Wednesday, February 17, 2016


It is a miracle that we have the scriptures. Really, it is! They are the records of people from thousands of years ago and we have them today, to guide us and bring us closer to God. In addition, we are blessed to have more than one book of scripture that testifies of our Savior Jesus Christ. Along with the Bible, we have the Book of Mormon. I know that both of these books are true.

I have been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints all of my life. I had wonderful parents who labored to help me learn and understand the scripture stories and the doctrine within scripture passages. I am so grateful for this strong foundation they helped me to build. However, it was not until my mission when I actually began to love the scriptures specifically the Book of Mormon. Previous to my mission, I knew that the scriptures were true, but I did not have a love for them. Now I can say that the people who lived so long ago are now my heroes and my friends. Their experiences give me hope, courage, and peace. I am grateful that they recorded their experiences with the gospel and the atonement of Jesus Christ for my benefit.

After I returned home, I slipped up in my daily scripture studying habits. I still read, but not everyday. I saw a decline in my spirituality and my happiness. It was startling. I was upset that I had made this mistake but I remembered that I could repent and change just like many in the scriptures had done before me when they too made mistakes and drifted away from Heavenly Father. I can't say that it was a quick and easy change, but it was well worth my change in lifestyle. I was and am happier and closer to my Heavenly Father. It is vital to your spiritual growth to study the scriptures daily. You wouldn't just run out of time to nourish your body with food and water on a daily basis; your spirit needs nourishment too.

In the Book of Mormon, Nephi explained the reason for writing and keeping his record. He explains that his purpose is to bring others to God (Sound familiar RMs??). He then says, "Wherefore, the things which are pleasing unto the world I do not write, but the things which are pleasing unto God and unto those who are no of the world. Wherefore, I shall give commandment unto my seed, that they shall not occupy these plates with things which are not of worth unto the children of men" (1 Nephi 6:5-6). I love these scriptures because they teach us three specific things about the purpose of the scriptures in helping us return to our home in Heaven.
1. Only the things that are pleasing to God are written in the scriptures. The doctrine in the scriptures will go against the things of the world.
2. The doctrines will help you to become not of the world and more like God.
3. Because of these promises, the scriptures are of great worth to us as children of God.

I invite you to reevaluate your personal scripture study habits and take action to make your studying even more meaningful. Take the steps needed to nourish your spirit on a daily basis. I hope and pray that you will be able to feel as Nephi did when he said, "my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them" (2 Nephi 4:15). I know that as you study the scriptures daily in a way that is meaningful to you, your happiness and peace in life will increase. Heavenly Father will use the scriptures to answer your prayers and the yearnings of your heart. I know this is true because Heavenly Father has given me these blessings in my life. As you study the scriptures daily, He will extend these blessings to you as well.
An image of the scriptures paired with a quote by President Gordon B. Hinckley: “As we learn to love the scriptures, … they become delicious to the taste.”

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Dating and Marriage

On your mission, you taught about the plan of salvation. How family relationships can last much longer than this life, but for eternity. This is possible through the sealing power of the priesthood which is only available in holy Temples that now dot the earth. We are so blessed to know that marriage and relationships endure longer than "to death do us part". 

Families are very important to our Father in Heaven. If they were not important, why would God command Adam and Eve to multiply and and replenish the earth? (Genesis 1:28) God could have created more people like He created Adam and Eve, but he wanted them to have the opportunity to be parents and to learn and gain by experience Christlike attributes like sacrifice for another, unity, love, and other attributes. Heavenly Father has given us direction to what we should strive for our families to be like in a document called "The Family: a Proclamation to the World" given to the Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley and the quorum of the twelve Apostles in 1995. In this proclamation, we learn the importance of families and the best way to have a happy stable family; something that is impossible to gain by ourselves without divine help. 

There is a quote that I learned growing up that says "We are not put on earth to see through each other, but to see each other through". This can be put into action in a family that is striving to return to God together without leaving member behind.

But how do we get our own eternal family? I believe that Elder Robert D. Hales explained this the best in his talk "Meeting the Challenges of Today's World". "The track that leads to marriage passes through the terrain called dating! Dating is the opportunity for lengthy conversations. When you date, learn everything you can about each other. Get to know each other’s families when possible. Are your goals compatible? Do you share the same feelings about the commandments, the Savior, the priesthood, the temple, parenting, callings in the Church, and serving others? Have you observed one another under stress, responding to success and failure, resisting anger, and dealing with setbacks? Does the person you are dating tear others down or build them up? Is his or her attitude and language and conduct what you would like to live with every day?"

A few years ago, I was given a book by my parents called "Martina the Beautiful Cockroach" by Carmen Agra Deedy. It is a cute story from a Cuban folktale about a Cockroach who is meeting suitors. Her grandma told her to have all of her suitors take a test; the hot coffee test. When Martina spills give the coffee test by spilling hot coffee on the shoes of her suitor, she gets a glimpse at who they are really like. There is a lot to learn from this coffee test. When you date, don't just see the person you are dating in sunny circumstances. See how they act on their rainy and stormy days as well. It may save you from heartache later.

Elder Hales continues with: "That said, none of us marry perfection; we marry potential. The right marriage is not only about what I want; it’s also about what she—who’s going to be my companion—wants and needs me to be…Your responsibility now is to be worthy of the person you want to marry. If you want to marry a wholesome, attractive, honest, happy, hardworking, spiritual person, be that kind of person. If you are that person and you are not married, be patient. Wait upon the Lord. I testify that the Lord knows your desires and loves you for your faithful devotion to Him. He has a plan for you, whether it be in this life or the next. Listen to His Spirit. “Seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand.” In this life or the next, His promises will be fulfilled. “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” "

The road to perfection is not easy. Often times on the road back to Heavenly Father, we trip and fall off the path. When this happens we get covered in mud, grass, and sometimes even a little blood. But we can always get back onto that road with the help of our friend and elder brother, Jesus Christ. He is always there to help us get cleaned up and to start on our journey again. We are never disqualified from happiness if we use Christ's atonement to repent and become clean again. We must remember that as we search for someone else to share our journey with on the road back home to God.

I want to invite you to pick one of the qualities that you want your future spouse to have. It could be anything. Now I invite you to develop that quality in yourself. If you already think you have it down, perfect it. We always have room for improvement. You may not see how your life will play out and how you will find your happily ever after with your eternal companion, but I promise that you will find happiness with the Lord's help. All you have to do is to do your best to look for and to be the person that you want to spend eternity with.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Managing Your Time

I am probably the worst person in the world to write about this topic. Ask anyone who knows me! Managing time wisely has been a life long struggle for me. However, I am always trying to get better and improve in this area! :)
Even though you may not be a missionary now, using your time wisely is still vital. My mission was promised, like many others, that if we mastered chapter 8 of Preach My Gospel we would be more successful people. Who doesn't want to be a successful person? So how do you apply chapter 8, How Do I Use Time Wisely, to you life? Some of it applies to organization in the mission field and the area book but you can use much of this chapter in your life.

First off, do you plan your day? Or do you just make it up as you go? I can say that I have done both since I have been back from the mission and what I have found is that when I have a plan I am far more productive with my time. How you plan is up to you. Personally I use a paper planner because I remember things better when I write them down. In addition I have a calendar app on my phone that I use for school assignments and big events. I have other friends who only use planners on their phone or other devices. My advice is to try a few things out. Find what you like to use to plan. Do you like to have hours of the day to fill out, just some space to list to do items, or both? But whatever you do, don't stop using a planner!! I say this for a few reasons. Using a planner helps you to be able to accomplish what is expected of you, track your goals, and be accountable for your time.

1. Accomplishing what is expected of You
What is expected of you? At work? At school? At Church activities and callings? In your community? The list goes on and on! Life after the mission is often busier than it was on the mission. Personally I think the reason for this is because now you have to balance your time between all of your activities and requirements. On the mission, this was pretty much already done for you. (You were a missionary and you served the Lord full time.) Now you need to learn to balance all of these expectations. The Lord expects us to accomplish great things. Reflect on the Parable of the Talents, or Christ telling us to keep his commandments, or even Christ's commandment to "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matt 5:48). Planning is a tool to help you accomplish what is expected of you each day, month, year and lifetime.

2. Tracking your Goals
Are you following what you learned in PMG about making goals that are measurable? (Refer to PMG page 146 for help and a great reminder in setting goals.) And, how are you suppose to accomplish your goals if you don't plan for how to accomplish them! Elder M. Russell Ballard said, "I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don't set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life" (PMG 146). Each one of us has so much potential! In addition the the many many talents and gifts that we have the opportunity to develop in this life, we are sons and daughters to a God and we have the ability to become like Him. Goals can shape who we are and what our future is. Remember that "goal setting and planning are acts of faith" (PMG 146).

3. Being Accountable
"The principle of accountability is fundamental in God's eternal plan. We will all stand before the Lord at the last judgement and give an accounting for what we have done with the opportunities He has given us" (PMG 150). Take a moment and think about all of the opportunities that Heavenly Father has given you today at work, home, school, or anywhere else. It can be really overwhelming to think about. However, I promise that if you apply planning to your life it will become less overwhelming because you will know how you will use those opportunities. To help you to become in the habit of being accountable, find people you trust and be accountable to them, or find ways to be accountable to yourself. President Thomas S. Monson said, "When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates" (PMG 150). I know that this principle is true because I have seen it work miracles in my own life. If you become accountable for you measurable goals, I know that you also will see miracles of improvement.
You will not become a perfect planner over night because this is not an easy thing to master! In addition, you do not need to become like a robot only doing what is in your plan, but like when you were a missionary, plan with the spirit and follow the spirit. And do all that you can to accomplish your goals.

I know that God gave us our time here on earth for the purpose to become like Him. This time is valuable and we shouldn't waste it. Brother Marvin J. Ashton said, "To live more fully each hour and to glean the most from each day is wisdom. How unwise we are to waste our todays when they determine the significance of our tomorrows. We should wisely live a day at a time because that is all we have" (The Time Is Now). I challenge you to improve the planning of your life. I know that if you do this, God will bless you with the increased ability to accomplish more than you ever thought was possible especially if you let Him lead you.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Maintaining the Spirit

I this is the goal of my everyday life; to have the Spirit with me always. In other words, to maintain the spirit, to feel the Holy Ghost, to know that I am doing good, and to know that I am keeping my covenants. When I was on my mission, I had the Spirit with me because I was living my life to enable the Holy Ghost to be with me constantly. I LOVED it. I became accustomed to it and then I came home. To maintain the Spirit became more difficult and challenging unlike when I was a missionary. Maintaining my relationship with the Holy Ghost is so important because I know that if I have the Spirit with me, then I am living my life so that I can return home to God. 

In the sacrament prayers that we hear in church every Sunday, we are promised that we can have the spirit to always be with us if we do certain things: take upon ourselves the name of Christ, always remember Christ, and keep Christ's commandments (Doctrine & Covenants 20:77). So if we do these three things, we are promised by God that the Holy Ghost will always be with us. I really like the word always.

However, it is so easy to say these things but it is much harder to live them. It sounds clique but there is opposition in all things. Especially in maintaining the Spirit. There are always other voices calling to us and getting in the way of things that will help us to maintain our relationship with the Holy Ghost. 

Maintaining the spirit is like exercising. If an Olympic athlete stops exercising and practicing, they will loose the physic they have worked so hard to gain. In addition, I don't think their teammates would be supportive of their choice and wouldn't hang out with them anymore. They would have different priorities. This applies to your spiritual physic as well. If you stop exercising spiritually, how is the Holy Ghost (your "teammate" since baptism) suppose to be with you? It is easy to loose that connection when we are not doing the things that invite the Spirit to be with us. We are here on earth to learn so many things. One of those things is to let our spirit control our natural man. In other words, how to live to constantly have the spirit with us. 

The best way to let your spirit take control is with some help from the Holy Ghost. The influence of the Holy Ghost will help you to want to do good and turn your back on the bad. This happened to the people of King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon after the Holy Ghost helped them to change their hearts (Mosiah 5:2). You have to take the steps to have the Holy Ghost with you, but it will become easier because He will help you to continue walking down this path. The best way to keep the Holy Ghost with you and maintain your spirituality is to simply keep the covenant we made at baptism and renew every Sunday. 

1. Take upon ourselves the name of Christ

You have already been baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and by doing so took Christ's name upon yourself. You also take upon yourself Christ's name by striving to think and act like Christ (Mosiah 18:9). Be proud to have eaten of the fruit of life and stay by the tree of life (1 Nephi 8)!
This lesson has lot of insights on taking his name upon us. "What does it mean to take upon myself the name of Christ?"

2. Always remember Christ

Something that I like to so help myself always remember Christ is to pray often and thank God for my blessings and for the atonement of Jesus Christ for me. I will pray in my heart as I walk to and from school and it helps me to feel God's love through the Holy Ghost. There are many other things that we can do to always remember Christ like: having paintings depicting Christ in our homes, taking the sacrament, reading our scriptures, and pondering how we are using his atonement daily.
Two talks to read on this topic are: "They That Do Always Remember Him" by Elder Claudio R. M. Costa and "To Always Remember Him" by Elder D. Todd Christofferson

3. Keep Christ's commandments

This one is a little more obvious on what to do; just keep the commandments. The only thing I have to add is to remember the higher law that Christ taught the people on the sermon on the mount (Matt 5-8). The letter of the law is one thing but we are expected to grow to live the spirit of the law as well.

In Preach My Gospel, it says that the Holy Ghost is "a foretaste of eternal joy and a promise of eternal life (page 65)." Who does not want to have those blessings? Having the spirit with you is the best way to remember the reason you are here on earth; to return home to your Heavenly Father. 

I want to bear my testimony that living so that the spirit can be with you is vital to your happiness now and for the eternities. I know that the Holy Ghost is there to help us return to our Heavenly Father; that is why we are given the gift of the Holy Ghost when we are baptized. If you have made choices that make the companionship of the Holy Ghost less of an option, I know that you can change your life so that the Holy Ghost can always be with you. Not just sometimes, but always. Change is always possible because of Jesus Christ and you will be blessed for it with the companionship of the Holy Ghost to help guide you home.

Love Always,


“And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good—yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit. Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy” (D&C 11:12–13).

Friday, November 20, 2015

Finally Listening

Life is hard!! I know you are thinking, "Tell me something I don't already know." My anniversary of returning from the mission field is coming up. One whole year! Who knew that time could go so fast and life could be so rewarding yet painful in 365 days.

In the last year, I have experienced so much. Highs and Lows and lots of stuff in the middle. I feel like my experiences could help someone else. A few months ago, I started having this feeling or prompting that I should start writing on this blog again. I would tell myself, "I need to do that!" Then life would happen and weeks later I would realize that I never even opened up the webpage. 

Two weeks ago, I was in Arizona in the Gilbert Temple and I was prompted again to write. And topics came to my mind of what to write about. There is no denying that. However life happened and I was not able to start writing immediately. Then, this morning I read a talk by President Henry B. Eyring titled "The Holy Ghost as Your Companion." In this talk, he tell and reminds us that to have the Holy Ghost with us always, we can start by following a prompting. After we follow that prompting, more promptings will follow. Right away, this blog came to my mind, so instead of doing homework, I am here writing this blog because I was asked to and I really need to follow this prompting. I don't know if many people will read this or if it will only help me. But I know that God has a plan for each one of us and that I would not have felt prompted to write this if there was not a purpose.

God is aware of each one of us. He knows your needs and He knows mine.

In this blog, I will be sharing some insights and advice from the perspective of a return missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I know that the contents of this blog may not be unique, but hopefully they can help someone.

For now, there are twelve topics that I would like to talk about. Don't worry, I am not going to go into each of them now. (Phew!!) Each topic will get its own spotlight in a blog post.

Maintaining the Spirit
Managing your Time
Dating and Marriage
The Temple
Reflecting on the Mission
Continuing to Develop
Member Missionary Work
Trusting God
Charity and Loving others
Being Happy and Finding Joy

I know that God is aware of you because you are His child. His son or daughter. He misses you. If you are not sure about this, ask Him. Kneel down, pray, and ask Him in if He knows who you are and if he loves you. If you really want to know, then I promise that He will answer through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Love Always,


Thursday, June 25, 2015

June 23rd

Two years ago I entered the Missionary Training Center (MTC) to begin my mission!! I can't believe that two years have passed so quickly and that I have been home for about 6 months!! I feel so very blessed that I was called to go on a mission to Temple Square. I am eternally grateful for the opportunities that I was given to better understand the gospel of Jesus Christ and the miracle of his atonement. Thank you to all of the wonderful Sisters, Elders, and people that I was able to associate and learn from on my mission

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Hello World!

Wow. I can't believe that I am actually writing on this blog directly. It is a strange feeling. I am so very grateful to my wonderful sister Audrey for creating and constantly updating this blog for me while I was serving my mission. Thank you Audrey!

I have been released as a full time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for 1 month and 17 days. Ugh! How does time go so fast! When someone is called as a missionary for the LDS church, they are set apart by the priesthood power (authority to act in the name of God) just like Paul and Barnabas were in Acts 13:2-3. When someone has finished their service (usually 1 1/2-2 years) they are released from that specific calling as a missionary. So when I was released, I had to take off my name tag and the mantle of a missionary was taken away. It was a tough experience but a memorable one. And I still miss wearing my name tag. :)

Being a return missionary has not been easy. It is so hard to go from serving full time to acting for yourself, especially in college! Although I have had a crazy amount of trials in my short 1 1/2 months being back to "normal life" I have also witnessed so many miracles! I know that God is definitely aware of me and my struggles because he sends me love and miracles that I wonder if I deserve. Last week a fellow RM from Temple Square left me some yummy cinnamon rolls and a note. I needed that to get through that week/day. (Thank you Sister Schill) I am so grateful. God uses normal people who are listening to the Holy Ghost to create miracles and answer prayers. I am happy that I was able to see that clearly for 18 months and that I am still able to be a part of creating miracles and having them happen to me.

I love the opportunity to serve God with all my might, mind, and strength for 18 months. Although I gave everything I have, I feel like all of the favors were done to me. I was able to change who I was into someone so much better. I say this because I now have a close relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ and God my Heavenly Father. I understand the gospel so much better and understand how it is a part of everyday life- and that is the way it should be. I have seen the difference and the power that the gospel brings into our lives when we follow the commandments and council from God and his prophets (ancient and modern). I could go on an on about the many things that I have learned and before I start to ramble I will just say that my knowledge and testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been strengthened so much. I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ in upstate New York in an answer to a simple prayer of searching for truth. I know that Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet of God exactly like the prophets of old. Because of this, The Book of Mormon is a true book. It really is the word of God and it changes lives. I know this because it has changed mine and I have seen it change other's lives. Jesus Christ lives today. He died for each one of us so we could choose to live so we can be with Heavenly Father again. He loves us and that is why he atoned for us.

Until next time, remember that God love you and will provided for you. All you need to do is reach out with faith and trust him. That can be hard and scary to do, but life is so much better when you remember his love.

Love Always,