07 October 2014



I haven't blogged in six months, but I felt like the events that transpired on Saturday warranted some kind of public description, so here we are.

Actually, every week since I've been home from my mission, I've sent an email to the sisters in my mission. I call it my "sorelle email." It's been over 18 months that I've been writing these emails. There are only two sisters on my email list still in Italy, and I've only met one of them - when I went to Italy with my parents in May. Many of the returned sorelle, however, requested to keep receiving my emails, and so now I don't really know how to categorize these emails, but whatever. I always include a pop culture update, an update about other returned missionaries from our mission, and of course a Sorella Soh update, which usually leads into a spiritual thought. I've decided to just cut and paste into a blog post what I just emailed out to the sorelle this week. 

Don't ever forget how much I love you.



Sorella Soh update: Welp, here we go. Most of the returned sorelle already know about this (sans details), but I literally almost died in a car crash on Saturday evening. My roommate, Aubrey, and I had watched the first two sessions of conference at home in Lehi, and decided to go down to Provo to her sister's house to have a girls' night with her 3 sisters and mom (and bambini) while the boys were all at the priesthood session. We were driving down I-15, just north of the Pleasant Grove exit, in the left lane. The HOV/carpool lane was closing (there must have been an accident there because two cop cars were parked in the HOV lane), and there was a car up ahead that needed to get over, so all the cars in front of us started braking and we did, too. The girl in the car behind us, though, must've been distracted somehow because instead of braking, she slammed into the back of my roommate's car at about 70-75 mph. I think at the last second she realized she was going to hit us and turned a little bit and smashed more into the back driver's side than the passenger side, which sent us spinning to the right into the middle of I-15. My roommate saw the car coming up fast behind us about a second before the girl hit us, but there was nothing she could do. I had no idea what was about to happen; I was just sitting in the car when suddenly I heard a loud POP and CRUNCH from the tire popping and the back of the car collapsing, and the next thing I knew, my seat crashed into the back of my head which sent my glasses flying off my head (I didn't wear my contacts that day), and the glovebox opened and everything in it came flying out at me. I was also holding a bad of pre-popped popcorn to bring to the girls' night, and on impact it also burst open and covered me in popcorn. Aubrey tried to control the car as we spun, obviously to no avail. Once we stopped moving, we both were in shock and asked if the other was alright, and then a few seconds later, the police woman who was in one of the cop cars that had been parked in the HOV ran to our car and yelled at Aubrey to move before we got T-boned (aka hit again), because her car was turned in such a way that the passenger's side (my side) was turned to face oncoming traffic. Miraculously, Aubrey was able to drive her destroyed car over to the left shoulder. I was left searching through the glovebox papers on the floor for my glasses, Velma from Scooby-Doo style. I thought for sure they'd be broken, but I eventually found them in the back seat, completely unharmed. My door wouldn't open, so I had to climb out of the driver's side to check out the damage to Aubrey's car. The back wheel was destroyed, and the trunk had just folded on itself like an accordion. The front of the car was fine, though, and the radio was still playing. Both of our phones were fine, mine was in my hand the whole time and Aubrey had hers tucked under her leg. The girl who hit us was driving a 2015 Nissan Versa (it was a rental bc she had just gotten in an accident last week), and Aubrey's car she had bought new a few years ago - 2013 Hyndai Elantra. Both cars were totaled (I'm attaching a pic of Aub's car). The whole front end of the Nissan was totally gone.

Anyway, so spare you from a lot of the inconsequential details, everyone was fine. The other girls' airbags deployed, but she was okay, and no one needed to take the ambulance. I went to the doctor yesterday and got the all-clear, and Aubrey went to the chiropractor this morning and had some vertebrae realigned, but we're both going to be totally fine. We both have some good bruises/scratches, but nothing serious. We've mostly just been sore. The other girl is okay, too. When Aubrey got the police report, I saw the girls' name on it and found her on Facebook. I actually sent her a message because I wanted to make sure she was alright and that we aren't mad at her. (Since the cops were right there and witnessed the crash, they handled everything. We didn't actually meet the girl because the cops took care of getting the insurance info and calling the tow truck and everything.)

Sorelle, I should have died on Saturday. Aubrey and I have talked about this all weekend. Her parents came and picked us up from the tow truck place, and we went down to her sister's house where we were sufficiently mothered by her mom and sisters. We also got priesthood blessings from her dad. That's when I broke down. I had been cracking jokes, offering popcorn to the ambulance guys, and Aubrey and I were literally standing on the side of I-15 looking at her destroyed car just laughing. But we both knew we'd break down later, and that moment was when her dad gave her a blessing. I lost it. I haven't cried so much in years. In Aubrey's blessing, he specifically said that Heavenly Father sent angels to protect us. Sorelle, I know with all my heart and soul and all of the life I have in me that angels were protecting us because I should not be alive right now. I keep replaying the scene over and over in my head and it doesn't make sense to me how we weren't both killed. The initial impact didn't kill us. We didn't hit ANYTHING once we got launched into traffic. In fact, it was as if all traffic on I-15 had disappeared. I'm serious. Aubrey had commented minutes earlier about how congested traffic was, but we didn't hit anyone, nor did anyone else hit us. How did no one else hit us? We were stopped in the middle of I-15 with no warning! If we had gotten hit again, the car would've hit my passenger door and I would have died, probably instantly. Angels are real, and God sent them to keep us from dying.

Surprisingly, I'm not really shaken up too bad about all of this. I mean, yeah, it was pretty traumatic, but I'm alive; I'd rather think about that than dwell on being almost dead. I'm going to make a full recovery - physically and emotionally (probably already recovered from that). I would add "spiritually" to that list, but it wasn't even damaged. Rather, it was enhanced. There are several things I've learned from this experience, and I want to share a few of them with you: 1) It's not my time to die. I've always felt that there is still a lot left on this earth for me to do, but this experience confirmed that to me. I've got a lot of work left to do. 2) The Lord loves us. 3) There are a lot of people that love us. I posted something about the accident on FB and it's been insane how many people have come out of the woodwork and said how glad they are that everyone was okay. People I haven't spoken to in years, even. Your influence never ends. 4) Your testimony can make you invincible. I had another traumatizing, potentially emotionally damaging experience in my second to last transfer with Slla Lyman (I think I've talked about it before), and it didn't harm me or have any lasting effects on me because my testimony had grown so strong throughout my mission. Getting in this car crash was similiar for me, in the sense that I'm totally okay. I have zero feelings of anger; I haven't had any at all, even though it was clearly the other girls' fault. I'm not mad. I have peace. Peace in the midst of uncertainty. Peace in the midst of confusion. Peace because I am confident in the Lord's plan. How else could I possibly feel? This is the kind of peace intended when we learn that the gospel brings us peace. It's incredible.

I love you all so much. Nothing is happenstance. The Lord is intricately involved in the details of your life, whether or not you notice it. Prayers of protection are answered. Spiritual strength can compensate where your physical strength fails. No effort is ever wasted. Serbate la fede.

Con tutto l'amore che ho,
Sorella Soh

25 March 2014

La morte non è la fine

(This is exactly what I wrote before...only this time it's in Italian. Sorry for the horrible grammar!)

Questo è esattamente quello che ho scritto prima in inglese...soltanto che adesso c'è scritto in italiano :) Perdonatemi per la grammatica orrenda!

Non ci stancheremo mai
Ieri è stato un anno da quando sono tornata dalla missione. Oggi è un anno da quando sono stata rilasciata come una missionaria a tempo pieno per la Chiesa di Gesù Cristo dei Santi degli Ultimi Giorni.

Che anno ch'è stato.

Stavo pensando a tante cose questo weekend, e non so se il mio cuore le capisca ancora. In questo anno passato, ho avuto tante opportunità di continuare a servire il Signore in altri incarichi, prima con le giovani donne e poi come presidentessa della Società di Soccorso nel mio rione alla BYU. Non volevo lasciare le GD allora a luglio e non voglio lasciare le mie sorelle adesso nella SdS. Le cose che ho imparato e l'amore che ho sentito sono tante volte di più di qualsiasi altra cosa che potevo immaginare per me stessa.

I più bei giorni che avrò mai

In verità, la mia vita in generale non è come potevo immaginare per me stessa. Eccomi qui, un anno tornata dalla mission, e in tutta verità, non sento di essere più vicino a capire cosa farò quest'estate di come sentivo l'estate scorso. A questo tempo l'anno scorso, la mia preoccupazione principale era di affrontare il trauma di andare al centro commerciale da sola, portando i jeans. Adesso, i miei pensieri sono cambiati (abastanza considerevolmente) a pensare che cosa voglio fare con la mia vita dopo mi laureo mese prossimo.

Pace. Paz. Pax. Peace.
Mi manca l'Italia. Mi mancherà sempre l'Italia. Una ex-collega mi diceva che quando le persone la chiedono come si sente di essere una missionaria tornata, lei dice che <<essere tornata è come imparare come vivere con soltanto una metà del tuo cuore, perché l'altra metà sarà sempre in Italia.>> Un'altra collega mi ha detto che la sua missione, per lei, era come le acque di Mormon per il popolo di Alma: il luogo dove lei <<è giunta alla conoscenza del suo Redentore.>> Per me, Italia e la mia missione sono delle fibre che sono state tessute nel tessuto della mia vita e della mia esistenza. Ci sono giorni quando sento di essere più italiana che hawaiiana. Amo le persone che ho incontrato in missione così tanto che a volte non lo posso sopportare! Non sono molto brava a rimanere in conttato con le persone in Italia, ma quelle persone ci sono ancora nel mio cuore, e penso a loro spesso.

Gente, guardate! La luce vien!
Non posso immaginare come sarebbe la mia vita se non fossi una missionaria. Non intendevo di andare in missione, ma è capitato così. Mi sentivo bene di andare in missione. Sento che tutto che sono e tutto in cui credo sia reso chiaro a me e sia stato rafforzato in missione. Una missione non è per i deboli. La mia missione è stata la cosa più dificile che ho mai fatto, e questo perché dovevo avere dedicazione e persistenza nella faccia del fallimento. Che cosa dai quando non hai nulla? Che cosa daresti come sacrificio? Dovevo pormi regolarmente queste domande, ma non potrei essere più felice con la persona che sono diventata. Guarderò sempre alla missione come il punto nella mia vita quando ho imparato come essere invincibile. Il Vangelo di Gesù Cristo me l'ha fatto.
Siate forti
Nel linguaggio della missione, quando uno finisce la missione, si dice che lei <<è morta>>. Io sono morta un anno fa. Ieri, quando stavo pensando della mia <<morte>>, mio padre mi ha chiamato per dirmi che mio nonno Soh è morto l'altro ieri. Io ho pianto, come ho fatto quando sono <<morta>> io. Ma in quelle circostanze, non erano lacrime di tristezza, erano lacrime di conclusione. La morte non è la fine. Tutti devono nascere e tutti devono morire. Come posso essere triste che mio nonno è morto quando so che il Piano di Salvezza è vero? Come posso essere triste quando so che questo non è la fine, che noi ci riuniremo? La morte è soltanto la separazione. Non è la fine.

Come ho detto prima, stavo pensando a tante cose questo weekend. Sto pensando sempre al mio futuro e che cosa farò nella mia vita, e come conseguenza, sto facendo tante applicazioni per trovare lavoro per quest'estate. L'altro ieri, quando ho ricevuto il mio quinto <<no>> come risposta alla mia applicazione, sentivo un po' avvilita. Ma poi ieri, alla conferenza di palo, mi sono resa conto che essere rifiuta è esattamente quello che volevo. Almeno nel senso che il Signore non può essere più chiaro che dire <<no>> direttamente. Dovrei essere felice che invece di essere soprafatta con tante scelte, il Signore mi sta aiutando a scegliere la scelta migliore - quella che c'è. Da allora, sento benissimo con tutto. Visto che è stato tanto tempo da quando mi sono sentita così, è un granché!

Tutto torna ai belissimi mesi che ho passato come una missionara messa a parte a tempo pieno. Le lezioni che ho imparato come una missionara sono riflesse constantamente nelle esperienze che provo, e anche se ogni esperienza è unica, posso pensare alle esperienze che ho provato in missione come una guida per capire il presente. Come avrei potuto vivere senza queste cose?

Quando la tempesta si avvicinerà...
Il Vangelo di Gesù Cristo è vero. È reale. Con tutte le mie domande e i miei dubbi, the veridicità del vangelo non è stato mai l'argomento principale nella mia mente. Il vangelo è la mia fondazione, e la mia missione  me lo ha reso possibile. La missione ha solidificato la mia testimonianza e mi ha cambiato per il bene in un modo che non posso capire neanche spiegare. Amo il Vangelo perché fa migliore la gente. Mi fa migliore. L'Espiazione di Gesù Cristo ma dà il potere e la possibilità di cambiare, di non essere contenta con la mediocrità, e di diventare anche di più di quello che potrei immaginare. Prego che ognuno di voi possa avere delle esperienze simili, per il bene o il male, in modo che anche voi potrete lasciare le debbolezze mortali e diventare le persone che dovete essere. Divento sempre frustrata quando la gente dice <<Io sono fatto così!>>. NO!! Non dite quello! Non siate mai contenti di essere come siete fatti. Siate chi VOLETE essere. Fate sì che DIVENTATE chi volete essere. Dare la colpa a le circostanze non è una scusa. Esercitate la vostra autorità di agire, e create la persona che volete essere.

La mia missione è tutto per me, e nessuno me la può togliere. Il Vangelo è vero. Le famiglie sono eterne. La morte non è la fine. Vi voglio tanto bene tutti, i miei cari fratelli e sorelle.

Nel nome di Gesù Cristo, Amen

23 March 2014

Death is not the end

Non ci stancheremo mai
Yesterday marked one year since I've been home from my mission. Today marks one year since I was released as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

What a year it has been.

I've been thinking about so many things this weekend, and I don't think my heart understands any of it quite yet. In the past year I've had some incredible opportunites to continue to serve the Lord in other callings, first in the Young Women and then as Relief Society President in my BYU ward. I didn't want to leave the YW back in July and I don't want to leave my RS sisters now. The things I have learned and the love that I have felt are beyond anything I could have ever imagined for myself.

I più bei giorni che avrò mai
Actually, my life in general is unlike anything I could have ever imagined for myself. Here I am, a year home from my mission, and in all honesty, I don't feel any closer to knowing what I'm going to be doing this summer than I was last summer. This time last year my biggest concern was trying to handle the emotional trauma of going to the mall in jeans by myself. Now my thoughts have shifted (rather considerably) to wondering what I want to do with my life after I graduate next month.

Pace. Paz. Pax. Peace.
I miss Italy. I'll always miss Italy. A former companion was telling me that when people ask her what it feels like to be a returned missionary, she says that "coming home is like learning how to live with only half your heart, because that other half will always be in Italy." I had another companion tell me that her mission to her was like the waters of Mormon for the people of Alma: the place where she came to know the Lord. For me, Italy and my mission are fibers woven into the fabric of my life and existence. Some days I feel more Italian than Hawaiian. I love the people I met on my mission so much that I can hardly stand it. While I'm terrible at maintaining contact with people long-distance, those people are always still in my heart and I think about them often.

Hark, all ye nations - hear heaven's voice
I can't imagine what my life would be like if I hadn't served a mission. I never really intended to go, it just all sort of happened. It felt right. I feel like everything that I am and everything that I stand for was made clear to me and reinforced on my mission. Missions aren't for chumps. My mission was the hardest thing I've ever done, and part of that was because of the dedication and persistence required in the face of seeming failure. What do you give when you feel like you have nothing left? What are you willing to sacrifice? I had to ask myself these questions regularly, but I couldn't be happier with the person that it has made me. I'll always look to my mission as the point in my life when I learned how to be invincible. The Gospel of Jesus Christ did that to me.

Be not troubled
In mission lingo, when you finish your mission, they say you "die". I died a year ago. Yesterday as I was thinking about my "death", my dad called and told me that my Grampa Soh had passed away the night before. I cried, just as I did when I "died". But in neither instance were they tears of sadness; they were tears of conclusion. Death is not the end. Everyone has to be born and everyone has to die. How can I be sad that my grandfather is dead when I know that the Plan of Salvation is real? How can I be sad when I know that this is not the end, that we will be together again? Death is merely separation; it is not the end.

As I said before, I've been thinking about a lot of things this weekend. I'm constantly thinking about my future and what the heck I'm gonna do with my life, and as a consequence have been applying to all kinds of jobs and internships starting this summer. The day before yesterday, when I got my fifth "no" as a response to my application, I was feeling a little disheartened. But then yesterday at my Stake Conference, I realized that rejection is exactly what I've been asking for. I mean, can the Lord be any clearer than "no"? I should be happy that instead of being overwhelmed with options, the Lord is making it easy for me to pick the best choice - the one that is available. Since then I've been feeling totally fine about everything, which, considering how long I've been feeling the opposite of that, is a pretty big deal.

It all comes back to the beautiful months I spent as a set-apart, full-time missionary. The lessons that I learned as a missionary are constantly being mirrored in the experiences I have, and while each experience is unique, I have been able to draw from my mission experiences to comprehend the present. How could I have survived without that?

When upon life's billows you are tempest-tossed...
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. It's real. In all of my questions and self-doubt, the veracity of the gospel has never once been the topic of discussion in my brain. It is my constant and foundation, and my mission made that possible for me. It solidified my testimony and changed me for the better in a way that I will never fully understand, nor could I ever possibly try to explain. I love the gospel because it makes people better. It makes me better. The Atonement of Jesus Christ gives me the power and possibility to change myself, to not content myself with mediocrety, and to become more than I ever thought I could be. I pray that each of you is able to have similar experiences, for better or worse, so that you, too, may shed your mortal weaknesses and become the person you need to be. I always get frustrated when I hear people declare "This is who I am. I was just born this way." NO! NEVER be content to just "be who you are". Be who you WANT to be. MAKE yourself BECOME what you want. Placing the blame on your circumstances is hardly an excuse. Exercise your authority to act, and create yourself the way you want to become.

My mission means everything to me, and no one can ever take that experience away from me. The gospel is true. Families are forever. Death is not the end. I love you all, my dear brothers and sisters, very much.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

06 May 2013

Oi. Yeah.

I've been home for six weeks already. I don't really have anything blog-worthy to say, but I figured I'd change up the layout of my blog to reflect my new post-mish life. Maybe once I re-train my brain to have a more blog-friendly mentality, I'll start cranking some new posts out.

So, to thank you for stopping by, here's a little evidence that some things never change:
Circa 1995

30 March 2013


Hello everyone!

I'm back!!! Did you miss me?...don't answer that.

Well, I have no idea what to say, but I figured I should at least write something. I've been home about a week already. I've been sucked back into the black hole of Facebook, so you can find me on there, and I've also got the same phone number that I had before I left.

Seeing as how I don't know what to say because I have no idea what I'm doing with my life anymore, I'll just post a couple of airport pictures. :)

 With my MTC Sorelle! They all served in the Rome mission, so I hadn't seen them for about 16 months! My mom got the travel office to book me on their same flight!

Seeing the fam for the first time in 19 months! 

My GIGANTIC little sister got the first hug...while I just cried and cried

Mom got the second hug! (With my sister crying in the background)