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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What I love today

I love when people tell me they read my blog. I also love when I nail something and my coach cheers for me. I love when I can feel the eyes of the little ones watching me and when I can hear their cute little voices say "lets go Whitney!" behind me right before I tumble. I love temple trips with friends. I love that even though the two closest temple were closed today, the furthest one was still only 30 minutes away. I love when my former students run up and give me hugs. I love things that remind me of EFY. I love filling my journal and I love the things that fill my journal. These are the things I love today.
Oh! I also love this quote...

"If a man owns a million dollars worth of gold, he possesses approximately one 27-billionth of all the gold that is present in the earths thin crust alone. This is an amount so small in proportion as to be inconceivable to the mind of man. But there is more to this: The Lord who created and has power over all the earth created many other earths as well, even "worlds without number" (Moses 1:33); and when this man received the oath and covenant of the priesthood, he received a promise from the Lord of 'all that my Father Hath' (D&C 84:38)"
-President Spencer W. Kimball


And lastly, I love songs that are titled "home".







Feel my Sunlight


p.s. Uh, so what's with this whole no-upper-levels-showing-up-to-tumbling-and-leaving-Whitney-to-fend-for-herself-thing? Well I'll have you know I had a fantastic time during adventure time with Steph and you didn't get to participate. Ha!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Meet the conditions

Today was a sad day for my sport. The World Games are underway in Cali, Columbia (for those of you who don't know, the World Games are the equivalent to the Olympics for non-Olympic sports.) Due to circumstances regarding safety the FIG (International Federation of Gymnastics) has requested a waiver to be signed, and the US has refused to sign it because it puts the athletes at high risk, and therefor, the US has been forced to pull out of the World Games It is very sad for me to think of all the work that these athletes have put into this sport, only to be pulled out at the last second. {Read more about what happened HERE.}

Now all this EFY, relate it to the gospel, lifesaver stuff made me think "what in our lives are stopping us from signing our waiver to allow us to enter the Temple?" I know this is a stretch, but bear with me.

In our lives we all have the goal of the temple, yet there are things that could stand in our way from being able to sign our "waiver" or our temple recommend. These conditions (temple recommend interview questions) if not met would force the bishop to have to refuse our participation in temple ordinances.

I now challenge you to "meet the conditions"

To me "meeting the conditions" doesn't mean do as little as you possibly can, but enough to still make it. It means strive to be your very best so that when the time comes there is absolutely no question as to weather or not you are fit to enter into his kingdom. "Meeting the conditions" does not mean you train like you are going to the "spooky spectacular", but to the World Games. "Meeting the conditions" means you are anxiously engaged in a good cause, and are in constant prayer with your Father in Heaven. It means that you study and love your scriptures, and you apply them often. It means you attend church, and you pay attention. It means you give 110% in your callings and you look for opportunities to serve. It means you are a good example and you let your light shine. It means you strive to be perfect, but because none of us are, you recognize your faults and you work at making them better. It means rising to the occasion.

Now since none of us are perfect and we all slip up sometimes there should be no way we would be able to sign our "waiver". But we have been given a mediator, a person who will sign the parts we can't sign as long as we have done what we must do for him to sign them. Through the Atonement Jesus Christ has taken all of our hurts, our trials, and our heart aches and has suffered that we might not have to suffer. Our sins are taken from us when we repent and they are remembered no more. Through him we are able to be made clean again and are able to sign our waiver allowing us to enter into his Kingdom.

I have a testimony of the Atonement and I know Jesus Christ suffered for all my sins and heart aches. He knows what I have been through, and if we call out his name he is more than willing to reach down and lift us up out of the water, no matter how deep we are sinking.




Feel my Sunlight



p.s. I feel like if my life were a movie this would be the part of the movie where they show a montage of me staring out of the window of a car dramatically with clips of me going back to normal life while they play the song Home by Michael Buble. It feels fitting.
p.s.s. post-EFY-withdrawls stink! Lets go back.
p.s.s.s. Going back to the gym is hard. But it feels so good. <3 I love my team!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Rejoice

I love love love this gospel because it gives me hope. It gives me hope that for everything I am doing, and all the effort I am giving I might one day be rewarded for it and that my efforts won't be in vain.

One of the lovely girls from my group this last week shared with us a scripture. This is now one of my very favorite scriptures. Here's why.


"And I soon go to the place of my rest,   
    which is with my redeemer
for I know that in him I shall rest.          
  And I rejoice in the day when my 
mortal shall put on immortality,       
       and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face 
      with pleasure
and he will say unto me;             
          Come unto me, ye blessed
here is a place prepared for you in the          
    mansions of my Father. Amen."
                     -Enos 27

I love the word rejoice from that scripture. It reminds me that I should not fear what might happen to me in this life, for if I endure it well, I might gain everything and be blessed when I return to live with my father. And when times get hard, and struggles happen he is always there. Just one prayer away.




 

feel my sunlight



p.s. I am obsessed with EFY music. Isn't it great?
p.s.s. My mom is awesome. Just sayin.
EFY counselors are the greatest. I love them all.
My heart is full. I love EFY and the post-EFY-withdrawls are starting to kick in. The week after is always the hardest. Here are my pictures I promised. :)






Feel my Sunlight



p.s. The church is true and makes me oh so happy. :)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

soap and lifesavers

The cutest group of girls that you ever did see.


Well, I am done with EFY for this year and let me tell you it has been fantastic! Now, I won't say it has been the best two weeks of my life because I was told that I should make the week after EFY even better. That is a hard challenge because EFY pretty much rocks, but I accept it.

Now, I won't give you a layout to what happened each day this week because that's not the message I want to share, but I will share with you what I feel upon coming home. I have met so many awesome people this year who have changed my life for the better. I feel blessed, I feel loved, I fill lifted, I feel cleaner, and I feel stronger.
I feel cleaner and more refined in this world of dirt and I feel a need to hand out my "soap" to the world and invite others to use it. These scriptures have been my soap from this week. Learn and love them. {And Amberleigh, that soap analogy was for you. *lifesaver!*}


Today I found a reminder that I need to be careful. Today I discovered that our new search engine on our laptop is called "babylon" Now, this reminded me that while there can be good found on the internet, there is enough bad to equal Babylon and that we must be careful if we don't want our language {or our internet} confounded. I laughed at this, but marveled at its truth. I have already seen the powerful workings of the adversary on Pinterest today and can see that if we aren't paying attention and watching ourselves, how quickly he could pull us down.  {*lifesaver* to the internet for that analogy!}

But I have also seen good in the world today. I discovered that the first presidency and the quorum of the 12 now have Facebook pages and I liked every one of them. If you are my friend on Facebook expect some scripture love to flood your feed. Today I used the internet to read a blog post about Lemons that I just loved, and I have also used the internet to watch the Emma Smith movie via Netflix and totally recommend you all go watch it! This just goes to show that there is opposition in all things, and that it is our decision on how we want to use it. Choose wisely.

Now my lovely neighbor just brought us cookies with chocolate chips AND m&m's in them for no particular reason. What a "zion like" thing to do. I don't know about you but that makes me want to go do something good. What are you going to do?



Feel my Sunlight



p.s. EFY, Nationals, Trek, EFY, 4th year hike, girls camp, tumbling camp. Can summer get better? I submit that it cannot.

p.s.s. There are more EFY pictures to come later. :)

p.s.s.s. Just so you know, the term "lifesaver* refers to the fact that every time you came up with an analogy for the gospel at EFY our lovely counselor Amberleigh would throw you a lifesaver. Analogies = Lifesavers

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July 24th buckets

I know I have been away from the nest lately{and by nest, I mean this beautiful little piece of the internet that I call my blog.} but I have good reason. My heart is filled with thoughts and emotions as I sit here at my computer in my EFY t shirt watching fireworks that are probably illegal explode outside my window. The last few days, as well as the majority of the summer, have been extremely thought provoking and have ultimately made me a better person. Now the only way I think I can explain my testimony this summer is to say that if a testimony was measured in water, I have gained buckets. I have gained buckets of love, and buckets of joy. I have had buckets of spiritual experiences that have taught me things that I have never even thought of before.
These experiences stretch from the first session of EFY I attended this summer with the amazingly wonderful Mamma ShellBell {and by the way, the screaming of my name and attacking me with a huge hug on Monday basically made my life and I just love you so stinkin much and you are basically the greatest ever.} and my awesome company #TheCharitytez who taught me so much and who reminded me that there is much more to life than tumbling. This session of EFY taught me about the pioneers in a sense that I had never thought about before.
My next rendezvous took me to Missouri where I competed at the US Power Tumbling National Championships, but tumbling is beside the point in this post. Tumbling took me to Missouri, but what I found was much greater. In Missouri I was given the opportunity to visit Far West, Independence, Adam-Ondi-Ahmen, and Liberty Jail.These were things that I might only get to see once in my lifetime, and they are things that helped me get a greater understanding of my pioneer ancestors and their reasons for crossing the planes.
Not long after the Missouri experience I put on my bloomers and headed out on pioneer trek. {are you sensing a theme here?} This was an incredibly awesome experience that I haven't shared much about due to the fact that immediately following pioneer trek I headed to my second session of...
EFY! Which is where we are now. See, I have this obsession with EFY where 1 week just isn't enough. We just finished day 3 of EFY this week and let me just say it has been absolutely incredible and I have loved every second of it thus far. Now I have had an experience that came as somewhat of a surprise to me. Yesterday during dinner our fantastic guy counselor Jett came up to me and said "Amberleigh wants to talk to you." {I must add here that Amberleigh is my counselor and she is pretty much the coolest person that you will ever meet and I am obsessed with her knowledge of quotes and scriptures and her ability to make things fun. I love you Amberleigh!} Well Amberleigh asked me about my instagram and I had no idea what she was talking about. She later explained to me that someone was posting things bashing the church on my instagram. I won't go into much detail on that, but I want to say that this experience taught me more fully how the saints felt before they left to come to Utah. I feel like I now understand a sliver of what they must have felt like to be persecuted.
Now, I have had many many more spiritual experiences that I would love to write about, but unfortunately I must arise early tomorrow because tomorrow is going to be a long amazing spiritual day, and my bed is calling. So I leave you with my testimony of the Mormon Pioneers and that they crossed the planes for a true religion. The entered into Zion that I might be able to live in peace and freedom to worship my God. I have a testimony that I know this is the only true church and that no matter what anybody says or does to try to convince you otherwise, you must stand firm in the faith and be a witness and a beacon of light to the world around you. These are the later days and we are the later day army. We must fight with everything we have and do everything in our power to honor our pioneer heritage and the legacy they have left for us. We have big footsteps to follow, but we have been given the tools to do it. I know this church is true and that Thomas S. Monson is a true and living prophet. I love this gospel and all the joy it has brought. I have a strong love for all of you and I write these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.



feel my sunlight



p.s. Um... have I ever told you I love EFY, and that I love all my counselors? Shout out to the incredibly awesome Kjarinda, Randi, Braden, Michelle, Spencer, Jett, and Amberleigh. You guys are such great examples to me and I love you all so dearly.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

youtube love

Well, I'm leaving again... for a week and a half minus the weekend. Trek and my second session of EFY! I leave in the morning. Here are a few awesome videos that have nothing to do with each other to keep you entertained while I'm gone since I know you have nothing to do but read my posts. Love you all!!






feel my sunlight p.s. I am going to trek in the morning... AHHHHHHH

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Do not dwell

Stolen from the Mormon Channel... I like it.

I know I have written about tumbling quite a bit as of late, but I promise I will try to make it something you can relate with today. At least I will try.

Since my defeat at nationals (and no, I'm not saying I was defeated in the sense that I did terrible and I feel like a failure, I was defeated in the sense that I knew I was better than what my performance showed.) I have gotten a new perspective on things. See, when I first saw my ranking among the best athletes in the nation I was quite disappointed. I was mad at the judges, I was jealous of those select few with the opportunity to stand atop the podium and receive huge shiny medals, I was angry with the girls that I believed should have scored lower than I did, but most of all I was angry with myself. I was fuming on the inside and began to deteriorate and downgrade myself with thoughts about giving up because I might not be the golden girl, and thoughts that I might not ever be good enough. I was destroying my confidence and soon realized that it had to stop. In my anger I decided to put on a happy face and follow the advice from Shawn to enjoy the rest of the trip. I put on a smile and decided that it wouldn't make any sense to let this ruin my trip so I didn't let it and I must say It became one of the most fun trips I have ever been on.
When I got home I had a moment of defeat, but I soon had to make a decision. I could either cry and whine about it, or I could turn my defeat into hard work and my hard work into success. I realized that the attitude I bring to the table will be the most important ingredient in my final product and that if I wanted to make something of myself I had to start now. I knew I had the support from many of those around me and that no matter what I was a daughter of God and that if I made the right decisions I would be okay.
I made the decision then and there that I would punch this with everything I had. I made a vow that I would listen to my coaches and do my everything to accomplish what they tell me to do. No matter how terrified I might be. I made the decision that I would train harder than I ever had before.
I have had two days of training since I have made this decision. I have improved my attitude and my effort to listen to my coaches. I have put on tramp shoes once again and called out for help. I even got up early this morning to run with my brother. The results have been great and it has only been two days. The support I have received from Steph and Kodee have helped me regain my confidence and their support helps me push myself to my limits every time I punch off that mat. I love you two and am so thankful for you help! please don't stop what you are doing. You guys rock.

Now I share this with you mostly because it all that has run through my mind over the last few days, but I also share it for another reason. I share this with you as a proof that your attitude determines your outcome. You can make an excuse for everything. There is always going to be something that hurts or something that doesn't feel right, but if you give in to those excuses you will never become what you want to become. Some people have it handed to them with raw talent and never have to work hard, Some people just have the ability to do what the judges what to see. I on the other hand, don't have that raw talent, but I do have a determined attitude. I heard a quote a long time ago that said...


"Hard work        
       beats talent      
      when talent doesn't            
work hard."


I intend to be that hard work. What are you going to work hard at?



Feel my Sunlight



p.s. Today Kodee and I legitly convinced one of our girls that Kodee's real name is Friday. I didn't think she really believed us but at the end of class she came up to me and said "Friday said I could have three treats." I almost died.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

On the right track.

I know most of you don't have a clue about tumbling, but this has been on my mind as of late due to recent events. Lately I have felt like I didn't know what I wanted to do with this sport. I wasn't sure how long I wanted to continue and I wasn't sure what I wanted to work for other than another national championships. At one point in my life I wanted nothing more than to compete at nationals and making the flipside nationals team was for me about as big as making the Olympics. It was a long term goal that would take a lot of work. I trained like crazy and accomplished that dream. Well then what? I did it again twice with only the goal of making the team and representing my gym. I had not pushed my dream any further than that. I did not want to push the dream any further because I knew I could easily accomplish it again. This is where I went wrong. Just like in the movie Tangled where Eugene tells Rapunzel that if her dream is all she expected it to be that she must find a new dream, I realized that I must have a new dream if I want to have something to work towards. Well my new dream starts with receiving a mobility score so that I might one day be able to move on to bigger and greater things. My dream also includes making it onto the podium at a national championships. This is going to be hard and I just pray it is not to crazy for me to accomplish. But I once heard a quote that inspired me to dream big. It said...

"Aim for the sun,       
         If you don't make it,
at least you will land amongst   
        the stars."


This is my goal. Aim high and dream big. This dream starts with a 6:30 run tomorrow morning with my little bro. It also leaves me at the computer studying body positions until my eyes are dry and fall out. I think I am on the right track.



Feel my Sunlight



p.s. I love my coaches a whole lot. Thanks for all the help and support. I promise to work harder than you have ever seen anyone work before.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I'M HOME! {from the 2013 US Power Tumbling National Championships in Kansas City, Missouri}






I have spent the last week in Kansas City, Missouri as an athlete competing in the 2013 US Power Tumbling National Championships. This was my third national championships, and while I can't say the results of the competition where what I was hoping for, it was magnificent none the less.

Tuesday~ July 2nd

I started off the week getting on to an airplane with nobody except my lovely team mate Teri. First time flying alone without parents for both of us so that was kinda fun and I'm sure our parents were freaking out the whole time. But have no fear, we made it to and from Kansas City and we are now professional flyers. We spent the rest of the day doing things like this...


Wednesday~July 3rd

We headed to our training session early in the morning and lets just say that didn't go so well. After our warm up session we decided to spend the day in the midst of church history. This was one of the very best parts about having Nationals in Missouri. I myself, being that odd Mormon girl that I am, absolutely love things that have to do with all things churchy so this was fun. We went to visit Liberty Jail (where the  prophet Joseph Smith was held for about 4 months. This was were he received the revalations that are now D&C 121,122,123), Adam-Ondi-Ahmen (the third temple commenced but never constructed. It is believed to be the place of the Garden of Eden, and where Christ will someday come again to receive the keys of the kingdom in preparation of his second coming and where he will hold his council with his stewards of all dispensations.), and Far West (the second temple commenced but never constructed. The corner stones have been laid and will it someday be built.)
These were awesome experiences and was a day I will never forget.



Thursday~ July 4th

Competition day! I hit passes that were much better than in training and that were better than warmups and that I was proud of, but that were unfortunately not good enough for this competition. I scored a 41.60 and placed 38th overall. While this was not the results I was hoping for, I am very thankful for all those around me supporting me and for the opportunity to compete this year because I know many people who didn't even make it this far. Congrats to all my competitors! You all did fantastically amazing and I am so glad we could become friends even though we are competition. After my competition we watched Anedy compete in prelims. She did amazing and was in third place in the nation after prelims was over with one more competition to come.
After the meet we were going to go do baptisms for the dead in the Kansas City, Missouri temple. We forgot that it was the fourth of July you see, so we forgot that the temple was closed. So no baptisms :/ I was kinda bummed but it's okay. After that we headed to Independence (I know, fitting for independence day right?!) where the first temple was commence to be built in this last dispensation, but has not been built yet. We toured the visitors center and the missionary that took us around was just awesome. We decided not to go to fireworks since we knew it would be an early morning the next morning with competitions and such. So we watched fireworks outside our window as they exploded all across the horizon.

 Friday~ July 5th

We got up early and headed to the arena. Teri competed in prelims for floor and was ranked fourth after prelims, Anedy and Eden both competed Double Mini and both did AMAZING placing 54th and 56th out of HUGE groups. After that we watched the Elite prelims and our lovely coach/team mate Stephanie compete as a senior elite finishing prelims in third.The elite competitions are always my favorite to watch.

Saturday~ July 6th 

On Saturday we watched Teri compete in finals on floor and she did amazing placing 4th in the nation. After that we watched finals for the elites. Our absolutely amazing coach/team mate Stephanie competed Senior Elite and placed 3rd overall. We love you Steph! I love love love watching the elite competitions and this was a fun competition and guess what! You can watch it!




After Steph competed she gave each of us one of her flowers and I am proud to say my rose made it all the way home in one piece. Thanks Steph! We love you!

Sunday~ July 7th

I spent the morning swimming with Eden, Teri, and Stephanie and I learned to be a cheerleader, then we headed over to the mall to shop. There were lots of laughs and it was a fun day. Later that night we headed over to the arena to watch our little Anedy compete in finals. She did amazing and placed 5th in the nation. Great job Annie! After Anedy competed we watched the Regional All Star competition. This is a fun high energy team competition between each of the 6 regions of the united states. It is comprised of the level 10s from each age division that won their own regional championships. Our region (region 1) did the best I have ever seen them do placing 5th. ha. After regional allstars we went to dinner with none other than Kalon Ludvigson and Justen Millerbernd (The world champion/record holder and his coach). I'm kind of a big deal.

 

Monday~ July 8th

The rest of our team got up early to fly home, while Teri and I stayed behind since our flight wasn't until 6:30 at night. We got up and packed our stuff and headed over to Panera to get my favorite frozen cherry lemonade for the fourth time. We sat there for a while doing pushups and other fun things while texting Stephanie. At 3:14 we hopped on the blue shuttle and headed to the airport. We flew home and because of delayed flights we didn't land until 11:00 which means I got to bed REALLY late last night.


So that was my national championships. I had a great time and it was by far one of my favorite tumbling trips. I am already looking forward to next year and I can't wait to get in the gym and start working. I vow now to work harder than I have ever worked before. Thanks for all those who have supported me. I love you all!


Feel my Sunlight



p.s. Would someone like to come over to my house and do all my laundry?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Nationals Nationals Nationals

Nationals 2011~ San Antonio, Texas
Nationals 2012~ Long Beach, California


Today is Monday. I leave for my third US National Championships on Tuesday. I leave for Kansas City, Missouri TOMORROW! AHHHHHHHHHHH That is about all that has ran through my head all day. This will be a different nationals seems how I am going all by myself in the sense that neither of my parents are coming along. It will be weird to not have Shawn, Kenzi, Cid, Britt, or Brinna since they have been to every nationals I have been to. It will be different but it is going to rock. We have our last chance workout tonight and then we zip up our bags and hop on an airplane to take over Kansas City.

I may not be where I wanted to be when I imagined nationals at the beginning of the year. But I did learn something from this year of struggling in the gym. I learned that my place on the awards stand doesn't define who I am. Chances are I may not even make it to the podium {I never have at a national championships. I'm competing against 50 people for crying out loud!} I learned that competitive power tumbling is a part of my life to give me experience. I know that sounds like a lame excuse that someone who doesn't win a lot would say, but I truly believe it. Tumbling has brought me some of my strongest friendships, some of my greatest roll models, some of my hardest struggles, some of my sweetest moments. Tumbling has brought me a job that beats the work most of my friends get paid for. Tumbling has brought me growth. (not literally ha!} It has taught me how to trust in others, and how to trust in myself. Tumbling has taken me to places I would have never gone otherwise. Tumbling has allowed me to meet some incredibly awesome people who have taught me great things both pertaining to tumbling, and not. Tumbling has brought me some cool missionary experiences and has given me a chance to share my testimony through example to many who are not of my faith. Now when I get on that airplane and when I enter that arena. I hope to be able to tumble for those reasons, and not for a ranking. Because to me, those are the things that matter most.

See you on the Flipside!



Feel my Sunlight



p.s. Who do you know that is pro at packing a weeks worth of things in a carry on bag? That's right! ME!!!

p.s.s. I will try to post updates as often as I can this week so check back often.

p.s.s.s. I compete at 10 am on the 4th of July. So while you are all at your parades of red, white, and blue think about me!