Sunday, June 16, 2013

God Gave Me a Dear Earthly Father

Today is Father's Day! I am so blessed to have such a kind and loving father! The primary kids sang a song in Sacrament Meeting today called "My Daddy Reminds Me." It goes:

"I lived with my Heavenly Father before I was sent to the earth, but I do not remember the sound of His voice, for that was forgotten at birth, but daddy when your arm's around me I feel so safe in your love. God gave me a dear earthy father, so I could remember His love."

"I lived with my Heavenly Father before I was sent to the earth, but I do not remember the look in His eyes, for that was forgotten at birth, but daddy when I look in your eyes I seem to recall how it was. God gave me a dear earthly father, so I would remember His love."

I love this song! It's so special! I'm so thankful for my Heavenly Father and His love for me! I'm so grateful that He was willing to send His son, Jesus Christ, to atone for my sins so that I may return to live with Him someday.  I'm forever thankful for my earthly father who has supported me and helped me grow into the person I am today.  He has taught me so much and has always reminded me of his love.  It's true...God gave ME a dear earthly father so I could remember HIS love.

I'm so excited to go share that love with the people of Argentina in just under 3 months! Can't wait!!:)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Temple Trip

June 10, 2013

This morning I had the opportunity to go to the Provo Temple to do an endowment session with two boys that I've known since I was 6 years old, Spencer Kerby and Adam Myler.  It was such a cool experience!  Spence leaves on Wednesday for the San Jose California Mission, and Adam leaves in a week and a half to the Ukraine Dnepropetrovsk Mission.  They're such good examples to me! Good luck, Elders! See you after a great two years!

100 DAYS!

June 3, 2013

100 days people! In 100 days I will be set apart as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Just 100 days until I begin the 18 month journey that I've been preparing for my whole life.  Let the countdown begin!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Alma Academy

Where do I begin?!  Alma Academy is a 48 hour activity that my stake does for young men and young women who have their mission calls, or will be receiving their mission calls in the next year.  The prospective missionaries are given companions and a host family.  During our 48 hours as "missionaries" we were required to follow all of the mission rules.  We had to wear a name tag, go to bed at 10:30, wake up at 6:30, study the scriptures, and dress in appropriate mission attire.

In a nutshell, our time spent at Alma Academy was a mini MTC experience.  We had gospel discussions, we learned about our purpose as missionaries, we taught lessons to "investigators."  The atmosphere was so incredible!  I loved every minute that I was there! I seriously cannot wait to be a missionary!

I learned a lot at Alma Academy:
  1. No one is perfect, and missionaries are not an exception to that rule.
  2. Missionary work is not easy because salvation is not an easy experience.  Why should it be easy for us when it was NEVER easy for Him?
  3. The Savior rarely gets rid of our problems.  Instead he strengthens us and our ability to cope with our trials increases.
  4. Never forget what a sacred privilege it is to wear the name of Jesus Christ over your heart.
  5. Our responsibility as missionaries is to invite the spirit and remind people of what they already know.
  6. Obedience is IMPERATIVE to success as a missionary.  Don't complain, don't make excuses. Just do it.  The Spirit's companionship is a direct result of obedience.
  7. It's easier to be 100% obedient then it is to be 99% obedient.
  8. Be where you're supposed to be, when you're supposed to be there.
  9. "RM Syndrome" is not automatic. Everything you learn you have to work for. You change through consistency.  From consistently studying the scriptures, saying meaningful prayers, listening to the Spirit, etc.
On the last night of Alma Academy we had a Q&A session with some recently returned missionaries.  It was really neat! The Spirit was so strong! It was so obvious how much the missionaries LOVED their it killed them to leave.

I want to share a quick story Elder Shurtleff shared about his mission.  One of the young men asked, "how do you get over the fear of talking to people?"  Elder Shurtleff served in Ukraine speaking Russian and Ukrainian. He quickly explained that the fear of talking to people never went away for him.  He said that every time he approached someone he had to overcome a personal battle...sometimes he lost and sometimes he won.  When he lost that battle he thought for sure that he was going to hell and that he was an awful missionary.  But when he would win, even if the person was rude or was not interested, he always felt good.  He then said, "You are a MISSIONARY.  Talking to people is your JOB. It's what you DO." Another missionary piped up and said that one time while riding on a public transportation bus in Germany he spent 20 minutes praying for the strength and the courage to talk to the person sitting next to him.  He was proud to tell us that he finally got the courage to talk to the guy even if it took 20 minutes!

I LOVED Alma Academy! I feel so much more confident and prepared to serve a mission! It's gonna be hard, but it will be totally worth it!


Recently I had the opportunity to spend 11 days with my best friend, Corbin, and her family in Oklahoma before we both leave on our missions in September.  She is going to the Peru Lima North Mission! Anyway, while we were there Corbin and I had the chance to go to the Oklahoma City Temple.  I did a session while Corbin did baptisms.  It was only my third time doing a session so it was really intimidating and I didn't really know what I was doing, but one of the temple workers was there to help me.  I got to go through for a sister with my mom's maiden name.  It was such a special experience that I will never forget! The spirit was so strong!

While I was in Oklahoma we also had the missionaries over for dinner.  It was so exciting! We ate a delicious dinner and then the Elders left a short message with us.  They read Moroni 8:25-26 which says,

"25. And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins;"
"26. And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God."

They then shared their testimonies of how important it is for them, as missionaries to have that hope and a perfect love like the Savior's, and they encouraged us to look for our own missionary experiences. It was really sweet.  I can't wait to be a missionary!

The House of the Lord

April 23, 2013

This morning my sister, Emily, and I went through the Mt. Timpanogos Temple together for our first times.  It was like a dream!  Mom was our escort, and we were accompanied by dad and Emily's fiance(and now husband), Craig.  What a special experience! The spirit of peace and love that dwells in the House of the Lord is unlike any I've ever experienced.  As a young child I can't count the number of times that I sang the words of the popular primary song, "I love to see the temple."  The words are so simple and yet they have so much importance: "I love to see the temple, I'll go inside someday.  I'll covenant with my Father; I'll promise to obey."  The temple is one of the greatest blessings we've been given on this earth.  I'm so thankful for the opportunity I have to attend the temple regularly and worship my Heavenly Father in His house.  I love the temple!

President Shaw's Challenge

During my Stake President's interview for my mission papers, President Shaw asked me to commit to doing three things:
  1. An hour of scripture study every day (Book of Mormon, PMG, Ensign, Conference Talks, etc.)
  2. Kneeling personal prayers morning and night
  3. Attend the temple every week
As I started doing these three things faithfully I noticed an immediate change in my life.  I am more sensitive to the Spirit and His promptings.  I am learning so much about myself and about the gospel.  I am more patient.  I am happier, and I have come to love the people of Argentina, which is amazing because how do you love a people you've haven't even met yet? I'm not even sure...I just know that it's possible because I really really do.

All About Argentina

As anyone who has ever received a mission call knows, after you open your call it's nearly impossible to stop thinking about it.  I was no exception.  For the next 72 hours I thought of nothing but Argentina and my mission. I spent hours looking at anything and everything I could find about Comodoro in my mission packet and on the internet.

The Comodoro Rivadavia Mission is a new mission opening on July 1 of this year.  It covers the very southern tip of Argentina. In fact, the first thing my brother, Matthew, said when I opened my call was, "Are there penguins??" As it turns out, there are penguins in southern Argentina!

My Mission President and his wife are from Lindon.  Their names are President and Sister Rogers.  He was a former Stake President and some of my friends know him!! I've only heard great things about him.

Argentina is not your typical South American country.  It is very European. In fact, most of the population isn't even Hispanic.  They eat lots of beef and pork with lots and lots of Italian food.  The population in Argentina is over 90% christian, Catholicism being the most predominant religion.  And the weather? Well, it gets pretty cold.  Here's a snippet of an email sent from a missionary who served in the area I'm headed to:

"You'll be cold...take your most frigid day and drop a bucket of ice down its pants, and even then you won't know what the cold down there is like.  You'll be serving in one of the few missions in the world where sleeping bags are an absolute necessity.  You'll be so cold that showering is not only unnecessary, but avoided at all costs.  You can see the ice forming on your skin before you can dry yourself off.  You'll be cold from fall to spring.  There is NO WHERE to go to get warm...central heating is nonexistent.  You will get cold and you will stay cold.  It will hurt to breathe, and you'll learn that it is totally possible to conduct a productive companionship study while cocooned in sleeping bags. There was nothing in my experience to prepare me for the cold of an Argentine winter."  YIKES!

I LOVE learning about Argentina!

President and Sister Rogers

Called to Serve

April 17, 2013 - 8:30PM

Dear Sister Heath,
You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  You are assigned to labor in the ARGENTINA COMODORO RIVADAVIA MISSION.  It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.
You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday September 11, 2013.  You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Spanish language.

I can't believe this is really happening! I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! I'm so thankful for the unique opportunity that I have to serve the Lord and teach the gospel to the wonderful people of Argentina for the next 18 months:)

my family:)

Corbin, Ben, and Elise

Spencer and Trent

The White Envelope

Wednesday April 17, 2013

Exactly two weeks from the day my papers were submitted, I got a text from my mom saying that my mission call had arrived.  The plan was to open it at 8:30 that night. Well, there goes my day.  I tried focusing in class and failed completely and absolutely.  It was finally time for dad to pick me up from my apartment and take me home.  At 7:00 that night a good friend and fellow ward member, Trent Blackman, opened his misison call and I got to be there.  He opened his call and read the familiar words, "Dear Elder Blackman..."  Trent got called to Budapest Hungary! He left just six short weeks later.  He was so excited, but I could tell his head was spinning.

I walked home and tried to mentally prepare myself for what was about to happen.  When I walked in the front door to my house, I saw it. There it was. The big white envelope sitting so casually on the family room mantle.  I only looked at it for a few seconds before retreating to my room and praying harder than I ever had in my life.  I prayed to know that Heavenly Father was sending me where he wanted me to be, and that I would be happy with wherever that was.

I didn't want a huge crowd when I opened my call, so it was just my immediate family, my roommates, and three of my good guy friends.  8:30 finally rolled around.  It was time...

The Long Wait

Emily's wedding was less than a month away.  Finals week at BYU was coming up faster than I could prepare for.  I was getting ready to say goodbye to lots of my friends for two years.  I had to get ready to move out of my apartment.  And I was preparing myself to go through the temple to receive my endowments.  And yet, I could only think about one thing. My mission call.  It had been assigned.  My fate had been decided.  It was weird knowing that in 5 months I could be almost anywhere in the world.  And I had no clue where that anywhere would be.  All I could do was wait. And wait. And wait some more.  People kept asking me where I wanted to go, as if that's what is most important.  I always said Spanish speaking, but beyond that I never had an answer.  I wasn't overly concerned about the "where" of my mission.  It was the GOING part that I was excited about.  Although I have to admit that secretly, if I had been forced to choose, I would have said Chile or Argentina.


On Wednesday, March 27, 2013, I started my mission papers.  Hoorayyyy! I got my TB test done and a few shots and later that night I met with my bishop to begin the process.  The next 72 hours were crazy busy.  Between keeping up in my schooling, work, and doctors appointments, dentist appointments, paperwork for my mission, and meeting with the bishop again when I had finished it all I was feeling pretty stressed.  By Sunday evening I had completed my papers and only needed my final interview with the Stake President.  My mission papers were submitted on April 3, 2013 exactly one week after I started them.
[I had to hurry as I was hoping to get my call in time to go through the temple with my sister before her wedding and then hopefully attend the sealing ceremony, but my August 1 availability date made it so I couldn't turn in my papers until April 3 (exactly 120 days before).  It was gonna be really close!]

Missionary Fireside

November 14, 2012

Tonight I had the privilege of attending a prospective missionary fireside given by Elder Banks of the Quorum of the Seventy.  It was so neat! He and his wife served as Mission Presidents in Scotland.  They shared so many exciting and funny stories that happened during their time in Scotland, but the remark that really stood out to me was in response to the recent lowering of the mission age.  He said, "The bar has been raised high.  Properly prepare yourselves NOW so that you don't waste time in the MTC.  Study Preach My Gospel and the Book of Mormon, teach with simplicity and in your own words, and keep yourself clean by living worthily."  In that moment I began to realize how much the Lord really expects of us as missionaries. After all, missionaries walk around with a name tag that labels them as representatives of the Savior Jesus Christ at all times.  Elder Banks went on to testify that "there is a reason you get called to where you're going.  You are assigned to your mission by inspiration because that's where the Lord wants you to go.  There are people there who need YOU."

The spirit was so strong as he spoke and shared his testimony, and I left with a resolve to do better, to study more effectively, and to pray more meaningfully. Elder Banks concluded with a promise.  He said, "A mission will be the most rewarding experience of your life. Not the easiest by a long shot, but definitely the most rewarding.  There is no need to fear. God will be with you and help you.  Don't let the Lord down.  You will never have an experience like this again in your life."


Everyone remembers singing the Primary song all those years ago, "Saturday is a special day..." Well, for missionaries, Wednesday is a special day.
  • Every Wednesday young  people eagerly await the arrival of the mail hoping it brings with it that big white envelope with their name on it.
  • Every Wednesday I receive countless invites to mission call openings.
  • Every Wednesday my facebook news feed is overloaded with the announcement of new mission calls.  
  • Every Wednesday hundreds of missionaries report to MTC's all over the world.
  • Every Wednesday hundreds of missionaries leave the MTC and report to their Mission Home's all over the world.
  • Every Wednesday my anticipation and excitement about missionary work continues to increase.

The BIG news!

October 6, 2012

Today started out as a normal day, but it turned out to be one of the most memorable days of my life.  In the Saturday morning session of General Conference President Thomas S. Monson announced that, effective immediately, young men will be eligible to serve missions at the age of 18, and young women will be given the opportunity to serve at age 19.  That moment was life-changing for me. Three years. I was supposed to have three years to think about, plan, and prepare to serve a mission. Now the opportunity is a short 8 months away.  To quote one of my good friends, "Just when I thought I had the next year of my life all figured out, good ol' Tommy Monson threw a curve ball."  It's true. This announcement has drastically affected the lives of thousands, maybe even millions of individuals.  All around me I see young men and women altering education plans, work plans, and life plans to answer the call to serve the Lord.  BYU students are going crazy...everyone is trying to sell housing contracts, meet with their bishops, and rush to their dental offices.  All of this is kind of scary to me. I'm filled with excitement and wonder, but am I ready? I guess it's time to find out.

My Mission Blog!!

Hey everybody! Welcome to my mission blog! I've decided to begin my mission blog a little early so that I can share some of the experiences and feelings that I've had since President Monson shocked members of the Church all over the world with his announcement of the change in the mission ages for young men and young women.

I guess I'll start off with a little background of myself.  My name is Amy.  I was born in California in a small town just outside of Los Angeles called Pasadena, but I grew up in Happy Valley Utah.  I am the second of four children.  My parents are wonderful people.  They raised my siblings and me in the Church and have set great examples of how to live our lives in accordance with the gospel and its teachings.  I recently finished my freshman year at Brigham Young University where I am planning to pursue a degree in Exercise Science.

I have always had a desire to serve a mission and follow in the footsteps of my mother and grandmother.  My mom served in the Hong Kong Mission, and my Grandma Springer served in what was then the California Nevada Arizona Mission.  There are so many other people who have set wonderful examples for me by serving missions including uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, and neighbors.  But perhaps the one that stands out most in that group of "others" is one of my biggest heroes.  My dad.  He served an honorable full-time mission in the Wellington New Zealand Mission.

As I'm preparing to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints I can't even begin to describe the excitement that I feel.  Despite my own inadequacies, I trust President Monson when he says, "Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies."