Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Magical World of Free Verse Poetry

Blank Paper Poem

There it sits
Right up at me

Feeling like
It will never
Be full

Ideas floating
In my head
Screaming to get out

But they can't
There they'll stay
And Blank the Paper
Will Remain.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Magical World of Summers

WARNING: If you are new to my blog, some posts are kind of personal. I'm an open book if only people ask. So if you don't want to know my struggles in life, don't read. You have been warned! :)

Coming home from a mission is hard. Anyone who says it isn't is either lying or they were married within six months and they have been very lucky to miss out on the struggles most RM's I've talked to seem to face. This is something that I wasn't expecting at all! I thought that I would be blessed for my service and things would be easy. But what kind of life would that be? Not mine, that's for sure. 

One of the biggest things I have struggled with is understanding who I am as a returned missionary. I feel like I changed A LOT on my mission. I gained so much confidence in who I wanted to be as a person. I developed my own idea, beliefs, and focuses. But once I came home I kind of lost my identity a little bit. I no longer felt like the timid Mallory I was before who just went along with what other people had to say, and I wasn't Sister Latimer anymore, so who was I?

When I got home from my mission I immediately moved to Logan where I then lived for the next year and a half. It was good that I got to be busy right away. School was good, my roommates were awesome, but I don't think I ever had the time to figure out who Mallory was as an individual. It was always as so and so's friend, or as a girl from apartment 5, and this was hard, a LOT harder then I even realized. I knew I was struggling, I felt unhappy, but I didn't realize how unhappy I was until I was able to take a step back. 

Luckily Heavenly Father knew what I needed before I did. In January I got an email about an internship that I thought sounded interested and decided to apply for. When I got the internship with UPSTART it meant that I would be moving home for the first time in almost 4 years, and that was something I wasn't all that sure about. However, moving home and working for UPSTART have been the greatest blessing! 

I feel like Ammon in Alma 26, where he can't even express the joy and gratitude he feels. Without even realizing it this summer has become the summer of figuring out who Mallory is, it has been a summer of discovering what makes me happy, and how I can become the best version of myself. 

This past week I went hiking with some coworkers. I HAVE ALWAYS HATED HIKING! There is not one hike that I can ever remember enjoying. So why I decided to go hiking? I honestly don't know. I guess I really like spending time with the people I work with on my days off. But I went, and you know what? It turned out to be an amazing experience. 

Of course I started the hike murmuring, but it wasn't that bad, and it was really pretty outside. Then we get to the base of the waterfall and it's gorgeous! But then people started climbing up the rocks, now if there is one thing I hate more then hiking it is heights! I can't even climb up a 3 step ladder without my heart pounding. But thanks to the encouragement and PATIENCE of my friends I did it. Now I know they were probably rolling their eyes at how slow I was going, or how much I kind of freaked out at the beginning, but the fact that they didn't let me know any of that is something I am so grateful for. I don't think most of them know how terrified I was and how much I was trying. So their kind words meant more then I can describe. 

And you know what? I ended up enjoying myself! After my heart stopped pounding out of my chest and I looked back down at where I had come from I couldn't believe what I had accomplished. 
Heavenly Father knew I needed this summer to figure out life a little more. And He gave me some incredible people in my life to help me get there! Blue Crew, if any of you read this, thank you! 

There are always mountains to climb in each of our lives, but luckily we always have our Savior with us each step of the way! Happy Sunday! #sharegoodness 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Magical World of Institute

Being a college student isn't always the easiest. There are so many things to do: work, homework, student teaching, church, the resemblance of a social life. But even with all the craziness there is one thing that helps me to get everything done, institute. 

When I was in high school, one week for mutual we went to visit an institute. They shared a quote from President Monson. It said, 
"If you are a single college student, I ask you to make participation in institute a priority. Think of it. Friends will be made, the Spirit will be felt, and faith will be strengthened. I promise you that as you participate in institute and study the scriptures diligently, your power to avoid temptation and to receive direction of the Holy Ghost in all you do will be increased. Divine favor will attend those who humbly seek it. That is a promise which I leave with you.” 
When you get a promise from a prophet, I think that it's a good idea to follow. Therefore, I have always tried to make institute a priority in my life. And I can't even begin to count how many blessings I have received from following this council. 

Yesterday in institute I was feeling very discouraged. Life is hard, mistakes are made, happiness sometimes seems fleeting. As the lesson was nearing to an end I still didn't feel much better. But in a moment of inspiration the teacher jumped forward in the lesson to share one quote. "Then, on those days when we feel our progress has halted or our joys and views have grown dim, we can press forward steadfastly in Christ..." (Jeffery R. Holland, This Do in Remembrance of Me). Those were the exact words I needed in the moment. Even when sometimes we feel like we aren't doing enough, if we turn to the Lord, use the Atonement and the Sacrament more fully then we truly can "press forward" and accomplish great things (2 Nephi 31:20). 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Magical World of New Years

I love the last few days of the year. I love all of the year in review posts on social media and video mashups of the top songs of the past 12 months. I love reflecting back on what has happened to me, how I have changed, who I have become. It is important to remember, in Helaman 5:6 (Book of Mormon) it says, "I desire that ye should remember..."

Therefore in the spirit of remembering I want to reflect back on 2015 as well as look forward to what is to come. 2015 was a year of big changes! A year ago I had been home from my mission for just a few months. I was getting ready to start my first semester of classes in my newly chosen major - math (I know, I'm crazy). I knew who my roommates would all be until graduation. My heart was filled with the righteous desire to do what I felt I was supposed to do as a returned missionary - get married. I felt that I was ready and I was waiting. I had huge hopes for the coming year.

Just when I felt like I had life pretty well figured out, my Father in Heaven (as He always does) decided to reminded me once again that He is in charge and that I need to increase my trust in Him and His timing. NOTHING that I had planned for the year happened.

A few weeks into the semester I started hating school, something I had never experienced. I was confused because I had felt incredibly strongly that I needed to study math. I had prayed and fasted and received my answer, but suddenly it felt wrong. It was a struggle, it was painful and confusing. But I decided to drop most of my classes and sign up for some intro to Elementary Education classes - something I told myself I would never do. This led to me applying and getting into the Elementary Education program. And I still don't know why, but I continue to move forward.

As the semester went home I also experienced some health problems that I never had before. I lost some valuable relationships with people who meant a lot to me. I also had to adjust to the changing relationships of my very best friends getting married - something that they hadn't planned on. I am ashamed to say how long it took me to be okay with this, how hard it is to not feel like you are steps behind your friends on the staircase of life. And that they now have a new person with whom to walk up that staircase with. However, through this all I have come to learn more about myself. I have a new confidence and excitement about who I am and where I am going as an individual, a daughter of God. And I know that I am not ready to make that next step on the staircase, and I am okay with it.

This year was also full of changes in the world. Some of these changes caused me to question things that I had always thought to be true. I felt my testimony shaken harder then ever before.It's not that I questioned my testimony as a whole, but I learned exactly what it means that faith is fluid, it is either growing or shrinking, depending on what your actions are. I came to realize that I needed to do more to make sure that my faith was in the right thing - Jesus Christ and His Gospel  - not in the structure of the Church, people in the Church, or even in the Church itself. And this distinction has made all the difference.

In the midst of these struggles in understanding my testimony I was given one of the hardest gifts of this year, the opportunity to serve as the Relief Society President. I'm not saying this as an accomplishment, in fact, I honestly don't like telling people. But it is one of the reasons why I know that my Father in Heaven knows me. He knew that I needed to be pushed into opportunities to forget myself and go to work. And the fact that he trusted me, even when I felt at my lowest, was a tender mercy of just how much He loves me. Getting to serve these amazing girls in my ward and feeling an overwhelming amount of love for each of them, even though I barely know them, helped me to see just a glimpse of how our Heavenly Father loves His children.

This year has been hard. I might say the hardest year of my life, there were a lot of steep drop offs on this roller coaster, but I have come to know that you just keep holding on, it will come back up. Mixed in with all of the trials, have been too many blessings to count.

I am grateful for what I have learned. I know that these trials are not yet over. But I have a renewed confidence that if you "trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6). He is directing my path, He has the perfect plan. So for 2016, my plan is to simply say "I'll go where you want me to go, I'll say what you want me to say, and I'll be what you want me to be" (Hymn #270). And because of this I know that "...whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world..." (Ether 12:4).

I believe in God. Therefore I have hope in a better world to come. So here's to remembering the lessons learned in the past, while looking forward to 2016 with a brightness of hope.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Magical World of "Blessings"

Everyone has their own way of dealing with the problems in their lives. Some talk it out, others listen to music. I also know of people who run to deal with frustrations (though I've never quite understood that one). But for me I write. I write down all of my thoughts and feelings that maybe I'm too ashamed to talk about. Too afraid to look weak. But sometimes trying to be strong for so long can be exhausting.

I can count with my fingers and toes the amount of times I've cried in the past few years. At least half of those times have happened in the past few weeks. And for me it's been hard to accept that maybe I can't control everything. I'm not going to be the type of person I want to be RIGHT NOW! I'm also not going to understand everything that I want to know. Like why when I'm trying to do all the right things, that everything falls apart. Why every time I plan out my life it suddenly drastically changes. Why I keep getting a "not-anytime-soon" answer to a righteous desire I desperately want.

But about the same time all of these frustrations started to take hold in my life I was introduced to a song that I have been listening to on repeat ever since. It tells of the blessings that we ask for, the ones that we expect, and then acknowledges the fact that blessings often don't come that way.

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

So I've been trying my best to see the blessings in all of this. And it's not easy. It feels hopeless at times. But I also know that sometimes our Heavenly Father gives us mountains to climb. And I am comforted by the words of Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin "If we approach adversities wisely our hardest times can be times of greatest growth, which in turn can lead toward times of greatest happiness." So I am excited to see who I will become after all of this is over, because I literally have no idea. It is scary to let go, and take a couple of steps into the unknown.

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

So maybe, just maybe, these trials really are an answer to my prayers. Maybe this will be how I will grow closer to my Father in Heaven and really learn how to rely on Him. Because He really does love us, He loves me! And He knows me! And though it will be hard, as heartbreak always is, I know it will help me to know Him better as well.

(I encourage you to listen this the song, "Blessings" by Laura Story)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Magical World of Rediscoveries

One of the best things about being a returned missionary is the opportunity to rediscover some things you use to love, rediscovering some part of yourself. It's kind of exhilarating and nostalgic. I like it. The past few weeks I feel like I have finally had time to reconnect to myself. It might have started when I had the opportunity to spend a few hours with an old friend, going to our old hangouts, just talking, just like old times.

Though things are different now, since of course I am different, some things just never my love of cheap Mexican food!! I'm not talking Cafe Rio or even Beto's, but the really cheap stuff. Like 38 cent frozen burritos from Walmart! And chips and salsa!! Seriously, the Philippines is amazing, but they really need some Mexican food over there! Sometimes you don't realize what you have until it's gone, or you don't realize what your missing until you have it again.

The next rediscovery I had was only about an hour ago. I finished a book for the first time in a long time. Well, that's not exactly true. I have finished the Book of Mormon several times in the past few years, along with other church books or textbooks. But today was the first time I read a book that I could fall into the world of another character. For a few hours I got to walking the streets of New York going on an adventure, all while being in the comfort of my bed. And I had forgotten what it is like when you turn that last page and suddenly you know the adventure is over, yet your mind doesn't want to accept it. Your mind keeps turning the next pages which aren't actually there. Then with my analytical mind I started analyzing the themes in the book. The themes of sacrifice, giving up something for something more, being left behind, and moving on. And suddenly you realize that your life has been changed, even ever so slightly, by the story of another.

Another thing I have rediscovered this week is writing or more specifically blogging. On my mission I wrote in my journal religiously. Ask anyone of my companions, it was a daily goal of mine. And I enjoy it, writing in any form is good. I love getting my thoughts out on paper, it helps me to organize my thoughts. And journals are great, because they are private, just for me, and you know, so is the blog. I'm really not writing for anyone else, but there is something exciting about putting it out there. When I write, it is me. No facade. No masks. Pure Honesty. And putting a part of myself out where the world can see is scary, but it is also thrilling. So you, reading this, you are one of the few. And welcome to a small part of who I am.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Magical World of Christmas Gifts

I gave my first gift this Christmas season. It was something I had never done before as a "civilian", and surprisingly it scared me. I had learned the importance of this gift and had even encouraged others to give it, yet I had not. Now that I have been in both positions I understand on a deeper level, the fear but also the excitement that comes from giving this gift.
I can still remember the day that I came to KNOW the importance of this gift. I had believed it for quite a while, but I didn't know, deep down I had doubts. One day I decided that if I was going to give people this gift, then I needed to know for myself. So, what do you know when you want to know? According to Moroni you must "ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost."

What was the difference in my prayer this time from all the many other times? I had a sincere heart, I needed to know, and I was willing to give up everything I had, my schooling, job, family, money, all of it, if it were true.

I have learned in my life that often God answers our prayers through another person, in this particular time that person in my life was a man I had never met, Elder Echo Hawk. In his conference address from October 2012 he gave me a gift through sharing his testimony of a book. (You can read or listen to his message here ).
The moment I got to meet Elder Echo Hawk,
and thank him for
helping me gain my testimony!

In that moment everything changed for me, and I embarked on a journey to share with him the same gift that he shared with me. It became easy, part of my everyday life to talk about this book, a book that had truly changed my life. And every time I did I felt an immense appreciation for my Heavenly Father as well as for Elder Echo Hawk, for helping me to discover this gift.

Now, it has been a while since I have shared this gift with someone else, though I have wanted to. But today I did it. I wrote a note, explaining why this gift is so special to me, I wrapped it up, and I did it. I gave it away. And now I have no idea what is going to happen. I hope that she accepts the gift, that she gets as much from the gift as I have.

Even though it was scary, it was worth it. It felt great knowing that I did what I could to bring that hope into her life. So even though it's hard or intimidating, I get it! But I encourage you all to give a gift. not something bought from a store, but something that can change someones life! #HeistheGift
To learn more about my gift or to get this gift yourself check out: