Thursday, July 18, 2013

I Love To See The Temple

Ok guys, before I start out this post, I just want to say that this one is a little more serious than the last few.  That doesn't mean you need to head for the hills!  These are just some thoughts and feelings that are important to me.  Now onto the post!


Today was an amazing day!  I was blessed to be able to go to the Orlando, Florida Temple with my mom to see one of my amazing friends from BYU go through the temple for the first time.

Now, for those of you who are not LDS, or members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, you may not know what "going through the temple" really means.  Let me explain real quick:

In the LDS church, temples are considered to be sacred houses of the Lord.  Just like how the Lord directed the building of temples anciently(Solomon), he continues to ask us to build these sacred places of worship to this day, where we can learn eternal truths and make covenants to follow Him.  "Going through the temple," simply put, means you've gone to the temple and made promises to follow God's commandments.

Now let's get back on track:

So, it was my honor to be there today as my awesome friend Sara went through the temple!  It brought me back to that time a few months ago when I went for the first time.  It was an overwhelming and amazing experience.  It was overwhelming because I felt the weight of responsibility I had just placed on my shoulders.  I felt the true importance of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and my responsibility to share it with the world.  I also realized the important step I was taking to help, in a way, shape my destiny.  Because of the promises I have made with the Lord to honor Him and live His commandments, I will be able to be a force for good in my family.  Not only my current family, but the family I will have in the future.  Those are also the same reasons that made it such an amazing experience as well.  I gleaned quite a few insights that day.  

The day after I went to the temple, I emailed a few of my best missionary friends to tell them just a few of those insights that I learned.  I would actually like to share them here:

I can see the effects that living a righteous life has on families.  My family is so in need of the gospel, but I see it changing their lives slowly, one person at  time.  They had it at one point, but they lost sight, and now slowly members of my family are returning.  I'm the first of all my sisters/cousins to go through the temple, and hopefully the good news of the gospel will fill all of their hearts and I won't be the last.  My aunt and uncle(mom's brother) were able to attend with me yesterday, an event that will go down in Todd family history!  We never thought the day would come when my uncle and his wife would join/rejoin the church and then go to the temple.  It was such a blessing to have a small part of my family with me yesterday.  I have another Aunt up in New York that reposted my temple picture on facebook and said, "I want to go their someday..."  There's always hope with the gospel and through the atonement!  One family member at a time...  I was so overwhelmed at the temple yesterday... at one point I couldn't even continue speaking because of the overwhelming sobbing that took hold of me.  I felt the weight of my responsibility.  I felt the weight of importance of the covenant that I had just made, and that through righteousness, I can bless my posterity.  A woman can change generations...  I know it's up to me right now, to help my family and be an example of truth and righteousness.  I don't know why I'm writing all this, but I hope you understand how much I love and appreciate you and your righteous example as a daughter of God.  You will bless the lives of so many, but most especially the lives of those in your family now and your family to come.  What a wonderful yet humbling realization. 

Our decisions shape our destinies, and I have to say, I'm so glad that I made the decision to go to the temple.

"For the temple is a holy place where we are sealed together.  As a child of God I've learned this truth: a family is forever."

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

South America!

I don't think there's any way to truly describe what it feels like to be called to serve a mission.  Especially when you're asked to serve in a country you've never been to, and don't know a lot about.  This pretty much sums up what I could tell anyone about Brazil after I opened my call:

Honestly, it was a feeling of wonder and excitement!  I pretty much had a smile a mile wide plastered to my face the night I received my call.  After lots of hugs, celebratory phone calls and dinner with family and friends, I immediately went home to Google everything I could about Porto Alegre Brazil.  The first thing I learned was that I was pronouncing it completely wrong!  So long everything I learned in high school Spanish class, I'm learning Portuguese, and unfortunately it's a heck of a lot different...

Despite the fact that going to a foreign land is terrifying, it's also really exciting as well.  I can't deny that every Brazilian I have ever met has been kind, loving and generous.  I also can't deny the feeling I had when I realized that I would be serving the people of that country.  It felt right.  No matter what doubts or fears have crept into my mind during these long months of waiting, or no matter how little I know about Brazil right at this moment, I know that this is where the Lord wants me to go.  He qualifies whom He calls.

So, in the words of Little Red from Broadway's musical Into The Woods, i'm "excited and scared!"  But, mostly excited.  Brazil is only 35 days away!  It better brace itself! :D

Brazinglish, The Language I Think I Speak

So, It's been a fascinating past few months.  Living life one day at a time, trying to "prepare" as much as possible before my departure to Brazil.  I say, "prepare," because what i'm really doing is sitting around, watching endless hours of TV and soaking in every ounce of lazy that I can before I leave for a year and half to serve a mission!  Haha, no matter how much that might seem to be true to some, I really have been working hard to get every possible thing in order before I leave.  Scripture study, Portuguese study, work, study, study, study, not to mention all the paperwork involved in getting a visa!  Talk about cray cray...

Anywho, with all the hard work and studying I think that I can officially say that I have managed to tackle the art of Brazinglish!  It's kind of like Spanglish, but for Portuguese.  And since i'm specifically speaking Brazilian Portuguese, I think Brazinglish is a rather fitting title.  

Over these past few months of waiting, I've been blessed to meet several people that are going to the same mission as I am.  Let me just say, Facebook is a complete blessing at times!  This is how I discovered my fluency in such a little known language... Because of Facebook, I found the sweetest girl who's going to my mission.  The only problem we had was a slight, or maybe not so slight, language barrier!  She's from Brazil, and spoke very little English.  And of course there's me, the bumbling buffoon who can't even remember how to speak English correctly, not to mention Portuguese.

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with how well we were able to communicate.  My Brazinglish is coming along quite nicely, if I do say so myself!

Now, se alguém could please point me to the banheiro, Eu acho que sou feito com this blog post  :)