September & Lately

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A weekend in midway means a stop at the Timp Freeze.  Gonna miss these Utah Peaches.

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Hikes up to Lake Blanche with Sadie and Chris.  Something I recently discovered from this hike… I don’t like the hike up. I’ve never liked hiking.  But… I love running down the hike.  Something about having to pay attention and jump over rocks makes me smile.

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Chris and I decided sandwiches are ridiculously delicious.  So we made September Sandwich month. Lame. Yes.  We ate so so so many sandwiches.

My favorites were…

Even Stevens – Do Gouda & Mihami Vice.  Even Nate the Great loved it.

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Robin’s Nest- The Sink & Gouda Smoker. I cannot say enough about Robin’s Nest.  It is always amazing and it is still family owned and ran.

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Moochies- Meatball & Philly Cheese Steak. Messy messy sandwich but overall yummy and they have delicious sauces you can put on your sandwiches. Use their fry sauce and Jumpin Jalapeno Sauce.

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Chop City Food Truck- Cuban (obviously) & Sweet Chili Chicken. We tried them at the SoHo Food park in Holladay.  They put bacon on EVERYTHING.12107260_10153644596906250_1008700931357195759_n

What is fall without Football.  Chris & I are on opposing sides of the BYU Utah rivalry.  Good thing we both like watching sports otherwise we would be in big trouble.  Plus, he can’t really talk because I think he secretly knows that Utah is better. The Utah Michigan game was awesome.11227857_10153644593001250_8441902859807393342_n 12112189_10153644593086250_2666657429178100041_n

The BYU vs. Boise State game was fun too.  Gotta love a good hail mary and watching Chris happier than I’ve ever seen him.12115856_10153644597016250_8756157695532893332_n12096389_10153644597026250_1398518692790145565_n Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 10.20.08 AM

T Swift concert. Need I say more? I spontaneoulsy bought tickets and told Chris.  For some reason he thought that meant he could buy a scooter since we are a one car family.  Two best decisions we’ve ever made (besides getting married.) Also, Chris sang every word at Taylor.  Proud wife moment.

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Scooter’s name is Elvis.

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Braids everyday.12116014_10153644597011250_7054412667165100981_n

Watching cute cousin Madi go Chi O!!!

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Having some fun interviews for our Tinder love.

We got to interview with Jennifer Stagg on Mormon Channel Daily. It was our first time getting to talk about the gospel and its role in our relationship and deciding to marry each other in an interview. Have a listen…

https://www.mormonchannel.org/listen/series/mormon-channel-daily-audio/interview-with-chris-and-sarahjane-george-october-05-2015

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Interviewed for a story on BYU men and Tinder.  Chris went to BYU so we were a perfect match for this story. Our photo even made it to the front of the Utah section.

http://www.sltrib.com/lifestyle/faith/2887075-155/swipe-right-for-your-spouse-byu

Took our photo at Chris’ work on Broadway street in Downtown Salt Lake. We didn’t realize how big the photo would be in the paper. 11232713_10153644597121250_4690584356899908116_nLooking homeless as I pick up the paper at Sev.
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Literally my reaction after my graduation appointment! I am graduating from the University of Utah this Spring!
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My favorite part of September was Women’s Conference.  So many amazing messages. One of my favorites was from Sister Rosemary Wixom and talking about our Divine Nature.  Our purpose is Christ and once we find that out our whole life changes.  Sister Wixom quoted my great aunt Elaine Cannon and I loved the quote so I made this to frame.

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I N D I A

India… wow. India is the most beautiful, strange, difficult, and powerful place.  India is the reason I haven’t blogged for two months.  I saw on Instagram a post about an opportunity to go to India and photograph a developmental project. I didn’t think it was something I could do or if it was something I even wanted to do.  Later that day my husband texted me saying “Do you want to go to India?”… Now how cool is that??? In some ways I felt that when I got married I wouldn’t be able to do anything adventurous by myself. Boy was I wrong.  I’m pretty lucky to have a supportive husband who pushes me to do crazy things.

FIRST DAY IN INDIA! First off the Indian clothes are freaking adorable. It is crazy how much traveling makes you exhausted.  On the way from Delhi to Hyderabad I made a friend named Sri.  Sri is a doctor and was super helpful in a new place.  It was also fun because I was able to share some small parts of the gospel with him.  Side note… India in June is BLAZING hot.  Seriously it is 115 degrees everyday and super humid.  I definitely was embarrassed at first at how much I wanted my American comforts.  It took a few days for our apartment to be equipped with WiFi.  In Hyderabad running water worked only from 6am to 9am.  So we had to fill buckets up and shower with that.  I said lots of prayers those few weeks.  Prayers for safety, and of love, and gratitude.

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These drawings are in front of every door and temple and business in India.  Kolams. Such a fun Welcome.
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View from our apartment.11269802_10153282839966250_7749209553152077958_o

Church in India was amazing!  I got to go to the ward where my brother James first served his mission.  Sailesh on the right was his first baptism!  Sailesh is now married to Jaya and have a new baby!  Everyone was so excited to meet Elder Egan’s sister.  I was pretty honored. 11295707_10153278967866250_6423411486857120929_n11295618_10153279460146250_8605047795431196230_n11247804_10153279460366250_2783930236289891726_n10501790_10153279460221250_8646334245302256665_n

We helped teach piano on Sundays which was super difficult but really fun!11264884_10153282370021250_5783755613541586809_n

Trying on Saris at the Mekala’s!11102610_10153282369991250_8278318105677494589_n11329783_10153298372541250_7842748584475255947_n

The Mekala’s we seriously a GOD SEND! They let us eat their food watch their TV gave us rides and tours. Love them.11350406_10153304696811250_4726365225460097756_n 11143209_10153304696871250_8671121649309277782_n

Dinner at Sailesh’s house.  Indians love movies so the whole time during dinner we watched James Bond.  I love India.11894497_10153580833861250_1582649320064772527_o 12002872_10153580834161250_1898591182623490399_n 11221339_10153580834176250_904345954447032040_n

These cute little sisters would wave to us every morning as we caught an auto to go to work.India-5 India-6

Our cute english students.  *heart melts*India-21 India-45 India-54 Day3-3 Day3-4

The necklace I’m wearing is a symbol in South Eastern India for marriage.  The black beads in particular.  No one looks for a wedding ring just that necklace.  Everyone thought I was married to and Indian man but they were pleasantly surprised by the photos I would show them of Chris and I.
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Charminar! So much shopping.India-39-2 India-30-2 India-17-2

The girls school.  Talk about a wild place.  These girls were so much fun and had SO much energy.Day4-13 Day4-22 Day4-28 Day4-34 Day4-48 Day4-51 Day4-53 Day4-56 Day4-75

Henna!!!11351163_10153318381296250_1868295630089705698_n CGB5XfNUMAAVLR1

Das family! Such a strong family in the church.  Amazed by their testimonies and love.1526340_10153302167606250_2576459817641181039_n 10994605_10153302167461250_1813329105916277088_n 551465_10153302167691250_8593188557556592216_n

The sewing school. (I do not sew… but it was really cool to watch these ladies learn on hand crank machines)Day5-39 Day5-44 Day5-57 Day5-71 Day5-72 Day5-80 Day7-5

They held a ceremony and even blessed the machines.Day7-8 Day7-14 Day7-24 Day7-25 Day7-35

One night we were so hot and so we decided to go to a Indian movie!! The workers at the theatre were so confused because their movies don’t have English subtitles so we wouldn’t be able to understand what was going on.  But who doesn’t love crazy sound effects, dancing, singing, and an air conditioned theatre in 100 degree weather.  It was a BLAST.17096_10153277739821250_2038848787043067281_n

Spurti is the all boys school and they all have my heart.
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On the way home from Spurti Christy, Courtney, and I took an auto home by ourselves.  On that auto ride home we got hit by another auto.  Never have I laughed so hard at two grown men yelling very quickly in Telugu to each other.10955639_10153304703736250_737341777349050323_n

Last day at the children’s school was so sad and happy.  I gave them all a photo of me when I left.  I hope they can remember me like I will remember them. Day8-3 Day8-6 Day8-14 Day8-17 Day8-30 Day8-35 Day8-40 Day9-6 Day9-1012011210_10153580833851250_6431187405207643015_n

Another family but this time I’m in Bangalore!  The Isaacs are a family my brother taught and baptized in India.  They are so cool!  Nicole one of the daughters goes to BYU Idaho and so we have her over on holidays to hang out!  It was so fun to meet the rest of the Isaac family.  Carol took my for a crazy scooter ride… I love how much Carol was concerned about me, she made sure I had fun and was safe the whole time.11261595_10153580834316250_7975641157837435883_n 11987002_10153580834321250_1726627219898953528_n 11988600_10153580834311250_5900963716988477700_n

Reji even washed my clothes.. 12004752_10153580834166250_6503225940669451032_n

Best day when Chris came to India!!! I seriously was over the moon.  Mysore Palace is pretty dope.Chrisjanieindia-3 Chrisjanieindia-10 Chrisjanieindia-12

Next, we went to Chennai India to meet Minni! Chris and I did not have a cell phone so trying to find Minni in a huge crowd at the airport was crazy.  All of a sudden after fifteen minutes of looking Minni runs up and gives me a hug! So grateful we found her!11351300_10153336357531250_7747388428999876594_n
Minni took us straight to Mahabalipuram where we saw 2,000+ year old stone carvings.  This is called the butter ball.Chrisjanieindia-13 Chrisjanieindia-15 Chrisjanieindia-16 Chrisjanieindia-19 Chrisjanieindia-20 Chrisjanieindia-21 Chrisjanieindia-24 Chrisjanieindia-27 Chrisjanieindia-30 Chrisjanieindia-32 Chrisjanieindia-36 Chrisjanieindia-38

Chris wanted the monkey to give him all knowing wisdom.
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We got to attend a birthday party. Not sure how we all fit but we made it.  It was amazing.11406978_10153336357671250_1836880551472427188_n11390122_10153336357781250_8550570530271677535_n

Delhi.  There is no place quite like it.  The Kataka family was nice enough to house us for the days we were there.  Jantar Mantar is this ginormous astrology device.  It always knows what time it is by the sun.  We had a self appointed tour guide there that just started talking to us then asked for 500 rupees. It was unfortunate that he was super difficult to understand.
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Lodi Gardens is beautiful.  Had fun taking a nap and lounging around in there.Chrisjanieindia-105 Chrisjanieindia-106 Chrisjanieindia-109 Chrisjanieindia-110 Chrisjanieindia-115 Chrisjanieindia-121

Humayun’s Tomb.  One of the coolest buildings in India. Chrisjanieindia-127 Chrisjanieindia-128 Chrisjanieindia-131 Chrisjanieindia-134 Chrisjanieindia-142 Chrisjanieindia-144 Chrisjanieindia-14810430489_10153580834736250_5167169859046241269_nGate of India11917488_10153580834751250_1737984408198364629_n11059392_10153580834746250_1592363461027687013_n12003420_10153580834741250_6451320186437678490_n

Ravi Gupta is THE MAN! One of my brother’s best friends in India.  They made the best dinner for us.
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The road to Taj Mahal is long but oh so worth it.  The details are the best part about.  Everyone needs to go.Chrisjanieindia-151 Chrisjanieindia-155 Chrisjanieindia-157 Chrisjanieindia-161 Chrisjanieindia-162 Chrisjanieindia-16611958103_10153580834541250_1790226861335825474_o

Covering I head for temples.12006694_10153580834531250_2304046955745625140_oChrisjanieindia-168

Old Delhi is THE COOLEST.  Spice market as well… you roll up and literally your nose is on fire by all the different spices.Chrisjanieindia-169 Chrisjanieindia-170 Chrisjanieindia-171We rode on an a bike rickshaw… The way they fit through the tiny alley ways is nuts.11951519_10153580834731250_8137583375208422698_o

Red fort… we took so many photos here with other Indians.  Not mad.Chrisjanieindia-173 Chrisjanieindia-176 Chrisjanieindia-177 Chrisjanieindia-178 Chrisjanieindia-180 Chrisjanieindia-181 Chrisjanieindia-182 Chrisjanieindia-184

Seeing Friday prayer day at the biggest mosque in India was SO COOL. Jama Masjid.
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Learning how to play cricket.
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McDonalds and Limca saved my life when India food wasn’t cutting it.
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Best traditional Mughal food.  Karim’s is a long line of chefs who cooked for the royal family.  Delicious food.

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I hope to see you soon India and hope to see my Indian friends here in Utah sometime!!!

March

March has been a great month.  Learned so much. I love making progress in my life.

We kicked of the month with the Les Femmes concert at the Velour.  Luna Lune killed it as usual.  Chris is now obsessed with the Blue Aces.

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Idaho Visits

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One of my favorite things that has happened this month is Chris’ flag football team.  My brothers, Adam and Zeke, and my Cousins, Devan and Mckay, and family friend, Casey Taylor, all played on a intramural flag football team at the U.  It was so fun for me to go watch them play every Thursday night.  Not to mention they won the championship game.  Chris pulled his hamstring that game and has a ginormous bruise to prove it.  Such a fun thing to do with family and friends!

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Chris’ company, Struck, does advertisements for Ski Utah, so this year we didn’t even need to buy a pass but got free passes to several ski resorts.  It was so fun to take our sister-in-law, Asia, skiing for her FIRST time! She was awesome! Gotta love spring skiing.

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Partied in St. George over my spring break with the dance studio I teach for, Razz & Rhythm Dance Academy.  Our little dancers did so awesome!
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March is also the best time of year for us because it’s when we met!!! Our first date was March 21, 2013.  Man time flies.

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My mom’s side of the family always has a family reunion in March.  The Cook family reunion this year was probably one of my favorites ever.  Each of us found a story about our Grandma and Grandpa Cook to share form someone who knew them.  We also got to listen to darling Aunt Miriam tell stories and it was amazing to hear about how beloved my grandparents were.

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Lunch at Red Iguana… Not mad.11011050_10153155215656250_7594931540474151406_n

At the beginning of March I had the best idea for Chris’ 28th birthday.  Chris’ fave thing in the world to do is laser tag.  Soooo… I planned a surprise partay at laser quest.  He had no idea! So fun. Love my twelve year old hearted boy.11130148_10153166162736250_1684115100146470868_n

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The most important thing I learned this month, is that God has a plan.  My older brother, who we call Baby Egan, was a stillborn.  My mom was only about 24 weeks pregnant when she went into labor on March 29, 1993.  Chris was born March 29, 1987.  This gives me some sort of comforting feeling that I can’t quite describe that they have the same birthdays.  It is so precious that we get to celebrate both Chris and Baby Egan on the same day. Pretty crazy the plans Heavenly Father has.  If Baby Egan would have lived I wouldn’t be here.  So grateful that I do get to be here, with the man I love, and that I can be with my brother and whole family again.  I love eternal families!!!

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The other fun thing I did this month…  I helped my cousin make her family theme for 2015.  Every year she has a different theme and frames them.  I loved the idea so Chris and I talked about what we wanted to focus on this year.  We decided that we needed to be more supportive, more kind, and more loving to each other and everyone else.  Loved how both turned out.jentheme familytheme2015

let your lamp BURN

“It is easy to be grateful for things when life seems to be going our way. But what then of those times when what we wish for seems to be far out of reach? Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? In other words, I’m suggesting that instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances…whatever they may be.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf…  My old Young Women president, Cristie Carter, texted me this quote on a Sunday morning.  Cristie is always so thoughtful and is constantly thinking of how she can help others.  I didn’t think much of the quote, in fact I didn’t even read the whole thing until after sacrament meeting.

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The speaker in sacrament meeting posed the question: “how are we supposed to be grateful when life sucks?” In my head I started thinking “I have no idea dude.”  The young man went on to discuss why we are here on Earth.  We aren’t here on Earth to have the best clothes, the biggest house, or the most followers.  We are here on Earth to PREPARE.  Sorry to quote Uchtdorf again (He’s the MAN) but during this past Women’s Conference he said “God sent you here to prepare for a future greater than anything you can imagine.”  We as human beings cannot comprehend what our Heavenly Father has in store for his children.  God knows All things.  So yes, that means he knows things we don’t.

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In several of my recent church meetings the parable of the ten virgins has been brought up mostly because of  Linda K. Burton’s analysis of it during women’s conference.  Here is a link to her talk in case you missed it.

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The parable comes from Matthew 25

“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

“And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. …

“[They that were] wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

“While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

“And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

“Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

“And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

“But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

“And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

“Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

“But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, Ye know me not.”

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When I heard this parable as a kid I can remember thinking to myself “why didn’t the others share their oil?” and “why did they have to have a lamp?”  This parable really confused me so, like many things I don’t understand, I shrugged it off.  However, I was happy to learn I wasn’t the only one who was perplexed by this story. Sister Burton helped me understand it so much better.  She likens the story to temple preparation.  She said ‘consider the words of a latter-day prophet who taught that “the oil of spiritual preparedness cannot be shared.” President Spencer W. Kimball.’  It is up to YOU as an individual to prepare yourself drop by drop.

So that begs the question… “How can we better prepare ourselves drop by drop?”  I leave that question open ended, because we can prepare for many things whether it be for the temple, marriage, baptism, eternal life, a mission, etc.  Anyway, back to the point.  How can we better prepare ourselves?  You guessed it the basic primary answers we have been saying for years.

– Church Attendance – Fasting – Tithing – Personal & Family Prayer – Scripture Study – Service – Family Home Evening – Following the Commandments – ETC.

Nobody can do this for you.  Nor can you do it for anyone else.  Often times I think I wonder if I can just ride on Chris’ coattails to the celestial kingdom.  No one is gonna make sure you are actually paying attention to the sacrament.  Nobody is going to check if you made it all the way to dinner to break your fast.  It is up to you to determine your own salvation.

My goal is to be like Moroni in my preparation. Alma 49:8 ” they were prepared for them, in a manner which never had been known…

But, here is the kicker… Remember what feels like forever ago when I mentioned Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s quote.. Let’s revisit it.

“It is easy to be grateful for things when life seems to be going our way. But what then of those times when what we wish for seems to be far out of reach? Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? In other words, I’m suggesting that instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances…whatever they may be.”

How easy is it to be grateful and do the right thing when life seems to be going our way?  EASY AS PIE. Okay, maybe not that easy, but it comes more natural that’s for sure. So what happens when your life gets thrown a curve ball?  Do we head in the other direction and let our light grow dim?  NO! FILL THOSE LANTERNS TILL THEY ARE OVERFLOWING!

First, we MUST take a step back and have faith in the fact that Heavenly Father is a loving and all knowing God, he has a plan.

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Second, we MUST fall back on and become more diligent in what we have been doing to prepare for this curve ball. Do all those basic primary things. Turn towards your scriptures not away! Fall on your knees not your pillow!

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Third, be grateful for a loving family! Spend time with them, serve them, and let them serve you.

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Fourth, attend the Temple, in any capacity that you are able.  Whether it be baptisms, an Endowment session, or just being outside and near a Temple.  The temple is where I have the best spiritual insights and where I can go to feel calm.

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Fifth, (last the best of all the game) use the atonement and your Savior as much as you can.  Jesus Christ atoned for our sins but He also has felt everything you PERSONALLY have ever felt.  Christ is there for you in everything…The happy easy times and the curve ball, life sucks times.

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God has given us this recipe for happiness in both the hard times and the good times.  The instructions are there for us and we must make the choice. Life is hard but it can be oh so joyful if we take the time to spiritually prepare ourselves for life’s surprises.  Fill up your Lamp with oil drop by drop and let it BURN!


Burn

A Pearl Of Great Price | YW Camp 2014

How in the world can I be a Young Women leader in my ward???  I’ve barely been out of the YW program for two years. However, this opportunity has helped me grow tremendously. Young Women’s Camp is something I looked forward to every year as a girl. I loved hanging out with the cool leaders, singing camp songs, and staying up all night. Yet, when told I would be going to camp as a leader I was SO nervous.  I wondered: Would the girls like me outside of church? Would I even be useful? How could I be in charge of the safety of four girls on the drive up to Jackson, WY? I was becoming increasingly overwhelmed.  GOOD NEWS. I had the most amazing time.  (We made it there safely)

Our Theme: I Am A Pearl of Great Price

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A pearl used to be considered the most valuable gemstone on earth. However overtime, Many jewelers have decided to culture their own pearls because Natural pearls have become increasingly rare and difficult to find… Similarly, in our world today young girls have a false view of what it means to be a woman. Our society tells us to be sexy, vain, and selfish when really a woman should be kind, virtuous, and loving.

I know we hear this all the time but I think it’s worth repeating:  “We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity.” – Margaret D Nadauld

Like many, pearls are my go to jewelry. It may be because it’s my birthstone. But mostly I think it’s because pearls can not only stimulate your femininity but, can also lift ones spirits and remind one to walk with dignity. They symbolize so much and help me remember that I am and should strive to be pure, kind, and genuine.

No two pearls can be identical. The latin word for pearl literally means unique.  Here are some of the unique pearls in my life.

My sister Lizzie is a pearl because she has passion for life and shows it with her music. She lights up a room with her voice and isn’t afraid to share it and her feelings through songs.

My mom is a pearl because she has unconditional love. She Continually forgives me and those who have wronged her. Helping me understand that love is more important than being right.

My grandmother is a pearl because she teaches everyone she sees the gospel. She is the ULTIMATE member missionary.  She is proud to be an LDS woman and makes sure that you and the whole world knows it.

And My young women are pearls, never have I seen such conviction to live the gospel righteously.  I grew up in a place where it seems like everyone lives the gospel because that’s what everyone is doing. So when I see you walking to church on your own because you want to learn more about our savior I am almost moved to tears.  I am so impressed with your poise and maturity and ability to include others and to be like Christ.

My last girls camp was one full of strange memories.  The first day we went on a hike to Legacy Lake.  We were all smiling and laughing enjoying each other’s company. Sophie Barton, my friend and fellow H25 ward member, seemed the happiest of all of us.  She was doing what she did best, singing along the whole trail. I had no idea that this would be one of the hardest days of my life.  While on the way back from our hike Sophie collapsed and was sent to the emergency room.  What we thought was only severe dehydration turned out to be something much more serious.  A leader returned hours later with the news that Sophie had died. This like nothing else was a trial of my faith. I remember going home that night on the bus in tears wondering what to think.  Sophie was strong and had an unwavering testimony of the gospel.  She gave me and our whole community the best example and brought us together more than anything ever could. Sophie even at 17 years old touched so many people and continues to today with Sophie’s Place. She showed me that even though things seem difficult and hard they are worth it. She lived with kindness and charity in her heart and was the happiest person alive.  To remember her the color white was chosen. Ribbons, candles, clothing etc. was and still is seen all over the neighborhood. White was chosen because of her purity, selflessness, and love. To this day when ever I see a white ribbon, butterfly, or even when I put on my white pearls I think of Soph and all she stood for.

A pearl is made when something irritating or parasitic enters the mollusk.  The mollusk then builds layer upon layer to turn something bad into something beautiful.  Despite all the sand, mud, and gunk in an oyster a pearl is made. Just Like a pearl, we too have been shaped through trial and tribulation building ourselves layer upon layer. To the world it seems hard to be a natural pearl but let me stress that it is so worth it to be a christlike LDS woman.  Fake pearls, although beautiful on the outside are just plastic on the inside. Use the Young Women organization to build yourself layer upon layer like a pearl from the inside out.  Gain values to become a real pearl filled with faith, individual worth, virtue, etc. to help make you truly happy and strong enough to stand as a witness at all times and in all things and in all places. Most people opt out of finding a real pearl and decide to settle on something they think will make them happy because it may seem easier or more convenient.  We must remember that natural pearls were not made in a day! Pearls are made after many years of new experiences and learning from mistakes.

We are ALL pearls and you are God’s PERFECT creation who he loves eternally. You are a rarity, so be different than the world. Do the things that are hard and unpopular.  As you act kind, genuine, and selfless like daughters of God that heavenly father intended you to be, you will become the happiest you have ever been.  You will be a pearl of great price.

-Janie George

Now a few pics of our fantastic camp!

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Gaining a Testimony

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During my freshman year of college the change in missionary age for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was announced.  I would be eligible for a LDS mission in that coming June yet, a mission in my mind was NOT for me.  I was loving school and being a Chi Omega, I was having fun and dating.  However, after my first semester I felt kind of stuck.  I wasn’t improving and was in a way empty inside.  When going to my singles ward I never made comments in sunday school and relief society.  I missed being in primary where I knew the answers to all the questions!  I was embarrassed to give any insight when it came time for comments in class.  What did I have to offer spiritually?  At the time I was an 18 year old girl who grew up in the suburbs of Holladay and had had a privileged life.  I hadn’t experienced many hardships and didn’t have many spiritual experiences to draw from.  At church I was envious of the women who had gone on missions and knew the scriptures so well.  A mission was sounding more and more appealing and after much contemplation I talked to my Bishop and began my papers.  While diligently preparing for what I thought was going to be a mission became preparing for meeting my future husband.  I met Chris halfway through filling out my papers.  GAME CHANGER.

My life took a different path and I got married.  Before getting married to Chris I had never lived away from my home.  I lived with my parents and at  their house the gospel runs every aspect of their life.  I was reminded constantly of the importance of reading the scriptures and attending church.  Imagine yourself going from elementary school straight to college.  I left a place where I had my hand held the whole way to YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN KID.  Needless to say it’s been hard. Waking up on Sunday and not having any pressure to go to church for ALL three hours.  Being a poor couple who could use every penny, I had no person saying “Did you pay your tithing?” No one is telling me to get out of bed and onto my knees.  You get the picture.

As much as you’re twenties (I’m not even 20 yet ha, SOON) are a time of fun they should also be a period of self discovery, reflection and independence.   NOW is the time to decide what you’re priorities are and what you believe.  Alma 34:32 “For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.” Now is the time is to gain a testimony of the things that are so easy to blow off like, tithing, scripture study, prayer, church attendance, fasting, etc.  We can’t expect for these habits to come easily, from experience I can tell you they don’t!  AT ALL.  You can’t teach an old dog new tricks!  I don’t anticipate that it will be any easier doing these things in my later years when I haven’t started now! Every time I do these things (As my mom would say)  I put money in my spiritual bank account and I begin to know of the truth of the doctrine by practicing it.

It may seem strange that after being married in the Salt Lake Temple  and having taken out my Endowment that I don’t have a strong and unwavering testimony of the Gospel.  I doubt everyday and have worries and concerns like many others.  The only thing I strongly know to be true is that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me. I have leaned on my parents testimony for nineteen years which is far too long. I decided that It is time to find my OWN testimony and knowledge of this Gospel.  I didn’t go on a mission and I don’t want to regret that decision.  I want to be able to share scriptures in church and have conversations with my husband on a spiritual level and feel equal. I want to help hasten the work here in downtown Salt Lake City where the need is great. Already as a wife I have grown to know my Savior more than ever before. I am reading my scriptures and praying for the will power to learn this gospel.  I want to continually be pointed towards the Lord and his Temple.

This week my testimony builder was temple attendance.

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 It is all too common to get sealed in the Temple and to rarely return to that sacred place.  Being that I live less than 5 minutes away from the beautiful Salt Lake Temple I have made it a goal to go two times a month.  I haven’t been perfect but so far it has blessed my life tremendously.  I try my best to prepare mentally before I go by taking my time and thinking positively.  The temple is a testament of God’s love for his children.  God bestows so many blessings when we follow the commandments and honor our covenants made there.  As much as going to the temple with my husband is amazing, I had the opportunity to go with my family and my 92 year old Grandma Marcia.  It is crazy that even someone like my Grandma who has been more times than she can count and worked there for many years still can learn something new from the experience. However, Marcia can’t remember the last time she had gone and participated.   SO SO grateful she was ready when we called her! She still keeps her temple recommend current.  I hope to not only live to be 92 but to also have a current temple recommend!  As I helped her get her things ready and drove her to the Jordan River Temple I could tell she was excited.  She knows that hearing God’s words and feeling the Spirit can rejuvenate the soul so tremendously.  Being with her was one of the sweetest memories I will ever have with her.  Please take the time to serve and go to the temple.  

I hope to provide posts for my readers with uplifting messages of how to strengthen your testimony through the little things. I would love to hear of your journey of finding a testimony as well!

 

General Conference

   This year’s General Conference I kept diligent notes in my little Sunday journal (mostly filled with doodles… at least it keeps me awake.)  Today I went back and chose some of the most memorable quotes and created these with my own photographs.

Elder Holland taught me that to become more Christlike we must not be stagnant and content.  God does not intend for this life to be easy, he rocks our boat, we must use those times to become humble.  Make daily scripture study and prayer a PRIORITY.  Holland reminded us of the power the Book of Mormon has.  We must use it.  When we are becoming more Christlike, love will just pour out of us and like Holland said, that love can change the World!

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Elder Nelson reminded the saints that the Gospel should be a part of every aspect of our lives.  In decisions we make ask God first, he can give us truth and inspiration that no one else can.  Keeping the commandments brings blessings every time. The Gospel will help you be TRUE to yourself.  He wisely said, “We must have COURAGE, not compromise.”  So don’t let your private and public life be different… Show your Faith!

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Elder Aidukaitis of the Seventy taught that “by their fruits ye shall know them.”  Joseph Smith followed the teaching of James 1:5-6.  He then prayed asking in faith to Heavenly Father.  Because of this the Church and Gospel have been restored on the Earth.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a church of Doers.  The church and it’s members serves so many people.  We must serve our fellow neighbors, amplify our callings, and keep peace in our homes.  Doing the little things is important because having a testimony takes hard work.

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Elder Packer taught that their are some spiritual things that cannot be taught but can be learned.  We can come to know of things through the power of the Holy Ghost.  The church is centered around Christ.  It is through Christ that we are saved.  Elder Packer reminded us that Satan is very real.  That is why we must choose whether we follow Christ or Satan.  We cannot serve both.

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Sister Stevens gave some insightful knowledge that this Gospel is not a checklist.  We must let the Gospel live in our souls.  God has a plan for each one of us so trust in him.  She even quoted my Egan family’s theme: Isaiah 41:10 “Fear thou not; for I am with thee, be not dismayed; for I am thy God, I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” When we live the Gospel whole-heartedly it won’t feel like a burden, it will carry us to places we never imagined.

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Elder Walker of the Seventy told of church history and amazing stories of faith.  We too can be brave Mormons and make our mark in history.  Elder Walker quoted Article of Faith #3 “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.”  If we keep God’s commandments and live true to our faith we can pave the way for future generations of righteous saints. 

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I could have made used many other quotes from General Conference.  There were so many inspired talks and I am lucky to be apart of this Church. I would love to know your favorite quotes from conference, let me know! xoxo