New film Freetown from the creators of The Saratov Approach

I am sharing this because The Saratov Approach was beyond words. Step into the life and times of faith not only in The Saratov Approach which is now available on Netflix, but in this captivating depiction of faith in action which is coming soon.

Have a blessed day,


Garrett Batty, the writer/director of the excellent true story adventure film The Saratov Approach, is returning to the big screen with another true-life adventure that chronicles other experiences by Mormon missionaries a world away from the ones in Saratov: the film is Freetown, based on the journey that several missionaries took from their war-torn African home.

The film has been in production for some time, and it will be released in just a few short weeks, on April 8th!

Check out the trailer below, and then call your friends and schedule a time to go check it out:

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A love of scripture, the Book of Mormon in my daily life

The past few days have been pretty quiet for me, well if you can call my random squeaking quiet.  The joy of the quiet has meant some time to just relax as best as I can, ponder some things that need pondering, curl up with the kittens and watch a bit of television.

I stumbled on a series of quotes from Downton Abbey on FaceBook so I started watching.  I love Dame Maggie Smith and seeing her in a more featured roll has been phenomenal.  I steamed through the first season and am on to the second and am looking forward to some more quotes from her character.  

In addition to four days of bed rest, the I told you so from the doctor, I was able to write a quick note for my mother and am putting a package together for her to welcome her to young women since she’s agreed to go through personal progress with me.

I have a few things left that I am waiting for and I’m definitely looking forward to sending everything off to her:

  • A triple combination (I realized a full brick could be a bit overwhelming)
  • A copy of the Personal Progress manual and journal
  • A copy of For the Strength of Youth
  • A copy of The Young Women’s Personal Progress Doodle Book (see below)
  • And what I’m waiting for, a young women’s torch pendant and chain

I don’t know if she’ll understand how important that this is to me quite yet.  I actually cried when I was given my pendant as a welcome to the Young Women.  There was this joy and this moment where more of me understood and felt the fit I have in his plan.

And part of this fitting in and being a part of that plan is doing my part of personal progress.  How silly am I?  I’m a goose really.  But of course, as part of being a goose, I’m digging deeper into Scripture.

The hard part about being a visual learner is that reading doesn’t always do it for  me and while I’ve listened through the Book of Mormon several times, and read it through nearly four times, but the hard part is that with the crazy damage to brain from a head injury quite some time ago, my ability to retain information has been difficult.

Luckily for me there is an amazing woman out there, Shannon Foster, who is also a blogger and a writer and has a brilliant creative mind.  She’s put together doodle books for Personal Progress, Sunday School, and studying the Doctrine and Covenants as well as the Book of Mormon.  

While the Book of Mormon guides currently only cover 1 Nephi through Mosiah, she indicated that there are additional guides coming through.  Her resources are bountiful and includes a great deal of Sunday School resources as well as ones for General Conference.

As a convert, I find them completely invaluable and they’ve been wonderful in drawing my mind into the best place to begin such a venture where I’m trying to retain more about what I am studying.  I am truly blessed to have found her site and encourage anyone out there who wants additional insight and help in studying the Book of Mormon, a work book for Sunday School or even Personal Progress to consider checking out her site at

You never know when something I found may also offer a blessing for someone else that’s out there.

With these thoughts in mind, I thought I’d share some quotes about the Book of Mormon that don’t just come from me,but also come from others and testify to the power of the Book of Mormon.  These quotes now occupy they first few pages of my Book of Mormon Doodle Book.

The best part is that they’re directly from my doodle book and written in my own hand:

And next time, my fascination with the Kirtland Temple Era and a love of one of my favorite radio series, Past Impressions which you can find out more about at MormonChannel.Org.

Have a great week! 

The “I told you so”

Woke up this morning feeling like I got run over by a bus.  Of course the amazing Mister J dragged me to the doctor where I was scolded for waiting to go in after I lost my voice and also was on the receiving end of an epic I told you so.

Of course it was well deserved.  I did talk them into letting me go back to work after the stomach flu on Wednesday as log as I didn’t spike another fever or get sick again.

“Sometimes we actually need to rest after we’ve been that sick to make sure we don’t get taken out by something else while our immune systems recover” or something like that.

Yes, I am very stubborn.  I’m a work-a-Hollic that loves where she works and what she does and enjoys getting everything that I can possibly get out of each and every day.  

In this case, my go go go go getter way of life has kncocked me on my rear and it’s taking a little longer than normal to get up this time.  Worse, we miss out on the rodeo and Willie Nelson tonight but there’s an amazing newbie to Austin at work who is taking our tickets and heading out to the rodeo.

Me?  Well….. I don’t know. I’m tired, funky and fighting the crud.  My goal of being ready to attack the world on Monday may not be happening.  

All that aside, in feeling down. I missed Lego Wars with the young women, stake recreation day and there’s no way I’ll be up and moving for church tomorrow.  Saving my germs for me, me, me!  Me, myself and Mister J.

Life is full of ups and downs and today we just happen to be looking at a few downs. The good news is I have a day and a half to try knocking this thing down.  

Here’s hoping!

The tough crowd

Sunday was my first out teaching our Young Women.  I was excited, prepared and ready to go… and my girls were a bit on the silent side.  When I say tough crowd, I mean crickets.  

Total walls of silence.

I was in a state of WOW… is this really going this bad?  When I had these same girls in my Sunday School class they were communicative and participative.  I didn’t have time to think about the way the leson wnet for too long.  I know that I felt the spirit, the famiiar warmth that is there when I’m speaking from the heart that becomes a pressing warmth ws present.

I don’t know what went wrong, but sometimes I have to remember that they’re teenagers.  Reaching them isn’t always the easiest thing in the world, but I knew that Spirit was there with me every step of the way.

It’s ben a crazy week for us though.  I started my new job as a coach at work, it also means a crazy 5 am morning shift and post stomach flu, that means my body is in for a heck of a ride.  Lack of sleep plus a compromised system after that flu meant a head cold which quickly turned into bronchitis.

Luckily for me yesterday was my birthday so I’ve been spending the four day weekend I had planned off with my amazing Mister J in bed and trying to just feel better while staying out of the way.  Today my amazing hubster and his best friend are attempting to finish putting down our floor and installing the compression strips.  We’ll still need a weekend to get new base boards down, but it’s a start.

I don’t think I really have anything important to say today, toher than everyone should stay healthy and not get sick.

I think we’re going to need a bigger board

Today was employee appreciation day.  We put up a board and added tags to it about the people we appreciate.  I put up a dozen plus tags.

We definitely need a bigger board.

I appreciate all of you and I am grateful that faith allows me to live, breathe, love and to get to know all of you.

Visiting Teaching, Faith and Virtue Value Experiences

I am so blessed to be surrounded by such amazing young women, a marvelous relief society and fantastic leadership at church.  

As part of my month of March my goal is to get to know my visiting teaching companion and actually get out there to see the sisters on my route.  I’m a tad bit nervous because I’ve only experienced visiting teaching a handful of times and I honestly have no idea what to expect or even how to begin.

I guess the first thing to do is snag Sister R and pray about heading out to see the women on our route as soon as my schedule switches over.  If I don’t mention it again over the next few posts, won’t one of you call me out on it and make sure we’re holding eachother accountable?  I have reminders on my calander at home and at work and on my phone, but at the same time I am absolutely terrified.

Why am I terrified?  Well, it’s hard for me to put myself out there.  I’m a bit more shy than people thinkI am.  Also known as I get nervous in social situations.  Worse, I am horrible with names and faces.  Luckily, after a bit of prayer, I finally have a visiting teaching companion so once I have my schedule flip flopped, we should be able to sync up with the ladies on our route.

I’m honestly looking forward to getting to know my companion and the sisters that we’ve been asked to visit and hope that we can make an impact on each others lives.  I have some great examples of Latter-Day Saint women in my life, but I would love to meet more and have more that are an active part of my life.

I’m also working on some of my value experiences for my own personal progress.  I can’t necessarily expect the young ladies in our ward to go through personal progress with me as a coach if I haven’t done it myself, or if I’m not working on my own at the same time they are.

I am sad though that I don’t have my own mother guiding me through this.  I spent some time talking with my sister today and she indicated that my mother’s drinking has become more of a problem since the last time I’ve seen her.  It is definitely heart breaking, but I know I will find the courage, after a lot of prayer, to approach my mom about personal progress and ask her to go through it with me, I just need one of those sober moments which are far and few in between.

Now, away from the things that cause me a bit of anxiety and the struggles wiht my family, which you will all hear a bit about over time and on to the value experiences I have started working on.

I’ve chosen the first experience in both Faith and Virtue as my diving in points.

If you aren’t a member or haven’t seen the current Personal Progress Value Experiences, I figured I should share. So here we go!

Faith Experience One:
The first principle of the gospel is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Learn about faith from the scriptures and living prophets. Read Hebrews 11Alma 32:17–43Ether 12:6–22; and Joseph Smith—History 1:11–20. Read two general conference talks on faith. Exercise your own faith by establishing a habit of prayer in your life. Begin by regularly saying your morning and evening prayers. After three weeks of following this pattern, discuss with a parent or leader what you have learned about faith and how daily personal prayer has strengthened your faith. In your journal express your feelings about faith and prayer.

Virtue Experience One:
Virtue is a pattern of thought and behavior based on high moral standards. It includes chastity and purity. The power to create mortal life is an exalted power God has given His children. He has commanded that this power be used only between a man and a woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife. Study the meaning and importance of chastity and virtue by reading Moroni 9:9Jacob 2:28“The Family: A Proclamation to the World”; and the section on sexual purity in For the Strength of Youth. Also read Article of Faith number thirteen and Proverbs 31:10–31. In your journal write the promised blessings of being sexually clean and pure and your commitment to be chaste.

Over the next couple days while I’m wrapping up my lesson prep, I’ll not only be sharing more about Grace!!! but also writing about these two value experiences.  I’ve already finished the Virtue Experience, but because of how close to home this one hit, I have a bit of blogging to do about it.

Who knows, maybe I’ll be done chewing through those thoughts tonight.

Have a blessed day!

One of my favorite talks

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