10 Things I am Glad I Did Before I Got Engaged…

#targetpracticeI know… Another post about being engaged. To those who are not engaged or dating someone (especially around Valentine’s Day), I know you want to do a cornucopia of things to me, including but not limited to vomiting on me, punching me, or throwing darts at me.  I have included a picture to print off, including my face in the middle of the target. Sorry, darts are not included. But I know YouTube has a great selection on “How to Make Darts.” I didn’t actually watch any, so if you do, let me know what you think… #targetpractice

So if you are caught up on Life of a Clare Bear, you know I am becoming a bird. I am not suddenly morphing into another animal; I am just changing my last name. I have finally found my “other half” and we are going to be married for time and all eternity. I guess you could say that I am pretty happy. Our period of engagement will be 51 days. It’s fast, but when you know, you know! So I thought I should enjoy these days until I become an old married woman. I wanted to share with you the 10 things I was glad I did before I got engaged. I am not saying these are rules to follow; they are just things that helped me get ready. Everyone is different, we don’t come with directions and so there will be other opinions. All I can say is share them… if you dare 😉

1. Dated Around… I have been on plenty of dates in my single life career. The dates ranged from finding out he was a registered sex offender, throwing up on the boy after a carnival ride and being left 60 miles from home to find my own ride, I have even been on a date with someone who I found out was my cousin later… Now those are my extremes (they are pretty extreme). I have been on wonderful dates too. I have been to see Christmas lights, on scavenger hunts, rock climbing, and broken into a TCBY (he had a key, legal, Idk…) All of these dates taught me something. It taught me what I didn’t want in life. It’s a negative way to look at things, but it made me understand what I really wanted in a future partner. The part I needed most was I needed to be dated out. When I was younger I felt the urge to date everything that moved with no commitment. It took me time, but I realize now it is fun to go on dates with the same person and to have a commitment. Commitment can’t be forced, it can only come through desire.

2. Finished Gilmore Girls (a few times)This show is a guide to life. Okay not really, probably look for a more spiritual resource, but it taught me about boys. I learned that there was always going to be a Dean in your life. Your first love. He would have a special place in your heart, but in the end he would not have your whole heart and that was okay. You don’t have to end up with the first boy you date (you can, but you don’t have to). Then there are boys who are like Jess, the bad boys. They are going to sweep you off your feet and turn you into someone you are not. They will make you question life; you will fall fast and hard… But then you fall out of love in faster. And then there is Logan. Rory dated him for a long time. They were a cute couple and seemed to have it all. SPOILER ALERT, Rory did not accept the engagement ring, and that was her choice. I learned from Logan and Rory that love is a choice, if you make the choice to love the person, you are accepting their best and their worst.

satisfied dr3. Road Trip with your Best Friend… That’s a Girl…The summer before meeting Mr. Bird, I went on an adventure. I surprised my best friend Amanda for her birthday in Skagway, Alaska. I flew there and then we spent a few days making the road trip from Alaska to Boise, Idaho. If you have never been in the same car for 4 days straight, I can tell you that you are going to come out of it loving them or hating them. I came out loving my friend Amanda. One of my biggest fears of getting married was spending a lot of time with the person (because I am an introvert and love being by myself). This long road trip taught me that it was possible. I let down my guard and learned new qualities about myself. It helped me get over that fear.

4. Served in My Church… Now, this can be for any faith, any position, and for any time length. What I am referring to is my mission. I learned what it was like to live away from family and to make sacrifices. I learned how to do hard things and to rely on God. I built a firm foundation of what I believed. I saw families who didn’t live with religious beliefs and they struggled, they lacked something great. I learned and have made it my goal to find someone who wanted the same thing. A family and home built on faith and God. I also learned the value of serving and what it can do for relationships. Serving others can break down barriers and allow you to love someone even when you are mad at them.

5. Survive a Broken Heart. Everyone must survive a broken heart in their lifetime. It is inevitable. I never thought that I would have to. I always had the idea that I would date one person and that would be it. That wasn’t the case for me. My life was a hot mess after break ups. The relationships just never felt right. What I learned from having my heart broken a few times was that I had the ability to care for someone, that I could open up my shallow mind and let someone in. I needed to learn this so that when it was the right time with the right person, I knew I could let them in and care for them the way they deserved. Knowing what a broken heart feels like makes a heart full of love mean that much more.

grad6. Graduate College… One of the reasons I say this is because dating after graduation is a lot less stressful. You don’t have to pick studying for a test over a weekend away. The other reason I liked it, is because I had already defined who I was through what I studied at college. I didn’t have to change my career goals because I had met a boy. I was able to focus my time on school and was able to be successful. When you are spending so much money for your education, it is nice to have it not interrupted. I know this is not always the case, for me it was perfect. I have a one track mind 🙂

7. Have a Grown Up Job… Graduating college led me to a job. I have loved being able to use my degree that I put so much effort into. I have been able to build up a resume, network, and complete projects. I have learned how to work in an office. All of my experience is preparing me to work from home, something that I have craved ever since the snuggie was invented.

8. Build up a savings Account…I am not saying I am a sugar momma, but I am not worried about how many Ramen Noddle’s to buy for Mr. Bird and me. Having a grown up job means grown up money. I have been building up my savings account since I was 12.  Money is something that puts stress on any marriage, whether newlyweds or those who have hit 20 years. Beginning a marriage itself is stressful and it is expensive, saving as much money as you can before would be the smartest thing you could do…

9. Use Private Boards…   It is no secret that girls at a certain age (pretty much from the time they are born) want to plan their weddings. The greatest invention in mankind (not really) was the Private Board function on Pinterest. You are going to have those days where you just want to dream about your wedding. It is natural, but the whole world doesn’t need to know you are planning your wedding before you have met the boy. Let’s be honest, boy’s Google us before they take us on a date. Do you want the first thing for them to see is the 10ct diamond, the tiny baby clothes for your first born, and ways to get along with your husband? I know that they are super cute and you want it now, but scaring them before the first date almost always results in no second date… Perhaps go private on those 🙂

isingle10. Find Happiness in Singlehood… I have seen so many people resort to marriage because they are simply unhappy in their “single” life. I urge you not to make that the reason. Do it because you are in love. Being single is great, at times it may seem not so much, but you have your whole life to be married. Find out who you are and who you want to be, what you like and dislike, find your passions. Learn to be happy when you are by yourself, so that when you find someone you can make you happy you know it is genuine. Getting married doesn’t solve problems; solve some of your problems before your marriage becomes one.

There are so many other things that I am happy I did before I got engaged, but these are the ones that stick out. Valentine’s Day is coming up; I would recommend taking number 10 into consideration. Learning to be happy without a man/woman will make loving them so much easier. The last thing is timing; nothing will happen unless it is the right time, be patient. Now if you hate me even more, the target is below 😉

(C)LV2014

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My Ducks are Finally in a Row.

Coincidence that I got engaged the same day I posted something on single hood? I think not. I knew that my engagement would soon be coming, but I didn’t know if it would be that night or next week. Mr. Bird and I had picked out a day and had already started planning, but I had no idea when the ring would make it’s debut. One of the main reasons I wanted to post one last SINGLE LIFE post was because it was a time in my life that I truly enjoyed and am grateful to have experienced. Mr. Bird and I were talking about how meeting each other was fate. We had grown up in the same town, our houses 15 minutes apart. We went to rival high schools. We even had mutual friends, but we never met. At points I have wondered why this was, and it’s pretty clear… We both needed to figure out who we were before we could find each other. When I was 17 I had a life plan. I was going to go to college and I was going to find my “stallion.” He was going to 6’6, 270 and he was going to have a motorcycle. He was going to be like “Babe, get on my bike…Want to marry me?” We would ride off into the sunset and have 6 kids by the time I was 30 so I could get my body back before the I hit the point of no return. I had it all lined up.

Like I said in my single hood post…Plans change, It’s a thing.

missionI turned 19 and was still single. I turned 20 and I was still single. 21 came and I had this feeling that I needed to go on a mission. It was a feeling I had never wanted. I fought with it for a long time, and then finally accepted the fact that God needed me elsewhere. I turned my papers in anticipating that I would serve for 18 months where ever he needed me to go (within the U.S for health reasons). Max (my little brother) and I opened our mission calls within one day of each other. He would be serving in Bahia Blanca Argentina, and I was off to Tirana, Albania. I had not signed up for that… My next thought was I don’t even get a husband, I am going to die on my mission. Max and I entered the MTC together on January 19th, 2011. He was excelling at Spanish and Albanian and I did not get along. I was so physically sick that I could foresee Albania was not going to be the place for me. My heart was broken, and I was reassigned to the Rochester, New York Mission. I started out strong, I was able to take hundreds of tours and meet people who changed my life. My health never really got much better. It got to the point where President and I decided it might be time for me to go home. As I pondered and prayed I realized going home early was what I needed to do. I was promised that it would be for the good of my future family. Whatever that meant…

I came home after serving 11 months and got right back into school. I started to take heavy class loads so I could graduate on time, I had felt that it was very important. During my senior year at USU I got a remote internship in Boise, Idaho. After graduating my internship turned into a full time job that would require me to live in Boise. I had sworn up and down that I would not go back to Boise, but I would go to graduate school, or find a job in New York.  Boise was the only thing that felt right though. Every time I went to sign up for the GRE I would get this little voice in my head that would say no… I was upset, but I listened.

mini chairThe summer before my big move to Boise I worked as a Coordinator for EFY. I was able to meet so many wonderful youth who have changed me for the better. I witnessed so much heartache, sadness, and sin in these youth’s lives. I also was witness to youth who had courage, strength and a testimony. I met people I knew I was supposed to meet. I thought this is my last chance to find someone to marry… I left empty handed, and moved to Boise. Throughout the Summer I would tell people that I would meet someone on Sept. 3 in Boise. I didn’t know how, when, or where, but I had a feeling.

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recieptI moved back into my parents house and decided to do something I would usually not do. I felt like I needed to though. I signed up for an institute class…and I went. On August 27th I attended the first class and I said hi to Mr. Bird. He said hi back. I had thought he was cute, but he was a BYU boy…. BYU boy’s usually didn’t have much time for us USU girls 🙂 Throughout the week I started to think about this Mr. Bird. It was on September 3rd that he got my number and that is when it all started. As I relive some of these events all I can think is how lucky I am. I was literally led to my husband. If I wouldn’t have come home early from a mission, I would have still been in school. If I had gone through with the GRE I probably would have gone to grad school. I am sure Mr. Bird and I could have met through another function, but it was fate that we were both led to each other.

I am just so grateful for the path that led me here, the trials and the hardships and even the happy moments that got me back to the place I needed to be. My plan of finding a biker dude, didn’t happen, something better did. I found a man who loves me and is willing to do anything for me. He makes me happy, we can laugh and joke, and we can even be sad together. I have found my other half… I can finally say all of my ducks are in a row 🙂

How did he propose? That story next!

Age Means Nothing, You Are Still Loved!

Clare and Great Grandma LouiseYesterday, I was sitting in the doctor’s office for yet another appointment…(I am so good at going to the doctor, it’s ridiculous). One of my favorite things to do while patiently waiting is to “overhear” conversations, I know it’s rude, but I am a people person! Yesterday was one of my favorite visits, not procedurally speaking of course. When I got to the office I had realized that they did not actually schedule my appointment. It’s rough now that I have a 8-5 job to fit things in, and so after some begging and pleading they said if I waited 30 minutes they could see me. I sat down on the double wide couch and begin to read my book. The book I am reading is a great read and I thought it would keep my attention. Boy was I wrong, I had found someone who was much more interesting. I didn’t get his name, but the things he said, I will never forget. From what I over heard he was 92 (yes I had to do some math on my iPhone), he was there Grandma and Grandpa Pwaiting for the only thing he said he was still living for, his wife. He had his grandson (I think) with him, and he just kept telling stories. They were not quiet ones, but loud and boisterous ones like good grandpas tell. Eventually he noticed I was listening, usually I hide it, but I was too intrigued. I found out that he too had graduated from Utah State University, he would have gone to school with my great grandmother Louise. After that he attend University of Idaho and settled in Boise teaching as an Economics professor at Boise State. It was fun to hear about how he wanted to own the family farm but had lost it to his younger brother. He told a story about the night he almost lost his wife during her Collegesfirst heart attack. He would look at the clock and say to his grandson “Damn, you’re still listening to me?” Honestly I couldn’t stop listening. I have always had a fondness senior citizens, many of my close friends are over 55, many find this odd, but what I want to tell those people are: You are missing out. My new found friend said something that bothered me yesterday. He was talking about what to do with his remains when he passed away. After his morbid talk of his afterlife, he said something that broke my heart. He said, “Once we hit 75, they should just take us and let us go if you know what I mean, no one needs us” He did clarify on methods, but I Great Grandma Louisewon’t go there. This was the second time I had heard this in one week from an elderly person. It made me sad. After he said this, I shouted from across the room, NO WE NEED YOU! That’s when I blew my cover and he realized he had an audience. He replied with, “What does a young girl like you know, and why would you care?” As I pondered that question, I realized there might be many senior citizens thinking that exact same thing. I have to tell you something important, we need you. Often we look past you, sometimes you can’t hear us, and sometimes you are grumpy, don’t worry I know tons of teenagers who fit that description! You are who passes down wisdom, our history, and have a pure love. You are at a point in your life where you have seen just about everything, there are some of us who want to hear about it and learn from you. If you are a senior citizen, know that even if you have become “more work” with your health it is an opportunity for the younger generation to do service and have the opportunity to learn from you. If you are widowed and lonely, know there are still people on this earth you can have an impression on. You are not useless, you are needed. I can’t express my gratitude to my senior couples, friends, and family who have taught me so much!

It’s All Down Hill From Here…

Clare Vaterlaus Opening her mission call to Tirana AlbaniaI have reached a monumental milestone. I have been home from my mission now for two years. There still is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about it, or my life is influenced because of my decision to serve. As I look back, I remember when I was contemplating a mission. It was a hard decision. I did not want to go for several reasons. Some were selfish, some were shallow, and some where out of fear and confusion. As I prayed and went back and forth on going, I remember how much I learned to rely on the Lord especially during decision making periods. After I had made the decision to serve I thought it would be downhill from there, well I am an idiot for thinking that. From that point on the Lord began to constantly challenge me. At some points I felt as if it was cruel and unusual punishment, but what I have come to find is that it was to shape and mold me into the person I NEEDED to be for him. At the MTC I started to learn Albanian. Many (especially my sister LVD) would say I still need to master the basics of English, so how was I to learn Albanian? I had never felt so inadequate, unappreciated, and worthless especially while studying with extremely smart elders and sisters. I figured out later that Heavenly Father didn’t necessarily need me to learn the language, but He needed me to learn and think in new ways and not compare myself to others. After about 9 weeks in the MTC and dozens of doctor’s appointments, gross test’s, and medicine it was decided that Albania was not going to be the mission for me. I had to make a decision: to go home or be reassigned. It was another hard decision. I could give up and go home or I could continue with what the Lord needed me to do. I waited for a week and half for my new mission call, while still learning Albanian. I had been reassigned to labor in Sister Clare Vaterlaus Moroni LDS MIssionthe Rochester, New York Mission, and was to serve in the Palmyra Visitor Centers. It was a dream come true for me. In a letter to a dear friend prior to submitting my mission papers I had included this:

“So I have most of the(mission) papers filled out, I am still having doubts but at least I will fill them out and see what happens. My availability date is like December 21! I am hoping that I go to New York Visitor Center…”

This was inspired. I had been having dreams about a grove of trees ever since the idea of serving a mission had made its way into my mind. As hard as it was to abandon the thought of Albania and the love I already felt for the people, I knew it was the place for me. As I said my goodbye’s, and left for New York after 14 week’s in the MTC, I thought this is it, it’s downhill from here. Once again, I am an IDIOT! Once I got to New York, I had a few great months. I was part of the pilot mission of Facebook and Blogging, and I can tell you without any hesitation, that is why I needed to be there. I spent hours blogging and teaching people online. By the time I was done I had had visitors from hundreds of countries and thousands of page views. It was how I was to spread the gospel. I needed to learn that so when I was no longer a missionary with a tag, I could still contribute.

Saying good bye, Sister VaterlausWhen we weren’t tracting(door to door contacting), we were giving tours at the different visitor centers through Palmyra and Fayette. Most of my mission was spent building up members, not finding them. That was something many of the sisters serving in these visitor centers struggled with, not “really” bringing others unto Christ. This was something I LOVED. As someone who had not always had positive views towards church members, or living the gospel enthusiastically this was something I needed to learn to love. I learned that even the strongest member in the church can still be taught, and can still be uplifted. It is a concept that most members undervalue. If we continue to develop the church, we must never forget the people already in it. I was so humbled to have had the opportunity to learn such a valuable lesson early in my life.

When the end of October neared, I was becoming sicker and sicker. It was becoming hard to get up in the morning, and work throughout the day. Every time I ate I would be sick. I had non stop headaches and nausea. I was miserable. It was my Mission President Jack R. Christianson who had mentioned going home and he said I could make a decision, but in the end he would do what was best for me. After praying and reading my scriptures I finally felt at peace. The Lord had assured me that, it was my time and that I had accomplished everything there I needed to. I knew for some reason I needed to go home. Two weeks later, I was on a plane to Boise, Idaho.

Sister Vaterlaus and her Site Book of MormonLife at home hadn’t change, I mean it had only been 11months… My health was still not ideal, but much more manageable. I began school again at Utah State and was back on track to graduate with my class. I started an internship dealing with social media, and continued to learn the ins and outs of the game. I have been able to have great success, and I know I can owe it all to God. I received a great job right out of college and got to jump into the workforce doing what I loved. I never would have discovered my passion for using the internet for good and using it as a career without serving a mission. After going tagless early it was reassuring to know that I could still have an influence on the world always at my finger tips.

Sister Vaterlaus 2 years homeGod teaches us all in different ways, for me it was through serving a mission. I developed an unwavering testimony and learned vital things that will help me throughout the rest of my life. What I love is that the Lord does it differently for everyone and in his time line. As I hit my two year mark I look back and see how everything has fallen into place because I was willing to have a leap of faith in something I was so unsure about. The whole point of us coming to earth it to be tried and tested in ways that will make us grow. The one thing I know is that God never gives us something we can’t handle, He trusts us. I kept this scripture in my mind constantly while serving a mission and still do, Luke 1:37, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”  I am tempted to say that where I am in life now, “It’s all down hill from here,” but I now know better than that… 🙂

Mormon Culture: I’ve Got a Feeling…

looking down the tunnelAs a #TrueMillennial sometimes it is hard to feel like a real adult. Perhaps we would act more adult like if we were treated that way. Last night I attended a Young SINGLE Adult ward activity. Don’t get me wrong, the activity was well planned and the people in attendance were all pleasant. I just am usually not too big on these, the forced interaction until you find someone of the opposite sex to shove that eternal cake into their face on your wedding day, it just doesn’t get me fired up. I am even dating someone currently and was not boy-hunting at the event and felt uncomfortable. The “chaperones” of the night were constantly walking through the gym, not talking to us, but monitoring us, doing hand checks. I mean honestly, if I was going to get frisky with a boy, do you think I would come to a church event to do it, let alone come to the event at all? I completely understand that my choices affect my future. To be fair, not all of our “chaperones” did this, but I feel that many activities are like this and seem to be the common theme. I remember reading a blog post a year ago on this very topic (I can’t remember which one) that went on to describe this concept: How can we be expected to do adult things like choose to get married and have a family, when we are not treated in a way that can facilitate it. I had mentioned this to my boyfriend and he brought up the point, it won’t change it’s Mormon Culture.This is not meant to be a rant against the Mormon culture. There are many who have adapted to it and enjoy it. If there is anyone out there like me, it is hard to be treated like a teen or child just because you are not married. Sometimes I wonder if our current culture hinders us rather than helps us. While serving a mission in Palmyra, all of the site sister met in the temple. The temple president said to us, many of you might not marry, prepare for that, prepare to provide for yourself. This is something that not only shocked me, but many other sisters. As I graduated college, ring-less might I add, I realized that the life of a spinster might be in my future. I started to prepare to provide for myself. I have a college degree, served an LDS mission, have a full-time job with benefits, and own a 39” smart television and Kitchen Aid… I am an adult, what else do you need? I want to date like an adult. So that if marriage becomes an option I am prepared to handle it like an adult. When you go through the ups and downs of marriage, making blanket forts and going to chaperoned dances will not be the answer, still a fun activity to do, but will not help with the trials that come your way. If we can’t be trusted to handle ourselves without stepping over a boundary at a church event, how are we expected to have a successful and faithful marriage? Am I the only one who feels this way? Just some thoughts….

 

(Read it lightly, I did use some sarcasm, (C)LV2013)

PART OF THE RISE OF MY GENERATION

 NYRM Missionary Clare VaterlausI can distinctly remember when my 7th grade teacher explained that when we grew up most of our careers would be jobs that didn’t exist today. It was mind boggling as I tried to wrap my head around the new concept, but all I could think was I want to be in one of those jobs. The rise of the social media profession has reached a new level and will continue to grow. In a recent study from LinkedIn it showed that there has been a 1,357 percent increase in social media positions posted on LinkedIn since 2010. I am part of the rise. I started my career as a blogger when I was in the LDS pilot mission for internet proselyting in Rochester, New York. We were encouraged to use both Facebook and blogs to reach those of our faith and of other beliefs. I used well known LDS bloggers as my inspiration: Al Fox, (who was baptized in my mission, known as the tattooed Mormon), NieNie (a brave plane crash survivor), and even the now abandoned Seriously So Blessed  blog. It was such an adventure as I continued to blog and see the number of views rise. It was a feeling that I anticipated more than opening presents on Christmas morning. I remember thinking to myself, if only this was a job…

When I returned from New York, I realized that this could be a job! I started Clare Vaterlaus Alaska Social Media Consultantto focus my time on learning the ins and outs of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram…the list goes on… so that I could turn this into something profitable. After a month, I received my first phone call to do some freelance blogging for a small company, and then another, and another. It was something I enjoyed. During the first month of my senior year of college I was approached by Don Reiman, a well-known business man in Boise, during one of my visits home. He had heard of my career goals and was interested in offering me an internship. I gladly accepted and started working for Echelon Group. I did about a 1 year internship (not on location) and then was hired on as a full time Social Media Consultant after graduating from Utah State. There were so many that helped me get here and believed in me, and I owe it to them. God works in mysterious ways, but He will use you and your talents in ways that fit you best. If I could go back and talk to my 7th grade teacher, I would have to tell her she was right, I found a career that once did not exist.

(Here is a cool infograph on the rise of the Social Profession)

rise-of-social-profession

FACE THE CHALLENGE

YOUTH, you will face challenges every day, like President Monson said, it is inevitable. We cannot PICK and CHOOSE the trials we go through, but we can CHOOSE how we get through them. It is our attitude and pure hearts that will help us make it through the trial. I know that many of you are “looking the bull in the eye” right now. What I have come to learn is that through the atonement, Heavenly Father will give us that strength we need to get through the unfortunate events. It all starts with our FAITH! Our FAITH in the atonement will give us strength as we stare the adversary in the eye…

 
Now the question is how will you face the challenge?

Behind Enemy Lines

“I say again that youth today are being raised in enemy territory with a declining standard of morality.” -Boyd K. Packer

I loved the talk Counsel to the youth that Elder Packer of the quorum of the 12 apostles gave in the October 2011 General Conference. He spoke to the youth! He talked about how the youth are being raised in enemy territory, and honestly that is the best way to describe it. Youth, you are behind enemy lines. There is so much sleaze around us in this world, that we start out on the wrong side. In the talk he gave a great story about listening to the Holy Ghost. I think that is one of greatest tools as we go out into battle in enemy territory. I know that as we continue to read the Book of Mormon, Pray, attend Seminary, and go to Church, it will only act as ammo for the Holy Ghost to work with us. Youth, you have the chance to be in this dangerous territory, use it to your advantage. It is time to suit up for battle and win :]
“If you are slipping into things that you should not slip into or if you are associating with people who are pulling you away in the wrong direction, that is the time to assert your independence, your agency. Listen to the voice of the Spirit, and you will not be led astray.”
-Boyd K. Packer

The Only Drug I Need is LOVE

“I must also say a word concerning illicit drugs. You know how I feel about them. I don’t care what the variety may be. They will destroy you if pursued. You will become their slave. Once in their power, you will do anything to get money to buy more. ”  -President Hinckley

“I was amazed while watching a television program to learn that parents introduced drugs to their children in 20 percent of the cases. I cannot understand what I regard as the stupidity of these parents. What future other than slavery for their children could they see in them? Illegal drugs will utterly destroy those who become addicted to them.”

-President Hinckley
While serving a mission I was been able to see MANY people with addictions. It is truly the hardest thing for those we taught to overcome. The addiction runs their lives and controls them completely. It can be anything from alcohol, cigarettes to hard drugs. President Hinckley is right when he says you become a slave. We taught a family about the Word of Wisdom. At the end of it they brought us all of their cigarettes. We gladly took them so it was no longer a temptation. Even though the temptation was gone they have still had problems, the addiction overcomes you and you feel you can not say no.
   I was able to teach the Word of Wisdom a lot throughout my mission. After praying about a particular woman we were working with I had a dream. In my dream we had sat down with her and she had put all of her cigarettes on the table. One by one we took a sharpie and we wrote things that she was missing out on life because of her addiction. When I woke up, I realized that was my answer. Later that day we wrote on the cigarettes with her and in the end it helped her to quite smoking.
If you feel the need to try something that you KNOW you shouldn’t, stop and pray. Ask your loving Heavenly Father to give you the strength to overcome the temptation…Don’t become a slave to something that will only cost you.
“My advice, my pleading to you wonderful young men and women, is to stay entirely away from them. You don’t need to experiment with them. Look about you and see the effects they have had on others. There is no need for any Latter-day Saint boy or girl, young man or young woman, to even try them. Stay clean from these mind-altering and habit-forming addictions.”
                                                                           -President Hinckley

Pictures With a Price

“And while I speak of such matters I want to give emphasis again to the matter of pornography. It has become a $10 billion industry in the United States, where a few men grow rich at the expense of thousands upon thousands who are their victims. Stay away from it. It is exciting, but it will destroy you. It will warp your senses. It will build within you an appetite that you will do anything to appease. And don’t try to create associations through the Internet and chat rooms. They can lead you down into the very abyss of sorrow and bitterness.”
-President Hinckley

We complain about prices of gas, clothes, food, and housing. Now I am going to complain about the price of pornography. I love what President Hinckley said about it, you will do anything to appease that addiction, that is a price that we CAN NOT afford to pay. The addiction of pornography is a scary one, it is not worth the heart ache that comes with it. Not only is the person who is committing the sin harmed but family members and friends.
The addiction starts with the simple things, the curiosity. We need to make sure we are staying away from things that can arouse those feelings and that addiction. I know that many families don’t even keep underwear adds in their house because it can trigger that curiosity. Try and keep yourself as far away from the adversary as you can. I know it sounds hard! However it starts with one bad movie or song, something which seems so innocent which leads to a price that is much too high to pay…….If you have an addiction now, its not too late, seek help from parents, bishops and your loving Heavenly Father.