An unexpected turn, on the correct path

It’s been a while since my last post and a lot has changed. I also haven’t changed the look of my blog in a long time so I apologize if it looks a little ghetto. But to start, I’m 20 now. I live in Provo. And as you have probably noticed, I’m back home. I came home to Washington in November  from my mission in California due to medical problems. I went to the ER out there and they couldn’t find the problem but my Liver wasn’t working correctly. Which is a big deal. So I flew home, got honorably released, and went to a bunch of doctors. I’ve talked about this before, but I think it’s true that our hardest moments are also the ones that make us strong and shape us. Coming home from my mission was a hard thing. I remember sitting in the apartment after another day of sickness. Feeling like a failure. I prayed harder than I think I ever have before. I wanted to serve the Lord. I wanted to continue being a missionary. However, more than that; I wanted to do the Lord’s Will. I trusted and had complete Faith that whatever happened the Lord had a plan for me and if I kept that Faith, things would be alright. It was still hard- but I remember after praying and praying I received a prompting & I knew without a doubt that the Lord needed me to go home. That He was proud of me and happy with my service. So I came home. I didn’t know what I was going to do when I got home- but I knew that I didn’t want to do nothing. So I started looking into my options. Within a month- everything that I felt I should do, fell into place. I felt the Lords hand in my life & knew he didn’t abandon me. The doctor gave me medicine to reverse the swelling of my face and liver and referred me to another doctor. Once that was done they didn’t really know what to do, but said I should keep living my life & hope I start feeling better. Scary. But I decided to do just that. I knew I wanted to go to Utah for College. I flew down there and stayed with some of my siblings and looked at my options. These things weren’t just handed to me. I had to work for it; but the Lord was guiding me and helping me through it. I was able to find an apartment in Provo, get a job on campus at Jamba Juice. I also, without applying, was able to take evening college classes BYU, and most important to me, have the oppurtunity to serve in the new Provo Tabernacle Temple as an ordinance worker. That was in December and now I have the oppurtunity to be an EFY Summer 2016 camp counselor!  I know the Lord is there for me. The path He had for me isnt the one I’d imagined. And in the future, it probably won’t be either. But isnt that how it works? The point of life isn’t to get what you want, take the easy way, and then die. What could we gain from that? The point is to learn, grow, stretch, break, and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ become better people for it. I know Christ lives. I know there is a plan for each and every one of us. I know that as we have Faith and Hope and Charity- everything will work out for the very best 💕

Why I choose to serve a mission

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Why?

Why is a question many people tend to ask.

For those of you who have been around little kids you quickly learn that ‘why’ is infact one of their favorite words.

They ask things such as,

“Why do I need to eat all my veggies?”

“Why must I do my chores before I go out and play?”

“Why did the chicken cross the road?”

“Why, mommy, why?”

Although valid, these questions are, as children grow older, they begin to ask more educated questions. Like….

“Why did grandmother die?”

“Why can’t I see her anymore?”

“Why is it important for me to believe in God and in Heaven?”

As we get older, we start to understand more fully how the world works and our responsibilities. We begin to ask,

“Why should I love my fellowmen?”

“Why should I go to church and on a mission?”

“Why should I get married in the temple?”

All these ‘Why’ questions are asked as a question of motivation.

What is the motivation behind doing these things?

In a world where consequences are slowly becoming more and more disregarded, why do we choose to do the things we do?

In the well-known story of Alice in wonderland, when Alice first meets the cheshire cat she is lost,

she asks the cat, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” To which the cat says, “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” “I don’t much care where –” says Alice “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.” Declares the cat.

This is an important lesson for life. When we came down to this Earth, whether we were born in the church or not, we had to find out where we were or where we wanted to go. The adversary would like us to think that it doesn’t matter which way we go! But it does! But, in order to fight against his temptations, we must first care where we are going. Alice later says, “Who in the world, am I?” She didn’t understand who she was, so she didn’t know which way she ought to go.

I believe these questions that Alice had, and that we all have had, can only truly be answered by first knowing why we are here and where we came from. When you have an understanding of these things, it is easier to move forward in the correct direction. We are literal children of god and he is our literal Father in Heaven. He wants us to return again. This life, is a test. He knows that we will come across our own Cheshire cats and mad hatters, and he knows sometimes we won’t always make the best decisions. He knows that we aren’t perfect, but he knows that we can be better, so he sent his son to pay for our sins and feel all of our sorrows, so that when we do mess up and when we do cry out in agony and pain, we can repent and move forward with a perfect brightness of hope. Why does he do this?  Because he loves us. Having this knowledge, we can see that we are important. That God, the supreme ruler of the universe, is mindful of you. of your problems. of your scraped knees & broken hearts and your vices. Knowing this & knowing the price that his son Jesus Christ paid for us, helps us see why we must live the best life we can! This life is a gift! Do you usually receive a gift from someone you love & disregard it? Or do you cherish the gift and do all the can to show the giver that their gift and their love means so much to you?

God does not leave us lonely. He has given us families and puts the people in our life there, for a reason. He has given us ways to communicate with him, through prayer. He also provided us with the gift of the restoration. The restoration brought to light a spiritually dark world. Many people were wandering around lost like Alice, not knowing where to receive God’s light. The restoration re-established God’s work on the Earth. It showed us that God does in fact live. That he is there for us and will lead us in the right direction, if we only will have faith in God and in the atonement of Jesus Christ.

God’s counsel is often quiet. He speaks to us through a still, small voice or through heavenly promptings. Sometimes, we must first act in faith and then the Lord will reveal to us the way we must go.

An example of this is found in the scriptures, in first Nephi. After Nephi and his family are told by God to flee the city of Jerusalem and they do, they are told by God again to go back and get the records of their ancestors which are in the hands of Laban, the King. This really frustrated Nephi’s older brothers. But him and his brother’s went back to get the plates. They didn’t know exactly how they were going to get the plates though. Laban wasn’t the nicest guy and would probably kill them. They  each attempted to receive those plates, but each time they were chased out of the city. It wasn’t until the last try that Nephi was directed as to how to get the plates and then he was successful. This happens many times in our life, but we must remember, in these times where we don’t always have the answer, to be like Nephi. To not get discouraged but say, ” I will go and do the things which the Lord commands, for I know the Lord will provide a way”.

We have been taught to first abtain a knowledge of the gospel, then to go out and teach.

If we don’t already know before we go on a mission, we will soon learn that missionary work isn’t easy. Just like Nephi obtaining those plates wasn’t easy.

I would like to add a little piece of one of my currently favorite talks given by Jeffery R. Holland on missionary work and the atonement, he says, “I am convinced that missionary work is not easy,because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation was never easy. We are the church of Jesus Christ. This is the truth. He is our great eternal head. Why would we think that it would be easy for us- when it was never, ever easy for him. In turn, how could we possibly bare any moving, lasting testimony of the atonement if we have never known or felt anything of such an experience. He then says, “As missionaries we are proud to say we are disciples of Christ, and we are, but mark my word, that means that you must be prepared to walk something of the path he walked. To feel something-something, a little, of the pain that he felt.To at least occasionally- sometime on your mission, shed one of the tears of sorrow that he shed”. He then says, “If the missionaries can come to love and appreciate it, the atonement will carry them. Let them know that when they struggle, when they are rejected, and spit upon, they are standing shoulder to shoulder with the best life this world has ever known. The only pure and perfect missionary that ever lived. They have every reason to stand tall and be grateful that the savior and redeemer of the world knows all about their sorrows and their afflictions, and for a moment or two in their lives, they will understand what he went through for them”.

So let us go back to the first question:

Why?

In just a few short weeks I will be saying fgoodbye to my family and friends and entering the MTC to start my mission. And much like Nephi, although I do not know what lies ahead, I will move forward in faith and I will go and do what the Lord has commanded me. I might not know right now why I have been called to that specific area at this specific time, but I know that the Lord does. That he will provide a way. I know that this gospel is true. & I can not deny it. I will go out and I will preach to all those I meet In California, that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. One last quote that I love and that I feel does a good job of explaining why people choose to serve missions is a quote by Bob Morehead. It is called

The fellowship of the unashamed

“I am apart of the fellowship of the unashamed.The dye has been cast.  I have stepped over the line.The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Christ. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future secure. I am finished and done with low-living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, positions, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on his presence, walk with patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power. My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won’t give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up,  and paid up for the cause of Christ. I must go until he comes, give till’ I drop, preach until all know, and work until he stops me. And when he returns for his own he will have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear”.

This gospel has blessed my life. I cannot deny what I know to be true. It is through Christ that I am strengthened, and it is for Christ that I will serve this mission, and bring his people who are searching for the truth but know not where to find it, to him. I love my Savior and Heavenly Father. I have a testimony that they live and that they have given us this gospel so that we can come unto them and be lifted up.

Tender Mercies of the Lord

Today I would like to talk about tender mercies.

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Just the word ‘Tender Mercy’ has so much emotion and meaning behind it.

But to be clear; what is a tender mercy?

A tender mercy is a timely message of comfort and reassurance from the Lord.

It is in times of grief, heartache, and stress that we come to see these tender mercies more clearly.

David A. Bednar once said: “the Lord’s tender mercies do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Faithfulness and obedience enable us to receive these important gifts and, frequently, the Lord’s timing helps us to recognize them.” he then says, ” We should not underestimate or overlook the power of the Lord’s tender mercies. The simpleness, the sweetness, and the constancy of the tender mercies of the Lord will do much to fortify and protect us in the troubled times in which we do now and will yet live. When words cannot provide the solace we need or express the joy we feel, when it is simply futile to attempt to explain that which is unexplainable, when logic and reason cannot yield adequate understanding about the injustices and inequities of life, when mortal experience and evaluation are insufficient to produce a desired outcome, and when it seems that perhaps we are so totally alone, truly we are blessed by the tender mercies of the Lord and made mighty even unto the power of deliverance”.

Tender mercies are a gift from the lord. It is our job to be faithful and recognize them.

Recognizing these tender mercies will bless your life. You will see blessings and happiness pouring in abundance in your life.

So, what are some tender mercies you have experienced in your life?

Whether we notice them all or not, they are there.

Tender mercies are a very personal gift from God given to YOU at the time YOU need it.

 For example, a few days ago I was in a pretty sad mood. Problems seemed to come at me like flies to fly paper. It felt like one thing after another. Like I said before, my parents has been struggling with unemployment. and just when things started to look up again, it fell apart. Life does that a lot. When it rains it pours, ya know? Nothing was working out. But I knew that these things were happening for a reason. The nice thing about trials is you gain new knowledge and understanding every time. Just like Adam & Eve, to have knowledge of good and evil, had to leave the garden. We, as humans, learn the difference of good and evil, pain and pleasure, by experiencing it through the experiences in our life. Anyway, when I felt like I couldn’t take anymore bad news, I decided to read my scriptures. I am currently in the book of Alma and the chapter I read that day was about the 2000 stripling warriors. While reading that, eventhough I’ve read it many times, I felt that it strangely connected to how I felt. The words which were said were exactly what I needed to hear. One verse that stood out to me was in Alma 56:47- when these young 2000 stripling warriors ( probably about my age), said they would go to war to defend their city for their families. It says, “Now they never had fought yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them”.

If these boys would face death for their family, I could certainly face a few trials for mine.

They believed that God would protect them, and because of their great faith.* Spoiler alert*

He does.

The faith they must’ve had is incredible.

It was after I read that, that I had this overwhelming sense of peace come over me.

During times where peace was hard to find, God calmed my soul and comforted me.

This is a tender mercy.

Tender mercies come in many forms. If we don’t pay attention, we won’t recognize them all.

So what are some things we can do to better recognize these mercies?

Pray- When we pray we draw closer to the lord. We can understand more clearly his love for us. & when we pray for an answer, with a sincere heart, an answer will come. Sometimes through tender mercies.

Count your blessings! Seriously, if you have to, write them all down. When we count our blessings we see all that the Lord has given us. Our heart is turned to the Lord in gratitude, & when our hearts are full of gratitude, we can see more clearly the beautiful blessings and mercies before us.

Heavenly Father sends us tender mercies in times of need. He also sends us the holy ghost- who comforts us

In John 14: 16 it says, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever”.

The holy ghost can always be with us. But we must tune our hearts to hear his voice.

Linda K. Burton talks about the gifts of the holy ghost in her talk called- “Tuning Our Hearts to the Voice of the Spirit”

She asks, How can we know if we have heard the voice of the spirit?

She then says, We might ask ourselves a few additional questions as we ponder this question:

Have I experienced feelings of love, joy, peace, patience, meekness, gentleness, faith, hope, and comfort?

Have ideas come to my mind, or feelings to my heart, that I know are from the Lord and not from me?

Have I heard my voice speaking truth without having planned what I would say?

Have I experienced a magnification of my own skills and abilities?

Have I felt guidance and protection from deception?

Have I recognized sin in my life and had the desire to correct it?

Have I felt the Spirit glorifying and bearing record of God the Father and Jesus Christ?

“If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you have felt the Spirit of the Lord at some time in your life. But the most important question is “Can ye feel so now?”

The prophet Mormon’s counsel about following the Light of Christ can help us know how to receive the Holy Ghost. Mormon said:

“For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

I know that the Lord is aware of us. He knows every aspect of our life. He knows what we need. We need to trust in him and strive to notice his hand working in our life, through his tender mercies and through the holy ghost. I promise that when we acknowledge his hand in our life and live with thankfulness, that we will feel the change in our life and experience more joy and happiness.

Because “Adam fell so that man might be, and man is that he might have joy”

Find joy in your journey ❤

Also, I was able to go to the temple twice this week, with my parents!

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I know that the Lord’s laws never change, although the morals and laws of man may change, the Lord’s does not. I can find comfort to know that. I know that his law’s are there for a reason. & that exact obedience to those laws brings about the blessings of Heaven. I love my family and the temple 🙂

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 🙂

The importance of family history

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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!

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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.

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(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!

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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.

journalsss

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.

Motivations and Inspirations

It’s hot today.

Like too hot.

I don’t mind the heat anywhere else, but in Washington, the humidity is ouch.

(Sigh)

It’s a whole 81 degrees outside.

Now for most people in the U.S. that is pretty great weather, but in Northwestern Washington, it’s a big deal.

You can find just about everyone at the lake or pool (If you can somehow find an outdoor pool… I congratulate you).

Anyway,

It’s a big deal.

This week, like most of my fellow Washingtonians, I have spent my time at the lake.

Not today though. Today I wanted to do something different. & since I don’t work until tomorrow, I wanted to make the most of my day. So I decided to make something that I’ve always wanted to make but didn’t know how to/ didn’t have patience to make.

A scrapbook. Kinda.

I found a blog a couple days ago that was all about this thing called “A LIFE HANDBOOK”, basically what you do is make a scrapbook about you, your family, your life, etc. But you also add in a section for your goals, your strengths, your weaknesses, your values, life missions, mottos, all that good stuff. I thought that would be super cool to make! It would take a lot of time but I seemed to have a lot more time on my hands since most of my friends are on missions or college, my work schedule is smaller thanks to school being out, and I need something to help me pass the time while I wait for my mission call to come!!!! gahh. it’s killer.

ANYWAY,

I decided to make one.

Here is the cover

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Pretty simple, which I like.

& here is the introduction page thus far

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So yeah. That’s what I did.

My sister has a thing called a vision board in her room that she made. It’s basically a board full of pictures and magazine clippings and whatever else that inspires her or is very important to her. Most of it is stuff like health, yoga, traveling, strength, religion, etc. If you know my sister you know that it t is definitely her.  I really liked that and so I decided to make one of my own today.

Here is hers

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Here is mine

tsl

Probably not as cool as hers but I really like it! It’s fun to make so you should definitely consider it! It’s interesting that as you search and find things you discover more about yourself and things that inspire you, that you don’t even notice sometimes.

Like I’ve mentioned before, helping people is a big thing that inspires me. So I have a few pictures of service. Mother Teresa (She’s definitely someone I look up to). and helping hands. I also have a lot of pictures (the majority really) that has to center around my religion, beliefs, and values. I have some centered around family. My family, future family, the temple. I love the temple. ( cue church hymn). I also found that most of the pictures I put on here have strong people in them. I am inspired by strong people. Women in the bible like Esther and Ruth. Mother Teresa, ( You get the idea) I look up to women who know they are daughters of god and stand tall. They know their individual worth and divine nature. They are strong, steadfast, and immovable. They have faith, knowledge, integrity, & Virtue.

They inspire me.

I strive to be like them. to be selfless. and kind.

A quote from Mother Teresa that I absolutely love is

Inspirational Mother Teresa Quote  Do it Anyway by LADYBIRDINK, $15.00

Seriously, How amazing is this women????

Gahhh, can’t love her enough.

Always remember that in the end, its between you and god.

No one can make you feel worthless or unwanted.

No one can destroy you when you have God by your side.

So why not do good? Wny not live your life the way you know you are supposed to? Why not help others? Why not try your best? Sure, you’ll be mocked sometimes, You’ll be seen as different. But you will also find people who like you for you. They will appreciate that you are yourself and together you will accomplish great things.

And in the end, the benefit of living your life the best you could and standing up for yourself and your beliefs is so much more sweet than any bitter thing ever said.

Be yourself. Discover who you are. and stand up for that.

**Side note! I bought some new journals today because my old ones are all filled up & I’m obsessed with them at the moment..

journals

Now I have some journals for my mission! Gratitude journal cause my other one is full- Every night write down one thing you are greatful for. It makes such a difference! Life is good! The black one is just for every-day things like to-do lists, notes, reminders, etc. & The last one says “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver! -Proverbs 16:16” That one is for scripture study notes. Basically, Im in love and im so excited to use these! Journaling is so important and is so helpful. (Maybe i’ll d a blog later about that. maybe. we will see.

Have a great day 🙂

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.

Opposition and adversity come.

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

Not only does he mess with us mentally but he can also hurt us in so many other ways.

No matter who you are, he is always there.

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.

Anyways!

The good news is..

(pause for dramatic affect)

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.

Life hits sometimes. It hits hard. But we cannot let those moments in our life define us. We need to realize that god has a plan. 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.

“The trick is to ENJOY LIFE. Don’t wish away your days,

waiting for better ones ahead”

-Marjorie Pay Hinckley

The other day was cloudy. I was sitting at breakfast planning out my day in my head and looking at the cloudy sky through the kitchen window. I didn’t have a lot planned for the day, but I felt so much energy, and wanted to do as much as I could. After breakfast, I sat down and read my scriptures. I was reading in Alma chapter 18, where Ammon teaches King Lamoni of the creation, god’s dealings with men, and redemption that comes through Christ. And King Lamoni believes. I love this chapter because King Lamoni asks Ammon if he is a holy spirit because of the powerfulness of his words. And Ammon answers, ” I am a man; and man in the beginning was created after the image of God, and I am called by HIS holy spirit to teach these things unto this people, that they may be brought to a knowledge of that which is just and true”. We are all children of god. He has sent us to earth at this time, to bless the lives of others, by inviting them to come unto Christ, to believe, and come to a knowledge of that which is true. This chapter really stood out to me as I prepare for my mission. Ammon is a great missionary who cared and served the King and taught him the gospel. After reading that, and about the power Ammon had to teach, through the holy ghost, I desired to teach as well and bring others joy. I pondered and wrote down things I could do. I called some people and made some plans, but most of the things would have to be done another day. I thought of something I could do today, at home, that could lift my spirits as well as those around me. Now, im not artistic. which you will soon see. But I got the strangest desire to paint. So that’s what I did. I found some inspiring quotes and got started. It was so fun! I posted some of the final product online and some of my friends, later-on, asked me about it. We don’t always need to do some extravagant thing to make a difference. Maybe someday, and with practice, I could sell them or give them away. But for now, and for today, I found joy in something simple and could share it with others, and that is enough.

May we all strive to do good, so that together, we can flood the world with goodness.

lovesunshinestrength

A little bit of Background…

This is Me

unnamed

Taylor Susanne Lee

I am 19. I live in Washington State. I’m 5’0. & I’m a Mormon.

This is my Family

My father Mark, my mother Susan, My brother Ryan, & my two sisters Erica & Lexi. My Sister married James Clark (far right) & they are holding their daughter Susan Lilee Clark.

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I’ll admit this picture is a bit outdated…

& we have had some additions to our family..like…

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My Brother Ryan got married! & they had a kid! Named Thomas Mark Lee.

Also…

My sister had another baby! James Leeroy Clark the 3rd. Here is a picture of him and his sister Susie, who is now 3

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It’s okay to admit that these 3 are the cutest kids you’ve ever seen. You wouldn’t be wrong either.

I guess you could say I’m a pretty lucky aunt 😉

Anyway,

I graduated from Arlington High School in 2014

(Here are pictures as proof)

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I am so thankful for all my siblings, family, friends, and people who make my life bright 🙂

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I also love my Father In Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ so very much.

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Which is why I have chosen to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

I submit my papers in about a week.

So excited!

I cant wait to see where I am going and begin this new chapter in my life.

I love my church. I love my savior. & I will follow him.

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