Friday, September 30, 2011

Helpful Reminders

I've never thought of myself as a sad person and didn't think I portrayed myself that way, but the other day I was reminded by two random strangers on the street to "smile."

This afternoon, while I was wasting time between rehearsals, I was staring at my lululemon bag and reading all the cute little phrases on it, when one of them caught my eye:"the pursuit of happiness is the source of all unhappiness." As soon as I read that I was quickly reminded of the General Relief Society Meeting I had listened to earlier this morning.

Sadly I missed last weekend's meeting but I was able to listen to it this morning while eating breakfast. As usual, President Uchtdorf's talk was not only wondeful but oh so helpful. He gave the sisters 5 things that would be useful for us to never forget with his third one being, "forget not to be happy now." He talked about the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and how people were so wrapped up in finding golden tickets that they forgot about the joy of even having chocolate. He mentioned that their dissatisfaction with not winning a golden ticket was greater than the satisfaction of even having a chocolate bar.  I'm not sure how I could ever be upset with having chocolate, but I understand what he was talking about.

It is so easy for us to set our focus on what we think will make us happiest in the end that we forget to realize what makes us happy right now.  We lose sight of the simple things that bring us happiness when we are constantly striving for what we don't have.  If we take the time to stop worrying about our future and live in the present we can open our eyes to so much more.

It wasn't that I was upset or even sad that day, but I definitely wasn't thinking about what I was doing or how my face looked to others.  Instead, I was concentrating on all the little things that I had to worry about in the upcoming weeks blinding myself to how nice the weather was and how I was able to actually have time off and to myself.  There are so many reasons to smile, and I love little reminders like these that help me to live in the now and look at the happiness in my life. I'm so excited for General Conference and can't wait to gain more wisdom!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It's About Time

Three alarms, $17, and a 15 minute cab ride later and I finally made it to church... and it felt OH SO GOOD!

I loved being at church, but it felt very different.  I mean, I know the church is the same no matter where you are, but the ward was just different.  I've been to what I think as many different wards, but it wasn't until visiting this one that I realized how blessed I am for having been introduced to church when and where I was.

In Toronto, there is only one English speaking ward.  Although it's an English language ward, most of the people are of different ethnicities and have thick accents.  There is no young single adult wards because they can't afford it.  There are about 400 people in the ward but there are only 300 families and most of them are just couples.  Many of the single people in the ward are in their forties.  Oh, and only 12 people in the ward own a car.  

None of this is bad,  its just so different to what I'm used to.  Living in Arizona, the members of the church seem so perfect.  There aren't very many older singles in the areas I've been to and all the families have been blessed with many children.  Almost everyone is white and easy to understand, and finding a ride to church is never a problem.

While sitting in church, I was thinking about how much harder it probably would have been for me to accept the gospel and having to learn in this environment.  And then it hit me, although the setting is different the beliefs are the same.  The Lord is constant and the gospel is unchanging.  I'm grateful for where I was taught, but I'm also thankful that these people although so far and different from myself and where I'm from can have the same blessings that are available to all of Heavenly Father's children.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Canada, Eh?

So I know I said I'd explain more "tomorrow" which was actually yesterday, but it was my birthday and also my first day of my new job so forgive me please :)  I recently got a job with Disney Cruise Lines and am in Toronto, Canada for training!   You can hear more about it and keep up with me by clicking here or by clicking the link at the top entitled, "Life on Deck."  I'm SO excited for this opportunity and can't wait to see what's in store!

Friday, August 5, 2011


My best friend just opened up her mission call and found out she will be serving in the Portugal Lisbon mission...I may or may not be more excited than she is!
Ok... maybe not more excited, but I definitely can not stop smiling and decided I needed to blog about this glorious announcement!

Sister Whitney Nelson and I have been friends since we were about 10 years old  and since I'm turning 20 tomorrow, that means we've been friends for about 10 years!  Not only is she gorgeous, but she has the biggest heart ever.  Whitney is always thinking of others and looking for ways to brighten their day.  She will truly be a light to Portugal's world.  I am so excited for her to have this opportunity and I know she will be incredible.    

Although we're basically the same age, I've always looked up to Whitney...and no, not just because she's taller than me.  I remember shortly after becoming friends, she started calling me "mini me" and it's stuck ever since.  Honestly though, I wish I was half the woman she is.  (haha I'm trying to be sentimental but I am cracking up because all I can think about is our size and how literal those statements can be taken haha)  She is one of the strongest girls I know, physically and emotionally.  She is beyond beautiful and feminine, but knows how to be a man and isn't afraid to try anything. She has this confidence about herself that is so desirable.  Not only that, but when she sets a goal for herself, she is so diligent in accomplishing it.  She'll probably hate that I'm saying this; but she won Miss AZ Teen USA her first time ever competing!  She is amazing and perfect in every way!

When I was investigating the church, Whitney was the one who brought me to single's ward for the first time.  She was so helpful in my conversion process, she never pushed the church on me but was always open to talking about it when I brought it up.  Her special testimony was a great example to me and I know it will touch the lives of many in Portugal.  I could go on and on about her, but I'll spare you for now because I'm know I'll rant about her again soon.  Sister Whitney Nelson will enter the MTC on December 14th so I'll be sure to keep you updated!

(P.S. I'm writing this from Canada!  I'll fill you in tomorrow :) )

Thursday, August 4, 2011

See You In Two!

 Dear Boise,
   Meet Elder Denton.  He is the best and will serve your people so well.  Please take care of him because he is one of a kind, but try not to fall too hard.
xoxo, Me


Yesterday I had the privilege to pick up Colby from the airport and hangout with him for a little bit before dropping him off at the Missionary Training Center.  Colby and I have only been friends for about a year, but I can promise you I am a better person for knowing him.  He is a complete goof ball, but he is also the sweetest boy you'll ever meet.  He is so kind (most of the time haha just kidding) and loves everyone.  Not to mention he is super handsome. Colby has one of the sweetest testimonies I have ever heard and I can not wait for him to share it with the people of Boise.  Oh did I mention he just got baptized in December of 2010?  Yeah, he's a stud.  I am so incredibly proud, and slightly jealous, of him.  I know he will be wonderful and I can't wait to hear about all of his experiences. 


See you in 2013 Kolbra!
P.S. sorry I went a little picture crazy, but they are the last ones for two years...I had to!

Friday, June 24, 2011

1 Nephi 1

So in order to really study how the Book of Mormon is our story too, I have decided to highlight scripture verses that I find relevant and relate able to our lives today.  As always I'd love any suggestions or insight on anything you think I've missed or any questions you might have :) So without further adieu, let's get started!

photo by the talented and lovely Whitney Nelson
The Beginning.
In the very first verse, of the first chapter, of the first book, in the Book of Mormon, you can find a principle that is easily applicable to our lives today. 
"I, Nephi, having been aborn of bgoodly cparents, therefore I wasdtaught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many eafflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a frecord of my proceedings in my days." (emphasis added)
In this opening verse, Nephi gives credit for who he is to his parents.  Too often, we take our parents for granted and forget that we wouldn't be who we are without them.  I know some situations are more difficult than others, but if we try our best to hold our parents to this high standing as Nephi does, we can grow to appreciate them more and in turn gain more appreciation from them.

Nephi continues with a cause&counter-effect statement to describe how the Lord has blessed him.  It's as if he's saying, "I've had bad days but I know the Lord loves me."  By simply saying Nephi had "bad days," I'm definitely under-stating what he went through; yet, because of his faith in the Lord he was able to persevere and overcome his afflictions.  When we choose to focus on our faith, we too can brush off our hard times.  Just like Nephi, we are also highly favored of the Lord.  By not losing sight of this no matter what comes our way, we will overcome.

He then ends this verse with a cause&effect statement to show he knows what Heavenly Father wants of him.  He expresses his "knowledge of the goodness of God," and because of this he is recording the events in his days.  I believe that knowing the goodness of God is inherit when you gain your testimony; however, to know Him so well to know you need to do something shows your devotion to Him.  By consciously making an effort to become closer to our Heavenly Father, we can gain a better knowledge of what He would have us to do to fulfill His work.

Title Page, Introduction, Testimonies & a Brief Explanation

Getting Prepared.
When you first open the Book of Mormon, you will notice the title page followed by an introduction, testimonies and a brief explanation of what this book contains.  Often times these pages sadly get overlooked and go unnoticed; however, contained within these seven short pages is the best description one can find of the Book of Mormon. (Click on the headings to read these pages for yourself!)

First Things First
On our first day of class, we were told to go through these pages and pick out the 4 W's: who, what, when, where and also the how.  Seems easy, but there is more than one option for each question.  Let me walk you through some of them...

  • Who: the people of Nephi, and also the Lamanites; the Jew & Gentile
  • What: abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi
  • When: in due time by way of the Gentile 
  • Where:  unto the Lord
  • How: by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation; by the gift of God
All of these answers lead up to the most important question, the Y.  These four reasons for the Book of Mormon are so important to us today because it shows that this book truly was written for us.  Here are the four Y's for the Book of Mormon, as given on the title page:
  1. To show unto the remnant of the House of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers
  2. That they may know the covenants of the Lord
  3. That they are not cast off forever
  4. To the convincing of the Jew&Gentile

A Witness or Two...or Twelve
I couldn't find a link for the pages of the testimonies, but I recommend reading them when you get a chance.  To get a free copy of the Book of Mormon, click here!  The first testimony is  given by Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris.  These three men saw the golden plates and helped  the engravings upon them.  It's interesting to note, all three of these men fell away from the church and only two of them came back before passing on to the next life.  However, not one of them ever spoke against the church or took back what they said.  they truly

The next testimony is given by the eight witnesses.  These eight men also beheld the golden plates in their hands and knew of a surety that Joseph received these plates from Heavenly Father.

The last testimony is that of the prophet of the restoration, Joseph Smith.  In this testimony, Joseph recounts exactly what happened on the night of September 21, 1823.  He then goes into detail of his experiences after including the many visions, finding the plates, and receiving the Urim and Thummim.  Joseph Smith once said, "I don’t blame any one for not believing my history. If I had not experienced what I have, I would not have believed it myself."  His story might sound a little crazy or majestic even, but I know it is true and I promise if you read it, you will have the same knowledge of this truthfulness.

Just So You Know
This page contains some facts to help you better understand just what you're about to read.