Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Oh my gosh, I've definitely had the change of heart I've been praying for. I'm learning so much about this branch. I don't even know where to start! I mean, some of these people drive an hour to church. AN HOUR! And that's just one way! Now THAT'S dedication. WOW. So many of them are converts, so they don't know how to lead, or fulfill callings. Their culture is SO laid back, it's just so different! Church usually starts 15 minutes or more late. Kids are running up and down the isles, up to the pulpit and playing on the stairs, crawling under the benches and the parents don't even care! It's crazy! But it's because they feel like everyone is family, so nobody will be offended. And, if they can't come to church, they don't bother to get a substitute, not to be mean, but just because it doesn't even cross their mind! Part of our calling is to show and teach them how to be leaders. How to be responsible. How to sit reverently during sacrament meeting and classes. They are used to going to church for an hour (once in a while) and listening to a sermon and then going home. So this whole 3 hours of church and having responsibility is totally new to them. WOW!!! I mean, I just never thought of these things! Oh, how I have taken church for granted until now!

So far, as of my first Sunday as Y.W. President, I have 4 girls. From what I know about them so far, it sounds like their lives have been hard. Illegal immigrant parents...alcoholic parents...abuse...just, WOW. Two of them get a ride to church every Sunday with a Brother from the ward. I'm so proud of them! I look at these girls and I think of how their lives can change and be blessed with the gospel and knowing that they really are Daughters of a Heavenly Father who knows them and loves them and is always there for them. They were "raised" Catholic, (well, on Easter anyway) so they are very superstitious. I'll have to work on that, too. There hasn't been a Y.W. President in this branch yet that I know of, so I am starting completely from scratch. There is no usual 3 inch binder FULL of useful leadership information or records about the girls, you know...their phone numbers and addresses and birthdays...NADA. They don't know about mutual, or Personal Progress, they don't even have a lesson manual! I don't know how on earth they've survived thus far. But I feel so inspired and honored to get to be the one to get this ball rolling. I have 2 years to get this program structured, organized, and to get the flame lit in their testimonies. I asked them, "So, what do you know about the gospel of Jesus Christ?" And their reply was, "What's the gospel?" (GASP!) This is going to be a lot of work. But I'm excited to do it. I know I'm meant to do it now. OH!!! And Michael, "bless his heart" told President Valdez that I don't want to play the piano. I wish he would have said that I "CAN'T" play the piano...but whatever. I'm just so relieved! Anyway...I think everything is going to be okay. :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Shoot. Me. Now.

Oh my gosh, will someone PLEASE pinch me and wake me up. I have just been called to be the Young Womens President AND ward pianist in the SPANISH BRANCH. That's right...the Spanish branch. This would be great an all accept for 2 big factors.



Okay, that's not true. I can say my colors and count to 20 in Spanish, (Thank you, Sesame Street) and I can play piano. If it's only the right hand and it must be in the key of C. So, I would like to find whoever lied and told the Branch President that I can play the piano and give them a good smack. As for the Young Womens President...it would be great accept for that I have no teachers, counselors or anything. It's just me, myself, I and the girls. This puts me in charge of EVERYTHING. Mutual, Sunday classes, girls camp, all of the other things like Personal Progress and Night of Excellence and New Beginnings...(HELP!). The branch is TINY...like, 40 people at most. Including in-actives. So, there isn't anyone to call to help me! The Primary is the same way. There is the Primary President. She is also the teacher. On my first Sunday there, I was the primary pianist (it was horrible) the music leader, the nursery leader AND the Sunbeam teacher all in one day! I taught Sunbeams while letting the babies play on the other side of the room. By the end of class they were all coloring together and eating cookies. I am trying SO hard to not have a bad attitude about all this. But it's so hard when I don't know what anyone is saying...I feel like I have to do everything because people won't come to church or fulfill their callings. And, I know it's not the, "We feel so strongly by the power of the Holy Ghost that you should be called to these callings"...it's actually, "We're desperate and we don't have anyone else to do it." If I knew I was called by God, it would be different. Plus...how can I go to meetings like BYC and Correlation meetings and stuff...I won't know what the heck anyone is saying!!! (shoot me now.)

I won't lie. I have been tempted to start licking public restrooms and drinking fountains in hopes of getting sick every week. The better side of my conscience always wins. "Natalie...God is watching you. Is this what Jesus would do? The Lord looketh on the heart." SIGH. All I can do is pray for a change of heart. And a miracle of the gift of suddenly knowing how to play piano. And be fluent in Spanish.

I tried, I really did. I went to my parents house (they have a piano) and I got out the hymn book and I played for 5 hours straight. I tried every song in the song book hoping that there would be at least one I could play. Nope. Nada. I ended up just crying for the last 4 hours. How am I supposed to get up there in front of everyone and make a fool of myself? EVERY SINGLE SUNDAY. THREE TIMES PER SUNDAY. That's a lot of humiliation for a girl who is already on anti-depressants.

If God helped Moses part the Red Sea... and Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead...stuff like that...I hope He can work a miracle for me, too.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Dear Husbands,

If there are any of you out there reading this, I would like to take the opportunity to help your marriage. Your wife will think you are the most wonderful husband in the entire UNIVERSE.

First, if you come home and the house is a disaster, your wife's hair is a mess, she's not wearing makeup, dinner isn't ready yet, and she looks like she is about to kill something this does not mean she is PMS-ing and you should run and hide yourself in your office until it's time to say family prayer and go to bed. This does not mean you should be cranky and frustrated with her for not keeping up with the house, and don't be offended when all she can manage to throw together is grilled cheese and tomato soup. This, in all reality, is a wife's S.O.S. This means she is in desperate need of your help. She has had a long frustrating day, hasn't even had the opportunity to get to take a shower or do anything for herself and she is about to break. Instead of being annoyed at her, try saying, "Honey, it looks like you've had a rough day. Is there something I can help you with?" She will probably break into tears and run into your arms and ask you to hold her and she will thank you over and over.

Second. After the kids are in bed and she's got a pile of laundry on the couch (that YOU took out of the dryer and threw there), is cleaning up from dinner, doing the dishes and trying to straighten up the house all at the same time, (Yes, it is possible. We wives call it multi-tasking) this is not the time for you to stand in the kitchen and watch with a blank stare like, "What? Um, it's bed time. Why aren't you going to bed?" Let me tell you something. Some times the ONLY time we can get the house back in order is AFTER the kids are in bed.

Third. When your wife is scrubbing the dried tomato soup from the counter and you can tell something is bothering her and she admits that she is frustrated and tired and really could use some help, you don't stand there dumbfounded and then say, "Well, I'm going to bed." That usually causes tears after you close the bedroom door.

Please enjoy and USE the tips I've just given. You have no idea how much it will mean to your wife.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Guess what, we have 2 new additions to the Brimhall family household! Meet Luke and Leia. Luke is Aaron's and Leia is Whitney's. They picked them out on their own! I've been wanting a dog forever. Michael has decided he doesn't want a dog, but he said cats were okay. I didn't really like cats before...they shed...their litter boxes stink...they claw and scratch. But my mind is forever changed. These are the sweetest little kittens in the WHOLE world. I'm not even kidding. They are purrrrrrfect. They are very affectionate and patient with the kids. The cutest thing is that these two are inseparable! When they sleep, the not only snuggle, they literally put their arms around eachother. I had no idea cats could be such good friends! I took this picture when they were taking a cat nap. I didn't even pose them or anything! Isn't it cute!?!

The orange one is Luke..

and this one is Leia.

I'm just hoping it doesn't turn into anything like THIS....

Okay, just kidding. They aren't brother and sister. We're still getting them neutered and spayed, though. ;) But the picture was so good...I couldn't resist.

Sweet Seven

My Whitney is 7! How can this be!?! She is growing up so fast. A little too fast for me. But, I was blessed with the BEST daughter I could ever ask for. She is absolutely incredible. Whenever I wonder if God really loves me, all I have to do is look at her and I KNOW that He does. There have been several times when she has been close to dying, and I know she has a very important purpose here on Earth and I have seen miracles through her. I have been blessed with an angel on earth. She is sensitive, smart, sweet, funny, compassionate, silly, talented, forgiving, patient, beautiful...every good adjective you can think of. I really don't know what I ever did to deserve her, but I am so grateful that she is part of my life and my Eternal family. She loves to tell jokes, sing, draw, read, and has a deep love of her Savior and knowledge of the gospel. Man, I love that girl! Happy Birthday, my sweet Whitney! I love you!