Monthly Archives

July 2018

Sister Albrecht

Posted in Sister Albrecht

If you were wondering why I’ve been pretty inactive over here and on Instagram it’s because 1) I just honestly needed a break. 2) Becuase I have been preparing to serve a mission!!!

I never really thought of myself as someone who would serve a mission until I got my patriarchal blessing. That changed it all. It made it very clear that I was to serve a mission and from then on I knew that I would be going. It always seemed far enough away that I didn’t really have to worry about it. Until I came to BYU and everyone started to receive their mission calls. Then the doubts and worries started creeping in. I didn’t want to go to some random place for 18 months where I couldn’t call home. And as dumb as it sounds I didn’t want people to think I was simply going because that’s what everyone else was doing. I wanted to make sure people knew that I going because I LOVE this gospel, not because I wanted to. I loved the college life and would have been perfectly happy with staying where I was at.

But I still knew I had to go despite my worries and so I started my papers. Every day was different for me. One day I would be so excited to go and the next I would just assume not go.  But I went forth with faith knowing that the Lord had a plan. As soon as I submitted my papers I felt nothing but excitement to receive my call and serve the Lord I loved so much. Each day while waiting for my call the excitement levels just grew.

Finally, I got the notification that I had a package to pick up and IT WAS HERE!!! The moment I had waited for.

“Dear Sister Albrecht:

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Nebraska Omaha Mission. Your primary assignment is to labor in the Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters as a visitors’ center missionary.”

Never have I been so relieved in my entire life. I didn’t have to learn a language (heaven knows I can barely speak English) and I didn’t have to leave this great country. Needless to say, I was and am pumped!

I’ve been pondering a lot about why I’ve chosen to serve a mission.

I’m serving a mission so that someday I can be a better mother to my children. A better wife to my husband. A better friend to those around me. And so I can be a better me. I’ve chosen to serve a mission so that I can be a better disciple of Christ. 

But more importantly, I’ve chosen to serve a mission because I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, & His gospel. There is nothing that brings me greater joy or peace than this gospel. I am leaving everything for 18 months so that I can serve Him & share His glorious message with the people of Nebraska. I will do everything I can to spread the good word so that everyone will know of the joy & peace that the gospel brings. ❤

And because this will probably be my last post for 18 months I’d just like to share my testimony with all of you. I KNOW that Christ lives. I know that it is only because and through Him that we can return to our Father in Heaven someday. I know that as we do our best to keep the commandments that we will prosper in the land, meaning that we will be OKAY. I know that life is rough and is far from easy but I know life with Christ is so much better. I know that He has a plan for each one of us and it is far greater than what we could ever imagine for ourselves. Learning to trust His plan isn’t easy but it is SO worth it. I know that He does hear and answer our sincere prayers. I’ve seen it in my life too many times to deny it. It isn’t always in the way or time we want but He answers. I know that the blessings of the temple are REAL and that as we strive to keep the covenants we have made there we will be blessed. I am so incredibly grateful for the knowledge that families can and will be together forever if we do our part and follow Him. I know that we are sons & daughters of God. We have divine royalty and a special purpose here on Earth. I know that we are of infinite value and are oh so special to our Heavenly Father. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that when we take the time to read and ponder the messages, there is a power that comes into our lives. I know that Joesph Smith was a prophet of God and that God and Jesus Christ did appear to Him in the Sacred Grove. I know that Russell M. Nelson is the prophet of God on the earth today. I know that as we heed his counsel that we will be okay and that everything will work out. I could go on and on but know that I know that this is the true and living church on the earth today and I am oh so grateful for it.

I wish everyone could understand how much JOY & PEACE came from truly living the gospel of Jesus Christ. Life is hard, no doubt, but life with Christ is SO much better! I can not imagine my life without it. There is nothing I want more than to help others come to understand this for themselves which is why I am dedicating 18 months of my life to serve the people of Nebraska.

If you have ANY questions about what I believe, want a free Book of Mormon, or are just wanting to know more please see mormon.org. Or if you’d like you can email me at halee.albrecht@myldsmail.net and I would love to help you.

See my post on Sister Missionary Tips here.

much love & I will see you all in a quick 1.5!

sister albrecht

*Also, my sister will be posting my weekly email updates on here, not me. 🙂

July 11, 2018
/

Learning to Reach Up by Katelyn Johnson

Posted in Guest Post

(Links to download the song at the end of the post!)

I caught myself in a conversation the other day saying “yeah….I think this song has saved my life.”Haha. It might sound strange…but I really do believe it. I believe in the power of music, the remedial process of songwriting, and most importantly the message that is in this particular song I wrote called “Reach Up.” It is my first faith based, inspirational song which is why I thought I’d attempt to write and share my experience and testimony. After all, if this song “saved my life”, I figured it’s worth documenting right?

Part of the story started with not a “little tender mercy”but in my heart… a “big tender mercy” that occurred one day. One particular morning I was in a really dark place. I truly felt my world was falling apart at the time. I had never felt more helpless, hopeless, confused, discouraged and completely heart broken in my life. I felt what I was going through, was the hardest thing I have ever gone through before. Right before I started my drive to school for the day I said a prayer (I think I broke my record for the amount of prayers I said that week) asking for help to make it through the day. Right when I opened my eyes before I started driving, I received a text message from my friend, role model, and spiritual hero Calee Reed. Some may know, but Calee Reed is a Deseret book inspirational music artist and speaker. Calee and I became good friends after a conference I put together I and have kept in touch ever since. She is AMAZING…. I love and admire her so much. (If you ever get a chance to hear her speak or listen to her music, I truly encourage it.)  She knew I was going through a hard time and right then sent me a message saying “Hey <3 This is a track from my new album (shhhh) that is making me think of you today.”She sent me a drop box link to her unreleased song called “Cleanse You” (it is now available on her album Believer, so everyone can go listen.) I turned it on in my car so I could listen on my way to school.  As cliché’s as it might sound I immediately felt every word was written for me. That song not only helped me through that day but I credit her song as well for helping me throughout my difficult time. I listened to it every day countless times. I will always be grateful for Calee’s friendship, testimony, her musical talents she shares, and her listening to a prompting to text me that day. The album didn’t come out until about two months later and I feel like I wouldn’t have known what to do without the peace that beautiful and truthful song brought me. Because of the impact Calee’s song and other Christian, inspirational music has had on me particularly during that time. I had the desire to write my spiritual thoughts into a song as well.

When I first had this idea, I was still struggling and wasn’t sure what exactly to say or if I was in a place to do this. That next Sunday I was sitting in a relief society lesson during church which became another part of my healing process and inspiration for writing this song. I so badly desired to feel closer to God and receive more guidance and peace.I was trying hard to listen to the lesson, but found my mind wandering back off to my problems instead of focusing. Thankfully, one slide of the teacher’s power point caught my attention.

It read “how can we gain more access to God’s help in our life?” Right then I sat up straight in my seat anticipating the answer.  The next slide told us to look up the scripture Luke 17:5. I quickly looked up the scripture. I was ready for an answer but I was notexpecting thisanswer. It reads “And the apostle said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.” That was it? That was the whole scripture and supposedly the answer to the initial question I so readily awaited? At first this answer felt unexpected and disappointing. Increase my faith…? Three simple words just like that? I had already heard this concept over a million times and I didn’t feel that this primary answer could help me. But then I paused and reflected for a minute. How much faith was I trulyhaving right now? I may have heard this concept before, but was I remembering what faith truly was? Was I actually applying this principle in my life through my trial? The truthful answer was no. At least not enough.As simple and silly as it seems even writing this….all of a sudden it hit me. I told myself “Okay Katelyn, now YOU have to do something.” All of a sudden this “primary answer” I received in Relief Society (that I didn’t want to hear at first) wasn’t so primary anymore. It became the most profound answer. It was what I needed to hear, and ultimately the inspiration behind the song I wrote. I started to better see God’s hand in my life and realized I had to reach up myhand to his as well. This is why the title and hook line of the song became “Reach up”.  I know it’s a very simple concept, but it was a life changing reminder I really needed. From then on, I promised myself to better act infaith. Not just wish or want or wait for God’s will to reveal itself, but to be a better believer and do what I could personally.

Neil A. Anderson summarizes my thoughts saying Drawing the Savior’s power into our lives requires us to reach up to Him in faith. Such reaching requires diligent, focused effort. It is mentally rigorous to strive to look unto Him in every thought. But when we do, our doubts and fears flee.”

I know these words are true and wanted my song to echo this message.

As I started writing this song based on these beliefs, another meaningful experience begun.

I actually write songs quite often but I had never written a “church” song before so this was a new concept for me. I initially thought it might be difficult to do this…I didn’t want it to sound preachy or cheesy and I know people feel the spirit differently so I wasn’t sure if I could come up with a song that would resonate with anyone let alone myself. “Reach up, reach up, reach up!”I just kept thinking to myself. I continued to have that visual of me reaching for God’s hand and I knew I wanted to write about that thought. I questioned if I could do it, but surprisingly, it transpired in about twenty to thirty minutes. Before I knew it the song was finished. It was unlike past songs I’ve written in the sense when I look back on it, I didn’t think “oh that’s clever, or witty, or rhymes nice. I just thought…well there’s my testimony,”so that was that haha. Although it was a short process, I loved every moment of combining my faith and testimony with my passion for music and writing.

The lyrics to the song read:

I’ve fallen to my knees more times than I can count

Crying up for help uttering my doubts

Why don’t you see why don’t you care

Father why did you lead me here, just to leave me? Did you leave me?

 

I’ve cried in anger I’ve cried out in wrath

With great frustration to this meandering path

Where is the way? Where do I go?

What’s the purpose? Do you know?

If you do…why aren’t you telling me?

 

Chorus:

There might have been something to add in my prayers

Answers are further seen when faith is there

God wants to hear my every plea

But how can he lead

With out more faith what can align?

I had to reach up my hand because his was already reaching for mine

 

I wanted answers I wanted them then

Is that faith if it’s already given?

Faith isn’t by chance it’s by choice

We listen more to his voice more intently

when we don’t know the answers

 

Chorus:

There might have been something to add in my prayers

Answers are further seen when faith is there

God wants to hear my every plea

But how can he lead

With out more faith what can align?

I had to reach up my hand because his was already reaching for mine

 

Faith without works is dead being alone

Reach up your hand, he’ll carry you home

Through every peak and valley in between

Reach up your hand, for miracles will be seen

 

Broken down chorus:

There might have been something to add in my prayers

Answers are further seen when faith is there

God wants to hear my every plea

But how can he lead

With out more faith what can align?

I had to reach up my hand because his was already reaching for mine

 

Reach up reach up

Reach up your hand, he’s reaching down for ours everytime.

 

 

After it was completed I found an amazing producer named Greg Hansen to help me arrange the music. This was another special process and experience. Every week I delighted coming into the studio. It always gave me something to look forward to despite the hard time I was still facing. My problem didn’t go away after the relief society lesson…just my approach to things. “Reaching Up”was a continual process day by day that I had to persistently strive for.

 

Brent L. Top taught “Taking hold of His hand allowing Him to lift us doesn’t happen automatically or quickly. It is a spiritual skill that has to be learned and re-learned and that learning must be continually applied.” (When You Can’t Do It Alone, 12)

Going into the studio not only gave me something to look forward to, but going over the lyrics reminded me of the message I knew to be true but at times failed to remember. Even my mom would text me when she knew I was having a hard day and say “Remember the words to your song honey…. Reach up! Reach up! Reach up! Don’t forget to reach up.” Ha-ha…sometimes I found humor in the fact my own mom would have to remind me of lyrics I wrote but it was a good lesson that acting in faith is a continual process and a spiritual skill I could endeavor.

A couple months later and the song is finally completed. I don’t know if it will impact anyone the way Calee’s song impacted me, or illuminate the same message I so urgently needed that Sunday, but I am grateful for the opportunity to share my testimony through music, writing and the experience that lead me here in the first place. It invigorated me to reach up more intently than I ever had before. Despite the heart break, the feelings of darkness, heartache, and sorrow… I have never felt closer to my Savior.  And for that…it has been worth it.

Our beloved prophet has said “When you reach upfor the Lord’s power in your life with that same intensity that a drowning person has when grasping and gasping for air, power from Jesus Christ will be yours.”

–Russell M. Nelson

I have a testimony these words are true. I know and am eternally grateful for the power and hand of our Lord and Heavenly Father in our lives throughout our journey. He loves us, he is aware of us, and is “reaching down for our hand every time.”

iTunes 

Reach Up on Spotify

July 4, 2018
/