Friday, September 30, 2011

Welcome to my Life...

Sometimes I have so much I want to blog about...that I blog about--none of it. Yupp. True facts.
Here goes a shot at what's been most recently on my mind... (HA! That's a lie. There's been too much on my mind for that to happen. But, hey, it's worth a shot.)

FACT: Tomorrow is October 1, 2011
FACT: Tomorrow is General Conference
FACT: I need it.
FACT: The Bishop tends to challenge us to attend the temple before General Conference
FACT: I did.
FACT: That happened today.

The San Diego Temple
It doesn't matter which temple it is though...
Because they're all the  House of the Lord. 
That right there.
That is what I love so much.
It has been way way way too long since I've been there.

General Conference was just an excuse.
I needed to go there anyway. So I did. Last night, before I knew if we (my friend and I) were actually going today, I was ready to just drop everything and go. My homework didn't matter, sleep didn't matter, nothing did. The necessity of that renewed experience in my life overruled everything else.

I wasn't wrong.
The temple held something special for me today. I feel like I haven't truly tried to connect with the Spirit in a while. It took me a while to break the barrier there. I could feel all of it surrounding me, yet there was something inside of me closing off and refusing to accept what it needed so badly.
Throughout all of it, different thoughts came and went. A few times I began to nod off...I felt bad at first, but I soon stopped. Know why? It makes sense. The temple is so full of peace, sleep is a natural thing to come along with it. What better place, what safer place, can you think of? Just my opinion though. Scriptures are a bueno thing to have with you. I have found the scriptures there are nice enough, but when you have your own, you can mark them. Which I needed to do today. Holy moly did I need to. I've never had so many scriptures just jump out and dance around me head. So much blue ink covered the pages I read! Oh the beauty... :) 
From the moment I stepped into the temple-- p.s. going to the waiting room first is a MUY BIEN plan. They usually have a video playing and it honestly helps settle in the Spirit before you go do baptisms...or whatever you're going to do. I like it. A lot.--to the moment I left...actually, about an hour and half after I was more than I ever realized I needed. 
Sometimes Risa gets answers in the temple. Answers to questions she's had for years. Questions Risa assumed would never be answered. Answers to questions Risa tears herself up over. Questions Risa tries to pretend don't bother her. Questions Risa needs answers to. And Risa got them. Risa wasn't even asking for them...she was just minding her own business, reading the scriptures. BAM. "Hi, I'm just going to make you read these passages and be hit by several points that you can't deny. Then I'm going to make you think about them and then re-read them so you understand more. Then think some more, realize something else, re-read it again to double check you understood correctly, and continue on your merry thinking way. K, thanks--bye." 
Well okay then. Let's just ponder that for a second there shall we? Man, once I started to accept the fact that I really had gotten that answer, it was like the barrier between me and the Spirit just dissolved. 

Thing is..that was just a glimpse of what the temple was like for me today. It was so much. I feel like I learned so much and finally felt a peace and serenity life has been withholding from me as of late. I'm so going more often. Just sayin'. But, if you wanna come...just let me know :)

I think...that's all I'm going to say for now. BUT! (if you buy three completos....) I really hope you all of a weekend far beyond fantastic. It's conference weekend. Let's be real. We all need it. Enjoy it to the max. Take full advantage of the opportunity to listen to these insanely intellectual deciples of Christ. Don't throw the opportunity away.  I know I used don't be like that--it's not worth it! 

LOVE YOU!!! :) 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cliche Moments. Deal with it.

For the first time I was actually grateful for my dog.
It's a phenomenon. 
Who knew this day would ever come? (Okay, that's a lie, there was a different time I was more than grateful he was my dog--but that's a different story.)
But he did a great thing for me last night. Fun Fact: one of my favorite things in the whole world is nighttime walks. 
Problem: I'm a girl. Therefore, it's "dangerous" to walk alone at night.
Stupid jerks that kidnap people and make my parents paranoid. (Okay, it's really just because they love and care about me and there are legitimate fears for my safety. It's annoying though...who'd want to kidnap me anyway?)
However, last night my lovely dog and I got permission to go on a walk alone together. Just the two of us. For cute!;) It was so nice! He proved to be quite the listener. I thought he'd chat it up with a bunch of barking--he didn't. Maybe we can be friends after all...maybe. 

Walks have a tendency to help me think through things. 
Lately, I have just been really confused. As I walked, I'm not even sure completely what I thought about. Here are a couple things though:

I am so blessed to live where I live. There are so many people across the world who plan and save up their entire lives to make it to the temple once. I literally live within a few minutes walking distance from one. How is that fair? And why don't I take advantage of that fact? I should be going way more often than I do. 
I don't know people as well as I think I do.
I demean the things I go through. The thing is that I know people who go through ten times worse than I do. So I sit an tell myself how stupid I am for being upset over little things and then everything gets ten times worse. You know what? Yes, I definitely do have it better than so many people. But that doesn't mean the things I go through aren't hard for me. For once, it was good to admit that. In a weird obscure way, I needed to know that. 
My past is tied together in ways I didn't realize. 
I'm not the same person  I used to be. At all.
Nerd moment: I was looking at the temple, and then around at the rest of the world as it sparkled with lights scattered across the city. It just kind of hit me at how symbolic it all was. There are so many lights in our lives. So many pieces of truth. So many moments that relieve us from our darkness. But none of it suffices until we reach the temple and stay there. The Lord can shed light on us like a streetlamp shines down on a road; it helps us have the light we need for the time being. It's enough for whatever we're facing at that moment--but you can't see beyond that, which is okay, because at that instant, you don't need to. And each light lead to another one. It gets scary though, because there are moments when you have to take a step in the dark and you have no idea what you'll face. But, if you choose your path right, it can lead to the temple which shines brighter than all the other lights combined. That's where I want to be. That's my goal. I am not settling for anything less. I can't.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

High School.

High School...was such a foolish invention. Who's idea was it to stick a bunch of teenagers in the same place for 7+ hours a day (depending on any extra activities you might potentially be involved in). Teenagers. Why. Just...why. 
Okay, so let's be real. I love high school. I love learning, and I love the activities I'm involved in and I love the people I'm friends with and continually get to meet and just...pretty much everything. *Although I do hate that people don't get good grades as a result of desire to learn but in an effort to simply get a good grade because they neeeeed it. But--whatevs.*  
I have recently re-discovered I'm not very good at the whole...forgiveness thing. I should probably work on that. Just maybe. I get a little certain teenagers that act so much like stereotypical teenagers. Then I have to remember that I act like I'm five. So..that's probably worse. 

Moving on. 
Seminary Thought

First off--Can I just say I love Seminary? Funny story. Once upon a time school started up again and I went to a little Seminary assembly thing. There was a certain teacher that I've bunches of great things about. However, when I listened to him in said assembly, I was not super impressed with him as I'd hoped. It just didn't seem to me that our senses of humor matched up. As soon as the thought entered my mind I knew he'd be my next seminary teacher. *I secretly foresee the future* I was right. Not gonna lie--I was slightly disappointed--Which is terrible, I know! Especially because I've always always always loved my seminary classes, even when I doubted my teachers. The second I let them teach what they teach by the spirit, I loved every last one of them. Why should this teacher be different? Guess what. He's not. I love that class. 
Previously I stated I've absolutely loved every seminary class I've had. That's so full of truth I can't handle  it. They were all what I needed. Welllllll, that being said, I don't remember ever having felt the Spirit so strongly in any class I've ever had before this one. It just keeps hitting me over and over and over again just how strong it is. 
The gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints is true guys. It really is. It's something you won't ever know unless you search for the answer yourself though. No one else can do it for you. 
On to the actual Seminary Thought. 

The other day we were talking in Seminary about the difference in time between us and God. 
 Us                                            God
1,000 yrs                                            1 day
  500 yrs                                         12 hours
250 yrs                                           6 hours
125 yrs                                          3 hours
25 yrs                                            36 min
16.7 yrs                                          24 min

We've existed as Intelligences for...forever. Something we cannot comprehend, but we've actually been fighting for the right for millions of years before we ever came to Earth. 

We were the only world wicked enough to crucify our Savior...that's why he atoned for our sins on this world. So...basically we live in the most wicked time of the most wicked does God expect us to defeat Satan when he everything seems to point in the direction of our failure? Oh. We're his strongest spirits. He saved us for NOW. When he needed us the most. When it was most critical for us to be here and battle Satan. 

So. We've been here (or at least I have) on this Earth for approximately 25 minutes. We've worked millions of years before even venturing down here to fight for God. And, God is in dire need of our assistance here. All of us. 

Do I really want to give everything I've worked so hard for--even if I can't remember it--for some thing that's popped up within the time span of...25 minutes? After so long? Is worth it? Really? 

All of that compounded together along with the fact that wickedness never was happiness....just makes all those temptations around me look a lot less enticing. Just a bit. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Two words. 
Personal Narrative. 

Wanna know a secret? I actually really love writing. 
Wanna know another secret? Writing terrifies me. 

Make sense? 
Probably not. 

My English teacher joked about how we're going to have book love in that class. We're going to obsess over diction and tone and all that stuff. Well by my reaction to it--you'd think I hate it. False. I really love it. The thing is that I'm terrible at it. I am simply not an amazing writer. I wish I was. I absolutely love words and the way some people can just weave them together into the most beautiful pieces of art. So I sit there in that class and often get terrified in ways I haven't in a long time. I don't feel quite adequate to be there surrounded by so many people that pick up all these little details I never noticed but felt the effect of. 

Our assignment due for next class  period is a personal narrative. We have to communicate messages through it. I...don't know if I can. I have a story. I have a parallel you can draw from it. I don't know how to mesh them into one thing and allow people to draw the parallel purely from diction I use in my story. I love the idea of it. I love reading examples. If only I could do it. 

Secretly...the thought of other people reading my writing terrifies me. It's this sick combination where I really want to share it--but it scares me too much. Maybe it's some fear of having people reject it. I dunno. 

We have to have our narratives peer edited :( Alas. I can do nothing about it. Except...not do the assignment. But, that's a bad plan.

 "And I feel like I'm naked in front of a crowd, 'cause these words are my diary screamin' out loud, and I know that you'll use them however you want to."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

In The End

Sometimes you just need to cry. Sometimes things just suck. Sometimes you just don't want to talk about it. Sometimes you just want to escape. Sometimes you just want it to disappear. Sometimes you get mad at yourself for hoping for things to be different. Sometimes you just get mad. Sometimes your self esteem gets beat up. Sometimes no one knows that's what they're doing to you. Sometimes people don't understand that what they're saying does, in fact, "discredit you". Sometimes they don't understand that that was not what you needed. Sometimes you get jealous. Sometimes you forget your worth. Sometimes it's so easy to want to not be you. Sometimes you don't want to pretend to be happy. Sometimes you feel stupid. Sometimes everyone tells you you're wrong for feeling that way. Sometimes people think that telling you all the reasons your wrong for feeling sad helps. Sometimes telling you you're wrong just makes it worse. Sometimes it just proves your point. Sometimes people don't get that. Sometimes you just have to blast music that explains your feelings. Because, sometimes, you don't know why you tried so hard for nothing. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

"You Won't Be Seventeen Forever ...

...And we can get away with this tonight."

Have you ever had those moments, where you just sit back and say, "I. LOVE. My. Life." And you can't even imagine what more you could ask for, because you have everything you need?
I know I have. I know I've talked about one of the previous times on here during the summer. But that, comparatively speaking, was nothing compared to this weekend. It was still an amazing moment for me, but this weekend...has been incredible for me. That moment...was not just a moment. It's a moment that kept coming back. Like a stalker.
I'm not saying I've never been this blessed before, because I probably have. But, I don't think I've ever recognized being this blessed before. 

September 2, 1994. 
Seventeen years ago, I was born. Against all odds, I was born. Against everything Satan tried to do to prevent that birth--even years before I was even seen in the picture--against all of everything, I was born. Sometimes I still wonder why God went through all that trouble to make sure I was here. More often than not, it doesn't feel to me that it was worth all of that. Yet I have to admit in my heart, that it was because I am His child. Satan cannot thwart God's plan. Nothing and no one can. So, that's why I'm here. Because God said so.

So here I am, seventeen years after the deed was done, starting on my eighteenth year. I'm growing up. And I've never been truly alone a single step of the way. There are times throughout these years I've felt alone. Feelings such as that were lies. Deceptive and false. You know what though? There have been other times, when I've felt as if it would be impossible to be more loved. This weekend has been one of those times. 


  • My friend stayed up until midnight so they could call me to tell me I was beautiful and be the first person to wish me a happy birthday. 
  • Three of my friends diligently awakened around 4:00 am to come heart attack the car I drive to school with sweet and silly but hilarious little messages. 

  • My A Capella class sang to me. Awkward, but funny.
  • Four of my friends went out to lunch with me, one of which insisted on paying for me.
  • Same said friend also purchased a loaf of bread I wanted--never got to eat it, but that's okay:)
  • A "17 things I love about you" post. 
  • One of my friends ventured up to my house from across town just to deliver a present. They didn't even stay to actually SAY happy birthday until I made them. :) 
  • Drew with sidewalk chalk.
  • My sister in the MTC managed to get the letter she wrote me to arrive the day of my birthday.
  • After three of my good friends had joined me, we all piled into the car to pick up another very good friend.
  • Birthday Balloon tied to the back of the car.
  • All five of us decided dinner at the Pizza Factory was a good idea. (Again, I was not allowed to pay.)
  • She's the Man. Need I say more?
  • Massages.
  • Another friend joined us around 9:45 pm.
  • All of us went to get fried ice cream. 
  • Same friend that called me at midnight texted me rather late to wish me Happy Birthday again in hopes of being the last person to wish happiness upon my day. 
  • 12 straight hours with one of my best friends.
  • Several hours with some of my other best friends. 
  • My mom allowing me to do things I never get to (drive around all my friends, stay out till midnight, do basically whatever I want..)
  • So much love poured on me. Calls, comments, smiles...everything. 

I can't believe I get to call these people my friends. I really can't. I'm so lucky. Thank you all for making my life wonderful. I had someone randomly text me that day and say "It's easy to be sad but fun to be happy." Well, yeah. You know, it's really quite true. It's easy to focus on all those negative, sad, unhappy, frustrating things of life. "Positives come and go, negative accumulate." Which is why it's so much harder to hold on to that positive perspective. 
People talk all the time about how worldly things, money, etc, don't bring happiness. Problem is I think we let ourselves allow those thoughts to sneak their way into our lives anyway. Or at least I do. My thoughts convince me that if I only...looked prettier, dressed better, was smarter, more talented, this, that, and the other...if only, if only, if only then it would lead to the chain reaction of happiness. Here's the kicker, the chain reaction is always postponed by a new material, shallow piece of the whatever the world says. And since the world changes its mind every day, it becomes impossible for the chain reaction to ever end in happiness. 
I realized...that this has been pretty much the best birthday I've ever really had. Ya know what? I didn't have a big party. I didn't get a ton of presents. Sure I got a few--but they weren't hugely expensive stuff. They were things with meaning. What made it such an amazing birthday was who I was privileged to spend my time with. Just being with them was enough for me. 

Thank you all for being such amazing friends.