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01 September 2013

I'm Back!

Hello there! 

Over two years ago I said my good-byes to this blog and went on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I came home in January and rushed back into school 3 days later for the Spring 2013 semester. With the craziness of getting back into real life and immediately starting school, I was in a whirlwind and didn't even consider starting my up my blog again until recently. Although this will be a crazy busy semester, I've decided I am going to make the time keep it updated! (That's the plan at least!) 

I have family and friends who claim they heard more about my life and daily happenings while I was on my mission than they do now that I'm home. Hopefully this can help with keeping people I'm close with more in the loop! It's also for my own sake so that I can have a more visual (and not as personal) journal to document my life. Those are the motivating forces that have led me to start the blog back up again. So I look forward to sharing with you my major life events and random thoughts.

{So much has happened in the past 26 months since my last blog entry! To fill the major gap from my last post, I'll start by recapping my mission in Nebraska the best I can without writing a novel. Wish me luck!}

Once upon a time...

On July 20, 2011 I left for my mission in Nebraska and had an INCREDIBLE experience! I loved my mission so much and met many amazing people. Not only was I able to see many lives changed, but my own life was changed in the process. I grew to love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ even more by serving them with all of my heart and abilities. 

I also loved serving at the Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters! The Mormon pioneers are awesome!! They are such a strong, dedicated, and faithful group of people! I was able to give tours to people and discuss gospel principles along with the journey of the Mormon pioneers from Nauvoo, Illinios, to Winter Quarters, all the way to Salt Lake City, and many places in between. 

A big and happy family...
I was very blessed to have all amazing companions and be around other incredible sisters as well! There were normally about 28 of us sisters that served at the visitors center at a time, so I was able to interact with and get to know many outstanding women! I was fortunate enough to serve with and learn from the senior couples. I loved learning from their wisdom and life experiences. They treated all of us younger sisters as if we were their granddaughters and made us feel very loved. We were a huge, happy family at the visitors center!

What you might not have known:

I had two incredible mission presidents, both with amazing wives: I love all of them so much and each couple played a significant role in my life!
The Kunz's
One of my first days in Nebraska. :)

The Weston's
One of my last days in Nebraska. :(

Nebraska has bi-polar weather... 

Summer time VS. Winter time
(A night and day difference.)

The Nebraska Omaha Mission covers most of Nebraska and little parts of Iowa, Kansas, and South Dakota.
Here we are in South Dakota for a zone conference!

 Right across the street from Mormon Trail Center there is the Winter Quarters Temple and cemetery!  (Don't know much about Winter Quarters? Click HERE to read some history.)

 "It has been referred to as the tragedy of Winter Quarters, but there was no tragedy here, for tragedy spells defeat and disaster. This was the victory of Winter Quarters, for here was faith and hope and charity raised to their loftiest pinnacles, while greed and selfishness were brought low. There are times and places in the life of every nation when great spiritual heights are reached, when courage become a living thing, when faith in God stands as the granite mountain wall firm and immovable, while hardships, want, hunger, sickness, sorrow and death beat down to crush. Winter Quarters was such a time and place for the Mormon people" (President Heber J. Grant, September 20, 1936, dedication of the Winter Quaters Monument).

Did I mention that it gets SUPER cold in Nebraska? 

Yeah, that's what we looked like walking out in the wind and snow. :) That's not creepy or anything. haha!

Good-Bye NE, Hello AZ!
Eventually all good things come to an end. I came home from my mission on January 4, 2013. I was welcomed at the airport by my loving family! I was very happy to see my family and friends back home! If it weren't for them I would've tried hiding out in NE to be a missionary longer. My family and friends were a huge support to me on my mission! It was a great reunion and I have enjoyed being able to spend time with them ever since! 

In Summary...
I loved my mission and wouldn't trade the experiences I had for the world! I refuse to make the mission the highlight of my life though. It has only gotten better since then and I have had some great missionary experiences since being home. My mission has been a great springboard, which has given me greater confidence in following the Spirit, serving those around me, and doing whatever the Lord would have me do. The journey has only begun and I can't wait to see what else Heavenly Father has up his sleeve for my life! I know that as I am obedient and doing the Lord's will, He can make so much more of my life than I ever could on my own. I'm grateful I can have confidence in His plan!

I'm all blogged out for now so I'll update you on the past 9 months next time! Thanks for reminiscing with me!