Saturday, July 28, 2012

Neil, I'll be your diamond!

Yes, I love Neil Diamond!  Tonight was the third Neil Diamond concert that I have been to and I think that it was the best yet!  It was at Rio Tinto stadium.  My Dad gave my Mom four tickets to the concert on Mother's Day and wanted us girls to go together.  It was a blast!  And I don't know how we ended up with such amazing seats but they were the bomb!  We were on the floor, center stage, eight rows was amazing!  Neil was seriously only a few yards from us!  We enjoyed all of the songs by dancing and singing our little hearts out!  Some of my favorites include Cracklin' Rosie, America, Hot August Night, Sweet Caroline, etc. etc. etc.  All of his music is pretty fantastic!  By the end of the concert we decided that we are going to be his back up dancers one day.  You just wait and see!  Dad, thanks for the awesome night and Neil, thanks for the amazing music!  Even though you are in your 70's, I still think you are quite the stud!

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Yes, today was the third time that I have given a talk in the last 2 1/2 months.  It is always a little stressful and scary to give a talk, but I think it is much more of a blessing!  I have loved having something specific to study for and to think about all day long.  The first talk that I gave was in the Sunday session of Stake Conference about a week after I moved back home.  When the counselor in the Stake Presidency called me in to give me the assignment he told me that I could choose my topic but that he wanted to think about something in my personal life that I could share.  I prayed so hard to know what to say and to be led by the Spirit.  Although I was hesitant to do so, I decided to talk about my diagnosis and struggle with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease.  I focused on how trials and adversity in our lives are really a manifestation of God's love because they allow us to grow and become more like Him.  Since I do not talk to people very openly about the whole thing, I didn't really know what to say.  But I did my best in preparing and prayed that my words would be able to touch at least one of the hundreds of people there.  After the meeting I was talking with my family and a few ward members when a lady came up to me.  With her eyes filled with tears, she thanked me for the words I had spoken and how much she needed to hear them.  She proceeded to tell me that her daughter served a mission.  About a year into her mission she started to have really bad allergies.  Her mission president, who was a doctor, prescribed 7 rounds of antibiotics in a period of only 3 months.  The antibiotics ate up her insides and urine started leaking into all parts of her body making her deathly ill.  She came home very sick and was admitted to the hospital with many physical as well as emotional problems.  She has undergone surgery after surgery and now, 13 years later, she is still in the psychiatric ward at LDS hospital.  I could not believe all that her daughter had gone through and was continuing to go through!  The woman told me that my experiences gave her hope that her daughter would one day be able to see the good and blessings amidst all of her trials.  She asked for my number so she could contact me just to talk when things were rough.  I felt so inadequate to be able to help and comfort her but I realized then that the Lord was helping me and strengthening me to be an instrument in His hands.  I was very humbled and thankful for that experience.

My second talk was on Mother's Day.  I was so excited to have the opportunity to speak about mothers, especially my own mother.  I could brag about her all day because she, to me, is perfect in every way!

Today I gave my third talk with a high councilman in another ward.  I was asked to speak on pioneers. It was so wonderful to be able to reflect on what the pioneers mean to me and what I should be doing to become more like them and, ultimately, more like the Savior.  I am looking forward to the 24th of July and really turning my thoughts to my forefathers.

It has been a great blessing for me to be able to give talks.  I have felt the Spirit and my scripture studies have been more focused and meaningful.  I love that Heavenly Father knows just what to give us when we need it most!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Franklin Buchanan Family Reunion

The major event of our summer has come and gone.  Last week we hosted the Franklin Buchanan family reunion at our house.  Franklin is my Grandpa's father and so all of his siblings, their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were invited.  We spent months preparing for this event and we were blessed with so much help, many miracles, and countless answers to prayers!  By the time everyone started to show up on Friday night at 5:30 we were ready to party!  We ended up having around 180 people mom's cousin traveled all of the way from Washington to be there!  And the oldest couple was my mom's Aunt Neva (92) and Uncle Vance (98)!  They were troopers!  We did a lot of activities including the "Knowly"wed game, watersides, a mechanical bull, doughboys, etc.  By Saturday at 5:00 we were pooped but it was all worth it!  Thanks to everyone who came and everyone who helped!  It was a huge success!  If you would like to join us for the next reunion (cause, come on, you are all practically family) it will be here from August 9-11!  Bring on another bash!