Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Keep Dreamin'

Seemed like an appropriate picture - as it's such a dreamy scene. :) 

The other day as I was sitting at my desk at work having a moment when I just wondered if my life will ever change, the following phrase entered my mind:

"Keep your eyes on your dreams." 

It comes from a talk by Jeffrey R. Holland. And there's more. More goodness. :) He says:

"Keep your eyes on your dreams, however distant and far away."

I have dreams. I have big dreams. I dream of having my own family - of having a husband and children. I dream of having my own home - of not having to label my food after 14 years of roommates. ;) I dream of having my own photography business on the side while I raise my kids. Yes, I have dreams. And, at times they seem VERY distant and far away. 

But, I know God doesn't want me to give up hope. I know that He's a God of miracles. 

I am grateful for my Savior, who will make it all possible. These words have been very comforting to me the past few years: 

I believe in Christ; he stands supreme!
From him I’ll gain my fondest dream;
And while I strive through grief and pain,
His voice is heard: “Ye shall obtain.”

I know it's true. And so, my friends, let's not give up. Keep dreaming. Keep believing. Even if those dreams seem SO far away. 

I am grateful for a loving Savior and Father in Heaven who remind me when I'm going through "grief and pain" that one day I WILL obtain. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Be Kind.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle you know nothing about."

#LightTheWorld today is about comforting those who need comfort and mourning with those who mourn. This saying has been on my mind. I'm not perfect and it's so easy to focus inward. But when I see others this way- as if they have a battle they are fighting- my whole perspective changes. Maybe the guy who honked at me this morning was late to his important meeting at work. Maybe the store owner I work with who is completely rude to me is dealing with deep personal pain. I don't know. But God does. And it's my job to love them no matter the case. Maybe they need my comfort. As hard as that is sometimes.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Seek the Light

This past weekend I attended a conference with 7,000 women. That's right SEVEN THOUSAND. There were so many women they had to turn the men's bathroom into a women's and there were still long lines for both!

I've been wanting to attend Time Out For Women for years. But, it's never worked out. Didn't have the money, was busy that weekend, or couldn't find someone to come. This year, I decided to just go. And I'm so glad I did. I am a better person because of it. 

The messages were all about light. Light in this crazy world of darkness. Sheri Dew said, "seek the light so you can be the light." I love that. Cade Cheney, a blogger, talked about a trial he went through for nearly two years. I'm actually going through a similar trial and for about the same amount of time and could really relate to his words. He said at that dark time of his life he felt God say to him, "Just hold on and look for the light in the darkness." 

All of this talk of light really got me thinking. This year has been the hardest of my life. And I absolutely know the only way I have gotten through it is because of light in my life, in the following ways: 

The light of the Gospel 
There is a hymn in the LDS hymn book that really sums up how I feel about this: 

1. The Lord is my light; then why should I fear?
By day and by night his presence is near.
He is my salvation from sorrow and sin;
This blessed assurance the Spirit doth bring.

2. The Lord is my light; tho clouds may arise,
Faith, stronger than sight, looks up thru the skies
Where Jesus forever in glory doth reign.
Then how can I ever in darkness remain?

3. The Lord is my light; the Lord is my strength.
I know in his might I’ll conquer at length.
My weakness in mercy he covers with pow’r,
And, walking by faith, I am blest ev’ry hour.

4. The Lord is my light, my all and in all.
There is in his sight no darkness at all.
He is my Redeemer, my Savior, and King.
With Saints and with angels his praises I’ll sing.
Text: James Nicholson, 1828–1876

I can't imagine going through life/trials without the help of my Savior. I have been carried by Him. When I've been tired, stressed and worn out - somehow, I'm able to go on and push through. When I want to quit, I know I can make it because He will help me. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has brought so much light and happiness into my life - this year especially. 

The light of friends
I've been pondering lately how extremely grateful I am for friends. What a lonely life I'd live without them. God has blessed me so much with incredible people in my life. As I look back at this past year, it's amazing to me how God has placed people in my path to brighten my days. I can tell you of a handful of times when I've been somewhere and I run into an old friend I haven't seen in years. Coincidence? I think not. I know God has know that I needed that in my life. He knows that makes me happy and will bring sunshine into my life. I am grateful for friends who care, who listen, who make me laugh when I need laughs the most, and for friends who randomly think of me and send me a text. 

The light of family 
I have to admit, my first thought here are my nieces and nephews. They have been an incredible light in my life this year. I can't tell you how much joy and happiness it has brought me to just feel of their genuine love - the pure love of Christ. I love their laughs, their smiles, their kisses, their hugs, their kind words. It brings so much light into my life. It has been what I've needed on the darkest of days.

The light of music 
Another thing that has brought incredible light into my life this year has been good music. I feel closer to God through it. I feel more peace in my life. Work is stressful for me and good music has brought tremendous peace. 

I know that it is possible to have light in our lives, even when our lives are crazy. Even when the world is full of so much hatred and darkness. It isn't easy, but it's possible. And life is better when have light in it. 

Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, 

"There may be some among you who feel darkness encroaching upon you. You may feel burdened by worry, fear, or doubt. To you and to all of us, I repeat a wonderful and certain truth: God’s light is real. It is available to all! It gives life to all things.1 It has the power to soften the sting of the deepest wound. It can be a healing balm for the loneliness and sickness of our souls. In the furrows of despair, it can plant the seeds of a brighter hope. It can enlighten the deepest valleys of sorrow. It can illuminate the path before us and lead us through the darkest night into the promise of a new dawn."

I totally know that's true. I've felt it in my life this year. I'm so grateful for light in my life which gives me strength to move forward every day. 

I also want to strive to be a light in other's lives. I know I can work on that. I'm super excited for an initiative by the LDS Church coming up this Christmas season called, "Light the World." There are some awesome ideas and ways we can bring light into other's lives. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The God I Know

This weekend I took a little road trip by myself to Twin Falls, Idaho - three hours from Salt Lake. It was amazing. I had been tired and stressed and needed some serious rejuvenation and pondering time. I really just needed to get away and spend some time alone and with God. 

I got into town and headed straight for Shoshone Falls. I climbed down the stairs to a little viewing area and was immediately overcome. It was spectacular. Pictures don't do it justice. An incredible feeling came over me. It was like God was there with me saying, "Look at this! Look! I love you. I've created this beautiful earth for you!" I was the only one around when I first got there and it was perfect.

The next day I spent some time in the Twin Falls Idaho Temple. Gorgeous as well. There is a mural of Shoshone Falls in one the rooms, which I loved. I had a special experience there where I felt God's love.

I did a variety of other things on my trip - enjoyed good food, swam in the pool, relaxed in the hot tub, went shopping. It was so good. There are some things that totally stink about being single. My solo trips are not one of them. 

I've spent some time this weekend thinking about God. Who is the God I know? Because honestly, sometimes I feel forsaken. I know I'm not. I know I'm incredibly blessed with so much. But it's easy to fall into the trap. It's easy to, for a split second, feel like God doesn't love you when year after year you're just not getting what you most desire and what you're praying fervently for. 

But I know God is real. He's there. I do know He loves me. I know He has a plan. I don't know why life seems unfair at times. I'm not sure why a friend my same age has six kids and I struggle to get a date. I'm not sure why a friend of mine was taken earlier this year and I get to live and enjoy this beautiful earth. That doesn't seem fair.

For a while now I've been praying for answers. I've been praying for guidance for my life. And nothing has seemingly come. The answer has always been, "Wait. Hold on. Endure." Sometimes that IS the answer. Sometimes we just don't want to hear that AGAIN. But that's where faith comes in. That's where we have to trust that God knows what's ahead. We may not understand why our prayers don't seem to be answered, but God has a purpose. 

And so, sometimes we just have to keep on keepin' on. The words of Jeffrey R. Holland come to mind, "Hope on. Journey on. Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe."

The God I know doesn't forsake His children. The God I know loves His children SO much. And one day, however far away that day may seem, He'll bless us beyond our wildest dreams. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

When God Doesn't Move the Mountains

I've learned a hard, but important lesson over the past two years of my life. It's this: sometimes God doesn't move the "mountains" in our lives. He can, but sometimes He doesn't. 

Sometimes we pray with all of our might. Sometimes we've got an army of friends and family praying for us too. And still, the mountain is there. 

Sometimes we just have to climb up that mountain. And it's so dang hard. And so dang long. It seems so insurmountable. 

But I can tell you this - yes, sometimes God doesn't move the mountain, but He's certainly there climbing it with us every step of the way. 

I've had a "mountain" in my life the past two years. Actually, I've had a few mountains. It's been the hardest time of my life. But, I have to say I've NEVER felt God closer. I've never felt closer to Him. I've never had to rely on Him as much as I have had to now. I've never had to trust Him more. I've never known more that I can't do it on my own. (Don't get me wrong - there have been nights my pillow has been wet with tears because I've wondered where in the world God is and why He hasn't come through. But, I've worked through those moments and realized that He really Has been with me.)

Sometimes God doesn't move the mountains because that would be too easy for us. If He'd moved the mountains for me a year ago, would I have spent hours pouring diligently over His words and praying all of my heart out to Him, pleading with Him this past year? Maybe to a certain extent, but definitely not to THIS extent. If He'd moved that mountain would I be as strong as I am now? No, I certainly wouldn't. He wants us to grow. And sometimes that means climbing mountains for years. 

I haven't reached the top yet, but I feel like I'm getting closer. And I know when I do, the view will be absolutely incredible. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

I can do hard things

This weekend I've been thinking a lot about my pioneer ancestors. I spent some time at the cemetery where many of them are buried and have been reading some of their stories. 

They went through SO much. I learned recently that one of them froze to death after they arrived here in Utah. They also suffered much hardship on the plains- lack of food, mobs in Nauvoo, sickness, death of family and friends, and on and on. I really have a special place in my heart for them. Despite all of this, they keep their eyes on their goal of reaching their destination and they did so with faith and trust in God.

While I can't fully comprehend what they went through, and my trials differ from theirs in many ways, there's one thing that has really resonated with me especially lately. It's this: they did hard things and so I can I. 

They had faith in their trials and so can I. They pressed forward not knowing what was in store and so can I.

Elder M. Russell Ballard said: 

"The Lord isn’t asking us to load up a handcart; He’s asking us to fortify our faith. He isn’t asking us to walk across a continent; He’s asking us to walk across the street to visit our neighbor. He isn’t asking us to give all of our worldly possessions to build a temple; He’s asking us to give of our means and our time despite the pressures of modern living to continue to build temples and then to attend regularly the temples already built. He isn’t asking us to die a martyr’s death; He’s asking us to live a disciple’s life."

I love that. My challenges are different today, but they are still challenges God's asking me to go through. Life has been hard lately (or so I think. I know my challenges could always be so much worse.) I'm so grateful for the heritage I have. I look to the pioneers as examples of strength and endurance. God wants me to be strong and have faith, just as my ancestors did. 

I can do hard things. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Live More Fully, Love More Deeply

Tomorrow marks 6 months since my beautiful friend passed away. Gosh, I miss her. I miss our deep chats about life and the Gospel over Chick-fil-a. I miss her texts. I just miss her.  She was such a strength to me. Although she's gone, I know she's actually not far away. I think of her often. Her life and her passing have made me appreciate the simple things that get taken for granted. I'm blessed to experience this life. I'm blessed to breathe on my own, to walk, to run, to hike, to drive to the store on my own when I want. So many things she wasn't able to do. Life is a precious gift. I want to live it more fully and love more deeply because of Brittany Trevino. How grateful I am to know she's in a better place and because of our Savior I can one day see her again.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

I'll go where you want me to go

Over two years ago, I made the choice to move back to Utah after being prompted to do so. It was not easy. From January to September, I was job hunting and figuring out how it'd work out. Finally, in September, I felt it was time to just go. Although I knew all of the good reasons to go, I struggled with it so much. I'd be leaving behind friends and family, snowless weather and a good job with an awesome company. 

On my way to church one Sunday, I made a deal with Heavenly Father. I told Him, "Ok, Heavenly Father, if we sing "I'll go where you want me to go" in church today, then I'll do this. I'll move back to Utah." Well, I couldn't contain the tears as we sang "I'll go where you want me to go" in Sacrament meeting that day.

Since that time, it's really hit me that that hymn says, "I'll go where YOU want me to go," not, "I'll go where I want ME to go." I've had to remind myself of that often. Because my vision and His vision were different. 

I ended up in Salt Lake City. I did not want to move here. I wanted to stay in Utah County or end up in St. George. On my way out the door to move my things, I told my Mom, "I don't want to do this." 

Sometimes God makes us do things we don't want to do. I've pondered that fact quite a bit. There are plenty of examples in the scriptures of people who are asked to do things they don't want to do. 

Why does God make us go places we don't want to go? I'm still figuring that out. But over the past year, I've learned that a huge reason is so we'll grow. I've been stretched in ways I never thought possible this past year. This has hands down been the hardest year of my life. I've been humbled (and am still being humbled) to the core. 

Sometimes I feel like I'm on a wild ride and I'm just hanging on for dear life! I never could have planned a lot of this. This weekend I moved to another place here in Salt Lake. This came out of nowhere. I was not planning on moving at all.  Let's just say, I'm not very fond of moving. But this opportunity was presented and well, here I am. Moving yet again. It's reminded me that while I do have my agency, I am not the one in control here. God does have a plan and even though I feel lost at times, one day it'll all make sense and come together. Neal A. Maxwell said, "What, therefore, may seem now to be mere unconnected pieces of tile will someday, when we look back, take form and pattern, and we will realize that God was making a mosaic. For there is in each of our lives this kind of divine design, this pattern, this purpose that is in the process of becoming, which is continually before the Lord but which for us, looking forward, is sometimes perplexing."

I don't have all the answers. But I know God has a plan. I know that He wants us to be humble. It isn't an easy thing to align our will with His. But, it's the best thing to do. I'm working on remembering that God is the one in control. One of my favorite scriptures says, "Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works." (Jacob 4:10)

So here I am in Salt Lake City, Utah. I should mention that while this has been the hardest year of my life, there's so much good that has happened since living here. I've met incredible people. I recently started attending the Midsingles Ward (congregation) and it has been the best experience for me. I've finally felt that that's where I'm supposed to be. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for me there. I love being so close to the mountains here that I can go on a hike with friends after work. I've also developed a greater love for Temple Square and the history there. So much good. And it's not all about me. God needs me here. Perhaps to help someone else. Who knows. But I'm here because God wants me to be here. As hard as it is, I'm learning to trust Him and go where He wants me to go. 

It may not be on the mountain height

Or over the stormy sea,

It may not be at the battle’s front

My Lord will have need of me.

But if, by a still, small voice he calls

To paths that I do not know,

I’ll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine:

I’ll go where you want me to go.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

An Evening With an Apostle

Last month I turned 31 and aged out of my young single adult congregation. This weekend, my new stake (group of congregations) has stake conference. The speaker and presiding authority just so happens to be Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the 12 apostles. That right there is the principle of compensation. Whenever we lose something, we can something greater. I hit the jackpot! 

I went really early tonight so I could get a good spot (and ponder beforehand). I was ten rows away from this apostle of God. It was the most amazing church meeting I've EVER been in. When Elder Holland speaks and testifies it is POWERFUL. He said so much I needed to hear. I am on cloud 9.

He talked about broken things. How God loves broken things. And broken things can be made whole again. He talked about how there is happiness ahead. We will make it. We will overcome our trials. He said, "The only way we can be a disciple of Christ is to walk where He walked. We have to feel pain." We have to have the experiences we have in order to become the people God needs us to be. 

He mentioned several times that when we sacrifice, we get blessings back ten fold. 

He mentioned the scripture: "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." (1 Cor. 2:9) He said, "God will keep every promise He's ever uttered." 

Tonight was honestly life changing for me. I've been dealing with some difficult things and the things he spoke about really helped me to put my challenges into perspective. He said, "Whatever the tunnel is, there is a light at the end of it. And it's Jesus Christ."

I'm so glad I got to experience this. I know I'm lucky. I was actually supposed to be somewhere else tonight (story for a different day), so I'm glad it all worked out and I went. I needed to be there. Jeffrey R. Holland is an apostle of the Lord and I got to hear him testify of Christ tonight. It's surreal and amazing and I'll never forget it. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

My Thoughts on Motherhood

Mother's Day weekend always tends to be one of reflection for me. I think about my mother and the many ways she's influenced my life. I think about my Grandmothers and the legacies they've left.

Admittedly, I also think of myself. The reality that I'm not a mother always crosses my mind and sinks deep. The pain is real. I don't have children (or a husband) of my own. Yet. However, I think about the fact that I DO have 11 nieces and nephews to love and learn from and be "motherly" to.

I think about the kind of mom I want to be. I think about that a lot, actually. As hard as it is, I know being childless (and single) is preparing me to be the kind of mother God needs me to be. I imagine the experiences I've had and lessons I've learned from this season in my life will help me help my children in a variety of ways. 

For a long time I've tried to brush off the pain. But I've realized that it's ok and necessary to acknowledge it (I just can't dwell on it). 

It's hard when I hop on to Facebook and 3 + of my friends blessed their sweet babies that day at church. It's hard when I see another pregnancy announcement. Or another person saying how being a mom is the best job in the world. Although, I know I'd totally do the same if I had kids. 

I was really put in my place about a year ago when I was chatting with a friend about how much we want to have kids of our own. And she commented, "well, at least you have nieces and nephews. I don't." Well, talk about being humbled, huh! 

I am truly grateful for that gift. Being an aunt has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. I have learned so much about love and life from those adorable 11 kids. So much happiness has come into my life by being an aunt. And I can say I've learned a thing or two about parenting from it. 

I don't know why God hasn't blessed me with the greatest desires of my heart yet. But I do know when those blessings do come I will NEVER take them for granted. My children (and husband) will never have to wonder if they are loved and appreciated. That is for sure! 

I am grateful for the many wonderful women who are such great examples of motherhood. You might not know it, but I am definitely watching and learning from you. 

I know that motherhood is a sacred gift and calling. Motherhood is not easy and I'm in awe of those who do it. I can't even comprehend how tiring and emotionally exhausting it is. But, I hear it's the most rewarding thing. It has been said that, "Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind." I know that's true. I look forward to the day when I get to experience it myself. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

There's Hope in Front of Me

“There’s hope in front of me.” These words (from a song) have been running through my mind quite a bit recently. I believe it. I want to believe that sentence is true with all my heart. 

The past two years of my life have been the hardest, with the past 6 months being the most intense. I just hate to even write this because I don’t want to sound like a “Debbie downer” and I know that there are people with much, much worse problems than I have. But for whatever reason, I’ve felt like I need to share this. For me, the trials have been real and the hardest I’ve ever faced. It has felt like every corner I turn there is a new challenge. In the past six months: I’ve been in a car accident in which I hit a bicyclist, my friend passed away, I’ve faced employment difficulties, family difficulties and on on. I’m still in the midst of many challenges currently. 

And this next week I turn 31. This in and of itself is a challenge for me. For some people it's not, but for me, it is. At 31, it’s time for me to leave my church’s young single adult congregation. Here in Utah we have “Midsingles” wards for 31-45-year-old singles. It’s a spot I’ve never wanted to be in. Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve dreamed of being a wife and a mother. Years have gone by. Friends have gotten married and are now on their 4th or 5th child. I’ve been in more singles wards I can count. And it just hasn’t happened for me. I remember thinking years ago, “I hope I never reach that age where the Bishop calls you in and says, ‘Sister, it’s time for you to leave the Singles Ward.” Luckily for me, my Bishop is not that way at all. He’s said I can stay as long as I want. But, I’ve felt that I need to move on and that’s what the Lord wants me to do. 

Despite all of this, there have been so many "tender mercies" in my life. I know life isn't terrible and I have so much to be grateful for. And I feel a sense of happiness and hope for the future. I feel like good things ARE coming. I feel hope. God loves me and Has a plan for me. I know that these hard, hard trials are for a purpose. One of those purposes is to bring me closer to God. I’ve HAD to rely on Him. It has been the most humbling time of my life as I’ve learned (in difficult ways) that I am certainly not in control. 

As we approach Easter, I’ve felt strongly to share what I know about my Savior. I know that Christ has felt all of my pain. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said, “one of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so. “
I know that because of Christ, there is hope. We CAN overcome the challenges of this life and find peace and strength by turning to Him. I love this time of year when things start to come alive. It is so symbolic of hope to me. After a long, dark winter, beautiful things come. Dead things can be made alive again – just as Christ was resurrected. 

If you’re going through a rough time, please know that you’re not alone. I know that there is hope. Hope for good things to come. Hope for a better, happier future. One day, I'll look back at this "growing" time of my life and be able to better understand it. Until then, I trust and believe that there IS hope in front of me. 

"Hope In Front Of Me" (by Danny Gokey)

I've been running through rain
That I thought would never end
Trying to make it on faith
In a struggle against the wind
I've seen the dark and the broken places
But I know in my soul
No matter how bad it gets
I'll be alright

There's hope in front of me
There's a light, I still see it
There's a hand still holding me
Even when I don't believe it
I might be down but I'm not dead
There's better days still up ahead
Even after all I've seen
There's hope in front of me

There's a place at the end of the storm
You finally find
Where the hurt and the tears and the pain
All fall behind

You open up your eyes and up ahead
There's a big sun shining
Right then and there you realize
You'll be alright

There's hope in front of me
There's a light, I still see it
There's a hand still holding me
Even when I don't believe it
I might be down but I'm not dead
There's better days still up ahead
Even after all I've seen
There's hope in front of me

There's a hope still burning
I can feel it rising through the night
And my world's still turning
I can feel your love here by my side

You're my hope
You're the light, I still see it
Your hands are holding me
Even when I don't believe it
I've got to believe
I still have hope

You are my hope

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

When Faith Endures

There are certainly a lot of reasons to be worried these days- worried about this crazy world we live in and worried about life in general. I look at where my life's at now and sometimes I wonder what the future holds. But, we sang these words in church on Sunday and I was filled with peace. I've been thinking about them ever since. (And I was treated to this beautiful sunset that night too.) There is always, always hope. And faith is ALWAYS the answer.

I will not doubt, I will not fear;
God's love and strength are always near.
His promised gift helps me to find
An inner strength and peace of mind.
I give the Father willingly

My trust, my prayers, humility.
His Spirit guides; his love assures
That fear departs when faith endures.
(LDS Hymns, "When Faith Endures")

Boom. Fear DEPARTS when we have faith. Love that. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Lasting Love

With Valentine's Day coming up next week, I've been thinking recently about this sweet moment I witnessed last year. (And with all the negativity out there, I thought I'd share it. :) )

Last May I was in Logan, Utah for a quick trip. I decided to stop by the temple grounds to snap a few pictures and enjoy the peace there. I parked on the side of the temple and was about to get out of my car when I noticed an elderly couple getting out of their car. The woman had been driving and went over to help the man get out. They then struggled to walk over to the gate, with the wife helping the man get there. My first instinct was to get out and help them, but I felt to hold back. I'm glad I did because what I witnessed was incredibly sweet and beautiful.

There stood the man and woman at the gate of the temple. The elderly woman (who was quite fragile herself) was literally helping hold the man up while he had his camera out and was snapping some pictures. Something tells me that this couple has supported and lifted each other in many other ways and for a long time. It is refreshing to know and see that true, long-lasting love exists in this world. This was the most touching, beautiful act of love I think I've ever witnessed. It makes me think of this quote by Jeffrey R. Holland, “True love blooms when we care more about another person than we care about ourselves.”

Saturday, January 14, 2017

What Greater Goodness Can We Know?

   Each life that touches ours for good
Reflects thine own great mercy, Lord;
Thou sendest blessings from above
Thru words and deeds of those who love.

. What greater gift dost thou bestow,
What greater goodness can we know
Than Christlike friends, whose gentle ways
Strengthen our faith, enrich our days.

 When such a friend from us departs,
We hold forever in our hearts
A sweet and hallowed memory,
Bringing us nearer, Lord, to thee.

.For worthy friends whose lives proclaim
Devotion to the Savior's name,
Who bless our days with peace and love,
We praise thy goodness, Lord, above.

Each Life That Touches Ours for Good

This words are on my mind. I feel so blessed to have the friendships I have. Yesterday I found out that one of my sweet friends passed from this mortal life. It was her birthday. I am in shock and saddened, but happy for her too. It's just really hard to believe. 

Brittany Trevino is in fact the most beautiful person I have ever met. Brittany is beauty. Inside and out. She was so good with makeup and wearing adorable clothes. She was going to help me out and give me makeup lessons, but now we'll have to do that on the other side. But, more importantly, who she was on the inside made her so beautiful.

We met in 2013 in our singles congregation in Arizona. She was investigating the LDS Church and joined. I felt an instant love for her and connection to her. Not hard to do, as she's so amazing. But, I have felt that we knew each other before this life too.

I'd go over to her house after work and we'd eat Chick-fil-a together and talk about life, laugh and cry together. We had deep talks about the Gospel and trials. I remember sitting there listening to her talk about her struggles and pain and I felt the Spirit so strongly so many times. She had a remarkable outlook and such faith. I always left her house feeling inspired and so blessed to know her. 

When I moved back to Utah, we'd text each other a couple of times a week. We'd often exchange Gospel quotes and scriptures. The last time we texted was just on Wednesday (I texted her today and didn't get a reply. Now I know why :(  ). I sent her a quote and she replied, "“Oh I love it! It’s quite comforting. I love our God so much!! His hand is in our lives…” I have NO doubt that she is now back with our loving Heavenly Father and in His hands. What a beautiful reunion. 

Brittany blessed so many lives here and now she has a great work to do on the other side.  I look forward to seeing her again on the other side. When I see her again she'll have a perfect body and be free from the pain and the physical challenges she faced here on earth. I am so grateful for our loving Savior which makes it possible. 

I have felt strongly that I met Brittany for a reason. I learned a lot from her. She helped me through some difficult times. Her friendship means the world to me. I look forward to continuing our friendship on the other side. She has blessed my life incredibly. I'm going to miss her so much. 

In the couple of hours I've known that she's gone, I've been thinking about the plan. It's so easy to forget that what we're doing now is just a small part of our existence. I do know that God places us in certain places to meet certain people. We have a great purpose here on earth. God is in control. One thing I was reminded of by Brittany is that trials are a part of this life. We have to trust Him. She sent me this quote one day: "will our advertises bear us down, or will we go forward relying on the promise of God, who does not shield us from every adversity buy who gives us the guidance and strength that make it possible for us to endure?" -Dallin H. Oaks. 

Thank you, Brittany Trevino for blessing my life. For being a light. For your testimony. For your faith and strength. For your endurance. You fought a good fight. You endured well. The sun has set on your mortal life, but one day, I'll see you again and we'll laugh and cry together once more. Love you so much. God be with you till we meet again!

Brittany took this and sent it to me (this past August). She told me she sent it to me because she knew how much I love AZ sunsets.