A Time of Rejoicing

Cherise Fall-Winter 2009 029

This post was inspired by posts that my older sisters Cherise and Cami have made this weekend. Thank you for being such good examples for me, I love you both!

Mothers’ Day for some is a time of rejoicing, and for others it is a time of painful reminders. In May of 2009, my mother Celia passed away from Leukemia. Immediately, we were fortunate to have people around us who stepped in and helped us get laundry done, put together meals, offer useful advice, give us attention, and comfort us in our time of need. I am so lucky to have loving sisters, aunts, and grandmas who became “in-lieu” mothers. One of these women that was so quick to help was my aunt, Lari Hunt.

Lari has always been such a good influence on me. Even when I was a kid, I have memories of hanging out at her house. She taught me many things and shared her love of the Gospel with me. In my teenage years, she encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone and do things with my friends. She had connections to my friends’ parents and was one of the first to get pictures from the school dances. She helped me get through high school and encouraged me during tough times. I have enjoyed many long chats with her. Even if I haven’t seemed interested or thankful, I truly am grateful for her guidance and for her constant reminders of my worth.

Besides losing my mother, the hardest thing I have ever had to do is to come home early from my mission; it is constantly on my mind. Lari was one of the only people who were at the airport when I came back to Phoenix. I felt like a complete failure and still often do, but Lari helped me and still helps me recognize my value.

Every Mothers’ Day, I can’t help but cry uncontrollably during church, especially as they play the hymn “Families Can Be Together Forever”. Today as I was crying, I got a text from Lari:

“Just thinking about you today on Mother’s Day and KNOW that your mom loves you and is soooooo proud of you!!!!!!! You have faced and overcome difficult challenges and trials and I am inspired by your Grandma Hunt like perseverance to keep trying. I have no doubt that you will go on to do great things. I know that life is tough right now, but I watch you are learning important things to help you be even stronger preparing you to continue to do great things! You have done so much good for so many and I am soooo proud of you!!! Thank you for who you are and you example for good!!! I LOVE YOU SOOOO MUCH!!!!”

This is in no way even close to a comprehensive list of all of the things she has done or of all the memories I have of her. If she charged for all of the services she has given me, it would be an incredulous lump sum that I would never be able to repay. She is the reason why Mothers’ Day isn’t so painful and gives me reason to rejoice. I love you Lari!

How to Study

My video is a little late today, but it is just as helpful!! This is a quick look into how I study…

The BYU Final season is upon us! I will let you know if I survive.

Making Chicken Nuggets from Scratch

This week has been a pretty stressful one indeed. Today I had to get someone to cover me at work so I could take my physics test! So it was definitely a relief to take a break and have some help with this fun video.

This week, we made Yummy Nummies chicken nuggets. Yummy Nummies are like the next generation of Easy Bake Ovens. They were invented in Japan and you only need the kit, water, and a microwave you probably already have at home.

We tried two different kinds of nuggets. One from the kit and one from the freezer isle. Unfortunately, the ones from the freezer isle were just as gross… They were freezer burned and were not the yummiest brand of nuggets.

If you want to see more daring challenges, watch interesting medleys of songs, etc. make sure you subscribe!

And special thanks to Sarah for the fun “cooking” adventure!

Wildest Dreams

I think most Taylor Swift songs have alternate meanings… Wildest Dreams, definitely refers to when she had a bad hair day. Don’t forget to subscribe because I make new videos every Monday!

Bad Times

Since May, I have worked at Chipotle Mexican Grill. For those unfamiliar with the restaurant, customers walk down a line of prepared vegetables, meats, and salsas, and choose what ingredients are put in their meal. About a month ago, our walk-in refrigerator, where we store all of the food made on-site, started to fail. In turn, our store borrowed a large, refrigerated truck to keep the food from spoiling.

To prepare the food, the ingredients had to be taken out of the truck in the back lot, safely transported through the back of the store, and could finally be cut, diced, or marinated. When the prep work was complete, the food had to then be taken back to the truck to chill until it was needed. Thousands and thousands of pounds of salsa, meat, and vegetables had to be transported between the truck and the store. Extra coordination was required to keep the ordering line stocked. To say the least, it was very inconvenient.

We were working hard and doing our best to keep everything running smoothly, but with the tensions and stress with the broken walk-in, sometimes we made mistakes. At times, our coordination would fail and we would temporarily run out of salsa on the line.

What were the root causes for this failure? Was everyone aware of what was needed? Was everyone working together? Were some people slacking off in the back?

Sometimes, my life has felt like the salsa on the line when I have nearly run out of faith. [The other times were when I’ve been a little too spicy with my co-workers.]

In his talk, The Cost and Blessings of Discipleship, Elder Holland recounts the unfortunate events that occurred to a sister missionary. “My companion and I saw a man sitting on a bench in the town square eating his lunch. As we drew near, he looked up and saw our missionary name tags. With a terrible look in his eye, he jumped up and raised his hand to hit me. I ducked just in time, only to have him spit his food all over me and start swearing the most horrible things at us. We walked away saying nothing. I tried to wipe the food off of my face, only to feel a clump of mashed potato hit me in the back of the head. Sometimes it is hard being a missionary because right then I wanted to go back, grab that little man, and say, ‘EXCUSE ME!’ But I didn’t.”

Elder Holland adds, “You may wonder if it is worth it to take a courageous moral stand… or to go on a mission only to have your most cherished beliefs reviled or to strive against much in society that sometimes ridicules a life of religious devotion.” It is hard to be a disciple in this day and age, but oh is it worth it to “try a little harder to be a little better” (President Hinckley).

I have no idea what my life has in store for me and I definitely do not know what God has planned for me. My life has taken so many twists that I never would have imagined. The one thing I know for sure is that a foundation in Christ is the best way to go.

Earlier this year, I came home early from my mission in Boston, Massachusetts. Since then, I have had moments where I have just felt like a complete failure. New England, no matter how inclement the weather, holds a special place in my heart. Since then, I have met with President Jones and Bishop Rowley numerous times. I am thankful for their words of advice, counsel, and support.

Some tender mercies have come from this experience, though. I have been able to attend many of my friends’ mission farewells, celebrate the wedding of an aunt, and visit my grandmother several times before she passed away this summer. I have also been able to bond closer with my younger siblings and have enjoyed a trip to Utah to visit with my sisters, whom I hadn’t seen since they left on their missions.

Applications for the Winter 2016 semester at BYU were due October 1st. In order to apply, I needed to be interviewed by my Stake President. For weeks, I struggled to set up an appointment to meet with President Jones. The week of the deadline, President Jones was out of town until Friday and on Saturday, when he would be with General Authorities all day. That Sunday, he and his counselors were released after a decade of service. However, the Thursday right before the deadline, President Jones called and told me that since we had been meeting so frequently, he felt that an interview was unnecessary and submitted my application. I knew that whatever decision was made, I had done my part and it was in God’s hands.

In a game my younger brother loves to play, the main character is left in charge of a village when the mayor mysteriously disappears. In the game there is a fortune teller who randomly visits the village. Visiting her is pretty straightforward, you pay a small fee and she gives you a fortune. When I tried it, she told me: “Remember, bad times are just times that are bad.” It wasn’t a fortune, per se, but some interesting advice. [Who knew that such a silly game could have a little wisdom hidden within?]

At work, the walk-in seemed like a nightmare, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Our team has worked better together than before the incident occurred. Although we are not perfect, we have learned to trust each other better, to work more in unison, and to not let our salsa run out.

When the walk-in died, it felt like a bad time. Coming home from my mission felt like a bad time. Losing a grandparent felt like a bad time. Upcoming university deadlines felt like a bad time. In all of these “bad times”, there was something I needed to learn… I was being tested. I could have given up, or pushed on. “Sometimes the Lord brings us low before he can lift us higher” (Joseph Smith).

“In courageously pursuing such a course, you will forge unshakeable faith, you will find safety against ill winds that blow, even shafts in the whirlwind, and you will feel the rock-like strength of our Redeemer, upon whom if you build your unflagging discipleship, you cannot fall” (Elder Holland).
With faith in Christ and His atonement, we can be made whole. In one of my Grandma Hunt’s last talks, she affirmed that “Our family’s faith in Jesus Christ is not dependent on outcomes.”

I know that I am weak, but through Christ’s love, I am made strong.

The Cost and Blessings of Discipleship by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
We Have a Work to Do by President Gordon B. Hinckley