When I was in 5th through the first part of 7th grade, I lived in Illinois. It's been eight years this week since I moved back to Utah, and Illinois has been on my mind a lot lately. This post is for my friends in Illinois. I want you to know who I am now, and I want to know where you are now. I've been thinking a lot about what I would have done differently if I could have another shot at living in Illinois, and the only thing that I can think of is that I wish I had talked about my church more. Let me explain.
I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. A nickname for members of my church is Mormons, which is easier to remember and more commonly used. And now I have a confession for you. Part of our church history is that after the church was organized, the members moved to Nauvoo, Illinois to avoid mobs that were trying to kill them all. They eventually had to leave Illinois because of the threats from the mobs, and came to Utah where they settled down. When I first moved to Illinois, I was afraid that I would be treated much the same way, so I didn't talk about my religion very much. I shouldn't have been afraid, but in my child's mind, I decided to just not talk about it much. My biggest regret is that I didn't talk about it. Remember how I avoided boys and boyfriends like the plague? The prophets have taught that we should avoid steady dating or boyfriend/girlfriend relationships until we are old enough to start looking for a spouse. This is why I never told you who I had a crush on. And believe me, I had plenty of crushes while I was out there. Ha! I should have just told you, but I was afraid of mobs. Kinda silly, huh?
I am deeply religious. Next to my family, my religion is the most important part of my life. If I didn't have my church, I would not be the person that I am today. Some of the key doctrines that I believe is that God is our Heavenly Father, His Son is Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost testifies of them. I believe that God speaks through prophets and apostles, and that His church has been restored on the Earth today through Joseph Smith. God's prophet today is Thomas S. Monson.
I believe that families can be sealed together forever in temples. Families are why we come to earth, and God has devised a way for us to be with the ones we love for eternity.
I believe that God hears prayers, and that He answers them. We are His children, and He wants us to talk to Him. I promise that if you pray and ask Him how He feels about you, He will answer your prayer. I can guarantee that you will be surprised at how deeply He loves you. I know that I am always surprised when I ask.
I believe that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. It is one of the most powerful books I have ever read, and I know that it is true.
After family and religion, learning is a big part of my life. I'm studying horticulture in college right now. I'm not sure where I'm going to go from here, but I love learning. When I am done with college, I'm gonna keep learning as much as I can.
I love music!!! While I was in high school, I played violin and saxophone. That's another story in and of itself.
I love my husband. He's kind of amazing, and I am definitely the most lucky girl in the world. We've been married for four months, but some days it feels like it's been years, and other days it feels like it can't have been more than a week or two. Some day, I hope that you can meet him. I've told him all about you guys, so it's only fair, right?
This is just a brief list of the things that are important to me. So much has happened since I moved back to Utah, and I want to tell you everything. That'd take a while, though. Could you do me a favor? Send me a message with a question, and I'll answer it here. And please, tell me about your life! Are you working, are you going to school, are you married? Dating? What is your religion? I'm sorry that I haven't kept in contact with you as much as I wanted to, but I hope that maybe this will make it up to you some how.
Before I say goodbye for now, I want you to know just how much I love you. When I first moved to Illinois, I was afraid of not fitting in. But you loved me and accepted me in a way that I had never been accepted before, and only a handful of times since. Your friendship changed my life in a very real way. Thank you for loving me, and for being you. I love you all!