"I’M GONNA MAKE THIS PLACE YOU’RE HOME"

Hello my lovely friends!

HAPPY EASTER!!!I know my blog is a little behind with my mission stuff, but I just wanted to let everyone know that I’M BACK HOME IN UTAH!!!!My new email is whitneysue96[at]gmail.com and my new phone number is 385-424-5359 for anyone that wants to get a hold of me. I also lost all of my contacts so if y’all could shoot me a text and tell me who you are then that would be AWESOME SAUCE!

Many of you have commented telling me you’ll miss my weekly emails. I’ll do my best to keep the blog updated for those of you who want to follow along with my crazy life!

WELLLLLLL

I just wanted to send one last email letting everyone know I made it home safely and fill you in on all the fun adventures that have happened this week. What a marvelous roller coaster it’s been! THIS EMAIL IS GOING TO BE LONG SO IF YOU DON’T HAVE TIME TO READ ALL OF IT THEN AT LEAST SKIP DOWN TO THE END AND READ THAT!!

SUNDAYYY was my last Sunday in the field. We had church and our sweet investigator Nelly came.

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[Nelly!]

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[Me saying goodbye to Lilly and Sydney and their Grandma, Sister Torres]

We met with John, Rachel, and Arturo and had a nice little lesson with them. I sure do love that family a whole bunch.

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After that we went over to the Baerga’s for dinner. They are just the sweetest family. That evening we also met a guy named Frank that we taught a little bit. Then we came home and I started packing.

MONDAYYY was my last P-day. I spent the morning packing and the rest of the day hanging out with my mission buddies. In the evening we had FHE and dinner with the Mackey family and they are just a hoot! I love them! And just like that my regular proselyting days were over. That hurt me right in the chest.

TUESDAYYY I woke up and finished some last minute packing. We loaded everything up in the car and ran to the mission office to get a paper. God sent me a tender mercy and I got to say goodbye to my best friend Sister Glover.

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Then we went over to David’s World Cycle to drop off my bike (that I may or may not have ever actually ridden in Florida… haha) Then Sister Yance dropped me off at the Wetherbee building and I had to say goodbye to one of the sweetest humans I have ever associated with. I love youuuuuuuuuu!!!

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I got to say hi to my girl Sister Stratton. Sister Stratton and I went to the same high school and she is pretty good friends with my little sister and a lot of the people I know back home. She got to the mission the day before I left so I passed my Layton baton on to her. Good luck my friend! You are going to do incredible things!! Take care of Florida for me!

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I took my last Polaroid with Sister Glover.

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THEN THEN THEN

we sat at the church for eeeeeeeetttttttttttttttttteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrnnnnnnnnnnnnniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittttttttttttttttyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

We were all starving and stranded with no car and no phones so we gave your money to the group of elders that were at the church too and those blessed elders drove to Chick-Fil-A and got us some grub. They are going to get so many blessings. SO MANY.

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Then we waited some more…

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Then we had a good meeting with President about all the challenges of going home. While we were in our meeting the sweet Assistants weighed all of our bags for us and when we came out we helped the Elders and Sisters re-adjust their bags that were over the weight limit. Then we trecked on down to the mission home in the big white whale and the truck.

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At the mission home we had dinner. Several of the Senior couples came so they could say goodbye to us. They had all of us departing missionaries sit at the table in the dining room and it felt like we were at the kids table. It was a party. I sure do love these crazy kids a lot! They always make me laugh so hard.

After dinner we had one of the most tender testimony meetings I have ever been to. My friends, I sure have loved these last 18 months. The Lord has been so good to me. He’s been so good to all of us. At the end we stood and sang Called to Serve one last time. I was filled with so much gratitude for my Savior for this opportunity He gave me to serve. Then we all knelt in a circle and said a prayer. It was such a sweet experience.

Then we took the traditional stair picture.

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I can honestly say I don’t think any of us slept that night. At one point I rolled over in my bed and Sister Mohenoa said “Sister Reid…are you awake?” and I just said “ya….” and she said “I can’t go to sleep.” haha from that point on I didn’t sleep much for the rest of the week either.

WEDNESDAYYY we woke up at the CRACK OF DAWN…. Actually….. WELL BEFORE THE CRACK OF DAWN. We were awake by 3:30 to start getting ready to go. Around 5:00 Elder Dummer and Elder Lyon (the assistants) came by and had breakfast with Sister Olsen and I and President Clark. Then we loaded up our stuff. Said goodbye to Sister Magno, Sister Mohenoa, and President and Sister Clark and the Assistants took us to the airport. They dropped us off at the curb, shook our hands, and we were off!

OKAY OKAY OKAY ARE YOU READY FOR THIS…

So we get in and see the longest line of my life. I about died because we were already running slightly behind schedule. We see the Elders that had gotten there earlier and they are already through baggage and were looking at us like “hope you make it Sisters…” ahhhh so Sister Olsen and I said a prayer right there in the middle of the baggage line. The line went pretty fast. The guy that checked my bags was a member. Then we got through security in a good amount of time. I had forgotten to take my liquids out, but they didn’t stop me to check it so that was a #HASHTAGBLESSING. Then we start to make our way towards our gate and after we get off the little tram thing we see Elder Greenwood and Reyes running towards us. The said “SISTERS YOUR FLIGHT IS ALREADY BOARDING! GIVE US YOUR BAGS!” So they grabbed our bags and ran us to our gate. We said goodbye to them (they were both flying to different states) and we walked right onto our plane and before I knew it we were in the air!

The flight was good. We all kept checking the clock every three minutes so that made it feel extremely long. We watched all the Mormon Messages on my iPad…. nothing like watching Chastity, what are the limits? With your mission buds on an airplane…. ahhahaha

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We finally landed in Utah. We had landed a little early so we had to stall a little bit to make sure our families had enough time to be there.

Then the long-awaited moment happened! I hugged my family! I felt more like a celebrity than I ever have in my life. haha And let me tell you. Every lonely moment in the mission was all worth it when I finally got to hug my army of people that supported me for the last 18 months.

MY SWEET FRIEND HANNAH MADE ME THE CUUUUUUUUTTTTTTTTEST VIDEO OF ME AT THE AIRPORT

Then I got some Cafe Rio. #BLESSED

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Then I spent the day visiting with friends and family and I just had a grand ole time! In the evening I went to meet with my Stake President to get released. He had my littlest sister Mikall (she’s 12) take off my name tag. She then handed it to my other Sister Danielle who is 18 and will start her mission papers in the next couple weeks. That was sweet, but it was oh so hard. And just like that I became Whitney again.

THURSDAYYY I took my littlest sister “tracting” in my neighborhood to deliver invitations to my homecoming. It was the best tracting I have ever done in my life! haha every door I knocked on swung open and I was greeted with screams and hugs and I can honestly say I never received that kind of response when I knocked on doors in Florida. haha I also got a phone and had a bunch more people come see me. Then in the evening I went to institute with my friend Kenna. I accidentally introduced myself to the class as “Sister Reid”

*face palm*

During class Kenna slipped me this note and said “here…. this is practice for when boys try to flirt with you.” haha

FRIDAYYY I ran errands and in the evening I had my open house. I got to see so many friends and a bunch of family. I played with my cousins who are so big. Around 11:00 at night my best friend Lauren and Lexi and their family came to hang out and didn’t leave until after 1:00 and I didn’t go to bed until after 2:00. Just like the good old days!

SATURDAYYY I went to my Sister’s State Theater competition. High schools are a worldly place. haha I was NOT prepared for the music and performances at this competition. It made me feel like I needed to go read my scriptures for a few hours. haha But my sister did great and that was fun to watch her compete. In the evening I went to Kenna’s house and I watched my first movie. I made everyone stay rated G and we watched Zootopia. All my friends decided that I was Kathy. The whole time I watched the movie I was just looking for gospel analogies in the movie. Then we watched a couple episodes of Bob Ross….. don’t ask…. my friends are weird.

TODAYYYY IS EASTER SUNDAY! This morning I got up early and went to go help teach mission prep. I role-played in front of the class with my friend Jordan who got home a few months ago. That was fun. I was told I would be given an official calling as a mission prep teacher. I was pretty pumped about that!!

So now it’s 10:00. I have church at 1:00 and will give my homecoming talk.

I included this in my email last week, but for those of you who didn’t get it, I wanted to include it again…

SAPPY THANK YOUS COMIN’ ATCHYA!!!!

To my sweet friends Mayra, Cassie, Will, Cedar, Junior, Josh, Patrick, and Robbie who I’ve watched enter the waters of baptism while I’ve been here I want you to know I’m so proud of each of you. I’m glad I got to watch you come closer to your Savior. I’m glad I got to play a tiny part in you journey to the Celestial Kingdom. Stay faithful my friends. We are going to rejoice together in Heaven someday.

 

To all my investigators I’ve taught over the last year and a half and the hundreds of people I’ve met in the streets or knocked on your doors, I want to say thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share my testimony with you. Because every time you let me share my testimony, my testimony became a little stronger. I want you to know that I do know these things that I’ve taught you are true. I pray that y’all will be able to continue to learn and grow and I can’t wait to see you again someday and see how far you’ve come.

 

To all my sweet ward members. Everyone from Leesburg, to Daytona Beach, to Buena Vista, to Deland, to New Smyrna Beach, to Lake Nona. Thank you so much for all you’ve done for me. Because of you home has felt a little closer. To the active members, and those who come to church less frequently, I don’t know how I would have done the last eighteen months without all of your sweet smiles. Thank you for your righteous examples. Thank you for all the meals. Thank you for being such good member missionaries and for sharing the things you know and love with your friends. 

To all my deer companions. Sister Ives, Sister Brown, Sister Guynn, Sister Mohenoa, Sister Nelsen, Sister Lewis, Sister Duran, Sister Muhlestein, Sister Hart, Sister Larsen, Sister Simpson, Hermana Jones, Sister Glover, and Sister Yance thank you so much for all you’ve taught me. Y’all have become some of my closest friends and will forever be people that I think about with joy. I’m glad God allowed us to spend so much time together. I want each of you to know how much I love you and how much I appreciate each of you. I hope we are able to stay in contact and I know that these friendships we’ve grown won’t just last in this life, but will extend into the eternities. 

To my mission leaders. To President and Sister Berry, President and Sister Clark, to President and Sister Wood, and President Humphrey’s, to all the elders that have served as Assistants to the President, to all my Zone Leaders, Sister Training Leaders, and District Leaders, and to my sweet sweet trainers Sister Guynn, and Sister Nelsen. Thank you for your righteous examples. Thank you for teaching me how I can be the best missionary I can be. I don’t now if you realize the impact your small acts have influenced me as a missionary and as a person. I have strived to emulate the love you’ve shown me with those I’ve been able to serve and my heart has swollen with joy in the process. Thank you for your trainings. Thank you for your love. Thank you for every time you’ve served me. Thank you for helping me be better. 

To my fellow FOMers. Especially the sweet sisters I’ve been able to learn from as I’ve served as a Sister Training Leader. I’ve probably learned more from y’all than I’ve ever been able to teach you. Thank you for becoming my friends. Thank you for helping this time I’ve spent in Florida become such a joyful time of my life.

To my fan club back at home. To my sweet family, to my friends, to my home ward, and everyone else who cheered me on as I’ve been out here serving. Your prayers have carried me. I know that angels were sent to assist me in this work because of the prayers y’all have said in my behalf. Thank you for the financial support, for every letter you’ve sent, for every email you’ve typed, and for every prayer you’ve said. I feel so grateful to have such an army behind me supporting me. I wouldn’t have been able to do the things that I have if it wasn’t for you.

And last but not least, thank you to my Father in Heaven for this time I’ve been given to serve here in the Sunshine state. I echo Ammon’s words again when I say “Yea, I know that I am nothing, as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.” (Alma 26:12)

 

 

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL THAT Y’ALL HAVE DONE FOR ME THESE LAST 19 MONTHS AND MORE THAN THAT, THESE LAST 20 YEARS. I COULDN’T HAVE DONE ANY OF IT WITHOUT YOU, AND WITHOUT THE HELP OF MY FATHER IN HEAVEN, AND HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST. I WILL FOREVER PRAISE THE NAME OF THE LORD FOR THE TIME I WAS GIVEN TO SERVE IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA. IT WILL FOREVER BE AN EXPERIENCE I WILL CHERISH. 

 

I LOVE Y’ALL MORE THAN RMs LOVE TELLING MISSION STORIES.

 

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UNTIL NEXT TIME,

WHIT.

23 days until you can call me "Sister Reid"

Isn’t little Ave just the cutest? Congrats on getting baptized on Saturday little one!
Thanks for letting me take your pictures and for letting me be your tumbling coach.

I thought I’d do a quick blog post to give you guys an update and let you guys know about my mission farewell which is in two weeks. It will be on Sunday September 13th at 9am and anyone is invited to come join me in worshiping in this church service. While I will be speaking, I want you all to remember that this church service isn’t about me, it’s about our Savior Jesus Christ and I just hope that all of you that come will be able to feel of His love for you. So come hear me speak at my church and after church we are having breakfast at my house afterwords and I would love to see all of your bright smiling faces there so I can hug you all before I leave on my adventures in Florida. The address to my church is 1480 Phillips Street Kaysville Utah 84037-9672. See y’all there!

So… here’s the update! As you’ve probably noticed this blog is slowly being converted to a mission blog. Which means as soon as I’m a missionary I won’t be updating it anymore, but will hand it off to my mom who will post my emails on it for 18 months. I’m very excited about it and I hope you all keep checking back here every week to hear about my missionary adventures in Florida! You can also stay updated by typing your email in the ‘bloglovin’ box on the right hand column. You’ll get emails letting you know about new posts every week! Since I won’t be able to see comments on here you will only be able to contact me by sending me letters or through email, the addresses of which can be found under the “contact me” page at the top of this blog.

I have 23 days until my MTC report date. Many of my friends are already out serving missions and the rest of them are back in high school or in college now which means I have a slight obsession with emails, hand written letters, and FaceTime calls. I miss my friends a tenfold.

I had my wisdom teeth out on Thursday and I survived! After a few painful sick days I can now say that I just have super sore lower jaw and slightly fat chipmunk cheeks, but according to my little sister my “cheeks don’t look as fat as they did yesterday” so that’s good! I really just want a hamburger now.

The other day I was having a really rough day (having all the wisdom taken away from you can do that to a person.) and I was just feeling really down. When out of no where I received this message in my inbox from Dawn Armstrong (for those of you who don’t remember who she is she’s the mom from the movie Meet the Mormons.)

It was a simple gesture but it went a long way and I just wanted to give her a shout out and say thanks for being the person to reach out when I was having a hard day even though you didn’t even know it! This was such a good reminder to me that a small act of kindness can change someone’s day. And for all of you reading this you ought to go watch Meet the Mormons right this second. It’s now on Netflix!

This week I’m going into mission crazy mode. Buying clothes, a bike, a bag, shoes, and all the other things one needs to be an effective sister missionary. Anything you RMs wish you would have brought on your mission that I don’t want to forget?

So since I don’t have a super uplifting post for you today I thought I’d share with you some of the music on my current playlist. Enjoy!

I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is indeed the true church and that it does indeed contain the fully restored gospel. I know we all have a purpose on this earth and I find my greatest joy in trying to find and fulfill that purpose. Right now that purpose is taking me to Florida to share the gospel and to serve God’s children and I can’t wait! I love you all!

-Whit

 

Dear Brethren, I accept.

We have a big hype in the church when it comes to mission calls. A “mission call” is probably one of the most important letters you will ever receive in your life. It is a letter from the prophet telling you where the Lord wants you to serve for eighteen months. You can read my mission call here.
But what we talk about less is one of the most important letters you will ever send. 
After you receive your letter signed by the Prophet, you are given an opportunity to send a letter back to the “Brethren” or the leaders of the church in which you accept your call to serve.
I thought it would be fun to share my acceptance letter with you guys so here it is!

Dear Brethren,

I accept my call to serve in the Florida Orlando Mission. I feel lo blessed to be given this opportunity to teach people in the sunshine state about the light and happiness that comes from living and loving the gospel. There are a lot of things in my life that have bought me happiness, but nothing compares to the true happiness that comes from this church and from loving and serving God’s children. I am humbled by the knowledge of Christ’s sacrifice for me and I recognize that He did more for me than I am able to even comprehend. Everyday I learn more about His love for his children and His effort in following His Father’s plan. I hope to be able to do as He did and to learn to love the people I serve. I hope to be able to follow in His footsteps as an example of service in helping assist my fellow brothers and sisters return home to meet their Father in Heaven and receive the blessings of exhalation. I recognize that He has given me everything, and that it would be easy for me to take that love that he has given me for granted, but I feel that eighteen months is something small that I can give to the one who gave me life. I am willing to set side my life to serve Him. I know that it will be the hardest thing I will have ever done, but I also know that if I give it my all, it will be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Thank you so much for this opportunity to love and serve the people in Orlando. Although I have not met them yet, I can already feel God’s love for them and I pray that they will be prepared to hear the gospel when we meet each other. I cannot wait to meet them. I hope to be able to be a strong missionary in the sense that I recognize that alone I am nothing, but with the help of my Father, anything is possible. Because I am only a tool in His hands. And I promise to strive to best serve Him, His Children, and the world to the best of my abilities. I have a testimony of this divine gospel. I know that God sent His only Son to Atone for me in the Garden of Gethsemane. I know that this is, in fact, His restored gospel and that He is the head of this church today. I know that God the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ. Did visit Joseph in the Sacred Grove that morning, and that Joseph was a true prophet. I know with every fiber of my being that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and my desire is for everyone to come to love this book and its teachings. I know that Thomas S. Monson is the only person on this earth today with the keys to govern and direct the Lord’s work and the entire Church today. I sustain and uphold his teachings, as well as the teachings of the rest of the first presidency, the quorum of the 12 apostles, and all other church leaders and officers in position to direct and lead the church. I know that my call to serve the people in Orlando was divine revelation and that it is where God wants me to serve. And I can’t wait to accept this great opportunity. Brethren, I am thrilled to accept this call to serve.

Sincerely,
Sister Whitney Reid

feel my sunlight

p.s. SHOUT OUT TO DALLIN AND CHANDLER WHO GAVE AMAZING FAREWELL TALKS TODAY! Dallin will be serving in Peru and Chandler will be serving in Boston and both are going to be INCREDIBLE missionaries. Thank you both so much for the example you have set for me in my life. I look up to both of you a lot. Good luck! See you in two!

p.s.s. This blog is is going to slowly be transitioned into a mission blog hence the new blog header. Let me know what you guys think!
 
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Dear Sister Reid…

Dear Sister Reid:

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
You are assigned to labor in the Florida Orlando Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, September 23, 2015. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the English language. Your assignment may be modified according to the needs of the mission president.

You have been recommended as one worthy to represent the Lord as a minister of the restored gospel. You will be an official representative of the Church. As such, you will be expected to maintain the highest Standards of conduct and appearance by keeping the commandments, living mission rules, and following the counsel of your mission president. As you devote your time and attention to serving the Lord, leave behind all other personal affairs, the Lord will bless you with increased knowledge and testimony of the Restoration and of the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Your purpose will be to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. As you serve with all your heart, might, and strength, the Lord will lead you to those who are prepared to be baptized.

The Lord will reward you for the goodness of your life. Greater blessings and more happiness than you have yet experienced await you as you humbly and prayerfully serve the Lord in his labor of love among His children. We place our confidence in you as you pray that the Lord will help you become an effective missionary.

You will be set apart as a missionary by your stake president. Please go the missionary.lds.org promptly to acknowledge your acceptance of this call.

Sincerely,
Thomas S. Monson
President

 

 

 

 

This was my last time seeing Teri until 2017. She will be serving in the Maryland Baltimore Mission and she leaves next Wednesday. Good Luck Teri! I love you to pieces!

 

Adam will be serving in Orlando too!!! (note the hat) He leaves July 15th.

 

Sister Hartvigsen served her mission in Florida!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks so much to everyone that came! I am definitely blessed with the best. Thanks for all of your love and support over the last 18.5 years. I wouldn’t be where I am today without you guys. So thanks for your good examples and your loving smiles. I love you guys!

I feel so honored to be blessed with the opportunity to serve The Lord and his Children in Orlando. I pray that I will be able to be His hands in doing good in peoples lives. It’s been a crazy week with graduation and a mission call within two days of each other. But I’m so happy about it. And as for September 23rd… I can’t wait.

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p.s. As soon as I got my call I posted on Instagram and Facebook the words “I GOT MY HOGWARTS LETTER!! (Aka my mission call!)” Little did I know Harry Potter World would actually be in my mission. The Lord has a sense of humor. I’m sure of it.
p.s.s. Can you tell I’m a little excited?!
p.s.s.s. Here are a few pictures from graduation last Wednesday. And you’d better know we nailed a high school musical jump. Because can you really graduate if you didn’t take a HSM picture?

 

 

THREE {the real reason for the Season}

Merry Christmas everyone! And boy has it been a good one.

On Sunday my good friend Raegan was giving a lesson in Sunday School. She shared a story that I instantly fell in love with. It’s a story that follows the lives of three special trees and what they would tell you if they could talk. This story is the perfect story for this special occasion we celebrate on the 25th of December every year, but it also lays out a pattern we should follow during the other 264 days of our lives. This is the Story of the Three Trees:

Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods. They were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said, “Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver and precious gems. I could be decorated with intricate carving and everyone would see the beauty.”
Then the second tree said, “Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull.”
Finally the third tree said, “I want to grow to be the tallest and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time and people will always remember me.”
After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first tree he said, “This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to sell the wood to a carpenter,”and he began cutting it down. The tree was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest.
At the second tree the woodsman said, “This looks like a strong tree, I should be able to sell it to the shipyard.” The second tree was happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.
When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened because he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come true. One of the woodsmen said, “I don’t need anything special from my tree, I’ll take this one,” and he cut it down.
When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with hay.
This was not at all what he had prayed for. The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to an end. The third tree was cut into large pieces and left alone in the dark. The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams.
Then one day, a man and woman came to the barn. She gave birth and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time.
Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn’t think it was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man, and He stood and said “Peace” and the storm stopped. At this time, the tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat.
Finally, someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets as the people mocked the man who was carrying it. When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and raised in the air to die at the top of a hill. When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it.
The moral of this story is that when things don’t seem to be going your way, always know that God has a plan for you. If you place your trust in Him, He will give you great gifts. Each of the trees got what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined. We don’t always know what God’s plans are for us. We just know that His ways are not our ways, but His ways are always best.
May your day be blessed. And until we meet again, may God cradle you in the palm of His hand.


As we celebrate Christmas we often make the mistake of leaving baby Jesus in the manger. We decorate with nativity sets and we sing of silent night, but we forget that Jesus didn’t stay in the manger for very long.

On the last day before leaving on Christmas break I was sitting in a seminary assembly when we learned about the three levels of Christmas.

The first level is the level of Jingle Bells and Santa Clause. It is the level of stalkings and Rudolph, It is the level of elves and toys. While this level is fun, it often distracts from the more important levels of Christmas.

The second level is one of Jesus Christs birth. It includes silent night and nativity sets. When people tell the story of the birth of Jesus Christ, it is the second level in which they celebrate. While this is the most popular level when it comes to Christian Christmases, it is not the level we should stop at. Christ’s birth was the most magnificent birth, but there is so much more to be celebrated when it comes to celebrating Christ. I do not remember who said it, but there is a quote that says “the man who leaves baby Jesus in the manger will be sorely disappointed.” It is often said that if it wasn’t for Christ’s Atoning sacrifice, his birth would have been just another birth.

The third level of Christmas is possibly the most magnificent. The third level of Christmas follows Christ through the rest of his mortal ministry, and can also follow us into the rest of our year if we let it. This is the level of the Atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This level of Christmas celebrates Jesus as the Christ. Jesus was foreordained before the earth was created to become our Savior, by suffering for all of our pains and afflictions, atoning for our sins, and ultimately suffering the pains of death so that we might be able to return to live with our Father in Heaven if we might repent. The third level of Christmas is the real reason for the season.


I love the above story because it does not leave baby Jesus in the manger, but also gives a small glimpse into his life and ministry, as well as give a reminder as to why Christ is so celebrated this season; because of his Atonement. 

I also love this story because it invites you to place yourself into Christ’s story. It is a reminder that while Christ’s birth, life, and death are the greatest gift you have ever been given, it will prophet you nothing unless you accept him into your life and follow his commandments. 

As this Christmas season comes to a close I hope you all take a minute to celebrate the real reason for the season, and in the words of Adam, our seminary council president, “I invite you to dedicate some time to our Savior, and appreciate his eternal sacrifice and his condescension, so that all mankind may be saved. It is his birthday after all!”


I love you all so much and am thankful for you every day of my life. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all the joy I can summon. 




feel my sunlight



p.s. Santa brought me mission luggage! And fun fact… I can fit inside it! haha

 

Gratitude Grams

mmm… The world has left me breathless lately.

The way the seasons change is enchanting and I love it, even if it does mean I do have to double and triple layer all my clothes.

I’ve reticently created a new portfolio site, which is still in the works, but if you feel so inclined you can CLICK HERE to check it out!

Yesterday we had a party at one of my young women leaders house and one of the leaders, Sister Hartvigsen, walked in with a plastic grocery sack. When we inquired about the contents she replied, “I brought my favorite treat…” Being sure to leave dramatic suspense she then added, “MEN!!!” As she pulled out an assortment of ken dolls in scout uniforms. We died. Each of us now have a new bæ and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Aren’t they the cutest?!
 
And in other exciting news, shout out to Briana and Allison who are both turning 18 today!!! I hope you guys had the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!! 🙂

This week has been awesome and I’m finishing it off with speaking at STAKE CONFERENCE tomorrow. TOMORROW! I’m freaking out, but it all the best ways.

On an unrelated note, my life has been centered around gratitude lately. Gratitude grams that is. I am on the seminary council at my school and for the month of November we’ve been having the student body write gratitude grams, which are little slips of paper that students write notes to their friends to tell them how grateful they are for them.

We had a lunch activity this week where everyone came and ate graham crackers (see what we did there?!) and wrote gratitude grams. It was a blast and I must say that I am so thankful for this opportunity to serve on seminary council. I absolutely love the people I work with and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

Here are some cute pictures I took at the lunch activity.

So in spirit of the month of the month of thanks I want to challenge everyone at my school to keep sending gratitude grams, and I want to challenge everyone else to send a text or leave a note for someone you are thankful for, because they need to know.

feel my sunlight

p.s. Go read this blog. Exciting things are happening over there.

Future Sister Missionaries, Al Fox, and BYU Vocal Point

DISCLAIMER: This was the coolest day ever!

I am a part of a Facebook group called Many are called…. but few are sisters and this group is specifically for future sister missionaries and RMs and it is full of some of the coolest people I’ve ever met. Everything regarding serving as a sister is talked about in this group and I have learned so much from the comments and testimonies of these lovely sisters.

Every once and a while they have a meet-up at temple square. Where they get together and take pictures and sing songs and share excitement about serving missions.

I attended the meet-up today and it was a BLAST! I have never been with so many people that were so excited to serve the Lord. You could just feel the excitement in the air and I can honestly say that I fell in love with each of these girls even though I didn’t know most of them. They are truly God’s army and Satan had better hide because these girls are mighty! Here are a few pictures from the meet-up courtesy of the awesome photographers that came to take pictures of the group!

Me and my BFF/XTEAM MATE/CO-WORKER Teri
Kaitlyn and her cute flag
 
 

But wait! The excitement doesn’t stop there!

After the meet up a few of us were walking around temple square when I recognized a familiar face. {Spoiler: This face can be found at the bottom of my left column!} In case you are too lazy to scroll down that far we saw AL FOX CARRAWAY!!!  With her husband Ben, and their cute baby girl Gracie.

It took us a second to register that it was actually them and then as soon as it hit that it was ACTUALLY AL FOX we flipped out. For those of you who don’t know who Al Fox is you should really read her blog. She is my very favorite blogger, and my very very very favorite speaker. (remember when I went to a fireside she spoke at HERE?) She is seriously the kind of person I want to be when I grow up and she is a HUGE inspiration for my motivation to be a blogger.

So naturally when one sees one of their biggest idols they begin to panic and freak out. As did I and the cute girls I was with. And by the time we had contained ourselves enough to be able to go say hi she was gone…

BUT!

I tweeted her and this conversation followed…

So we ran as fast as we could over to H&M and found her in the men’s section. I went up to her and was like “Hey, I’m the one tweeting you!” and she was super cool and talked to us for a little while and then took a picture with us. She is seriously so fun and I am so grateful I was able to meet her and talk to her today!

But wait! The excitement doesn’t stop there!
When I got home my family notified me that we were going to go see BYU Vocal Point! They were incredible and I loved every second of their concert! If you’ve never heard their music click HERE!

So I’d say it was a successful day! Went to a future sister missionary meet-up, met my idol Al Fox, and went to see BYU Vocal Point in concert! I’m on cloud 9.

feel my sunlight

p.s. SHOUT OUT TO ADAM DUMMER WHO TURNS 18 IN 3 MINUTES!!!

p.s.s. Okay… Watch this video. ❤