20 April 2013

He Lives!

Yesterday, I received my mission call from Salt Lake! It was a long awaited exciting day. One that I wasn't sure was ever going to make it. And after a long string of not-so-great days, it was the dawn of a really dark night.

My family drove in from Longmont and Lafayette, and two of my many aunts joined us over the phone from Texas and Arizona. And several friends showed up for the great envelope opening. And without further adieu:

Dear Sister Hall:
You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the California Riverside Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, July 17, 2013. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the English language. Your assignment will be modified according to the needs of the mission president.


There are a few things that struck me first:
1. "I've never been to California before!"
2. "No Snow! I am super thrilled about NO SNOW!"

I am excited. More so then I expected to be. In fact, I was terrified that I would resent or hate my mission. "What if I don't want to go there?" And "is there anywhere I DON'T want to go?"

I had in my mind, convinced that I would be going to Temple Square. Which I was super excited about. Because I love the Salt Lake Temple. And I want to meet the Prophet. So much easier to do from his front door. But alas. I'm going to the... What is California known for? the sunshine state? Ask any of my partners. This is good. Because I LOVE warmth. My least favorite thing to be in the world, is cold.

I am surprised with how excited I've gotten. Looking up information on Cali. On Riverside history and anything else I can learn. I have a couple of coworkers from Riverside, poor souls are about to get bombarded. Moral of the story. I thought I would be disappointed. and I am not. I am so excited for this next adventures. Even though I know there will be some hard times. Really hard times. I am ready.

I want the world to know that they are loved. I need the world to know He is there. He lives!

(One of the best parts of Riverside? One of my favorites is serving there now. Watch out Chelsey Bramwell! We're about to be mission pals!!!)

15 April 2013


Peace is kind of foreign to me. Something that has been fought hard for in the last few weeks.

I never knew how much I would come to be grateful for the fight. And so soon.
I don't feel the Spirit the way I feel that most people either should or do feel the Spirit. And in times of trial, the peace the the Spirit brings is a treasured necessity. After weeks of struggling, after pulling advice from many people and meetings with anyone who would sit down with me, I felt less hopeless, but still I felt no peace.

The story here is long, so I'll cut to the chase, after weeks of struggling, of feeling like I had to go through this monster of trials without the guiding influence of the Spirit, I finally got it. It wasn't earth shattering. It wasn't life changing. It wasn't much of anything at all. But I felt... still. Despite everything; I was going to be getting off about 4 hours late, my bank account is still over drawn, my trials still are overwhelming and my life was still anything but stable. Yet, my heart was still. I wasn't panicked about finances, I wasn't struggling with trying to figure out how to fix various problems. I wasn't worried or anxious or stressed. I was still.

I had to ask, because I always trust more than one opinion for anything, but it was agreed that to feel still can be to feel the Spirit. In fact, he offered this Scripture as supportive evidence: Doctrine and Covenants 101:16 - Therefore, let you hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.

This couldn't have come at a better time, because little did I know that in less than 12 hours, history would be changed, again. In Boston, during the Boston Marathon, two bombs exploded. 130 people were injured and 3 people have died. I can only imagine the terror of that event, which is being treated as an act of terrorism. I imagine the scene as an emergency responder. You see, we have races here; marathons, 10k's and 5k's. We are put on over time and we think that maybe we'll run some heat exhaustion. Possibly we'll get the marathon C0R. Ultimately, we expect it to be an relatively easy OT shift. (well, I do anyway.) Then chaos hits. Bombs go off. Every rescuers nightmare. An MCI. Not just a dozen patients. A hundred. more then a hundred. People scream and bleed. That's just terrible.

I am so grateful today, for those who have helped me to learn peace. Who have helped me to feel comfort. And to feel still.
These two scriptures struck me the most:

And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, what even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions. Mosiah 24:14

Peace I leave unto you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 14:27

08 April 2013

Safe and Sound

"I'm not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost." Winnie the Pooh

Safe and Sound 
I feel like the narrator of the song is singing this to me.
The last few weeks have been a war that has threatened to "kill my light"

In General Conference I feel like they talked a lot about the Light of Christ, and Peace. (Probably because that's what I am in desperate need of.) And how Christ is the author of peace.
This week I've been trying to find ways to feel that peace, especially amid trials and conference sure gave a lot of ideas to ponder.

I've mentioned before that as I've been preparing to serve a mission, I've been warned that Satan would work 10X harder to destroy me. Check. That's definitely true. But what nobody thought important to tell me was that as Satan worked 10 times harder to destroy me, the Savior fights one hundred times harder to save me.

But, as was pointed out to me, "By definition, trials will be trying. There may be anguish, confusion, sleepless nights, and pillows wet with tears. But our trials need not be spiritually fatal. They need not take us from our covenants or from the household of God." (Neil L Anderson)

In my mind, endure it well has always meant that no matter how bad a trial is, no matter how strong the earthquake was that shook up my life, I was supposed to "bear a song away." That smiling and laughing were the only reasonable way to confront a trial. But the last few weeks, I have been in the "sleepless nights and pillows wet with tears" category. Grimacing through the tears.

I find it interesting though, that even though I feel like Winnie the Pooh, like it's not me that's lost, but my circumstance that is lost. And even though I haven't felt that Healer's balm, Christ has sent His people to be there, where He is not. By that I mean, people that I typically don't hear from, unless I talk to them, have sought me out simply with thoughts of love and encouragement.
Home teachers and visiting teachers have checked in almost daily and have been timed perfectly to the times when my heart needs peace the most, simply to say hi.
Friends, family, co workers, patients, workers at hospitals, SNFs and complete strangers, have risen up and been supportive, though they haven't known it.
Even my roommate, knowing that things are not alright, has jumped in to help, we have a white board in the kitchen which we are now filling with all the names by which Christ is known by.

I guess what I'm getting at, and what I hope the people out there that are like me will know, is that. I may not be okay, I'm pretty far from "okay" right now. But, enduring doesn't mean you have to be okay all the time. You don't have to be ashamed of sleepless nights, pillows wet with tears, anguish, confusion. Enduring and enduring well is that you remember that You will be okay. Because you have Christ on your side. And it's impossible to lose with Him.

What I like most about Winnie's insight is that it reminds of Lehi's dream. I am not lost for know where I am, but however, where I am is lost. I picture in my mind that I'm walking along, holding on to that Iron Rod (don't know what the Iron Rod is? click the link "Lehi's dream" then head over to Mormon.org with questions) and suddenly that mist of darkness appears. I know where I am. I'm at the Iron rod. But where I am has gotten lost. I can't see anymore, the path. And suddenly I have to trust that the Iron rod isn't leading me over a cliff or into danger.

Sometimes, life sucks. The last few weeks, life has kind of sucked. But I've got my Savior on my side. So at the end of the day, I can't lose.

I hope though, that Come Morning light
I will be safe and sound...