Opening My Mission Call

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Dear Sister Lee you are hereby called to serve as a missionary of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the California, Irvine Mission.

I report August 5th, 2015. Teaching in the English language.

Im going to California!

Sunshine!

Some things about this mission is:

It’s in orange county, California. Most of the areas are along the coast. (WHAT!) It contains Laguna Beach and other very nice beaches. The people there are very nice and there is a wide variety of cultures. Irvine, which is the top of my mission is only about 15 minutes away from Disneyland ( ya know, the happiest place on Earth). On top of that, there are a lot of health food lovers down there. So my allergy to Wheat will be managed really well down there 🙂 Did I mention there’s an In-n-out burger like everywhere?? woooooooo. Also, Irvine is the #1 safest place to live in the United States, so I definitely can’t complain about that! Another thing is, has a lot of wards and stakes so there be plenty of member missionaries! My mission president and his wife are amazing too!! I am following their fb page and let’s just say I cannot wait to meet them :))) Plus, the weather is basically perfect year round! I am supposed to learn as much as I can about surfing spots and stuff because that’s a good thing to know to start a conversation.

Hang loose braaaa

basically, I cannot begin to describe how excited l am for my call!

and how blessed and humbled I am to get such a call. I know that I will have to work hard.

I know that the California, Irvine Mission is exactly where I am supposed to go.

The days leading up to my call were without a doubt inspired.

My bishop told me that my call had been assigned last tuesday. I expected my call to come that friday or saturday for sure. My sister unfortunately worked all of friday and so did I. On saturday I had plans to go innertubing on the lake with friends and then to a baptism and to a brazilian bbq. But I was so sure that my call would come one of those days and I would squeeze in a time to open the call in front of my family. Both friday and saturday I woke up feeling so sick. Stomach butterflies for days. I was so anxious to see where I was going and all anyone asked me was if it had come yet. It didn’t. Every time I would check the mail there would be only a few small envelopes for my parents. I realized that no matter how bad I wanted my call at that moment. I knew that the Lord had a plan for me and the time that it would come would be the time it was meant to. No sooner. No later. I started focusing on what the Lord’s will was instead of my own. I thought that maybe this was a time where God was trying to teach me something. I have found as I grow older, that the lord is in the details of our life. Although, it may seem like a small matter, if it is important to you, the lord will be there. He can teach you lessons through all aspects of your life if you allow yourself to be intune with his spirit. My mission is where I will be for the next 18 months of my life and I wanted to make sure I was doing all I could to be worthy of that calling. So I prayed. A lot. I studied my scriptures constantly. I work on my calling in the ward. and with my family. I also studied my families history. On sunday I went to church and to the classes. When I got home I was reading talks on lds.org and I found a talk by Richard G. Scott called “How to Obtain Revelation and Inspiration for Your Personal Life”. This seemed like a great talk to read at the time. I definitely had some questions and needed some guidance. Questions surrounding many aspects of my life. A small excerpt from the talk that really affected me was:

“One of the great lessons that each of us needs to learn is to ask. Why does the Lord want us to pray to Him and to ask? Because that is how revelation is received.

When I am faced with a very difficult matter, this is how I try to understand what to do. I fast. I pray to find and understand scriptures that will be helpful. That process is cyclical. I start reading a passage of scripture; I ponder what the verse means and pray for inspiration. I then ponder and pray to know if I have captured all the Lord wants me to do. Often more impressions come with increased understanding of doctrine.”

I knew after reading that, that I was to do just that.

So, I prayed. I promised that the next day (monday) I would fast. Then I read my scriptures more diligently.

When I woke up monday morning, my stomach butterflies were gone. I felt great. I felt the spirit so strongly and there was a sense of peace that had come over me that stayed with me the rest of the day.

But thats not all,

The mail usually arrives at my house around 11 am each morning. My family and I learned this in the weeks leading up, where we would be constantly looking at the window for the mailman. So around 11 am we started looking out the window. We decided to work in the yard while we waited so that we didn’t miss it. Welllll, the mail came. At 1:30 pm. Two and a half hours later than usual. When It came we rushed to the mailbox just in time for the mail lady to pull away. There was no way my call had come. The lady stopped for a total of 2 seconds and we were almost positive the envelopes she put in were way to small. In those moments, I was so sure that I would have to wait another day. But I was totally calm. Whatever happened, I knew that it would be okay and that I could wait. I followed my mom to check the mail just because, but as she opened the mailbox here face changed. She pulled out a big white envelope! Then she looked at it and saw that it had her name on it… and that it was from her new job. Her smile dropped. Then she realized that there was another identical white envelope underneath hers that had MY NAME ON IT and was from THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. Her smile returned and she looked at me and then did a little happy dance. It was adorable. My heart soared and I couldn’t do anything but grin! IT CAME!

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We planned to open it later that night when my siblings were all home from work and we could FaceTime them. I only wanted to open it in front of my family, and it worked out perfectly. It was small and intimate and perfect. For some reason my brother had a short day at work and was home early. My sister Erica drove down to Provo to be with him and his family. & right as they called, my other sister called saying her husband was almost home so I could open it sooner!

When I opened it, I was still completely calm. I was expecting to cry or shake because i’ve seen many mission call videos, but I just smiled.

When I read Irvine, California.

I knew, in that moment, that it was the perfect mission for me.

The spirit was there and the feeling I got when I read those words was perfect.

I know that the Lord has a plan for me and has a work for me to do in California.

I prayed that I would be happy about wherever I go, whether it was a small town in Oklahoma or a cold city in Canada. Or the hot, hot climate of Arizona.

I would know that I am not serving in a place, but in a place of the lord.

That wherever I go, it will be the people I serve.

So when I got called to California. I was awestruck. No place could be more perfect.

I won’t brag. But i mean, come on. It’s perfect.

I’m so excited to get out in the field!

& soon too, I only have about a month

I know that the lord answered my prayers and fastings.

I realized that life takes patience.

 timing is everything

many questions I had about other aspects of my life were answered with this simple answer;

Patience

I am meant to serve soon.

The other things in my life can wait.

They will still be there when I get back,

and if not, I will know that it’ll be okay.

” You will come to know that what appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment that you will ever make”

-Gordon B. Hinckley.

I know that whatever I think I want now. can wait. That if it is meant to be, it will be. Trust in the Lord. No time is too long. 18 months is nothing in the eternal perspective.

18 months isn’t that big of a sacrifice. I can sacrifice that for my savior. He sacrificed so much more for me. He died for me. He loves me. & I love him. I will serve him with all my heart. And when the time comes I will be sad to go home. But I will know that my work there is done and the work afterward. wherever or whatever it is, will be just beginning. I will use the experiences of my mission in my life after and continue to serve him with all my heart as I grow, go to college, raise children,  have a husband, and continue on enduring to the end in the gospel.

This video is amazing. It has touched my heart so strongly. One of the strongest messages I have ever seen. I will always remember this on my mission.

Come what may, and love it 🙂

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The importance of family history

family work

I can testify of this.

My grandma, being the amazing woman that she is, loves to do family history work.

She has notebook, and journals, charts, and pictures of all my ancestors.

She gives notebooks of our family history to every single one of her children.

She has ten!

One being my mother.

So,  on Sunday I found them & I decided to read them.

It was so cool!

I found so much in common with my great grandpa by reading stories of him when he was a kid. He was a cool guy!

ggc

Something that I learned that I didn’t know is that him and my great grandma were childhood sweehearts! They both grew up in Pleasant Grove, Utah and met when they were very young & they got married when they were older! He used to tell her that he would marry her. How freaking cute is that????

They had 8 kids.

One being my grandma, Mary Jean.

My grandparents met at BYU,

and so did my parents!

Hey hey BYU boys where ya at.

just kidding. kinda.

Anyways!

I also learned that my grandpa hated school, just like me.

He is very talented though. He could fix about anything. and he flew planes. He actually flew pigs on a plane once.

So pigs do fly.

Thank you Grandpa Caldwell.

He also served a mission in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Him and his wife went back to serve as a couple there many years later.

My grandpa on my dad’s side was born in Japan!

grandpa

He is american but his parents were serving a mission together as a couple in Japan & they had him!

He had 4 siblings.

He spoke japanese so fluently that in WW2 he was the person that talked to the prisoners of war, because no one else could understand them.

He also served a mission in Hawaii speaking Japanese.

My grandma on my dad’s side is from Germany.

ggl

(Look at his hands… you’ll know why soon).

Cool story: Her dad was actually put in the war on the german side during WW1 (They lived in germany). He said that when he was put on the battlefield the first time he prayed to God so earnestly. He said that he never wanted to kill anyone. & so he told God that if he could somehow survive this war without having to kill anyone he would straighten up and find the true church and be a righteous disciple all of his days. Lo and behold, he was taken out of the war soon after that & when he got home the missionaries talked to him on the street- he was baptised soon after that!

He moved with his family to the United States right before WW2,

He worked in a glass factory before the great depression and his hand got cut-off one day… so he was given a hook. What! luckily, the penchant he recieved from his work helped him support his family as well as a few others during the depression.

The lord works in mysterious ways.

Alright, sorry for that long history. But i thought that was so cool!

gc

I also learned more about my grandma. She has always been my favorite. I like to think that we are a lot alike. She is spunky, and sassy, she doesn’t sugar-coat things but she is never rude. She is genuine so you know when she says something, she means it. I’m clearly not as awesome as her, but I have a few years.

Researching my ancestors has blessed my life in more ways then I thought it could. I never knew my great grandpas, or my great great grandpas. They died before I was born. They lived a full life- one that I didn’t know. & their decisions have shaped every aspect of my life. and because I can learn about them, I feel like I do know them. I feel a part of them in my life. When I make decisions I think of my ancestors, of my great grandpa Calvin, and I remember the sacrifices they made in their lifetime- so that their children and posterity could be blessed and live a good life. I am so thankful for them! & i feel it a duty of mine to continue learning of them, teaching my children about them, and the amazing people that they were.

If you want to learn about your ancestors this is a really cool website to help you do that!

https://familysearch.org/

Do it!

A quote that I really like from Neal A. Maxwell,

“Though we have rightly applauded our ancestors for their spiritual achievements, those of us who prevail today, will have done no small deed”

Remember that we are living a life that our posterity will learn about. Try to be the best person that you can be. Write about your experiences. Let your grandchildren learn about who you are, through journals and pictures. Give them words of advice and encouragements. Do all that you can to help them in their lives.

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Remember who you are. And whose you are.

Patience brings blessings

taylor
Hey everyone! Happy Tuesday!
I can’t believe its only been 13 days since I submitted my mission papers… It feels like its been 2 months!
my call has been assigned so it should be coming any day now though 🙂 & i’m learning to have more patience. so it’s good!
I can be patient. It’s not so bad.
Afterall, Jacob waited 7 years for his Rachel.
I can wait.
One quote that has helped me a lot is
“The lord is in the details of our lives. He know’s us. He is mindful of us. He hears and answers our prayers. He wants to bless us. He loves us. He truly loves us.”  -Pres. Thomas S. Monson
It’s hard sometimes to wait.
People always ask how missionaries can leave for 2 years or 18 months. How they can put their life on hold.
Your friends get married in that time, they have kids, they go to college, they move on.
How can missionaries be willing to leave everything behind?
But it isn’t about us. It’s about the Lord. He has done so much for us. He gives us everything. We can’t even begin to imagine the blessings he has given us. He loves us.
There will be times in your life that feel like nothing is happening. That you are just waiting. Waiting for an answer. That is when you must remember that god has a plan for you.
He is mindful of you. He knows exactly what is going on in your life. He hasn’t forgotten about you. He will always be there to comfort you. But he knows your strengths and knows what you need to learn and endure.
Endure- “To remain firm in a commitment to be true to the commandments of God despite temptation, opposition, and adversity.”
We don’t always get to know what is going on in our life. We don’t always know why things happen. Sometimes we don’t know how long our trials will go.
Patience is a test.
In 2 Peters 3 verse 13 “Nevertheless, if we shall endure, we shall be kept according to his promise. And we look for a new heavens, and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.”
I love this poem that I found not too long ago;
Wait
by Russell Kelfer
Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, “Wait.” 
 
“Wait? you say wait?” my indignant reply.
“Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I’m claiming your Word.
 
“My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I’m needing a ‘yes’, a go-ahead sign,
Or even a ‘no’ to which I can resign. 
 
“You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:
I’m weary of asking! I need a reply.” 
 
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, “Wait.”
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, “So, I’m waiting for what?” 
 
He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.
 
“I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You’d have what you want, but you wouldn’t know Me.
You’d not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You’d not know the power that I give to the faint.
 
“You’d not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there.
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.
 
“You’d never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart.
 
“The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.
 
“You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I’m doing in you.
 
“So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait.”
What a magnificent blessing that is, to know that our Heavenly Father knows us, personally. That he knows that we are strong enough to go through times of waiting to learn. The times that I have learned the most and felt our Heavenly Father’s love the most, is usually not at the very moment of panic or fear, although he is there too. But in moments of waiting. Moments where I have to ask, “Heavenly Father, what would you have me do?”. When we humble ourselves enough to ask, to put aside everything else, and focus on discovering what the Lord wants from us, is when we allow ourselves to listen and grow. Sometimes we listen for a long long time. But an answer will come.
Patience is essential.
patience
The prophet Joseph Smith is a prime example of someone who had many struggles in life but endured well! in his life he was told “wait” patiently. He pressed forward with faith, enduring to the end. I’m sure the answers were not always what he wanted, but he believed that the Lord knew him and knew what he needed. So he kept pressing forward, and in doing so he blessed the lives of millions.
Be patient. Know that the Lord loves you. You. & he will be there for you through everything. Be patient. You can do it.

Go Confidently In The Direction Of Your Dreams

“… The Lord is in control. He knows the end from the beginning. He has given us adequate instruction that, if followed, will see us safely through any crisis. His purposes will be fulfilled, and someday we will understand the eternal reasons for all of these events. Therefore, today we must be careful not to overreact, nor should we be caught up in extreme preparations; but what we must do is keep the commandments of God and never lose hope! “

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This has spoken to me on so many levels lately. I think it is important to always remember this when we are stressing or having a hard time keeping eternal perspective. The lord is in control. He knows what we need. We can go to him for direction and guidance. But then we must also be willing to trust his answer. It doesn’t always come right away. But it does come. & the feeling of comfort is always there when we ask in sincere prayer.

Satan is real.

He really tries to tear us down.

He tries to make us feel inadequate.

He gives us distractions

( Like all these cute boys asking you on dates right before your mission; It really happens. Like where were you a few months ago bro).

Anyways

He also gives us stress.

He hurts us

You hear this a lot as you prepare for a mission, that Satan will try everything to get you to stay. To make you feel inadequate and make you doubt yourself.

Something I’ve recently learned is,

He puts in a lot of effort

For example,

A real struggle my family is facing is employment.

Right as I was approaching my last stretch of mission paperwork

my dad got layed-off his job.

and so did my mom.

yeah, not good.

The good news is..

Just like Satan is a very real person. Prayer is a very real thing.

Satan tries to tear us down, but god is stronger and will make it a strengthening experience for us.

How lucky are we to have the gift to pray?

Anyone can pray.

God is our father and he wants to hear from us.

& he wants to help us. He will answer our prayers

I know this

He has answered my families prayers as we figure out what to do about employment. He has not left us. He will never leave. He has blessed us. My mom found a part-time job and my dad is currently working towards a new one.

Maybe there is a better job and better work ahead for my parents. Maybe we will win the lottery!    Justkidding, we don’t gamble. But what I’m saying is, when life takes away from us, usually it is given us something better. I believe my parents struggles and their perseverance will someday be the greatest blessing for them.

There is always a rainbow after the rain, my friend.

( Insert rainbow emoji)

I know that I am supposed to go on a mission

That is the most important thing I can be doing with my life at this time

There is someone out there who needs me. & there are people out there that I need.

There are people waiting to hear my story and hear the gospel.

I know these struggles are temporary and if we have faith and push forward, they will work out.

The gospel is eternal.

God is eternal. & we are eternal beings.

Whenever I had feelings of doubt I would find talks on lds.org that would be exactly what I needed to hear,

Here are a few:

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/10/come-join-with-us?lang=eng&query=doubt+your+doubt

https://www.lds.org/ensign/2000/03/cast-not-away-therefore-your-confidence?lang=eng

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/04/lord-i-believe?lang=eng&query=lord+i+believe

https://www.ldsjobs.org/ers/ct/articles/principles-to-help-your-family-during-unemployment?lang=eng

https://www.lds.org/liahona/2015/06/young-adults/trusting-in-the-assurances-of-the-lord?cid=HP_FR_6-5-2015_dPTH_fLHNA_xLIDyL2-4_&lang=eng

These are only a few of the links that have really helped me

LDS.ORG isn’t just for members of the church. It really is for everyone. It has things that can help people from all walks of life.

I encourage you to check it out!

A few quotes I really love from those links are..

“Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith”

-Uchtdorf

“It is the plain and very sobering truth that before great moments, certainly before great spiritual moments, there can come adversity, opposition, and darkness. Life has some of those moments for us, and occasionally they come just as we are approaching an important decision or a significant step in our lives.” -Holland

(HELLO RELEVANCE)

Alright, and the last quote. It’s pretty long but so worth reading:

“You will recall that the book of Moses begins with him being taken up to “an exceedingly high mountain” where, the scripture says, “he saw God face to face, and he talked with him, and the glory of God was upon Moses.” What then followed was what happens to prophets who are taken to high mountains. The Lord said to Moses:

“Look, and I will show thee the workmanship of mine hands. … Moses looked, and … beheld the earth, yea, even all of it; and there was not a particle of it which he did not behold, discerning it by the spirit of God. And he beheld also the inhabitants thereof, and there was not a soul which he beheld not.” 3

This experience is remarkable by every standard. It is one of the great revelations given in human history. It stands with the greatest accounts we have of any prophet’s experience with Divinity.

But Moses’ message to you today is: Don’t let your guard down. Don’t assume that a great revelation, some marvelous, illuminating moment, the opening of an inspired path, is the end of it. Remember, it isn’t over until it’s over.

What happens to Moses next, after his revelatory moment, would be ludicrous if it were not so dangerous and so true to form. Lucifer—in an effort to continue his opposition, in his unfailing effort to get his licks in later if not sooner—appears and shouts in equal portions of anger and petulance after God has revealed Himself to the prophet: “Moses, worship me.” But Moses is not having it. He has just seen the real thing, and by comparison this sort of performance is pretty dismal.

“Moses looked upon Satan and said: Who art thou? … Where is thy glory, that I should worship thee?

“For behold, I could not look upon God, except his glory should come upon me. … But I can look upon thee in the natural man. …

“Where is thy glory, for it is darkness unto me? And I can judge between thee and God. …

“Get thee hence, Satan; deceive me not.”

The record then depicts a reaction that is both pathetic and frightening:

“And now, when Moses had said these words, Satan cried with a loud voice, and ranted upon the earth, and commanded, saying: I am the Only Begotten, worship me.

“And it came to pass that Moses began to fear exceedingly; and as he began to fear, he saw the bitterness of hell. Nevertheless, calling upon God [the very phrase used by Joseph Smith], he received strength, and he commanded, saying: Depart from me, Satan, for this one God only will I worship, which is the God of glory.

“And now Satan began to tremble, and the earth shook. …

“And it came to pass that Satan cried with a loud voice, with weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth; and he departed hence,” 4 always to come again, we can be sure, but always to be defeated by the God of glory—always.

ALWAYS

I know what Jeffery R. Holland says is true. I know that things tend to get hard right before they get better. But because of our savior, they do get better. We really are strong, we really are brave, and we really can endure. We can do this, and with god, no temptations or fears can stop us.

WE GOT THIS

Stay Humble. Be kind. Work Hard. Live Courageously.