Category Archives: Mormon

A Year Of Progress: I love tough things

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A year ago today, March 6, 2015, I left the land of Chomping Gators, Screaming Indians, sweet potato eating, southern people of Jacksonville Florida and Southern Georgia. A year ago, I took of my name badge and became a “return missionary”. Going on my mission, I was told that it would be the hardest thing of my whole life however, this past year has taught me that going home has been the hardest thing I have ever done. This weekend, I have taken the time to reflect on all things that has happened to me in just 365 and the person that I have become. The past year has taught and brought me closer to my savior then ever before and I’d like to write about a few ways how.

Coming home with a torn achilles tendon was one of the hardest things ever as I have had to learn how to re-walk and eventually learn how to run again. In a slow progression, I learned how to become whole again. Physically, I got to be healed and restored new. I’ll never forget the look of my mother’s face when I walked out of the doctor’s office in a giant boot. She was so shocked. Months of physical therapy where at times I was discouraged and left thinking I would never get to run again. The atonement of Jesus Christ was there in every aspect and helped me get rid of the fears that lingered in the back of my mind.

Coming home was a mental challenge. All return missionaries experience heart break as they leave the one place that their true love is. Words can’t express how challenging it is to mentally pick up life in a new world after your heart has been shattered. My mission motto was “I love tough things, I am the first to do tough things, I do tough things first.” I can remembering the plane taking off and my heart felt like it was being ripped out and then a familiar voice telling me that I love tough things. Coming home, that has been my motivator to do things that I don’t mental think I can do. Mentally, the Savior has helped me over come the struggles in my mind of insecurities, regret, and fears. The Savior is there to remind me that I can do the tough things that I don’t feel that I can do.

Moving to Provo, UT has been greatest blessing and I never thought I would say that. I live with three amazing men of God that teach me daily what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. I can see through their examples how to Love God and Jesus Christ so much more. They have looked past my faults and challenge me to be a better person. They have helped me over come my addiction to the word hell and all the bad days that have come from heart break, bad break ups, terrible test days, and to not getting an internship of a life time. They continue to pick me up and help me be a better man.

Provo has given the Provo City Center Temple. This temple, though not dedicated, has been the biggest blessing me. I live five blocks away and makes me so happy every day. It has given me a deeper prospective of an eternal life and its where my soul feels the happiest. Its where I escape the world and remember the importance of all things in life. This temple has helped me to think of Jesus on such a different level that I can’t help but thank him for all that he has done.

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The past year has been a rollercoaster but as I continue to move forward I know that my Savior will be there for all aspects. I am so grateful for the amazing people that I have met this year to help me on this path of coming to the world and moving forward. At first, I was very hesitant on adapting but as I sit here in my Gator hat, I am very glad that I have. I am glad that I have had the experiences that I have had this past year from the heart aches, to the new loves, to new adventures, to the many new mountains that I climb daily. Though I miss Florida and Georgia deeply, I am glad for this new phase in my life and the person that I continue to grow to be. I love the Tough Things that I have overcame and face head one with my Savior there to help me.

 

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Welcome to Utah

I think I’m getting older. Older in the aspect that I have learned that I need to continue to progress and grow as a person and once again progression has found its way into my life. Progression in so many ways. Before my mission, I had my whole life figured out. I knew what I wanted to do and I was going to the be the person that would do whatever it took to make that plan work. Going on my mission, was the first time in my life where the Lord told me to do something drastic and I was obedient and did it. (in which I would like to add, it was well worth it though I was terrified in the beginning.) On my mission, I figured I would just continue the plan that I set in place. However, towards the last six months of my mission, that plan began to not fill like the right idea. So with much prayer and fasting and trying to figure out things, I proposed a plan to the Lord and instead of getting a yes, I got a different answer. I was told to move to Provo, Utah of all places.

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Let me say, I have despised the idea of moving to Utah. Though I’m Mormon, I never in a million years have wanted to live in the state¬†filled with Mormons. I’ve liked the idea of being the only Mormon in my friends. It has given me a unique twist to my life. However, I decided that I would be obedient. The process of moving to Utah has been an interesting one. This process has taught and showed me how being obedient to what the Lord tells us to do, that the windows of heaven will be poured out to us. When he told me to go to Provo, I had no idea what to do. I had no idea how it would all work out. I had no idea what to do. With faith and prayer, I’ve seen the Lord just make everything fall into place. Its shown me how much the Lord really listens to me and gives me council.

More than anything, coming to Utah, a week ago, has given me happiness again. Living in Prosser is really hard for me. As a return missionary, I found myself lost. I found myself feeling as if I had back slid in life. I found myself not laughing again and overly stressed. Couple weeks ago, I asked God to give me happiness again and my answer was to be patient. Well, moving to Provo has been the happiest thing I’ve ever done. Major thanks to Peter Searle, Sadie Johnson, and Megan McCleary. True happiness has come even in the one hour we get together to run at night. The grosume foursome is the highlight of my day. This week, I’ve thrown myself into the library where I’ve literally locked out the world and threw myself into studying about Money mostly. Each day, the four of us have gotten together and have let the inner us come out though its ¬†mostly loud laughter.

A week ago, I was terrified of the drastic change that I was making. I have no idea why I’m in Provo. I have no idea what the purpose of me living here is. All I know is that the Lord told me to go and I listened. I’m excited for the adventures that are going to be made here (even though a man just walked pasted me dressed like Jesus). So for now, here is to the growth and change of life. Here is to a new phase. Here is to being patient to see the purpose that the Lord has for me. Also, its misty rainy today which is my favorite thing in the whole wide world. Its comes on the greatest of days to show God’s love for me.

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Hipster Mormon

Being one to proclaim my religion was never a thing I would choose to do my whole life till I went on my mission. In fact, going on my mission was the first time that I publicly declared to all my friends that I was Mormon. After serving two years in the south, I learned how religion really does make the person and to be proud of things that make you you. I use to be embarrassed to tell people that I was a Mormon. Being Mormon is like telling your friends your pregnant or homosexual. Its something that in society that is always very unacceptable, unless you live Utah. Being Mormon comes with all the crazy stereotypes: multiple wives, homemade clothing, and a family of at least seven to name few. However, I don’t fit the mold of your typical Mormon at all, which was another reason I never allowed people to know that I was Mormon. In fact, most Mormons don’t fit the “Mormon Mold” expect those that are the mold. I watched people in high school and college get made fun of for being a Mormon. It was something that I never wanted to happen to me, so I kept it quiet. However, I am very proud to be a Mormon. Being a Mormon is the greatest thing in my life. It allows for me to be who I am. It was helped me come closer to God and Jesus Christ. As a Mormon, I am Christian. I fully love Christ and try hard to be like him. I study from the scriptures each day for the purpose of studying who Christ is. I love Christ more than anything. Being a Mormon gives me so much purpose and direction to my life. It is what makes my life so meaningful. It what motivates me to be the crazy, outgoing, wheat thin lover, die hard runner, hipster person that I am. I might not be the traditional person but I am so proud to be a Mormon. I am not scared to say that I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints but rather I am beyond glad to declare that I am a Mormon! Embracing my Mormon life has been one of greatest blessings for me.