Sep 6, 2013

Standing up for Modesty

I am super bad about keeping up this blog!  I stay pretty busy at my main blog called
 
 
I wanted to share a recent  post I wrote about my 15 year old daughter and her friend
who stood up for modesty to their high school theatre teacher.
 
Read about it!
 
 
 
 

Jul 22, 2013

Writing a Missionary/ Waiting for a Missionary

 
Hi everyone!
 
With the new missionary age change...the number of missionaries who have been called has quadrupled and I would say SO HAVE the  number of righteous young women(that's you) who are now writing or waiting for their missionary!
 
Now the first thing that someone is going to tell you is that it is not going to work. Try not to listen to these nay-sayers!  You follow the Spirit for your life.  They do not know the Lord's plan for your life.  
 
I want to give you encouragement that it CAN work, if it is right. Also be open to the fact that you may grow apart if it is not right. The most important principle:  Follow the Spirit!
 
Many years ago, I "waited" for a missionary.  I knew it was right 100%, it was just a matter of writing and waiting! Then when he had a year left, (I made it half-way at least) I felt VERY strongly that I was supposed to serve a mission of my own.
 
This was a VERY hard decision to make. It took all the faith I had inside of me at the age of 20 to leave my plans, (notice I said MY PLANS) and follow the Lord's plan for my life...and that was to serve a mission.
 
My missionary actually ended up waiting for me for almost a full year before I returned home. It was right, and the Lord blessed us immensely. 
 
We were married a few months later and serving a mission was the right decision for me. I was a much better and stronger version of myself and I was now ready for the next chapter of my life.
 
So I am here to tell you, it CAN happen, and it CAN be right, IF it is the Lord's will. But you have to be open to listen and follow the Spirit!
 
 
 
How to Wait
 
You  still have to live and be a normal young adult. Date, hang out with friends, have a job, go to school, be involved in bettering yourself. Prepare yourself for your future! 
 
There will never be a time in the missionary's life when they are closer to the Lord than they are now.  They are growing and learning by leaps and bounds each day.  A general authority once said, "it would take an average church member 40 years, reading and studying 30 minutes a day to equal that of a missionary"
You cannot compare anything to missionary work.  Nothing compares. 
 
So you have a lot of work ahead of you to stay strong and spiritually ready for him.
 
 
 
What kind of letters to write?
 
Write him supportive, not mushy letters. 
 
This is a great time for you to grow and build your testimony right along with him.  Send him favorite scripture passages you have read that have touched  you. Favorite quotes. Share your testimony!  Tell him how proud  you are of him and that you know he made the right decision. Tell him you are praying for him. Encourage him to be completely obedient. 
 
Be careful of what you write or send in the email.  Remember- he is not yours right now, he is a servant of the Lords.  Support him in what he has been called to do!
 
Can you end the letter with an I love you?  Pray about it and feel it out. I think it is OK to end a letter with that encouragement, just make sure that is not what the whole letter is based on.
 
Lastly, just be yourself. Write like you talk. Don't worry about how to say things or if you are saying things wrong. Be yourself, but be supportive. Try not to distract from the Spirit.
 
 
 
 
Will it EVER get easier?
 
Yes and no. The hardest part will be the first month. You will probably feel every single day pass.  You will miss him and feel like someone just ripped out your heart. It will be heartache like you have never felt before. The thought of 2 years will completely overwhelm you! 
 
BUT it will get easier!  I promise!!  You will get used to it and will become stronger through this.  Lean on the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ!  Lean on the power of scripture study for comfort and strength. Lean on the power of prayer and learn to really pray. Lean on family and friends to get you through.
 
If the timing is right, the new missionary age change allows you to go out at the same time as your missionary!  How cool would that be to serve at the same time?!!
 

Just know, one of the hardest things a young woman can do is to say good bye to a best friend as he goes out to serve a mission.   But it will be totally worth it!  It will be an experience you will never wish to be taken away from you.

 
 
 

Still Want More? 
 
I found this great article from a previous General Authority.  Sounds like his wife waiting and supported him on his mission.  This is a great article!!
 

Is it good for a girl to wait for a missionary?

by Vaughn J Featherstone
 
 
"Question: Is it good for a fellow to leave a girl behind? Answer: Is it good for the sun to shine?
Have you ever heard of mission calls telling all missionaries to get rid of all girlfriends? Do you think that you could be a better missionary if she were there to help you? I think you could. Most of my best missionaries during the three years that I served left a girl behind. You notice that I said "girl" and not "girls." There isn't time for more than one.
Of course the first duty is to the Lord's work, which you have been called to do; second is to your family, and third is to the girlfriend. This you should always remember.
I always interviewed all missionaries as they entered the field and one of the questions I asked was, "Do you have a girlfriend at home?" If the answer was yes, I would say, "Can I have her name and address, and would it be all right if I wrote her a letter?" Of course this would scare the poor fellow to death--then I would bring the color back to his face by telling him I only wanted to write her a letter and tell her how lucky she was to have the opportunity to share this mission for the next 24 months with one of the Lord's chosen servants. If she is faithful, her testimony would become stronger in the gospel because of it... along with a little more advice that I will touch on later.
Young men, do not ask a returned missionary for advice on this subject. For if he has been jilted (or dumped) should we say he's giving out poor advice? Pray about this together, and if you feel that you can do a better job, then go ahead. There's nothing wrong with it. It is better to have support than to go out there wishing that you had it. This is more frustrating than worrying about a "Dear John," and believe me, there won't be one of those right in the beginning. The Lord always answers prayers to those who honor Him.
Have an understanding with your parents so they can encourage her and make your girl happy by showing they have faith in her and love her. Let her parents know your plans, and in most cases they will stand by her when she gets lonely. If you show them respect, as well as the girl, they will be behind you all the way.
Write her once a week or more. You can almost always write two letters a week on P-Days. There is plenty of time if they're not books. Tell her about your mission and experiences, let her live your mission with you through your letters, and send her a snapshot once in a while. Yes, you could let her make a scrapbook for you. Mom is not going to have time and both of them would love that.
Remember that behind every successful man, there is a good woman. So why shouldn't it be good to leave a girlfriend behind if you feel that she is special? Forget that old story of "24 months is a long time." I have known girls to wait two or three years. Also forget the story that you will change a lot. You will only if you make yourself scarce in letters, etc. You will only change in the fact that you will be more mature and have a greater testimony and mind.
Now girls, make sure that you do things that will help you grow along with the missionary. Study the gospel; stay active in the church, pray often--morning, noon, and night. Watch out for those lonely returned jilted missionaries. You're not in a hurry to get married. At the very most you will be 22 and a half when he gets home, and that's about the right age to start thinking about marriage.
Write happy letters every week. Let him know that you still care. He will be looking for those letters even if he is really busy during the week and on P-Days. Yes, you could send him a snapshot of yourself. He would love that. So what if you don't take good pictures--anything will look good to him. You will be busy getting the education you need, perhaps working in and out of the church, maybe learning to sew and all those lovely things, or learning to cook fancy things, but most of all, just learning the basics of life. If the occasion arises, and you feel as if you want to accept a date now and then, it's okay, but again... Beware of those jilted returned missionaries. They are dynamite. Stay close to your parents.
Oh yes, there isn't any harm in leaving a girlfriend at home, if you're both determined to fulfill the mission together. It will not be the big job you think, but a happy 24 months in both of your lives. When you are both back together again, it won't be long before you are sure of each other because of your pure maturity. I can say these things because it happened to me, and I know of many others who have experienced the same great thing."
 
 
 
 
See previous post  Writing to a Missionary

Mar 23, 2013

Seeing Who You Really Are

"If you could look into the heavens and see who you really are, you would be overwhelmed with your capabilities, your talents, your spiritual qualities, and the vision of what you are able to become. 
 
If we knew now who we really are, we would feel different about ourselves.
 
We would be excited and enthusiastic about this life even with its burdens and frustrations."
                                                   -Harold B. Lee
         

Nov 15, 2012

Should I Serve a Mission?

 

"Who Knoweth Whether Thou Art Called to the Kingdom at Such a Time as This"

What is a mission like?

 
My daughter who is currently serving a mission wrote a letter home to her sisters to help them prepare to possibly serve a  mission as well.
 
This is a great letter that could help you if you are also thinking of serving.


  • It is hard! Physically, mentally, and emotionally. You won't understand this fully until you are out on your mission.
  • None of your time is yours, it all belongs to the Lord.
  • The greatest 18 months of your life.
  • A great preparation for life and marriage


 * Remember that a mission is a Priesthood responsibility.  Young Women can serve, and make great missionaries, however, it may or may not be in the plan for your life. You need to find out!
 
 

How do I know if  I  should serve a mission?

What should I specifically do to prepare?

 
  • Go and do as Enos did and pour out your whole soul unto him with all sincerity of heart truly desiring to know.
  • Make Preach my Gospel part of your daily study
  • Be familiar with where scripture stories are
  • Memorize scriptures: scripture masteries, and scriptures that mean something to you personally
 
 
 
Pray about it!  Follow your Patarchal Blessing [recieve one if you don't]! 
 
 Prepare as if you were going, then no matter what happens, you will be ready. 
 
 
 
 

Oct 2, 2012

The Temple, the Savior, the Family: The Focus of Personal Progress

For our 5th Sunday this past month, our Bishopric asked our YM President and me to talk to the adults about Duty to God and Personal Progress.  I was super excited for the opportunity to teach the parents the purpose of the Personal Progress program. I was also very nervous to not bore them with the details they have heard many times from us already. It was a little bit of a challenge knowing HOW to best present the material that would be edifying to all the adult ages in our ward-from those who have Young Women, those who don't, and those who are elderly. 

I am journaling this experience here, for my future reference, and if it could help anyone else in a similar situation...GREAT!

If I were to teach this twice or even three times, I know it would get better with each experience, and be different each time.  I wanted to include some material in this that I will link below, because it is still very pertinent, but as I was teaching, I wasn't directed to go there.  I didn't have the time to cover all I wanted to.  That is how the Spirit works as we are teaching. We are to prepare our best, then go with the flow! 

Here is the lesson:

YW Theme:  I had the Poster with me, so that as I was quoting it, the adults not familiar with the theme, could read along.  This theme is so powerful, that I wanted to read it so they could understand the words and capture the meaning.  This gave me an opportunity to briefly mention the experiences, 10 hour projects,  how Virtue was added 3 years ago, and to touch on the importance of the YW reading the Book of Mormon for that project. Emphasizing the last paragraph of the theme...preparing for temple covenants led me right in to the first principle I wanted to cover.

I love the 4 statement overlayed on the theme poster: WE are daughter, WE will stand, We Believe, We will be prepared. They each have a message that is worth discussing.

The Personal Progress Book: I let them know that we were not going to talk about what was INSIDE the Personal Progress book, but instead what was at the front of the book (the temple, the invitation to Come Unto Christ) and what was in the back of the book, (The Family: A Proclamation to the World, and The Living Christ)

This is the "WHY" of Personal Progress

Temple:





The very first page of this entire book is an overlay of the temple.  There is also a temple on the  front of the Personal Progress book as well as on the Young Women medallion.
Question: Why the focus on the temple?
Principles to teach:
  • The temple is  not for looks…it is has a holy purpose!  The official vision of the YW program is to lead the YW to the temple
  • We need to teach our youth about the temple. They need to understand more about the temple then just temple marriage, although that is the greatest blessing.  There are other ordinances that prepare and qualify them (Initiatory and the endowment) As they come to the temple to be married, they need to be prepared to make and keep sacred covenants throughout their whole lives.
  • Virtue was added because the key to entering the temple is to be worthy
  • Personal Progress is a temple preparation coarse


Quotes:




     
  • …The Lord doesn’t want people who have just “Been” to the temple, but he wants people who “GO” to the temple!
  • The First Presidency has said: “We want the young people of the Church to be valiant and righteous servants of God, dedicated to living each day so they can go to the temple and receive God’s greatest blessings for them.
  • Sister Beck explains: “The way to prepare to make temple covenants is to remember and keep the commitments you’ve already made. Personal Progress is a temple preparation course.”
  • Picture of the temple that is sent around Face Book with the quote: "If this isn't your castle, then you're not my prince!" The intent of this is good, in that the YW won't settle for anything less than a temple marriage, BUT this is very misleading to YW who are pretty unfamiliar with the temple. The YW need to know and understand that a temple is NOT a castle! It is SOOOO much more!!! It is not just about accomplishing the goal to get married in the temple, but it is about being ready to be there and knowing they are making sacred and holy covenants for their whole lives.



COME UNTO CHRIST:






The invitation in the PP book is “to come unto Christ”  this is about each YW experiencing her own conversion and realizing the need for the Savior in her life. The Personal Progress program allows personal conversion for each young woman. 
Question: What is conversion?
Conversion is about seeing things with new eyes and a new purpose.  Through Personal Progress they will come to see their lives differently.  If they are on a sports team or club in school, they will come to see their teammates differently, their daily routine differently, what they do in between competitions differently, what they do when they are away from home differently.  Their heart become centered on the Savior and what he wants them to do.

Principles to teach:
  • Personal Progress is about personal conversion, by coming unto Christ
  • This isn’t about adding or fitting in another section into their lives.  The Personal Progress program gives meaning and purpose to all they do.
  • Personal Progress is not fluff or entertainment. The youth do not need us to sneak up on them with the gospel. They don't need it sugar coated. They are youth of the last days...they can take it undiluted! 
  • The doctrines of the gospel are explained in the most inspired way to engage the youth, apply it to their everyday lives, and bring them to Christ.
  • The Personal Progress program will get the young women IN the scriptures as they study by topic.  This may help some of our youth who struggle to read their scriptures straight through.
 Example FAITH experience #1: The first principle of the gospel is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Learn about faith from the scriptures and living prophets. Read Hebrews 11; Alma 32:17–43; Ether 12:6–22; and Joseph Smith—History 1:11–20. Read two general conference talks on faith. Exercise your own faith by establishing a habit of prayer in your life. Begin by regularly saying your morning and evening prayers. After three weeks of following this pattern, discuss with a parent or leader what you have learned about faith and how daily personal prayer has strengthened your faith. In your journal express your feelings about faith and prayer.
  • The Personal Progress book covers the Atonement!  It is so important that the YW begin to understand how the Atonement is personal for them, and how they can apply it in their lives right now for comfort, strength, forgiveness, and power.
  • The young women, are BUSY.  So busy doing so many good things, they should all have their medallions right now.  If they are in a school play or sports team: PROJECT. If they give a talk in Sacrament meeting: EXPERIENCE.  They should be getting credit for all that they are doing. 
  •  Sunday is the best time to work on Personal Progress. Schedule it in.




The Family: A Proclamation to the World and

The Living Christ

 
Principles to teach:
  • These two documents are the most powerful documents they could have put in the book to testify of Christ and lead them to their most important goal of having a righteous family now and in the future.
  • The Family Proclamation is applied in almost every single experience and project.
  • The gospel of Jesus Christ is about family...with the emphasis on the temple. 
"The Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement, are known as the Theology of the Family.  The Creation of this earth, was the creation of an earth where a family could live.  The Fall provided a family.  Without the Fall, there would have been no family.  The Atonement makes it possible for us to live after this life , with our Father in Heaven, as families...this is what it is all about."  Julie B. Beck
 
Quote :

"Give me a young woman who loves home and family, who reads and ponders the scriptures daily, who has a burning testimony of the Book of Mormon. Give me a young woman who faithfully attends her church meetings, who is a seminary graduate, who has earned her Young Womanhood Recognition and wears it with pride!  Give me a young woman who is virtuous and who has maintained her personal purity, who will not settle for less than a temple marriage, and I will give you a young woman who will perform miracle for the Lord now and throughout eternity."President Ezra Taft Benson