things i like about my life right now, part 2

today as i was walking across frozen, icy, good old byu campus, i realized what a blessing and wonder this semester has been. it has been such a unique and amazing time in my life, and i am just so grateful for the things i'm learning, the ways i've grown, the obvious presence of the lord's hand in my life and the real fun and joy i have experienced. it's still so random to me that i am here, and i still have no idea what the future holds, but you know what? life is good and god is aware of me. i still ache for the mission and am bewildered by the craze of the world, but you know what? i can use what i learned and my passion for the gospel in my life now, and i am blessed.

i can't believe how fast time has passed.

so let me list again what i like about life a few months later, just because i'm happy and want to validate and share that. here we go: i really like --

*the new family search website. it is so cool and has helped me completely in achieving my goal of becoming a genealogist this semester. check it out:

i had a goal to find a name of an ancestor to do all the work for in the temple by the end of the year. i thought it would be a big long process, but i got on the new family search site and started clicking around looking for people whose work has not been done. seriously within five minutes i found catharina lienhardt, born in switzerland in 1676. she had no duplicate records and she needed all her work done - baptism to sealing. it was such an incredible experience for me sitting in my little bedroom on the top story of our old house; i honestly felt navigated to that page by the spirit of god and the spirit of catharina. i really could feel her with me. i knew in that moment so perfectly that she wanted me to do her work. so much emotion welled inside of me and it was just a really neat experience. it was very real and very moving.

so, last week i took catharina to the draper temple and in four glorious hours i moved through the house of the lord performing ordinances on her behalf. i felt spine-tingling joy as i acted as her proxy to be baptized and confirmed, then exhilarated in initiatory and the endowment. i felt so close to her and to god. just like i was in a different world; like i was in heaven. it really all climaxed when i went to the sealing room and witnessed catharina be sealed to her husband by proxy. it all came together in that, the crowning ordinance of the gospel. i completely lost it and was so emotional. i just felt the reality of what happens in the temple and i know that our families really can be together forever. and this woman is part of my family! wow, it was just so cool, a gorgeous, glorious, defining, amazing experience in my life. i came out of the temple feeling like i was floating on a cloud. this is the real deal, dear reader, i know it is, because man oh man, i felt it.

i am grateful for the temple and for the new family search website.

*CHRISTMASTIME!!! I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR!!! we just got a huge load of snow and it has been so magical. last weekend we hosted an awesome party up at mom and dad's new house in park city and it was epic and so much fun. i love listening to 100.3, playing in the snow with the girls at work, our cutely decorated front room, christmas treats, and the spirit of the season. i also got to go to the first presidency christmas devotional at the conference center last sunday and it was wonderful in every way and really placed my heart in the true spirit of christmas. I LOVE CHRISTMAS! i have been reflecting on last year in england; it was the best christmas of my life. oh, man, i really miss the mission sometimes. this is what i looked like last christmas morning:

*speaking of christmas, another thing i like about my life in this very moment is the tickling anticipation of being with family (especially nieces and nephews)for the holidays. i am so grateful for my family.

a few weeks ago i had such a fun time down in arizona with shawni's kids. i got to take care of them for five days while shawni and dave were in mexico and it was such a blast. i felt positively oozing with love for those nieces and nephew, i could hardly stand it. we had a great time, including dance parties, making lots of chocolate chews, an awesome trip to the state fair/rodeo, movie night at josh's school, and enjoying the beautiful weather. it was really great to get to hang out with josh as well. i loved every second of my time with him and the pothiers, even though it was quite exhausting to play mom :) when shawni got back, we went and saw "new moon" together, which was really the icing on the cake of a wonderful week in balmy az.

*church service. i love my calling in the relief society. a few days ago the presidency got to act like elves and bring around christmas presents to all the girls in our relief society. it was so, so freezing and so, so much fun. something about knocking on doors in the freezing cold really brought me back to the mission - and goodness knows i love any reminiscing of the mission. i feel so blessed to have the gospel and the church in my life and to be able to serve in the ward, although i always wish i could do more. i feel close to the saviour in a unique way at this time in my life. i know he is helping me every day. i love jesus christ so sweetly.

*my class ... has continued to be such an uplifting and enlightening force in my little provo life. we had our last class on tuesday, and i loved every second of it. i have learned so much over the course of the semester. it has broadened my views and ideas and strengthened my testimony of a lot of different things that i haven't thought much about until recently. that class really changed my life. now i have to study for the final - eek!!

*my job. i like it so much. i am learning so so much - about myself and so many other things. i am growing to love the girls so, so dearly and have been having a lot of fun as well as meaningful conversations with them lately as i've gotten to know them on a deeper level. i am so incredibly grateful for my job. it was the most perfect fit for this time in my life. i knew deep in me during the tumultuous days of the job search right when i got home that one day i would say that things really worked out for the best and now i can say that so confidently.

yesterday we had equine therapy with the girls - where they ride the horses. not all the girls ride so i got to sit in the barn with them. when we came outside, all the world was a glow - gorgeous snow everywhere and perfect descending sunset light all around. i felt like screaming with joy - one of those moments. i looked at these girls in that glimmering light and felt profound care for them - the kind of love i felt for investigators - a similar brand. it was exquisitely beautiful and this all sounds cheesy and trite but it was wonderful. i love my job, i really do, and i'm just so thankful for it and all i'm learning because i've really had to step out of my comfort zone. i love that. hard is good.

*a certain wonderful boy who makes me feel giddy and happy and lovely feelings i've never felt before.

*fantastic, fabulous roommates who will do fun things with me and talk to me and jump up and down and scream with me. i love this house, i love coming home, i love the random things we do, and i feel so blessed for this living situation. and other friends that are so dear and beloved and that i am seriously so grateful for, it makes my heart hurt with swelling right now.

*being relatively close to mum and dad and being able to hang out with them. awesome thanksgiving time at baliwood/bcranc.

*anticipation of going to INDIA!!! we have SO much to do to get ready and fund-raise, but we bought our airplane tickets and i am so so so so so excited!!!

well, i could keep going, but i have a lot to do today and i'm still in my pajamas! i love life, i feel so grateful, i can't believe how fast time is moving, i'm scared of the future, but i'm just happy to be alive and in the here and now - for now.



  1. Oh my heck Charity, another fabulous post! How wonderful to be able to put your thoughts on paper so beautifully. I'm soooo excited about Catarina. Since she's from Switzerland, I know she was from my mom's mom's line. Fantastic! WHERE is a close up picture of that wonderful boy?

  2. What a wonderful life you have Charity! I saw that party invite on Facebook & I knew it was sure to be the party of the season - I am so sad I missed it! What an amazing experience with the family search website, thanks for sharing. I loved reading about that. I can't wait to hear about India. Love you dear!

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  4. You don't know me but I know Renee L. who it looks like is your roommate. :)

  5. It was fun to read up on your life. Sounds like an "epic" time in your life. We're excited to see you in India!

  6. charity!!! okay my mom is desperately needing your parents NEW address to send a xmas card to! will you email it to me at ??? Plus, I just need to communicate with you my love! Email me sweetie! Love you!!

  7. Good post and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you as your information.