Monday, June 24, 2013

Last Day before I'm a Missionary for 18 months!

Today is the last day before I am set apart as a missionary. Well ish... I get set apart tonight. Which means I am officially a missionary, I have to live by the mission rules and such.

Tomorrow I leave for Utah and Wednesday I enter the MTC.

I'm so excited, nervous, scared, happy, sad... really any emotion I've felt it in the last few days.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Farewell Talk: June 16, 2013

Topic: The key to strengthening our families is having the Spirit of the Lord come into our homes. The goal of our families is to be on the strait and narrow path.

Good Afternoon Brothers and Sisters my name is Miriah Loosle. In a week and a half I will be going to the MTC in Provo to start my mission in Charlotte North Carolina. I am excited to serve the people of North Carolina. When the announcement was made last October that Young Women could leave at 19, I was so excited because I have wanted to serve a mission since I was 12 or 13. I was ecstatic that I could serve 2 years sooner than I’d hope. Deciding when to go was a different story, but as I prayed and studied, I knew that now  was the right time to go.
            “The Family is ordained by God…Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful…families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.” – From the Family, a Proclamation to the World
            Each family is different and unique, just like each member of the family is different and unique, so I cannot tell you what specifically you need to do to strengthen your family and keep them on the strait and narrow path. However, the key is to strengthening our family’s is to have the Spirit of the Lord in our homes.        
            Elder Robert D. Hales, in April 1999 gave a talk on Strengthening the Family. In his talk he says that he knows each family and family member is different, but he gives suggestions on how we can keep strengthening our families. I would like to expand on a few of them today.
·         First: Make our homes a safe place where each family member feels love and a sense of belonging. Realize that each child has varying gifts and abilities; each is an individual requiring special love and care.
Everyone knows that they are different from everyone else, but sometimes we get so caught up in treating ourselves differently, that we forget everyone else has special needs too. Each family has different circumstances, some families have a lot of children; some families don’t have any. Some families are close in age and others have years between them.
As many of you know, in my family we adopted Sam when we moved from Guam to Texas. When he came into our family each one of us, my parents, myself, and my brothers, had to tweak the way we communicated with Sam, because his communication skill were less than average. As he grew accustom to the way our family did things, we became comfortable and now he fits right into the Loosle’s. 
·         Second: Spend individual time with our children, letting them choose the activity and the subject of conversation. Block out distractions.
Spending individual time with each family member is important in getting to know them, their likes, dislikes, favorite things.
In the Book of Mormon, in Second Nephi, it is at the end of the prophet Lehi’s life and he is giving specific council to each of his sons. He knows them and loves them individually. Lehi did as much as he could to teach his family and keep them on the strait and narrow path. Sometime, even when we do all that we can, some of our family members fall away, like Lehi’s sons, Lamen and Lemuel. But like Lehi and Nephi, the best thing we can do is continue to pray for them and have faith in the Lord that everything will work out in the end.
·         Third: Build family traditions. Plan and carry out meaningful vacations together, considering our children’s needs, talents, and abilities. Help them create happy memories, improve their talents, and build their feelings of self-worth
Some of my best memories from when I was growing up are my family vacations that we took each summer. Each summer my dad’s entire side of the family goes to Lake Powell in Southern Utah to spend about a week on a house boat with each other. While some times we get on each other’s nerves, I think I grew closer to my aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins over the years seeing them every summer, even when most of us moved away from Utah.
Planning family vacations, even with just immediate family, can strengthen family bonds with siblings and parents. They create memories that children can look back on and have to tell their own kids. They will also be more willing to plan their own family vacation when they have families of their own.
·        Last: Many adult members of the extended family do much parenting in their own (way). Grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, cousins, and other family members can have great impact on the family.
My own aunts, uncles, and grandparents are a great blessing to me. If most of them were not active in the church, I don’t know how close I’d be to them and my cousins, and if I would have as strong as a testimony as I do.
I will always remember when I was little, on one Sunday a month; my extended family would get together at my grandparents’ house and have a big family home evening. We would have a big dinner, where the cousins would have their own little table, away from the adults. Those dinners and playing with my cousins, I grew closer to them.  I hope that my little cousins and brothers can look up to me and see me as an example that they want to be like in the future.
We all have that one family in our mind that is the perfect family, they always have Family Home Evening, they read the scriptures every night, say morning and evening family prayers, they eat meals together, they have activities together. In our minds they are what we want our families to aspire to be, but the truth is, we’re judging those families. We don’t know what their circumstances, what trails they might be going through. When we are looking for what our own families need to work on, choose one thing at a time, maybe one a month to work on. Don’t compare your family to other families in the ward, stake, your neighborhood, or even your extended family.
From the beginning, Adam and Eve taught their children the gospel and had the Spirit in their home. In Moses 5:12 it says, “And Adam and Eve blessed the name of God, and they made all things known unto their sons and their daughters.” If you want to aspire to be like a family, aspire to be like Adam and Eve’s family. Even though Cain fell off the path, they tried their best to teach their children the right way.
            The last thing I would like to talk about is the Family section of For the Strength of Youth. It says, “Strong families require effort. Your family will be blessed as you do your part to strengthen it.” Each of us have a sacred duty to help strengthen our families. Whether we help by reminding our parents to say family prayers, or help our parents with dinner, or get to know your children individually.

I know that this gospel is the true gospel of Christ. He died for every single person on Earth and was resurrected so that we all can return to live with Him and Our Father in Heaven. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, like those in times of old. He saw God the Father, and His son Jesus Christ, in the Flesh. He restored the Gospel of Christ and Thomas S. Monson leads the church today as the Prophet of God. I know that through this gospel you can find happiness beyond what you can comprehend. I am excited to serve the Lord in North Carolina  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Choose The Right

In the church we have a saying, "Choose the Right". From Primary (the classes we go to as kids, ages 3-11) we learn this phrase. We get our first CTR ring, that turns our figures green if you wear it too long. On most standard CTR rings the CTR is on a shield. To me, it helps me remember to wear the Armor of God all the time. 

When I was 9, my family went on a road trip across the country. We started in Utah (where we lived at the time) and travel East toward Illinois and Ohio. Illinois and Ohio have church history sites (that's why we were going). In Nauvoo, Illinois I got my first "real" CTR ring. It had the CTR shield, and the ring part was made of different colored flowers. I loved it and wore it everyday until it broke when I was 12ish. 

I've wanted to get a new CTR since then, but never did. This past week while my boyfriend was in town, I got a new one. He gave it to me as a going away present. My friends (and family) have all asked the question, "Is it a promise ring?" To that I say, "It could be". And it could, but no one really knows what will happen in a year and a half. Although, I would love it to be, I'm also staying realistic. 

-Sister Loosle

Monday, June 10, 2013

Boyfriends and Missions

My personal suggestion, don't get a boyfriend before you leave for your mission. Now don't get me wrong I love my boyfriend and he is awesome! But it just makes it that much harder to leave him behind and focus on the Lord.

I met him before the announcement for the younger age was made, but we didn't really become close friends until after the announcement. When we first got together I had doubts about going again. I starting thinking if this was what I was suppose to do, or was I suppose to stay home, get married sooner, start a family, etc. I prayed about it for a long time and knew that a mission was the right thing to do.

The reason I bring up the whole boyfriend thing now, is because he's coming this week, this week also being my farwell. I really can't wait to see him, but I'm also scared. I've gotten use to not seeing him everyday for the past month, and now he'll be in Austin for a week. We'll see how it goes.

But again, and don't get me wrong having a boyfriend is great, but if you're deciding to serve a mission, stay away from getting one. It hurts to leave them. And you never know what can happen while you're gone.

- (Soon to be) Sister Miriah Loosle

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Who? What? Where? When? and Why?

Who? - I am Miriah Loosle, but for the next 18 months I will be Sister Loosle. I am 19 years young and love life.

What? - An LDS Mission! This past October (2012) the Prophet of my church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or Mormon to the common public) announced that Young Women, instead of serving a mission at 21, they can, if they want and are eligible, serve a mission at the age of 19. I was so excited when he made that announcement because I have wanted to serve a mission since I was 12.

Where? - On February 20, 2013 I got my call in the mail. I was up at school (Utah State) and I was so excited! For the next 18 months I will be serving in the North Carolina Charlotte Mission. The mission itself takes up about half of North Carolina (the west half).

When? - Ops already answered that! :P The next 18 months! To be more accurate, I will leave to the Mission Training Center in Provo on June 26, 2013 and to North Carolina a short 2 weeks later! It's crazy that I will only be officially trained for 2 weeks!

Why? - When I was about 12, my ward had a mutual night where we learned about Sister Missionaries. Some sister who had served and some who were serving came and talked with us. I don't remember what was said or even who was there, but I do remember the spirit that I felt when the sister bore their testimonies about missions. At that time I was struggling to find my own testimony about the church, but when I heard their testimonies, I knew they knew the church was true and I told myself that if I found out that the church was true, I would serve a mission, because I wanted to be like them. I wanted to share the gospel. A few years later my stake put on a musical called Savior Of The World. During rehearsals and performances, I gained my testimony. Since then I have wanted to share the gospel to everyone. At that time I planned to wait until I was 21 to serve a mission, but with the recent age change I have decided (through prayer and scripture study) that this is the right time for me to serve a mission.