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!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

A lawn party.

When I first got back from Argentina, I met with my bishop to figure out this whole Relief Society President thing. One thing he asked me to do was to do more things and become unified with the Elders Quorum (Men's organization). So, we came together and planned rad activities. One of my counselors, Marisa, suggested that we have a lawn party: croquet tournament, fancy finger foods, the works! We fell in love with the idea and things just came magically together. We secured a snazzy location and asked everyone to come dressed in Gatsby-era clothing. Because of the timing of it all, our activity ended up becoming a ward activity and it was absolutely magical!

Kneaders catered the event! Is this not just a dreamy setting?
Don't worry, there was a pet deer just strolling around the premises.
The party took place at the home of Michael Coleman—a renowned artist who happens to be a good friend of our bishop. His art studio looks like a museum! It was amazing (as will be evidenced by the following pictures)!!!! I think it would be the perfect place to throw a Night at the Museum party or a fancy murder mystery!
^^& then a series of classy library pictures took place...
^^Bishop put on quite the runway show with this coat.
^^The greatest Bishop we could ask for.
^^Marisa—the brains behind this wonderful party!
photo taken by Chase Lewis.

The activity was a HUGE success. 
& I'm hoping that the quality of activities we have only goes up from here.
& it felt like the beginning of an extended goodbye to a wonderful spring/summer!

Monday, August 10, 2015


I celebrated my 25th birthday on 8/8.
I always feel magical on my birthday, like the sun is shining especially for me or like there's glitter dazzling in my veins. 
I'm big on birthdays & I'm a big time planner, 
so I had been brainstorming ideas for a while now on 
how to celebrate.

The temple.
It just felt right & I thought, 
'what better place & what better way to celebrate my birthday!!!'
^^ & I kind of think that the Provo temple looks a bit like a birthday cake with a candle on it. So it's fitting!^^
I invited friends to come do a session with me.
Utah was boasting some pretty gorgeous Texas-esque clouds
After the temple I had a breakfast brunch at Communal.
I had always wanted to go, but never had a good reason to!
^^Andrea HAD to drench her tostada in hot sauce. SUPER MEXICANA.

In the evening my good friend, Katie Bair, treated me to a ticket
to an outdoor Petatonix/Kelly Clarkson concert!
I'm going to be honest, 
I was a little worried that I wouldn't know any of the songs. 
It's been a cool minute since I listened to any Kelly Clarkson, 
but she sang all of her old power ballads.
My favorite was probably 'breakaway' because come on
Princess Diaries 2!
^^ & to add to the magic, there was a firework show somewhere in the distance! 

Seriously, thank you to EVERYONE who made me feel so special on my birthday! I'm so lucky to have you in my life.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

5th Water Hot Springs.

The heat just feels so good on my skin. I crave to be outside at all times. & the mountains here in Utah are unreal! I definitely have outdoorsy goals (I'm looking at you timp!) Before my mission i'll admit, I was a bit of a Utah hater, but I've come to learn to love wherever I am whenever I'm there. 

A couple of weekends ago, I went with friends up Diamond Fork canyon to the 5th water hot springs. Hot springs? In the summer? Yes! We started our hike at the perfect time in the early evening. It was kind of funny though, because as we started the 2.5 mi hike we ran into several people who looked SO worn out, they would ask us, "how much longer till the end???" I'm not going to lie, I was a bit worried at this point, but it turned out to not be bad at all!
This waterfall was a dream! Maybe I don't go to school in Hawaii, but I will take what I can get!
^^I had a little memory flashback to childhood days when my dad would collect smooth stones to use in the shower for scrubbing. We started exfoliating away. Kaede was so fascinated, "why do we pay for pedicures when we can do this??" :)
the water color was unbelievable!
We ended our adventure with shaved ice from Yuki at the Riverwoods. We just think the owner Brian is the coolest and most sincere vendor around. He always has a smile on his face. When I placed my order he said, "I remember you! You're the habanero girl!" You see, last time we came here, I asked for a sample of the habanero flavor. Apparently it's ridiculously hot, but since I've built up an immunity to chile from years of spicy food it really was just a nice little kick. :)
This time around I had hibiscus (jamaica) and tamarindo. :) There's something about those Mexican flavors, they get me every time!