Thursday, April 25, 2013

Life Has Storms

My mother says that I've wanted to grow up since I was 3 years old. And I guess I have, but honestly? It's only because I'm now at the point in my life where the decisions I make affect and shape how the rest of my life will go. Now is the time when I will begin to make the decision for myself as to whether or not I do something. Like go on a mission. Or rob a bank. You know, just your basic everyday options.

Leaving is going to be hard, you guys. Like really super oh-my-heck status hard. But because I have been through hard things before, I know that while times might get tough and I might not want to go, I will go. I will go because I have a testimony of the truthfulness of this church. I know from personal experience that this gospel brings nothing but a better life to those who have decided to walk the path that it lays out before you. In this world, there is so much sadness, and it is inevitable that at some point some of that hardship will splash onto you. However, I know that I never would have been able to walk out on the other side of some of my life's storms without my faith. When I am sad and there is nobody there to comfort me, I am able to pray to my Father in Heaven and know that there is somebody who cares. There is somebody who will always have time to listen to you and comfort you.

So. Now. On to the dirty details.

Here's the story of how I walked through my hardest emotional storm to date.

It had been about a month after he decided to brake things off when I found myself in my car, late at night, all alone in my driveway with the radio on softly to a sad country song about (surprise, surprise) heartbreak. The engine was off, but there was a storm going on. So there, in my beat up old car where we had had our first kiss, I cried my heart out in prayer.

I told Him how I was just so tired of thinking about him everyday, so sick of being angry all the time. I begged Him to take the anger out of my heart so that I could just be DONE with him already.

All of a sudden, I felt this immediate rush of peace and calm enter my body. I felt like I had literally taken something off of my body and thrown it far away.

The next day as I was sitting in church, I was sitting listening to the talk that was being given when I realized something was different.

I kept asking myself, "Am I sad? No. Do I miss him? No."  

Suddenly, I realized that I was happy. Happy! I couldn't believe that I had forgotten what the sensation felt like.

I know this story may not seem like much, but to me, it's a whole lot. I am stronger today. I have a deeper knowledge of my strengths, and my faith was most assuredly bolstered that night. All because of a prayer.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Trials of Faith

General Conference is awesome.

Awesome 'cause I get to chill with the fam.

Awesome 'cause I get to hear exactly what I need to from the Lord's servants.

But most importantly:

Awesome 'cause I don't have to shave. :D

Okay, okay, maybe that's not the MOST important...but it's a close second.

In any case, I definitely needed to hear Elder Holland's talk. Not just because it's Elder Holland (I mean come on. We all know he's the favorite. Let's just be honest.) but because what he spoke about is literally exactly  what I needed to hear.

I don't know what it is, but ever since I decided to go on a mission, all things pertaining to my faith have been thrown off-course. Now, a lot of prospective missionaries wonder if they have enough of a testimony to go out there and tell people all about the good news. But for me it was different.

I was wondering if I even had a testimony.

I would say the things that I had always said, that I knew that this church is true, that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that He lives today and only wants to see us happy. That the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. That Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God to restore the church today, and that we have a living prophet today still carrying that same mantle of leadership as the head of our church. But for one reason or another, these words, my testimony, weren't sparking the same feeling within my heart as they once did when spoken aloud.

That's when things got scary.

I hadn't done anything vastly disobedient. I hadn't begun to stray.

But the words began to feel dry in my mouth.

I felt like I had lost my testimony. However, thanks to some amazing Young Women's leaders, I was able to remember that the very last thing that I wanted to do at this point was to stop putting drops of oil into my lamp. So, I read my scriptures more. I prayed more fervently. I really started to make an investment in my own testimony. I began to "anxiously engage" myself in the Gospel.

Before, it was so easy to just slide on by doing the bare minimum. Go to church, don't do anything to get the rumor mill goin' on about you. But it wasn't enough anymore.

It never was.

I wish I could say that I have this booming testimony now. I used to think that I did. But things were still hard as I was doing things for my papers, as I talked to friends about why I was leaving. They're still hard. By the time General Conference rolled around, I was pretty much begging Heavenly Father to provide me with something. Anything. I wanted to feel the burning in my heart again. I'd begun to feel it in small bursts every now and then, but I wanted to have that fire burn in my heart at all times. I felt like I was getting absolutely nowhere.

But then, that talk. Oh, how I needed to hear those words. I saw that I had, in fact, come a long way from where I had been. And that I had the strength and the capacity to keep pushing forward.

So, to Satan I say:


You can't get me down, no matter how hard you try.

I will stand as a witness of God.

I will go into the mission field, to join the ranks of the Lord's army.

I will stand tall.

I will stand with Him.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Ha. Ha.

I was leaving Mission Prep the other day and my teacher turns to me and says, and I QUOTE:

"Man, I'm having a hard time believing that there isn't anybody in the Single's Ward angling for you to not go on a mission."


Bless your heart, Brother Kleinman.

I'll just take this as the compliment that you intended it to be, and not the sudden call to awareness over my distinct singleness that popped into my head.

Nah, but in all seriousness, this has been a real struggle for me! (Not the singleness...well, I guess so but not in the way you're thinking...I'll just tell the rest of my story...) When I first got into the single's ward, I was, well...'twas not a pretty sight, let's say that. I had just gotten through the worst part of a very bad breakup, and I was in that awkward stage that exists when you're trying to figure out how, exactly, to be single again.

But oh my.

Suddenly, there were boys.

Lots of 'em.

Needless to say, Crazy Mormon Girl Meggie was on the prowl. And she was not going to be easily satiated. Of course not. Why would she ever let me off easy?

Crazy Mormon Girl Meggie decided to go after every guy in the ward that it was pretty certain that it was never going to work out with. The fresh RM. The one leaving for BYU in less than a month. The preemie. Oi vay.

And to all my fellow LDS girls out there, if you say that you don't have a Crazy Mormon Girl locked up inside of your head somewhere that starts thinking about picture poses for Save-the-Dates as soon as you see that cute new guy in your ward you are lying!

You hear me?


In any case, after each inevitable romantic failure, Crazy Mormon Girl Meggie began to get more and more discouraged. Wasn't I pursuing a righteous desire? Why wasn't Prince Charming falling into my lap, ready and willing to take me to the temple all dressed up in white and handsomeness and spirituality and make my dreams come true?

Because the timing was all wrong, that's why.

I was running from what I knew I was being called to do.

The door for me to go had been opened right as I was able to walk through.

"Go," I'd hear whispered inside of my head when I prayed about it.

"Go and preach My word as you know you have been prepared to do."

No! I was adamant. I'm a good enough missionary here, I'd tell myself. I don't need that little black name tag to do this job well.

But then, as I was sitting in Stake Conference, Proverbs 3:5 was read:

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."

Meaghan. You have been leaning unto thine own understanding. You know what you must do.

'But Lord," I said, "I am so, so afriad."

Trust in Me.

And so here I am. Going. Trusting.

I know He'll help me.

Rejoice! Rejoice!

I love Easter. It's a special time set aside to reflect on the wondrous gift that has been given to us: the Atonement. How eternally grateful I shall be for His sacrifice. Him, the only one of us strong enough to bear all of the burdens of the world. What love He has for us! What a miraculous thing that such a love could exist. I cannot wait to spread the good news! He has risen! Rejoice! Rejoice!

 No matter where I go, I will spread the good word with all that I've got to give. I will find the hearts that are willing to hear the Lord's glorious news pour from my lips!

I was able to have a little taste of what it's going to be like this past week. I went out with the Sisters in my area to teach a lady that has been investigating the church for about a month and a half now. She's been having some trouble coming to grips with the whole concept of personal revelation today and having a modern Prophet that the Lord uses to speak to us today. We were going to teach about Prophets and how they bless our lives today. About halfway through the lesson, Sister Groo (awesome last name, right?! I always want to ask her how her next evil plot is coming along...) turns to me and says, "So Meaghan, what does having a Prophet mean to you?" I was tooootally thrown off my game for some reason! I sat there, panicking inside my head, and said a little prayer. Please, Heavenly Father. Help me. What would you have me say? My mind was instantly cleared and I was able to witness to this lady that the fact that we have a Prophet today is living proof that our Father in Heaven loves us and truly wants to be a part of our daily lives. How grateful I was in that moment to be able to bring the Spirit into the room with my simple words that had been given to me by the Lord.

On Saturday, I had the wonderful opportunity to watch a new friend enter the waters of baptism. She had asked me to sing 'Be Still My Soul' as the closing hymn (it's my very favorite!). The Spirit was already so present in everybody's hearts as we watched her make a choice that would affect the rest of her life for the better. After she came back out to meet us, all clean and happy, she stood up to bear her testimony. There wasn't a dry eye in the room after that, let me tell you! I was so frightened to get up for my part in the program. I'm really not the best vocalist out there. I mean, I'm not horrible or anything, but there are people out there that are much better than I. Again, I found myself pleading to my Father in Heaven to help me. Please, oh please please please help me to just put one drop into these people's hearts. But then it occurred to me--this wasn't a performance anymore. This was me, bearing my testimony in the best way that I knew how. It started off shaky--it's nerve-wracking up there!!--but as I grew more comfortable, I was swelling where I needed to and backing off when appropriate. Elder Lynn, my accompanist, started to add some beautiful ornamentation, which on encouraged me further. I lost myself in the message I was singing, my testimony, my gift to my wonderful friend on this life-changing day. On the last verse, it all just came together. Oh, how I adore music! I was so happy with what the Lord had enabled me to do.

I hope that all your weeks are going well, and that your days are filled with happiness :)

Till next time...9 more days till my papers go in!