Saturday, February 21, 2015

2014: Year in Review

I’m a bit behind, but it’s time to do the 2014 year in review. I’ve done it on my blog for the past two years. Before that it was a family tradition to keep record of the highlights of the year.

Neatest Place You were in 2014
My favorite place that I was this past year was the Hill Cumorah Pageant. Pageant was an amazing spiritual experience and I made some amazing friends. Being back where I first felt like I found myself in 2009 helped strengthen my testimony. I made amazing friends who I still love to keep in touch with. Since getting home they have been some of my greatest supports in my trying times.

Mom and Dad came to see Pageant a couple of the nights

Biggest Surprise of the Year
My biggest surprise of the year (or at least one of them) was probably while I was at Disneyland. I’ve always loved the character Dug from Up. I was at Disneyland with David and as we were walking through California Adventure we found out there was an opportunity for a meet and greet with Dug. I had heard about that happening at Disney World, but I didn’t know he was in California Adventure as well. So I was able to give that big fluffy loving puppy a big hug! SQUIRREL!

"I have just met you and I love you."

Best TV Show/Movie You Watched
The best movie I watched this year was The Lego Movie. Super fun and it spoke to my inner child. Not only that but every time I watch it I get such a self-esteem boost! I am important because I am me and I can change the world just by doing that. Most simply put, I am the special! One of my favorite exchanges in the movie is between Emmett and Vitruvius when Emmett finds out that he is not really the Special but it’s up to him to become the hero anyway. He says to ghost Vitruvius, “how could I just decide to believe that I'm special when I'm not?” Vitruvius replies, “Because the world depends on it.” My world depends on me choosing to believe I’m special and that decision can change the world.

Garrett and Sara dressed as Emmett and Wildstyle for Halloween

Saddest Day/Time in 2014
I went through a bit of a hard time during the end of the year. School is tiring and life is stressful, self-esteem can be hard to maintain. Basically it’s life. I am grateful for the Lord and His grace to help me get to where I am now and that I don’t always have to feel like that. Particularly November was hard. I won’t go into personal details, but I went through some stuff trying to figure out who I am. Though it was a dark and gloomy place, I am grateful that the Lord was able to teach me and that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I don’t have to stay there forever.

Happiest Day/Time in 2014
With such great adventures this year it’s hard to pick one happiest time. One of my happiest moments was being in the Sacred Grove again while I was in Pageant. I got the opportunity to walk through the grove, praying, reading, and recording my thoughts. I wrote my testimony while I was there and I am grateful for the Spirit I was able to feel while I was there in the sacred, hallowed wood.

(Thank you Emily for taking this picture)

Best Book/Magazine You’ve Read
I’m not sure if I read any new books this year. However, I did re-read “The Brothers” by Christ Stewart this summer and then I listened to it again while I was on my trip to California with David. This book has helped me feel of my Savior’s love. I’m not saying the book is doctrine, but some of the parts of the book involving Jehovah or the Father talking to the children have been amazing in helping me feel of their love and support for me in my journey. One of my favorite parts is near the end of the book; The Father tells His children that though they will be leaving for Earth soon and they will forget their lives with Him, He will send them reminders of His love: a mother’s kiss, a father’s blessing, words of the prophets, etc. I am grateful to have these things in my life to remind me of how much my Father loves me.

I love forward to this hug

Things You Will Remember From the News
The biggest thing I remember from the news this year is the death of Robin Williams. I grew up watching Aladdin and Mrs. Doubtfire and I remember watching Dead Poet Society in high school. Hearing that he had committed suicide was a surprise to me. It was a reminder to me that depression doesn’t discriminate. In addition, I find it amazing and admirable that though he was hurting on the inside, he still made it his purpose in life to help others laugh. That being said, I’d like to state the fact that suicide is preventable. I went to a suicide prevention training this fall for my internship and that’s one thing I came away from it with: Depression is treatable and suicide is preventable. If you are struggling with depression and/or suicide ideation, please get help. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline for help at any time if you’re struggling: 1 (800) 273-8255. Please don’t give up.

RIP Robin Williams

Favorite Talk in Church/Conference
I don’t know if it was my favorite, but he is definitely my favorite speaker. This past April, Elder Holland talked about standing up for our faith. It may not be popular (it rarely is) and it may not be easy (I’d say it never is), but because we are followers of Jesus Christ, it’s something we must do. Though others may tear the church down, we have to stand strong in our standards and fight against the adversary. We need to love our brothers and sisters, despite persecution we may receive. We are the people of Christ and we need to show it.

What Would You Like to Do In 2015?
2015 has the making of a crazy adventure for me. I’ve been accepted to a study abroad in Spain this spring term (May and June) and then I’m hoping to be an EFY counselor for the rest of the summer. In addition to all of that, this fall I start my final year of my undergraduate degree. Also, if all goes well with my seminary teacher training class this semester, I’ll be teaching seminary this fall. The only thing for sure is that I will be going to Spain. Everything else I’d love to do, that’s in the Lord’s hands and as I surrender my will to Him, I know He can make more out of my life than I ever could.

¡Estoy animado para ir a ese templo en Madrid!

Alright, that’s my year in review for 2014. Hopefully yours was good too. I’m looking forward to another great year of testimony building, growth, and adventures. It may not be easy, but I think it can always be miraculous if we let it (remind me of that the next time I start stressing).

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