Monday, September 24, 2012

"I Should Have Been a Great Many Things"

I watched Little Women the other day. I love that movie. I have seen it many times—preferably while I am snuggled up in a blanket with a mug of hot chocolate in the autumn or winter weather. And if you haven't read the book, read it. Anyways, there was a quote that stuck out to me that hadn't before.

It comes during a scene where Jo March is sitting around a table full of men and the topic of discussion was whether or not women should vote. This is how it goes:

Jo March: I find it poor logic to say that because women are good, women should vote. Men do not vote because they are good; they vote because they are male, and women should vote, not because we are angels and men are animals, but because we are human beings and citizens of this country.
Mr. Mayer: You should have been a lawyer, Miss March.
Jo March: I should have been a great many things, Mr. Mayer.

Jo was actually a writer. This plus a few other things about this character remind me of myself. Maybe that's why I like the movie and book so much.

F. Scott Fitzgerald said, "Writers aren't exactly people ... they're a whole bunch of people trying to be one person."

In my mind, both of these quotes completely support each other—well, they completely support how I feel about myself.

"I should have been a great many things. Therefore, I am a writer, trying to be them all."

Here's a list of everything I've ever wanted to be starting from childhood (no laughing, I guess I've always been kind of a nerd but I don't think I ever realized it): a mom, a librarian, a baker, an author, an illustrator, an artist, an archaeologist, an architect, an astronomer, an astronaut, a teacher at elementary, high school and college levels, a lawyer, a journalist, an editor, a government worker (hey—I told you I'm a nerd).

For most of these, they were actually pretty realistic. I can check some of them off the list in one way or another, and some are still to come. For some reason, I am just not one of those people that had one thing in mind and went for exactly that. But especially in the past couple of years and in the foreseeable future, I have had and will have many wonderful experiences that don't seem to relate to one another. I wonder what these opportunities are leading up to. I know they will all come together for me somehow, it's just hard to see.

And maybe the only similar thing these experiences will all contribute to is to who I am. Me. Me, what I do with them, and the life lessons they teach me.

Yeah, maybe that's it.

Well then, regardless of what I do to build a life and to build my character, I hope to be true to myself. I hope to never let my imagination die. I hope to always be a writer—a crafter of words, a builder of imaginations.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Bread of Life

My family was so blessed to have dinner delivered to us tonight from a few wonderful ladies in my parent's LDS church ward. It was delicious. But it didn't only fill our stomachs and relieve some stress from our lives, it also filled our souls.

When our plates were cleared, none of us wanted to leave the kitchen. There was a certain spirit in the room that kept us there for a couple more hours. We all just sat around and enjoyed each others company and talked about how blessed we are. My sister who still had homework to do, brought it down to finish in that atmosphere.

I think our family really felt the love that went into preparing that meal. Though to others it may have seemed a simple meal, it was so much more.

It brought to mind the scripture found in John 6:32-35.

32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

I think I now understand this scripture a little bit better. As we come and partake of the peace that Christ offers, our souls will be filled with joy and we shall never long for more fulfillment in life. Christ will give all. So how do we come closer to Christ in order to partake? 

When we are in the midst of charity—either giving or humbly receiving—we feel Christ's love. And since we are Christ's hands here on the earth, we must be willing to develop charity and serve others in order to bring to them, and to bring them to, the bread of life. If the offer is humbly received, Christ's love will be felt and souls will be filled with joy.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What You Pray For

Be careful what you wish for. Well in my case, it's be careful what you pray for.

I spent a lot of money (more than you are thinking right now) on getting my visa application papers together so that I can be a missionary in Brazil. When everything was done and I sent off that fat envelope to the LDS Missionary Department, I remember praying that my visa would go through with ease so that my money would not go to waste.

And go through with ease it did.

My visa came through in just over a month. Brazil is supposed to be one of the most difficult missionary visas to get. You always hear of missionaries who get called to Brazil and are often sent to serve for several weeks somewhere in the states before they get their visas.

Well, I can't complain. My prayer was answered.

But that's not all. I got a call from my stake president last Thursday night. "I've been in touch with the Missionary Department. Your visa's come through," he said.

"Oh, good," I replied.

"They want to know if you can go on Oct. 10."

"Oh ... wow. That's less than a month away."

I was stunned. And I was laughing. President gave me the night to think it over. The phones were hung up, and I started to cry. And I don't think this was a happy or sad cry. It was one of those "I don't know what to feel ... what is happening with my life ... I can't believe it" kind of cry. Yeah. Then I laughed again. Then I cried again. Whew.

About an hour and a half later—after talking with my parents and praying and pondering—I called President back and gave him my answer. I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep that night if I postponed that phone call. It was confirmed at 8 a.m. the next morning that I will indeed be reporting to the MTC in Brazil on Oct. 10 instead of Nov. 21.

This is so typical of my life. There's always some kind of twist, and I'm always being whisked away to something new. Why is my life like this? Is there something I need to learn? Don't get me wrong, it's always exciting! Just strange.

I had so many things I wanted to do with my family before I left, and now we are making lists and marking calenders to try and fit over 2 months of activities into 3 weeks.

Also, I only have a few Sundays left before I go. One is General Conference, another is a designated Fast Sunday because of General Conference, and the other is our Stake Conference. That left only this last Sunday for me to be able to speak. So, I got my farewell talk together in about one night. I'm grateful that I had family and friends make last minute trips to hear me speak. They are awesome! Oh, but I was a hot mess. So emotionally unstable. Haha. But I'm allowed to be.

I'm better now, after having a few days to adjust my mind set. Although after rereading this blog post, I can tell that my mind is chaos and it's all over the place. Oh well. Writing is my outlet. If you've made it this far through the post, I am impressed.

I was thinking about this past year, and I will be reporting to the MTC 11 months to the day after I had my knee surgery. I am amazed and so grateful at how Heavenly Father has gotten me through this last year. It should have been one of the hardest times of my life, but it turned out to be one of the happiest times of my life. It's amazing what a positive attitude and a little faith can do. I felt Him carrying me, and I don't think He ever set me down. Not once. Not to rest his arms, not to take a nap, and not to test if I was ready to stand on my own.

He is there. He always is.