Month: November 2015
8 Things You Might Be Saying About Missions That Could Come Across As Hurtful
Welp. I’m at it again.
Like I said last time – this post isn’t about me ranting my anger or frustration. It stems from dozens of conversations with people who are in the same boat as me, who are not choosing to be offended, but instead are choosing to move forward despite things being said to them that could hurt. It stems from conversations with those who have no idea that they’re saying things that are hurtful, and want to recognize and be better.
I got lots of response from my last posts about missions – and I feel like they did some good. But I’m still hearing people who are getting hurt over some things – and I want to stand up for those people, including myself.
Getting offended is a choice – I’ve heard it time and time again. But if you were the one causing offense, wouldn’t you want to know? I really don’t think people knowingly want to hurt me, or anybody else. But sometimes things that people say can hurt.
So please don’t take this as a hate of all things missionary, as a rant of angry feelings, as a post springing from my own insecurity. Take it as I mean it – a kind look into what many of us are feeling, and how you can help.
1. “You’re so spiritual, I totally thought you were an RM.” We know you mean this as a compliment. But unfortunately, it’s not. Returned missionaries don’t have the monopoly on spirituality, hospitality, charity, etc. Those of us who didn’t serve a mission can still have a strong testimony, teach well, and be missionaries wherever we live. The fact that you’re so surprised that we didn’t serve and still manage to be a strong member of the church, can be hurtful.
2. “Wait, why didn’t you serve?” This question again has kind intentions, but it’s a fairly personal one. Maybe we didn’t want to, prayed and felt we shouldn’t, weren’t able to, or a million other things. No matter why we didn’t serve, it’s a personal decision between us and the Lord. If we’re open about it, ask away. If not, maybe it’s not the best question to ask.
3. “You would’ve been such a good missionary.” Again, this has the kindest of intentions. But again, it can be so hurtful. We were good missionaries while you were on your mission, and we are still good missionaries every day through our example, by sharing the gospel with others, and more.
4. “I feel insecure about teaching this lesson, because there are so many RM’s in this room.” This is for my gals and guys who didn’t serve! Don’t sell yourself short! I heard these words from a wonderful Bishopric member’s wife, who had so much to teach us. Don’t think for one second that your Gospel experiences aren’t enough, or make you less than anyone else. This goes for all kinds of situations, not just in regards to missionary service.
5. “He didn’t really serve, he came home early.” I have several really good friends who came home early from missions for one reason or another. This does not, in any way invalidate the time they spent serving, or the time they will continue to spend serving from wherever they are. Early returned missionaries are not a disappointment. They are a strong example. Whether they come home to work on things, because they are sick, or any other reason, they deserve our love and support, as well as our recognition of a job well done.
6. “Girls, if you’re thinking about going on a mission, stop thinking and just go.” I was thinking about going on a mission. The more I prayed about it, the more I got confirmation that it wasn’t the right thing for me. So it’s a good thing that I didn’t just drop everything and go because I wanted to. Maybe a better thing would be to say, “if you’re thinking about going on a mission, spend lots of time studying, praying, and working to find your answer.”
7. “A mission is the best option for you at this time in your life.” For a lot of people, this is true. On my last post there was lots of discussion about boys serving missions. Some boys don’t serve, and that’s just fine. Prophets have said that worthy, healthy, spiritually ready boys should serve. I stand by the position of our prophets, and I also know that each person has a story. There are reasons it didn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t work out for so many young men. I understand that some of my close friends were in situations that prevented them from serving, serving a full two years, etc. I applaud them for working with Bishops, priesthood leaders, and their Heavenly Father to make that decision. The whole purpose of my posting is to help us realize how we could be judging others (myself included! I am NOT perfect either my friends). Please be careful about how you view others who didn’t serve; everyone has a story and their story deserves your consideration and kindness. The boys and girls who do serve, and the boys and girls who don’t serve both need our love and support. NOW, for my girls. For some of you, a mission WILL be the best option. For others of you, it will not. Again, let’s not judge. My story didn’t include serving a mission at this time in my life. I respect and am so grateful for both those who had a mission in their story, and those who didn’t.
8. “I will only date/marry an RM.” We discussed this in my last post, and I want to touch on this again. Girls and boys BOTH say this too often. What matters is the testimony, conversion, and lifestyle of the person today. Say instead, “I want to marry someone who will go with me to the temple,” or “I want to marry a worthy priesthood holder,” or “I want to marry someone who will help me teach the gospel to our children.”
Again, not a rant, not anger, none of the above. Just a girl who isn’t perfect, and who is trying to help the culture of this beautiful religion be a little less judgmental, a little kinder, and a little more open for every person and their story.
rocket summer/les miserables/birthday bash/other things that i didn’t take pictures of
time flies when you forget to blog. and take pictures.
we have been up to the following things:
last week: being sick, surprising Randy and going to see James Bond, a cousin baptism and seeing friends in Provo, another night in Provo with other great friends, a day off of work, shopping, grocery shopping, working, classes, tests, a broken down front runner and an extra drive to SLC, and lots of fun:)
this weekend was full of seeing Randy’s FAVORITE band in the WHOLE WORLD, the Rocket Summer. It was my first time seeing Bryce Avery live and it was FANTASTIC. What a fun concert, wonderful music, and great company:) Paradise Fears opened for Bryce and I LOVE them. They were wonderfully fantastic. Two clean, fun, and really talented bands.
Saturday consisted of driving to Kaysville to see Les Miserables performed by DHS. What talented kids I tell ya! It made me seriously miss being onstage. It was four whole years ago that it was Randy and I on that stage, young and falling for each other.
We then hung out with the family, and then went off to Squatters downtown to celebrate my beautiful coworker and friend Becky’s birthday! We loved hanging out with her and her friends, who are quickly becoming our friends too!
Then it was home to hit the hay because we were exhausted.
Sunday was teaching and watching some kids for the lady who I visit teach during Sacrament Meeting. Sundays are super wonderful because we get to regroup, and just spend time together which doesn’t happen a lot during the week.
guys I promise I’m going to be better at blogging! I’m currently trying to figure out how to print my blog for posterity and to have a hard copy, but there are like 600 posts to print!! EESH. So if you have any tips, lemme have ’em!
Happy Monday everyone!
(also, yes I only took pictures at the concert. SUE ME. JK don’t sue me. I will be better at taking pictures. PROMISE)
On Trusting God
Everyone has been reacting to the news. It’s not unlike other church announcements we have been seeing recently. So I want to talk about this one specifically, and other announcements that have been made.
Let me start out by saying that I do not know everything about church doctrine. I don’t understand some things.
But here are a few things that I do know: I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me, and every single person on this earth. I know that we have a prophet on this earth today, and as we read in Official Declaration One in the D&C, that prophet will not lead this church astray, God will not allow it. Prophets have agency, but when it comes to taking the church in a direction, they are 100% directed by God. I know that God has a plan for each of his children. I know that families can be eternal, and that the family is the basic unit in that plan that God has for us.
Here’s my take on the new policies; children of polygamist families cannot join the church except under similar circumstances to this new change, any type of child can’t join the church until they have parental permission or are of legal age. This is not to hurt them, but to protect families. People are welcome to come to church, attend activities, etc. They just need to wait until they are on their own to be baptized. This isn’t news; this is how the church has been operating for years. They’re just adding another type of family to the list of families that are important to keep together until children can really make their own decisions. They’re not being asked to disown their family, but they will be asked to understand what the church teaches and abide by that before joining. It’s the same for me; I have family members who drink and smoke, which is against what I believe. I don’t have to never see them, but I also don’t have to agree with them. We agree to disagree, and that’s OK.
This will be hard for some people to understand. I have many friends who are homosexual, and I love them. There are so many things that I don’t fully understand, but the things that I KNOW outweigh the things I can’t wrap my head around.
God is leading his prophets. I know that following them will bring me happiness. I know that Christ is at the head of this church, leading it. These are not mere men making decisions; this is God telling them what they need to do. And if you don’t believe that, that’s ok. I won’t judge you or hate you. But it won’t change what I am absolutely certain of.
God’s ways are not our ways. But “doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith” (Elder Utchdorf). Remember, this is the God of all the universe we are dealing with. I’m pretty sure He’s not up in heaven, wondering what to do next. There’s a plan. He has timing. He knows what He is doing.
Randy and I decided on a family motto a few weeks ago, I think it fits perfectly here:
“Trust God, and believe in good things to come.” (Elder Holland)
Trust God my friends. Spend time on your knees asking for guidance and understand. And know this: Either this church is true, 100%, or it’s not. Either Joseph Smith was a prophet, the Book of Mormon is real, we have prophets today guided by God, or not. There is no in between. It’s true, or it’s not.
And it is.
Working Downtown – An Essay
I work on the fifth floor in an office on Main Street, downtown. I sit by a huge window looking out onto a cafe with a great breakfast special, apartment buildings where the pigeons congregate and the funniest people come and go. We have a grid system set up so we can call out when something funny is happening at a number and corresponding letter that matches a window. It’s a little like Battleship and Bingo mixed together for people watching. There’s an older woman who always wears a mumu and walks a Corgi in and out and in and out. She’s one of my favorites. The skyline out my window is perfect; I’m just high enough to feel elevated, but not too high where people watching won’t work. It’s the perfect floor.
When I arrive in the morning, 4 out of 5 days of the week there is a paper going around for a breakfast delivery. We usually order from Toasters, a delicious coffee and sandwich shop that makes an amazing Nuetella Croissant. The delivery people know us very well there, and even though I don’t order all the time, I know what my favorite things are.
Ambulances and trains and cars bustle past my big window all day long. People randomly rap or sing or dance while they are waiting for the crosswalk, others are rushing around and others just sit and wait for who knows what.
We walk to lunch most afternoons when we aren’t so busy that we brought food to eat. I’ve gotten really good at navigating the city. I know where the best places to eat are, and they’re not the places you hear about. They’re the random little corners with mountains of fries and hot curry and the freshest sushi. My heels clatter as our group quickly walks to and from lunch, trying to take as little time as possible most days so we don’t have to stay late. All the other business people are at lunch at the same time, so we grab take out instead of a table and hustle back to the office. We pass other people from our building and wave, rush across streets to make the light, and take shortcuts that I didn’t know about a few months ago.
My favorite time in the office is when I’m one of the first, or the last, left. It’s quiet, the city is quieting down, and the sun hits the buildings in the best ways.
Sometimes I’ll be done at the office before Randy is done, and I have some wandering time. I have learned how to navigate the train almost flawlessly. I stand at crosswalks and can give directions to the confused couple next to me. I know how to avoid the people who are talking to themselves or the ones who are already drunk. I know there is construction right in front of one of my favorite pastry shops that could slow me down. I love the feeling of knowing where I am going, having memories on side streets and shops that I pass. I love the bustle of people at City Creek, and the feeling of answering emails while wandering through the stores.
I spend some of my wandering time at the beautiful place where I got married. I talk to people and help them if they are lost, answer questions about the Church, and ponder.
Working downtown and spending 40+ hours here each and every week has made me fall for the city. Knowing the numbered streets and how many blocks it takes to get to the best doughnut shops is a delight for me.
And little old me.
I love it.
halloween has already come and gone! where does the time go??
friday my work had a huge halloween party, and everyone dressed up, and my dear friend Becky and I decorated our office space so it was spoooooky. it was a really fun day with some really great costumes.
This is a woman. My boss Sariah. In the scariest mask I have ever seen in my life.
then after work, Randy and I high tailed it to Provo for Halloweenie dinner courtesy of Heidi! We have done Halloweenie dinner for a few years now and it’s so much fun. It’s awesome to see my old roommates and our group of friends, dress up, and eat tasty food with a Halloween theme (like mummy dogs, spider cupcakes, etc.)
Randy and I were Lucy and Ricky from the 1950’s show I Love Lucy. We had a BLAST and it was so fun to dress up! I ordered the costume online, Randy went and bought a bowtie from H and M and wore his suit, I got some red lips and then put my hair on sponge curlers, then pinned it up! Super easy but SUPER fun and I have to say, I think it was a hit!
then after Halloweenie dinner, we headed to Park City for a weekend at our friend’s cabin! We met up with the crew in Park City and grabbed a few things from Wal-Mart, then it was a long caravan to the cabin in the woods. I felt a little crazy for going to a cabin in the middle of nowhere for Halloween weekend, but we didn’t get murdered so it all worked out!
we snacked Friday night, played games and music, watched a scary movie (Randy and I were chickens and went to bed – HA) and had a blast. Then Saturday morning Randy and I went for a run (which proved to be CRAZY HARD. Nothing but hills, the altitude, and the cold! But it was SUPER pretty and a fun run).
Alexon our good friend cooked a big breakfast for everyone which was super awesome. He was the designated chef for the whole weekend, and let me tell you we all owe him! The food was SO good and we were so lucky he wanted to cook! Saturday was filled with more games and music, hiking, four wheeling, horse shoes, lots of chatting, and cooking.
We didn’t have much cell service at the cabin, and it was so fun to just get to chat and hang out with all our closest friends. Alexon then KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PARK again with an amazing dinner (think shish kabobs and chicken and steak and potatoes and shrimp and DELICIOUSNESS)
Randy and Caleb and I then headed home, and I couldn’t believe how sad we were to leave! we had a blast and we can’t thank Sean enough for letting us all come, Alexon for cooking, and Caleb for getting the whole thing rolling!
Saturday night we popped to my parents house for pumpkin seeds and baseball and a few trick or treaters (Randy really wanted to pass out some candy and kids don’t come to our complex!)
Sunday we headed to church, I taught and it was SO fun, then we went back to Kaysville for a fun dinner and dessert night with my family.
So all in all, it was a really awesome Halloween weekend, and now the holiday season is coming! It’s a little stressful now that I have a full time job, and Randy has his crazy work schedule; figuring out when we will have time to do different holiday things is hard, but I can’t wait!
happy Monday all, hope you had a happy Halloween!