Monday, January 15, 2018

Amelia's First Youth Talk - My Feelings About the Book of Mormon

This lovely young woman spoke as a youth speaker for the first time this past Sunday.  She spent the week prior gathering her thoughts and getting them typed up on the computer.  Saturday, I went through her thoughts with her and we put them in an order that would flow well.  Because she struggles with her reading fluency, she practiced her talk over and over until she felt comfortable.  

Just before the end of 2017, I was called to be the Ward Music Chairman. I was acting as chorister this past Sunday and got to sit on the stand next to her.  As the meeting started, I leaned over to ask her if she was nervous and she said yes.  I reminded her that she could pray and ask Heavenly Father to help her feel calm and confident.  During the passing of the sacrament, I leaned over again and asked her how she felt.  She said she felt calm and ready. And she was! She did a terrific job!

Here is the talk she gave.

In True to the Faith, it says, "When holy men of God write or speak by the power of the Holy Ghost, their words shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation."

This means that the Lord teaches us through the Book of Mormon and other scriptures about how we can be come like him and return to live with him again.

On September 22, 1827, an angel named Moroni - the last Book of Mormon prophet, deliverd these records to the Prophet Joseph Smith.  By the gift and power of God, the Prophet Joseph translated the record into English.  Joseph Smith said that the Book of Mormon is the keystone to our religion.

The primary purpose of the Book of Mormon is to convince all people "that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations."

In 2 Nephi, chapter 25, verse 23 and 26, it says, "For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God...  And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins."

I am grateful that ancient prophets wrote the Book of Mormon so that I can know that I can repent and live with my father again.  I am also grateful that I learn about Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon.

My favorite part of the Book of Mormon is when Jesus Christ comes.  I like that he invited the children to come to him and that he blessed them.  It shows me that even though I wasn't there, if Jesus came today, he would invite me to come to hi and he would bless me and he would show me my Heavenly Father's love.

I know the Book of Mormon is true because when I read it I feel a special feeling.  I know that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon and that he was a prophet of God.  The Book of Mormon teaches us that families can be together forever, and I know that's true.  I know that Presidnet Monson was a true prophet and that he did a lot for us.  I know that Jesus made a way for us to get back to our Heavenly Father.  I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus love me because they look out for me and help me in hard times.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Some 2017 Randomness

In October, Jared's phone broke.  Aunt Tiff had a phone he could use, so she mailed it to him.  She didn't want it to break so she placed it inside this hot pink Hello Kitty bag.  We told Jared he had to use it.

In early November, Isaac's football team won their Championship game.  We were very proud of Isaac and his team!

Coach Buck and Isaac

Sometimes, if you ask nicely, they'll hold your hand in public. September 30, 2017

We noticed on December 30, 2017 that Isaac was officially taller than me.

In September 2017, my dad, along with the help of my brothers, shot his once-in-a-lifetime elk.

In early September 2017, Jared started his first job at Arctic Circle as a cook!

In October 2017, Nathan started a new job. He looks so handsome all dressed up for interviews!

We were lucky enough to be invited to a pre-season tailgate party at BYU and were filmed for a promotional video.  Here are a couple of still shots from the video.

On June 26, 2017 this lovely serious of photos was taken:

On May 26, 2017, the kids and I went with Grandma Carter to put flowers on a few graves.  Here we are at the American Fork Cemetary putting flowers on my Grandma and Grandpa Brown's graves.

 And finally, this charming young lady took 3.2 billion photos using Snapchat filters.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Holidays 2017

I didn't take a lot of pictures from our holidays this year, but we did have a Merry Christmas and a fantastic time at the cabin ringing in the new year.

Christmas Eve started with us going out to dinner and then hanging out at home for a while.  The kids had a good time rough-housing with Nathan.

At one point there were feats of strength in which Nathan did push-ups with people on his back and then he back squatted the boys.

 It wouldn't be Christmas Eve without a trip to Shane and Roni's house, where the kids opened new pajamas.

As we were driving home, snow was falling and Nathan received a text that he would be needed at work the next morning to clear walks and roads.  He had to be there at 6 am, so we told the kids they would have to wait for Christmas until Dad got home.  They were good sports about it.

Nathan got home around 9 am, and we started Christmas.  I am truly awful at capturing these moments adequately.

A few days before New Years, we packed up the truck and the snowmobiles and headed to the cabin.

 I had a picture of Jared sleeping in the truck on the way up to the cabin, but I'm not sure what happened to it...

A 360 view of the top of the mountain.

Welcome, 2018!!

Friday, December 29, 2017

All She Wants for Christmas

On November 9, 2017 Clara lost her the final front tooth.  They had both been barely hanging on for severla weeks.  After about a month with no front teeth, we went to Grandma Carter's work Christmas party where she was able to sit on Santa's lap.  She told Santa that she would like her two front teeth back for Christmas.

While we were at the cabin for New Year's, I happened to notice this!!

Looks like Santa did bring her what she wanted for Christmas.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

3 Good Things – A Gratitude Journal Experience Inspired by The Happiness Advantage (REPOST)

Several months ago I wrote a post on my company blog.  Since it is more personal in nature, I've decided to post it here on my blog as well.  You can find the original post, here.
Gratitude Journal, Happiness Advantage, The Happiness Project, Shawn Achor, Good Things, Things to be grateful for, Good things in life, Data-Driven Marketing
Recently I finished reading The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor.  A couple of the main points I took from the reading were, “…happiness is the precursor to success, not merely the result” and “… success orbits around happiness, not the other way around.”  Although individually we may define success in different terms, it is likely that we all search for and desire success and happiness in some form.  Achor outlines a high number of tools and principles we may use to attain more happiness, but I want to focus on one of the best, gratitude.
“Countless … studies have shown that consistently grateful people are more energetic, emotionally intelligent, forgiving, and less likely to be depressed, anxious, or lonely.”

Practicing Gratitude

How do we begin to practice gratitude in our everyday lives, especially if the practice seems foreign, awkward, fake or difficult?  Achor suggests starting with a daily list of “three good things.”  Take a few minutes each day to either write down or vocalize three good things about your day.
Why does this help?  Achor explains:
“When you write down a list of “three good things” that happened that day, your brain will be forced to scan the last 24 hours for potential positives—things that brought small or large laughs, feelings of accomplishment at work, a strengthened connection with family, a glimmer of hope for the future. In just five minutes a day, this trains the brain to become more skilled at noticing and focusing on possibilities for personal and professional growth, and seizing opportunities to act on them. At the same time, because we can only focus on so much at once, our brains push out those small annoyances and frustrations that used to loom large into the background, even out of our visual field entirely.”
When I began making the “good things list” part of my day, I noted that a lot of my “good things” revolved around food.  I like to eat!  Some days “good things” came to mind with ease and some days it was all about food or beautiful weather or a warm shower and a cozy bed.  Once, on a particularly stress-filled day, I couldn’t help but be grateful for a beautiful sunset as I drove home from the office.

Making Gratitude Part of Everyday Life

I began to practice my list-making with my husband and children – sometimes in the evening during our meal, or while bustling around the kitchen preparing to start our day. Occasionally, I vocalized “good things” one-on-one with my children while driving them to activities or with my husband over our weekly lunch date.  At first, I found it necessary to force myself into talking about good things from my day, but as time went on, it came more naturally to me.
Do I always have extremely positive days as a result?  No, I’m still an average human with highs and lows, stresses and accomplishments, frustrations and rewards.  Some days are better than others, to be certain.  But through this practice of gratitude-pattern building, I have found that in every situation and in everyday moments, there is always something good to be found.  Even if it happens to be the giant burger, I will eat for lunch!
I invite you to begin the practice of listing at least 3 good things from each day.  Create a habit of completing this practice while doing another daily task.  List your positives while showering, during your commute, while eating dinner, before opening your email at the office, or as you prepare breakfast.  Choose a time of day that works for you and either write down or verbally vocalize specific items, people, and moments that you appreciated in the last 24 hours.
I’d love to hear how you’ve implemented this practice and your thoughts on its effectiveness in your life.  What changes have you noticed in your attitude?  Have you seen changes in those around you? Have you shared this practice with others and encouraged them to begin?


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