Saturday, December 26, 2009

Gains, losses and perspectives

This is my favorite person in Alaska Blair.  She and I plan parties. It is terrific.

It has been so good to be home.  I forgot how much I love a good winter in Alaska, but I love it here.  It hasn't been too cold, so it has been fun to be out and about doing fun things.  I had a party last week for Christmas and it had such a good turn out.  Nothing says home more than just being surrounded by friends and doing what you love best.  My little brother is waiting for his mission call, so it has been fun to talk with him about what awaits him and to see him go to the post office every day to see if his call has come.  I think he might be the most prepared person I know and so it is so funny to hear him asking me for advice because, honestly, there is nothing I can tell him that will make him any better of a missionary than he is already going to be...he is such a good kid.

Christmas eve in the morning I got a text from my compassionate service leader Erin letting me know that a girl in our ward, Rachel Bush, was going in for surgery.  Rachel was diagnosed with leukemia in February of last year and I have been visiting her in the hospital once a week since I moved into this ward.  She is an amazing person.  I got a phone call a few hours later from one of the counselors in my bishoprich letting me know that the surgery had not gone well and to pray for her to make it through.  I spent the rest of the day worrying and praying until I got a phone call that evening letting me know that Rachel had passed away and asking me to spread the word.

I rolled over in my head the last visit I had had with Rachel, and the things that she had taught me.  It was tough to be so far away because I just wanted to hug her parents and let them know how amazing I thought they were and how grateful I was for the chance to know Rachel.  I sent this email out to the Relief Society and then Brother Winters asked me to forward it on  to the priesthood:

My dear, lovely sisters,

I have been thinking for the last few days about what I was going to write about in this email.  I've been looking at Christmas stories that would help you see the spirit of Christmas, that would make you think a little less about yourself and more about other people, and thinking about what I could say to help you all have a merry and meaningful Christmas.  If I had written this email yesterday, it would be a completely different message than what I will write today.

Rachel Bush passed away today at 6pm due to complications from an operation to clear out an infection.  As the doctors began to operate, her organs began to shut down, her blood refused to clot and she slipped slowly from this life on to the eternities.  For those of us who have had the opportunity to visit with Rachel, you know that she did what she did so that others would fee loved, so that others would feel blessed and so that others could see that there is always a silver lining in every gray cloud.  You will also know that the 'service' we provided her was nothing compared to the service that she gave to us.  She was a ball of hope and love and you couldn't help leaving her room with a smile on her face.  Nurses and doctors alike would stop by just to see her and couldn't not love her.  She embodied what it was like to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

This holiday season I want to remind you of the blessings that the atonement has brought to our lives.  Because our Savior came into this world, we have hope of a better life.  We can be imperfect and yet be perfected in Him.  The beauty of the gospel is that we have knowledge of the plan, and we know that if we are faithful and endure to the end, we can return to our Father's presence and be with our families forever.  Christ died that we may live and as we strive to do what the Lord wants of us, we are slowly molded into the people that our Father in Heaven needs us to be.  Rachel had been molded through one of the toughest trials that anyone could face, and she did it with a smile.  The last time I spoke with her, she said she would be home for Christmas.  I thought she was being a bit optimistic, but she is home...just not the home I thought she was talking about.

One of my favorite Christmas carols is O Little Town of Bethlehem.  As I thought today about Rachel and about the Savior, I was reminded of the words to the third verse:

How silently, how silently The wondrous gift is giv'n
So God imparts to human hearts the Blessings of his heav'n
No ear may hear his coming,  But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still The dear Christ enters in.

So I ask you tomorrow and Friday to remember the people you love, to tell them how much they mean to you and to remember that what we are celebrating is the gift of the Savior.  Be the Rachel Bushes of the world.  Let not your trials make you weary, but search for ways to help each trial become a strength.  As it says in Ether, 'And if men come unto me I will show 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.'  Let the Savior's sacrafice make you humble, and then let it make you strong.

 Keep Rachel's family in your prayers, and focus on what matters, and know that I love you.  May you all realize the blessing of life this Christmas season.

Love you dearly,


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Its beginning to look a lot like christmas

These are my Santas and my nutcracker on my mantle.  Cute I know.
I have been trying to write a Christmas update for a few days now, but just haven't gotten around to it until just now.  It started snowing this weekend which has made for some pretty interesting days.  Yesterday I had to meet a group on campus at 8 am and then I didn't have to be back on campus until 4pm, so I planned on going in my pjs, going to the gym, and then cleaning up for the day.  I started my car from the inside of my house (I love my auto start) and then went outside a few minutes later.  I realized that I still had time before I HAD to leave, so after sweeping off my car, I swept of all the cars on my row.  Its funny because things like that just come to me sometimes.  One or two people actually saw me doing it, which was not my intention, and thanked me.

I love love love my tree.  I have been falling asleep every night just looking at the lights.  Its great.

Last night we had Family Home Evening at our first counselor's house.  I love bishoprich FHEs.  It feels like home to me.  Their family has a motto that they recite each week which I loved.  Even their 4 year old knew it and said it along with the family. Then each kid gives a mini lesson.  They were all so good, but Nathan, their 10 year old, really touched me.  Nathan and I have been buds for the last few months.  We bonded over a game of kick ball at the beginning of the semester and I enjoy having a little brother for a few hours during each activity.  He is highly ADD and I can tell has a hard time in social situations.  For his lesson, Nathan told the story of Jesus' birth.  I have no idea why at that very moment it touched me so much, but hearing that 10 year old recite the scriptures in Luke brought tears to my eyes.  I absolutely love this time of year.

This is me and Nathan at the last ward function.

For my relief society I am making a CD full of Christmas music about Christ.  I figure it would be a good gift for them.  There is so much hype over presents and what not, but we tend to forget that Christmas is about celebrating Christ.  I'm going to call the CD 'A Christ Centered Christmas'.  I was going through my music today and I remembered this song and looked up the lyrics.  I feel like it might be one of the most moving Christmas Songs I have heard in a while.  If you don't have it, let me know and I'll make you a copy.

In the Bleak MidWinter

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what can I give Him...give my heart.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A lot to be thankful for

I'm sitting on a couch with my two best friends watching a movie I have already seen.  And for some odd reason I love it.  Its been a while since we have all been together what with one getting married and the other bouncing in and out of the country.  We all live a half hour apart, and yet it is hard for us to ever get together.  It is so nice to be with familiar people and just feel like we are back in high school hanging out, except instead of a boyfriend on the couch with us it is a husband.  I think I take for granted the fact that we have all been friends this long, even though at some points we have been better friends than others.

This thanksgiving was a good one.  I got to go and spend time with some of my cousins that I don't know very well.  They grew up in Idaho, so we never spent much time together.  It was so much fun to hang out with them and get to know them a bit better.  Their kids are cute and they are just great people.  I'm terrible though and didn't take any pictures while I was there.

Today I woke up and decorated for christmas.  I LOVE this time of year.  It reminds me of how blessed I am.  I was thinking today about my last christmas in the mission.  My companion and I went out caroling with the bishop and his counselor and a few other people from the ward.  We went to almost every single family in the ward and sang to them. I remember not even caring about the presents that had been sent to me and the things we were going to eat the next day.  I cared about those people...who's best present that year was the songs that we were singing.  I sometimes wish I could get back to that point in my life, where I cared more about blessing others than really blessing myself.  I sometimes think that I get there with my calling and what not, but other times I lack...but that's what life is all about though isn't it?  My goal for this season is to just enjoy the fact that I live in a free country, I have a wonderful family, and I have been blessed enough to go to school.  That should be enough for anyone, right?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I'm going crazy

I have a really hard time being decisive...about anything.  You ask me where I want to eat dinner and I will stress until you give me options.  I will change my shirt three times in the morning and sometimes more...

I've become easily spooked lately by relationship determining situations.  I don't know how much of it is just my recent track record and I don't know how much of it is legitimate worries.  How do you know when concerns are deal breakers and how do you know when you are just being picky.  Am I to blame for my current single situation?  Or am I following real concerns?  What defines a real 'deal breaker'?

I have no clue.

The good news is that Rob Thomas, though kind of a strange man, writes great lyrics.

By Rob Thomas

You can go
you can start all over again
You can try to find a way to make another day go by 
You can hide
Hold all your feelings inside
You can try to carry on when all you wanna do is cry

And maybe someday we'll figure all this out
Try to put an end to all our doubt
Try to find a way to make things better now that
Maybe someday we'll live our lives out loud
We'll be better off somehow, someday

Now we wait
And try to find another mistake
If you throw it all away then maybe you can change your mind
You can run
And when everything is over and done
You can shine a little light on everything around you
Man it's good to be someone

And maybe someday we'll figure all this out
Try to put an end to all our doubt
Try to find a way to make things better now that
Maybe someday we'll live our lives out loud
We'll be better off somehow, someday

I don't wanna wait
I just wanna know
I just wanna hear you tell me so
Give it to me straight
Tell it to me slow

Cuz maybe someday we'll figure all this out
We'll put an end to all our doubt
Try to find a way to just to feel better now
Maybe someday we'll live our lives out loud
We'll be better off somehow, someday

Cuz sometimes we don't really notice
Just how good it can get
So maybe we should start all over
Start all over, again

Cuz sometimes we don't really notice
Just how good it can get
So maybe we should start all over
Start all over, again

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

As You Wish

I watched Princess Bride last night as I madly studied for the Praxis.  I don't think I ever realized how absolutely sarcastic that movie is as a kid.  It is funny how things you love as a kid, can be things you love as an adult for entirely different reasons.  I love that movie.

In other news I am 3 days away from the Praxis.  I am ridiculously nervous about it and don't really know what to do but study.  I just want it to be over.

My roommate and I have started doing an apartment prayer each night.  We have a non member roommate that is taking the missionary discussions and so we thought it would be good to have her participate in things like that so that she can become more familiar with prayer and the Book of Mormon.  We each read two verses, discuss it, and then kneel in prayer.  It is slightly inconvenient to have to come back to my apartment every night at 10, but I am glad we are doing it.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Saints and Songs, Pioneers and Pilgrimages

Last night I had a night class that let me out at a little before nine o'clock.  I left class with a few friends but one by one we parted our separate ways.  I was parked at the Marriot Center and I was coming from the McKay Building so I had quite the walk.  As I strolled, rather non-chalantly, the bell tower rang the familiar chime, 'Come Come Ye Saints' signifying the arrival of nine p.m.  As I continued to walk to my car, I started to hum the tune to myself, and then, like normal, began to sing the words quietly.  There were no cars on the road, no one around, and suddenly the power of that hymn and its application to MY life struck me.  I always think of the pioneers when I sing that song, but at this moment, it wasn't about the plains, or the persecution.  It was about my own personal pilgrimage, my own struggles, and the promises that the Lord has in store for me.

Come, ye saints, no toil nor labor fear
But with joy wend your way.

I could hear Heavenly Father beaconing me to carry on, through the hard steps, the unexpected turns and the hard work.  I knew that he wanted me to be happy, that this was all part of His plan.

Though hard to you, this journey may appear
Grace shall be as your day.

I knew it wasn't supposed to be easy.  I knew that the tough decisions and experiences that I have faced especially in the last few years were all with purpose and that eventually grace would supply a way for all His promises to be completed.

Tis better far for us to strive
Our useless cares from us to drive
Do this and JOY your hearts will swell,
All is well!  All is well!

Its been rough, I have felt like I couldn't go on.  But yesterday, Heavenly Father reminded me that I am his daughter, He loves me, and the things that are for my good will come to me. In HIS due time, and on HIS schedule.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Its been a week or two, but that is pretty normal for me I suppose.

The weather has been so strange lately.  It will be warm, and then cold, spring and then fall.  I feel like Utah just can't decide what it wants to be.

I am learning a lot lately about myself.  I started a little program with myself that I think I might present to the sisters in my ward to see how it works.  It actually was inspired by my little sister's ward, but it is called 100% for 100 days.  Basically, I want to be more consistent.  Its not that I don't read my scriptures, its not that I don't pray, its just that I don't do it faithfully every day.  So my goal is to make it 100 days without missing a day. TOUGH!  At least for me, but it has been a good experience.  I am finishing up both the New Testament and the Book of Mormon right now and I am learning a lot and it is so nice to have that constant contact with the scriptures.  I think Elder Bednar said it best in last month's general conference when he said, 'Publicly declaring testimony when faithfulness and obedience are missing within our own homes is hypocrisy—and undermines the foundation of a great work. The commandment “Thou shalt not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:16) applies most pointedly to the hypocrite in each of us. We need to be and become more consistent. “But be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
As we seek the Lord’s help and in His strength, we can gradually reduce the disparity between what we say and what we do, between expressing love and consistently showing it, and between bearing testimony and steadfastly living it. We can become more diligent and concerned at home as we are more faithful in learning, living, and loving the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.'

My friend Scott does a Charity Photo shoot every year.  You go, he takes pictures, you pay him, he give the money to charity.  I always say that I'm GOING to do it, but then I never do, but this year, it happened to fall on a day that I really needed to feel good about myself.  So I got dressed up and headed up Little Cotton Wood Canyon.  These are some of my favorites, but the whole shoot is on my facebook album.  It was so fun to do.

This is probably my favorite.  I look a lot like my mom in this picture.

This one makes me laugh because I make that face ALL the time

The someday look...only a few of you will know what that means.

I wish I had someplace to put this picture...but it'd be weird to put pictures of myself on the wall

Love love love this one

But this one might be my favorite.

I have been listening to the Format a lot lately.  I am secretly obsessed with them, but this morning I heard this song and it made me think.  Here are some lyrics to ponder.

On Your Porch
by The Format

I was on your porch,
The smoke sank into my skin,
So I came inside to be with you,
We talked all night,
About everything you could imagine,
'Cause come the morning, I'll be gone,
And as our eyes start to close,
I turn to you and I let you know,
That I love you.

Well, my dad was sick,
My mom she cared for him,
Her loving nursed him back to life,
And me, I ran, I couldn't even look at him,
For fear I'd have to say goodbye,
And as I start to leave,
He grabs me by the shoulder and he tells me,
"Whats left to lose? You've done enough,
And if you fail then you fail but not to us,
'Cause these last three years,
I know they have been hard,
But now it's time to get out of the desert and into the sun,
Even if its alone."

So now here I sit,
In a hotel off of Sunset
My thoughts bounce off Sam's guitar,
And thats the way its been,
Ever since we were kids, but now,
Now, we've got something to prove,
And I, I can see their eyes,
Then tell me something, can they see mine?
'Cause whats left to lose?
I've done enough,
And if I fail then I fail but I gave it a shot,
'Cause these last three years I know they have been hard,
But now it's time to get out of the desert and into the sun,
Even if it's alone,
(Even if it's alone)
Even if it's alone.

I was on your porch last night,
The smoke, it sank into my skin.

Thanksgiving is coming...and then Christmas!

Monday, October 26, 2009

New Callings and Fresh Outlooks

I have always found that callings can teach you a lot about who Heavenly Father wants you to be.  I have always been so grateful in accepting callings and responsibilities because each has taught me a little bit  more about the gospel and about my place in it.  This semester, I received my first calling in the Relief Society as a Visiting Teaching supervisor.  I thought that was going to be it for the semester at least and I took joy in checking up on my Visiting Teachers and the girls they visit.  It was pretty easy duty.

On Friday night, I was out with some friends from the ward and we were talking about how the Relief Society President was getting married and we joked about who was going to be called.  In the middle of the conversation, the thought came to my mind that I was going to be called.  I laughed it off because, hey, girls like me don't get called to be Presidents...of ANYTHING!  I got home that night and I lay in bed and the thought kept coming back.  I couldn't sleep at all and it was so strange!

I did finally fall asleep, but then at about 7:30 I got a phone call from my ward clerk saying that the bishop wanted to speak with me.  Now I don't know my bishop very well, so I figured it was just a getting to know you interview...WRONG!  After chatting for a while about my life, my bishop looked me in the eye and said, 'Well, I guess I'll stop wasting your time and get to the point, we want you to be the new Relief Society President.'  WHOA!

My setting apart was really cool and he promised me a lot of things that have been weighing down on my mind lately which was really comforting.  I have realized that really, if we are paying enough attention, Heavenly Father will give us heads up and guide us to where we need to be.  The timing of all of this is really the most amazing part.  IF I had been called a few weeks ago I probably would have gone insane with my block classes and Mr. BYU, but it has all just worked out.  I am so grateful for this gospel!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

Yes.  I am writing about a movie that doesn't come out for another week.  But I can guarantee that I will be at the first showing on Friday.  I can remember reading that book over and over and over again when I was younger and I know it is weird to have such strong feelings towards a book, but I feel the same way about the Polar Express and really any Dr. Seuss book that turns into a movie.

I have watched the trailer a ridiculous amount of times.  It makes me cry.

So I thought I would write about how excited I am, and just so you know, you should all check out The Arcade Fire.  Their song is on the trailer and they are great.

Wake Up
by the Arcade Fire

Somethin' filled up
my heart with nothin',
someone told me not to cry.

But now that I'm older,
my heart's colder,
and I can see that it's a lie.

Children wake up,
hold your mistake up,
before they turn the summer into dust.

If the children don't grow up,
our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up.
We're just a million little gods causin' rain storms turnin' every good thing to

I guess we'll just have to adjust.

With my lightnin' bolts a glowin'
I can see where I am goin' to be
when the reaper he reaches and touches my hand.

With my lightnin' bolts a glowin'
I can see where I am goin’
With my lightnin' bolts a glowin'
I can see where I am, go-go, where I am

You'd better look out below

Friday, October 9, 2009


I have been really thinking about sacrifice over the last couple of days...

Today I was sitting in a class helping a 7th grad history teacher plan an ESL appropriate two week long lesson on citizenship so that we can learn how to adapt.  While sitting there he started talking about WHY the pioneers were so important and what we could learn for them and he said something along the lines of, 'They were so committed to what they believed in that they were willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING.'

Now normally, this comment wouldn't have struck me that hard, but because I have been pondering sacrifice for the last few days, it really hit me.  I have never been uncommitted to anything that I have done.  For a long time I have felt like there have been things that I have done in my life that have been fruitless, things that I have done because I FELT like they were right and yet nothing became of them.  And as I sat there in this random meeting today, I realized that they weren't fruitless, it wasn't that nothing became of them.  I was willing to sacrifice.  I sacrificed and so someday, the blessings will come.

Sacrifice allows us to learn something about ourselves—what we are willing to offer to the Lord through our obedience.
This is from a talk by M. Russell Ballard

Brother Truman G. Madsen tells about a visit he made to Israel with President Hugh B. Brown an Apostle of the Lord who served as Second Counselor and then First Counselor in the First Presidency. In a valley known as Hebron, where tradition has it that the tomb of Father Abraham is located, Brother Madsen asked President Brown, “What are the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?” After a short moment of thought, President Brown answered, “Posterity.”

Brother Madsen writes: “I almost burst out, ‘Why, then, was Abraham commanded to go to Mount Moriah and offer his only hope of posterity?’

“It was clear that [President Brown], nearly ninety, had thought and prayed and wept over that question before. He finally said, ‘Abraham needed to learn something about Abraham’ ”.

Sometimes we are required to sacrifice because it shows us what we really hold dear.  Abraham needed to know that he loved the Lord more than anything else, even his own son whom he had waited for for YEARS.  Likewise as we learn to sacrifice, what we are willing to sacrifice for teaches us what we really value in this life.  

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “Whenever the Lord revealed Himself to men in ancient days, and commanded them to offer sacrifice to Him, … it was done that they might look forward in faith to the time of His coming, and rely upon the power of that atonement for a remission of their sins” .

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) once explained to a young man struggling with his testimony that effort and struggle are necessary if we are to be saved through Jesus Christ. He told my friend, “Through sacrifice and service one comes to know the Lord.” As we sacrifice our selfish desires, serve our God and others, we become more like Him.

Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has taught:

“We are still commanded to sacrifice, but not by shedding blood of animals. Our highest sense of sacrifice is achieved as we make ourselves more sacred or holy.

“This we do by our obedience to the commandments of God. Thus, the laws of obedience and sacrifice are indelibly intertwined. … As we comply with these and other commandments, something wonderful happens to us. … We become more sacred and holy—[more] like our Lord!” (“Lessons from Eve,” Ensign, November 1987, 88).

In fact, the word sacrifice means literally “to make sacred,” or “to render sacred.”

I recognize that this might be something very random to blog about, but I feel like I understand this principle so differently now than I did four days ago.  We always sing 'Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven' but I have never really seen how they correlated.  It brings forth blessings because the Lord can TRULY see when we are committed to him.  It is the action behind our faith.  It is us saying, 'I know that this is something that I want very much, but I know that it is not what you want for me.  I will let it go because I trust you and know that you would not ask me to do things that were not for my own good.  I will let this go because you have promised something better.'

I am grateful for the tender mercies of our Heavenly Father and for the ways that he chooses to teach us things.  This las little part is from a talk by Monte J. Brough.

Can we escape sacrifice? Not if we would be exalted. The Prophet Joseph Smith helped us understand this significant requirement when he said, “All the saints of whom we have account, in all the revelations of God which are extant, obtained the knowledge which they had of their acceptance in his sight through the sacrifice which they offered unto him”.

Our greatest blessings in this life and in the hereafter will come through our willingness to sacrifice as the Lord directs. Only through sacrifice and the faith it generates, the Prophet taught, can we achieve happiness in the eternities: “A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for, from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things. It was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life”.

The law of sacrifice should be taught and practiced in every Latter-day Saint home (see M. Russell Ballard, “The Blessings of Sacrifice,” Ensign, May 1992, 77). We do this by making repentance a part of our lives, by faithfully paying our tithes and offerings, by obeying the commandments, by doing family history work and attending the temple, by being an example to others, and by being “willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [us], even as a child doth submit to his father”

That may seem absolutely impossible at times, but as we learn to be submissive, we will be shaped and molded into the people that the Savior and our Father in Heaven need us to be.  I am trying to be much more willing to sacrifice things, it isn't easy, but I know that someday it will all be worth it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Louis, this one's for you

A few weeks ago a good friend of mine, Louis, and I drove up to Salt Lake.  While driving he brought a CD by Ingrid Michaelson, and I fell in love with this song.  I love its lyrics, and so I thought I would share them...Silly, I know.

The Chain

The sky looks pissed.
The wind talks back.
The bones are shifting in my skin and you my love are gone.

My room seems wrong.
The bed won't fit.
I can not seem to operate and you my love are gone

So glide away and so be healed and promise not to promise anymore and if you come around again then i will take, then i will take the chain from off the door

I'll never say, I'll never love
but I dont say a lot of things and you my love are gone

So glide away and so be healed and promise not to promise anymore and if you come around again then i will take, then i will take the chain from off the door

So glide away and so be healed and promise not to promise anymore and if you come around again then i will take, then i will take the chain from off the door

Monday, October 5, 2009

Well, it happened.

Yesterday Steven broke up with me.  It was definately something that I wasn't expecting, especially since we had had a really fun weekend together, but he said he just couldn't do the distance for as long as we were going to have to do it.  I guess I can understand that, its not fun living apart, and its not fun only seeing each other on the weekends.  In the end I guess I just wanted it more, and that is the problem I suppose.

I don't even know really what to say about it.  I'm upset, I'm sad, and I just don't know if I can do this again.  I don't want to start over.  I don't want to move on.

I guess it doesn't really matter what I want though.  There are things I have to I need to just do them.  24 hours to mourn and then on with life...right?

Friday, October 2, 2009


I love this time of year.

I think it is because I like scarves and sweaters, but I love walking and hearing the crunch of dry leaves under my feet.  I love getting into bed and wrapping myself up in covers to avoid touching any of the cold parts.  I love realizing that another year has passed and I am one year closer to accomplishing a goal I set for myself a long time ago.  I love knowing that this time next year I will be a few months away from graduation...something that I thought I might never do.

I also love conference.  I am sure a million people will write about this, but I love hearing from General Authorities and redefining my life.  I adore those men and their faith and I love to look at my life on sunday evening and see where I am doing well and recognizing areas where I need to improve.  Something about this time of year breeds change, improvement, and just all out peace for me.

Monday, September 28, 2009

CSU comes to Provo

So I am a pretty big BYU football fan.  I go to all the home games, I watch all the away games, and I enjoy doing it.  This weekend was a very unique experience for me.  CSU (where Steve goes to school) came and played against BYU.  Steven and I have been talking about this game since August when I visited CSU campus and it has been a big deal for us.  We even bet on it.

I sat in my seats for the first half of the game with one of Steven's friends who is a BYU fanatic.  It was fun, but for the second half, I sat with Steven and his friends in the CSU section. Now for a year and a half on my mission I heard the most ridiculous things about mormonism and was able to shrug it off as arrogance or ignorance.  In those minutes that I was in the section, I heard things that I have never heard and things that are so ABSOLUTELY absurd...I was pretty upset.

It made me grateful I go to BYU.  I don't claim that we are more highly favored by God because 95% of us are LDS or anything like that, but I am glad that it isn't socially acceptable to show up at a football game completely wasted and say absolutely HORRIBLE things about people they don't even know or a religion they don't understand at all.

It was great that we won.  Steven had to wear a BYU shirt to school today. I'm pretty sure he didn't do it, but regardless, I know I won! :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Missionary Moments

I don't know what it is about my life, but I always have these experiences that remind me how much I love missionary work and how necessary it is for me to remain active in missionary type activities.

On friday I randomly was on MSN Messenger, something that I do not do very often. While on, I started chatting with a boy who's family we worked with on my mission.  His family has been inactive for a while and he told me he was going to a different church and that the church wasn't true.  We had a good chat and I ended up teaching him the first lesson over chat, which isn't the most spiritual place on the planet, but he did commit to reading the scriptures and praying.

It is hard for me to see people I love struggle so much.  I don't know why my personality causes me to suffer so much in watching others fall away.  The good thing is that every time I have these experiences I am reminded at how much I love the church and am grateful for my testimony.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Funny little side note

Last night in Steven's ward they had a comedy night.  He brought down the house, but some of his friends made us the subject of one of their jokes...

This is Steven with the statistical analysis of himself

Statistical analysis of Steven Goodell

Steven randomly moving to Alaska to work at Home Depot- 98.4%

Steven has a good time in Alaska 87%

Chance of rain in Alaska 13% (+ or - 80%)

Steven finds a girl to go on a date with (who doesn't have a beard) 27%
Said girl accepts 2nd Date 3%

Stevo actually returns from Alaska with a girlfriend .000001%

The next paper said Steven goodell= the Luckiest guy ever. :) cute

Friday, August 28, 2009

A quick little note

I haven't written written on here in a while, so while I have a minute I thought I might write a line or two.

I am currently on CSU campus in Ft. Collins Colorado visiting Steven.  He went to his last class and I decided to stick around their student center and just observe people.  It has been funny to see earrings on campus, girls in short shorts, smokers and other such things you wouldn't ever really see at BYU.  Other than the obvious differences between schools, it is pretty similar.  It is a really pretty campus and I am a fan of how bright and green everything is out here.  For a first trip to Colorado, I am really enjoying life here.

Of course I won't be here permanently,  I head out Sunday after sacrament to get back to Utah and move in to my apartment.  I don't have class until 4pm on Mondays, so I have time between Sunday and Monday to get pretty moved in and get everything settled.  My schedule this year is so strange.  I am finishing up my minor classes by taking three at once. I am not sure if it is a good idea, but I will do the best I can.  The great thing about it is I will be done with those classes after 10 weeks and then I don't have any classes after 2pm on Thursdays and I have no classes on Fridays all semester so I can get out to Colorado quite frequently.  I'm stoked about that.

I am pretty content with life right now.  There isn't a single thing I would change about it.  I am happy, and I love it.  Amazing how that works. :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009


These are pictures. They are quite self explanatory. If you need more information, call me. :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Just because I know you'll read this

I went on a really good date tonight. And it made me really happy. I know how to tie dye now, and spot out of state license plates from a mile away. I have amazing pictures from this summer that I never intend on posting anywhere near facebook, and I have weekend plans pretty much all semester. Yup. That's how you spell content.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Is this really my life??

Sometimes I can't believe that my life is the way that it is. It seems just when I think that I know exactly what is going on, Heavenly Father sees fit to throw me a curve ball. I am choosing to see it as a good thing, but how do we ever really know what the right choice is? How do we know when we have to choose between two good things which one is right?

I never thought I would be making decisions like this, I always thought it would be one, clear cut choice. But in the end, it never really is.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Missionary Me

I have had a lot of opportunities to share my testimony lately. It has been good and really helpful for me. I am not sure what it is about being in Alaska but it either help or hurts me to come back in the summer. It seems that this summer I am learning and growing so much and I am really happy with the person I am becoming this summer. Lots of changes, lots of random life twists, but it is so good.

Andrew works with me downtown. He is a christian, from Virginia. He has no friends here because he moved up to mush sled dogs. (Who does that??) So he has been coming to singles ward activities with my friends and I. I think it will take forever for him to actually accept the discussions, but he did come to church with me and it was really neat. He will randomly call me up now and ask things like, 'What do ya'll think about tatoos?' or the other day he was telling a story and he said, 'It's hard to tell this story without cussing.' I asked him why he wasn't cussing and he said, 'Because you don't.' I am greatful at how much that has helped me to realize how much people look at EVERYTHING we do. I am also grateful that I am at a point in my life where I don't even have to think about being careful any more.

I am constantly amazed at how the lord puts opportunities in front of us. I have so much to love about where I am in life right now. So many open doors.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

For the first time in such a long time I know I'll be okay

It has been a while. I am not sure if that means I am so busy I don't have time to write or if I just don't have anything to write about, but it has been a long time none the less and their are some cool things that I have wanted to write about.

First and foremost is my half marathon. I set the goal in January to run this half marathon in June. I have been running and getting pumped about it, but I am not going to lie, when I clicked the submit button on my entry fee, I gulped and wondered what the heck I had just done. I was really nervous about it. That week I didn't have a ton of time to run. I went on an 8 mile run the tuesday before, but then I was afraid to run too hard and kill myself before the big race so I did some long speed walks, but nothing. My dad decided he was going to run with me which looking back must have been Heavenly Father looking out for me because I really couldn't have done it with out my dad.

We started out the race a little slow cuz we were in the middle of the pack. I was hyper and nervous so I was bouncing around as we put in the first couple of miles. Dad kept telling me to stop using my energy and so I did. We were hitting 10 minute miles every mile for the second through about 8th mile and I was feeling really good, but then we hit this huge hill. It wasn't just a big hill, it was almost a mile and a half long and getting to the hill I really didn't think I could do it. I was tired, I knew we still had 5 miles to go, and I had never run father than 8 miles before. As we started going up the hill I could feel myself start to slow down, but my dad simply looked back at me and said, 'Take my hand.' I grabbed his hand and he kept me on pace as I got up the hill. We got to the top and I felt so good that I hadn't stopped, but then I remembered at still had 5 miles left. Right at the top were two of my dear friends Molly and Benji. Then had been waiting there at the top for me and all I hear when I got up to the top was 'Jody Jody Jo! So hot! Keep goin girl!' It was so great to hear that, so I found a little bit of energy.

From the hill I knew the trail back to the finish line which helped me a lot to not get too discouraged, but there came a second time where I felt like I just couldn't do it, but this time, my dad was a little ahead of me, and so I called out to him, and he reached back and grabbed my hand and helped me up the hill. The last part of the race was a steep up hill and then a long straight of way to the finish line. As we approached the hill, my dad started talking me through what we were going to do and he said that he would take my hand and that we would cross the finish line together. He then proceeded to help me push through the hurt and get to the finish line.

Now this might sound silly, but I feel like this experience has taught me a lot about how our father in heaven works with us sometimes. Sometimes, without us even asking, he will grab our hand and pull us through the hard times. Then there are other times when we know that he is there and we need to tell him that we need his help, and that is when he will reach back and pull us along the rough patches. And then of course at the very end, after all we can do, he will make sure we cross the finish line.

Next half is next month :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Just one of those...weeks?

Training has been going alright. Jake (the guy I run with) had his brother's wedding last week so he was pretty busy. On a rando side note, Jake took the first discussion with myself and the missionaries the other day. It felt like it went pretty well and I am excited to see how it all works out. Sadly I haven't been running as much as I should have been this week because I have been so distracted by...Grey's Anatomy and work. Its ridiculous I know but I am so ADD that once I get hooked to a show it is ridiculous to try and get me away from it.

Work has been tiring, but I am already almost to my half way point of where I want to be money wise and that is a good thing. I like that I have a goal this year, it makes it feel more meaningful. Plus I know that all this money has several very specific purposes now...and that makes me work harder and spend less. I can't believe I have one more year of school and that is it...CRAZY!!

I have been kind of meloncholy lately however. It is hard for me to go to singles ward and feel like I belong there. I do have a talk next week that I am pretty excited about. Believe in Christ...pretty broad, but I have been thinking about it the last few weeks and I am excited to share what I know. I hope it turns out alright.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

And it keeps on keepin on.

Today I put in 6 miles without stopping at a pretty fast pace. I felt good and I probably could have kept going, but I didn't want to kill my knee. Every day I go to run and I have no desire to go, but something makes me go, something makes me do it... I am really hoping to keep this up.

I have been thinking a lot lately about finishing what I started...I'm not the best example of it, but I feel like Heavenly Father has been leading me a lot lately and it has been really helpful, especially since things sometimes seem so hard.

Grey's Anatomy has made me cry the last three episodes I have watched...ridiculous I know.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Training training training...

Well day 2, 3 and 4 were...pretty miserable, but in a good way.

Actually day 2 wasn't that bad, 3 was tough, and today was really hard because I have come down with a head cold which makes running the last thing on my list of things to do.  BUT I went anyways because I don't want to miss a day for fear of dying when it comes right down to actually running the marathon.

I have learned the following things :  I am very particular about the type of headphones I wear, mainly because my ear drums are tiny, though my ears themselves are giant.  It doesn't matter what I wear, I always end up with a cherry red face at the end (I somehow thought less clothing would change that...not true) 

Life has been pretty interesting as of late.  Because of certain decisions I have decided to make this a 'really fun summer'.  One where I invite everyone I know to do everything I do so that there is always a group. (Kristina do you remember when we used to do that...back in the day??) I am excited at the prospect of an adventure filled summer, and it has actually helped me rekindle a few friendships I thought could not be saved.  I have been really grateful for my new I am still friends with everyone attitude. I hope it stays around for a while!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Getting back into the swing of things

I have been home about four weeks now. I can't believe it has been so little time. I feel like it has been months since I was teaching a workshop or strolling through the park...I really really miss it. The good news is that I have been keeping my eyes open for cheap tickets. If all goes well I should be headed back in 28 weeks. Yeah I am a nerd I know, but it seems that I left something down there.

And I think that I should have taken more pictures! I am starting to go through mine and I honestly feel like I have most of them memorized. That can be either good or bad. I'm not sure which.

I started my hard core marathon training yesterday evening. It was funny because I had to get a physical for work yesterday and found out I had gained back a lot of the weight I had lost in Chile, so I find myself strangely remotivated to get into my training habits. I am running with a good friend of mine who ran track and cross country in high school and college so I figure he'll know what is safe and what not. Yesterday we put in 4 miles on the tredmill. It felt good, but my legs are a little sore today. I'm sure today will not be near as much fun.

I am learning how determined I can be. Lately I have been having to excercise a lot of self control and realizing that certain things in life are decisions, not circumstances. We have to committ to being committed. It isn't something that just happens. So my training and other events in my life that will be revealed at a later date are proving to me that I can do 'all things in Christ which strengthen {me}' and I feel great about it.

So good news blogging world, you will be updated on my marathon adventure!

And a side note, though I still have one more class to finish before the end of the month, I currently have a 4.0 for last semester. Yeah...I am STOKED!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Jet Lag and Missing It Already

I really didn't think I would miss Chile this much this soon after getting home, but I feel really out of place here in Provo for some reason...and that just isn't fun. My dad and I flew in this morning. The first thing I did when I got off the plane was go right to Best Buy to take my computer in and then I went and got my hair cut. I love my priorities. Now I am doing laundry and trying to organize my life. The next few weeks are going to suck.

I loved visiting my mission with my dad. It was a challange helping him feel included in conversations and I didn't get to see EVERYONE that I wanted, but I know this won't be the last time I visit Chile, so I am not worried about it. Yesterday I had planned on taking dad all around Santiago before we left, but there was a huge student strike so we decided to just walk around...a lot. :) Dad and I did that a lot this trip, we tried to walk as much as possible since we were eating so much bread in houses, and it was really fun. We didn't even get tired of each other.

I think I might start a countdown to Chile...7 months

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bitter sweet goodbyes

The last day of the workshop actually turned out pretty wonderful. For it being the last time we would ever teach it, I felt really good about it. We had several people get interviews, and everyone was able to achieve something from their phone calls which made me feel pretty good about life. We had our out interview with Hermano Nuñez and it was great to hear that he had really appriciated our service.

Thursday night we had a going away party. It was so wonderful to see all of our friends and say good bye. I am truly going to miss this place.

Friday bright and early my dad got in and we went on a hike first thing. Then the office had a going away party for us and it was great and sad. As I stood and looked into our teaching room for the last time, I started crying. I cannot believe how much I have changed and grown and how much closer I am to the person I have always wanted to be. I have achieved so many of the goals I set for myself here and I am working on so many others so that I can continue in my progress. I love that room and everything that it has symbolized in my progress. As I went to say goodbye to Hermano Nuñez, I cried again and th anked him for all that he did for us.

I am so grateful I came.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The never ending workshop...

I really feel badly about how hard this group is for me to relate to...

Today´s mock interviews were pretty random. Well, the interviews themselves were normal, but we have a man in our workshop this week that felt the need to tell each woman what they needed to change about their appearance in order to better their interview...and the funny thing is, he is not that sharp of a dresser at all. He told them what colors to wear and not to wear and even after we specifically told him several times that we were focusing on the nervous tendencies and responses to the questions, he still kept making comments about their hair, makeup and other such things.

After work Sarah and I went with Antonio to this aquarium...It was supposed to be fun, but it was pretty lame. We did get to hold some parakeets which was awesome. Then we watched most of the Chile Uruguay game. Uruguay is known to be a really agressive team, so it was intense. They tied, even with Chile getting a red card and playing one man short for the last quarter of the game. Yeah, they are awesome.

I was trying to take a picture of this one fish that had just been sitting there looking at me, but of course when I pulled out my camera it swam away.

The whole no flash thing makes taking pictures quite complicated...

Sarah was the first to brave holding the birds. She is gonna be a great mom! :)

I think I was trying to kiss it...I don´t really remember.

Antonio was actually quite scared of the birds and quickly returned them after the picture was taken.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A really great last FHE and the first day of the last workshop...

Tonight we went to our last FHE with the senior missionaries down here. The missionaries are serving in many different capacities here in Santiago, either with church administration, church health for the missionaries, temple missions or serving in mission offices. They have been some of our favorite people here and have taught us some amazing things. Tonight, the Leavitts were in charge and they decided to ask a few people to share significant experiences that were had around conference and how people prepare. They asked Sarah and I to share one from our lives and I shared my experience last conference. I was amazed as I talked about how I had been struggling and then how I felt as I heard Elder Cook´s talk ´Hope Ya Know We Had a Hard Time´ at how far I have come in just these six months. The Lord has been so good to me. I was also absolutely amazed at these wonderful missionaries, their faith, and all that they had been through in their lives. It was really the best last FHE.

In other news, I have some pictures!! I bought this cool little gadget that you can put your SD card in and it has a USB plug in, so here you go!!

A picture I am quite proud of of the temple...Amazing I know.

This is our workshop group from last week. Me, Daniel, David Andres, David, Jorge, Patricia, Andrea, Maria and Sarah.

Nell and our friend Ivan on the bus to San Jose de Maipo

Ivan working his negotiation magic to get us a private ride back to the city for about a dollar more and we got to stay longer too!

Ivan. :)

Sarah and Nell at the ranger station. Sarah looks so cute here :)

I am aware that it appears I took a lot of pictures of Ivan...I don´t know why.

All my single ladies! Ha ha these are the women of the hike. Daniella, me, Pancha, Sarah and Nell

And our fearless leaders. Nico, Ivan and Victor.

The fellowship of the hike. ha ha

Us white girls stickin together.

This sign says Rock Sanctuary...I thought it was kinda funny. How hard could the life of a rock be??

This is me about halfway up feeling really great about life. It was hot, but I had hiked 4k without dying.

Lunch break at the lagoon about 2k from the glacier.

And we made it.

Nell and I had just discussed how happy we were and decided to photo document it. I love Chile!

Um...the sign...

The view looking back as we hiked down.

My workshop from last week. Me, Gabriel, Marina, Victor, Christopher, David, Cristian, Nadia, Jorge and

Antonio´s dad cookin up some chicken while the lamb is roasting.

Me and Antonio behind roasting lamb.

Antonio´s dad attempting to take a picture while his crazy uncle tries to push me in the pool with all my clothes on...Nice.

The lamb roast.

Today we started our last workshop...We have 11 alumnos which is exciting, though we already know we are losing one so we are hoping to finish with ten. It was kind of a struggle today, they aren´t like any of our other groups so it was different. We have way more adults than PEF students which is interesting, but for some odd reason, they think they are the exception to the rule and that they don´t need to do anything to get a job, so we´ll see if their attitude changes...