You Better Learn Plan A

Sorry I accidentally deleted yesterday's post. 
Rather than try to shove everything about this Plan A that God has, I'll share this video with you. Sure it's a little bit outdated but the concept is still true. Read your script (scriptures) so you won't be lost any longer in Act II and you'll be fully prepared for Act III

Thanks for following along with August's church marquee line-up!

Step It Up in September!

It's time for a new challenge kids! (Why does my internet typing voice always want to address what I'm saying to little people?)  So anyway, welcome to September. The month of freshly sharpened pencils, squeaky white rubber soles on tennis shoes, and backpacks that don't smell like last's months lunch leftovers yet. Unless you live in Kentucky and school started a month ago. But in growing up in California this was always back to school time. It's really odd to me to not be enrolled in classes this fall and I've got to keep my brain actively learning so it doesn't get all rusty like this sweater that I'm wearing.

I'm hoping that anyone who is reading this also is on team "don't-let-your-brain-turn-into-jello" when it comes to this time of the year. Since I'm so nice and helpful (and humble) I'd like to invite you to join me in a 30 day challenge to read the Book of Mormon. Now it isn't one of those things where the point is to read the whole book. In fact I hope you DON'T read the whole thing.

Read from the Book of Mormon for at least 15 minutes every day.
Say a simple prayer before and after you read.
For 30 days.
That's it!

Ooh, plus, invite ONE friend to join in on the challenge with you.

The purpose of this challenge is to get in a healthy habit of reading the scriptures every day. Specifically the Book of Mormon because I know the power that comes from that little blue book. Another LeVar Burton moment where I say "you don't have to take my word for it". Try it out! Leave me a comment if you're participating please :)

If you want to get a bonus blessing you can begin the challenge by reading President Henry B. Eyring's testimony of the Libro de Mormon right here. And this quote from that link:

"Joseph Smith said of that precious book, 'I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.'"

That's a pretty bold and straightforward promise! And if you're stubbon like some people I know and need just one extra sign or testimony of the truth, you can read this article from the Prophet Thomas S. Monson about the promises of the Book of Mormon.

One more thing I'd like to add on. This challenge is NOT just for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The Book of Mormon is for everyone! If you don't have a copy of this book go to this website and you can get one for free. Some nice missionaries like myself will bring you a copy of your own.

Download your reading calender HERE for free! (save file and print!)

Be At Peace

I'll be the first to admit that I'm really good at giving advice, but not so good at taking it myself.
The other day I found myself frustrated over small things. Ok, so big things. Like love handle big things. I was so frustrated and depressed and upset because I couldn't see past the extra weight that my body keeps sneaking on to me. I couldn't see through to the strength that my spirit has been getting. So when I saw this sign it gave me a little smack in the face and said "Ok Sister McCall. Enough whining.  Stop troubling your heart over something that is insignificant in this moment. Trust God and know that there will be plenty of gym time. Right now you have Him time."
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
How do you put your trust in God? How has he helped you overcome obstacles?

Try A Better Search Engine

But I can give you two books that do and teach you how to pray. You'll never go without an answer again.

Be Thou Clean

I See Pride, I See Power!

This is a very simple truth. Who has control over your life? You do. Who has control over your emotions? You do. To say "Oh she just really made me angry" is to give away the power you have to control yourself. And it's a flat out lie. You chose to be angry. The end.

"Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life."

Good Propaganda

Don't you forget who your Savior is! Not even when you're picking up grain to feed yo animals!
Since my brain is actually a radio (as some of you may know) the hymn The Lord is My Light comes to mind when I see this sign.

Like A Boss

I really have no clue where this church gets their ideas.
They're just plain wild! (That's Clarksville for ya I guess)

Crazy Is Ok


that was my response to this one.

love it.

best sign ever award!

And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.  And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.

Prayer + Action

This is a pretty clever little acronym!

And it pretty much explains itself.

But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

GPS (God's Plan of Salvation)

When I moved down here to the Nashville area I thought I'd be able to find my way around just fine. Then my friend Karen explained to me that the roadmaps down here were made by throwing spaghetti noodles onto a giant piece of paper. They make NO SENSE!
I've been dependant on a GPS ever since.

Life's the same way. We show up thinking we know what's going on but we're oh so wrong. There are so many twists and turns and unexpected detours that we need some extra guidance. Don't be afraid to stop and ask for directions. They're only a prayer away.

Sneaky, Find This One!

Did you find it? You can come in because Satan's not here!
How much attention do you put into keeping Satan out of your home?
What do you do to make sure that "home can be a heaven on earth?"

Who's Always Watching?

This sign reminds me of a conversation I had with an 8 year old girl right before she was baptized.  I asked her "Haley do you know who's always watching over you?"
Her response was prompt, "God, Jesus, and mostly Santa."

The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.

Confusing One

I'm guessing what this one means is that it should be lying around in our living rooms to pick up and flip through often?
The other option is that the stories and lessons taught in the scriptures are like 1000 times better, crazier, and more worthwile than TV.

Favorite Psalm

The Lebanon Church of Christ had verses from Psalm 23 up for a few months and it didn't even bother me a bit. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings this Psalm on their cd Heavensong and it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard from them.

Alexander and The Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

My dear mother read this book to me a lot. I think she was trying to teach me a lesson.
Because I was born a whiner.
And when things don't go my way I think the day should probably just stop and rethink itself.

Pause for a second.

I live with the nicest girl in the universe. For those of you that are not informed in the ways of Mormon Missionary lingo she is my companion, which means that we're together 24/7 to teach and preach and work and she gets to put up with my Alexander attitude all along the way. Somehow this angelic being doesn't even let on if she ever gets frustrated. She's a gigantic example to me of patience, diligence, and charity. My bundle of Christlike love!

So you can hit the play button again and unpause whatever it was we were talking about before.
Oh yeah.
I'm a miserable whiny mopey person some days.
But do you want to know the secret that I'm trying to teach myself? These circumstances of life, things that I don't like, they're never going to go away. I will always be able to find things that make me grumpy and frustrated. The good news, I get to choose how I react. The only person in control of this brain and body is ME!

In an honest to blog moment right now I'm going to share a piece of truth with you. I have to decide all by myself every morning if serving a mission is what a really want to do that day. It doesn't get any easier each time I make the decision. But the days that I make it right at 6:30 am are indefinitely better than the days I wait until 2:30 pm or 7:45 pm.

In my recent obsession with tracking down videos on and I found this video and article about a young man who left everything behind to serve a mission. He did it knowing that he may never be able to accomplish some of his dreams. But he served faithfully.

How blessed I am to know of God's promises that He will never command us to do anything that we can't accomplish. And that all of His commandments are to prepare us for blessings.

When I think of the great example of my companion who plugs right away with me at the hardest work we have both ever done I realize that this is so possible. I can do this. I AM doing this! And just like the former Elder Batty in this video my service will be worth every effort because God has promised His wealth of blessings to those who serve.

Darth Vader

Ok, so I've studied this passage of scripture before and it doesn't really apply well to what this sign says. We'll forgive whoever put it up. I just mostly loved how Star Wars was reverberating in my brain the night I saw it!

Here's a better scripture about fathers that I like: 

 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
                                                                                                  Matthew 7:7-11

Blurry, But True

As little kids in primary we each get a small ring to wear with a green shield emblazoned with the letters CTR. They stand for "Choose The Right".
I just found this webpage that has a list of talks, stories, and activities to teach children the importance of choosing what's right. And remember, we're all children here, just a bit bigger than before!

Find it HERE

Couch Potato

I know that you have nothing better to do today than to kick back and watch youtube videos. So why don't you watch some of my new favorites? They're UPbeat, UPlifting, and they'll make you want to jump UP out of your seat and make changes!

I see a bit of myself in each one of these people. One of the most beautiful things to me of the gospel of Christ is that it brings people together, no matter what our differences may be.

Politics at their Finest

Why would you want anything less than a perfect leader?

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Get Your Cardio In

"Life by the yard is hard; by the inch it’s a cinch. Each of us can be true for just one day—and then one more and then one more after that—until we’ve lived a lifetime guided by the Spirit, a lifetime close to the Lord, a lifetime of good deeds and righteousness. The Savior promised, “Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life.”

Even The Pharmacist Recommends Him!

"I say unto you that this mortal body is raised to an immortal body, that is from death, even from the first death unto life, that they can die no more; their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided; thus the whole becoming spiritual and immortal, that they can no more see corruption."

Free Trip? Yes Please!

"Eternal life in the kingdom of God is far beyond his universal gift of immortality and is God’s greatest gift to all mankind; it can only be brought about through obedience to the doctrines and commandments taught by Jesus Christ."

Karma Kindness

But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

Bad Film

Luke Bryan likes to sing this in my head to me all of the time "Don't worry 'bout nothin'. Pray about everything."  Amen to that Luke!
There's no need for us to develop ugly thoughts when we've got an easy cure through prayer.

Reese's Blizzard Please! cream! A special treat.
Make sure SUNDAY is just as special (or more) to you than your SUNDAE :)

Keep It Clean

So with all the Olympic talk going around on the internet I'm a little sad that I couldn't watch Michael Phelps swim his final race or see a man with two prosthetic legs run faster than I could ever imagine to get this body to move. But I have a focus right now. I have a purpose. And thanks to technology I can always catch up with those things later. And in fact in a few short months when I go home those things will be old news. Something else will be the talk of the town.

Right now I'm involved in something I could never miss. A chance that will never come again. In four years there will be a new American hero diving into pools. There will always be more talent to be seen. But I will never again have time to devote my full attention to the Lord's work. I only get 18 months for that.

This video depicting Elder Holland's talk from last October's General Conference has some similarities. It talks about lines that I had to stay within to get here, much like those incredible athletes have to abide by to get where they are today.

Although this talk is directed for young men preparing to serve full time missions like I am right now, the principles taught in it are applicable to everyone. Literally EVERYONE. God's commandments will make us free and happy. Sometimes it can be awkward to talk about sexual sins and boundaries and I know a lot of parents probably worry how they will approach the subject with their children. How grateful I am to know that God's standards never change. And when I eventually have children I will teach them how following His commandments has been a blessing in my life and will be everthing they need to succeed in this life and the next.  I hope you enjoy this video. I absolutely love it.

This post is linked to the Time Warp Wife blog.
It's a great resource to join in with other women who are dedicated to live following Christ's example and exemplify our roles as women.

Pack Intelligently

You get to bring to heaven whatever you can pack in that brain!

Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.  And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.

Disney Worship

A clever way to invite people to church!
Find the meetinghouse for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints closest to you right here
Visitors are ALWAYS welcome!

We Talk Like Ke$ha

There's a pew for you!

And the church did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls.  And they did meet together oft to partake of bread and wine, in remembrance of the Lord Jesus.

I'll Take the Nonsmoking

Well when you put it like that isn't it a tough choice??

 Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

Be At Peace

This sign was up for over 3 months. A true test of my patience.

And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.

Better Than A Fairytale

Excuse this interruption of regularly scheduled marquee posts for some thoughts that have to do with dragons, thrones, and once upon a times:

you may refer to me as princess elle if you like. i will make no objections

Moments that I've treasured most on my mission have been times when my companion and I teach families with children. There is something so precious and sacred about a child's understanding of God and their relationship with Him. Earlier this year when we were teaching the Sanchez family in Mayfield sweet little Anthony had a very concerned look on his face. He had been going to church semi-regularly with his grandma and he didn't feel welcome there. I asked him why and his response was that the teachers of the classes don't believe in things like princes and princesses. My heart just broke for a minute as this little boy was so sincere.

To testify to him that he is right, that being a son of God makes him a prince was the crowning (yes, cheesy pun intended) moment of my day. Anthony knew the truth and he was searching for someone to validate it, to help him recognize HOW to be a prince in God's kingdom.

He sure asked the right person because I am #1 obsessed with fairy tales, happily ever afters, and anything that has to do with a sparkly tiara on top of perfectly curled hair. I think that all of us have a desire to believe in something mystical and "make believe" because like Anthony we know that some part of it just has to be true.

the salt lake temple is just one of the beautiful castles that we have built to be in the presence of our King

Here are some elements of stories that I've found gospel comparisons to:

Dragons, Unicorns, and Giants* Um hello, they're all over in the Old Testament! Sadly unicorn is a misinterpretation and dragons were really just poisonous snakes. But the giants were real! We know all about Goliath and there are also mentions of Emims, Anakims, and Zamzummims. Great names. Weird enough to be in a fantasy book.

Happily Ever After* Eternal life with our family and closest friends in the presence of our Heavenly Father is the happiest ending I could ever imagine! And it comes true! We work long and hard in this part of the story and the ending is greater than the climax of all our struggles.

Royalty* We are daughters and sons of the most high God. That makes us divine Princesses and Princes with the ability to one day become queens and kings. Man that is some awesome potential we each have!

Hero's Journey* In high school I took a global mythology class and we learned about the pattern found in most myths, legends, and fantasy stories called the hero's journey. It is a cyclical pattern that takes the protagonist through a trial where he faces many trials and obstacles yet he cannot succeed without the help of a mentor. Our time on Earth is just like that. We are given load upon load of opposition and we can only overcome it with the support of our Savior Jesus Christ. The ultimate Mentor! Luckily we get some tools along the way like scriptures written by prophets, prayer, and the blessing of an organized church.


My brain could probably babble on for days about wonderland and magic dust but I'm going to spare you the time and leave you with what's written so far. I know that I personally am so enthralled by all things mystical and magical because I know the truth. I know that God's grace and our Savior's Atonement is better than any fairytale or story out there. And I am preparing myself for the day that I'll get to inherit my Father's kingdom. Also I'm so happy that you're all along for the ride! See you there!

If you want to read more you can check out this talk by Elder Uchtdorf (quoted in the picture above)

Embrace the camera and see yourself as God sees you!

Real Christmas

Ok, so I kind of may have stolen this picture. The credit needs to go to Sister Tamara Nalder. Lets hope she forgives me :)

Good Advice

These are some secrets to living a happy life that aren't so secret anymore thanks to this Church of Christ!