Sunday, March 31, 2013

A General Conference Challenge

It has been a wonderful Easter Sunday full of deep reflection and a grateful heart for all that my Savior has done for me. I love the Easter season. Not just for all the festivities and the approach of spring (which I could argue is my favorite season) but  because it causes me to reflect quiet deepy on my relationship with my Savior. This year seems particularly meaningful as prepare to leave for my mission in two days. I get set apart tomorrow and from that moment on I am a 24/7 representative of Jesus Christ. I am to follow the promptings of the Spirit in acting and saying the things that He would say to the best of my mortal understanding and fallen ability allow. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have. I am looking forward to feeling the Spirit all the time. To being in an environment where I mature spiritually and walk with God more closely.

This season is also my favorite because it means the approach of General Conference. What a wonderful blessing it is to be able to hear men, called of God, speak to us concerning the matters of heaven. No matter where were are in the world we can stream it via TV, internet, or satellite radio. If we speak another language we can hear it in any language from Mandarin Chinese to American Sign Language. Perhaps one day I will have the opportunity to translate some of it in one of the many languages I hope to learn and become verse in during my time on the earth.

If you are LDS, or are not and have friends that are I'm sure you know that last Conference (in October) the Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson lowered the age at which missionaries could serve for brethren and sisters. It has changed so many lives, including mine. What is exciting about this session is that we will hear the total number of missionaries serving. Recent statistics claim that it is up around 64,000 (closer to 65,000 I think) which is significantly higher than the 50,000 that were serving at the beginning of 2013.

With all this discussion of Conference I want to share a challenge with you that a dear friend gave to me almost two years ago. It has changed the way I approach conference. It has helped me to get more out of Conference than ever before. The challenge is this. In the week leading up to Conference prayerfully think of five questions that you would ask the Savior if you could speak with Him face to face. I can testify to you from personal experience that your questions will be answered. For example, for October's Conference I asked what I could do to follow the admonition in the scriptures to  "pick up your cross" and follow after my Savior. The whole Relief Society broadcast basically focused on this question and more than that it led me to change my life. I let go of some things that I now see were holding me back from following after my Savior.

I invite everyone to do this. You don't have to share your questions so you can make them as personal and as deep as you want to make them. If all five of them are answered in the first session than write down more questions that you want answered. I can promise that in some way during Conference weekend God will answer them.

Well my time is short my dear readers. Today has been a day full of goodbyes and good lucks. My Bishop even told me that I can't run the mission even if I might want to which kind of embarrassed  I definitely don't know enough to run much of any thing, let alone an entire mission. I know that as I am prayerful and obedient with exactness God will laden my back with sheaves of success and joy from the work that, with His help I will do. I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior so much. I am so grateful for all that they have done for me. I know that I have been preparing for a very long time for the next 18 months and my efforts will be blessed weather I get 1 or 1,000 baptisms. May God bless you my dear readers, until you read again. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Healing Has Begun

I know this post is different from most of my blog posts. I just wanted to briefly express my gratitude to my Lord and my God for what He has done for me. Not only has He brought me to the point that I can completely move on from all that has happened in the past year but He has also opened up the windows of heaven and poured out blessings upon my head. Though yesterday morning was incredibly hard and emotionally draining last night I received a package from my grandparents with cookies (hot chocolate, chocolate chip, my favorite!) Also there was a journal that is absolutely beautiful and I hope it will help be better about keeping one than I currently am. As i f that didn't cheer me up enough I also received my itinerary and name tags which I will wear on my mission. It made it all feel very real and now all I can think about is leaving next week and heading to the MTC. I am so excited and so grateful for all that God has done for me to help me completely focus on this next adventure in my life. Before I felt like there was part of me that was looking forward to the “what ifs” of the future. I am moving forward completely unattached and I am so grateful for all that God has done to finally get to that point.

Also attached is a video with a song that truly describes how I feel now. The wounds that were inflicted upon my soul and upon my heart were deep and painful. I spent days and nights crying in agony unto my Father for my relief. At times I felt like God had abandoned me because I had made too many mistakes. At other times I felt like I weighed down with this horrible guilt for all that I had done. I was ashamed of the person I had been, of how I had allowed one person to control my life and my actions so completely. Now, the wounds are finally healing and while I will always have my memories of what happened they pain me no longer. I know that my mission will be the finally healing that I need and ache for the changes that I know will occur as I faithfully serve my Savior and my King.

There is a lesson to be learned from this my dear readers and it is this. God will never abandon you. Neither will He give you more than you can handle. I can personally testify of this. I know what’s it like to hurt so much that you feel like you can’t even pray. I know what its like to wonder if you will ever feel happy again. But I can also tell you that if you rely on God and never turn your back on Him that He will hold you up. My favorite scripture, my mission scripture are perhaps some of the most comforting words ever spoken by the Lord.

“Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not afraid for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee; yea I will help thee; yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness”
(Isaiah 41:10)

God loves you so much my dear  reader, as He loves all of His children. All the trials that you are going through will ultimately be for you good. May you feel Him with you always and may He bless you, until you read again. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

And God Said "Walk With Me"

I think this has to be my favorite invitation given in the scriptures. To walk with the Creator of worlds without number. It doesn't say "walk behind me" to suggest that God sees us as inferior beings not worthy to be in His presence. Rather, the invitation is to "walk with me" or, I interpret it as "walk beside me". I have been incredibly interested in this passage of scripture and have spent the last two weeks or so fleshing it out in my personal study. Though no where near complete or satisfied on the topic I do have a few thoughts that are deeply person and provide a large foundation of my testimony.

First, is my interpretation of what this passage actually means. To me it rings of the attribute of obedience. More times than I can count, walking in the ways of the Lord are directly linked to keeping all His commandments and His laws. Yet obedience is more than just keeping the commandments and standing worthy of a temple recommend. That is the first level of obedience. The preparatory level if you will. The second level is complete obedience and submission to God's will. It is not only submitting your will to God but it is wanting what He wants for you that is, aligning your will with His. It is not praying for what you want and hoping God allows it, rather it is praying to know what God wants for you.

I have had far too many experiences with this but one of late has been very difficult. Recently I had to let someone go. Someone I loved very much. Not because I didn't care about them or because I didn't want them in my life but because I knew they were holding me back. That, while God was paces away beckoning me to walk with Him, I was attempting to keep up with a large stone shackled to my foot. What was worse is that the more frantically God called to me the more I tightened the chain because I wanted to have both. I wanted to completely dedicate my heart and soul to Him and still hang on to this person. Yet I have come to a realization, as hard as it is, that I cannot have both. I have learned that if I am to walk the road of discipleship this person cannot come with me.

Some may say that I am interpreting God's will incorrectly  but honestly, as I have traveled down this path, freeing myself of this burdensome stone and ran towards my Father and my Savior I have felt freedom and joy that I can't quiet explain. More than that I feel peace. Peace that I am becoming more like Him. That is my ultimate goal. I go forward with certainty that I will be able to give God every thing, including my heart, while I am gone. Some day there will be someone. A worthy, righteous priesthood holder that walks with God also and we will walk together, towards the Celestial Kingdom and our Lord.

I know this is a very personal post. If you're are still reading it kudos to you. With eight days left until I get set apart as a missionary I know that I have a lot to do for my physical, emotional and spiritual preparation. Yet I am so excited to get out and go to work. So ready to be healed by the constant presence of the Holy Spirit. To be lost in the wonderful guidance and influence of my Savior as I give my all to serving His children in Panama. It will be hard I know that. But I also know that with God all things are possible and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philip 4:13). Stay strong my dear readers and remember that when God calls and invites you to walk with Him, give up whatever you have to, to do it. More than that, never look back at the things He asks you to leave because it is for your own good that you are abandoning them. Ultimately it will bring you more happiness than you have ever known. Of this I can personally testify. May he be with you, now and always, until you read again.

(The video that you see is of a song that has helped me through this long process. It has reminded me that even in the very depths of despair my God and my King are right there beside me. More than that it has helped me come to see that He has always had a firm hold on my heart until He gives me a way to a faithful priesthood holder that will love me, protect me, and fight for me for all eternity. He knows the deepest desire of my heart and I know that if I am faithful I receive them in His own time and in His own way. He has never abandon me before and He will not abandon me now)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Only Perfect Missionary

What follows is the talk I planned and prepared for my pre-mission talk (aka farewell). I have been struggling with a cold all week and prayed every day that despite my hoarse voice I would be able to speak with the Spirit. According to everyone that I talked to it was the most powerful talk I have ever given. I am grateful to the Lord for answering my prayer. It is just a personal witness to me that God uses the weak things of the world to bring forth the salvation of men. 


When Bishop assigned me the topic of missionary work the first thing that came to my mind was “Bishop, I want to write a talk, not a novel.” It was just such a broad topic. So I went home and thought long and hard about what I wanted to talk about specifically. I came to the conclusion that I wanted to discuss something that would change me as I studied it. Something that would help me become the person I want to be before I leave in a few weeks. I thought about what makes us good missionaries. Then I thought of the nine Christ like attributes found in Chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel: faith, hope, charity, patience, knowledge, obedience, diligence, humility and virtue. So I have decided to speak on how these attributes will make us better missionaries, both at home and abroad and ultimately help us come to be like our Father in Heaven. I have chosen to do this by presenting four scriptural examples of these attributes; that from their examples, we can perfect our own lives and become better missionaries and followers of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

President Thomas S. Monson said, “If we do not have a deep foundation of faith and a solid testimony of truth, we may have difficulty withstanding the harsh storms and icy winds of adversity which inevitably come to each of us.”

Scripturally speaking the individual that struck me as a great example of faith was that of Peter. When we think of Peter I’m sure many of us recall well the account found in Matthew 14. Jesus had admonished His disciples to go ahead of Him in the ship and He would meet up with them later. Late in the night Jesus went to them, literally walking upon the water. His disciples were troubled but Jesus beckoned to them and calmed their uneasiness. As we know Peter calls to Jesus saying “Lord if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” Oftentimes when we read the rest of the story we brush over one very important detail. Peter did it. He got out of the boat and, defying every worldly law that we know he walked towards our Savior on the Sea of Galilee. We instead focus on the fact that when Peter’s great faith, faith strong enough to allow him to stand above the waves of his reservations and, more than that, to walk over his own doubts and uncertainties, was overcome. Peter feared and then he fell. Yet again in his stumbling he demonstrated his great faith. He cried to the Lord saying “Lord, save me”

No matter where we are on our road to discipleship. No matter how well we think we are doing or how well we are actually doing we will fall. We will sink in our own seas of doubt, temptation, and sin. Yet we can find hope in the words of Elder Holland who encouraged, “Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.” There is hope brothers and sisters. Hope in He who stands above the waves. Hope in He that walks on the waters, even Jesus Christ. Whether we are a missionary that can tract no further, or a young parent that feels overwhelmed with their new found responsibility; there is hope in He who calms our storms. All we have to do is cry out and He will “immediately stretch forth his hand and catch us” We as Latter Day Saints, as missionaries and members alike, must “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ having a perfect brightness of hope and a love of God and all men” (2 Nephi 31:20). Then we too can be like Peter who responded when the Lord asked if He would leave Him “Lord to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” And ultimately, ,we will be saved and glorified in the kingdom of God.

“Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!”- President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

No other story of patience touches me quiet like the story of Leah. Leah isn’t someone we talk about much. We all know relatively well the love Jacob had for Rachel whom he met at the well. The woman that when he met her he wept at her beauty. Jacob seeks Rachel’s hand, working seven years for her. However, his clever father-in-law gives him Leah. When Jacob realized in the morning that it was Leah and not Rachel he was angry and Jacob confronted Judah. Yet we seem to forget about Leah from this point on. Jacob loved Rachel instantly that much was clear.
We see the depth of Leah’s anguish at her neglect in Genesis 29:32 right after she bears Rueben she declares “Surely the Lord hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.”  We, as Jacob did, overlook Leah who eventually bore Levi, through which comes the line of the priesthood. Leah who bore Judah, through which came King David, then Solomon, and ultimately our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Henry B. Eyring said “The Lord is keeping His promise to you as you keep yours. As you serve others for Him, He lets you feel His love. And in time, feelings of charity become part of your very nature. And you will receive the assurance of Mormon in your heart as you persist in serving others in life that all will be well with you.” So it was with Leah, patient, charitable Leah. She was rewarded for her patience. She faithfully served and honored her husband until the end of her days. In Genesis 49 we find out that Jacob has buried his sweet Leah with his parents and grandparents, and that too is where he ultimately decides to be buried. Some blessings we will not see in this life. Yet if we press forward with patience and charity, with an eye single to the glory of God we will truly understand and live the words found in Isaiah 12:2 “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.” We must come to understand that everything is in the Lord’s time, not ours. And, just as charity never faileth, if we are found possessed of it, neither will we.

The Book of Mormon teaches us “To be learned is good if [we] hearken unto the counsels of God.”

When I thought of a good scripture story that presents the danger of knowledge when we do not use it righteously I thought of the story of Naaman found in 2 Kings 5. Naaman was a well-respected Syrian general but he was also afflicted with leprosy. Historically speaking this disease made him ritually unclean in the eyes of the Jews. In an attempt to be healed Naaman followed the advice of a faithful maid servant who encouraged him to go see the prophet Elisha. So he went, bearing gifts, with all the grandeur of the world. And what did Elisha do? He sent a messenger out to meet him which instructed him to go wash in the river Jordan seven times. We read in verse 11 “But Naaman was wroth and went away, and said, Behold I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God and strike his hand over the place and recover the leper.” Too often our own knowledge and perception blind us to the little tender mercies of God. We expect big extravagant miracles. Yet typically the blessings, the miracles that change our lives and strengthen our faith come in the small, almost imperceptible moments that often pass us by without being noticed. These are signs from God. They prove that God is not only aware of us but is going before us with His angels, preparing a way for us to accomplish the things that He has commanded us to do.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson has said “Obedience gives us greater control over our lives, greater capacity to come and go, to work and create.” Yet some times we are like Naaman and we scoff at this admonishment or that suggestion coming from a servant of God. Naaman was ready to walk away without even going near the Jordan. Claiming “Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? May I not wash in them and be clean?” Then Naaman servants went forward and entreated him saying “If the prophet had bid thee, do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? How much rather then when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?” I can only imagine Naaman’s feelings at the gentle reprimand of those of whom which he had charge. For it is evident that their faith was greater than his. Not soon after he went and “dipped himself seven times in the Jordan… and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” Just as the waters of Jordan cleansed Naaman of his physical disease when we are obedient to the laws and ordinance of the Gospel we are cleansed from spiritual disease through the atonement of Jesus Christ. We become clean and made whole, restored to righteousness through the blood of the Lamb. Then, like Nephi we can proclaim “O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee my God and the rock of my salvation.” ( 2 Nephi 4:30). And we will indeed be saved by the blood of Him that we faithfully follow and obey.

“I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy… How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him?” Jeffery R. Holland

My last example is the One and Great Example. The way, the truth, and the life. The Resurrection and the Light of the World. He has been called wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the Prince of Peace and King of Kings. He is our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. His life is the epitome of all the attributes I have spoken of today and all the ones I have not. In humility he diligently sought the will of His Father. Filled with virtue and selflessness He was crucified for us that we might inherit all that the Father hath. As members and missionaries of His true Church we will be asked to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane and take a few, cross-laden steps towards Calvary. That is not to take away from the Savior’s great sacrifice. That is not my intention. What I am saying is that weather we are a life-long member, recent convert, or searching investigator, we must, in order “to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid,  pay a token of that same price.” We will all wonder if there is an easier way. An easier road to salvation, to conversion, and to God. He knows and He understands. Because the Savior of us all asked this same question as He lay prostrate in a Garden so long ago. He plead for it as He hung on the cross wanting to know why His Father had forsaken Him. He knows how hard this experience is. He knows the cost of salvation because He has paid it. When we as members suffer and wade through the depths of affliction, take heart; for we are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. We have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about our sorrows and afflictions. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him… even the only perfect missionary.
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I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to speak to all of you today. More than that I am grateful for the next 18 months I will spend in Panama, coming to know my Lord and my Savior Jesus Christ and helping others come to develop a covenantal relationship with Him.  In D&C 81:4-5 the Lord said in regards to callings “And in doing these things thou wilt do the greatest good unto they fellow beings, and wilt promote the glory of him who is your Lord. Wherefore be faithful; stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.” I have spoken of a lot of different characteristics today. My challenge to each of you is to work on one, just one. Prayerfully pick the one that you feel you need to work on most an than pray for help in strengthening that attribute in yourself. Ether 12:27 tells us that God gave us weakness that, through Him, we might make them strengths. Through diligent effort we can develop the faith of Peter, the patience of Leah, and the understanding of Naamen. And in the end, in that last day, when we stand before God at that judgment day we will hear the words of our Savior saying “Father, behold the sufferings and death of Him who did no sin in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of Him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified. Wherfore, Father, spare these my brethren...” May we strive towards this goal with lifted eyes and cheerful hearts. May we do it in the name of Him who knows us better than we know ourselves. I leave these things with you in His Holy name, even the great Jehovah Jesus Christ, Amen. 


Following my talk my friend Molly offered a beautiful musical number called "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul" It is basically my testimony in the form of a song and I am so grateful that it worked out for her to come and do it for me. Enjoy and God bless you until you read again!

I Love To See The Temple. I Went Inside Today.

Okay technically I went inside yesterday and was too tired to post about then but the title flows better using the word today. Anyway, I went through the Jordan River temple yesterday and it was just so beautiful. Everyone asked me if it was what I expected but honestly I didn't go in with any expectations. I went in knowing a lot about what was practiced in the temples in ancient Israel and I found that surprisingly similar. I would recommend in depthly studying the books of Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus in the Old Testament and Abraham and Moses in the Pearl of Great Price. Also if you get your hands on some stuff about temple worship by Dr. Stephen Ricks I would strongly recommend that.

The day was overall just wonderful. We got up and went to lunch and I was more excited than scared or nervous. I knew that I was going through the House of the Lord and that I would have help both from God and the people around me as I went through the experience. The only set back was that I had no voice. Somehow in the last 24 hours my cold had gone from a cold to laryngitis but that was not about to deter and aside from an obnoxious cough I felt fine

We went to lunch at a buffet but I didn't eat very much because I was so excited. Then we went over to Temple Square to get my mom a temple dress because she didn't like her old one. We decided to cut through the temple grounds because it was such a beautiful day and we got a few pictures in front of the temple.

We then went and got my mom's temple dress and headed back tot he car with about 20 minutes to spare until I had to be at the Jordan River temple for my session. There must needs be opposition in all things though and when we used the phone to navigate it took us on a very strange route back to the freeway which ultimately made us 15 minutes late. I was doing my best trying not to stress because I knew that Satan would use that against me. I also knew that the moment I entered the temple I would feel the peace that i needed to feel.

I had called the temple to let them know we were running late but even then getting there 15 minutes late was not ideal in my book. We got in there and they took us back behind the front desk. Talk about a right of passage. I had spent years watching people go past the workers at the desk aching for the day that I would do the same and now today was my day!

The sum it up the session was beautiful. It was nothing weird or scary as some people suggested it might be. What was great is that there were nine missionaries going through and six of them were sisters! It was wonderful and uplifting. I had a coughing fit half way through the endowment session and I felt so embarrassed. I survived it though and was able to pay attention. There were things that I thought were incredibly neat and things that I definitely want to study on my own in my personal scripture study. Honestly it felt like I was returning to visit a friend I had been a way from for a long time. More than that, stepping into the Celestial room felt like I was coming home.

I feel like my journey towards my mission has been a transforming experience. I am not the person I once was and the covenants I made in the temple symbolize that. I am ready to go out and preach the Gospel to the people of Panama and bring them to knowledge of their Redeemer Jesus Christ. I am grateful for all my family and friends that have supported me up to this point and with just two and a half weeks left until I leave I know I have a lot to do but I am definitely excited for this new chapter in my life and all the blessings and experiences it will bring!

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Day In Provo And Chasing Trains

Today has been a crazy day so this is going to be rather short so that I can be well rested because I go through the temple. More thoughts on that in another post though. What happened today was that I went Provo. Honestly as we drove through Orem I felt like I was coming home. I can't imagine how its going to feel when I come back from my mission. There are great things ahead and I am so excited.

Things started off great today from practically the moment I woke up. I was standing in the lobby waiting for my family to be ready to go when a gentleman approached my grandma and I and asked us where we were from. We made small talk with him for a while and then he asked why we were here. We told him that we were here in Salt Lake because I was getting ready to go on my mission and going through the temple this weekend. We talked for a little while longer and then the man reached into his back pocket, pulled out a $5 bill and handed to me saying he wanted to contribute to my mission fund. I was adamant that he didn't have to do that but he assured me that he was choosing too. I know he will be best for his sacrifice and I am grateful for it. I am saving the $5, hopefully it will help me when I am actually out on my mission

When we made it to Orem we stopped at Beehive clothing to get what I need for tomorrow. I told the lady that was helping us that I was going on a mission to Panama and then she handed us over to someone else to check us out. As we were purchasing our stuff the lady that had helped us earlier said loudly. "We have two people going to Panama!" This was very surprising because Panama isn't one of those missions you hear people getting called to every day. I was partly hoping it would be an elder because I haven't found any elders serving down there yet. However, Hermana Rebecca Dawson was a pleasant surprise. We had talked on Facebook some and it was simply through the hand of God that we saw each other that day. She was just passing through and we had decided to stop here instead of in Salt Lake. It was wonderful tender mercy

We got to Provo and I picked up some stuff for my mom then trekked around campus hoping  to catch a former professor or two but alas, no luck! I returned to the FLSR (we had gone to pick up some thing I had left when I'd move out in December) and had lunch with a dear friend named Katherine (I always called her Chava, which means Eve in Hebrew). We met in HEB 101, became study buddies and have been good friends ever since. She has always called me Chana (like the English Hannah, which is my Hebrew name). She is going to Harvard this Fall and this was the last time I would actually see her until God decides to bring us back together. We talked for a while and reminisced about our experiences together. Talked about the perspective missions and what is required for their preparation adds. I talked about how over the past year I had come to love my independence and the strength that God had become to me as I'd realized that while I yearned for the loves of my fellow man, with the love of God, I can be sustained if it is His will that it must be that way.

(Chava and I!)

After that I went and sat on the grass in front of the FLSR. My friend Molly (who is singing at my farewell) met me and we sat on the grass together enjoying the weather. As we sat there many people I knew came up and hugged me and asked me when I was entering. Almost without exception the guys asked me if I had been set apart yet, not wanting to hug me if I had been. I assured them that I was still huggable and I was happy to receive love from all the people I had grown so close to over the Fall semester.

Then Jeff showed up. Jeff is a very dear friend who I have grown to in a way that I can't quiet describe. We are very similar. In the summer we worked 18 hour shifts together and we really got to know each other. I am happy that I can keep in touch with him through email while I'm gone and if he still around when I come home I look forward to seeing and hanging out with him again. 

We sat on the grass for a good two hours before we all decided we were hungry and made the decision to walk down to J-Dawgs. It was a good last meal to have in Provo before I left and I greatly enjoyed it. After we ate we went back up to Jeff's apartment and played Scrabble. Jeff won. Only because he put down the word "equip"

(Jeff and I at J-Dawgs)

My friend Cameron (I call him Zoar which means "light" in Hebrew). He truly has been a wonderful friend and hometeacher. Came to take Molly and I to the station where we would catch the Frontrunner train. We talked in Hebrew for a while and he figured out just how much I had forgotten while studying Spanish. As we were driving down to the train station Cameron's car ran out of gas! Like, stopped working out of gas! We were about a quarter of a mile from the station and Cameron told us we would have to run to catch it because we only had about five minutes. Cameron was kind and carried Molly's bag and we took off as fast as we could. (If we hadn't caught it we would have had to wait a whole hour to catch the next one and with an hour ride we needed to catch this train). Needless to say we made it! I hugged Cameron goodbye and told him to bring sand form the Sea of Galilee (he's studying in Israel this summer like I plan to do when I come back).

Overall it was a wonderful adventure full of people that I love and memories that will last a long time. Thought I didn't get to see everyone, being around all my friends again made me grateful for the Plan of Salvation and the opportunity that we all have to be together forever in the presence of our Father in Heaven someday. I have only about 16 days until I enter the MTC and I feel God helping me along the way. May He bless you, my dear reader, until you read again.