enjoy the sunlight more fully.

One thing I love about Seattleites is the minute the sun comes out, everyone is outdoors. Everyone is enjoying the sun while it's here, even if it's just a few hours before a storm or dark clouds come through. I'll tell you something, one of Seattle's best kept secrets is that it doesn't rain nearly as much as you'd think, but everyone is always talking about the weather and everyone rejoices over the sun more than the average person. 

My freshman year roommates, Rosie and Cameron, were in Seattle on Wednesday afternoon and they'll tell you how overly excited I was about the sun and being out on the ferry to Bainbridge Island with them. You just have to soak up as much Vitamin D when you get the opportunity! Plus nothing beats ferry rides with friends and fast walking on the top deck against the wind.

On Friday night, I ended up in the emergency room with excruciating abdominal pain and nausea to the point of almost throwing up and dizziness. It had been building up over a few days and when it wasn't going away, I drove myself to the ER. I was there alone for the first three hours, then my dear roommate, Natalie, came and sat with me for another three hours before all the tests had been done and I'd been discharged.  I have a clean bill of health now and luckily it wasn't appendicitis or gallbladder or kidneys like they thought it might be, but it was scary. I've been so blessed by my roommates and friends from school this weekend. It's hard being away from your family when you're sick and especially when you end up in the ER. My friends from school have been checking up on me all weekend and my roommates have taken such good care of me. I can't even thank them enough for all they've done for me. I was feeling well enough last night to go see a movie with Cassie and one of the girls who used to live in our house...even though I was super weak and tired. Today, I only attended sacrament meeting, because I had a pretty bad nauseous spell come over me, because of the pain medicine. However, it was such a good meeting with uplifting words, renewal of covenants by partaking of the sacrament, and a good time for me to reflect on the tender mercies of the week. Some of them included:  

--On Thursday afternoon, I was starting to get pretty sick after classes and I was dreading riding the bus home. A friend in my program ended up on my bus with me and sitting with her and chatting with her was such a tender mercy. It kept my mind off of the pain and nausea I was experiencing and she is one of the most genuinely kind people I have ever met. 

--Finishing a draft of our evaluation report with Kimberly on early in the day on Friday was another tender mercy, so I didn't have to do it over this weekend.  

--And of course, Natalie coming to the hospital to be with me was a huge tender mercy. She was so kind to put up with my loopiness, text my parents updates, and focus on positive things like "I'm so glad I didn't have to worry about you being here for drugs or alcohol when you texted me." and other stories to keep my mind off of things. 

Those are just a few from the list I made while I listened to the talks. After Sacrament, I slept off the nausea and read. Then I decided I needed to go enjoy the seventy two degree day (or what was left of it...at this point it was 6 PM). Driving past Green Lake, over the water on Ballard Bridge, and through all of the trees in Discovery Park with golden sunlight streaming through, I couldn't say it enough, "I live in SUCH a BEAUTIFUL place." As if I were in a movie, "The Luckiest" started playing on my iPod...yes, it's a love song, but in that moment, I felt like the luckiest girl in the world to have the opportunity to live here. I pulled up to the West Point Lighthouse and I couldn't even contain my joy. It was perfection with the sun setting, Mt. Rainier in the distance, the super blue water, the sand, and the quaint lighthouse. I took a bunch of pictures and videos, then I sat on some rocks by the lighthouse and talked to my family on the phone, watching the sun begin to set and the sailboats, ferries, and cargo ships all on the water.

Driving home, I thought about how this weekend could have been a real drag, but I can't believe how happy I was despite how awful I felt and how grateful I feel to be here, how grateful I am for the good people placed in my life. Blessings do come and Heavenly promises are always fulfilled. I was reminded of a quote by President Hinckley that went something like, "Stop seeking storms and enjoy the sunlight more fully." I decided to look up the talk it was from--The Continuing Pursuit of Truth--and I enjoyed reading it immensely this evening. President Hinckley's optimism and eternal perspective is matchless. As I continue my pursuit of truth in this season of life and throughout my mortal experience, I hope I can be better at adopting a Seattleite attitude and enjoy the sunlight amidst the gloom. It's always there! We just have to look for it. I hope I can always remember that "all things shall work together for your good."  I hope I can "grow constantly toward eternity" and let my light shine more fully. I hope I can live a life that will allow me to attain eternal life and I feel so much love and gratitude for my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ, for providing me with all opportunities in this life, but especially this one--to learn of them and to be with them, like them someday. 

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