About Me

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I've been dreaming of serving a mission my whole life, and I've always been "The Future Missionary". Now, I have been blessed with the call to serve in the Arizona Mesa mission, where missionary service has become a reality to me. What more could I ask for? Life is good!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

When Sore Trials Came Upon You

First of all, this is not going to be a blog post full of complaints about how hard my life is. I will not pretend like I haven't had an absolutely BLESSED life, because I really have. I am not complaining, or comparing. I have realized that avoiding trials in our lives isn't really an option (they come to everyone), but being able to deal with them is totally up to us, and we have complete control over the way we handle the things that come at us.

With all of that being said, I feel that I have endured some of the most potent trials of my life in the past 16 months, serving my mission. Many of these trials have been quiet, personal, and under the surface. Some haven't. All of them have torn me down, humbled me, and ultimately turned me to full reliance on Heavenly Father, which I am grateful for. It's a wonderful thing to come out of a trial closer to God than you were before it happened. 

But, I often wonder, "Why are these things happening now? Why on my mission? What is up with this timing? It seems all wrong.  I'm trying my hardest to be more obedient now than I ever have before. Shouldn't that mean that I have less trials? Shouldn't that mean that life will be easier for me?"

Mmm, probably not.

I know that i'm not the only one who has ever felt like this. You can probably think of several times when you have felt the same way.There may not be anything that you can do to eliminate trials, but there is always something that you can do to endure them. I will share with you how I do it. 

1. Pray. One of my favorite hymns is "Did You Think to Pray?" A particularly insightful line in the hymn states: "When sore trials came upon you, did you think to pray? When your soul was full of sorrow, Balm of Gilead did you borrow, at the gates of day?"  Balm of Gilead was a resin used in Old Testament times to heal wounds. Prayer is our Balm of Gilead. It is ALWAYS available to us. Imagine the healing power that can come from the Creator of our souls when we feel broken. Surely, He knows how to heal us, and pick us back up.

"Though we may feel we are “like a broken vessel,” as the Psalmist says, we must remember, that vessel is in the hands of the divine potter." -Jeffrey R. Holland, Like a Broken Vessel, General Conference October 2013

2. Forget yourself. This can definitely be hard. When in the midst of heartache, it's easy to want to literally wallow in the dread of it all. This does NO good.Stop that. 

The easiest, and least painful way to move on with life is to do just that. Move on. Get out of bed, pray really hard, and start focusing on someone other than you. This will help you feel like you can still contribute. Hmm... That's weird. ;) Contrary to popular belief, the world still needs you, and you can still do good, even with a broken heart. One of my recent companions, Sister White, is good at this. She serves her way out of heartache. She is a great missionary because of it!

3. Hope. Have it. Hope has always been this great concept that I've never been able to grasp onto completely. I've never understood how to apply it. But the Book of Mormon explains it simply and clearly. Consider these two passages:

Mosiah 4:29- "Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend."

Ether 12:4- "Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."

I believe in God. I believe that He has a plan for me.  Why does that matter? Because when things don't go my way, I can still hope for a better world. There is so much of God's plan that we do not yet know. There is so much in store for us as we are "sure and steadfast". Keep going.

4. Be Grateful. Being grateful is a good feeling. I loved the council of President Uchtdorf he gave in his address titled "Grateful in Any Circumstances", during this last General Conference:

"When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation. In grief, we can still lift up our hearts in praise. In pain, we can glory in Christ’s Atonement. In the cold of bitter sorrow, we can experience the closeness and warmth of heaven’s embrace."

Don't procrastinate the day of your gratefulness! Complaining, whining, and wondering what it would be like if life could only be different is nothing but destructive. Being grateful will actually make things easier. If you feel like you just can't be grateful, like it's impossible, then you are wrong. If you don't feel like being grateful, then I lovingly say to you, get over it. Extra emphasis on lovingly. :)

5. FUN. This is my favorite part. :) Surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Make some memories. Get out of the house. I'm pretty lucky that i'm on a mission and that someone is forced to be my best friend all day everyday. My current best friend is Sister Henretty.

This is us. 
We have fun. #hoodrats

 More fun times:
Best district in the mission. 

Sister Sparhawk!

(ALL Highgroves YSA's are my favorites)
(Actually, just all the people that live in Mesa are my favorites)

 Christmas Caroling! Reversible caroling costumes are the only way to go. I LOVE Sister Bickmore!


First time holding birds! I was pretty excited.

If there's ever any extra mattresses lying around, this is what you do with them.

It's pretty safe to say that between all of these super great and fun moments, there were hard times that felt like they JUST WOULDN'T END... But they did. And when they were over (and sometimes before they were over), we took pictures. :)

"And finally, in all of living have much of fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."-President Gordon B. Hinckley, Stand True and Faithful, May 1996

Sister Snyder