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Friday, August 30, 2013

eternally changed

Well my friends, I survived schoooool!! (The first week at least). And I am so glad it's Friday.

It's hard to keep up a blog with Honors, AP, and CE classes. Especially when I don't have any classes where I just sit at a computer the whole period like I did last year. That is, except for CE digital media, where we actually made blogs for class. That was kinda fun. CE digital media is kinda the best class ever, I mean, we made blogs for crying out loud!!!

So I am sitting here at the sunny yellow computer desk at 10:36 at night planning on writing a blog post. Lets see how this turns out.

This week has been crazy. And by crazy I mean stressfully phenomenal, dreadfully stupendous, hopefully wonderful, excitingly tiring, newly tedious, and strangely not that bad. I actually love most of my classes and I got some pretty dang good teachers this year. I am predicting it is going to be a fantastic year and I can't wait.

I learned something this morning while I was reading my scriptures. (5:30 am scripture study is where it's at! Brown Sugaring it up! By far the sweetest part of the day.)

In 1st Nephi 3:29-31 Laman and Lemuel are visited by an angel, and immidiatly following the angels diparture they begin to go back to complaining and begin to revert to their old ways.

I sometimes wonder how many times we do this in our own lives. How many times do we have a very spiritual experience that seems to change us, but then immediately revert back to our old ways when trial comes? How many EFY sessions, treks, girls camps, and youth conferences experiences have "changed our lives" but, in the end leave us unchanged? How many times do get home from church and begin to block out everything we felt that day?

I think this is something we could all work on a little. There is always room to change, but we must remember to remain changed when the wave hits. We must be able to not just remember what we felt, but to feel it again and again as the rocks begin to crumble. If we strive to hold on, how much easier it will be to hold our ground in this crazy war of life.

I often joke that I wish I could just go to EFY all year long instead of school because I love the atmosphere and everything about EFY while I'm there. But I think we can create that same kind of atmosphere in our daily lives if we are doing whats right.

I was once told that I should make the week after EFY the greatest week of my life because that's when I get to apply what I learned. If you have ever been to EFY you know that the week after is always the hardest week because that is when you are thrown back into the world of immodest clothing, bad language, idleness, and temptation. When you are thrown back into a world where the less virtuous choices are easiest and sin surrounds you. But I truly believe that we can see an angel, and be forever changed by it.

I decided to make this my goal for the next week. (and forever hopefully) To always be remembering and having spiritual experiences and not sitting and waiting for next years EFY to have another one. When I was baptized I was given the gift to have the constant companion of the Holy Ghost. Why on earth would I want to only use this gift every once and a while?

I have a testimony of this gospel and it's changing powers. I know that it is the only true church and that it can change lives. I know that if we strive to live what's right, we will be forever changed.

On an entirely different note, please take a second to look at this picture. These girls are from all over the nation. They are all from different teams, and they are supposed to be rivals. But regardless of all of that they still support one another and have peptalks before competition. I think the world needs a little bit more of this kind of awesome.


Jr Elite Girls at the Stars and Stripes Cup today


Feel my Sunlight




p.s. This blog post from NieNie just about sums up what I think about TV. And people wonder why I don't watch TV.

p.s.s. I went to the football game tonight and we lost sadly. But I got a cookie dough shake so I'm happy.

Monday, August 26, 2013

forsaken week, and the first day of school

 I'm sorry I've forsaken you this week, I really am! This last week was crazy fun and jam packed with awesome. I could blame my lack of posts on that, but in reality, I was just lazy when it came to posts. Sorry.

So this last week I did a few things in my final attempts at living it up in my last days of summer. I mean, I went to the temple! I know that's not most peoples idea of "living it up" but it's sure mine! It was the highlight of my week just as it always is.

It was also my cool sister Danielle's 15th birthday on Sunday. Here is a picture of her with a fry that looks like a hat from her birthday dinner. Happy birthday beautiful sister of mine!
happy birthday Danielle!!!
I also had the opportunity to run The Color Run 5K in Salt Lake City with my dad and one of my best friends Lauren. That was so much fun! They aren't kidding when they say it is the "Happiest 5k on the Planet".
Before...
...After.... (sorta)
...The REAL after!
race swag
color color color
CTR remains clean!
Be happy
Be really happy

We got covered in colorful cornstarch and my hair (as well as my armpits, and pretty much everywhere else on my body) turned an awesome sickly color of green. I washed my hair 3 times before realizing my hair was going to need special treatment. When talking to Amberleigh (one of my super amazing EFY counselors, whom I love lots and lots.) days before going to school I realized that there was a large chance I would be going to school on Monday with green hair, I also realized that the situation wasn't going to change, but the way I looked at the situation would determine what I made of it. I thought of a quote by Marjorie Pay Hinckley...

             The only way to get through life is to               
          laugh your way through it.             
                         You either have to laugh or cry.          
         I prefer to laugh as      
crying gives me a headache.      
                         -Marjorie Hinckley

While I wanted nothing more than to go to school not looking like I had dip dyed my hair in pureed green beens, I knew that I needed to have a positive attitude, or I would ultimately have a terrible first day of school. I decided then and there that I would laugh about it. 

Now, I tried everything. Lemon juice, baby oil, hot oil treatment, 8 time shampooing and conditioning my hair, and lotion. Oh, and a few prayers. The lotion and the prayers helped the most and I was so blessed to go to school this morning with BLOND HAIR! I was more than pleased. So if you ever get green cornstarch in your hair that dyes it green, put lotion in it and start to pray. Ha

Me, in the truck, about to drive myself to my first day of Junior year. Crazy stuff.

 So like I said, today was the first day of school. It was surprisingly one of my better first days of school that I've ever had. I was not happy about ending my summer of fun, but I think it will be a pretty good year this year. (I mean, when you have a volunteer from an outlying district, that's something you can't ignore. #namethatmovie) But it really was a darn good day. I mean, I had TWO missionary experiences at school today and it was only the first day of school. Life is good. team mates make things fun. School is good. I hope tomorrow brings the same amount of joy as today did. Go read your scriptures, say your prayers, remember who you are, and so on, and so forth, and whatnot, and what have you. I love you all!




Feel my Sunlight 



p.s. I love people. Like a whole lot. And if you are reading this, you are one of those people I love a whole lot.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Thoughts



I love Sundays.

Today I got to go to a farewell of a friend I met at EFY and I just want her to know England is so lucky to have her. You will be a fantastic missionary Kayli! Love you lots!!

After Kayli's farewell I hurried over to my own ward where a return sister missionary spoke. I think the theme of the day was sister missionaries and it just got me to thinking about my mission.

I am planning on serving a mission when I turn 19 in a few years. I am so excited for this part of my life, and I am reminded that while I'm still two years away, preparation must begin now.

For me missionary prep extends beyond reading my scriptures and going to church every Sunday. It extends to attending the temple regularly, to participating in and seeking out spiritual experiences, to sharing my testimony with those around me through words as well as actions. It extends to studying the gospel and coming to know of its realness for myself. I believe a great sister missionary is one that lives and follows the young women's theme...


We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. We will “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9) as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are:

Faith • Divine Nature • Individual Worth • Knowledge • Choice and Accountability • Good Works • Integrity • and Virtue
 We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values, we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.

In the Young Women's theme I love the part where it says to "stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things, and in all places" Because It shows that we don't have to wear a name tag to be a missionary. We can be a missionary everywhere we stand and we must always be a representative of the followers of Christ.

I am reminded of an experience I had a few years ago while I was in San Antonio, Texas with my team for the US Power Tumbling National Championships. Some families from my team had decided to go to church Sunday morning since we didn't have to be at the arena until later in the day.

We got to the church a few minutes early to find that the doors were locked. We sat there until church was supposed to start when finally a man walked up and unlocked the door. I believe it was the bishop of the ward.

Our group after Church that Sunday in Texas

We were the only ones there at first and we were the only ones there until a few minutes after the meeting was supposed to start when a few people started walking into the chapel. Our little group just about doubled the size of the ward.

While we sat there we noticed a young man with a walker sitting up with a few other young men preparing to pass the sacrament. We watched him, with the assistance of another young man, help pass the sacrament to that ward. After the sacrament we watched him push his walker up to the stand. He was the first speaker.

I don't remember what was said, but I do remember the spirit felt in that little ward that day. This young man was a true follower of Christ. He did his duties and he did them to the best of his abilities. And there was no question as to weather or not he had a missionary name tag written on his heart.

I think that this is a fantastic example of someone who "Stands as a witness of God at all times and in all things, and in all places."

Another thing with standing as a witness of God is always heeding to the promptings of the Spirit.

President Thomas S. Monson said,
"the Lord's purposes are often accomplished as we pay heed to the guidance of the spirit. I believe that the more we act upon the inspiration and impressions which come to us the more the Lord will entrust us to his errands."

I believe that as we heed to the promptings of the spirit, and we strive to live with our missionary nametags written on our hearts, we will be better prepared to serve when the time comes. I love this church and I love all the joy it brings me in my life. I hope all of my readers can find this same joy in their lives. I write this things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen



Feel my Sunlight


p.s. It's been decided. We are skipping the whole go-back-to-school-thing and we are going back to EFY instead.



Friday, August 16, 2013

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.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

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.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Whitney Whitney Blog Swap

Hey guys! It's blog swap time! This where I take over my friend Whitney's blog, and she takes over mine! After you finish this post, check out my post at The Life of a Mormon Teen!



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hey everyone! I’m the other Whitney, the author of The Life of a Mormon Teen! Whitney and I are doing a little blog swap! Be sure to visit my blog for her post! 

Today the youth in my ward had a temple trip. Because the temple is two and half hours away, we only get to go twice a year, usually. The temple is my favorite place. Ever. Hands down. For real. I love how incredibly strong the Spirit is each time I go there. I love feeling how the veil is so much thinner. I love the serenity of people lovingly speaking softly so that the Holy Ghost may richly abide in that hallowed house. In short, I love everything about the temple. 

I remember a couple years ago I was at the temple with the youth and realized something really important- I realized that I was home. Home in the house of the Lord. I remember the significance sinking into my soul, deepening my understanding and love of the temple. I was in awe that for just a few hours, I could literally be in heaven on earth. I could be back in my Father’s presence, almost. I remember touching the walls, staring at the ceiling and chandeliers, and feeling that enveloping sense of peace as I repeated over and over in my head, “I am home. I am home. I’m at home”. It was beautiful.
My grandfather gave me some sound counsel which I shall never forget a few days before I embarked to the temple for the first time at age twelve. He said, “One of the first times your mom saw your dad was at a young single adult temple trip. That is the best place to find worthy young men with whom to spend your time, and eventually, one with whom you will spend eternity. Choose to date young men who you can go on temple trips with, because you know they live their lives worthy of the house of the Lord”.  Seriously. How wise is that? This advice has stuck with me, and will stay with me forever. I plan on telling my future kids this.
Setting the temple as our goal is so essential. Prophets counsel us to keep our eyes on the temple at almost every general conference. The temple ordinances are the keys to exaltation and eternal happiness. I have something really cool I want to tell you about that- a really cool way to visualize that goal. So, I was in the Nauvoo temple two years ago with the youth in my ward. We were finishing up and waiting on a few slow pokes, but the temple workers needed to move those of us who were finished from the chapel area of the temple to a different waiting spot because another group needed to the chapel.  We were moved to a little lounge-type place at the foot of a beautiful spiral staircase. I remember standing at the foot of those stairs wanting more desperately than anything to ascend them and discover what lay beyond the doors above. I recall yearning to learn of and make the covenants which I knew were taking place on the higher floors. I imagined wearing a beautiful white dress, and being led up the stairs by a handsome man in white, my future husband, whoever he may be. At that moment, I knew that I’d allow nothing to stop me from eventually ascending that magnificent spiral staircase. I would not justify any sin nor temptation which would impede my progress there. To me, the spiral staircase in the Nauvoo temple is a very visual and personal reminder of what I can have when I remain righteous and strive to follow my Savior.

Each of us is capable of being worthy of attending the temple. If you aren’t, become so! You will not find greater joy than that of attending the temple. It’ll be the best decision of your life.  I know it’s hard, sometimes, to stay on the straight and narrow, but it’s so worth it! It really is! You’ll have no idea of the joy you’ll find until you try!

So, I’ll see you there?
Whitney