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Spiritual Thoughts

What is this page?

This is where I collected a number of thoughts I wrote on my phone. They were also used in some of my testimonies and spiritual thoughts that I’ve beared to hundreds of YSAs (young single adults). I figured I wanted to make my thoughts more public by putting these all together and having a space for them. There are so many, but each one serves a lesson and story in them. I hope you get something from them if you choose to read any.

Does God really forget about us?

I thought for a long time God had forgotten about me.

I prayed for so many things in hoping that my life will be ridden of despair and that I will receive what I’ve deserved.

I was a hopeful woman.

But in the last years my trials came with tragedies, illness, heartbreaks, hearing “no” in opportunities I wanted, and constantly figuring out my life whether it’s moving or career shifts or questioning where I am or what am I doing.

“Why was this like…non-stop?”

And then the days became into months and months into years, you find out…

Had God been rearranging things for me to stabilize me and strengthen me? To make me feel whole inside and to seek the knowledge, the experiences, the constant soul searching so I can be the woman He intended for me to become? To have these experiences and perspectives I wouldn’t have otherwise if my life played out differently?

The shame and the blame I had placed upon myself for things OUT of my control, it got to me, I admit.

I thought maybe I deserved the pain that came with the trials.

But then I stepped away for a bit. From my church, from some people, from some old routines, and grew angry with God. Man, I was so angry.

I had done a lot. I’ve fellowshipped to so many people and served my church communities being active and involved. Following His commandments. I saw many get their blessings. I was happy to see it, but like I said, I thought God had forgotten about me.

And once when I thought I would get blessings and actually feel joy and peace, I was always set back. Trial after painful trial!

So I stepped away for a bit, not just my church but everything I was doing and chasing. I battled with questions.

It was only then when I got the answers I needed.

I had to learn more things about myself. I had to set boundaries. Get away from places that were temporarily triggering me (and yes that was church at the time.) I had to really nourish my soul with the things that felt good and ONLY stick to those. I had to grow myself in areas that were lost between the years. I had to maintain the close and meaningful relationships in my life. I had to fit more time in my life. I had to PUT MYSELF first because I was forgetting about myself actually. Not that God was just abandoning me.

Whether it was taking up dozens of hobbies at once, changing my diet, sitting in hours in therapy and group therapy, traveling and experiencing multiple cultures, being immersed in nature, letting go of freelancing for multiple companies, and etc. — this is what God wanted me to learn: to GO for what will make me feel free from my own imprisoned mind and heal in my own pace and heal in the places I cannot forget too. To not be so hard on myself! FIND GRACE. And who am I kidding? THESE are blessings!

I was motivated in many of these things because I wanted to no longer focus on the pain of these trials. I literally felt I had no choice but to just go up from there. I don’t want to wait for God’s blessings when His blessings are already reserved for you, you just gotta pay attention to what they are.

I wanted to experience the JOY that I was able to GIVE to myself. I wanted to use the INSPIRATION of pain to cultivate BEAUTIFUL meaning into my life.

I had to also push away cultural pressures that came from my church culture that turned into a comparison game in my head. Meaningless compared to the doctrine honestly. And actually appreciate the journey of my “now” and wait on what is actually right, for me, from God.

And reaching towards the end of my 20s, I’ve never felt more calm. In peace with where I am. And I am so happy that I was led to this version of myself. I am glad my path and definition of “blessings” back then turned out way different than what I originally pictured.

BUT..I no longer rely on pain to drive me to my way of living now, but because I know what JOY really is, I want to hold onto it.

When people say to trust God, what they really mean is to let go of the plans and worries you have in mind, not totally set and forget about it and never do anything about it again, but let Him write your story. Focus on the things you can feel you can change now and have control in. Change the pain into MORE! And fight the PAIN/demons. You just got to listen intuitively and do some work to discover those pages of His story.

It may be hard work that will trigger you but that is ok. You’re on your way to getting more comfortable with whom you’re supposed to be anyway. And your plans and His story may be way different than your wild imagination can imagine. So be prepared.

We will all feel pain in this life, we’re all here to learn on Earth, but the real challenge is…..what can we do about all that?

Listen to Her: A perspective from a woman who once knew love.

Appreciate that woman you’re dating right now. Don’t take her for granted. Don’t push her away if she was there for you in all your good times and even ugly times. Even when she accepts you entirely for who you are, flaws and whatnot. You have problems and things get hard? Then fight for it but fight the problems (together), not the person. Don’t stop until you find a way for you and that woman to come to an agreement somewhere or the next action to take, even if you need to take space or a break from each other.

But if you’re thinking about walking away from something that was better in the long-term for you than worrisome, re-evaluate. You’ll be doing what’s the easiest, especially in a hard commitment you kept trying to prove you can do: loving her and claiming it.

You’re turning down the future that could be had, which honestly isn’t impossible when 2 people find ways together to make it there. You’re thinking the grass is greener when the grass is only greener where you water it! Don’t avoid your emotions when something upsets you with her and distract yourself from it. Communicate your needs, your feelings, your truth, your doubts and make sure the conversation isn’t just one sided (like only about you), make conversations that loop that person in. Give things time when things go hard, leave room for forgiveness and change, if you trust there can be and if you don’t, there’s your lack of trust.

During the hardest times with your person, be their supporter too, support them with asking them how it should be done. Talk to God too, ask Him for the strength to do this work with your person.

And most importantly, let go of ego and listen to her. Let her listen to you. And make self-awareness and compassion constant practices that sustains your shared future, if you choose to build one.

Eternal perspective = accepting the design of our plan here.

In a few weeks, I’m approaching a year going towards the end of my 20s, I can say just this:

You can absolutely make a beautiful life for yourself, regardless of the years lost wandering where you’re meant to be, years lost to grief and heartbreaks, years built upon starting fresh after trauma, and years lost to opportunities not coming by. The key is to not wait around to watch something happen for you. Go take your chances in this life. Go risk your heart even if it ends in lessons and memories. Prioritize what needs to change ASAP. Figure out yourself and talk to so many walks of life. Be the catalyst for your own. Learn to advocate for yourself (and for the voices that cannot be heard). Do things alone, not just have it only shared. Do not have too many expectations. Plan around the life you want. Dip your toes in new things. Get immersed in creativity. Be your own best friend but also allow others in to know you. Serve others and be a supporter of this world.

Through my 20s so far, I had the opportunity to travel to over 10+ countries, more than half of this country, hiked 100+ different trails, wrote 250+ blog posts, finish school, worked 10+ jobs to now being with the one I like most, improve my finances, improve my mentality, changed home states, simplify my life, learn new things, read books, and had too many experiences that 10 fingers can’t count. I did not rush any of this, but I dreamt big, like my Dad always wanted me to stick with. And at the end of the day, age will never define what you missed or didn’t. There is still so much life to have. Since I was younger, I think I always knew what kinda life I wanted.

And whether or not it seems like what I’ve done were a lot of changing around & doesn’t seem to have an ‘eternal perspective’, this is my definition towards eternity. We were designed to have experiences and knowledge in this life.  And I swear these were meant for me to share in writing and love the things that fascinate me.

Emotional reliance

My mom always told me “only you can help yourself” and I thought what is this kind of advice? Well maybe it was a form of tough love but after many years later, in this present time, I finally understood that. You can have so many people give you advice, so much encouraging words, tell you to look at your potential, have all the resources in the world, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you to do something about that or if you want to believe it.

One thing I realized that pushed the initiation to heal from situations that were not ideal and just damaging to my core was just feeling “enough is enough” on telling yourself the same old story and just getting tired of that narrative. This applies to anyone who feels like it’s so hard to heal from or change things. Once you throw in the towel, you’re off to a new mission, a new story to set for yourself. And that is always the hardest part first: admitting it to yourself.

Change always come after we have acceptance on what we are doing to ourselves. Without accepting first, change will be harder to achieve. And you will know when your soul will be DYING for that!! So you know that generic overrated statement people tell you “love yourself first”? It means respecting yourself enough to be ready to choose things for you and taking the course of action to even start.

Your emotional reliance is only on you and you deserve to set yourself free with clarity from the internal and external problems that weigh you down. Whatever decision you make in life and hold onto that….will impact future decisions. So choose wisely for yourself.

Knowing when you’re giving too much vs. charity.

Something I recognized in myself with being a highly sensitive person (HSP) is that I’ve been very giving, sometimes too giving. I’ve had some real talks with friends to learn this about me, as well as processed it through therapy, and I’m learning so much about why I’ve people-pleased or had a lack of boundaries. Sometimes me giving so much and even trusting so easily robbed me away from my own intuition and deserving peace. Essentially others’ actions in response to being overly giving made me question myself like there’s something wrong with me for having such a trait which I always thought of only positively. But if you aren’t careful with it, you can sink or dig yourself into a rabbit hole that’s so dark and deep to get out of. You can fall victim to people and then to trauma, which can take years to recover from, such as a situation I was in and ended that back in 2018. (Only people who personally know me what this is about)

And another weakness of mine is with those traits, I often felt the need to show up and be there for everyone. Giving is actually not my love language (for all relationships) so at the same time it felt unnatural, when it was systemically already engraved in my empathy. I had placed a lot of emphasis on my relationships, which is not bad, but it sometimes came to the price of not really questioning on what I need to work on and taking the true course of action after.

I sometimes neglected to balance things in my life if I were to put people first. And when you actually do the deep introspective work, you then get the sense you can shift the way you’ve been programming yourself to be conditioned as.

An example of this is….for the last month I’ve stopped going to FHEs, which is a weekly church event with an activity for those not LDS/Mormon. Not just because it hadn’t became a priority anymore (I will be back eventually), but it fell into the same time I’ve been doing EMDR therapy which is my bigger priority to get my mental health back to track and to actually process and learn about what to do about my traumas. For the 2 years of being a member, I finallyyy felt ok disappearing for a bit and to find my healing in the ways God prompted me to. You can learn so much about yourself when you give from a place that your body & brain has been signaling at you rather than place those needs in the hands of others or in several different places that can leave you unbalanced!

It’s ok to follow paths not designed for everyone but what can work for you at the time and serve you long-term.

How well do you really know God?

Today at church, there was a talk I really loved and heard that I wanted to share and just reiterate: If you get to know God, you’ll learn to know God in others. Only do a few of us probably know him on a personal level because it’s hard to hear if it is God that’s truly talking to us and if we’re hearing Him right. But 3 simple things we can do to be able to tell: 1. Acknowledge that God exists. 2. Take in His attributes so we can have faith to perform miracles and to get answers. When we know what we’re supposed to do, everything becomes easier, in having both trial and faith. 3. Have the knowledge that the course of life is accordance to our will.

I am learning something day-to-day and self-reflecting on how I can be better to be closer like Christ, if it means just taking a little analysis dive into if my actions that day align with who I want to divinely be or if it’s towards my calling in life or if I’m giving my best shot at love and charity. And then seek what things I can do to protect myself and look at myself as a child of God, whom is loved beyond measure, to be guided in a world that can be harsh and hard on you, and to trust that He wants you to feel peace, whatever that means to you, not the opposite.

His Voice.

Today I heard a talk and he goes on to talk about how we can all understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ but it really takes constant and conscious effort to actually apply that into our lives. Since He suffered for our lives, it means He’s given us our lives and it’s time we return that to Him.

It made me think in what ways would that be like… what can we do while we have this life? How would He want us to feel when we go through our sufferings in life? What can we do to show Him that we really do understand the Atonement? How can we hear Him? What can we do now? What about the people in our own lives?

And the talk concludes that we have the opportunity to hear His voice wherever and whatever we do. But it takes us having to do a bit of work once we hear Him. As simple as I’d like it to be, sometimes it’s complex but nothing worth it comes easy. Sometimes it won’t come right away but also don’t be too hard on yourself. He lightened our load, and He wants you to do the best you can to do so too.

Your unshakable faith will level you up.

I battled mental health issues. It followed me throughout my adulthood pretty prominently. Years ago, I was using some unhealthy coping mechanisms/vices, just trying to numb away the pain – not really resorting to getting the proper help. I seeked therapy for half a year, but then I thought I could “do it on my own” and just work on my lifestyle to help me improve it. So I did everything I can such as exercising, going hiking a lot where nature was endless where I live, eating right, sleeping, and surrounding myself with positive people in positive environments, which all did work effectively, but only for a moment. 

It hit me that you can’t do it alone. I knew I needed to get professional help again. My lifestyle only managed some of my anxiety but not really the underlying traumas that’s been engraved so deep in my brain that still caused some unhealthy thinking patterns, especially with what I was missing: learning to regulate my emotions and identify what my triggers were.

It was not until this year I recognized I needed to get professional help and this time, to promise myself to not stop treatment. Getting professional help is a way that God reaches a hand to help you in times of affliction and darkness. As a convert since 2 years ago and 4 years ago was when I was investigating, the gospel has been a tremendous help in my life, not just connecting me with people who shared some real testimonies that aligned with mine but because I felt a sense of healthy community and the kind of love I’ve been praying for whereas I had been seeking that in the wrong places. 

Talk to Heavenly Father what it is you need to battle, ask Him to provide you personal revelations to show how you need to battle them, and lay out all the feelings of burden and pain all on the feet of our Savior Jesus Christ. Their mercy and grace will be there for us, even when the road ahead seems like a long recovery. Lastly, remember, you are NOT your weaknesses. 

They are not you, your weaknesses is just part of your testimony that’s going to refine you.

“To gain unshakable faith in Jesus Christ is to flood your life with brilliant light. You are no longer alone to struggle with challenges you know you cannot resolve or control yourself, for He said, “If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.” -Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

“Cast not away therefore your confidence.”

I was scrolling through my Instagram this morning and I read the words “Cast not away therefore your confidence” and I saw those same words again as I was just randomly browsing through the church website. This came from the scripture Hebrews 10 verses 35 and 36, where it says “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”

In the last month, I’ve been going through one of the hardest trials of this year. It made me heartbroken, paralyzed in fear to move forward, and I did a lot of self-blaming towards my situation and got lost in the thought of “what ifs”. It was something out of my control but I’m starting to see if things had turned out different, would I have experienced the next steps I need to do in my life? Sometimes the greatest revelation comes after the storm.

The thing is, in life, we’re going to experience a loss of confidence when we feel setback in a way and we have to accept that things will come against us. And this past year alone taught me that there were many setbacks and losses but a pattern I recognized in myself is how I never give up.

It may be so easy to feel mad at the Lord or so hard to move through acceptance but I know that when we do, everything can still fall together again. I had a therapist once tell me, “not everything has to be a death sentence” and it made me think of how I been treating my situation and my current mental health as a death sentence. But that’s not true, we always have a chance to change and be uplifted again in life. We have a God that doesn’t want us to suffer in misery, pain, and to feel stuck in our situations or to even hate ourselves.

We have to trust in a perfect God that will give us the confidence to act in faith even when we’re facing hard trials and experiencing paralyzing fear.

You are more than your grief.

I decided grief wasn’t going to define me anymore.

And all the other losses I had endured in the years. I accepted them.

My grief on so many lost dreams, hope, all the years spent finding myself, the loneliness, and with people are just all part of my stories

To refine me and to make me feel what love and peace really was.

In this life, we are meant for oppositions.

But those oppositions just forges your strong character and to find opportunities in faith.

It doesn’t mean these oppositions won’t hurt, it will. It will hurt so much but you can’t let it defeat you.

The blessings poured from heaven will come and it’ll let us see change in our circumstances, rather expect someone or something to change them for you.

Don’t forget we can make the most of our life in mortality and not let defeat consume us.

You can and will find healing, and the things you deserve.

Malachi 3:10

God will support your passions, talents, afflictions, and the promises He has for you.

I find inspiration through nature by getting out to the world outside my door which is the desert. I moved from across the country and left behind beaches to be enthralled by geological formations, sandy grounds, and cacti wonderlands. In turn of this, it inspired me to want to seek bigger places outside of my curiosity of the desert such as this one summer I got to see a live erupting volcano by hiking to an extinct volcanic peak in Iceland. 

It’s pushed me to fill my curiosities with MORE and conquer things beyond my imagination from years ago when I was sedentary and enclosed between four walls as a young working college student. Although I’m now dealing with physical challenges having a disease that wrecked my lungs and body muscles and joints, I am still trying to seek adventure through hiking because it reminds me I’m strong and it helps uplift my mind when I feel down about my pain. It also makes me know that my problems are smaller than what they’re worth when I’m exposed to the big bold world, which I can see through hikes.

100+ hikes later, I’ve never felt more happier and alive than after discovering hiking! It also led me to new hobbies such as landscape/outdoor photography and using nature as my muse for my blog work and my life.

God will give you His support in your passions, talents, your afflictions, and the promises He set aside for you. And He will give you the wisdom and knowledge to carry through.

Converting: Being Inspired by My Trials

When I got to my teen and early young adult years, this was a time period of my life where I didn’t have God in it at all. I went through a number of events that led me to bad choices and temptations and it all often made me question my self-worth and my place in life. I then became overworked in life and yet, such accomplishments still left me a longing to feel like I was just enough. 

Well, it came about 2 years later after learning about this church, being around people from the church, and after discovering how much I loved getting in the outdoors, I became really sick with a chronic disease that makes me struggle daily. I could no longer be the same person anymore who took advantage of their health before. All I wanted was healing and the feeling of peace and belonging, so I prayed the way my LDS friends taught me and then little blessings would come where I then knew God and Jesus Christ do indeed love me and He is my Savior. I knew through my hardest trials, I was made to be a Latter-Day Saint. Being baptized into this church made me realize I can have a fresh perspective on this life in many ways and that I can be Christlike.

Important Things to Remember from Sister Wescott’s Discussions

Before I moved to Mesa, I attended a few spiritual discussions held by the Relief Society President of the Phoenix Stake and I noted down some of her lessons, which served as valuable pieces of information to remember on how God can lead us.

Dating & decisions discussions

  • “We can only heal what we reveal.”
  • Romans 8
  • Questions to ask: Does this matter eternally OR NOT? (Ex. Does a calling matter eternally to God? NO because he only cares if you magnified it OR HOW YOU SHOWED UP, but God cares about roles like being a mom because it’s a divine role. He cares about divinity. Divine DNA. Divine ordained.)
  • “Blessed are the pure of heart.”
  • Who you become in the process can matter, not our role in work eternally. Work roles are just “work in genius” but it’s not a divine role, not as fulfilling.
  • Law of consecration: building up of the kingdom and establishment of Zion – our role RIGHT NOW is to establish Zion! And before getting to gathering of Israel.
  • The Glory of God: Our education IS IMPORTANT because of INTELLIGENCE. “Education is really important. We consider it as a major responsibility.” President Nelson says he’s a “senior apostle” because he knows he’s under Jesus.
  • Students’ jobs are to prepare themselves for their mortal experience, to prepare them for their life work. Prophet President Nelson’s role is to help people gain experience spiritually.
  • Putting immortal learning is more important than mortal learning.
  • “Any virtue can be a vice.”
  • Satan introduces himself as a brother to Adam and Eve and then “god of the world” and he teaches men philosophy the “truth” but he gives you enough trust because he knows it and confuses.
  • How do you know when something is truth? You feel it and if you can’t feel it, go to the scriptures – THAT IS HOW YOU KNOW.
  • There are the Covenant makers and then the Covenant breakers 

March 25 discussion

  • The higher law of service is when you’re prompted to serve and when prompted to not serve. Inspired service is what we’re looking for.
  • The lord can help a cleansed vessel. God can inspire you to inspire others and to help you serve.
  • “Thy faith can be made whole” -Christ
  • Law of attraction = “reaping, sowing, reaping”
  • Love of money is not the root of all evil, it’s love over God from money that is.
  • “Lean not on thy understanding, lean on God.”
  • We are NOT what we do. Often what we do is misaligned with our identity as children of God.
  • When we heal, we can heal others. We invite people and ancestors to clear them. God magnifies us.
  • Our natural tendency to nurture sometimes overrides our ability to have equal energy exchange.
  • How we work: men are like “squares” where they feel they have to be leveled; women are like “compasses”, where we have degrees. There is purpose in each of our roles.
  • In family proclamation, “protect” means to protect emotionally not just physical or material things. Men = preside, provide, protect. 

Exercising agency and knowing God is still there

I had been going to this ward that was out of my boundaries for 8 months straight because I had promptings I had to go and I met some of the loveliest people there and although it’s been hard as I hadn’t been given a calling anymore, I NEVER stopped being a disciple of Jesus Christ —to be a friend and reach out to people without it having to be written in paper or someone telling me to do so. And to participate as if it was in my own congregation. I wasn’t even a ward hopper as I stayed in this ward but it made me reflect back to my own time of converting: just observing, feeling the spirit, and talking to God what it is He wants for yourself.

It definitely tested me in some ways if I was even doing the right thing, but honestly, it was shaping me in some ways that sometimes I felt like I did not fully belong somewhere, but that’s ok. Just have faith things will fall into place and that knowing who you are and what you’re doing is what matters.

In these times, I know I definitely exercised agency and this type of agency taught me that anything is possible, even in the midst of where you feel you should’ve been directed to (for ex. If I attended the ward in my boundaries), but that doesn’t always mean it’s what God wants.  There is never a right or wrong way of doing things in the eyes of the Lord, just as long as you still follow His word and love others.

Life is really what you make it.

I love self-reflecting a lot and take it as an opportunity to learn into myself, especially each month I’m growing older. And what I’ve learned.. life is really what you make of it. Your choices will affect the rest of your future choices. You can always start new and venture out to different opportunities or relive what you liked and knew. Life is full of unpredictable circumstances and changes that are testing you to lean on not just God, but to lean on your own survival. You will find yourself no matter what direction you decide to go towards or no matter what things happened in your life that were out of your control. No matter what trauma you’ve endured and how it left scars on you, you can always choose to let it succumb over you or let the healing take place no matter how long it does, if it’s a decade or your whole life. It’s a constant choice to have to choose what’s the hardest but the most progressive for you.

But I swear on that your story never ends where you think it will. Your stories begin again the moment you choose a new choice for you and continue to work on and accept that, and the hard work that goes into all that. You will find yourself no matter what.

I guess this is to say, and this is probably destigmatized now, but after neglecting almost a whole year of when I should’ve went in, especially after major life changes… I’m finally going to start therapy again this week. It’s been way overdue. This may not seem like a biggie to others but to me, it’s choosing to learn to break through my hurts and to recognize what can be healing. To me, I am so proud of myself.

It can be hard for anyone to just do and start the thing that is hard. You may relate and think “oh I don’t need it, I’ll get better on my own”. Trust me when I said I tried everything that doesn’t require help, I have tried the process of neuroplasticity that has kept my head above the water FOR YEARS but sometimes it’s not enough. Sometimes you need a hand and a professional to guide you through. 

So this is my message to y’all, please don’t negate the importance of seeking therapy for yourself. You deserve to be heard, seen, educated, and encouraged. 

You will get back up from rock bottom.

It’s been years in the working. Years of praying.

Manifesting. Questioning. Lots of tears.

I remember hitting rock bottom several times. I had struggled at various points of my life financially (yes you can still have your “rich” life and afford to do stuff you love), especially in college. Years of self-doubt to graduate from college and hoping I’d make it in my career path somehow. I worked hard and earned little in the early years. Years of struggling with dating and me wondering why it was so hard to find someone compatible and can grow with and why I third and fifth wheeled everyone. Years of setback like moving back to my parents’ before I can finally move back out. Years of living in uncomfortable and unsafe homes, in college. Years of saving every little penny so I can travel because that’s ALL I wanted to see and from not having much to call my own. Years of setback again when battling and developing a chronic illness. Years of restarting my life over and over again, converting to a new religion to quitting terrible habits and addictions to calling new places home.

What you see on the surface with people’s lives is not what is/was really happening in the background.

It was so lonely when I was at the bottom, so hard to see if the seasons will ever change. I felt stuck. I grew frustrated, depressed, anxious, tired, unsure, and started to compare my journeys to others. It felt like I worked hard at every thing just to lead to nowhere, at least I thought. Some days still feel like that.

And then it can all change one day. That day is here. 

And you wonder why it took you SO long, and then you remember that you had to get to where you will one day. You will look back and realize that journey wasn’t easy or sometimes worth going through, but it was necessary in some ways. You maybe learned a few things from it, and accept some things were just out of your control. And that some of it didn’t even have lessons attached to your experiences. Your time is only yours and no one else will travel it for you. You will be grateful and know you helped others find inspiration in your own journeys.

I did; I wrote about it for years, with my stories and guides being seen by tens of thousands of readers, hoping I can help people to see what I’ve seen and to not be alone in what I’ve felt alone in. This is my mission in life and I’m living out my mission, not just my dream.

Doing God’s will is easier than our own will.

I think what I’ve seen best in my life is relying on and trusting in God than trying to do all sorts of things and trying sooo hard to make my own plans. I realized following up on things that I wasn’t 100% sure about but I felt like was the right thing to do at the time had led me to outcomes that was better than I could’ve ever planned on my own. Basically feels like going with the flow but knowing in your spirit, it feels right… it feels like the warmth of the sun radiating on you when you first wake up, it feels like sitting on a beach and your body immersed in the soft sand… it feels like little to no anxiety when you’re there and you’re doing it anyway. No matter how you feel about yourself at the time or feel like you’re not the best you, you still do it anyway. And then you finally get a grasp of hope. Hope that you’ve been praying upon for years and then totally forgot it was your initial prayer, until one day they’ve been answered. One day, you start to see God does indeed care for you. God hasn’t forgotten you or forsaken you, same with Christ’s healing power. You feel loved, you feel heard, you come to the conclusion that taking God’s will had been easier all along than being drowned in our doubts or sorrows and not think we’re deserving of the very things we prayed for. But we always have, because we are His children and He will provide.

Chosen family

The Mormons did change my life. Before I came to the church, they were the ones I needed when lots of things I thought I knew in life had fallen apart just before I moved out west in late 2018. It can be easy to say they were just being friendly because they would hope I’d convert one day, which I’m sure was in the back of their heads, but I also knew there was a genuine interaction attached to these loving smiling faces. They made me feel more welcomed than any group or religion I came across in New Jersey. It’s the gospel that has this effect on people. They’re like a family to me, a family that isn’t by blood but by absolute choice. I will never forget the love they’ve shown me and helped me relearn what respectful and childlike love is.

You deserve a love that God reserved for you.

Why do we try so hard to try to put ourselves with people that don’t even recognize the value we have? Or not even give you half of what you’d do for them? Or allow ourselves to dictate the past as our future so much?

This is my message to y’all who struggled similarly, you deserve someone who will love you to the core and will show up for you and fight for you the way you always deserved. Don’t give up on what God has reserved for you by still showing up for yourself and others. Don’t let yourself turn cold and discouraged when His story is just being written.

Before you react.

I was reading some scriptures to prepare and I came to love the story of chapter 12 in Acts (in the New Testament). It’s about Herod killing James because he wanted to persecute disciples. He also got Peter arrested and he was also planning on killing him after the Passover. The story is good on reminding us that sometimes we are quick to anger and rejection and quick to finding any plan to get problems fixed ASAP such as here, developing a plan to get Peter out of prison, but what we really need is prayer to develop the proper reactions in times of overcoming difficulties. An Angel then set Peter out of prison because there were disciples praying in faith for him and how God helps prosper us when we try to do what’s right, and Herod, who acted in sin and pride like Satan would, is then killed.

This. Is. Grief. 

On 3/18, it marked 6 months exactly since my dad unexpectedly passed. A lot of people probably wonder how I am able to cope with grief by still showing up in life and how I try to get through such a huge loss. The truth is, I’m not always my strongest- I have many days where I still bawl like crazy, there’s hard nights to sleep through, fatigue feels worst, I have brain fog, loss of motivation and cases of procrastination, etc. In fact, after overcoming many painful common things in life already through my 20s, I find that grief had hurt the most in life. It’s like a heartbreak that can never recover…it’s a forever thing.

But what makes all the difference to still show up for myself and others is knowing temperament and changing your outlook. Temperance is key- the same concept that Jesus Christ took on when he was enduring that long-suffering. Goes as well to the story of Daniel in the Bible.

I will NEVER be grateful that I lost my dad so early on, but I am grateful for the clarity of how fragile mortality is. I learned a few things in my loss and some of that would be I’m more empathetic than I ever been (even though I always been) and I want to do everything I promised my dad I would do to honor him, where I’m glad to know he left this earth at least being proud of me.

Grief is painful. Don’t let anyone else lessen the validity of that. You lose a big part of who you are and you feel like you have to rediscover the parts of who you are when you can no longer hear the voice of the one you love or be able to make or see plans with them. You just go on with this life, even when it begins to feel unreal as you move farther and farther away from the last time you saw them.

Grief feels like you’re drowning and you’re trying to catch a glimpse of oxygen, just any. You’re just flailing your arms around and the panic sinks in. It’s like being watched afar by bystanders who are trying to direct you on what to do but they don’t know what it’s like when it’s happening to you.

Grief will make you feel that instantly as you lose the security of a close one and the world feels a little bit more unsafe and the wholesomeness of what the joy you once felt is going to take more than what it used to be.

It makes me remember in the Book of Mormon, when Enos, who has lost his father, was told by his father to take the plates and to write on. When places like where he was just hunting in at a forest, the memory of your loss will flashback you to a time of how significant what one can leave behind, & in his case, how his father taught him. He prayed hard, all day and night, which led to a series of serious change. This story illustrates the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how it cleanses people to make them whole again. And that is also what grief will want you to do too, constantly.

Living with an invisible illness.

Yesterday in institute, we talked about disabilities. I love how my class revolves around such real life topics. As many of y’all may not know, I suffer from chronic illness and was diagnosed with myalgia in November, most likely a result from having been sick with valley fever. Almost every day to every other day, I experience frequent debilitating muscle pains and fatigue.

I’m reminded every day that we can’t take this life or our bodies for granted. That we can replace negative words of how we label ourselves in contrast such as “blessed”, “Spirit of Christ”, etc.  Our challenges can be our stories that God has asked us to live out yet also learn to overcome them with humbling our spirits or helping others find theirs from our challenges.

Moroni 8:18

I love this scripture so much. God never changes, he is firm on the directions and course of His life that He takes. He takes that path that was already in His purpose, not just from seeking the finite results of hoping of doing what’s right/good. And He knows the same for us.

Your doubts = not the truth.

“Doubt your doubts, before you doubt your faith.” You’ve all probably heard that saying before. It was said by President Uchtdorf.

I think we’ve all been there where we doubted something. Doubted something can work, doubted that we can achieve our dreams, doubted that we could be forgiven by others. But there’s something about doubting that consecrates our ability to rely on faith more.

You know Nephi has been through it when he went off to try to build a ship for his family to bring them to the promised land and it still happened, which also happened to be one of my favorite stories in the Book of Mormon. Sarah didn’t believe she would ever have a child at an older age but it still happened. It still happened when Ruth pursued Boaz after she was already a widow while waiting for Boaz… which just meant she had to prepare and love the season she was in.

Doubting ourselves is okay and honestly, we’re meant to have them throughout this life, but sometimes when we have doubts, we tend to question our faith and why things aren’t lining up for us in the way we prayed to God. Your doubts are just things we have to go through with our trials and it DOES NOT mean they are the truth or our truth. The only truth we’ll have is when we feast in the word of God and have revelations according to living His word. 

And although the trials we have may not make sense right now, God loves us enough to make us one day see.

And so last night in between the time of my friend’s wedding luncheon and reception that I went to in Surprise, I attended an event nearby hosted by the Relief Society President of the Phoenix Stake where there was also a female life coach, I was reminded there that if you do ever have doubts or feel confused by the truth, just look into the scriptures.

I always like to ask myself, “Is anything TOO HARD for the Lord?”

His promise for us.

God never promised us that we would have an easy life, most of us will not. But what God does promise us is we can use His strength and power to withstand trials when we can no longer stand. He will send our Savior Christ to take our burdens and lay it upon His feet. He will place gratitude in your hands because He knew that well and take you away from the chaos, the uncertainties, the distractions of the enemy, and the places you felt you couldn’t be in.

And when God puts us in places we need to be in, whether it’s for a season or longer, it’s our will to listen in to His plan. A plan that’s greater than anything we could imagine. He will ask of us to come first unto him broken hearted or with a contrite spirit because we need to show Him our sacrifices to get to His plan. And then surrender. Surrender your plans for His.

What we feel is our time isn’t always what God sees is best. When we have very difficult choices to make, we’re choosing His faith over ours. Things can work out though because He will compensate us for choosing whatever our decisions are. God is our greatest compensator after all. And yet this is also the same God who invites us to rejoice and be in good cheer when we walk along our broken spirits.

No matter how turmoil or bleak it may look on the surface of our current lives, in the depth of it, He is working for you, even if you can’t see what those are physically. 

He has it planned and will drop insightful revelations, blessings, and connections little by little, “line by line”- for you to eventually understand why things happened as they did in your life.

So know He has your back more than you know. Know it won’t be easy but it can be rewarding when we see all of that unfold.

“For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” (John 6:38-39)

D&C 94:33-34

We are all going to experience joys and have access to them, only when our spirits are there….which we will have more access to when our bodies reach resurrection. But while we are now on this earth and life, relying on the Holy Ghost will. When we’re not focused on the Spirit, not focused on the fruits, and focused on things that just don’t even matter in the long run, then we won’t be able to feel the sense of joy that many of us have tried long to seek for.

So invest in the things that will matter and that’s distinguishing, “do I feel right or happy doing so?”

If it means doing work alone for hours on end, working on a personal project away from others, saying “no” to people and some opportunities, and only giving your energy to those who deserve it, then it’s all impactful decisions. And it’s easy to feel guilty or lonely from some of these, but it’ll be rewarding, eternally.

The New Year Mentality we should have.

With resolutions being set for the new year & putting ourselves in “new year mentality”: Something I’ll never forget about who I am is that I am a child of God. It may sound so simple because it is. Being a child of God though means a lot when you really hone in what it means to be one: You are loved & cherished. It’s always been your time to “just be”, no more need to keeping yourself working to unshed or unheal the unfinished wounds we have… give God enough questions and He will have them answered if we can give Him our trust. You are protected and we don’t have to keep running in places to seek for safety or security.

And our “lack of” that we feel inside will be returned abundantly when we know where the source of love is from: from Heavenly Father. We don’t need to keep finding approval when the only thing we need to fear is God’s. As children of God, the worldly things and goals can seem so minimal to go for if there isn’t an intention of Him in there. So don’t give into the pressure to be molded into society or culturally with a new year. Let yourself improve from trying to know God.

Christ is in us.

I learned my life is just like Jesus Christ: he went through so much betrayal, so much feelings of being outcasted, not listened to, not accepted, but still had so much love to return and serve others even when it was hard but because He cared about our well-beings, in the end, everyone saw Him as an essential part of their own plan. He gave so much in hindsight and set us and himself free.

Don’t let the adversary win.

President Nelson said, “The adversary is increasing his attacks on faith and upon us and on our families. … To survive spiritually, we need counterstrategies and proactive plans.”

President M. Nelson once said, “Do not minimize the faith you already have.”

These last few months have been some of the hardest months with me experiencing trial after trial after trial. And now I’m transitioning to move on in this life through major changes like moving to a new city soon and having to restart overall. I’ve definitely struggled with my faith a few times during these times, mainly struggling to find the blessings after I converted to the gospel and staying faithfully and committed to God.

My body hurts. My heart hurts. I’m tired. But I’ve noticed through all those trials, faith is the one thing I can choose. So I never give up and I know you all can’t either. I have to remember I can just lay my burdens to the feet of Jesus Christ. And you’re probably wondering like what does that even mean? 

It means to surrender. Surrender because this same Savior who rescued you from the past pains you’ve experienced before can rescue you again. But you need to do a bit of work too: Let the Holy Spirit give us self-control. Pray to God and ask Him for what you need and then thank Him. In the end, we will most likely see the beauty of the ashes of all that hurt and disappointment.

Last weekend, I attended the stake wellness event and i had to sign up for something from one of the life coaches to save her PowerPoint presentation and after submitting my info, it took me to a page that says “We came to earth to not feel good all the time, but to learn how to feel. Our Savior felt everything we will ever feel and He showed us how. During those times when we are feeling “heavy laden”, we can draw from His strength and power as we yoke ourselves with Him and let him help us.”

And I love that because it’s all so true. But like I said, I think it does take a little bit of effort to exercise faith. In Alma 32:16, he says, “Blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble.” 

And know that Jesus Christ’s Grace can make our weak things become strong as Moroni taught us.

Trust His timing

I think many of us right now are all struggling with when we need something to happen at the right time, whatever that looks like to us. I was reading a talk by President Oaks and he quotes this from Elder Neal A. Maxwell: “The issue for us is trusting God enough to trust also His timing. If we can truly believe He has our welfare at heart, may we not let His plans unfold as He thinks best? The same is true with the second coming and with all those matters wherein our faith needs to include faith in the Lord’s timing for us personally, not just in His overall plans and purposes.” 

With that being said, I think it’s so easy to get lost in just trying to understand the bigger picture of things than waiting to seek the details of it like time.

And President Oaks says “In our service in the Lord’s church we should remember that when is just as important as who, what, where, and how.”

“For now, we simply concentrate on our own assignments and on what we have been asked to do today. People who do not accept continuing revelation sometimes get into trouble by doing things too soon or too late or too long.”

So, he highlights in this talk that continuing revelation is a means for the Lord to administer His timing. That we must take the long view of things too by understanding mortality is just a slice of eternity so what we do now through our actions and desires can guide us there, along in the trust of His timing for us.

And lastly, I love what he says here bc it’s true: “Sometimes our commitments will surface at unexpected times and be applied in unexpected circumstances. Sometimes the principles we have taught to others come back to guide our own actions when we think we don’t need them anymore.”

I know one day, all our prayers, the highest desires in our hearts, and the things we are asking of Him during our chaotic circumstances will be here if we can keep these in mind!

How to find yourself

They say 5% of the ocean has only been discovered and that’s because of how difficult and treacherous it is to go on. And that makes me wonder, how much percentage would we say to ourselves how much have we all discovered about ourselves? What about the parts that we still have to figure out on our own, is it just bc it can be challenging to get to a point of truly knowing who we are, what we want out of life, or even getting to a point of being where we hope to?

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with constantly making promises upon ourselves to work on us to keep discovering parts of ourselves, no matter what it takes and what new beginnings we need, bc this is how I constantly do my life (to those who know me personally). But then it also all comes down to getting down to…. the eternal truths.

So many verses and stories in the Bible and talks surround the theme of “finding yourself”. 1 John 4:4 says, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” Which means we are of God and bc He is inside of us, it is greater than anything we can find in the world. God would want us to seek Him in us and to focus on that, and I think that’s what it means to discover parts of ourselves.

And in 1 John 3:1, It says “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” The world doesn’t know us, we might not know us fully either, bc the world is like most of us who do not know Him. But His love will certainly show us parts of ourselves if we can focus on that.

Are you “in need” or feeling “plenty?”

I loved sharing those verses (Philippians 4:6-14) bc they feel so so personal. I’m sure anyone can relate:

Anxiety can rly catch up to us but by placing faith through prayer and gratitude, we can overcome it. God will deliver us with peace if we can trust our hearts & minds will be guarded. (through our belief in Christ) We need to lean on things that feels right, feels admirable, feels true and when we think of those & put ‘em all into practice, we can find healing.

When we know what it was like to be “in need” and to be “plenty” and can then distinguish both, we can sit with being content and re-recognize the strength we’ve been given in those times. God cared when you were going through it and He is going to continue, so you are never alone. You’ll find comfort in yourself knowing you CAN get through it.

No one else will travel it for me.

Why is that I try to get close to someone who I admire and want to just get closer with,

They never seem to see through me in the time I want?

Why is that when I give a piece of my heart away, 

I need to come back home to myself to reconstruct the pieces of that heart?

Why is that I need to escape a bit outside of myself to go back home?

For a few months, I’ve had some conflicting (and not pretty) feelings about myself. But sorting them out as I step away from what was clouding my judgments has always been one of the most effective ways to cope and gain clarity. I’ve been doing it for 6+ years.

I thought as I aged that I needed to be at certain places in my life and that I’m just so behind, I admit the ways of society was getting to me…. but it only then reminded me once again God’s timing is perfect. It’s always been repeated towards me….so why did I start to not believe it?

I also started to know this too: I don’t have to be a certain place of my life, I don’t have to care for where I gotta be in life, always care for what needs to be done, who I gotta “impress”, and etc. Being thousands of miles away from my home state confirmed this is all to be true, for me.

Because as long as you try, try, try, God sees that and our own gratitude for what we do have and what we can do is what will bless us. And that this is my own story. This is my own journey and no one else will travel it for me.

So I need to be easy on myself and know that what I’m doing in life is I’m just trying my best, mostly to show up for me.

Forgive, if you can.

Today in Sunday School, we discussed about why repenting/forgiveness is important and I’ve def needed to hear it… as I’ve been kinda hard on myself these last weeks. We also dissected into Psalms scriptures. As well as talked about it after I  fellowshipped to an investigator.

Repentance will set us free. It’s about taking accountability and having the will to change. But it can be even hard to accept in doing so. 

But God wants us to be able to come with our whole selves as we are, broken/contrited hearted, because those are the sacrifices that we must give into so He can restore in us peace, a feeling of renewal, and honestly increase more faith in you.

And that faith itself will spark Truth. It will spark desires and actions that we may have never thought was in our own will.

And I love how our Heavenly Father will prove it to us how much He can restore in us! He hears you, even when you’re crying in your prayers… I love how we can always talk to Him and yet feel safe. He understands us that no other being can really give or validate within us. 

And so He will test us with whom we should go to when times get hard. But you’ll know that just having reassurance that His comfort is the best kind of comfort, it will bring us healing! He will prove it to you..! It’ll be hard at the moment but just wait on Him.

And lastly, we do need to lay it at the feet of Jesus.

My testimony

“It’s not common people convert after graduating college”…well I did.

In one of my fave IGs, there’s a quote @celestialeverafter posted, “Be grateful for the wounds that lead you towards God.”

Couldn’t be more true.

The times where it got so dark and out of control and confusing,

Every event that led me to turn towards God and to experience His truth and word,

He sent an Angel to help me.

My dad.

Without my dad convincing me to move out west,

I can’t imagine what my life would’ve still been and how I was repeating the same ol patterns, living out the same ol stories, and drowned in the same ol emotions.

It’s the questions that you build that start it off.

You are then convinced there’s nothing greater than the love God and His Son Jesus Christ has for you.

You don’t have to have regrets, shame yourself, or feel affected by all that has let you down,

Because Christ’s perfect love will rise you up,

He is everywhere we are.

We just have to be opened to what he’s trying to send through you,

Angels, the Holy Spirit, and just start by looking around you…

You can be healed.

You can find healing in new environments, new people, new experiences, new challenges,

I mean I pretty much blogged for years about every experience that proved those.

You can live simple and happy.

And I promise you there are promises that have been eternally reserved for you by Him.

In a world full of a lot of unkindness, chaos, and a world that wants you to harden your heart,

Allow your Heavenly Parents to protect you.

To know they choose you.

There’s real love there.

Just give Him a chance!

Why I surrender

And this is why I choose to surrender all that I can to God. What we feel is our time isn’t always what God sees is best. When we have very difficult choices to make, we’re choosing His faith over ours. Things can work out though because he will compensate us for choosing whatever our decisions are. God is our greatest compensator.

Sure, the future may look bleak on the surface, but in the depth of it, He is working for you, even if you can’t see what those are physically. He has it planned and will drop insightful revelations, blessings, and connections little by little, “line upon line” (Isaiah 28:10) – for you to eventually understand why things happened as they did. 

My endowment: I know now there is so much meaning to life.

Last night, I was endowed. This special experience made me understand further on in what’s God’s plan for all of us, for me. 

My spiritual progression was full of so many little and big wins that made me who I am now. I sometimes look back at what my life was before investigating for years, getting baptized, and now getting endowed. And it was, for a lack of better word, just missing something. I grew up years figuring out what that was and yet I was seeking for it in all the wrong places.

But no, not at the temple. The temple made me rethink back on how true I believe the gospel is.. because had I known it earlier, things would’ve worked out easier, but I know that’s not how life plays out! I have my strength and God knows all the sacrifices and changes I’ve done and all the times I kneeled praying to Him, I know I just needed Him. The power of the Lord and Jesus Christ have actually guided me in more ways than I can imagine and it WILL continue to. As President Nelson said in a devotional in May for young single adults, “In all of eternity, no one will ever know you or care about you more than (God) does.”

There is so much meaning in this life. We may not understand all of the trials we encounter, but we will get to understand the blessings after and the gratitude we need to constantly observe. Whether it’s to help us grow on to better ourselves or to fulfill our lives with purpose. And God and His Son sees you at it. Time will reveal! Just like the process of when we feel right to choose to get endowed.

And so I remember sitting in the celestial room,  praying and then I was drawn to this scripture in @thebookofmormon that one of my missionaries pointed out when I used to take lessons. Alma 36:21: “Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.”

Our pain/sorrows in life can feel as heightened as our joys. We will experience it throughout this whole life! But if it wasn’t for those things…we wouldn’t know just how alive we are to feel in this present moment. All we can do is keep looking ahead, keeping in mind of those promises we’ve made with Him, and He will point the way for us! Whatever and however that will look, with time!

Revelations I took in from my first endowment

Some revelations I got from the temple today tho is: 1. Find balance in my life 2. Know my worth always 3. Get a man that will love my heart and not be tempted to feel it’s anything less/not worthy 4. Don’t try to overthink too much or read into what things mean, just get with what God prescribes. 5. Focus on God’s creations and how much it uplifts me as a person (as it showed a lot in today’s presentation)!! 6. Your life will fall together when you stick with these covenants and continue to do what I can in this mortal life 7. Never let Satan win.

And so what I got out of today too is from when these tokens are acted on and all the things we repeat are all done to help us get revelations as we listen into these unspoken and spoken languages. And that we are making promises to God as we enter the veil into the celestial, so in person, we must encourage ourselves to be there.

Lastly as I was reading shortly into the Book of Mormon, this scripture stood out to me on Alma 36:21:

21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.

Which was a scripture shown to me by one of my missionaries last year as I had just begun my journey towards baptism! It reminds me of how many things I’ve had to overcome of my pain/trauma throughout my life to know what real sweet joy feels like. And there’s nothing as alive in this life as we experience what those pains were as well as all the great blessings we encounter.

Doing the work that the Savior plans for us

In Genesis 39:3-4 it says: “3 And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand. 4 And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.”

During these verses in the Old Testament, Joseph, who is the son of Jacob, had a hard life. He was hated by his brothers and he was then sold into slavery. He also went to prison when he refused to have an affair with someone’s wife.

He was a very good person but to him, it seemed like no matter how faithful he stayed, he was constantly faced with hardship.

I can relate to this and I feel like many of us can too. This can relate to us in a sense that no matter how active we are in the church, how much we pray, how much we read scriptures and serve others, sometimes we can’t avoid the hardships that come our way. 

But I know God sees our efforts to get through it all and that we are trying our best to get through them as He is always by our side. Our own hardships are what make us stronger, wiser, and full of experiences because we know we can face adversities. And I feel like we all need some experiences in life, whether they’re good or bad, for us to recognize what kind of experiences we really want in our life or what experiences we want out of life and to allow us to see the bigger picture of things.

President Uchtdorf said “Following the Savior will not remove all your trials” and that is true. We think following the Savior will just diminish our problems just like that….. But sometimes it’s about doing the work too to help us. It’s kind of like my story of when I thought moving to a new state, all my problems would diminish but the thing is some of those problems within me were still there until I was ready to face them and make the choice to make changes in my own life. Like for example, finding this church and being a part of it. This whole process took me like 2 years.

So that’s what the Savior can do for us…. He can give us hope and light at the end of these dark tunnels by putting up these barriers of how we want Him to help us.

And by allowing Him to help us, we find ways of how we can look for those blessings, and some of those can come from revelations and distinguishing what revelation we’re having in life.

Just like the Lord communicated with Joseph through his dreams of how his life will change, I also think talking about our hardships to one another is not a bad thing at all, if anything you might find people who might just relate to you and give you the hope you may need, and it could really lift the weight off our shoulders. And I think it’s so beautiful how we have that option in life to be open and to show each other compassion.

What being a missionary means

I was never a missionary who served with a name tag. But I was told being a missionary means just being a disciple of Christ and spreading that light of Christ and being able to serve around your own branch or ward and that is the same as being a missionary.  

For me, I saw myself acting upon being a missionary when missionaries have asked me to fellowship for others who are investigating especially I did a lot of it right after I got baptized. I loved doing that because I was in the exact shoes of those investigators and it ultimately lead me to convert. 

I remember how amazing the progress was to get there and I love being able to teach what I know about this gospel and to share my experiences of coming unto Christ.

Another thing that makes me feel that I am a missionary is when I help plan with the FHE committee for events to help people meet each other and to just live out how amazing it feels to feel the Holy Ghost. I love being able to represent how I think this church is true.

I’m usually that person who says hello to any new face I see in an event and I love doing that. I love learning a little bit about someone, what they’re doing, and where they’ve discovered our branch events. Because it brings me back to how people welcomed their arms to me in this church, just as simple of people asking about me.

Being a missionary is being a true disciple of Christ and following his steps and just seeing others come closer to God and our Savior.

He will consecrate our afflictions for our gain.

This is my testimony of how I’ve felt this month was one of the most spiritual months for me in my 8 months of conversion by getting my patriarchal blessing and going to a special baptism, and how those events adds to my journey.

I also mentioned how for months now, I was able to make lots of friendships based on Christ and how having so makes us remember who we need to invite into our own lives.

But I’ll be transparent, I did leave a part out where I wish I was more vulnerable, and instead chose not to because I wanted to keep my talk simple and to the point. And to keep the spirit on a light note.

Sometimes having friends in a YSA can be tough when you’re conditioned to accept people who will leave in and out. It’s not new to me that people leave in and out of my life, my siblings moved out in their early 20s to start new lives elsewhere. In college, I’d make close friends for a semester long and would try to get in contact even after.

I also had to experience being the one to leave 3 years ago as I left close ones from New Jersey to start new to a state I felt prompted to go to…Arizona.

And being in a LDS church where many members will leave to serve missions for years, it can be rough too. 

However, I know that opposition is a part of everyone, and it can lead to beginnings that can be nurtured. I know that Heavenly Father hears us as we can hear Him. I know these validated feelings makes it so much more real when He reminds us that this is a part of His plan for us.

When I first discovered this church 3 years ago, I did not know just how strong LDS people really are until you’re in the shoes of seeing your loved ones go, even if it’ll be for a few years only.

But I think that’s what makes certain relationships in our lives so much more special.   So much more deeper. And hold those close to our hearts, even if it’s a brief period in your life. We learn we do not take others or anything for granted when we can accept eternity is ALSO in our plan. I believe the Lord has been preparing us all along for eternity, that’s why we start to act upon it like we were built for it.

We can see we were built for it through compromise, through understanding it in God’s eyes the sacrifices they’re setting, and how God is writing our stories to benefit us in the way He knows best.

Even if we don’t fully know how a story unfolds. Or what is embedded in these stories.

It’s God’s assurance where He will “consecrate [our] afflictions for [our] gain” (as referred on 2 Nephi 2:2).

And with whomever leaves us, sometimes all we can do is remember what was and absorb  that person’s spirit in us. Take a bit of their spirit with us to learn from each other or to always remember the joy that’s given us. 

For April 2022

  • I just wanted to reflect on how this month has been one of the most spiritual I’ve felt and it led me to a few events to feel this… 
  • The other day I went to meet with a patriarch for my patriarchal blessing and I am excited to eventually get that so I can use that to help me ponder on the words of God and to help me in times when I feel confused. You see last month and the months before that, I’ve felt pretty lost and conflicted with things but it’s slowly all coming together, especially if you take that first step to learn to let go of what doesn’t serve you. 
  • After you take that first step, I know God can help you seek further revelations.
  • Secondly, I feel blessed with my first calling and I’m excited to serve others as the Lord intended for us. I’ve had some of my first meetings this month. And I love that I get to use my gift of coordinating to get people together.
  • And thirdly, I feel grateful that I got to attend a baptism and to speak there for the second time. I love the feeling of feeling the spirit there and to remind me when I got baptized and to see someone take those first steps in proceeding to make a covenant with our Heavenly Father.
  • It’s been such a powerful month for me and I feel it’s so important that we invite the Spirit into our lives to let us remember how good God is.
  • I want to refer to this quote that President Nelson said in his talk called “Make Time for the Lord” and it says: “Nothing invites the Spirit more than fixing your focus on Jesus Christ. Talk of Christ, rejoice in Christ, feast upon the words of Christ, and press forward with steadfastness in Christ.”
  • And one last thing, I’m so grateful I made good friends in this church, some of whom are leaving and I’m going to miss you all. But I’m so grateful I crossed paths with these guys… Friendships based on Christ make us remember who we need to invite into our lives.

The agency to choose personal peace

One of the earliest lessons I was given before I got baptized was about agency. We are all given the agency to choose what we want for ourselves but to consider the Lord to guide us too.

For me, as I looked back on my year in 2021 which is the year I got baptized, I know by going this path I had taken the agency to choose personal peace. Having to choose personal peace has really influenced my life in miraculous ways. I’ve seen choosing personal peace has helped me lessen my anxiety around life and others.

It’s helped me to understand through all the challenging hard trials I went through that I didn’t let them overtake me because I chose to have more peace. I struggled for so long questioning how the world would be affected by this pandemic and how I was let down by the ones I had let into my life where the trust had been broken and there were conflicts.

But despite what has happened around us with the pandemic and those past trials, most of those things are not in our control, but what is in our control is that we can always lean back on personal peace.

To me, achieving personal peace means spending all those times at hotels in different states or countries solo, doing a few things like offering forgiveness to people in those situations, being able to have time to yourself to block out the noise, and most of all, being kind to yourself.

Being kind to yourself means wholeheartedly accepting who you are, loving who you are, and recognizing that you’ve done your best. And trusting that the Lord has always known that for you.

Elder Cook in his talk called “Personal Peace in Challenging Times” has mentioned, “However, personal peace can be achieved despite the anger, contention, and division that blight and corrupt our world today. It has never been more important to seek personal peace. A beautiful and beloved new hymn, written for today’s youth by Brother Nik Day, titled “Peace in Christ” declares, “When there’s no peace on earth, there is peace in Christ.”

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Angels are everywhere.

There are two kinds of beings in heaven who are called angels: those who are spirits and those who have bodies of flesh and bone. 

There were two instances where I met someone who was so helpful and I swear were like angels sent to me by God. These angels came to me when I went through some hard trials. One was an Icelandic rescue guide who was patient with me and taught me how to hike to the top of the peak to see an erupting volcano in Iceland and he motivated me to hike it when I almost gave up on it because I was so out of breath and my muscle, especially on my right leg was weak and hurting – affected by my illness. 

Another one occurred way before I became a member and this one was this young doctor named Jill in the Banner Del Webb hospital who sat by me to watch me when I had asked the hospital to have someone look after me because I was so sick and afraid I wouldn’t wake up after an overdose. 

Elder Jeffrey Holland once quoted from his talk called Ministry of Angels: “The angelic purpose is to comfort, to provide some form of Merciful attention, guidance in difficult times” 

God’s glories are in store for us.

In Job 3:23, it says “Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in?”. 

In other words, why does God surround us with difficulties especially give life to those who feel like there’s no future? Because He wants us to trust in Him. He wants us to know there is a future for us all. He wants us to grow from our experiences, to be able to face our adversities with strength, develop our moral characters, resist ourselves from temptations, and be able to also trust ourselves in God’s perfect timing.

If we remember Job’s story, he lost his children, possessions and his health. But do you think if he didn’t go through those, he would know of God’s glories that He had in store for him? In the end, Job got more out of his loss and God is willing to do more for you too.