Monday, July 18, 2011

Remember to Remember

Until today, I had never heard of 17 Miracles.
What is that? You might ask.
It's a movie.
 And it's phenomenal.
And I strongly recommend it.

This trailor does not do it justice; but just know that 
the stories you hear and see will stick with you for a long time. 
Maybe even change the way you think, 
and what you value most.

A few years ago, I had the incredible opportunity to do trek with my ward. I remember spending months preparing for this big trip. We sewed our own dresses, learned old time dances and pioneer games, ate pioneer food, and read stories about individuals who had experienced the journey for themselves. When the big day finally came, I was certain that I was prepared for anything. 

I was wrong. 

I never expected to have such an amazing spiritual experience.
I never expected my testimony and my love the for early saints to grow so much.

Trek was a turning point for me. This is one of the few times that I can pin point as a testimony building experience. I remember sitting around the camp fire on the first night and listening to my Bishop talk. As he bore his testimony, I felt my own testimony expanding inside of me. It was one of those times where you just know that it's right. The spirit was so strong, and I have never forgotten it. This was one of many spiritual experiences I had in those three days.

For a long time after trek, my testimony grew more and more. I always remembered the examples of the pioneers. I continued to read their stories from books like I Walked to Zion, and Fire of the Covenant, and I continued to feel a deep sense of love and appreciation for everything they had done. I was so grateful for my own experiences. They changed the way I thought about life, and what I valued most.

However, like they do for everyone, many of my memories began to fade. I always valued my experiences and the way my testimony had grown. I just forgot to remember them. Every once in a while I would think back to those times and have a few seconds of appreciation as I did before, but as my life moved on, so did my memory. 

That is, until I watched 17 Miracles.

As I watched this movie, all the same deep feelings I felt as a 17 year old girl came rushing back. I was once again filled with love and gratitude. I watched the stories on a screen, but knew that they were more than a movie. I (along with everyone in the theater) couldn't stop the tears as I re-realized that the sacrifices made by these people were real. The loved ones they lost were more than characters-- they were a mother, a sister, a friend, a husband, or a child. The miracles that took place really happened, and the trials that they went through have made my life what it is.

Today I realized that all of that... is too much to forget. 
Remember to be grateful. 
Remember to remember.  

Until next time,
So long

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