an ‘okay’ day with depression

The nights linger on but sleep still evades, people ask if I know how to silence my mind. It’s not the noise or thoughts keeping me here in the dark unable to rest… it’s a white noise that no one else can hear that pulses not just in my ears the through my veins and swirls around in my head as though trying to wash out something that is not there. The exhaustion builds and my body can only handle so much.
some days or nights are a cold black coma where even after twelve hours of apparent rest, trying to wake me is near impossible. laying there with a body like cement and a fog over my mind that will. not. lift. The hours have passed, yet no energy has been granted. A thirst nothing quite quenches.
I roll out of bed and sit on the floor, I am not sure what is really going on. There is nothing, no emotion, no desire… I am just here. I bow my head to speak to Father in Heaven, I know here is there. I just cannot feel it, this disease separates us. The words are hard I’m not sure what to say.  I get off my knees and try to start my day.  I walk aimlessly around the house, but with no purpose.
I sit to try and organise my thoughts, things to be done today seem like a lot, but at the same time, there isn’t much. By this time it’s almost 12’o clock … I haven’t eaten yet. I should probably start with this.  I look for food but I am not very hungry.
I must eat. Eating is important. The Idea of food makes me feel rather ill. a hand full of sultanas is at least a start.
I sit in the bright sun filled dining room, aimlessly scrolling through my phone. not particularly reading anything, mindlessly gazing outside to the blue skies. It’s probably warm out. I should feel like going outside. but I don’t, so maybe later I’ll go out. maybe fresh air will help me focus, maybe I’ll enjoy it.
Eating these sultanas is taking way too long so I will finish them as I study.
okay just this page, just start with reading this.

” despite
the
above
counter –
arguments
to
challenge
the
Alfred- myth ” *

Crap… what was the first word again… okay read the sentence again…

“despite
the”

crap what happened in the last paragraph. The brain can you please retain something.

” to
challenge
the”

I can’t remember what I just read. my head is pounding and words are swirling

“despite”
“Vikings”
“great”
“failing”

I want to do this. But it’s not working. I am trying, brain, please.
Please just work!!!
The tears are wetting the book making it impossible to see what I am attempting to read. Head swirling and hotly frustrated with my own lack of ability.
I flop on the floor trying to clear my mind.
It’s now 3′ o clock, I’m not sure how long I’ve sat here.  I’m still not hungry, I don’t feel like cooking but I should. I don’t exactly feel like sitting here either. I don’t feel like anything. the white noise still courses through my veins, numbing fog. unable to connect to the reality surrounding me even when I try.
you can do this. Just get up. simple.
one foot at a time.
okay good.

I’m not quite sure what I am eating, but I’m sitting and I have some food in front of me. Just eat it. You need to.
I shovel the food down so I don’t have time to pick at it. I feel like I over ate. But It must be a normal portion.
phone buzzes

” you coming tonight? ”

Oh right, we have a family home evening tonight. I don’t feel up to going. I should want to, but I don’t. Being around people just doesn’t draw me in. However, I don’t want to sit here all night either.
Do you really have the energy? you are a mess. you have under and hour to look decent. make your choice.
You don’t want to be here, but you don’t want to be there…. what do I even want? why don’t I want anything. I should want something right?

” sorry I think I won’t be able to be there in time” 

See no problems. but why do I feel guilty? maybe it could be fun. you aren’t doing anything better. common stop being useless.

okay fine… I’ll try.
I shower, makeup…. okay I  am barely going to make it.

my heart beat is growing louder, it is throbbing in my ears… each step along the road feels like I’m going to fall.
maybe this was a bad idea. you can’t even get there. you are stressing over nothing. you’re fine.

But I’m late, well I feel late. that’s rude. If I’m late I shouldn’t go at all. you haven’t seen them in ages so what if it awkward. okay, you’re over thinking.
great you are crying. Calm the heck down. too late to back up now.
thoughts swirling, but nothing is coherent, head dizzy and heart echoing in my bones.
you are on the train. play with snap chat something. distract yourself.

cool so just a short walk. I got this.
sing hymns.. and walk.

no … no, I don’t got this. It’s not too late to go home

phone buzzing. crap.

hey do you think you will make it at all?”

you still have time to say no and go home. it’s gonna be fine

“hey yea I’m almost there”

crap.. okay breath and walk.
people are probably late anyway. so you are fine

oh yea.. I am the second person here.

small talk. please let me disappear.

more people. I feel sick.

this looks like fun, but why do I feel like I am participating through someone else’s body. This isn’t me, why am I not laughing? they are. this should be fun right? My chest is tight.
you cannot cry here. not now.
okay, talk to someone.

okay .. I can’t sit here any longer. I’m exhausted. I’m going to break if I can’t leave.

fake call?
text someone?
just leave?
bathroom and not come back?
lie?

okay…. just say you need to go.

Okay done. just to get home.

….
….

where did the past hour go? what was I doing?
well, I guess it’s time for bed.

I flop on my bed exhausted. I can’t focus on anything.
But the white noise. the numbness courses through my body…
How can one be so beyond exhausted and not fall asleep?
how useless I didn’t even cover half of what I was meant to do today.
crap. how am I going to do this?

Self-annoyance and guilt are sickening to my stomach, the pain makes me curl into a ball and try hold the pieces together as I feel them fall apart. Can someone please show me how.  why can I not keep up?   I want this to stop… please Just stop

I should be better than this.
I need sleep, I need rest.

I need energy if I expect to do this again tomorrow.

I roll onto my knees. ” Heavenly Father. I miss you”


Thank you for reading this.
I know mental illness can and will be different for each person who experiences it.
Mental illnesses are complex There are bad days, meh days. okay days… and there are good days. we cannot Judge everyone according to one experience we have or one person we know.
If you feel like you are struggling with any of these things, or you don’t feel okay. I encourage you to turn to someone you trust, to medical professionals, and your church leaders. Life can be easier and better!
It is something worth fighting for.

Love ,
391570539593422220117

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Mental illness an invisible war

Dia dhuit!

I hope we are all well and pressing forward. Because sometimes this isn’t easy.
I’ve thought about this post, and discussing this openly for a while. But unsure on if it will sit well with people. I want to discuss the daily effects of living with mental illness.
we will often hear about the crippling stages of depression or the all consuming effects of severe anxiety. But often I haven’t seen much aimed at those who have maybe fought their way out of those depths. Those who think they have mastered the illness and learnt how to be well healthy. But in reality they still suffer from the effects of it in their daily life.

I would in reflection of my own personal experiences  joyfully say I have come leaps and bounds in happiness and recovery compared to where i was 3 years ago. But am I truly 100% ?  well to be honest I may have never been. not until the Resurrection. Clinical mental illness can be things we may struggle with for a life time. Just as any other disease. Some may be born with diabetes, some develop it later in life, others may eventually beat the diabetes to be fine, others may not. So it is with Mental illness. No matter when, where, or why we struggle. It is real, it is hard and we cannot do it alone.
So although I was diagnosed with such illnesses at the age of 15, I had very clearly been seriously ill for at least 2-3 years already and with in hindsight years before. First clear signs probably before the age of 10, specially as i go back and review the things i used to write in journals or just the way i felt. Now in my early 20s I see what has changed and what hasn’t. Having spent time with counselors and psychologists, having been on medication. I’ve made massive progress, I am a completely different person compared to whom I once was. However this illness it still remains.

I want to focus specifically on two things I have personally struggled with, ones that are more common than we often want to Admit. Both depression and Anxiety.
I remember the moments when I was almost crippled and held down by the dense mist, unable to make connections mentally at the speed I had used to, the empty weight in my chest that slowly felt as though it was consuming me. To randomly be replaced with such intense panic as though my pulse swirled in my own head. where my Body would literally forget how to function for periods of time. Through much assistance, of medical professionals and the Lord I have overcome the severeness of the illness. For those who are still in this place it is possible. It may seem like it is not. But as it reads in Ether 12:27 :

 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”

We cannot do this alone, this is where humility comes in. We need to accept the help we need, medical and spiritual. We can however follow the counsel in Alma 37: 35-37:

“Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
     Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.” 

Give it to the Lord, pray unto Him for everything. Put your trust in Him, there is strength here. As we do so, we can make it through.
However we may wonder why sometimes when we do all that we can, we try our hardest and keep the commandments. That we may not feel the Joy or Happiness we have often been promised. We may question why, or what we did wrong to cause us to become that exception to the rule. we may ask ourselves if this promise was for everyone else but us. That maybe we have failed God and He doesn’t love us like he Loves others. This however is false Doctrine. He loves you and He want’s you to be happy. With mental illness, our brains do not let the correct messages to be passed, making it hard for us to feel these things. Or maybe they do pass through but not as completely as a healthy person. This is not your fault!
This is something we need to Pray and find ways to push through, learn to express these emotions with those around us so they can support us. It worries them. You are not being a burden on them. No they may not understand perfectly. But Jesus Christ does.

As is reads in Isaiah 53: 3-4 :

“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
    Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”

He has gone through every heartache and pain we have, He knows how to understand, He does. He went though all of this so that we Hopefully will turn to Him and draw strength from Him. As we apply his Gospel, all of those beautiful teachings into our lives.

There is a beautiful Promise in the 38th chapter of Alma in the Book of Mormon, found in verse 5:

 And now my son, Shiblon, I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day.”

This promise is for us also. He never said “as soon as you do this, things will be easy”
The key thing is it will happen, in this we have an essential principle; HOPE. we can try look forward, no it isn’t easy. But this promise is sure;
In the Last day we will be free! and we shall be lifted up among the righteous to meet our beloved Saviour and Redeemer!

But even if we aren’t in the deepest depths of despair we still live a life different to that of others.  Sometimes I feel as though because I was no longer where I once was that I have no reason to feel as though things are hard. I would be hard on myself and try push myself.
However through attendance to the Temple I have discovered a crucial thing about myself.

although I thought I was free,  that the illness had left. The moment I step through those beautiful doors I experience something. This may not be the same for others this is a wonderful tender mercy I receive and I live for.
I walk through those doors, and those things that I have been bound by on earth cannot have any hold. I feel the mist lift and my spirit lighten and I experience for the time i am within those walls a glimpse of is to come. The freedom that I long for, and thanks to the goodness of God will receive.
However I realize upon leaving those sacred walls That I am not yet free. That I still rely daily upon Grace (the Enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ) to strengthen me through this. I don’t have the same energy levels as others because I am daily fighting against this to Just live a normal life. It’s like walking through water compared to walking on a track course.
Each day is a new day and every hour can sometimes be a small step to focus on in itself.
People often forget that Just because we may not show that it is hard because we manage to live normal or to hold a Job, or even get out of bed, that maybe, Just maybe it took us a world of effort. Some days it may seem absolutely impossible to even fathom moving out of Bed.
But there is Hope, it is possible, even if at the current time it may seem like it isn’t. You can do this.  One of my favourite scriptures is Doctrine and covenants section 24:8 it contains one of my all time favourite promises from the Lord:

“Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days.”

we are not in this alone,  take each day, each hour, and each minute as it comes.
One day dawn will break and we will be free, until this time we must hold onto hope and do all we can and seek the Help of those around us!

I can promise you the Lord will strengthen you!

I love you! But more Importantly the Lord loves you!

Sister Priston-Turner xx

Another one bites the Dust!

Hello everyone!
So it is another transfer done and dusted!
it’s crazy how time flies!

well I guess I’ll d my end of the quick updates.
Monday I worked the whole day!
Tuesday I worked the Whole day!
Wednesday I worked the whole day!

Thursday I had a doctors appointment, then ventured myself to the pools by about 8:40am and had a nice spa and sauna. whilst sitting in the sauna a little Korean lady comes in and starts talking to me, as we are talking she mentions she is christian. so we talk about that and her church for a little bit. next thing I know I am halfway through explaining How the Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith! thus making our church different to others. As I left i openly invited her to church and said she is always welcome to talk more and strengthen each other.
I then went and got some nice Vegan Sushi with a friend, followed by blood tests (will find out the results this coming week hopefully) I did some adult things. Such as attend the place called a Bank and try update my accounts. fall asleep on a beanbag in the library reading scriptures on my phone. Awkwardly watch my friend speak to everyone he knows and watch from a 2 meter distance. But then He asks me if we believe in hell. so next thing i know I am explaining the entire Plan of Salvation to him, drawing it out on the back of a receipt. telling him to talk to the elders and stuff (he’s met the elders)

Friday I worked all day, and practically died in bed upon arriving home.

Saturday i went to work feeling extremely unwell and got sent home early
(due to all the stuff i am getting blood tests for) I curled up in my anti social bed room and napped most of my day.

Welcome welcome Sunday Morning!
Church today was just pure incredible, the strong tangible spirit. The witness that it is true, that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live, they love us and they lead this ‘church’. That the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth preparatory to the second coming of the messiah.
The elders had investigator they had never met at church today. He had been referred from another area. met on the street and was given a pamphlet… that’s it. He’d been texting the Elders and he came to church!! miracle right?!!?!?
He was telling me this and explained he had never come to a latter-day saint meeting before. well right at the end of sacrament, He gets up and bears his testimony! all on principles others have spoke and he was clearly emotional and feeling this new strong sense of the spirit and he said ” I am glad I came today, to sit here and to know that this id the True church of God on the earth today” then after sacrament meeting, He practically pleaded for the elders to go visit Him this week!! Crazy right?!?!?!?! tender mercies and miracles. as he was bearing testimony I looked at one of the elders and my head was just screaming in pure joy, and his face mimicked that of my internal thoughts. He was practically crying, in shock and grinning. Best feeling ever!
I then got to meet a lovely new YSA girl who is staying in the area for a few months, from America! we had a lovely lesson on Justice and mercy!
I got to teach my CTR class for the first time this week, an adorable bunch of sweet little intense spirits!

After church I got set apart with a calling as a ward missionary. Second calling success!
then we sat and watched the women’s session of General Conference at home. So beautiful.  The messages were wonderful! they also went along well with what I wrote earlier in the week about facing the Future!!

I also have one potential Job interview back in Sydney and I am flying back on the 10th of October! So one week and I am going home xx

anyway, I love you all from the bottom of my hear!

Sister Priston-Turner

Facing the Future

Well hello everyone,

I hope you are all well, and pressing forward with a steadfastness in Christ. Allowing your faith to grow through action and facing those trials that come your way.

One of the interesting things that happens as we return from serving the Lord, is like everything hits us all at once. Suddenly we’ve gone from focusing purely on everyone else and the Gospel. limited distractions and worries. Plus of course we have the missionary mantle. Strength greater than we could even describe.

But next thing we know, we are chucked the real world. No protection above that which we ourselves choose to keep. Working, Studying, Dating, Living circumstances, and everything that will ultimately lead to our future and where we will end up. It is to be rather blunt. Absolutely terrifying.

“Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
     And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.” ~ 2 Nephi 31: 20-21

I love these Verses. Because ultimately it reminds me of the essential thing of keeping perspective. We are Children of God. This life is only a short moment. No matter what happens, what trials come our way. Those things that in the moment feel like everything is crashing down. there is this beautiful truth; God Lives, Jesus is the Christ. They love us. Their church has been restored upon the earth, with all the ordinances essential to our salvation. Including the correct priesthood authority from God to perform these ordinances. So that Families can be together forever! I know this. I will continue to testify of these truths.
Our goal isn’t just to get the next good Job, or have the biggest and best house. It is about refining ourselves and preparing ourselves for the Lord’s kingdom. If that means I have to walk my through the fires of Mt Doom to do so.. so be it. Of course I know what you are thinking right now  one does not simply walk into mordor”  well one does not simply walk into exaltation in the celestial kingdom  either. But Mordor is a lot more achievable in this state of existence.
Honestly though, learning eternal lessons in this short period of time isn’t designed to be easy. Diamonds only form under extreme pressure and heat for extended time periods. For us this life is short, but the pressure is extreme. We all have our individual limits and capabilities. However we will each be tested time and time again to that which we feel is our breaking point. At times we may feel as though our very being is on the verge of being torn apart. But as we hold strong and rely on the Grace (Enabling power) that comes through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we will find more strength than we knew possible. It doesn’t mean things suddenly become easy or even feel bearable at times. But they become possible.
Through all the years of fighting depression, the enabling power of Jesus Christ (mixed with professional help) is essential to who I am currently, and how I continue to fight and move forward.  It is real. we can rely on it! We need to get on our knees and pray Like it is all up to God, then get on our feet and work like it is all up to us! because this involves effort and team work.

So as we return from the mission, we find ourselves again figuring out our way through this mucky reality. Trying to climb and scramble to where we need to be. But the Knowledge that we need to keep the Lord and His will above our own. Apply the things we have learnt and remain who we have become. We are able to do this because of the enabling power that comes from the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
We push forward. We take leaps of faith, in directions that may seem completely insane. We seek to go beyond our comfort zones and reach those things the Lord is preparing for us.
For myself I am currently trying to process in my head the current options I have. Having confirmation I need to branch out of the country to grow, to Learn, and to become more than what I am already. I am currently weighing up between Australia, and the United States of America. funny how things change right?
Between university options and the things that will put me in a better position to do those things the Lord will ask of me. Sometimes finding complete answers and direction, makes me feel like I am running into a brick wall. I wonder if i am doing my part and asking the correct questions with the right desires.
Ultimately I just want to do as the Lord sees fit. But I am an agent I am free to act for myself (Helaman 14: 30-31) he wont Just hand me a gold plate with all the answers. I need to have that desire to do those things and to then seek if it is right. Make those decisions and try for myself to progress. I know that as I continue to press forward, having Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, seeking the Will of my Father in Heaven. Studying the Scriptures, keeping open communication, and serving those around me. I will find my answers. I will see the ways open and He will lead me by the Hand to that which He will have me do!
However whenever things get hard there is a wonderful verse in Hymn 85 “How firm a foundation” verse 5 :

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume,
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.
These things are here to refine us. The paths we chose, the way we seek the Lord’s will. Our obedience. Our trials and temptations. They are all here as a refiners fire. Things we must walk through. To become the best us we can be.

I love the Lord, I love His gospel. I am so thankful to be a part of it. I pray that we may all be able to seek His ways before our own. That we may be able to progress together back to our Father in Heaven. That we may stand as beacons for Good in these the Last Days.

I love you all,
Sister Priston-Turner xx

Transfers o.O

Well Hello!

I hope you have had an amazing spirit filled week!

so it has been that time again, and transfers came and went.

I hope we are all seeing our purpose for where we are and what we are here to achieve.

It has been crazy and it was the shortest trip of my life to get to my new area. It came way too fast.

It took about 3/4 hours to get to my area. The ride wasn’t bad, it was a little bumpy. However we got food along the way.

I was blessed to speak to a lovely lady from England who was on the same transport as me. She was on her way to visit her brother. She actually was an inactive Jehovah’s witness. Incredibly lovely.

Arriving to my new area was quiet a sight. People were there to greet me, but my companion wasn’t there. so that was strange.

This week has been a massive culture shock for me. The weather has dropped dramatically (17 degree drop Celsius, or 62 in Fahrenheit) It also is raining a lot more in this area.

The Culture is so different, people sound different. they have their own kind of weird messed up accent and I am not sure what they say at times.

I found out within 3 hours of landing in this new area  that I have been called to be a no-badge missionary. Crazy right?

SO new area, new culture, No-Badge, No area book, and No companion. Well it looks like I am heading out on and adventure!

I have to get to work, get to studying and Find that companion 😉

Ultimately I am so thankful for my last four areas. It was been a blessing to serve both in Australia and New Zealand.

To meet wonderful people such as yourself, and to learn from you and your example. They never said going on a mission would be easy (I’m sure it is called a mission for a reason)  But we know it will be worth it.

The Lord works many miracles as we strive to remain close to him through willing obedience to all that He asks. Obedience is an act of faith, accepting the Lord’s all knowing wisdom over our limited knowledge.

We however can continue to act in faith, striving to become as close to the Lord as we can. Pushing forward everyday giving our all and seeing the miracles that Will come.

I am so thankful for everything you do and continue to do.

If i can help in anyway at all please let me know!

Lets all go smash it this transfer!!!

Much Love and Many Prayers,
Sister Priston-Turner

Down hill From here!

‘ello everyone!

So believe it or not I am officially past half way of my mission.
Do you have any idea how crazy I currently feel?

Inline image 1

On monday I saw saw 4 naked men at a hidden beach in part of our area…. NOT COOL!
there is a reason our mission president has Red Zones!
Tuesday we went to the temple as a zone and had a wonderful temple session!

Wednesday we had interviews with our mission President!

Thursday we had a wonderful district meeting and then a great day!

Friday we had some appointments and went to different parts of our Area

Saturday we talked to people all day, all day  then had transfer calls. I had been assigned to the University Area working on campus here in sydney. I  got told by a Japanese lady that the little Japanese i could speak was beautiful and on point with pronunciation, That really made my day!

Sunday I gave a talk about raising an eternal family. my companion gave her farewell testimony along with both elders. late at night President called me and said that there is a visa Waiter coming for a few weeks and she needs to be close to the airport. so He is reassigning me to claremont meadows for the next transfer. so thus I move yet again!

I LOVE MISSIONARY LIFE SO MUCH! I HONESTLY WANT NOTHING BUT TO SERVE THE LORD AND MY FELLOW MAN.
SIMPLE!

I know I said i was going to be 100% honest with the blog posts to express the honest side of serving with previous mental health issues.
To be honest I have been blessed my entire mission thus far. I have never been happier, or has this much energy.
I am the last person to admit to struggling, honestly. But the past few week have been really tough, I really didn’t want to admit this, specially to anyone who knows me personally back home.
I haven’t felt so consistently anxious in a very long time. It is hard to go out and talk to people all day everyday when your stomach is permanently in a knot, and you feel sick all day. But you force yourself to move forward. you pray and do a Mild Enos at every given chance to have strength. your sleepless nights (because everyone knows i suck at sleeping) become a weird blurr of thoughts on what to do better, how you need to improve and all your shortcomings. What are a lot if you’ve seen my height. (some humour to lighten up the mood?)
Appetite drops, and nothing seems to kill the anxiety. But you know that this something you have to deal with. Its scary and weird. Something you know need to try push through but the shaking hands and occasional crying that you manage to somehow conceal from your companion doesn’t help.
you cannot help but feel completely ridiculous Because you love being a missionary, and you love everything about it. But the anxiety is there and it makes everything harder than it should be. I hate it, honestly. the constant pain in the stomach and heart pounding. It feels mildly never-ending. But I know that the Lord will provide a way. I am here for a reason. I will do what I can. I know the Lord will help me make all the right choices!

I love you all very much, if times are hard, stay close to the Lord

Love,
Sister Priston-Turner

“Down in Dural”

Aloha from Aussie Land!

So I haven’t emailed a blog post for the MTC and I will try to do that as some point.

So I did meet some lovely and amazing people at the MTC. But the real Journey started at 4:30am as five of just clambered into the Van and made our way to the airport. we arrived in Sydney and in was wet and it was raining.
We had a busy few days as an Intake.

I met my Australian Mission mum Thursday, Sister Going, a lovely Kiwi Girl. Who is everything I prayed for to be my companion. I love her so much. yes before people ask she is Related to Syd Going (his brother’s Granddaughter )
We found out her passport had gone missing so we couldn’t make our way up to our area, because it is 7 hours away. Almost two of that on train and then the next 5+  by car. She needs to change her NZ license to a NSW one. But without her passport we cant.
Our area is Huge it turns out and we will be the only missionaries there .
So because we couldn’t Leave. we got to stay with the mission President and His wife.
We had nothing to do. The temple is right next to their house so we asked if we could go do a session. They said yes.
So we went and did a lovely temple Session together. sat in the temple and prayed.
We then went to the mission office and found the Assistants being goofballs doing their work and eating cheesecake (photos to come)
We got back to the house, had dinner and went to bed after figuring out what we could do about the passport.

Friday we got public transport into the central city to sort out passport. We had to then crash a two zone conference to get Sister Checketts’ Signature (president’s Wife)
the Assistants drove us around to help us and they both sung very loudly any hymns we requested (perks of being a sister)
we were in the NZ office and they called asking what was happening. when we asked how they were doing they said “we are patience and long-suffering” ahaha
they got us fresh fruit salad (well for me) and fresh fruit Yoghurt, whilst they waited for us.
They then drove us back to the mission home. we asked if we could watch “meet the Mormons”
they said “probably not”
we went to go grab stuff from the office, when we saw them they said they had hid the DVD.
we were looking through DVD’s we could watch and found meet the Mormons hidden in the “the lamb of God” dvd case. so we text them saying
“after much thought we decided to watch the Lamb of God. When we opened the case it wasn’t in there. So we have decided to watch what we found in there instead 😉 ”
their reply was lovely and kind
“Jacob 6:9-12”

we saw the text was they were talking with president and we read it :

 9 Know ye not that if ye will do these things, that the power of the redemption and the resurrection, which is in Christ, will bring you to stand with shame and awful guilt before the bar of God?

 10 And according to the power of justice, for justice cannot be denied, ye must go away into that lake of fire and brimstone, whose flames are unquenchable, and whose smoke ascendeth up forever and ever, which lake of fire and brimstone is endless torment.

 11 O then, my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter in at the strait gate, and continue in the way which is narrow, until ye shall obtain eternal life.

 12 O be wise; what can I say more?

well played rebuking Elders ahahhaa.

after a few Hours they decided we could go live and serve with the Dural sisters until Sister going’s Passport arrives.

So they dropped us off with all our stuff.

Saturday we had permission to go to a funeral in My Companion’s Old area, so we caught the trains and attended a very lovely memorial for this young lady. afterwards we got lunch and then grabbed a little bit of shopping to last us for the Sabbath. we got home rather late and then had to help the sisters with things. My poor companion has been rather unwell.

Sunday we Had church in Dural ward. When I turned up the Assistants asked if I had seen the Burgess’ yet. So when I saw them I was the happiest person on the earth in that moment. I had missed them so much. I probably could have hugged the life out of Beckah and Holly. Who have grown so so much!
Church was powerful and we learnt a lot. After Church the Elders gave Sister Going a blessing because of her being sick.
We got home and had to wait for the other sisters. We may have dosed off on each other whilst reading (I had a headache from the gluten during sacrament and she was unwell)

the then Exchanged for the afternoon. I went to lunch / Dinner at The Burgess’ what was completely surreal but lovely. Afterwards we then went tracting for a few hours. we walked home and had dinner. Followed by language study for Sister S and her 12 weeks training.

we Had a call from our district leader …. who has asked many things about Lord of the Rings…. I may be milking the fact that you worked on the movies mum. They have given me ultimate respect. it is funny. They have been fasting with us for the passport and praying that we can get there sooner. But the Lord Knows what is best.

I have so many photos to send. and I will next week I promise x

But time is running out. The Lord’s Tender mercies are so clear I love you all. Have an amazing week

Love, Sister Priston-Turner xxxxx

“Called to Where? …”

At any hint of a  mission call there is one sentence a future missionary will hear about A million times (okay not really, but it feels pretty close) “SO WHERE ARE YOU GOING?”  now depending on the answer there is either gushing excitement, confusion, or the dreaded “Oh…. congratulations.. I guess”
No I was met with almost none of these, except confusion and “wait really?” Now before I explain why this is, I may quickly mention this is a post I’ve been meaning to do for 7 weeks now. One I’ve thought about, drafted mentally and made notes about.  So for now it is is story time.

I was born and raised in the Kapiti Coast of New Zealand. I still live in the same house we built when I was 5.
Kapiti is a 45 minute drive north from the capital of New Zealand. Wellington City. Thus we live In the Wellington mission boundaries.
So obviously the one place I won’t be sent is the Wellington mission.
When I submitted my papers back in February, the waiting seemed like forever. March came, expecting a letter in the mailbox any day. Instead a month after submission I got an email saying they were missing a blood result and couldn’t forward it through to salt lake until they had that. Same day I raced out got the blood test and went home. I the next day my doctor emailed me the results and I forwarded them on.
So now the real wait began right?
March ended. April came, and with that so did my access to my mission email address (what only can be accessed once your call has been sent) a month passed and after weeks of nothing I contacted stake president. He called me.

So I guess my circumstances have never been considered normal. But normal is boring right? (I mean as I type this I have a cat happily curled up on my lower back kneading and purring)
I mean my childhood is probably considered not so normal, raised by parents who worked in/on movies. Living in a small down. Competitive gymnast at a young age. Also doing many other sports. Dedicating a huge part of my life to horse vaulting (I did gymnastics on a horses back) and aerial circus work. My love interest with writing started before I even knew how to tell stories, and I still love writing to this very day. But looking back through school books, it’s hard to notice the point when a bubbly happy child becomes depressed. Because as they grow up, the preteen and teenage years are pretty moody in general.
However there are some signs starting from the age of 9.
So when I was diagnosed with severe depression at the of 15 makes me wish we had known earlier. The shocking one wasn’t even the severe anxiety disorder. It was the social anxiety, however in hindsight it makes perfect sense.
That mixed in with the bullying from my peers and the loss of the thing I defined myself by (horse vaulting) life became progressively a struggle In many forms. Including the way I viewed myself. Satan had got in and I was miserable. It took almost two years of feeling constantly miserable, unsafe and suicidal before I told anyone. I was then removed from the public school system and then diagnosed with mental illness. By this point I had developed a horrible addiction to self harm. A very real and very dangerous addiction.
I never expected it to get worse than it was. But I was wrong, it did. Mind really does win over matter. I became unable to do anything. I essentially was slowly dying in my bed. It got worse till I in  decided that it was enough and I had to end it. Almost dying did something for me. I should have, no one thought would make it through the night. But in came two amazing men. My wonderful stepdad Steve, and the most amazing man my granddad. They gave me a priesthood blessing, and I pulled through. The Lord did not want me to leave here yet. I had work to still do.
Months following were hard. But with amazing people around me, they lifted me up and helped me see my heavenly father. See the sacrifice the savior made for me.
Now two years completely clean.
It is hard to believe where I once was.
I am a living testimony of the healing power of the atonement.

So when I answered the phone to stake pres I was nervous. What was I about to be told….. I’m not suited to serve? I have to wait and reapply?
What was it?

When he said “you have been called to serve for two transfers in the wellington mission, and if all is well a new call will be assigned to you. Then at the end of the second transfer. You will transfer to the new mission”
I was shocked.
Today, June 6th 2015, 2 years proudly clean. my call information arrived. including the letter to my state president clearly stating that people with similar history as i own are honorably excused from service. However due to the strong recommendations of both My stake president and Bishop they are allowing for me to start with two transfers and go through an evaluation process.

So I am beyond happy to serve in my home mission and beyond excited to find out where I may next be called to.
I am so blessed to have this opportunity.
The Gospel doesn’t completely cure clinical mental illness, but it lessens its hold over me. I am genuinely happy, and yes I have occasional bad days. But I am here today. Exactly two years after being in hospital.

A living testimony of the healing power of the Gospel