Thursday, October 1, 2015

September to Remember

I was extremely bad at posting this month! & this unfortunately will be a month-dump post. 

Looking back on it, September was really good to me.
I started a new grad-school program that I love (I have to post about that!)
I switched rooms in my apartment and am now rooming with Angela. 
& I've had so many wonderful new people come into my life!

While looking back on my month I realized literally all of my social interactions this month have been with people in my ward (church congregation). 
I love this fact!
I mean, if I was back home, honestly I'd mostly be spending time with those in my YSA ward. 
Plus, you already know I have especially tender feelings about the 97th ward. :)

September went a little something like this.

Since we now meet at 12:40, the first Sunday of the new semester we had a little Relief Society 2 breakfast.  (technically this happened in August, but I do what I want!)
There were no FHE co-chairs called at the beginning of the semester, so Ryan J. and I got asked to organize an FHE for the whole ward. The result: a pillow fight where you had to crack eggs duct tapped to someone's body—Ryan's idea.
Afterwards, Bishop treated us to BYU Creamery ice cream.
Ryan J. was released as Elders Quorum President (men's leader) and Ryan W. was called. Somehow, Ryan is a name that follows me around in church-related things. We had a combined Elders Quorum/RS pizza party at La Casa de Oro (Gold House).
One Sunday afternoon, Cory stopped by our apartment and asked if he could take us on a ride. The car was super sweet, but we also only made it 3 blocks before it completely died on us. Better luck next time?
I used my LexisNexis points (a legal search engine) to purchase an ice cream maker and we've been putting it to REAL good use. We try and host ice cream soirees mixed with games every Sunday.
I became a #foundingfriend and started this little thing called, "crafternoons" with some of my closest amigas. Our goal is to do two craft days a month and instead of D-I-Y, we're calling it D-I-O (Do-It-Ourselves). We decorated plates as our first craft one Saturday. So grateful I have friends who share my Pinterest obsession.
My creation. So I know "Y-mount" doesn't look quite like that, but I just felt like putting a "Y" on my mountain!
Alyssa and I both wore our vintage red dresses to church one Sunday. :)
Angela & I took a roommate temple trip, we had to take a picture facing away from the temple because I'm pretty sure we would have had the most horrible squinty faces had we been facing the other way.
Went on a Saturday morning hike up slate canyon. Angela had given Cory a "hiking" coupon for his birthday and we appropriately redeemed it on his half-birthday.
Sunday breakfasts are now a combined EQ/RS every last Sunday of the month tradition!
We had a ward activity where the owner of taste in Provo came to have us experience the art of fine chocolate, olive oil, and vinegar tasting. He would have us rub the chocolate so we could smell the flavors, and as a result our thumbs turned brown!
Other memories from September
+ Had a Mexican Independence Day celebratory lunch with Ryan J. @ El Gallo Giro
+Got a new FHE group, but we have no parents sooo....#oprhanz
+ ran 44.6 miles (the whole month) this is a huge accomplishment for a girl who HATES running. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

On Adversity

There's something about stormy days that call for moments of reflection. I've been a little silent on here for a variety of reasons. Life isn't always perfect or a string of really good days.

There are heartbreaks
& plan altering changes.

We don't get to choose when adversity piles up on us. In my case, everything piled up on me during the first two weeks of school. I found myself fighting back tears, willing my eyes not to cry the first two weeks of class. I don't share this to evoke pity or to somehow subliminally tell you to reach out to me. I share this to show that no one is immune to bad days or weeks.

I don't want this online slice of my life to somehow be deceptive.

At the start of this bump in the road I wanted to get rebellious—but I couldn't.
I thought of all the things I would stop doing—but I couldn't.
I went down to my car in the parking garage & sat there and cried & told Heavenly Father that I was mad at Him, that this heartbreak wasn't fair. I heard/felt this voice softly say, "I'm okay with you being mad at me," which of course made the tears flow even stronger.

I found myself reading more conference talks during those first couple of days than I had previously in any previously given month. I took comfort in these words by Elder Robert D. Hales:
On a few occasions, I told the Lord that I had surely learned the lessons to be taught and that it wouldn't be necessary for me to endure any more suffering. Such entreaties seemed to be of no avail, for it was made clear to me that this purifying process of testing was to be endured in the Lord's time and in the Lord's own way. It is one thing to teach, 'Thy will be done.' It is another to live it.  (from "The Covenant of Baptism: To Be in the Kingdom and Of the Kingdom," October 2000) 
During this time period, I had phrases from previous personal gospel study sessions come to my memory, "thank you Mr. Gardener," "but if not," "come what may & love it," and the words from the hymn "More Holiness Give Me." I'm still not 100% over it, I'm still feeling the pain, but I try my best to work through it. I go on runs, I try and focus more on others, but there is still an internal drizzle at times. It's become more of a summer storm with pockets of sunshine rather than the internal monsoon I experienced the first two weeks of school.

One night after a particularly good day, when I was too tired to write in my journal, I felt impressed to write down a list of good things that had happened in my life in the midst of the stormy conditions. I end with this list as evidence that even in the darkest of times there can still appear flecks of illuminating light.

A list of good things.
1. I had a really great dream
2. I woke up to a text from Franc saying he had bought his ticket to Salt Lake!
3. My mom's Disney quote/text of the day made me smile. 
4. I ran into a really cute boy 3 times and (HE GOES TO DEVOTIONALS!!!)
5.Erika made me a clean hands, pure hearts print
6. I did really well in my comms class
7. I ran into a boy from freshman year who is as of late has been so kind and friendly to me
8.Got my eyebrows done
9. Ran 3 miles in record time
10. Shelby made Sis Crawford's pumpkin chocolate chip muffins #missionostalgia
11. I inadvertently had an opportunity to serve a girl in the ward 
12. Lauren C. came over randomly to surprise me with a sweet card and a cactus that I have since named 'Will.'
13. Amanda W. sent me the sweetest text saying the nicest things about me
14. My mejor Amiga sent me a text out of the blue #8stringfiddlekindofday
15. My missing textbooks arrived in the mail
16. I understood Econ
17. Devotional was basically a recap of articles that I had been assigned to read the previous week+all that I had personally studied last week+my relief society lesson
18. The weather is crisper
19. There is beautiful rain

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Provo YSA 97th ward.

Last summer was the first time I wasn't as stressed about finding BYU housing. I was in California and after having served a mission wasn't too picky about what my apartment looked like. I had found a listing at the complex where I currently live, but it was purchased by the time I had called to ask about it. I then found a second listing and everything fell into place. I felt so directed to this place.

As girls have been moving in for the fall, I've made sure to tell them.


I have never stayed in a place so long or been in a ward for so long (other than my childhood home ward family of Polynesians—Long Beach 7th ward). This ward has that "home ward" feel and I guess living with the same roommates, in the same apartment helps with that too.

Usually when people at BYU are trying to sell their contracts they'll include in the listing, "great ward!" The thing is, people move in and out, so the atmosphere of the ward changes. What makes my ward SO wonderful is our loving bishopric. At the beginning of the school year our Stake President told us "make the bishop your best friend." 

Bishop Cardullo is this delightful Italian fashion designer. He lights up the room and has this ability to make you feel like you're his favorite person in the world. He wears cool socks and was even complimented on them from the pulpit one stake conference. He does Zumba every morning. I can literally say bishop's name and at least 5 people have some kind of personal connection to him. Everyone in our ward has received at least one personalized text message or phone call from him. & I can honestly say that he has become one of my best friends! :)

I was given a calling (a service assignment) that had me attending the Ward council. Every week I got to be a part of and witness how our bishopric received guidance and revelation on how to direct the ward, but most especially I got to see the love they have for everyone.

We have SO many people staying in the ward from last year.
Contracts listings  turned into lottery tickets because everyone wanted desperately to stay in our ward boundaries. There were multiple contract posts on our ward FB page, but also I got text messages from random people, and phone calls.

Our ward theme last year was Alma 7:23-24 :
"And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.
And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works." 
& we were constantly counseled to
1. Qualify for, 2. Recognize, and 3. Act on spiritual promptings.

I feel so lucky/privileged to be able to stay in this ward yet another year! I'm excited to see how Heavenly Father directs the leaders of this ward and what kind of force for good we can evolve into.

^^My new Presidency . Brittany Mecham-secretary; Amanda Wrigley-2nd Counselor, Me, and Lauren Christiansen 1st Counselor
^^ We didn't even plan to wear matching dresses, it just happened!
^^The Bishopric.
^^a friend of Kaede, Me, Kaede, and Bishop
I had the most sacred privilege of escorting Kaede, a sister in my relief society/my visiting teacher/dear friend, through the temple for her first time! :) 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Mona rope swing

#16 Mona Rope Swing
A few weekends ago, I FINALLY was able to cross this item off of the bucketlist. I have been wanting to visit the Mona rope swing since my Freshman year at BYU. The planets just never quite aligned though. It never got truly hot enough (I was never here for a summer) and not having a car during my undergrad years made it kind of difficult to make things happen. 

We got to Mona just early enough to be the only big group at the rope swing and had enough time to have our fun before other groups arrived. Mona is a charming little town and the rope swing just made me really happy to be in Utah. It just all felt like the perfect summer outing!

^^ Gena's face after I asked her if she was going to try the rope swing... 

^^We saw the weirdest/coolest straight lined rainbow!
After our rope swing adventures we were famished so we went to Station 22 (I can't get enough of this place!) for some delicious comfort food.
& if our whole day hadn't been summer-y enough, we ended the night with a bonfire and smores! I love summer and everything that comes with it! Heavenly Father knew what he was doing when he had me born in the summertime!