October 15, 2012

RS Retreat, Featuring Mara & Danny (& A Blog About Love )!

Me, with Mara and Danny :)

This weekend was suuuuuper exciting, because we had our Relief Society retreat! Basically, about 70 women from my church congregation gathered together for a giant sleepover, complete with hair braiding, good friends (and new friends), great food, and amaaaaazing speakres, Mara and Danny Kofoed from A Blog About Love! Have I mentioned yet how much I love their blog? Because I love their blog!

All the ladies with Mara and Danny (Center). Taken by April

Mara and Danny are so inspired and so inspirational. Their words rang true to me, and I felt the confirmation many times that the things I was hearing were truth being spoken (Particularly when we were talking about identity! But I'll get to that.).  Danny and Mara's message focused on three key things. I'd like to share what I learned by sharing what I've already shared with a few people. First, with my brother in his weekly e-mail, and secondly, with a dear friend of mine via gchat:

What I shared with my brother:

We had some awesome speakers at our Relief Society Retreat this weekend (Mara and Danny from A Blog About Love, which is a really great blog I love to read. It was so great! Like, even beyond just for LDS people amazing! But that's probably just because the gospel applies to EVERYONE!

They talked about:

1- Identity (That we're all CHILDREN OF GOD! And that it's SO important for us to have self-worth and tap into our divine nature and identity. We're children of God, for crying out loud! This helped me, because sometimes, when I have a choice to make or I'm struggling with something, I literally have to think to myself, "Yandary, you're a daughter of God. Would a daughter of God choose this? How would a daughter of God act? What would she do? And then I try to live by that. To live according to who I KNOW I am, and also based on who I can become! I obviously haven't reached my full potential yet, but I try to at least "fake it 'til I make it." To act the part of a divine daughter of God, even when I'm not feelin' it. Does that make sense?)

2- Choices (That when we have trials, etc., we can't choose our circumstances, but we can choose how we react to things. (Sounds like Dad, doesn't it? Ha ha!) And that even in hard times, it's possible to be happy if we choose it. They also said that in hard times, the answer to how we should respond is always virtue. This means any virtue (patience, faith, hope, love, charity, etc.) not just virtue in the law of chastity sense.) This is like... when the homeless guy spit on Elder Chong. You wanted to sock the guy, but your cute little comp chose the higher road. You always have a choice. Even if you think you don't or "Oh, I'm just too hot-tempered," you have a choice. I feel like this is something Dad has been trying to teach us our whole lives, and yet... I still haven't mastered it. 

3- Pursuing Virtue for the Sake of Virtue.
 Again, this means ANY virtue (patience, faith, hope, love, charity, etc.). So, we offer love and compassion to others, just for the sake of developing those attributes and becoming more Christlike, not because we expect something in return. 

What I shared via gchat:

The part that hit me the hardest spiritually was one of the very first things Danny said. He read from Moses Chapter 1, where Moses is taken up to a high mountain. It's a chapter I've read many times before, but it just blew me away on Friday night! Here is the gist of what I shared with my friend, via gchat. Sorry if it sounds too basic, but I was trying to break down why this was such a big deal to me.

11:50 PM 
OK, so, back to me being blown away. :)
  So, Moses. on a mountain.
God's talkin' to him in all His glory, etc.
  And God says, "Hey, I'm God.
  I made everything that was ever made.
  Here, let me show you some of it.
11:51 PM But, oh, btw, there's no end to my works. etc., etc."
  Right, so God's a big deal.
(This point has now been established.)
  And God also says, "Oh, yeah, and I am Almighty, Endless, etc."
  (again, God's basically a big deal.)
  Then God drops a bomb on Moses.
  "Not only am I (God) a big deal, but also, btw Moses, 'thou art my son.'"
11:52 PM and I thought, WOAH!
  God, who is the BIGGEST DEAL EVER,
  just told Moses that Moses is His son! Holy crap!
  This is also the chapter where later, Moses says, "Now I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed."
  And I don't think he was being negative or anything.
I think he was maybe thinking, "Holy crap.
  God is a big deal. And if I'm His son,
11:53 PM I have a loooong ways to go."
  And then I thought the same thing!
  Woah! This applies to me, too!
  God is a big deal! And I'm His kid, too! I am His daughter!
  Wooooah. That means that I must be a big deal, too! And I need to live up to that.

My pardons if all my eloquent "Woah's" and whatnot make this sound silly, but I hope it makes at least a little sense. I could go on and on and on about everything I learned, but bottom line, Mara and Danny's message was amazing! If you haven't yet seen their blog, check it out here! And a HUGE thank you to the many ladies who put on this retreat for us. We love you and appreciate all you do!

Now, to wrap this thing up, here are a few (not a few) more photos from the retreat.

Me, with Mara and Danny, Take 1. (Taken by April)

Cenando. (Taken by April)
Mara and Danny's first presentation. (Taken by April)
I told you there was hair braiding! (Taken by April.)
Evidence of the grrrreat food.
K and LJ chat with Mara. Also, please join me in admiring Mara's outfit. :)
In their element.
The beautiful Ms. J  chatting with Danny. 
The boys came and decorated all the cars and even left cute notes in every balloon!.Such a fun surprise!


  1. oh wow - LOVED reading this!!!! I'm smiling so big. Thanks so much for sharing this. xoxo

  2. This is great Yandary! What a wonderful weekend it was!

  3. Found your blog on a blog about love. Looks like a great time.
    New follower!


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