Monday, October 26, 2015

Juventud de La Promesa

Hey guys.

Honestly... This week is kind of... bittersweet.  It's strange.... It's not that big of a deal, but in a way it is a very big new beginning.  It's one we only get about 7, 8 or 9 times in life.  The start of a new decade for me really, more than anything, is just a new chance.  And so.... I guess what I want to do with this email, is give advice to the rising generation, from one who is now leaving the teenage years and beginning a new page of life.  So.... Here goes. ;)

My friends, those from high school or from shows, or those who are older than me, and really everyone from this generation and anyone who is currently reading this, I want to talk to you as if you were a dear, close friend.  My life has been one full of experience.  I've seen many beautiful instances of pure love and I've seen the bitter gall of loss.  I've seen some of the best and worst of existence in these short 20 years (or, at least it has felt so in my short time in this world), and I've learned many things.  Things that I want to share with all of you - things that I hope will maybe let you know that you're not alone, and maybe you can get a little bit of a second opinion.

It's hard to put all of this together on the spot, but I hope and pray that it will all come together.... I feel as if the best way to put it all in one piece is by sharing the stuff I was glad I did, and what I wish I had done.  I have no regrets - but perhaps you can learn the same lessons I learned, but a little faster.  Learn from my mistakes, and learn from my strengths, I guess.

One thing I'm glad I did, is that I made a relationship with my Heavenly Father early in life.  I never prayed when I was alone like I did when I was in public... when alone, I prayed as if I was having a conversation with God.  Because of it, it taught me how to feel His presence and helped me learn how to recognize answers when I searched for them.  Just talk to Him.  It DOES make a difference. 

One thing I wish I had done earlier is treasure the scriptures.  I know, 'oh missionary....', but I'm serious.  I have found such solace and direction from those words that I wish I would have taken more advantage of earlier in my life.  Honestly.... If you are waiting for something to get you to start the habit of reading regularly, NOW IS THE TIME.

Now, less gospel related.  I wish I would have been less stressed out about 'girlfriends' during my teenage years.  Guys, don't look for 'the one' right now (if you're still in high school).  You don't need that right now.  The day will come, but now is not that day.  Don't try to make something serious when it can go literally nowhere. And I promise, you are not mature enough to handle it right now - I learned from experience.  (sorry, the counsel of the modern prophets too!!!)  I WISH I would have learned that faster!!!

One thing I'm glad I did, is I was never scared of looking stupid.  ENJOY your life!  Live every minute of it!!!  Don't keep yourself shut away because MAYBE somebody MIGHT say something.  Who cares???  Dr. Seuss baby, 'those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind!'  

I wish I would have listened to less stuff in my ear and hands.  Headphones shut the world out when it WANTS to be in!  Be with people!  Stop texting!  The phone isn't going anywhere!  Just be with people!!!!  Take out the earphones and talk to somebody new!

I'm grateful that I read like I did.  I still have so much I want to read, but what I DID read had a huge effect on me.  Words can become written on the soul - let the stories and thoughts of other people shape your own mind and let those words become a part of your experience.

I wish I would have been less focused on me.  This life, as I'm still realizing, was never about me. It's about everyone else.  Make someone feel needed.  Be less concerned about what others think or about what you want.  Think about other people.

I'm glad I used my talents.  I LOVE to sing and act and dance.  At times, I had people say 'but you'll never make a living that way!'  Well... My first year of college is totally payed for.  And I met some of the best people I've ever known by doing so.  So.... I'd say it was pretty dang successful.  I'll say it like this:  why would you spend your life doing things you don't want to do, to get money to keep doing things you don't want to do, and all the while think about what you'd rather be doing?  

I'm sad I didn't give more time to my family.  I'm sad I didn't tell them I loved them every time I got the chance.  I'm sad I let other people's words push me so far.  I'm sad I didn't spend more time in the mountains.  I'm sad I didn't enjoy scouts as much as I could've.  I'm sad that I didn't care about essays and opinion projects like I might've.  I'm sad I didn't break bad habits early and that I started good ones late.  I'm sad I didn't learn to listen more than talk.  I'm sad I got so accustomed to lying about little things.  I'm sad that I didn't take every opportunity to tell a dear friend that they're important and needed.  I'm sad I didn't realize who I was earlier.  

But I AM proud of every character who's life I got to live.  I'm grateful for every song I got to play on my guitar.  I'm grateful for every late night I had texting someone who said they didn't want to live.  I'm grateful for every hug I gave, whether the person was expecting it or not.  I'm grateful for every risk I took on myself and on someone else - I was never let down.  I'm grateful for every drive I had with my grandma to play practice.  I'm grateful for every cast I got to know and become a part of.  I'm grateful for every late night talk with my parents, when I'd end up going to school exhausted - TOTALLY worth it.  I'm grateful for every late night Taco Bell trip with Jakob, or late night doughnut drives with my Mama.  I'm grateful for every time I asked my Dad for a blessing.  I'm grateful for all the times I would play-fight or dress up with my little cousins.  I'm grateful for every sleepover with Assael.  I'm grateful for all the stories I wrote with Caroline and Gracie.  I'm proud that I always asked those who meant most for advise, even when I didn't want to take it.  I'm grateful for every picture I've ever taken.  

And, really above all.... I'm grateful for every time I ever said 'I Love You.' And I'm even more grateful to say that every time I did, I meant it.  

So... Where can I go from here?  Well... I guess I want to start out my 20's in a good way.  There's a lot of little habits I'm gonna break.  Things I'm never going to return to.  Promises I'm gonna keep.  People I'm gonna help.  And... a lot of 'I Love You's' I'm gonna be saying.  And, I'll do all I can to never lose a moment of my time doing something that's not making someone feel better about themselves and letting them know they're loved - and I'm never gonna miss a chance to feel the song of redeeming love that comes from a true understanding of our divine past, our divine purpose and our divine potential - and I'll never miss a chance to remind them who they are, and who's always waiting for us to come back.

I Love You ALL.  There's no other way I can say it.  I do.  Thank you for everything.  We are the youth of the promise.

Elder Kristian Huff

Song of the Week:  Say Hey, I Love You.  Michael Franti and Spearhead.  Dedicated to everybody.  ;D

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