I’m gonna run right up this hill.

I just thought I’d bust out a quick post while I wait for the washer to finish so I can switch my laundry. No I did not procrastinate my laundry until the last minute, I simply planned not to do it until it was absolutely necessary. So here I am at the end of a near perfect Sunday night waiting for the suds machine to finish so that I don’t have to wear dirty socks tomorrow. BUT ENOUGH ABOUT LAUNDRY! Let’s talk about Church. (my favorite topic!)

Tonight was our ward’s Young Women in Excellence. This is a night held once a year in which the girls are recognized for their accomplishments in Personal Progress. I need to make a HUGE shout out to Rylee, Raegan, and Meagan for getting their young women medallions today! Wear them with joy ladies! Seriously, I’m typing congrats so hard!

For those of you don’t know, earning a young women’s medallion is a big deal. You start this project when you are twelve, and it often takes until the end of your young women years (around age 16-18) to finish. That’s 4-6 years of incredibly hard work. It takes over 80 hours to finish the 8 projects alone, and that doesn’t include the 60 other smaller projects you have to complete. And when you are done with that big feat, you have the chance to earn an Honor Bee, which requires you to re-read the Book of Mormon, as well as complete 40 hours of service.

So as you can imagine, this is a big night for these three awesome girls. But what about for me?

I didn’t receive any awards tonight. I didn’t get any special recognition because I’ve already been awarded these great awards. I received my medallion back in February of 2013, and I received my Honor Bee not long after that. But what I didn’t realize until tonight is that I’ve already begun my next big project. And when I receive this next award it won’t be a charm to hang around my neck, but a badge I will wear on my chest. My next big project will look something like this…

So the project begins now. I am in the race to prepare to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints. I have roughly 160 days (ABOUT 5 MONTHS!) until I can begin my papers, 220 days until I can submit them, and 340 days until I can leave, and everyday in between will hopefully be filled with striving to become the kind of person that the Lord would want to have wear his name over their heart 24/7. It will take a lot of hard work, but I am so excited for this next big project. I’m gonna run right up this hill.

feel my sunlight

p.s. This song by Mindy Gledhill is my theme song right now. It was in the movie Meet the Mormons which I went to go see last night. It was serously so incredible! Go see it!
p.s.s. My laundry is done! Peace out world.

glorious

 Oh my! Life is beautiful; busy, but beautiful. Life is glorious.

Remember when my mom was a rather popular DIY blogger before she dropped off the face of blog land? (Seriously… Check out this post from back in 2008 when I wore super cute scrunchies and my mom taught me how to install door frames. This is quality stuff.) Anyways, since my mom doesn’t post her fancy projects anymore I thought I would. Her latest included a re-painted kitchen table, as well as several re-painted kitchen chairs in various colors. I’m kinda obsessed with the whole miss-matched color thing so I dragged them all outside and stacked them on top of each other. The pictures above are the result.

Life as been a serious balancing act reticently (see what I did there?!), and by “balancing act” I mean there are SO MANY awesome things happening that they are hard to handle. But somehow I’ve managed to keep them all stacked in such a way that they have created quite the entertaining spectacle.

This past week has been so crazy. When you can say you went to a homecoming football game, went zip lining, watched conference (which deserves it’s very own blog post, so stay tuned), went to school, coached 9 tumbling classes, had three meetings, learned about velocity-time graphs, the primary colors of physics, and jig lines, began filming a campaign video for mock elections in Government, started applications for college, and created a video game all in the same week you know you have a busy life. And oh how I’m glad it’s the weekend and that my only tasks for the rest of the day is to finish this blog post and buy myself a new journal.

Me, my cute friends, and our awesome guides after zip lining on Saturday!

So life is busy. But it is so so beautiful.

One of the most beautiful moments of the week was yesterday when my 9 year old sister asked me what the word “apostasy” meant. So I taught her the first discussion from Preach My Gospel. #BOOMBOOMPOW

This was seriously so cool for me. I have practiced teaching this discussion so many times in my mission prep class, but I have never actually taught it to someone that wasn’t just pretending not to know the answers. It was such a real missionary discussion, yet it was extra special because she is my baby sister. I am defiantly going to love the missionary life when it calls.

My second beautiful moment came when I asked one of my tumbling classes what they thought I should be for haloween when one of my 3 year old students shouted “PINK PRINCESS UNICORN KITTY!” I think I might just have to do that.

So I’d say it was a successful week! Long and brutal yes, but also glorious.

feel my sunlight

p.s. Isn’t David Archuleta just the coolest? That song is from the movie Meet the Mormons that premiered in theaters TODAY! I can’t wait to go see it!
p.s.s. For those of you who don’t know. I am a Mormon. Nice to meet you!

Exciting happenings

New pictures from Multnomah Falls in Oregon up on the Portfolio Site!

Happy Sunday my friends!!!

I’m in this really bad habit of starting blog posts and then not finishing them. Which explains my lack of posts. haha ops.

I was writing the other day when my mom said to me “how do you have so much to write about?” haha well to answer your question mom, I guess the more you write, the more you have to write!

And oh my GOOD-NESSSSS there are so many things to be excited about.

Exciting happenings:

1) I have been invited to coach competition team. This is a great opportunity and is proof that things really do work themselves out and that God really is involved in the details of our lives. God cares.

2) I turn 18 on Thursday! That’s 4 days away!!! WHOOO!

3) The Ogden temple celebration is this Saturday! After many long practices I am so excited to be able to join together with so many other youth in celebration of this awesome gift the Lord has given us.

4) The Ogden Temple will be dedicated next Sunday! The Ogden temple has been under renovation since I was a 12 year old. It is so exciting to finally have my temple back. By far the greatest 18th birthday present I could ask for!

 5) Conference is coming up soon! For us Mormons the Conference excitement is about the equivalent of Christmas. Conference is an opportunity for everyone to listen to living prophets speak. For me it means the tradition of watching church on TV in my pajamas, It means the tradition of making food with my family, and most importantly it means hearing the things the prophets of God have to say. Every time I watch I receive something that seems to be directed specifically to me. It will be broadcasted on TV, the radio, and online in several places and to learn more about where you can watch or listen to conference CLICK HERE! I encourage everyone, Mormon or not, to tune in to this incredible experience on October 4th and 5th. I promise you won’t regret watching!!!

So many fun things. Things are happening and life is swell. In the words of C.S. Lewis:

I love this so much because it speaks truth about the reality of life. Too often we find ourselves reminiscing on the past and wishing we were still there. I feel that sometimes we forget that God has a plan for our future, and not just for our past.  We can’t see the big picture so we just assume that there isn’t one. God has exciting plans for us, but in order to accomplish those things we must sometimes give up things we desire, suffer trial, and often ride into battle.

After all, you cannot be crowned Kings and Queens of Narnia, until after the battle is won.

The question is not; “who will win” for we already know the outcome of the battle, the question is rather; “what side will we be on?” Because while we already know that God’s army will win, it is up to us to decide if we will be fighting for him or against him. And if we decide to fight for him we will find that he has great reward for us. We will find that we become heirs to the kingdom of God, a gift in which I will gladly ride into battle for.

feel my sunlight

p.s. I wrote an ENTIRE blog post. Snaps and claps for me!!!

My trip to New York #EFY2014Palmyra

Whoa! Hi guys!

Today while coaching tumbling to my class of 2-4 year olds I asked the class to pretend to be an animal, and then I proceed to ask each child which animal they wanted to be. When I reached one of my small blond students I said, enthusiastically, “WHAT ANIMAL DO YOU WANT TO BE?” And she replied with: “A CUPCAKE!”

Any argument that your job is better than mine is invalid.

So, how are you my people? I hope you’re doing swell. I sure am, which might explain my lack of posts, but I promise I have good reason!

I spent last week in the beautiful Palmyra, New York.

I mean, is this not the most gorgeous place you have ever seen?!? I fell in love instantly.

So like you may know if you read any of my recent posts, I was there attending a special edition session of EFY. For those of you who don’t know, EFY stands for Especially For Youth, and it is a week of non-stop spiritual stuff, line dances, and pure awesomeness. This may or may have not been my 5th time going to EFY. I love it a lot.

Like I said, this was a special edition of EFY which means that instead of a normal session like the ones in Provo, we were able to travel to the various church history sights in and around Palmyra, which as you might know, was where The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints (AKA “LDS,” or “Mormons”) began.

Growing up in the church we hear about these places all the time, but being able to go there and experience these places for myself was awe-inspiring, and I loved every second of it.

So, I’ll spare you the details about what time I brushed my teeth, and what I ate for each meal (although, I must say that if you are ever in charge of providing food for anything, you should avoid meatloaf…) But I do want to share with you the more exciting parts, the amazing places I went, and things that were note-worthy of my journal. I apologize for the length of this post. It was an entire week of almost non-stop amazing experiences, and I filled 101 pages of my journal during this week alone. I did the very best I could at condensing it, but it is all so good! If you want a quicker read, I suggest you at least read all the italicized parts. Those are the very best!

Saturday July 26th- Raegan and I flew out from Salt Lake City to Rochester, NY all by ourselves. It was at this moment when we became pro-airport people. It’s a thing.

Sunday July 27th- Raeg and I went to Church in the morning at the chapel right behind the hotel. It was great how welcoming the ward was and just how many people went out of there way to say hi to us. We met several other people who were there for EFY and between all the visitors we at least tripled the size of their Young Womens group. It was awesome.

After church we took a walk to see the temple and the Sacred Grove, and then hung out with other people as they arrived for EFY.

Monday July 28th- The official start of EFY! This day consisted of the ever exciting orientational stuff. Getting to know your counselors and everyone in the group, hearing from our session directors, a fire drill, and some some great spiritual discussion right outside the Sacred Grove with our company.

Tuesday July 29th- After a breakfast of blueberry muffins and peaches, My company headed to Fayette to visit the Whitmer Farm. If I could pick a favorite place we went, this would be it. We were there in the morning and this is what I wrote in my journal as we sat outside taking in the beauty of the farm.

“We are currently at the Whitmer Farm which is one of the most beautiful pieces of land I have ever seen. This was where the church was re-organized and there is no doubt in my mind that this farm wasn’t hand selected. While sitting here I can feel the love of my Savior so strongly. I am at peace from the silent atmosphere and the gorgeous chirping birds. I can’t help but think that it would have looked exactly like this back on April Sixth of 1830 when the church was restored. This is sacred ground we stand on. Just like those who were here in 1830, I express my desire and determination to act in accordance to the commandments of God. I am determined to find more heavens on earth like this beautiful farm, and in places where there are no heavens, I am determined to create them. This is what Heaven feels like.”

After our time on the farm we went to visit the Hill Cumorah which is the place where Joseph Smith was guided to to find the Gold plates, which he translated and are now what we call The Book of Mormon. Here is my journal entry about this place.

“This is a surreal experience for me. I’m sitting atop the Hill onlooking a gorgeous view that stretches for miles. This was the very place on earth where Moroni sealed his testimony by burring the plates. He gave up his live so that I might be able to know the truth. It is also the very hill where Joseph was when he received the plates. He also gave up his life so that I might know the truth. I am forever grateful for these men, along with my Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave up their lives for me, so that I might know the truth.”

After the Hill Cumorah we went to Musical Program Practice, Dinner and then one of the most rockin dances I have ever been to.

Wednesday July 30th- After breakfast we headed to the Sacred Grove and Smith Farm House. While sitting in the Sacred Grove I pondered this statement;

“God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph Smith in this Grove.”

I then wrote the following;

“I need to think about this statement a little more. Either it’s true, or it isn’t….While sitting in the grove I ponder these words. I sometimes feel that I need to see for myself that it is true, but I don’t need to because I can see the evidence. I’ve never seen my own face. I’ve seen the reflection, and I’ve touched it, and I know that others have seen it, but I’ve never seen it myself, likewise is my testimony of the Gospel. I haven’t seen angels or heard voices, but I have seen the reflection of the truth in the way the sun comes up in the morning, I’ve been touched by the Holy Ghost, and I know that others have seen physical evidence. So no, I’ve never seen God, or heard a voice, but still, I know that this church is true, and that Joseph Smith really did see God the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ here. Because, like Emma Smith said, there are some things more certain than sight.”

After the Sacred Grove we visited Alvin Smith’s Grave, and then we toured the Grandian Building, which was the shop in which the Book of Mormon was first published.

After that we headed to the Palmyra Temple. Here is my journal entry.

“We are at the Palmyra temple and we just did baptisms and are in the waiting room waiting for the boys. This is a special experience because it is the only temple that had it authorized by the prophet to have a clear glass window. The window looking out shows a view of the Sacred Grove. It is significant because the Sacred Grove was the place where it all began, and the temple is why we are all here. From this window everything looks lush and healthy and it looks like how I imagine Heaven, beautiful and full of life. After we did baptisms we went outside to take pictures and as it started to rain we were blessed with the gorgeous view of a stormy sky, with a lit-up gold Moroni in the foreground. It was magnificent beyond description and I feel like with each of these magnificent experiences I reach closer to heaven and the thunder we can hear from inside the temple just confirms it.”

After the temple we had dinner, made up a cheer, had games night and Cheer-Off, followed by Pizza Night, and Reflect and Review in bathroom at the Hill Cumorah due to the pouring rain. One of the most memorable R&Rs by far!

Thursday July 31st- We started off with breakfast and then time in the Sacred grove as a company. After that we had an activity with just the girls that was splendid. After Lunch we had the EFY Game Show and a Musical Program Dress Rehearsal. And After Dinner I performed in Musical Program, which I had a speaking part in by the way, and that was followed by a Fireside, and Testimony meeting. During testimony meeting I wrote these words:

“I’ve never heard silence quite this loud. This is hollowed ground. This will always be a special place to me personally. We are here because we have Lives to Brighten, Hearts to Touch, And Souls to save, That we may all sit down together in Heaven. I’m walking on Sunshine”

After testimony meeting we had R&R on temple grounds and it was wonderful.

Friday August 1st- We started off the day at the Sacred Grove and then went to breakfast. We had a morningside, and company pictures, we then went to a Panel Discussion that was very good. After Lunch we went to the Variety show, and after free time and dinner we went to a second awesome dance. After the slide show and Taking it home we had R&R at the church.

Saturday August 2nd- We woke up and packed our bags. Said goodbye and headed to the airport. We flew back to Salt Lake with several of the other youth in our group, as well as most of the counselors including both of ours. In fact, we even sat in front of  my counselor Kourtney! It was fun and after we got back to SLC we said our real goodbyes and headed to Texas Road House for Dinner with my family and Raegan’s family where I proceeded to almost fall asleep due to the wonderful exhausting week I had just been through.

So, in all I’d have to say that it was a successful trip. I got to know some incredible people including my wonderful counselors Kourtney and Brady! They were so much fun to be around and I couldn’t think of two better people I’d rather have spent this week with. I’m so grateful I had this opportunity to go and that I made the effort to pay for most of it myself because it made it that much more special. Thank you to everyone who made this week so great! I will forever cherish it!

feel my sunlight

p.s. I promise a picture post soon!!! 🙂

Tumbling stuff and also conference stuff.

They told me Jr. Year was the hardest year.


They told me third term was the hardest term.

They wonder why third term of Jr. Year makes me cry.

So, I started writing this post a while ago, but due to the above statement it never got finished.

Ah blogging world, oh how I wish I had adequate time to interact with you more often.

So…. meet results.

For those of you who don’t know about this meet (you must be new, welcome) click here and here to get the prewrap (see what I did there gymnasts?!) on what went down this weekend two weekends ago. Anyways, I competed at the KLI this last weekend on the 14th and 15th and it went not as expected.

Unfortunately, I had a minor mistake that was sadly unfortunate. It was unfortunate because this kind of mistake discredits the rest of that pass giving you zeroes for the rest of the skills. I finished my first pass okay, and did a pretty good second pass, but unfortunately found myself at the bottom of the totem pole when it came to awards. Last place bites, but you know what? I was okay.

I was okay because of the experience I had at the meet. I had the chance to talk to the one and only Kalon Ludvigson a few times as well as give him a couple hugs. He said that the statement I made about him in THIS BLOG POST mad him “cry for like a week.” I hate to make people cry, but in this case I am quite happy about it. Thanks for being the incredible person that you are and for inspiring so many people both inside this sport and outside of it. I will forever feel privileged to be able to say “I know him” when talking about you.

I enjoyed this meet so much thanks to the incredible people I had around me. I must say that I love my coaches so much. Not every coach can make you laugh moments after you make a mistake, but I promise you mine can. I couldn’t do it without you.
I also thoroughly enjoyed running around the arena as well as city creek with this fun chick. Teri had been there for just about everything the past few years and I am so lucky to be able to call her my teammate. Love you Teriyaki!!

So, this blog is in need for a return to the gospel don’t you think? I haven’t written a good solid church topic post in a while. It’s time.

I have a few things to talk about. First off, I’d just like to say that temples are the best. They are seriously the greatest thing. I feel so blessed to be able to live so close to so many temples and to have opportunity to perform God’s work within the walls.

Secondly, let’s talk about conference for a minute.

I love conference.

Last week we had a seminary assembly and I had the opportunity to team teach a short lesson about conference with the incredible Adam Dummer. This topic has been on my mind quite a bit since then and can I just say that I am SO excited for conference.

I want you all to take a second to watch this video. It speaks so clearly the words that I wish to portray to you through my blog

Conference is truly my favorite time of year. Conference morning just about edges out every holiday morning in its greatness. I love it so much because it is a time when we get to hear from real and living prophets.

In the times of the Bible the Lord spoke to his people through prophets. (Think… Adam, Moses, remember those guys? Thought you might) The Lord spoke to prophets in the bible, it would only make sense to me that he would continue to speak to his children through modern day prophets, and HE DOES!

Conference is a time where we are addressed by modern day Prophets, Seers, and Revalators. The Lord speaks through them just as he did in times of old. He speaks through prophets to talk to his people. He speaks through prophets to talk to you.

I have a strong testimony that the words spoken in General Conference are the words of the Lord.

The Lord has declared that…

“whether by mine   
own voice     
             or by the voice 
of my servants,        
      it is the same.”
         -Doctrine and Covenants 1:38
Conference is a time of Joy, a time of rejoicing, a time of worship, and a time to turn to the Lord for council. I invite all, whether you are LDS or are not, to tune in on April 5th and 6th to see what this “conference thing” is all about and I promise you that if you sincerely listen, you will be changed in some way.
And to all women ages 8 and up I have another invitation to you.

I have a very strong testimony of conference. I know that these are true and living prophets that are speaking straight from the Lord. I have received answers to questions and comfort in times of trial countless times just through listening to these conference talks. I love conference and I want to share this love of mine with those around me so I ask you to tune in and to partake of this goodness.

feel my sunlight

p.s. Did I mention you can watch conference in your pajamas? Church in your pj’s? Greatest thing ever.
p.s.s. This whole “blog post thing” needs to happen more. Don’t you think?
p.s.s.s. Shout out to Dallin Checkets who is running for SBO! Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor!

get your rod on

Two things.
This,

 and this.

Your life is better now. 
I am in a ridiculously good mood right now. Conference was fantastic and I am finally registered for EFY express and I just can’t wait! It’s been a good day.
As any of you with a twitter know that the twitter overload that happens during conference is pretty crazy. Basically everybody on twitter tweets everything any of the speakers say included with there thoughts on just about everything. Its kinda fun. Out of all of the tweets I read to day my favorite by far had to be this one by Alex Boye
I thought it was an awesome tweet and it is going on a sticky note on my bathroom mirror as a reminder to live everything said during conference. It is a reminder to hold fast to the rod and to follow the teachings of God. I also like how by saying “get your rod on” it as if you are putting on an outfit for everyone to see. We aren’t just supposed to keep the commandments quietly, but we should be standing up to our beliefs and being an example to everyone around us. We are the Later Day Army. We are fighting for him and we want the whole world to see us that they might join us. So don’t be afraid to “GET YOUR ROD ON!!”
For the rest of my spiritual message for this post all I am going to say is I want you to watch any session or talk that you may have missed (first video), and let Michael Mclean’s music (2nd video) play sometime thought the next few days and really listen to what is being sung. Also, “GET YOUR ROD ON!!
feel my sunlight
p.s.  Isn’t conference the best?

extraordinary ninety and nine

Let me start out by saying that today is Friday. It is also conference weekend and if either of those things didn’t put a smile on your face I don’t know what will.

Its been a long week of late night (or early morning, whichever you prefer) homework sessions and I am so very ecstatic that Friday has finally come because I thought it never would.

I’m smiling today because I filled my journal and started inking this new blue bright happy one.

Journals are the best.

Over the past few days I have been overwhelmed with love towards all of those around me. The kid that runs me over in the halls to say hi, the friend from the locker room that is the most encouraging positive person I have ever met, the girl that I see almost every Tuesday morning at the temple, all those in my seminary class that made me feel loved by writing me on their papers saying that I inspired them. the best friends that share inside jokes, the teammates that make me laugh and feel important, the teachers that actually care, the random person driving a school bus that had the biggest smile in the history of big smiles, the amazing girls in my ward that make it so fun to serve, The cheerleader friend from my theatre days that always takes the time to talk and say hi, The friends and counselors from EFY that post amazing inspirational things on social media sites and that aren’t afraid to let their light shine, the two people that told me they adore my short cuteness the other day, the friends that share my excitement for conference, my amazing followers that read my blog and comment even though we have never actually met, the greatest Sunday school teacher ever that we can’t figure out why he isn’t a general authority, the bishop that laughs when we fill his office with creepy dolls, the cute girl that smiles at me in the halls every time she sees me even thought she doesn’t even know me, the motivational speaker that made me realize that there are better things than walking the red carpet, they psych lover that sits behind me in History that has the best laugh on this planet, the people in my life with large trials but never a lack of faith, the missionaries, those fighting for my country, they blog friends, the co-workers, the aunts, the uncles, the grandparents, the tumbling inspirations…. the list could go on and on.

I have come to discover that there is great in everyone. That every person has something to offer this world and that if we take the time to notice the good things, instead of the negative things we will be filled with love towards these people. Everyone is extraordinary. You are extraordinary.

We need to remember that

“the worth of souls 
is great 
in the sight of God
If we see others as God sees them we will begin to appreciate their company during this life so much more. We also need to remember that Jesus left the ninety and nine to rescue the one because the one was important. The one wasn’t important because he was the wisest or the biggest, or the most popular, or the most famous, but simply because he was part of the herd. We are all part of his herd and he cares about all of us more than we could ever know. He loves the ninety and nine just as much as he loves the one, so if you find yourself part of the ninety and nine, or the one, remember that you are extraordinary and he loves you.

feel my sunlight

 p.s. CONFERENCE IS TOMORROW! Click on this picture to watch it!

Come listen to living prophets