Monday, March 2, 2015

God Didn't Want Me to go on a Mission and that's ok.

A little over a month ago I made a decision that altered my entire future. As you know (if you follow me on any social media) I was called to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to Little Rock Arkansas. I was so excited and honored to serve The Lord and the people of Arkansas. My love for those people instantly started to grow after I opened my call.

As the days and weeks passed I started to feel uncomfortable about my mission. I knew I was qualified to serve a mission and I didn't have fear about failing. I just felt uncomfortable and that is a foreign feeling to me. Being comfortable in every situation and making the best of what I can is a talent Heavenly Father blessed me with so I knew that something was wrong. Life kept going, school was flying by, I went on dates quite frequently, and everyday I thought about Arkansas. Normal life right? You are probably asking yourself there is nothing uncomfortable about that life, why in the world did you feel that way? Well, I was frequently asked questions about my mission, which I didn't mind, the uncomfortable part about it was that I felt like I was lying whenever I answered those questions. I wasn't lying though! It was real! Serving a mission was real! What was going on??

I wanted to serve a mission. I wanted to wear a badge. I wanted to go to Arkansas and serve the people. I wanted the missionary life. But every question and every thought piled on my back and my mind was not at peace. I was not confident about my mission.

I was in dire need of answers. I prayed fervently for a confirmation to serve a mission. Time was passing and it was drawing closer. I was running out of time. One Sunday in January I was called in to meet with the Stake President for a "Check-In" so that he could get to know me better and to see how I was doing. In the meeting I could feel the love of my Savior and the love that my Stake President has for me. We talked about my mission and everything was dandy. Then I got in my car... Feelings of fear and doubt engulfed my being. I was overcome with emotions that I cannot describe. Luckily I had planned to meet with my bishop in Orem later that afternoon to talk through what I had been feeling.

Bishop Russo greeted me with a smile and a handshake like always, he has this way of making you feel loved just by saying hello which made me feel so much better. As I sat down I started to explain every feeling that my soul had been overwhelmed with since November 12th (The day I opened my call). We even talked about dates I had been on. We started talking about Heavenly Father and what he expects of his servants, it is a Priesthood duty to serve a full-time mission and young women are invited to serve a full-time mission as well. In the mix of all of conversation he mentioned staying and continue dating and something came over me that I hadn't felt outside of the temple in for months... Peace.

Now I was even more confused. A mission is a great thing! It is what I wanted to do. I wanted to be in Arkansas. I wanted to wear a missionary tag. I wanted to be a missionary!

That night I stayed at my friend's apartment and we were talking about what was going on and she told me to read a talk by Richard G. Scott called "The Supernal Power of Prayer". So the next day I did. I read the talk late Monday night and wow, the insight I was given was divine. Richard G. Scott talks about the different ways prayers are answered (if you are struggling with finding an answer to your prayer READ IT TODAY) and as I read the section about the "stupor of thought" we have when we have made a decision that isn't the one Heavenly Father has planned, it was so clear in my mind that that's exactly what was happen every time I talked/thought about my mission. Elder Scott goes on about other ways prayers are answer and he talked about peace. Oh goodness. Peace was exactly how I felt about staying. WHAT?! Staying home from my mission?! Was I really going to do that?! Wait... That is exactly what I want. I want more then anything in this life to be what Heavenly Father wants me to be granted I am not the best at it but I try my hardest.

The next morning I received counsel from two men that I admire. My seminary teachers. They told me to ask for a Priesthood blessing from the Stake President. So I did. Wednesday night came and I sat down with the Stake President and we talked about my wrestle with my mission. I was a wreck. Tears flowed through the whole meeting. Why? Because from the moment I received my answer about staying was when the adversary started to seep it's way into my soul. "What will your mother think of you?!" "You will be an outcast." "People will think less of you" These were recurring thoughts that would not leave. I was so afraid of what would happen if I stayed. I was especially scared of what my family would think. But guess what. The power of the Priesthood is real. It is the power of God working through his disciples. My testimony of the Priesthood was strengthened that night, after receiving a blessing I had the courage to tell the person whose opinion mattered most to me. My mother.

Before I received the blessing I was scared out of my mind to tell her because who wants to disappoint their mother? No one. To my relief it was so easy to tell her. She just listened which was exactly what I needed. Telling people wasn't hard either. When I posted the update on my Facebook page I received so many comments that were filled with love and admiration and in that moment I could feel a portion of God's love for me and that was all I needed to know that I was doing the right thing.

Everything since then has fallen into place. I love my life and I am happier then ever. A mission isn't what God had planned for me and that's ok because he still loves me. I don't have to wear a badge to be a missionary and neither do you. You can share your story with others and testify of God's love. Do it! I dare you! It makes you happier and it will change your life!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

You Never Know...

How many things did you get checked off your “to- do” list today? Sometimes, the most important things you do each day were never even on your list. As we help a neighbor or family member, we often overlook the results. You might worry about the things you never get done, but President Gordon B. Hinckley reminds us, “You never know how much good you do.”

Family is Forever

Heavenly Father has made it possible for family relationships to continue after this life. If family members are sealed in the temple and faithfully keep the commandments, they can be united as a family eternally and live in Heavenly Father’s presence.

I love my family and wouldn't trade these crazies for the world. I know because of Heavenly Father's perfect plan, I get the rest of eternity with the people I love most. 


    "To forgive is a divine attribute. It is to pardon or excuse someone from blame for an offense or misdeed. The scriptures refer to forgiveness in two ways. The Lord commands us to repent of our sins and seek His forgiveness. He also commands us to forgive those who offend or hurt us." - Definition for Forgiveness

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Step of Faith Towards Little Rock


  "Dear Sister Case, You are hereby called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. You are assigned to Labor in the Little Rock Arkansas Mission.... You should report the Provo Missionary Training Center on February 11th. You will be prepared to preach the gospel in the English Language."
    I never would have thought 6 months ago I would be opening my mission call but as I read these words the Spirit was so strong. This was a moment when my testimony of God's knowledge and love of who I am as His  daughter grew stronger. 
      My life is completely filled with curve balls, I always have a plan of how I want life to be but Heavenly Father throws me a curve ball and completely changes everything but changes it for the better! It happened when my family situation changed, when I switched into a seminary class where I gained my personal testimony, when I chose to go to Herriman High school, when I dated a boy I never thought I would, and when I decided to go Utah Valley University. Seriously, these were choices that completely changed my life but for the better. They were never in my personal plans but I know that these events occurred on purpose because they lead me to this stage in life where I am now preparing  to serve the Lord. 
      When I emailed my friends who are serving missions all over the world, one emailed me back asking me to share how I received the answer to serve The Lord. So here you go.
       I didn't have the desire to serve a mission when I was younger, even when the age changed. I was just excited for my younger sister who has always wanted to serve a mission and all the boys I was friends with. I wasn't ever against the idea of serving a mission though, it just was never apart of my plans.  As a senior in high school I served as the seminary president and my mindset began to change. The Gospel has always brought me so much joy and It made me so happy to share my testimony with my fellow seminary students. The desire to share my testimony of Christ became stronger and stronger. So I prayed.
       My answers from The Lord come in the strangest of ways but they are personal to me. Sometimes they don't come in the way I though they would or take forever to come but his timing is always right. I prayed and prayed and prayed. The answer I received was very specific: "Go to UVU for a semester and then ask me" For awhile I was like "Serious? I could go on a mission right out of high school. That is the weirdest answer but ok I will do it." 
       So here I am and I love it and now I understand why I needed to come here first. Heavenly Father needed me to experience more of life then just high school. My faith needed to be strengthened but most of all I needed to experience sacrifice. I have a great job that I love, I work with people I love, I am at a school I love, I live with people I love, and my family are my favorite people and I love them. I am going to leave these blessings behind which isn't easy but it is nothing compared to the sacrifice that God made. He sent His only Begotten Son to this earth who sacrificed His own life to pay the price of all our sins.
        With a better understanding of the Gospel and the semester coming to a close, I continued to pray. As I was pondering in church one day, I was reminded of advise someone gave me; "Sometimes we need to take that step of faith to show Heavenly Father that we are willing to serve Him and if it is the wrong step, He will stop you." I was overcome with joy! Beginning the mission process was my 'step of faith'.
         This past month has been a roller coaster of excitement! With that 'Step of Faith' I filled out my mission papers, got my call, and now I am preparing to serve The Lord in Little Rock Arkansas! I can see myself there already.  

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Simple Truth

           President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said in his talk The Love of God "God does not need us to love Him. But oh, how we need to love God!" 
           We all have been through trials in our life that have tested our faith. Oftentimes we ask God "Why me?". There needs to be a change in our attitude if we want to recognize Tender Mercies in our lives. God gives us trials to grow and become humble so that we, through his son Jesus Christ,  can come closer to Him. 
            There are many feelings that can hold us back from this realization. We have to learn to forgive. When we hold grudges against others or against ourselves we are filling our lives with negativity. Negativity is a great shield if you don't want to receive promptings from the Spirit. Laman and Lemuel are prime examples of this (1 Nephi 17:44). I urge you to forgive others and forgive yourselves, if you don't you will drown yourself in negativity. Never did I say it is easy, it is hard, but oh is it worth it to love God for all that he has given you and all the people he has placed in your life. 
I am no expert but there are many talks o-n Forgiveness. 


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Christ is With Us Every Step of the Way.


         Some days I am reminded about how much I am loved by my Heavenly Father. These are the days where everything seems to be perfectly timed or even just the smallest of things happen that give you a smile on your face that was put there by God.
         One day in particular I had one of the days that everything was perfectly time. I felt that my day was perfectly crafted by every heavenly being.
          Pre-cursor to the story so you can have a better understanding of why this particular day was perfect. There was a night that I felt very much alone. I am surrounded by people I love all the time, the men I work with always make me laugh and feel good, the people that live in my apartment building (The Ambassadors of UVU) are incredible people and we are all really close friends, and I love all the people I meet throughout my days. But yet I felt alone. I felt like no one truly understood me or took me seriously. That night I was kneeling in prayer with tears just streaming down my face  because I felt so alone and like there was something in my life I wasn't doing correctly. I had so many prayers that weren't being answered and I was at a breaking point. I was comforted as I finished my prayer and crawled into bed that night. (pre-cursor now finished.)
          The second day after that sincere prayer was given very unusual moments were occurring. I got off work as normal and went to my leadership class and then my Comm 1020 class. Normal right? My last class of that day was English 1010, it had spaced my mind that class was cancelled that day. So I came to find out that indeed it was cancelled as I approached the classroom (one of the happiest moments.) I could have gone home and hung out with people, or eat dinner, or you know do some homework but for some reason I was impressed to just hang around campus. I rode my scooter over to an area right outside the gym and I saw my roommate...
           "Hey Nat, What are you doing here?!" (I hardly ever see my roommates, basically the only time I see them is in the morning before work and at night after, so seeing her on campus was a pleasant surprise)
           "I am about to go to the temple, do you want to come with me and some other people?"
           "No thanks, but I hope you guys have a good time" *WHAT THE HECK?! I love the temple?!?! Why did that come out of my mouth?!* (It was as if someone had put these words in my mouth and they just came out. Here is the weirdest thing.. It felt right to say. The Spirit told me to say this.)
           We departed and I started out towards my car. I called my mom to update her on life, she informed me that the rest of my family members were on campus at a baseball game and suggested I go but yet once again I had another one of those weird moments "No thanks Mom." *WHAT THE HECK?1 WHAT IS GOING ON WITH ME?! Two things I love so much, my family and the temple but for some reason I said 'No Thanks'?? What is wrong with me?!*
            Me and my mom continued talking and after a little while I made it to my car. I was about to get in and drive home when I saw two boys that I am good friends with across the road "Mom I have to go, there are attractive men and I need to be friendly." I ended up walking to their car with them. On our way to their car we met up with a girl named Myra. Little did I know that Myra was in my ward, she told me that she was going to Relief Society. I was hesitant to go but one of the boys looked me in the eyes and told me I had to, this struck my soul. So I went.
            I arrived at the church to find it was a stake activity and there were about 6 girls from my ward there. There was food I didn't want and I just felt that there was something better I could be doing. The adversary was working really hard to get me to leave but I was glued to my chair. I was weirdly guided here and I was missing out on the temple and family, I had to get some spiritual-ness some how.
            After dinner was over a lady got up to spoke and as she spoke I began to be overwhelmed with The Spirit. Every question that was haunting my soul was answered, every burden was lifted, every fear was comforted, every hole was filled. She provided me with information to help me better study the scriptures and receive the answers that Heavenly Father has waiting for me. I knew as she spoke that every single step of the day lead me to that seat, in that cultural hall, at that activity, that night and EVERY step was provided to me by my Savior Jesus Christ because He didn't want me to feel alone anymore. He loves me and His hand crafted that day and crafts everyday to come.