Thursday, 31 March 2016

Whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye!

That's Scottish for "What’s meant to happen will happen."

Oh my goodness, I had a cracking Easter weekend in Bonnie Scotland. 

There was a Convetion up in Glasgow. Since I had never been there I thought, "why not?" So a friend of mine and I packed up our bags and drove 4 1/2 hours... Oh my goodness, it was long, but we made some stops on the way 


It was a beautiful wedding, I couldn't have asked for better weather.... Shame I wasn't the one really getting married. The bride did look beautiful though and I managed to find a hunky Scotsman... He was a waiter and we exchanged glances and I said thank you. Shortest relationship ever. It was nice whilst it lastest haha. 

On the way we made a stop in Dumfries and caught up with a childhood friend. Even though we're now in our 20's, we still talk like we used to. Though it certainly made me feel old looking back on the good old days. 

Then we made it to Glasgow! And had a wonderful open mic night, the scots are musical geniuses! No one played the bagpipes that night though. 

 
The. Saturday we had a devotional in the morning. The pews in the chapel were the comfiest ones I have ever sat on. Then we had lots of different activities going on. I did 

- heads up

Story time. So one of the categories we chose was 'animals' and all these different animals came up that we had to act out. The next animal was Koala. And I think "what on earth does a koala do... They just sit in a gum tree and eat leaves..." Without thinking, I just latch onto the girl right next to me Koala style and decided that she was going to be my tree. We didn't know each other, I don't blame her for looking surprised. But it made a good laugh for the rest of the weekend. My friends would randomly come up to me and latch onto me shouting "KOALA!" 

So for the weekend and probably the rest of my life, I will be known as 'Koala girl' 🐨

- hungry hippos 

- minute to win it 

- quiz 

It was all a lot of fun.

After lunch we went to the Glasgow press


It was so cool, if you're in the neighbourhood you should totally check it out! The guys there was so lovely and they told us loads of interesting things... I can't remember what they were, all I remember is that it was super interesting. We even got to make something's too! 

"I needed to text my mum, she would be so impressed!" 

Then in the evening we had a ceilidh. Oh my goodness that was an experience. SO MUCH FUN! I have to say though, the Scottish people are a very fit and healthy bunch. They can dance these energetic, intense dances all night long without breaking into a sweat, while the rest of us foreigners have glassed onto the floor gasping for breath after the first dance. It was so much fun being spun round by a scot. I need to find me a man that can dance.. I loved it, despite not knowing what was going on half the time and being super dizzy hahaha 

Sunday was a normal affair. We had sacrament and then we joined the family ward for the other classes. Because I was so tired I fell asleep in relief society (women's meeting) until there was a musical item and the woman singing was singing so high she woke me up. My friends were laughing whilst I looked rather sheepish. 

Then it was a munch 'n' mingle for us young ones which was nice. A couple of girls that we had met over the weekend turned out to be going to Edinburgh that day just like we were so we decided to carpool. 

Once we had dropped our things off at our B&B we all met up together and explored Edinburgh! 

"2 Brits, 2 Americans and 1 Aussie all walk into... The place where JK Rowlings wrote parts of Harry Potter!" 

We also found Tom Riddle's grave. Whilst we were walking around the graveyard we were playing the Harry a potter theme tune... It was so creepy! 

Later on in the evening we went to a catholic Easter service, even though it was different to what we were used to it was nice to focus on the Saviour and what he did for us and because of this event we can become so much more. 

After the service a friend of ours who is a local took us up this super high hill which over looked the whole of Edinburgh, it was super pretty. It began to rain pretty hard... And because he was a gentleman he drove us all home to our different places.

Monday we had breakfast at this cute little place 
You should totally check it out! Great food, great prices and great staff! I was in the best mood for the rest of the day, no joke. 

It was sunny but windy so it was super cold so we went into a primark to get a scarf and a coat so we didn't end up next to Tom Riddle in the graveyard. 

We did a little tour, went to the national museum which was super cool and then met up with the rest of the girls. 

We also tried some local delicacies 


The famous fried mars bar. It wasn't too bad...but all I could think about was how many calories were in it... For the foreigners the scots like to play a joke and tell you to order a "fried jobbie" whatever you do don't. They're just having a joke with you. A "jobbie" is a Scottish name for a poo. 


The scots drink this like its water, it's pretty good! I am converted hahaha 

We went to the castle 

We also checked out some markets and shops, it was great! 

But alas, all good things must come to an end. We had to head home. 

"2 Brits, 2 Americans and 1 Ausie. The type of people that meet on a Saturday at a Convetion (some for the first time) and on Sunday find out that you're all going to Edinburgh so you decide to carpool and spend the rest of the weekend together. Gals, you were a dream. #Squad" 

Going back to the title of this blog post "what's meant to happen will happen" I honestly feel like this was meant to happen. 

The Aussie that I spend the weekend with knew my Aussie mission companion, small world! And because I love America I was with Americans and I'm grateful for my fellow Brit that drove the whole weekend and for being a great friend.... Even if we both are duvet hoggers. I'm also glad that we are the type of international group that all like to stick together.

Anyway, that's a wrap from me!

Stay tuned for another adventure!

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

You CAN make a difference

""No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." ~ Aesop 

On a mission your life is orientated around others. You eat, breathe, preach, repeat the gospel of Jesus Christ thinking about how it can help someone in their life. 

One of the hard things I have found coming home is that I haven't been feeling like I have been making a significant difference. "They've managed without me for 18 months, why do they need me now? They don't need me here."

Well, God taught me a valuable lesson at the weekend. 

A friend of mine has just got back from his mission in Atlana, Georgia. I went to see him, we hadn't seen each other in 2 1/2 years because of our missions. Another friend of mine hadn't seen him since he's been back so I offered to take her to see him as well. 


We had a lovely time at the ward, everyone was so friendly! My friend and I felt very much at home there. 

On the way home my friend and I were just chatting about life and eventually got onto the topic of things that I have found difficult coming home. And I opened up to my friend and explained how I felt. 

She told me that I do make a difference and she began to tell me the impact that I had made on her since being home. What she had to share taught me an important lesson. You don't have to be compchanging someone's life in order to make a difference. 

In Alma 37:6 it says "but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass"


^ well said Greg, this is exactly what I learnt. 


Who will make a difference to today? And don't forget, don't stress if you don't see the results. 

Sunday, 17 January 2016

How The Book of Mormon helped me on my mission

So I am going to split this into 2 sections 
#1 How I used the Book of Mormon as a tool on my mission
# 2 How the Book of Mormon helped me personally on my mission 
A question we got asked a lot was "Why do you focus on the Book of Mormon so much, why don't you believe in the bible?" 
We would pretty much recite the 8th article of faith for our answer. 
"We believe the bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God" 
Most people in the world today know one way or another that the bible is God's word. But a lot of people don't know that the Book of Mormon is that second witness of Jesus Christ.
The prophet Joseph Smith taught that the Book of Mormon is "the keystone of our religion" on another occasion he stated "take away the Book of Mormon and the revelations, and where is our religion? We have none" 
The Book of Mormon is one of the main differences that sets us apart from other denominations. 
One thing that I really learnt on my mission was how the Book of Mormon can answer questions.
Have you ever wondered if God, really knows you? 
Have you ever asked the question to yourself "how can my family be happier and more united?"
Or "how can I strengthen my relationship with my spouse?"
The Book of Mormon is where we can turn to for our answers not only to the questions of the soul but more temporal questions too. 
President Ezra Taft Benson said that missionaries "need to show how the Book of Mormon answers great questions of the soul" 
It's a "Give a man a fish you and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a life time" kind of a deal. 
No matter how many times I would testify of the Book of Mormon and how it could help a person in their life, they wouldn't know what I meant until they did it themselves. 
This was a skill that I had to develop as a missionary and it took a lot of time to perfect it.
But I truly found joy when a person found their answers in the scriptures. 
So when I was in my 3rd area I was in the Wasatch Stake which is where the big and little cottonwood canyons. And I have spoken about a man before in my talks about how he was less active but he wanted to really know if the church is true. And we were just having a discussion about the Book of Mormon and the restoration because he had read some anti-Mormon literature and stuff so we were having a chat about it and basically talking about faith and how the only way that he is going to know what was true was by reading and we have him a certain passage to read talking about faith and how we should grow our faith. After he had really studied it he felt confident that he had found his answer and we moved on to another lesson. 
That has just been an example of how the scriptures help us and how I was able to help him use the scriptures to help answer the questions that he had. 
Something that I did on my mission was teach a Book of Mormon class, it was mainly for the people that we were teaching but we always had really good discussions and how we can apply the scriptures to ourselves.
As missionaries all the time asked everyone to read the promise I'm the introduction of the Book of Mormon. 
"We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and the. To ask God, the eternal father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Ghost will also come to know that Jesus Christ is the saviour of the world, that Joseph Smith is his revelatory and prophet in these last days, and that the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord's kingdom established on the earth, preparatory to the second coming of the messiah. 
I love the promise that it gives. This promise is repeated in Moroni 10:3-5 
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
After we have both read these promises it leads us to act. We have a responsibility after reading.
"If we have prepared and studied we will already know that they are true to a certain extent. If are struggling there is some aspect of moroni's promise they are missing in their life." 
Because that's what it really came down to if they read the Book of Mormon and did the invitation they would know. 
When was the last time that you asked for a confirmation of the Book of Mormon about its truthfulness? 
Regardless of how long ago, I would invite you to ask again especially for those who haven't done it in a while or who are not yet sure. As you ask with an open heart with real intent having the faith that you will receive an answer I can testify to you that your answer will come, it might not come immediately, but as you strive to keep seeking, the answer will come.
How did the Book of Mormon help me personally on a mission?
I love the Book of Mormon. I don't read the Book of Mormon as much as I should but it is my favourite. 
I love the Book of Mormon so much because it came me the most precious gift one could ever receive on a mission, a true understanding of Jesus Christ. Now, I'm not saying I know everything about Jesus Christ, I just know a heck of a lot more then I did before I left on my mission. 
The sole purpose of the Book of Mormon is to testify of Jesus Christ. 
Before I went on my I never really read the Book of Mormon by myself, most of the time I'm not massive reader but when I decided I wanted to go on a mission and that started my motivation for reading. I needed to testify to the people of America that this book was true, so I thought I'd better start crack on with my reading.
The Book of Mormon has taught me so many lessons. But the biggest one is now personable the saviour is and how much he loves us and the plan that Heavenly Father and Jesus have for us. I can solely out that down to the Book of Mormon. 
I love the bible, I really do. But there is something special about the Book of Mormon, it just gives me the feels. 
To sum up my testimony of the Book of Mormon I'll use the words that Elder Jeffery R Holland in a conference talk not that long ago. 
"No wicked man could write such a book as this, and no good man would write it, UNLESS it were true and he were commanded of God to do so." 
I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I am so grateful for the witnesses of its truthfulness throughout my life. And I am grateful for the knowledge that it has given me about my saviour Jesus Christ. Even though I fall short on a daily basis he still loves me all the same.
And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Look not behind thee

This week I had the privilege to have an interview with my stake president for my temple recommend. We at down and we had a good old natter about life after the mission, 

I cannot believe that if has been 5 months since I have returned from the promised land. it feels so long ago that I never went, but hurts like I just left yesterday. Yep, you hit me real bad America. But I'm coming back for you don't you worry, I'm just saving my pennies...

My stake president spoke to me about not looking back. "Faith is for the future" and how you will miss your mission. We started talking about one of my most favourite talks of all time "Remember Lott's Wife" If you aren't already familiar with this talk then click on the link and have a good old read, this talk is TOP NOTCH!

And we focused on these paragraphs

"So it isn’t just that she looked back; she looked back longingly. In short, her attachment to the past outweighed her confidence in the future. That, apparently, was at least part of her sin.

So, as a new year starts and we try to benefit from a proper view of what has gone before, I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead, we remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives"
Then we spoke about how it is okay to miss your mission, but it's kind of unhealthy to dwell on your mission. Just like Elder Holland said faith is for the future and if we are longing to go back to our missions then we don't have the faith that God will provide us with a life far better then we can ever imagine, just like Lott's wife. Do you think that God isn't going to bless us for our missionary service?

This is something that I have been struggling with. I've been longing to go back to my mission. Life was so much easier because when you're on a mission you've got the spirit of God and you're called to serve, don't have to think about yourself one bit and I just miss my Americans.

Our missions were the best decision we had made until we came home. The world is our oyster now, even though it's really scary deciding what we need to do next with our lives I know that as we ask God just like we told the people who we taught when they had questions and ask God "What is my purpose now?" that he will make known the plan that he has for us. 

Have faith in God of good things to come, even when things aren't working out like they planned it will all work out in the end.

Even though life is different being back and I miss my American's like crazy, I wouldn't change it for the world because things are only going to get better as I continue to exercise my faith in the future that God has for me which he will slowly reveal to me.

Things that have helped me being home

- Talk to Returned Missionaries when you are struggling
(They know exactly how you feel)

- Applying for a job or School ASAP
(Helps you stay busy and with a purpose)

- Getting a calling
(again makes you feel like you have a purpose)

- Talking to church leaders and being honest about what it is like being home
(they are more than happy to listen and to help, they don't want us to suffer in silence)

- Staying in contact with people I taught or served with
(this one goes without saying)

- Plan a trip back to my mission
(gives you something to look forward too, obviously that might not feesable for some of you, but skype is the next best thing)

The struggle is real but it only gets better the longer you have been home.

"Believe in good things to come"

Thanks Elder Holland.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

2016 innit

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!

Now that we have had so much turkey over Christmas we actually look like a turkey it's time for a new year. #NewYearNewMe
C'mon we've all seen about 7 statuses that are about someone giving up unhealthy eating and going to the gym more often then hours later they're eating some chocolate bar. 

I had the best New Year's I could have hoped for with it being my first one being home from my mission. 

My brother and I drove down to London! 3 and a half hours really couldn't come quick enough. I also have to congratulate myself on driving in London for the first time and came out without accident. MIRACLES!
Seriously, driving in London makes me miss the countryside, it's a completely different world down south. Everyone was pippin their horn for what seemed like just the fun of it, I almost wanted to join in!

Once we arrived into London we met up with our friends from Birmingham and we hit the streets! It's fun being a tourist in your own country. We went to some museums which had .... some culture stuff in it.. and then we were just exploring because that's what real tourists do, right?

For dinner we went to a Italian place, the food was really good.. well it was if you weren't my brother who got a little bit of hair in his pizza... but he got a free meal out of it

Then we went to the Hyde Park chapel and danced the night away until 11pm and walked down to see the fireworks outside Buckingham Palace. I even might have seen Queen Lizzie herself peaking out of the window to check out the fireworks hahaha

Fireworks outside Buckingham Palace

and that was my Thursday night. The wildest Thursday night I have ever had. Thursday is the new friday people!

WE LIKE TO PARTY.

yes, I do... like REALLY do

Saturday night I went the most south I have ever been in my entire life for one of my most favourite gals. 

You only turn 21 once so you gotta go out in style and boy did this girl do it. The theme for her party was "bad taste/ugly" the best part was ALMOST everyone went full out. 

oh my, what a grand ol' time it was, the party games were spot on. 

- Psychiatrist -
(someone goes out of the room and you all decide on a patter like "when you answer a question you have to stratch your head" and the person who went out of the room has to figure out what the pattern is)

- The bus game -
(have chairs in a square as a bus and you have to get out of your seat and walk about the bus as the music is playing but when the music stops you have to get back to your seat by the left or ride ride.. that part is decided before you start.. it gets pretty intense really quick!)

- The winking game -
(girls are all in a circle on a chair, with a man behind her with his arms behind his back and looking down at the floor. One man doesn't have a woman so he winks at one girl to get her to come sit with him but the man behind the girl needs to keep his woman!)

- Who's in the seflie -
( a slide show with pictures of friends, family etc with their faces covered up and you've got to guess who's in the picture)

- The lap game -
(great way to get to know people! There are a list of statements. "Move to your left is you are wearing white underwear" or whatever and you have to get back to your own seat. Whoever does it first wins! You also find out about the other people at the party too!)

3 northern lasses invade the south

Shaz, Chantelle and out kitty cat
G Mummy with a tummy



As the night went on things progressed #BabyG

WHAT A NIGHT!!!

What I great weekend to start the year off!

Now it's a new year it's that time to reflect and make some goals




TOP TIPS

1.  Be realistic
(don't set yourself up to fail)

2.  Make a plan to achieve your goal
(then you won't fail)

3.  Be accountable to someone whoever that maybe
(then you really won't fail)


now that's all done go and make you're wildest dreams come true.

Here's to 2016 #Cheers

Sunday, 22 November 2015

#FeelingThankful



 "Blessed be the name of our God; let us sing to his praise, yea, let us give thanks to his holy name, for he doth work righteousness forever."



Being a missionary in America I have now come accustom to all the American holidays. My favourite American holiday thanks giving. I like being thankful, to read about my very first thanks giving dinner.. or three click here


Even though I won't be having a turkey dinner or a piece of pumpkin pie I have been doing a lot of reflecting on the things that I am thankful for.

I am thankful for...

My Famalam, aren't they cute? They're the bestest

My mission, I am forever changed #USLCEM
Jesus Christ who is My Saviour, Redeemer and Friend
Christ's Church being restored to the earth again
This list could really go on for a while... I mean, I haven't even mentioned food..



And clothes..



For my friends, that we got to meet

social media, to keep in contact with those I love around the world
"Because life is a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about"
- I think it's pretty bloomin' lovely too Marilyn

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!




Wednesday, 7 October 2015

#ldsconf

In the world of Mormonism it is considered "it's the most wonderful time of the year!' (please tell me that I am not the only one that can only say those words through one) Yep, general conference is where it's at. 

If you're not overly familiar of the whole gerneal conference concept, general conference is where we all have to opportunity to listen to our prophet (leader of our church) and apostles and they receive revelation from God and tell us how to better our lives, I mean who wouldn't want to improve their lives right?


Here's the man himself, President Thomas S. Monson. He's the current prophet. I love this man, he is one of the nicest people. I've never met him, but why I was on my mission I was able to go to the conference centre and see him. #LifeMade I've heard so many stories about him and his acts of kindness, it was cool to see him in the flesh. This is the prophet that received the revelation to lower the missionary age and told me to go on a mission, which changed me life, so I will love him forever because of that. So yes, I love this man. Plus, he can wiggle his ears so you should love him too because he is cool.

This is what my conference notes looked like....


...jokes, I was on my couch with my 'Hey Girl' Ryan Gosling note book in my scratty handwriting and a box of Heroes for everytime someone speaks. I have to say it's a very efficient was to get through a box of chocolates. Don't count the calories, but its General Conference so you get blessed so obviously all the chocolates I had contained no calories.

Here are some of my high lights.



(Don't y'all just love that southern drawl?) 


and no, this isn't my fridge.








...in my dreams...

Anyway, just wanted to share something's that I loved about conference. 


Something that everyone is getting into and I am trying to implement in my scrpture study. 

I know that our leaders of the church are inspired men called by God and I am grateful that I have the opportunity to watch conference every six months so I can keep my life on track. I know that as we act on the words that we hear our lives will bring us more peace, and we will be able to recognise the hand of God in our Ives more. 

Have a great week everyone!