Last weekend was the ‘General Conference’ of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, of which I am a member. This semi-annual occurrence, is 2 days of instruction, direction and inspiration given by the church leaders from the headquarters in SLC, Utah. The conf. is broadcasted to over a hundred countries and languages, reaching as many as possible. It is something that I look forward to and truly enjoy… the messages of hope and reminders of how to be better… more like Christ. This October, I was watching it online in streaming video at KSL.com. How AMAZING that I was able to see it right away, total video-on-demand!! Seriously, I LOVE technology!! That is even better than it was just 6 months ago here in China.
Anyway… The whole thing was just so awesome, so inspiring and perfect for me…what I needed right now… but at the very end, the Prophet, Pres. Thomas S. Monson gave the concluding address, and I have been thinking about it all day. His message was (in a nutshell…or what I took from it) was a reminder to embrace CHANGE, and to enjoy the journey! To make the most out of TODAY! Be the best person you can be… move forward and make happy memories! … (obviously these are just a few little highlights, he talked about a lot of stuff)…
Tonight I have been going back through my photos of this last year… thousands of them. We have been here just over a year, and I remember that it was this weekend last year that we went to the Great Wall for the first time. I can remember my sense of wonder and amazement. As I slowly browsed through my iphoto, tears would well up… chuckles of laughter would come…so many smiles came to my lips as floods of feelings, memories, lessons, challenges, firsts, friends and experiences came to mind. I am overwhelmed at the MEMORY of the last year of my life. The move, the schooling, the babies, the new circumstances, and everything such a learning curve… all of it just hold so much emotion… so much growth… and for all of it… I am so thankful. And I would not trade it for anything. It’s been the best experience, opportunity and RIDE of my life. (so far).
I could never have planned this last year. Eric and I still laugh about how UPSET I was when I learned that it would be necessary for us to come here. and now, I can’t IMAGINE not coming. It’s funny how things that you sometimes fear, and don’t understand, can be the best thing that you ever did; and can open up doors of opportunity that you never even imagined possible.
As I look back at the photos of me…and I look into my own eyes… I can remember where I was, what I was feeling. I can remember the things I was struggling with or excitements that I was feeling as I was experiencing so many new things. As I contemplate who I was, and who I am now because of being here, because of significant CHANGE, and being willing to go with it… I am amazed, and thankful at my own personal growth.
Pres. Monson reminds us in his talk that the only constant in our lives is CHANGE…and it’s so true. I think that we resist change because it’s scary ,and it requires learning and adaptation. Some things happen to us that require change… and then there is also the changes that we know we must make within ourselves… that we can choose. It’s not the ‘new year’. It’s not my birthday. It’s not a new school start, or summer vacation.. it’s just plain old middle of Oct, but I am feeling inspired to make some changes: in the way I organize my day… from work, to playing with the babies, to planning and preparing meals. I have been in such a SURVIVAL mode, it’s time to reformat my life and work smart. I have a lot of priorities, none of which can really get cut out… so I have to pull it together.
I just appreciate the reminders from the Lord of what is really most important, and the encouragement to do and be better. It’s like a big breath of fresh air.
I just have to share these 2 photos… one was taken the other night… Cathernie (who came on the tour) brought these cutie PJ’s from target for the babies, knowing that I was missing my ‘target’ fix. … and this other one was taken just last summer, about a month before we moved here. this photo seems SO LONG AGO, can it possibly only be one year? Oh, babies are so fun. They are just at the funnest, funniest ages. Capri’s new thing is to tell us ‘you are so funny’. We must tell her that a lot!