Monday, December 31, 2012

Reflection on 2012

Well, the end of 2012 has come. It was a wonderful year as I reflect on the friends I made and the memories created. Yes, it was a hard year but, every one is at some point. I am so grateful for everything that has happened that has helped me grow into the person I am today. It's so hard to believe a year has flown by when it seems just yesterday I was awaiting this year to begin. Life truly does move so fast. Especially when you are having fun. Thanks to all who made this year one to not be soon forgotten. Happy 2013!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Time

Well, an uncle commented that I don't post a lot on my blog soooo I'm posting today about Christmas.

Before going in the oven: Tea Ring
Being home has been really nice and I've enjoyed the time spent with family. Christmas Eve was filled with getting ready for our annual party but, my little sister had a huge headache and a brother didn't feel so great either. This made for a slower getting ready but, it gave us a chance to serve one another. I used to get really bad migraines that would make me basically knock me out until I took some medication. Because of this, I could relate to my little sister and my heart went out to her in her time of need. It was a wonderful reminder of the true meaning of Christmas as we served each other. I also tried to make my first ever Swedish Tea Ring for my grandparents. It definitely did not turn out perfectly but, it was a great first try.

As the party began, it was fun to chat with people I hardly knew and become better acquainted with people I was not close with growing up. It is so nice to spend Christmas with others and reflect on the true meaning of it. It is great to see the spirit of Christmas reflect on each person's eyes. Of course, not every, moment was filled with giving. One person I was chatting with asked me to go get them some cheesecake. I decided it would be better for them to get their own and to be a stinker. Yes, not quite nice behavior but, it made for several laughs and jokes as the night progressed.

After most everyone had left, my siblings and I grabbed the trash can and cleaned up. Then, we changed into our Christmas p.j.s and gathered in my brother, Sean's room to sleep. Sadly, sleep did not come for awhile and, even then, not for long. This led to more opportunities for service as we tried to help one another fall asleep. That night also let me see the more spiritual side of my siblings. As we were talking about our struggles, someone suggested we say a prayer. It was a wonderful experience to kneel in a circle with my siblings and pray to our Lord and Savior on that holy night.

On Christmas day, many of us felt quite under the weather but, it was a relaxing day. It was a very different days due to the fact that we had the sister missionaries that are serving in our ward for church over to Skype/call home for Christmas. The three of them were each on a different device in a different room for four to five hours. This created quite the adjustment for us but, it was neat to see how happy the sisters were after calling home and talking with their families. Me, and a few of my siblings, spent the day sleeping/relaxing on the couch until extended family arrived and we chatted with them. At this point was when one of my uncles commented on how I do not post on my blog very much. It was a nice evening spent with family.

Today, I survived getting a TB test for my mission papers and received two letters from friends serving missions. It was really nice to hear from them since I was not expecting it. It's hard to believe most of "my boys" have been serving for almost six months already. And soon, I'll be able to join them in the mission field! For those who have not heard already I have decided to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after this next semester. In order to prepare for this, I have been filling out all the paper work and having a physical to make sure my health is good enough for it. I am almost done and will be meeting with my bishop and stake president (religious leaders) upon returning to Utah and then, I will submit my paper work and receive my call about two weeks later. I am super excited for the lessons I will learn and the people I will be able to help find their Savior, Jesus Christ.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

"God Bless us, Everyone"

Today, while out shopping with two of my siblings, we saw a lady with a sign asking for money to be able to pay rent so her children had a place to stay. My heart reached out for this woman and made me think how she, and her children, are children of God. It is so sad to see people struggling and know there are others that are struggling more. Yes, some people are faking it or might just use the money for drugs but, some are not. It takes a lot of humility, in my opinion, to walk a corner, showing your face and asking for help. Even if they are not actually who they are saying, the Lord asked us to care for our neighbors, our brothers and sisters. In this time of giving and the spirit of Christmas, I pray for those who are struggling to even have enough food for the season.

My dad took me to see A Christmas Carol downtown Thursday night and, after seeing this woman, I cannot help but think of the Cratchit family that wanted a Christmas tree and a large turkey but, had to settle for a little duck and a tiny little tree. It really is the simple things that make the season bright. I hope all can be a little kinder to one another and maybe a little more in tune to the needs of others through this Christmas, and other Holidays, season. Another thing that reminds me of A Christmas Carol is that the woman had, at the bottom of her sign, "God Bless." This is similar to the familiar phrase, "God bless us, everyone," said by Tiny Tim. To restate this, God bless everyone this Christmas season, and especially those in need.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Home for the Holidays and Thinking about Happiness

Well, it has been quite awhile since I have posted anything. Guess the last weeks of the semester made me a little lazy in this department. haha At this point, I am back home and, for the most part, I am loving it. Why not completely? I still have to do dishes.... Can't get out of them.... Bleh. haha Anyway, one of my missionary friends sent me a letter two days after I got back (I had told  him I would be home so he had the right address) and in it, he was discussing memories and how they can affect us. This made me think about how all semester long, I have had a lot of "dwelling in the past" moments. It has been hard to let last year go and try to move on. Yes, it has taught me a lot and it has kept me from dating RM's [Return Missionaries] but, it has also let to a lot of "pity/crying" parties. So, as I was reading this  letter and writing a response, I thought about happiness. All semester long I was thinking, "When I get away from BYU..." for this cry-sessions to end. But, that is not right.
                                                       Happiness is a Choice
You cannot expect someone else to make you feel happy about how your life is. You need to decide what you want to feel and then, seek it. Like when we had a lot of snow back in Utah, I could have been depressed but, instead, I decided to make it a game or feel like I was tap-dancing. I need to take that thought to the next level and apply it to my whole life, not just to a few days. It is still important to remember the past and laugh or cry but, I'm choosing to be happy and not do it as much. Through this holiday season, it is easy to get caught up in the presents and decorations and all the stressers but, it is more important to remember the reason for the season. No matter if you are Jewish or Christian or another religion or do not celebrate anything. For me, it is Christ's birth that I need to remember. And with that, His death and Resurrection and the Atonement. Because of Christmas, I have a Savior and a way to return to Heaven if I do my part and live worthy of the blessings it entails. Even if you are not Christian, Merry Christmas! [several days early :) ].