Friday, August 22, 2014

Its OUR time.

Dear YOU,

I LOVE BEING A DAUGHTER OF GOD. WOW! It is our time to become. To become like God. Time is so short, and I wish there was more of it in a day. But at the same time, realize that change is a PROCESS. It takes time. Refining and BECOMING takes consistent, hard work and effort. I have started this blog as a continuation of the blog that I had on my mission. For those of you that are first time readers, my name is Brooke Weenig. I recently returned home from serving an LDS mission in Washington DC Spanish Speaking. It was the best 18 months FOR my life. How I longed to stay with the people there, and continue to watch them grow and succeed, but my mission has changed. I no longer have a badge over my chest, but I wear it in my heart. I am choosing to BE WHERE MY FEET ARE. I am here, back to good ol' Orem, UT. And just like you, I am here to make a difference in the world to become something much better than I currently am. That is why God sent us here. To become more than we currently are. Missions are hard, but then again, that is what makes them so incredible. Anything in our lives that is hard is meant to stretch us and make us more than we currently are. ANYTHING that doesn't stretch you, doesn't help you grow...which then frusturates your inner self and Spirit that God has given to you, that has a natural craving to GROW, CHANGE and DEVELOP.

"See through His eyes" has become my new slogan for life. There are so many people around us that NEED and are STARVING for love---which can be expressed in something as simple as smile, a sincere compliment or a simple act of kindness. But so often we get caught up in the busyness of life and forget why we are here on the earth. God puts us exactly where He needs us right when He needs us to be there if we are living the best we can. I have been reading a book called, "7 habits of Highly Effective People" written by Stephen R. Covey. It is changing my life and I invite you to read or re-read it if you haven't in a while. One thing that has jumped off the pages of his book and has become apart of my life in the past couple weeks has been the idea of paradigm shifting. We cannot change the people around us, but we can change the way that we see others and the situations that we are put in. Instead of using our energies and efforts to try to change others, we can look inwards at ourselves and honestly ask, "What action can I take to change myself in order to better act in this situation and see this situation through different eyes?" Often, we as human beings are so quick to judge and to take offense if something doesn't go the way that we think that it ought to. People are imperfect. That is why we are here, to refine to let go of the natural, ugly, nasty man/woman that is inside of us. So why waste an ounce of energy getting worked up about when things don't go our way? LOOK at what you can BECOME because of the circumstances you have been put into.  BE PROACTIVE and pray to see through a different set of eyes. The paradigm shift that I have been working on, is rather than criticize, compare or complain about others, I am determined to look within myself and change who I am before thinking about how others must change, or how I am always right. Because I am not always right. We are all His children, we all have great ideas, and we all do dumb things sometimes. But that is how we learn. So, we can choose to embrace the learning experience by striving to see each other with loving eyes, or we can choose to be upset and worked up about it. CHOOSE to look through God's eyes---see ALL people with love. Starting with yourself. If you don't love yourself, you just can't love others. This is OUR TIME TO LOVE. SPREAD LOVE WHEREVER YOU GO. Let people remember you as the "one who always loved me." BE that person.

MIRACLE. This past weekend we had the opportunity to go up to Park City to see all of the sights and go down a couple of the rides at the Olympic Park. The night before I had prayed to show someone God's love for them and share the Gospel with them. I prayed again in the morning. When we got up to Park City the lines were AWFUL. It looked as if we would never get to the front of the line. But God's plan is perfect. Just in front of us, this boy of about 15 years of age was being chewed out by what looked like a family member. He was being treated like an idiot. I tuned into the conversation, and realized this child was being demeaned and ridiculed. He was trying to be patient and respectful but frustration was written all over his face. The woman who was chewing him out stayed at the bottom of the lift and this boy jumped on the lift with his head hanging down. As I got on the lift up towards the Alpine Slide I thought, "FIND HIM." So I hurried and got off the lift, and we found him. He was standing in the LONG line right in front of us, and it was blazing hot outside. PERFECT. We began to chat. We talked about his life, his dreams, his passions. His dreary face started to light up. He was only a 15 year old boy named Jake from California that was visiting his aunt, who had been quite hard on him for the past week. He was not a member of the church. Our conversation led, naturally, to the Gospel. I was able to teach him the restoration, the Book of Mormon and the Plan of Salvation, just while we waited in line. But the incredible thing was is that is wasn't FORCED. It was natural. He had heard and studied a bit about the church, and so he had a ton of questions. We chatted, and while we waited in line for 2 hours, we become great friends. Jake will be my friend forever and I know that someday he will be baptized. But the most incredible part about this experience was feeling the love of God for Jake. By the time we got to the front of the line to get on the Alpine Slide, I was sweaty, happy and filled with love. And I had made a life-long friend. My exhilarating experience was not the Alpine Slide that day, it was stopping to care for someone in need. God LOVES His children and wants them to feel it. And usually it is through YOU and I that others can feel that LOVE OF GOD. TAKE EVERY CHANCE YOU CAN TO LOVE OTHERS. Instead of looking at your phone, checking Facebook or Instagram, or judging...trying LOVING the person next to you. Sometimes it'll require things that aren't standing in the hot sun in a 2 hour line in Park City. Sometimes it will be as easy as a smile to someone you don't know. We are all here fighting this battle, there is not a moment to waste on feeling inadequate or worried about yourself. There are people who need YOU. Now is the time to LOVE---yourself, God and all those around you. I challenge you to pray and look for opportunities everyday to show your love to someone new. God will light the way. BE THE ONE WHO ALWAYS LOOKS TO LOVE BEFORE STAYING IN YOUR OWN BUBBLE.

The transitioning stage back into the "real" world has been different than I thought. Change brings--well-- change, and that is what I love about it. Sometimes it isn't always what I want at first, but it ends up being exactly what I need to become the woman God needs me to become. The Lord is continuing to teach me about the aspect of change. Our lives are made up of little small moments that, in turn, create us and shape us into someone GREATER than we ever imagined--if we let it--if we embrace it. Every time that there is a change in our lives, we change. We are pushed to our limits, and often feel like giving up. Which, at that point, there comes two different roads that we can choose to take. We can choose to succumb to pressure, loose ourselves and give up our standards, or we can choose to stand up, love and serve others and stand strong, though we may feel abandoned or clueless to what we are doing with our lives. The world is constantly shifting and changing, that is why I am realizing more than ever how crucial it is to be built upon a rock that never shifts. Christ never changes. Build on Him.

Always remember...
You are His. That is why there is SO much more to you than you think. So much more to be. So little time. Use it well.

Your biggest fan,

Brooke Weenig

The chance to show love and kindness to someone can come in the least expected waiting in line for the Alpine Slide.