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Monday, December 31, 2012

2012--Well this is Potentially Awkward

Hey guys!  We're all alive!  I have to say this has been an...interesting year.  But instead of writing something long and obnoxious I think I will just list the memorable bits.

1.  Surviving Rapture (parts one and two) as well as the apocalypse.  Looks like the Doctor, Men in Black or -oh I don't know- a complete lack of danger did it's job.
2.  Graduated High School Hell (I really hated HS)
3.  Survived a laundry list of calamities....let's not go into those
4.  Went to Prom with a group of friends...and what did we eat?  Taco Bell, obviously!
5.  Got into BYU
6.  Broke my first bone
7.  Discovered that everyone but me is amused by my hiccups...geez you try to drop the bass ONCE and they never let you live it down
8.  Went to Homecoming at BYU (SO fun!)
9.  Lots of awesomely amazing new friends (and hey--the old friends ain't bad either!)
10.  Got a job! (Granted, it is painful, but hey, it's a job and it pays for rent.)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Birthdays

So we all know that Christmas is supposed to celebrate the birth of Christ, right?  If not, well I have a great story to tell you -- and the best part is that it is all true.

There once was a young woman (probably somewhere about the ages of 16-19) named Mary.  In 1 Nephi 11:13-18 Nephi saw this young woman and was given some insight about why we even care about her.
13 And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the great city of Jerusalem, and also other cities. And I beheld the city of Nazareth; and in the city of aNazareth I beheld a bvirgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white.
 14 And it came to pass that I saw the aheavens open; and an angel came down and stood before me; and he said unto me: Nephi, what beholdest thou?
 15 And I said unto him: A virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins.
 16 And he said unto me: Knowest thou the acondescension of God?
 17 And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.
 18 And he said unto me: Behold, the avirgin whom thou seest is the bmother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.
Truth be told, this passage always makes me giggle.  Nephi had this vision as a young, unmarried man and his description is such a guy description!  Especially when compared with the description Alma the Younger gave of her after having a very similar vision. (Keep in mind that by this time Alma was far older than Nephi was -- probably a grandfather already)
  10 And behold, he shall be aborn of Mary, at bJerusalem which is the cland of our forefathers, she being a dvirgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and econceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.
Notice that he doesn't say ANYTHING about how she looks.  But back to the story.  As we can see, Mary was not only pretty, but she was the Mother of the Son of God.
And an angel, Gabriel, told her all about it.  But what was her response?  There was no "why me?" or "Choose somebody else."  She said "Behold the Handmaid of the Lord."
See, already she had HUGE amounts of faith here.  See, Mary was a Hebrew, and not only was she Hebrew, but she was as good as married to a good man -- Joseph.
When he found out she was pregnant, Joseph had three options under the Law of Moses.  The first was to "put her away" publicly.  This would not only cause both families embarrassment  but could prove fatal to Mary.  His second option was to put her away privately, or just break off the engagement without a public trial.  Finally, he could marry her anyways.
 After being told by an angel why his betrothed was pregnant, he chose to marry Mary and raise the child as his own.  After they were married, they had to travel to Bethlehem, the ancestral home of both Mary and Joseph to be taxed by the Romans who were in charge at the time.  Mary was too pregnant to walk, so she had to ride...on a donkey (for the record: I've been on a Donkey, and they are NOT fun to ride long term!).
Finally they got to Bethlehem, and due to the HUGE influx of travelers who hadn't been taking along a pregnant lady, there was no room for them anywhere.  Eventually, an innkeeper had the bright idea of looking at the highly pregnant woman sitting on the Donkey and realized that "Hey, maybe I should give her a place to stay.  As a result, a baby was born in a stable.
This baby grew up to do great things.  He caused the lame to walk.  He caused the blind to see, and the deaf to receive their sight.  He lived an absolutely perfect life.
Then, when he was 33 this man atoned for my sins, and yours.  He took upon him everything bad in the universe and made it possible for us to return to the presence of our Father in Heaven, as long as we accept his help and consistently try our best to become better.  He became the Savior.
Now, we know that Christ was born in April, yes?  No?  Well he was.  But hey, December is long and I don't mind celebrating Christ's birth now.

But wait, there's more.  I owe literally everything to Christ, but there's another birthday this month.  And while I don't owe everything to him, I do owe him an awful lot for what he did for me and my family.

Brother Joseph was also born to good parents:  Joseph Smith Sr and Lucy Mack Smith.  He had amazing siblings, and a good if difficult childhood.  He was an amazing guy even as a little boy.  (I mean, he let people cut into his leg and break off part of his bone without taking anesthetic!)

Anyways, Joseph grew up in New York during one of the Great Awakenings and for those of you who know your American History, you'll know he was in the middle of the "Burnt over District" (otherwise known  as the melting pot of crazy...as far as religion goes.)  And he had no idea whatsoever what church to join.

He read James 1:5 which states:
If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God which giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.
Deciding that he HAD to know what to do, he went into the woods near his house and prayed to know what church if any he should join.  He was overcome by an evil power, and it was all this 14 year old boy could do to keep praying.  Then, just when he was about to give up hope, he saw a light above his head, and as it descended he saw two heavenly beings.  God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ.
They told him not to join any of the Churches.

Long story short, Joseph grew up, got married to a lovely woman named Emma Hale, and translated what would later become the Book of Mormon.
Note: not actually Emma Hale Smith
Joseph Smith helped the Lord bring forth the only wholly true church in these the Last Days (note that I use the word wholly.  I am NOT condemning other churches or saying that they are entirely wrong.)

For his efforts he and his older brother Hyrum were killed.
Their memorial at Carthage Jail--the site of the martyrdom
But then again, as a result of his efforts these things came back:
Where my Grandparents were sealed...and my home temple
 Marriages that can last for all of Eternity
Where my parents were sealed.
My current temple (and for all my jokes about how it looks like a cake, I think it is BEAUTIFUL)
Blessings.  Enough said.
Thank you Brother Joseph, and Happy Birthday!

The Lord lives and he loves you and boy, am I GLAD.  Happy birthday.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Final Thoughts

At the end of the Semester I like to make sure I remember the important parts.  So without further ado:

1. I now have an intense dislike of the word "final"

2.  Ranting about life to anyone who will listen

3.  Finding out my friend Grace and I know the same boy from EFY and we both crushed on him at some point

4.  Ghost Peppers

5.  Laundromat Waffles

6.  Random friends

7.  "Hi Azya!" "Oh Hi!" (thinking: DANGIT!!! Who are you? Do I know you?????)

8.  Window Sleeps

9.  Mosquitoes are demons sent from the devil to torment me and me alone.

10.  Don't be so English

11.  I'mm so sorry I hit you with my car!!! It's fine.  Think you could give me a blessing though?

12.  After surgery notes to my parents:  SHE HAS A SCOTTISH BROGUE!!

13.  Maren helping me carry my laundry

14.  Impressive screaming at spiders

15.  Brave roommate (Alyssa) killing spiders for the pathetically arachnophobic freshman

16.  Swing Dancing!

17.  Not understanding the snow

18.  FHE Mom...ending with my first (hopefully only) divorce

19.  Mission Age Change Party

20.  Sending my two "daughters" Jenny and Emily (fun fact: Jenny is also my RA) off on their missions

21.  Late night walks

22.  City Creek and bagpipes

23.  Screaming Check Yes, Juliet at the top of our lungs on the way back from the Symphony in SLC

24.  Ice cream five minutes before Fast Sunday starts because..y'know...we just killed our vocal chords.  This will DEFINITELY help.

25.  Harrison: Hey Azya, look! POISON! *holding up a bunch of cookie dough*

26.  I did NOT poison you! (also Harrison)

27.  Charlie and I to random strangers: DANCE IN THE RAIN WITH ME!

28.  Harrison and Ethan: Whoa you're BLONDE!  Yes, that's my natural color...

29.  Sarah: I wish I could just call up the apostles!

30.  Priesthood blessings within hours (usually minutes) of asking for one

31.  Tunnel Singing

32.  Azya, seriously.  I don't get cold/am still wearing long sleeves/feel like a pansy.  TAKE MY JACKET.

33.  Dislike of Chemistry

34.  Walking to the Temple

35.  Uber deep and strangely meandering conversations

36. 17 Miracles and Legacy = tears all over

37.  Natlie: Azya, tape your iPod to the window.  We might get better reception for Conference

38.  Me:NO NO NO NO BYU MUST WIN!!!
       Ethan and Harrison: Didn't know you liked football that much.  .......it grew on me

39. mumble mumble mumble RISE AND SHOUT THE COUGARS ARE OUT!!

40.  Not being allowed to play Apples to Apples with Harrison (because we ALWAYS tie for the win)

41.  Harrison: Why do you do this to yourself?

42.  Ethan: I swear the only reason you do this is to spite me

44.  Holiday

45.  Janalee: You're addicted to indexing too??

46.  Harrison: Azya, why on earth do you have this much hot chocolate!

47.  Failing at the  'natural laugh'

48.  Pancake party!

49.  Me (to Ethan):We are NEVER walking all the way to Krispy Kreme again!

50.  Charlie: The Cannon Center has gluten free food??? Let's go!

51.  Mom? Dad?  I'm going on a mission!  TWO YEARS EARLIER THAN YOU THOUGHT! WOOOOOO!

52.  Life discussions

53.  Book of Mormon with Brother Griffin

54.  Panic in the Town

55.  Early Morning Custodial

56.  *to Wendy's Guy* You sir, are quite attractive. (other girl) YEAH! YOU'RE HOT! (Emily) I'm never taking you guys anywhere again.

57.  Sweet Potato Fries

58.  The most terrifying cha cha I EVER hope to dance

59.  Staying out obscenely late singing and dancing

60.  Finding out my best friend Beth (from my final year at EFY) is also at Wyview

61.  Eric: You are not allowed to leave until you've eaten all the food I put on this plate!

62.  Volunteering at the MTC (CCM!)

63.  Me (to Grace and Harrison): Why not use that apple beer bottle for a rolling pin?

64.  Mini mental breakdown

65.  Alyssa: Are you reading Harry Potter in Spanish?  Me: Well, they didn't have the English one in the library!

66.  The Cornish Fan Club

67.  Pride and Prejudice

68.  Jane Eyre

69.  Sleep Talking conversations

70.  Tour stories

71.  Early morning temple trips

72.  GAH it's COLD

73.  Harrison and I: Come on guys, you know you want to!  Just polka down the sidewalk!! Like this!

74.  Cheese Curds

75.  *looking at a plate of cookies and a pie that say "For Azya"*  Well, I suppose it's the thought that counts

76.  Chicken Cordon Bleu -- GLUTEN FREE

77.  Ethan: I wouldn't want to be a flightless bird.  Except for penguins.  Penguins are freakin' awesome.  Which reminds me.  I heard a joke about a panda today.

78.  Harrison: Choose your love and love your choice

79.  How can you NOT dance to the Incredibles?

80.  Quoting movies

81.  Swedish twister

82.  Alyssa: Why do you use chopsticks? Dupree: .....Because I like soft lips...? *I understood what was going on, so I am dying on the floor*

83.  Alyssa: This is NOT my stuff! Me: Nope it's mine!  I live out here, Alyssa lives in our room and Dupree lives in her cave!

84.  Cafe Rio trips

85.  Alyssa: How did you not realize that it was flour and not powdered sugar???  Me: I don't know, but I don't think I will die...I made myself throw it all up.  In other related news, I need a new toothbrush.

I love you all so much.  Thank you for the fantastic semester and please, let's stay friends.

The Lord lives, he loves you, and we get to celebrate his birth very soon!  Love y'all!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Likening the Scriptures and Goodbyes

So there have been a lot of things on my mind lately.  I mean, FINALS (no comment on how I did.  Imagine it for yourself.)

But anyways.  This morning I got up at 3:30 to get to work.  As a result I am a bit tired, and debating with myself about when I will take a nap...and reminding myself of the Good, Better, Best talk by Elder Oaks (It's super inspiring.)  Why the conundrum?  Well in this case, I need food, and there is literally no point in cooking something and having leftovers right now.  (Long story)  Then also, I need to do laundry as I've procrastinated since THANKSGIVING....granted, this was not actually by choice, as my BYU card that pays for these things won't let me refill it.  Then like I said, there is the nap option.

My conclusion:  I need clothing.  So that would be best.  After that, I have people constantly telling me about how I need to eat.  So I will go get lunch.  Then I will sleep for about 24 hours.  Solid plan, yes?
Look at me, applying General Conference to my life.
The winners!
Then also, I was thinking about change.  Some of my best friends are leaving on their missions/possibly moving out of my ward.  I am FAR more okay with the missions than the friends moving.  The moving is NOT NOT NOT NOT okay. NOT OKAY!
Good!!  I approve.

Bad.  If I ran the world, this would not be allowed until after Winter Semester. 

Isn't it great that we are allowed to make friends?  I have been so blessed this semester to have some AMAZING priesthood holders as friends (poor guys had to use their priesthood authority to help me out of tough situations a LOT.)  I also have some of the best girl friends around here EVER.  I am going to miss this.

Conclusion?  I should get my laundry done, and I love my friends more than I can express.

The Lord lives and He loves you!  For those of you traveling home, don't forget to say a prayer for your safety.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Inspired by Friendship


HOKAY guys, this post is inspired by one of my best friends.  She also writes a blog and she is one of the most intelligent, funniest, nicest and prettiest (sorry, had to throw that last one in there--she's truly stunning!) people I know.  Grace, you are amazing; don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise...and if they do, feel free to let me berate them.  (If you want to read HER list click HERE)

Grace is a lot like this.  I want to be her when (if) I manage to grow up.
1.  I dislike my nose. (Weird, because if I look at it objectively, it's super cute!)

2.  I am 5'10''.  How is this a confession?  After about 6th grade I wished I had stopped at 5'4''.

3.  Dark Chocolate is the most wonderful dessert in the universe, especially if eaten with Cuties (the oranges...not small children)

4.  I am going on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and have never been so excited (or terrified!!) in my life.

5.  If you want an answer out of me, I won't lie to you, but I will twist my answer to avoid answering.  Ask me a direct question, though, and I will tell the whole truth, even when it's the last thing I want to do.

6.  I am stubborn to a fault.  At least I can admit it.

7.  I am a lot less sarcastic than people seem to assume.  Sure it comes out sometimes, but 95% of the time, I am completely sincere.  It's just not a trait that is as easily recognized as my sarcasm is.

8.  I love singing.

9.  Dancing is one of the greatest joys in life.  It took me 16 years to discover this, and another 2 years to embrace it.

10.  Partner dancing is even more fun than interpretive dancing.

11.  I couldn't shimmy until this year when Grace taught me.

12.  I have a list of foods I plan on eating once I get resurrected (I don't care if glorified beings don't need to eat! I went without gluten for the majority of my mortal life, and I WANT BREAD!)

13.  The only superstition I like is the wedding one (something old, something new...) and that's just because I like the rhyme.

14.  Marriage looks like one of the most awesome things in the world and I think I will LOVE being a wife and mother, but since I still think of the MAWAGE scene from The Princess Bride when I think of myself getting married, I don't think I am mature enough for it.

15.  I have played the piano for about 14 years...and with the exception of about a months' worth of lessons from a boy in my ward and my Mom teaching me the notes when I first started out, I have taught myself.  Hence my lack of skill.

16.  I love eating whipped cream right out of the can.  Yeah, it's gross, but my lips don't touch the nozzle, so feel free to resume your other, non-judgemental activities.

17.  I hate dust storms.  A lot.  And as a result, I am not Arizona's biggest fan.

18.  I am AWESOME at cleaning things.  It just takes a while for me to build up the will to do it.

19.  I have never had a boyfriend, have not had my first kiss, or held anyone's hand.  Why?  I think I have pre-missionary syndrome.

20. I hated high school with a burning passion.  I love college.

21.  Sometimes I consider what I would be like if I was born a boy...and conclude it's a REALLY good thing I wasn't

22.  I tend to give people things when I feel guilty

23.  I used to have an eating disorder.

24.  I was bullied in Middle School.  A lot, and it still haunts me a bit, but thankfully, it's over.

25.  I have really cute hiccups.

26.  I was legitimately furious when my brother Will turned out to be a boy. (Now I just think it's amusing)

27.  One of my earliest memories is sitting on hard seats in the Provo Tabernacle for Stake Conference.  I couldn't have been much more than a year old.

28.  I have the best record ever: My name was my first word as well as Greg's first word and Will's first word. (And we all managed to pronounce it differently.)

29.  I technically speak three languages in the sense that I understand them and can pronounce the words correctly 98% of the time.  I can only answer people back in two of them.

30.  I am determined to get to 100 on this.

31.  I have never owned footie pajamas.

32.  Socks bug me a lot if I am just wearing them around.

33.  I really like my parents a lot.

34.  I hate sleeping because it always results in me having nightmares that I die in.

35.  Due to said nightmares, I think I would be okay with dying young (don't want to though.)

36.  My scriptures are terrifyingly colourful and written in.

37.  I am a fantastic cook...I just rarely bother with it.

38.  I love sushi.

39.  I used to own a bikini.  (Result of being on a ward campout at a lake without my normal swimsuit and Target only carrying bikinis.)  My fluorescently white skin has insured this will never happen again.

40.  On a choir tour it was determined that I would be one of the first ones eaten if we broke down in the middle of the desert because I was thin and white enough that they could "practically see your organs through your skin!"

41.  I have a running tally of times I nearly died.  I think my guardian angel officially hates me.

42.  I love the sun.  A lot.   It's too bad that it makes me itchy.

43.  I have perpetually icy hands and feet.  I actually have used them as ice packs before.

44.  I despise doing laundry.

45.  I believe happiness is a choice.  Depression isn't.  You can act happy and still be depressed,

46.  The Savior died so that I don't have to be dead permanently.

47.  When the Lord tells me to do something, he doesn't just shove me out the door and say "Have fun, don't mess up!"  He walks out the door with me and says: "Hey, people need me.  Let's go help them."

48.  Indexing is addicting.

49.  The only things I miss about home are the people and my pets.

50.  It (usually) takes a long time for me to completely trust somebody, but once I do, it takes a lot for me to give up on that trust and it is very easy to wound me deeply.

51.  I don't know if I have the ability to cry for more than about five minutes, and even then it's humiliating enough that I stop.

52.  Talking to people in authority (professors, police officers etc) terrifies me.

53.  I love dogs.  Cats I tolerate.

54.  Stats is not real math.

55.  I go into robot mode when I have been hurt.  I also blink longer.

56.  I think ASL is super awesome.  I wish I could speak sign language.

57.  I love my church.

58.  I know prayer works miracles.  The problem is NEVER on God's side of the connection.  It's always on your side.

59.  I love the temple.

60.  My friends are the only reason I am not (more of) a bucket case right now.  I owe them a lot.

61.  Handwriting experiments make life interesting

62.  Circle skirts are super classy.

63.  So are sweater vests.

64.  I am a sucker for backrubs/ massages (usually when I am tired)

65.  I hate hugging people when they demand hugs all the time.

66.  My hair likes to eat my head.  It's a dangerous animal.

67.  True study of the scriptures might not make things better, but they make them easier

68.  Singing and dancing is an almost sure-fire way to cheer me up

69.  I am cheap.  It can be a serious problem sometimes.

70.  Driving is scary

71.  Cars are terrifying monsters that are out to kill me

72.  I love Relief Society, but dislike being an adult.

73.  I really hope I can get home for Christmas

74.  I have problems with asking for help.

75.  The idea of falling in love both fascinates and terrifies me.

76.  I will be an awesome Grandma and an awesome Mom.  Assuming of course, my kids decide that my interestingness is fun.

77.  I stay up waaaaay too late on a regular basis (no, Mom I will NOT tell you how late.)

78.  I adore vanilla, peppermint, and fresh laundry smells

79.  I love strawberries, decent southern food (made by my Dad), and the Book of Mormon.  Only one matters

80.  My roommate taught me how to sign something! "Eating is hard"  Sounds about right

81.  I really like conversation hearts.  They make me grin a bit

82.  Fresh Tootsie rolls are fun to turn into snowmen

83.  I dislike my laughing face

84.  I used to be really self-conscious of my teeth.  Now I have braces and can see that I didn't have anything to complain about

85.  It's far too easy to take the miracle of fantastic friends for granted.  I love that they are all so in tune with the Spirit!

86.  Nachos are a wonderful thing

87.  I love indoor plumbing.  And just because I said that, I'll bet I go somewhere on my mission where there is no indoor plumbing.

88.  I love writing and getting letters.  But writing and never getting one back is exhausting and frankly, not worth the effort.

89.  There are more miracles happening in my life on a regular basis than I ever admit.

90.  I have funny brothers.

91.  I have always liked my eyes.  I think they're pretty.

92.  I have Celiac Disease (no dur)

93.  I have a dream to go on a group date to the HFAC to play Twister in the elevators.

94.  Along those same lines, I have discovered that a combination of politeness and cowardice is a handy thing to have when you need a nap -- just go get lost in the basement of the HFAC and take a nap until someone who is NOT busy walks by to take you back to reality.

95.  Yoga is a wonderful thing

96.  I miss swimming.

98.  I miss crying.  It's really weird.

99.  I may be intelligent, but that doesn't mean I have common sense.

100.  I can't stand it when people lie in answer to a direct question.  This is an even bigger pet peeve than when people misuse "there," "their," and "they're."

The Lord lives and he Loves you!

Happy Finals!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mamma Bear, Mamma Hen

I am having a very hard time right now.  I won't go into details, but suffice it to say that I am highly disliking my life on a couple different levels.

This is where for a long time my wonderful mother would swoop in to save the day.  It is also where I now have had to draw the line and tell my mom that I have to accept what is happening to me and deal with it as best I know how.  

Yes, I wish I was still little enough to just go cry to my Mommy for comfort.  Or maybe just cry.  But I seem to have lost that ability somewhere along the way.
This is particularly appropriate.  Mom has a thing for chickens
I also wish that I could in good conscience, sic my mom on what is causing me so many problems, but that is just part of growing up.  It's a pity, but there 'tis.
My mommy is just as terrifying as SHE would be if you got her angry.
Mom, thanks for giving me the tools to cope with life.  I'm ready (if not happy)

I guess the best I can do is suck it up and stay away from dangerous chemicals and kitchen tools as I am more clumsy the more upset and stressed I am.

This too shall pass and it will ALL be worth it.

From my stats professor (who's last day of teaching is today):  "It doesn't matter how you do on the final.  Your Father in Heaven still loves you and will take care of you no matter what."

The Lord lives and he loves you, even when you can't see it or have a bad semester.