Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Site

This is just to inform you that my new blog is now I will only update from there. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Was my "accident" on purpose?

I first apologize for not having updated this in such a long time (it's been almost a year!). After Pageant last year I began my most difficult semester of school I've had thus far. It was busier, more stressful, most frustrating, and most responsibility-filled than any semester I've had (which aren't too many). It left me single, sleep-deprived, and strained when it ended. Then I went home for Christmas break I experienced a most life-changing experience: I was in a head-on collision.

Head-on collisions are life-changing by design: most die, and the rest are left sustaining serious injuries. While I did fall in the latter category (obviously, as I'm here writing this today), thankfully none of my injuries were to be permanent. They included a fractured cheekbone (my cheekbone was literally pushed into my face), a divot of bone and cartilage missing from my right knee (the bone was the size of a quarter from the end of my femur), and a compound fracture in my left foot (that means it broke the skin: I had bones sticking out of my foot). They each required a certain level of healing and recovery, and some are still incompletely recovered.

With my cheekbone the face doctor went through a cut I had received on my temple and through an incision he made on the inside of my mouth and pulled the cheekbone back into place and reattached it with titanium plates. If you were wondering, no I did not go off when I went through airport security. For recovery I was only allowed to eat (or drink, rather) liquids because of the stitches on the inside of my mouth. For anyone trying to lose weight: go on a liquid diet for three weeks. Remarkably, my face did not swell up as the doctors predicted it might. I did feel numbness for a long time, but now I can feel everything and completely smile again.

With my foot I eventually had a permanent surgery on it about a week after the accident. They put some screws and a plate and a long pin in my foot to hold my bones and arch together. then it was casted, and had to remain that way for about a month. So during that time I could neither shower nor walk normally, but sponge bathed and used a wheelchair or walker. Then they removed the cast and allowed me to wear an orthopedic boot (the most expensive shoe you can buy). At first I still couldn't put weight on it, but then a few weeks later they removed the pin from my toe and allowed me to put weight on my foot! It was exciting, I could finally begin walking without assistance. Two months after that they were able to remove the hardware (the plate and screws) as my bones were able to hold without it. Now I can wear normal shoes on it and walk almost perfectly.

With my knee, they informed me that I would need a donor to replace the missing divot of bone and cartilage. They would take a donated knee joint, cut out the piece of bone that I needed and the cartilage and put them in my knee. We waited for news of a donor for six months, wondering how long I'd have to wait before we got it. Finally, a few days ago, the call came and I'm going to have the surgery in about a week's time. I am very excited to have finally received it, but sorrow that someone had to lose their life for me to benefit. However, as an organ donor I hope to make it up by helping someone once I die.

I do not pretend to know what I am supposed to learn from this whole experience. But thus far I have gained patience, renewed perspective, and persistence to achieve my goals. I hope to become more loving and kind, and to serve any and all I can in my life, as so many have served me in this process. I hope my experience can help others to find purpose in their trials, that while they don't see the end or the reasons, to know there is one and that they will come. As the Lord told Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail, "thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high;" (D&C 121:7-8). I hope we all can endure well, is my hope and prayer.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hill Cumorah Pageant

My family participates in a yearly show put on by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called the Hill Cumorah Pageant. It portrays stories from The Book of Mormon and testifies of Jesus Christ. It is an incredible experience for me and my family.

One of the opportunities we enjoy at Pageant is to talk to the audience members before each show. Here the cast has a chance to bear testimony to the truthfulness of The Book of Mormon to the guests. If audience members want to know more, or have friends that might be interested, they get to give their information to the cast members. This gives people a chance to receive a copy of the Book of Mormon or even a visit from representatives of the Church. The Pageant has become a great missionary tool.

I'm grateful I had the opportunity to participate in the Pageant. On Opening Night as I stood on the stage during the Processional, I felt an assurance from the Spirit that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. It was a simple, but undeniable feeling in my heart. I pray that each may find this peace in their life as I have in mine. And I hope that you try to see the Hill Cumorah Pageant next year!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Emotional Roller Coasters

My life has been pretty crazy recently. You could call it an emotional roller coaster of sorts. Granted, it's been that way for a few months now, but I'm beginning to see it more clearly now. But I am able to truly testify that trials bring you closer to God, for which I am extremely grateful. I can also say that when I'm at the top of my roller coaster and happier than usual, I watch others go through trials around me and marvel how they go through life so happily. This strengthens me when my roller coaster of emotion takes a downturn.

From this I have also gained a greater appreciation for the things I can count on in my life. At church the lessons always seem to be the right thing for me to hear at the time. My institute class is so enriching, offering many new insights in the gospel. I have also found great new insights from the scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon; even though I've read them before, I still can find new things to apply to my life. Lastly, I am most grateful for the comfort the spirit has given me while I have gone through this roller coaster. The Lord is always there for me to turn to, and I am eternally indebted to Him. May I be able to help others through their roller coasters as He has helped me through mine.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dreams Fulfilled, Trials Overcome

A week ago I got to attend General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. It has been a dream of mine to see the prophets and apostles in person and to hear them teach while seeing them. It was amazing to be able to fulfill this dream of mine and have a great experience.

At Conference they talked a lot about going through tribulation. We all have our own personal struggles, so I thought it was great to hear so much about it. They encouraged us to find joy in our trials, which can be hard to do. I think it's really important that we do so because otherwise we get discouraged and can't move forward. Trials are a time of growth; it's not so much how bad the trial you're going through is, but how you react to it that's important. We must have hope in a better world and be grateful for the blessings in our lives. We must not focus inward, but focus on helping others in their trials. There are several means to get you through your struggles, you just have to remember that all things are possible through Christ. He suffered not only for our sins, but also for our pains and sorrows. He knows what we are going through and knows how to succor His people. We must turn to Christ, laying our burden at His feet, and trust in Him that everything will be okay. I hope that we all will trust in the Lord and exercise faith in Him. With Him, all of our dreams can be fulfilled.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sing and be Joyful

So I work as an early morning custodian. Believe it or not, I love my job. I enjoy getting work over with in the early morning and getting the chance to contemplate my life while I work and do seemingly menial tasks. Another thing I get the chance to do is sing. Yes, I sing at work. Usually I sing hymns, like "Be Still, My Soul," "Lead, Kindly Light," "How Great Thou Art," and "Because I Have been Given Much." Then one week I didn't sing at all. I had a lot of thinking to do and had been doing that instead. Then on Friday while I was vacuuming the hallway a professor stopped me and asked, "why haven't you been singing? I've been waiting!" I had not realized that people listened to my singing, but apparently they do. So I sang for the rest of that day at work and felt so much better. You never know what you do everyday that makes a difference in other people's lives.

Another example of this became evident in my ward. Every Sunday we can write love notes to each other. I was rereading the love notes given to me since last semester and noticed a common theme: a lot of people enjoyed and appreciated how happy and full of life I was. I never before realized what an effect it had on these other people. Some of the love notes I hadn't even remembered receiving. It means a great deal to me that people appreciate how I am and it encourages me to continue being that way. I would hope that all of us would do things to help others and to notice it when others do that for us. And sing like no ones listening, because even if there is someone listening, they'll love that you are expressing your feelings. May we all find joy in each other and in being the best we can be.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Grace of God

Whenever I get down, one thing that can always help lift my spirits is when I remember the grace of God. We are so sinful, but He is still willing to forgive us if we come unto Him and repent. What love He must have for His children to bestow us this blessing of which we don't deserve.

One instance of when God was merciful is when He appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the spring of 1820. Joseph Smith had a question: he wanted to know which of all the churches was right. As he studied the Bible, he found a verse that led him to decide to ask of God which of all the churches was right. When he betook himself to prayer, God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph. I reread the account of this First Vision recently and I was overcome with tears as the Spirit bore witness to me how merciful God was to restore His church for His children. How blessed we are to have the true gospel again in the earth. It is evidence that God is merciful indeed.

I have been several times to the Sacred Grove where Joseph prayed and saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. There is a great spirit and peace present there. But this is not how I know that The First Vision happened. I have come to know that Joseph is a prophet and restored the true gospel by studying the scriptures, living the gospel, and praying to know. Anyone can come to the same knowledge if they sincerely seek for it with pure intent and faith. I would encourage any to do so who have not already. Indeed, I would challenge them too.

So whenever you get down try to remember the grace of God and how merciful He is to His children. I testify that He loves you and wants the best for you. If you come to Him you will find peace in this life and great rewards in the world to come. Please remember the grace of God.