Sunday, July 27, 2014

Peculiar People

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Many may wonder what makes us tick: we are happy joyful people who love to laugh (but only at certain things). Many have mentioned a "Mormon Glow" that surrounds us, that reaches out and touches people, makes their lives brighter. Many have pondered at what in the world would make teenage boys give up two years of girls and fun and freedom, and girls give up a year and a half.

What are some other things that make us a peculiar people? Most certainly, in the world, we are the weird ones. Have you ever wondered:

What drives us to love our siblings (that's crazy, right?) ?
How we are willing to give up tea and coffee, and (gasp) all alcohol as adults (even adults?!)?
What reason does a fourteen year old boy have for stating up til midnight studying the words of dead people in books with hundreds of pages? (It's called the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in case you were wondering)
Why that girl decided to wear a modest swimsuit when it was obviously not the "cool" thing to do?
Why an eight year old all of a sudden feels the need to visit an elderly member of the community?
How we have the courage to stand in front of a history class and simply and clearly speak about our beliefs?
Why we smile so much?
Why we all love Star Wars and the Princess Bride?
How we convince our boys to give up their Saturday to do yard work for people who can't do it themselves?
How we keep our hope in any trial that besets us? And how we continue doing all these things even though we are going through something really hard?
What we bribe the high schoolers with in order to (now listen to this one) get them to wake up an HOUR AND A HALF early to attend a class at church BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS EVERY DAY?
What prompts a 12 year old girl to walk up to the pulpit once a month to share her feelings with the whole congregation?
Why we decide to fast for 24 hours (that's right, no food or water) once a month?
How our teenagers find fun in clean humor?
What is so much fun about churchy summer camps? (Wahoooo EFY!!!!!!!!!)
Why a girl keeps a journal?
What makes it enjoyable for us to do family history work and then take names to the temple?
Why we look so happy when we come out of the temple?
Why our ancestors have up everything they had to cross the plains to go to Utah? (Of all places ;) just kidding)
How our young men all decide to be ordained to the Priesthood as Deacons (age 12),Teachers (age 14), and Priests (age 16)? Yes, that is true. We do that.
What we do to get the whole family together to sit and watch general conference for ten hours in a weekend twice a year? In which we listen to the Prophet and other church leaders, men and women alike?
How our mothers are so good at making our homes a place where we can feel the Spirit every day?
Why our fathers give us blessings when we need comfort or healing?

There are many other things we do that definitely count as peculiar. My head hurts right now so I can't think of all of them.

What is the answer to all these questions? (Well, maybe not the Star Wars and Princess Bride one, but..)

We believe.

We believe in Jesus Christ. We want to follow his example. We know his commandments, and we want to do his will. We know these things to be true, and we want to live them. We are not ashamed of this gospel, and we will do whatever it takes to help others feel God's love. The world may see that as weird, peculiar, and confusing, but The Lord doesn't.

I'm so grateful for this gospel. 

And I'm proud to be peculiar. 

<3 Eliza

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Best Friends--Forever

At EFY this week I learned so many amazing things!! Those personal stories and lessons I'm sure will appear here, but for now I want to tell you about what I learned coming home.

At EFY I made so many new friends and grew old friendships, but when it came to the end of the week, there were only five friends that stayed with me. They were my family. When my dad came to pick me up to drive the four hours home, I hugged him. I don't remember the last time that I hugged him when it wasn't me crying. And I was so happy to see my brother. He is almost my height now, and I forgot how old he was. But when I saw him after a week away I felt such loyalty and love. I think that's part of how the Spirit works: how it brings greater love for our family and friends.

Then when we got home my sisters were so excited to see me. And I was so happy to see my mom. She is one of my best friends. My mom and sisters had made one of those "candy grams" for me when you use the candies to spell out sentences. It was so cute, and I felt so loved to see that they put the thought into getting my favorite candy and making something meaningful.

I'm so glad that my family--my best friends--can be together forever. Our party doesn't need to last one night, our spiritual growth doesn't halt at the end of a week, our friendships don't dwindle over the years. I love my family.

And though I miss EFY, I am so glad to be home.

<3 Eliza

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Kicking myself in the shins

I really have got to get on top of this blogging thing. How was I able to keep it up during school but not after?!

On a completely unrelated note, I received an email today that touched me.  I found a little gold dust in the sand today.

A couple years ago I signed up for this "Daily Message" on It's pretty cool, and if you don't get it you totally should. Every day I get a quote from general conference and once in a while the quote lines up exactly with what I am dealing with that day. Sadly, the fact that these messages are so common leads a girl to take them for granted. (I guess that's kind of how the Spirit speaks to us too.)

Anyway, this was today's quote:

"Being grateful in our circumstances is an act of faith in God. It requires that we trust God and hope for things we may not see but which are true. By being grateful, we follow the example of our beloved Savior, who said, “Not my will, but thine, be done.” True gratitude is an expression of hope and testimony. It comes from acknowledging that we do not always understand the trials of life but trusting that one day we will."~Uchtdorf

The ending was the gold for me. Gratitude comes from "acknowledging that we do not always understand the trials of life but trusting that one day we will."

Yeah I really liked that. 

Alright, so let's just complete this little chord here and start a somewhat-unrelated note. I'm going to Efy next week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That deserves 101 exclamation points, but I'm too lazy. I had girls camp last week and Efy this week, and I just can't wait! 

Yeah that's all. I will report back on the many adventures of EFY in a week. 

Signing off (or singing off? ;)