Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Miracles...Cudami...Un Miracle

I am currently trying to study for finals, review a huge paper that holds 40 percent of my final grade, and get some work in. These things have been ruling my life lately, and I hope that today will bless me with a change of heart.

I woke up this morning, remembering that I forgot to cancel a membership that would put my already slim bank account into the negative. I was so stressed, as I believed they would NEVER refund me. My phone had also recently taken a little... shower...Ugh! It had been a very stressful week for me, and I was feeling extremely overwhelmed.

Yes, I am aware that my stresses are TINY compared to the lives of so many, and I apologize for this rant, but the point is, it isn't a rant. I need to share my miracles

Miraculously... my roommate let me use her phone, and the man on the other end gave me a membership refund. Miraculously, my cousin had a spare phone she was willing to let me use. Miraculously, I still have great friends, great opportunities, and the University mercy card which enabled me to print my late research paper at no cost. Miraculously, my life is made of miracles.

I rarely notice them, and I'm praying that I can have more of a grateful heart because, when we get down to it, there are more important things. My worth is not based on my grades, my ability to multitask 8 million things at one time, or the amount of money I can spend on my parents for Christmas. My worth, who I am, is innate. How I progress is based on how much I love others, what time I take to do those things that REALLY matter, and my willingness to try and try again.

This was a reminder to me at a stressful time. I believe in Jesus Christ. He is the purpose behind this time of year. He is why I have hope at Christmastime. There are so many in deep need. How may I bless them? What can I do to help lighten their load, as others have lightened mine?
Joseph Brickey, The Road to Bethlehem
Liz Lemon Swindle, She Shall Bring Forth a                                                                                                                 Son

I don't know who reads this blog, if anyone does:) However, Christian or not, I would ask you a question... How have you helped another today? How will you show love tomorrow? How did you feel while doing it?

I love this video, it reminds me of the power of God in my life. I believe that a Savior was born, and that He lives for every one of us. We are the instruments in His hands in helping those around us. His love is all-encompassing. It can surpass any depression, stress, distance, sin, and fear. It is powerful as light is in combating darkness. I believe in this very strongly.

This clip is short, but the Spirit of it is powerful:)

Remember this, if you feel lonely or in need at this Christmastime. Serve others, and love yourself:) The Worth of Souls is Great in the Sight of God"

I hope my prayers for you to feel God's love at this time can be fulfilled even by reading this post:)
Much love! Z miloscia!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Life is Great!!!

For the longest time, I was able to claim myself as a 
Recently-Returned-Missionary:) I had to relinquish this title this summer... I think a lot of people experience similar feelings and so I thought I'd share mine with you.

This summer I worked as a counselor for EFY. That is a youth program for kids who are looking to come closer to Christ and spend some QUALITY time with other youth who have similar values.
It was the most amazing experience ( next to my mission) and I loved every minute. 
However, one day I remember one of the kids I was with asked me how long ago I came home, I thought for a minute and I responded.... 10 months.

That whole day I started thinking... 10 months. 10 months ago I was in Poland, talking with Polish people, enjoying Polish food, loving the culture and the architecture and personality. 12 months ago I was eating at "Dziurka od Klucza" literally the best restaurant on the whole earth! 10 months ago I was serving these people, mowiac po polsku:) 
I. Miss. Poland.

I also began to think, what have I even done with my life this past year!? I went to school, worked, did homework, and flirted with boys. Literally, I thought...." wow, Ali, you really wasted this!" Why were you not out there, talked with people on the streets? Why did you not serve others better, or ask more people to take the discussions? Why are you not married?? Thank heavens, at this point the part of me which is not a perfectionist kicked in. I looked around. Here I was, at a camp with all of these wonderful kids who need help in their lives with questions and concerns. These children of God who want me to share with them what worked for me, how I was able to overcome trials and act in faith. I began to have flashbacks of all the wonderful opportunities I'd had since coming home... all of the miracles, and the chances to come closer to my Savior.

I'd been blessed to work at Deseret Book( a miracle since the manager just saw me and said he felt good about hiring me!) I'd made lots of friends and had chances to serve them and share my testimony in less-formal situations. I'd spent lots of time with my family, who I missed with my whole soul while I'd been on my mission. I'd attended church and taught classes and been to so many precious temples. I'd made mistakes. I'd been lazy, and I'd also grown so much from praying to be better than my weaknesses and laziness:) (I still love to watch a good movie on occasion:) I'd fallen for some cute boys ( some worked out... others not:) I'd experienced life! 

I suddenly found myself so grateful. I do miss Poland, I'm dying to go back again. However, I saw how Heavenly Father allowed me to experience so much and apply the gospel in my life. 

I am so grateful that I am learning lessons still, about doing things for the right reasons, and only caring what the Lord thinks. 

If any of you feel like your life doesn't have purpose, or if you just need some things to be grateful for, I have an idea for you:) 

Make some goals, try new things, experience joy( true joy:) Realize that every day you have is a chance, an experience, and a time to draw closer to God by learning through life's ups and downs.

Life is great! 


Friday, March 20, 2015

"Happy Girls are Prettiest"~Audrey Hepburn

What is it that makes us women feel beautiful? What is femininity? How can I really 
embrace my own self and my own femininity
Since I've been down here at school sensed myself becoming more and more aware of what others think, what others look like, their styles. I've become, in essence, more self conscious. 
I've talked with friends and roommates, I've seen them obsessively eat small amounts of food. I've seen us all comparing and competing. And then, one day I actually recognized what it was we were doing. Since that day of reckoning, I've actually pondered the idea of beauty often. 
We just want to be loved. That's it. The bottom line.
We want love stories like Allie and Noah, like Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, like Elder Richard G. Scott and Jeanene:) We want to be the object of love, and the embodiment of it.
Media has told us that we need to look or act a certain way to embrace this, but it is just the opposite, we need to embrace ourselves. Love ourselves. 
Here are some of my favorite quotes about loving ourselves and embracing our feminine beauty!     
"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone."

~Audrey Hepburn

"“deep beauty”—the kind of beauty that shines from theinside out. It is the kind of beauty that cannot be painted on, surgically created, or purchased. It is the kind of beauty that doesn’t wash off. It is spiritualattractiveness. Deep beauty springs from virtue."
~Elaine S. Dalton

"People are like stained - glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within."
~Eliabeth Kubler-Ross
And so my dear, wonderful, beautiful women:) Let us love ourselves? 

One Week. For this one week, when you begin comparing yourself to others think about what makes YOU happy? Service, Love, Fun, Spontaneity. Find your femininity, or make it! Life is to be created, not found! See your curves, your beauty points, find what you love about yourself. If you like wearing makeup, do it! If you don't, don't:) 
If any of you try this out, please let me know how it affects you:) Hopefully someday we can all change this enough that we "rid ourselves of vanities;)"(Thanks Jason). 
Joy comes from light. God has given us His light to shine, the light of Christ. So let's live the idea that " Happiest Girls are Prettiest" and love ourselves a little more. 
If you want another AMAZING essay on this, see....

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Return:)
I'm so sorry it's taken me sooo long to begin again.
Life coming home from this mission has been insane, filled with miracles, and just like any other fairy tale... filled with unexpected twists and surprises.
When I came home, life hit me fast. It was almost as if I was floating and everything was a dream. The mission wasn't real, but like a dream, but I wasn't completely back home either.
I felt very much in limbo.
I can only say that I felt pretty lost, but right off the bat I went to the temple. For those of you who don't know what a temple is... I'll tell you.
It's a house of the Lord, a place where families are sealed together, not just until death do you part, but for all eternity. I went there the second day being home, and I felt at home. So much peace. So much joy.
Miracles :
Three days after being home I walked into Deseret Book and was offered a job! I can still Skype with members, and I'm loving the opportunity to be home with my family. I've got to run, but I'll upload a few pictures and my next post I'll share some of the lessons learned!
Z glebokiej milosci!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Truth is Light!!!

October 6th, 2014
Moja Kochająca, śliczna, szalona, wierna rodzina(włącznie z przyjaciółmi),
If you're reading this and you haven't seen conference go watch it right now;)
Apple Picking...Yep...I live in a fairytale:)
I am so thankful to be writing you today from my little library off of Solidarności. It is a lovely day with lovely weather and a huge blessing for me. This morning I got up and ran through the old streets of warsaw to Ogród Saski and saw the Teatr Wielki:) drank some tea( fruit:) and I have a bułka( roll) from the local bakery in my backpack! I hung up my laundry on a drying rack and I studied the scriptures, I learned of the Prophet Joseph Smith and I studied some of the Book of Mormon. I read this morning from 2 Nephi 6 and 7. I learned that those who wait on the Lord are not ashamed. I think this means that they are not confounded, and they are not decieved, and they are not afraid to boldly testify of the truth of their message. I studied Polish with my sweet companion and I headed off to the library. Why am I tellling you the boring routine of my day...? Because I LOVE It!!! I love my mission.
I've been writing some of my mission history this week. I have been brought to tears many times as I've seen how the hand of my Savior has unfolded in my life and on my mission. It's amazing. He has changed me. Honestly speaking, the feeling of going home and the knowledge of leaving this beloved place hasn't set in yet, but I can say that I've been blessed with a clear vision of what the Lord expects of me at this time. Love, Service, and doing the right things for the right reasons. Hearing Elder Bednar's talk on that topic really touched me. It led me to thinking, why do I do what I do? Why do I go out on the street and find people? Why do I constantly try and think of new ways to teach and find? Why do I strive for obedience? The answer for me has differed at different times of my mission, to be honest, but I think that underneath it all is Faith. Faith in the Savior and His love for me and mankind. The gospel message that we are sharing is the only source of light that exists in the world. It is truly the only source of peace. It is the only source of hope. Otherwise all else would be lost. That is why! I have looked so much during my mission at the way that the gospel has blessed my life, and I am so grateful. It has changed me and my family and all of my Polish family! That is something that has helped me to see the gospel in action, I've seen it change and hold and unfold things into our lives that we never even knew we were capable of or that we needed:)
Culture Night....Romeo and Juliet
This week we had an interesting week. It was filled with lots of finding and honestly rejection. I am grateful for that, because this week we have sooo many people to teach and I'm so excited. The good contrasts the bad. We were able to find so much joy though in this week. One of the miracles was that we met with this woman named Jagna. She is wonderful and she and her family NEED the restored gospel. It is so beautiful! Our lesson was on the plan of salvation and the Spirit was so strong. I was so blessed to have that lesson and to know that I have to rely on the Lord to bring the Spirit. It was wonderful.Sister Smith is a Wonderful teacher and she is always helping me get out of my mission box and try new things and have new faith and love. It's wonderful! I am grateful for her and we are working on building a great friendship even this week. She has really brightened the end of my mission and we have so much fun! She will do great things.
I was really fasting on Saturday that I could learn something that would ennable me to progress when I get home, well I think the miracle of my week was conference because I was guided and directed that I am going to be able to do so many things. I am glad that my mission just jumpstarts my life because I've still got ALOT of changing to do and ALOT to learn, but I am so thankful to have learned so much of how to do those things. I loved the talk about boldly declaring what we believe. We need to be kind and loving, but I felt that this conference really showed me that there is great black and white in this world. I have chosen light:) How grateful I am to choose the light every day.  I was also very impressed with how many times the Lord instructed us to gain our own testimony. The promise is real, we will be taught from on high. Having our own questions is good, but we need to take them before the Lord and faithfully act in obedience until we recieve an answer. The Church is True:)
My lovely Iryna!!
In closing, I would like to bear my testimony. I testify that the gospel is light. I've seen the world and what it has to offer. Darkness, regret, momentary things. What does the gospel of Jesus Christ offer us? Joy, eternal light, hope, the knowledge and understanding to face trials with courage and to face disappointment with faith that the Lord holds true to His promises. Read the scriptures, the promises of the Lord are sure. They have come to pass and will continue to do so. It is up to us to decide if we choose to see them, these promises, and if we live worthily of His fulfilling them in our own lives. He is loving, and His atonement is all-powerful. It has the power to overcome even the deepest and most long-reaching sadness and regret. He ALWAYS wants our return. I also can testify that Joseph Smith was not just a prophet of God, but a wonderful, faithful, clean and prepared man. He was called of God to restore HIs church on the earth. This is truth. It has brought light into my life and so many others. Prayer is real, it works, and it is filled with power. The Temple is the house of God:)
I'm so grateful to have been a missionary in Poland. Kocham Polskę! Ci ludzie są moim ludem. Niby ten język był moim ojczyznym jęzkiem:) Jednakże, kiedy wrócę do swojego kraju, swojej rodziny a swojego domu wiem jedno, przynieszę z sobą relacje o które się troszczyłam. Z polakami, i przedewzystkim z Bogiem. Moje serce wie, bezgranicznie, że Bóg jest Moim Ojcem, że Jego Syn Jezus Chrystus jest Moim Zbawicielem, i że Jozef Smith był Jego Objawicielem w tej dyspensacji. Kocham was, i najwyższy czas bym napisała cos po Polsku;)
z miłością, Siostra Ali Hemming

Monday, September 29, 2014

That Light Groweth Brighter and Brighter until the Perfect Day:)

September 29th, 2014
Free Apple Fair!  Tons of Apples...I love the FALL!
Dzień Dobry Mój Ukochanie!
Once again, I'm totally taking up Aunt Kathy's calling people Lovey:) Because it's totally polish and she didn't even know it:)
This was a miraculous week. Seriously. This week I made a new best friend! Sister Smith and I began teaching a woman named Alina. Our lesson with her was so heaven sent for us all. She just opened up and shared with us a really sad story about her family and how she has lived a very hard life, but the whole time she has held on strong. She is a miracle. The first lesson started off a bit rocky as she pulled out all this anti stuff. Some people's religion is anti-mormon I've decided. It was interesting because she started asking us questions and then pulled out her computer as if to read something but it ended up being this movie. I was shocked at how quickly spirit warned us to turn it off. It didn't have like any images or anything, but it was just blasphemy. We told her to turn it off right away and as soon as we did so the spirit began to fill the room again. It was amazing, I know that if we listen to the spirit we will make right decisions, and it actually gave us the perfect background to talk about the things of the Spirit. If something is open, light, peaceful, loving and joyous it is of God, if it is dark, sheltered, fearful, scary or hidden it is not. That's it:) I am shocked at how much I am blessed to learn every week of my mission.
Trying on my "Ever After Dress"
Anyways, we love her! She is truly searching and super open, she has alot of questions, but that is something that has touched me so deeply is that the gospel has ALL the answers.
 We also learned this week that we should NEVER think that miracles have ceased. There is a family here in Poland who I lOVE! They are filled with wonderful and sweet women who we need in the church. But mostly from breaking the law of chastity they have slowly fallen into inactivity. This week we decided to meet with them again and try to help them in their journey( keep in mind they were very much opposed to reading the scriptures and coming to church). Well Sister Smith ,who is the ultimate teacher, shared with her some personal experiences. It opened the lesson up and she came to church on Sunday!!! Whoo hoo!!! Also, another less-active who is meant to be so strong ended up coming to church on Sunday and I was able to share with him some insight I've received during my trials as a missionary. Miracles.
Family History Board with Barbara
In all of this I am left wondrously in awe at the amazing power of the atonement of my Savior.I know that ALL that is unfair and unright in this world will be made right in the atonement of the Savior. Hearing from people every day about the things they see as being wrong in the world has only made me more in awe of the shattering burden He bore. I don't have perfect understanding, but I have faith that in Him all is overcome. I have seen it in my own life and in others. It is a miracle.
Siostra Hemming and Anna at her baptism
On Saturday this wonderful woman named Anna was baptized. It was so cool because I had heard about her( she's in the other Warsaw branch) and such, and finally a couple of weeks ago I met her, she looked at me and said, " I know you". She was someone I had found with Sis. P. a while back, and she got baptized:) Her baptism was lovely and she was glowing as she bore her testimony of being clean of sin and the Spirit's power. She said she'll be a kingdom builder;)I am being really blessed to see the fruits of my labors at the end of my mission, as some people from Kielce are also preparing for baptism. I am so grateful for this opportunity.
Well, I'm excited for another week. Sister Smith is amazing and I LOVE teaching with her. She's helping me remember too all of the fun and enjoyable things that I love:) She is a miracle for me as well at this time in my mission and life. I sure love her.
Have a good week! The Church is True. The Gospel works.
Love, Siostra Ali Hemming

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sacrifice Brings forth Blessings:)

September  22nd, 2014
My Lovely Family!
This was a week of miracles! Sister Smith and I had a lot of opposition this week. Seriously. But I will tell you that Heavenly Father just swooped in and made miracles happen as we strove to be obedient and work hard. On Monday we were out talking with people and we met this WONDERFUL couple. They are both very believing and have such great values, and we began to share with them the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was beautiful as it made so much sense to them, they wanted to meet with us again and we are setting up a date soon! I also was able to spend some time this week practicing a song for Zone Conference. It was lovely. We sang Come Come Ye Saints, and I was brought back many times to my own family history today. It was really quite cool. I don't think it's ever meant so much to me as it means on my mission, the examples of my stalwart ancestors who sacrificed everything for the truth of the Restored Gospel. I am grateful to be a missionary and learn the law of sacrifice a little better.
We also had Zone Conference this week. It was funny because I was beginning this last week to just feel a little bit tired at weekly planning. I definitely was just going through the motions, and at Zone Conference we talked All about the importance of making goals and plans and following through on them. ON talking with Heavenly Father about them and having faith to let them come through. That was inspired to me, and I felt so much better, why? Because I remembered what I've learned so many times. It's about the people. I could care LESS if I got three new investigators or whatever, but understanding and loving and caring about three new children of God. Building relationships with them and seeing the gospel change their lives, that is why I love having new investigators. So I am thankful for that conference, it was also my last conference. Which was really sad. I love these missionaries and have come to feel so much joy in their successes!
We met with Phoung this week! She is our investigator from Vietnam! She is wonderful and deeply spiritual. I don't know anything about Buddhism, but I know that she is filled with light, and is ready to learn about the gospel in it's restored form.
Saturday was absolutely INSANE! We were literally running from lesson to lesson, but we had the chance to throw something funny in there....
It was Elder Peacock's birthday and so we were at the store figuring out what to get him... my eye caught on this Scooby Doo toy thing:) So we came up with this idea that  we would get him this toy and some biscuits( scooby snacks) and then meet them at lunch dressed ever so slightly like Scooby Doo characters. I was Velma and Sis. Smith was Fred:) It was so funny! We showed up and I put on some glasses and we just kept making some weird comments like" alright gang" and " jenkis", and finally we gave him his present and it all made sense. It gave us some good laughs and was super fun!
Scooby Doo Birthday!!!!!!
Yesterday was Ward Conference and I was stunned at the strength of these Polish Saints! They are wonderful and oh how I will miss them. They have just come leaps and bounds since when I first met them all and the church in Poland is in the hands of the Lord. That is shown by the strength these saints have. They are stellar.
This week I learned about trials in the scriptures. I was so touched by hearing of Nephi building the ship. I always thought it was interesting that Nephi tells many details of getting the ore and the metals. This time though, I caught the connection. Did Nephi know that as he was being shown by the Lord how to make the metals and the tools that the Lord was showing him how He makes men strong? How we are tried in fiery furnaces and upheld by His hand so that  He can deliver us out of our trials as brightened and sharpened tools that He can use in the building of His kingdom? I wonder. The Book of Mormon this time around reading has reminded me time and time again that the Lord delivers us, but only after helping us become who He needs us to be. Let us not forget that His hand made the billows, and His hand the wasters to destroy( Isaiah 54). This has influence me so much on my mission, nothing that we are given will be too much for us, if we only trust in the Lord.  I am certain of this, and have been showed this time and time again.
My mission has brought me more joy and understanding than I ever imagined in a lifetime. I love the Lord for letting me serve in Poland! I love these people and this country, this is His church, it is evident because of the change that it enables in the lives of those who try it's truths. It is true:)
I love you all! Have a great week!
Siostra Ali Hemming