Thursday, May 31, 2012


There are a lot of things that have helped me in my transition to normal peoplehood.  One of those things is the temple.  I didn't get the chance to attend the temple at all when I was in Peru, and it definitely was one of those things that I missed a lot.  The peace that you find in the temple is amazing, and I love it.

The other thing is friends.  My amazing friends.  Like Erin, Ilarene, and Beth, who have been with me through the twists and turns of college/BYU/life.  I've gone through so much with these girls, laughing together, crying together, shopping together, heck, living together :)  Then there are my friends from my home ward, like Emily, Jennifer, Rachael, and Ammon.  I've known these guys since I was 12.  They've been with me through the awkwardness of teenage years, girls camp, youth conference, YM/YW activities, the zits, dating, you name it.  I love all of these people so much.  

So....when you put friends together in a temple, it is just an amazing experience.  

Me, Jennifer, Ammon, and Rachael in front of the Draper Temple

Sometimes you gotta be a little silly and try not to fall over :)

So we decided as a group of friends we wanted to go to the temple each week.  Correction: They were already going each week.  I just decided I wanted to join them.  Ammon and I are both endowed, but Rachael and Jennifer are not.  So what we decided to do is Ammon and I would do a session while Jennifer and Rachael would travel to different temples doing baptisms.  On Wednesday, they went to Oquirrh Mountain first, then Jordan River, and ended up at Draper, where we ended up getting out about the same time!  Perfect!

I really can't say enough about how much I love the temple.  I missed it so much on my mission.  I think that almost made me more trunky than anything :)  (In fact, I specifically remember a conversation with my district leader where he told us that we shouldn't talk about the temple because it was making him trunky!  Silly elders....  :)  It really is such a blessing to be able to live close to a temple (or close to like 8 temples in my case).  

Another blessing that we have as young adults is Institute, which I've also grown to love.  It's good to have that extra lesson, extra time to focus on gospel doctrines and just dive into the scriptures.  Recently we've been doing the "Doctrines of the Gospel" class, and we've been talking about the Plan of Salvation.  I learned more about the fall, Adam and Eve, the it's been amazing.  I love the scripture in Moses 5:11 where Eve is basically describing the blessings that have come to them by the Fall.  Maybe it's just because she's actually talking, but I love it.  On my mission, there were people who would say that Adam and Eve committed such a terrible thing by partaking of the fruit, but with our knowledge of the Plan we realize it brought forth many blessings as well.  It definitely was a challenge sometimes, helping people understand the Fall better, but as they came to understand that, they understood better the need for the Atonement.  Which is always incredible.  

So recap: 
Gospel of Jesus Christ=blessing

Wow!  Just a few of the many blessings I have in my life :)

P.S.-Todavia extraño Español/castellano.  Y extraño Perú.  Por si acaso.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Oh to be a Pioneer...

And no, I'm not talking in the sense that my high school mascot was a pioneer.  (Thank you Lehi High.)

Tonight, while everyone was watching the eclipse, I was at a Jenny Phillips fireside that happened to be held in our old stake center (our stake split while I was on my mission, and our ward was part of the new stake).  As I sat there listening to the music, I began to think of all of the memories I had had in the building.  One that came to my mind was the time when President Hinckley came to dedicate that building.  In June 2002 our stake had the privilege of having our prophet dedicate our stake center.  It definitely was an experience I will never forget.  I remember one thing he said in his talk-that Eagle Mountain would become a sort of "training ground" if you will for the future leaders of the church.  Kind of like pioneers.  I thought about how over the past 10 years I really have had the chance to be a pioneer (in a way much more influential than wearing purple and white at high school football games).

I grew up as one of the oldest youth in our ward.  There were a couple of other girls a little older than me, but for the most part, we were the oldest.  I didn't really have other youth to look up to, at least in the leaving on a mission sort of sense.  It wasn't until June 2009 that our ward really sent out it's first missionary.  I had the privilege to be the first single sister missionary from the Eagle Mountain 4th Ward.  (Heck, even when I started my papers in my BYU ward, my bishop was brand new, and I was the first missionary he helped out to do papers and everything!)

But the "first" opportunities didn't only happen to me here.  About 4 months into my mission, we received word that in July 2011 they would be splitting the Perú Piura mission and would create the Perú Chiclayo Mission.  As things turned out, I because the first American sister missionary in that newly formed mission.  As I was training, I had the chance to be the one of the first sisters in two particular areas that hadn't seen sisters for years (in Tumán and Guadalupe).  On my mission, almost everyone there is a pioneer for their family.  In the areas that I served, the church had been there for at most 25 years.  There were a few second generation members, (a little girl that belonged to the third generation was born while I was Guadalupe) but other than that, pretty  much everyone were converts.

As we think about pioneers, we think of the people who crossed the plains, who suffered from pain and hunger, just for something they believed in.  But a pioneer is someone who leads the way.  I think in our own way, everyone is a pioneer.  I feel so blessed for the opportunity that I have had to be a pioneer in the Gospel, both at home and on my mission. Perhaps I'm not suffering persecutions, but I hope that I can lead the way, that my example can have a positive influences on others who would otherwise be lost.  It is such a beautiful experience.

So even though my high school football team only won one game the whole 3 years I was there, and that I our school colors were purple and white, and there's a giant "L" on the football field, because of the Gospel, I can say that I am proud to be a pioneer.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Companions and Canneries

Yesterday, as I was being crafty in my room, the bishop came over to ask me if I could volunteer at the Lindon Cannery today from 12-4.  Well, after evaluating my exceptionally busy schedule (watch Megamind with Emily, scrapbook, read, eat lunch....) I decided I could squeeze in 4 hours to see what this whole cannery business was about.  Mind you I have no idea how to can anything.

But it turns out, knowledge of canning wasn't necessary!  You see, attached to the cannery is what is called "The Bishop's Storehouse."  According to, "[they] distribute commodities to the poor and needy as requested by bishops. Bishops' storehouses also provide meaningful service opportunities for those receiving assistance and for those desiring to serve missions or to volunteer."  It's a store, except the people who go there have certain needs, and don't pay for their food in that moment with money.  But, it's still a store, with shelves that need stocking, and everything.  The funny thing is though is that you see a bunch of service missionaries.  People with black name tags.  Like the one I used to wear (except mine is in Spanish.  But it's just as cool).  And as I saw so many nametags, I think I began to believe that I was wearing my nametag again.  I mean, we did service as missionaries, and that's what I was doing.  Serving!  And the awesome part was, I even had a companion!  Another sister from my ward, Jennilyn, also came to help out.  So we spent about 2 1/2 hours restocking shelves, and then the last 1 1/2 hours putting rolls of toliet paper in plastic bags.  

But...for the first 2 hours, I subconsciously felt like I couldn't leave Jennilyn's side. As we walked back into the storeroom to get things to restock shelves, as we came back...she was always within my sight and hearing.  She was my companion, and I had to stay with her.  So I did.  But I didn't even realize I was feeling that way until about halfway through!  It probably was the closest I've felt to being on the mission again, you know, if something happens to your companion, you freak and you don't do anything else until you find her again. Because having your companion with you is SO incredibly important.  They dedicate a whole section of the Missionary Handbook to it.  So coming home, adjusting to NOT having a companion...well, it's just that: an adjustment.  I told Jennilyn about how I felt that she was my companion, and we laughed about it.  Silly RMs :D   

Anywho, helping out at the bishop's storehouse was pretty fun.  It was really neat too to see how there is so much help for those who need it, and really, how the church is organized perfectly to do it.  I remember on the mission having people tell us how well-organized our church was.  I then took the opportunity to testify to them that it is because this church was not organized by a man.  It was organized by Christ.  Therefore, it is perfect.  And each time I said that, I felt the Spirit testify in my heart that it was true.  Isn't it wonderful? :)  

Well, looks like it's back to living my life without a companion...oish.  Maybe I'll make my sister sleep in my room tonight....

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Homecoming

Some of My Family

Here are a couple of pictures of some of the people that came to my homecoming yesterday.  I should've taken more pictures with other people, but at least we have these ones-thanks Grandma!

My cousin Robbie, his cute wife Cammie, and me :) 
My Grandma French and me-she came all the way from Canada to see me.  Love her!  
Emily, Me, my dad, my mom, Grandma, and Laura
Only Elder Williams is missing, but we got to talk to him, so that was happy!!!
Yay for family!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Life of an RM

So I know it feels like my blog had kind of ended, coming home, but I started know, how many blessings and experiences that I had on my mission have influenced my life?  Quite a few, actually.  So I think I might just keep this blog going some, reflecting on the post-life of a sister missionary.

Today, I gave my homecoming talk.  It was actually quite a good experience, even though it was the first time I had given a talk in English for 18  months.  There were 3 youth that bore testimonies, a talk from another brother in the ward, a song from the Primary (seeing as it's Mother's Day), and then...20 minutes, all to myself.

The theme for my talk had been the Primary theme for this month.  "I Choose the Right when I am Baptized and Confirmed" which was actually pretty great, because I mean, that's what missionaries do!  Help people choose the right!  In fact, as we recited each week in district meeting, our purpose is to "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end."  I decided to share a couple of stories from my mission, illustrating the different principles and ordinances, like helping Blanca to come to church and how that helped her increase her faith in Christ, and how Brenda was able to repent, be baptized, and use the gift of the Holy Ghost in her life.  Then comes enduring to the end...unfortunately there wasn't a whole lot of time left, so I just read a scripture in 3 Nephi 15:9, and then talked a little about just a few of the things I had learned from my mission....

  • God loves ALL of His children (myself included!)
  • I don't need to be perfect to help someone else out.
  • God answer prayers-my prayers, investigators' prayers, members' prayers...everyone is heard by our Heavenly Father.
  • The scriptures hold the answer to EVERYTHING!
  • The Spirit is the most important person in missionary work.
  • The Bible and the Book of Mormon testify of each other, and both are TRUE!
  • The ways I want to raise my children, and how I don't want to raise my children.
  • How to love random people that I had never before met.
  • How to start talking to strangers on the street.
  • And most importantly, how Jesus Christ is my Savior, the center of everything.  Without Him, I am nothing.  I can do nothing.  But with Him, I can do everything.  I can be who He wants me to be.
My mission was amazing.  Incredible.  Ridiculously difficult, but ridiculously full of miracles.  I'm sure that the blessing will just keep on coming.  Now it's onto the next, work....potential future know, the whole shabang.  Me encanta la vida :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Returned with Honor
Jamie is Home