Tuesday, May 29, 2012

& I've been called to serve in...

Texas Houston East Mission!

10 Things I love about my mission already...

1. It's Spanish speaking. 
2. I'll probably only be in the MTC for 3 weeks.
3. It's nickname is T.H.E. mission :)
4. It covers areas to the east of Houston and all the way to west Louisiana.
5. humidity! (seriously)
6. Hurricane season (torrential downpours here I come).
7. the greenery!
8. When I looked up my mission most of what came up were storm evacuation stories (so awesome!!!!)
9. bible belt
10. southern hospitality
10.5 This lady is from Houston

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Lord of the Rings

My journey through middle earth mirrored that of Frodo Baggins and his trusty companion Samwise Gamgee: I enjoyed the company. I fell in love with the members of the fellowship. & I was captivated. BUT,  it was long. It was tiresome. & there were some parts where I just wanted to give up and skip ahead (I didn't. I am proud to say I read every poem and song Tolkien penned).
Ultimately though, I feel accomplished and dare I say a tad bit nerdier?

Merry & Pippin were my favorites of all the fellowship (though I must say the Gilmli-Legolas friendship moments were nothing but tender). Out of all the characters in the book they were the easiest to love. They were carefree, but also deeply loyal and full of valor. They never seemed to take themselves too seriously and even though at first it was as if they were simply "along for the ride" or were causing nothing but mayhem and trouble, they grew to be game changers.

Monday, May 21, 2012

eclipse day.

17. Picnic at the Provo temple

Somehow a picnic post church on temple grounds helped the day to seem just a little bit longer. We have roommate dinners (occasionally plus Daniela) and this time around it was Emily's turn, but since the weather was so nice we'd figure an excursion was necessary. 12:30 church plus meetings afterwards isn't always the best, but it was so nice to just lay and daydream in front of the temple when all was said and done. & we didn't realize till we were done that a solar eclipse was going one. When we got up half of Provo (maybe I'm exaggerating) was on the temple grounds with their special eclipse glasses and other viewing devices. The light was so strange and I felt like for this hour or so the yellowish tint of the sun was gone and replaced with a pure white light.
We didn't have special viewing glasses, so instead Katie & I rushed home to use vintage circus masks, almost as effective.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Under the Boardwalk

I threw a little party, with help from great friends. 
Remember these invites
I happen to live in one of the cutest complexes in Provo—a little village if you would. 
Summers back home consist of strolls on piers and boardwalks and I thought, 
"why not bring some of that magic to Provo?"

The atmosphere was magical with twinkling lights and rainbow bunting swaying softly in the cool breeze.
The hits of the party were palm reading sessions with Cali
& Tyler's magnificent ball toss to win a goldfish game.
There were some serious competitors—black finned goldfish hopefuls...

A huge thank-you to Carolyn 
(who took a few of the pictures above) 
for being my co-party conspirator. 
You my friend are one lovely lady.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

because nothing says summer quite like popsicle shaped invites.

the post where I confess my primary crush.

Do you remember when you first started liking and noticing the opposite sex?
I laugh reflecting on these days.
I had the biggest crush on Ryan.
It helped that I saw him every Sunday for three hours since he was born (i'm a year older) and then some.
We grew up together. In fact, I can't really remember a time in my life when I didn't know Ryan.

There are middle school journal entries about how today Ryan sat next to me in primary
or broke his foot
or asked if i wanted to ride down the hill with him on his scooter
or sang a duet with me
or gave me a rock.
No, not of the diamond variety.
more of a smooth charcoal colored pebble (much more romantic).
He had gotten in trouble for being too talkative and being an overall class clown in one of our sunday school lessons, and as punishment he had been forced to teach a lesson.
Because that's how you punish someone for being too talkative; you give them more opportunities to talk and make people listen.
I couldn't tell you what the lesson was about, but what I could tell you is that I kept that rock and when I got home, I put a sparkly ruby red colored heart sticker on said rock and tucked it away in a secret place.
Girls do funny things when they like a boy.
I probably still have that pebble tucked away somewhere.

There is also a journal entry about how one Sunday, Ryan gave me a flower. a rose.
It was mother's day—hence the reflection post.
I gave a cute little talk in church about how great mothers are and how i hope to be a good one when i grow up.
In our ward, mother's day meant that all female figures were given gifts; this particular year it was a rose. The young men were in charge of handing out the gifts and I still remember how it felt when my heart skipped a beat and Ryan gave me a rose even though I wasn't quite a grown-up lady.
I was twitterpated.

Sometimes I get text messages from Ryan's mom (he is currently in Panama so it's kind of impossible to get any sort of text from him) and my mind races back 100mi per hour to these memories.
I have since found out through the woodworks (and then confirmed) that this primary-aged crush was mutual.
I can't begin to imagine what 10-12 year old Lauren would have done if she knew.
BUT, I can guarantee that there would have been a lot more Ryan inspired journal entries if the little secret crush had been discovered sooner.
& I can guarantee that they would have been the inspiration behind a hit teen fiction romance novel.

Monday, May 14, 2012

On Miracles.

"Do the best you can, and the Lord will provide the rest. 
Have faith and confidence in Him, and you will see miracles happen in your life
 and the lives of your loved ones. 
The virtue of your own life will be a light to those who sit in darkness, 
because you are a living witness of the fulness of the gospel."
- Dieter F. Uchtdrof, "The Influence of Righteous Women."

"For I am God, and mine arm is not shortened; 
and I will show miracles, signs, and wonders, 
unto all those who believe on my name" 
- D&C 35:8

Today a miracle happened at around 10:34 am.
It came at the perfect time, just as I was coming to the brink of frustration, not understanding why certain things were happening the way they were.
I started crying and thinking "my desire is righteous, why do I keep hitting roadblocks?"

& then the miracle occurred.
and it was wonderful and I screamed and called out to my roommates.
but no one was home, so I called my mom about 4 times including using her work phone and texted her in all caps "CALL ME!!!!"

I tried to remain calm as I described what had happened and then called my mejor amiga.
Obviously my mind wasn't functioning completely because I later realized I could have walked less than 30ft to rehearse the miracle to her.

The first thought that popped into my head post-miracle a need to thank my Heavenly Father for the miracle.
I was so happy as I got on my knees I felt an overwhelming sensation of gratitude and I started praying and laughing and smiling because my season of patient waiting had passed.
Second thought: I need to record the miracle down and so all during my book publishing class, I scribbled away frantically in my blue lined journal about my happy morning.

& just in case there was any doubt in my mind that a miracle had truly taken place.
I got a small little envelope in the mail today that proved the reality of the miracle.
I don't know how it happened, but then again I do.

& just like that,
My mission papers are officially turned in!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Accidental Roadtrip.

31. Visit the Salt Flats

You know that scene in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End? The one scene where Captain Jack Sparrow is in this vast white expanse and starts seeing things, like tiny crabs walking all over the place? Yeah, that scene was filmed in Utah. In the Bonneville Salt Flats State Park. BUCKETLIST!

We kind of under-calculated the drive and realized that the salt flats are like 10mi away from the Nevada border. Nothing says roadtrip quite like a drive to the new city creek mall + a stop at the red iguana + six girls packed into a car & a pit stop at a 7-11.

The salt flats were surreal. We literally drove off the freeway and onto the salt flats and I was tempted to yell, "yo ho yo ho a Pirates life for me!" at the top of my lungs—the only thing that could of made that moment better is having the Pirates of the Caribbean score serving as a personal soundtrack to our off-terrain escapade. 

It was beautiful there. calm and serene. Sound traveled ridiculously fast on the flats and we could hear each other perfectly no matter how far away we were standing from each other. The ground of the salt flats sank every time we walked kind of like we were on a temperpedic bed it was as if I was walking on a bed of moon sand. The salt flat bed felt even better when you walked barefoot. It's maybe even better than sand on the beach & definitely worth the two-hour drive from Provo. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Very superstitious.


Nothing makes Mormons sound more superstitious than mission calls.

I kid you not, ever since I started telling people I'm in the process of turning in my papers, I've gotten tons of advice on how to know where I'm going. I present my collected bits of new-found wisdom in the form of a short list:

How to successfully predict your Mission call
apply the following...

1. You'll be sent where your personality fits
2. You'll be sent to a place where you look like you could be from.
3. Don't say the name of the place where you want to go out loud or you won't get called there.
4. Only people who have some kind of connection to Japan get called there.
5. If you study Spanish in high school you'll probably be sent German speaking.
6. If you say where you don't want to go out loud, chances are you'll be sent there. 
7. You'll be sent to the place of your ancestry
8. If you're pretty, you'll serve on temple square. 

I love it.
These bits of somewhat truths make me happy.
They kind of remind me of conspiracy theories or whispers about urban legends. 
& I'm pretty sure I'm just going to serve exactly where I'm needed.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A "for reals" recommendation.

14. Hawaiian shaved Ice from the shack across from Helaman Halls

You know how sometimes you have friends who recommend you to try out places and you go and you're really excited only to be severely disappointed? I felt that way with Sammy's (although I still recommend you try their pie shakes). K, this place is NOT like that. 

go here.
Please go here more than once.

The sizes are h u g e. I went with a kiddie for $1.50 and added sweet and condensed milk drizzled on top (#mexicanstyle) for fifty cents more. The flavor selection is huge. I went with tigers blood (strawberry, piña colada, and watermelon). I love me a good hawaiian shaved ice. It's like the cotton candy version of a snow cone. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

i should be studying...

but instead i'm dreaming of the LA marathon I had for breakfast from Heritage when Denise picked me up from the airport last Thursday.
Has it really already been a week?
I'd much rather be in my new house in California instead of studying for a test in 322B of the library.
find me.
save me.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The hood: good food, good company


I finally made it out to Roscoe's in downtown Long Beach. How did I live in Compton for 21 years and never once try the delicious combo of chicken & waffles? f i r e d. I know it sounds weird? Chicken and waffles? I promise, the combination is heavenly. 

I met up with some of my favorite people and had a late night dinner of the "Carol C. Special: 1 succulent breast, 1 delicious waffle." BOMB. Seriously, the fried chicken was perfection. Just the right amount of buttery taste and fried to the perfect texture. I'll definitely be making some more trips and next time, i'm trying the eclipse. It's on the secret menu, it's a drink that kind of looks like an ombre glass of summer sunset hues (lemonade, O.J., and fruit punch).

Roscoes is a combination of all the best qualities the hood has to offer.
& I ed it.