Sunday, March 10, 2013

AP Exams

Being a freshman in high school, I'm a newbie when it comes to AP classes and exams. At my school, freshmen in my World Geography Honors class have the opportunity to take the AP Human Geography exam in May. Even though we aren't studying the same curriculum in World Geo Honors that is covered on the exam, we are still allowed to take it. My teacher will be holding after-school study sessions, and I already purchased a book that covers the topics that will likely be on the exam.

I'm definitely nervous that I won't study the right things and that I'll get a bad grade and waste $89, but I am still going to take the test. I am going to study my hardest to reach my goal of getting a 4 or a 5 on this exam, and I have faith that if I work hard, I will be able to reach this goal.

Why did I share this with you? First of all, I want to keep you readers updated on what's going on in my life. More importantly, however, I hope that by posting this, I will motivate myself to study hard for this exam. I guess this post is more for me than you.

 Finally, if you actually read this blog, will you please do me a favor and comment on this post? I just want to see if I have any regular readers.

Thanks a ton!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mountainous Trials

Today in Young Women we had a very inspiring and motivating lesson about faith.

We watched an incredible video about a girl living in a poverty-stricken area of Mexico whose mother sent her to buy some products they needed to carry them through the weeks. The girl was given 200 pesos which was all her family had left to purchase their food and supplies as well as the bus fare to go to church on Sunday. The girl's mother, knowing that 200 pesos would not be enough for all of that, told her to buy the food and supplies first and to have faith that God would see that they could get to church. The girl went to one store and bought charcoal. When she went to the second store to buy her brother's diapers, she realized that the money was nearly gone. As she reached into her pocket, she felt a large wad. She unfolded it and found 5 extra bills, enough to buy the rest of the groceries and to get her and her family to church.

I hope I told the story correctly, but even if I didn't, the message remains the same. I loved this story because it shows how we need to have faith in order to receive many of the blessings that God has in store for us. This girl had such amazing faith in God, which opened up the doorway for her to experience a miracle. I admire her faith so much.

As I watched this video, a scripture we had read earlier in the lesson came to mind. Matthew 17:20 states, "He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For verily, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” This is one of my new favorite scriptures because it shows the blessings that can come from faith. I took this scripture symbolically, with the mountains symbolizing our trials. Sometimes we may have trials that seem like mountains. We may feel like we can't do anything about them or like they will never get better, but if we have faith that the Savior can help us endure these trials, we will be comforted and we will be able to endure them.

I just wanted to share this message with you all in hopes that it will prepare to begin your week with faith that God will help you endure the mountainous trials in your life if you have faith that He will do so.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A New Purpose

Hello again!

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've decided to repurpose this blog into my Personal Progress project for Integrity. For those of you who don't know, I am a Mormon. In my church, there is a program that the young women ages 12-18 participate in called Personal Progress. Personal Progress consists of 8 values: Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Good Works, Choice and Accountability, Integrity, and Virtue. A young woman completes 3 required and 3 additional experiences and one 10-hour project to help them learn about and apply each value in their lives. I have recently started to work harder on Personal Progress, and repurposing this blog is one of the ways in which I am doing so.

From now on, I will publish a new blog post every week. Post topics will range from spiritual thoughts, updates on my life, updates on my testimony and spiritual growth, advice, my opinions on various subjects, and how I am applying the Personal Progress values in my daily life.

I am trying to become more righteous and Christlike. I want to be the best I can be so that I will be able to return to live with my Heavenly Father again. Right now my testimony is very small, but I hope that it will grow into something beautiful as I continue my spiritual journey.

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Friends Come and Go

On January 25th, my first semester of high school will end. During the past few days, I've been thinking about how much I have learned in high school so far, and I'm not talking about academics. It's been a rough few months for me, but I feel as though I've grown more this semester than I have in a long time. I've decided to start a series of posts called "What High School Has Taught Me" to share my experiences and realizations. Here's the first one.

Friends Come and Go

High school. The hectic world of academics, clubs, friends, sports, and drama. The period of time when teenagers begin to discover who they are and who they want to become. Despite its importance, high school is also one of the most grueling and difficult times in life. There seems to be no end to the drama and stress it brings upon its teenage victims. One of the things I have been thinking about lately is how quickly friends come and go during high school.

During the first month or two of high school, I had a great group of friends in my PE class. We talked and had fun, but I realized recently that we hardly ever talk as a group anymore. One of my friends found a new group of people to chat with. One transferred into water polo. I don't even know if two others still know I exist. Just one has remained close to me throughout this semester. I find it incredible that, in less than three months, an entire group of friends has been shredded to pieces.

This experience had helped me realize that friends are temporary. Most friendships will not last forever, no matter how hard one tries. Through this trial, I have learned that it is necessary to have confidence in myself and to learn how to be happy despite changes that occur. I am still working on this, but I am beginning to understand the importance and benefits of being happy, even when I am alone.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

My Christmas

Once again, Christmas is upon us. I love all of winter, but Christmas Day is always my favorite part of this wonderful season. I love the family gatherings, the fun activities, the food, the carols, and the gifts, but most of all, I love the true meaning of the holiday.

Focusing on some of the less-spiritual aspects of my favorite time of the year, let's start off with last night. My mom's side of the family all met at my aunt and uncle's house for a delicious dinner of pot roast and rolls. After the dinner, we gathered around the living room and conducted our traditional Christmas Eve rituals. First, we read "Santa Mouse" and "The Night Before Christmas". After that, we read the Christmas story in Luke 2 and sang Christmas carols while my dad played the piano. When we returned home, we set out cookies and eggnog for Santa and hurried to bed, eager for the presents that would await us the next morning. At 7:39 AM, we were ushered downstairs by our parents, where we beheld an abundance of beautiful boxes and bags just waiting to be opened. At the end of our wild gift-opening frenzy, I ended up with three pairs of earbuds, two shirts, a coat, four books, chocolate coins, and several other small gifts. My sisters and I also received a moped to share. We proceeded to eat a scrumptious breakfast of cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs, and hash browns. My dad pulled out his camera and interviews my sisters and I about our morning. No more than five minutes later, he pointed out one more present sitting on the ledge by the front door. What was it? We grabbed and unwrapped it until a pizza box stared back at us. We opened the box and found the best Christmas present ever inside -- a Frommer's travel guide and a printed paper confirming a roundtrip flight to Italy! We're going to Italy for two weeks in March! After the initial shock wore off, we went outside and rode our new moped around the neighborhood. In the afternoon, we headed over to our grandma's house and opened yet more presents. I received cookie sheets, several necklaces, a gift card to H&M, some cash, and a book.

I sincerely believe that this has been the best Christmas I have ever experienced, and I hope that you have had a wonderful holiday season as well. Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 24, 2012

A bit about me

Hello, people of the Internet! I suppose if you are reading this blog, you would probably like an introduction to the author. My name is Stacey. I am a 15-year-old freshman in high school. I am in all honors classes except for math. I am from Arizona, but I currently live with my mom, dad, and two younger sisters in Southern California. I love cooking, baking, reading, blogging, photography, crafts, writing, and a lot of other stuff relating to computers and technology. I'm not your typical teenager -- I listen to tech and cooking podcasts instead of music most of the time, I would rather be alone than with friends, and I focus more on my future than on the present. I am a Mormon and I love it! I don't party, I don't drink, and I never will. I hope to update this blog on at least a weekly basis. I'll be posting on whatever comes to my mind, so there won't be a set topic, but I hope you'll continue reading. Talk to you soon!