it's funny how much happens when you look back at one year.

remember this post from last year about departures?

well, many more "departures" will be happening in the next month and a half--friends leaving on missions, getting married, friends leaving their missions and coming home, and many things going on in my life as well.

on saturday, i hosted jessi's wedding shower at holly's house, attended the wedding reception of a good friend (from my home ward and my ysa ward...he was the ward mission leader i was able to serve with for eight months), and helped with kelsey's wedding shower that night. it was a crazy day to say the least, but after jessi's shower, we talked for a long time.

among many other things, holly talked about what to get for a birthday presents for her guy, we looked at one of jessi's bridal pictures, and we discussed the experiences we've had and how our feelings have changed about so many things from a year ago.

because about a year ago, the three of us were at an institute end of year party. i remember sitting in the grass of the east lawn and looking at the stars and talking with these girls about our lives. jessi and michael were taking a break, holly wasn't dating anyone, and i was starting to attend the ysa ward. even though we are generally very happy people, we were very frustrated that night. we were all frustrated with guys, we were all frustrated with not knowing what to do in our lives, and so many other things. i remember feeling so very young and inexperienced that night...a nineteen almost twenty year old and i remember feeling like the months ahead held many changes, but i wasn't sure of what was to come. i felt anxious and nervous about getting on with my life.

within this past year, jessi and michael became inseparable and got engaged in november, holly started dating a really really great guy in october/november, and exactly one year ago today, i taught a lesson in relief society about talents to our brand new relief society that had no organization whatsoever and then after church, my bishop called me to come to his house and said i was going relief society president of this brand new ward with one hundred and seventy five sisters. i have reflected on that week of trying to figure out what i was going to do and how the Lord thought i was capable of handling this and who the Lord wanted for counselors in a ward where i didn't know a lot of people. the more i look back now, the more i learn that His hand is in our lives and He prepares us and molds us to be placed in positions to serve and to be served.

last week in institute, our teacher, sister nelson, asked us, "in one sentence, what have you learned in the past year that you didn't know before or you have gained a greater understanding of?" 
i listened to so many profound answers and i felt intimidated, so i didn't answer it in class, but this would have been my answer: "i am made strong and my capacity is increased only through my Savior's redeeming love and the knowledge i am a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father." 

i'm now almost twenty one, but i feel much older at times and like i have had the experiences of someone much older than me, even though that sounds silly. i reflect a lot on how much changes and continually changes in my life and i may sound like a broken record, but i feel so grateful for the life i have been given and that life does change. my choices affect those changes. my attitude affects those changes. and my willingness to be humble and submissive affects those changes in my life. i feel ever so grateful for the things i have learned and the experiences i have had in this past year. life is never mundane and i have realized that the older i get, the more inexperienced i am. there's so much this life has to offer and so much i still need to glean from my mortal experience here on this earth in so little time. it really does fly by.

PS: Thank you for your congratulations yesterday! :)

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