After months of waiting, the day finally came and that white envelope showed up in the mail. Sam chose to go downtown and open it on Temple Square. He wanted it to be a small group so it was just our family and my mom’s parents. Sam’s best friend and my dad’s parents were able to watch via FaceTime. We’re so excited for Sam and know he will be able to do great things. Here are a few pictures and a video at the very end
I’ll always remember the summer of 2008 as the time my parents decided to completely remodel our house. We knocked down every wall in the whole house except for one. I remember using a sledgehammer to help take out the tile in the kitchen. And climbing on the rebar sticking out of the new cement. I remember the craziness of all the kiddos sharing a room and my mom having a baby in the middle of the process. But probably the most important thing I remember happened when my dad and I installed the new washing machine.
We worked together to get it lined up and then leaned together to shove it into place. As we got a few inches away from the wall, I swear I watched in slow motion as a screwdriver rolled off of the window ledge and fell behind the washing machine just as we finished pushing it into place.
My dad looked at me and said, “Well. That’s going to stay there for the next 10 years.” (In case you’ve never tried moving a washing machine, those suckers are heavy.)
So here we are 10 years later and that screwdriver is still there. I’ve thought about that experience a lot and I’ve reached this conclusion: the screwdriver isn’t doing anybody any good by hiding behind the washing machine. Sometimes I feel like I “hide behind a washing machine” and don’t allow God to use me as the tool I could be. Because here’s the thing: God is not a tool on my tool belt. I am a tool on God’s tool belt.
DON’T HIDE BEHIND A WASHING MACHINE! God can use you and will use you if you let Him. The quote below is long, but it is one of my very, very favorites!
I love this quote so much and agree 100%! Everyone has a contribution to make. If you haven’t figured out what your individual talents are, ask God and ask those around you! One of our greatest collective weaknesses is our lack of faith in ourselves. Too often, we fail to see our tremendous worth. That simply won’t do. God needs us to be everything we can be!
The Atonement doesn’t just allow us to repent and be forgiven, but it also enables us, strengthens us, and gives us a desire and power to serve beyond our natural capacity. Being a tool on God’s tool belt means that we allow Him to use us in ways we never thought possible. It means that we go to sleep each night knowing that our talents and unique abilities were used in a way to bless others.
Being a tool on His tool belt means that we are never alone or expected to do things on our own. If you do all that you can with the talents and abilities God has given you and pray for help and guidance, He will reach out and take you by the hand. He will use you. If you give your heart to Him and allow yourself to be led, He will use you. He will use you in ways you can’t even imagine right now. And He will bless you in ways you can’t even imagine right now.
Since the beginning of time, God has used average people like you and me to do His work. He doesn’t need you to be mighty, brilliant, fashionable, eloquent, or wealthy. He only needs you to allow yourself to be used. No tool on God’s tool belt is ever forgotten and each has a use. Choose to be useful to Him instead of hiding behind a washing machine!
Be a tool. Not in the worldly way, but in God’s way.
It’s hard to believe I’m halfway done with EFY this summer! This was my favorite week so far! Being in Nauvoo was amazing.
Some highlights included:
-sitting right outside of the temple every morning
-going to Carthage Jail on the anniversary of the martyrdom of Jospeh and Hyrum Smith
-riding in a limo bus (um yes this is a real thing and it was awesome!)
-going to the Nauvoo temple twice!
-perfect weather (except for that time we got poured on)
-watching everyone valiantly maintain their snapchat streaks despite not really having service or wifi
-Our session director’s mad piano skills and adorable family
“Once we enter into covenants with God, there is no going back. Giving in, giving up, and giving out are not options. In the kingdom of God, there is a standard of excellence for exaltation. It requires valiant discipleship! There is no room for average or complacent disciples. Average is the enemy of excellence, and average commitment will prevent you from enduring to the end.” -Kevin W. Pearson
“I testify that the Father and the Son live and that They are close, perhaps even closest via the Holy Spirit, when we are experiencing difficult times. I testify that heaven’s kindness will never depart from you, regardless of what happens. I testify that bad days come to an end, that faith always triumphs, and that heavenly promises are always kept. God is our Father, Jesus is the Christ, and this is the true and living gospel—found in this, the true and living Church. I testify that President Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God, our prophet for this hour and this day.” -Jeffrey R. Holland
I love EFY so much! Even though this week was hard, I still wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. I love these kids and they make me laugh so hard. They are leaps and bounds ahead of where I was at their age. The future is in good hands, people!
This week has THE BEST! I loved my co-counselors, we had great kids, and the only thing to complain about was the humidity. We got to visit the Kansas City temple and do baptisms and I even got to be a temple worker! We walked to Liberty Jail (which I swear was uphill both ways) and that was the first church history site I’ve visited outside of Utah. We also went to Adam-Ondi-Ahman, Far West, and the Independence temple lot. Since I was 8 and I got my first set of scriptures, I’ve looked at the pictures in the back and to finally visit some of these places has been so neat. We stayed at William Jewell College and it is seriously the prettiest campus. Good thing I already graduated or else I might be tempted to transfer and I can’t afford $40,000 per year.
“I marvel to think that the Son of God would condescend to save us, as imperfect, impure, mistake-prone, and ungrateful as we often are. I have tried to understand the Savior’s Atonement with my finite mind, and the only explanation I can come up with is this: God loves us deeply, perfectly, and everlastingly.” -Dieter F. Uchtodorf
Ah I just love EFY so much! I’m so glad to be back and I’m so excited for this summer! This week was hard and crazy and yet absolutely wonderful! I never went to EFY as a participant, but I love going as a counselor! I get so much out of it and come to love this kids so fast. It’s hard for me to say goodbye but then I end up loving the next group just as much. I’m supposed to be teaching them, but I’m always the one that ends up getting taught.
This week has been so crazy. Crazy awesome. But crazy nonetheless. Sam graduated on Owen’s 8th birthday, then Owen got baptized, and then Sam got his Eagle Scout Award. I had to leave straight from the church to go to my first session of EFY, but it’s been so fun celebrating this week.
“It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don’t worry. I say that to myself every morning. It will all work out. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us. If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings, He will hear our prayers.” -Gordon B. Hinckley