the amazing al fox!!

if you haven't heard of al fox, you are missing out.
she is a convert to the church of jesus christ of latter day saints.
i have been impressed to share her story with you & have her guest post today.
if you are a member, i hope this can strengthen you.
and if you are not, i hope you can read, with an open heart, and pray about it. 
without further fox.

Having been born & raised in New York, I hope you are under the impression of the 
confidence & stubbornness I had, because that would be accurate.
I really did think I could do everything myself & felt good about what I wanted to do with my life.
Age 20 I finished college, worked full-time & lived on my own.
In my culture, happiness is not a real thing, but I thought that was the closest I was ever going to get.

I met these 2 boys on the street who were dressed up, riding bikes.
My first thought was, "Who wears helmets still...?"
Some of you may know who they were, but I hadn't the slightest idea! Missionaries? That's silly.
I wanted to talk to them because they were so precious, but nothing about what they had to say.
Religion is silly. I didn't want to listen, but I also didn't want them to leave.
I couldn't figure out how I felt around them but I craved it when they weren't around.
I saw the Elders everyday & tried with all the energy I had to talk about anything except God.

As I think back on all my experiences, the one that made me feel the most uncomfortable
& awkward is easily the time these elders asked me to pray. 
I couldn't stop laughing! 
It's like talking to myself is what I thought.
What do you even say to someone that you don't even know exists?
No way would I pray.
My awkward laughing lasted a lot longer than it probably should have until they cut me off
& asked if I would repeat after them a prayer. I agreed.
That - that was the first time I had ever talked to my Father in Heaven.
I kept praying  - I kept saying, what I thought, was the worst prayers God has ever heard.

I started to change. Not because someone told me I had to. 
I started to overcome things I thought I would be stuck with the rest of my life; 
things I thought just made me, me. 
I started to feel something I had never before felt. I couldn't recognize it at first.
Indescribable, even.
Praying just to humor the Elders, but found out, against my will, that something was 
being done with my questions I said during them.
I found out and actually felt that I was not talking to myself. I was receiving help.
Things just started coming together. I felt different.
Here, I was thinking I got it all figured out & yet I felt something so new that I never before felt 
& did not want to go away. I couldn't help but chase after this happiness I was feeling.
It was a real happiness.

Following that happiness led me to baptism of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Following that happiness led me to being confirmed a member & receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
The contrast is huge! 
What I felt from the Elders that I craved so badly was now mine to keep & to feel always!
A feeling that is so powerful & incredible, it helps overcome everything.
Every trial. Every discouragement. Heartbreak. Addiction.
And to do so without that happiness ever leaving, if it so be that we continue.
Continue praying. Continue turning to Him. Continue to let Him help.
Since baptism, I have been through trials that had made me feel completely alone.
I have been prompted to do things that I didn't understand.
Things that were incredibly difficult.
Since then, I have been through things that made me feel like I didn't fit in.
Times where I felt as though my prayers were not being heard.
Times where I felt like my strength ran thin & I didn't know how much more I could take.

And each time I was shown that I could keep going & do so with strength & guidance
because of this Gospel. Because of Christ. Heavenly Father.
Each and every single time I was shown that even in the hardest of trials; 
I could be consumed with peace & this physical love that He has for me.
Each time I have been blessed with something better than what I had in mind.
Each time, overcoming something I never thought I could.
Each time learning so much. Growing. Becoming better.

My joy is not just full, but overfilling! Oh how great is our God! 
How great is what He has in store for us! 
How great are our blessings & happiness when we turn to Him and simply try.
Although perhaps awkward at first, or maybe 'silly', it should not be approached apprehensively,
but rather sought after & embraced with excitement to partake more fully & receive the best 
ever created for us - not just in the eternities, but for here - daily - in mortality.

How grateful I am for all the times I made the decision to choose the Gospel.
All the times I made the decision to stay with its teachings.
To stay praying. The decision to trust. The decision to stand.
How grateful I am I made the decision to choose God. His plan. His ways.
I find myself overwhelmed with the direction my life has taken.
How grateful I am with all the talents & opportunities that I have been given.
For receiving more than I am able to bear - in abundance - 
when I still have an immeasurable amount of room for growth & improvement,
complimented with my imperfections & shortcomings.
How grateful I am for this love that He has for us that I do not fully understand. 
OH how great is our God!

How grateful I am I asked. I know now that, happiness is real, a lasting happiness.
I know that, I am being taken care of. That I'll never be comfortless.
That I'll always be guided & directed to greater things.
I know that I am never alone, not even a second. God is always there. 
Listening. Helping. I know that. I know, I can see the difference.

I am happy. I am happy because of God! Because He is there. Because He is real.
And He loves me, exactly how I am. I know that. I know that because I can feel it.
How grateful I am I asked. I don't know what I'd do without knowing that.
I don't know what I'd do without Him. I can't do this without Him, I don't want to! 
Because all things are greater with God.

Turn to Him. Ask for yourself. Know it for yourself. Feel for yourself.
And receive the greater things God has for you.

I'm such a boob. Bawling my little eyes out because of how blessed I am.
Go watch her YouTube videos. Listen to her podcasts 
& ask for yourself if you are wondering.
I decided to attach one of her videos below, it is one of my favorites: 

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