Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Mission!!!


First of all, let me tell you why I am going to serve a mission:

I know that God lives. I know that He is my Heavenly Father. I have felt His love. I have seen miracles in my life that have come from His hands. He is Great. I love my Father with all of my heart. I want to share his life-changing love with the world because it is real and it is powerful.

I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. He has healed me. He has comforted my soul, healed my heart, comforted me when I felt alone. He is my rock. I cannot tell you how deeply I love and am grateful for my Savior. He is real.

There is a true Church on this earth—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I know that it has the Restored Gospel, restored through Joseph Smith with the help of Angels of God. I KNOW this. I know that this Church is true. I know that it blesses the world. I want to share it.

Now, onto receiving my call:

Today at work, while I was sitting at the computer at the AFROTC, I got a call from my beautiful roommate Kimberlie. She told me I had gotten a letter. J I knew exactly what she meant. My first reaction? Back up from the desk, bend over my legs, tear up, and laugh. “Oh my gosh!” I said, “I don’t want to know!!!” I did want to know, I was just so psyched out of my mind!!!

I drove home laughing and crying and praying. I was so overjoyed. I was so full of joy to go on a mission, no matter where to. So grateful to have this opportunity.

Growing up, I’d never particularly wanted to go on a mission. I just figured I’d figure out whether to go when I reached that age. No need to think about it beforehand. Approaching 21 I thought about it A LOT. Sometimes I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to go. The deeper I understood the Atonement and God’s love for me and His children, I felt a burning desire to go. But most of the time I just figured it wasn’t a part of my life’s plan. I couldn’t figure it out. I prayed about it a LOT. I thought about it a LOT. Sometimes I wanted to go with all my heart, other times I just wanted to stay in Provo and graduate without ever serving a mission. One day in February, I realized that I really really REALLY did want to go on a mission. I prayed about it, and Heavenly Father told me to wait. It wasn’t time. I figured I’d room with Maddie for another year, work at the ROTC some more, graduate from BYU, and then go on a mission. It’s a great plan, right?

In April I needed to sign up for housing in the fall. I was about to call the apartment complex number, when I got this really strong feeling not to. Like I was taking a wrong turn, or had forgotten something. It scared me, so I prayed. As I prayed, I realized that I needed to go on a mission this year, this fall. Leave work. Leave friends. Leave school. Leave family. Go on a mission. And get my papers in NOW! So, the next Wednesday, I went into the Bishop to start my papers. The next week was finals week. I took all of my finals, finished my projects and essays, got my physical, got my dental done, completed all of my forms, submitted my applications for my study program in China, and moved out of my apartment. It was a busy week. But the whole time I was full of peace because I knew I was doing what I needed to.
I had no idea where I was going to go. I’ve studied Chinese for about 7 years now, so maybe Mandarin speaking? My ancestors are from Europe, so maybe western Europe? I had absolutely no clue. I prayed very hard that Heavenly Father would send me somewhere that I could deeply love the people. I know I have a lot of love and a big heart to offer, and I prayed He would send me somewhere where I could just love people and share His love with them.

Getting in my papers was a bit of a hassle. I do not like those dumb physical forms. I’ve never had a health problem in my life, but getting those forms done was a beast. There was one day I was so frustrated, and mad that it was so difficult to do something I was supposed to do, wanted to do, and needed to do. My good friends in the ward gave me a blessing and that night I got a text from the Stake President---My papers were officially in!!!! It was a tender mercy and a little miracle. I will tell you right now, miracles happen every day.

Fast forward to today. I didn’t want to have an audience when I opened up my call, so I drove to a park with my envelope and sat under a shady tree to open it.

"Dear Sister Stenquist,

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Bulgaria Sofia Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, October 24, 2012. You will prepare to preach the Gospel in the Bulgarian language. Your assignment may be modified according to the needs of the mission president."


My first thought—AHHHHHH!!!!! My first reaction—laughing and crying. I laughed and cried for the next hour. I am so overjoyed! Bulgaria! Really? BULGARIA!!!

Here’s another little miracle to share with you. A few months ago for a Relief Society activity returned sister missionaries in the ward shared their mission experiences. One girl had served in Bulgaria Sofia. She said that her mission was so tailored to her—she has such a big heart to love people with, and the people in Bulgaria needed that because it’s a hard mission. I prayed that Heavenly Father would send me somewhere that I could outpour love on His children. And He did. He sent me to Bulgaria, so I can pour all of my heart and soul into serving those dear people.

I cannot tell you how happy I am.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer Adventure #6: Solar Eclipse

Last week there was a Solar Eclipse, and, as my roommate does research for the astronomy department, knows lots of cool stuff about space, and has access to telescopes with solar lenses, we went to go see it. :) Three hour ride down and even longer back, but definitely worth it. 

 Sun Diva=Holly




















 And I thought the gap between my two front teeth was good for nothing. Wrong. I can shoot water straight out in a perfect little line.








Summer Adventure #5: Hiking Big Springs


 This place is seriously GORGEOUS. I would highly encourage any and all people to hike there.
A week after Biking past Big Springs, Kelsi and I got to go hiking with the men. Yay!!! I love hiking! And I love men! What a wonderful combination!

Summer Adventure #4: Biking to Big Springs

One Saturday I found myself alone with nothing to do. The men were hiking. Roommates were working. What is a lone girl to do? I was a bit annoyed that I am a girl who can't go hiking with the men (not that they would have minded me going, I think it was just that I didn't know they were going and it was too late). My determination came out and I decided to go on an adventure alone. I decided to bike the top of South Fork. Altogether 16 miles up and 16 miles back. Which is definitely the longest I've ever biked. I almost didn't make it, but I did it. I rode until the end of the road!!! Yippee!!!!

Me at the top of the ride. I'm a happy little bugger.


On the way back I found this glorious little creek with a cute wooden bridge going over it. One of my favorite places in the world.


The water was so clear and lovely. I can't believe how beautiful this place is!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Marriage


I went to the temple on Saturday  night and really felt like writing on something that my roommates will probably laugh at me for, and some people might roll their eyes at me for, but ah well. This blog is my diary, so deal. 


Marriage is going to be phenomenal. Well, at least, its an option to have a phenomenal marriage. Not every marriage is phenomenal, though. This is what I want in my future marriage:

I want to kneel across the altar and promise to devote my life to strengthen, love, cherish, and serve my husband, and have him do the same. I want to treat him like a King every day, because he will be my King. And in return I want a man who will treat me like the Divine Daughter I am, like a Queen. I want to serve him. I want to love him with my whole soul. I want to wholly love him with no glances backwards. Dive right in baby! I want to trust him more than 100%, with no trace of doubt or worry. Yes, things will be hard. Yes, there will be trials. Yes, there will be misunderstandings and stresses and concerns and issues. But to have a partner, companion, and love by my side to work through challenges. Sometimes I will have to bite my tongue. Sometimes I might have to pray for charity and to forgive. I will also have to pray to be forgiven for my own mistakes because, although children of divinity, we will both still be human. But with the Lord and with faith, every day can be full of blessings, love, kindness, and grace. 

And then, to this measure of heaven, add the gift of children—the heritage of the Lord. Let me give my whole heart to a man and then have a family with him. Nothing in the world could be sweeter, more divine, or more awe-some than that. I cannot tell you how greatly my heart desires this. Yes, children are messy, loud, and pregnancy is painful to say it simply. But their smiles are the sweetest thing in the world, and when they hug you with chubby little arms the world turns right side up. And my point is, it is more than worth it. Let them stain the pillows, pee on the couch, eat all the cookies, and break my vases. Let me hug them, kiss them, bake them cookies, teach them to paint, swing on swings, and love them all my life long. 

Who knows what life will hold for me. But I’ll tell you right now, these things are what I want more than anything else. And if I ever get them, I will be the happiest woman in the world. Until them, I remain happy and looking forward to a bright future.

Friday, May 18, 2012

come home and dance with me baby.

I have been listening to this song all day long. It's that good. Thank you, Maddie.
God often removes a person from your life for your protection. Think before running after them.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Fishing


I have two thoughts today.

A flutterby on a leaf knows it is hungry. The caterpillar doesn’t.  Not yet. Because when dragons and monsters and storms and raging rivers come, you know. If you are the hero, that is. And everyone is the hero of his own story. Unless he’s not. Because there’s still the darkness to fight—a darkness that is out of control black, thick as concrete and dense as my heart. Then the hero gets lost. He doesn’t know he’s hungry. Or he does, he just doesn’t know where the cupboard is yet because he just moved into a new house and there’s no cupboard for him to keep easily accessible food in. But then again, it’s not the new house, it’s not even about the food, it’s about the feeling. And the darkness. And not being able to find what you want even though you know it’s right there in front of you. What kind a hero is that?



And.



Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check.  Check. Done. Turn it in. Unfortunately, it gets shredded instead. Crap it, why did I check them all? Dumb check-marks. You’d think they’d guarantee some sort of achievement, some sort of progress, but no. Just another egg laid by a chicken and stolen by the neighboring raccoon. Stupid raccoons. I never did like thieves. I always did like check-marks. 

Summer Adventure #3: Biking to Rope Swing

I don't feel like explaining these. Feast your eyes instead.

















Last week my lovely ladies and I rode our bicycles to the river in search of a rope swing. Did we find it? Yes.