August 1, 2015
“The road leading to a goal does not separate you from the destination; it is essentially a part of it. ~Charles DeLint”
Recently a friend left for a trip to Fiji. He left as part of a Humanitarian Youth Group, the program is called Humanitarian Experiences For Youth (H.E.F.Y). This group travels to different poverty stricken countries and serves them. In this particular situation, they are building restrooms for the people of Fiji. In other countries, they also build orphanages, elementary schools, nurseries, medical facilities, facilities for those with special needs, and so on. The list is endless of what this program will do in serving others.
The participants in this program earn their own money to pay to go serve someone else. They fork up between $1,989.00- $3,795.00 (not including airfare travel cost from the airport to home, passports and visas, incidental expenses, telephone, laundry & snacks, or souvenirs.) They do fundraisers, ask for sponsors, and work their tail end off to earn money to afford to go serve children, families, and citizens in a foreign country.
Why would any one want to do that? Why would they want to pay thousands of dollars to go be sweaty, hot, and work in a different country that doesn’t have all the benefits one is use to living in America? My question for you is, why wouldn’t you? The participants in this program get to go to a foreign country for about 3 weeks to serve these people. From this experience they are able to gain sooo much. The benefits of doing are, but not limited to, becoming spiritually strengthened, being culturally immersed, and they get to change lives. They are able to learn more about themselves, their God, their Savior, and their purpose. They get to know people from a foreign country and people from their home country. They are also able to be thrown into a culture and understand the in’s and out’s of that country everything from the food, the weather, the ways of worship, their dances, their strengthens and weaknesses. They change the lives of those they are serving, they change the lives of those in their group, and they are able to change their life. This experience is a once in a lifetime experience, one that someone will cherish for eternity. The love they feel there and for the people will never be lost. Those people and that experience will become part of everything they do for the rest of their life.
Now one may ask, “Why the heck does she care enough about this, if she hasn’t even done it?” Well let me tell you my story.
I first heard about this program about a year ago right before I went to EFY. I became fully invested in this program. I loved everything it did and everything it had to offer. I wanted to do it. I had to do it. So I looked into it, I decided that I wanted to either go to Tonga or Fiji but I would go anywhere as long as it meant I could go. I started developing more talents and started earning money so that I could be qualified and so that I could afford this experience. The application opened up in September so I talked to my mom more about it and we talked about the pro’s and con’s (I found no con to it and still don’t.) But because I was also saving for and planning to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints my mom said I had to make a decision. I could do the HEFY program or I could serve a mission. It broke my heart that I couldn’t do both, I had been dreaming of a mission for years so in the end that is what I chose. I decided that it was part of my plan to serve a mission for 18 months. I put the dream of doing HEFY on the side and started getting more and more prepared for my mission.
As time went on, I still knew that a mission is what I needed to be doing at that time in my life but I still prayed for an opportunity with HEFY later in life. I hadn’t thought too much about it after I got my mission call in June 2015. (Side note: I have been called to serve in the BRAZIL FLORIANOPOLIS MISSION! I leave November 18th, 2015. And I am sooooo excited! I know that this is what I am suppose to be doing at this time in my life!) Then I met a friend in July that told about how he was going to Fiji for 3 weeks to do humanitarian work! I was so jealous already! Then the last night I saw him before he left, we were talking about how he was going to Fiji. Then I told him how I wanted to go to Fiji or Tonga this summer with this program called H.E.F.Y, to do humanitarian work! Well this happened to be the same program that he was going with! I was DEFINATELY jealous of him at this point, but I was way more excited for him than jealous. I knew what a great opportunity this would be for him and the people he is going to serve.
Now you are still probably wondering, why they heck do we need to know this? Well you probably don’t but I learned that if you share your goals with others you are more likely to succeed in reaching those goals.
So since my friend left for Fiji, I looked into what I could do with HEFY after my mission. I learned that the Trip Leaders are all volunteers as well! So that is my goal, this is something that is one of my biggest goals for after my mission. I want to become a trip leader for one (or more) of these trips. One of the requirements for this trip is be at least 22. That means in 2019 (forever away it feels like) I will be able to apply for the opportunity to be an HEFY trip leader. To do this requires and takes a lot of talent and experience from the leaders. Since I can’t do it until 2019, I have created a game plan one might say. I have written out all the requirements for the position and I have planned ways to fulfill those and become qualified for the position. I have made a timeline in which shows what I need to do and when I need to do it. It is said that Heavenly Father qualifies the called. I believe that is true. I also believe that part of Heavenly Father qualifying one for the work is that person working hard and becoming the qualified. That is what I am working towards these next four years. Yes, I have other goals and hopes for what goes on in those next four years. No, I do not know what will happen in those for years. But I do know that HEFY is part of my plan somewhere and I am willing to work hard and help it be part of my plan.
I want to have this experience so badly. I have realized that I don’t want to just do this for myself. That actually might be the last thing on my list of why I want to do this. I want to change lives. Not only my own but I want to change the lives I will impact while being a part of this program. I want to change the lives of those I will serve in the foreign country. I want to help their living situation be better than it was. I want to help them come to know that there is a God that loves them, I want them to see that through the service I have to offer. I also want to help change the lives of the youth in the program. I want to help them find joy in serving and I want them to come to know of the Savior’s role in their life. I want them to be able to understand and come to know of who they can become because of the Savior. I want them to be able to come to know of the love that Heavenly Father has for them. I want them to be able to find gratitude in every part of their life. I also want them to see who they can become. All these youth have a different background, they have a different testimony level, and they all have different experiences that will have led them to where they are for a reason. This is a chance to show them and help them see everything they can become, to show them that they can make a difference, and that they are loved and important to Heavenly Father’s plan. I want them to have a good example to look up to, that is why I want to become the best I can become in this time so they have that person. I am starting realize that maybe my purpose in HEFY isn’t to go as a youth but maybe to go as a leader to help these youth. I know I could have had it this summer if I were not going to serve a mission, but that is something that I was unwilling to give up. A mission has been a goal for years, I have been preparing for it for years. I couldn’t not serve a mission. I know that because I sacrificed HEFY at this time for a mission that I will be blessed beyond belief.
President Gordon B. Hinckley once said, “You will come to know that what appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment that you will ever make.”
Even though not going on HEFY this summer might not be the biggest sacrifice I will ever make, I do know it was a big sacrifice for me. I know there will be so much that comes out of the decision I have made to work towards being a leader. Serving a mission I know will be the best experience of my life. I know that nothing will ever compare to my mission. Besides the blessings that the mission will bring, preparing and working towards being an HEFY trip leader will bring so many blessings and opportunities. In preparation for becoming who I need to be, I will be serving a mission. I plan on being an EFY counselor after my mission for a summer. I also plan on doing the ILP program in a foreign country. I want to be the person I need to be for this program but I also know that this preparation and these opportunities will bless me in becoming who I want to be for eternity. It will help me be the person I was sent to earth to become.
So thank you for letting me ramble your ear off, but thank you so much mroe for your support in helping me reach my goals and dreams.
Here is a link to video about the experiences of those who have gone to HEFY.
May 21, 2015
So Sunday May 17th, I graduated from seminary!
Seminary has changed my life without a doubt.
Freshmen year I went to prove to people I was there. I knew I needed to be there but I wasn’t sure and I didn’t have a firm testimony in hardly anything pertaining to the gospel.
Sophomore year I made great friends in seminary that inspired me to read, to pray, and to truly feast upon the scriptures to find something. A couple of those friends are Jacob Lucas, Jade Accountius, Chelsea Waite, Hunter Hamblin, and Shelby Williams. They always had something amazing to say in seminary and I just wanted to be like them. That year I learned that, like these amazing friends of mine, I too can make a difference in some else’s life. At this point I knew that Heavenly Father loved me and was completely aware of me. I knew Jesus Christ suffered, died, and lived again for me. I knew the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was (and still is) the only church with the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ on earth.
Junior year I decided it was my turn to try to make a difference. I focused on and prayed for a couple people in my seminary class. I tried my hardest to be their friend and inspire them like many other have done for me. I don’t know if I made the difference in their life but the Spirit sure touched them at some point because now I really look up to these few people. I also met amazing friends that year who once again inspired me to be a better version of me. I met and grew to love Kayla Farnsworth, Kaylie Johnson, Kaleb Smith, Kyle Gonzales, and Katelynn Flack. I got closer to Jade Accountius, Taylor Bentley, Emilee Herman, Brooke Foutz, Callie Wills, Nathan Isaacson, Makenna Payne, and Tasha Worth. These people inspired me to love others deeper and enjoy life completely! They helped me know that I wanted to serve a mission. I learned that The Book of Mormon is truly Another Testament of Jesus Christ and it is the key to returning to our Heavenly Father through the Plan found in it. I learn that there is a perfect plan for every single person that is, has and will walk the earth. They are all Heavenly Father’s children and because He wants them back so badly He sent His only begotten Son to suffer and die for us because He is the only way we can return to Heavenly Father’s presence. I learned for myself that work for our ancestors is absolutely necessary. We have to do their work because they cannot do it on their own. I found a deep abiding love for my ancestors and the pioneers.
Senior year, Senior year we studied the Doctrine and Covenants. I had the opportunity to be on the Seminary Counsel. I had the opportunity to pray with, study with, and plan with some of the best people that had the same goal of bringing others unto Christ, which was the best goal preparing for a mission. This year I worked my hardest to be an example to those around me. Although, I do not see results of that effort I know that somewhere someone was touched by the Spirit. It helped me prepare for my mission because not everyone you work so diligently to bring unto Christ will come right away. Some will take time and it probably won’t be your timing, it will always be the Lord’s timing whether that is a week, a month, a year, 10 years, it could even be the next life but the Lord will work all things out eventually. Senior year I was best friends with Emilee Herman and Rachel Coleman who are amazing examples to those around them. I grew closer to Brother Gladden, my seminary teacher. I found friendship and strength in Annie Hamblin, Leslie, the William’s sisters, Lydia Litke, Cameron Colebrook, Hailie Nygren, and many many more. Studying the Doctrine and Covenants I learned about Joseph Smith, Emma Smith, Hyrum Smith and all the other pioneers that sacrificed everything for the church. Learning about their sacrifice I was able to learn that Joseph Smith was a true prophet for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know that he did restore the gospel of Jesus Christ in its entirety. I know he did transfer The Book of Mormon. I know that he did restore God’s power back on earth, also known as the priesthood. I know that he helped the Plan of Salvation be known to all men. I know that many many early saints did not die for a fairy tale. They didn’t die for a lie that Joseph made up. It is true. It is completely true and living by it’s precepts is the only way to have true and complete joy both on earth and in heaven. I know every single person on earth needs that message that they can be forgiven, that God loves them, and they can be with their families forever. I know the Heavenly Father sends you blessings through those in your life. I know this because of the people I have grown to love and the people He has placed in my life. I couldn’t have made it through not only high school but life without seminary. If you don’t know for sure if the church is true, or why you should be in seminary, or if the Jesus is your Savior, or what ever it may be stay in seminary, attend, put effort into it and I promise you will not only find your answer but you will find great friends, happiness, and memories you’ll never forget. Do as Joseph Smith has taught me, learn for yourself. That is the only way you’ll ever know..
May 10, 2015
Today is the day I have to celebrate the woman who has given me everything!
I couldn’t be more grateful for someone today other than my mommy. She’s the greatest and I am so blessed to have had 18 great years to have her. She’s my rock, my role model and my biggest fan. No one else will cheer as loud or cry as hard as she does for me. I love her to the moon and back. Thanks mom for dedicating your life to mine.
May 9, 2015
I graduated from the college on Saturday and it felt amazing. Although lately I’ve felt very inadequate. At the seniors award ceremony I received one recognition for graduating from the college. All my friends and everyone around me revived at least one scholarship, and I was left sitting down receiving not a single scholarship. I’ve felt inadequate because despite how hard I tried and how hard I prayed I didn’t get into BYU. I have felt inadequate because I might not be a distinguished grad.. yet another goal I have tried and tried to accomplish. I didn’t feel good enough because I graduated with a certificate and not an associates. Even though I have earned 49 college credits I felt as if I didn’t do enough. Someone asked me before college graduation, “If you didn’t get a full associates why are you walking?” They are right. What is my point in walking even though I didn’t do enough. It tore me up for a little while. All this hard work and I didn’t achieve what I set out to do.
I still struggle with the fact that maybe I didn’t do quite enough to be “as good” as everyone else. All I know at this point is that Heavenly Father has a plan for me. A perfect plan. I don’t know if I will ever go to BYU, I don’t know if I will be a distinguished grad, I don’t know if I will get any scholarships after my mission, I don’t know what His plan has in store for me but I do know He does have a plan for me! I know that I am good enough. I know that even though I may have not have done everything I wanted to, I know that I did all I could. I know that I learned important lessons in striving to fulfill those goals, and I learned important lessons from not reaching those goals. I have learned what is truly important for me. I know that choosing to serve a mission has caused me to sacrifice some dreams I’ve had for a long time. But I know it is what is RIGHT FOR ME. I know that because I have chosen to serve the Lord for 18 month that He will bless me more than I could ever imagine. I know it will be hard but I know that I am a Daughter of my Heavenly Father and I can do more than I can ever imagine. I am trusting His plan and I know it is PERFECT for me.
April 25, 2015.
The hardest, most exciting, scariest, best part of life is that is moves on. College graduation is in 2 weeks, high school graduation is in 3 weeks and 3 days, I submit my mission papers in 3 weeks and 5 days. Life is moving on and it isn’t moving on slowly. It is crazy how in a month this will all be over. It is harder than I thought it would be.
But I am so excited to graduate, to submit my mission papers, to do the things I’ve always been waiting for.
But as of now, I am living in every moment of it. I am embracing it and loving it.
March 21, 2015
Some pictures from Spring Formal last weekend.
My lovely group
left- right; Tasha Worth, Caleb Ward, McKenzie Jackson, Me, and my wonderful date Jaron Harmon!
The best seamstress ever, My mother, Vickie Schrader.
Girls in the group
My “little” brother
Jaron and me at dinner!
“JUUUSTTT THE WAY YOU ARE!!!!”
Left to right; Rachel Coleman, Emilee Herman, me, Trevor Cahoon, and honestly I don’t know his name.
The girls of my group rocked. This is proof.
My best friends!
Yup. You know. 🙂
March 14, 2015
Tonight is my last Spring Formal. It is crazy how fast time goes by. The fact that I am a senior sometimes scares me. The fact that in less than 7 months I will be on a mission and I won’t have my mommy by my side all the time. Nothing will ever be this way again in 7 months. My best friends will be moving on with their life. I will serving a mission. I won’t ever be in high school and living with my mom again.
I’ve dreamt about the day I will be able to go on my mission, go to college, ect. I dreamt about that for so long that some times I forgot to live in the present. So many emotions are bottled up in one little heart.
I am excited.
I am scared to death.
I am proud of myself and my family.
I am nervous.
I am happy.
I am just simply sad.
That’s life right. It was meant to keep going. It is part of the growing experience. But for right now, I am going to cry. I am going to cry over the great times, the horrible times, the fact that I am getting ready to go on a mission, the fact that my friends are moving away, the fact that I will miss my mom and my brothers more than anything else in the world, the fact that I have had some of the best times of my life, and the fact that I have so many more “best times of my life” to come. Sometimes we just need to cry, and then pray, then move on.