Mini Series Time!

So on my regular old pre-mission blog I did a mini series about Science Fiction and how it makes my heart happy. Now that I'm in mission mode I'm going to do another collection of posts with a theme, but this time it's going to be a little better planned out. Remember how I said I'd share some scriptures that I like about the Gospel of Christ? Well how about 5 posts, one to briefly touch on each point of doctrine? 

Here's what you get to look forward to:

1. Faith
2. Repentance
3. Baptism
4. The Gift of the Holy Ghost
5. Endure to the End

Now if some of those topics seem like gibberish to you I hope that I can change that.
Also, I had a super fun time making that ridiculous picture of breakfast with faces on it, so maybe more paint illustration too?? Vote if you think I should!

Hit The Books, They Don't Hit Back

I know that most schools have started or will be starting up here in just a few days and I want to throw in my thoughts on education. This picture was taken on a day that took forever in coming. It's the day that I earned my Bachelor's Degree!

Why is it important to get an education? I highly suggesting reading this talk by Elder and Sister Oaks about the importance of further education. I thought that after I had that cap and gown in the picture above I'd be done. My official piece of paper saying that I'd slaved 4 years away was tucked safely behind a piece of glass and it was time for me to go on my merry way with life. What I didn't really have was a solid spiritual education. Think about this quote from the talk I just told you to read:
"We risk becoming what one observer called ‘pancake people’—spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information accessed by the mere touch of a button.”
When is the last time that you picked up a book just to develop a skill? Have you taken the chance to just dive into something and really get to know that skill inside and out? How about the scriptures? When was the last time you pulled out The Bible or The Book of Mormon and truely "feasted upon the word"?

(Need a copy? Request them for free here!)

Lets not be "pancake people" but rather...muffin people? Solid in understanding and not spread thin!

Yep, it's a cheesy analogy but an apostle of the Lord used it in a quote so I thought it was a fair comparison to make ;)
My oh my what a mission has taught me about studying the scriptures! My testimony has grown because I have come to understand basic principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ instead of thinking that my religon was all about abstaining from coffee or tea or not watching rated R movies. What's the point of doing or not doing those things if my testimony of Christ is not strong? I have those standards because I love the Lord and I want my focus to be on Him.

Check back soon for my favorite scriptures about the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!

Who Steers the Ship? YOU DO!

Do you want to know what makes me super happy? When people leave me comments telling me that what I am writing is helping them in some way or when I find a blog post that mentions some little thing I may have said. It makes me feel like my time blogging is well spent.
My friend Felicia wrote a post about trying times and how she turns to God when she knows Satan is out to get her. Haven't we all been there? It's like Satan reads my diary sometimes and knows what exactly is killing me and he tries to drive me to the point of insanity. But I don't let him get to that point because I have control. I'm the one with the body here! I make the decisions! I learned this poem when I was about 10 years old and Fe I want to share it with you and with whoever else is out there reading.

All the water in the world,
However hard it tried,
Could never sink the smallest ship
Unless it gets inside.

And all the evil in the world,
The blackest kind of sin,
Can never hurt you the least bit
Unless you let it in.
I don't know who wrote this little poem but I know that it has helped me remember when I'm struggling that absolutely nothing can bring my spirit down if I choose to follow Christ.

The Desire to Create

I want you to watch this video before you get into the goodness that is this blog post

(I deleted the video and just made a link to it because it was on autoplay. Annoying. Uplifting yes, but still a bit annoying.)

Ah! Are you just so inspired now to go out into the world and create something?? One thing that was the biggest sacrifice for me to serve a mission is that I gave up my craft time. It may sound like a frivolous thing but its been pretty hard for me. I minored in Clothing Construction in college, worked in a quilt shop for 8 months, and then sewed every day after work for 5 more months and that brings us up to this point! I was worried that I would be heartbroken and lost without my hands working on a project.
I have found that service has filled my heart in those places that I thought would be void.
But every now and then it's great to get my hands in the glue, paint, and thread!

Here is what Camilla and I did yesterday!

We got the idea from Elsie's blog and scoured Goodwill for some well loved art prints in decently priced frames. And by decently priced I mean $2.50. YES! 

Here we are in the crafting stages. The lyrics on mine come from the song Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Camilla's are from the children's song Love One Another.

Ready to attack those things with spray paint!!

I don't know if I can put into words just how happy it made me to create some things yesterday (I also found the dress that I'm wearing in these pictures at the Goodwill and altered it!).  Hopefully this little wall piece that I've made will bless someone's life because it's going to be too bulky to pack around with me. That's really the greatest part of creativity to me, the blessing that my talent can be for other people. 

Right now the talent that I am developing is opening my mouth to share the gospel of Jesus Christ! It's one that requires complete focus and attention and I am grateful for the chance that I have every day to share what I know with the people around me. I have been so blessed to spend time here in Kentucky getting to know my brothers and sisters that I never would have met unless I had come out here to serve them!

Pound It

Inspiration that came from a recent Things We Forget

Once upon a time my friend drew the letters F T G F on his knuckles. And I looked at him like he was crazy. What on earth could that mean?? It doesn't even say anything. So I asked him. And he told me. (These are some stellar story telling skills of mine right now.) It stood for "Fight the Good Fight" and it came from his favorite scripture,
"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith"

So my little story may not seem that interesting or impressive but what it reminds me is to press on. I want to not only be able to report the words of Timothy when I finish my mission but also when this life is over and I stand before Christ at judgment day. I guess being goal oriented is majorly on my mind right now!

What are some of your goals and what are you doing to accomplish them?

Commitment Issues

I've been setting a lot of goals for myself recently for long term desires (like maybe getting a master's degree) and also for daily things I want to work on (like really actually getting up at 6:30 every morning).  But my question is, what is the point of making these goals if I'm not wholeheartedly working towards them?
My motivators

We had Zone Conference on Wednesday (basically a meeting for about 12 missionaries in the area with our Mission President) and the theme was commitment. A vital part of missionary work is extending invitations to everyone we meet. What kind of invitations you ask? Well they are simple. Things like "will you join us at church this Sunday?" or "will you read this chapter in the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it is true?"
These commitments are so important because they give people the opportunity to make a change in their life to come closer to Christ. One person we just asked to find her husband some nice pants so that he will feel comfortable coming back to church! See, its just small steps. And we all can take them.

I rededicated myself to missionary work and as a reminder I framed a picture from the Ensign of missionaries and wrote the question,
"Today am I doing my work, or am I doing the work of the Lord?"
Yep. It's hard. But I've signed up for 18 months of full time service and I need to remember why I'm doing it!

Eternal. That's What Real Love Is.

"I love to see the temple I'll go inside some day. I'll covenant with my Father; I'll promise to obey. For the Temple is a holy place where we are sealed together.
As a child of God I've learned this truth:
A family is forever."
-I Love to See the Temple by Janice Kapp Perry

Me with my mom the day that I went to the Rexburg, Idaho Temple.

I love the simplicity of a children's song and what it can teach us. Temples are the house of God and the peace and joy that come from being there are above anything else. I love the comfort that comes from knowing that my family will be forever, no matter what may happen or separate us in this life. Knowing that we will be together for eternity gives me a long term vision of how I should be treating my family with love and care. The little issues shouldn't be made into big problems. It sure isn't always easy but I know that it is worth it.

Sunshine Sunday

Things that made me happy today:

No, this isn't me. But it sure is wonderful to braid my hair like this the night before so I don't have to worry about doing my hair when we run out the door to church at 8am!

*Men's MoTab CD*
Oooh their cover of Billy Joel's Lullaby is my new favorite song. We were listening to it as we drove home last night and I was just looking out the window at the beautiful moon and enjoying the perfect moment.

*2 Nephi 31:20*

I gave a short talk today during Sacrament meeting based off of this verse. Then when I went to class with the young women and we read it again! Must have been inspired ;)

*Wearing my Anthropologie dress*
No picture. But oh have happy a pretty dress can make you feel!

*Little girls laughs*
Cara and Autumn were just laughing up a storm today and oh how a girly giggle is just the sweetest sound ever!

*Talking about Eternal Families in Sunday school*
Someday I will be married for eternity in a Temple of the Lord. Talking about the blessing of an eternal marriage in Gospel Principles class today got me so excited for when that time will come for me!

Free Yellow Pages

You Make The Sun Shine Brighter Than Doris Day!

Sometimes in your life you meet people who just melt their way into your heart.
After Sister Warwood and I leave a house one of the first things we almost always say to each other is "I just heart that family so much!" Yes. Stupid teenage girl talk. But its true! 
My dad told me once that you never stop loving a person, your heart just learns to love even more as life goes on. I think mine is as the exploding point. It is just full to the brim!

One family that I have met on my mission that is going to be etched into my heart forever is the Carmichael crew.  They are fun, supportive, and willing to drop anything to help out with missionary work! We would spend every waking moment of our lives at their house if we could.

Here is my rendition of their backyard:

And one of Cara eating a homemade popsicle in a camping chair.
"Sometimes the greatest love is not found in the dramatic scenes that poets and writers immortalize. Often, the greatest manifestations of love are the simple acts of kindness and caring we extend to those we meet along the path of life. True love lasts forever. it is eternally patient and forgiving. It believes, hopes, and endures all things. That is the love our Heavenly Father bears for us." -Joseph B. Wirthlin

Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me

I love most all things nautical. This love may have stemmed from my Dad's obsession with Popeye or from growing up playing in the ocean. My fear of sharks is unbelieveably ridiculous so not all pieces of this obsession really make sense.

Proof of the Popeye fanaticism. This is my first Halloween!

You may be wondering at this point ok, nice story, what does this have to do with anything? Lets try to make a connection here Sister McCall! Here it is!
I love studying parables in the scriptures because they are stories that teach principles of the gospel in a way that applied to the lives of those present. It wouldn't do much good to teach with an analogy they didn't understand! (You know I don't understand fishing metaphors!!! Name that movie?) 
During His ministry several of Christ's disicples were fishermen and he taught them how to spread the good news of the gospel by saying "come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men." Mark 1:16-17 
So this applies to me how? I'm not a fisherman. How do I come to understand these passages today? Well I do have that fascination of the ocean and I have really come to love these sea-faring scriptures through music. I posted a link to some Hymns last week and I suggested listening to the "Master the Tempest is Raging". I'm going to share that link again but this time listen to "Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me."

My thoughts are not always as organized as I'd like them to be and I have a few other thoughts about ocean/fishing/sailor things that I have come to love in the scriptures.  So hopefully this will become a little series of posts so I can share just one idea at a time.

Check out a new link in the "goodies" section of the blog to find the image that got me thinking about this topic!

Music Heals The Soul

Just watch the video. My words won't do it justice.