Welcome Home Now Speak To Us

To the best of my memory, I converted my notes from my Homecoming talk into the full talk. Here it is, if you would like something to read:

LOOK TO CHRIST
Malo e lelei si’i tuonga’ane moe tokoua. Koe ‘aho faka ‘ofo ‘ofa. Ofa atu kiate kimoutolu.
Good morning brothers and sisters. It’s a beautiful day today. I love all of you.
That’s what I just said in Tongan. At least I hope that’s what I said!

I have gained so much from my mission. And I’m not just talking about weight or gray hairs or tan lines! I’ve gained friendships that will last a lifetime with people from all around the world: Tonga, Philippines, Malaysia, New Zealand, Indonesia, China, Tahiti, India, France, Italy, Iran, Canada, America, Samoa, Africa, Thailand, Chile, Japan, Germany, Holland… and of course Australia.

But there is one friend who I drew very close to on my mission. Some of you might have heard me speak of him in my emails… His name is Jesus Christ.

In February, Elder Renlund, the baby of the 12 Apostles, came to the Australia Perth Mission and we had a mission conference with him. He showed us section 84 of the Doctrine and Covenants. This was a revelation given from Jesus Christ to Joseph Smith in 1832. A whole bunch of missionaries were coming home after their mission and Joseph received this revelation from Jesus Christ. In it are four commandments which I’ll let you find on your own when you get home, but I’ll tell you the fourth commandment that Jesus Christ gave. It’s in verse 77 of Section 84 in the Doctrine and Covenants. And as I read this verse, try to pick out what the commandment is. Jesus Christ says:
“And again I say unto you, my friends, for from henceforth I shall call you friends, it is expedient that I give you this commandment, that ye become even as my friends in days when I was with them, traveling to preach my gospel in my power.”
Did you catch it? Jesus Christ just told us to become His friends. Become as Christ Apostles. I’m sure they were some of His best friends. They weren’t just fishing mates, they were true followers – true believers, true friends with Christ.
Something that Elder Renlund said that stood out to me is that, “A friend makes everything known to his/her friend.”

I met a lot of people who would reject and tear down everything I hold personal and important in my life. Some, not all, but some would call God some of the meanest names I’ve ever heard. Some days I would go home at the end of the day feeling broken.

We’ve all felt broken before.

But I remembered something. On my name tag there are two names, mine – Sister Beardall, and Jesus Christ’s. I realized that when people were rejecting me, they were also rejecting Christ. I would remember that He felt what I was feeling too. My pain, my sadness, my anger. He completely understood how I felt, because 2000 years ago He knelt down in a garden called Gethsemene and He experienced and felt every feeling I would. He did this because He loves me, and because He wanted to understand how to help me.

So I began to Look to Christ. I stopped trying to do everything on my own. I began to plead for His help and His peace and His strength. I began to pray for humility and charity. I read about Christ’s life in the New Testament and The Book of Mormon, His wisdom, His miracles, His charity, His character. And when I felt down I looked to Christ, and He lifted me higher.
I made everything known to Him. I allowed Christ to become my friend, and I was happy.

You know when you are with someone for a long time, you start to be like them? You start to do what they do. Say what they say. Some spouses look like each other the longer they’re together. Some people even start to look like their dog…it’s true! I’ve seen it!
Well, the more time we spend with Jesus, the more we will begin to become like Him.

I want to share experiences of two people I met on my mission that truly looked to Christ and changed.

The first person was in my 4th area, Dianella, where the temple is. Her name is Belinda. At the time she was living in a Women’s Refuge. She had just had her 6 month old son taken away from her, and she had hit rock bottom. She decided that she wanted to change. She always told me that she wanted to feel ‘whole’ again. That she wanted to feel ‘one’ with God.
Belinda came to church every week. We taught her all the lessons, from the Restoration to the Word of Wisdom to Repentance to the Plan of Salvation. We taught her how to pray. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she read it! She started to change before my very eyes. She allowed Christ to finally help and change her. She threw her bad habits away.

Jesus Christ is the only one who can make us whole.

On September 23, Belinda was baptized! She now has her son back. She goes to the temple, and Christ is her friend.

One of my favorite quotes is from Elder Jeffery R. Holland. He said, “It is not possible for you to skink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.” Belinda could tell you she was very, very low. But because she has allowed Him to, Christ keeps lifting her higher and higher.

The second person I wanted to talk to you about was one of my companions in my last area, Bellevue. Her name is Sister Johnson. She is the cutest little Malaysian I’ve ever known. I love her.
One morning we were going to District Meeting and it was POURING down rain. A few days before, we had thrown some really old progress records away. A progress record is a piece of paper that we use to report on the people we are teaching who are progressing. We write what lessons we taught them and what help they need.
Anyway, these records were from like, 2007. They were really old. So we just threw them away. Fast forward to the day of District Meeting. We were sitting in the car with massive rain drops beating against the windshield, and as we were about to pull out onto the road, Sister Johnson looked over at all the rubbish bins that were waiting to be emptied and she said, “Sis, I feel like I should get those progress records out of the bin. There might be people on there that we could follow up on. Do you think I should get them?”
I looked at her like she was crazy. Again, it was POURING down rain, and she wanted to go out and dig through the rubbish bin to find some progress records!!
She looked at me then she looked out the window then she looked at me again and I said, “You can if you want to…” I reached in the back of the car and gave her an umbrella. She got out of the car, and, in the rain, went over to our bin to get the progress records out. I sat there watching her in the quiet, dry car and my eyes started to tear up. I took a photo so I would always remember that moment:

She loved Christ enough to do that. When we look to Christ, we sacrifice our will, what we want, for His will, and what He wants. Sister Johnson was willing to sacrifice anything for Christ. I learned a lot from her example that day.

I LOVED my mission. It is the greatest decision I’ve ever made in my life, because of the endless opportunities I was given to follow the promptings of the spirit and rely and look to my Savior for help and strength.
If you are thinking about going on a mission, DO IT!! It will change your life. And you will help others change theirs.
There is a poem that a returning member gave me and she said I should read it in my homecoming talk, so I will:

Highs and Lows

A mission is a strange experience;
It is a trial and a test.
A mission throws at you the worst;
Yet teaches you the best.

I’ve never been so happy;
I’ve never been so depressed.
I’ve never felt so forsaken;
I’ve never been so blessed.

I’ve never been so confused;
Things have never been so clear.
I’ve never felt my Heavenly Father so distant;
He’s never been so near.

I’ve never been so discouraged;
I’ve never been so full of hope.
I feel I could go forever;
I think I’ve come to the end of my rope!

I’ve never had it quite so easy;
I’ve never had it quite so tough.
Things have never been so smooth;
Things have never been so rough.

I’ve never traveled through more valleys;
I’ve never ascended so many peaks.
I’ve never met so many nice people;
I’ve never met so many freaks.

I’ve never had so many ups;
I’ve never had so many downs.
I’ve never worn so many smiles;
I’ve never worn so many frowns.

I’ve never been so lonely;
I’ve never had so many friends.
Boy! I hope this is over soon!
Man! I hope it never ends.

My mission in Australia has ended, but my mission here on earth hasn’t. I will continue to be a missionary and a disciple of Christ forever. I will be faithful to Him to the end of my mortal days.

I testify that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the light. “Jesus is the LIGHT!” There was a member in my last area from Africa that would always say that with such conviction. Jesus is the LIGHT!! I testify that He suffered and died and lived again, and He did it because He loves us. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want ALL of us to return back to live with Them again and to become like Them. They love us sooo much! Because of the Savior, as we submit our will to His, and keep the covenants or promises we’ve made at baptism and in the temple, and as we repent when we fall short, we are promised we will receive eternal life!

I want to receive eternal life. I want to be with ALL of you in the Celestial Kingdom! Let’s go together. Let’s look to Christ. He will help us.

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

it’s happening

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Today marks 20 days until I leave on my mission. If you asked me one word to describe how I’m feeling, I would tell you: emotional. My emotions are all over the place. I feel super excited and happy for a change of scenery and new experiences. I feel…not sad…but I guess yeah, kinda sad to leave my family and people I have grown to love. I’m not good at goodbye. I feel anxious because I have been waiting for a long time for this time to come. And now that we are this close, 20 days until I actually leave, I am starting to feel nervous and quite scared to be honest. I still feel like I’m a little girl, where my only cares in the world were washing my hands if they were sticky and dancing around in the living room to Shania Twain. I’m not sure how I’m going to go into this great big foreign country and completely pop the bubble I have been surrounded by my entire life and completely step out of my comfort zone. I am nervous. That’s just how I feel.

But I also feel optimistic and ready. The reason I decided to go on a mission is simple. I know something a lot of people don’t. And that is that there is hope in this world. There is a reason they are here on Earth. There is someone, a Father in Heaven and a Savior, who loves them so much it is incomprehensible. I want people to find peace and happiness, the same peace and happiness that I have found from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

My faith is so important to me. It has changed my life for the better. Because of my Savior, Jesus Christ, I have not given up, and I will never give up. There have been a lot of times in my life when I wanted to. But I am reminded that Christ provided a path and a way, the Atonement; and because of that, there is NO reason to give up, but absolutely EVERY reason to keep trying!

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watercolor

I was searching Google for quotes about watercolor…I don’t know why…maybe because watercolors are so amazing and inspirational, so I thought maybe there would be an inspirational quote about them? Anyway I found this one:

“Watercolor is like life. Better get it right the first time – you don’t get a second chance!” -Sergei Bongart

To be honest, I find this quote hilarious because it’s absolutely 100% false. Well, at least the part about life being like watercolor. Please let me be the one to tell you, that you do get a second chance at life. You get a million chances at life. Everyday is a new day. We have many many chances at life to improve and change and get better and live. And then when we die, we keep on living – in Heaven. So there’s that. Don’t ever give up.

But the second part is kinda true. But only kinda. I mean, it is easier to fix a mistake with watercolors than it is with a sharpie. You just add water and dab it off…I don’t know. I works for me. It doesn’t look perfect but it’ll do. I usually sketch out what I’m going to paint before I actually paint it, and the scariest part is adding the paint, because it’s mostly true, once you’ve started, it’s on. For good.

I don’t really know what got me into watercolors. Honestly, I just asked for some paper, paint and brushes for Christmas last year and started going for it. I have no idea what I’m doing. Pinterest is great for inspiration. I remember taking Art in 8th grade. My teacher was a funny red-head with a huge purple birthmark on his arm. I remember an assignment he gave was to take something from Pop Culture and paint it in multiple color variations like, monochromatic, analogous, I forget the others…haha! I need to go dig them out of the attic. In fact, I will. They are classic.

Here are most of my watercolor paintings I have done.

beyouWe finally painted and decorated our bathroom in the basement after 15 years, and my mom wanted me to make something we could hang on the wall. Let me tell you, it’s actually really hard to think of a saying or quote to go in a bathroom! For a while all I could think of was, “Please flush.” or “Wash your hands.” or “Aim high. Dream high.” I was stumped. Anyway, the painting above is the final product. ^

aussieI’m going there someday. Actually in a few days.^

calledtoserve mothersdayI was trying to design something for my mission blog, and the picture on the left was my first shot. Don’t worry. I tried again. You’ll see the real thing a few pictures down. The picture on the right was a gift for my mom on Mother’s Day, in case that wasn’t clear. It’s from a real picture of us sitting on our hammock. Don’t worry, my head is not usually that huge. ^

EKFoxThis family has a special place in my heart. ^

kfoxfamilyI surprised my lady friend with this one. There’s something about painting families that I absolutely love. ^

artclassArt class with my girls, once upon a time.^

hinkley    can'tsaveonlyloveThe painting on the left was one of the first, if not the first things I painted. I love it. I love how the colors blend together – total accident! I’m telling you, I’m not that talented. These watercolors most of the time just do their own thing! And that quote. I love that too. And the man who said it. The picture on the right was more of an experiment than a work of art. I was experimenting with blending and different shades, and avoiding painting in certain areas, and painting words in general. Too much experimenting for one painting. But that quote is so true and it was something that was on my mind at the time that I painted it. ^

utah->australiaMy heart. I’m so excited. ^

perthblog    perthblogputtogetherSo this is what my mission blog design actually turned out to be. I started out with the left picture and then arranged everything in Photoshop. I knew I would mess it up if I did it any other way. Ha. If you want to see my new blog for all my mission emails, click here! There aren’t any letters there yet, cause I’m still here…duh. But I would LOVE it if you read them and maybe even write me an occasional letter while you’re at it once I do leave! ^

smile=kindnessI sent this to my sister when she was on her mission. I figured the quote would apply, as she was speaking Spanish as a second language. Sometimes a simple smile is enough to get a message across. ^

YouAreBeautiful This last painting is probably my favorite. Well, at least one of them. You really are beautiful. And don’t you ever forget it!

 

park city

Our family was able to take a quick trip to Park City over the weekend. It was a last hurrah before everyone goes to school and I leave for my mission. Our trip consisted of the Alpine Slide and Coaster, snow cones, horse back riding, and lots of legit Mexican food. This is why I have a blog so I can post all our pics! :) Thanks to my mom and dad for providing such a fun trip!!!

IMG_7116^^^ Me and Bbdall.^^^

  IMG_7145   IMG_7144 ^^^ Can you notice the difference?? We need a permanent photographer to follow us around so we can get our entire family in the picture every time. ;) ^^^

IMG_7119^^^ All the sibs in one pic! ^^^

Processed with VSCOcam with 5 preset Processed with VSCOcam with 5 preset^^^That may or may not be my ear. Sneakaayy, sneakaayy.^^^

Processed with VSCOcam with 5 preset^^^Mom, this should be your new profile pic. Just sayin’.^^^

Processed with VSCOcam with 5 preset Processed with VSCOcam with 5 preset^^^She was confused why she was copying me.^^^

Processed with VSCOcam with 5 preset^^^Mom caught us mid-coaster!^^^

Processed with VSCOcam with 5 preset Processed with VSCOcam with 5 preset^^^Alpine Slide!^^^

Processed with VSCOcam with 5 preset^^^Pineapple-Orange. Thumbs up.^^^

Processed with VSCOcam with 5 preset^^^They weren’t even moving, and she’s clinging for dear life.^^^

Processed with VSCOcam with 5 preset^^^Gotta love a nice stranger who will take your family’s picture when you’re struggling with a selfie stick.^^^

Processed with VSCOcam with 5 preset^^^SELFIE!!!^^^

Processed with VSCOcam with 5 preset^^^The Fab Five^^^

Processed with VSCOcam with 5 preset^^^Scripture Time. We haven’t missed a day.^^^

Processed with VSCOcam with 5 preset^^^It’s called the McBbdall.^^^

IMG_9308^^^I was squishing him, but I didn’t care.^^^

Processed with VSCOcam with 5 preset ^^^Girl’s room. No boys allowed.^^^

Processed with VSCOcam with 5 preset^^^Dads gone shopping.^^^

Processed with VSCOcam with 4 preset^^^It was a cardboard cut out…if you couldn’t tell.^^^

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IMG_9307 ^^^These ski lifts are the slowest things ever invented, but I loved it because it gave us time to talk to each other and laugh lots and lots.^^^

IMG_7236^^^We went to a ranch to go horse back riding and I’ll just say my bum hurts as I’m sitting here typing. But the view was amazing and my horse was so good to me. She always went the easy/smooth route and only galloped about 5 times. Those 5 times were enough to make me scream for my life and bruise my behind. It was so fun to try something new as a family!^^^

IMG_9250^^^I was struggling getting up so this friendly cowboy gave me a boost…^^^

IMG_9255^^^Her name was Sage and she was the best horse EVA!!! I want one for my birthday. Someone better be taking notes. ^^^

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what’s in the package?

If you really knew me, you would know that I LOVE MAIL. What’s more exciting than opening up a surprise package? It’s like a mini Christmas every single time! So I thought I’d share the thrilling experience with you from when I’d recently ordered something online!! It’s my pleasure. You can expect more to come. I think I’ll make this a regular thing…

 

independence day

I hope you all had a fantastic 4th of July! I love traditions and the 4th of July holds a lot of them in my family! This year we went to the canyon to relax and play some games. It was perfect weather which is always nice.

My cute sista Ken, also put together a video from our short stay, below.

4th4th

^^^oh, you know, just practicing her golf swing with some nature (a stick and some poo)^^^

 

4th

We ended they day with my dad’s homemade ice cream and fire works in our cul-de-sac. In my opinion it was the best firework show we’ve had just as a neighborhood! There were fireworks going off all around us in the sky. Beautiful. Truly America the Beautiful. Land That I Love.

i’m gonna miss you…

I love people. I love to have fun. And I know a lot of fun people. I’m going on a mission, and while I don’t usually get too homesick when I leave home, I will admit I am gonna miss some people when I’m gone.

I’m gonna miss the endless giveaway tags from my cute sis Kenedi. They really don’t end. Don’t stop Ken! Maybe one day you will win one of those giveaways!!! Just be sure to share whatever it is with me – especially if it’s that trip to Fiji.

________giveaway3   giveaway1   giveaway2

Also, our secret hand shake/wall-knock before bed, I’m gonna miss that too. I know you can’t see me, but I smile every time. Love you, Ken.

me n ken mission call

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hike w_ ken 2

 

 

I’m gonna miss playing with my boy friend forever, Winston. I’ll miss getting dancing videos from his aunt and videos from his mom saying he misses me.  I’ll miss pretending I’m Tarzan and he’s Jane. Playing Legos, filling up Lightning McQueen with gas and driving him up and down our arms. That smile though. I’ll miss playing basketball on the back porch and him saying, “Catch it to me!” I’ll miss reading books to him, or rather him reading books to me because he’s memorized them all. I’ll miss coloring pictures that really should be framed, and making paper air planes. I’m gonna miss those super sweet kisses and those big blue eyes. Babe, I love you.

And then there’s Cozy Mae…a blue-eyed beauty sent from Heaven. I’ll miss her too. The baby talk conversations we had while eating cantaloupe, her darling smile, long eyelashes, and wet kisses. To die for. Can we just freeze her until I get back!!??!?!

fox collage1(I take selfies almost every time I’m there, because how could you not..)

And my friends…the few friends that exist. I’ll miss them too. You all better write me, you hear! It’s crazy how life goes on. So much change and so much excitement. I’m so excited to see how life turns out for y’all.

I will miss playing catch with my broski Brayden. I’m like the brother he never had. I throw bullets, break his ankles (jk he breaks mine), and I beat him up. I’m going to miss doing his hair when he’d let me. I’m still looking forward to the day when my mom will let me cut it. Brayden, if you ever forget how, which you often seem to do, go to my Zac Efron Pinterest board and you’ll be safe with any of those hair do’s. Don’t worry, I got yo back. And dude, I just have to say, you are a great, great, guy. You work hard, do what’s right, are friends with everyone, and you know how to make me smile. You only know how to get better and be better and I love that about you.

zac@church       meandbray

meandreags

Next on the list is my mini me, Reagan aka Reags. Why will I miss her? Because she can make me laugh even if I really don’t want to. And she is my personal maid. “Hey Reags will you go get the laptop charger, please?” “Sure!”  *as she sprints down the hall to go get it*  She has two speeds: pedal-to the-metal, and slow-as-this-computer (which is so slow you have NO IDEA). Reags, I don’t want you to grow up too fast. In all honesty, you really should have stayed 1 3/4. I can’t even picture you as an 18 year old, so let’s not. Right now, you’re a 12 year old, and you’re a darn funny one at that. I love you. Thanks for bringing light to my life. You better write me. Madison was the exception, but for me, it’s a requirement. (ps, if you look super close, i totally photoshopped my bro outta that pic and replaced him with bricks. and i did it in 2 minutes so don’t judge)

I’ll admit it: I am a social media addict. I wish I wasn’t. It is such a waste of time; and fortunately/unfortunately I’ve got a lot of it… I think I likeScreen Shot 2015-07-03 at 9.52.38 AM it because I love seeing how people are doing, especially friends from high school that I don’t see as often anymore. Like I said at the beginning, I love people. I’ll miss keeping in touch…via pictures, I guess?…haha. I really do know some awesome people. Have you ever looked at your profile on Facebook where it shows a 3×3 box of 9 of your Facebook friends? Mine changes all the time, and it’s super random, but sometimes I look at it and think, “My team.” I saw this combo the other day and I thought if I was stranded on an island, or put in some competition, or thrown on a team, this would be a good one. Some people I know like the back of my hand, and others I’ve only talked to a few times. But that’s what’s cool about people. Everyone is different. Everyone has their own story. Everyone has something to share and give. I have a lot of great friends and I would gladly have any them on “my team”. Thank you friends,  for being in my life.

mom and dadImma miss my mama and papa mucho tambien. I wouldn’t be who I am today without the parents I have, and their influence in my life. I have learned so much from their examples. They have taught me to never give up, that Beardall’s can do hard things, that love can turn hearts around, sometimes it’s best to react with no reaction, a clean house is a clean mind, scripture time is important vital, you don’t have to like it you just have to eat it, family is first. And also things like how to ride a bike, how to eat, how to talk, how to read, and how to walk. I am so thankful for everything my parents have taught me. I feel like everything I’ve learned in my life with be so helpful on my mission. Especially “how to ride a bike” and” you don’t have to like it you just have to eat it.”

I’m gonna miss you people. You better miss me back.

nineteen

It’s official. I’m still a teenager. Whoop whoop!!! In other news, okay the same news, I had a birthday and it was a blast. All the kids were gone at Girls Camp and Scout Camp (ps they each left cards for me to open before they left, which was super sweet), so I was stuck at home with the parents. And when I say stuck I mean, I was set free. We really did everything I dreamed.

Keeping with tradition, my mom and I went to get a pedicure. I picked out the wrong color and the lady sliced up 3 of my toes, she asked me what my name was and then started talking to another lady about me in her other language (Vietnamese?) but other than that, it was pretty good! Ha!

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Then I came home and my little Romeo delivered the best present of the day:winston on my bday

 

Then we headed to City Creek to go shopping! Mission clothes shopping. Wow. Is it hard to find cute, reasonably-priced, below-the-knee, skirts!!! Let me put it this way: we didn’t find ANY. I found a few light, flowing shirts, though! They will be perfect in the hot temperatures of Australia! I think I’ll have to mostly stick to online shopping for my skirts…which isn’t a bad thing-I LOVE MAIL!

For lunch, we hit up Chik-Fil-A…is it weird it’s my favorite? I think I like that you can actually see the chicken pull apart like regular chicken, instead of it being all ground up with livers and eyeballs and a whole bunch of other chicken parts like they do at the McD.

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Then…more shopping and of course perfume smelling! I almost fainted a few times. Then my feet started to kill, like they always do when I shop (high-arch problems) so we went to our final destination: The Cheesecake Factory. I’d never been, but it has always been on my list of places to go, so I was so excited! My friend recommended the “White Chocolate Caramel Macadamia Nut Cheesecake”. What a mouthful. Literally! It was heaven on earth. We also tried an Oreo fudge cheesecake which was just as amazing. Cheesecake Factory does not disappoint. My dad, being the funny man he is, asked the lady if they had dairy free cheesecake, cause you know, he’s allergic. I’ll save you the effort of ever asking that question. The answer is no.

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On the way home, I was holding the cheesecakes right in front of my nose. I couldn’t wait any longer so I ate mine right up. I dropped a bite on my lap, cause that’s how I roll. I can’t eat without spilling… Then when we got home, I ate the other cheesecake. And that was my dinner. Talk about sugar overload.

And, for the grand finale of the day, we went downstairs and watched McFarland USA. Cause I hadn’t seen it yet…haha. It was actually really good! Inspirational and everything nice.

Then…for the grand GRAND finale, I finished my tshirt blanket and serenaded my parents to “Lava” – the new Pixar short ukulele song before “Inside Out”. It was a fantastic day. Thanks Mom and Dad for making it great! And for all the texts, gifts, and messages of Happy Birthday from all of you!

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