Thursday, September 23, 2010

5 Years

So, I realized that I have been home from my mission for 5 years this week. The mission was one of the hardest and greatest experiences of my life. It definitely changed me. It was a period of growth for me that I could never forget. As a tender mercy on Monday I met some new people at FHE and 2 of the girls had served in the California Los Angeles Mission. They gave me good news about members that I loved and people I taught. It was a happy anniversary for me. I love remembering the people as well as the lessons that I learned. There were so many.

These lessons have shaped my life since, and I am so grateful for the foundation that was laid for me in who I want to be. All of that happened on my misison. I learned of the reality of the atonement of Jesus Christ, and of the reality and truthfullness of the gospel. I KNOW the church is true. Nothing can ever make me deny it. I know people aren't perfect, but the gospel is. I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father who created a plan, allowed us our agency and provided his Only Begotten Son to be our Savior and Exemplar. I know that there is living prophet on the earth today. He leads and guides our church. I cannot wait to hear from him again next week during General Conference. I know the power of the Priesthood is real. It is the authority of God on earth. I know and have felt that power in my life. I know the Lord keeps his promises. I know miracles can happen. I know the Lord does not leave us without support, and does lend us the support of angels in our lives to help us when we've fallen down. I know that it is possible for families to be sealed together forever. I know that there are so many possibilities, if we but have faith in the lord Jesus Christ. I know the Book of Mormon is True. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God who gave his life so that we may understand the truth of the gospel and the plan of Salvation. I know we are not alone in this world. I know understanding is available if we search for it.I know that we can receive answers to our prayers. I know it and depend upon it. I know the importance of families and how much my own means to me. I know that we must keep moving forward, even when it feels like you can't go on one more day. I know that diligence and obedience leads to blessings, even if those blessings come later, they are worth every second of obedience. There were days I felt like quitting, and in reality, I had my agency and could have chosen to quit. Thankfully I had companions, and a mission president who were there to support me when I felt weak. I am so glad I didn't give up. Most importantly, I learned of love on my mission. I learned what it was like to put my heart out there everyday. As much as it would hurt to do so when people seemed to trample upon it, I was willing to give it anyway. I want all of this to continue with me on to eternity. I hope that I can continue to learn, and grow and understand more than what I do at this point. I hope to one day share that love in an eternal family. I hope to continue to share the gospel, and share it with those around me. What a blessing to serve the Lord! I haven't become much since that time, but I do know that I have grown since the mission, not at the rate as a missionary does, but I have grown. I do know that my testimony is deeper and more a part of me than ever before. I have been able to utilize the Atonement in my life and what a blessing! Words cannot describe the tender mercies that abound in my life. How grateful I am for the atonement. How grateful I am to be sealed to my family. How grateful I am to have an education, to live in this country and to be so blessed. I am grateful for my mission, even though it was hard. I am grateful for the truths abounding in my life. I am grateful for the Spirit which was able to testify to me of the truthfulness and lead me to where I need to be. I am so grateful for my blessings. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have. I am so grateful for everything that abounds in my life. I am not where I thought I would be when I returned home from my mission, but I am trying to get there. I know that everyone can know the truth if they but ask in humility, with a real desire and intent in acting upon the answers they receive. I could go on for pages and pages. I love this. I love my Heavenly Father and His Son. I love my family. I hope to continue to love for eternity.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Where Jesus Walked

Here's the second poem as promised, I really do miss Jerusalem, and there are many lessons that have stuck with me, most of all that no matter how much I tried to understand how the atonement happened, and why it happened, all I really needed to know was that it did in fact happen. I know the atonement is real, and you don't have to go all the way to Jerusalem and Bethlehem to know it. I know the spirit is able testify to your heart the truth and reality of the infinite atonement. There are other lessons I learned as well, ask me about the others later :) Here's the poem I wrote for sacrament meeting, I never really finished it so it's a bit rough...

Where Jesus Walked:

Though hesitant at first and fearful of the unknown
I took a step and followed the prompting shown.
It led me to a place of conflict as well as diversity.
And so, in the Holy Land I attended the Mormon University.
I was determined to learn all that I could,
And like most students, buy something nice made out of olive wood.
Though I knew the itinerary, I did not understand what lied in store,
for deep down my heart would be changed to the core.
As I walked through historic places
They became for me, sacred spaces.

From Egypt across to Jordan and up to Galilee,
From Dan to Beer Sheva and of course Gethsemane,
The Garden Tomb, the Temple Mount
There are too many memories for me to count.
Hezekiah's Tunnel and the Dead Sea
From Shepherds Field to Mt. Sinai, these places came alive for me.
I cannot express the feelings of my heart
But with gratitude I thank the Lord, for from the start,
He's led me down paths I could have never known,
He's led me to places where I have grown.

More dependent on Him than ever before
And searching for enlightenment I asked for more.
I realized I could never walk where Jesus had walked,
For he alone could travel the path where he would be scourged beaten and mocked.
He would heal the sick and give sight to the blind,
Bring life to those dead, and teach all those he could find.
But His greatest gift was his love for you and for me,
And oftentimes we fail to see,
That he would lay down his life
And that he might willingly give it up for all mankind.
This thought of grace brings joy to my heart and my mind,
For I never walked the path that Jesus walked,
Yet thankfully,
He's walked mine.

I miss the Holy Land

So this week I have felt really old, and I realized its been 3 years since I left for the Holy Land. I miss it alot. I miss the growth, even though sometimes I felt really alone out there. The things I learned and the things I was able to see, and the amazing people I got associate with whether they were students, teachers or vendors on the street who could tell we were students and would cry "mormons! mormons!" at us are things that I really miss. I miss the amazing sunsets we would see every night, especially those on the Sea of Galilee. I miss the knock out bars and the poprocks chocolate. I miss the beanbags and the shalom shack. I miss the oasis and all the fruit they would have for us everyday. I miss the schwarmas and the pita, oh the pita! I miss Abdul at the little convienence store down the road from the lower gate of the center. I miss being able to ponder in the garden of Gethsemane on Shabbat. I miss the super attractive IDF soldiers that would take pictures with us and thier AK47's. I miss the spices, and the view from the chapel, and my balcony. I miss the olive trees, olive wood, and the olive picking. I miss hearing "bus 2" I miss the amazing lectures from Professor Draper. I miss my JC family. I don't miss paying to use a public restroom, but I miss just about everything else. I searched through my records and I found the poem I wrote for the memory book. I know I never got to see the finnished project, and so many people would never see the poem I wrote for it. So in memory of the Jerusalem Center, and all it's amazing lessons, here's two poems, the one I wrote for the memory book, and the other I wrote for a sacrament meeting right after I got back from Jerusalem. Happy 3 year anniversary!

Memory Poem:
From the moment we heard "Bus 1 and Bus 2"
We knew we would be guided like cattle all the way through
Field trips and flies, beautiful sunsets and skies,
And even a sunrise view of Sinai.
Through friendships forged and made,
We hope our memories will never fade.
Sometimes we'd guess what they'd have in the oasis for dessert at dinner.
We all knew we weren't getting any thinner.
Senior couples and teachers are here to help and bring joy each day
Learning in our classes in the morning, then we're off to the old city to play.
Everywhere we go a familiar question is asked,
"Are you mormon?" after each merchant is passed.
"Good price for you and half off too!"
They can tell we aren't Muslims or Jews.
Some say it's the light in our eyes,
But we know there's something more that shines.
The light of the gospel can't be supressed.
Though most of our time is spent in jest
Fighting for bean bags or having a snack at the Shalom Shack,
Poprocks chocolate is the best treat to pack
For the long bus rides to distant places
It always brings a smile to our faces.
Ancient cities and numerous tels
Or on the Red Sea or Mediterranean collecting sea shells,
We've spent much time studying and playing together
We know this is a special time and our hearts become tethered
To not only a sense of understanding and love,
But also to the One who pours out blessings from above.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

About Love

So yesterday at church, someone made a comment about how relationships can bring us closer to Christ, and because of that, Satan tries his hardest to rip those relationships apart. The people we are around the most can benefit the most from our gifts and talents we have to share. The Lord knows our abilities, and our potential for good or bad. He see us as we are and knows what that potential is. I believe that people do come into our lives for a reason. Unfortunately, sometimes it's hard to keep those relationships strong. It is especially hard if Satan knows that a certain relationship could be an important influence on a person in the future. Especially if that influence is one for good. I know that aside from our relationship with our Heavenly Father, and our Savior, the relationships with our family are the most important relationships we have. That's why Satan is attacking the family on all possible fronts. I think he may also try to attack future families as well, by creating confusion, by creating an atmosphere where it is hard to allow yourself to love. I have met many people from many different backgrounds in my life, and I believe they have all left an indelible mark upon my life, and mostly for good. My family and friends are those people who have made me better. Unfortunately, I am also guilty of closing off my heart to protect it, as well as at times opening it up only to have it broken. There is a balance that is hard to find at times, but sometimes, although it hurts, I think it's always going to be better to leave your heart open. Maybe it's naivee, I don't know, but at least that way you'll have no reason to feel regret. At least you made an effort to obey that great commandment. If we could only obey that great commandment, so many problems in this world would not exist. We could make life so much easier for everyone if everyone just loved a little more. Every one of us was born with a heart, and because it's a muscle it needs to be exercised, in more ways than one. Could it be reasonable to say that if we were to become more loving it would also prove to make us stronger, healthier and happier? Anyway, these were some of my thoughts today, and it reminded me of a poem I wrote awhile ago... it's in regards to friends that have come and gone, I consider them wonderful people. For the rhyming scheme of the poem towards the end it becomes gender specific, because I origionally wrote it for a guy friend, but the more I think about it, this poem is for those people who have made an incredible impact in my life, not just the guys:)

It’s hard to say why people come in and out of your life.
It’s even harder to explain when it’s time to say goodbye.
From the things I’ve learned and experienced thus far,
I’ve decided no matter what happens to keep doors ajar.

It’s difficult when I don’t understand your reasons,
It’s even harder to be patient through the seasons.
But this is the best way to understand the things above.
This is about love.

I would wait a thousand years to see your eyes meet mine.
I would ponder through the depths of time.
If through the years this meeting were never to occur,
Time would not diminish my love and I would not murmur.

Unknowingly no doubt, you have made a difference to me.
The seeds of grace that you’ve sown will soon become a tree.
I felt ultimate happiness and joy when you were around.
The lessons learned from you abound.

I can never take back the thoughts I had of you.
They seemed to illuminate when the darkness grew.
For those, I do not apologize nor make an excuse.
Nor do I intend to become bitter, angry or a recluse.

Instead, I plan on taking the pieces you’ve given
And move forward to find the secrets that have been hidden.
I think I’ve found some that will last me through the years.
Though they haven’t come through a shortage of tears.

I am better because I have known you.
My heart rejoices in that fact and refuses to be blue.
You have made me want to better.
I think you could consider me one of your greatest debtors.

Your words would make me want to fly.
I wanted to reach the highest heights by and by.
To be your friend was my greatest pleasure.
To be in your presence brought joy unmeasured.

This is why for you, my door will never be closed.
I could never forget you even if it was something I chose.
I know you may not feel this way towards me
I know it would be vain to hear my plea.

So just know that I think you are a wonderful man.
Learning to love anyway is one hard part of the plan.
If this is about love, I think I understand.
No wonder this was His greatest command.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Another Reason I love Superman

I love Superman. I realize that to be a true Superman fan, I should probably do more comic book reading, of which I haven't done much, but I love the old school Christopher Reeve movies. Superman is hands down the best superhero a girl could ask for..well at least this girl could ask for. I think I may love him more as Clark Kent just because he's so adorable trying to act like he's a nobody but in reality, he's amazing. So I got home today, and it's not everyday you hear a little bit of happy news, but this news did bring a smile to my face, and I am so happy for the family that was saved by Superman.... click the link or paste into your browser:

http://realestate.msn.com/blogs/listedblogpost.aspx?post=1786978&_blg=1,1786978

It's a good one!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Wonderful World of Wonka


So this last week the clinic paid for all of it's employees to go see Willy Wonka at the Scera shell outdoor theater in Orem. This brought back a million memories of going to plays in the park with my family, as well as random roadshows we did- one in which I really was an oompa loompa (that was only a few years ago). I have to say that it was worth it. I love being outside, and I love the arts. There is something about going to see a play that just brings imagination to life. As I sat there with my friend Katie and her two kid cousins, I just felt moments of joy. I can't explain what it was, but it has really been a long time since I felt like that. I honestly can't remember the last time I couldn't stop smiling because of happiness. It was like all cares, worries were lifted off of my shoulders. It may have been Willy singing "there's a world of pure imagination". The production wasn't anything fancy, and I can't say that there was anything particularly special about the performance, I think it was just a combination of just letting everything go and enjoying the moment.It was about remembering what it was like to be a kid.

I think also that the kids we were sitting with and surrounded by had something to do with it as well. I wanted those kids to just have a blast. I wanted them to laugh, and smile, and be happy. It was like I had ridiculous amounts of caffeine infused into me because being around those kids just energized me. I guess it was the kids most of all that made the difference. I think there is hope that is visible for the future when you look into a child's eyes. It invigorates and empowers those around to be better. The youth of today will be tomorrow's future. It reminded me of when I was a camp counselor. Honestly that was my all time favorite job I have ever held. You had the chance to be around greatness and potential 24 hours a day. You had the chance to make a friend and inspire them to be more, and to laugh and joke around with them at the same time. I think the thing I like most when I am around kids is that it is one time when I don't have to think about myself. When kids are around, they become the focus of my intent, and honestly, I just want them to be happy. I want them to be able to think that they can do anything, be anything. There is something in their eyes that isn't tangible, or discernible or describable. Hope, love, trust, honesty and everything in between can be seen in their eyes, and I think that's why Christ has asked us to become as little children. They embody all of those characteristics and beg for encouragement that you can't help but give to them. I love kids and being there at that play has definitely given me some cause for thought about where my life is leading me. I have felt so selfish lately and so consumed with what I am doing with my life, that I have forgotten to look around myself and see what I can do for those around me.

I am grateful for Thursday night because it helped me to relearn things I already knew. It was an educational night for me, and helped me grow. Honestly feeling that joy was a moment of tender mercy for me because I have not felt that way in a long time. I want to be there for others, after all, are we not all children in Heavenly Fathers eyes? Most days I wonder what I am doing, when I should be thinking about who I can serve. Then it wouldn't matter what I was doing, because it would be for someone else. Honestly I know I can't wait to have a family of my own, because I know it will be the greatest source of joy I could ever imagine. Obviously pain will accompany it, but the moments of joy will be so much greater. I am grateful for my parents who diligently served my siblings and I every day of the year. They had no break and most days received no thanks. I love them. This reminder has made me want to look for more consistent opportunities to serve. I want to write things that will inspire those kids to become better, to become what their potential will allow them to become and their imaginations will lead them to fulfill those dreams that seemed unthinkable. Because of the those kids, I want to be better, and I want to really make dreams come true. There is a world of pure imagination, and all we have to do is simply look around a view it. Kids are awesome!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunrise


This one is a conglomeration of important events that have occured in my life. These include experiences from my mission, school, and others and all under the back drop of climbing Mt. Sinai to see the sunrise. Each time I try to climb what seems to be a huge mountain, I find help and hope that gets me to where I need to be. I need to work on this more, I've only shared this with 2 friends, I owe many thanks to them. I hope one day the words will reflect my feelings about how grateful I am for divine help.

Sunrise
Oft times I've set out on my own
And found a place where Thou hast shown.
Mysteries and miracles and treasures unknown.

At times the journey seemed tiresome and long.
Yet always, the darkness was chased by the dawn.
And so I carried on.

This path marked by solitude, rocks, silence and dust
Couldn't be trod without risks, so hope was a must.
I was and am forever in Thy trust.

My biggest fear was uncertainty.
Yet when I would fall Thy invisible hand would carry me.
To the peak where I could see deep golden rays of eternity.

Sleep had now fled from my eyes
No longer focused on things below, they reached the skies.
Realizing this was where every honest heart flies.

The brilliant horizon gleamed with infinite heights
To be reached by others in search of the light.
With this thought a tear escaped my eyes.

So now illuminated with the rays of Thy Son,
I knew thy will was to be done.
Now each new day the sunrise beckons, Come.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Man on Bicycle



Tonight I did something incredibly stupid. At least- I really wasted an opportunity to get to know someone. All I can say is I am a moron.

So here's the deal. I was headed to institute tonight since I haven't been in awhile, and knew that I could use it tonight. I had just finished crossing University Ave, when I could hear someone on a bicycle coming up behind me. So I moved to the side to get out of their way. He saw that I was holding scriptures and walking somewhere and asked if I was going to institute. My first impression and thought: Runaway! Because that's the first thing I think when I smell an excessive amount of aftershave that has a strong hint of Old Spice- I like the commercials, not the scent. Second thing that I thought was he probably isn't looking for the same place. He was adamant that we were going to the same place on campus. He had good features, and a Spanish accent. I asked him where he was from- Uruguay but claimed Spain as his home. (He became a little more attractive at that point) (Shallow. I know. I know.) I asked him which building he was looking for- he said he was looking for one close to a museum- I knew that the museums were on the complete opposite side of campus. We started talking- he slowed down on his bicycle and told me that he was getting his masters degree in Civil Engineering and planned on going back to Spain when he was done. (The old spice scent had magically disappeared when he said he was a grad student) (Even more shallow. Right.)All this time he kept insisting that he was headed in the right direction- ie. following me. At one point I asked him what his institute teacher looked like and he said that his teacher was a man- He was definably not going to the same place. My teacher is a girl.

Ok. We have a problem- well a couple. I usually cut through buildings to get there because it's faster. He was on a bike, and didn't seem like he was going to get off and walk. So now I know we are looking for different places and I am about to cut through a building that he can't take his bike through. So I tell him that I am going to the grey building- and he will have to go through the parking lot to get there while I cut through the building. I was unsure at this point if he wanted to come with me to my class or if he still wanted to find his own. So I gave him the directions and he took off. I should have just told him to park his bike and that we should just walk together.(I thought of that an hour later).

I cut through the building and he's come around the building much faster than I walked, and he's back on the sidewalk, headed towards me but not... I don't know. So at that moment in time I was thinking he was trying to get to his own class. He waves, and I wave back, but he doesn't follow me, so I figured he was going to his own class. I walked on and sat through institute- (which happened to be about marriage tonight)..As I thought about the encounter I had- I realized he was probably trying to wave me down so I would walk with him to my institute. MORON! Why don't I think about these things when I am situations like that..here I am talking with a guy who's nice, attractive, athletic, foreign, and I just let him wander around with no hope of knowing where to go. Wow. Can we say genius? The worst part? He was telling me about how nice it was to be here in Provo around so many nice people and especially how he loved to be around members of the church. Then I just dropped him and let him fend for himself. Real cool Risa.

So he either thought:
A. Wow. I take it back, people aren't nice here.
B. I still need directions!
C. That girl is a moron- I specifically stopped her to flirt, and she just kept walking.

The things I can glean from this:
A. Don't judge a man by his old spice.
B. I need to be a better communicator- at least so I can give better directions.
C. FLIRT BACK you Moron!
D. I've always wanted to visit Spain.
E. Some men really can pull off facial hair. Did I mention he had facial hair?
F. Bicycle man- I ever see you again, we'll go get ice cream.
G. If a man doesn't know where he's going, hop on the handle bars and show him the way.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Of all the things...

So, I think we have all had times when we've made utter fools of ourselves in attempting to catch the attention of someone we are attracted to. I unfortunately have made this mistake many times. Obviously at 27 I should probably know what to do, and yet, I still haven't a clue. I have had crushes on guys that don't know I exist, who are way out of my league, and yes the ones that are just not that into me. It takes alot for me to actually start crushing on these boys, so when I get a crush, its hard for me to let go, because they inevitably have done something or acted in a way for me to like them in the first place. Most of the time I'm just this quiet girl that does nothing but admire from afar, unfortunately there have also been times I've decided just looking on from afar doesn't work so I tried to take some action. Unfortunately that has backfired as well. So tonight I wrote this just because this is how I feel most of the time. It's not the greatest, but I am still working on it.


Of all the things I’ve said,

Of all the dreams I’ve wished come true,

Of all the tears I’ve shed,

There’s only one thing I wished you knew.


Of all the things I’ve written,

Of all the clich├ęs, whims, and sayings so trite,

Of all the times I felt smitten,

There’s only one thing I hoped with all my might.


Of all the things I’ve done,

Of all the silly games I’ve played,

Of all the times I’d thought I’d won,

There’s only one thing for which I prayed.


Of all the times I’ve tried

Of all the times I’ve failed,

Of all the times I’ve cried,

There’s only one thing I wish I’d nailed.


Of all the times I wanted to give my heart,

Of all the times I tried to be true,

Of all the times I lacked the smarts

There’s only one thing of which I had a clue.


I only wanted to say I love you.


As in- articulate and without words expressed,

I tried to act so you’d be impressed.

I only managed to alienate and deter,

If only I could have acted in a way you would prefer.


Oh how clumsy and foolish I’ve been

Only to realize my actions and words were to your chagrin.

I’ve become “that crazy girl” in your life,

I really didn’t mean to cause you any strife.


I hope one day you’ll see

I just wanted you to get to know me.

Unfortunately I’ve portrayed myself most poorly.

If you only knew me, you’d understand surely.


You impressed me with who you are,

To find one better, I’d have to search among the stars.

You are one who is honorable and true,

I was a fool to try and pursue.


So here I am trying to apologize,

Yet there’s more to learn from this, I surmise.

One put on a pedestal inevitably falls,

Just like the boy who never calls.


I liked the idea of you,

But you never gave me the chance to see if the idea was true.

I liked the potential that was there,

Only to find out I hadn’t a prayer.


So know this, I am done.

Agony never was any fun.

Why do we put ourselves through torture?

Flames of love only become scorchers.


One thing I have learned,

Besides finding out how to get burned,

It’s something for which I’ve got a knack,

To learn to love someone who will never love you back.


So I wish for you all the happiness you could possess.

As I seek for other lives to bless.

Please just don’t forget ,

There is still one who has loved and loves you yet.


Of all the things I could have told you

Of all the things I wished you knew,

Of all the things I’ve wished from above,

The only thing I really wanted to give you was love.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Purify My Heart

I wrote this poem back when I was living in Jerusalem. I was watching the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These words just seemed to flow out of me as I pondered on the messages given. Especially the message given by Elder Wirthlin entitled "The Greatest Commandment". The comment that stood out the most to me was "the measure of our love is the greatest measure of our souls". Again, the technical literary rhythm in this poem is not the greatest, but I hope you can get the feelings I was experiencing at that moment and have experienced since then. The desire to be better, I believe, is within all of us. It is an almost constant nagging feeling I have all the time. I believe that access to becoming better is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. At least, that is the best way to go at it. Oftentimes I feel like Nephi, when he speaks of being easily beset by his sins, and his weaknesses, but my favorite word in the Psalm of Nephi is nevertheless. It is a word that leads to infinite hope. Which hope embodies the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Purify My Heart
Purify my heart- this is my prayer.
Make it holy that to heaven I may come there.
A broken heart is a simple yet sincere token.
Help me to do as Thou hast spoken.
Contrite in spirit,
This is the only way I can be healed of it.
Consume this ache and make me whole.
Help me, that to Thee may come my soul.
Charity must come
That Thy will may be done.
Sanctify me through Thy grace
That I may one day see Thy face.
Bring me closer to Thee
So in Thine arms I may be.
Purify my heart, heal my wounded soul.
Calm my cares around me, hear my plea o Lord.
I am determined to progress
and help others of Thee confess.
My life has changed,
Oh help me to those blessings obtain.
Thy understanding is eternal and complete.
Thy mercy is meet.
Thy love is unspoken yet fully felt.
Do not depart oh Lord, and tarry to be my help.
Thanks be to thee for all thy love.
Purify my heart that I may dwell with Thee above.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

More to come...

So some people may know that I want to write a book one day. Unfortunately my writing style is not very intriguing right now, as I only started to really think about writing my senior year of college.I wish I could write like J.K. Rowling, James Patterson, Dan Brown and Rick Riordan, but I am very far from those lofty goals. That being said, I want to be better. Right now my writing is about as dull as an old Bic razor but some day I want it to be as sharp as one of Rachel Ray's cooking knives. So I think I'm going to publish some things I wrote a long time ago... You'll be able to see my weaknesses, but hopefully this will be an exercise in making something very weak into something great and strong. So I am going to start by having a few posts of poems/lyrics I wrote about a year ago on days I was feeling particularly creative. The first is called:

I Heard the Lord and I Obeyed:
(written April 15, 2009)

I heard the voice of the Lord and I obeyed.
From that time until now nothing would bear sway.
It was as if I was the only one around
Who could hear His words and hearken to the sound.
But more than sound was the call to action in my breast.
A feeling most urgent which was not to be suppressed.
If the Lord felt it was important for me, who was I to oppose?
My heart was changed and I have become as I never supposed.
He knew my name for He had blessings to impart.
He knew my will would bend so he could change my heart.
The path towards that change was only walked by obedience.
And though I stumbled, I continued, regardless of inconvenience.

I heard the voice of the Lord and I obeyed.
In the hands of the Master I was made.
For only He can understand who I was and who I am.
With all His knowledge, He is not only the Savior, but the Great I Am.
Only He knows what I can become.
Only He knows how that is to be done.
If I can be obedient to His voice the rest of my days
I know through His mercy and love, He will show me His ways.
With worries forgotten, sins forgiven and trials endured,
As I listen and obey, sanctification through Him will be my cure.
Then at last I will proclaim at that final day,
I heard the voice of the Lord and I obeyed.

Obviously I am not at that point yet where I can say I have been obedient to every command, but this is a poem of a great hope of mine that I will one day be able to say such a wonderful statement. Even more grateful would I be if the Lord in His goodness would be merciful to someone so inconsistent such as I am right now to forgive and mold me into something better. I know it can only be through the atonment that anything could happen. As obedient as I want to be, I definately fall short, but this was written in a moment hoping for that one day. There are certain moments in everyone's life when, if they are listening, they can hear the voice of the Lord. I believe that with all my heart. I believe it because there have been moments in my own life when I could not deny that I had heard it in my mind and my heart.The conviction that followed those experiences were real. There are some references to that in the poem. But I still have a long way to go in consistently following and acting on those promptings. I only hope that I can as Brigham Young said, "know the will of the Lord and to do it."

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Rodeo

For the past two weekends I have been able to go see the rodeo. I do not know how I have lived in Utah for so long and never seen one before. I definately have been missing out these last few summers! My very first rodeo was the Pleasant Grove Strawberry days rodeo. I went with my friend Hilary and we had a great time. I don't know what it would be like to grow up in world like the ones the cowboys live in. Who ever thought it would be fun to get on a wild and crazy animals back and try and hang on while they are trying to buck you off? Well, I don't know how fun it is to actually be on the back of a bucking horse, or an angry bull, but it was sure fun watching them! I think my favorite at this one was the steer wrestling. Those boys are crazy. They have to jump off a speeding horse, grab the steer by the horns, stop it from running and flip it over. I do feel bad for the steers. But at the same time, I think it is probably very difficult to do. These cowboys are more than just guys that have nothing better to do, they are athletes. I came home from strawberry days with a better appreciation for cowboys and their athleticism, not to mention how attractive they look on those horses!

I went last night to Lehi Round-up rodeo with my roommates Amanda and Kindy. This time the steer wrestling wasn't as good mainly because the guys kept missing the steers. The bullriding was phenomenal though. Those were some angry bulls. I also enjoyed thier entertainment just before the bull riding contest, they a couple guys from the canadian airforce came and did some Motocross stunts and those guys were crazy too! Talk about performers! One of these days I'll have to go to the X-games and watch because that was amazing. All around I had lots of fun, and I think I have become converted to watching attractive cowboys do their thing at these rodeos. I recommend it to anyone who has never seen one of these to go and be entertained. It was awesome.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Here goes nothing....

So I am new to this whole "blogging" thing. I don't want this to be a journal, but more of a resource of my thoughts, in a myriad of topics both temporal and spiritual. I do not want this to be a forum for argument, so please be respectful in your comments. IF you happen not to agree with my views, you don't have to keep reading the blog. I really felt for some reason I needed to start this so here goes nothing.

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Many people know us as "Mormons" a nickname given because we believe in sacred literature that was translated by a prophet named Joseph Smith. This book is called the Book of Mormon. It is an account of people that lived on the American continent before and after the time of Christ's mortal ministry. It declares along with the Bible that Jesus is the Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. It proves that the Lord is no respecter of persons, and that Christ not only showed himself among the people of the Middle East, but also here on this continent. He taught them as he taught his disciples in Galilee. This book has a magnificent promise contained in it, that if you desire and have real intent, that if you ask the Father in the name of the Son if it is true, then by the power of the Holy Ghost, you may know the truth of it's witness for yourself. I know that promise is true. I know that the Lord does not leave us alone. He has given us opportunities to search for and find the truth. I know that He answers prayers through the Holy Spirit. I know that you can find that truth yourself if you sincerely ask and intend to follow through on what the Lord has to say to you. I believe in personal revelation. I would not be where I am today without that. I know that because the Lord has answered my prayers, he can answer yours. I know the Book of Mormon is true! I know that who I am today stems from the teachings of that book. I am grateful for the sacrifices people have made for the publication of that sacred testament. I am grateful to Jesus Christ and for his sacrifice and his love most of all. It is only through His grace that makes eternal life possible. I know it is a possibility.

My membership in the church makes up mostly who I am. There are other things that I do enjoy though many aren't as important as the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My family makes up the rest of me. To me they are everything. I know that because of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are an eternal family. We are definitely not a perfect family. We are very far from it. But we will be together forever, whether they like it or not! Everyone better be there in the end...and we all better be going to the same place, because heaven would not be heaven without them. I could not imagine it without them. In our church, families are sealed for time and all eternity by the power of the Priesthood in holy temples. My parents were sealed in the Salt Lake City Temple for time and all eternity. All future children were then sealed to them when they were married. This makes us an eternal family. I am so grateful for that sealing. It's a promise that as we are faithful, that blessing cannot be broken. I hope to one day marry in the temple. At this point I don't care which temple it is, as long as I can be sealed to my spouse and my future family and continue that chain that leads into eternity. It is one of the deepest desires of my heart. These things are the foundation of my faith, and of who I am. I am not very eloquent, and have great difficulty expressing the things of my heart that I deeply wish to express. Hopefully as I get more experienced with "blogging" things will come easier. That's all for now.
~Risa