Living in Thanksgiving

My Sunday is winding down. I hate it when that happens! Sunday is SERIOUSlY the #bestday, and its certain weekly demise is nothing short of tragic.

As I ponder on the past week and plan for the next (which is something I try to do every Sunday), I realize how totally awesome my life is.

You may or may not know that I just graduated from BYU-Hawaii. My amazing parents and favorite youngest sister came to visit me and bought me yummy food. I get to hang out with fantastic third graders every day, and teach them vital skills and knowledge that will help them grow and progress. I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I get to partake of the full blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I live approximately 25 seconds away from a temple of God. I have four incredible grandparents living and breathing and imparting wisdom. I have a device that fits in my pocket and gives me access to basically all the knowledge available to man at this time. It also gives me the ability to maintain contact with my friends and family in UT and CA and MI and NY and everywhere else. I served in the California Los Angeles Mission under the direction of the Lord and President Weidman. Life is good, man.

I’ve set a goal to not just be thankful, but to live in thanksgiving daily. My #ponderize verse last week was D&C 46:7, which says that if we do “all things with prayer and thanksgiving”, we will “not be seduced by evil spirits or doctrines of devils or the commandments of men.” I don’t know about you, but I want a slice of that pie. I’m still figuring out how to live in thanksgiving, but my current quest is to find out and do it.

July books: A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door

So, I kind of already spilled the beans about my July books in my last post about Fiction.
WHICH, to be clear: I have not become an introvert. As much as I love and respect my dear introverted friends, I have never scored less than 85% extroverted on any personality test, and I definitely don’t get energy from being by myself. #PersonalHell. Just clarifying.

As I mentioned, my July books changed my life! They were the first two books in Madeline L’Engle’s Time quintet: A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door. Most people read these books in about 5th grade, but for some reason I never got around to it when I was that age.



You may have noticed the shout-out to Madeline L’Engle in “Interstellar” (You know the part with the bookshelf, when they show a few books up close? One of them is A Wrinkle in Time.) and I think that’s because Christopher Nolan must have been influenced by her books when creating the story for his movie. I have to say Hans Zimmer added a lot to the story, but it’s just fine without him.


These two books are adventures of three children named Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace. They have to conquer evil, use their strengths, show love, and essentially hasten the Work. I said these books changed my life, and I think it’s mainly because they’re such a fantastic illustration of the importance of serving and sharing our Message.


I once heard a person say that his religious philosophy was “find a spiritual path that works for you, and keep it to yourself.” I thought about that a lot on my mission, especially when people said things like “God is the same everywhere.” or “We’re all His church, we just worship differently.” Those arguments are enticing, but I have learned that our message is so vital that we MUST share it.

A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door illustrate that very idea. Elder Oaks said in a talked called “The Purpose of Missionary Work” that, “We invite all to come unto Christ by repentance and baptism and confirmation in order to open the doors of the celestial kingdom to the sons and daughters of God. No one else can do this.” Bam. Read these books to learn more about hastening the work of salvation.

I want to end this with a quote from A Wind in The Door:
“If someone knows who he is, really knows, then he doesn’t need to hate.” #lesson1 #GodIsOurLovingHeavenlyFather #charity

I miss constantly telling people that that God is their loving Heavenly Father and they are His children, but I loved reading about it in these books. I know it’s true.

Josh’s Awesome Video

Aloha! It’s the first Saturday of the semester, and I have exactly nothing pressing to do right now. #thatawkwardfirstweek. A few highlights of the week include my sister Lauren getting her mission call (!!!!!), making nature journals in my Science Methods class, watching Interstellar twice, taking my roommate to the temple for her second time (which I think is the scariest), and seeing this incredible video my friend Josh Mason made about me.

Part of me feels awkward that there’s a video about me, but it highlights a lesson that I think I’m on earth to teach: our loving Heavenly Father gave us weaknesses BECAUSE He loves us, and He knows that weaknesses bring us closer to Him. I am so grateful for my experiences with epilepsy. I can honestly say that I am the person I am in part because of those experiences.

So for your viewing pleasure, here is the video. Go ahead and share it so your friends can feel God’s love for them, and remember who they are.

Semester/ Life Conclusion

·      “Our faith must be alive. It cannot be just a set of ridged beliefs and notions. Our faith must evolve every day and bring us joy, peace, freedom, and love. Faith implies practice, living our daily life in mindfulness. Some people think that prayer or meditation involves only our minds or our hearts. But we also have to pray with our bodies, with our actions in the world. And our actions must be modeled after those of the living Buddha or the living Christ. If we live as they did, we will have deep understanding and pure actions, and we will do our share to help create a more peaceful world for our children and all of the children of God” –The Living Buddha, the Living Christ, p. 136


Okay. It’s obvious that there is no tooth fairy or queen of England, but it’s even more obvious that there is no Easter bunny. Like really. Who came up with that?

As much as bunnies and chicks and colored eggs and candy baskets are great (except Peeps, which are disgusting), the events that we honor this Easter day– the Atonement and the resurrection– are literally the most significant events that have ever occurred on the face of this planet, or any other planet, and it just hurts to see them disregarded, as things like poser marshmallows and oversized rabbits take the forefront.

He lives! I know that He lives! This coming week, starting tomorrow, is finals week (Hooray! :/) and the only way I will have the strength to make it through another one of these weeks is through complete reliance on Him. Seriously. It’s always great to be in the testing center, and see a kid sit down and bow his head to pray before he starts his test. Without that, without a Savior who lived and died and knows exactly everything I feel and need, without being able to pray to Him, I would undoubtedly evaporate. I am so thankful to Him.

Have You Received His Image in Your Countenances?

And now behold I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received His image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts? -Alma 5:14

I am currently on the beautiful island of Kauai with the steel band and brass ensemble (more of that to come later), and this has been my best week so far. Well, my best Thursday to Sunday so far. (I had a huge music history exam on Tuesday and a major sight singing test that same day, so that was pretty rough.) Nonetheless, this trip has been completely wonderful.

Oh, did you hear that Oahu flooded? And we were off island, so it didn’t affect us at all. How convenient.

Anyway, one of the fun things about this trip has been staying with host families. My family on the East Shore had a little 6 year-old girl, and after we had been there for like 10 minutes, she came up to me, and she’s like, “Auntie, will you show me everything you have?” So I took her down to the amazing room we were staying in and got out my back pack. I showed her my music anthology and my huge binder of other music and all that, and then I got out my computer. We listened to some Disney princess music, and then I saw a picture on my desktop of President and Sister Hinckley.

I decided to see if she recognized him, forgetting that he passed away in 2008, so she wouldn’t even have known him. (I feel like he just barely died! It’s so crazy to me that kids don’t know him anymore.) I pulled the picture up, and asked her who it was, and she said, “That’s Jesus!”

Wait, what? I must say that President Hinckley and Jesus have close to no physical similarity whatsoever. But then I realized that she was able to recognize the spiritual power that they both shared, and saw that before the hair and clothes and everything else.

I really love that line in Alma: “Have ye received his image in your countenances?” President Hinckley has. I’m obviously not a man, so I don’t think I could ever be mistaken for the Savior, but I have the light of Christ in me, and because of that, I can still radiate it and bring people closer to Him by being an example of the believers. Isn’t that the best thought ever? We are called to be ambassadors of Christ, and that very idea makes me so excited! I can think of nothing greater than helping bring others unto Him. So that’s my goal.