Jan 13, 2010

The Young Women

I had the chance of a lifetime tonight. Let me explain myself a little better. We'll start from the beginning.

We got a new Bishop put in a few weeks ago and he has been so good to Dave and me. He has been sending women over to visit me and chat with me and just bring a little joy to my life. They are some amazing women. Well a little while ago I sent in a little "request" I guess you could say. I asked the Bishop if he would have the Laurels (16-17 year old young women) come to visit me. Ever since I have been in this ward I have wanted to get to know the Young Women, but have not had the opportunity because I have been so ill. Tonight my request was granted. The Young Women showed up at my house to come hang out with me for a little bit with their amazing leaders. We had planned on painting nails, but didn't quite get there. I had all of them come in and sit down and we just started talking.

They asked me how I met Dave and when we got married. They asked about my illness and the struggles I have been going through, and everything just progressed from there. I just started talking. What I was saying to them just came to me. I was so nervous to meet these girls because I just wanted them to like me. I wanted them to know that they have a friend if they ever needed one. That they have someone to talk to that is completely impartial and not part of their families or their lives.

I told them about how I was an inactive member for 7 years. I told them how much it meant to me to be able to be worthy to take the sacrament and what a blessing it is in my life. I told them about my experience getting interviewed to get my temple recommend with my Dad as my Bishop and the clear distinct feeling of the spirit that I felt that day. I told them the trials I had growing up as "the fat one" in a skinny family. I told them about meeting Oprah and how getting gastric bypass surgery changed my life. I shared with them the understanding I have about how difficult it is to be a teenager and the trials you face on a daily basis. I told them to remember that their parents are sent down to earth with a manual from God on how to be great parents. They are learning just like we are and they are doing the best they know how. I told them that if they strive for one thing in their lives to strive to be temple worthy always. The moment you share inside that temple with your eternal companion is the single greatest experience of your life, and every daughter of God should experience that. I guess I just basically in a round about way shared my testimony with them. I shared my conversion story. It was so incredible.

The spirit those young women brought in my home was touching. I can't begin to express what incredible young women they are the amazing spirit that they bring with them. They have such beautiful souls. They are all so stunningly beautiful inside and out. I loved them instantly. I was so touched that they came to see me. I mean it's not like going to a girls house that you don't even know is super fun and exciting, but the fact that they took time out of their busy day to come meet me was so touching. I feel so blessed and a much better person for being able to be in their presence. I wish I could tell each one of them what amazing daughters of God they are. How pleased their Heavenly Father is with them, and not only that, but how much they touch other people. I am truly a better person for knowing them. This was one of the greatest days I have ever had in my life. Those leaders are so lucky to be able to get to know such inspiring young women.

I have total faith in the generation that is coming behind me. After meeting with these girls I know that my Heavenly Father truly loves us. I know that he is there for us always, and I know he listens and hears us when we speak to him. I know they came to see me and to get something out of talking with me, but I have to say that I am the one that walked away with so much more. I don't think I could ever replicate the feeling I had while those young women were in my home. I know one day they will understand how I feel. One day they will know if they don't already, how truly incredible they are and how many lives they touch.

I'm so thankful to my Heavenly Father for granting me this opportunity tonight. I really hope that they take me up on my offer and consider me a friend and come over and spend time with me whenever they want. I have so much love for the youth of the church. They are the elite. Those young women are the best of the best and I hope they never forget that. If the hope of our church is left in the hands of today's youth then I know we are in good hands. I know we will come out on top.

Ladies, thank you so much for coming to my house and allowing me the opportunity to talk to you and stand in your presence. You truly lifted my spirit. I only hope that one day I can have a daughter as amazing as each of you are. I thank your parents for raising you the way they have and making you into the most amazing young women I have ever met. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Jan 10, 2010

I got to go to Church today!!!!

So today was a great day!! I haven't been able to go to church for quite awhile because I have been so ill. I'm not supposed to be around anyone who is sick and so the Doctor has not wanted me to go. It was wonderful to be there with my ward though!! My Bishop came over last night and met with me and I received not only a calling, but the first calling I have ever had today!! I was so thrilled. I am on a committee of 6 women in the Relief Society to plan weekly activities for the newly reformed Relief Society program.

It's so crazy to me to think that I am worthy to receive a calling. It has been a really long time. I was inactive and not worthy for so long that this church thing is just incredible to me. I am so truly touched to be able to participate and be a part of an amazing ward. I love where I am in my life right now. I am happier then I ever have been. I remember all those years that I didn't go to church and that I wasn't able to take the sacrament that now that I can. I feel so blessed. I have never been so grateful for my Heavenly Father and his wonderful teachings. I feel blessed to be part of such an amazing ward family.

So why this picture? (Completely changing the subject) My mom bought this suit years and years ago and I remember being little and her putting it on and my ultimate goal was to be able to fit in this outfit one day, well today was that day!! I felt so beautiful and I was so proud of myself that I have gone from a size 26 to a size 6!! It's a little surreal to see my body and how I look in clothes. I was so excited!! Thanks Mom for letting me borrow the dress.

So back to church, I am so excited for this week! Why?? The Young Women are coming over to visit with me on Wednesday and I can not tell you how absolutely thrilled I am!! I have wanted to get to know the YW in this ward since we have moved in but have not been able to because of my health. I understand how hard it is to be a teenager, the temptations they face, and the struggles that they go through, and I want to be a friend that these girls can lean on. I just can't believe they are coming to see me! I am so so so excited!

It was wonderful to sit in church and receive the sacrament today. It's the first time since May that I have been able to take the sacrament in church and not have the young men have to bring it to me at home. I can promise you one thing, I will never again take the sacrament for granted. It is such an amazing blessing and I feel so grateful for being able to be there and receive those wonderful blessings.

I'm so excited for my new calling, for the young women, and for all the amazing and strong women in my ward who are such incredible examples to me. Even though I only got to stay through sacrament it was such an amazing day and so wonderful to be a part of my ward again.