November 1, 2015


I'm in Provo, again. The sun is shining, which helps me to ignore the fact that I still have a pile of homework that I left behind in Rexburg. What's the occasion? Well, besides the fact that I love hanging out with my sister ... and really any excuse to come and see her is acceptable ... I think I needed to get out of Rexburg.

That is something that has changed about me since I have gotten home from my mission. Before, the world was my oyster, but I was never confident enough to go out and search for the pearls of experiences that were just waiting to be collected. I was content to stay at home and look at Pinterest and dream about the things that I would do in a future that was lazily floating somewhere else.

I say content ... but that wasn't the right word. Sometimes, I actually was so far from content that I internally screamed. But I didn't know how to change and take advantage of the situations in my life.

To illustrate, let me re-share a story. 

I remember exactly what I was up to two years ago. I was a freshman at BYUI ... half-way through the semester. And I was struggling. I felt homesick, I wasn't getting along with my roommates like I would have liked, I was stressed about my mission, and I was not living up to my potential. I was really lonely, but I was blessed with good friends that looked out for me. On Halloween two years ago, my friend Ben randomly invited me over to make empanadas with him; it was something warm that cast the drizzly winterish blues that were becoming a part of my college experience. 

The next day was November 1st. November is awesome for so many reasons (mostly because it is acceptable to listen to Christmas music and drink insane amounts of hot chocolate and sweaters and ... it's awesome), but that year, November marked a huge shift in my personal point of view and a general upswing of personal morale. I used this month as an excuse to begin blogging daily about the things I was grateful for in my life.

Be grateful in every circumstance. I began to live by that phrase, and it helped (and continues to help) me to take control of my life and my attitude. I became an improver. Instead of complaining about the HARD STUFF, I looked for ways that I could change it ... or let it change me. Instead of stressing out about the things that I could not control, I tried to focus on the things that I could control. It made all the difference.

Since then, I have gone on a mission and have come back. I'm right back at school and I am kind of in a similar situation ... but I am so different. And that has made the entire semester different.

I am no longer trapped by myself. I am no longer trapped by my fears and my worries and my contentment with inadequacy. If I am bored, I look for something to do. If I am sad, I look for someone that might be having a difficult time and try to forget about myself. If I am happy, I relish in that happiness. If I am sick of Rexburg, I get out.

So, I got out this weekend. And it has been marvelous.

I am so grateful for my sister, Savannah. The more that I am away from her, the more I realize how much of a blessing she is in my life. We are sooo silly together. We can hardly sit in church together because we giggle so much and poke fun at speakers. We go on walks to find adventure, and somehow we are always able to get into some kind of fun situation. She makes me a better and kinder person ... just by being around her, I feel edified and uplifted.

And that's why she's my best friend.

When things are hard, I can always count on my sister to give me sound advice and support in whatever I decide to do. Although she is younger than me, I feel like she is so much wiser and better than I am. I am grateful for her.

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