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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Missionaries are my best friends

So I have discovered that the Elders in the zone are afraid to tell me no. :) 

The other day we were serving in the garden and my sisters were somewhere else so it was me and 3 sets of Elders. They were all talking about tracting and teaching and stuff like that and jokingly (and to see what they would say) I ask "can I go tracting with you?" Omigosh it was literally the funniest thing. "Well.... I mean.... I guess you could... Um..." :) the conversation ended with a suggestion to see if the sisters would let me go with them :)

On Monday I took the Sisters out shopping with me and we spontaneously decided we wanted to leave Allen and go to the Plano mall. So Sister Ricks told me  that we would have to ask the zone leaders for permission. :) so I did and they said yes :)

It's so fun being close to these sweet people. Every year at about this time I struggle with the church. Mostly because I'm the one and only in my family. I have internal battles about if I should continue down this road or stop going to church. The missionaries have been an amazing example to me and have kept me on the right track. 

Every summer my family usually goes to the beach. I don't know if you've ever tried it, but you know that super dry sand that's not packable and it's like powdery? Have you ever tried to walk on it? It's very challenging. So what my family usually does is we all get behind my dad and walk in his footsteps (we look like little ducks in a line), the sand where he just walked is packed down enough to keep the sand from slipping away, making it harder and more painful to walk on. I compare this to how the missionaries help me. The church can be hard for me to understand at times, or sometimes I'm having a downright crappy day and I'm really struggling. The missionaries are in front of me, leading the way, making it slightly easier for me to push past my trials. Yes, they're still pretty tough to handle, but you know what? Just that little bit of help is what keeps me going in times of trials. They have become a little family to me. I don't know what I would do without them. I'm so grateful.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Anniversary ❤️❤️❤️

Today was literally one of the best days of my entire life. 

This morning I woke up to texts from a couple people saying congratulations, and then I got a bunch of chores and stuff done. 

At 1:30 I picked up my Sisters and got the biggest hugs EVER :) it was so sweet. Have I mentioned how much I adore them? Because I adore them. We made our way to the church where we were going to play sports, socialize, etc. When I walked in the Elders started singing a form of happy birthday to me, but changed it to baptism day :) it was sweet. I got a ton of handshakes and hugs. We played basketball then Sister Baker have me a gift from all the missionaries. This card was in it.

I started BAWLING. Omigosh. It was SO sweet. :) 

9 of our zone is transferring out so we signed books and said goodbyes the rest of the time. It was fantastic.

I went to FHE a few hours later and awkwardly walked around (I still don't know many people and the Elders weren't there yet). People started coming up and saying "HAPPY ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!!" I didn't even tell them!! Crazy, huh? :) when asked they said that the Spirit told them... :) I think it was two sweet little missionaries that spilled the beans :)

So we had our opening prayer and announcements were announced and Patrick (this super sweet convert friend of mine) asked if there were any more announcements. Someone said Elder Briggs's name and he said "On behalf of the YSA branch, we want to congratulate Casey on HER ONE YEAR MARK OF BAPTISM!!!!" It was CRAZY!!!! Everyone cheered and everything. Holy guacamole. I cried again and I think I turned bright red. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the YSA. And I adore my sweet missionaries. I'm so grateful for all of my missionaries, the ones serving today all the way to the ones who have me my first Book of Mormon. The ones that congratulated me today and the ones that didn't. I love them all. More than I can express. 

Here is my sweet zone (minus the ZL's) when we went caroling. :)

Elder Schaat is going home on Wednesday and so is Sister Carlson. I was able to get a picture with Elder Schaat but not with Sister Carlson. Hopefully I'll get one when I drive the Sisters to transfers dark and early tomorrow morning (6:30AM)

That awkward moment when you can't hug. Haha :)

I love this church so freaking much. I made the best decision of my life a year ago.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Moving On

Last Sunday I took a leap and decided to try YSA. I fell in love with it. So much that I am getting released from my calling in the primary and my records are getting transferred.

Since my baptism day I've had a hard time with change. I felt like a baby bird being pushed out of my cute little comfortable nest and into the real world, but I didn't know how to fly so I kind of just fell. I felt that was through a lot of things. Adjusting to life as a member was a tough transition for me. This change into a new ward is a totally different situation, though. This is my choice, I'm spreading my wings and FLYING out of my nest instead of getting pushed to my doom. 

That doesn't mean I'm any less terrified, though. 

I've been in the Allen first ward since I was introduced to the church. They have become my family, I'm so close to the sisters (and even though they say I can still be close to them, I know I won't be as close because I won't technically be their member anymore), I adore my home teachers (don't tell Elder C he was right), and I just feel like I'm going away forever. 

I have thought long and hard about this decision, the blessing that I talked about in my last post solidified my thoughts on it, though. 

On my last day of young women's I cried my eyes out because of everything that that program has done for me. I was sad to see it go. Tomorrow I have to say goodbye to a lot of my favorite people. Sure, it's more of a "see you later" but most of those people I don't talk to unless I'm at church. But this is about my testimony, and I'm at a point where if I'm not careful with how I use my time, my testimony could faulter. With all the converts and RMs in the YSA, I think I'll be good. I got flooded with texts today with invites to their Christmas party, and on Monday at FHE everyone welcomed me. :) I feel like I really fit in somewhere, again, not just with the missionaries. :)

I'm so thrilled to start a new adventure :)

Oh and my one year mark is on Monday. Holy guacamole. 


(I tried to upload this on the 8th but it didn't upload. Oops)
First off, look how freaking cute these little gifts are.
I asked the missionaries what they wanted for Christmas and most said "a baptism" so I have each of them one of these. Santa's getting baptized :) hehe :)

A lot has been going on in my life. I've been struggling with making some pivotal choices in my life. Like changing my major in school, starting to attend YSA (which I LOVE), and so much more. There have also been some really rough things going on in my life. My moms surgery being one of the main stressors. Yesterday I learned something that just made me crumble. It was everything that was built up spilling over into this other thing. I cried for hours, I made myself sick, I didn't eat for most of the day today, I barely slept last night. I just moped around all day today. 

After attending the missionary Christmas party

(Look at the temple!!!!!)
Which was a blast, by the way. The missionaries made me feel so good about myself. :) 

I went to my first FHE for the YSA. It was... Interesting. I didn't know anyone which made it awkward. The Elders were going to come with me but they got caught in traffic, so I had to fend for myself. Haha :) we looked at Christmas lights, that was fun. But on the drive home my mind kept wandering back to my struggles and my eyes started to tear up again. So I decided that it was time to ask for a blessing. I had talked to the Elders on the phone earlier and they asked me if I needed anything, I said no and they told me to let them know if I did. So I figured I should ask them. They agreed and we met at the church.

So I have this really bad habit of bottling everything up until I explode, so once the Elders asked me what was wrong, I started bawling. We talked for a bit and I felt better just after that, but we went ahead with the blessing. Elder Briggs said it for me. It was the longest blessing I think I have ever had and every word was filled with love. The words "your Heavenly Father loves you so much" were repeated 5 or 6 times throughout and answers to things I didn't even talk about were mentioned. There were even little references to my patriarchal blessing sprinkled in there. I'm so glad I decided to get a blessing. My head has stopped spinning and I'm not feeling as sick. It's amazing what the priesthood and a little bit if faith can do.

I love this church. I'm grateful for my struggles and I'm grateful for the rainbow of blessings that come after the storms of my life.