Saturday, May 19, 2012

Journal Entry 59: I Will Go and Do

THE EVOLUTION OF A TESTIMONY: Day 59

I don't think I already mentioned this, but my papers have moved onto the last stage before going to the First Presidency. I'm just waiting to get an interview with the stake and then they can move on. My friend Jessica who was my roommate my sophomore year, is also planning to go on her mission. Her availability date is only about 15 days before mine, so we've been going through this process kind of together. 
"Wednesday May 16, 2012
Today is my day off of work this week. Sometimes even on my day off I work with Braxton or teach art lessons, but today I didn't. It's a real 'day off' and it's been nice. My dad took me to lunch again and I've exercised, planted glower for my mom, done some dishes and read some of Packer's Holy Temples book. Otherwise, I've been pretty lazy. I should be more productive, but it's nice not to have to be. 
I'm still waiting to hear from the stake which should supposedly happen this week. Jess put her papers in yesterday, so she should know soon. It's so exciting yet terrifying still. I have so much preparing I still need to do. I'm so impatient- I really want to know where I'm going so that if I have to learn a language, I can start working on it. But who knows- maybe I'll get called English speaking to somewhere like Minnesota like the dream I had forever ago.
Some of my old roommates and I at a devotional a year or so ago
 (Jess and I are on the end)
 We'll see. I know I'll go where God wants me though- he's directed me places thus far- both here and throughout the world. I need to trust Him. I'll be in God's hands wherever I am and hopefully I'll be prepared enough to make the difference there that he needs me to make. I do have a testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 
Love Always,
MichelleDC" 
I'll make sure to update the progress of my papers under the "The Missionary" page on here. It's getting closer and closer. I'm grateful for everything that has thus far lead me to now.
Love Always,
Michelle

Friday, May 18, 2012

Journal Entry 58: The Way Home

THE EVOLTUION OF A TESTIMONY: Day 58


I've written about a lesson that my neice Hailey has taught me before. She taught me another on Mother's day...
"Monday May 14, 2012
Yesterday was another great day. I met with my bishop and the papers are now onto the stake. And since it was mother's day, the Curtin side of my family came over. Hailey and Daniel and Lynette came over first and I hung out with Hailey in the backyard.
My mom with my neice Hailey. Love these two
 Hailey was laying in the Hammock and I asked her if she'd write me lots of letters when I was on my mission and she said 'Yes, I'll write- Dear Shelly and Grandpa and Grandma and Bill' and I said 'Well I'm the only one going on a mission' and she said  something like 'well I have to write it so you remember my family. I have to remind you of the way." So I asked 'The way?' and she said 'The way home'. THat girl is full of symbollic lessons for me. Then a couple mins later after she's been 'laxin'' in the hammock, she said 'Shelly?' and I said 'Yeah Hailey?' and she said 'I love you Shelly'. Hailey might be the hardest to leave because she'll change a lot in a year and a half. I'll miss her a lot. 
This was actually for my grandparent's 50th. We recreated some wedding pics.
This was one of my favorites- great examples of pure love :)

The rest of the day was good too. Spending time luahging with the family watching my cousin Brandon on AFV. It was a good day. I need more of that.
Love Always,
MichelleDC" 
Both sides of my family have been great supports for my mission. Missionaries get to call home on two days- Christmas and Mother's day. My cousin Wesley (who I've talked about on here) called while his family was over. His sisters miss him a lot, but they know he is doing something wonderful and something he really believes in. My cousins who are now on missions are great examples to me. I can't wait to join them.
Love Always,
Michelle

My grandma with my cousin Wesley (at my great grandma's funeral).
Both are great examples.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Journal Entry 57: A New Journal and A New Start

THE EVOLUTION OF A TESTIMONY: Day 57


I'm getting close to turning my papers in. It won't be too long now until I find out the destiny of my next 2 or so years. This is from when I started my papers...

"Wednesday May 1, 2012
It's official. I've started and almost finsiehd my mission papers. After I started, my mom bought me a journal that says 'Sister Michelle Curtin' on it. It's crazy how fast it's becoming a reality. I've already gone to the dentist and doctor...
Also, did I tell you I got a new job? I work full-time at Fotofly (a photo studio) as an 'Artist'. One of my managers is my aunt Jenn ('Kamp'). So far it's been a really good job. I almsot didn't get it beacuse I couldn't commit through fall because of school/mission, but they decided to hire me anyway. A mission is expensive, so having a full time fairly well-paying job is a huge blessing and helps relieve some stress on my family who feels like they need to help support me. I have many blessing right now with family, work, health, friends and life.
My awesome friends who have been such great examples and support
 I have so much support around me. Dani is in town before she goes to work in Moab so her, Jess and I went to the temple yesterday. I used to be so good about going every week, but I missed a couple the last couple of weeks so I'm grateful to have friends to remind me and go with. I have so much more to do to prepare for a mission and it's hard with so little time with work, but I hope I can get ready. It's only a couple months away. And now it's time for bed. Good night.
Love Always,
MichelleDC"
I don't think I'd have been able to make the decission to go on a mission without the awesome support of a great family (specifically a wonderful mother) and amazing friends.

Love Always,
Michelle

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Journal Entry 56: Progress

THE EVOLUTION OF A TESTIMONY: Day 56


Sometimes the hardest situtations, the challenges, the dissapointments are the ones that truly are the most beautiful miracles. My cousin Kai has been through a lot in his little 2 years. But there have been a lot of mini-miracles because of who he is. 

"Sunday April 32, 2012
I've procrastinated again. I have so much to write in the next 15 mins. First off, I'm done with school. After I finished my last final presentation, and after work, I drove to Morgan to help my grandparents take care of Kai. My cousin Kai has autism and is really struggling. He's 2 and can't walk and bites through his hands. But he did really well with me and my grandparents. I love that kid...
My Cosuin Kai
 I'm glad I went down to help, because I got to talk to my grandparents a lot. We talked late one night about everything from the gospel to family. I loved it.
My grandparents taking care of Kai while he watches his favoirte- Baby Einstein
 I need to back up now, because I forgot to say that my dad came to help me move out and took me to lunch and we talked about going on a mission and he talked about how service was the best way to proselyte on his mission and then he said that he thought I'd make a great missionary. That meant a lot. 
And now to jump forward- I finished reading the Book of Mormon today. And then I said my prayers and I felt the spirit when asking if it really was true. It is. And it's a good thing I know that if I'm going to go share and teach about it somewhere in the world. Now I have to leave for church. Back to the Lone Peak Singles Ward today.
Love Always,
MichelleDC" 
There's been a lot of slow progress throughout my life- both in spiritual matters and family matters. I'm grateful for both.
Love Always,
Michelle


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Journal Entry 55: Softball and Roasted Peeps

THE EVOLUTION OF A TESTIMONY: Day 55

Family time and holidays are my favorite. They almost always teach (or re-teach) me new things.

"Sunday April 7, 2012
Happy Easter! I'm at my house in Highland and I still have to drive back to my apartment in Provo, so I can't write long, but I wanted to write.
Today was a fantastic day. I went to church with my family and talked briefly to their bishop. I can start my mission papers now. The decision is becoming more final. It's terrifying, but exciting.
then my extended (Erickson) family came over. We had dinner all together and my grandma and grandpa bore their testimonies about the Atonement and other Easter-related topics. My grandpa has always been a crier, buy my grandma isn't, but this time she did. She talked about forgiveness and heaven. My grandpa also talked about that and referred to things he regretted- I can only think of him as perfect, so when he asked us to forgive him for things he'd done wrong, i couldn't think of a single thing. I wonder if that's how God is like after you've used the atonement and he 'Remembers it no more' and just loves you fully.
I'm so grateful for my grandparents and their examples.
My Grandpa and Grandma Erickson

After dinner we spent a lot of quality time together- mostly outside. We played some unofficial softball and even my grandma and grandpa took some swings up at bat. We had a fire and the kids roasted peeps. It was fun to play softball (even in my church dress) and just spend time with the family. I truly believe that families are a part of God's eternal plan. When they bring that much joy and love- how could they not be? Anyway, it's time for bed (well... driving to Provo first). So goodnight
Love Always,
MichelleDCurtin" 
This is actually from Christmas not Easter, but my family always does fun things together.
Here my Uncle is playing the guitar with my cousin Lexi while the younger kids played whatever
they wanted. Maybe not beautiful music, but beautiful moments.

I really am grateful for the family that I have. Not only do I have an amazing immediate family, but I have a fantastic extended family. Families are so vital to life and I'm grateful for their support and all that they teach me.
Love Always,
Michelle

Monday, May 14, 2012

Journal Entry 54: Elder Featherstone

THE EVOLUTION OF A TESTIMONY: Day 54

As I read back through my journals, I've noticed how often I'm blessed with "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunities. 

"Tuesday March 26, 2012
 Today I got to go to a special fireside for just our ward with Elder Vaugn Featherstone. It's a miracle that I got there on time because I work in Lehi with Braxton until 6 on Tuesdays and I'm normally in Highland until at least 9pm (the fireside was at 7pm) But prayer and planning got me there just on time.
 The Fireside was cool. He talked about the temple and then allowed for quick Q&A session. It was much too short, but indeed spiritual. For someone like me, who hasn't gone through the temple yet, it felt like a very personal and insightful temple-prep class.
This is a painting I did for my parents of the Manti temple where they were married
 He touched on some things that I've never heard touched on before and I probably won't hear toughed on again. It was also cool how well versed he was in poems and scriptures, so much so that sometimes I didn't catch his transition from speaking to quoting.
I met him after and he complemented on my necklace (a black one my mom got for me from Tipan- she also gave one to Laurie Ward- it looks like a charm bracelet). He's a nice, friendly and real man. I'm grateful that I was able to make it in time to listen to this inspired man and learn more about the temples. What a great experience.
Love Always.
MichelleDCurtin"
 I'm so glad I made it to that fireside. It was so insightful and helped me refocus my goal on getting to the temple in the next couple of months.
Love Always,
Michelle

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Journal Entry 53: This Project

THE EVOLUTION OF A TESTIMONY: Day 53

It's official. I've caught up to myself. This next entry is from about 53 days ago ;)

"Friday March 23, 2012
So I've started this 'Project' on a blog that I have (www.thelovealwaysmotto.blogspot.com) where I'm going back in my journal to trace the origins of my testimony. It's called 'The Evolution of a Testimony'. In it I talk about being a good journal keeper, so I guess I better keep writing so I'm not a liar. I have been meaning to write anyway. 
For my mission prep class we had to practice a mission discussion and my roommate ShanShan, who isn't a member, let me practice on her. I talked to her about the plan of salvation, and since I'm not a real missionary, I cheated a little and showed her some of the mormon messages on youtube (like the 'moments that matter most').



We read some scriptures, she asked questions and I did my best to answer. But I didn't pretend to know anything I didn't. I even explained to her that I've had my periods of doubt. I told her that I'd come to the conclusion that there seems to be only 2 options for me. Either 1) this church is true or 2) life doesn't matter and there is nothing beyond death. I told her about the connections I feel to my ancestors and others who have passed on. I don't know if she recognized it, but when I bore my testimony on that- the spirit was there. 
This was an attempt at a painting I did of my great-grandmother whom I am named after
 I let her say the prayer at the end and she chose her words wisely. She asked God to help her know for herself. She is a wonderful roommate. It was a little different then a normal missionary experience, sitting on my bed watching youtube videos, but it was a good one. I'm grateful for that opportunity.
Love Always,
Michelle"

Pretty crazy that I've caught up to myself. I didn't know if I'd actually be able to keep up and make it this many days in a row. I'm glad I did though. I only have 6 more pages of my journal before there is empty space so we're almost at the end of this project.
Love Always,
Michelle