Saturday, 1 February 2014

The Best Bits of 2013

*Pink text: hyperlinks
I may be a month late with this post, but reflection is great no matter how late! It's crazy how much we forget. How little I review the glorious experiences I have had. Life is so busy and forever moving forwards. Each day is an adventure I am extremely grateful for. However SO many incredible things have happened in 2013, I wanted to reflect on a few of the best and share them. 

Being an EFY Counselor

ONE OF THE BEST EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE. I've done a whole blog post dedicated to it here. I love the youth. I love their testimonies. I love seeing them grow in understanding, their relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I love their friendships. I love their love. I love everything about them. I think about them regularly. We are all children of a loving God. He has great blessings for us. He gave us the opportunity to experience our mortal existence so that we may SUCCEED. And thus become the best people we can possibly be. To reach our potential and experience many things both positive and negative so that we may learn and develop. EFY is such a special programme. It changes lives. Having experienced it four times I can truly testify of the magnitude of all that it encompasses. Everyone who has the opportunity to attend SHOULD. And if that opportunity is not present, strive to make it so. 

Amelia left on a mission

One of my best friends left the UK for Australia back in August for eighteen months to serve a voluntary mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I love her so so much. Her emails uplift my soul and she is such an awe-inspiring example to me. I love the righteous woman that she is and the work that she is doing. Heavenly Father is such an incredible, caring Father. He truly lives and loves and supports us everyday if only we let him. He constantly astounds me and helps me to be more aware, grateful and progress. Life is a much happier, blessed experience with his guidance. Amelia is doing such a selfless thing. She is giving others the opportunity to know their Heavenly Father personally through the Holy Ghost and studying the Holy Scriptures (both the Bible and the Book of Mormon). She serves others everyday. I miss her so much, but I am SO insanely proud of her.

You can find our more about Mormon Missionaries here and even talk to some where you live. They'll love you forever. No joke. 

Sweden & Denmark

In July I had the opportunity to practically live in Sweden for roughly two weeks and take a day visit to Denmark. I loved it so much. Often when I go on holiday it is for the sun, the sea and basically a chilled break. This was the first time i truly felt I could live in that other country and be happy. In many ways it was incredibly similar to England, yet in some aspects it felt so more much. The amount of nature and green spaces was astounding and right in the cities! The beautiful pastel houses that complimented the landscape rather than a rude intrusion. The beautiful people and the spacious public transport, to name a few. 

I feel that the British (myself included) are extremely ignorant and obnoxious with our complete lack of language knowledge. While I'll attempted French and Italian before, I was never particularly good at it. Yet in Sweden I strove to embrace the language and culture of the place to enhance my experience. The friend who I went with spent two years on a voluntary mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Sweden and thus was a wonderful teacher of the language. I found myself able to order food, speak to shop employees and understand the jist of conversations. It has strengthen my desire to learn another language and become more educated in the world. In the next few years I would so love to travel more (and of course in my life after..) 

Bronze and a Design Internship

At university early 2013 we were assigned our first official competition brief. The Creative Conscience Awards! An ethical creative movement born by LFH Illuminating Brands based in Camden, London. The competition was open to all creative students in the United Kingdom and was even entered by contestants from Sweden. This competition is a prime example of how Advertising, an industry that is often viewed negatively, can indeed be something positive. It can challenge the way we perceive things, how we educate ourselves and others. It can cause us to care, to encourage warmth and understanding. Indeed it can create hope and ultimately a positive change is brought about.

Contestants are free to choose their cause, their median of delivery, what they wish to say and how they want to change the world. The competition is now open for 2014, more details can be found here. I entered the Advertising & Graphics category and won Bronze (you can see my entry here), attended a wonderful awards ceremony at the Institute of Directors in London with the opportunity to network and worked for LFH in London as a Design Intern for three weeks in the summer. I absolutely love any opportunity that encourages positivity, gives hope and the opportunity for growth. The entire process was such an incredible learning experience. I am so incredible grateful for all of it!! 

Being with Bernie

Pictures from left to right
1. Celebrating six months in Manchester 
2. Couple selfie while shooting for his uni project
3. Alice and the Mad Hatter at a friend's Disney party
4. New Years Eve in London after watching the fireworks

Simply going through pictures for this has made me so happy! Being with Bernard has definitely been a significant part of 2013, and last week we hit eight months since we started dating. He honesty brings so much happiness and love to my little uni life. I am SO insanely grateful for him and the adventures we share. I love seeing how we have developed and all exciting things we have ahead. 

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