Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Happy Anniversary!!

Do I look FRESH or what!?! Notice the date in the bottom corner?
Yep, 6 years ago, this very day, I was baptized!

Do we both look a bit jittery!?!?

Do we look happy??? :)

My sister and me. I'm sure my sister would be upset if i didn't tell you all that she had pneumonia {which made her look wonderful :) love you titi!}.

Gena was baptized almost 16 months later!

I LOVE this guy!

Jackie Skinner and me. She was my first LDS friend "my age" besides the missionaries.

Ok, so apparently just because i was getting baptized was no reason to break tradition.

So Steve showed up 30 minutes late {as if i wasn't jittery enough!}

At the open house {at the Michies, who i wish i had a picture of!} after my baptism.

Are we GLOWING!?!

I just had to throw this in to give you an idea of "my missionaries".

Heavenly Father knew exactly who to send me.

The Missionaries.

From Left: Steve Cannon, Jennifer Ensign, Me, Heidi Richardson, Vance Daniels, and Taylor Lugo.

{There are actually 3 other missionaries that taught me that are not in this picture}

I don't even know what to say or where to start. The gospel is the most important thing in my life, yet you could read my blog and, aside from one post, not even know it. This has been bothering me a lot lately. I tend to be an overwhelming person, and didn't want to do that with this...but how can i have a blog to show my life...my family...and not even show the gospel?? Because that is not how it is. in fact, i can...with 100% certainty...say that i would not have my family with out the gospel. It is what brought us together, and it is what keeps us together.

Steve and Taylor were my first missionaries. They knocked on my door {well, actually my neighbors...but I'll tell that story another time}. Thinking back on the timing...to anybody other than HF, the timing couldn't have seemed worse. I don't want to get into the yuck of it all...but lets just say that if i saw someone living as i was i would never think there was any chance they would be interested in the gospel. And as you saw above, it took me a while to get baptized. But its not because i needed time to find out it was true. in fact, there was never a point when i had to question if it was or not. i knew. See, i didn't grow up with religion. i knew very little of organized Christianity. I knew they believed there was a God, and that when you died you either go to heaven or hell. pretty sure that's all i knew...in my head. But i now understand that there is a difference between knowing in your head, and knowing in your heart. as the missionaries taught me, they didn't teach me anything new. you see, i was with my Heavenly Father before i came to earth. When i came here my head forgot. i lived 18 years of my life really not remembering anything about Him. But as the missionaries would talk with me...it all came back. I felt a peace that i can truly say i had never felt before. My life went from a whirlwind to just...understanding. not to say my life doesn't still feel dramatic at times...but its very different. there is a long term to everything that was never there before. there is a reason for being, for going through all the drama and doing my best to come out on top.

I now know that i am a daughter of my Heavenly Father. That He loves me so much and gave me the opportunity to come to earth, to receive my physical body and to prove myself to Him. To prove myself to myself. To show what i am worth. To show how much i love Him. I know i have a Savior who makes all of this possible. I don't fully understand how, and don't think i will until i am on the other side of this. But i know that Christ loves me and makes it possible for me to keep going. To work towards my potential. to start over every day, numerous times a day. To work to be somebody i can be proud to be. Somebody who can return to HF and say "i did it". I know that HF has not left us without direction. We have a living prophet. it blows my mind. what i wouldn't give to get to spend time with President Hinckley! What a spirit! What an understanding! I know that the Book of Mormon is a gift from HF {all the men who took the time to write, protect and bring it forth to us in this time} that it is true and guides me. It is amazing how it relates to me. I never questioned if it was true...but just didn't really get how it related to me. But as time has gone on and i have read it and applied it, i have began to understand and i love it! I know that there is a reason. That is something i had a hard time with before remembering the gospel. why was i having to do this? life seemed like a game i didn't like. i now know that i am growing and showing and learning and proving. i am given things {though sucky they may seem!} that help me. that HF loves me so much and he didn't send me here unprepared. and i have the resources all around me. HF also gives me wonderful people to help me on this journey. I have some very choice people that have the most amazing understanding and testimony and they help to lift me and guide me. people who confirm the feelings inside of me. people who let me know that my feelings are true and to keep going. who let me know that it is ok and good to be so different from the world and from so many around me. in particular, i know that my Heavenly Father has blessed me to have my sister Gena, Ashley, and Jennie. Cheesy to say, but i had to! We HAVE to help each other. we have SO MUCH working against us. we have to work for each other. I fall so short at this so many times every day. yet i know i will get there. i know my HF needs me to share this incredible testimony with others. i know that he has blessed me with my testimony. i know it doesn't come so easy for everyone. that is not to brag. in fact, its to compensate for where i am weak. But i have eternal knowledge that must be shared. we live in a world where evil abounds. were the bad is trying desperately in the last days to take anything he can. and it is everywhere. and it is small, and it is big. from the media to the food we eat. i expect everyone around me to take a stand for right...yet what am i doing? so this is my first step. i have been terribly nervous to offend someone, but then the thought comes that its not offensive. This is a message of love. and while i can be quite judgemental, the gospel is not. We are here, and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want us back. and they will fight for us. and they will forgive us. we can be made new. the old will be forgotten. I am living proof.

While i know that to some i will seem weird, and to some radical...and to some offensive... i still want to share who i really am. behind all these posts of my happy times and things that excite me, there is a driving force. The greatest truth on this earth. the most important thing that anybody could possibly know. who am i to be so blessed and not post that? the happiest times aren't when i go swimming, get a new van, celebrate a birthday {or even find great tutus!}...they are when i feel the spirit. when i feel a peace from the gospel of Jesus Christ. When i feel hope from my testimony. I cant imagine seeing someone in heaven and knowing that i could have shared this truth with them and didn't. and while typing at my computer {and probably not making any sense to a lot of people} doesn't really get the job done...for a terrified girl with shaking hands, its a start.

Happy Anniversary Me.


Playful Professional said...

One of the best anniversaries ever and wow some amazing people. It seems like forever ago. Have you been able to keep in touch with Skinners or Michies? I need to see them both sometime soon.

geswinson said...

GREAT post! such exciting stuff. i'm glad that you finally started eating :) and how did i get that much taller than you?! i love you!

GrowingRopers said...

i was bare foot and you had your infamous boots on!

Ashley said...

I wasn't there on that first day, but I do remember your 1st year anniversary...and it's hard to believe that was 5 years ago, but then again with the person you are and the amazing testimony you have, it's hard to believe it was only 6 years ago! Love ya!!

Mother 25 - 8 said...

VERY cool!! Congrats!

denning dialog said...

I think your testimony is great and inspiring. Keep going girl!

Anonymous said...

Our son, Bryan, was bored to tears being back in Ashburn rather than being in school at UW. His papers were in but his mission was still a few months away. Somebody invited him to a baptism. Sure...why not? Dressed all in white...he described the young lady as an angel that glowed with the spirit. He just had to get to know her.

Can't believe it has been six years since that time. Since we gained another "daughter." Seems like yesterday but also seems like an eternity.