Sunday, February 1, 2015

It's been a long time.

Oh hey there. I thought I used to have a blog, and here it is! It's been a long time since I've been 'round these parts. I hope you'll excuse my absence... I was serving the Lord.

So today was Sunday. Fast and testimony meeting. I was not doing so hot. Walking into church and seeing the elders with their nametags and smiles and light made me miss Oregon. And even more so, it made me miss the feeling I had there as a full-time missionary. It's hard not to compare the life I had two weeks ago to the life I live now -- especially when the present seems to pale in comparison. As I sat on the pew, waiting for sacrament meeting to start, I reflected on how I've been living my life lately, and I realized some things. I haven’t been studying in the mornings. I still read the scriptures, but I don’t really study, if that makes sense. That and I haven’t been keeping up the schedule of going to bed early and getting up early. I go to bed at midnight or so and wake up at 8. And I just feel gross when I do that. So I was sad about it. Also, this morning I cared more about my outfit than reading my scriptures, and that was a problem.

The meeting progressed. About halfway through, I moved to sit with one of my favorite families in the ward, the Sweats. Their mom was at home sick and their dad’s in the bishopric so he was on the stand, leaving three young girls unattended (ages 9, 7, and 6). I scooted over and leaned over to the 6 year old, whispering that I was going to bear my testimony. I knew that I needed to be accountable to someone so that I wouldn’t chicken out. She smiled, letting me know that she would make sure I got up there. So the bearing of testimonies went on, and the spirit was so strong. I was teary the whole time. The meeting was about 5 minutes to being done when I still hadn't gone up -- so the girls decided to take things into their own hands. “Why haven’t you gone up yet?” they asked innocently. I answered with some lame excuse about not having enough time, feeling kind of nervous, blah blah blah. So Ariana frankly replied, “You did it before, why are you afraid to do it now?”

It was an innocent reference to how I had spoken in church the week before, but it hit me as a message directly from the Spirit. You did it before. You’ve lived by the spirit, received and followed revelation. You know how to rely on the Lord and to put Him first, above all else. You’ve grown. You’ve studied your scriptures every morning, prayed like there was nothing else in the world to do, lived your life with meaning and purpose. You did it all before. Why are you afraid to do it now?

In that instant I realized that my life is no different than it was before. The basic principles are all completely the same. Pray and study first thing every morning. Take care of your body. Love the Lord. Share the gospel. Live by revelation and always follow the Spirit. Boldly share your beliefs and your testimony. Pray for charity and love everyone. Help, inspire, lift, and bless others with your light. Hope on, journey on. I know how to do this. And the best part? I don't have to do it alone.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Nine days.

Nine Days. That's definitely a band, right?

Okay. Straight up, this is just going to me rambling. You can't say I didn't warn you.


I thought I had things to say. Apparently I do not. I am really excited for this part of my life to begin. In a way, it already has. EFY was an incredible transition from real life to mission life. And really, I just want to get out there. I'm not scared right now. Probably will be later, but whatevs.

HEY my mission is officially a mission! Woooo!

Really though. Since it's brand new, the boundaries came into effect today. How great is that?

Haha. I am literally just giggling to myself over here because I thought I would write some great post about how I'm feeling and everything but I'm just happy that my mission exists now.

Alright. I'm done here.

Best place in the world.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Salem, Oregon

Last Wednesday was one of the most memorable days of my life.

I'd finally fallen asleep at around 3:30 that morning. I was restless, unfocused, and antsy--which didn't bode well with my trying to finish a writing assignment due at 11 the next day (or, I guess, the same day). I woke up at 6:30 because I had work. Except I actually hit snooze twice, slumped out of bed around 6:50, pulled a shirt over my head and jeans over my feet and sleepwalked to the car.

I can't remember a longer morning. Every minute felt multiplied as I thought of the possibilities that lay ahead of me. Mission call, I kept thinking. It's all I could think about or talk about, though at the same time, I knew that dwelling on it would only make the time creep by slower, so there was a constant mind battle going on. (The side about my call won.)

Cue 10 o' clock. There's me sitting in the library staring at my laptop wondering how I could turn a scripture into a verse of hymn. And then there's me distracting myself by talking to Tyler and telling him what was happening that night.

In my class/final, I announced to everyone the reason I would be rushing home afterward--something very important was happening. My professor even prayed that I would have a confirmation of the spirit when I opened that envelope and that I would know it was right. We then proceeded to sing the hymns we wrote for two hours (our final was a writing assignment in which we were to pick a favorite chapter of scripture and fit the words to a hymn of our choice). Finally finally finally it was 1 o' clock.

I remember the next 15 minutes of my life exceptionally clearly. I stupidly took the long way out of the JFSB, ran and walked down the RB stairs, said hi to Alyssa as I sped by her, and ran past the Smith Fieldhouse to the third row of the student parking lot where I had parked. I stuck my iPod into its auxiliary cable and "If It's Love" by Train came on. Rolling the windows, I sang as loud as my voice would allow as I drove (I did not speed) home. I parked in the second spot on the right, pounded up the stairs, threw open my door, tossed my backpack onto the couch, and snatched the mail key off the nail in the wall. I stepped outside. And then I was standing in front of the mailbox, arm outstretched, key in hand.

And I just stood there.

What if it didn't come? was one of the thoughts that went through my head. In retrospect, it was probably the only one that I could process, the only one I could actually use words to express. I just paused. There was a lot of weight that was going to come with that letter, and I guess I just didn't know if I was ready to carry it yet.

The hesitation didn't last though. After about 10 seconds, the lock was turning and I was staring at my future. Hashtag destiny hashtag so cheesy. But it's true. I picked it up and stared at the words "Sister Bronwyn Elise Bent." Somehow, all the antsy-ness, impatience, and anxiety dissipated. A calm patience came over my heart, and my eyes welled up. Okay, I cried. This should surprise no one. My roommates weren't home, so I actually ran to apartment 6 and banged on the door, but no one was home there either. So I went over to the little hill of grass just outside our living room window and sat down. I was holding it in my hands. My 6-month struggle had not been in vain; here was the fruit of my labors. I looked at it, hugged it, and thanked God for everything. I had never felt so blessed (well, until later on in the evening, but at the moment I had never felt so blessed).

Fast forward 8 hours after a shower, 3-hour nap, cleaning spree, and episode of Chopped. I'm standing on my couch in my living room, which is crowded with 25+ dear friends, including some family skyping in from California and Maryland. Lauren walks in (at last!) and that's my cue. With shaking hands, I slide the letter open through the top and pull out a packet and a sheet of paper. Sit down. Flip paper over and begin reading.

Oh wait, I forgot--I was already crying at this point.

So I tried to read but it was probably all just blubbering.

"Dear Sister Bent..."

A pause to breathe and control myself.

"You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

And then my eyes were on the second line. I saw where I would be going before I had time to read a single word of it. Cue more tears, closed eyes, deep breaths, and a silent prayer. I sobbed/smiled. (Smobbed? Smibed?) Everyone yelled at me because I totally left them hanging. Oops. So I continued:

"You are assigned to labor in the Oregon Salem Mission."

And the crowd goes wild! Joy, pride, and gratitude swelled in my heart and manifested itself in streaks down my face (I really can't help it you guys...). I can't remember ever feeling happier. In that moment, Heavenly Father answered countless prayers and blessings, namely that I would be able to go on a mission at all, and also that I would feel a confirmation of the spirit that my call was received with divine revelation. And it was.

I am one hundred percent confident that Salem, Oregon, is exactly where I need to be. I know what my Savior expects of me. I'm bringing the fire. And Oregon better get ready.

Monday, April 1, 2013

To Whom It May Concern:

March 29th. I didn't take my phone to the gym; I left it on the coffee table in the living room. When I got back, I had four missed calls and a text message. People don't usually call me. There were two from my mom, two from numbers I didn't recognize. Two voicemails. One from my mom, one from my bishop, and all it said was "Bronwyn, it's Bishop. Call me back!" And then the text? "Bronwyn it's bishop give me a call when you get a chance thanks bye." Whenever anyone tells me that they need to talk to me, my stomach sinks, and because of all the hold ups in my mission papers thus far, I felt sure that Bishop Donaldson was calling to deliver more bad news. I mentally prepared myself for the disappointment as I pressed the worn down green button and waited somewhat anxiously as the line rang too many times.

At long last, he answered: "Hello, this is Lee."

"Hi Bishop, it's Bronwyn!"

"Oh hi, Bronwyn. How are you doing?"

"Good," I responded. Cut to the chase, I thought.

"President Lusvardi is going to submit your papers this weekend. You still want to go on a mission, right?"

Shocks. Gasps. Heartbursts. "Wha-- Y-yes. YES."

The thing is, I thought I'd have to meet with my stake president again. I thought it would take more weeks on top of the months that I'd already waited through. I knew it would happen eventually, but I had stopped hoping for it to happen any time soon. I had honestly prepared myself to wait as long as I needed to--finally, I'd reached the point where I felt patient. The fact that I knew I was going was enough. However long it would take, I would wait. And, as it turned out, I had to wait quite a while.

But he explained to me that I didn't have to re-meet with President. He said that they talked, and they both agreed that I was ready, and they believed in me. I'd gotten all the clearance I needed--there was nothing left to do other than submit my papers, and that was going to be done within days. Days! I hardly knew the meaning of the word. After a timeline measured in months, my reality was shortened to days. And in just a five-minute conversation with my bishop. In five minutes, my waiting was almost over. Almost...

I had my first meeting with the bishop on October 9th, and we started the process that evening. It's been six months since I started my mission papers, only six months--but it's been almost three years since I decided I was going to go. This has been in the works for a while... And I'd venture to say that it's been in God's plan for always.

April 1st. My mission papers are in.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Dualism (my version).

Yesterday was wonderful. Yesterday filled my heart. And yesterday I faced the hard and fast reality that I am a romantic. This is not something I have ever wanted to accept about myself, since I try very hard to be a strong, independent woman. I don't like asking for help; I know my limits and I enjoy pushing them. Accomplishing hard tasks fills me with confidence and a drive to do even more. And I want to be the type of person who doesn't need a man to make her happy. I want to be completely fine on my own, capable of fulfilling my own dreams. I want to be the resilient woman who is unaffected by setbacks and trials.

But no, I just... I like feelings. I love feeling things. My soul is constantly filled with some kind of emotion, be it good or bad. I revere the soft pat of tear drops as they hit your pillow case. I live for the ache in your chest that serves as a blissful reminder that you are alive despite what has happened to you. And I love the snap of laughter that pops like a balloon breaking because it couldn't hold its excitement in. I catch the spark in people's eyes when they meet someone for the first time and are so intrigued that they can't think about anything else -- I know that feeling like no other. I'm the kind of girl who tears up when she thinks about how much she misses her family and smile-cries when she thinks of the gospel. I never wanted to be this kind of person--I wanted to be put together.

Maybe I can be both.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


My eyes have glistened
on the brink of tears soft, still,
and ready to fall.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I have about 10 unfinished drafts hanging around in my inbox, and it's about time I posted some of them suckers. That's what I intended to do originally, right? (Actually, I think I'm going to make that a for-real goal. I am going to post all these drafts that are just bummin' around. Ha!) Anyway, I just happened upon this one and was moved by how strongly I felt this... And how everything is okay now. It really is okay. I've been incredibly blessed and guided through the trial. And like I've mentioned before, I believe that I am in the process of coming out triumphant.

Anyways, I wrote this roughly four weeks ago. Take from it what you will.


Life changes. It's the end of an age. Don't cry because it's over. This is the start of something new. And etc.

I am losing three of my closest friends very shortly. Okay, I shouldn't say losing, but they're all going away and I am having trouble coming to terms with it. Obviously there's nothing I can do, but I am going to hang on to these next few days with all my strength. I don't want to be misunderstood -- I am absolutely thrilled for the adventures that these ladies are embarking on, I'm just a little sad that I won't be there for the ride.

I don't know. I guess I don't have that much more to say about it. It just adds to the everything that is changing in just a few short weeks. And I mean every single aspect of everything.

But you know, this is okay. I am going to be okay. I feel at peace with the choices I've made -- I know that they are the right ones. And it is just so amazing to me how quickly after the storm I am comforted. I'm not alone.

Heavenly Father is good to me.