December 30, 2012

I'm not who I was a year ago ...

So, I meant to post a singular picture for every month of the year, but that obviously didn't happen. My year was incredible. Pretty much the best year of my entire life. 

Here are some of the highlights:

  • In January, I resolved to be a better person by the end of the year. I wanted to serve others like crazy, read the Book of Mormon, be a better missionary, and figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. My life has completely changed because of these resolutions (that I actually kept for once). I've become a little less selfish -- I still have a long way to go. I finished the Book of Mormon today. I gave away my precious marked up Book of Mormon during Youth Conference and I had five nonmember friends attend a Super Saturday last night. I applied for college and I think I know what direction I'm going in for my major. I am going on an 18 month mission for my church.
  • I did a TON of Family History work this year. I went to the temple to do ordinances for my actual ancestors and it felt so good. I also was able to witness the sealing of my baby sister to the rest of my family. I am so grateful for forever families.
  • I nannied the cutest kids on the planet. I gained such a love for little children and a respect for the women that work so hard to raise them. One of my greatest ambitions is to become a mother and this was lovely practice. The kids I watched were a lesson and a joy rolled all into one and I will forever love them.
  • I went to so many awesome church camps this year. EFY was incredibly perfect. My group was stellar -- life was just perfect then. It's hard to wipe off the tinge of perfection from life. I'm a happier person because of that week. Girl's Camp (my last year) was awesome. I loved the girls I was assigned to and I was able to get so much closer to my sister and my mom. Youth Conference was equally awesome. Like I said before, I gave away my "torn up" Book of Mormon that I had lovingly marked up and recorded thoughts in because I felt impressed and I had nothing else to give. It was such a good experience. It helped me to know that sharing the Gospel is painless and a help to everyone. It also taught me to carry more Books of Mormon with me.
  • We got to attend the open house for the Kansas City Temple. It was such a great experience to go into the temple and see what waits ahead for me.
  • I saw so many beautiful sunsets and sunrises. I have trained myself to find beauty in everything, even in  dying plants. It has been such a great exercise, and I love thinking about the things Heavenly Father has made for me.
  • I went on so many dates.
  • I finished homeschooling and began my senior year of high school. I have made so many new friends in school and have learned so much worldly knowledge. It has been a great transition in my life.
  • I went to General Conference in Utah, twice. The first time was such a great trip. I went to Idaho for the first time and kind of fell in love. I also felt the love of Heavenly Father so many times. The second trip was life changing. There really wasn't much of a purpose in going out there, but I am so glad that I did. I was able to witness the life changing announcement of the change in missionary ages and was able to meet up with dear, dear friends.
  • I learned how much the Lord and Heavenly Father cares about me as an individual. I really learned the power of prayer and the power that Heavenly Father has to make everything work out for my good. I also learned to rely on the Savior. He knows everything that I have gone through. He suffered for me and knows how to succor me. It has been such a comforting thing.
So ... my year was kind of incredible. I could blab on for pages and pages and this was probably already too long. But I am still loving my life. I love thinking about what the next year holds because my new year resolution is to be a better person in the year to come. I can't wait to begin another adventurous year.

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