Thursday, February 25, 2010

All things as a testimony

Alma 30:39-41, 44
39 Now Alma said unto him: Will ye deny again that there is a God, and also deny the Christ? For behold, I say unto you, I know there is a God, and also that Christ shall come.
40 And now what evidence have ye that there is no God, or that Christ cometh not? I say unto you that ye have none, save it be your word only.
41 But, behold, I have all things as a testimony that these things are true; and ye also have all things as a testimony unto you that they are true; and will ye deny them? Believest thou that these things are true?
44 But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.

I read this scripture last night before I went to bed. It particularly caught my attention because of the discussion I had with Jared yesterday. Jared has been having email exchanges with one of his friends from Purdue about the existence of God. She feels empty and alone and she is wondering what is the meaning of life. She doesn't believe in God.

I'm so grateful for the testimony I have about that God lives. I can't imagine not knowing that. I love this scripture because it is so true. Everything in my life not only denotes that there is a God but that He loves me. I think of the daily miracle of just watching my children learn and grow. How perfect their little bodies are and how they have been sent here with their own personalities. I think of the miracle of both my sons births, the one being so peaceful and beautiful, the other being difficult but even more miraculous because of the things that could have gone wrong, but didn't. I think of answers to prayers that have come by my Heavenly Father prompting others to help me and take care of me. I think of things working out for my family even in the midst of trials and seemingly unbeatable odds.

I know my Heavenly Father is there. I wish Jared's friend would just begin by saying a simple prayer. Jared asked her about it and she said she felt embarrassed to try to pray when she doesn't even believe in a God. I think the sad thing is that too many people won't even put it to the test to pray and find out for themselves. It brings to mind another scripture:

2Nephi 32:8
And now, my beloved brethren, I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing. For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray.

I know that Jared is praying for this friend and I hope that (even if she has yet to say a prayer herself) she will still feel the Lord's hand in her life through the prayers of others, and that someday she will come to know for herself that God is real and that he loves her and is watching over her.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Keep Rowing

Yesterday I read an article in the Ensign called "Start Rowing."

It talked about the financial struggles of the author's family. It echoed a lot of Jared and my experiences over the past couple years. It seems like we have either been students, un-employed, or underemployed ever since we got married. I keep thinking that there must be some lessons that I haven't learned yet as we continue to be in these kinds of circumstances. I think a big part of it is trusting in the Lord that he will not forsake you, even in what "seems" like the hardest of circumstances. Too often my pride gets in the way of relying on the Lord for strength and trying to do it all on my own.

I loved the quote by Elder Groberg in the article:
“How often do we not do more because we pray for wind and none comes? We pray for good things and they don’t seem to happen, so we sit and wait and do no more. We should always pray for help, but we should always listen for inspiration and impressions to proceed in ways different from those we may have thought of.”

This quote made me think about how many friends I have where the couples are doing all they can even in the midst of economic struggles. I guess it's part of being students these past years, but there have been so many examples of friends that have done all they can to live providently. I have a lot of friends that are getting into photography as a way to make supplemental income. Many friends have other little businesses, and I think it's great that they've found a way to help their families by using their talents in these various ways.

Even now as Jared is not getting paid very much he is looking into teaching English or other ways of supplementing our income in China and I'm proud of him that he is not, as Elder Groberg puts it, "sitting and waiting" for things to happen. As for myself, of course being a dental hygienist is not an option right now and I don't have any idea when it will be, but I'm also trying to find another way to help with our income. If it's successful you'll hear all about it, if it isn't than you'll probably hear about it too, but right now I don't want to give too much away. While none of these little ventures may come to anything, I feel really good about the fact that at least both Jared and I aren't sitting around waiting for Heavenly Father to bless us, but instead we both have made goals that we are steadily working towards, at the same time praying that He will bless our efforts.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tender Spirit

Today was a difficult day with Miles.
He caught a cold a few days ago and he is one snot-nosed little boy.
Last night he only got 9 hours of sleep.
Today I did everything in my power to get him to take a nap, including giving him Benadryl in the hopes that it would clear him up a little and knock him out a lot.
He resisted and resisted and there was a lot of screaming and howling that went on for several hours while he did everything in his power to keep himself awake.

I was very frustrated by the end of the day.

And then again tonight I went in my room at about 10:00 and here he comes out of his room. He said, "I want another hug mommy" And while I know this is a delay tactic, it sure is a sweet one. I went in to tuck him in bed again and he told me that he wanted to say his own prayer.
We got back out of bed and my sweet little boy said his first prayer without help. I may be silly but I started crying. It was such a tender moment for me that my sweet little boy was able to say his own prayer.

I might get frustrated with him, but he really is such an innocent little spirit.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.
-Proverbs 31:10

I'm so grateful for the privilege I have of having such wonderful women as my friends.
They have blessed my life immeasurably.

I was so blessed to have such wonderful friends in high school. I don't get to see these friends enough, but I'm so glad that I still get to keep up with them through their blogs. I still miss them and I'm so grateful I had such positive influences during my formative years. What darling girls they were back then and what amazing, wonderful mothers they are now. I'm so amazed when I look back at what we were then and how much everyone has developed their talents and abilities.

I had so much fun during my college years with my friends there. I am so lucky that my best college friend married my cousin and that I will always have her in my life. I love her even more now than I did then and ever time we get together I miss her more because of what good times we have together. We were the best of friends being single and dating, the best of friends being newlyweds together and now the best of friends being mothers to. Whether talking about our latest crush or talking about potty-training we will always be as close as sisters.

I'm so grateful for the friends I've made through my ward families. Today I was talking to one of my dear friends from my last ward and I just missed being surrounded by such wonderful women as I had in my last ward out in Indiana. They were more than my sisters in the gospel they were all such "kindred spirits." I learned so much from the friends I had there and I knew that I could count on them for anything.

It's funny how friend relationships change over the years. My relationships with my different friends have changed so much, but even though I hardly see some of them, I still love each and every one of them and miss them. Isn't it great that you can never have too many friends?And though I will never stop loving and missing my dear friends, there are more wonderful women out there that I can meet and befriend?

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Yesterday I was having a hard time.

It seemed like I just couldn't deal with all the concerns and worries and frustrations and trials anymore.
I broke down.
Really broke down.
Crying my heart out to my husband over the webcam kind of broke down.

It felt like I had hit rock bottom.

But then a miracle happened.
Jared has commented several times through these past few months that it seems when it feels like we can't take it anymore, Heavenly Father steps in and pours out a blessing upon us.

You think I would learn to have more faith and that know that He will never forsake us. But I am so weak. I'm just so grateful that even though there are times when I might forsake my faith, that the will Lord never forsake us.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Letter to a Friend

Since Jared is in China, he is unable to speak to any Chinese non-member about the gospel. So in other words he can't talk to our friend Penguin about church related things or he and the branch and district presidents could get in trouble or even deported. Yikes!

But I can still talk to him for the time being about the gospel! My letter to him. I pray with all my heart Penguin and his wife Cindi will decide to be baptized soon!

"Dear Penguin,

I've been thinking a lot about you and Cindi lately and I just wanted to send you a note to say hi. Or rather Ni Hao! I hope you had a wonderful Chinese New year and were able to spend some time with your family and friends during the holiday. I know Jared enjoyed his first Chinese New Year there. We miss him but we are excited that we will be able to join him in China sometime in April.

I just want you to know you are in my thoughts and prayers. I know that now Jared is over in China, he really isn't supposed to discuss religion with you or he could get in big trouble. But I know he is planning on a trip to the temple in Hong Kong in the next month. I know he would love to see you while he is there.

Penguin, I know Jared told you when he was in Shenzen that he thinks it is time for you to be baptized. I agree with him. It's been on my mind a lot lately. Jared would really like to be the one to baptize you and he can do it on one of his visits when he goes to the temple in Hong Kong. When you feel you are ready I hope you will make arrangements with him so that you can meet in Hong Kong and he can baptize you.

I know Jared has said that you really want to be able to go to the temple. As soon as you and Cindi are baptized you can begin going to the temple to do baptisms for the dead and in 12 months you should be able to recieve your endownment. Then you can be sealed to Cindi for time and all eternity.

Just to share a scripture with you;
Mosiah 18:8-11

8 And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;
9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—
10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?
11 And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts.

Penguin, I want you to know how very much Jared and I love you and Cindi. You will always be so dear to us. I look forward to seeing you in your own country. I'm so excited that we get to come learn of your land as you had the expierience to learn of ours.
God be with you til we meet again, my dear friends.
Love always,


Thursday, February 18, 2010


Alma 23:3,4
"3 And thus they might go forth and preach the word according to their desires, for the king had been converted unto the Lord, and all his household; therefore he sent his proclamation throughout the land unto his people, that the word of God might have no obstruction, but that it might go forth throughout all the land, that his people might be convinced concerning the wicked traditions of their fathers, and that they might be convinced that they were all brethren, and that they ought not to murder, nor to plunder, nor to steal, nor to commit adultery, nor to commit any manner of wickedness.
4 And now it came to pass that when the king had sent forth this proclamation, that Aaron and his brethren went forth from city to city, and from one house of worship to another, establishing churches, and consecrating priests and teachers throughout the land among the Lamanites, to preach and to teach the word of God among them; and thus they began to have great success."

As I said a few days ago, I have been reading about the sons of Mosiah missions to the Lamanites in my scripture study. These verses touched my heart, and made me think that it might just take a prominent person or persons in the Chinese government being converted to open up the gospel into China, just as it was opened up to all the Lamanites by their king being converted.

Our friend Penguin works for the Chinese government. Before we left Purdue we shared the Book of Mormon with him and his wife and he has been reading it ever since. He has a testimony of the gospel and he calls the church "our church." Jared and I both feel he is ready to get baptized.

In ready these scriptures it really made me think of him. I know he is just one person but everyone who joins the church has a ripple effect and I hope somehow his joining the church might someday influence the people he works for in the Chinese government.

I really hope and pray that in the next few weeks Jared can go to Hong Kong (the Shanghai branch is planning a temple trip) and that he can baptize our dear friend. I wish I could be there for it, but my heart will be there with them. I know I will be there when Penguin and Cindy are sealed to each other. I love them so much and look forward to that beautiful day.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Good Example

D&C 88:124 "Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated."

I've been having some struggles with Miles lately.
For the past few months he has been fighting sleep. At first it was naptime, but now it has progressed to bedtime. He would keep going all night if he could. We have to flip the breaker or unscrew the overhear light because he will play all night.

I have agonized over this little parenting problem because it really affects his little cheery disposition. I would say he is fine four out of five days, but more than a little emotional. Then on the fifth day he crashes and turns into a terror.
The past two days were difficult with him reverting with potty-training and throwing a fit about absolutely everything.

Needless to say this has been the subject of quite a few prayers how I can be a better mom to him and help him overcome these behavioral problems.

Yesterday I was reading in my patriarchal blessing, as I have been doing more and more frequently during this difficult time with Jared away and not a lot of emotional support. I read something about being a good example to my children. It struck me that I was expecting my little boy to follow something that I was not doing myself( i.e. getting enough rest). I haven't gotten enough sleep since Colin was born over 5 months ago. I've justified it by always saying I have too much to do, but the truth is I haven't managed my time effectively because I am always exhausted.

I need to be a better example to my boys in temporal things as well as spiritual things. So I decided that I needed to start getting ready and going to bed the same time as my children do. I'm usually worn out by that time anyway and I don't really do anything that productive after they go to bed. While it might not work, I feel like it is worth a try. Nothing else seems to be working. If I can make this a good habit and start getting more rest, than maybe I will be able to get up before my boys and exercise and get more accomplished in the morning before I'm frazzled and worn out by the days activities.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Just reading Jared's post about Chinese New Year and the people he had dinner with makes me so excited to get over there.

I am so excited to have this experience. I'm not naive, I know it's going to be hard, but it is also so exciting!!! I really want to look at this as an amazing adventure and appreciate seeing life in a completely different way. How many people get this kind of an experience?

I have such faith that some day China will be open to the gospel and allow missionaries to proselyte. I don't know if it will be during the time we live there or later but I know it will happen. I've been reading in Alma about the sons of Mosiah and their missions to convert the Lamanites. It has strengthened my testimony that the Lord can work mighty changes in the hearts of men. The Lamanaites who were the vilest of sinners, a people who did not believe in God, were brought to the knowledge of the Savior and his atonement and were able to overcome the foolish traditions and beliefs of their fathers.

Alma 19:35,36
"And it came to pass that there were many that did believe in their words; and as many as did believe were baptized; and they became a righteous people, and they did establish a church among them.
And thus the work of the Lord did commence among the Lamanites; thus the Lord did begin to pour out his Spirit upon them; and we see that his arm is extended to all people who will repent and believe on his name."

Sunday, February 14, 2010


These past 6 years truly have been the best of my life. I'm grateful for my sweet wonderful husband. I'm grateful for his priesthood. I'm grateful for his forgiving nature. He is such a cute daddy to his boys and I love seeing them together. I miss him so much and I look forward to the day we are reunited as a family.
Thank you for the sweet reminder Jared of all the wonderful times we had over the past 6 years! Love always

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Akin to my situation....

My mother in law pointed out this article to me in today's Church News.

Living by the Scriptures

"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." — Joshua 1:9

My husband and I were married for a little over a year when he was offered a job in Shanghai, China. After praying about it, we decided to accept the offer. Three weeks later, I found myself in a foreign country. I did not speak any Chinese and had no idea how I was going to occupy my time.

I spent my first three weeks in China very discouraged. I could not find anything to do, and I felt frustrated at the inconvenience of not knowing the language. Simple tasks such as shopping or transportation were suddenly huge obstacles. I felt very isolated and alone. I started to wonder if we had made the right decision to come to Shanghai.

I turned to the scriptures for comfort. One day as I was reading in Joshua, I found a verse that touched my heart: "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest" (Joshua 1:9). The Spirit reassured me that we had made the right decision. Heavenly Father wanted me to have faith in Him and to be hopeful. I was not alone. The Lord was with me even all the way across the world. With time, I adjusted to the difficulties of living in China and found activities to participate in. I am very grateful to a loving Heavenly Father who offers comfort through the scriptures in times of need. — Carissa Lewis, Shanghai Branch, Shanghai China International District

I know that it's going to be hard, but I find comfort that there are other families that have done what we're doing. I know the Lord can and will help me through the difficult times if I turn to Him.

Friday, February 12, 2010


"You've got to dance like there's no one looking,
Sing so they hear you near and far,
Making the most out of every moment,
Be happy being who you are!"

Okay, it might seem a little cheesy, but this is a song off one of Miles' kid music CD's and I love it!

Confidence in myself and my abilities has been on my mind a lot lately. Up until a few months ago I would have said self confidence and self esteem were things I struggled with. As it is I still fall into the trap of putting myself down too much.

About the time we made the decision to move overseas, Jared gave me a blessing which said that I needed to stop looking and relying on strength in others and start finding it in myself. I've really tried to take it to heart and ponder how best I should accomplish this.

In the past I've spent a lot of wasted energy being embarrassed or apologizing about things that I've said or done. These past few months I've had lots of people tell me how stupid or crazy I am for moving with my family to China. At first it was very hard to take, but as time has worn on I've been able to ignore the voices of the "world" and focus more on the promptings of the Spirit. As I have learned to tune out the opinions of others on this particular issue and focus on the will of my Heavenly Father I've found that I've been able to focus less on the other voices around me telling me I'm not of worth.

I've been thinking a lot about Matt 5:14-16
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
Let your alight so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

In a way I think this scripture is talking about confidence. Not hiding your talents, abilities or testimony!

I'm so grateful for my Heavenly Father's love for me and the knowledge that I am a beloved daughter of God. Just knowing and believing that makes all the difference.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Trying to accentuate the positive

It's stretching a bit trying to find the positives about today, but I'm grateful that we're here and not in China right now. I know that Jared really needs to focus on work and with Colin teething and Miles up at various times of the night to go to the bathroom, I'm glad that he doesn't have us as distractions.(That being said I miss him more everyday especially with Valentines coming this weekend)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Something from Jared's last email

My morning study has been based off of the “Preach My Gospel” manual for missionaries. Just the other day I read the chapter about how to manage your time and be effective. The manual identified “leading indicators” of missionary work. The counsel was to identify what these leading indicators are and then set goals to improve these numbers. However, the focus in not on a number but on people. It suggested that you review your daily activities and focus your efforts on those activities that improve these leading indicators and discard those that do not.

I decided that I should do something similar for my life. I came up with a few subjects and identified leading indicators. I thought that it might be good to identify some leading indicators of my spiritual progression. After thinking for a while, I seemed to come up with only two indicators:
1. The number of spiritual promptings received
2. The number of spiritual promptings followed

That was yesterday. Today after waking up I received the prompting that I should record every prompting that I receive and then mark whether or not I followed it. I think this will be an interesting exercise. I hope that this will help me to be more effective in following the voice of the spirit. I believe there are more indicators of spiritual progression, but I believe this is what the Lord wants for me at this time.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Short Hiatus

Due to the fact that I will be at my grandma's for the next few days where there is no Internet, I won't be posting for a while.

I know that not many people are reading this blog (according to my sitemeter account) and maybe it's mainly for me I'm writing it, but I'm really glad I started it. It's helping me to maintain a more cheerful and grateful attitude. It's helping me to try to focus at least a small part of my day on spiritual things in my life.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Is this what I was born to do?

It has been one of those days...
I was woken up at 4:00 in the morning (after being up with Colin until 1:00) to the sound of Miles crying. He told me he needed to go potty so I took him into the bathroom. When we got back to bed he wouldn't let me put a pull-up back on. I have been leaving his door open at night lately and so I told him not to wet the bed, but to go potty if he needed to go again. From then until about 7:00 he came in my room every 20-30 minutes and told me he needed to go potty. I took him the first few times then I just started calling to him that he needed to go by himself. Then Colin woke up at about 8:00 and Miles came in about ten minutes later and we were officially up for the rest of the day. I put Miles down for a nap at 12:00 and he finally fell asleep at 3:00 in the afternoon. Colin had horrible naps today, thanks to my in-laws dog barking and his brother's crying waking him up. On a day when I really needed a nap after only getting four hours of sleep, my boys sleep schedules did not coincide at all and one of them was alternately up all day long.

Not my best day as a mom.

I know we all have days like this. I was reminded of a small book I read not too long ago by Marjorie Hinckley, entitled "Is this what I was born to do?"

She first discusses the Bible story of Esther. How she saved her people the Jews from extermination by her strength and her fortitude. Esther's uncle Mordecai encourages her by saying, "Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"

Sister Hinckley gives examples of different women's difficult situations. The challenges of our day to be homemakers amid the pressures of the world. The challenge of raising children in these times.

I have a very strong willed little boy. Lately I have been very frustrated in knowing how to raise him in love and with patience while still being firm.

In this book Sister Hinckley quotes Elaine Cannon, "A women's significant role is that of being an influence wherever she is. It is her role not only to give life, but to shape life."

She goes on to say;"Let us not waste our time saying with bitterness, "Is this what I was born to do?" Let us rather ask ourselves the question that was asked of Esther: "Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"

I remember a conversation I had with a dear friend in discussing our children and their strong wills. That friend expressed her opinion that the Lord is sending his strongest children at this time because they are going to need that strength to resist the adversary and his snares in these last days.

I hope when the temptation comes again, as it did today, to say "Is this fair? Is this what I was born to do?" I can remember "Who knoweth whether (I) am come to the kingdom for such a time as this. " To be Miles' mommy and to "shape" that strong will of his and to help him to grow into a righteous man.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Guest Authors

If you have a spiritual experience that you feel you'd like to share, I would love to post it on the blog. Other's testimonies are such a strength to my own.
Just email me your post to the email listed on the side bar.

More Diligent and Concerned at Home

This is the post I started on Saturday night and then when I went to publish it, Blogger ate it:

I was flipping through my scriptures on the way to Alma where I am currently studying and this phrase in D&C 93 caught my eye, "more diligent and concerned at home."

For those of you that don't remember, Elder Bednar's last conference talk was focused on this very phrase. I love how Elder Bednar can take a obscure phrase and give such meaning to it. "Tender mercies" is a prime example.

I'm glad that I saw this phrase because it gave me an opportunity to go back and read the conference talk again, something that I probably needed to do as we were in the car on the way to SLC when it was being given.

He gave three suggestions to becoming more diligent and concerned at home.
1. Express Love- and Show it
2. Bear Testimony- and Live it
3. Be Consistent

I feel like I do pretty well on the first two, but it's that third one that gets me.
Morning prayers are the ones I need to say the most, yet all too frequently I am pulled out of bed by the sound of crying children. Sacrament meetings are difficult and it seems like I spend more time in the bathroom with Miles or the mother's room with Colin and when I am in the chapel it seems like I am constantly distracted by my boys. FHE is sometimes forgotten especially since Jared has been gone. I used to read scriptures or play Friend Audio stories to Miles during breakfast, but sadly, I haven't done it since I had Colin. I'm not making excuses for myself, but I know part of the reason for a couple of these sins of omission have been the lack of our own home and the moving around.

I like this quote from Elder Bednar's talk:

"In my office is a beautiful painting of a wheat field. The painting is a vast collection of individual brushstrokes—none of which in isolation is very interesting or impressive. In fact, if you stand close to the canvas, all you can see is a mass of seemingly unrelated and unattractive streaks of yellow and gold and brown paint. However, as you gradually move away from the canvas, all of the individual brushstrokes combine together and produce a magnificent landscape of a wheat field. Many ordinary, individual brushstrokes work together to create a captivating and beautiful painting.

Each family prayer, each episode of family scripture study, and each family home evening is a brushstroke on the canvas of our souls. No one event may appear to be very impressive or memorable. But just as the yellow and gold and brown strokes of paint complement each other and produce an impressive masterpiece, so our consistency in doing seemingly small things can lead to significant spiritual results. “Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great” (D&C 64:33). Consistency is a key principle as we lay the foundation of a great work in our individual lives and as we become more diligent and concerned in our own homes."

If doing all these things consistently has such an amazing impact spiritually on our families, shouldn't the lack of them have an significantly opposite effect on our families?

I feel that I too, as the scripture says, "hath need to be chastened, and set in order (my) family, and see that they are more diligent and concerned at home, and pray always." (D&C 93:50) I continually struggle with this, but I hope I can work towards getting better at doing the things that I know I must to accomplish this.