Sunday, February 16, 2014


I am a firm believer in grace. I don't think we talk about grace enough in the Church. It has filled me, lifted me, and most importantly, it has changed me.

What exactly is grace? It is "the divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ." It is by and through his grace that we are able to repent and utilize the Atonement. I'm not going to get into a faith vs. works discussion. Let me just state that I believe that "faith without works is dead," and I am not trying to "earn heaven, but learn heaven." What I want to talk about is how Christ's "grace is sufficient for all men" and all situations. We should open our hearts and lives so that his grace can enter.

I don't think that the Atonement of Jesus Christ only forgives sins. Why would we try to limit the Savior?! It says that his grace is sufficient. His help or strength is enough! It's more than enough. It not only can redeem us from the fall, but Christ overcame the world -- he can help you do the same! He not only can, but he wants to. God gives you righteous desires -- He has also provided a means of assistance. Are you struggling in school? Grace is there. Trying to be healthier? Grace is there. Want to conquer negative self-talk? The answer lies with grace. Don't EVER think that Christ can't or doesn't want to help you. He can, and he will. Always. I testify of this truth.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Note to the World: On Body Image

Hey girl. I hope you're doing well. Life may be pretty dang good right now. It may not be, but it will get better soon. I just wanted to send you a note to remind of you something important.


Maybe not in the way that other girls are. Maybe you aren't blonde with blue eyes. Maybe you aren't a size 4. Maybe you don't wear chevron with every outfit, or you don't own chunky jewelry. I know how some of you hate to wear lots of make-up, and other girls put on full foundation everyday. Maybe you are all of those things. Either way, I want you to know something.


You are beautiful. Your eyes may be deep and dark or light and sparkling, but they all know how to see when someone is suffering and how to help. Your hands may be little, but they can play the piano, hold a child's hand, write killer essays, paint a picture, and reach out to dear friends and family. Your skin tells a story of people who came before, and their struggles and successes are what made you. Wear their story proudly. Your body is healthy. You are able to hike, swim, dance, and do anything else you put your mind to. (Plus, you look adorable in that sweater. You know which one I'm talking about.) Or maybe you're struggling with an illness. If so, you shine through your struggles. You are who you are. I want you to know:


It is perfectly okay to be who you are. You should celebrate and utilize your strengths. Rejoice in your triumphs. Be aware of your weaknesses only so you can improve. Do not live in them. They do not define you. You are person with the pencil. You define yourself. Sometimes you'll make mistakes or not live up to who you want to be. Know this:


You know exactly Who that Someone is. If you are unsatisfied with something about yourself, look to Him. He can help you change it. He gave you your body. He made you the way you are. He expects you to take care of that gift. He does not want you to misuse that gift in anyway. He wants you to love it as He loves it. Another thing:


As you develop your gifts and talents, that light inside of you will shine through your eyes. Treasure that. Other people do. They love your light, and they look forward to seeing it. I love you and your light. Don't ever think your light isn't enough. A spark is all it takes to break through the darkness. One day, maybe today, someone will realize that they can't live apart from your light. Don't do anything to dim your light. It's yours and you should wear it proudly, because:


Credit to B. Simmons

Monday, January 6, 2014

Day One: Fresh Start All Around

Today was the first day of the new semester. I made myself start doing all the things I want to do. The first day can be the most difficult. It's so easy to put it off until tomorrow. Just got to get up and do it. In other news, I did have an excellent first day. I'm taking a Poly dance class. I just love the music and my professor calling out "KAHOLO!" and "HELA!" I'm also excited for my two religion classes -- the first half of the Book of Mormon and the Writings of Isaiah. I'm looking forward to feeling the Spirit often in those classes.

Yesterday, I taught a lesson in Relief Society called "Our Father in Heaven." I learned so much preparing and teaching that lesson. I'm so humbled by my calling. You may think you know something, and then you prepare a lesson, and you have a "Holy cow! I never thought of it that way before" moment. Then you're standing before your class and someone makes a comment that completely changes the direction you go (in a positive way). I still feel uplifted from that lesson.

Thought of the day:
"The Holy Ghost awakens ancient memories." I loved this idea! You have so much already inside of you. Let the Spirit touch your heart and mind to unlock who you really are.

One day down, a bunch to go. Never stop being better!

New Girl

My mom and I have a 2014 challenge: we meet our weight loss goals by the end of the semester, and we get a girls' trip to Disney. This is happening. Not only am I going to be healthier, but I want to be a better person. I am super motivated to be a little stronger, a little wiser, a little kinder, and a little better of a student. Here's too more scripture study, more exercise, more prayer, more studying, more reading, less junk food, less Netflix, and more friendships. Looking forward to a great semester, and a fantastic 2014!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rita's Visit. Week 3

We had a visit from Rita. Rita is a spunky little red car who belongs to my friend's parents. Rita came to stay with us for the week, which was excellent. We took advantage of her presence.

Monday was one of those Rita afternoons. We drove 40 minutes to the closest Chipotle, which was totally worth it. We also had to hit up Target to get some essentials - toilet paper and the like.

It was dear Becca's birthday. So glad we decided to let her know how much we love her!

A great part of college life, no? NO.

We went to see Mindy Gledhill and Book on Tape Worm at our hipster venue. They were SO great, and we had an awesome first suite date night.

So, I technically had to see it for class, but I was so glad I went to EviDANCE. It is an international dance show that the university dance companies put on each fall. The tech/effects were awesome, the performers knew and rocked their stuff, and the music was AMAZING. I'm so glad I go here.

HOLY WAR. Whenever I hear that I think of the Florence & the Machine song, Seven Devils. It's the first line. "HOOHHH-LEEY WAR!" Anyway... We played our rivals on Saturday, and unfortunately, we lost. BUT. I had a great time with some cool people.

Sunday, I participated in a long tradition of tunnel singing here on campus. We go to a tunnel and sing hymns for an hour. It's beautiful. Halfway through, everyone sits down except the people who received mission calls that week. Then we go around and they announce where they're serving. It's an amazing energy to feel the genuine happiness for those who received a call. Then we stand and sing Called to Serve. Awesome thing.  

It was a good week. Crazy, but fantastic. Again, I'm so grateful to be here.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

This is Real Life Now. Week Two

So, I think that I'm adjusting pretty well to the demands of college. (Who am I kidding, it's been fan-freakin-tastic.) Even with a lot of homework, I'm able to eat, sleep, spend time with friends, and do fun things around Provo.

This is the 9am crowd walking up to campus. It's fun to see everyone streaming out of the dorms and coming from northern off-campus housing. Then we all struggle up this hill. I've heard that there are warm pipes underneath most of it, but it gets really slick at the top during the winter. I am totally going to biff it at some point. Oh well. It's unavoidable.

A and I have 40 minutes between our 8am math and our next classes, so we usually sit on a bench and read. We always see someone we know walk by, and that is the end of reading, but it's a fun time (when the weather is nice).

It was a beautiful day Wednesday. I love the sky. There is something about the sky here that just makes me feel close to Heavenly Father. He created a beautiful world!

Thursday A, Becca, and I went to the library to study. It was so crazy quiet in the reading room. The loudest thing in the room was the air coming through the vents.

Friday, I got to see my friend Karl before he left for his mission! He's leaving Wednesday, but he came down to campus to hang out before he left. We always end up at museums - we think it's a good thing. He is going to be such a great missionary. Look out, Kansas! He's headed your way.

Saturday night we went to a concert at a venue downtown. It was so great. I loved the venue, and the bands were awesome underground bands. The vibe was excellent.

Another picture was also from the concert...

It was an excellent week. I've been working hard and having fun. My school is *literally* the best.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Go Cougars! NSO and Week One

I started college at one of the coolest places ever: BYU. I'm really excited to spend four years here. One thing about moving more than 2000 miles away from home is that your family doesn't get to participate in your day to day life. So, my mom asked me to send her a picture every day. EVERY DAY?! A picture every day. My life cannot be that interesting. However, I started doing it, and I'm really excited about this project. I'm going to share this project with you. It's mostly so my mom and I have everything in one place. I'll probably use parts of the captions I sent my mother on the photos here. Of course, some things are between my momma and me.

This was the first picture I sent my mom. The caption was "BYU Incoming Class of 2013!" New student orientation is rockin', yo. Also, can I just say: SO MANY MORMONS.

The next day, I went to the Honors program information session. My roommate and I decided to register for the Honors Seminar. It's a 1 credit lecture series that introduces students to various disciplines and how those fields attempt to answer "Great Questions," such as "What is knowledge/justice/happiness, and how do we attain it?" This is the textbook for the class.
At some point I made friends. This is a picture of some of those awesome people. My three lovely suitemates are also in this picture.

This is the Maeser Building. It is awesome. It is one of the oldest buildings on campus, and is dedicated to one of my personal heroes. Karl G. Maeser and his wife were the first people baptized in Germany. It was then against the law to be LDS, so they fled to America. Brother Maeser was a highly educated man, and had worked as a professor in Europe. When they arrived in Utah, Brigham Young called him to open a school in Provo. It started as Brigham Young Academy. Brother Maeser saw BYA through extremely challenging times, and it is because of him that BYU is the way it is today. When he was called, Brigham Young said to him: "Brother Maeser, I want you to remember that you ought not to teach even the alphabet or the multiplication tables without the Spirit of God. That is all. God bless you. Good-bye."

Labor Day! We hadn't started school yet, so a group of us decided to walk to the nearest Indian restaurant, which is south of campus. We thought it would be six or so people, but we ended up with TWENTY-SIX. We all walked the mile from where we live on campus to the restaurant. It was a blast. Plus, we started Ethnic Food Night, which will take place once a month.

Then we had the first day of school! WOO! It was really exciting. I had three classes that day. (Starting with an 8am class. I thought 'Oh, I've done four years of early morning seminary.' Turns out that waking up in general is hard.) It went really well, and I'm pumped to be here. I'm also grateful to be on such a beautiful campus.
Bonus picture! My duvet cover finally came, and I had to send a picture of my completed room. I love it! It's really happy.
This picture is from the lobby of the Eyring Science Center. I have my geography class in this awesome building. All throughout the lobby, they have hands-on science displays. It's a blast to hangout in. Also, the planetarium there ROCKS.
Thursday was day of classes. I didn't remember to take any interesting pictures. When that happens, you get this - homework selfie! Terrible, I know. But it's what I sent my mom.
Spirit Friday! Our girls went all out. These are two of my fantastic suitemates. (Otherwise known as "sweetmates.") My third lovely suitemate was behind the camera (cellphone in this case).
The next day, we played Texas in football. We went to the game two hours early like dedicated fans, sat there for a while, and then entered the twilight zone. A black cloud of death rapidly moved over the stadium, settled right over us and then let loose. The BYU website said that it was "a rainstorm that would've impressed Noah." True story. We huddled for safety under the bleachers. Once the game actually started, we won by 19! I guess that's a good story.
Bonus pictures (From BYU Athletics):

Sunday was excellent. We had church and a CES broadcast from BYU-H with Elder Nelson. He was to the point and blunt with us. I loved it. If you didn't get to watch it, here is the link: September CES Fireside.
NSO plus my first full week at BYU were a success, if I do say so myself. I like the way my classes are looking, I have fun friends, and my roommates are AMAZING. I feel the Spirit regularly, and I've had a lot of fun. Here's to Fall 2013!