Monday, June 30, 2014

Guest Blog Post: Dana

After making the decision to join the church and committing to a baptism date a month and a half away in November, I faced a LOT of challenges. The main challenge was to find my family’s approval or at least their understanding of my decision. I had gotten my answer that the Book of Mormon was true and I had gotten my answer from the scriptures on if I should be baptized or not, but the biggest experience to verify to me if my decision was right or not, was having to tell my family I was joining the church, to show my family my faith.

Showing your faith to family, friends and even strangers is a terrifying thing and it makes you incredibly vulnerable but it is the biggest testifier! Elder Nelson says that "faith is the antidote for fear", and I was absolutely terrified to have what would be horrible conversations with my family and to even tell them I was being baptized. I had countless conversations that went terrible, ones where they told me it was crazy and I was crazy and that they were worried I would pull away from the family and not love them anymore. I had some friends send me angry messages and some just slowly stop talking to me. Faith is what got me through those situations and my faith grew an amazing amount after each conversation I had.

Showing them daily in small and simple things that I was still the same person, and a sober person at that, helped them realized that I was still Dana, justDana 2.0. I used to have a lot of temporary fixes for my life problems and alcoholwas the biggest fix for me. After quitting that and showing my family that I was able too, it helped them see the light in me that I now carried, and the amazing difference the Gospel made in my life. My life was starting to get tied to the Gospel, which was the first solid and sturdy thing it had been tied to in a very long time. They started noticing that I was making better decisions and was even a happier person in general. The level of happiness I have after joining the Gospel is one I didn’t even know was possible, and if you share your knowledge and faith, people will see it. In 3 Nephi 12: 16 Jesus says,” Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” My family is starting to see my light, which comes from the Lord, and this is the same thing that was my guiding light through the darkest challenges I faced.

By sharing my faith with my family it helped me trust in Heavenly Father so much more and it helped my fear start to disappear. Do not be afraid of trials and tribulations, you cannot avoid them and they will come and sometimes a lot will come all at once. These will only help you strengthen your faith and help you grow in the Gospel. It has been a hard 6 months of being baptized, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. It gets easier every day and my faith continues to grow everyday. Elder Nelson quotes President Thomas Monson saying, “Remember that all men have their fears, but those who face their fears with [faith] have courage as well.”

June 22nd midnight, Fairbanks, Alaska

This is something everyday that I do and that every one can do to show Heavenly Father's light. You can carry that light with you.  You don't even have to preach to the people around you but it's a form of missionary work because I can testify to you that people will want to know why you are so happy and why you have such a light about you. Your friends and family will see this amazing change in you and see how much happier you are now.  This change is the gospel in your life and it's the path you are on because of it.  Heavenly Father always has a plan and it's our agency that keeps us on it. My branch president asked me the other day how it's been since I've joined the church and my reply was, "it's been a hard 7 months but I wouldn't change it for the world, I love the church and I love who I am in the church." I don't know if I've ever felt this level of happiness, the ups and downs will always be there no matter if you are a member or not.

Anchorage Alaska Temple
Editors note:

Dana is one of my close friends whom I met in Arizona. She is an awesome example of the Gospel, and an amazing girl!! She lives in Fairbanks and is the funniest person you will meet! To chat with her some more, or ask her a question, comment below! :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

{Fashion}: Saltwater Sandals

This summer I've been trying lots of new things. Moving to a new state" hanging out with new people, trying new foods etc. But I found a new pair of shoes that I was told I had to try!

Saltwater Sandals by the Hoy company are water ready leather sandals that work for everyone. They start out a little tight, but as you wearing them the leather forms more around your foot. They even recommend putting them in water to ease up the leather. So when I first saw Saltwater sandals I was all about em'. It wasn't until I moved out here to Provo and my roomates both had pairs that I felt like I really should try them out! So I was impulsive and bought 2 pair off of eBay. I was all about it! I bought one red pair and one tan pair, but I was an idiot and accidentally had the tan pair sent to my home in Minnesota. So I started wearing the red ones and LOVE THEM. I just bought a navy pair last week and love them just as much.



I honestly can't find any cons of these shoes. Some great things about them though:

·they fit my wide feet! They literally fit so well, and are made for those with either wide or narrow toe boxes. They WILL feel a bit snug when you first put them on but they WILL stretch out as you wear them!
·they stay nice in water! They are called Saltwater sandals after all.
·you can slip them on if you need to, you don't need to unbuckle the strap EVERY time.
·they are UBER comfortable.
·they are relatively affordable! $39.99 per pair.


I got mine on eBay from an authorized retailer, but if you can find a store thst sells them near you, it might be Bette so that you can try them on. They are UK sizes, so if you buy a 6, you're getting an 8W. People, im telling you, these are the shoes of the summer. Go find a pair today!!


Have a good week :)



Nat

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Spread The Spirit: Why online missionary work is so important.



This post is a follow up to a few posts that I read recently on The Returned Missionary.

4 Reasons Why Online Missionary Work is So Important
via The Returned Missionary

 I absolutely LOVED the piece that was written on easy ways to share the Gospel online. I was recently asked by my ward missionaries to help with a missionary presentation/outreach that we are holding here in Provo coming up soon. It will be a stake wide event that will take place in a gathered setting as well as online. The whole purpose is to encourage members to spread the Gospel on social networking sites.

Nowadays with Facebook,  Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest the Church is blowing up. I guarantee that if you log into Pinterest right now and head over to the "inspiration" section, you will see awesome creations of quotes from our Prophets and Apostles scattered across boards. People repin them without knowing where they came from or who it was that quoted it, yet they feel good inside while reading it, which causes them to repin and so on and so on. Imagine if you met a convert who explained that they found the Church through Pinterest!!
Hashtags like, #UseTheInternetForGood and #SpreadTheSpirit have been made popular by our own Al Carraway (Fox).

via Al Fox's Website

 As an overnight success blogger, she is an inspiration to many, and is using the internet to #HastenTheWork!

Facebook groups like 1-Million Mormons on Facebook and others allow us to encourage each other as well. The fact that missionaries are allowed to use Facebook now, is great. We can share their status's and send people their way for questions, if needed! Heck, even the Apostles and General Authorities are blowing up Twitter! Check out their official twitter handles:

My favorite thing, as you could probably guess is Blogging. It's the topic that I was chosen to elaborate and present on and I couldn't be HAPPIER because I love reading blogs. Not just LDS blogs, but all kinds of blogs. The reason being that I like learning about how others live, and how they think. When it comes to LDS bloggers I like seeing all of the fun opinions they have about the Gospel. Also, just because we are some pretty unique people, if I do say so myself! It is a way, I have found, to share what I believe and why. Now, my blogging style might be a little forward compared to the rest of the LDS blogging world, but if you know me, you know that's just my personality!

I love technology. I also love the Gospel. Combining both is a good thing. :) 



Have a good week, folks. 


Natalie 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

{Home Tips}: Natural Laundry Fixes



Today, I tried something different with my laundry. 6 months ago, I used to just throw in a laundry pod or two with my load, and then some fabric softener (to make it smell yummy). That was because I could get my laundry detergent from Walgreens pretty much for free because of my mad couponing skills. Then I decided to try something different with my laundry so that it would be more natural. I started buying Ecos free and clear laundry detergent:
via ecos.com
                                           
but I realized that it wasn't making my laundry smell "fresh". I knew it was "cleaning it" but I just wanted it to have that fresh smell. So I've started putting essential oils in my laundry detergent, before putting it in with the load.

I use Lemon, from DoTerra, which is AMAZING! Normally, I hate lemon, but it makes my clothes smell so fresh, and I know that it is actually deodorizing my clothes, not just masking the scent with perfumes and fragrances. The best part about it? It was free! I got this little sample from a friend, but normally, they are about $13 (non-wholesale price) for a 15 ML bottle. I've known about essential oils for a WHILE, but am just now starting to really utilize them for everyday needs. For instance, last week I burned myself on a hot mug. I'm talking nasty blister on my thumb. I put it under cold water for 5 mins, and as soon as I took it out it still hurt like the dickens. THEN I had a miraculous thought: Put some lavender oil on it! Voila! About a minute later it was completely soothed, and feeling great. It was completely healed a day later.

Anyways! Back to the laundry detergent! My next step is to make my OWN laundry detergent. I've used it before, borrowing some from Angel from nourishinggenius.com and loved the results. I know she must have put lemon essential oil in hers, because I could definitely smell it. It was wonderous. I will post more about that later, and definitely put up a tutorial! I'm excited because today at the grocery store, I checked on pricing, and all of the ingredients combined will cost me about $10, and will make me 20 GALLONS of Laundry soap. It's safe to say that I will be set for the rest of the year. It's perfect for a college student who likes to live naturally on a budget!



I will be posting more about essential oils later. If you plan on trying them out, find a distributor through DoTerra, who can give you their wholesale discount. Trust me, it's wayyyy worth it.


Laters!


Nat

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Charity Never Faileth

POST FROM LAST WEEK:

I absolutely LOVE this. I rode home from work sitting behind a homeless man today on the bus, and watched as 3 or 5 people rolled their eyes, held their noses or gave dirty looks. It made me think: what would the Savior do? He would love. #judgenot #charityneverfaileth



We got these last week in Relief Society and I wanted to take like 38 of them but I didn't..I just took one, because I'm trying not to be so greedy. 

Anyways, I just wanted to share this. 



Have a great day! :) 



Nat