Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 In Review

Warning: Extremely long post! Because of the length, I have categorized the post into different sections. Read the whole thing, or just a section! You choose! :D Enjoy!

Winter Semester:
This year has been a year full of events! Ups and downs, circles, falls, and flight! I have been through much pain, sorrow, and despair, but also been through much joy, triumph and transformation!

I began the year taking a break from the Elementary Education program because it was too hard at the time and I felt like I needed a breather. So I took a Latin Ballroom dance class, a stress management online class, and a speed reading class along with being in the Latter-day Celebration Choir. I was putting off earning my degree because I was afraid of being a real adult, one that has to take control of their life. One that is in charge. I was afraid of moving out of my comfort zone of being a student where someone else is in charge of me.

Medical Problems:
During this semester, I continued having all the physical pain I had been experiencing the past 2 ½ years with no answers. I decided to go to my primary care physician because all the doctors and tests had brought me back to square one. I was extremely frustrated that I had spent so much money on so many doctors and tests with no answers to show that the emotional roller coaster ride was worth all the tests, doctors, and money. But all I could do was keep searching. My primary care physician pretty much told me he didn’t know what to do but wanted me to try going to a friend of his who is a Physiatrist.
A Physiatrist specializes in the musculoskeletal system. He did more tests, gave me shots, (Which I despise!) and put me through physical therapy. I finally got some answers, not exactly what I wanted, but the answers did some explaining. I had an EMG done which showed that I have carpal tunnel and an MRI which showed that I have a herniated disc and arthritis in two different spots in my neck. That explained the constant headaches I had been experiencing for 2 ½ years, and continue to experience to this day. Because of this, the Physiatrist put me through physical therapy for about 2 months. The physical therapy did absolutely nothing for me. He gave me prescription after prescription and finally I was done with medicine, so I went off everything I had been given by various doctors and decided to start fresh. (Never go off everything at once! It will make your life miserable for some time!). I was able to survive being on nothing and realized that each prescription was just masking a bit of my symptoms, but bringing on other symptoms that made me tired all the time, numbed me, and just made me have no motivation to do anything. I realized that once I went off the medication, I was able to be mindful of everything going on within my body, physically, emotionally, and mentally.  Anyways, I continued going to this doctor and still found no relief. He finally gave me more medication to try for when I needed it most and it has helped a bit. I still suffer from chronic pain to this day.

Spiritual and Emotional Pit:
All through this, I continued my semester of school, taking a break from the program and reality and what was to come. I lived life day to day, doing all that I could to just make it through the day and on to the next. I had no purpose in my life and I was feeling extremely low for much of the first half of the year. Once school ended, I decided I was going to take a break from school through the summer, and the Fall. I was going to just work and do no school. I was too worn out by everything to do anything.  I had lost all hope! Every little inkling of hope that may have been there disappeared! Along with struggling with physical pain, I was struggling with emotional and mental pain due to different circumstances in my life that would take 10 books to explain, so I won’t go there. Anyways, I was also struggling spiritually! I felt completely abandoned by God. I felt like He didn’t care about me and my pain. I felt forgotten and questioned His very existence. Because of all the pain I was experiencing, and the absence of help from God, I became very bitter with Him! I want to share an excerpt of something I wrote in July after going to the doctor, getting some answers, but still leaving with nothing.

“I had much hope that we had found the answers and that all would be well. I did physical therapy for 2 months, went to visit with the doctor, and was left with nothing but an empty wallet and continual pain. Nothing helped the pain. Like I said earlier, I have a feeling nothing will. I ask God for help and all I get is silence. I ask for strength, and all I get is weakness. I ask for peace, and all I get is turmoil. All  of these experiences have caused me to question the very existence of God. How could a loving, all powerful God allow me to suffer so much with no relief. No answers, no peace, and no strength to buoy me up.  Am I not faithful enough, humble enough, righteous enough. There is no more I can do which is leading me to do less. I cannot live for a God that does not and cannot help me. I have asked for His help in any possible way and received nothing.”

Spiritual Reminder
Of course, after writing this, talking to a friend, and finally talking to God, I was wacked up side the head and reminded that God does exist, and that He does care about me. He answered me and let me know that He lets me suffer through so much pain because He knows it will make me strong. He told me I need to trust in His timing and strength. He told me I may not be strong on my own, but as I rely on Him, I will be strong enough to get through each day. After that experience, I felt His strength carrying me through each day! Guiding me through life.

I had decided at the beginning of summer that I was going to take Fall semester off to save some money, and take yet another break from the program. I was still terrified of the “real world.” The last week of July, after my experience with God, I had a very strong feeling that I needed to go to school Fall semester. It was one of the strongest feelings I have ever felt and could not say no to it. So I decided to sign up for school and file for financial aid, knowing I couldn’t go to school without it. I decided to trust God and let Him guide me where I needed to go. I was TERRIFIED of school! I signed up for 15 credits in the program, starting my Senior year of College! Terrifying, I know! Well, after signing up for classes and financial aid, I was surprised to find that my schooling was 100% paid for! I was ecstatic! I did not have to worry about money to pay for tuition because it had been paid for!

Fall Semester
I started school, had a hard semester, but learned so much about myself and my ability to do hard things! I had many projects and presentations, and even started my 3 week experience of student teaching! I triumphed over many battles and came out on top with a 4.0! Just another manifestation that God would carry me through when I didn’t have enough strength to walk through on my own. So that is the majority of my year, but now I need to tell you about the most important part of my year; transformation. This transformation is what allowed me to come out on top and to end the year with a BA BAM!

Writing Journey:
Rewind back to February! In February I went to a concert. Julie De Azevedo. I got there extra early so I could have a good seat, and I went alone. Who would have known that going to that concert was a small event that would change the rest of my life. Since I got there early, I had a lot of time to sit; sit by strangers; and make things awkward if I wanted. But I didn’t want awkwardness, so I decided to talk to the woman sitting next to me so that she would no longer be a stranger to me. He name was Jennifer Griffiths Manges. She was Ms. US Continental 2011-2012. Thought that was cool and we continued to talk. She told me about a book she had written and published a few months before. I told her I had been wanting to write a book but didn’t know where to start, and felt like my book was very personal and didn’t know if I could share it with the world. She gave me a statistic of people who say they want to write a book and people who actually do. I don’t remember the numbers, but there was an extreme difference in numbers between the two. Anyways, the concert went on, we parted our ways, and I didn’t think much of it.

About a month later, I remembered our conversation and decided to find her on facebook to ask more about writing a book. She gave me good information and told me about an “Aspiring Author’s Summit” that her friends were going to be doing in August. She told me she would email me more information when the time came. 

Well, the months went on and I sort of forgot about everything that had to do with writing a book when she emailed me the information. A spark of motivation was lit inside and I decided go check it out since it wasn’t too expensive. I got great information, put it in a folder, and hid it away. But one thing I remembered and kept in the front of my mind was one woman who was the keynote speaker. M Bridget Cook. I noticed and admired her confidence and wanted that same confidence manifested in myself, but didn’t see that happening any time soon. Once the workshop ended, different authors and publishers had tables set up with their work where we could go talk to them and do some networking. I talked to a few authors that were there, including Jennifer. Then I went to talk to Bridget but got scared and decided to just leave and wondered why I had even gone to the summit. I doubted my abilities and decided to put writing my book on hold. Of course that wasn’t going to happen. The Universe was not going to let that happen.

The beginning of October I received an email from Bridget advertising her “Inspiring Writer’s Retreat” the beginning of November and giving a discount to those who had gone to the “Aspiring Author’s Summit.” $500 was the cost. When I received that email, I felt a push, once again, that I needed to do this. As I contemplated whether or not I should go, I thought of everything I could buy for $500. (Being a poor college student and such). But I signed up and hit submit on my paypal. I continued to question whether that was the best idea and started to doubt. But the button had already been pressed, and the money already sent. As the day approached, I had decided that I was going to make the most out of my experience there since I had sacrificed a big amount of money, (for a poor college student) to go. I was scared to death to go to this retreat knowing that I would not know a single person there, that I would have to share lodging with complete strangers, and that I would likely be the youngest one there as well. I was afraid that I was stupid for thinking I could write a book.

Little did I know that this retreat would change my life forever! Little did I know that this retreat would be THE GREATEST experience in my entire life! Literally, the GREATEST! Little did I know that I would have an immediate support system that would be stronger than I had ever experienced in my life. Little did I know what I was capable of doing. I learned more about myself in the three days I spent with these inspiring people, than I have learned in my entire lifetime! I was able to open up, let go, be open to others, and find clarity of what I can do. I didn’t just meet great people, I met my authentic self.

Because of the retreat, I gained a powerful motivation to not only write my book, but to do good in the world and to BE ME. To spread the light within me, and to inspire others to do the same. I learned that I can do hard things, that I can graduate college and be a “real adult” living in the “real world.” But even greater than that, I am courageous, strong, powerful, inspiring, and am doing much good. Before the retreat, I worried so much about what other’s thought of me. It was the fear of what others may be thinking that kept me from doing anything, including just talking to someone I didn't know very well. I was SO afraid of the judgments of others. After letting go at the retreat, and seeing others let go and be authentic, I realized that being myself is SO MUCH FUN! and so much less stressful than hiding! I realized that I don’t need to give a crap what others think about me; it is none of my business what they think. All that matters is what I think, and I think I am pretty awesome!!! I have come a long way this year. The beginning of the year, I thought I was pretty crappy, and now I know the truth! I am Ashleigh, and I love being me! I'm so excited to see what the New Year has in store! The greatest part of this past year are not the events that have taken place, or what I have been able to do, but what I have become! The person I have become is the most important thing from this past year!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Saturday, November 30, 2013

New Blog

I have created a new blog called, "Rise Above and Inspire" This blogs main purpose is to be a place to find inspiring thoughts and to lift when you are down. I hope you enjoy coming to a place where you can find inspiration to rise above your struggles and the things that may be holding you down. Check it out here

Thursday, November 28, 2013

I Am Grateful. . .

In honor of Thanksgiving, I wanted to express my gratitude for a few of the things I am grateful for. It is impossible for me to express my gratitude for everything, because I am grateful for an infinite number of things! I am definitely blessed! But here is a list of a few things:

I am grateful for...

1. My family; Mom, Dad, Brothers, and Sisters. My parents help me in times of need, my brother Andrew is a great example of diligence, and my baby brother Will (12) is just fun to be around! My older sister Kiri is a great example of a hard worker, Shelby is one of my close friends, Gracie just makes me laugh, and cry, and laugh again! Emma is fun to have around. Gracie and Emma together make me come close to dying from laughter. Yes, my family can me dysfunctional at times, but I love them nonetheless for the memories we have created and continue to create throughout our time together. 

(From L to R: Gracie, Kiri, Andrew, Dad, Mom, Me, Emma, Shelby, William)

2. My extended family; My cousin Brianna is my BESTEST friend! We are two girls who can spend hours and days together and not get bored being with each other. We have a very rare relationship, but a relationship I am eternally grateful for! I am grateful for her patience, her diligence, her kindness, and her tender heart. She is one amazing woman who I admire and look up to! (well, down because she is shorter than me, but you get the point!) I also have wonderful aunts and uncles in whom I admire and look up to! They are all great examples to me!
(Brianna and Me: Friends Forever!)

3. My friends; I have the best friends in the WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD! I don't know how I have gotten so lucky! Connie is one of the best friends I could ever have. She always knows exactly what to say and when to say it when I am struggling, she knows how to have fun, and she is also someone I truly admire. 
(Connie my Frister (Sister friend))

Sydney is also a bestie from my choir LDC. She makes me laugh so hard sometimes! I can always count on having fun when I am with that girl!
(Sydney and Me being us)

Madison is one of the sweetest girls I have ever come across. I know I will be taken care of if I ever need anything. Madison is just wonderful! 
(Ldc Friends: Megan, Cozette, Cody, Me, and MADISON) 

Rachel is also amazing! I have learned so much from her! She is one of the best examples of someone who is happy despite the trials that are thrown at her, the physical ailments she goes through, the emotional, spiritual, and physical pain I am sure she suffers from. She is the best example of someone who perseveres and lives her life to the fullest! 

I have so many friends in my choir LDC. LDC is full of so many quality people! I am so grateful I get to be in a place where I know I am loved, and where I can show my love! 


I have so many great friends! If I were to list them all, this post would never end. These are just a few of my friends that have recently had an impact on my life! 

4. My roommates! They go beyond friends. We are like family! Tiffany, Nikki, and Jessie are three of my most favoritest people ever!
      (Tiffany)                   (Nikki)                     (Jessie)

5. Nature; Sunsets, mountains, fall, soft grass, ducks, warmth, flowers,rainbows, animals, everything about nature! I am so grateful for the beauty that surrounds us that we take for granted so often! This world is beautiful and we are so lucky to be able to be surrounded by such beauty!

I am so grateful for so many things, but most of all, I am grateful to be ME!

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Science of Happiness- An Experiment in Gratitude

What makes you happy; truly happy? I found this science experiment extremely interesting! I want to see what you think.

How can you express more heartfelt gratitude?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Be Grateful!

"Let us be grateful to people who make us
 happy; they are  the charming gardeners who
make our souls blossom." 
-Marcel Proust

I am SO eternally grateful for the people in my life who keep me going everyday, who believe in me and help me achieve excellence. I am grateful for the people that inspire me to be better and to do good in the world! I am grateful for those of you who have pulled me out of darkness and helped me to see the light. My soul has only blossomed because of those of you who have made an effort to be my friend. You make me happy!

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled 
by a spark from another person. Each of us has
cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have
 lighted the flame within us." 
-Albert Schweitzer 

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our
 hearts are conscious of our treasures." 
- Thornton Wilder

I have so many treasures! I am so grateful to be alive and to have all the blessings I have in my life! I am grateful for the knowledge I have, for the talents and abilities I have, and for the memories I have that I can call my treasures!

"As we express our gratitude, we must 
never forget that the highest appreciation is not to
utter words, but to live by them."
- John F. Kennedy 

"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If
 you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, 
ever have enough."

-- Oprah Winfrey

I am so grateful for all I have! I cannot focus on what I don't have because then I lose sight of all the amazing things I am so lucky to have. I am so blessed! 

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which 
he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."
- Epictetus

If you are having a hard time being grateful, think of when you had it worse. Think of just one thing you are grateful for, one thing you cannot live without. There is always something to be grateful for! I am most grateful to be me! No one can be me but ME! So, be grateful for yourself, you are the only person that can be the best you!

Monday, November 25, 2013

How To Get What You Want In Life

What an amazing quote and seems almost unrealistic, but it is so true! 

       I am writing a book and just recently went to a writers retreat which inspired me to continue writing and to do all I can to make this book (and maybe more) happen. I started saving my money, eating poor college student food, and limiting my spending so I could do a mentoring program with an AMAZING author. I had $2000 saved up and was so excited that I would be able to do this program. I was prepared, enthusiastic, and determined to make this book happen until I crashed into a roadblock on this path of being an author. It stopped all my momentum and literally made me crash to the bottom of hopelessness. Let me explain what happened. 

       Thursday, a week and a half ago, my car decided it wasn't going to start. I was a bit upset because it gave no warning signs of kind of problem. Finally Saturday, I was able to have someone pick it up and take a look at it. I did not hear from him Saturday and decided to be patient. I did not hear from him Sunday, or Monday. I started to worry that it was not a small car problem. Finally he contacted me Tuesday. It was not a small car problem. The timing belt in the engine decided to break. It was going to be $2000 to replace the engine or $2500 to fix my engine. I didn't even know what to do. I was devastated that my car was not working, but I was more devastated that my dream of writing my book had been brought to a sudden halt. I decided to have him replace my engine with another used engine. 

        So -$2000 later, with only a few dollars left in my account, I am left wondering how I am even going to get by. I was really distraught about the whole situation when I felt a sudden peace wash over me. I knew it would all work out, and not just that I would be able to survive, but that I would still be able to write my book. I do not know how it is going to happen, but I know it WILL happen. I know it will not just fall in my lap, I am going to have to work and sacrifice for it, but I am going to make it happen! I have the power to create if I will but do the work! 

       So how do you get what you want in life? You set your intention, and then move forward and make it happen! There will be roadblocks and discouraging times, but kick them to the side and move forward! 

You can do ANYTHING!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Bring It On Life!

         Do you ever have moments, days, weeks, or months that just bring you down? Life can suck at times! There are so many things about life that are not all sunshine and rainbows. Life can be hard! So hard! But life can also be good. So good! Recently I have had many curve balls thrown my way, many storms that rage, and many things that have brought me down, but I have also seen many tiny miracles and tender mercies that have made all the difference in helping me stay afloat. I have been reminded through these tiny miracles that everything will work out! It is something I hate to hear when life sucks, but it is a true statement. Everything truly will ALWAYS work out! 

        This past week I had the comforting reassurance of this truth. I felt peace wash over me and let me know, that it is not the end of the world. That I will be okay. I have been reminded of my storms in the past and how hard these storms were for me, but how I was able to come out of the storms much stronger than before! Looking at the past, I am grateful for the storms I have had to face because of the person I have become. I would not be the person I am today without the storms, heartaches, pain, and discomfort I have had to pass through and experience.  

         So when life sends storms my way, I say, "Bring it on LIFE!" because I know I will only come out stronger in the end! 


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

When You Are Down

Why is it that when you are not doing so well, whether it be emotionally, physically, spiritually, or all three, Satan uses this to his advantage. When I am not feeling well, or in pain, I get really down unintentionally. I get extremely unmotivated, and don't want to do anything. I forget the small things of prayer and scripture study because I get lazy, and then I feel even worse. How does Satan do it EVERY TIME!!! I hate it! I just need to get out of this spiritual slump. Any suggestions for how to stay motivated with the small and simple, yet important things when you are down?

 I just need to remember the Savior through thick and thin!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Write It Down

Today is Saturday, a day to sleep in and catch up on sleep lost during the week. But this morning I woke up at 6:30 am. I was a bit frustrated because I had my alarm set for 8:30 am. I kept thinking, "why am I awake? I still have two more hours to sleep!" I started having thoughts go through my head that I felt like I needed to write down. But I neglected the thoughts. They were keeping me awake, so I got out of bed, went to the bathroom, and then went back to bed. These thoughts kept going through my head. I told myself I would remember them and write them down later. I kept trying to go to sleep. Well, something really profound came into my mind. I said the same thing, that I would write it down later. Well, a minute or so later I had forgotten the profound thought that had come to my head. I was mad at myself for not getting up and writing it down. So I got out of bed, grabbed my notebook, and started writing. 

Most people don't know this, but I have wanted to write a book for six months or so now, but haven't done much to start it. I have had the idea in my head, but that is all. Today when I started writing, I was flooded with inspiration of things to write. Now I am more determined to get this book done. I am so excited to see how this book unfolds. Just this morning and afternoon I have seen the hand of the Lord in this book. We will just have to wait and see where it goes. Next time I get a prompting to write something down, I will!!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Growing Up!

Growing up can only be delayed for so long. It is such a surreal thing to me right now. I just got my student teaching license today which means I am almost a certified teacher. One semester of classes, one semester of student teaching, and off to the big, scary, real world! Not just "college student" adult world, but "real adult" adult world. 

It has been long journey getting to this point in my education and life, but it has been a wonderful journey. Though there have been many ups and downs, twists and turns, I have been strengthened and feel more confident in what I can do. I know there will still be many struggles within the journey to come. But, in the end, struggles only make you stronger! The next part of my journey is going to be intense, but I look forward to the day I begin the next leg of my journey into adulthood. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

C.S. Lewis; From Cottage to Palace

"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace."

                           ~ C.S. Lewis

I just love this quote! It puts things into perspective for me. As I have gone through much physical and emotional pain over the past three years, I have questioned God.  I have cried in my heart,"What on earth is He up to?" I have realized that God is building me. God knows that I can be grand! But He also wants me to be useful as he is building me into something grand. So He has to build me one step at a time. If he were to demolish the little cottage all at once, then I would not be useful. He takes out one wall at a time. Adds one room at a time. It is a painful process at times, but God will replace whatever he knocks down with something better! He will add towers, and ballrooms, and huge magnificent gardens.  

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Molly Mormon Died Today: Julie de Azevedo Hanks

I watched this video and thought it was pretty funny because what she says in her lyrics are SO TRUE!!! 

What unrealistic expectations do you hold yourself to?

It is time to let them go! Be the best person you can be, and don't beat yourself up for not reaching certain expectations. As long as you are being the best person you can be, that is all that matters. We are here to learn, and if we were perfect at everything we wouldn't learn anything.  

Sunday, August 4, 2013


I haven't shared my testimony for a while, and since it is Fast Sunday, I shall share it right now. I am sharing very personal experiences with you so you can better understand my testimony.  

The past couple of months have been extremely difficult for me. I found myself questioning many things because of the trials that have been placed upon me. As many of you know, I suffer from chronic pain in my neck which causes chronic headaches. I am in pain pretty much every single day and have been for three years now. It is not fun. I have had many priesthood blessings, offered many prayers, and asked for healing many times. I have prayed for relief. But received nothing. Because of the lack of answers, I felt abandoned by God. I felt as if I had been forgotten; as if He didn't care. I felt very alone but I stayed strong for the longest time. I kept praying, going to church, and doing all the small things. Eventually I felt as if I was doing all these things for nothing. I slowly became more and more bitter towards God. I questioned His love for me. I questioned how a loving Heavenly Father could let me suffer for so long. I began to question His very existence. I had a lack of understanding that turned me away from my Savior and Heavenly Father because of the trials that had been placed in my life. I stopped praying because I felt like my prayers weren't even reaching the ceiling. I stopped reading my scriptures because I felt like I was just wasting my time. I stopped paying tithing because I felt like my money could be spent in better ways. I went to church, but was not engaged at all. I dreaded most of it. I stopped going to all three meetings every Sunday. I started to lack in many areas of my life. I was searching for happiness where happiness could not be found. I turned away from what could bring me true happiness because of the physical pain I was experiencing. As time went on I started to feel more and more lost but was also learning more about myself. As I looked inside myself, I realized that I was not happy because I was bitter towards God. I was truly bitter. It was not a good feeling at all. I was holding a grudge against someone who knows WAY MORE than I do. I was acting as if I knew what was best for me. I wanted to get back to where I was before when I had a good relationship with my Heavenly Father, but I had a grudge against Him to the point that I was questioning whether He was even there. I was questioning, even though I knew deep inside that He was there every minute. I realized that I was not happy. I decided to ask someone for help because I did not know how to get rid of the bitterness, the sorrow, and how to accept the pain and trials I was, and still am, going through. I decided to talk with a dear friend and Institute teacher, Sister Hepworth. She is someone I have looked up to since the day I met her. I knew she could help me even if it was just by listening. She has a very close relationship with our Heavenly Father. Sister Hepworth prayed for guidance for ways she could help me. I didn't give her much detail of what I was experiencing when I asked for help; but because of her prayer of guidance, she was able to say exactly what I needed to hear. She said that when she prayed, she told Heavenly Father that she didn't know what I needed, but that she knew that He knew exactly what I needed. He definitely answered that prayer and led her to exactly what I needed. This was my first tender mercy that showed me that my Heavenly Father truly was aware of me. It showed me that he wants ONLY what is best and He is there to help me every step of the way, if I will allow Him. I realized that I was miserable because of my own doing. I was not allowing Him in my life because of how bitter I was. I turned away from my Heavenly Father and because of the gift of agency I have, He couldn't force me to turn back to Him. I asked her how I could get rid of the bitterness. I told her I couldn't pray because I was too bitter. She told me to tell my Heavenly Father that I was bitter and to explain to Him why. She told me that He would listen and understand. That night, I prayed for the first time in months. It was one of the most real prayers I have ever prayed because it came from my heart. I was able to truly tell my Heavenly Father what I was feeling. After talking with Sister Hepworth and praying that night, I had a sincere desire to go to the temple. Since I hadn't payed my tithing for a couple of months I hadn't gone to the temple for a while. I went to my bishop and got everything worked out that evening. That next day I was able to go to the temple. I had a very personal experience with my Savior and Heavenly Father there! I felt so much love and joy. The bitterness that I had towards my Heavenly Father left because of the overwhelming love I felt. I KNOW that I have a very LOVING Father in Heaven who knows me and loves me as an individual. I know that He knows exactly what I need. I just need to trust that He knows what is best and to trust that He knows what he is doing. I can't see the big picture. I can only see a small piece. Through my experiences these past couple of months I have had special moments with the Savior through His Atonement! The Atonement is real and infinite. It has no limits. It is not just for cleansing us of our sins. It is so much more. Jesus Christ suffered everything for me and for you. EVERYTHING! That is a lot. He suffered for the pain I suffer through. He suffered for the bitterness I have felt for God. He suffered through the abandonment I felt as I turned my back towards God. He has suffered and felt everything I have felt and experienced, everything I am experiencing and struggling through right now, and every single thing I will struggle through in the future. He is REAL! I know this with all my heart. I KNOW THAT MY SAVIOR LOVES ME! I know that my Heavenly Father loves me so much that He would sit back and watch me suffer because of the strength He knew I would gain from my suffering. I think of how many times I have jumped in to help a child with something, when maybe it would have helped them more to have suffered a bit and learned to solve a problem through their suffering instead of having me fix their problems for them. I have learned that life is SO MUCH BETTER when I allow my Heavenly Father and Savior to be a part of it. I can handle the suffering I go through when I remember that my Savior has already suffered it for me; that he knows EXACTLY what I am experiencing, and that He can help me to endure! I don't know why I have to suffer through pain every day, but I do know that there is a purpose in all things, all suffering, and all pain. Heavenly Father has a higher purpose. I just need to trust Him and rely on Him. As I do this I will find more strength than I could ever experience alone. I am so grateful for the little bit of knowledge that I do have and for the love I have felt from my Heavenly Father and Savior because of that knowledge. If I have to suffer through pain, I cannot do it alone and I am so grateful that I get to suffer with my Savior and Heavenly Father by my side every step of the way. Life is still hard. It will always be hard. But when you have more of an Eternal perspective on life, life is much better! An Eternal Perspective on life helps you to endure the most painful and difficult experiences. Life is hard, but with the Gospel, the Atonement, the Savior, and our Heavenly Father; it is all worth it!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Do you have anyone in your life you know will be around forever? Someone you can be yourself around, act stupid, be crazy, and not have to worry? Someone you can talk to about anything and have a non judgmental listening ear? Someone who you can plan to spend one hour with and end up spending all night together? Someone you admire and look up to?

I definitely do!! I have my Beautiful Brianna Jean Call!!! She is one of the happiest, kind, crazy, fun, caring, and loving person I know. And those are only a few of her amazing attributes that I admire. I am so lucky to have her as a part of my life from the day I was born! We are cousins, but truly soul sisters! I am pretty sure in the pre-existence we promised each other we would stick together and help each other through this life. She has definitely helped me get this far and I know she will help me from now on! I love this girl and truly feel so grateful that we could come to earth together!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Do What is Right!

Have you ever done something that you wish had never happened? Something that caused you to freak out inside because you didn't know what to do about it? Something that you thought if you pretended it didn't happen no one would know? 

I just had this happen to me last week. When I was in my work car I had a little fender bender. Not in my car, but my work car. I didn't notice the damage it had done until later because I just wanted to run, which is exactly what I did. No one saw what had happened so I decided to run. I didn't think a scratch was that big of a deal. Anyways, when I got to the location I was going I went to open the back door and it wouldn't open, because of the fender bender. I felt SO STUPID!!! My thoughts were going crazy.  "How could I have let this happen?" "What if I get fired!?!?" "What if I have to pay for it from my own pocket of nothing?" I called my manager and told her that the back door wouldn't open and that there was a dent in it. I told her I didn't know what had happened and that I had just noticed it. (which was obviously a lie). She told me she would look at it the next day and get it fixed. When she looked at it she called me to see what had happened. I told her that I didn't know. I was avoiding the situation. She believed me and I thought, "Yes! I am out of it! She believed me and no one get's in trouble!" I was happy, but then when I got to work and started driving the car I started to feel really uneasy. As I was driving a line from a general conference talk popped into my head. It was from Robert C. Gay's talk "What Shall a Man Give in Exchange for His Soul?" The line that popped into my head was, "Would you sell your soul for a nickel?" It was then that I thought, "Crap! I am selling my soul for a stupid fender bender. I know what I need to do. I need to tell the truth. That is all! Just tell the truth!" I was in the car for another hour contemplating how I would "confess" to my mistake and accident after I had already lied about it. I thought, "Man, it would have been so much better to have just told the truth from the start. I just make things worse by lying. But I still need to tell the truth."

When I got back to the office my manager had left for the day so I decided to send her an e-mail. I couldn't handle the feeling of guilt I had inside of me for the whole weekend. This is what I said in my email (the blanks signify names of people):

You were gone by the time I got back which is why I wrote this. As I was driving with _______ back to the office I was pondering about the car and remembered something that I thought insignificant that could be the significant. I remember that yesterday after I got _______ into the car to bring her to my moms house I left the back door open so she wouldn’t get too hot and then I went in and got ______so I could take him with me as well. Once I got _______in the car I was distracted by _______talking to me, and then _______ came out  and talked to me as well. I had shut all the doors but forgot to shut ________ door, the back door. For some reason my brain was somewhere else. When I went to back out I think the door got stuck on something. I only went an inch or so before noticing her door wasn’t shut. I got out and shut it but didn’t notice any damage. I wonder if that was the cause. So when I went to open the door at my house later is when I made it worse. I’m wondering if when the door got stuck if it shifted it just a smidge and then when I went to open it it was stuck over the front door resulting in it getting dented as I tried to open it.. Sorry I didn’t remember this earlier. I didn’t see it as being significant and my brain has been other places lately. Now I feel horrible thinking that it was probably my fault and for not remembering sooner when the door got stuck. Let me know what I can/should do.


So, after I sent the email I felt a little bit better. But I still hadn't told the full truth. I had told more of it than before, but still not 100%. I knew that after sending this email my manager would want to talk to me on Monday. Today. When I woke up this morning I prayed that I would be able to tell the whole truth and that my manager would be understanding. I prayed that I would be able to accept whatever was to happen to me. I prayed for strength to do the right thing. 

When I went into work my manager was talking to someone else so I had to wait a half hour to talk to her. That was one of the longest half hours of my life. Anyways, We talked, I told her everything, and it all turned out just fine. I put aside my worries and did what I knew I had to do to not feel guilty anymore. I still have my job, I can still drive the car, and she was grateful that I came to her and told her everything. After leaving her office all I wanted to do was cry because of how grateful I was for the answer to my prayer for strength to do the right thing and to still have my job. I was so worried about losing my job. (But I always expect the worst to happen to me as consequences). I was also grateful for the understanding of my manager, for understanding that fender benders happen, and that it wasn't something I intentionally did. Now I don't have the guilt of lying hanging over my head. I was able to feel the power of the Atonement in my life which I am so grateful for. The Atonement doesn't just cover our sins, but it gives us strength to do what is right. The Atonement is real! I was reminded of this today.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Famous People

I feel very lucky to have been able to meet so many famous people in my life and have had many great experiences with them. I just want to list them for fun! Here we go from most recent to least recent.
I have met most of these people from having the opportunity to be in an amazing choir. The Latter-day Celebration Choir!!!

Just yesterday I got the amazing opportunity to record a song with a group of choir peeps for
 Lex De Azevedo. 
It was an amazing experience.

I have also had the amazing opportunity of recording two music videos with Alex Boye'

I Will Rise

And Lord Have Mercy

I have met Michael Mclean by doing the 
Forgotten Carols

And I have met Hilary Weeks, twice, 
for no special occasion.

and Emily Freeman

I don't have pictures but I have also met Brooke White, Dallyn Bayles, and Julie De Azevedo Hanks.