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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Language

First off, check out this video! I'm in it! It's for our stake trek. We have taken the 40 day challenge as a stake and will be each finding a name to focus on for 40 days and once we finish trek we will all be attending the temple and will do their baptisms! Cool huh? :) http://staketrek2014.com/music/ (its the very first video)

Today, when we had some free time in school I was scrolling through old pictures and screen shots I had on my phone. As I was reading some old texts I saved, one brought me to tears.

This was from a really long time ago. When I first got permission to get baptized, I think. And before I got to know Elder C really well. (Oops, I spelled his name wrong.... I'm surprised he never pointed that out. Haha :) )

This caused me to start thinking about the things people say to me. If someone tells me something important, or it effects me in some way, I'll usually remember it. A lot of the time I can picture where I was when it was said, too. I'm sure I'm not the only person that experiences things like this.

For example....

One of my first Sunday Schools the teacher separated us into groups and we all got assigned different topics to teach the class about. I got prophets. I had no idea what a prophet was, and I had been coming to church for a couple months. So I think everyone assumed Ben had taught me. Nope... I stood up there, alone. Trying to teach the class what a prophet was even though I had no idea what he was, myself. The teacher explained and Savannah said "Well do you know who the prophet is?" and I said no, she told me his name was Thomas S. Monson.

Another time I was at the Book of Mormon read a thon (the first one) and Sister Thunell told me she was impressed with how much I was marking in my Book of Mormon and that she had been watching me.

And how Sister Patterson (Elder Christensen's wonderful mom, who is seriously one of my absolute favorite people) bore her testimony in a letter and explained how if she didn't know this church was true she wouldn't give up her son for 2 years for it.

I've had so many wonderful things told to me. Testimonies, words of encouragement, advice, compliments. But, like many other people, I've had some horrible things said to me.

I've been called many names.

I've also been told that I don't have a testimony in the church, and that my testimony is in Ben/Elder C. I've been accused of this many many times.

People have also gotten to the point that they have told me to kill myself.



I know we all remember things that others have said. And I know that at some point someone has said something that hurt your feelings. Think about how Heavenly Father felt when his little girl/boy was crying because of how someone treated you.

We are accountable for what we say to others around us. Remember, they are His children, too! He cares when they're hurt, too.

So why do we speak in such an awful way to our fellow man?

Here's President Uchtdorf's thoughts on the subject...
https://www.lds.org/youth/video/bullying-stop-it?lang=eng

From now on, I'm going to speak to others as if I was standing before Heavenly Father. I mean, what gives me the right to gossip, make fun of, or hurt another one of His children.

Even better, what if each of us took the time to show Christlike love and compassion towards others? What if we stopped that stranger on the street to tell her how beautiful her hair is? Or thank the janitor that cleans up your school everyday? What if you stopped to tell your parents how much you appreciate them?

How you communicate should reflect who you are as a son or daughter of God. Clean and intelligent language is evidence of a bright and wholesome mind. Good language that uplifts, encourages, and compliments others invites the Spirit to be with you. Our words, like our deeds, should be filled with faith, hope, and charity. (For the Strength of Youth: Language)

See that? Good language that uplifts, encourages, and compliments others invites the Spirit to be with you. I know that when I think of the language section of the FTSOY I think of "no swearing", "no gossiping", and so on. The bad language. I never really thought about what the good language did.

Like I said, Elder C's little compliment of me being his role model brought me to tears. In a good way, of course. It uplifted me, and encouraged me. The opposite happens when insults and anger are used.

I'm challenging myself to brighten up my language. I know my language isn't bad, but according to the FTSOY it can be so much better!! :) I will sparkle my language up with compliments, testimony that uplifts, and encouraging advice.

I know that if we challenge ourselves to become better each and every day, we will become more like our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. What are you doing to better yourself today? :)




Sunday, April 20, 2014

Crazy Week

Ugh. It's been a reeeeeeeally long week.

Monday I said goodbye to Elder Christensen. You can read my previous posts to know more about that.

Tuesday... Actually. I don't think anything important happened on Tuesday. I just kind of moped around because of transfers.

Wednesday I met Elder Ramsdell, the Elder that was transferred in. He's pretty cool. Turns out I've met him before. A few months ago a bunch of missionaries came in and one ordered a shake so I made it and put it on a tray, spun around to give it to him, realized it was to go so I turned around again, slammed into my coworker and knocked the shake on the ground... It was his shake and he remembered me immediately. Oh my gosh.

Thursday I had dinner with the mishs and then worked.

Friday.... Oh, Friday. Friday was a bunch of mixed emotions. I put my dog of 15 years down. That was awful. I have never put a pet down before. We had a puppy a long time ago that got really sick and we put it down but my parents didn't tell us until years later, we were just kids. I made the choice to be there with him as they did it. After the first shot he got really tired. The vet said they did that so the family didn't have to see any convulsions and he would be at peace. When he laid down my mom said "It's okay baby, just rest for a little while." Those words keep echoing in my head. It's been bothering me a ton. I hugged him as they gave him the last shot that put him to rest. He was my baby. I know he's gone, but I keep thinking he isn't. I don't know if I'm in denial or what, but I'll tiptoe around the house so I don't wake him up, or I'll leave his little light on, I've even talked to him. Then I remember his little face and it breaks my heart. It's going to take a while to get over that horrible day.
Also on Friday I had Mormon Prom. That was a ton of fun and helped me get my mind off things. My date was such a gentleman and was so perfect. I hope my husband is like that. :)

Saturday I served with the missionaries, as usual. :) Then I went out with all the Elders for lunch. Man, I love those Elders. I love the Sisters, too, but I love being around worthy priesthood holders. I don't get that on an everyday basis. It was great :) Then I went to work and had a really rough night because I started thinking about my dog.

Today was Easter. It wasn't the same this year, though. I don't know if it's because I'm grieving or what, but my mind wasn't on the Savior as much as it should have been. I really need to work on that. I know that Easter is today, but I'm going to keep the Spirit alive if I can.

Tomorrow I plan to go hang with the mishs on their pday and play some sports. And sleep in some. I haven't gotten much sleep at all this week.

To anybody reading this, some prayers of comfort would be really helpful to me. I'm really struggling with the death of my absolute best friend. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I struggle with feelings of depression, and on my bad days I spend time with my pets. Their love is pure and uplifting. Now one of them is gone and it's really starting to sink in and eat away at me.

I would really appreciate it.

I challenge you all to make someone's day brighter tomorrow. If you do, leave a comment and tell me what you did. :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Goodbye Elder C....

Yesterday was a pretty tough day. Everytime I would look at a clock I would think "___ more hours until I have to say goodbye."

My boss at work was kind enough to let me off a little early. With gave me some time to finish up a couple of his little gifts. So at 8:30 I clocked out and went to Kroger and got some really cute orange and white cupcakes with little baseballs on them. Elder C is an umpire back home, so I knew they would be perfect. I also made little origami missionary shirts and spelled out "Elder C" "See you later" "Thanks for everything" and "God be with you till we meet again" on them. The other little gifts I gave him were:


  1. A tie with little bikes on it. This was a joke, one of my friends who met with the Elders was obsessed with bike jokes, so when I saw the tie I laughed out loud and just HAD to get it. It was slightly torn so I got it for a good price too. And I was able to fix it ;) good as new.
  2. A bright blue tie. I literally stood looking at ties for an hour one day last week. It was a Monday so I was paranoid that a group of missionaries would come in the store because I've seen them there before. I was stuck between a few ties, but the blue one was my favorite and it was definitely the nicest tie there.
  3. A photo album labeled "Elder C's Allen First Ward Adventures" with as many pictures as I could print out in there. There were baptism pictures, missionary pictures, a couple silly pictures, all pictures I could find that related to him. 
  4. A photo rock thing. I'm so blessed to have a daddy that can make these kinds of things for me. It's basically this picture printed on a rock. They're really pretty. I had my dad print my baptism picture on it, the one with Elder C, Elder Saenger and I on it. 

Okay back to the story. I drove home to change out of my icky work uniform and grab the rock photo, then drove to my YW leader's house. She allowed me to say goodbye to Elder Christensen there, which was a huge blessing. 

The Elders were a little late, but that was okay, I was running around Sister Fisher's house trying to wrap Elder C's last present and set up his cupcakes. They arrived right as I finished. 

I held together pretty well, at the beginning at least. When he started opening presents is when the tears came. I was bawling by the time he opened his rock photo thing. Elder Payne recorded his reaction to the cupcakes, I don't really know his reaction because I was crying so much. Oops?

At the very end, though, I was sitting on the couch crying and the Elders were standing not too far from me. Sister Fisher was across the room and started talking about missionary transfers and how Elder C needs to go find the other Casey's of the TDM. I started crying pretty hard at that point so I didn't see, but later Sister Fisher told me that that's when Elder Christensen started to cry, too. 

The Fishers took a picture with Elder C and invited me to join in, so I did. Red puffy eyes and all. Sister Fisher gave me a hug after the picture which made the crying start up all over again.

Basically I would calm down and stop crying then be crying hysterically 5 minutes later. It was such a bad night. It was hard to say goodbye to such a dear friend of mine. I admire every single mother that can let their little boys get on a plane and go to a foreign place for two years with minimal contact. I can't imagine how bad those goodbyes hurt. I'm just a little convert, I know that I wasn't hurting nearly as bad as Elder C's mom was. A mother's love for her missionary probably doesn't even come close to the convert's love for her missionary. At least I'll be slightly more prepared to say goodbye to my sons in the future right?

Anyway, I had calmed down again while the Fishers were talking to Elder C about some potential investigators. Once they finished, it was time for the Elders to leave. Brother Fisher came up and gave me a big hug and said "Here's your Elder Christensen hug." which, of course, made me start crying again. He shook everyone's hand. I feel kind of bad because I didn't say anything when he shook mine, I was trying to stop crying. They started to leave and Elder Payne yelled back "Bye Casey!" I said bye and then cried even more. 

Going back to being grateful to be in Sister Fisher's home, she came up and hugged me. When Elder Saenger left, I was basically left to sit in my car and bawl my eyes out with no one to turn to. This time, I had my leader. This goodbye was so much harder, though. Elder C became one of my best friends. I mean, he was here for 9 months, how could we have not gotten close? 

I stayed with Sister Fisher for a good 30-45 minutes and we talked about how good of a missionary Elder C is and how goodbyes are a part of life and stuff. I was calm when I left. I'm grateful for that.  

I had a dream last night about my baptism. It was interesting because it was like I had gone back in time to December 15th at 5:30. It was a great dream. :) It reminded me of a lot of things.

I have a really bad habit of being a little closed off to new missionaries that come into the ward. When Elder Saenger left, they changed the phone signature to say <Elders P and C> instead of <Elders S and C> and I told Elder Christensen I didn't like it and he should change it back. I was having similar feelings this morning, but I realized that I need to give the new Elders a chance. They deserve it. 

So I bucked up and told the Elders I'm ready to meet the new Elder. They were too booked today, but they promised me they would meet up with me tomorrow. I'm glad because that takes so much stress off me. I wonder how Elder C's doing with the new companion. I hope that he gets a companion who is as enthusiastic and excited about the gospel as he is. :)

I'm so grateful for that inspiring missionary. He's the best I've ever had.

Goodbye Elder C! God be with you till we meet again :)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Note to Self...

Note to self:

Don't get too attached to the missionaries. Missionaries transfer. And when missionaries transfer they take a piece of your heart with them.



My missionary, Elder Christensen, is getting transferred after 9 whole months of laughs, teasing, jokes, tears of joy, tears of sadness, advice, lessons, handshakes, pep talks, and a baptism. He is the best missionary that has ever entered my life. And I have had fabulous missionaries in the past. 

Tomorrow I'm saying goodbye to Elder C. It'll be so hard, but I'm really grateful that I've been given time to say goodbye. 

I'll write something else tomorrow or Tuesday. We'll see how I'm feeling after that last handshake tomorrow.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Missionary Moments

I stayed at the Highschool today instead of going to my elementary school. So I was the only person that was in the classroom with this substitute. After a very awkward 15 minutes of silence we started talking.

He told me that he taught abroad in different places, one of the places ring where Ally Hawkins is serving. So I told him I had a friend who lived there an started listing other people I knew on missions. So I told him I was LDS or more commonly known as Mormon. This started a huge conversation.

He asked me tons of questions, and there were a few I didn't know the answers to. I explained that I was a recent convert and I'm still learning. But I knew who could answer those questions. So I shot a text to my little friends with name tags and we continued the conversation while we waited for an answer.

I told him about Joseph Smith, the Apostasy and the restoration of the Church. I also told him how Christ ha come to the Americas and that's where we get our Book of Mormon.

I was disappointed because I left my scripture bag in my car and that had my give away Book of Mormon in it. But then I remembered I had moved it into my backpack last week!!!!! So I jumped up and grabbed it, gave it to him and asked him to read 3rd Nephi 11 and he did. :) once he finished my Elders answered and my substitute agreed to talk on the phone with them!!! :) it was SO cool. I'm so grateful for that experience.

After they talked I had to leave and go to another class, which was sad. But that's okay. Then I got this little text from my favorite people. :)

What a great blessing. I'm so grateful Heavenly Father trusts me enough to put me in these situations. :)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Conference Weekend

This weekend has been a roller-coaster for me.

My fabulous missionaries found me a little home to watch conference in on Saturday, but because of house leaking issues, I got word on Friday night that I couldn't go there. So I frantically texted around trying to find somewhere, but was unsuccessful.

So Saturday morning I quietly slipped out of the house and made my way to the stake center. It was so lonely. Some missionaries were there (2 and 6) but they sat far away from me. I enjoyed the talks, but the feeling of loneliness was too overpowering for me to really focus on the Spirit.

When the first session was over, Elder James walked by and asked if I brought lunch. I said no and he offered me his goldfish. Elder James is a newer missionary. He's really funny. And he eats A LOT. When we went to Cici's he ended up getting like 5 or 6 plates? I think? So it was really nice of him to offer his food, being the hungry missionary he is, but I declined and went to Wendy's to get lunch. I got Elder James and Elder Murphy little frosty's to brighten up their day and fill them up if they were still hungry. I walked out of Wendy's with my little drink carrier with the little surprise for the Elders feeling a little better. But when I got in the car I looked at my phone and I got a text that crushed my almost happy mood. I was being attacked over the phone by someone I used to be really close with. Apparently she was eating lunch with my Elders and some Sisters and overheard them talking about me and decided to take matters into her own hands.

So I drove back to the stake center feeling unloved and unwanted, and gave the Elder's their dessert. It was dark in the chapel so they couldn't see the tears streaming down my face. They thanked me and I walked back out to my car to get my journal and scriptures. Then took my spot at the back of the chapel again and cried some more. Not one person noticed me. I felt completely alone and I cried most of the 2nd session.

I ended up snapping back at the girl and told her to leave me be because I was already having a bad day.  And after a while she apologized. I accepted her apology but I was still hurting because of how hated I felt.

So I didn't get very much sleep last night but I woke up this morning feeling the slightest bit better. So I made my way to the Thunell's house for breakfast before conference.

I had been there for about 10 minutes when the front door opened and 2 little missionaries walked in. I wanted to crawl in a little hole and disappear. I thought they hated me. So I sat quietly and didn't greet them or anything. Elder Christensen soon came up to me and asked me about my favorite talk from conference. I'm not sure what actually happened yesterday at lunch, but I do know the missionaries definitely don't hate me.

The first session of conference this morning was amazing. Some of my favorite songs were sang, Uchtdorf spoke, missionary work was brought up. It was perfect. By the time the prophet spoke I was feeling the Spirit so strong I was crying. It was great. :)

After the first session we all watched The Best Two Years. It was fun to watch with the missionaries, and it was the first time I've ever seen it. :) That was fun. Then we ate lunch and gathered again to watch conference.

I dozed off about halfway through the 2nd or so talk and was woken up by Elder Christensen's loud sneeze. It scared me to death. But I was awake. :) Haha. I ended up passing out at the very end again and was woken up by Elder Payne fake snoring. I don't know if he was mocking me or Savannah, but he had fallen asleep too.

I'm so grateful for the chance I had to watch conference with the Thunell's and my lovely missionaries. It was a lot of fun and it was so much better than yesterday. :)

Oh and I was one of the 282,945 new converts baptized this year. How exciting is that? :)

When the talks are on lds.org I'll write about my favorite talks and quotes that were said. :)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Heavenly Father's Surprises

Heavenly Father talks to me in strange ways sometimes. But one thing that is always constant is when He knows I'm having a bad day, He puts me and the missionaries in the same place at the same time.

I had a rough morning. I wasn't feeling very good and I didn't want to go to seminary. But I forced myself out of bed and went, only to get confused by the lesson and discouraged.

My first period class wasn't so great either. But since in a teaching intern I get to leave early to beat traffic to my Elementary School. My mentor in the program and I decided to leave earlier than normal because first period was so bad.

I decided to stop by my favorite breakfast place and get something. I stepped out of the car in a daze and walked to the door. 4 people were standing there. My jaw dropped and tears came to my eyes. My Elders (Elder C and Elder Payne) and the 5th ward sisters (Sister Allen and Sister Griffin). They were just as surprised. I have the Sisters the biggest hugs and fist bumped my Elders.

My day was made. Their smiles and sweet spirits warm my heart. I'm sure they don't really know how happy that made me. I literally talked to them for like 3 minutes. But it was enough.

I love the missionaries. They're my 2nd family. :)

I also love how The Lord is looking out for me. He knew I needed that little spiritual boost this morning. :)

I'm ready for the day now. :)