Oh hey there. I thought I used to have a blog, and here it is! It's been a long time since I've been 'round these parts. I hope you'll excuse my absence... I was serving the Lord.
So today was Sunday. Fast and testimony meeting. I was not doing so hot. Walking into church and seeing the elders with their nametags and smiles and light made me miss Oregon. And even more so, it made me miss the feeling I had there as a full-time missionary. It's hard not to compare the life I had two weeks ago to the life I live now -- especially when the present seems to pale in comparison. As I sat on the pew, waiting for sacrament meeting to start, I reflected on how I've been living my life lately, and I realized some things. I haven’t been studying in the mornings. I still read the scriptures, but I don’t really study, if that makes sense. That and I haven’t been keeping up the schedule of going to bed early and getting up early. I go to bed at midnight or so and wake up at 8. And I just feel gross when I do that. So I was sad about it. Also, this morning I cared more about my outfit than reading my scriptures, and that was a problem.
The meeting progressed. About halfway through, I moved to sit with one of my favorite families in the ward, the Sweats. Their mom was at home sick and their dad’s in the bishopric so he was on the stand, leaving three young girls unattended (ages 9, 7, and 6). I scooted over and leaned over to the 6 year old, whispering that I was going to bear my testimony. I knew that I needed to be accountable to someone so that I wouldn’t chicken out. She smiled, letting me know that she would make sure I got up there. So the bearing of testimonies went on, and the spirit was so strong. I was teary the whole time. The meeting was about 5 minutes to being done when I still hadn't gone up -- so the girls decided to take things into their own hands. “Why haven’t you gone up yet?” they asked innocently. I answered with some lame excuse about not having enough time, feeling kind of nervous, blah blah blah. So Ariana frankly replied, “You did it before, why are you afraid to do it now?”
It was an innocent reference to how I had spoken in church the week before, but it hit me as a message directly from the Spirit. You did it before. You’ve lived by the spirit, received and followed revelation. You know how to rely on the Lord and to put Him first, above all else. You’ve grown. You’ve studied your scriptures every morning, prayed like there was nothing else in the world to do, lived your life with meaning and purpose. You did it all before. Why are you afraid to do it now?
In that instant I realized that my life is no different than it was before. The basic principles are all completely the same. Pray and study first thing every morning. Take care of your body. Love the Lord. Share the gospel. Live by revelation and always follow the Spirit. Boldly share your beliefs and your testimony. Pray for charity and love everyone. Help, inspire, lift, and bless others with your light. Hope on, journey on. I know how to do this. And the best part? I don't have to do it alone.