Category Archives: LDS

Called to Serve!

Hi guys! There is so much to tell, so much has been going on, but right now I can’t wait to post that I got my first calling in the ward on Sunday.

I got a text from the Bishop’s secretary (is that what you call him? It’s the guy who does all the scheduling,) asking if I could come in to see the Bishop on Sunday at 9am. He and I had been meeting weekly when I first returned back to the church, so at first I thought “Oh, he just wants to catch up, we haven’t spoken in a while.” But the I remembered something from the night of my Patriarchal Blessing, which I invited him to attend. He told me that after I bore my testimony in church earlier that day, he leaned over to his first counselor and said “We need to get Sara into a calling!” I knew that must be the reason.

I was filled with excitement, and immediately started to wonder what it would be. Primary came to mind right away since we have one of the noisiest wards in the valley, with new children showing up week after week. “Yes,” I thought, “it’s definitely likely to be Primary.”

Later that day, I went with my friend Renee to pick out material for my temple dress that she is making for me (I am so blessed to have a friend who offered to do this for me!) and she reminded me that it could be the nursery. Bom, Bom, Booooom!!

No, not nursery! Just last week my visiting teaching gal told me a horror story about being converted to the church and immediately being assigned to the nursery for TWO YEARS! I was half-hoping that wouldn’t happen, but was prepared to accept a nursery calling if that was what the Lord wanted for me. Besides, I love kids, how bad could it be? 😉

When I arrived to his office at 9am, he told me that after much pondering and prayer, and discussion with the Ward Mission Leader, I have been asked to serve as a Ward Missionary! Can you believe it!?

He set me apart that night after church. I am so proud to say that I am now even more officially responsible, as we all are, to share the gospel with all those whom I come in contact. I can feel my Heavenly Father supporting me in this cause, giving me the courage to share my testimony with anyone and everyone who will listen.

Here’s a cute video of the song my mom has been singing to me all week. 🙂


A Lesson in Listening to the Spirit: Part One: What Happens When the Spirit is Ignored

The Holy Ghost is the most precious gift we can receive on this earth. It is a constant companion helping guide us through our daily lives. Receiving this gift is followed by a lifetime of learning how to use it. We must learn to recognize the Holy Ghost, which is a skill all its own; listening to it can be a challenge, and sometimes the most difficult, but the most rewarding thing about the Holy Ghost is the ability to act on its promptings. When we choose not to listen, we can be missing opportunities, or even inviting the wrong spirit in. To quote Boyd K. Packer, “[The] voice of the Spirit . . . may caution or warn you. Ignore or disobey these promptings, and the Spirit will leave you. It is your choice—your agency.”

I recently paid a visit to my 24-year-old nephew on Friday. He had invited me over to watch a video game. The sun had gone down, and he was home alone. I sat on the floor of his bedroom, he turned the lights out, and commenced playing the game. I don’t want to go into detail, but what I saw on the screen really rattled my spirit. From the moment the game started, I felt the spirit telling me to turn it off; but to save face with my nephew I kept watching. My niece came home and joined us, and I spent most of the time hiding my face in her lap so that I wouldn’t see what was on the screen. Again, the spirit kept telling me to leave and I kept brushing the voice that I kept hearing aside.

After about 10-15 minutes of this, I heard the voice again loud and clear telling me “LEAVE NOW! LEAVE NOW! LEAVE NOW!” and I fought the strong urge one more time. Seconds later, something happened on screen that scared us all so much that we were all screaming. My nephew was so freaked out he leapt out of his chair I don’t know if to protect us or to find protection himself. I was screaming for him to turn off the game, but the image on the screen persisted. After we managed to turn the game off, my heart was racing, and I was shaking like a leaf. From a VIDEO GAME.

I don’t have to tell you how realistic video games have become, with famous actors playing roles, top musical artists composing scores, and Hollywood directors getting involved. The things I saw on the screen felt real. There was truly an evil spirit involved. I was left with a dreadful feeling I couldn’t shake. When I got back home I was afraid to walk down the stairs to my bedroom, let alone climb in bed and turn the lights out. Every noise in the house made me rattle, looking at an open or closed door made me shiver, and every time I turned around I was expecting to see something or someone there. A friend once told me, “if you ignore the holy ghost you are allowing the adversary in,” and I knew this was what had happened

It was like this, but for real.
It was like this, but for real.

I kept telling myself “This is NUTS! Just let it go and go to sleep.” I climbed into bed and turned off the light. The minute I closed my eyes I would see or hear or think of things from the game. I started focusing with all my might on something — anything else to get the images out. I quickly turned the light back on. I read my scriptures, but this didn’t help. I said out loud “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to leave.” but the images and dread stayed. At about 2:30 am, I climbed out of bed, walked upstairs and knocked on my mom’s door. I asked if I could sleep in her bed. (Yes, I’m a grown woman, and I’m not ashamed to admit this.) I still had trouble sleeping.

Now it’s almost a week later, and I still have trouble sleeping. I can not get over how effected I was by something as “trivial” as a video game. I distinctly heard and understood the message that was coming across from the spirit, and I ignored it. This experience made me realize that the adversary will find any kinds of tricks to make us miserable. In closing I will say, listen to the spirit! It is there to guide and protect us. Don’t blow it off in order to keep from offending someone, or to give in to social pressures. Practice listening for the spirit, but also act on what you hear and you will maintain peace of mind.

Progress is Made!

Nine days ago I was having such intense coffee withdrawals I decided to get on this blog to write all about it. At the time I was obsessing, whining, yearning for a cup which I have decided is completely off limits; I was about to chew my hand off wishing I could have a cup. After I wrote that post, I made up my mind that I was going to stop even drinking the substitutions because they were only making me crave what I didn’t have.

But something has changed. I’m not even sure when or how, I just know that I don’t crave coffee anymore. It’s like it vanished “poof!” into thin air. I was reading over what I wrote just over a week ago and not even recollecting my first cup of coffee made me want any. In fact, I kind of thought what I was saying was silly. Wow. The Lord truly does bless us and work for us in the most amazing ways.

Women’s Meeting

I attended the General Women’s Meeting this weekend with my sisters and nieces and it was awesome! I loved being inside the Conference Center; with the printed sheet of trivia about the building that my mom had prepared, we all learned something about the interior including the fact that it can withstand an 8.4 earthquake and fit a 747 inside!



Two of the three talks were centered around temple attendance, which happens to be exactly what I am preparing for right now.

It was so great to be out with (almost) all the women in my family. We went to eat Pho for dinner, and everyone love that as well. Oh, it also happened to be my birthday which made it extra-special for me. 😉

All the ladies!



Ogden Temple Re-dedication

I was able to attend the Ogden temple re-dedication yesterday. The Ogden temple had been closed for remodeling for the last three years. I have to admit that I always liked the original Ogden temple (from the outside, that is). Maybe it’s my tendency towards all things vintage, but the 70s style round building and water fountain-esque steeple was always so charming to me. I was a bit underwhelmed by the look of the building at first. When my sister, my mother and I were able to walk through during the open house that went on for the last few months, I discovered that the new building is absolutely gorgeous inside.

Before | After

It was fascinating to participate for my first time in a temple ceremony, and only got me feeling more excited and ready to take out my endowments. I am still getting my head around wearing garments and the fact that there are things I won’t understand when I first attend, but I am feeling more and more ready to go every day. My brothers have agreed to help to teach me the temple prep lessons before I go. I think I will take the steps to get my patriarchal blessing before going to the temple as well.

Things are happening very quickly. It has only been two months since I really started coming back to church. I feel that there is something or someone pushing me on the other side to get me to where I need to be—where I have needed to be all this time.


Saying “Goodbye” to an Old Friend

Can I vent for a minute?

Part of this transition which has been the most challenging so far has been giving up coffee. To illustrate how difficult it has been, I would like to compare it to quitting smoking. Honestly quitting cigarettes was so much easier! Maybe it was all the unappealing repercussions that came with smoking (this list could go on for days). When I was smoking my chest would hurt, I got a surging sting through my left breast which the doctors never could figure out, there was the nasty smell, the bad breath, having to stand out in the cold to “enjoy” my vice (I HATE being cold!), wheezing, coughing, and other unpleasantness. Take with that the risk of heart disease, cancer, and did I mention the stroke I had back in ’08? All of these things make cigarettes an easy friend to say “good riddance” to.

Without fail it was always the first two weeks that were the most challenging; once I was over that initial hump it was much easier to go without a cigarette from there. I still crave cigarettes from time to time, but it’s a small, fleeting thought that goes in and out of my brain like a breeze; a breeze which I have come to accept will always come and go.

Coffee however, is a whole ‘nother story.

Coffee is warm, comforting, and delicious. Coffee is a ritual. Coffee is a culture in and of itself. Coffee has been a staple in my life since I was a teenager. I will never forget watching Katie (my highschool boyfriend’s mother) as she prepared her morning brew. She kept her package of Major Dickason’s blend in the freezer (she had it shipped specially from California each month). I was fascinated by the her process of measuring, grinding, boiling and slowly brewing the morning beverage through her Mellita on the stove. And the sheer strength of Katie’s coffee. Whew! It would strip the paint off of a fender. Even now I sometimes wish I could go back and just taste it again for the first time.

Aaah coffee. How I love just the smell. From that faint whiff that draws me down the aisle in the grocery store, to the pungent smell from a single pound of Fresh Moab Coffee that would envelop my car for the entire drive from Moab, to even that weird burnt toast smell that is emitted from the Millcreek and Salt Lake Coffee Roasting Companies, I love every smell associated with coffee.

And the colors! The dark, cola-esque, blackish browns seen through a clear plastic cup filled with ice; the white heavy cream splash into the cup like a cloud burst, mixing and contorting until resting at a perfectly rich, creamy tan.


Finally the thing I miss most of all: the taste. Oh to have the bitterness of a black cup pass my lips again! To taste a cool iced americano with cream and just a hint of coconut. To sip on a cup of FMC with thick, delicious, full-fat whipping cream. Aaaah… Those moments were what a cup of coffee was all about.

However… once the coffee left my lips and started making its way to my belly was always where the appeal would end. I do not like what effects it had on my body: dehydration, jitters that made it impossible for me to focus on anything until they subsided, the feeling that my stomach was eating itself, loose bowels (tmi?) insomnia, and ultimately the CRASH. Those are the things I don’t miss, and those are the things I have to remember that I don’t want or need in my life.

“On the down side are coffee’s well-documented side effects: anxiety, insomnia, tremor and irregular heartbeat. It can also irritate the digestive system, bladder and prostate.” -Dr. Weil

All very good reasons to switch to hot water and lemon. In fact, the internet is full of information about the harmful effects of coffee. I know for me the first thing quitting brought me was reduced stress levels. I also noticed that when I would practice Bikram (which I also teach) I don’t need as much water. I was always guilty of chugging 40 oz. while I was in class, now I can get away with 15-20. I also sleep much better. I also don’t have to worry about that rogue cup that would once in a while really throw me for a jittery loop where I would have to slow down and just focus on my breath until it subsided.


I truly never have gone very long without a cup of coffee—maybe a few days. Coming up next week it will be two months since my last cup. I remember how I felt immediately after drinking my last cup of coffee. It had been about a week, so I was already re-sensitized to the effects, and I got so shaky I felt like I was vibrating. I had to chug water and do nothing until it went away. As a reward for myself, I got a teeth whitening kit from the dentist that I have been using, and I can see the stains on my teeth each day. These memories are what give me the knowledge and the faith that it is best for me to give it up. I know it is totally worth it. I just miss it a little.

Brooks on the Brain

Our Profile is the next assignment coming up and we need to interview someone for the blog. I have been thinking I would interview others who have left the church and come back. One of the people who inspired me was the author of “The Book of Mormon Girl”, Joanna Brooks. She is a Mormon Feminist, author of her own blog Ask Mormon Girl and was someone who inspired me to investigate the church again. Her intriguing interview on Radio West had me running out to get a copy of her book asap so that I could devour it. I’m going to see if I can get her to answer a few questions for my interview, and then find a few others to speak with.