Saturday, June 29, 2013

It's not faith if there's fear..

I absolutely love this quote. If you're afraid of something, how are you showing faith that you can overcome it? EXACTLY. 

So this last Wednesday my best friends and I (including a friend of my friends, Matt) decided to go for a midnight swim in the huge lake down the road. Yes it was 12:00 AM, yes we had never done it, and yes we were all a little sketched out (which is why we called Matt to see if he wanted to come with us...we needed a manly man. Haha.) but we were still determined to do it. It was on our summer to do list after all. 

So here I am with my best friends (sisters, really. The three of them are ACTUAL sisters, I'm just the extra musketeer. But I'm their sister, and they are mine. And I love em'!) and we are going over safety rules as we are sitting in the parking lot of the beach. Keep in mind that it's pitch black out and the two cars parked nearby may or may not contain suburban couples engaging in questionable public behavior :o

ANYWAYS. We were all kind of scared. But we said a prayer, and we knew the Holy Ghost was with us. So we had an amazing time! 

This was before the turn of events of this week. My Arizona plans fell through, my parents are going through a legal issue, and I am quitting my job, applied and got a new job. PHEW. Heavenly Father really helped me out this week. I think I take it for granted that I have a loving Heavenly Father who will NEVER leave me or forsake me, and that by living according to His son, Jesus Christ I cannot fail ( VERY loosely translated from *Helaman 5:12. My ultimate fave scripture in the Book of Mormon.)

I have felt a constant peace this week. And I truly know why. What has Heavenly Father done for you lately? Sometimes we have to sit back and sift through our good days and just know and understand that it was God. 

Side note: FEED YOUR WARD MISSIONARIES! All of em!!!
Today I fed the missionaries with my bestie, Rachel.. They had never been to smash burger before so we HAD to go! OBVI. It was very impromptu but that's just how we roll. The conversation went like this: ELDER1: Carl's Jr. Is great, they have em in MN you know. 
Me: EWWWW! GROSS. No. Smash Burger is where it's at. 
ELDER2: What's that? 
Rachel: you've never been there before
Me: we will take you one day!!
Both ELDERS: well we're hungry, so let's go now! Where is it? We want to go.

And this is how we came about dining at the lovely smash burger establishment. They do SO much, and are so humble. We just like to show em how much we love em! They are some of our greatest friends.

Well, 'tis all.

Have a good sabbath, y'all!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Recognizing the blessings of the Church

This church brings happiness. Eternal happiness of course, but also short term happiness for those just needing help. Yesterday our FHE group was supposed to meet at the Como Zoo, but because of the nasty rain, we decided to meet at the institute building instead for games


After the missionaries and the rest of the people in our ward had left, it was just my friends Rachel, Jordan and I. Our institute door is kept "open" (wedged, really) while people are there, but is able to be opened with a code that all of the members in our ward have. On this particular night, someone forgot to close the door after leaving and two people came into our institute building unbeknownst to us. 

They gave us the story that their mom was at St. Joseph's hospital in St. Paul and that their "bus fare had run out" and were wondering if we could help them. Honestly we were stunned that they just came in, and they reeked of cigarettes but we talked to them and I even asked if they wanted me to write down the directions on a piece of paper. But that's not what they wanted. They wanted money. Which we didn't have/weren't willing to give them. So they left. 

Although the first thought we had after they left was that we needed to lock the door, the next thought that ran through our mind is the fact that people are drawn to this church. The Gospel draws people in without them even knowing about it! Sure, we could say they just wanted money. But there's a church right next to ours, which is much bigger and they could have easily gone to that one and asked. But they didn't, they came into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints. Awesome, right?

I think so!
Look for my later post this week where I will be introducing one of the new bloggers! 

Follow me on Pinterest!

Nat <3


Saturday, June 22, 2013

reasons I'm glad I'm LDS

I was just thinking today about all the wonderful blessings that come from being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I was asked by a friend via Facebook (find me here! then ADD ME!) why I left [my previous] church. I responded with: I didn't agree with how the church was run (true) and that I realized that I didn't agree with some of the teachings (alas tis true again!).

Now don't get me wrong, MOST of the people I knew at that church were genuinely nice. Most of them. But some of them were just mean and hateful, especially against Mormons. My old pastor had sermons-a-plenty against the LDS church, something that always bugged me.

But back to the things I LOVE about being LDS:

•We have the RESTORED GOSPEL!! Enough said!

•We have the all important Priesthood Authority, which enriches and blesses lives.

•Relief Society: best society to be apart of (better than any sorority I know of for sure!).

•AWESOME FOOD. Um Hello??! OBVI. nomnomnomnom. Just stuff your face at linger longer and the potlucks. You won't even be judged by the guys. the food is amazing.

•Love. It's the center of the Gospel of Christ.

•My understanding of the Atonement and of God. We just got out of a lesson with the Elders about who God is, and this was so important for me to understand.

•Missionaries. I freaking LOVE the missionaries. What other Christian church do you know that has upwards of 59,000  YOUNG ADULTS serving God around the world?? That's right? NONE! Woot woot.

•Our beloved Prophet. His words are from God, I know that's true.

•family is forever (Eternal blessings).

•everyone is unpaid; everything is done voluntarily. My old church had MAJOR issues with this. All of the bishops in our stakes have jobs, as do the Authorities. Why should you live off of others, when you can work AND serve? If I'm not mistaken I think the only ones who are paid a stipend are the Prophet and the 1st and 2nd counselor (Presidents Eyring and Uchtdorf).

 If I'm wrong, the church is still true.

•INSTITUTE!!! I love it. 

•ward family. There's nothin' like it!

•General Conference. ERMAHGERSHHH! It's my favorite time of the year!

Hmmmm I'm sure I can list about 100+ more things, but I'm real hungry. So I'm gonna go eat. :) 

have a good night, all!


Announcements!!!

You will be pleased to hear that I have found a few new bloggers already!!! If YOU are still interested, shoot me an email! It's not too late, and I could use 3 more people if interested! Think of the eternal benefits! Ok, just kidding that's not funny. But it WILL be a good missionary experience for YOU! :)


Email me at: natalienicolexo@aol.com

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

having your first "Mormon moment"

Today was a stressful day. I'm not going to lie, there were times when I was thinking about ripping into my coworkers. But I didn't. Had you met me a year ago, I would have just started arguing about every little thing that got thrown at me today. But, no more! Anyways. Mormon moment. 

I received some very VERY sad news from a friend this morning (who I also work with). I won't go into too much detail but I will say this. I was reading in the Mosiah 18 where it talks about mourning with those who mourn, and bearing each others' burdens as Christ has done for us, and it REALLY hit me. When we met later on in the day today I was really able to share with her just how much God really cares about her and everything she is going through. Guys, the Gospel is SO amazing. Having the Holy Ghost in my life has changed me so much.

If there's one thing I am glad about its that Heavenly Father is constantly showing me ways in which I can encourage others with the Gospel. I'm sure He's doing the same with you! Well, that is all. G'night! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

AW SNAP! Mission President's fireside is tonight!

Can I just say how much I love the Mission President's firesides? The mission president for the area is President Clements. He is literally the nicest person ever, all of the missionaries love him, and also his wife Sister Clements. She is so sweet! I was just talking to a friend though, about how I feel like I never have people to bring to church or even the firesides.

It really bums me out, ya know?! I feel like people want to come, and then I invite them, and then they DON'T SHOW UP :( it's a real downer. But we can't help what other people do, and I know that. So on Sunday, I went to our special stake conference, where we had the presiding Bishop speak. Elder Holland was here in MN speaking but I couldn't make it to hear him talk THIS TIME. I was super bummed about that one. I went to the conference, where Brittany (yes visiting teacher Brittany) gave talk. to the ENTIRE ST. PAUL STAKE. I was so amazed. She is amazing! I then proceeded with my great friend Xazmine from the blog to the fireside, where I talked about my conversion. EEEK. If you've never given a talk a before let me tell you: you have nothing to worry about. I have learned (and been told) that if you just let the spirit guide you, whatever you say will make sense. This is so true. I mean, I had 3 hours notice and I think I did OK. THANK YOU Holy Ghost! I realize that when you give talks there's always someone there who benefits personally from it. That's why even though you may be uncomfortable, step out of your comfort zone for the people who need to hear what you have to say. 

50 Things to do on the sabbath!

I remember the first time the missionaries told me about the sabbath and the promises we make with God to honor this day. Their question was if I was usually busy on Sundays. I replied with: well... My extended family always buys season tickets for the Vikings, and sometimes I go to those games, my favorite store has 99¢ day on Sundays, and everybody goes out to eat after church of course. Of course? Not so much! Albeit it was a difficult change at first, now it is so easy for me. 

I'm normally with my friends all day Sunday, and they are members so we always find something fun to do after church. BUT. My mom grocery shops on Sunday so it kind of stinks because now I have to go on my own time. So! What's there to do?? There's a list that I found, courtesy of Doug Fairbourn of "50 Instant Sabbath Day Activitites". I just thought I would rattle off some of the ones that I can actually see myself doing:

•Write letters to missionaries~ P-day is on Monday so if you are writing a letter via DearElder, it's perfect!

•visit someone 
•plan FHE (if you are doing it with your family)
•watch a church video
•read the scriptures (that includes conference talks and articles from the ensign or another church magazine addition to the standard works!)
•review your food storage (I have an update on that one coming real soon.)
•take a short nap- I know we've passed out on the couch (or floor if we're just that tired) at my friends house more than a few times after church, especially if there was a potluck!
•engage in uplifting conversation/encourage someone in need.
•practice a hymn on a favorite instrument
(I'm teaching myself piano now with the hymn books! It's quite fun)
•work on family history
•have a private testimony meeting or fireside. (I like that idea!)
•make thank you cards for ward members who have helped you out recently
•take notes at meetings
•review your patriarchal blessing (I haven't gotten mine yet but very soon I shall!!!)
•memorize an article of faith (I've been trying to do this.)
•write down a testimony you recently received.

So there's a condensed version of the list. I would love to hear what other people do so I can get more ideas! ALSO  I have a few new bloggers, so be excited! 


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Calling all Bloggers!!!! Read on!


So I came up with a great idea: add more bloggers to this here little blog! I would like to get to the point where there is a new blog post at least every 2-3 days, and with just me writing everything, that will get a little lame! So! 

HERE'S THE DEAL. I'm looking for bloggers who:

•Are in the age range of 18-31
• Are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. note: I'm looking for new converts AND lifelong members. I'd love to have both! Wouldn't it be neat to hear stories about friends who helped friends learn about the gospel!? I think yes!
•Write with personality; I'm told I do, and I like reading blogs with spunk.
•Love this Gospel!
•Can write at least one blog post a month (we will discuss topics later, as well as posting schedules).

If you meet these requirements, drop me an email at:

natalienicolexo@aol.com 

Include the following:

-First Name (& last initial)
-Age
-Location (a state will do just fine!)
-Your history with the church, a little bit about you, and how you stumbled upon this here lil' blog! 

I will let you know ASAP if there is room! 
I believe everyone has an inner blogger just waiting to come out. This could be your chance! This could be a GREAT blog with everyone's inputs and stories!

Hope to hear from ya real soon!










Monday, June 3, 2013

When the parentals and friends don't understand the idea of serving a Mission..

Wow it's been wayyy too long since I've blogged.. I have been busy here in Mesa, getting stuff ready for when I move here in July! I realize that it is coming up, really soon.. I better get things together! 

So before I left, I was talking with my Dad about some of my missionary friends in the ward, the sisters and elders I have gotten to know so well. Now, if you're parents live in a well populated area in the United States, they might have seen one of these well dressed sisters or suit wearing elders walking through the neighborhood. Not to confuse them with Jehovah's Witnesses :0 

Because there is a huge difference of course.

My Dad however, could not mentally grasp the idea of missionary work. To be honest, I didn't know much about it either until I joined the Church, but the keyword there is MUCH. This man doesn't get it! It was funny to talk to him because he kept referring to it as "mission ", not understanding that these brothers and sisters are set apart and called by the prophet to a specific place. He also didn't understand that it is something that lasts 2 years for guys, and 18 months for girls. 

Here's some things I would explain to friends and family curious about Missionaries, but just don't get it:

1. I had to explain to him that yes, they are going of their own free will, and that everything is payed for by the missionary and their family (unless of course they are getting help from the Church missionary fund as well). I have a huge respect for the missionary fund, by the way. Without it, I probably wouldn't be able to serve a mission, something I hope for my future.

2. Also, they don't see their family for the entirety of their mission, with a few exceptions via Skype. That's something that shocks people when they hear about it.

3. The Church very much relies on missionary work. Without it, no one would come to know about the Restoration of the Gospel.

4. Missionaries are required to put aside all worldly affairs before leaving, and to uphold high moral and spiritual standards, both while on and of their mission. They are representing the Church, so you can kinda see where that is important, right?

5. There are almost 60,000 missionaries out right now, with even more than ever before waiting for their Mission Calls, sending in their papers, arriving at the MTC (Missionary Training Center), and arriving in the mission field. Here's a picture that kind of puts it into perspective:


Sooo, you catch my drift right?? I just received word that we got 2 new missionaries in our Ward. That makes 6 total in our small YSA ward. It's a pretty big deal! That's why when someone doesn't get it, or has their facts twisted I get super anxious to clear up any mis understandings.

Well, that's all I've got for now! 

I will leave you with a picture of one of my BEST friends, Amy, who just got her mission call last Saturday!  We were all super happy and excited, I think it took a month once she submitted her papers! It seemed like FOREVER but she was so patient! She reports to the Provo MTC on August 21st, and will be serving in the California-Irvine mission. She will be an amazing missionary, because she is SO kind and is a living example of Christ's love.

CONGRATS Amy!!