Tag Archives: Love

The Good Life

After heartbreak, regret, disappointment, grief, and or anger welcomes themselves into my life, its natural for me to shut the world out. I personally find myself shutting the world out and not letting anyone find me. People ask me what I do and where I go when I shut the world out. The truth is, I find myself devoting myself more to my studies, running, work, and my relationship with God (not in that particular order either). I usually spend more hours than usual in the Temple, at least forty hours in the library for the week, harder focus at work, and bust it in the gym for large period of times. I find that shutting the outside world out helps me to focus on what matters the most and lets me hide a bit from my problems. It also gives me the chance to think. Being alone is something that I actually enjoy, which people find hard to believe. Being alone is a very comforting thing for me. Being alone lets me regroup my thoughts and then decide what I want to do to move forward. I like things to be quiet and peaceful. I find that the outside world is rather loud and I can’t always be the person that I want to be. So I retreat to the places where I don’t have to be around people. I justify in my mind that if I’m in places where people can’t be with me, then I don’t have talk to people. Many people don’t believe when I tell them that I am extremely introverted person but I am. I like to exclude the world and be alone.

Around the end of August/ beginning of September, I began shutting the outside world out again. I purposely didn’t answer phone calls or didn’t turn my phone on for long periods of time. I’ve hid in the Provo City Center Temple and the library. I’ve hid in the mountains near my house as I’ve gone for long runs or adventures with my roommates. I’ve only allowed my roommates and select few individuals to see me and know about my whereabouts. I’ve kept myself grounded and in my house. Its been really peaceful to not to see people. I’ve turned to my Father in Heaven for much guidance and light. In these moments, I’ve come to really feel the love that God has for me. I’ve felt his peace and healing power to help me in a time of much struggle.

Lately, I’ve been allowing myself to branch out and set social goals (yes, I have to set goals to interact with other individuals). I’ve begun to meet people in my ward, see people from my mission, and grow closer with my roommates. I’ve set goals to buckle down and get things done during the week so I could have the chance to interact with others on my weekends. Moving forward isn’t always the easiest thing for me but its something that must be done.

The past two weekends have been ones where I’ve had moments where I’ve had chances to reflect on things in the most random times. First, I went to Moab with my roommates and while sitting in-between two arches, I realized that that the Lord has really guided me to live with amazing men of God who help me in so many ways. They are so patient with me and understand when to back off and when to ask inspired questions for my progression. They don’t push me but rather are there for guidance and support. They bring much needed laughter and love at critical times. They see me for who I can be and help lift me to that person.

 

Then this weekend, I ran a half marathon with two amazing people from my mission. One of which I was able to run 12 of the 13.1 miles together talking. This was the first time I was social in a race and it was so needed. Being able to just talk about anything and everything was nice. However, it was after the race when I was invited to attend a OneRepublic concert with my best friend and his family that I realized much more. There was a moment halfway through this concert that I realized that God has really given me exactly what I need in life. He is so aware of who I am and who I need to get through the hardest of things. He has placed amazing people in my life that know exactly how to deal with my situations. He has given so much in times of need that I can’t help but be grateful.

I really do have a good life. A life that I couldn’t even dream of. I have much to be happy for. Moving forward into the future is something I’m excited for. I truly love all that has been given to me and the chance to regroup and figure my next steps in life. I look forward to being social again. To letting the world see me again. Though life is hard its not bad but rather good.

 

 

 

 


Worthy Not Perfect

The need to be perfect in all aspects of my life is a major problem that I have. My competitive nature doesn’t help either but instead adds to having to be perfect and better than those around me. On my mission, I came to realize that this was a bad thing, especially when comparing to myself. My mission president, President Paul Craig, use to always tell me to stop beating myself up for falling short from being perfect. We spent a large amount of time over coming my perfection and realizing that I am going to fall short from the grace of God. He taught me that the Savior Jesus Christ would be the one to help make up the difference of my imperfection. Though it makes sense and something I always want to do, it is the hardest thing for me to do. It’s hard for me not to beat myself daily or weekly for not being perfect. There is always something that I should have done better and something that keeps me from being perfect.

Lately, I’ve been taking an institute class at UVU in which Brother Longmoore teaches us daily to give it all to Christ. Last week he taught us ways to allow the Atonement of Jesus Christ to help us and to trust in the Lord’s grace. Brother Longmoore has been truly inspired as a teacher because I’ve realized that it’s a terrible thing to beat ourselves up for living the gospel. He tells us that the good news should be enjoyable and we should get credit for the great things we do. Last week, he taught us that sin is not sin. Sin is just a mistake and a chance to learn, grow, and become a better person. It’s an opportunity to come closer to our Savior and Father in Heaven.

Going into General Conference this past weekend, I wanted to know how to not beat myself up daily anymore. I wanted to know how I could trust in the Lord more and use the Atonement of Jesus Christ more in my life. (Side note, this conference was a special one for me as I got to attend it in the flesh for the first time!) However, conference taught me that it is ok not to be perfect. God still loves us for not being perfect. He is proud of the progress we make daily and he is there at all times. He is grateful that we want to be better and have him in our lives.

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Elder Gong of the seventy taught that being worthy is not perfect. Rather being worthy is striving daily to keep the covenants we made with the Lord. Being worthy is willing to change and allow the Savior to be apart of our change. We shouldn’t beat ourselves up for the mistakes we make like I do. So the past few week have been eye-opening to me. Its going to be hard but rather than tearing myself apart each night and Sunday, I’m going to work on forgiving myself and letting the Savior take over my insecurities. I’m going to work on my problems and let others help me more. I have a strong desire to be better person to myself and those around me. I might not be perfect but thats ok. I have a God who knows and loves me. I have a Savior who died for my sins and is there to hold me up and wrap his arms around me. I have an amazing family who loves me and looks past my faults. I have so many amazing leaders that teach me ways to be better. I have the best roommates who help me laugh at life’s ups and downs. I have so many great friends who teach me through their examples of what it is like to be disciples of Christ. Moving forward, life is going to be good and in time, I will overcome my shortcommings. Yoked with the Savior, I will be perfect one day.

For Elder Gerrit W. Gong’s full talk: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/04/media/session_5_talk_4/4829550348001?lang=eng

 

 

 


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.

 


My Toms

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Today, a lady at school told me I should consider getting new shoes because they are covered in paint and have holes in the heel as well in the toe. At first, I was rather irate with this lady as I was thinking she doesn’t even know the story that this pair of shoes and I have made.

These shoes are the first Toms I ever bought. The purchase was made in Missoula, Montana on get away trip with Hayley Harned our junior year of college. They’ve literally gone everywhere with me. They started as my lazy shoe to wear school and work so I didn’t have to wear socks, which I hate, or lace my shoes. They became my bus shoe as we would travel almost every weekend to a meet in Track and Cross Country. They have traveled all over the state of Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Utah to be there before and after the race. They have walked through loads of snow in the cold Montana days. In the summer, they went to Glacier National Park to see hidden lake and Yellowstone Nation Park so I could see a moose. They went on a New Orleans trip to build homes for Katrina victims and walked up and down the poor streets. They got their white paint from Selena Spees throwing paint at me while we were suppose to be working. They’ve been to Soup Kitchens in New Orleans, Washington, and Oregon.

They traveled back home to Washington and became my go to church shoe before my mission. They were there to help me work and save money to get ready for a mission. They saw me after many pool workouts when getting injured. They climbed Mount Rainer and Mount Hood. They’ve long-boarded down massive hills of the Tri-cities and Prosser.

I choose to take them on my mission where they become the most use. In Georgia, they helped find millions of bricks in the Corbits yard. They helped the Corbits build a deck and cleaned many yards. They were there to help build a fence for the West family even though Diane thought they were ridiculous.  On my mission, they were there to be my relief. After a hard day of work, I could slip these shoes on and take my troubles away. They helped me transition out of the world as I still had a piece of me.

Moving to Jacksonville, these shoes have rakedtheir fare share of leaves! There were two weeks sold were they were used to rake massive amounts of leaves for many people. They’ve fished off the docks of Beth and Kendall Williams and ran through the fields of Arlington. They obtained the teal paint from painting for BriAna McGhee, my favorite part. She finally let James Collins and I do something for her and we had just a little too much fun. They got the white paint from painting in Hendricks. They smelled up the car and had to be placed in the trunk in Hendricks and planted flowers for Jim Colney.

In Chiefland, these shoes saw manual labor as they helped dig ditches and feed livestock. They raked the grass of the Gibs and pulled weeds for an Irish couple. In St Johns, they became my doctor shoe as they saw many doctors regarding my tendon.

Coming home from my mission, these shoes have climbed Mount Rainer with my mom, watered the Jensen’s lawn, and feed sheep for the Holdens. They’ve been in the kayak on the Yakima River and the Columbia. They’ve been my adventure buddy. Recently, they been my shoe to feed the homeless in Salt Lake and a reminder of the adventures I’ve had. Four weeks ago, they hiked the Y in Provo. These Toms have literally been everywhere with me and will continue to see a lot of life. They are there to ride my Penny board down the hills of Orem and Provo. We’ve had a good five years! So to that lady, I’ll continue to keep my “ugly” worn Toms that let my big toe hang out.

 

 

 


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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This Slope is Treacherous

Throughout life, I’ve come to learn that God just doesn’t want you to be comfortable. This seems to be a reoccurring theme of life it seems. They say that there is absolutely no growth in the comfortable zone, though at times it would be nice to have just a moment of comfort. It seems that the moment one becomes comfortable, then we have to get ready because another twist is brought into the equation and once again we find ourselves climbing another mountain.

One of the things that I love about the gospel of Jesus Christ is the aspect of keeping an eternal progression. As we strive for perfection and for eternal progression, we have to grow to be there. That is one of the reasons why we are placed on this earth, to grow. Growth always seems daunting. In the beginning of the growth stage, its rather challenging. We look at the mountain and wonder, are we ever going to make it up? Is the top really a tangible object? However, as we put our chin up and charge the mountain we receive the greatest reward.

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Currently, my life has entered into yet another growing stage. About a week ago, I was sitting across the table at red robin with my friend Evan and I finally felt for the first time in two months that I was ok with being home. With the help of Evan, I was able to climb one of the hardest mountains I’ve ever climbed: Adjusting to Real Life. This montain is one that I feel that I’m still climbing but I was able to make it to a check point the other day. So like all great mountains, I said goodbye to my friend as he returned to serve the Lord for two years. My amazing friend who was there to hear me out. Who was there when I needed him the most. I truly believe that he was home these past few months to help me grow. God knew that I needed his help. Now, I’ve come to a point where sadly, I need to climb the mountain without his help as he has own new mountain to climb.

Like all mountains, the slopes are never the best part. They’re rough, tough, and treacherous. All mountains are placed for the greater good and while we are getting to those slopes, we just have to hold on to hope and love of God. We have to trust him that they are for the greater good.

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Things Come in Disguise

I think its human nature for us to be ungrateful for the things that we have in life. Its part of who we are to want more than we have and not fully care for the little things that are given to us. I realized this this past week as I found myself ungrateful for the things in my life. I found myself upset with how my life was going and where I was at in life. Which is a sad thing to say. Sometimes, we have to stop and take a look at our life in a different angle to see all of the good that is given to each of us. I really hate the town of Prosser. I have never been grateful of this small little town. I have blamed it as the place where all my problems in life exist. However, while at a JV Baseball game. I came to realize how good Prosser was for growing up. I had such great opportunities that no other town could have given. Coming back to this place after living in the blessed Florida for two years has not been easy. I have found my self avoiding everyone here. I have hid from the world of Prosser so that I didn’t have to show myself to this town. However, I realize how terrible that is. Being back in Prosser, is where the Lord has needed me to be. Being home has been good. I realized how lucky I am to be in this place. I get the blessing of going to the temple twice a week or even more. Its literally just down the road from where I lived. Living twenty minutes away from the house of the Lord has been a major blessing that I wasn’t fully grateful for. While sitting and watching movies with my family this week, I realized that I haven’t had my mom and Raphael to myself in my whole life. This is the first time that it has just been me at home. How grateful I am to be able to get to know them even more. They truly have done so much for me. Lastly, I realized how grateful that the Lord has given me such a great friend here in Prosser: Evan Jensen. Though I’m suppose to be helping him, I find that he is helping me more. What a blessing it has been to have a friend here in this town. He has got me out to do many things and given me the chance to help another once again. He has made me so proud as I have gotten to watch so much progression take place in just the six weeks that I have been home. Being able to go to the temple with him this past week was so humbling. I might not have all the things that I want in life right now. I might not be living the glamours life like others but I have so much to be thankful for right now. The Lord has answered my endless prayers in ways that I couldn’t of even thought of. Its truly a great  to just sit back and to count the endless blessing that have been given to me. Blessings are truly given to us in ways that we don’t always accept or think of.  They come each day. We just have to look at times to see them.