I've been called as a Relief Society teacher! I wanted a teaching calling SO BADLY, and my bishop said they've had this one in the wings for me for a few weeks now. I'm so excited!

So my first lesson is on The Infinite Power of Hope, a talk from the 2008 General Conference by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. I couldn't have asked for a better topic, or a better talk. It's full of really important information that I feel really confident I can do a lot with, especially in light of almost all of my recent experiences. I can honestly say that preparing this lesson has been a capstone to those experiences, allowing me to sort through them internally in order to better understand many of my weaknesses, and how to turn them into my greatest strengths.

Some would find this to be really surprising coming from me, but I never realized that hope was so fundamental to everything about the Gospel. I mean, I understood long-suffering and its place within the promise of enduring to the end in faith, but I never understood that hope was the same thing as an abiding trust in God to help us do that. Once I learned that, it was like all these gaps in my understanding came to my attention and I understood exactly what was missing from my life. Talk about a revelation--this is something I desperately needed to hear.

I only got my assignment on Sunday and I don't have to give my lesson for another two weekends, but I was excited to get started--and I'm learning so much that I needed to know. I'm hoping I'm not the only one that will end up benefiting from this lesson, but I have another two weeks to work it out so I should be fine.

In other news, our branch's temple trip is this weekend, and I'm naturally very excited about it. It's the first time I will have been in the temple since my father died, and I'm very curious about what that will be like. I'm also eager to leave a lot of my burdens with the Lord and to commune with Him in His temple. Being in D.C. again after so long will also be a beautiful experience, and I'm looking forward to taking my first evening shots. Fellowship with my new friends is also a great plus as well. All around, it's going to be a great night!

And in other other news, my prayers have been answered thus far about getting up to the Hill Cumorah Pageant. It occurred to me about a week ago that I REALLY would like to go and since I'm in the east and it's a righteous desire, there should be nothing stopping me. I tried to pitch the idea to my mother and she pointed out many flaws--the price of travel, the distance, the price of lodging, etc. So I did what any faithful Latter-day Saint freshly out of her teens would do.

I made a Facebook status about it. Then I prayed.

And wouldn't you know it--a girl from my single's ward REALLY came through for me by putting me through to a Young Single Adult's conference in Pennsylvania that will be staying up there VERY cheaply. Now the only hindrance is transportation, which I'm still trying to work out. If all goes according to plan, what would have required a 6 hour drive can be cut in half, taking this whole outing from extremely unlikely to highly doable. I'll definitely keep praying about it and see how far we can take this. It's another one of those instances where you pray, expecting not to get an answer, and the Lord surprises you once again with how much He's willing to come through for you if you're asking for something that's worth having and you're willing to put in your share of the work. And--you guessed it--that makes me VERY excited.

Very excited, indeed. :)

Truth Eternal Tells Me I've a Mother There

Without further ado, let's do a scriptural deep-dive on Heavenly Mother. I've put a lot of thought into the best way to create a lon...