New Blog // Two Blogs

HHEELLOOO my super awesome blogging friends!
I mentioned this a little bit ago, but thought I'd give it it's own post. Because ya know, it deserves it.

I'm leaving for an 18 month mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Tallahassee, Florida on October 22! Couldn't be more excited about it. SO...I have made a new blog, specifically for the mish!

I post every Monday, and when the time comes, my family will take over and update it while I'm in the field. 
I'd love for you to follow along as I learn southern drawl and tickle my tastebuds with alligator! (wait, what?)

Seriously though. The sunshine state is calling my name. 

That being said...

check out Sunshine in my Soul and follow along via Bloglovin' and/or email subscription.

Y'all rock. :)


Tonight my heart is overflowing with love and gratitude. With an overwhelming amount of acknowledgment for the blessings in my life and the purpose of them.

Seven years ago I took my first steps into an old, smelly, absolutely incredible junior high school. I couldn't have even begun to imagine the types of people I would meet or the friends I would make. But let me tell you. In those three years of awkward stages and growing up, I was blessed with some of the most amazing people in my life. With those people came unexplainable memories, trust, and so much love.

A few years later, I entered the high school alongside my favorite people. And lo and behold, our little friend family grew. With every laugh, every hug, every inside joke, it grew. And it grew and it grew and it grew. Once again, I was blessed with an amazing support group who was just as silly as they were serious.

I can't begin to tell you the love and gratitude that formed in my heart for those people. Sure, there were rough times, but never without a wonderful experience to take over.

Fast forward a few more years. These outstanding people, the ones I had come to adore, were leaving. One by one they flew to different parts of the world. One by one they began a journey of sharing happiness, and one by one I came to love them more. 

I would (and still do) go to pick up my phone and text them something that made me think of them, something that I was feeling, and something that only they would understand. I would do this only to be struck with the fact that they would never recieve the text message I was sending. Why? Because they were out serving the Lord. They were growing.

So here I am. A couple years later, and they have started to return home. My heart could not be any fuller. The conversations I once thought were deep, have matured. The love I had for them has multiplied ten fold along with my appreciation for their friendships. 

Now, in a month it will be my turn to leave. I will not recieve their spur of the moment text messages, I won't experience school moments or crazy adventures with them, but I will love them more. I will understand their motivation, and I will come to recognize so much more.

Tonight, as I sat in the home of one of my first junior high friends, I couldn't help but be overwhelmed with gratitude. We laughed, we had deep conversations, but most importantly, we came together once again. 

I wish more than anything words could express the feelings of the heart. I wish they could understand how truly thankful I am. The words of advice, the concern, the support... The Savior sent these extrordinary people into my life to teach me the greatness of friendship; to show me that the world has a brilliant light in the midst of darkness. And for that? For that I am speechless in the most perfect way.

Another Update

Man! I have really been slacking on this poor little blog of mine... but I guess that's okay, because this update is E X C I T I N G!

This week has been good to me. Actually, it's been so much better than good to me! 

It all started Wednesday when I checked the mail. I had been watching out the window for a good.. I don't know.. half hour... Waiting for the mailman. My mission call had been assigned, and it was coming that day! Finally, after what seemed like forever the mail came, and I hurried over to open the box and see the beloved white envelope sitting there. 

I painfully waited a whole day to open it. After what felt like an eternity, Thursday night rolled around and I was so excited/nervous to open that dang thing!  Actually, I was so nervous that I didn't even want to open it anymore. haha aanndd every time I watch the video of me opening it I get just as nervous even though I know I'm going to TALLAHASSEE FLORIDA! wooohoooo!! 

Seriously. Words can't even describe my excitement! I leave October 22 (um... 50 days people...) and I'll be preachin it up in English! My mission covers four states: Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama! My little southern heart is just pumpin hard! 

I have spent wwaayy too much time on the internet researching the FTM mission! But hey! That's what the internet is for right?!

Friday night we headed up to my Aunt and Uncles property to spend the night, which is always a good time.

Saturday I saw my man Keith Urban and freaking died. I LOVE HIM. We were clear in the back on the top of the grass hill. All the sudden he announces that he's coming back there and my cousins and I booked it to the little stage set up! We got SO CLOSE! I'm in love.

Sunday we hiked up to Ensign Peak to look over the beautiful Salt Lake Valley, and then played games with the cousins. I may or may not have eaten 14 pumpkin cookies with cream cheese.

And today I was able to kick up my mission blog, Sunshine In My Soul! SO excited! My dad's also taking me mission shopping.

 It's been a very happy Labor Day Weekend!

The Book of Mormon

Beneath every person is a past, a hill of trials, a longing hop. there are hints of sadness, confusion, anger, but also lasting glimpses of joy, love and happiness. There are words that bring you down, and phrases that life you up. There are winding tunnels of darkness, and little shimmers of light guiding you to the beautiful brightness at the end. There are detours and bumps., scenic routs and candid moments. Everyday is not easy, and every week is not great, but darkness can never overtake light and even on your bad days you can have it good.
I have a very strong testimony of the Book of Mormon that I cherish deeply. I know the power it has, and the influence it gives. I know it was translated by the prophet Joseph Smith with faith and love. The messages within the pages are ones of uplifting hope, comfort, and truth. Messages that can bring you out o the darkest moments and into a place of healing and light if you allow it. It can be difficult and captivating all at the same time, but never without rewarding blessings. It is a book of strength; one of divine advice and the perfect roadmap for life. I love it deeply, and I am so grateful to have the Book of Mormon in my life, the spirit in my heart, and the knowledge of the truth.
"The power of Christ is to counter all troubles in all times - including the end of times. That is the safe harbor God wants for us in personal or public days of despair. That is the message with which the Book of Mormon begins, and that is the message with which it ends, calling all to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him." - Jeffery R. Holland

"We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost." Introduction to the Book of Mormon
I would love to answer any questions you may have concerning the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and/or The Book of Mormon!
You can email me at holmesa28 {at} gmail {dot} com
You can learn more HERE and HERE.
To receive your own free copy of the Book of Mormon click HERE.

The church is true, and the book is blue!

Catch Up

I have been putting this off for too long. I am SO behind! So, we'll play a little catch up so I don't have to worry about it anymore.
B E A R  L A K E
A couple weekends ago, my siblings and I were able to spend the weekend with our beautiful mom in Bear Lake! It was so much fun, and quite the adventure! The weather was looking a little iffy when we first got there, so we spent the first afternoon and evening hangin out in our itty bitty cabin playing all sorts of games and chowin down on treats. Can't get much better than that right? We even got our party pooper brother to play some games with us!
The next day, we went to the lake! It was a little too chilly to get in the water, so we just played on the beach, but it was still so much fun!
We watched the sun set on the lake, played more games, and then headed home the next morning. It was such a great little trip, and so fun to spend time with our momma!

I N D E P E N D E N C E   D A Y 
I LOVE THE 4TH. I can't even express in words how much I love the 4th! And this years was probably one of the funnest I've had in such a long time! Which says a lot.(side note, why the heck is funnest not a word?) 
We spent it with my dad and had a blast. We woke up bright and early for the parade in our little town, then headed over to the next place for a second parade. Both my brothers were in them for the high school student government! We then spent the day hopping from celebration to celebration, sweating our brains out. Seriously, SO. HOT.
After all the celebrating in the parks, we headed over to my grandparents magical house and had boat races in the creek!

Mine lost every time. No big deal.
We went back home for a while, swam in our little kiddy pool (you're never too old for those) and then headed to the fireworks!
I wish I could explain just how great the 4th was, but there is just no possible way!
After the 4th we went campin in the little campsite my grandparents have on their property behind their house! We had such a great time full of lots and lots of laughs.

^^ that little smirk on my brother's face is because he put sugar on two pancakes and salt on the other, and my dad had NO idea... yet... ;)
P I O N E E R   D A Y   B E G I N N I N G   C E L E B R A T I O N S
I started the weekend off with these three little hooligans for a few days!
Yes, that's chicken noodle soup for breakfast.
Then last night, my sister and I headed up to WSU to hear the fireside that President Dieter F. Uchtdorf was speaking at and finished the night off with the firework celebration after!
President Uchtdorf's message was so touching. He spoke of the pioneer's and their trials and strength. One of my favorite things he said was that the best way to honor our pioneer heritage is to have compassion, to work, and to be optimistic. They were there for each other every step of the way with love and concern for one another. They woke up every morning with a clear and defined purpose to serve God, for each days progress mattered, and when they had every reason to shout that all was not well, the sang that all was well. They knew God had a plan for them, and despite all the tribulation, they still came.
I'm so grateful for the pioneers and for the spirit they brought to this beautiful state!
M I S S I O N   U P D A T E

I met with my stake president yesterday... now all that's left is waiting for my call to arrive in the mail! AHH!!! :)
Phew! I think I'm finally done catching up.. for now! ;) Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!