Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hi everybody, just finished week 5... woot woot! Or is it week four... I don't know! Everyday blends together here! We never have any idea what day it is anymore.

So much has happened this past week, it's been a trip. On Tuesday Elder Anderson came and spoke at our devotional. It was such a good talk on the condensension of God. Read 1 Nephi 11. One of my favorites. End of story.

Last night we got out of class early to go to the fireside where we had a program by our MTC presidency, and this morning we had our Morningside with Elder Perry. I practically shoved my way into the gym so my companion and I could get good seats. We waited in line for forever! We also sang the 12 days of Christmas at the MTC which was hilarious!

On the first day of Christmas the MTC gave me:
A rock solid testimony
2 haircuts free
3 new companions
4 chocolate milks
5 hours of gym
6 :30 wake up (Pero I get up at 6)
7 lukewarm showers (it's the truth)
8 hours of rest
9 outbound calls (ever wonder about the phone numbers on the back of the pass along cards? If you've called I might've talked to you!)
10 more commandments
11 loads of laundry
12 hours of class

And that is basically our lives here at the MTC. Granted I haven't had a haircut yet, have three companions, or even drunk the chocolate milk, the experience here is one of a kind.

Speaking of kind, the elder that was on this computer before me got off early and let me get on to type this. It was muy lindo.

First I must talk about my two favorite things this week: A) I've decided I'm going to name my favorite Elder of the week. This will be my new tradition from now on, because I meet so many people and say "You are my new favorite!" But now I shall announce it to the world! This week it's Elder Ta'Alla from Australia (He's Samoan). He has a wicked sweet accent, is totally friendly, and can beat box! I met him his last day here in the MTC because he looked at me and was like "Oh my gosh!! You're Taylor Swift! You look just like Taylor Swift!!!" And he kept freaking out and it was muy lindo. He kept on pointing me out to his district and talked to some of our elders saying "Did you know Taylor Swift was in your district?!?" He was hilarious. Gracias Elder Ta'Alla!

B) Sis. Reas is finally here at the MTC!! I love seeing her because she's so full of love that spills over into the most amazing hugs the world has ever known! I've known Sis. Lindsay Reas for forever, and It's a fresh breath of San Diego love everytime I see her! Snaps and Kudos for this AMAZING Sista! *snap snap snap*

C) I realize I haven't talked about Spanish much, but what can I say, Spanish is Spanish. I know I'm still not that freakishly amazing at it, but it's coming. This past week has been rough because I was getting so fed up with it! It was often confusing and I didn't want to practice using it EVER! I was being so stubborn and so angry at it! It was totally bogging me down the entire week, because I was so frusterated and angry at it I couldn't really have the Spirit with me. The night Elder Anderson came I was asking Heavenly Father to help me find something from Elder Anderson's talk for me so that I could get my groove back. And then Elder Anderson used the "knowest thou the condensencion of God?" scripture, which is one that usually hits home for me. It helped me to remember why I'm here, why in the world I am learning Spanish, and what my purpose is, which is not ME. Oh yes.

Not much else to say, except our teacher came back on Monday. He just got married this past weekend and we've had this amazing sub, but it's nice having our teacher back anyway. And from the 12 days of Christmas, we really do have about 12 hours in that classroom. We always have Spanish Cabin Fever!!! If only we were pirates. That would make this crazy fever worth it. And Cabin Fever always makes me think of Muppet Treasure Island. Note to self: Watch this when you get home. Oh yeah!!!

Pres. Uchtdorf's wife came to speak to us during Relief Society on Sunday. Her accent is so cute! It totally made me think of you Jenn! . . .

Gracias por todos las cartes! Thanks for the letters! . . .

I cannot think of anything else except keep sending me the love! If you want to know my address contact my mamma through my gmail which is emily.georgeson@gmail.com and keep sending the love! Feliz Navidad! Or Feliz Natal as those crazy Brazilians say!

Ciao Ciao!xoxo, Hma Georgeson

Friday, December 18, 2009

Buenas Dias!

...Please send the word out, I WANT TO HEAR FROM PEOPLE!!!! Por favor!

(Her address at the MTC is:

Hermana Emily Rose Georgeson
MTC Mailbox # 358
ARG-NEU 0126
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

You can also go to DearElder.com and post letters there. Make sure to denote the Provo MTC as the destination while she is there. They deliver M-F if you get it in before noon. Once she moves to Argentina, I'll post the new address here.)


So just some cool things I've learned this week, Charity- SUPER IMPORTANTE. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 strongly emphasises that, that we are nothing without charity (that Paul, what a good man) (emphasizes...?), and D&C 88:125 says that Charity should be worn as a mantle because it's SO THAT IMPORTANT! Mantle's aren't for people who make promises they're not so sure they're going to keep. It's for serious.

This past week the scipture D&C 123:12 has stood out to me, at least 4 or 5 times in the past day or two, and I was bugging me WHY!?! I knew that it's important, but why would the Lord plague me with such a scripture (not so much that it was a plague)? But I was doing companion study with mi companera and we were talking about our experience in the Temple earlier today, and she totally made me realize why the Lord would put that scripture in front of my face.

"Christ is the only on earth that can throw a stone at us, but he won't because he loves us." - Our lovely Hma. Squires

Don't get caught in the routine! What you put in is what you get back.

A story told to us during a Sunday meeting: A Russino orphan had 2 babies lying in the nativity scene that he made. When asked about it he began relaying the nativity with accuracy, until he got to the part where Mary laid him in a manger. Then the boy said, "Jesus asked me if I had a place to stay. I told him that I didn't have a mamma or a poppa, so I didn't have any place to stay. Then Jesus said that I could stay with HIM. I wasn't sure if I could because I didn't have any gifts to give him that were good enough." The boy thought and thought and thought, and then he realized there's something he could give Jesus. "'If I keep you warm, would that be a good enough gift?' And Jesus said 'That would be the best gift I could ever ask for.'" And so the boy climbed into the manger with the baby Jesus and with tears in his eyes he said Jesus told him "You can stay forever," with someone who would love him and NEVER leave him alone.

Oh my goodness, that story was so sweet! I want to find that boy and adopt him! For serious! For someone who hasn't been given much, he knows that he can rely on his Savior. What a special boy.

Some food for thought: Those who profess that God does not exist and religions corrupt the world are guilty by their own school of thought. Anti-religionists can rally together and fulfill their own prophecies of degeneration in the world. Any other religion or school of thought would inevitably cause theis world to crumble and fail. ONLY through the RESTORED GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST can the world be saved from ourselves.Oh yeah, I'm so good.

Lots o love! I mean, Mucho amor! And tell Barrett That I think it's totally awesome, his class. I'm going to try to send something today that hopefully he can analyze. Tell Adam that stinker should write! Something! Anything! It will not only keep us strong but will help him too.

Adios!!Con amor, Hma.Georgeson

P.S. Tee hee hee, since I've been here almost nobody has pronounced my name wrong, but today when we went to the temple the sealers kept saying Greggerson. Oy vey. That's Spanish for Oy vey.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hola from the land of missionaries!

This week has been... well, interesting. A lot of thinking, lack of sleep, and good experiences. I can't really remember last week really. I've been battling a cold with a gross sounding cough- The Zone leaders were always asking "Are you okay? Are you sure?" I was fine, I just sounded gross. I'm not really coughing anymore so that's good.

We had a "zone conference" which was pretty good. We went over what a "good" missionary is. Someone who doesn't care so much about numbers but moreso the people. We learned more Spanish (aagoijoeiuhggog!!!), and had some sweet devotionals and firesides. We had a mission conference (basically a devotional) on fast Sunday. I doodled a picture of a funny looking peach that went along with someone's talk on the fruits of our mission, and how to make sure the harvest at the end will taste so sweet. I'm hoping for more of a strawberry taste. One of the wives of the an MTC presidency member spoke about Mary and it was muy excellente! Elder Bruce R. McConkie said that
"Mary is one of the greatest women on the earth," and she did such a good job convincing us. She was saying that Mary, when confronted by the arch angel Gabriel still could've said "I dunno," or "No thanks, I like my girlish figure" or even "All the women will think I'm immoral when they see I'm unwed and pregnant," but Mary said yes. She still had her agency and she still chose God.

On Sunday we got to watch the Church Christmas music program, and I love how Elder Uchtdorf mention Saint Exuperry (I think that's how you spell it...) and Le Petit Prince, it made my frenchie heart happy :) I especially loved what President Monson said, "He gave us his love, his service, his life.... How silently this wondrous gift is given."

From one of our teachers we got a Braveheart quote that applies to missionary work, "If it's ever going to happen, the time is now!" Our teacher loves the phrase he got from one of his trainers "Chose to be a Gladiator, not a civilian." That's exactly the kind of person he is.

Some more quotes from this week, "We have no way to access the Atonement without the restoration." -Elder Holland

"How sad is it that the full keyboard is here on the earth, and other churches choose to tap the monotony of a single key and deny the harmony of religious joy?" -Boyd K. Packer

"It's not just another religious view, it's a declaration from God himself." -Elder Perry

"Serve in a way that those who don't know Him, that know you, want to know Him, because they know you." -A wonderful Uruguan man's pearl of great price

We also had Claudio R.M. Costa speak this past week, and let me tell you, he's probably my most favorite General Authority, besides the first presidency. I love listening to him speak. He always has a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face. I always want to go up to him, hug him, and ask him to be my grandpa.

The other day in class our teacher once again stressed to us the importance of writing down thoughts and feelings during lessons and talks because they probably are mini revelations from the Holy Ghost. He says that much of the time we usually just bruch off these feelings as being warm fuzzies and don't explore them further. That night we were to watch Elder Holland's infamous "Don't you dare go home" MTC devotional, and I thought I'd try what our teacher suggested. I'm so glad I did, I don't think I'll ever not write down thoughts and feelings again! I totally felt the Spirit and found answers to questions I've been having. I only have 7 more minutes and I want to share as much of this as I can with you!

"I suppose there has been no young man to be so affected by his mission than I was."

"My mission meant everything to me! Everything!!"

"Do not live with the regret of what might have been."

"Enhance every hour you're given."A mission is a miracle! Don't go home with the regret because it had been otherwise.

There is a purpose and I ask you not to resisit it.

This is the most importand thing in this world: Participating in the salvation of the human soul!

Do not fight it!

When you have to work, work! When you have to study, study! When you have to pray, pray!

Don't you dare leave here FOR YOUR SAKE.... "I would take the cords from your cameras and tie you here.... You'll ruin your life (if you go home).

"Salvation is not a cheap experience! It was never meant to be easy! It never was! It's not supposed to be easy! You can't do it that way! It was not cheap, easy, convienient for the Savior, how Dare we ask to not have to drink any of that cup!

But he lives and loves . . .

xoxox, Hermana Georgeson

Friday, December 4, 2009

Oops! I forgot to include her address at the MTC. It's:

Hermana Emily Rose Georgeson
MTC Mailbox # 358
ARG-NEU 0126
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

You can also go to DearElder.com and post letters there. Make sure to denote the Provo MTC as the destination while she is there. They deliver M-F if you get it in before noon. Once she moves to Argentina, I'll post the new address here.
I got my package, so I can only assume that the one emailed to you was correct. I won't worry too much if that one number is wrong, they'll get it to me... eventually.

This week has been so hectic, GGAAAHHHH!!! I just had to get that out of my system. Spiritually draining. It's like having the spirit suck the life out of you by the end of the day. My companion and I have had some amazing experiences, and I don't know if I have enough time to explain them all to you, but they got us learning a lot.

I can't forget to tell you! We totally had an Office day in our district. One of our Hermana's wasn't feeling well, but she absolutely refused to leave class, she didn't want to miss a single moment! Our teacher knew that she was absolutely determined to stay, so he said stay a half an hour and then go home and rest. Well, she puked twice, and I was expecting there to be a puking chain reaction! I was picturing Andy and thinking, "Oy vey, here it goes!" But I guess all of us have stronger stomachs than I thought. Our sweet district leader, Elder Cranford gave her a blessing, his very first! We were all so proud of him when he was done! Every week brings along new challenges. I still get along with my companion though! If there's even a twinge of anything negative towards her I tell myself, "We are companions for a reason! God didn't put us together willy nilly!" And I've learned a lot about myself through her. In many ways we are like the same person (We both have short straight hair and wearing short sleeve black cardigans today... weird!!!), and in other ways we're not. For some companionships that would be somewhat of a bad thing, but we both realize that it's a good thing, and to take advantage of it.

Me gusta mucho mi districto! Although sometimes the Elders revert to their 19-year old selves, and we get way distracted by menial things throughout the day, I couldn't imagine the mission experience with out them. My zone is also pretty sweet too.

Every thursday we have TRC, which is basically practising teaching in real-life situations. We were all so nervous because our first TRC was cancelled because of Thanksgiving so we never got any practice. On Wed. night we were pracitsing teaching on each other, but since that was the night that the one Hermana got sick, we ended up teaching our teacher, the big football player (Brock Richardson, who played for BYU-- does that sound familiar daddy?). We were sooooo nervous, and we decided to let him go first, which was a super bad idea. He did so well, and afterwards Hermana Jones and I just sat there and stared at each other saying "What in the world did we let him go first for?!?" We totally had terrible feelings of inadequacy, and we had to say like two prayers to get us feeling even remotely ready. We don't really know what happended, but in the scriptures it says that the Lord works through humble servants, and boy were we humbled. It was amazing. The spirit was so strong as we taught our "investigator", Hermana Jones gave amazing testimony of Joseph Smith and the restoration, and I cried (which is more commonplace that I was ever led to believe) as I shared my testimony that the Lord does care about his children, and cares about the prayers of each and every one who choses to come to him. By the end we were all a little teary eyed, and Hmo.Richardson made us promise to write the experience in our journals.

I don't have enough time to write about our other experience, the one that happened last night, but it was even more humbling. We went to TE, Teaching Evaluations, where you teach and you get feedback from an observing teacher. He stopped us halfway through our lesson and asked us, "Do you know why you're here? Do you know why he invited you to his house? Does he know that you're representatives of Jesus Christ?" He kept asking questions like that. He turned to me and asked "Why did you decide to go on a mission Sis.Georgeson?"

"Because the Lord wanted me to."

"What does that even mean Sis.Georgeson?"

I felt totally gobsmacked. I had no idea! I had thought about that question before, but now I had to put it into application! I wish I could finish the rest here, but I got only 3 min left. All I can say was that Hma.Jones totally blew me away and left me speachless, and by the end of the TE we ran to the bathroom because we were both bawling our eyes out. In a good way though. We needed to be taught.

...I can only write on P-days, so I'll try to write a letter to explain more happenings. Tell everyone I love them, and to send me letters! I love letters!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Week dos at the MTC‏

So I hope this will get to you this time. Ahhh, my second week at the MTC! Woot woot! It's been an interesting week. I don't remember when I've cried this much. Oh my goodness, my companion has been so compassionate towards me and my constant tearyness. I really wish the adversary would just leave us amazing missionaries alone! Sometimes it's hard to fall asleep at night, I'm still trying to figure that out. I've been having crazy dreams and waking up in the night, so I'm hoping that I'll soon fall out of that. Although I cry, I'm okay. I remember why I'm here and that if I do what's right, I can call upon my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for help and strength in time of need. We had one elder in our district go home so it's now uneven, four elders and five hermanas. It's sad, but it's a good thing that he recognizes that he needs to take care of some things. As he was leaving he looked at us and said "I'll be back" and we all hope so. It's part of our district goals to write letters of encouragement to him. He has made it so far, and we want him to go even farther.

Our teachers are so inspiring and amazing. Our one teacher, the hunking Hermano Richardson, is so in tune with the spirit, he knows exactly what we need when we need it. He is so inspiring, constantly telling us never to live a moment in your mission that you might regret. I want to work so hard to make sure that's not me. It's this incredible force that pushes me to do better. I don't want to waste my time or the Lord's.

On Tuesday we had Elder Oaks come and speak to us and he did a very good job. It was neat-o! My first sighting of an Apostle. My allergies have been acting up lately, so yesterday, Thanksgiving, it was either be a miserable snot head, or it was be a clear sinused, drugged up missionary. I thought that maybe taking medicine would've been a good idea, but when we went to the thanksgiving devotional Elder Holland was there, and I kept on falling alseep! I felt so bad, espcially since I was in about the sixth row and there was a clear field of vision between me and him. I hope the spirit whispered "It's just her meds, don't get mad, she's rather lovely!" You can tell where I started falling into my med induced coma, my handwriting was really nice then all of the sudden turned into crazy chicken scratch. I would fall asleep in the middle of words! I'm way sad. But my favorite part (uh, that I was awake for) was at the very end when he was giving his testimony and he said "I'm not devoting my life to a fairy tale!" Oh yes. I loved it!

I'm totally in love with my district, they are all so amazing! We really are a unique bunch. We are so lucky to have such mature and focused elders! Though some of the teachers say it's because of the Hermanas that they are so awesome! They stand when we come to sit to eat, they take our trays at every meal (they really won't let us take our own trays), and they hold open doors. I never thought I would like that, but I'm totally going to hold guys to a higher standard when I get back (Micah and Barrett, clear my spot at the table! That's what I'll say and then you'll beat me up and have me take care of it myself :) )

We got to go to the temple today and it was so nice. It was me, my companera, y the elders. Oh, I love my district!!! I think we were really all supposed to be here together. I can't imagine my mission experience without them!

Espanol is going... uh, well it's going. The pace of a scooter (not a vespa, a little kid scooter), but it's better than a snail, right? I can say a prayer, bear my testimony, and get to know people. I still need practice, but that's why I'm here, right?

Dearest BYUIers, I love and miss you! It's a grand adventure and I'm so excited! Y Muchas gracias Jenn!Yo se que JesuCristo vive y que El ama nosotros! La Iglesia de JesuCristo De Los Santos De Los Ultimas Dias es la iglesia verdadero!En el nombre de JesuCristo, amen.That was pretty sweet, huh?

con amor, Hermana Georgeson

P.S. My pdays are on Fridays, I'll write back then!

Winngappo from the MTC!


Hola! I'm still alive! Now how exciting is that? Today is my first P-day, kinda. We still had class, for which we have to dress up, and then when we go back to dinner we gotta dress up again. Boo! Right? But I love it here. I've heard stories about people not liking the MTC, but I dig it.

So far along my magical mission journey we have our district which is the most interesting probably of the entire MTC. We have five elders: Elder Cranford, our DL, Elder Erickson, Elder Johnson, Elder Smoot, Elder... um, his name escapes me now. Probably as soon as this computer kicks me off I'll remember. Anyway, then we have our five Hermanas: ME! Hermana Georgeson, Hermana Jones, my companera, Hermana Harris, Hermana Lyons, and Hermana Squires. We have a great district with a great spirit. Our elders are a hoot and our Hermanas are wonderful. In the rest of the MTC most districts are lucky to even get two sisters, but we have five! It's hilarious to hear our branch president and our teachers constantly tell them to love their Hermanas and be grateful for them. The other day at dinner they totally stood up and sat down whenever one of the Hermanas did! It was so cute :)

We have our teacher, Hermano Richardson who is a HUGE man. Not as in fat, but he's very tall and muscular with this deep voice, it's amazing! He's always concentrated on the spirit of the class and tends to go over or not get everything done because he always wants insights. And Hermano Burkholz is tall and skinny and gets down to the info and is very concentrated on getting everything done. They are such a great contrast; a great companionship to work off each other's strengths and weaknesses. They both have been back for a couple years and go to BYU, so it's funny that I hung out with guys that old, and here they are trying to teach me as a superior! But the teachers here bring wonderful insight, realistic insight.

I get along really well with my companera, she is so funny! She was also an avid Office watcher, so props Hermana Jones! We all get along so well and I'm so grateful. The first sister that helped me in the MTC said that your MTC experience could either be really bad or really good based off your district, and to be honest I got really lucky.

To be totally honest it's been really hectic these first few days, considering that we don't really know what we're doing and haven't begun our normal schedule. We are yearning for next week when we can get everything down. We've started a little Spanish and it's making sense so far, and for that I blame the Lord. No way in heck could I ever do it by myself. I remember Lo siento, which means I'm sorry, and listo? which is Ready? And I'm still trying to learn how to pray in Spanish. We've totally got an assignment from our branch president to write a short talk for Sunday, because what they do is the pick some missionaries to share their talks, THAT DAY!!! AHHHH!!! I'm totally making sure mine is really short. Like, really REALLY short.

Meals here are good, but I'm getting my headaches back. Last night was awful because I totally ate the wrong foods, so no more bananas or oranges or cheesy casseroles, just sticking with all the other good things... like salad. wooo. Can't you just sense my excitement.

I love the elders here because they're all so considerate of the sisters. They always yell "HELLO SISTERS!" in the hallway, open doors for us, and constantly take our trays. They won't even let us carry our trays! Sometimes I try to sneak away with my tray so I can still feel like a big girl. Anyway, AH! 8 minutes and 34 seconds! Gotta make this fast! So one thing is that there's a guy in my Zone who totally reminds me of Adam. He's freaking hilarious. I end up sitting by him at lunch sometimes and he always makes me laugh so hard (which I gotta improve on... quiet dignity!). But weird thing is he just graduated earlier this year! Insane! That's like Micah!

Oh, and Mamma, don't forget to post this part on my blog... SISTERS HERE DO NOT LOOK FRUMPY. An Hermana teacher here said that they're supposed to be updating those pics in their pamphet, because you do NOT have to dress up like you're in the nineties. She told us the Bretheren do NOT want us dressing frumpy. She used the words "business professional" and said that the Message and the appearance should be consistant. Needless to say, I might be doing a wee bit of shopping when I get to my mission. A very wee bit.

Ahhh! The lights are flashing at me! That means I need to get off soon! ... The Spirit here is amazing and I'm so glad I'm here! The Church is true and brings eternal happiness! Our Heavenly Father loves us! And I love you!Adios! Ciao Ciao!

con amor, Hermana Georgeson

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Adios!


So this will probably be my last blog before my mission, and I just want to thank everyone who has helped me on this magical journey to missionhood and land of lollipops! Ok, so I don't think Argentina is known for lollipop manufacturing, but I think I'll savor the delicious mission experience.
I'm looking forward to going out and serving the Lord and his children! Not only will this be a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow myself, but to be a help to our brothers and sisters to find happiness and eternal salvation will be such an experience. I think by the time I'm done I won't want to come back. It's like Rexburg; that cold, challenging, itty bitty city might not be something to behold, but the spirit will always keep you coming back for more. It's what makes me miss roommates, classes, campus- that spirit that edifies you. It's wonderful and beyond words. And I'm sure that Argentina will have the same effect on me.
So kids, don't worry, I won't have to eat cat or dog (I don't think... Nah...), I'll get my fill of Italian food and beef. I'll stay out of dark alleys, won't take "gifts" from strangers, brush and floss every night, and take the Spirit with me wherever I go. And just some food for thought, Heavenly Father loves us so much that to help us get back to him and obtain happiness, he gave us an opportunity to have a member of the Godhead with us to guide us bless us. A member of the Godhead! How cool is that? Yeah, I know.
Love you guys, Hermana Georgeson

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Just thinking...


For those of you who are reading this and don't know, I got my mission call (which, awesomely, was sent on my birthday) to the Argentina Neuquen mission, which I was told is the biggest mission in Argentina, and maybe even the southern most. I still have to check that one. Anyway, Just to get some things out of the way, Am I excited? Yes.... I dunno, I find that a stupid question asked often. Why wouldn't I be excited? I'm not outwardly excited, I'm not constantly jumping up and down going "Oh my gosh, Argentina!!!" I mean, I'm excited, just not in a hyper way. I'm... happy. I think being happy is good enough, I don't have to be crazy-off-the-wall-ecstatic to be excited. And to clarify for everyone, I don't view this as a travel opportunity. I think if I was sent state side I would be just as happy knowing that the Lord chose the place for me. Actually, after dealing with the visa, I wouldn't mind stateside... Do I know Spanish? Heck no. I took Spanish in 6th grade and failed miserably; I only remember how to count to 39, say "Hola como estas?" and several foods you'd find at Taco Bell. How do I feel about the entire thing? There are times where I'm stressed (stupid visa stuff), scared (SPANISH!!! AAAHHH!!!), and unprepared, but all of this work is directed by the Lord, so I'm going to assume I'll be okay. Yes, there will be snow in my mission. Yes, there will be mountains. Yes, I've been told that people are going to want to kill me. But when it comes to those things, I'm going to trust in the Lord, because, ya know what? It really will all be okay. I've learned that lesson several times, and it might not work out the way I planned on, but the Lord knows what's best for me. I think I'll run with him.

Friday, June 19, 2009

There's always someone



For those of you who read this and don't know, recently (ok, maybe more like a few months ago) I made the decision to go on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This decision was never part of that standard five year plan that each of us have when we graduate from high school. You know the one, the plan you write to all those scholarship foundations and colleges. I only jokingly entertained the idea of a mission. Well imagine my shock to recieve the impression I should go. Sharing the gospel is not my strong suit. In high school I actually avoided the idea because I didn't want friends to think I was weird or pushing my religion onto them. I was always afraid of talking about my church. I tried sharing it when I was younger, I even helped my best friend join the church. We ended up falling out because of her lying and drug habits, and then I became down right frightened to share the gospel. Do you know what it's like to share such a big piece of yourself only to have it denied by those you loved, to have it used against you? It hurt so much, which is why I think I stopped sharing that part of me with others.

So I'm supposed to be a missionary? Almost laughable. A week or two ago I was feeling really down. And I mean really down. I felt like I was doing everything wrong. I was a screw up at work, I messed up or broke everything I used. I finally got my driver's permit (finally, right?) and was able to drive, only to have that privelege taken away by my mother because my driving scares the crap out of her. I can't drive her van; it's huge and I have horrible depth perception. She always yells at me and freaks out saying "Maybe you shouldn't drive! You don't know what you're doing!" Basically blah blah blah, you suck Emily. I got put on academic probation because I misunderstood the syllabus and accidentally did only half the work because I thought that was all that was required. I still can't make a friend in my single's branch. That makes me feel like a failure because these people seem to be alright people, I couldn't help but think it was me that was the problem, not them. I cried a couple of nights because I felt like I couldn't do anything right, that I was a complete failure that couldn't accomplish anything. I wasn't really mad at anyone, except for me (and my mother and driving, but that's for another time... with a psych). I felt so hopeless.

My thoughts drove me to a place that said "Emily, if you can't do these small things, what makes you think you can be a missionary? You can't make a friend in that branch still, after all these years? Emily, you won't be a successful missionary." Those thoughts danced around my head all the time, pulling and dragging me down to a place to lonely and miserable. The responsability of being a missionary I take pretty seriously. I don't want to waste the Lord's time or the people's time if I'm not going to be a decent missionary. About a week ago I couldn't take it anymore. I was on my knees, praying for something, anything to help me. I know I needed to go on a mission, I felt that confirmed to me by the Spirit. But I didn't know if I was worthy enough to go. If I was even a worthy human being. I felt so alone, so desperate and scared. Scared that somehow the Lord had forsaken me because I was a failure. So many stewardships I let slip down the drain. I am the servant that hid his talent under the ground. I was so afraid the Lord would say No, I won't help you. After I prayed the song Where Can I Turn for Peace was stuck in my head. I opened up my hymn book to page 129 and read the words.

Where can I turn for peace? Where is my solace
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger or malice,
I draw myself apart, searching my soul?

Where when my aching grows, where when I languish,
Where in my need to know, where can I turn?
Where is the quiet hand, to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand? He, only One.

He answers privately, reaches my reaching,
In my Gethsemane, Savior and friend.
Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching.
Constant he is and kind, love without end.

Along with that song was the scripture from Hebrews 4:14-16-
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

What a comfort it was to know that Christ knew how I felt, that he is mindful of me in my times of distress and self-doubt! He did not, would not forsake me. He loves me. Loves me enough to take upon himself my sins and bear with me my infirmities. And that he was tempted just like I am, yet he was able to overcome and choose the right, remembering who he is. This helped to give me confidence. If I trust in the Lord he will help me in all that I do. If I have faith and self confidence, remembering who I am, I can overcome these challenges and rise the better. I won't suck at work. I'll become a better driver. I will be able to make a friend.

Okay, well knowing the people at the single's branch, maybe not so much a friend, but I won't let it get me down.

It's actually pretty neat to see how this boost in self confidence and confidence in the Lord has blessed me. Today at the grocery store I work at there was a guy that came in, and older guy that I've seen before, buying cigarettes and beer. He asked me if I was new in town and explained to him my situation (I've been away at college while my family has lived here, so for all intents and purposes, I am new in town). He asked me about college and if I'm on summer break, and then I told him I was actually taking a break from school to prepare for a mission. He was surprised as to my age (I get that a lot) and that I would take off school to do that. He asked some questions about funding for a mission and if I'd thought about finishing school and then going on a mission. I said to him "I'd thought about it, it seems like a good idea, but I feel like I need to take a break to do this. I feel like I'm doing the right thing, doing it this way." He said that as long as it feels right, then it's okay. This might seem like a redundant conversation, but I hope I didn't offend him, but rather get him thinking, or at least hold a little bit more respect for me or the Church. So what this blog post is really about, is that we should always be confident in the Lord, for when we are, we are confident in ourselves. It's like some kind of trickle down effect. Don't be shy to share what is important to you. Don't let life suffocate you and beat you down. Soar to new heights, the Lord will help you. Take heart, the Lord is mindful of your needs and will never ever forget you. Okay, so maybe I won't be the best driver on the block, and I will always be asking questions at work becuase I have a horrible memory for how things work. But the difference is, I won't beat myself up because I didn't do it exactly right. The Lord just wants us to try our best, and that is exactly what I plan on doing.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mes amis, vous etes speciales

Lately I've found out that a lot of my friends have been feeling lonely and left out (and they are all my closest friends... ironic...), a theme which has been recurring in my life lately. My family moved from a big city in California right after high school graduation to one of those states that only get two, maybe four people in the House of Reps, into a small city of about 600 people. Since then I've mainly been away at college, so I've had no chance to really get involved with the people of the area. My older brother and I go to a single's branch for church, where maybe about somewhere between 5-15 people show up, depending on the Sunday. We have a hard time with it because we really don't know anybody; the people our age are all used to each other cosidering they've all gone to the same schools since they were 5. They are not used to new people moving into town and are very, well, to themselves. It's been so hard breaking those barriers. Lucky for me I'm gone most of the time, so I only have to deal with it for a quarter of the year, while my older brother lives here all year around. It's very difficult for him, he's definitely given up and has created a stigma for the local people. Not very friendly, hicks, shy, somewhat handicpped... Now I'm home for the entire summer and then some, and I don't have any friends here to waste away those gorgeous summer days. I've tried. I'm not exactly an "outgoing" person, I'm outgoing in my own way. I don't talk up a storm or butt into other people's business, but I have those little quirks that help people to relax those boundaries around me. I dance out of nowhere. I sing oldies songs, say funny movie quotes when someone makes me think of one. I like to have fun in my quiet way. I'm not shy, just quiet. But usually that works. But not here. Not now. I've been home about three or four weeks and still no one to sit by in church or to talk to in Relief Society. And it becomes so painful to sit there so shamefully alone. And my brother has had to deal with this for three years? So what's a girl to do?

Friends are a difficult subject for me. I had a friend in middle school and high school that I shared everything in my life with. We spent all our time together, I always had her come over, made sure she was welcomed and had someone to trust in. In high school she began lying to me about her entire life and habits. I found out later she was using me as some sort of alibi for her parents when she went to her friend's house to do drugs. When I found out I was devastated that she betrayed my trust. I was so angry. For a long time I blamed her being a horrible friend. I've come to realize that I wasn't innocent either; I wasn't exactly the best friend I could've been. Since then I am hesitant to make friends. When I stopped hanging out with her, most of our mutual friends knew her first so a lot of friendships ended. I was left all alone except for one friend. I began to analyze how I made new friends to try to make more.

That was my downfall. Before the lonliness never really bothered me. I always thought that I had my family and that would be enough. But since then, spending those first few weeks of Junior year all alone, I can't bear feeling lonley anymore. It's the most horrible, painful experience. And it weighs on me, while I'm here in this small, introverted town. It makes me feel so rejected. One of the most painful experiences in my life is being reinacted every day that I'm here.

But it's somewhat different this time. Although there are so many times that I feel so dejected and ready to run away and cry, I know I am never alone. I know I am loveable. I know I am fun. I know who I am, and I will never compromise that, never again. I know there's nothing wrong with me (well, nothing that has to do with this anyway). I know I am worth being a friend. The only thing that stands in my way is fear. Not so much my own, but the fear of the people around me. But I will not be afraid. I will not be the one that misses out on life. I will not run away. I will not miss out on experiences just because I was too introverted. I will continue to be myself.

So to all my friends who feel alone, that feel rejected and dejected, feel like they are a nuisance or too _____ to be loved by leurs amis: You are never alone. These times in life are difficult, it's Satan trying to tear you down. But stand up to him and take heart. Although I may not be physically with you I am rooting for you so hardcore. Just as much as you wish I were with you, I wish you were with me. Although states and oceans might separate us, we are never separated. It might be difficult during Relief Society, when you and I have no one to talk to, but you must remember this. Remember I love you, and I NEVER EVER want you to feel unloved. It's actually quite the opposite, and I'll try to remember that too. We'll make it a deal, okay?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Why do I like to torture myself?


I mean, honestly, I am a rational person. I like to think I'm down to earth, but when it comes to what's best for me, I can be somewhat misconstrued. This past week or two I've been pigging out like a monster. Usually I'm one who likes to eat smaller meals and mostly healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and maybe even a chicken boob or two. But since mother nature came to visit me, she came with some mega-wrath. I had massive cravings, and instead of getting over them like I should have, I've pigged out on the three birthday cakes we've had around our apartment, ate an entire package of Oreos, chili, pizza, breads, and VERY sugary foods. The thing is I know they are bad for me. I love how I feel when I eat those fruits and vegetables; they give me energy and I just feel all around better about myself because I know I am taking care of my body. When I eat unhealthy foods they make me feel fat, disgusting, and they give me really bad headaches because of the grease and/or sugar. So why did I pig out on all the unhealthy stuff when I really needed something to make me feel better?
I don't know. I guess I'm an idiot.
Why do I subject myself to such torture? Today I had sloppy joes, chips (which I haven't had in a long time), and another slice of that infamous birthday cake. And now I feel disgustingly fat (I think I have gained a few pounds from all that cake) and have a huge throbbing headache.
And these are not psycho body issues, I like taking care of my body and being healthy.
And what I can do to remedy this? Listen to myself. Instead of listening to my instincts that tell me to eat what tastes good, I can listen to the rational side of me and do my body good; learn some self control. Which is what it really boils down to: self restraint and willpower. The will power to love myself and take care of myself. 
So no more birthday cake for me. 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Today must be significant



Today is March 5, 2009, the anniversary of the 2001 Santana shooting. Santana High School was my high school, but it happened two years before I went there. I knew many people who were affected by this rampage. From friends who had guns in their faces, running terrified all over campus, to teachers, who whenever the topic was addressed, spoke of bullying like lions because they whole heartedly knew the results of such actions. These people who came to affect my life had theirs affected too, watching students and coworkers bleed, and even die.
But more importantly is why this even had to happen.
Freshman Charles Andrew Williams was a transfer student to Santana in 2000, and like any other teenager, he was eager to be accepted, to have friends. To his dismay, he did not find friends, but found bullies. With every crowd he wanted to be involved with, he only found taunting and rejection. He went from group to clique to group to find someone who would accept him. He eventually was accepted by a few, but the teasing continued.
A few weeks before, Andy was talking with some friends about bringing a gun to high school and shooting people. His friends didn't take him seriously; they thought it was just a joke. Apparently he kept joking about it, even up to the weekend before the shooting, asking his friend if he wanted to join him. Once again, it was only taken as a joke. On Monday, at 9:20 AM, Andy came out of the bathrooms and began shooting at innocent bystanders in the quad, with a smile on his face. Andy told a psychiatrist what went through his head before it happened. He was in the bathroom, loading the gun, asking himself if he should really do it. He rationalized to himself that if he didn't do it, the teasing wouldn't stop.
Because of this, Randy Gordon and Brian Zuchor, ages 15 and 14 respectively, were shot and killed, along with 13 others who were shot.
And what really makes this a tragedy?
It could've been stopped.
If others would be a friend, be understanding, be kind, be available.
The teasing of others pushed him over the edge, pushed him to where he felt that he couldn't take it anymore. It's so sad that this could've been prevented.
What I'm getting at isn't that it wasn't Andy's fault, he definitely had control over his actions. But we now have a choice. A choice to learn from the mistakes that were made before us. Do we go on in our merry little lives, ignoring that this happened, refusing to see the results of our actions against others? Or do we work to create a world of love and refuge? Think about this today, as families remember and mourn for the loss of sons, brothers, friends.
Remember the Santana shooting.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What makes you happy?


I mean really. What makes a person happy? What causes that chemical/hormone to kick in to create a sense of elation or peace? Why does it go off and why is it different with each and every person? I know for me, it doesn't take too much to make me feel that superficial elation that makes you want to sigh out of pure happiness. Gazebos, old WWI and WWII airplanes, summertime, sprinklers, sandals, parks and playgrounds, the smell of rain and grass, going outside with out a jacket and still feeling warm. We all have these little quirks that give us a sense of happiness, but what makes us truly happy and joyful, and as one might say, successful? I've been thinking about this a lot lately because I spend all of my day doing nothing. I was trying to find a job, but that has been a most unsuccessful search, and now I sit around because there's nothing for me to do: no job, no homework, no social activities, no money; then by the end of the day I realize I did nothing worth my while. Nothing to call home about, nothing to write in my journal about or tell my grand kids one day. And by the end of that day, I don't feel too good. I don't feel like I've accomplished something to make my life worth living. So back to my initial question. What makes one happy? Is it the filling of meaningful activities? Relationships? A purpose?
And this is where my new friend, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, comes in. He is a pioneer in positive psychology, and creator of the term "flow." Flow is a state of concentration or absorption in an activity. Basically, you become completely absorbed in what you are doing; it's so simply natural, interesting, and fun for you that you forget everything else that is going on around you. I like to think that when you read a book you reach into flow because you become so absorbed in the story. Then again, it just might be good writing.
I get this idea from a book I am reading, Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., and John J. Ratey, M.D.. They talk about flow in their book because people with A.D.D. usually need an outlet to get the most of their talents and abilities. Because their book does have somewhat of a focus on children, they talk about finding an outlet for children, to try as many activities as they can so that they have a better chance to succeed. And this theory, I think, also works for adults. Give someone an outlet, and it will improve self-esteem, abilities all around the board, and will be just plain fun.
And why I bring this up, you may ask?
Because happiness is more than the smell of rain or gazebos, its finding a purpose to tie yourself to. It's more than just having fun, but the feeling that you belong to something more than just yourself. So as I sit around bored with nothing for me to do, I can try different activities, maybe with other people as well, to find my sense of flow. So maybe as I said before, I just need to open the gates and sieze the day.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It all starts right here: my New Years resolution

So this is where I write down my thoughts at this time of beginnings. Looking on the past two years of my life, they've sucked. Not filled with much to give me heaping amounts of joy. 2007 I was trying to run away from myself, I wanted to reinvent who I was. I didn't to be painfully shy anymore, I wanted to stick out and be social. The next semester at school left me with some roommates who weren't really the best of influences and friends who didn't exactly encourage me to go in the right directions. A therapist and a bishop told me I slipped into a depression for about three to four months. I hated the idea of depression. My mom has had it since I was seven years old and denotes bad connotations in my mind. I also dated my best friend, maybe for the wrong reasons, but it helped me to have someone constant there for me through all the days I cried because I was so stressed. I barely scraped by by the end of 2007, dipping my G.P.A. to about a 2.7. I wanted to leave many friendships behind, I couldn't take it anymore. All I had left was one old roommate and my boyfriend. But that even came to an end at the very beginning of 2008 when he broke up with me, leaving me feeling all alone, so hurt by all the things that were told to me, so hurt that my best friend didn't want to be my best friend anymore. An entire 12 months (2007) spent in shallowness, selfishness, and just plain suckiness. 2008 was not much better. I couldn't eat for a couple of weeks, I cried every night for about a month, and every other night for the next two to three months. Although that experience was absolutely horrible, it has been so beneficial for me. Because of it I grew closer to my Savior, my testimony grew, and I became more open and outgoing than ever. I grew to learn that, when it came to judging me, nobody mattered, except my savior. When I went back to school for my fourth semester, I was still stressed, but I was more focused on improving school performance instead of improving me. Although I was more talkative and friendly, I sunk into myself. I didn't get involved with anything. I loved Jersey, my roommate, and everyone thought that it was that I put up with her, but it was the other way around. She lugged my sorry white bum to as many places as she could, but I wasn't ready for an attachment, it still hurt too much. Then I came back to school for this last semester (fall 2008) and I did a little more, but not much. I was trying to bring up my G.P.A. (still) and save up to go to my best friend's wedding in December. There were good experiences and bad experiences. But over all I could've been better at my calling. I could've been a better friend, roommate, visiting teacher, FHE mom, sister, daughter, tenant, student, daughter of God. I've grown so lazy. For those of you who have read the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (#2), I feel like Bridget, who because of heartaches, loss, and a past, tried to run away from her ghosts, and when they caught up with her knocked her to the ground. At that point she stopped moving and became a shadow of herself. She had stopped pushing herself, progressing, to gain her bearings. Then she was ready to move again, and she shed off all those layers, like shaking off the cocoon to get ready to fly away. This is the year I shed those layers. This is the year I resurrect myself, bust out bigger and better than ever before. And somewhat whole. Ready to face challenges with a glint in my eye saying, "Go ahead, try me. Make my day." For the past couple of years I've given myself a yearly slogan/theme song. In 2008 it was "Send Me On My Way" by Rusted Root, which is about getting though life, just making it through. This year I've mashed two together, things I got from Robin Williams and a group of singsongy boys trying to sell newspapers. And I suggest you think about it. On my list of New Year's resolutions the last thing I wrote was 
Take it one day at a time; make it meaningful and memorable.
So
Carpe Diem- open the gates and seize the day!
Seize this day that God has given you breath to live! It's a special gift, so do what you can to wrap it up and give it to someone else. Carpe diem my friends!
CARPE DIEM!!!!