Surrender Your Plan

The Lord Has a Plan for Us!! 

Elder Carlos A. Godoy 

LDS General Conference October 2014

All of us have experienced or will yet experience moments of great decision in our lives. Should I pursue this career or that one? Should I serve a mission? Is this the right person for me to marry?

These are situations in different areas of our lives in which a small change in direction can have significant future consequences. In the words of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “Through years of serving the Lord … , I have learned that the difference between happiness and misery in individuals, in marriages, and families often comes down to an error of only a few degrees” (“A Matter of a Few Degrees,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2008, 58).

How can we avoid these small errors in calculation?

I will use a personal experience to illustrate my message.

At the end of the 1980s, our young family was made up of my wife, Mônica, two of our four children, and me. We lived in São Paulo, Brazil, I worked for a good company, I had finished my university studies, and I had recently been released as bishop of the ward where we had lived. Life was good, and everything seemed to be as it should be—until one day an old friend came to visit us.

At the conclusion of his visit, he made a comment and asked a question that unsettled my convictions. He said, “Carlos, everything seems to be going well for you, your family, your career, and your service in the Church, but—” and then came the question, “if you continue to live as you are living, will the blessings promised in your patriarchal blessing be fulfilled?”

I had never thought about my patriarchal blessing in this way. I read it from time to time but never with the intent of looking toward the blessings promised in the future and evaluating how I was living in the present.

After his visit, I turned my attention to my patriarchal blessing, wondering, “If we continue to live as we are living, will the promised blessings be fulfilled?” After some pondering, I had the feeling that some changes were necessary, particularly in relation to my education and profession.

It was not a decision between what was right and wrong but between what was good and what was better, as Elder Dallin H. Oaks taught us when he said: “As we consider various choices, we should remember that it is not enough that something is good. Other choices are better, and still others are best” (“Good, Better, Best,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2007, 104–5).

How then can we ensure that we are making the best decision?

Here are some principles that I have learned.

Principle Number One: We Need to Consider Our Options with the End in Mind

Making decisions that can impact our lives and those we love without having the broader vision of their consequences can bring some risks. However, if we project the possible consequences of these decisions into the future, we can see with greater clarity the best path to take in the present.

Understanding who we are, why we are here, and what the Lord expects from us in this life will help give us the broader vision we need.

We can find examples in the scriptures in which having a broader vision gave clarity regarding which path to take.

Moses spoke with the Lord face-to-face, learned about the plan of salvation, and thereby better understood his role as the prophet of the gathering of Israel.

“And God spake unto Moses, saying: Behold, I am the Lord God Almighty. …

“… And I will show thee the workmanship of mine hands. …

“And I have a work for thee, Moses, my son” (Moses 1:3–4, 6).

With this understanding, Moses was able to endure many years of tribulation in the desert and lead Israel back to its home.

Lehi, the great prophet of the Book of Mormon, dreamed a dream, and in his visions he learned of his mission to lead his family to a promised land.

“And it came to pass that the Lord commanded my father, even in a dream, that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness.

“… And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things” (1 Nephi 2:2, 4).

Lehi remained faithful to this vision in spite of the difficulties of travel and having to leave behind a comfortable life in Jerusalem.

The Prophet Joseph Smith is another great example. Through many revelations, beginning with the First Vision, he was able to complete his mission of restoring all things (see Joseph Smith—History 1:1–26).

And what about us? What does the Lord expect from each of us?

We do not need to see an angel to obtain understanding. We have the scriptures, the temple, living prophets, our patriarchal blessings, inspired leaders, and, above all, the right to receive personal revelation to guide our decisions.

Principle Number Two: We Need to Be Prepared for the Challenges That Will Come

The best paths in life are rarely the easiest. Often, it is exactly the opposite. We can look to the examples of the prophets I have just mentioned.

Moses, Lehi, and Joseph Smith did not have easy journeys in spite of the fact that their decisions were correct.

Are we willing to pay the price for our decisions? Are we prepared to leave our comfort zones to reach a better place?

Returning to the experience with my patriarchal blessing, I came to the conclusion at that time that I should seek additional education and apply for a scholarship from an American university. If I were selected, I would have to leave my job, sell everything we had, and come to live in the United States as a scholarship student for two years.

Tests such as the TOEFL and GMAT became the first challenges to be overcome. It took three long years of preparation, many “nos,” and some “maybes” before I was accepted at a university. I still remember the telephone call I received at the end of the third year from the person responsible for scholarships.

He said, “Carlos, I have some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is that you are among the three finalists this year.” There was only one opening at that time. “The bad news is that one of the other candidates is the son of someone important, the other is the son of someone else important, and then there is you.”

I quickly responded, “And I … I am a son of God.”

Happily, earthly parentage was not a deciding factor, and I was accepted that year, in 1992.

We are children of Almighty God. He is our Father, He loves us, and He has a plan for us. We are not here in this life just to waste our time, grow old, and die. God wants us to grow and achieve our potential.

In the words of President Thomas S. Monson: “Each of you, single or married, regardless of age, has the opportunity to learn and to grow. Expand your knowledge, both intellectual and spiritual, to the full stature of your divine potential” (“The Mighty Strength of the Relief Society,” Ensign, Nov. 1997, 95).

Principle Number Three: We Need to Share This Vision with the People We Love

Lehi made more than a few attempts to help Laman and Lemuel understand the importance of the change they were making. The fact that they did not share their father’s vision caused them to murmur during the journey. Nephi, on the other hand, sought the Lord in order to see what his father had seen.

“And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he saw in a vision, … I … was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost” (1 Nephi 10:17).

With this vision, Nephi was able not only to overcome the challenges of the journey but also to lead his family when it became necessary.

It is very likely that when we decide to take a certain path, the people we love will be affected, and some will even share with us the results of this choice. Ideally, they should be able to see what we see and share our same convictions. This is not always possible, but when it occurs, the journey is much easier.

In the personal experience I have used as an illustration, I undoubtedly needed the support of my wife. The children were still young and did not have much of a say, but my wife’s support was essential. I remember that, at first, Mônica and I needed to carefully discuss the change in plans until she felt comfortable and also became committed. This shared vision caused her not only to support the change but also to become an essential part in its success.

I know that the Lord has a plan for us in this life. He knows us. He knows what is best for us. Just because things are going well does not mean that we should not from time to time consider whether there might be something better. If we continue to live as we are living, will the promised blessings be fulfilled?

God lives. He is our Father. The Savior Jesus Christ lives, and I know that through His atoning sacrifice we can find the strength to overcome our daily challenges. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

We read this talk in my religion class this last week (and in my English 220 class). It was a pretty incredible reminder to me how closely Heavenly Father is paying attention to me. Heavenly Father knows everything. He knows me, loves me, and has a specific plan for me. Even with that knowledge, why do I doubt Him sometimes? I go through life knowing that I am a daughter of God and He has a plan for me but when something bad happens I go straight to “why did that happen?! Was my plan not good enough?” I had a solid idea of what my life was going to look like in the next several years. With life being what it is, my picture perfect vision was recently shattered and now I feel so lost. It’s been hard to accept the fact that it’s not the end of the world and everything is going to be okay. Heavenly Father has a plan and I need to just go with it. I’ve been able to (reluctantly) hand over my plan and allow Him to guide me in the direction I need to go to become who I am capable of being. Life doesn’t make sense when you’re in a particular moment but one of my favorite things is looking back and realizing “that’s why I had to go through that or make that decision.” It’s pretty amazing.

When we put that blind faith in His plan, we show Heavenly Father that we are willing to follow Him anywhere. The Savior was like that. He didn’t necessarily have “blind” faith but it was faith that everything would work out. You know what…? No. The phrase “blind faith” bothers me. I mean, our faith is blind because we sometimes can’t see where we’re going but when we put our whole heart and soul into Heavenly Father, we aren’t blind anymore, right? Okay, let me rephrase my original statement then. When we trust in Heavenly Father, with everything we have, we are showing Him that we truly love Him and know that He knows exactly what we need when we need it. He knows exactly where we need to be when we need to be there.

Heavenly Father knows that life is hard but He knows the whole plan. It’s like a when you do a puzzle (kind of…?) Sure, why not? You’ve got the box with the picture of what it’s all supposed to look like but you also have all these pieces that look like a mess.

Each individual piece might not make any sense  but I know that Heavenly Father is saying, “Yes. That piece goes right there. Keep going. This is a beautiful picture when it’s finished!” Heavenly Father loves me. Even though my plan didn’t work out, it’s okay. He’s got an even better one heading my way. I just need to trust.

200th Post! What?!

GUYS! THIS POST IS NUMBER 200! CRAZY….! *celebratory dance* <— Be warned. There’s a lot of this kind of dancing in this post. 😉

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Whew… okay. Finally taking some time to breathe for a minute. Man, it’s been a busy week.

“It’s actually happening! I’m all packed and ready to go back to Salt Lake. I’ve loved the time I’ve spent home the last six months and will miss my family like crazy but I’m so excited to be out on my own again!”

Last week I was getting all ready to move back to school. I love learning and I love school – especially when it’s at LDSBC. I am about half way done with my program. I’m very excited to be back! I did get to have my roommate back and one of my friends is home from her mission (and literally lives two doors away). I’ve become really great friends with her and her roommate. I am constantly over in their room hanging out with them.

Classes are going great so far. It’s going to be a busy semester. 11 credit hours are a lot more work than I was expecting. I’ve only got about 20ish credits left, so I’m hoping that I’ll be done with school by the end of the year! How crazy would that be?! *insert another celebratory dance*

Tradition: first day of school picture

I’ve also been trying to find a job, but on top of that, I filed my financial aid before the semester started. I got an email this week saying that I qualified for a grant that paid all of my $1400 tuition! Yay! (Church schools are so great. The spirit is always there, you’re encouraged to share your testimony even in math class, and tuition’s pretty easy to pay for. ) *yep another celebratory dance*

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Thursday and Friday were my annual biopsy/dr. appointments.

For the annuals, the have to check everything in all of the heart. The technical term is a Left/Right Heart Cath and Biopsy. Just like my regular heart caths and biopsies, the doctors went through the artery in my neck. They stick a needle (like an iv) in and just follow those veins to my heart. From there, they are able to use the tube from the iv to access everything they need. They will measure pressures and take teeny tiny samples of my heart to check for any rejection. It’s pretty cool. I wish there was I way I could see what they’re seeing instead of staring at the wall across the room. Haha!

Something additional for the annual check, is the fact that the do it a little more in depth. Not only do they go through the neck, but through the artery in the groin too. They do that so they can have access to different angles, I think. I’m not really sure… I should ask about that. Anyway, they aren’t so fun. Recovery last anywhere from 6-8 hours. You have to lay flat (to minimize the risk of bleeding) for about 6 hours and then you can slowly start to sit up. It’s almost as exhausting as the actual procedure! When I got all checked in, one of the Docs that would be working on me asked about my wrist. Apparently, there’s this thing that if you’re pulse is strong enough in your wrist, they can go through that artery instead of the one in the leg!! Plus, recovery is only an hour!! So that happened too! Whew…. It was so much easier. *another celebratory dance here too*

After recovery, we went to Lehi to stay with Gma and Gpa Brown for the night. The next morning started bright and early. My doctors were all very impressed with how things looked. This was the great news I shared with my family and friends after it was all done: “Today, I had my appointment with my doctors to go over the results from my biopsy. The outcome couldn’t have been better! All my levels, pressures, and everything were just perfect!! No med changes and NO BIOPSY UNTIL NEXT APRIL!!!! It’s too good to be true… Someone pinch me!”

It’s kind of scary. One whole year….?! Wow. *one more celebratory dance*


Crazy how life just happens sometimes. Gotta love it! I know that Heavenly Father loves me. He has blessed me in ways that I can’t even comprehend. Have a happy Tuesday!

Happy Heart Birthday #4!!

 

As I climb into bed tonight, I ponder everything that has happened in the last four years: I moved out and moved back home to move out again. I’ve had three very wonderful jobs with amazing bosses. I’ve made lots of new friends. I started college and plan on graduating by next May. I met, fell in love, and got engaged to my soul mate. I’ve been accepted and loved by a new family that I adore. I strengthened my relationship with my own parents, my siblings, and my Heavenly Father. I’ve gone through joy and heartbreak. I grew up and became someone I’m proud to be.
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I also lay here and think of the family that lost their special person that same day four years ago. I know nothing about them or the family. However, I do know that I am forever grateful for them. Without the selfless decision to help save a stranger’s life, I might not be here today. For that I am humbled and so very thankful.
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I hope I live my life in a way that shows my heart angel that I’m not going to take my second chance for granted and live life to the fullest! #sarahssecondchance #donatelife

Pay It Foward 2017

Four years ago tomorrow (April 21, 2013), I received one of the most precious gifts that could ever be given. A family lost a love one and gave me my second chance. As a silent tribute to that special family, every year, my family tries to do an act of service to pay it forward. I invite you to do some little something to help us pay it forward!

 

Back to School

Guys, it’s happening. I’m going back to school. I am so excited! I can not wait for May to come. Wait…I never posted about moving back home. Sorry. Quick background. I was having a really hard time last summer. I had been at school in Utah for a year and a half. That doesn’t sound very long but for me it was. That’s the longest I’ve been away from my parents or siblings. Anyway, I had a great job, wonderful friends, and a fantastic college experience. When Mayish (of 2016) rolled around, I wasn’t feeling it anymore. I loved my life but I just felt like I needed a break. I have a good support team (my parents, my sweetheart, and my Heavenly Father) and was encouraged to do what I felt like I needed to do. After lots of prayers, talks, fasting, and tears I knew that I should get ready to move back home for a little bit. I have been home for six months. With everything that I’ve experienced I had learned that it was the perfect decision. I’m glad that I listened to the Spirit and came home. I feel like that I’m in a better place now. I’ve missed the friends that I had made before I left but I have made some magnificent friends while I’ve been home. I’ve been blessed with a great job that has allowed me to save money up for the full semester that’s ahead of me. I have registers for my classes (11 credits guys!!!), my roommate wants me back, and it’s happening! I am super happy. It’ll be a different experience this time though. I know how to live on my own. I know how to handle myself. I know where to find relief. I know what to expect. I’m anxious/excited/nervous for May 10th! I don’t know if I want time to slow down or move faster… 🙂

It’s St. Patty’s Day (a few weeks late)!

Mom dyed the butter on the rolls so they would be green.

My mom is amazing! I want to be just like her when I grow up! Ever since I was little, we’ve had green eggs and ham for breakfast on St. Patrick’s Day. I already had plans that night and because my family loves me, they postponed the annual corned beef with cabbage dinner until the next night I’d be free (that next Sunday). The dinner I missed was salad bar. Mom made green jello jigglers and dyed the butter for the rolls. I had left overs for lunch the next day. Haha.

Sunday we had our St. Patrick’s Day dinner. I helped Mom make it. (Oh, my gosh… I’m going to miss that time we have together when I go back to school. I really enjoy it. Everyone else is preoccupied so it’s just Mom and me in the kitchen, usually. I’ve learned to make a few things that I hadn’t before. I’ll post pictures and an entry about that later.) Since we had rolls with salad, we were debating wither or not we should make green rolls again or something else. We decided against the rolls and opened one of her cook books. We laughed, took a deep breath, and tried something totally new. It was a a success!! I can now say that I know how to make Irish Soda Bread…from scratch!!! It reminded me of the constancy of corn bread.


I got home from work on Friday (the 17th) and Mom was making cookies – another reason that my mom is amazing! Haha. Of course, the cookies had to have some kind of green to them. She makes me laugh.

 

Like I said, I want to be just like her when I grow up. She is loving, patient, and selfless. She is such a wonderful example of Christlike love. I look up to her so much. She has been there for me in every aspect in my life. We have had so many late night talks. She’s there if I need to cry, laugh, or even just talk. We have spent countless hours laughing at silly things. We have shared many great memories. She is an incredible person. I’m going to miss her when I move back to school. I’m sure glad we will be able to call and talk to each other! <3

 

Anniversary and Valentine’s Day

Lewis and I have been doing the long-distance thing for almost nine months. I’m in Idaho and he’s still in Utah. It’s been hard. It started with him going on his sales job with Jamon last May. He was gone for three and the other six have been because of me. I felt like I needed to move back home and take a break from school for a bit….plus I didn’t have enough money to stay at school. Anyway, long distance has been hard and painful. We have been very blessed to have been able to skype, call, text, and occasionally have the opportunity to be together in person (holidays, weddings, and weekend trips).

When February came around we had talked about wither or not we’d be able to get to spend our anniversary or vday together this year. The two dates are a week apart so we usually combine them into one “big deal” thing right in the middle. He’s been having health issues and I’ve been working lots of hours, so we didn’t see any way we’d have a chance to spend time in person together until maybe May when I come back to school. We were both disappointed but understood why.

We Skyped lunch together on Valentine’s Day and spent several hours after that talking and laughing.

I had it all planned out, thanks to Mom’s helpful suggestions. I made sure that I was all dressed up cute. I went all out! I curled my hair, did fancier makeup than normal, made a simple version of a fancy dinner, put candles out, and turned out romantic music. It was so great! He was going to love it!! I have it all set up and text him “ready whenever you are!” He called me on Skype, I answer, and he starts giggling. Here I was, all dolled up and fancy while he was eating taquitos off of a paper plate in his pjs – he did tell me that he had changed his shirt before he called me. Hahaha!

We’re both trying to save money so we can finish school, get married, and have a somewhat stable life when we get married so we decided (meaning I suggested and he said sure) that we would do homemade gifts this year. I thought doing this homemade thing would be cheaper and a little more personal. I like personal gifts; they tend to mean a little more. Since our anniversary and valentines day are literally a week apart, to cut down on costs, we combined the two holiday presents this year too. So with all of that discussed and decided, we went on our separate ways. I knew I wanted to do something kind of crafty but I had no ideas. After talking to one of the craftiest and cheesiest people I know, I had figured out a plan. (BIG SHOUT OUT TO MY MOM!!) I mailed a homemade card to his house everyday, starting with Valentines day and ending on our two year anniversary. Here’s some of my favoritest ones:

this is the one that arrived on our actual anniversary

It actually didn’t turn out the way that I thought it would…. That’s how most things go though, right? Haha. It took longer for the first card to get to his house, we had a Monday holiday, and there were days where he got two or three at the same time. He thought it was cute even though it didn’t go how I planned. He told me that he thought it was super adorable and cheesey, just like me!

The cards were just part one. Part two was also super fun.  I have a wooden letter S with pictures modge podged onto it hanging in my bedroom. I thought that would be fun to do something like that. We have taken so many selfies in the last two years and I wanted to use them somehow. (Plus, since we’re getting married, now we have something crafty and cute for our house!)

 

 

 

 

That was a fun project….and it turned out soooo cute! When I gave it to him, he started tearing up. It almost made me cry! He told me that no one had ever made him something so special like that before. It sure made me feel even better about my present.

For his present, he made me a wonderful dinner but that’s getting ahead of the story. Oops. Okay, so, after we both came to agreement that we might have to celebrate our special days when I moved back to Utah, we were sad but okay with the decision. Well, a week before the beginning of March, he told me that he had a surprise for me. I thought he was just teasing me about his anniversary present or something. We were talking one night before bed, he told me that in a few days I’d have a delivery but it’s special and timed so it would show up between 2 or 3 in the morning that Friday. I was sooo excited but equally as confused. Luckily, I didn’t have work that Friday so I would be fine to stay up until my package came. I didn’t want to have anyone woken up when whoever was coming came so I just made a bed on the couch. It felt like I was a child waiting for Santa Clause on Christmas Eve. Hahah!  I drifted in and out of sleep until my alarm went off at 2:00. I wanted to be awake so I could just answer the door and then go back to sleep. I texted Lewis and told him that I was awake and I was super tired but I hadn’t been able to sleep. He called me half asleep and told me to just wait. It should get there soon. He seemed super out of it…probably because he had been asleep. I quickly apologized for waking him up and told him that I loved him. We hung up and I watched Netflix on my phone. About 3:30, no one had come. I was really tired and a little irritated. I was half asleep and almost done with my third episode of Parks & Rec when I heard a weird noise in the kitchen. I figured it was the ice machine or something and I was tired enough to dramatize it in my mind. Obviously I wasn’t too worried because I just cuddled deeper into my blankets on my makeshift couch-bed. I saw a shadow out of the corner and I looked over. At 3:30 in the morning, Lewis was standing in the doorway between the living room and the kitchen with a huge smile on his face. It took me a few minutes to register that he was actually standing there! I jumped up and ran to him. I started crying and laughing from excitement (and a little bit from exhaustion too probably).

He had been in cahoots with my mom! She had left the sliding door unlocked in the sun room so when he got here, he could just come in. With a grin on his face, led me down to my room. There was a vase of flowers and a bag of dark chocolates (my favorites!). I was super glad that I had cleaned my room and actually made my bed that morning! Haha.

The next day, after we both woke up from our late night, we opened the new game console he had picked up before he came to Idaho. (Yep. He had bought the new Switch. The night he was coming was also the release of the Switch. That’s why he didn’t get here until 3… Oh that silly boy of mine.) We opened it, set it up, played with it for a bit, and about dinner time my family left. Lewis’s home made present was a yummy dinner: Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken and shrimp, zucchini, asparagus, and toast. It was soooo good.
I didn’t want to ever get full!

 

 

I had quite a few hours at work while he was here, so he got a chance to spend time with my brothers and parents. I think that’s always good. 🙂 One afternoon I had off, we went black light mini golfing and then went and saw Moana. That was super fun. I love that movie more each time I see it. The day he left, we went to another movie. This is one he really wanted to see. Go see the Lego Batman movie. It is hilarious!! I was laughing so hard my stomach was hurting. He had to go home that night. It’s always sad to say goodbye to the person you love. I never like doing it.

It was such a fun week. I sure appreciate him and I love him lots. Happy anniversary my darling love! <3

#uneditedchallenge

Happy Wednesday everyone! So, in my last post, I blogged about posting a selfie and adding filters to it. I decided that I needed to “…make it a personal goal to let myself be vulnerable in my social media. For one week I am going to post one selfie every day, UNEDITED and NO FILTERS with something positive about myself.” 

(My thoughts are kind of everywhere… I hope this makes sense.) I’ve come back to tell you that I did it! It was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be… I am usually a positive person. I know that I am blessed. I know that I have a good life. I know that I can name multiple positive things about myself. I do think highly of myself (in a humble way…not holier than thou way). I was able to come up with a weeks’ worth of positive things about myself and my life but I filtered some of  my thoughts. Weird, huh? I wanted to say things like, “I have an amazing body” or “I am a walking miracle.” I totally wouldn’t mean them in a full of myself kind of way. I would have added “I have an amazing body. It’s capable of so many amazing things. It can move, bend, get sick/hurt and then heal itself. It’s crazy!” Since I couldn’t edit the pictures to make them look better, I captioned them with things that were kind of obvious and carefully worded. See, I’ll show you:

Saturday: Day one. I am a daughter of God. I am a princess with divine potential. I have a Heavenly Father who loves me more than I can imagine!

 

Sunday: Day two. I am a friendly person. I love meeting new people and building friendships.

 

Monday: Day three. I am a hard worker. Give me a job and I will do the very best I can, with a smile on my face (most of the time).

 

Tuesday: Day four. I am a good student, I actually like school, and I enjoy learning new things.

 

Wednesday: Day five. I have wonderful parents. They do everything they can to help me follow my passions and dreams. They support me with every endeavor. They love me with a Christ-like love. I’m so grateful for them

 

Thursday: Day six. I have a wonderful smile. Someone recently told me that it’s crazy that my big smile fit on such a little person. I love my smile and I love showing it off.

 

Friday: Day seven. I have been blessed with someone who loves me with all his heart. He respects me and treats me like the queen that I am destined to be.

 

It was amazing. I think I said this in the last post, but I believe that this whole experiment was more for me than anyone else. I have always known that I was flawed. I’m not perfect, but hey, no one is. I have also always known that I have a wonderfully blessed life. As I’ve reflected on this, I don’t think I’ve ever combined the two in this kind of light. With this, I was able to go out of my comfort zone and grow. One of my teachers once said, “There’s no growth in the comfort zone and no comfort in the growth zone.” I got lots of positive feedback on everything; comments, likes, loves… It made me feel odd at first. I’m not usually the kind of person to flaunt my life, imperfections, or blessings out for everyone to see. With this project I had committed myself to, I had to do both. As the week went on, I got more excited to post my daily selfie (wither or not I was ready for the day). It was harder to come up with positive things that didn’t sound super holier than thou. Some days, it was tricky but I did it! I made it a whole week. In future selfies and captions, I know that I can be a little more secure and confident in my flaws and continue being my positive self! Thanks for reading.

Our Filtered Selves

I’ve been meaning to make this post since Tuesday. Work has got me going all the time, so on my day off, I’m finally taking some time to write. Haha.

This week I posted this picture with the caption “hashbrown: no filter.”:

“Hashbrown: no filter” is a quote from The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmit. It makes me giggle because that’s what the character legitimately thinks that “#nofilter” is. I wanted to use the quote so I captioned my selfie with it. I know that it was just a silly quote but as I got thinking, it wasn’t true. I had cropped it, tweaked the colors, AND put my favorite filter on it.

Here’s the original slefie:

I don’t care about whether or not my scar shows because it’s part of who I am. I don’t care that my face isn’t centered in the picture. I don’t care that I look really washed out. I don’t care about any of that. So, why did I do all of that “fixing” to a perfectly good picture? Maybe that’s part of the reason I haven’t sat down and write this post yet. I’ve been trying to figure out why I felt unsettled about it. It’s silly, but it does.

Growing up in my parent’s house, I was always taught to be true myself, not be ashamed of who that was, stand up for what I believe in, and respect others and their opinions. As I’ve become my own independent self, I’ve learned that that advice and guidance is a ton harder to do that it seems. I’ve learned it’s definitely important to follow but it’s hard. I don’t have a perfect life, none of us do. We all have hardships, heartbreaks, failures, or sorrows. We aren’t in total control of what life gives us, but we are in complete control with what we post. I think, instead of asking for support or help, we try to overcompensate with how we make sure others view us on social media. I don’t mean that you should do nothing but complain about your life, but instead of posting the doctored and fake selfie, post the one of you in a messy bun with no makeup, sick in bed and say something you’re happy about. Hmm… I don’t know. Maybe none of that makes sense. Maybe I’m delusional. Maybe I’m asking too much. Maybe I’m just rambling. Maybe I was supposed to write this for me specifically. This is basically my journal right? Haha. I was on Pinterest the other day and this quote popped up. I think this is a perfect way to end this entry.

I’m making it a personal goal to let myself be vulnerable in my social media. For one week I am going to post one selfie every day, UNEDITED and NO FILTERS with something positive about myself. Next week, I will post on the blog about my experiment…complete with all the pictures and captions. Yayy!Wish me luck!

 

Overload: Wedding Edition

Hey everyone! This post is pretty much a catch-up and photo dump! Yayy! I’ve been able to attend and be apart of some wonderful weddings/set ups and I haven’t blogged about any of them! So, settle in and I’ll get started.


June 6, 1015: Shannon, my best friend and cousin, got married to the love of her life. It was so sweet and special! Jesse is an amazing guy and I’m so glad that he’s part of our family.

 

Cheesing it up!

This was actually the first wedding that I had ever brought Lewis to. We had been dating for just under four months! I caught Shannon’s bouquet. My little brother caught the garter. Not knowing what it was, he threw it at Lewis. We were both laughing. He turned to me and asked, “Guess we don’t have a choice now, huh?” We had talked about hypothetically…but not really very seriously. Who knew, two years later, we’d be planning our own wedding!


December 17, 2016: Aleks and Olivia got married in the Salt Lake Temple! I’ve mentioned them before…several times. They are a couple of my favorite people. I knew Aleks before he even started dating Olivia. It’s been so fun to see their relationship grow! They love each other so much and I’m happy that they get to spend forever together.

The whole squad! Left to Right: Lewis, Me, Aleks, Olivia, Gina, and Adrian

 

Waiting, inside where it’s warm, for the Newlyweds to be out of the temple. Left to right: Gina, Adrian, Me, and  Lewis

 

Aleks and Olivia went to get hot chocolate for their first date. It’s since become “their thing.” So obviously, they had a hot chocolate bar.

 

Olivia’s sister made the cake. It was soooo pretty and even more delicious!

 

While I was in Utah for another wedding, we got to go to Red Lobster for dinner together. It was so fun to see them! 1/28/2017

 


November 12, 2016: About a week before the 12th, Lewis texted me and asked if I could come visit and go on a double date with his best friend and another girl. I was super excited! I hadn’t seen the girl Jamon was bringing since June! Okay…wait. Let me back up.

During the summer, Lewis went to on a sales job with Jamon. While they were gone, Lewis’s brother was leaving on his mission. Some of their family came down for his endowments/goodbyes, including, his cousins from Washington! The night before Logan left for the MTC, we Skyped the boys so the two brothers could say goodbye. We were over at Jamon’s parents’ house (his family is pretty much Lewis’ family). Jamon saw Jenna, who is Lewis’s cousin and was immediately in love….at least that I could tell. Shortly after the Skype call, they had begun texting/calling but had never actually met in person. So in November, Kathy, Jamon’s mom, had her come down to help with a Sunday lesson. It was secretly a plan to set them up on a real date. Since she was going to be there, the boys wanted to take us out on a double date! It was so fun. The boys were so cute about it. They had planned everything ahead of time and it was all perfect.

 

The mom’s wanted us to send pictures along the way…. This is one of the several that we sent. Jamon’s mom was less than thrilled.

 

The boys surprised us with a picnic lunch. Chicken salad, juice, french bread and oil to dip. It was quite fancy. 🙂

Visiting Temple Square in Salt Lake is pretty much a “have to” when you are on a date. So, after lunch, we walked over and took pictures!

 

 

 

Their height difference just kills me!

 

 

 

 

These two have been best friends since they were….seven or eight.

 

After tons of silly pictures and a tour of the visitors’ center, we started our way over to go window shopping at the City Creek Mall.

 

I laughed at something ridiculous and I saw Lewis doubt his life choices. He expects me to randomly laugh though so I don’t know what his problem was. Hehehe!

 

We stopped off at the Disney Store on our adventure. We found princess dresses that fit me and Jenna! The boys thought it was really funny.

 

When we were done at City Creek, the boys dragged us over to the Gateway Mall for another surprise. They took us to do virtual reality stuff! (Back story: I am terrified of roller coasters. Jamon lives in Ogden and in order to drive to Salt Lake, you have to pass Lagoon. The boys were teasing us that that was where we were going. Jenna was all for it but I was very nervous and hesitant. I really thought that they were serious!! Throughout the day, the boys kept hinting that we were going to ride roller coasters…. Lewis later asked it I really thought that he would really make me do something that scared me that much. That’s one of the many times I knew that he loves me. Haha.) Okay, so we get into the VR place and Lewis asks if they have four headsets that we could use. He helped me put mine on my head and then grabbed my hand. The person that worked there explained how to use them and then instructed us on how to go to the roller coasters. Lewis didn’t let go of my hand the entire time! It was so sweet. After we got tired of all the roller coasters, we went through the different options. Jamon ended up finding a haunted house that caused him to scream several times. It was soo great! I decided that I’m okay with roller coasters if i’m in a store holding my sweetheart’s hand the whole time. <3

For dinner, the boys had made reservations at The Roof. It’s a really fancy restaurant on the roof of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. I ate so much delicious food. I think we all went home with “food babies.” It was wonderful.

 

It was a fantastic day. Definitely one for the books, for sure! I didn’t want the day to end. I had such a great time. I love spending time with my boy and our friends.


December 1, 2016: Text conversation between Jenna and I

Jenna: Hey Sarah!! Wanna be my bridesmaid??

Me: What?! Yes!!!! I’d love to! When did THAT happen?!

Jenna: Last Wednesday. The wedding’s January 27

Me: AHHHH! YAY! THAT’S SOOO EXCITING!

Jenna: I already had you picked as a bridesmaid for a while but I was like “oh i should probably inform her before she shows up to the wedding as a normal civilian. XD 


January 27, 2017: The big day is here! Jenna and Jamon’s wedding!! I got there Wednesday night and was able to stay until Sunday. It was so great! Lewis’s family was there, so I got to see my future inlaws! I sure missed them. The dynamic for this wedding was so weird for me! The Carvers and the Bowens are best friends. All their kids grew up together so they were there for them….BUT Jenna is a cousin on Dad’s side so they were there for her. It was crazy but it was great to see everyone!

Thursday, all the girls went to get mani/pedis! It was sooo fun.

 

Jamon crashing the bachelorette party… Freaking boy!

 

This is Jamon’s niece. She is the cutest thing ever! She’s met me a few times before but by the end of the weekend, she was giving me hugs.

 

Me, Jenna, and Mikayla

 

All dolled up! Lewis was the best man and I was a bridesmaid. We were both very fancy.

 

 

Waiting inside where it’s warm for everyone to be done in the temple. Left to right: Me, Lewis, Ryker, Mikayla, and Denver

 

These are the missionaries that missed the wedding. We had cardboard cutouts as replacement. Not quite as fun as having them really be there but it was better than nothing! <3 Left to right: Elder (Logan) Bowen – Taiwan, Elder (Christian) Carver – Norway, Sister (Dallis) Bowen – Utah

 

The reveal picture of a picture. In the pictures under this one, his face was goofy and so full of love when he saw her!

 

Yay! They’re married!

 

 

The cake is always great but this one in particular was hilarious. They told each other that they were going to be nice. Jamon was….Jenna, not so much.

 

Bridesmaids for the wedding. Love these girls so much. I’m so glad we got to be twinsies! Left to right: Mikayla, Me, and Ashley

That was such a great weekend! Again, I am so glad that I got to be a part of this wonderful couples’ happy day. They are absolutely perfect for each other.


It’s been amazing to be involved with every single one of these special days because they are all people that I love. It’s been so wonderful to see them find their other half. They have all been blessed with Heavenly Father’s promise to have the opportunity to spend all of eternity with the person they love! That is so amazing to me. With everything that’s been happening, I’m even more excited for my own! Summer needs to come faster! 😉