Thursday, February 2, 2012

joy.

The Joy of Living.

*warning: the below post might be quite journal like and contains the many musings of my mind.

Adam fell that men might be
And men are that they might have JOY
2 Nephi 2:25

today has been a day of joy. rather this week has been one of joy. i choose that word specifically because it is the only word I can think of that adequately describes how I feel. It is a feeling of happiness and peace. I don't feel like I am overflowing giddiness about life. It is a very calm pure happiness.

It started on Sunday. i'm pretty sure sunday was one of the most edifying days of my life. As we discussed the atonement. The ability we have to repent, and how we have a friend in the Savior. He is our advocate. He knows exactly what we are going through. He is perfect, and understands me perfectly. A wonderful combined RS/EQ lead into a wonderful Sacrament Meeting. It doesn't matter how many times I hear about the atonement, i feel like I always learn something new. And every time the spirit confirms to me the truth of the matter. I have a heavenly father who loves me enough that he gave his only begotten son, Christ, to come and give his life so that I might return to live with my heavenly father again. He suffered for me, Elizabeth Jane Hall, personally. It leaves me bewildered at the love he must have for me. I feel like learning about the atonement puts life into perspective. We have trials in this life to refine us. To make me the person he would have me be. Sunday ended with an EFY fireside. As I was surrounded by friends who love and know me, I learned simple life lessons. I remembered how much I love EFY, and while I am still terrified for the summer and the unknowns it brings, I am excited to be surrounded by the gospel everyday.

Moday started out extremely stressful, but that stress was quickly removed by a loving roommate. She asked if there was anything she could do for me. While my normal answer is "thank you! but im okay" this time I needed help. I didn't know if I could do it all. As I asked if she would be willing to switch nights we cooked for dinner group this week, a stress was instantly removed from my shoulders when she said yes. It turned a potentially extremely stressful day into a very doable day. I was able to take a test with no worries about time constraints. I am so grateful for those tender mercies in life. The day continued to bring joy as FHE came. We celebrated the Chinese New Year with paper lanterns, music from the movie soundtrack tangled, and the human knot. But my favorite moment of FHE might be the lesson. I feel so old saying that, due to the fact when I was younger I hated it. But now I feel like any chance I have to talked about the gospel I just love. He talked about the challenge to become. It reminded me of a lesson given at the beginning of this year about George Albert Smith. He said when setting goals he would focus on what he wanted to become and that would be his goal. He would then set little goals to help him get there. It would not be something to do- because once you have completed that it is over. Rather a goal would be to BE something. Be more christlike. Be more charitable. Be an example. I love the reminder to constantly be improving and to be the person my heavenly father wants me to be. Oh yes, and on this joyous day Cannon Daines Hall entered this world. A beautiful boy was born to Michael and Rachel. I am so grateful for my family.



Tuesday brought joy in other ways. The temple. I am amazed at the peace I feel there. I am amazed at the kindness of the workers and the spirit of joy they bring with them. Their kind smiles and twinkling eyes brighten my day. My favorite might be the old man who was in the font. While I have been there before where they quickly rushed through each one. Very efficient. This man took his time, and was gentle in his words and how he baptized each person. It felt like he was thinking of each individual the work was being done for. While this might not have been the case, it gave me a chance to think of each individual. It reminded me of EFY in Nauvoo this last year. It was the saturday before and we all went to do baptisms at the temple. I sat waiting my turn. Words could not express how excited I was to be baptized in the Nauvoo Temple (dont worry I had been there multiple times before but I was still as excited as ever) My turn eventually came and I went to wait at the bottom of the stairs- however, it was not my turn. I went and sat back down. I thought it was my turn again and sat up with excitement, but yet again it was not my turn. My mind instantly went to those waiting for their work to be done. How long have they been waiting. I could picture them in heaven being just as anxious as I was. The day continued with the feeling that comes after a great run, and being physically active. That night a friend and I went swimming at the RB. I forgot how much I love swimming. There is something so refreshing that comes with the water. Pushing off the wall and reaching for it again at the end. The tiredness that your whole body feels after a good swim. But my favorite is that for the time we were swimming I thought about nothing besides swimming. When I swim my mind goes blank and only focuses on breathing and propelling myself through the water. I think of nothing else. The night ended with a long talk with a new friend. It didn't matter that we both had wet hair and were standing out in the cold. I loved standing at the bottom of the stairs learning about her life. And was amazed at the similarities we all have.

How one week can have sooooo much joy I just dont know. and it keeps getting better!

Today was a near perfect day. Scratch that. Today was a perfect day. I have been frustrated at work, and something as small as being recognized for the hard work I have done, made that frustration seem to disappear. I felt happy as I talked to different students and was able to do my job to the best of my ability. Also did I mention today was a spirit day meaning we got treats and got to wear jeans. woowhoo. And at staff meeting we played a game and our team one meaning we got to choose a prize from a bag. what did i get. a list notebook. yes, that is right. A notebook that is perfect for lists! I was in heaven. The day continued to get better as I learned I was getting a co-coordinator for efy, and decided I was going home in two weeks for the holiday. I will get to see almost my entire family (minus Matt and Keri). I love them SO very much. Thank you american airlines travel voucher for making the flight only 20 dollars. However, the day was topped off by one of the best nights I have had. Two friends from London and I went to Institute together. It was the same institute that I went to last year, that I told other people to go to last year, but it was not the same institute. There are new teachers and they are phenomenal. It was amazing the spirit that was there as we talked about the events leading up the Christ appearing in the Americas. We read of Nephi and the believers waiting on the sign that Samuel the Lamanite had told of. How it was the night that they were going to be killed when the sign finally came. They had to stay faithful to the end. I am sure it was not easy to face death as you believed in a prophesy from a prophet. But that stayed true to what they believed even in hard times. We don't always know when the answers will come. Sometimes I wish I could see what my life would be like five years down the road. If I just knew I would be happy it would make this time of uncertainty so easy. But where is the faith there? Where is the faith that heavenly father has a plan for me. They didn't know until the last possible second, when they thought all hope was lost, but the believed and the sign did come. We talked about how the Lord provides us with what we need, but there are times where we do not need what we think we need. The teacher talked of the Brother of Jared, and how somethings in our life are like the light. The brother of jared had to figure it our on his own. but some things are air. and heavenly father will not leave us stranded and will give us the answer. But we do not always know what is light and what is air. I thought this was amazing, and an interesting thought I had never had. As I look back on my life I can see how the Lord was there when I needed air, and how he has also let me figure things out of my own when it is light.

We went to the Awful Waffle to end the night with some hot chocolate. I was transported back to the Hampstead Creperie as I stood at the window to order my Cinnamon Infused hot chocolate.
Oh Hapstead Crepes how I miss you.
We went back to Amber's house to escape the cold and catch up on eachother's life. Out conversation quickly turned from "girl talk" into talking about the gospel. As we sat there talking about what we know to be true I was filled with such a sense of joy. It is these moments that count. These moments, in a basement apartment, that help us to become the people we are. I left not wanting to anything that would make that spirit go away. Lauren and I drove home listening to a CD of piano music a friend had made me. Both not knowing how to express what we were feeling besides stating how happy and joyful we were.

Today. Today was a perfect day.

I have talked a lot about what I believe in. My faith in my Heavenly father and the hope we are given through his eternal plan is what brings me this feeling of joy. If you don't know about what I believe in and want to know more talk to me, or visit lds.org.

Also this gem of a song joined my life today. Im in love.


oooo.... also enjoy this musical gem from 1998. gotta love EFY and I feel the theme fits perfectly with this post.

1 comment:

  1. Ellie, I love you! I loved reading this post, you are wonderful. I'm glad that you are feeling so much joy right now...that's the best way to live life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! And I am SO excited that you are coming! I actually didn't know. Hooray!!!

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