Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My Heart Is Happy

A talk that has been on my mind a lot lately was given in the April General Conference by President Uchtdorf. His talk was titled Grateful in Any Circumstances. In his talk he shares the thought,

"Our loving Heavenly Father knows that choosing to develop a spirit of gratitude will bring us true joy and great happiness.. Have we not reason to be filled with gratitude, regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves."

 I think many people can agree with me that college courses are not the most fun of tasks. Simply because  the endless essays, tests, and presentations leave you stuck on a date with a box of tissues. And I am positive there are girls who can agree that having your best friend on a mission hurts your heart. While others may not be able to relate to my circumstances, I know that it is not always easy to be optimistic in our endeavors. I often find myself saying "i'll be happy when". But as I have pondered this talk, I have come realize that there is so much to be grateful for.

I'm grateful for my parents who have always supported me in my interests. I'm grateful for their guidance and encouragement to get a college education. I'm grateful for the gospel which provides a sure foundation and standard for the decisions that I make. I am grateful for the way my religion defines me and shapes me into the woman I need to be and the wife and mother that I hope to become. I am extremely blessed to have my sweet Alex serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am grateful for his example and for this time that I get to support him. I'm grateful for his family who is so kind to me and treats me as their own. I am grateful for my roommates who can make me laugh till I cry & not to mention will sing Hannah Montana and One Direction songs with me at the top of our lungs until we all pass out with exhaustion. And the list goes on and on..

Life has never been a flat and paved road. Choices were never meant to be easy. But we will always have control of our attitude : and that can make all the difference. 

Short and Sweet Updates

-365 days since I graduated high school.
-1 year of college done & only 1 more semester of prerequisites left.
-5 months until I apply for Dental Hygiene School.
-6 months and 8 days since I last saw my Elder Sorenson. I am 1/4 of the way done, Yipee!!
-There is a blog for Alex's emails if you want to see how he's doing: elderalexsorenson.blogspot.com
-I was just called to be the 3rd councilor in the Relief Society Presidency & I couldn't be more excited.
-I think I hold the record for the shortest amount of time working in a call center before quitting. I believe "call center" is self-explanatory.
-My Heart is Happy.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

An Account of my Last Six Months

In the last six months of my so called "pre-adult years" I have experienced much and in return learned and grown tremendously. For lack of a better way to organize, I am going to group my story into months. So here we go:

August: August 26th, 2013 I loaded up my KIA and drove to Provo, Utah with my parents. Eager to take in the college experience, I was ready to move out, be on my own, and start a whole new chapter in my life. Little did I know, this event would be one of the toughest things I have ever done. My family has always been the most important thing in my life and I knew that I would miss them a ton. What I didn't know was that I would soon be buying round trip plane tickets every month.. well my dad's credit card would be. And it's a REALLY good thing he missed me too.
Lesson #1: Never take your family for granted. Everyone and their dog knows that people don't know a good thing until it's gone, and I can fully attest to that. I am so blessed and grateful to call my family "all

September/October: These two months are pretty much a blur in my head. Being my first semester at college, I kept myself busy studying and doing homework. I turned into quite the textbook worm.. not my fondest memories. However, during this time I also managed to fall in love with the idea of having a pet. Two things: 1. My apartment complex does not allow animals. 2. My parents may or may not have told me it was a bad idea and yes, I did it anyway. For two weeks, with any free time I managed to squeeze in, I looked for bunny breeders. And lucky for me I found one. Not to mention the breeder was tired of breeding and decided to give the babies away for free. So I jumped on the opportunity, drove to American Fork, and got myself a baby bunny. It was what you could call love at first sight because as soon as I saw him I took him home and decided to name him Ollie.
Lesson #2: Allow yourself to have fun. If your goal is to be miserable in college do what I did and stay home in the apartment every night studying. Now if you have a big test or essay due, don't procrastinate. But also enjoy being a kid and enjoy the time you have to free your mind for a few hours.
Lesson #3: No matter where you are or how creative you are, your parents know Everything. While I thought I was being sneaky in the process of adopting a bunny.. my parents knew.. the WHOLE time. Luckily, we still just laugh at it.

November: November 8th I had a special round trip ticket to Arizona for two very important reasons. The first reason being: My baby sister Londyn made the decision to be baptized. Londyn was baptized on Saturday, November 9th, and it was quite the extraordinary moment for her as well as it was for me. As I watched Londyn beaming with happiness and excitement it reminded me of the never-ending joy that we can feel from following the counsel we have been given and living and following the commandments. The true joy that comes from obeying is like nothing I have experienced before. Londyn was dressed in white, pure and clean, and a radiant and beautiful daughter of God. The second reason for flying home was that my best friend was leaving for a mission. Many of you have read my previous blog post about my missionary and while I love to brag and talk about how amazing he is, I just want to touch base on what I felt that weekend. On Sunday November 10th, Alex gave his farewell talk. Emotions crowded my head and my heart was heavy but his pure and personal testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ touched my heart. To this day I am a proud girlfriend and grateful for the decision he made to serve a mission. He and countless other missionaries continue to be an example to me of trust and faith that the Lord, Jesus Christ, has a plan for the gathering of Israel and we as LDS members have a calling and responsibility to assist in the gathering.
Lesson #4: I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church on the earth today. I have a testimony that Jesus Christ lives and loves each one of us. When you are struggling and facing hard times, remember to "Doubt your Doubts before you Doubt your Faith."

December: December was finals month and also vacation month for me. I finished my finals December 18th and then flew home to Arizona, December 19th, for a blissful and memory filled three weeks.  While I was at home I was able to spend time with my family, going to dinner, seeing movies, visiting the Mesa Temple, going shopping, watching my sisters play soccer, running with my parents, watching the little girls horse riding lessons, and also playing games from sunset to sunrise. I pretty much have the funnest, silliest, craziest, busiest, loving and most supportive family I could have ever asked for. I love them with every bone in my body. While I was at home I was also able to spend a lot of time with Alex's family going to dinner, playing games, making Walmart runs, and exchanging presents on Christmas. They never cease to make me feel loved and I am grateful to have them in my life.

January: Now we are in January of 2014, and I am back up in Utah going to school once again at Utah Valley University. This semester I am taking Biology 1010, Psychology 1110, Sociology 1110, and English 2010. All I keep thinking is Wow, that's a lot of --ologies. Hopefully its not as bad as it sounds. {Fingers crossed}

As the new year takes course, I have enjoyed setting new goals and looking forward to what the future has in store for me. Some days I wish I could fast forward time a couple years and some how I continue to be reminded to live in the present. {Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift from God.. and that's why its called the present.} So here's my Hoorah to living in the present and yet always looking forward.
Best of luck to you all on your New Years goals and if you're the lazy one who hasn't started, I suggest you get off your bum and.... Just Do It!

Mesa Temple Christmas Lights with the Family.

Little gals Horse-Back Riding Lessons! 

My New Years Kiss

One of the adorable gifts from Sister Sorenson!
My Baby Ollie
Cute Picture From My Sweet Elder. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Love to Love & Smile When You Can

My past three months have been nothing but an up and down roller coaster. And one I can't really seem to get off of. Now your probably saying in your head  "life is what you make of it", and I will be the first to agree with you. However, times will be rough and tough so that's why I say "Love to Love and Smile when you can."

When I think of where to begin updating, I should first acknowledge my lack of progress on my goal to post once a day. That flew out the window pretty fast. But I'm trying to get back on track and this time how bout I make a goal to post once every two weeks?  I think I'll have a little more success that way.

Ok, now for the fun stuff..
My first semester of college is coming to a close.. finally. This means that finals are right around the corner(sigh) and then I get to go home! YES! Living in Provo has been fun and a great growing period for me. But who can argue that Arizona is the best place to call home?  Not me! So after next semester I'm planning on going back home where I will apply for Dental Hygiene school. I couldn't be more excited!
Being away from home, I'll admit, has been good for me. I've learned things I otherwise might not have learned staying home. The first thing that comes to mind is how much I love my family. I'm not quite sure what I did to deserve them, but their mine now and I'm not giving them back. They are a HUGE blessing in my life and my best friends. I couldn't ask for anything more!
The second thing that comes to mind is that I am proud to be a Mormon. Every scripture, prayer, meeting, and experience teaches me something  new and shapes me into the person I want and need to be. The true joy that comes from living the gospel is a feeling that simply can not be put into words.
My third thought..  Utah is f-f-freezing! I miss the 100 degree weather and the non-slippery roads because ice just doesn't exist in Arizona. Driving in snow absolutely terrifies me, to the point where I call my parents panicked and crying.. {it's ok to laugh}. But in all seriousness, I'm a true Az gal.

And now, the moment I've been waiting for..  The update on my missionary(:
My handsome missionary, Elder Sorenson, is serving in Durban, South Africa 7000 miles away from home.  He's been out for almost a month now; which in my book is a success that I've made it thus far. He reported to the Johannesburg MTC on November 13th. He is speaking English and also a little bit of Zulu(or what I like to call click). As I expected, Elder Sorenson is doing great, loving the work, and enjoying every second of it.
Alex and I met our senior year of high school and when I saw him I had to find out who he was and get him to take me out.. that is exactly what I did.  In what may be the most typical search for "that cute boy", I turned to social media: Instagram.  Romantic, I know(:  But hey, I'm happy with where it took us.  2 months later I kissed him first and 11 months later I'm writing this about him, my missionary. But as a quick side note, I am honestly so grateful for him. He has been my best friend through thick and thin and every day he continues to amaze me. I'm one lucky gal.

I think that about covers it.. But I'll wrap everything up with some pictures because everyone loves pictures, right?

Food for thought: Matthew 19:26 "But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."

Love you all,
First daughter of Five,

Elder Sorenson Building A Garden
Elder Sorenson With The Kids

My Wonderful Family Just Being Silly

My Last Photo With My Elder Before He Left

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tuesday's Thoughts and Thanks

Packing for school has definitely brought a lot of feelings to the surface. The obvious ones: nervousness, hesitation, but then excitement. The more subtle ones: hopefulness and a little disappointment. So these emotions got me thinking, what am I gonna miss most about Gilbert, Arizona.. more importantly, HOME?

1st- My sweet family. You've all heard the expression, "you don't realize what you have till they're gone" and although I'm not away from them yet, I can more than agree to that statement. Tuesday night, I was able to take my little sissy Londyn to her soccer practice and watch her giggle with her teammates, get knocked around, and at the same time work her little booty off. It was so fun to see what she had been working on from the previous practices but it made me teary-eyed to think that I won't be able to be a part of all my talented sisters' experiences, hobbies, and successes for the next three years. Then, I'm gonna miss my wonderful parents. My parents have always been my best friends, the first people I go to for help, my number one supporters, and the best parents I could ever ask for. My parents are the reason I am who I am today. Words could never truly express my appreciation and love for them. It's going to be hard to be so far apart. Thank goodness for Skype, right?

2nd- My best friends. I have been more than blessed to have the wonderful friends I do now.  Life would never have been the same without you guys and I am so grateful to you for the memories we share and the fun/embarrassing/perfect moments I will never forget.

3rd- My Bed. It sounds quite pathetic I know, but I'm not too excited to sleep in a different bed for three years. But hey, it's all part of the experience right?

4th- My Home Ward. Anyone can argue that they have the best ward but it's doesn't mean you'll win. Hands down, Cornerstone Ward has it all. You can bet that in three years i'll be back.

5th- My Job. This Wednesday is the last day I work at Bahama Bucks. Over the 10 months I've been there I've met so many great people and had so much fun mastering the perfect shaved ice and smoothies. But not to worry, it'll be the dessert in Heaven.

Living in Gilbert, Arizona has been the perfect place to call home for more than the few reasons up top. But I'm positive that someday ill be able to call it home, once again(:

Monday, August 19, 2013

My Formal Introduction

When I decided to start a blog, I never imagined how hard and time consuming it would be to create my titles, blog names, or even my first couple sentences.. that's probably why I'm complaining to you right now. But as I am getting ready to leave for college and experience truly being on my own, I wanted to start something where I could keep track of all the good, bad, happy, sad, fun, boring and exciting times and also be able to share them with my close family, friends, and people I meet along the way. So my goal for this new blog is to post once a day(no matter how short). But now, for the greeting..

My name is Lauren Lovell, yes, no middle name, and I am 18 years old. I am the oldest of five daughters, hence the blog address, and I have the most wonderful hardworking parents in the whole world. I have moved states three times in my early childhood but the place I now love to call home is Gilbert, Arizona. I graduated from Highland High School in May 2013 and unfortunately missed my graduation night because I fell asleep on the couch. Talk about wild child, right?

Some of my hobbies are singing, playing the piano, playing soccer, running, getting manicures/pedicures with my mom, and most of all going SHOPPING. If there is one thing that I would want anyone to know and remember about me is that I am a Mormon. I love the gospel and everyday I live it, I grow to appreciate and love it more and more.

This Friday, August 23rd, I am starting my new journey in the College Life. I am going to Utah Valley University, home of the Wolverines, to become a Dental Hygienist. Hopefully, someday I'll be the perfect fit for my dad's office.

Well, I think that about sums up my formal introduction. Hopefully I'll get a little more creative as the time goes on but for now, bear with me.

First Daughter of Five,