Saturday, January 24, 2009

One Year Ago

One year ago today, the Lord gave me an incredible blessing.

On January 24, 2008 I found out that I was accepted to BYU.

I had been waiting for about 6 weeks to hear back from BYU. I was really really nervous that I wouldn't get in. Finally on the 24th, the admissions office called asking what my Fall 2007 GPA was. I didn't know. They told me that if it was a 3.5 or higher I was in, but if my GPA was any lower, I would not be accepted. Needless to say, I was terrified. They told me that my acceptance status would be posted online the next day.

I was in the other room with my mom, doing homework, when she told me I should check online to see if anything had changed. I didn't think it had, but I checked anyway. And then I saw this:

I screamed and laughed and cried all at once! It was one of the happiest moments of my life. The Lord allowed one of my dearest dreams to come true. Throughout the hard times in high school, I held onto the hope that someday I would be able to go to BYU and be around more people who shared my values. What a blessing that has been for me! I am able to study and grow with others who share my faith. Their faith and examples inspire me. I am able to live near some of my closest friends instead of having to keep in touch with them over the phone and internet. I am able to go to a school where learning by the Spirit is the priority. I am able to become closer to Him through each of my classes - whether it be Doctrine and Covenants, Art History, German, or Choir. I am so blessed to be here at BYU, and I know that it is where the Lord wants me to be because without His perfect planning, I would not be here.

Thank you, Heavenly Father.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My newest love

I am taking German 101, and I love it.

It's so fun to learn a new language. And we have so much fun in our class. It's a small group and we meet every day, so we are getting really close. I really hope I can use the language to serve someone in the future. I don't know how that would happen, but I hope it will.

I bought a German hymnal the other day, and I've had so much fun learning my favorite hymns in this beautiful language. It really makes me want to go on a mission to Germany or Austria or somewhere German speaking.

And I'm still loving music too. I'm so glad University Chorale has started back up again, because singing is such a blessing to me. It takes me away from my worries into the middle of something beautiful. It's marvelous focus on creating something beautiful, and to have the success of learning something new. It's also a powerful way to testify of Christ.

Thank goodness for general ed classes which have introduced me to the many wonderful things Heavenly Father created for me!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Draw me nearer, Lord

I am in this awesome Doctrine and Covenants class with Brother Perkins - if you are a BYU student, TAKE HIM!!!! He's all about inviting the Spirit to teach us, because it is by the Spirit that we are able to receive the mysteries of God and have a personal tutorial with the Godhead. By praying for the Spirit to teach me when I read the scriptures, and putting more focus into my scripture study, my life has changed. I am learning so much and feel so close to the Lord. It is an amazing experience, and I suggest you all try it!

So I was reading D&C section 76 today, and it was so powerful. I especially love verses 116-118. It is so true that man, "cannot understand unless" by the power of the Holy Ghost. I have read section 76 many times before but never understood and appreciated it as much as I do now. And I have never felt as close to the Lord as I do now. I feel that I am making the transformation, as Joseph Smith did, from God's servant to His friend.

I love the promise the Lord makes in these verses. He says that He gives the Holy Spirit to "those who love Him, and purify themselves before Him." He allows these people to see and know "for themselves." And how can one become a God if they do not know Heavenly Father's ways for themselves? He also promises that these people will be able to "bear His presence in the world of glory." With all my heart, I want these blessings. And I think I am on my way to receiving them. And there is no better feeling. :]

This song is my new anthem. It's by Meredith Andrews.

For your nearness, Lord, I hunger
For your nearness, Lord, I wait
Hold me ever closer, Father
With such a love I can't escape

For your nearness, I am hoping
For your nearness, Lord, I long
I've no need of any other
I have found where I belong
Yes, I have found where I belong

Draw me nearer, Lord
Never let me go
Closer to your heart
Draw me nearer, Lord
Draw me nearer, Lord

In your nearness, there is healing
What was broken now made whole
Restoration in its fullness
Lasting hope for all who come

In your nearness i take shelter
Where you are is where I'm home
I have need of only one thing
To be here before your throne
To be here before your throne

So draw me nearer, Lord
Never let me go
Closer to your heart
Draw me nearer, Lord
Draw me nearer, Lord

Draw me nearer, Lord
Never let me go
Closer to your heart
Draw me nearer, Lord
Draw me nearer, Lord

And keep me here, keep me here
There's nowhere else I'd rather be
So keep me here, keep me here
There's nowhere else I'd rather be
There's nowhere else I'd rather be

So draw me nearer, Lord
Never let me go
Closer to your heart
Draw me nearer, Lord
Draw me nearer, Lord
Draw me nearer, Lord
Draw me nearer, my Lord.

He is drawing me nearer, and I have never been happier.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tender Mercies

So today was a little rough. I was feeling really blue and lonely because I am still in that awkward phase of transitioning from an outsider to a friend with my new roommates. I had been running around all day and wasn't feeling much love at all.

But I now know that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me.

He sent me a sweet and selfless friend to stay by my side even though he thought he wasn't doing any good. He sent me 8 of my favorite people at once to say hi to me during my long night at work. He sent me new friends that I have been making in my new classes today. There is no doubt in my mind that He loves me.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A new year

Things I learned in 2008:

*How to love difficult people
*How to get along with roommates
*How to stay close to my family from 705 miles away
*How to stay happy while waiting
*How to dance Hip Hop
*How to stand alone for what is right
*How to rely on the Lord and know He'll provide
*How to pray effectively
*How to find peace during times of uncertainty
*How to serve in a calling
*How to hold onto dreams
*How to love selflessly
*How to cook for myself
*How to live without Disneyland!
*How to make the Savior my friend
*How to sing in a choir
*How to appreciate art
*How to enjoy the simple things
*How to share my testimony every day
*How to do missionary work
*How to find answers to prayer
*How to raise and love children
*What I want my future home to be like
*What true love is
*Qualities that I need to work on
*The blessing of forever friends
*How to let go and let God
*The incredible power of the Atonement

My goals this year are to:

*Be more friendly and selfless
*Regain my confidence without losing humility
*Get close to my new roommates
*Learn to let my best friend go as he leaves on his mission
*Spend more time in the library
*Audition (and hopefully get in to!) an auditioned choir
*Not hide my light under a bushel
*Go to the temple once a month
*Feel beautiful
*Be healthier
*Find joy in the journey
*Keep a better journal
*Draw nearer to my Savior