By | 12:33 PM

I had to speak in church.
as if leaving my family for 18 months wasn't enough...
they want me to speak.

soooo, my topic was Obedience.

it was actually really nice to have something to do.
something specific to work on
so I'm not wasting so much time 
(i.e. Netflix and Hulu...)

so, without further ado.... my talk and some pictures of the after party!!!

In my room, on my desk, I taped up a poem. I found cute paper, and got a good gel ink pen and in cute cursive script I wrote out this poem and taped it up onto my desk.
I have quotes all over my room. I hear something I like, and I want to have it around. On mirror it says:
put on some red lipstick and live a little”
by my bed I wrote :
the question isn't 'who's going to let me?' it's 'who's going to stop me!'.”
on my desk I have two quotes. The first is something that kept me going when I wasn't so sure a mission was the right path for me. It's spoken by the purple cat in the classic cartoon Disney movie “ Alice in wonderland”:
if you don't know where you want to go, then it doesn't matter which path you take.”
that idea kept me moving for a long time because I didn't know where I wanted to go. Thinking back I literally picture myself at a crossroads. On the left is a dark forest and on the right is a pretty meadow with bunnys. I didn't know which path to take, and I didn't know where they would each lead, but I knew I had to take one and I had a good feeling about the one with the bunny.

I have one other quote on my desk. A poem by a 13th century Sufi Mystic named Rumi.

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love, it will not lead you astray.”

I read this and loved it instantly for reasons I didn't quite understand. I found cute paper and wrote it down with pretty cursive script and instantly taped it up by the other quote on my desk.

My topic is obedience, and I wanted to use this line from Rumi's poem to help outline my points.

  1. The strange pull.

I personally believe that we already have in us what it takes to be amazing.
There is a gentle nudge that helps us decipher right from wrong.
I believe our spirits dwelled in heaven with our father and brother. We were there for a very long time. We had a family and I'm sure there was laughing and singing and music and art. I'm certain we knew constant and perfect joy.
We explain the “gentle nudge”, or “still, small voice” in many different ways, but I want to add my definition to the pot.
Memories. I think of the way it makes me remember my grandma when I hear the song “lead kindly light.” When I feel the spirit, when I'm doing what I'm supposed to and reading my scriptures and going to church, I feel a perfect sample of that joy we had in heaven, and it's beautiful.

1 timothy 4:14 states “neglect not the gift that is in thee”

When we are baptized we receive the gift of the holy ghost, and it is an amazing gift! The holy ghost allows us personal communication with god and can grant insights and inspiration. With the holy ghost, we can be strong.

President Thomas S. Monson said:
We watch, we wait, we listen for that still, small voice. When it speaks, wise men and women obey. Promptings of the spirit are not to be postponed.”

Speaking of “watching, waiting and listening”.... the next part of Rumi's poem I wanted to focus on is:

  1. Silently!
Let yourselves by silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray”

When I see this poem, I don't instantly see that word as important, but it absolutely is!

when you combine the word Silently, with the intent to be obedient, what do you see?

I see faith. I think of words like humble and submissive. I see someone eager to learn and easy to teach.

I Work at Walgreens. My job is to make sure that the people who leave the store do so with a smile and an intent to come back. I want to help make your day brighter, I get paid to do it. I am trained to interact and give feedback.
My greatest pet peeve: People on their cell phones!

She comes to the register with a basket full of makeup, and wants to know if it's worth it to try this new BB cream. I'm about to explain the benefits of a BB cream and why I think it is exactly what she wants when her phone rings. She answers it. For the next 5 min our interaction is me standing there and ringing her up, waiting for her to stop chatting about some guy named Matt and his smelly sweater. I stand there and smile and pack her things in a bag and she leaves with a thick foundation 2 shades to dark. The next time I see her, she has a nasty foundation line along her jaw.

The moral of my story is #1, it's rude to talk on your phone when your being checked out at Walgreens and #2, if we won't allow ourselfs to be silent, we can't expect to get the answers we need!

And I say the answers we need because we don't always hear what we want. I love my job, I love my cell phone and my laptop, but I was told rather loudly that a mission is where I'm supposed to go, and it must have been loud, because I am anything but silent.

Silent also means don't complain.

The same lady in the previous story is a regular customer, and she is real, and she came in a few day's after that and had me exchange the used, too dark foundation for a the lighter BB cream. The entire time she whined about how terrible the previous foundation was, and I should warn other customers about it's lack of blend ability and nasty texture, blaming me because it was likely expired.
She wouldn't listen, she made a bad decision and ruined a perfectly good bottle of base, and then proceeded to whine and groan at me for not being helpful and for selling an expired product. (FYI, the foundation was not expired... it was brand new, I take a lot of pride in my department.)

if we don't silently listen and silently follow the very basic commandments that god has plainly set down for us, we sure better be silent when things blow up in our faces.
Ask forgiveness, jump back on the straight and narrow, and keep moving. But don't curse god because you didn't listen!
It can be hard, but the blessings are so much greater.

Henery B Eyring said:
I have experienced joy by coming closer to the savior by simple acts of obedience”

and they really are simple! Obeying god begins with the simple nudges. Listening silently and trying. Soon the trying becomes natural and the joy comes in waves. Obeying god is a blessing! It's an expression of our trust and love toward a precious father in heaven.

  1. What you really love.

Every Sunday the young women stand up and together say “we are daughters of our heavenly father, who loves us! And we love him!”
it's so simple. We love him! I love him! I do what I do because I love him, I don't have to be afraid because I trust him.

Elder Stanley G Ellis exclaimed in conference one of my new favorite one line quotes.
We are not spiritual orphans! We are not alone!”

I remember staying the night with a friend and my mom texted me saying, “stay safe and CTR”

the only reason she's willing to let me out of her sight for so long is because she trusts I'm doing a good thing and that I will be with good people, and even then I'm sure it's more a test of her faith then mine at this point.

And it's an awesome thing to know that someone cares about me that much. And it's awesome to know that god was probably in the same position. I picture him giving me a hug and saying “I know your doing a good thing, but it's hard to let you go” and then I say “don't worry, I'll make you proud! I'll make new friends, learn some cool things. It's gonna be a blast!”

we are not spiritual orphans, and we are not alone.

Heavenly father loves us, and we love him.

  1. It will not lead you astray.

Those hard times will always be there, Satan will always be there. But so will Christ  And light always overcomes darkness. Do not be discouraged. You are not left alone. You are not forgotten. You are not being punished. You are being led, directed and protected and you will make it and it will be perfect.

D&C 6:20 “Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of god and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love”

Boyd K Packer said:

Latter-day Saints are not obedient because they are compelled to be obedient. They are obedient because they know certain spiritual truths and have decided as an expression of their own individual agency to obey the commandments of god... we are not obedient because we are blind. We are obedient because we can see!”

I recently had a panic attack. I was just thinking about what it will be like for me in the MTC and Oklahoma and I realized I don't know anything. I never really went to seminary, I don't know the scripture Masteries! I'm gonna fail!

I held onto scriptures and prayer and doing the things I believed to be right, but I was having a really hard time convincing myself that I could anything. I was just starting to feel really heavy regret at what I hadn't learned and didn't know.

I feel so blessed and lucky that my moment of panic and fear happened just before conference. What a blessing it was to go into conference feeling so terrible and sad. There was not talk given that I didn't just absolutely LOVE!
And if I loose everything else, I don't think I can ever deny or forget the difference the gospel makes in my life.

From Elder Hollands talk:

When problems come and questions arise, do not start your quest for faith by saying how much you do not have, leading as it were with your “unbelief.” That is like trying to stuff a turkey through the beak! Let me be clear on this point: I am not asking you to pretend to faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have.”
What was once a tiny seed of belief for me has grown into the tree of life, so if your faith is a little tested in this or any season, I invite you to lean on mine. I know this work is God’s very truth, and I know that only at our peril would we allow doubt or devils to sway us from its path. Hope on. Journey on.... because all things are possible to them that believe.”

with this in mind, I have a new quote on my desk:

I may not be there yet, but I am closer then I was yesterday.”

I am a girl with simple faith. I have a hard time holding my ground and being strong. I am gullible. I want people to like me. I absolutely do not want conflict.

Wikipedia informs me that I am going to a state that has the title of “buckle” of the bible belt because apparently Tulsa  Oklahoma is one of the few urban areas in the United States where over 60% of the population consider themselves protestant and regularly attend church.

I am terrified of the doors I will be knocking on and the strangers I will have to explain myself to. I am terrified of not fitting in.
I am sensitive and fragile. I am not being down on myself, I am being honest.

Alma 56:46 “our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall”

my testimony is simple, but it's there, and it's more then it was yesterday. I never really decided to go on a mission. I never saw myself as strong enough to approach strangers about the book of Mormon. I still don't. But I am a firm believer of the saying:
god doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called”

I felt prompted, and I hesitantly listened. I tested the water, and it was warm, crystal clear and very inviting.

Psalm 119:35:
make me to go in the path of the commandments, for therein do I delight”

I have learned over the past... 2 months... a lot about doing what I know is right, even when every one and every thing around seems to be saying something else. I found strength in the gospel. I found strength in the words of god, and in my personal relationship with him. I am determined that my life will not be ruled by fear, but by gods word. Because in gods word, there is no fear.

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