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 change....like 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 https://www.lds.org/ ).
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:

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Magical World of New Beginnings

Hi! Kumusta!

Well....I'm back...and I have been for 4 months now, it just took me this long to get back to blogging....but I feel like it's an important thing to do. It is nice to have an outlet to write as I try to figure out my life now. So biggest things that have happened in my life...

1. I served a full time mission in the Philippines Baguio Mission. This was seriously the best 18 months of my life. I am sure I will write more about it here...or start a new blog about mission memories...I haven't decided yet.

2. I speak Tagalog! Dream come true, I have always wanted to be bilingual, but after 3 years of Spanish class and nothing to show for it I thought it was hopeless. Plus, Tagalog has to be the best language there is! I love it so much, speaking it brings me so much happiness it is hard to describe.

3. I started school again at Utah State! Hooray! It was hard jumping right into school about 8 days after being home, but it was good too. It has kept be busy, which is one of the hardest things for returned missionaries (at least in my opinion). That week between coming home and going to school I literally had no idea what to do with myself. To go from having fully planned days, with back-up plans, to being told you have nothing you need to do in a day can literally drive you crazy. So going to school quickly has been a blessing.

4. I got accepted into the SPED program...but then turned it down because I changed my major. I am now a studying Math Education with a teaching minor in Psychology. And though I  am nervous for the difficulty of the classes, I am feel peace about it. And that my friends is one of the biggest blessing we can have, Peace of Mind.

5. I have almost survived my first semester back as this coming week is finals week.....but that means after that is Christmas Break!!! So I might be able to finally unpack my suitcases...haha...

I think those are probably the most important developments in my life at the moment....nothing too crazy, but you know. Life is good. In fact...sometimes...it's even magical!