Saturday, March 30, 2013

Being Happy Now

Sometimes I get so excited about things in the future that I am not happy about what is happening now. I just look towards those things that I know will make me happy and forget to find joy in the journey. I want to be on my mission, I want to get married and have kids and a family and a house and I know I will be happy. But I will never get the experiences that present themselves to me right now again. I will never get to go through school again with the knowledge and the simpleness I have right now because everything will be different after my mission. Find joy now. Find reasons to be happy because there are so many. Find people who bring out the best in you and make you feel good about yourself. Surround yourself with life and love. And don't miss out on an opportunity that comes your way because you may never get that opportunity again. Live and love the gospel, because it brings so much happiness. Don't waste away any time looking for future reasons to be happy because there are so many reasons right now.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Galatians 5:22-23

     22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
     23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
I am pretty picky when it comes to dating someone. Not only does he have to put up with my crazy self, but he has some pretty strong standards to live up to. The man I marry will not be perfect, but he will be perfect to me.
This scripture basically sums up a lot that I expect out of a man. There are so many relationships that I look up to in my life, and this scripture helps me realize that.
First off, the word fruit. No relationship is just going to happen. Like fruit, the seed must be planted, the tree must grow, and care must be there. The fruit won't last without proper watering, sunlight, and soil. I can't plant my seed on bad ground. I need to put my effort forth to water the tree. And I need to make sure that no matter the circumstance, that Christ has room to lighten my life. But even then, winters will come. But after every winter comes a spring and with spring comes forth the most precious fruit. Patience is the key.
Now for the key words. There are so many people I admire in my life. Here are a few examples of what I love about those people I know.
#1. Love. I don't know anyone who is more loving than my Brother-in-Law Mark. He would do anything for my sister. I am a lot like my sister. I have very strong opinions, and I don't like to be wrong. We are not always the easiest people to please. But he has never ceased to amaze me at the things he does for my sister. They got married when I was 9. So Mark has been my brother longer than he hasn't been. And I love him like my own brother. He cares so much for me and always has the right things to say. He and my sister don't have to be showy with their love, but you can tell that they are completely in love. Mark is crazy and fun and loving and the best daddy I know. I want to marry someone just like him.
#2. Joy. My Grandparents. I have never once been to my Grandparent's house without being told how much I am loved. The phrase my Grandpa always uses when he first gives me a hug is something along the lines of, "Well aren't you so beautiful? I am blessed with the most perfect grandchildren there ever was." My Grandparents are pretty old. They have been through so much together. And through it all, I have only ever seen them happy. My Papa G. answers the phone saying, "Well good morning to you, this is Gaylen." He always brings a smile to my face. I can only hope that one day I will be able to look at my posterity and my husband and feel nothing but love and joy.  
#3. Peace. My Great-Grandmother Florence Lamb. She lived to the age of one hundred and one. And although she didn't necessarily want to be living, she held in until it was her time. Her husband passed away when she was younger. In her 60s or 70s I believe. I can't imagine living that long without my spouse. I can't imagine wanting to live at all after my one true love passes away. I hope I don't have to endure that. But my Grandmother did. She was a phenomenal woman with so much peace. The moment you walked into the same room as her you felt the spirit of the Lord radiating from her being. To listen to her tell tales of her life was breathtaking. She lived as a servant of her Lord, and you could easily tell. She was a remarkable woman with so many qualities I hope to one day possess.
#4. Longsuffering. My beautiful mother. I can't imagine it being easy to be married to my dad. He is a wonderful person, but he is beyond busy. My mom left everything she knew with 6 young kids to move from her hometown of Logan to hot Hurricane. And after 5 years, while 6 months pregnant, picked up again to move to Chicago Illinois, and again after 5 years to Syracuse. My dad has had many callings. From Young Men's President, Bishopric, Sunday School, High Council, and currently as Stake President. He has also worked for the church for 16 or so years, sometimes close to home, sometimes far from home. And if that is not enough, my dad has coached every child's soccer and basketball teams for as long as I can remember. It is not easy to raise a family, and raising a family and being supportive of your husband who is constantly away is even more difficult. My mom has not had it easy. I bet she had no idea her life would take her in this direction. But she has held strong through everything that has been sent her way. She is an incredible woman. I can only hope that one day I will be as patient, loving, and longsuffering as my mom is. 
#5. Gentleness. This one I couldn't decide just one person, so I decided to make this cumulative to all of my siblings. They are the most gentle people I know. It has not always been that way, but its the little things. I am a talker, and they all make time to listen and respond to what I am saying. They know me so well. And when I am down, I can always count on one of them to know and come to my side to comfort me. They come to everything I do. They make a special effort to be there for me. I couldn't ask for a better family because I really believe that I have the best one that there is.
#6. Goodness. The only one who is not a family member. Although my family is full of goodness, there is one woman who has definitely stood out extremely in this category. Debbie Olson. Debbie is a neighbor, ward member, and friend. She personifies goodness. Every event I ever had, she was there. She was at every show I was in, she came to the pageant, everything. I never had to invite her, she was just there. And not only was she there, but she was really there. I loved getting the mail after anything I did, because I knew there would be a card from her. Even after the simple things, like bearing my testimony, singing in sacrament, or giving a talk as a little girl, there was always a card. She would thank me for sharing my talents with the ward, or the community, and she would explain to me what a good job I had done. She would make sure to be specific as to what I had done or said so that I knew for a fact that she cared enough to show up, and enough to pay complete attention. I loved having that in my life. I loved knowing that someone cared about me. And I want and need that in my life.

 #7. Faith. I don't know a single person who has more faith than my dad has. He has been the biggest example of a faithful servant of my Heavenly Father. My dad has constantly honored his priesthood. He has never done anything that would ever question anything that the church stands for. He served a full mission faithfully, and you can tell he loved every minute of it. He has accepted every call that he has been given. He gives up so much of his time to serve the Lord, and he does it with no complaint or murmuring. He has made a special effort to make time for the family. And with that time, he has made it a point to teach us the gospel and to meet with us individually and talk to us and teach us things that dad's should teach. He has been the constant instigator of Family Home Evening every Monday night for my whole life. And he has tried his hardest to make family scripture study and family prayer a priority, even with our busy schedules. He always has the answers to every question I have ever had. And he knows his scriptures. I love knowing that I can call up my dad needing a reference, and not only will he know exactly where the scripture is that I want, but he will reference me to 3 or 4 other scriptures that fit perfectly with what I want at the time. My dad has been there for me and my siblings through every challenge we have ever had. He has encouraged us to work towards our personal progress and scouting certificates by holding father/daughter or father/son meetings on Sundays. My dad is an incredible public speaker and knows what to say to an audience. He has constantly followed the promptings of the Holy Ghost to say exactly what I need to hear. I love my dad with all my heart. There are so many things that I could say about him. Whoever I marry I know will be a lot like my Papa.
#8. Meekness. The definition of meekness is: Godfearing, righteous, humble, teachable, and patient under suffering. The meek are willing to follow gospel teachings. When I read this definition one person came to my mind who fit this description completely. And that is my little brother Quinn. There is no gray with Quinn. Everything is either black, or white. He is beyond righteous. He goes early to set up chairs for church, he never complains about any priesthood responsibility he is given, he surrounds himself with good people who build him up. He is humble. He never is cocky or full of himself. He gives praise to others who deserve praise and doesn't take time to brag or talk about himself. He is very contempt. He is patient when others give him an opportunity to not be. I have given him way too many reasons to get mad, but he doesn't ever fall. He is constantly taking time to follow the gospel. To read his scriptures, to say his prayers, to live above the world. Quinn is a perfect example of setting the bar high for the church. Something that I very much admire about him. He is a lot like my dad. 
#9. Temperance. It is not easy to have self-control. But one person always did through the worst years of my life. My older brother Kendall. We fought and fought through Jr. High. I was very strongly opinionated and he drove me crazy. And I definitely let him know that. Little did I know, he would become my best friend during his senior year. Which was super great, but also pretty annoying. We grew close just in time for him to leave to college, and eventually leave on his mission. I look back now and remember just how awful I was to him. I gave him way too many reasons to hate me and fight back, but he never did. And luckily he didn't hold a grudge against me. I couldn't live knowing that he hated me. And I wouldn't want to live knowing now what good friends we are. I love my whole family and I know I haven't always made life easy. I was annoying and full of emotions and drama, so the fact that they all had enough self-control to not kill me is pretty incredible.
I have lived a very happy life so far. And although there are trials that come up in my life, I know that I will get through all of them because of the remarkable people I have in my life. I couldn't ask for a better life or better people to be there with me everyday.

What I Want Verses What I Need

I had a very interesting conversation with an old friend yesterday. I have been deeply contemplating what to do with my life over the past couple weeks, and I have been distraught over a situation that I thought was a huge deal. But after talking to him, I realized something very important. There is a huge difference between what I think I want, and what I really need. He made me realize that difference, and why I was feeling the way I was feeling. Satan has a huge impact on my life, even when I don't think that he does. He definitely knows how to get me to question the things that are most important in my life by bringing other things that I may want right now and flaunting them right in my face. And I hate to admit that he is very good at it. I have been wasting so much of my time worrying and focusing on something that really doesn't matter to me in the long run. It seems so nice now, but looking ahead 5, 10, 15 years, I can't really see it mattering at all, therefore, not being worth my time. But now that my mind is fully set on my mission, my future is looking all the better. Satan is so sneaky, but he is not going to win me over. It is not worth it.
A girl in my mission prep class shared her insights on Satan. He is not going to try hard to influence us away unless he knows the impact we can have for good in the future. Satan is trying hard on me, so I must be doing something right.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Learning to accept what comes your way is maybe one of the better qualities a person can have. I am still working on it, but its something that I hope one day I will learn. I love my life. Everything about it. I love my family, I love this gospel, I love my friends, I love school, I love every learning experience that seemed to have built up during the last 2 weeks, I love life. Life it stressful, and times have been pretty hard, but I am finally to the point where I am accepting everything, and moving on. And honestly, I couldn't be more happy.
I can't wait to be in Chicago serving the Lord... July 24th can't come soon enough!!

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Disappointment is awful... obviously. I really just wish that everything would go my way. I hate getting my hopes up and getting disappointed. Something I am trying to work on. I get my hopes up a lot in life. Especially being at college. But I have had to learn to deal with that disappointment. It will always come, even when I don't want it to. I just have to keep reminding myself that I will live, even though during the time it doesn't always seem like it.

Eternal Perspective

Life is hard. That is a given. Satan knows me so well and he knows what it takes for me to succumb to his will. But luckily for me, I have something a lot more special that he can't take away from me. All my life I have learned to look at the bigger picture. Sometimes, things seem like they matter so much right now, but will they really matter this much in a month? In 5 years? I know where I came from, I know my mission, I know where I am going. There is nothing that the adversary can do to sway me from what I want. From where I know I can make it. This gospel is everything to me. Without it, I would be completely lost. I am so lucky to have this knowledge of eternal life with my Father in Heaven. Life is too short to make major mistakes and to live with regrets. I know I can stay on the right path, the path to eternal life, if I set my priorities in order and keep my gaze on what is in store for me.

Preparing to Enter His Holy Temple

I have been stoked to be able to receive my Endowments. We spent 3 days in Mission Prep discussing the importance of the Temple, some of the promises we will make, the blessings that come, etc. I have been to 2 of the 3 Temple Prep classes. I have read the Temple Prep book that I was given, as well as read the two articles about preparing to enter the Temple that I received in Mission Prep. I obviously don't know everything about the Temple and the Endowment ceremony, but I am so excited to go. I love this church and know that it is true. The Temple will just bring me one step closer to my Savior.
I have set a date to receive my Endowments. April 13th in the Brigham City Temple. My Sister and Brother-in-Law will be here from Mesquite that weekend, and I am almost certain that all my other siblings will be able to make it. The feeling I get in the Temple now is exquisite. I can't even imagine how wonderful it will feel to be able to share this feeling with almost all of my siblings!

Crazy Life

Sometimes I don't understand why things happen the way they do. I wish I could just look into the future to see what this life has in store for me. I am a little scared of the unknown. Not knowing what to expect is frightening. And knowing that my plans can change so quickly is not ideal. I don't totally know what to expect out of my life. And although that is not my favorite thing to admit, its the truth. But one important rule that keeps coming up in every lesson, every talk, every class, is that this life will throw us curve balls. We can expect that. So we should plan in advance to be happy. Life is going to happen the way it happens, so why not live to be happy? Why waste away worrying and being miserable? I am trying to chose to be happy no matter the circumstance. It's not always easy, but it's worth it!

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Called to...?

My call "finally" came! Actually, it was only one day late. And it was not hard for me to find a last minute ride home. I didn't even have to ask anyone, someone asked me if I needed a ride. SO crazy how everything works out! I called home 5 minutes before we would be pulling in the driveway and made my family all sit down on the couches in the living room and to call my sister on Skype so I could walk in the house and immediately sit down and open my call. I couldn't wait even one minute longer. I just was so happy!
When I opened it, I skimmed through it while reading it. I thought I saw the word Illinois, but I thought there was no way. But to my surprise, it said just that. I am assigned to labor in the Illinois Chicago Mission! I report to the Provo MTC on July 24th speaking the English language. I couldn't be more excited!
Chicago is an absolutely beautiful city! I lived in Crystal Lake Illinois for 5 years. So having that be part of my mission is incredible! My mission is the north part of Illinois. It also includes one city in Wisconsin and the north western part of Indiana.
The big question being asked is the new Chicago mission. My call said Illinois Chicago mission. One of the new missions they announced was the Chicago West mission (opening July 1st). I am not totally sure what this will mean for me, but I am so excited about my call that I will go wherever they ask me to go. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Patience is a virtue... or so they say. I guess its something I need to learn unfortunately. My mission call was supposed to come today and didn't. I may or may not have had a rough time taking everything in today. But I just need to remember that my call will come when it is supposed to and it will still be the same call and I will still leave the same time and everything will be fine. Sometimes its hard for me to go through experiences like this, only because I don't really have the eternal perspective of everything. Why could I have not gotten it when I was supposed to? I keep wondering if there is something that I am supposed to learn from this. I don't know, but one day I will understand. That knowledge is the only thing keeping me sane today. That and my amazing friends who keep reminding me to be positive and everything will be okay. They got me out of my miserable bawl fest and got my mind off of it for the night. They may never know how much I needed it. Hopefully my call will come soon!


I don't do well in stressful, nervous, anticipating situations. I get so excited about the unusual that I can't eat and can't sleep. It happens every first day of school and every Christmas Eve. Well, these last three days I have not fallen asleep until after midnight and have woken up exactly at 6:30 every morning. I have eaten no breakfast, a wrap around 2:00 and forced down some dinner whenever my roommate/best friend gets hungry. My stomach kills all day long and my head hurts and I am so tired. My mission call better come this week! I don't know if I can deal with this for another whole week. The anticipation is killing me. But nonetheless, I can't wait to serve the Lord!

Saturday, March 2, 2013


My friends are the absolute best in the whole world! They know me better than I let a lot of people know me. I can be completely myself around both of them. They accept me for all the weird and quirky things I do. They always forgive me for the idiotic things I do. They are always there for me when I need someone to talk to. They make me laugh everyday. They are basically just the best! I love both of you so much more than you know and have no idea what I would do without either of you! You both better write me on my mission :)

Family is Forever

I love my family more than I can even describe. I love every time I come home. I just feel so much love and happiness here. I know that I was put in this family for a reason. They have taught me so much that I needed in my life to be the person I am today. I have so many reasons to look up to every member in my family. And whoever I marry I just know will be exactly like my brothers. My family is so sarcastic, so loving, so accepting, so kind, so fun, so happy, so positive, everything that I love about life. I will miss them like crazy this next year and a half. But I will leave my family for 18 months if it means I can help others be with their families for eternity. Thank you all so much for always being that positive example in my life! I have become so close to my savior and so strong in this gospel because of my parents decision to raise my siblings and me the way that they did. I will love you all forever <3

Friday, March 1, 2013

Let Thy Will Be Mine

Coming to college has taught me a lot about myself and about others. Being at home, I was pretty lucky with getting things my way. Coming to school, not always the case. But it has been my goal to put others needs before mine as long as I can still get the things done that need to be done. I have realized that doing things my way is not always the way things need to be done. Sometimes its better for me to let others get to do things their way. I have gotten frustrated a lot, I will admit. But for the most part, I think I have become better at letting others choose and do what they want to do.

I have been thinking about my mission a lot lately (obviously). I believe that if I can find how to make the Lord's will also be my will, I can be successful. If I forget what I think I want and what I think I need and turn my thoughts to those I am serving and their wants and needs, I will too be happy. Everyday I am finding a new reason to be happy, and I know that this gospel is the reason for that. I am so grateful for the knowledge that I possess and for all those around me who help me everyday to become the best person that I can be. I can't wait to serve!