Thursday, April 29, 2010

Photo Friday!!!

I don't think that I ever posted many photos of Brazil. . .

As a missionary, I lived in Sao Paulo Brazil for 18 months. Everything about my time there was a roller coaster as you will see.

This is President Bertasso my mission President and his wife Sister Bertasso. They took care of me and became my family away from home.

I was in a bairro Casa Verde for 9 months. I loved it there! IT was a huge city with lots of hills, lots of diversity, and some amazing views.

Located in Casa Verde is a little juice and burger shop called pilecinhos. It was the freshest coldest drinks you could find and they were cheap! We spent the last 4 bucks in our pocket on some cold drinks to keep us hydrated!

The last 6 weeks I was there I lived in a little town and walked dirt roads all around!

Missao Sao Paulo Norte

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Being Mormon

I am taking a religion in America class this semester. We had to write this paper about our religious beliefs. As I wrote it, I actually found out things about myself that I hadn't really noticed before. So, I am going to give you all the pleasure of reading my paper. I know that the only people who read this blog are people who know me and know that I am Mormon. However, on the off chance that someone who doesn't know me is reading I wanted you to know a little about my beliefs and how they have made me the person I am today.


Both my mother and father were raised as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon). This in turn led to me being raised as LDS. While I was growing up I hated to be associated with the title of “Mormon”. At school it was filled with many negative connotations so it was embarrassing when people found out. As an awkward jr. high student I didn’t need to add to the fire by openly sharing that I was Mormon, so I didn’t. I would participate in the church activities that my family participated in and would do what was expected of me but I would do all I could to not use the same phrases or do the things that the average Mormon did so I couldn’t be picked out of a crowd as being Mormon.

One day I realized if I hate being associated as a Mormon, why am I Mormon? This brought me to a realization that I needed to look further into what the LDS church actually taught. I needed to find out if I was a follower because I believed it or because it was the easy thing to do. At that point I realized it was just the easy way out. This was the road with the least amount of work because I didn’t have to look, search, and decide. That wasn’t enough for me any more. I wasn’t going to be “ashamed of the gospel of Christ” if it wasn’t something I even wanted to be apart of. This started a new course in life for me. I began to soul search. I read the Book of Mormon along with the Bible. I wrote notes and really tried to learn about Christ and His teachings. I had to put aside the teachings that I had been taught at Sunday school from childhood so that I could see it for myself through my own inspiration and not someone else’s colored glasses.

Through this process I gained a relationship with my Heavenly Father through prayer. I got to know His will and could feel His hand in my life. This answered the question of whether or not I believed in a God and in Christ. Yes, there is a God and Jesus Christ lives. I knew that for myself through the feelings associated with my prayers. This still didn’t answer for me though if I could believe in a generic God for say or if one church could be more correct than another. Again, I tackled this with reading about the history of the time and places encompassing Joseph Smith. I felt that if I could understand him and his situation I could then better go to God in prayer and receive an answer if Joseph Smith did see God and Jesus Christ. As I learned and prayed about Joseph Smith, I knew that he was no ordinary man. That he was selected by God to restore His church. It is impossible to say how I know this or explain to anyone else why God would chose to help me understand this.

Because I went through this process on my own without someone pushing me or putting their own beliefs on me, I am comfortable in believing the way I do. I am happy that I know for myself what I am doing and why I am doing it. I am no longer ashamed to be associated with the “Mormon’s”. I will say, however, that I am not the stereotypical Mormon. I make my decisions based on knowledge and direction from Heavenly Father. I don’t decided when to get married, who to marry, or how many children to have based on Mormon tradition. Mormon tradition does flow strongly though so it is rough to stick out but it is worth it to do what I know and feel to be correct for me instead of doing it because it is commonplace.

Through my search for a God, I found that I was going to stay in the religion that I was raised in. Is that by coincidence? I don’t know and I may never know. I thought at the beginning that staying Mormon would be the easy way out. Well, it is far from being easy. I have had so many experiences that were the hardest things that I have done in my life and I did them as a Mormon for my Heavenly Father. The hardest thing was when I spent 18 months in Brazil as a missionary. Those 18 months were the most powerful in my life because I had to rely on the Lord to get me through them. I didn’t know the language, I wasn’t used to walking 15+ miles a day, I wasn’t used to working without pay from morning to night… But the Lord picked me up when I couldn’t pick myself up. Another example is working in my calling. In each congregation or ward, the organizations need to be “staffed” with those from the congregation on a volunteer basis. The Bishop will pray about each position that needs filled and ask God who would best help in a specific position. When you are asked to fill that position, it is referred to as a “calling”. Currently, I am the President in charge of 14 girls between the ages of 12 and 18. I have a presidency that plans an hour lesson for Sunday, a 90 minute activity for Wednesday and countless other activities that we feel will strengthen these young women have an experience where they can learn they are doing this for themselves and not for someone else. This is not easy; it requires a lot of my physical time and is also mentally taxing. I worry and stress over these young ladies and hope that I am doing the best I can to make sure the Lord’s will is being done.

I thought that by doing some soul searching I would find an answer that would change my life. My answer did change my life completely but it didn’t change my religion, it changed how I lived my religion. I am so happy that I chose to find out for myself about what I believed. This has lead to a life that has been shaped by the hand of a loving father in heaven who wouldn’t lead me down a path that was wrong.


In a nut shell, that is why I am still Mormon. If you would like to know more, go to where you can find answers about Mormonism and also order a Book of Mormon to be delivered to you.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Saturday Steals

I decided I want to start doing Saturday Steals, however, I forgot... So, I am mending my ways and submitting it late.

My deal is due to the over stocking of merchandise for the most jolly holiday of the year: Christmas.

I love to go to the after Christmas sales. Especially at craft stores, they have crafty things that are cute and not really Christmasy but because the label says it was a Christmas item, I get them 80% off (or more!)

These deals were found in January at Michael's Craft stores.

1.) Tall stemmed hurricane vases. Originally $27/ Clearance price $7.49
2.) Short stemmed hurricane cases. Originally $19/ Clearance price $3.99
3.) Boxes of cute frosted fruits. Originally $9.99/ Clearance price $1.99

I have had to decorate quite a few events with these centerpieces and it has just added such an elegant flair!

I love these a ton and I love deals, so as long as I can remember to post I will show I am the queen of deals!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

the perfect pair

What are we going to do when the appendage to our little finger is gone???