Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Sarah who smiles again.


While at my friend Jenna's house, I did something a kind of reckless... I dyed a lock of my hair black. (We also drank sparkling cider out of shot glasses, which was a little too much fun.)

So probably not as cool as you thought, but I have to start somewhere, right? Anyway, the newly blackened lock of my hair isn't the point. The point is this:

When I got home, I asked my Dad if he noticed anything different about me. He said, "You're smiling today."

*WAKE UP CALL*

In the past, I've always been crazy about smiling. I remember Cameron Comer once remarking that I "smile too much." I would walk through the halls of Lehi just smiling. For no reason! Even when I was having a bad day, I would smile. Over the summer, I would walk around campus smiling. In July when I started my job, the girl who trained me kept looking at me weird. She finally asked why I was smiling at 5 am. I didn't know. I just smiled all the time.

But I lost that part of me.

I let my emotions take over. I let my depression rule my life. Happy Sarah hasn't existed since September. She made random appearances, but never stayed long. I regret that.

When my Dad noted that I was smiling, and that made me look different, I immediately made it a goal to smile more.

Why?

Because I worship the almighty God. I worship His Son, a perfect and loving Savior. Sitting next to me on the couch are the scriptures, translated into my language. I can read them any time I want without persecution. I have three beautiful sisters who are caring. I have the funniest brother-in-law in the world, who is everything I've always wanted in a brother and more. My parents are the two greatest people I've been privileged to know. They are patient and understanding and loving. I attend the most academically competitive school in the state that is both challenging and nourishing to my spirit. My tuition is paid for. I have the opportunity to serve a mission. My mission is paid for. I have compassionate friends and roommates. I went on over five dates this past semester, which should be a freshman girl record. I have a body, a home, food, and modern technology. While growing up, I had tremendous leaders and examples all around me. They still care about me today. I really can't even begin to count the blessings I've been given. I have every reason in the world to smile.

And so, today and tomorrow and the next day, and the day after that, and even the following day, I will smile. If things are happy and joyful and beautiful, I will smile. But if not, I will smile anyway because life itself is happy and joyful and beautiful.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dad and Rob!

I apologize. The pathetic-ness times have become few and far between. I'm okay, I just need to give in every once in a while. I'm in a battle between trying to get over it and trying to confront my feelings. I don't want to repress anything, but I also don't want to give in to my emotions too often. I was talking with my doctor and we decided that by the end of December, I wouldn't let this bother me anymore. I plan on sticking to that. After December I will have no more breakdowns. I think that's sufficient time to heal.

Last night my Dad gave me a big hug and said something that I knew, but didn't know well enough: NO guy is EVER worth that many tears. Why would I even want to be with someone who makes me feel this way? I thought about it a lot and came the realization that I want someone who is on my level. I did so much pulling in that relationship. I want someone who is naturally hard working. Someone who wants to give me the world. When I find the right guy, he'll be worth the tears, but he won't make me need to use them. 

My Dad is the greatest man I have ever been privileged to know. He is extremely dedicated and hard working. He provides, presides over, and protects me. He is funny, serious, kind, and helpful. He always knows exactly what to say. He excels in his business as well as magnifies every calling he's given. My brother in law Robert is right up next to my Dad. When Lindsay and Rob met, he was just about to graduate from BYU. He had a nice paying job lined up. He doesn't love his work, but he works tirelessly anyway for my sister. They've been able to purchase a beautiful home and fill it with nice things. Rob is funny and loving and the brother I've always wanted. My Dad and brother have truly set a high standard for whoever my future husband is. I plan on finding someone like them.

Of course, in the mean time, that means I have a lot of work to do. I figure that the more I prepare myself, the more worthy I'll be of someone like them. Those men are great, and so are my Mom and sister Lindsay. I want to be deserving of a beautiful eternal marriage. I'm so so so grateful for a Mom and Dad who have taught me to not settle for less.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Now, I normally try to be positive about the way I look. I think I have a decent enough face, and I like my smile and eye color. However, this week, I just feel ugly! My bottom left eyelid is swollen--I have no idea why. But it's puffy and pink and kind of hurts. On top of that my eyes and skin are dry from the cold weather. My hair isn't cooperating, my face is breaking out. I don't have the energy to wear anything besides a hoodie and I've been staying on campus after work each morning. Therefore, little to no make up each day. And I've been wearing my glasses, not contacts. On top of that, I'm getting almost no sleep and so I have huge bags under my eyes.

THIS FINALS WEEK THING IS HARD.

But I'm almost done. And then it's Moab, LEHI, San Diego, Santa Maria, LEHI, Manti, and more LEHI.

Much love to the fam. I'm still (barely) alive:)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Happy happy weekend.

I had a gloriously wonderful weekend! It started with classes being OVER. Wyview handed out free donuts. I went on a date to Temple Square and ice skating at the Gallivan Center. (I super want to go again over the break!) Clarissa and I had a sleepover. I bought peanut butter crunch cereal. I went to the temple. I went on another date to go dancing. (Which was the craziest funnest thing in the world!!!!!!!!!) Played violin in Sacrament meeting. I taught Relief Society. Took a three hour nap. Talked with a good friend of mine. I went to a Q&A fireside with President Osguthorpe of the Sunday School with the Asian ward! And lastly, ward prayer.

Super good weekend. So grateful. So blessed. I really feel like I'm on the upswing right now. Things are getting better and I'm committed to being happy.

Love you all!:)

Quotable quotes from Fall 2012


Sarah: “I’m just trying to provide for you. I’m so altruistic!”
Amanda: “You are NOT altruistic!”

Clarissa: “Usually my thoughts consist of, ‘how fast can I scrub this toilet???”

Clarissa: “Ohhhh nooo…my jam fell on the floor. And on my pants.” *Said in a very low and slow voice

Sarah: “I don’t want to grow up anymore. I just want to be a pokemon trainer.”
Amanda: “Hug first. LECTURE LATER.”
Clarissa: “PIKACHU I CHOOSE YOUUUUU!”

Clarissa: “I really want some ice cream!”
Sarah: “YEAH AMANDA, GET US SOME ICE CREAM!” *Said from the other room

Amanda: “Hey Sarah, there’s a door right there.” *Said 5 minutes after I ran into the door

Sarah: “WHY??? WHY AM I A GIRL????? WHY MUST I FEEL SO MANY THINGS?” *Said while on the floor dying
Amanda: “Because you have two X chromosomes.”

Amanda: “CLAA…I mean SARAH!!!”

Amanda: “Sarah you shouldn’t be so picky about the jelly beans you eat…there are no brown jelly beans.”

Amanda: “It’s always fun to fry. Which is why I like being around you!”

Clarissa: “It just sounds great to sit in my pajamas and write about bigfoot all day.”

Sarah: “Kelli brought the apples by. I think her family has an apple……….I almost just said farm. Her family does NOT own an apple farm.”

Amanda: “Are you going to be okay serving in South America if you’re called there?”
Sarah: “Yeah! That’s where I want to go!”
Amanda: “No, I’m talking about are you going to be able to handle yourself around all of those ‘brown jelly beans’?”

Clarissa: “I wrote down the…Earl. I call it Earl—the URL.”

Clarissa: “Just so you know, anything good that I said wasn’t me. Wasn’t me. But anything that was bad, that was alllll me.”

Clarissa: “Maybe I should try really hard to get married while Kolton is gone, because then it definitely won’t happen because whatever we try to do doesn’t work out.”

Clarissa: “Sometimes I accidentally spell “water” with an H.”

Clarissa : “Where has Amanda been?”
Sarah: “Last night she was out studying til after midnight. She’s been spending a lot of time at the library.”
Azya and Emily W* Laughing
Azya: “Yeah I’m sure she’s studying…”
Sarah: “AM I MISSING SOMETHING? DOES SHE OWE US ICE CREAM??”

Sarah: “Did you ring check him first? PLEASE tell me you ring checked him??”
Azya: “Yeah, I checked when he was handing us our food.”

Clarissa: “Aww so cute!!”
Emily I: (To Clarissa): What you working on over there?”
Emily W: “A baby.”

Sarah: “We just tickled a camel’s butt.”

*Clarissa spanks Sarah while Sarah is washing her dishes
Clarissa: “Don’t do my dishes!”
Sarah: “Don’t spank me!”
Clarissa’s mom on the phone: “You should write her a thank you letter!”
Clarissa: “Thanks for letting me spank you.”

*Heard by Sarah from the other room
Clarissa: “I think I’ll do a hand stand….”
*crashing sound
Clarissa: “AWWW YESSSSS!!!!”

Amanda: “So I’ve spent two months practicing and people will be paying $2 to see it?”
Clarissa: “Yup………$1 for each month!”

*said while shuddering
Clarissa: “A person’s a person…no matter…how………tall.”

Clarissa: “I thought of my motto! It doesn’t matter where you’re going. Oh wait….”

*Conversation said really loudly so that two boys might over hear it
Sarah: “I WONDER IF ANYONE ACTUALLY GOT ANY NUMBERS.”
Clarissa: “I DON’T KNOW! I WONDER IF ANYONE GOT ANY DATES.”
Sarah: “BUT WE LOOK SO GOOD! IT MUST BE BECAUSE WE WANNA GO ON MISSIONS.”
Clarissa: “YEAH, BUT THEY’RE GOING ON MISSIONS TOO!”
Sarah: “I’D TOTALLY BE UP FOR A PREEMIE FLING, COME ON!”
Clarissa: “WE COULD SERVE AT THE SAME TIME THEN GET MARRIED!”
Sarah: “OH LOOK, I’M FIDGETING WITH MY KEYS AT THE DOOR……..”

Briana: “YEAH! I heard you’re going out with a six foot twelve guy!!!!!!
Clarissa: “That would be seven feet????”

Clarissa: “I smell……..testosterone.”

Clarissa: “Watch out for deer poop!”
Sarah: “Oh, I love it when they put little poopies all over the grass!”

Sarah: “I’m gonna take my glasses off when I call him so that I can’t see reality and freak out!” *said while lying on the floor freaking out.

Clarissa: “No reason to cry over spilled milk!” *Said after Sarah spilled milk all over herself and the floor.

Clarissa: “Why are there no pants? Here’s how: take off your pants.”

Sarah: “So basically these two random people have been dragged into this awkward family situation as outcasts??”

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Crandall Classic


If you ever have the opportunity to have a debate tournament named after you, I would say GO FOR IT. Truly one of the coolest experiences of my life:) I felt like the lady of the day. For your enjoyment, here are a few of the spar topics used! Spar is a spontaneous argument, so anyone given these topics would have to come up with a debate for or against it on the spot. While reading these, imagine how you would try and argue affirmative or negative:

There are two kinds of people in this world
We should debate something else
Santa Claus is coming to town
Stalkers just need to feel loved
Your judge is a fugitive from justice
MC Hammer can touch this
You can paint with all the colors of the wind
Men who can't grow mustaches aren't real men
Vampires that sparkle are easier to kill
One does not simply walk into Mordor
Kim Jong Un is a better dancer than Barack Obama
There's no such thing as stupid questions
Happy cows come from California
Gangnam Style should be our national anthem

And my favorites:
Haters gonna hate
If you like it, then you should have put a ring on it

Aaaand there you have it. Much love to my friends and family, who saved me this past week! There have been some challenges, but there have been so many more blessings.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Only Exception

As if you're not already convinced that I'm crazy, here I am retracting--mostly clarifying--a statement I made previously. I did not make the right decision, but I have learned a lot from the decision that I made. The regret that I feel leads me to believe that I was not appreciative of what I had when I had it. There were times, many times, over the past year that I could have worked things out. But I didn't. Yes, I've learned so much since then. Things that I could not have otherwise learned. However, I wish I could go back with what I know now and turn things around.

If I could teach you any one thing, it would be this: be grateful for what you have, and more importantly, who you have. Even when things are hard, hold on. Be gracious and forgiving and charitable. Never withhold loving service from someone who means the world to you. Never let small mistaken details interfere with something much grander and more beautiful. And above all, don't give up on love. Because if it's real and you choose to walk away, and it takes you too long to figure it out, then you might miss out on something wonderful.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Mid November, I pulled out my desk calendar to find that I hadn't crossed off any days since mid October. Today I glanced at it again to find that today is apparently November 18th.

Most mornings I wake up wondering how I'm going to make it through the day. I feel weak and tired and lonely at 3:30 am. It's hard to temper my thoughts while struggling to get dressed in the darkness. It's cold. And dark. Yet somehow I find myself here every night--back in my apartment. Naturally I'm tired and exhausted from a long day of projects and feelings, but I made it through. And somehow I made it through about twenty days without even looking at my calendar. How is it not still September right now??? The days feel slow, but the weeks are passing nearly imperceptibly.

In the oddest sense, I feel like that is both a test and a tender mercy. The days are long so that I can become long suffering. But the weeks and months are moving by quickly, bringing me closer and closer to my 19th birthday, when I will be eligible to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Now there's something I want you to understand: Yes, I am going through significant emotional challenges at this time. I realize that this is something that I need to resolve before leaving on my mission and it's something that I've been sincerely working on. Though I've been a miserable complainer about it all, I want you (whoever you are) to know that I'm grateful for this mountain. I can feel myself changing. I can feel myself becoming stronger and more resilient. He will make my weakness a strength.

Last August I made a decision that has affected the course of my semester. The decision has brought me loneliness and sadness. However, I know that I made the right decision. Regardless of all the hurt that it has caused, taking this new step in my life on my own has helped me gain a testimony. Where before I would immediately turn to one source for my peace and comfort, I have now had to rely completely on my testimony. That made me realize how much I had neglected it. People, I now have a firm testimony. I know that prayer is direct communication with God because I have felt His presence and received answers. I know that the Atonement is real because I have seen it change me. I know the Book of Mormon is a true testament of the Savior Jesus Christ.

And there you have it, yet another jumbled and honest post from Sarah.

Much love for you all.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

I've been fighting this heart break for nine months. I've been fighting depression since I was ten. And in my imperfect, mortal perspective, I just want to know when I'll be happy. 

God listens to prayers. He hears me. He cares about me. He loves me.  I know and believe that, and it's one of the only things that keeps me going. He's given me answers, but they're not the answers that I want. I'm trying to reconcile my will to His. I know He has a plan for me. I wish I knew what it was, but I know that that would interfere with the growth I'm going through now. 

I haven't really figured out what I'm trying to say, so I'll end with this: however long and hard the road, I will make it through. Prayers and loves are much appreciated.

(More posts, good posts, to come later.)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Despair. 

That kind of describes how I've been feeling for the past week. I'm not really sure what has brought me to this, but it has become increasingly difficult to accomplish anything. I want to get out and have fun, but I sometimes literally cannot pull myself out of bed. Today was better than the past few days, but it's hard because now I have a lot of catching up to do.

A book on my shelf caught my eye. It's a collection of quotes by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. I actually was a little disappointed to see it because it was given to me by someone who used to mean a lot to me. I opened it up and sure enough, the same small love note was inside. Then the usual pathetic tears. I quickly flipped to a random page, hoping a find a quote that would make me feel better.

"Fighting through darkness and despair and pleading for the light is what opened up this dispensation. It is what keeps it going, and it is what will keep you going."

More tears, but this time tears of comfort were mixed in. I flipped to another page:

"Just believing, just having a molecule of faith--that simple step, when focused on the Lord Jesus Christ, has ever been and always will be not only the first principle of His eternal gospel but also the first step out of despair."

The word stuck out to me. Could it happen again? So I flipped through the pages one last time, only to find this:

"In a world of discouragement, sorrow, and overmuch sin, in times when fear and despair seem to prevail, when humanity is feverish with no worldly physicians in sight, I too say: Trust Jesus. Let Him still the tempest and ride upon the storm. Believe that He can lift mankind from its bed of affliction, in time and in eternity."

I wish I could say that I'm happy Sarah again, but I'm not. I wish I could tell you all that everything is okay, but it's not. What I can tell you, though, is that the Gospel is true. I don't just believe it. I know it.   What I'm truly struggling with right now is feeling lonely. The adversary wants me to feel alone because he wants me to be miserable like he is. But I am surrounded by people who love and care about me. I feel the presence of God whenever I pray in earnest. I know He is listening to me. He has blessed me with so many tender mercies. I can feel the compassion of my Savior. Because Jesus Christ has experienced complete isolation, I never have to be alone.

Hope.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Jenna Bug & Rahrah


The Unforgettable Summer
October 20, 2010
Revised October 21, 2012



It was a typical summer day; warm, sunny, and dry. However, this beautiful day was about to become very atypical and blaze a terrible, yet comedic, memory into my mind.

A year earlier, I had moved to Lehi, Utah. I became fast friends with my backyard neighbors Jenna and Emilie. Amelia, my little sister, usually tagged along. Over the summer break from school, we spent every day making smoothies, playing board games, and chasing boys. A gate between our yards connected our worlds. We would have water fights all day and waste hours on the swing set. Hearing “it’s time to come home for dinner” from my mother’s lips was torturous. Amelia and I inhaled the meal and raced back to Jenna and Emilie’s house every time. Summer nights boasted temperate weather and building forever friendships. We fell asleep on the tramp to the breeze and woke up with mosquito bites. I couldn’t have been happier.

On this particularly momentous day, of which I referred to earlier, not only did something horrifyingly unforgettable happen, but the friendship I had with Jenna, Emilie, and Amelia blossomed into a relationship of trust in life and death matters.

We were jumping on the trampoline, allowing our imaginations to stretch to full capacity. “And then, a stampede of zebras came!” yelled Jenna. We all giggled and pretended to be scared.

“Don’t worry, I will save you!” announced Emilie, in her best prince charming voice.

Our minds fashioned a cloud of dust and rumbling stampede. But no matter how promising our young creativity was, nothing was as convincing as a real cloud of dust, which is exactly what we saw.

“What IS that?” I screamed at the approaching force.

Biology explains an inherent response to distress: either removing oneself from the problem, or aggression. This phenomenon is more commonly known as “fight or flight”. Amelia, too feeble to fight against the unknown, exemplified the “flight” response by zooming to the tree house and soaring to the top thereof. The rest of us paid no attention, as we were focused on the oncoming herd of cows. Yes, cows; chunky, milky, and fuzzy. Down the street from our houses was a small farm. They must have broken free and were running away from the zebra stampede too…

Emilie and I soon joined Amelia at the top of the tree house. We poked our heads out and called for Jenna. Being the oldest and toughest, Jenna refused to climb to safety. Charlie, her pet dachshund, barked madly and circled dizzily around the base of the tree house.

Upon arriving at the scene, the cows just passed right through. Anticlimactic, is it not? Our shrieks were silenced and the adrenaline pumping through me began to subside. Emilie, Amelia, and I returned to Jenna on the tramp and broke into a fit of silly laughter. We rolled around and giggled.

“You were SO scared Amelia. Suddenly, you were, like, GONE! I just wanted to stay down here and see them.” Jenna explained her vantage point of the story and completed it with a question, “where did they come from?”

Amelia, still shaken, laughed nervously. Before Emilie and I could answer, her mom had stepped outside. “Mom! Mom, mom, mom!!!” we all exclaimed.

“What was all that screaming about? You girls need to calm down.” Before turning back to the open door, her eyes caught the trampled flower bed. The cows, in their hurry to run away from the zebra stampede, had inadvertently demolished, destroyed, and decimated Jenna and Emilie’s mom’s flowers. “My flowers! What happened? What did you do?!” She was furious.

“But Mom, the cows! They were running! And there were thousands of them! And we yelled at them. But they wouldn’t stop! MOM! It was the cows!” Emilie might or might not have exaggerated in her attempt to dispel her mom’s anger.

“Emilie Nicole Marsden! Don’t lie to me! I need you girls to leave my flowers alone.”

Later, a neighbor called to ask her if she had seen the cow stampede passing through. She apologized to her daughters, Amelia, and me. “Your story was just so impractical! I’m sorry I didn’t believe you, Emilie.”

Since then, there have been many times in my life that I’ve thought back to this moment. No, I’m not about to make up a stupid analogy about how cows represent some negative emotion and climbing the tree house is our safeguard and whatnot. I will, however, point out that this incident is most definitely movie-worthy.

The reason this has stuck with me is that I’ve always considered Jenna my closest friend. Not only that, but the strongest. She was always the one to stand up to the challenge and put herself in the middle of it all. She’s gone through so much, and I admire her strength.

Things change. Jenna, my best friend of twelve years, moved two hours away during my junior year of high school. And now, as she’s attending Snow College in Ephraim, we’re still kept apart. But one constant thing I can count on is the relationship we have and the trust we’ve built. Sure, things aren’t the summer fairytale that they once were. We no longer stay up all night singing Britney Spears and eating Tabasco-drenched popcorn. Instead of chasing boys, we’re crying about them and commiserating with each other. We don’t play as many games and our imaginations aren’t near as extensive as they once were. Neither of us have the time to be what we used to be: kids. Instead, we’re growing up. We’re both adults (ugh!)! We’re learning that the world is bigger than our backyards and trials are harder than a stampede of cows. It would be easier to go back, but it’s better to move on. 

In the past few weeks alone, our relationship has taken major strides. We’re working through challenges and we’re learning to be more honest with each other. Though things have become increasingly more difficult, I’m grateful for the happy summer memories we have to look back to. Though I am incapable of seeing Jenna the way that our Father and Savior see her, I am grateful for the glimpse they’ve given me of perfect love for a dear friend. 

Friday, November 23, 2012


One of my favorite things about BYUSA is the well defined vision and mission statement. My Student Council advisor last year also emphasized the importance of having a mission statement. So, cheesy as it may be, here is my mission statement.


As a daughter of God seeking to become more like my Savior, I strive to:
Radiate sunshine by cultivating a spirit of optimism and gratitude
Become a highly capable leader centered on Jesus Christ
Refine and increase the talents and knowledge that I have been blessed with
Be willing to submit to and wait upon the Lord
Develop a deeper and stronger testimony of the restored Gospel
Improve relationships with friends and family through effective communication
Actively serve graciously and with charity to all
Remain morally pure and virtuous, keeping the holy temple as my ultimate goal
Never doubt that I have the capacity to overcome any trial
Live my life on purpose, with passion, and to its full potential

Things have been rough, but I am determined to get better.

- Sarah Crandall

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sorry people. So many emotions. Today I will try harder.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Come, thou fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
Mount of thy redeeming love.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
Hither by thy help I'm come;
And I hope, by thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed his precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for thy courts above.

This song so adequately describes how I'm feeling right now. I have been shown love and mercy from my Father. I desire to praise Him more than I ever have before! An Ebenezer is a remembrance stone that represents a new beginning or change of heart. I feel like I've had a change of heart in the past three months. I feel like the people of King Benjamin, who said in Mosiah 5 that the "Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent" had "wrought a mighty change" in their hearts. They wanted "to do good continually" and make covenants. I've made some mistakes in my life. I definitely strayed from the path that God would have me follow; but Jesus has saved me. I have two favorite lines in this song. The first is "He, to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood." I'm blessed to now have a strong testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I have faith in its ability to cleanse us of our sins and weaknesses. And so, I am completely reliant on the grace and mercy of my Savior. I feel like I'm in the process of becoming fully converted. I am "bind[ing] my wandering heart" to him. My second favorite line is that last line of the song: "Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for they courts above." Recent experiences have led me to believe that I have NO idea what I'm doing with my heart. Six months ago I had a ten/twenty/fifty year plan. I thought I knew who I was going to be with and what I would be doing for the rest of my life. I'm still in the process of purging my heart of those feelings (as has been made obvious by recent emotionally-charged posts). But I'm improving. I'm becoming stronger. I have an important work to do and God is preparing me for it. Everyday I'm working to get better at turning my heart over to Him. I truly want Him to take my heart and make it whatever He wants it to be. His love is more than enough for me.

His love is also more than enough for you. If you are making mistakes, or are sad, lonely, or afflicted, then turn to Him. And the more I understand and feel His love for me, the more I can feel His love for everyone else. He loves you enormously. (As do I.)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

When you least expect it.

There are people watching out for me. I'm grateful to live among so many spiritually receptive servants of God. For the first time ever, I have felt an overwhelming amount of support and love. In high school, I spent most of my lunches in the library or debate room doing homework. Though I tried really hard to fit in, nothing clicked. There were a few occasions when a person would reach out to help me, but besides that, I felt like my efforts to be friendly were largely ignored. 

Monday night, I was in desperate need of a priesthood blessing. My FHE brother and dad, Harrison and Sam, came and gave me a blessing with dedicated oil. They came prepared with the spirit. This blessing helped prepare me for the things I faced on Tuesday. 

A girl in my ward, Azya, has been especially kind to me. Wednesday morning, she woke up early to walk with me to work at 4 am. She didn't know what had happened to me Tuesday night. She only felt inspired to be there for me Wednesday morning. And we went to a fireside together that night where I was able to feel the spirit. I'm grateful that I did not have to sit alone. On top of inviting me to sit with her, we met up with a few other girls from the ward. It feels nice to finally fit in somewhere. 

On Wednesday, also, Harrison met up with me on campus to give me a hug. That was it. I texted him and told him I needed a hug, and immediately he was willing to step in. We met up and talked for a bit. I'm so grateful for his friendship. Since then, he's contacted me again today to make sure I'm doing alright. 

Elaine is a girl in my Spanish class that I've become very close with! We see each other every day in class and we've also spent a lot of time together outside of class. On Wednesday, she spent an hour with me. I don't think I would have been able to make it through that hour alone. We decided that we wanted to do something fun and out of the ordinary. A woman handed us a flier for a study abroad fair where Vocal Point would be performing. And they were serving free food! We had a great time!

I also received a text message from my dearest friend, Jenna Marsden. It was a silly comic, but it was enough to give me a little giggle. I love her so much for every time she's been there for me. I cannot wait until the next time I get to see her and hug her. It's been over 6 months, which is far too long.

This morning, the thing that has been trying me became more difficult. I felt dizzy and my breathing began to speed up. I didn't want to have another anxiety attack. I resolved to overcome this trial. I fell to my knees and prayed for the pain to be taken from me. As soon as I closed my prayer, my Dad called me. I couldn't keep from crying. He didn't know what was going on, but he called me at the precise moment I needed him.

My dear friend Emily--and roommate from Late Summer Honors--texted me today to let me know that she and Emily--another friend from Late Summer Honors--wanted to plan a lunch date with me. Emily and Emily don't know what's been going on. They don't know what happened to me this morning. They, however, have acted on the impression that I need help. We're meeting tomorrow.

Today, again, Elaine and I spent some time together. We talked and talked and talked about a lot things. Feelings, boys, relationships, etc. We have a lot of the same struggles with mental illnesses. It feels nice to talk with someone who understands what I'm going through.

While walking home from school today, I called my high school debate coach and told him about everything that's going on. He and I talked briefly about my depression when I was in school, so he's always sort of known what's going on. He has a way of always checking up on me without necessarily bringing it up. He's extremely perceptive. For example, at the first tournament I judged at this year, when I first saw him, he asked, "what's wrong?" I hadn't said anything to him, but he knew that I needed help. Today on the phone, he validated a lot of the decisions I've been making. He made me feel more confident about my conviction to serve a mission and helped me to see with an eternal perspective.

About two hours ago, David, the Elders Quorum president, called me to see if he and his presidency could visit me tonight. There's no way that he knows what I'm going through, but he knows that I need a visit. I'm actually pretty stoked that they're coming and I'm excited to see what it is they want to tell me! I know that it will be uplifting. 

AAAND, just barely, a guy from my ward named Paul called to ask me on a date for next Tuesday! 

This is almost getting a little ridiculous...what's next, you know???:) These examples that I've listed here are for this week alone. For the past four days only. 

I'M DYING. My debate coach just called me back. Not even kidding. He shared a story with me from his life about what kind of things were going on before his mission and how his mission changed everything for him. And how he knows that if he hadn't served a mission, his life would be drastically different and not near as fulfilling. He then listened to me more. He is great. He has had a major impact on my life.

In the book "Your Best Life Now" by Joel Osteen, it talks about living with expectancy. Live every day expecting that something great is about to happen. Expect that God is going to bless you and give you what you need when you need it. 

I can't help but think of one of my favorite Hilary Weeks, "When You Least Expect It." Earlier this week I was in complete despair. For the past six or so weeks, I've been aching. I felt like I had a long way to go. But here I am, feeling so much comfort. God is mindful of me and has sent His angels to watch over me.

"It's been raining for days with no sign of it letting up.
All I can think about is how much I miss the sun.
The sound is almost hypnotizing, pounding on the pavement,
And drop by drop I forget how good the sun feels on my face.

And through the shadows, beyond the clouds,
A ray of light hits my window.
I can't believe it, but I can see it right in front of my eyes

And that's when it happens,
When you least expect it

And you know God has heard every prayer.

That's when it happens
Love breaks through the darkness
And Heaven surprised you
When you least expect it.

I've quit counting the hours I've prayed for answers,
I can't help wondering how long I will have to wait.
And why is Heaven silent while I'm running out of words
I keep on knocking but nobody hears me standing at the door.

Then through the shadows
Beyond the doubt
Heaven sends the answer.
I can't believe it
But I can feel it
Deep inside of my heart."


And again, just had a spiritual conversation with my roommates. Clarissa told me that she was praying that my pain would be taken away and that she received a feeling that depression is a trial that God wants me to go through. I've received the same confirmation. God allows me to feel sadness so that I will someday understand and appreciate a fullness of joy. However, I don't have to go through it alone.

Wow people, I have so much to say right now. All I know is that one week ago, one day ago, even this morning, I was wondering when I'd be able to make it through. And maybe I'm not completely done with this bout...but this I do know: that Heaven is shining down on me right now.

Earlier this school year, probably near the beginning of September, I was listening to Henry B. Eyring's talk "Mountains to Climb" while at work. I prayed for a mountain to climb and for the strength to make it over. I prayed for a mountain to climb and was given Kilimanjaro. The journey has been rough so far, and harder than I expected, but the things I'm learning along the way are making it so worth it. Every day I feel like crying and giving up. And then, when I least expect it, God shines His love and light on me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Every little thing is gonna be alright...

PEOPLE.

Now that you're all convinced that I'm absolutely crazy, here's a realization that I came to today with the help of my BYUSA executive director. He's responsible for helping me to develop as a leader while I focus on the planning and execution of my program. Once a week we have a stewardship meeting to lightly discuss my program and then focus on my goals and leadership qualities. 

He told me that some of the difficulties I've been having likely stem from the fact that my body and my spirit are conflicted. The biological make up of my body is prone to depression. I feel physically weak and sore all the time. I'm tired and frustrated. I'm getting no satisfaction out of things that I used to love to do. However, my spirit longs to be joyful. I have a strong testimony and a lot of faith. 

There's a misconception that people are depressed when they don't have enough faith; that if we'd only pray harder or read our scriptures more, the depression would go away. If this was true, then wouldn't the same advice apply to all trials? For example, if a loved one passes away, increased spirituality won't bring them back. Yes, it makes it easier to deal with trials, but it doesn't always make the trial go away. "Sometimes God calms the storm. Other times he lets the storm rage and He calms the child."

When talking with my doctor, and through some recent experiences, I've realized one other significant thing. Depression is a depressed mood. A person can still choose to be happy, but that doesn't get rid of their depressed mood. They can be grateful, optimistic, outgoing, hardworking, etc. Those qualities can sometimes make the depression easier to deal with, but they can also make a person wearisome for overexertion. 

My doctor said something that made me question my efforts: "Why are you trying so hard to be happy when you know you're sad? It's not wrong to be sad when something bad happens to you." We talked about healthy ways to deal with this and a timeline for how long I think it's appropriate to mourn this rejection. 

And so, yes, I'm pretty crazy. I feel more manic-depressant than anything. I'm trying to control my feelings to the extent that I don't bother my roommates and I'm still able to manage my classes. But I want to be honest about what I'm feeling. The more I try and cover up, the more baggage I'll have to deal with later. So if I'm sad, please love me. If I'm happy, love me still.

And I do firmly believe that every little thing is going to be alright. Maybe not right away, but according to His plan for my life.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

One of the best and worst qualities about me is hope. It's this ugly yearning inside of me that refuses to give up, even when all odds are against me. And so I hold on desperately to things that I know won't work out. But I hope they will.

I hope that in about 850 days from now, when we're both home from our missions, you fall in love with me again.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Happy memories from the past year and a half.



Girls' State, Walker City! - June 2011

Student Council Dixie Camp - July 2011

Titanic the Musical - April 2011

Junior Prom - May 2011

DISNEYLAND - November 2011

Beehive Bonanza Debate Tournament - October 2011

Debate Christmas Karaoke Party - December 2011

Sweater Swing - December 2011

Catalina Island - April 2012

Mrs. Peterson singing "happy birthday"

January 2012

GOP County Convention - April 2012

Senior Prom - April 2012

TSA Nationals in Nashville, TN - June 2012

Tina's Princess Party - June 2012

Neighborhood Block Party - July 2012

Gerardo and me - July 2012

Moving to Provo - August 2012

BYU Homecoming - October 2012

5k Honor Run - October 2012

Meeting my cousin Mary - October 2012

BYU Football games - September 2012
Late Summer Honors - August 2012



Sunday, November 11, 2012

"I just want to tell you, it takes everything in me not to call you. I wish I could run to you. And I hope you know that every time I don't, I almost do."

As pathetic as this may be, after everything that has happened, three months after the fact, I still have feelings for you. I've come to the realization that you could spit on me, rip out my hair, call me horrible names...but my feelings for you wouldn't change. You could step all over me or break my heart a million times, but I would still feel the same. Why? Because I served you. I helped you through some of the greatest challenges you've ever experienced. When you serve someone, you see them the way the Father and the Son see them. I see you as a child of God. He loves you and He has a wonderful purpose for you. I'm so excited for your future. I'm excited for the things you have learned and the things you have yet to learn.

And because I care about you, I sometimes have the strongest desire to call you, or show up at your door. I long to talk with you one more time. I'll keep praying that you'll invite me back into your life. Until then, every time I want to talk to you--every time I'm about to give in--I do two things. The first is that I pray. I immediately fall to my knees and cry to my Heavenly Father. The second is that I call one of my Grandmas. Those two women always know what to say to comfort me. I believe that comes from a lifetime of righteousness and service to God.

I guess what I'm trying to get at with this post are three things:

1) I still miss you and want to maintain a friendship with you.
2) I love and appreciate my Grandmas so much.
3) My period started AGAIN. This would be #5 since moving out less than 3 months ago. Every week I'm either on it or I'm pmsing, which has been a complete joy. So if I come off as really emotional, it's because I am. ALL THE TIME.

That's all. I'm going to bed now.

PS-I love you Mom and I am okay:)

Receiving my Patriarchal Blessing

The way my seminary teacher explained it, everybody has a Patriarchal Blessing. Right now. But not everyone has received their Patriarchal Blessing. I knew I had one, but I kept waiting for the right moment to get it. In October, after the Prophet announced that sisters could serve missions at age 19, I decided that I wanted to serve. Receiving my Patriarchal Blessing seemed like a necessary first step. However, I still hadn't been given the confirmation that I had waited for.

I met with the Bishop and got the recommend. Immediately I felt the Spirit testifying to me that not only was it right for me to get my Patriarchal Blessing, but it was right for me to wait as long as I did.

In the past three months, I have changed so much! I haven't always been willing to "submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord" (Mosiah 24:15). I thought I had my life figured out. I had a 10-year-plan that I talked incessantly of. Then in August, God took away a large part of it. I was heartbroken. To an extent, I still am. But I have learned to wholly rely on Him and His Son. Things aren't working out at all like I hoped they would. My life is being put back together the way that God wants it to be. I feel like I can truly say to Him, "here's my heart, oh take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above."

These experiences have greatly strengthened my testimony. In addition, I have been attending the temple regularly (which is another story in and of itself), reading the scriptures with urgency, and praying more fervently. When I received my Patriarchal Blessing on November 2nd, I felt truly prepared.

I heard so many wonderful things. In my Patriarchal Blessing, there are promises and warnings that are relevant to my life right now. There are also a lot of things that aren't relevant to my life yet. Certain themes stand out to me--themes that I've always known would characterize my life. I have been given answers and promises and blessings. It was a faith building experience. I look forward to using my Patriarchal Blessing in the future to guide me through life.

That night was literally the best night of my life. My parents picked me up, took me to get my blessing, and then we got dinner at my favorite restaurant, Costa Vida. Then we went to Lindsay and Rob's place in Lindon where I hula danced with Millie and played Just Dance with Amelia and Linds. I spent quality time in the presence of my family and the Spirit. When I was going to bed, I tried to think of all of the "best nights" that I've had. Nothing beats what I experienced that night. I am so grateful for the true, restored Church of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I wish I knew how to explain everything that I'm feeling.



I apologize for the super emotionally crazy posts that I've been writing lately. I have no other justification except that I've been going through a lot of changes. I struggle with adjusting to change, so sometimes I just freak out. One of my biggest weaknesses is not being able to control my emotions. I realize that this causes myself a lot of pain, so I'm going to work on it. I promise. I also don't want to try and cover my emotions. If I'm sad, I want to be upfront about it. But I don't want to be overwhelmingly honest. I feel like I've learned a lot about myself, my limitations, and my testimony in the past few months. I have a lot left to learn!

Here's something that's been causing me some distress:

In the past week, I had two people who were important to me tell me that they don't want to be a part of my life anymore. Of course they verbalized it differently, but that's the basic effect. 

I'm not sure what to think about this. I already know that this isn't something that I want to bring me down, but then I think about all of the months I have ahead of me...I can't bear the thought of being without them. But if this is what's asked of me, then I know that I can do it. I don't know many things yet, but here are some things that I do know:

My Heavenly Father loves me
I have been blessed with a wonderful family--including my extended family
I'm supposed to be at BYU
I am beautiful and I have a beautiful smile and light
Someday I will find a man who will love me enough to take me to the temple
I want to be happy and I'm willing to fight for it
I deserve more than I've been given by those two people
I'm not perfect, but I am righteous
I want to go to the temple and on a mission
There are trials in front of me that I need to prepare for now
I'm a good leader
There are people cheering me on
I have a purpose--I'm not sure what it is, but I know I have one
God's plan for me is infinitely better than my plan for myself
I should never doubt that I will make it through my trials

I have so much to share right now. Expect some posts in the future about my mission, receiving my Patriarchal blessing, things I'm grateful for, etc.

In closing, I just want to let you know that I am determined to be happy, positive, better, stronger, and more reliant on my Savior. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

You call me up again just to break me like a promise--so casually cruel in the name of being honest.



"No."

I knew that was the answer, but that didn't make it any easier to hear it. It suddenly felt harder to breathe. My chest still feels weighed down. I feel overwhelmed with reality. October has gone by so incredibly fast; I often find myself having to cross off days on the calendar that I've missed. Then I'm hit with these moments, and I'm reminded that this is life. The decisions I'm making are real. It's terrifying and exhilarating and heartbreaking and happy and painful. And right now, it's crippling. But every time I've fallen down, I've come back stronger than before. For God hath not given me the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. I have a testimony of that. 

Music Monday. (I realize half of these are TSwift, but her new album just came out and I'm in LOVE with it.)