in the end we understand that marvelous counsel given to the Prophet Joseph Smith as he struggled with his pain of feeling forgotten and isolated in Liberty Jail: 'My son, peace by unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.'  My dear brothers and sisters, when pain, tests, and trials come in life, draw near to the Savior.  'Wait upon the Lord,... look for him.' They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.  Healing comes in the Lord's time and the Lord's way; be patient."

I love how he says, "endure it well."  That seems to me to be the most difficult part of endurance.  As I read that I can't help but imagine how much better I could be enduring my trials, as menial and insignificant as they are- they are there, and Heavenly Father expects me to endure them properly.

I guess one of the reasons I truly appreciate the trait of a person to openly talk about the gospel is that I always end up learning from them on how I could be doing something differently, better, or see my situation from a perspective I have not seen.  I learn so much from others that, when someone holds' back, that's one less thing for me to learn.  Especially during trials.  I was speaking with my friend yesterday, and while I was talking with her I realized a lot of things I should be doing better that would help me through what I personally was going through.

The Lord is amazing and he truly does know what each of us are prepared to handle.  I truly believe that, and if we endure it well, we will be exalted.  It all depends on us.  Often times I know and realize what I could be doing better and procrastinate on making the improvements.  But as long as we are truly willing to make it work, as Monson said, "the Lord will shape the back to bear the burden placed on it."

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Weekend in "The Springs"

I was due to Colorado for a wedding for a couple of friends of mine from the mission getting married in the Denver, Colorado temple.  They both are great friends of mine; Leavitt was my MTC companion, and we lived with each other for a transfer in the mission.  Rojas was in my first district, was my zone leader, and explaining to me what was the big deal about "pregunta cuatro," (spanish missionary lingo for one of the baptismal questions.)

I love the Rojas Family (est. August 12, 2011)

I wore a dress to the wedding that I stole from my mothers closet (with her permission of course!)  Added a belt, and, vwala!  Loved it.  Funny story... it's the same dress my mother wore when she left her wedding, as well as the dress she wore to my wonderful cousin Robins' wedding.  Speaking of that wonderful cousin...

I love the Smiths.

She let me stay with her for the weekend while I was in Colorado Springs!  I had gone to her house a number of summers growing up to hang out with my 2nd cousin, Hannah.  No matter the distance between San Diego, CA and Boise, ID, and no matter how little I have the opportunity to see these wonderful people, I never feel like a stranger.  I absolutely love the Smith family.  They are some of the most kind people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing in my life.  Besides the fact that all of their children are BRILLIANT, wonderful, beautiful and extremely talented, they have some of the best manners and are so welcoming, friendly, warm and kind.  I feel like I learn so much coming away from a stay with their family.  Hannah and I have done many silly things over those weeks in the summer that I did not repeat on this trip (mainly because my partner-in-crime was in Alaska working her tail off because she's AWESOME).  What a great cousin she is to let me stay with her so often.

I love Noah.

Noah was my visiting buddy.  He was visiting from Utah State for a couple of weeks and was a great sport, showing me around Colorado Springs with Robin.  He is SO TALL!  I hadn't seen him in years.  He is one of the most talented piano players I've ever heard in my life.  I loved listening to him play.

I love Gabe.

Gabe, what a stud.  After the wedding reception, I got to go see Gabe in action waiting on tables at "My Big Fat Greek Restaurant."  Unfortunately, I didn't get to see him dance in the restaurant.  But he was a great sport and provided me with a preview before he went to work so I didn't miss out on anything.

I love Ike.

And Ike... oh how I did not get a picture with Ike.  So sad!  I meant to.  My first night with the family I had the pleasure of getting to know Ike and some of his friends he had over for pizza.  What a great group of kids!

While traveling around the springs, we had the opportunity to see the air force base, garden of the gods, and I was able to visit the Olympic Training Center!

I love the Olympics.

There was no one around when I wanted to take the picture... so, I self-timered it up!  I absolutely LOVED seeing the olympic center.  I'd love to work for the olympics someday, it wouldn't matter to me what it would be.  I made a goal when I went to the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City that I would make a tradition of going to the Olympics every two years with my family when I got older.  I saw a few inspirational videos before the tour, and one of those previewed the Olympics next year in London, England.  Let's just say that video prevented me from spending money I didn't need to spend on random souvenirs from Colorado so that I can go to the Olympics next year.  I'm so excited!! I get so excited about the Olympics.  I remember being in Paraguay during the Winter Olympics in Canada.  We had the grand opportunity of going to McDonalds on our P-day (it was kind of a big deal) and the Olympics were on TV.  For a moment, I felt like I was home again.  

Great friends led me to a great trip to a state I've never been to before, take a couple of scenic drives (one of which was GORGEOUS), visit some pretty famous places, see my cousins I hadn't visited with in years, and inspire me to work even harder to achieve some entertaining and vocational goals I have in life.  What a great weekend!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Pinterest: The Next Best Thing Since Sliced Bread.

Pinterest.  I'm addicted.  Go look it up. Pinterest.com

Some of the things I have always wanted in my future home and discovered... I am not the only one!

A rock wall inside my home.  I've always tried convincing my parents to make our wall (literally made out of rocks) into a climbing wall.  Step one for most epic house ever.

Step two for most epic house ever: stairs and slide meshed into one.  Genius.

My kid will have the most amazing bedroom in his grade.

Now onto the FOOD.



 Cute ideas can be found here:

You can get inspiration...



You can find some very funny things...





 Inspirational quotes and wonderful sayings....




In a nutshell... I love pinterest.  I am on it all day at work now that I have nothing to study for!