Whitney meets famous Mormons! [episode 1]

Whoohoo!!!

Here is the newest episode of “Whitney meets famous Mormons!”

JK that’s actually not a thing… but wouldn’t that be a cool show?! I think so.

It’s been an INCREDIBLE month when it comes to meeting incredible people.

I mean… I don’t think I’ll ever write a post again where I can say I’ve met Mallory Everton, T.C. Christensen, Hilary Weeks, Al Fox Carraway, Dawn Armstrong, and Anthony Armstrong all within the last month.

Several weeks ago two of my friends, SaBree and Kenna let me know that Mallory Everton from Studio C was speaking in their stake. I’m a huge fan of Studio C and so of course I went! She talked a lot about being in the world, but not of the world. I adored everything about her talk, but my favorite was when she was talking about perusing your passions and she said to “go with what you love, because you will serve more people that way… And wherever you are in life, the gospel will only make you better at it.”

She also gave me curly hair envy and inspired me to go back to my no-heat hair days.

haha thanks for being so awesome Mallory!


Since I’m on seminary council at my school I had the chance to help organize a morningside for the students at Layton High. We were so lucky to get T.C. Christensen come speak to us! For those of you who don’t know who he is, he is the directer of 17 Miracles, Ephraim Rescue, and he also helped with the movie Forever Strong.  He also has a new movie The Cokeville Miracle coming out soon. He showed us clips from his movies and gave us behind the scenes information about the stories in his movies.

What stuck out to me was the faith of the incredible saints that came before us. They went through a Hell that is unimaginable to me. If it wern’t for them I wouldn’t have the gospel in my life, which is the single thing that has brought me the most amount of joy. I will forever bless the names of my ancestors that came before me. While I may not be asked to die for my religion as many of them were, I have been asked to live for it. And I hope I can do it in a way that would make them proud.

This morningside also made it to the Standard Examiner! Read about it HERE!”


Yesterday I got a text from my adorable friend Lexi saying that Hilary Weeks was speaking in her ward. I’ve met Hilary two times before and both of those times were with Lexi so she said that it just wouldn’t feel right to hear her speak without one of the Reid girls there. haha Hilary is always one of my very favorite speakers and she is an even better singer.

What stuck out to me a lot in her talk yesterday where the words;

“He loves me & ALWAYS WILL”

God Loves us all the time. Not just some of the time. He knows exactly who we are and what we are doing. You matter so much to Him. Because of this love he has given us everything, but we can’t accept this “everything” unless we decide to follow Him. He doesn’t usually give us a long to-do list, so we need to follow with exactness. He will let our testimonies grow until He lets us graduate from this life. 
“The trick is to enjoy life and stop wishing away our time waiting for another day.”

Here are a few of my favorite Hilary Weeks songs…


And then TODAY was also a day for the books. If you’ve read my blog at all you probably know how much I love Al Fox Carraway. She is one of my all time favorite humans. I tell my mom all the time that “I want to be Al Fox when I grow up.” I can never get enough of her enthusiasm for the gospel. It’s seriously contagious. I’ve never seen a chapel so packed. I love love loved how when closing her testimony she said “in the name of Jesus Christ, my best friend, amen.” Because he is my best friend and I want to be able to have the same kind of love and excitement for the gospel as she does.

After hearing her speak I just wanted to shout to the world that “I KNOW THE CHURCH IS TRUE AND THAT HAPPINESS IS REAL!” Because that is the kind of feeling she gives me when she speaks. One of my favorite lines from her talk was;

“The Gospel is the greatest thing you will ever be a part of… and I love that.”

I also love that she took the time to talk to us and take a picture with us even though there were a BILLION people there. Also she remembered who I am which made me extremely happy. Thanks Al! Love you!


I’m not even done yet…

While at Al’s fireside I saw a few familiar faces. All of which played major parts in the movie

I got to talk to both Anthony and Dawn Armstrong who are the “missionary” and “missionary mom” in the movie.

They are both such incredible people. While waiting in line to talk to Al, Dawn came over to our little circle and talked to us for a really long time. She was seriously one of the NICEST people I have ever met. I swear she hugged me like four times.

She also promised us that she’d go with us to go see Meet the Mormons in Salt lake at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in a couple weeks… Like who does that?!

She just commented on one of my instagram pictures saying “You are such a doll!! It was my honor to meet you all tonight. Yeah for kept appointments! They bring the greatest friendships! Whoot whoot! Stay sweet precious girl!”

She’s seriously my new favorite person.

We also got to talk to Anthony for a little bit and I loved how when we asked him to take a picture with us he just said “I’m nothing special… just a regular RM.”

Excuse me bro… but you’re in like one of my favorite movies. haha

He was seriously one of the most humble “movie stars” I’ve ever met. haha Thanks so much for taking the time to meet us!


I am so thankful for all the opportunities I’ve been given to meet such incredible sons and daughters of God. I only hope that someday I can be half as good as these people. Thanks so much for all your enthusiasm for living the gospel. It makes me want to be a better person.

I have such a strong testimony that Jesus Christ really did die for me. That weather we are someone “Mormon famous”, or someone that writes a blog with 14 followers, He knows who we are, and He loves us.

GO FORTH AND FEAR NOT. FOR THERE ARE GREATER THINGS IN STORE FOR YOU.

feel my sunlight


p.s. I promise my life isn’t usually this cool. I just am an expert at crashing other peoples firesides.
p.s.s. I promise to blog more often. I’ve missed this corner of the internet.

I’ll keep writing

Hi I’m Whitney.

I didn’t pass my AP test.

I know that this seems like something I wouldn’t want to tell the world about. And something I defiantly wouldn’t want to post on the internet.

So why am I doing it?

Because I know there is somebody else out there who also didn’t pass their AP test. Somebody who isn’t very good at the instrument they play. Somebody out there who didn’t qualify for State Championships in their sport. Somebody who has disappointed their parents. Somebody who wants to be a cheerleader, but can’t do the necessary back handsprings. Somebody who doesn’t feel they are good enough. Somebody out there who doesn’t have as many friends as they would like. Somebody who has been fired from their job. Somebody who loves music, but is tone deaf. Somebody who dreams of a college degree, but didn’t get a scholarship. Somebody who has worked years to compete at national championships, and when they finally get there they find themselves in last place. Somebody who wants to open a restaurant, but can’t get the financing. Somebody who dreams of playing at the symphony, but has to wait tables. Somebody who dreams of dancing with the school dance team, but doesn’t see their name on the list of those who made it. Somebody who doesn’t get the job the want. Somebody who feels they failed.

So sometimes in life we fail.

It’s life.

Now, I’d like to share with you a list of people who failed.

Al {Fox} Carraway, My all time favorite speaker/blogger said in one of her talks that the only class she ever failed in college was public speaking. Did I mention she is my favorite speaker?

Henry Ford failed several times at his automobile inventions and his failures left him broke several times. Henry Ford later introduced the assembly line to automobile production and founded the very successful Ford Motor Company.

Walt Disney was fired from his newspaper job because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Today when I coach we often pretend to swim to stretch our arms when we are stretching. When I ask them where they want to swim to they all respond with an enthusiastic “DISNEYLAND!”

Fred Astaire received the response from an executive in one of his first screen tests saying: “Can’t sing. Can’t act. Slightly balding. Can dance a little.” According to Wikipedia, “
“His stage and subsequent film and television careers spanned a total of 76 years, during which he made 31 musical films, several award winning television specials, and issued numerous recordings. He was named the fifth Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute. Gene Kelly, another major innovator in filmed dance, said that “the history of dance on film begins with Astaire”.

U2 received this rejection letter.

 U2 Rejection Letter 

J.K. Rowling was a single mom living off welfare when she began writing the first “Harry Potter” novel, and then Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone was rejected 12 times and she was told “not to quit her day job.” She later went on to become the richest woman in the world because of her persistence.

If I were to remove the captions that go with each name you might think this was a section from the list of most successful people.

I’d like to add my name to the list.

Whitney Reid didn’t pass her AP English test. Although she isn’t seen as a good writer by those who grade the AP test, she is seen by a good writer by many others. She has been told countless times by people who read her blog that “they needed that at that very moment” and that “they love her blog.” She was recently asked to guest post on a blog called This Little Light of Mine and was introduced by the author as “Whitney from the amazing blog, Feel my Sunlight! She is such an amazing blogger and her blog is so inspiring! She has an awesome style of writing and design. Just see for yourself! Go check out her blog- you won’t be disappointed!!”

I don’t add my name to the list because I want to show you that I am successful, but because I want to show you that you can be successful. Your name is waiting to be added to this list. We all accept failure and defeat, but those who get up and keep moving after are those who find success.

So here’s to the people who fail at first attempt. There is no learning without failure. Success doesn’t come overnight and it defiantly doesn’t come easily. “It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

I failed my AP test, but I’m going to keep writing.

And because I am a power tumbler (gymnast) I spend much of my time scrolling through motivational gymnastics videos. This is one of my favorites. And if you’re failure doesn’t apply to gymnastics I want you to watch the video and simply listen to the words because they apply to you.

“Limits, like fears, are often just an illusion”
                                                    -Michael Jordan

What are you going to do?

feel my sunlight

p.s. Have you checked out Shelby’s blog This Little Light of Mine yet? You should! She is amazing and I was a guest post for her a few days ago. Check it out!!!

p.s.s. Have you ever experienced a failure which later led to success? Comment and let me know!!

for lack of a better title: I crashed my car

Today I am writing just to be thankful to write.

There are days were things like the color of your shoes, or how many boys talk to you, or the amount of time you spent doing on your hair matters. And then there are days where only the fact that you are still here matters.

Today is Tuesday. Temple Tuesday.

Temple Tuesday is the day were I wake up early (like EARLY) and go do baptisms at the temple. I often bring along a friend or two and we have a grand old time while the rest of you lay fast asleep in your warm beds. (And by “grand old time” I mean Mormon grand old time. It’s the best kind.)

So today was Temple Tuesday.

I woke up at 4:20 am. By 4:35 am I was picking up one of my best friends named Lauren. By 4:45 am my car looked like this…

Right now it is 7:42 p.m. I am sitting at my computer with my only marks of the crash on the surface of my skin and Lauren is at her house with only sore muscles and a scraped knee.

While this isn’t one of those stories where everyone walks away with out a scratch, it is one of those stories where everyone walks away.

Me, being the less than average height person that I am, took an airbag to the face where it should hit the chest, and now look like I got in a fight with a ninja and lost.

But I’m alive.

I’m alive.

I know there was divine help this morning on the icy freeway. I know that it wasn’t a coincidence that there was nobody at all around us in any surrounding lanes of traffic when we spun out of control and hit the median.  As we were spinning and crashing there was this odd sense of awareness that I felt. I panicked, but for some reason Lauren didn’t. For some reason she talked to me through the whole crash giving me play by play on what I should do. It was as if I had my tumbling coach on the side of the mat yelling things like “point your toes” “stretch” “faster” as I tumble down the mat to hit a perfect pass. I don’t doubt that there was some divine power helping her do that.I know it wasn’t a coincidence that when our car finally came to a stop it did so on the side of the road out of the line of traffic. I know that it wasn’t a coincidence that the three men with construction vests in the truck were there as soon as our car came to a stop. I know that it wasn’t a coincidence that we both walked away.

Now, for me it’s easy to see the hand of the Lord in situations like this, but it is sometimes harder to see his hand in our everyday lives.

We live in a day where Satan does his very best to confuse people. We live in a day were confusion and chaos is a day to day thing. He wants us in distress. He wants us to fear. He wants us to forget our faith.

 In these tumultuous times many don’t know where to go for peace. Its as if peace is hidden, when really, it is right in front of them. We live in a world where big calamities are seen as trials, but we often forget that there are more destructive. Jeffery R. Holland speaks of a type of destruction that is more destructive than tornadoes, earth quakes, and might I say, car crashes. This destruction is spiritual destruction.

I add my testimony to Elder Hollands that weather I am to die today or I am to die in a far future I want to be able to stand before God and say that I believe the Book of Mormon to be true. I believe in Christ. I believe in the words of Christ. I believe in his church. I believe that He will provide and I will treasure up his word.
AND NOW PICTURES FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT!
Lauren and I with my car on the tow truck. My face was swollen so this was the best smile I could manage.
tow truck at 5am!
Car crash face!
Me right after the crash
My at 7:00 pm
Me at 7:00 pm again

me attempting to smile. #fatface

feel my sunlight
p.s. Quote of the day: 
“my biggest regret is that we didn’t take a selfie.”
“WE ALMOST DIED”
“we need to sort out our priorities”
p.s.s. My second biggest regret is that I left my deodorant in the van. Have no fear! I got some more.
love life my friends.

Blogswap! Work is sweet

Hey guys! Today I’m going to something awesome and let the Lovely Sarah from sprinklesonmyicecream.blogspot.com take over my blog! She is a FANTASTIC writer and I love her blog. Today I am also taking over her blog as well so as soon as you read this post hop on over to her blog and read my guest post. {This post marks day one of 30 days of thanksgiving so check it out!}

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hey guys! Whitney and I are doing a blog swap today! My name is Sarah. I am a Mormon teen, lover of ice cream, blogger, avid photographer, and really slow runner. [I included running in this list so I would sound cool and buff, but I wouldn’t be being honest unless I also added that I run slower than a gold fish. And yes, I’m aware gold fish don’t run. This goes to further illustrate my point. 😉 ] 

https://i1.wp.com/i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01396/fish_1396516c.jpg
Image Source



But I have an even greater love than reading, photoshopping, playing the piano, and eating ice cream out of the carton with a spoon. The gospel of Jesus Christ is my rock and my strength. Speaking of which, let’s stop talking about me and talk about Him instead, shall we? 😉


Have you ever heard the song, Sweet is the Work? Since my website is “a blog about the sweet things in life”, I like to think that I’m a pretty good judge of things that are sweet [especially ice cream. Delicious!]. But do you want to know a secret? Whenever I hear the word “work”, I don’t usually think about sweet things. In fact, my first instinct is usually to cringe and make a face like this:
https://i0.wp.com/www.blufftontoday.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/superphoto/photos/blogs/30398/babycrying.png
Image Source
Do you feel my pain? 

I think that all too often we associate work with bitter brussel sprouts instead of the wonderful, luscious, decadent candy that it truly is.


The other day, my seminary class was reading from 2 Nephi 5. In this chapter, Nephi explains how he has just separated the righteous part of his family from the Lamanites. I’m sure you remember how different the Nephites and Lamanites are from each other at the beginning of the Book of Mormon. The Nephites were righteous followers of Christ while the Lamanites, well….weren’t. 


Eventually, it became imperative that Nephi separate his family from them so that his children would be able to grow up in a righteous environment. 


I’m sure you remember how many times the Lamanites were reminded that they should repent or they would be punished. [I wonder if Heavenly Father kind of felt like my Mom when she asks me to clean my room. “Sarah, I’ve told you a million times…get your laundry off the floor!” Does that sound familiar to you, too?]


So, after the Nephites left, it was time for Heavenly Father to fulfill His prophecy that the Lamanites would be “cut off from His presence” if they didn’t shape up. They never shaped up, so they got cut off like my hair at the beauty parlor. [I know that might not sound very dramatic, but you should have seen my last haircut. I asked for 1/4 inch off and came back with 2 inches less hair. It was pretty intense.]


I find it really interesting that one of the first things Nephi notes in this account is the difference between the Nephites and Lamanite’s work ethics.


In verse 24, Nephi says this of the Lamanites:

And because of their cursing which was upon them they did become an idle people….
Now, here’s what the Nephites were up to while the Lamanites twiddled their thumbs:

We did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things, according to the law of Moses. (Verse 10)
 And the Lord was with us; and we did prosper exceedingly; for we did sow seed, and we did reap again in abundance. 
And we began to raise flocks, and herds, and animals of every kind (Verse 11)
And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance. (Verse 15)
And I, Nephi, did build a temple. (Verse 16)
 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cause my people to be industrious, and to labor with their hands. (Verse 17)
How many times did Nephi mention forms of work in there? I’m no math expert, but I counted ten different examples in just these four versesThat is a lot of labor! 


Now, here is the killer point I’ve been getting at. [Sorry it took so long!]


Which group do you think was the most happy? The TV-vegging Lamanites [just kidding!] or the industrious Nephites?


Upon first impression, it might seem like the Lamanites were the most joyful. I mean after all, who likes doing chores, anyway? But guess again, my friends.


The Nephites are actually the ones who got the better end of the deal. While the Lamanites became a “loathsome” people (verse 22), it is said that the Nephites “lived after the manner of happiness” (verse 27)


I don’t know about you, but living after the manner of happiness sounds pretty awesome to me. 


It might seem like a catch-22, but even though work is hard and unenjoyable at times, it truly does open the doors to a whole flood of wonderful blessings. Says Elder D. Todd Christofferson:


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-okvgfdk9CpA/UnRJn7UoazI/AAAAAAAAApk/Wi63O3_E1Mg/s1600/work.jpg


I have found these words to be so true in my life. Work truly is a grand blessing– not a horrible curse. Just like the people of Nephi, we can “live in the manner of happiness” as we are diligent in our labors. 


As the beloved hymn says, work truly is Sweet. [Sweeter than sugar and ice cream, I might add!]

May we all willingly partake of it’s deliciousness,


 Sarah

do his work

 My heart is full. I think that’s how I always feel when starting blog posts. Today it is more than true.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to a tumbling camp with Teri. While there, I got to catch up with some people that I had been missing dearly. Shawn, B, and Ashlie all used to be part of the Flipside team, but the Lord called them to other places. They have always been there for me and I love them all a whole lot. It was so much fun to be able to spend the day with them.

Camp was good for the most part. I hit a skill I haven’t been able to connect in over a year on trampoline (tuck barani back tuck) and I also did double fronts (front flip with two flips) off double mini onto a large crash mat for the first time in EVER. That was great fun. I didn’t accomplish the things I wanted to on floor because not long into the second session my back started to hurt and I had to stop. Have no fear, it’s nothing serious, today it’s just super tight muscles and a need for ice and stretching. The usual.

After camp and swimming and dinner we (Me, Teri, and B) headed to the Logan temple to do baptisms for the dead. The temple is so great and I have such a deep love for the temple and the peace I have received in attending the temple. 

Salt Lake LDS Temple
I mean, isn’t it the most gorgeous place you have ever seen? picture via Pinterest.

I was flipping through my journal. (Because I have an obsession with my scripture journals) And I noticed something I wrote on August 7th…

“God often does his work through other people. Make sure he can count on you to get it done.”
At the time I had been writing about doing service for those around us in this life, but looking back on it I can see that by going to do baptisms for the dead we are also doing service for those who have passed on to the next life. Baptisms for the dead can only be done on this earth and the Lord needs us to do that work so that all his children might be able to have the opportunity to live with him again. This gives me even more motivation to attend the temple and to make sure he can count on me to do his work and to get it done.
Again, my heat is full. It is full with gratitude towards my cute little brother who made me eggs this morning. It is filled with love towards those around me who have been so great to me these last few years. It is filled with joy from knowing that I have taken part in helping God get his work done. It is filled with a love for my sport and gratitude that I have been given so many wonderful opportunities to go new places, and to meet such great people through tumbling. My heart is full of prayer for our friend Kalon that he might recover. It is full from knowing that I am loved. My heart is full.
And now, on an unrelated note, yet sorta related since I have been talking about temples, and marriages happen temples, here is a picture that my aunt Stefani just posted from her wedding 8 years ago that I just adore.
My sister Miki in her blessing dress, me in my baptism dress, and my Aunt Stefani in her wedding dress. Aren’t we cute?

And before I sign off I just wanted to share with you this video about sister missionaries that I watched this morning. I myself am planning on serving a mission when I’m 19 and videos like this make me even more excited to do this work.

 

Life is so great.

Feel my Sunlight

p.s. We rearranged our front room and I can now look out the window while I blog. I kinda love it.

Pray for Kalon

Any of you remember the time I posted about that international competition in SLC that I competed at while I had a sprained ankle? AKA The Kalon Ludvigson Invitational. Or any of the other times I posted about Kalon and how awesome he is? Well this post about Kalon is a different post. It is a post to tell Kalon how much we love and appreciate him and it is a call for prayers from each of you.

For those of you who don’t know who Kalon is, Kalon Ludvigson is the USA’s most decorated tumbling athlete since being included in the FIG programme. He holds 20 World Cup and World Championships Medals as well as setting the World Record for Difficulty in 2008 and 2011.

Kalon was born in Sterling, Utah where he found gymnastics at the age of 8. He was a recreational athlete practicing 2 times a week until he decided to focus on his training at age 15 and seriously pursue elite level competition. Kalon became the youngest senior elite tumbling national team member at the age of 16, and won his first U.S. Senior National Tumbling Title in 2006 and hasn’t lost a U.S. Competition since. (Kalon’s biography on facebook)
I have known Kalon for the majority of my tumbling life. He and his coach, Justen, have done many camps and clinics that I have been to and they have been a huge help to me with my tumbling. They have both taught me so much and I always love seeing them, talking to them, and learning from them when they are around. I have been privileged to get to see Kalon tumble every month when I am at meets and I love being able to say “I know him”. 
This last week something shocking happened. Here are the posts and statements in order by both Justen, and USA Gymnastics.
It has been an eye opening week. Many prayers have been said in behalf of Kalon and Justen and I just wanted to say thank you to them for being so good to me and my team over the years. I will never forget the February meet when I hit a pretty good pass and got a Justen hug right after, or the time Kalon signed our credentials at nationals. I love and support you both and am so thankful to have been able to have you in my tumbling life.
I just want you to know that Flipside is praying for you. And to all of you out there reading this Flipside is starting a Kalon Fund to help you them medical costs. If any of you would like to donate to this either contact me, or donate directly to Kalon HERE!! Anything helps.
Kalon we are praying for you. Stay strong my friend and get better fast! You are always going to be an inspiration to many. We love you!
 

Feel my Sunlight

p.s. Um Sundays rock my socks.