7 Ways Not to Write Your Missionary

Keep in contact with your missionary without complicating the work. It’s Monday and your inbox is bombarded with weekly missionary emails—stories of being chased by dogs, sprinklings of foreign jargon, and endless retellings of miracles. Now it’s time to write your missionary a response. Missionaries love receiving letters, but could… Continue reading

In My Afflictions: Missionary Trainer for Two

After spending weeks as a missionary punching bag, I stopped fighting and got down on my knees to call for backup. I bit back my words as the three of us walked to our apartment. The tension between us was palpable and strangled any patience I still maintained. I was… Continue reading

When the Waves Come Crashing

When life is really hard and we feel like we’re drowning, God will help us if we cry out to him. Waves were crashing around me—monstrous waves. I couldn’t breathe. I was drowning. Panicking. Flailing. I was on my bed, anguishing about the storms in my life, when Ether 2:24–25… Continue reading

My Mother’s Prayer

I’ve seen the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise in Doctrine and Covenants 19:38 many times. That blessing was particularly meaningful one night on a train in Europe. When I was a junior in high school, I and 80 classmates in AP European History went on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe.… Continue reading

My Dad, the Ultimate Babysitter

Little did I know that babysitting would involve doors I couldn’t open; a child I couldn’t communicate with; and my father, who could do both. A small army of children were piled haphazardly on top of each other watching a movie. I was their proud commander, keeping them confined to… Continue reading

Unknowingly Prepared

I had no idea the Lord had been preparing me to enter the temple. Now I see how he led me step by step. I guess you could say I was in a rut. I did the same thing every day: school, work, homework, sleep. Meanwhile, my friends were going… Continue reading

Imperfections Are Not Limitations

Weaknesses are part of human nature. But if we give our imperfections to the Lord, he will shape us into something beautiful.  We’re all imperfect and thus have weaknesses. Oftentimes, we see these limitations as failures. We aspire to reach our full potential but are unable to reach that point… Continue reading

Giving In to Compliments

Because I wanted to be humble, I used to focus too much on my weaknesses. Now I understand that God wants us to grow confident from our successes. “We talk about being kind to everyone and filling our speech with love, but whenever you say even one nice thing about… Continue reading

Pursuing Happiness

Happiness comes when you live the way that happy people live. Everyone wants to be happy, but in today’s world it seems that happiness is becoming an impossible pursuit. Still, there’s something that resonates with truth and hopefulness in Joseph Smith’s words: “Happiness is the object and design of our existence;… Continue reading

At a Crossroads: Learning by Study and by Faith

When two of my greatest dreams seemed to be at odds, the Holy Ghost taught me they could complement each other beautifully—but only if I remembered to put God first. As I walked home in the rain, I found myself dreaming about gathering around a mahogany table stacked with books… Continue reading