Monday, August 26, 2013

See Ya In 18

Okay loves this is it!
I am leaving for my own mission in Santiago, Chile.
If you want to follow my journey you can follow my mission blog:



keep calm & wait on


Hermana Upton

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

For My Sister Missionaries: My Mission Pictures & Blog

Last week I was blessed to take my mission pictures at the Los Angeles Temple.
It was a wonderful time.

Here is the link & a sneak peak:


Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Pros: Tia & Michael Wray

I just love how real this girl is. I can't tell you how amazing their story is. When you know you found the right one, there is no reason not to start your fairytale!

Our love story: We met at EFY in Rexburg when we were 16. We became really good friends throughout the week, talking and flirting all the time. He was  AMAZING, and it was beautiful to hear his testimony all the time. I didn't know any 16 year old boy could be like that. On Friday night, there was a dance, and the second to last song that played was You and Me by Lifehouse. I don't even think he asked me to dance, we just kind of gravitated toward each other and then...were dancing. We didn't talk at all, we just stared at each other, straight in the eyes. For 16 year olds at an EFY dance, this was a big deal, because usually it's this whole awkward avoid each other's eyes and try to make awkward conversation thing. I remember thinking and I wrote in my journal that this was something different, and I wasn't going to let it go. I went home and told everybody that I'd met my living list (you know, the lists you make of all the qualities in the person you want to marry. 

We started e-mailing and then he started calling me every Sunday and then he started calling me every day (I didn't have texting, so we called ALL the time). 9 months after EFY, I saw him for the second time when he flew to Idaho to take me to my junior prom. It was the most perfect weekend. Then we just kept up the calling and the flying back and forth. We were best friends. I don't know how I would have made it through high school without him. 

After a HORRID two years (so complicated, I'll explain in the dating question), he came home. We both knew we still loved each other, but we didn't know if or how it could work. He called me at 10:00pm the day after he got home and we talked til 5:00am. He told me that I had to make a choice (I had dated other people) and I basically said I want to marry you. He came to see me a week later and we kissed and danced and knew it was stupid to even think that we were going to fit into some "supposed to" ideas of how love is supposed to work. Two weeks later, he moved to Rexburg, two weeks later we knew we were getting married and two weeks after that, we were engaged. We were married before he'd been home 3 months. We danced to You and Me at our wedding. 

How long were you dating before he left: 2 1/2 years - all long distance
Did you date or hard core wait: UGH. I dated. I still can't decide whether or not I regret that. He wrote me off 4 months in, so I got scared, but then he basically said just kidding, so we started writing again, but after that, I was never secure about anything. There was a boy who bought me ice cream and sent me flowers and was a handsome RM, so we dated. It just didn't work. We broke up, knowing there was someone better. We're both married now. THEN I met another boy who I thought was a lot like Michael, so I was attracted to him, so we dated, and then....some not healthy relationship things happened and I just didn't know how to get out of it. I FINALLY broke up with him about a month before Michael got home. Nobody really knows why I couldn't get out of the relationship, so they all thought I was a terrible person for getting married so quickly after that break up. Anyway, I knew Michael was the one because he was different from anybody else. He and I centered our relationship on Jesus Christ, and that was something that I couldn't seem to do as well with anybody else.

How did you stay busy: SCHOOL. I went to school year round. It was SO hard, but I put my everything into it, and this semester I graduated in the top 1 percent of the graduating class at BYU-Idaho. Worth it. 

Best thing an mg can do: Put Christ first. His plan for you might be different than you expect, but it will always be the BEST. 

Worst thing an mg can do: Stop praying. DON'T stop praying! 

Biggest piece of advice: Endure well. That's what I basically did. I endured. I could have done it better, but I did it, and then it FINALLY became A MILLION times better when he got home. I know it seems like he's not real and like he's never coming home and like you'll maybe never be truly completely happy again or even feel complete again, but endure well, and...Michael and I like to say to each other "Christ will take us to forever."

What was it like when he came home: I already told some of that story about figuring things out over the phone. He has a brother who has never loved me, but kindly took me to the airport (the brother and I are both at BYUI and Michael flew up to visit us). I was so nervous I could have puked. I looked fantastic. He came out and I hugged him. It was soooo unreal. We cuddled that night and then kissed the next day. 

One hard thing, though, was that everyone else threw a fit that it was too fast and Michael never dated anyone else and I wasn't ready to move on after my last relationship and all this crap. It was like we KNEW with every ounce of our souls that the Spirit was absolutely confirming our decision to get married, but Satan was attacking us. My mom told us as soon as we said we were getting married (after she had prayed) "I just feel like I should tell you, I know this is a good thing, and so I know that Satan is going to try to do everything he can to stop it." It was heart-breaking that the attacking came from family (his side). But we had a super short engagement and MARRIAGE IS SO THE WAY TO GO. 

What are you doing now: We're married. It's fantastic. Jump on that bandwagon as soon as God says so. I just graduated from BYU-Idaho and we're moving to Provo for him to finish school at BYU. We're not starting a family quite yet, but I can't wait to have his babies! He is the best thing that ever existed (to me). 
Looking back what was your favorite memory you two shared while he was gone: In one area, the ward mission leader gave him a pearl as a symbol of friendship and love and it meant a lot to him, and he sent it to me to keep until he got home. It was just a really precious thing and I remember crying a lot of happy tears when he sent it to me. 

Tia thank you so much for your inspiration! 
You're amazing and such an example to me.

Best of wishes to you and your sweetheart.



Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Change & Challenges

Sometimes life throws curve balls at us. I believe God tests us so He can see if we are worthy of the blessings He has in store. We each face different challenges as individuals and as couples. I believe the route of all challenges is:


It can be a scary word, but it is necessary to progress. Though life is constantly changing, my love for Taylor is constantly growing. No matter where life takes us I know we have a love founded on Christ and a love that can endure life's change & challenges.

Please watch THIS VIDEO

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Mission Pictures: Craft Ideas

This post is mainly for Sister Missionaries, but all of the sayings can be switched to MG lingo. You could use these ideas for a cute photo shoot for your mish :)

Check it out:  

Mission Picture Crafts



The Goodbye Package
The Pros
Sister Missionary Clothes

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Pros: Ashley & Jeffrey

Ladies, fairy tales really do exist

And here is a love story to prove it:

Our love story: Once upon a time, me and Jeffrey met at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. We were both freshman and somehow signed up for the same Sociology, Ethics, and institute class. Talk about divine intervention. I think Heavenly Father wanted us to definitely notice each other.

Well, when we first met, I did not want to date someone seriously. I had just moved out of my parents house and could date without having my parents wait up for me. I finally felt like I had some freedom, and take advantage of it, I did. Jeffrey and I hung out a lot. That's what happens when you have 3classes together. It's more fun to do homework and studying with someone else, and when you can get two classes done at once, all the better. Also, the Mormon population at Westminster is very small. There are only about 250 people enrolled in institute, so you get to know each other very well. And we all were in the same ward. This made seeing Jeffrey even more inevitable. He was at every activity, every fireside, everything.

I knew Jeffrey liked me, but I just avoided being alone with him. I made sure he knew I wasn't looking for a relationship and hoped he got the hint. He didn't. And I'm really bad at not showing my feelings. I was lying to myself the whole time. I knew in my heart I had more than a little friendly crush on this amazing, smart, quiet kid from New Mexico. He became my best friend. He helped me realize my potential as a woman in the church. He really helped me learn that I deserve a lot more than I thought as a daughter of God. It was around Thanksgiving when we both went home to realize that I actually did miss him and really like him.

There was still a minor problem; he was going on a mission. My mom waited for my dad and I had heard stories about how hard it was my whole life. I knew that is not something I wanted to do, and besides I didn't really even think I wanted to get married. I wanted to have a successful career. So even though I was starting to come through and tell myself the truth, I still didn't want to date him and I tried to make that clear, but his kid was so persistent! Well, one night, he just kissed me. I was so shocked and didn't expect it at all. I didn't know how to respond. It still took me a month that included Christmas Break in order for me to stop lying to myself and decide that I did want to date this boy.

So, we started dating in early January. It was great, we were so happy together. It was just like before. We were best friends, but we were on the same page emotionally. I don't remember any arguments that we ever had, I just was a little selfish and told him that I definitely wasn't waiting for him, I just wouldn't put myself through that. We kept dating and had such a good time. We went on so many fun dates, seeing old, homeless men play the cello while singing the National Anthem, Temple Square, the park, and so many other good memories. I just had one problem: I was falling for him, and falling hard. I didn't want to say goodbye and his mission call was looming ever so quickly.

His mission call came and I was so happy for him. He got called to the Chile, Concepcion mission. He was leaving June 8, 2011. That meant that we only have a few short months together. We hadn't really discussed the waiting thing since we first started dating, and I wanted to be completely happy for him, but there was a part of me that didn't want him to leave. I knew I had to be a good girlfriend and support him in doing the right thing. He had been a great missionary to me. He brought me to an understanding of the atonement and motivated me to be better. I knew that he would be a great missionary and really help a lot of people and families. I put on my happy face and did my best to support him. We started studying Preach My Gospel together and attended any institute classes that we could together. We finally had a talk about the whole waiting thing. I only made one promise; I wouldn't be engaged by the time he got back.

Then May came. School was over and he was going back to Albuquerque to hang out with his family for a month before leaving on his mission, and I was moving back to Logan for the summer. That was the hardest month of our relationship. We went from being together all day everyday to only being able to communicate over the phone. His family decided to spend a week in Salt Lake before he went to the MTC, and invited me to tag along in their adventures. I was so grateful for the opportunity to see him one last week before being gone for two whole years.

Jeffrey's mission was an adventure for both of us. We both learned a lot about who we are and what we want in life. We grew as individuals, but have been able to use that in our relationship together. I'm so happy that I decided to wait for this amazing man. I feel so incredibly lucky to have found love at such a young age. I can't wait for the rest of our lives to start!

How long were you dating before he left:6.5 months

Did you date or hard core wait: I dated for about 6 months between his 6months-1 year mark. I just always prayed to know what to do and that is the answer I received. Sometimes it was to date and sometimes it wasn't. Dating isn't for everyone, but I learned so much about myself and who I am as an individual a part from my relationship with Jeffrey. And that's why it was a good choice for me.

How did you stay busy: I worked a lot. I went to school and not just a few credits I took a completely full schedule so I didn't have any time. I hung out with my roommates and friends. I got involved with my YSA ward and tried new things. I got into running and started new hobbies.

Best thing an mg can do: Live life for yourself. Be you. Having a missionary is really fun and can be a great experience, but make sure you are having fun too.

Worst thing an mg can do: Hide away for the two years he is gone. Don't put your life on hold. You won't progress and it will be harder for you to have a relationship with your RM.

Biggest piece of advice: Grow in every way possible. Spiritually, physically, through your education. Hone any skills you think you will need later in life. For example I learned how to cook and how to be a better wife. Because I am terrible at being all cutesy and home makerish so I really tried to help that.

What was it like when he came home: It was a strange experience. You get so excited to see them come home. You have waited what seems like your whole life for this one moment. And he was awkward. My situation was a little different. He flew home to Florida and I was still in Utah. We spent a week just using video calls. But when he moved back to Utah he was so awkward. We established that we were an exclusive couple, but he wasn't used to holding my hand or anything to do with a girl but talk to me anymore. I gave him some time and he came around and even kissed me that first day. But give them time and space and let them get comfortable before you get mad at them.

What are you doing now: We are getting married!! We got engaged just last week and our wedding date is Oct. 10! Feel free to follow up on our blog. I am committing myself to being better about updating it!

Looking back what was your favorite memory you two shared: Writing letters was so romantic to him and checking up every week was quite fun for me. I also loved the packages. That is something I miss and will still write him a love letter every once in a while to feel nostalgic. 

I hope this helps you! Being an MG was so fun, but honestly having them home is SO much better!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

When Things Don't Go According to Plan: Waiting for the Storm to Pass

Over the past 7 months Taylor has been gone, I've gained a testimony that we can do anything if we put our faith in the Lord.

Two years is a long time and ofcourse things aren't always going to go the way we planned. Some of us find out our missionary isn't the one for us, some one of us get written off, some of us go on missions which makes our wait even longer, some of us go through trials that seem unfair: there will always be something.

As I wrote my missionary this week, I talked to him about tranquility: freedom from stress and emotion.

"The Lord doesn't promise that we will never face affliction, in fact He promises we will. That is the purpose of this life and the only way we grow. However, the Lord does promise (if we ask Him) to lighten the burdens from those afflictions."

In my patriarchical blessing it says:

"I give my children trials to keep them humble." 

Isn't that the truth.
Whatever life brings us, it is nothing compared to the peace we can feel if we put our trust in the Lord. Often times I think of the Atonement as just something I use when I make a mistake. But really it is so much more than that: it is a source of strength.

I'd like to relate this to a popular quote:

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm (trial) to's about learning to dance in the rain (trust in the Lord)."

The Lord is the source of all joy. Seek out his silver lining, Look for his rainbow after the rain, Follow his light at the end of the tunnel. With Him, there is a purpose in all things. He is the way.

When things don't go according to plan, seek to know the Lord's plan for you. He is the writer of your fairy tale and I promise it has a happy ending.

A song my best friend wrote:
I hope this helps (Yes I am singing, PLEASE excuse my grossness haha)



Keep Calm & Trust a Little


The Girl Waiting In Her Tower For Her Prince

Aka Caa :)