Tuesday, January 27, 2015

best of luck.

Here are my three devotional writings. I found it really difficult to keep my stories within 200 words, but I hope I was able to convey the right ideas within these short writings. So, best of luck while reading these.

Inner Struggle: Puff, Puff, Pass

I was handed a thick blunt, a cigar casing stuffed full with marijuana. It was simply to pass along since I was in the circle, just another stop along the way. My friends laughed around me, chatting and joking, unaware of the obvious struggle showing on my face. I’d been clean for four months, by choice, and had not stopped hanging out in the same places with the same people. Because it was my choice to quit, I knew smoking again would be my choice, though it wasn’t in my plans. But reality was pushing in on me, blinding me, making me go deaf from the noise; the stresses of being on the line of poverty, the fighting I watched every day in my own home, the coping I couldn’t handle, the escape getting high brought me.

I put the end to my lips and inhaled, a muscle memory that I’d forgotten was so easy. A soft, warm burning filled my throat, down into my lungs. The THC found itself in my body once again and I could feel it setting in quickly. I passed the blunt, my thoughts slowing down, reality was subdued. The yelling was muffled, the lights dimmed, the pushing weakened. For the first time in four months, I relaxed. It was an overwhelming high, where I felt like a lava lamp with an insatiable case of the munchies.

About Scripture: April 17th, 2009

My eyes fluttered open and closed as my mother sped down the freeway to the ER.

Lying back in the front seat of my dad’s Honda, I saw small, blurred stars against the navy blanket of sky, a rare clarity for April in Seattle. I saw the worry on my mom’s face as she frequently glanced at my sweat sheened face. When we got to the hospital, I was helped into a wheelchair and pushed into a room, then shuffled into a bed to lie down again. I was asleep more than I was awake in that visit. My mom near burst into tears when she was informed I was not about to die.

Turned out, I had contracted a severe case of mononucleosis. Mono-hives covered my arms and legs, a fever wracked my body, and I slept for almost three weeks straight. All the muscle I had built up from a full season of soccer, basketball, and weight lifting disappeared with my curves as I lost a fifth of my body weight in those few weeks. It took me three more weeks to be strong enough to return to school, dropping three classes and taking naps during those times instead. I was perpetually exhausted and over time I realized I would not be continuing sports in the rest of my high school career. After nine years of soccer, basketball, softball, volleyball, track, and cross country, I would not recover enough to be able to compete with my peers, let alone keep up with them. Over time, I became bitter toward my situation.

Then I was reminded of this scripture: My son, peace be unto they soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment. D&C 121:7.

Wilderness Quest:
Sister Self

“Today I am pleased to announce that able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19, instead of age 21.”

I ran. I went outside and I sprinted next to a river I had never seen before, on cobbled roads I’d never walked, across bridges I’d never touch again, through a small town with sights I had never experienced. I ran. I sprinted. I was overwhelmed with emotion and the only way I seemed to be able to cope was by tightening, contracting, stretching, pulling, moving my legs as quickly as I was able.

I guess it was in that moment that I knew I wasn’t going to be serving a mission. I was 19, on a study abroad program, in Belgium at the time of this announcement from President Thomas S. Monson. Up until that time I had always planned on serving a mission. Even as I ran through these foreign streets, did I think I would be wearing a name tag for 18 months. I thought so, anyway. But deep down, I knew I wasn’t going to be serving a mission. I pushed it further down, hoping to ignore the feeling that would have slowed me down as I continued to run.


  1. Wow, I really enjoyed your essays. Your writing was precise yet descriptive. Your final essay really struck a chord with me because it is similar to my inner struggle essay which includes a mission and a study abroad as well. I can heare your voice as a constant through these essays which sounds obvious since they are personal essays but I like when I can identify a writer with their voice.

  2. I found your essays really interesting. They've piqued my curiosity and I definitely want more. I'm curious, what happens next in your second essay? How did you keep going? What made you find peace? I know you only had 200 words to write, but those are the questions I had after reading.

  3. I loved how well you set up your second story, but I'd love to hear more details about exactly how the scripture you remembered helped you. Expressing your inner thoughts and feelings seems to be your strength in these essays--good job!

  4. I felt like you used different approaches with each section, but they were all successful. They were also very well rounded. I felt as much feeling when tempted with drugs, as I did when you talked about not going on a mission which I really appreciated. You made all these situations feel real and important.

  5. I loved this. Your description of smoking was void of any tired cliches I had heard before; I mean "It was an overwhelming high, where I felt like a lava lamp with an insatiable case of the munchies"? Perfect word choice. Also, you honesty was what I most appreciated as a reader; your writing was REAL (sorry no italics) and that made me feel what you were feeling (especially in regards to marijuana and missions).