March 31, 2013

stand in holy places (2013)

I mentioned on my last post that if something wonderful happened this weekend, I would have to blog about it. And lo and behold, something wonderful happened. I spent a lot of time yesterday morning kind of upset and sad because I felt like I hadn't gotten anything accomplished this week, but I was able to finish the day strong after a few heartfelt prayers.

The big thing that happened yesterday was the Young Women General Broadcast. I love these broadcasts because of the specific direction and guidance they give me. It is incredible to see the love that the church has for the young women and the youth in general. Knowing that they have such faith in me gives me the courage to continue living my life with righteous intentions.

This broadcast made me anxious for a few reasons. 1. I was going to be bringing an investigator girl that I had just barely met. 2. My mom wasn't likely to be there because she was helping my grandpa. 3. It was my last one. It had a bit of finality that I have noticed accompanies a lot of my "lasts" (last day of college algebra, last homecoming, last Young Women in Excellence program). Even with these anxieties, the broadcast was sure to be a bright spot in my kind of dreary day.

After a quick retouch on my hair and a quick change into a skirt, Savannah and I hopped into the car and went to pick up Shaey. Shaey is possibly one of the sweetest girls I have ever met. I went with the missionaries and popped by her house on Tuesday and introduced myself with a handshake and, "we're going to be best friends." She didn't seem in the least phased and responded warmly when I asked her if she would come to the broadcast. I was so amazed! I didn't realize that missionary work was that easy! (Today in Sunday School, President Shumway [our mission president] reaffirmed that missionary work IS that easy).

We came to the church and had a little dinner. Our Young Women presidency did such a nice job setting up, but there was a pretty low turnout. There were only 6 girls and a handful of leaders. To add to that, the Internet wasn't working, so we had to relocate from the church to a house on Post. I had to go fetch my ID (because I left it in the other car), and we were a few minutes late. It was certainly a frenzied start to the broadcast.

After everyone was settled in, we began the broadcast. The first talk was by Sister Dibb and it was just INCREDIBLE. I think it is one of my favorite talks I have heard of all time. She spoke of what a "holy place" was and how Young Women can create holy places in their lives, no matter the circumstances. I felt the spirit bear witness to me that I have had the opportunity of being in so many holy places. I thought of the Nauvoo cemetery, Llama Island in Hong Kong, and my own room. It really hit home to me that anywhere can be a holy place with my influence. Even school, one of the worst, worst environments that I am exposed to can become a holy place. It's pretty stinking awesome!

The other talks were great as well. I felt such a motivation to be worthy and to get married in the temple. I am sure that this is part of the reason why they put on these broadcasts, but what's not to love about that objective. A few of my favorite snippets were, "Save a girl, save a generation" and "A young woman, led by the spirit, CAN change the world." Recently I have been thinking about my roles in life, and if these roles even make a difference. These talks helped me to begin to see my purpose. The other girls (and the leaders) were obviously feeling the spirit. Even Shaey said that she felt something! I was so content.

On the way home, I was talking to Shaey and she randomly started talking about wanting to come to Seminary. She said that when she was in South Carolina, she attended every churchy thing with the family she was living with. AHHHHHH! That was the coolest thing to realize! She wants to be baptized! She's keeping the commandments! I think she just needed a friend to encourage her and I loved seeing her blossom as she met the young women of the ward. Dropping her off was a great way to end the night.

I went to bed mulling over the things I learned (not for long, because it was 11:00 on a Saturday). Before the broadcast, I think I understood that holy places were everywhere, but in my mind, I saw standing in holy places as a game of spiritual hot lava. If you jump off a holy place into the lava, you are out of the game. Now, I realize that a holy place is made holy by my commitment to live righteously and to make every where I go lovely and good. This is completely possible through the atonement of Jesus Christ!

I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father that loves me (and everyone else in the world) so much to allow his son to die for me. Easter time is such a lovely time to remember that! It is because of his sacrifice for me that I can return home to live with him and be in the ultimate holy place, my Heavenly Home. It is that goal that I am striving to obtain.

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