July 27, 2008 (Sunday)
The Lord’s Hand in my Life: Moments of enlightenment which help me get closer and closer to figuring out how to find true happiness in my life.
I love Sundays, and I love church. Each Sunday there is always something I need to hear in order to better myself. It’s amazing how the Lord knows each and every one of us so well.
I taught a lesson in Sunday School today on repentance. I felt like it went well, and the other girls seemed to appreciate it. I felt the spirit really strong, and I’m grateful the Lord helped me know what to say. I even got teary eyed when I bore my testimony. I think that is the second time I’ve cried since I’ve been here. I only hope that the words that I said actually make a difference in the lives of those who were listening. I hope that when I teach people walk away saying – I can improve myself - I can be better - I want to be better. I know whenever I prepare a lesson I learn so much and find so many ways I can improve myself. I love it.
In between Sunday School and Relief Society I sat and evaluated where I am at in my life spiritually. I started thinking about how I need to make sure I put the Lord first in my life and then everything else will fall into place. From here on out I’ve decided that the first thing I will do every morning is read my scriptures and say my prayers. Too many nights I go to bed, say I’ll read them in the morning, and then I end up doing something else and the important things fall by the wayside. From now on scripture reading and prayers are going to be the first thing I do when I wake up – even if that means I go to the orphanage half ready or don’t get to work out. The Lord has always made me a priority – I need to make him one. This is going to be a goal for the rest of my life… I’ve also decided I want my future husband to have the same thoughts as I do. I need it to be blankly apparent that Christ is number one in his life. I think that’s the problem with some of the guys I’ve dated. I can’t tell the Lord is number one in their life. I will not settle for anything less.
Ironically right after that thought Relief Society began and Elyse gave an excellent lesson about sacrifice – which reaffirmed my desire to put the Lord and Christ first. Christ displayed the ultimate sacrifice – the atonement. Although I can never fully repay him, I should do everything I can to live my life to make him proud of me so someday when I die he can welcome me with open arms and tell me “well done thou good and faithful servant.”
In Relief Society Sora Stoica thanked us for the example the BYU girls are to the Branch. She also praised all of us for the lessons that we teach. She said we always teach our lessons in complete accordance with the gospel and that she learns a lot. She also said that when the BYU girls first started coming she thought “what can I learn from them – they are young.” Then she said that she realized she learned a lot, and that she appreciates all the lessons and experiences we have shared with her. It was a sincere “thank you” – which meant a lot to me, and I’m sure the rest of the girls. The interesting thing is that we feel like we have all learned so much from the branch members as well. It’s amazing how we learn so much from each other…
On the way home from church I thought more about how I can improve my life and self, and I realized something. It’s amazing how the Lord helps you realize how to improve yourself when you earnestly seek for it and ask him. What I realized was that I worry too much about justice and forget about charity or the pure love of Christ. Too many times when I feel I have been treated bad I will have often have hard feelings – I will think “they had no right to treat me that way” – “they should be punished” – “why should I be nice to them when they have wronged me?” However, it’s not my responsibility to punish someone or make sure justice happens. The Lord will take care of that. All I need to worry about is how I treat others – even if I am treated badly I still need to treat them with love and respect. If I do that how can I not be happy? I need to always live in a way that I can walk away feeling like I acted Christ like. Happiness is ours to grab – but we have to grab it. In essence, I’m going to let the Lord worry about justice, and I’m just going to do my best to exemplify Christ. Of course I fall short, but I’m sure going to try. For some reason understanding this concept felt like a huge load was lifted off my shoulders. I love moments of enlightenment.
Also on the way home I had a little incident happen with a seemingly harmless 6-year-old boy who is always on the street running around on the pathway to church. He is extremely cute – but he is a little devil. He is only six and he has managed to grab several of the BYU girls, flash the missionaries and yell words of profanity at us as we walk by. While Annie and I were walking home he started walking directly behind me – so I put my hand over my rear because I thought he might try to grab me. That’s what he usually does. Then all of a sudden he dodged down and tried to pull my skirt down. Luckily he didn’t pull hard enough, but boy what a little stinker…It’s so sad. It’s hard because I can’t necessarily be mad at him – he obviously learned to treat women like that from someone else. A six year old wouldn’t randomly participate in acts like this unless he was taught it somewhere, but boy is it sad. In America I’ve never seen a six year old do anything like that…Most Romanian men seriously have NO respect for women. It’s ridiculous – American men are looking pretty good right now.
When I got home I took a nap – I must have been really tired because I was out. I didn’t get a lot of sleep this weekend…it’s been a little busy and crazy around here. There is a ton to do before I leave….My goal is to get all my homework done before I get home so I don’t have to worry about it. I want to be able to spend time with my family and take care of all the things I need to get done in order to get ready for my last semester of school. I have a long list of things. I have to get a car, car insurance, cell phone and a job. Plus I’m going to be broke when I get home – that’s where a loan will come in…grrr…at least I’ve made it this far without having to borrow any money.
It was Annie and my turn to make our group Sunday dinner. We made stuffed French toast and it was pretty good if I say so myself. Annie and I had three pans of French toast cooking on the stove. It was quite the balancing act.
After dinner Elyse and Mindy made an interesting dessert. Hahahha…I don’t think it turned out exactly how they wanted. It was quite funny because they ranted and raved about this dessert – then they only ate what they baked because they were forced to. I cut Mindy a big slice of the cake…the expression on her face was priceless when I handed it to her.
In the kitchen while Elyse and Mindy were trying to find a way to fix their dessert so it was edible, we started talking about dating. I honestly could care less about dating when I get home. Elyse said when you don’t care you always find someone, but I really don’t think I will find someone soon. What’s great is that I’m okay with that...Is that weird? My next goal is to graduate and buy a Toy Yorkshire Terrier…I’ve wanted one since 3rd grade…
After dinner Annie and I watched Yours Mine and Ours. Love that movie! Then I participated in my fourth scabies treatment. Great end to a Sunday… haha…
P.S. I got a mosquito bite on my eye lid yesterday…this is the second time in my life this has happened. I’ve decided that one’s eye lid is the worst spot EVER to get one. My best friend Kendall will laugh hysterically when she reads this. The bug bites are getting really bad here…