Tag: twitterstake

Thank You for Reading

It’s late but I wanted to do a quick thank you.  All of my friends are posting daily thank you’s on facebook which is awesome but really today there is one major thing I am thankful for.  I am thankful to all of you. I had a rough October but November has started out great.  Thank you to all of you for reading no matter my mood or topic.  I know there are readers who follow religiously but haven’t made a comment in years (Becca and Suzanna I know you read!).  I am so grateful.  I hope you know that.

thank-you-for-readingThank you for reading when I inspire you.  Thank you for reading when I tick you off a little bit.  Thank you for reading when I bore you.  Thank you for reading when I make you laugh.  Aside from friends and faith, it is the best thing in my life.  Thank you especially to the people who read regularly not just when I do something bold.

Thank you to fellow bloggers who inspire me with their posts especially Samantha Ferraro, Forest Hartman, Christine Plouvier, Abbey Kidd, Tracy Christensen  Emily at Blogging Runner for giving me so much support.  Some of you I have met.  Rest of you if you ever come to Utah dinner is on me. (there are so many but they have been so supportive).

I sound like I’m dieing or something or winning an Oscar but I really am grateful.  I told my siblings that all I really wanted for Christmas was for them to comment on my blog every week or so.  I’m partly kidding but it really does mean a lot to me when people read.   I am also grateful to my sisters Meg and Anna for being the standout family readers by far and away.  Thanks!

I suppose it means a lot to any writer when people actually read what they write (go figure I know) and I’m no different.  It feels like you have a legacy and people might remember you for something.  Who doesn’t want that?

I’m grateful to my swim friends, trainers, writing group, twitter friends, cousins, coworkers, voice teachers, fellow parishioners…I could go on.  I really am just grateful.

What brought this all on is I was talking with a friend in the stake presidency who has taken my letter on the midsingles situation and shown it to area leadership and asked a question on the topic to two apostles.  It meant a lot to me to be taken seriously and to feel like just maybe I did something good with my words.

Maybe nothing will come of it.  Maybe it will just make a few of the people who commented feel understood but that’s good enough for me.

Hey, it made me feel understood and isn’t that why I started this whole thing?

In my first post on my preblog I said “First, I am never going to be happy living my life for other people’s expectations. Second, I need to take more comfort from the love of those that care for me instead of being devastated by the criticism of those that don’t. Third, I have to be my own advocate.

Why is it that I seem to believe in other people more than I believe in myself?Honestly, I think I am my toughest critic. I am starting to accept that I am not proving anything to anyone by the way I live my life. I have to believe that those that come into contact with me, including my employers, are lucky to know me. That I am valuable just for being me” (pretty good advice.  I should listen to myself sometimes).

That was written in 2007 and the blog has certainly proven that last statement to be true 1,000 times.  I am valuable for just being me and writing.

“The best word shakers were the ones who understood the true power of words. They were the ones who could climb the highest. One such word shaker was a small, skinny girl. She was renowned as the best word shaker of her region because she knew how powerless a person could be WITHOUT words.”

Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Secret Prayer

There is a hymn in my church called Secret Prayer. It has been a favorite of mine since the mission.  Here is a cool version by The Lower Lights:

I love the lyrics:

  1. 3. When sailing on life’s stormy sea,
    ‘Mid billows of despair,
    ‘Tis solace to my soul to know
    God hears my secret prayer.
  2. 4. When thorns are strewn along my path,
    And foes my feet ensnare,
    My Savior to my aid will come,
    If sought in secret prayer

Do you ever have moments where you learn He really is giving you aid and strength?  There are things which I struggle with that I literally can not share fully with anyone on this earth.  There are issues that everyone else thinks I have moved on from which still cause me great pain and sorrow.  For example, each time I think of my grandpa’s passing I miss him and wish he were here to love me.

I also think about the times when I was in the billows of despair and God was there for me in secret prayer.  Its interesting that in my novel my readers all were amazed at how much the character based on me prays.  If anything I lightened it from the actual time period.  Prayer and my friends were the only thing that kept me going in a time I just couldn’t shake the unhappiness away.

I had a cool experience this week.  One of the amazing things about open water swimming as a plus size girl is I have been able to open up the world of competitive athletics for many other girls in a variety of sports.  Girls can look at me and say ‘she looks like me, maybe I can do that too?’.

One such example is my friend Abby.  She saw some of my posts about swims and thought maybe she’d give it a try.

First she asks Can I be ready then?
First she asks Can I be ready then?
You totally could- my response
You totally could- my response

So she trained and lo and behold in September she rocked it having a time under 50 minutes.  She will have to correct me on the exact time.  We have kept in touch this year and I’ve been able to motivate others to enter races and swim.  Abby and I even met this summer.  Super fun.

Here we are with Etsuko

abby

Then the time for her race was coming and I was having a stressful week thinking about Slam the Dam and whether I could make the time limit, not to mention returning home from a trip and getting caught up.  Its of doubt no surprise that I was up all night most nights this week.  (Including tonight I might add).

Eventually 2 am hit and still no sleep Thursday night.  What was bothering me?  Suddenly I had a moment of clarity and I knew I had to ‘help my friend Abby’ but what can a person do when there are barely 24 hours before the event?   On a whim I decided to see if there were florists that would do same day delivery where she lived.  (luckily she had given me her address at Christmas!).  Fortunately there was such a place and the flowers were delivered.

I kind of thought nothing of it until I got a tweet from Abby late last night.  It truly touched me.  Unbeknownst to me she’d had a terrible week and was about to give up on the race when the flowers came.

spiritTo all of you out there- you do have at least one friend who really cares.  I believe in the gifts of the spirit and one of mine is to believe, never doubting.  The other is to love people.  I seem to feel deeply attached to people on very small acquaintances and it has served me quite well in life.

I do have my secret pains that will never go away.  They will never be the same but I also have my secret prayers and loved one’s that are anxiously trying to answer those prayers on the Lords behalf.  They are listening to the spirit and acting upon it and I occasionally get that opportunity myself.  It is a transcendent moment in life.

There is an hour of peace and rest,

Unmarred by earthly care;
‘Tis when before the Lord I go
And kneel in secret prayer.
The straight and narrow way to heav’n,

Where angels bright and fair
Are singing to God’s praise, is found
Thru constant secret prayer.

I hope to be constant in my secret prayers and always have his angels to assist me.

We are in His hands

img-belong-to-christ

 

 

 

Why Mothers Day is Hard

So today I cried after church.  I cry a little bit after thinking about it.  Why you ask? It’s silly really but I missed my old singles ward and particularly my old bishop.  I almost always had a good relationship with my singles bishops.  Not anything too clingy but just they knew my struggles and I could go to them when I was hurting for advice and counsel.

I have found that to be almost impossible in family wards, both that I have been in.  They’ve been kind but not the sense of ownership and stewardship over me that I saw in singles ward.  As someone who doesn’t have much priesthood in my life I really miss that presence.  My father is really my only source for guidance and he is in California which sometimes works, sometimes not.

Today I wanted to talk to the bishop about Mothers Day.  Last year I went to the singles ward for Mothers Day and it was so fabulous and uplifting.  Mothers Day in family wards is rightfully a celebration of mothers.  Normally that is a good thing.  I also don’t think that everything should be about me.  The Moms deserve their moment in the sun.  No doubt about it.

Here’s where I struggle.  First, you hear on Mothers Day a million talks about how nurturing and motherhood is an innate part of womanhood.  This makes me feel like we all have to be what I call ‘ooey and gooey’.  I’m just not that way and it is certainly not natural.  I know God accepts me but that doesn’t stop me from bristling when I hear those kinds of talks.

Second, it is a fact of my faith that you must get married and have a family in order to reach the highest level of exaltation.  That is true for both men and women, so a righteous married woman is further down that path to be with Heavenly Father than me, a righteous single woman.  You can say no, no, you can make covenants later.  Well, that is later and they get to make those covenants now.  Sigh…

Third, I know the chances of me being able to have a baby on this earth are extremely small and the older I get the smaller they get, so the talks about how great it is to have children can be painful.  I’m not the most baby-yearning person in the world but it does hurt sometimes that the option probably won’t even be available to me.

Fourth, Mothers Day is a day where you have to hear over and over again ‘look what righteous thing you don’t have’ and I can only take so much of that.  We basically put motherhood on the same level as the priesthood; however, a man can progress in the priesthood through their own righteous activities; where a woman can only get so far.  This can be very frustrating.  It is true but frustrating.

Now, no need to panic.  I know the church is true but that doesn’t mean my life doesn’t feel discouraging at times.

So, today I felt sad.  Sad about Mothers Day and I wanted to talk about whether I should come next week to do my calling or go to singles ward again like I did last year.  I wanted to talk to the bishop and get some counsel on how to deal with this week every year.  When a meeting proved impossible, I felt sad.  I think that’s ok to be sad. Its part of life.

Luckily I have a Heavenly Father who knows me and loves me and an earthly father who is ALWAYS behind me 100%.  Still, Mothers Day is hard and I miss my old singles ward and my bishop.  No getting around that.  Missing is a natural human reaction and I am oh so human.  I am not like Moroni and able to cope without both Godly and human support.  Sigh…

Btw- I have the best Mother a girl could have. Happy Mothers Day Mom!

Blah....
Blah….

My Bubble

Ok.  After my little rant in the last post let me use up some more of my insomnia time with slightly more happy thoughts.  Today I want to say thank you for my bubble. People often say in a derogatory way ‘you are living life in a bubble’.  This usually implies that a person is closed minded or a simpleton in his or her views.

I disagree.  I am aware of those views which are different than mine and often ponder issues from their perspective, each time returning back to what I believe and think.  A constancy in one’s opinion does not necessarily prove thoughtlessness on the part of the thinker.  In fact, those that are easily swayed on important issues probably haven’t pondered them much in the first place.

Anyway, I digress.  I am grateful that I can surround myself with support in so many ways.  There is of course my home with a roommate and tenants who are good people and that happen to support my life choices.  This creates a home where the spirit can be and where I can feel peace.

Then there is my family and extended family which I felt this week.  I am so grateful for my cousins, aunts, uncles and other loved one’s who pray for me and sincerely want me to be happy.  It is my family bubble.

Next I have my facebook bubble.  This includes old friends I have kept in touch with from high school, college and my mission.  I am so grateful for those relationships.  It may seem silly but there was a time last year when I felt my world was falling apart and my facebook bubble saved me. I will always be grateful for good friends who reached out to me when I felt panicked and sad.

Next I have twitterstake.  This is perhaps my favorite bubble of all.  It is the group of LDS twitterers (is that a word) who uplift me throughout the day.  I would say 2/3rds of who  I follow are either conservative voices or Mormons and I love it!  I love being able to send a prayer to someone in struggling and I don’t even know where she lives or who she is.  I love that I was inspired today by 2 different members whose Christlike responses to attacks humbled me and made me want to do better.

I love that we can all learn about General Conference together and support each other when things get hard.  I love that I can laugh with a LDS member from China or cry with a fellow Mormon in Vancouver.  It is amazing!  I love the twitterstake bubble.

Lastly I have this blog and its bubble.  It is my spot to say how I feel whether it is about food, movies, politics, sports, swimming,whatever.  It is mine and I get to run it the way I see fit.  My little bubble.  I grow each time someone comments and I learn while writing each entry.  I am so grateful for it.  It is truly a reflection of me.

My greatest desire is to be obedient to God’s law and His gospel and all of my bubbles help me make that happen.  I would be hard pressed to do it alone.  Life is too hard.  I need those bubbles of love, acceptance, support, shared obedience, and freedom of expression.

So I embrace bubble living.  Whether it be on twitter, facebook, friends or my home,  I am happiest when surrounded by support and love.  Call me crazy, but it’s true!

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Also, I think we all chose our bubbles.  For instance, my brother lives in Portland- surrounded by a predominant culture that supports his way of life.  It is his Portland bubble.  He’s got one.  So do I!

Hoosier Meal

Yesterday I had a fun trip down memory lane thanks to the young men and women.  The youth in my ward were doing a missionary activity where they went to people’s homes and ate a meal from that person’s mission.  They could then ask questions and learn more about what a mission is like.  I signed up and luckily my voice lessons were cancelled so it all worked out.

It’s interesting because I have never really tried to make the food from my mission.  This is partly because it’s not all that good for you (chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes, double starch oh my!) and because I never learned how to do it since I was so busy being a missionary. I haven’t cooked for a large group in a long while and it was exhausting!  I cooked for 8 people and realized while I was doing it that it is the size of my family! Gave me a new respect for my Mother!

I’ll just post the photos because I am behind on work and don’t have time to write much.  The meal was pork tenderloin sandwiches (an Indiana favorite inspired by Mug N’ Bun in Speedway, Indiana

Here are the youth and the youth leader.  It was fun to talk to them about my mission and answer questions
Here are the youth and the youth leader. It was fun to talk to them about my mission and answer questions
Pork tenderloin sandwich an indiana favorite.  They are sometimes called Hoosier Sandwiches
Pork tenderloin sandwich an indiana favorite. They are sometimes called a Hoosier Sandwich
My inspiration.  Mug n Bun pork tenderloin.  Mine looks pretty close
My inspiration. Mug n Bun pork tenderloin. Mine looks pretty close
Hoosier pies or also called sugar cream pies.  Kind of like coconut cream pies without the coconut.
Hoosier pies or also called sugar cream pies. Kind of like coconut cream pies without the coconut.
Hoosier pie with berries on top (not traditional with the berries but the pie is so rich it needed it)
Hoosier pie with berries on top (not traditional with the berries but the pie is so rich it needed it)
The spread
The spread
dinner hoosier sandwiches, corn chips, guac, and cesear salad
dinner hoosier sandwiches, corn chips, guac, and Cesar salad

It was a lot of work!  I was exhausted afterwards but it was a lot of fun too.    Sometimes I think doing regular things like cleaning and cooking make more achy than working out.

By the way, this is in no ways a low calorie meal.  It’s that midwest stick to your ribs kind of cooking but it sure tasted good!  I was proud of the sandwiches because I don’t have a ton of experience deep frying (probably better that way) and they turned out very yummy.  My roommate agreed they were a success.  The teens loved them!

Here are the 2 recipes I used

Hoosier Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

( I had the butcher pound out the pork so I skipped the first part of the recipe)

2 pounds center-cut boneless pork loin
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 sleeves saltines (about 80 crackers)
2 cups instant flour (such as Wondra)
Peanut oil, for frying
4 soft hamburger buns, split
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
4 half-sour dill pickles, thinly slicedDirectionsCut the pork crosswise into 4 equal pieces. Put each piece flat on a cutting board and slice horizontally almost in half (stop about 1 inch from the other side). Open like a book. Sprinkle each piece with water, place between 2 pieces of heavy-duty plastic wrap and pound to 1/4 inch thick with a mallet or heavy skillet.Whisk the eggs, buttermilk, garlic, 1 teaspoon each salt and black pepper, and the cayenne in a shallow bowl. Add the pork, cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.Pulse the crackers into coarse crumbs in a food processor, then transfer to a shallow dish. Put the flour in another dish. Remove each piece of pork from the marinade, letting the excess drip off. Dredge both sides in the flour, dip in the buttermilk marinade again, then coat with the cracker crumbs.

Heat 1/4 to 1/2 inch peanut oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 360. Fry the pork in batches until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.

Spread both halves of each bun with mayonnaise and mustard. Layer the lettuce, tomatoes and onion on the bottom halves. Add a piece of pork and a few pickle slices. Cover with the bun tops.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/hoosier-pork-tenderloin-sandwich-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie

(I used store bought crust- Marie Calendars is my favorite)

For the Crust:
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes; 4 tablespoons chilled, 3 tablespoons frozen for 15 minutes
For the Filling:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
Confectioners’ sugar, for dustingDirections

Prepare the crust: Combine the vinegar with 1/2 cup ice water in a small bowl.

Pulse the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor until combined. Add the 4 tablespoons chilled butter and pulse until the butter is in pea-sized clumps and the mixture is sandy. Add the 3 tablespoons frozen butter; pulse until the frozen butter is also in pea-sized clumps. Add 5 tablespoons of the vinegar mixture; pulse 2 or 3 more times. Squeeze a small amount of dough between your fingers. If it does not stay together easily, add 1 more tablespoon of the vinegar mixture and pulse 3 or 4 more times. (Do not let the dough come together.) Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and gather into a lumpy ball; flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle, about -inch thick. Fit into an 8-inch pie plate and trim the extra dough, leaving a 1-inch overhang; reserve trimmings. Fold the edges under the rim and crimp. Refrigerate the crust until firm, 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Line the chilled crust with foil and fill with pie weights or dry beans. Bake until the edges are golden, 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights; continue baking until the center of the crust is dry and golden brown, about 12 minutes. Cool slightly on a wire rack. Cover any cracks in the crust with the dough trimmings before filling.

Prepare the filling: Whisk the sugars and the flour in a medium bowl, breaking up any clumps of brown sugar. Combine the heavy cream and vanilla in a separate bowl and slowly whisk into the sugar mixture until smooth. Pour the filling into the prepared crust; bake until the pie begins to set around the edge but is still slightly wobbly in the middle, 40 minutes. (Tent loosely with foil for the last 10 minutes if the crust gets too dark.) Cool to room temperature on a wire rack, then refrigerate until ready to serve. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before slicing.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/hoosier-sugar-cream-pie-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

Sacrament Meeting Talk: Developing a Relationship with God

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So tomorrow I am giving a talk in church for the first time since 2010.  (My last talk was on patriotism https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2010/06/27/patriotism-my-sacrament-meeting-talk/).  The topic was ‘The Power of Testimony”.  The more I thought about it the more I kept coming back to my relationship with my Heavenly Father and how essential that relationship is to my testimony.  It’s not just a set of facts or experiences but a lifetime of being nurtured by the Lord.

It is a missionary farewell so I tried to relate it to my mission in a way that felt natural and on topic.  So this is what I came up with , with a few modifications for the blog.

I’d be curious to know what you all think.

————————————————————

When I was a little girl I was bullied for 2 years.  After trying the normal school channels, my parents took me out of the situation and then we moved across the country.  It proved to be a fresh start for me and a chance to figure out how to make friends which I was able to do.   However, I always knew that despite my best efforts the world could reject me.  I could not rely on them for my self-confidence and happiness.  So what was I supposed to do?  I looked at the people I loved and none of them relied on other people for their self-worth.  They had an inner fire that come from something higher.

I realized I needed to not only pray to God each night but that I needed something that could build a life around.  Something that could protect me in the lonely times.  It was then that I first started building my relationship with God.  Some may call this a testimony but I prefer to think of it as a relationship that but is a work in progress.

Speaking to the women of the church Elder Russel M.  Nelson described this type of relationship with God

“Her self-esteem cannot be based on physical features, possession or lack of a particular talent, or comparative quantities of anything. Her self-esteem is earned by individual righteousness and a close relationship with God. Her outward glow is generated by goodness within. And her patience is much more apparent than any imperfection.”

So to God I went and the first step in building this relationship was learning that He was there and that He loved me.  As a middle schooler , I first asked these questions and have asked them again and again with each time getting the sweet confirmation that ‘Yes, Rachel.  I love you.  You are special’.

How could the bullies hurt me again with that in my pocket?  I had the God of the Universe tell me I was special.

As I grew the relationship grew.  I learned repeatedly about repentance, forgiveness, family, trials, rejection, patience and hard work and all of these experiences made the relationship better and stronger.  It was work, but it was a sweet work.   There were seasons where I forgot to trust him where my anxieties felt almost overwhelming but in the end I always knew He was there rooting for me if I just took the leap of faith.

Elder Wirthlin said,

“I have been impressed recently with the thought that this life is made up of little things—little things that count a great deal. I believe that the little things are of great importance in our relationship with ourselves, in our relationship with others, and in our relationship with God.

The Lord has said, “Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great” (D&C 64:33).

Now I don’t know if I’ve done many great things but I know the Lord is happy with my efforts.  I know this because of the relationship I started way back as a bullied youth.

Elder Oaks described this type of relationship with God:

Of course, we have leaders, and of course, we are subject to their decisions and directions in the operation of the Church and in the performance of needed priesthood ordinances. But when it comes to learning and knowing the truth of the gospel—our personal testimonies—we each have a direct relationship with God, our Eternal Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, through the powerful witness of the Holy Ghost.

So what can we do to develop such a relationship with God?

President Uchtdorf tells us how:

We improve our relationship with our Heavenly Father by learning of Him, by communing with Him, by repenting of our sins, and by actively following Jesus Christ, for “no man cometh unto the Father, but by [Christ].”10To strengthen our relationship with God, we need some meaningful time alone with Him. Quietly focusing on daily personal prayer and scripture study, always aiming to be worthy of a current temple recommend—these will be some wise investments of our time and efforts to draw closer to our Heavenly Father. Let us heed the invitation in Psalms: “Be still, and know that I am God

Doesn’t sound too hard right? A little quiet time, personal prayer and scripture study?  I’m sure all you Mom’s are wondering how you can get such time and if it really exists?  My only thought on that topic is to think of the quiet times I’ve had in my life where I was surrounded by people and yet alone.  The mind can ponder while the body is busily engaged.

Regardless, Heavenly Father knows when we are trying.  He loves us.  He wants to bless us.  He will bless us with time, patience, enhanced spirituality or the ability to persevere through seeming droughts of spiritual knowledge.  We must trust in Him.

President Uchtdorf continues on:

Our relationship with God is most sacred and vital. We are His spirit children. He is our Father. He desires our happiness. As we seek Him, as we learn of His Son, Jesus Christ, as we open our hearts to the influence of the Holy Spirit, our lives become more stable and secure. We experience greater peace, joy, and fulfillment as we give our best to live according to God’s eternal plan and keep His commandments.

I have a friend who went to the MTC and felt sad that her testimony wasn’t as seemingly strong as the other members of her district.  Such comparisons miss the point of a relationship with God.  Just as strong marriages come in many forms and styles a strong relationship with God can manifest itself with different strengths and weaknesses.

A testimony when seen as a relationship is not thrown off by questions in theology or seeming offenses of church members because a relationship ebbs and flows. It leaves room for questions and it can always be better.  A relationship is never finished.

Now I have a long way to go in my quest for perfection and my relationship with God can be much stronger than it is today.  So how do I do that? How do I make it stronger?

Since this is Elder Lampings last talk before going into the MTC, I thought I would answer this question with a little missionary advice.  Because I think how to be a good missionary is the same as how to develop a relationship with God:

  1. Be obedient-  You will meet people, even companions, who want to shrug off some rules.  Many will say ‘I’m living the spirit of the law’.  You will not know the spirit of the law unless you are living as close to the letter of the law as you can.  Be obedient.
  2. Pray for Love- pray for love of yourself, your companion, your investigators and all the people you serve, even those that reject you.
  3. Study as Hard as You Can-  Use your study time well.  Yes, you will have mornings where you fall asleep into your scriptures but try your best to think about the needs of your investigators and how you, using your skillset can help them.
  4. Be happy- Find something to be happy about each day.
  5. Serve with No Regrets-  Leave each area, each companionship knowing that you did all you could do, spiritually, emotionally, physically all you can do.

When I was flying home from my mission I had a distinct impression from the spirit that ‘We had done it’.  That the Savior and me as His representative had found everyone we needed to find, we had helped everyone we needed to help and that the work was done.  I promise it was the best feeling of my life.  I left my mission with no regrets.  I wasn’t perfect but I had no regrets.  I honestly thought that all missionaries had a similar experience but in speaking with some of my fellow sisters none of them seemed satisfied with the breadth of their efforts.  They had not received this same assurance

Now the reconciliation of their missionary labors is between them and the Lord but shouldn’t a life with no regrets be our goal no matter if we are missionaries or members.  It’s certainly my goal.  I want to be able to have a similar feeling that I had on that plane when I’m in the spirit world ready to move on.  It should be a feeling of ‘we did it’.  Because of our relationship, Jesus Christ and I did it together.

Our goals should be to say like Elder McConkie before his death

“And now as pertaining to this perfect Atonement, I testify that it took place at Gethsemane and at Golgotha. And as pertaining to Jesus Christ, I testify that he is the Son of the Living God who was crucified for the sins of the world. He is our Lord, our God, and our King. This I know of myself independent of any other person… And in the coming day I will feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears. But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God’s almighty Son and he is our Savior and Redeemer and that Salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way.”

May we all strive to be obedient and to develop this relationship with God

Name of Jesus Christ,Amen.

Jesus hugging a man