Marriott Alumni Magazine

Winter 2013

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Page 6 of 51

Aspire to Be Inspired By Andrea Thomas Illustrations by Tim Zeltner LLast August I was at a landfill site in So Paulo, Brazil. It had been a dump where people sorted through garbage looking for valuable items so they could put food on their tables. Through a grant from the Walmart Foundation, that dump was transformed into a recycling center. Items are sorted and recycled by the same people—only now they’re employed. I talked with them, and many said they feel they have meaning in their lives because they’re helping save the planet by recycling these materials. They are helping the whole planet. Their stories were inspirational to me. As I reflected on that experience, I’ve thought about inspiration and how important it’s been for me to receive in my life. When you look up inspiration in the dictionary, it says to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence. That’s an academic description, and it doesn’t do justice to what we know, from the scriptures, inspiration really means. Doctrine and Covenants 11:13 reads, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy.” Inspiration causes us to think or do something we wouldn’t otherwise do, and being inspired is different from receiving inspiration. We can be so much more than we ever imagined if we allow ourselves to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord. He wants us to be successful, and He gives us inspiration that causes us to do things we wouldn’t have imagined for ourselves. I’d like to share some lessons from my life when inspiration has led me down a path different than I ever imagined. I was raised in Salt Lake City, the second of six kids, in an LDS family. I had a happy, easy childhood. I didn’t really make any big plans for the future because I didn’t think about the future. I can remember a summer night around 2 a.m. My sister and I set off the smoke alarm frying donuts because, well, we felt like donuts. My mom came in, and rather than yelling, she joined us, and we had a lovely donut-making party in the middle of the night. Growing up

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