Thursday, February 12, 2015


I truly have come to believe that
everything happens for a reason.

God puts specific people into our lives
each & every day.
Some teach us about love.
Some teach us about sacrifice.
Some teach us about service.
Some teach us about the light of Christ.
They bring Him into our lives.

That was & is my friend, Madeline.

This Valentine's Day marks 10 years
since she embarked on a new, grande adventure.
She had done just what her Father in Heaven needed her to do 
{here on earth}
and He was ready for her help in Heaven.

Madeline was a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
She taught me more about His love
than possibly anyone else I know.
She radiated with His light and she shared it with all she knew.
Her light and her example saved me countless times.
She saved me from selfishness.
She saved me from regret.
She saved me from heartache.
She was my angel.
For her, I am forever grateful.
I know that my Heavenly Father blessed me 
with her influence in my life.

I have learned time and time again, 
that there really are no coincidences.
God has a plan specific to each one of us.
Each of our paths cross for a reason.

I am a missionary 
for the 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
I have a purpose.
The Lord expects me as His servant to bring His light into the lives of others.
I hope and pray every day that I may share of His light and His love.

I know that God lives.
I know that our Savior, Jesus Christ, gave His life for us.
I know that His Atonement is infinite and real.
I know that His love is all encompassing.
I also know, that I will see my Madeline again.
I rejoice in that knowledge 
and in the peace that the Savior brings me.
I know that we have a Father in Heaven,
who loves us,
and is mindful of each and every one of us.

Let Him teach you.
Let Him love you.
Let Him show you the way.
Follow His light and never let it go.

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Monday, January 5, 2015


Happy birthday to me.  
This is literally the last place I thought I would be 
for my 26th birthday....but I'm so glad to be here.

Missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 
have the opportunity to serve at the age of 18 for Elders & the age of 19 for Sisters. 
So, as you can imagine, I am one of few within 
the Arizona Mesa Mission who is over 25 to say the least.

Age is something that I have thought a lot about as I have found myself here. 
My mission has truly reminded me that God has a plan that is 
individual & unique 
to each one of us. 
He knows us perfectly.
He knows what we need. 
He knew that I needed this service and this opportunity. 
I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Elder Russell M. Nelson has said, 
"When we comprehend His voluntary Atonement, 
any sense of sacrifice on our part becomes completely overshadowed 
by a profound sense of gratitude for the privilege of serving Him."

I've never doubted Elder Nelson, but man is he right. 
The Atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ is central to 
all human history and each one of our individual plans. 
Each of us have the opportunity to turn to Him and to change
I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to be here, serving Him. 
I know that we can serve Him, no matter our circumstance. 
Although this is my only birthday as His full-time servant, 
I hope to remember Him each & every birthday to come.

{you know I celebrated with a birthday run}

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014


As I was preparing to come on my mission
I knew having a companion would be one of my greatest challenges
I like my alone time
When I'm stressed, I would prefer to run 20 miles solo and cry it out
BEFORE talking it out

But, you know what?
I have been pleasantly surprised
It's not to say that there are only rainbows and sunshine every day
{I mean, come on, we are human}
but I'm overwhelmed with gratitude for my sisters here
it is pretty great having a family of sisters to turn to
especially on those hard days

I've been blessed in this life
to have 3 younger sisters in my biological family
who I love and adore
but I've come to learn now more than ever
that we all have sisters
and we can all turn to those sisters in time of need
no matter our situation

In the September 2014 issue of the Ensign, there is a wonderful talk entitled

I invite you to read it

as sisters, we have the opportunity
bear one another's burdens
mourn with those that mourn
comfort those who stand in need of comfort
and most importantly
stand as witnesses of God

we are disciples of Jesus Christ
we are destined for more than we can possibly imagine
let us gather together as His disciples in a sisterhood of service, love and virtue
there's no reason to stand alone

"Sisterhood is an eternal bond prescribed by our Heavenly Father....we are 
never alone, for the Lord has given us all sisters."

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Monday, July 28, 2014


I LOVE the word refined
Although, right now I'm remembering a bronzer I bought from MAC in HS called "refined golden"
not my best purchase (a bit too orange for my skin tone)
But it's fine -- I've learned from my mistakes

I've had the same beauty routine for a while now.
I pride myself on my ability to get ready in less than 30 minutes.
On the mission, that has definitely been put to the test.
Here are a few of my key beauty secrets.

{clarisonic and lush}
these two products have saved me in this dry heat!
i use the Clarisonic Pro with Lush Ocean Salt Scrub
the salt scrub can be a little rough on the skin, so I only use them together once a week.

{coconut oil}
i use this for everything!
once a week, i soak my hair and wrap it with saran wrap and sleep with it -- it's the perfect overnight glaze when you don't have a ton of time to commit to beauty -- keep in mind, you will look like an alien
i love using it all over my body as well, sometimes regular lotions just aren't enough

Sephora is a new favorite of mine
they have EVERY color
and the price point is moderate
other favs are NARS, YSL, and Bite

{BB cream}
i have never liked foundation so this is perfect for me
it evens my skin tone and is quick & simple

i cannot stress enough that eyebrows frame the face
i love Anastasia products -- they have pencils, powders, and even starter kits if you need a little help
go to Sephora or Nordstrom and ask for a little guidance and they will be happy to give you the low down

my personal favorite is Chanel Coco Mademoiselle
but there are so many options out there -- find one you like and go with it

You can bet if I am to go out in public
I have done at least three things:
1 put on BB cream
2 filled in my eyebrows
3 spritzed perfume

I love this talk, "Our Refined Heavenly Home" by Elder Callister
he actually met one of my idols... 
Audrey Hepburn

"I once visited briefly with the great actress Audrey Hepburn while she was making the movie My Fair Lady. She spoke of the opening scene in the movie in which she depicted a modest, unpolished flower girl. Her face had been besmirched with charcoal to make her seem part of her surroundings. “But,” she said with a twinkle in her eye, “I was wearing my perfume. Inside I still knew I was a lady.” It doesn’t take expensive perfume to make a lady, but it does require cleanliness, modesty, self-respect, and pride in one’s appearance."

These are just a few little things that make me feel my best.  
But always remember, you were created by God.  
You are divine.  
You are beautiful.  
Take care of yourself & love yourself.  
That's the best advice I could ever give.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014


If you're not from Utah, you may not even know today is Pioneer Day.

Pioneer Day is absolutely one of my favorite holidays, in large part because I grew up in Salt Lake.  I have so many memories of this day and it's importance.  As a little girl, I felt so privileged sleeping outside on South Temple to get the best spot for the Days of '47 Parade.  We would ride the Temple Square carriage in the middle of the night and my older cousins would give me advice -- on everything from elementary school woes to kissing boys to making the best dirty Diet Coke.  Some of my best memories revolve around July 24th.

The Mormon Pioneers were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who were forced out of their homes in the Midwest and migrated West across the United States, arriving in the Salt Lake Valley, or what they called "Zion" on July 24th, 1847.

So, what is "Zion"?  Zion is "the pure in heart".  Zion is our hopes, our desires, our dreams.  As we turn to God and put His will first, all of these dreams and desires can be realized.  I think it is inherent human nature to be a part of the crowd, to be popular and in sync with the times.  We look for recognition and validation in our efforts, but often that is not where true conversion lies.  We must be forced out of our comfort zone, out of those social norms -- this is where we innovate and transform, this is where we become leaders.

We must love.  We must serve.  We must work.  We must consecrate ourselves and turn to God in all that we do.  Only then, can we become "pure in heart".  Only then can we build each other up.  Only then, all blessings that can be had, that God is willing to grant, will be ours.

{I love art & naturally, Vincent Van Gogh says it perfectly}

This Pioneer Day I am especially grateful to be on a mission, to be developing the characteristics and confidence to change, to be different, to be a pioneer.

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Monday, July 14, 2014


Hi All!  So this is officially my first post on my blog and my first post as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  So let me give ya'll a little bit of background info.  Serving a mission was the last thing I thought I would ever choose to do -- especially at 25...  But I'm so excited to see how I can share my love of the gospel with others!

I'm currently serving in Mesa, AZ and I'm speaking Spanish!  Such a tender mercy, considering I was dying to go to Argentina.  My family is from there!  My great-grandparents, Emilio & Donato Gianfelice, were actually the first converts to the LDS church from South America!  Talk about a legacy!  But yeah, Heavenly Father knows me too well and knew I would love learning Spanish.

You know what, missions are hard.  Sometimes I am frustrated and sometimes I question what I am doing.  That's real life, ya know?  But I love my Savior and I love this gospel.  I know how much God loves each and every one of us and I am SO excited to share that love with others!  So follow along, message me with any questions you might have, and let's enjoy this ride of a lifetime.  I know I'll be learning lots and I hope that you can too.

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