Sunday, March 15, 2009

Visitors to Dubai- 10 day Stake conference

i love this second picture for two reasons, one it looks like Ivy is being reprimanded, by quite possibly one of the nicest men on earth, and two it shows Ivy's cute hair is finally just barely long enough for little pigtails and I LOVE it!

I'm sorry I didn't share sooner.
We were lucky and blessed with a fabulous church meeting a couple weeks ago.  It was Stake Conference. (read more about it here, it's a good article that gives you the details -)
Elder Holland and Elder Causse along with their wives came to speak to us.  They are both amazing- so comfortable and easy to be around.  
I felt so much goodness from them

I felt inspired to be a little better, but at the same time proud of who I am and what I am doing.
Mostly though, I thought a lot about the circumstances I am living in right now.
I remembered this past summer when another General Authority from the church Elder Neuenschwander came to visit and spoke briefly with the adults in our ward.  He told us that while most of us will say that we are here in Dubai because of our job (or spouses job) that we had a greater purpose in being here.
Again at Stake Conference, Sister Holland stressed the same thing- twice.  Thursday night and Friday morning.
I believed her.
At different times in my life, I have felt very strongly that I was put in that place or situation for a reason.
I haven't really felt that about living in Dubai specifically.  I feel blessed that we are having this experience living overseas with our family.  Blessed that we have a job in this troubled economy.  Blessed that we are enjoying beautiful weather (right now) and that we have made some wonderful friends.  And blessed that while I live far away from most of our friends and all of our family, I feel love and closeness though emails, phone calls, and even blog comments. 

I recognize my blessings, but recognizing my purpose in being here, in Dubai specifically, is more of a challenge.  I feel inspired, motivated and challenged to figure out what that is. For the most part I feel like we are here in Dubai because we chose to be.  John was looking for a job after grad school and finally things fell into place with a job here. It just happened to be half-way around the world from home, but it was a job, we're not the first family like ours to move here, and we won't be the last.  
It's hard to feel like we were inspired to move here, or that this is where we need to be right now. BUT at the same time, it's a little bit exciting and empowering to look at things that way. When I think that I am supposed to be here, that there are things for ME to accomplish HERE, then I realize that I need to step up my game.  That I should be doing more things to put me in tune with the Spirit.  That IF it's true that I am here because I have a Heavenly Father that wants me to be here, then I need to stop thinking and wondering about when and how we'll go back to the States and what I would be doing if we were there.  I need to think about what my talents are and how I, with those talents, can make a difference.  It's also hard because my immediate thoughts are really BIG.  They are outside of my family (because I know my purpose there) and I don't even know where to start or how to get started.  I want to figure it all out.  

I guess I write all this and share it so that I commit myself to living life with more purpose AND
maybe you'll take on the challenge with me, because I'm sure many of you are living where you need to be as well.


  1. Toria...I was reading this post and I can totally relate. I, like you, tell myself on a daily basis that there is a reason/purpose that we are where we are. It is sort of strange to be back here in my old house in my old neighborhood...I never thought this would be the case! As hard as it might be, I really feel that there is a purpose. I think the same for you. I can't imagine living so far away, but I am sure there is a purpose. And, I am sure if/when you leave Dubai you will miss things about it. I missed AZ when I was in CA, but I miss CA MORE than I ever thought I would. I actually look forward to change again because I can see the good that it brings in our lives. I need to step up my game too...sometimes things are easier to SAY than to DO! Good luck, keep us posted!

  2. Toria - Thanks- I am here for a purpose-we often forget that in daily humdrum. We love you. No better mother could raise those beautiful grandkids as well as you.

  3. Toria. Thank you so much for inspiring me with this post. Thanks for being open to the spirit and sharing that with us - for inspiring us to reach higher as you do the same.

  4. Sounds like you guys are having some great experiences over there. I'm impressed with your bravery in taking the opportunity. And I really don't believe that there are many coincidences in this life, things do happen for a reason, and there is more to us being where we are than we think.

  5. First, I think it would be hard for you to go ANYWHERE and not leave your mark! You seem to touch lives wherever you go. I am sure you will live your life with purpose there in Dubai and help build the kingdom of God. I have secret hopes you won't live there forever, though and that we'll live next to each other someday :) and have big gardens and Lesley will come visit :)

    I am glad you had a nice weekend though and a reminder of what is important and your mission to fulfill. It is always nice to have those kind of edifying moments during the post-partum humdrum.

    Miss you!
    Love, Anna

  6. I loved reading this. I think a lot of times we don't even fully realize what we learned from something or why we were somewhere until after the fact.

    Also, I'll be excited to hear about your enrichment that you're planning. That was just one of the best talks ever.

  7. Toria, what a wonderful experience you have now that you will take with you always. You've made me want to take advantage of what I have now here at home. Thanks

  8. How neat it must have been to visit with such great men and their great wives. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You express yourself so well and you've inspired me to be more of a positive influence to the people in my life. I'm far from being in a foreign land, but it is 'foreign' to me and feels temporary, as it is. Instead of looking forward to the next step, I am going to invest in making a difference right here, right now. Thanks again for being so candid and real!
    Congrats on your cute little one!