Yesterday, I woke up to a lot of rain and it lasted the whole day, making everything so misty and beautiful. I read my scriptures and prayed for a while, then I finished setting up my room with quotes, pictures, and lights before getting ready for church. It feels a lot more like home now, but it is the room of a college student, that's for sure. I called my mom and talked to her about the Primary program. It's my opinion that young single adult wards need a Primary program somehow. It would make them a little bit more tolerable and enjoyable.
However, attending my new ward was just what I needed yesterday. I needed the reassurance that the Lord is aware of me and my petitions right now. He loves me and He knows what I am going through. I needed to hear talks and lessons to remind me that I may have days where it'll be super hard to be here, but I have to continue to seek the Lord and remember those initial feelings of why I am here.
What brought me here: feelings of absolute peace. On April 9, 2013, I knew I needed to quickly make a decision. It had been conference weekend and I still wasn't sure what to do. I attended class, then talked with Dr. Hunter (one of my mentors) and walked around Temple Square. Then I decided to call the Seattle LDS institute and talked to Sister Williams for a long time about the LDS situation in Seattle. I went to one of my favorite places in the Harvard-Yale neighborhoods in Salt Lake City and prayed and read my scriptures some more, but I knew the Lord had already answered my prayers the day I was accepted at University of Washington (March 5, 2013). I knew He needed me here to learn and have these experiences. Even though I didn't know a single person in Seattle or how to finance it all or what would happen in my social life, I was reassured it was more important to have faith in what the Lord wanted me to do right now. Throughout the process of getting ready to apply to graduate school, I prayed to be able to get into graduate school (it's not the easiest thing in the world and it was a long shot I'd get in). But I also prayed that I would end up in a place where I could be an instrument in the Lord's hands. I still remember feeling very strongly that April morning it was this program. This was the program and school to help me become the best instrument in Heavenly Father's hands to help His children learn to communicate effectively. The graduate meeting at the University of Utah confirmed this decision and a talk with Dr. Roy (another wonderful mentor) the next day also confirmed the decision. I remember telling my parents after a tearful meeting with Dr. Roy and they told me they knew for a year and a half I would end up at UW. I still have to laugh about them not saying a word about having those feelings, because it would have been nice for me to know a lot sooner than when I did (five days before decisions had to be sent in). But I am very grateful I had the experience of learning for my own why I need to be here. Those experiences have also helped me continue to seek the Lord's guidance and it has reminded me to trust in the continual process of aligning our will with His will.
I am completely relying on those feelings of peace as I start my first day of orientation this morning (first real day of classes and clinic is on Wednesday). I am completely relying on those experiences and impressions to help me remember I need to shower the people I love with love. The people in my life already and those entering my life today--new classmates, new professors, new clients. It's not the easiest thing in the world to open up yourself, be vulnerable, and express love. In fact, it's terrifying. But, I think once you do, feelings of absolute peace will enter your life and you are able to see things more clearly. Actually I don't just think that...I know that.
Even though I'm missing a lot of people in Utah and things about Utah (like people who understand why I'm so happy the Utes won and a frozen hot chocolate from DQ and my mom's cooking and my dad's morning wake up calls and laughing with my siblings and playing with my dog and attending the Bountiful Temple and the beautiful mountains during Fall and a zillion other things), it's such a huge blessing to be here and I thank Heavenly Father every day for trusting me enough to give me these experiences. Like I wrote the other day, I have pieces of home here and it has been absolutely wonderful to be here. Move forward with faith and the Lord takes care of the rest. Things will work out, because we are in His watchful care.
So, as it showers in my neck of the woods (literally), I'm going to join in and shower (figuratively) the people I love (and will come to love) with love.