Tuesday, July 16, 2013


The following is a song from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

"In times of old when I was new
And Hogwarts barely started
The founders of our noble school
Thought never to be parted: 
United by a common goal, 
They had the selfsame yearning, 
To make the world's best magic school
And pass along their learning. 
"Together we will build and teach!" 
The four good friends decided
And never did they dream that they 
Might someday be divided, 
For were there such friends anywhere
As Slytherin and Gryffindor?
Unless it was the second pair
Of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw?
So how could it have gone so wrong? 
How could such friendships fail? 
Why, I was there and so can tell
The whole sad, sorry tale. 

Said Slytherin, "We'll teach just those
Whose ancestry is purest." 
Said Ravenclaw, "We'll teach those whose
Intelligence is surest." 
Said Gryffindor, "We'll teach all those
With brave deeds to their name," 
Said Hufflepuff, "I'll teach the lot, 
And treat them just the same." 
These difference caused little strife
When first they came to light, 
For each of the four founders had 
A House in which they might
Take only those they wanted, so, 
For instance, Slytherin
Took only pure-blood wizards
Of great cunning, just like him, 
And only those of sharpest mind 
Were taught by Ravenclaw
While the bravest and the boldest 
Went to daring Gryffindor. 
Good Hufflepuff, she took the rest, 
And taught them all she knew, 
Thus the Houses and their founders
Retained friendships firm and true.

So Hogwarts worked in harmony
For several happy years, 
But then discord crept among us
Feeding on our faults and fears. 
The Houses that, like pillars four, 
Had once held up our school, 
Now turned upon each other and, 
Divided, sought to rule. 
And for a while it seemed the school 
Must meet an early end, 
What with dueling and with fighting
And the clash of friend on friend
And at last there came a morning
When old Slytherin departed
And though the fighting then died out
He left us quite downhearted.
And never since the founders four 
Were whittled down to three
Have the Houses been united
As they once were meant to be.

And now the Sorting Hat is here
And you all know the score: 
I sort you into Houses
Because that is what I'm for,
But this year I'll go further, 
Listen closely to my song:
Though condemned I am to split you
Still I worry that it's wrong, 
Though I must fulfill my duty
And must quarter every year
Still I wonder whether sorting
May not bring the end I fear.
Oh, know the perils, read the signs,
 The warning history shows, 
For our Hogwarts is in danger 
From external, deadly foes
And we must unite inside her
Or we'll crumble from within
I have told you, I have warned you...
Let the Sorting now begin."

Please don't let yourselves become divided.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


You know who is really irritating me right now? Men. 
I was having a conversation with this guy at work today. It was just a nice, friendly conversation, nothing special about it. Well, partway through, another girl entered the conversation and asked me what I was doing this summer, etc. I told her that I'm leaving on a mission in August, and the guy lost all interest and barely spoke a sentence to me after that. 
Is dating your only incentive for talking to me? I feel like I have to avoid the topic of my mission around men because they can't just grow up and talk to me anyway. I'm not just good for dates and marriage, guys. As my friend Dana would say, I'm not a walking uterus. I can hold my own in a conversation, and hey, I'm not on a mission yet. Flirting isn't taboo. Yet.
(Quick side note: I realize that you fellas get the same thing done to you. Please know that this rant is simply an extrapolation of my frustration towards this specific boy.)
Ugh. I'm so irritated that I can't even think of anything valuable to say. RMs just make me so uncomfortable. It's "Marriage or Bust" to them, and I wouldn't be interested even if I wasn't going on a mission. Dating, yes. For sure. I enjoy dates, and I enjoy the company of nice guys. But heaven forbid I don't get married when I'm 19! 
So here I am, taking myself off of the meat market. (I'm sorry, did I say meat market? I meant marriage market.) I know, I know--I'm a BYU student who ISN'T interested in getting married in the next year. Heaven forbid that I give myself some time to figure myself out before making one of the biggest decisions of my life.
So sue me.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

All in Good Time

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf once gave a talk entitled "Forget Me Not". He delivered this address to women, but its message is equally powerful for men and children. 
He told of an old German legend about the forget-me-not, a small, blue flower that is easily overlooked. According to the legend, the forget-me-not was the last plant to be named by God. It cried out, "Forget me not, O Lord!". And so the plant was named. 
President Uchtdorf explained that there were five things that he wanted us to "forget not". They are: 
  1. Forget not to be patient with yourself.
  2. Forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice.
  3. Forget not to be happy now.
  4. Forget not the "why" of the gospel.
  5. Forget not that the Lord loves you.
Now, I've always been very scatterbrained. I tend to lose/forget things easily. And one of the things that I forget the most is to be patient with myself. 
Here's something that may shock you: I mess up. A lot. (Crazy, I know.) I'm constantly trying to improve, and when I don't get immediate results, I get really down. I'm hard on myself, wishing that I could be better, while not knowing what I can do to be perfect. 
But here's the thing--I'm not going to be perfect for a very long time. (Again, that may come as a shock. It's difficult to believe, but humor me here.) And hey, Satan is working pretty dang hard on me. He attacks me on every side. It's hard to maintain perspective when the master of all lies is telling you that you aren't good enough, you aren't strong enough, you aren't perfect enough. 
Luckily, I am perfect enough. I am perfectly me, and that is all I need. Perfection will come in good time, but for now, I just have to keep picking myself up when I fall. (See, Bruce? We fall so we can pick ourselves up.) President Uchtdorf asks us to "stop punishing" ourselves. He tells us to recognize our successes--our Heavenly Father sees them, no matter how small, and they are important to Him. So let me ask you this: if God, the creator of innumerable worlds, cares about your small successes, why don't you? 
Learn to stop punishing yourself for your failures. Perfection will come, but for now, learn to be patient. Revel in your successes, and the rest will come.
"Our journey toward perfection is long, but we can find wonder and delight in even the tiniest steps in that journey." ~President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


“It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”
―Rose Kennedy

Sunday, May 5, 2013

My Decision.

Well, friends. This is it. I got my mission call a couple of weeks ago. I'm going to Minneapolis!!! I'm tickled to be going to Minnesota.
As you can see, my mission is BIG. It spans a big chunk of Minnesota as well as parts of Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, and even Canada. And if you didn't know this before, my mom grew up in Minnesota! Right in my mission. A few of my friends live in this mission as well, so I'm thrilled! It'll be really neat.
For those of you who aren't familiar with mission protocol, here are the details: 
I leave August 7 for the Missionary Training Center in Provo. I'll probably only be there for 2 weeks, since I'm teaching in English. After that, I'll report to a district somewhere in my mission. Then the next 17.5 months of my life will be spent in the service of the Lord, teaching His gospel. 
Sounds incredible, no? I'm so excited!!!
I would just like to add here that I love getting letters from missionaries. Nothing makes me happier than getting letters from people who have immersed themselves in the work of the Lord. The light of the gospel shines through their letters. Also, as much as I love emails, I much prefer hand-written letters. Much more personal, much more fun. Remember that. ;)
One of my favorite albums is called Set Apart. It's by the BYU Men's Chorus. It's a missionary album, and I just adore it! (Side note: I have good memories with this album. I got to go to the performance where they were recording some of the songs, and I have a few friends in the choir. It's pretty cool.) In reality, the music isn't just for missionaries. It's for anyone who is striving to do the Lord's work in the best way that they know how. For me, that's a mission. Here's how I decided to serve a mission:
When I heard the age change announcement, I was thrilled! So excited. I knew that I wanted to serve, but was I supposed to serve? I agonized over it for weeks. I fasted and prayed and counseled with friends and family. I thought things through and looked at what I wanted for my future. But several weeks later, I still had no idea what the Lord would have me do.
I was so confused. I felt lonely and unnoticed. I didn't understand why the Lord wouldn't give me an answer. After all, I had waited. I had been patient. I had studied and prayed and asked Him for guidance, but I just wasn't receiving it. I hated the indecision.
And then, after many weeks of patience (which is not one of my strengths), I started receiving an answer. But it wasn't in a quick, easy, here's-what-you-have-to-do kind of way. I heard talks and advice telling me to be patient. Of course, I didn't love that answer, because I'd been patient for so long. But as I kept listening, I kept hearing. I heard the prophets' counsel to do things on the Lord's timetable and to learn slowly, bit by tiny bit. I heard speakers at devotionals telling me that knowledge comes gradually. I heard the advice of a wise older brother, reminding me that the Lord doesn't necessarily have just one path for me.
I heard the words of angels.
My darling friends, I have heard so much over the past 6 months. The Lord has taught me that I need to be confident in myself and my decisions. He has taught me that although He has a plan for me, I have a say in my life. Most importantly, He has taught me that His love is perfect and pure. It reaches to every person, every land, every nation. It does not waver. It is there day and night, wherever we are, whatever we've done.
The path that I've chosen is not easy. However, as Psalm 18:2 says, "The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength in whom I will trust." No matter your path, your Father's love is there. He will never leave you alone. Trust Him. Trust yourself. Slowly but surely, you will come to know the light of Christ. And once you have it, you will never want to let go.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Waiting Game

So…I timed my mission call exactly right. It’s coming the very last day of finals! Hurrah! Wasn’t that just the best timing?
I really hope you could hear the sarcasm in that.
Seriously though, this is the worst. Here I am, trying my hardest to study, when I get a text from my bishop telling me that the General Authorities should be assigning my call tomorrow.
I’m just a little bit excited. I knew the timing was rotten when I planned it, but as usual, I ignored the little voice of reason in my head. I couldn’t wait!
Well, now I have to wait, and my grades can’t. I was actually doing fine until that text. Well, my roommate opened her call yesterday (Lima, Peru!), and that kind of started my excitement. But the text…it pushed me over the edge. No offense, Bishop. That was my own fault.
(Side note: this girl is not a fan of Sponge-Bob Square Pants. I’m sitting at work, and it’s been playing on the t.v. in the lobby for the last hour and a half. I may scream. Or run out. Or both.)
Anyway, I just thought that ya’ll should know that I’m trying hard to focus. It’s a work in progress. Wishing all of my BYU friends a happy finals week, and may the odds be ever in your favor.  

Friday, April 12, 2013


Hey friends. I recently saw a Facebook post about how a person (I don't actually know them, it was an anonymous page) feels so judged and alone here at BYU because of their trials, which included abuse and homosexuality.
I mean, I understand what they're saying. I can see how someone with that background would feel out of place. But that is the exact opposite of how I feel at BYU.
I know that some of you are thinking, but she hasn't gone through those things. And you're right. I haven't been sexually abused or attracted to women.
But I do know that people tend to ostracize themselves. Seriously. You look around and you feel judged, but nobody is judging you. You can't relate to them, and they can't relate to you, but that doesn't mean that there is any judgment going on.
If you are sticking yourself in a hole, get out of it. If you are living in the past and letting it affect the present, stop it.
I've gotta tell you--I lived in the past for way too long. I let my fear and mistrust affect everything I did. Everyone that I met was just a future loss, another person to leave me. I could talk and joke around, but getting close to anybody...it took time. A lot of it. I've known my best friend since I was 6, and we weren't good friends all that time. It took years for me to trust her completely.
I created my own personal hell.
How often do we do that? How often do we create the problems that keep us up at night? We are so much harder on ourselves than others--and the Lord--are. You look in the mirror and you think, what mistakes have I made today? What did I say wrong? Who doesn't like me?
Well, stop it. You heard me. Just stop. You are beautiful. You are incredible.
Stop dwelling on the hard things in life. Life is hard. Get over it and stop pulling yourself down.
Here's a pep talk from a little girl who has her priorities straight:

Let yourself be amazing.