Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Little Miracle

I can't believe it has taken me so long to write this post. I don't know how many times I have sat down to write about this experience but I just couldn't think of the words. But I knew I needed to share my thoughts with all of my friends and family about a little miracle we were able to witness.
Over the last month and a half Brandon and I have had the opportunity to work with the missionaries in teaching a young mother about the gospel. The missionaries tracked into Angela one Saturday after we had them over for dinner. Angela lived in our building with her 3 year old daughter and her boyfriend. She was at a crossroads in her life where she was looking for something more and thought religion was the answer. I was lucky enough to tag along to all the discussions. Last Saturday Angela was baptized!! I can't tell you how excited and happy I am for her! I wanted to share a few things I learned through this experience.

I have never been on a mission and have never have had many opportunities to help teach the gospel to an investigator. I was very nervous that I would not know what to say or how to answer her questions. During discussions the missionaries would ask me to bare my testimony. Then as I would be hanging out with Angela she would ask me some pretty tough questions. I was surprised at the words that would just fall into my mouth. I now realize that it is not the person or the words that matter in preaching the gospel. The Holy Ghost is the most powerful teacher and testifer. I will also never forget the spirit I felt as Angela prayed aloud for the first time or when she bore her testimony for the first time.

I also began to really understand how faith is the first princle of the gospel. I grew up in the church and have taken for granted my testimony, beliefs, and how I live my life. As I sat in the discussions I tried to put myself in Angela's shoes. What would I think about faith, prayer, the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, prophets, the law of chastity, or the word of wisdom if I was hearing about it for the first time? Would I believe any of it? I was amazed at the giant leaps of faith Angela took as she learned a principle and then would chose to apply it into her life not knowing from previous experience the happiness it brings by living that principle. Things that seemed so simple to me would require her to make huge life changes. I was constantly surprised by Angela's faith despite all the resistance from family and friends.

I also learned a lot about my own faith. The missionaries challenged Angela to be baptized on a certain date. That date came and went with no baptism. There seemed to be too many obstacles standing in her way making baptism seem impossible. The missionaries then challenged her to a new date of May 30. While we were in Cancun, Brandon and I would talk about if we thought Angela would be baptized on that day. I expressed my doubts and we both agreed it probably wouldn't happen. Then to my big surprise I had a message from Elder Livingstone on my phone when we got back. It pretty much said, "A lot has happened while you've been away. Angela wants to be baptized on Saturday and she would like you to give the closing prayer at the service." I called Brandon at work and said, "You will never believe what has happened!" I felt so humbled knowing my doubts had overshadowed my faith. How did I not have enought faith to know that everything would work out? I learned that with God nothing is impossible.

I am so grateful for the joy of missionary work. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ restored church on the earth today. I am so happy to have been able to see a friend come to know of this truth.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

One Year Down

Brandon and I got married one year ago yesterday! I can't believe it. Sometimes it feels like it just happened but then I think about all that we have done in the past state, new jobs, new apartments, new wards, new people, new adventures, a whole new life. I am so glad Brandon has been by my side for it all! To celebrate Brandon came home a little early from work and took me to the temple. We then went to Cheesecake Factory for dinner.

I love you Brandon! Thanks for marrying me!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


We finally went on our trip to Cancun and it was absolutely AMAZING! After months and months of waiting it finally came...and went a little too quickly. I am also happy to report we made it there and back without any scary encounters with drug cartels or coming down with a nasty case of the swine flu. It was actually quiet nice down there because of all the bad PR Mexico got on the news this last month. The resort was not crowded and we never had to wait for anything. There were maybe 10 people on the beach at a time and we always had about 5 servers waiting on us hand and foot. Let me tell you...a girl can get used to that.

There is too much to write about so I thought I would just use pictures. (That's all I really look at on blog anyways.)

This is our hotel: Dreams Cancun all-inclusive resort and spa. I have never been to an all-inclusive resort before but let me tell you that is the way to go. Everything was free game: water sports, restaurants, entertainment, drinks, even the mini bar in your room.

Our room was pretty awesome. We stayed overlooking the dolphin pool. In the morning we would either wake up to crazy chirping birds or the dolphins splashing in the water.

Here is where we spent most of our time...THE BEACH!! The water was clear, blue, and WARM. They had floaty toys and tampolines to play on, kayaks, and snokel gear.

One day we went to Chichen-Itza, an ancient Mayan city. Here we are in front of the famous temple. You can no longer climb the steps up to the top. The craziest thing about the plaza is that when you are standing in the right spot and clap the acoustics somehow make the echo sound like a chirping bird. When our tour guide told us that I didn't believe him but he was so really does sound like a chirping bird and nothing like a clap. CRAZY!
All of the stones had engravings on them. This was on the walls of the 'ball field.' Notice the stick that pierces his nose and the huge earrings. He is thought to be royalty.

The Mayans practiced human sacrifices and are often thought of as violent people. These skull carvings line a huge stage/platform where they performed some of these sacrifices. They also would make human sacrifices by throwing people into a large Cenote, or sink hole, where the person was unable to climb out and would eventually drown.

Before we went to Chichen-Itza, we first made a stop at a Cenote to go for a swim.

Doesn't he look excited to jump in? Or is he scared?

Here is what it looked like from ground level. We then had to make our way down a tunneled stairway with chains as handrails to get to that platform below where all the people are standing.

It was really cool when you got down in there. It was fresh water and there were hundreds of little fish swimming around.

This is a really ugly picture of me but I thought it looked cool with the vines all around.

Here is Brandon jumping from the highest platform. I am proud to say I jumped from there too but mine wasn't nearly as graceful as his dive.

Here we are back at the hotel. There was a light house on the point. We would walk along this path looking for hermit crabs every night and iguanas during the day.

Can you see the iguana?


This is Brandon at our favorite bar...the Sugar Reef. We would lye on the beach and our friend Jimer would come by every so often and bring us Pina Coladas, Tango Mangos, or whatever we wanted. It was bliss!

This was one of the four restaurants at the resort. Most of them were on the beach.
Well that is about it! We had a wonderful time just relaxing and hanging out together. It was the best 2nd honeymoon any girl could ask for! Thanks again Brandon for taking me!