Saturday, May 31, 2014

Institute Graduation, Fredericton New Brunswick

For the past 8 years, I have been able to participate in the seminary and institute programs.  I can still remember my early mornings at seminary like it was just weeks ago.  Every week that I see my instructor Sister Mary MacEachern at church, I am reminded of the mornings we spent together studying the scriptures.  Sometimes it was even just her and I but we would sing the hymns together and talk about what we were learning from the scriptures.  
            Institute provided me with a change of pace.  Since institute happens on a weekly basis, I have found that I have begun to value the time so much more that I spend at institute.  Attending institute provides me with an escape from my other weekly activities.  Sometimes it even provides an escape from assignments and studying, but in the end I know I have to go back and work on those things.  I have learned how to manage school work, part-time work, family, church callings and institute on top of it all.  The past couple of years have been filled with ups and downs, lots of fun times but also times of hardship and trial.  I tend to get stressed very easily with my school work, but attending institute helped me to have an hour or so of relaxation, provided by the spirit.
            We learned about Enos.  Enos said he wrestled with the Lord before he received a remission of his sins.  We learn that we need to work for our repentance, we can't just say I'm sorry.  He said "and my soul hungered" and he prayed to the Lord in mighty prayer all day and all night, he even prayed for his enemies.  We see that Enos is non-judgemental, forgiving, compassionate and, we too should follow this example.  Then, the Lord said unto him, "ENOS, thy sins are forgiven thee".  Because of his faith in Christ, his guilt was swept away.  When we are forgiven of our sins, we are prepared to share those feelings with others.  I have learned over the past year or so that we need to preach repentance.  We need to help others feel that they can in fact come back to Christ and find a remission of sins in His atonement. 
            WE HAVE TO RELY ON THE LORD...but only if we choose to do as Alma instructs in Mosiah 18:9-10 and STAND as a WITNESS.  In our society today, it will become increasingly important to show who we are, as members of this church by serving one another, bearing one another's burdens and comforting those who stand in need of comfort.  When we stand as a witness of God at all times, and in all things and in all places, His Spirit will pour more abundantly upon us!  This should be the desire of our hearts.
            We also had the opportunity to have a couple of discussions about GRACE this year in institute.  2nd Nephi 25:23 says that "It is by grace that we are saved, after all WE can do".  The Bible Dictionary defines grace as "receive strength  and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left on their own".  From these discussions I learned that after I have done my best...the Lord will help me. 
            Brother Cartier taught me this year THERE IS NOTHING THAT I CAN'T HANDLE.  When we are faced with trials and perhaps even afflictions, the Lord says "I can help you with that" because he understands what we are going through.  We also however need to learn to accept His will in our life, even if that means something we didn't hope for.  Learning to accept his will in our life can be challenging, but he knows the whole picture.  We receive personal direction because we are unique and we have different experiences.  I may see something as a struggle while someone else may see it as less of a challenge.  We know that the Lord won't give us anything that we can't handle.  He knows what we are capable of and he knows what challenges will strengthen us.   
            Finally, I have always loved scriptures the refer to youth.  Alma 37:35 says "Learn wisdom in thy YOUTH; yea learn in thy YOUTH to keep the commandments of God".   I have been fortunate enough to have grown up in the church and blessed to have gone to youth programs and activities.  Even now as I have moved up into Relief Society and Young Single Adults, I continue to see the importance of the standards that I learned in my youth.  I have also learned the importance of gaining education.  Even though I am unsure what my future will hold, I know the Lord has great things in store for me because I try my best to seek out education, employment and volunteer opportunities.  Through my institute experience of learning and studying the scriptures, I will be better prepared for temple marriage and to help my future family learn wisdom and truth.
            Understanding  these life lessons and the gospel principles found in the scriptures will also help me to go forward each day knowing that there is a greater plan ahead and that I can achieve what the Lord requires of me.  -Gordon B. Hinckley has taught:        

            "Rise to the great potential within you.  I do not ask that you reach beyond your capacity.  I hope you will not nag yourself with thoughts of failure.  I hope you will simply do what you can in the best way you know.  If you do so, you will witness miracles come to pass" 


how my phone saw it

Friday, May 30, 2014

quick week

This week seemed to just speed by, and I feel like I hardly got everything done, but I did seem to get everything done.  That doesn't make sense does it?  Well, it was just a bit of a hard week because I started to study for my Business Law midterm that is on Monday night.  I started by copying a lot of notes and reading the introductory chapters.  I started to get really nervous and I thought there was like WAY too much material that would be covered.  Later in the week, I got some help from a friend and now I am feeling a little more at ease about it all.  I have most of my notes copied and I will keep reading and reviewing them until the midterm.  My other course is also going well, but it is certainly not as much work.  I need to be more aware in my surroundings though because I need to be making observations about a number of things to include in my journal entries for the course.

I spent most of the week and home, school and work.  I didn't see any of my friends, and to tell the truth, I have just been enjoying spending time in the comfort of my own home.  I can come home from work or school and just throw on pajamas, put my hair up and wash my face and stay in for the night.  I did go out Thursday morning to visit teach two lovely sisters in my ward, Angela Wang and Amie Ceron.  I love their uniqueness, their talents, families and the sweet spirits that they have.  I am happy to have such wonderful friends in the gospel.

The best thing that happened this week was getting mail from my Elder Pinsent.  It was my birthday package.  I FINALLY got one of his name tags which I have been asking for since Christmas.  I know he only had a couple though and now he doesn't need as many since he is almost done!  He also sent a couple pictures, his countdown chewing gum (I get to eat the last 'stale' piece) and a cute little note.  The other night I had this weird dream that gave me a reality check in a way.  He is going to be home in just three short months, and that is so crazy to me.  In just three short months, we will be together again, and I am crazy excited for it.

I started a new triology, the Bourne Identity.  I have only watched the first one, but I am hoping to watch the other two pretty soon but we'll see.  My sister and I are HIGHLY ANTICIPATING the film THE FAULT IN OUR STARS that comes out next Friday.  I plan on taking a lot of tissues.  We have both read the book and I cried a lot when things get real' so I know the movie will be no different, and if it is, I WON'T BE IMPRESSED.  I hope it does stay as true to the book AS POSSIBLE.

I am headed to Fredericton tomorrow for Stake Conference and to speak at Institute Graduation.  Look at me go, I feel like I am a super star.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

mom's graduation

My mom has been working her butt off for the past couple years and this weekend, the accomplishment was made!  She walked across the graduation stage to receive her Early Childhood Assistant Certificate.  She is also among the first group who have graduated with this program.  It was very exciting.  A couple of weeks ago she was approached to introduce to guest speaker.  She did a great job of that and I am sure they are happy with their pick.  I took some photos during the day with Kayla's camera and I think they all turned out okay!  I am getting more and more use to it, some people even thought it was mine but I only wish.  I am going to start saving...

Mom, I am really proud of you.  I almost got teary eyed when you walked across the stage.  I can't imagine how difficult it was to manage all the things you did and make this happen on top of it all.  I know you hear me stress about school so much, and although my schooling is a little different, I saw so much dedication and commitment from you.  I saw your desire to complete this program, maintain good grades and really apply what you were learning to your work environment.  I have also been so fortunate to have opportunities to work with you, the kids really love you a lot.  You are funny, caring and kind.  You are smart and creative.  
 look forward to everything you will go on to do, because I know you still hope to do many things.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

my 'sweet' golden birthday

About two or three weeks ago when Casey asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday, I guessed that she had something up her sleeve.  I opted for a night in with my favourite girls.  We all have busy lives, and families and boyfriends, but these 4 ladies were all able to make it out to Casey's and I am so glad that they were there.  Casey was 'pinspired' to do an ice cream bar and have some fancy non-alcoholic girly drinks.  Her and Jocelyn got everything together, and just in the knick of time too.  I showed up with Chelsey and Amanda not too long after they had finished putting the place together.  It looked so so cute, I am so happy to have such fun and creative friends.

Cody stayed for a little bit to help tune my ukulele, but I do really need to do some more studying with it.  He did get me started though.  Then he left and it was full fledge girl talk.  We talked about a ton of different things from weddings, to high school friends to embarrassing moments.  We ate cheddar cheese popcorn, cupcakes and ice cream with lots of toppings of course.  We played a couple rounds of 'Blokus', which the girls all loved and really got into.  We went to start 'The Game of Life', but ended up talking about our lives and the future in general.  It was kind of funny in a way.  I also noticed during the night we engaged in a lot more conversation instead of sometimes when we sit on our phones and text and check social media.  I was guilty of it a couple of times though, mostly because I wanted to see if I was getting any more birthday notifications, hehe!

We took some silly photos and we helped Casey clean up.  I am so happy her and Cody are out on their own, I know how much fun it must be for them and she has been such a great little host whenever they have friends over.  Chelsey drove myself and Amanda home and it was nice to catch up with them.  Once I got home, I gathered up most of my gifts.  I am so happy for the sweet gestures of my friends and the little gifts.  It really was a fantastic 22nd birthday and I know I have a fantastic year ahead.  That reminds me, I blew out candles last night on my cupcakes and I forgot to make a wish... but I think that's okay because most wishes that I have wished so many times before....will come true this year!       

Thursday, May 22, 2014

22 ouuu oouu

so what if I listened to Taylor Swift's 22 a couple times... 
everything will be alright if, we just keep dancing like we're 22, ooouu oooouu!