Monday, August 19, 2013

Better late....

Yeah that's a lie, but you know...TRADITIONS.  I needed to post the more memorable parts of summer term! (Mom, some of these will annoy you.)

  • MISSION CALL (if it wasn't already abundantly obvious...I'M GOIN' ON A MISSION, Y'ALL!)
  • Me: THAT is a TERRIBLE idea.....let's do it!
  • Mom (after a rather madcap day getting to the temple): Is THIS what your life is like all the time??  It's EXHAUSTING.
  • Me (to my FHE Program co-chair AKA FHE Grandpa):  Woah woah're taking Kaelin to Ward council with you?  YOU HAVE TWO WIVES.
    Kaelin: Does that make me his mistress?
  • Cassidy: My guitar smells like boy.  Not in a bad way...but it smells like boy.
  • Sean: Oh you hate that step?  Well then...*proceeds to do step about a million times in a row*
  • Jaimie: Wait...are we going to the native speaking TRC???
    Me: YEP...We gon' die.
  • Jaimie:  Aren't those the panels we use to tell the room to turn on the A/C?
    Me:  Yeah...why are there three of them?
    Jamie: Maybe the Elders get really nervous?
    Me: Heaven help them if they're going to South America.
  • Me (looking at Scott's "Alons-y Alonzo!" shirt):  I think you just became my best friend.
  • Sending my friends Ethan, Shannon, and Aannaliisa off on their missions

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Languages are COOL

So anyone who knows me at all knows that besides the restored gospel of Jesus Christ (you can see more about it and about me specifically here), I have three passions: Singing, Dancing (basically anything, though I do prefer partner dancing), and Languages.  It is a good week when I get to do something about all of those.

This week was a good week.

In my linguistics class, we talked about how in the Xincan (Sheen-kin) language when Jesus is tempted by the Devil he says that it is written that we must serve the Lord.  Sounds pretty standard, yes?  Well the thing is that the word used for we is actually the inclusive form of we meant to mean ALL of us including you rather than the exclusive form meaning all of us EXCEPT you.  So basically Christ informs the Devil that he too, despite being the enemy to all righteousness, he is obliged to worship the Lord God of Israel.  Cool, no?

I also got to have a nice long conversation in Spanish today where I was informed that I speak very well.  That's always gratifying.  (I know I am a long way from becoming fluent as a native speaker, but I'm not doing badly at all)

So that's my week in a nutshell.  (LOOK MOM, I BLOGGED!)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Halloween Costume this year:

Yes, it is true.  I have received my mission call.  I am going to the New York Utica Mission!  Reporting 2 October!

The Church is true, the book is blue. ;)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Missionary 'Migos!

Horrible alliteration! I am SO SORRY...but not really.  I really wanted to use Spanish...but Amigos starts with an 'A' and..yeah.  Moving on.  So I have this addiction to blogs written by girls on their missions/about to go on their missions.  I read one today that made me want to I am playing copycat!  (see said inspiring post here)

So likely all of you have heard my story about how I decided to serve a mission when I was four.  So we are going to have a brief recap of this story (one from my 4 year old journal and then from my current journal.)

4 year old me (adjusted for my best guess at spelling and grammar):
"I went to the Mesa Temple Easter [pageant?  I spelled it pag ent.  Two words].  I got lost.  A scary man yelled at me with a Ms Frizzle voice. (Magic Schoolbus reference to Ms Frizzle's terrifying megaphone.)  He told me bad things.  A nice man said 'Be Nice' and he stopped yelling."

After that point I guess my hand was tired of writing.

19 year old me:
19 May 2013
"When I was four years old (or so I assume because Mom had yet to have Will), I went to the Mesa Easter Pageant with my family.  Somehow I got separated from them.  A protester saw me and got off the chair he had been standing on and got all up in my grill with his megaphone yelling at me for being LDS, telling me I was going to hell, junk like that.  I tried to protest reciting the Articles of Faith I could choke out past my terror, Bible and Book of Mormon verses my Mom had taught me--ANYTHING to get him to stop being so mean.  It only made him angrier.  (In retrospect reciting Proverbs 1:10 when he was telling me I should not be LDS was a bad idea.)

"I was in tears when I heard a young man behind me demanding to know exactly what the protester thought he was doing, screaming at a little girl.  The young man put his arm around my shoulders and confronted my attacker, calmly asking what his objections were to our faith.  He then proceeded to politely but firmly counter the protester's incoherent and erroneous declamations with scriptures from both the Bible and the Book of Mormon.

"The protester, humbled, put down his bullhorn and walked away.  The young man, who I found out had been home from his mission for about a month, helped me find my Mom.

"I remember how terrified and helpless I felt with my limited knowledge of the Restored Gospel of Christ.  I remember how much safer I felt later.  I knew then that there were people that feel like that to some degree or another all the time.  How can I not go forth and serve?  I owe it to them as my brothers and sisters.  I owe it to my God.  I owe it to my Savior.  I owe it to my wonderful parents who taught me all that I know.  I owe it to my spouse and children.  I owe it to that righteous RM who saved me, but most of all I owe it to myself.  And THAT is why I am going on a mission."

Yes, that is actually how I write in my journal.  But after reading that particular blog post I realized there is another group of people who have influenced me and strengthened my desire to serve a mission: my friends

Of the five of us in this picture, I am the only one without a mission call!

Same goes for this one
And this one

Elder Forsgren- Sao Paulo Brazil
Aaaah Elder Forsgren (no, he hasn't left yet, but I figure this way is a bit more annonymous.  This kid is AWESOME.  He's secretly hilarious...meaning you don't realize he's going to be funny until he anihilates you with a well placed quip.  He's the kid to call when you realize that your ENTIRE Elders Quorum is moving out and can't help you move.  Poor kid has had his hands full keeping this disaster-prone girl from dying (thanks for the blessings, Elder!)  Aren't I lucky that he's not gone yet?

Also: I actually AM in this photo.  I'm the one in back trying not to fall over.

Sister Hull- Sao Paulo Brazil
This girlie and I were not terribly close until the end of Winter Semester.  But Spring term we more than made up for lost time.  Between Pizza therapy, inadvertently dressing as polygamists, funny hat days, mission nicknames, hikes, laughing until neither of us can breathe, Mexican food, MTC, and being a terrible influence on each other when it comes to restraint while shopping for mission gear, I think I can proudly call this pint sized Texan (born and raised!) one of my best friends!
Elder McCullough--CA Irvine 
And speaking of born and raised Texans...Elder McCullough is NOT one.  (And has absolutely HILARIOUS reactions when you remind him of the fact.)  I've been friends with him from literally day one of Fall Semester and would be lying if I said I don't miss him bunches.  If for no other reason than it's kind of nice to not be the only overly enthusiastic one all the time.  Hopefully his companion knows how to cook without burning down the kitchen.
Sister Welch -- TX McAllen Spanish Speaking
This pint sized Utah girl is perhaps one of the cutest girlies I know!  She was my FHE daughter before she got her mission call, and she is STILL one of the best friends I have.  Because of her I will never be able to watch the fox and the hound without giggling maniacally and because of me she can no longer go to Wendy's and look the cashier in the eye.  (Oh and did I mention she is an AMAZING missionary?  She is.)
Sister Winters-- Alpine German Speaking
SO.  I met this lovely girl at EFY when I was 16.  We became best friends.  Later we discovered that our mothers were roommates in college.  So no, we are NOT kidding when we say that the Mormon world is a small world.  This girl consistently astounds me with the depth of her love, her perception and her faith.  That and she is already fluent in German.  Yes, she is in fact, perfect.
Sister Moulton -- CA Roseville
And speaking of perfect women, hot DANG.  Men better look out because once this babe gets off her mission she will be the most amazing wife in the world!  As is, she is already the best friend anyone could ask for: considerate, nurturing, loving, sarcastic (only in the nicest way possible), and not afraid to get down and dirty with any madcap adventures you can devise!  Yes, I sound like a matchmaker.  No I don't care.
Elder Andersen -- Novisibersk Russia
Okay guys.  I know it's a different last name, but this kid is as close to a brother as I could find up at college.  Who else would completely ignore me when I tell him to leave me alone and DO NOT GIVE ME A HUG DO NOT TOUCH ME.  But then ends up being there when I need to talk....generally to give me a smack upside the head with a metaphorical 2x4.  Oh, and I very definitely called where he is going on his mission.  The boy will return from Siberia a Russian speaking Smurf.  (Blond and blue from the cold)
Hermana Hardy - CA Ventura Spanish Speaking
This was basically what every day of our friendship was like in college.  A singing, dancing, gluten free party where we take selfies and lesser mortals look on in resignation.  Hermana Hardy is NOT one I would have ever pegged for missionary service, but she is killing it in Ventura!  I can't wait till she returns...we have a sushi date to meet!

There are more people that I REALLY need to add (which I just typed 'Dad' six yes, DAD is one of the bigger reasons I chose to serve) but blogspot won't let me right now.  So look forward to part two later...maybe.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thoughts while High as a Kite

I have been outside for a total of 30 seconds today.  Since it is ALSO packing and cleaning day, this means that I am high as a kite off of the fumes of cleaning projects.  (Not really, but it could easily explain my new obsession with the song Cotton Eyed Joe.)

As per my habit I think I shall make a list of the more memorable portions of Spring Term:

  • Chis: I only speak Californian!
    Me: So...when God says "I'll strengthen thee, help thee and cause thee to stand..."
    Chris: He's saying "Dude, chill.  I got this."
  • Catie: Get your ELBOW out of my FACE
    Macall: Get your FACE out of my ELBOW!
    Ashlyn:  I guess I don't really need you to pass the vegetables...
  • Ashlyn: Why does everyone applaud when I tell them I broke up with my boyfriend?!
  • Ashlyn: AZYA. I have to get up in TWO HOURS.
    Me: Sorry, sorry!
    Me: Sorry for waking you up...
    Ashlyn: I don't remember...
    Me: REALLY?  I was convinced you were plotting a horrible death for me!
  • Friend: Hey Jerimiah, what does THIS mean? (pointing to a native american looking drum/basket thing)
    Friend: Dude you could have just said it means "I hate white people."
  • Aannaliisa: So when are you getting married?
    Me: WHAT.  (looking at Ben and Shannon in the front seat)
    Ben and Shannon: WHAT?!?!
    Aannaliisa: I was talking to Jerimiah...
    Jill: STOP JUDGING ME I am living on campus today and am CHEAP.
  • Harrison: Yeah, my zone still lectures me about flirting.
    Shannon and I: Why is this not surprising?
  • Me: So what you're saying is that I SHOULDN'T camp out outside the Mission Office HQ until they give me my call?
  • Shannon and I: We are SUCH a bad influence on each other!
  • To Kyle:  HOW are you this cheerful in the morning?
  • Dr Livingstone: The Lord's plan is a ROMANTIC one! Marry a ___________ (females in the class responding with a bored sounding "boy")
  • Dr Livingstone: There's three cries a baby has: Hungry, Not in sight of Mom and that heartbroken wail they get when you scare them...I LOVE doing that one! ....I'm going to hell.
  • Emma getting her mission call to Honduras, Aannaliisa getting her call to California
  • Seeing Elder McCullough in the Provo Temple
  • Chris: "WHO ATE MY ____"
  • Making Pao de queijo with Jamie (after going to Spanish TRC...where they were all native speakers.  BRILLIANT.)
  • Ben: give me some credit, I have SOME manners.
    Me: You DO?!?!
    Shannon: (spittake) AZYA.  Stop making me laugh!!

Love always

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

So I am not any less broke today than I was on Mothers Day.  So I couldn't do the traditional Fathers' Day thing of sacrificing a goat and using it's skin to make my dad a tie....oh wait.  Never did that.  But it DID get your attention, didn't it.

My dad is really REALLY good with babies.  I'm not kidding.  Something about that bass voice of his will put them right to sleep.  Or it could be the fact that he is REALLY warm.  A trait that Greg seems to have inherited, while William and I have inherited Mom's ability to have ice-pack hands in 100+ degree weather.  But anyways, back to Dad.  Whatever it is about him, he can be handed a baby that looks like this:
And magically make it do this
All I can say is that there will likely be a LOT of visits to Grandpa John's house when I have kids if my husband lacks this talent.

Dad also has a case of "White Horse Syndrome" simply put, you have a problem, he has a metaphorical white horse kicking down the stable walls for him to ride to conquer said problem.  "I have a broken arm!" Yep.  Riding that white horse all the way to the ER.  "I managed to completely destroy _________ (fill in the blank with some part of the house)"  Next thing you know, you and my Dad are at Home Depot and Dad is fixing your house.  In special cases, my dad's white horse stages a jailbreak for mere "I think this would be nice" type situations.  And by special cases, I mean when Mom says something.
Growing up we had a few (a lot) of rules.  Every one of them had various exceptions except one: If you disrespect your mother, say your prayers because when Dad gets home he will kill you.  (Disclaimer: we all broke this rule at least once.  None of us are dead.  Dad never abused us, he just used his army voice to terrify us into NEVER doing that again.)  Dad loves my mom SO much and it's easy to see: one of my first recollections from being a toddler at our current house is telling my brother Greg "Don't you yell at Daddy's wife!" (I was learning how relationships worked in the family so had a habit of referring to people as what they were in relation to each other instead of myself.)  Another time, YEARS later, we went to a Fourth of July party with some of Dad's buddies.  People started getting drunk and eventually Mom left with us kids while Dad stayed.  After we left, one of Dad's buddies was being as obnoxious as he could to everyone in sight.  Someone finally asked "Why are you bothering me?" He said: "I bother everyone.  Except for Paige (my mom) because John (my dad) asked me not to."
Our unofficial official family motto 
Dad also knows me really well.  He knows I think anyone who can sing low is REALLY REALLY cool.  Because as a first soprano, I can hit everything BUT the low notes.  So when we are sitting together in church he will sing as low as he can.  It's REALLY COOL.

Also: Dad can cook and cooks WELL.  I'm talking "becomes designated cook within fifteen minutes of arriving anywhere" well.  Mom lucked out marrying this guy because about a quarter of the time HE is the one cooking, not her.  I think she likes that.

Dad, you have set an amazing example to me of the kind of love and devotion I need to look for when considering who I am going to marry.  Like you, he will need to be a worthy priesthood holder.  Like you, he will love his mother.  Like you he will learn to love his mother-in-law (MY mother.)  Like you he will be worthy to take me to the temple the way you took Mom to the temple.  Like you he will be a hard worker.  Like you, he will be incredibly intelligent.  Like you he will know not to give up.  Like you, he will have served an honorable full time mission.  And like you, he will love me.

Thanks for setting the bar so high Dad.  I love you!  Happy Father's Day! daddy has the priesthood.  BAM.  HE WINS.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

In the Language of His Children

So my roommate Chris is SUPER awesome, righteous, and gorgeous.  She wants more than anything else to serve a mission.  Thing is she has health problems with her joints that make my Celiac issues look like wimpy little babies.

She was talking to me today about how the Lord speaks to his children in their own language.  In church today we sang How Firm a Foundation (LDS hymnbook #85) and she was talking about the last verse:
Fear not! I am with thee, oh be not dismayed! For I am thy God and will still give thee aid!  I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand! Upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand!
 She said that for a while now, she has been unable to sing that verse without crying.  This somehow got us onto the subject of if she should go ahead and put in her papers, and if that song was Heavenly Father's way of telling her "Dude, chill.  I got this."

Flashback a few weeks.  I had just met Chris and she was telling me about this girl from her eighth grade math class who fulfilled all the stereotypes for a valleygirl.  One day, the math teacher asked her how her weekend was.  The conversation went something like this:
So [girl], how was your weekend?


...Your weekend.  How was it?


Like, ohmigosh!  Like, how was your weekend?!?!? (In a valleygirl accent)

Omigosh it was SOOOOOO good!!

 Apparently this girl never understood why everyone was laughing.  This led to a discussion about how the Lord will always speak to us in a way we understand.  Chris is from California.  What she understands best is teenage slang.  So quite possibly what has been going on in her conversation with the Lord is something like this:

 I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand! Upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand!
  I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand! Upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand!
Dude, chill.  I got this.
OH! Cool, thanks!

Something like that.  So in conclusion:  God lives and he loves you!  And if you could pray for Chris, that would be awesome!

Love always,


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

до свидания to Catie!

So I have an amazing roommate.  She is tall, redheaded, has a gorgeous smile and is basically the perfect person that I will NEVER be.

She is also going on a mission to the Russia Yekaterinburg mission and is set apart today.

I will miss her being so patient with my not-as-funny-as-I-think-they-are jokes, her enthusiasm for everything in life, and her sarcasm.

Catie, you will be an amazing missionary.  I love you!

The church is true, the book is blue...see ya in 2 (minus a few months)!
Art credit to my OTHER roommate Chris.  To see more of her artwork, go to and look up tenlongfingers.
Also: we haven't actually figured this out yet, but she DOES have a companion in this picture....either said companion is the Polar Bear...or is about 10 meters away clinging to a rabid wolverine and wondering why the greenie got the polar bear.  (It's because Catie is AWESOME.  That's why.)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Heavenly Father is so COOL!

So I have had a completely crazy weekend!

I spent all of MAYBE three hours at my house from Friday Evening on.

FIRST, I was at my friends Clarissa and Sarah and Maddy's house having a birthday party. (Oh yeah, I had my birthday, y'all.  Just fun fact.) We had jello and whipped cream, watched Nacho Libre, and had a sleepover.
Did NOT look like this, but same concept

Saturday I had a long meeting with a person for mission paper stuff.  (That is ALL you are getting out of me about that one.)  Then my friend Ben called Shannon and I both.  He had a family member getting married and relatives that needed a couple of babysitters.  As he promised us (and I quote): "Ice cream or something."  Of course we said yes.

We babysat four ADORABLE children.  But even adorable children need to go to the bathroom.  So since the Provo Temple does not have a visitors center, Shannon ran inside to ask about using a bathroom.  Turns out there is a waiting room with a bathroom.  So while I chaperoned the girls to the bathroom, I found a kind gentleman who agreed to chaperone the boys.  Shannon waited outside to make sure that no one wandered off.

Missionaries were walking up from the MTC to visit the temple and who should Shannon see but my best friend!! ELDER McCULLOUGH!  She got me out of the bathroom, but I am pretty sure I was in shock because he asked me five or six times if I was okay (all the blood had drained from my face.)  But guys.  I GOT TO SEE MY BEST FRIEND.  WHO IS IN THE MTC.  THIS IS ENORMOUS AND I AM STILL NOT SURE HOW TO PROCESS THIS.

Anyways, I was in luck and the sealing finished fairly quickly, because in my state of utter disbelief I am afraid I left Shannon to fend for herself so to speak.  The kids' moms paid us and we went to Costa Vita for lunch (where I introduced Shannon to the joys of horchata.)  Then we went mission shopping.  (Yes, I now have EVEN MORE skirts.)

We took a break from shopping to volunteer in the TRC (for those of you who don't know: the TRC is where LDS missionaries practice teaching the gospel to investigators who are generally people who are pretending in order to give practice.  Also: it is HARD to pretend to be anything but a Molly Mormon.)  We were five minutes late and had to wait an hour.  But because of that hour wait, Shannon got to see HER best friend: Elder Pincock.  That time it was HER turn to be in shock.

As we were leaving the MTC I saw my FHE husband from Fall Semester, Elder Sierra.  So yes.  If it had just left off at that, yesterday would have been a GREAT day.  But it doesn't end there!  I got to hang out with my friends and cousins Eliza and Mariah.  We saw my old EFY counselor who feels ancient for having one of his EFY kids about to serve a mission.

Then I went to my Grandma's house and got to chill with Eliza and Mariah, have a sleepover and today this culminated in me meeting my newest cousins (twins) and going to church with my family.

I had to leave church early to go work in the MTC.  While I was there I met a Sister Ladd who is going to Helsinki Finland.

Okay, so first off: I was convinced that my Dad and my Aunt Katrina were the only ones on that side of the family who were LDS and active.  Turns out I have a distant cousin who is not only active but serving a mission to the very place that I had a nightmare about going to a few weeks ago.

So yes, there IS a Sister Ladd going to Helsinki Finland, but it is NOT this Sister Ladd.

Goodness, Heavenly Father is AWESOME.

Love Always,


Friday, May 10, 2013

Mothers Day

So I have been thinking about what to do for Mother's Day for the last couple weeks.

When I was still at home I would likely have gotten up early, corralled my youngest brothers into waking up, and raided the kitchen to make my Mom breakfast in bed.  (Which, I can now understand why she hates it.  Seriously.  Crumbs EVERYWHERE.)  Or I would have just cleaned the house late at night because, let's be honest.  I am an 18 year old.  When I sleep, I sleep during the wee hours of the morning and then take naps all day.

Now I am at college (Best.  University. EVER.)  Unfortunately, being in college comes with the side effect of also not having any money (unless you count my credit card...which I don't because I am convinced those things will "drag [their unwary users] speedily down to hell")  So this is the best I can do. (Sorry Mom, but you know how much I love lists.)

About Superwoman my Mom

  1. Her favorite color has always been yellow.  She says she thought about changing it at one point, but realized she didn't want to.
  2. Much to the relief of any family members, my mother and I share our birthday.  (No, I will NOT tell you when.  Figure it out.)
  3. At 5' 9", Mom is the shortest one in the family.  
  4. She writes and illustrates children's books.  And they are fantastic.  Seriously.  READ THEM!!!
  5. She loves being outside (hiking, swimming, whatever) as long as she is kept fed and watered.
Things Mom taught me
  1. Not just how to work hard but to work well (There is a difference between working like a slave and working like a steward)
  2. How to be a missionary.  Seriously, at one point we went to EVERY.  SINGLE.  BAPTISM.  That happened in our ward.  It got to the point where she had to bribe my brothers and I with Baskin Robins to get us to stop whining.  I hated it then, but it definitely taught me the value of this transcendent work and made me even more determined to serve a mission of my own.
  3. How to stand up for myself and my family (I am better at the latter than the former.)
  4. How to eat properly (whether I actually DO is a whole 'nother story.  But she did teach me.)
  5. Avoid Mom at all costs when it is hot.  She gets loopy and weird.
  6. (this will not be put to much use for a few years yet) To EXPECT my husband not only to care for me, but to respect me and treat me well.  "You are NOT a china doll, so by golly he had better not TREAT you like one!"
  7. If you want to go camping, claim that it's so you can test out the 72 hour kits.  The emergency you are avoiding?  Oh, a Triceratops got into our kitchen through a time rift.  It was being chased by a T Rex. The T Rex got through and killed and ate part of it in our kitchen.  Then got confused and went back to it's own time.  Why isn't Dad coming with us? (Real reason: he hates camping) He's cleaning up dead triceratops and fixing the house.  Seems legit.

  8. Dancing is REALLY fun.  (granted, we do different types and hers tends to be FAR more awesome, but I try.)
    She teaches little girls Ballet

    She was on a BYU Folk Dance team (this is not her, but it's the right idea)

    ...and then there's me.  The one that does ballroom. (I am not this good yet.  Working on it.)
  9. Packing tape is your friend
  10. How to sew
  11. How to react when MY child gets in her/his first car accident: "Oh you think THAT'S bad?!  Listen, in MY first car accident, my car ROLLED.  I think we can deal with a fender bender."
  12. How to be stubborn ("We are not leaving this DMV until you have your drivers license !"  "But Mom, I don't WANT a drivers licence!"  "TOO BAD!")
  13. How to do well in school. (Do your homework, ask stupid questions)
  14. Dr Suess is awesome
  15. Dressing like a Dr Suess character is also really fun
  16. If you are painting a house, make sure your ponytail stays out of the paint or it will turn into a shirt paintbrush
  17. Never.  EVER.  own a pool.  They are a PAIN to keep up.
  18. ALWAYS own a dog
  19. Let your kids have a pet at some point or another.  If they can afford to keep them, they can have them.
  20. It's okay to cry sometimes. ( working on this one.)
  21. The Church is true.
  22. Share your testimony in the car with your children.  They will be immensely annoyed, but it will only help them in the long run
  23. Target and Toddlers do not mix.  
  24. You DO NOT EVER talk back to your mother!
  25. Practicing your talents (especially piano) comes BEFORE computer.
Thanks Mom.  I am proud to have people inform me that I am turning into you (especially when they hear of some of my more eccentric antics).  

Happy Mother's Day, I love you!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

I love my Brothers

So normally I try to avoid talking about my family on this blog just because they are so very important to me...but I have to say, I LOVE my brothers.  And I am SO grateful that I get to keep them.

I mean, take my brother Greg for example.  I swear Mom was about ready to shoot the two of us and be done with it several times while I was still at home.  Most of what I remember about growing up with this kid is that our personalities clashed in the worst way possible.  We fought CONSTANTLY.  It didn't help that he's FAR more intelligent than I am (and he knew it!)  On top of this, we know what buttons to push when we start hurting.

But Greg has matured more than I could EVER have imagined in the last few months of me being away.  He went to his Junior Prom with one of my high school friends.  She is an amazing, confident and insanely gorgeous daughter of god and GET THIS.  SHE asked HIM.  Because my brother is a stud.   And he went all out.  This kid despises shopping.  But he went out to get a tux.  With tails (because they are the epitome of class.  Don't believe me?  Ask any Downtown Abbey fan.)  He also got some UBER classy saddle shoes (black and white), a bow tie, and a vest.  He also got her an absolutely gorgeous corsage.

Guys, this boy is AWESOME.  Also, he has officially beaten my record for high school success.  He has been on more dates than I was on AND he's smarter.  I am so proud.

Then there is my other brother.  William has always been the good looking one in the family.  (Greg and I agreed on this a LONG time ago) He has also always been the puzzle of the family.  My parents are both awesome and intense people.  Then there's me, and while I can be a kind and nurturing person, usually I am just a bit sarcastic and headstrong (and a bit too excitable and intense), then there's Greg--ridiculously smart and stubborn to a fault.  Will on the other hand, is easygoing (to a point), athletic, and is ALWAYS smiling.  He's also really really funny.

Kind of a conundrum.

Anyways.  This kid is the most unselfish Christlike kid ever.  Makes me understand the Lord's reasoning in appearing to the 14 year old Joseph Smith.  If he was anywhere near as stellar as William, the restoration of the church was in good hands.

I just got a letter from William.  He knows that I like it when he tries to describe how things are going for him.  So he tried to describe things for me.  He also sent me money.  Kids.  This boy is FOURTEEN.  I was definitely not that generous at fourteen.  He knew that I have been crying literally all week just because I miss my friends so much.  He also knows I don't cry.  Not often.  So he did something to try to make me feel better.  BEST.  BROTHER.  EVER.

Also, he got my mom to record him playing The Circle of Life from the Lion King when he played it in concert,  Coolest.  Kid.  In.  The.  Universe.

Conclusion:  I like those kids...I think I will keep them.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Farewell Winter!

So it's now Spring Term...So MUCH happened Winter Semester that I had to include the most important parts. (Sorry if the majority of it is indecipherable)

  • Said goodbye to some of my best friends who left on their missions to Costa Rica, McAllen Texas, Korea, Omaha Nebraska, Tacoma Washington, and New York New York North, and Fukuoka Japan. (the adversary had best be shaking in his boots!)
  • Discovered Spotify
  • Me: "I think the word you're looking for is gentleman."
    Cele: "I think the word you are looking for is COWARD!"
  • Cele/Shannon/Kim/Azya/basically our whole ward: WHO ARE YOU?!?!?!
  • Basically our whole ward: GAH!  He's so CREECH!
  • Aannaliisa: You two are gorgeous babe mommas!
  • Me: How the HECK do you lose a pound of beef under the couch??
  • Having friends who manage to set their microwave on fire making me rice krispys (and this is why we look at whether a bowl is microwavable.
  • Azya, when was the last time you ate? [my answer] then, no matter WHAT I say-- "YOU NEED FOOD.  LET ME FEED YOU."
  • One Day More
  • Me (during a performance) "Well you OBVIOUSLY don't see the light."
  • (Trying to get my best friend's attention for something) "Harrison!.....Harrison!....ELDER HOLLAND!"
    Friend: "What?"
  • Ben, Shannon, Harrison, Pamela and I: WHAT?!?!.....what?  WHAT??  (Followed by all of us dying on the floor)
  • ....You realize a fun friday night has come to mean a trip to Maceys?  That's just perthetic.
  • For Good...hindered and abetted by yours truly
  • I'M GOING TO BOISE IDAHO!!!!!!!!!  .....Where's a map?
  • [in the creamery] "HEY!  BOISE IDAHO!!!" Me: Yup.
  • Teasing people about their respective boyfriends
  • Visiting Teacher is now engaged (by now, she's probably married!)
  • One of my best friends (Kali) is ALSO her roommate's cousin
  • Most.  Awkward.  Date.  EVER.
  • Azya, your blue is showing.  That's wierd.
  • Azya, your yellow is showing.  Rein it in.
  • Harrison:  I DID NOT POISON YOU!
    Me: I wasn't even going to tell that story! 
  • Harrison: Azya, what are you doing up this late?
    Azya: Didn't I tell you?  I'm pulling an all nighter!
    Ben: Don't you have work at 3 AM?
    Azya: Your point?
  • My best friends getting mission calls:  CA Anaheim, CA Ventura, Sao Paulo Brazil x2, Irvine CA, Korea x2 (different missions), Russia, Alpine (German Speaking) x2
  • Singing in front of the Conference Center (The reason I should NOT be given any modicum of power EVER.)
  • [Every single one of my friends EVER]:  "Azya, did you seriously just record that/take a picture of that?"
  • Blessing from my best friends, Ben and Harrison right before they left.
  • DI trips
  • Finding out one of Ben's sisters also has Celiac Disease....and is my cousin's roommate.
  • Singing constantly
  • (to roommate): "Why are you drinking out of a syrup bottle?"
    "I didn't want to find a waterbottle..."
  • (Shoving pizza into our faces) "WHY DON'T BOYS LIKE US?!?!"
  • Temple trips
  • DanceSport
  • Medals Exams for Ballroom (I did REALLY well, thank you very much.)
  • Emily and I: WE WILL HAVE A PET HOUND...then the single one can be the fox!
  • Belting out Some Nights
  • Harrison and Emily: "Azya, don't you know the meaning of 'bundle up'???"
    [shivering] "Apparently not as I seem to have just given myself hypothermia."
  • Alyssa: "Okay Azya, now don't touch it because it will BREAK."
  • Movie night with Phineas and Ferb (Ammon, Tom, Chad, Nicole, Harrison)
  • Me: "Can you understand this for me?"
    Harrison: "....I can explain it to you...."
  • Didn't make it into folk dance...sad day.
  • Aannaliisa: Azya, I've started talking like you!!
    Azya: Good.  My evil little plan is succeeding. 
  • Conversations where I speak Spanish, Aannaliisa speaks French and the mere mortals look on in confusion.
  • We've had one two, yes.  But what about second third winter?
  • Fake engagement photo shoot (BETH DID NOT SHOW UP TO FREAK OUT.)
  • Psychology study groups with Charlotte and Kim
  • [Everyone EVER] "Oh, where are you going on your mission?
    Lil' ol' me: ....I don't know yet....:(
Guys, thank you so much for your friendship and the entertaining semester that kept me sane despite my job from Hades. 

Let Spring Begin!

Love Always


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Search Me, Lord, and Know My Heart

"But the Lord said unto Samuel, look not at his countenance, nor on the height of his stature; for I, the Lord, have rejected him: for the Lord seeth not as a man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." -- 1 Samuel 16:7
 Guys, that was scripture mastery.  You SHOULD have it memorized.  (HINT.  HINT.)

Anyways, as finals week draws to a close for me (I am taking all of my finals in 2 days because I am a masochistic fool) I was thinking about a lot of things...not surprising considering I have the attention span of an ADD squirrel who just found something shiny.  Among those was (shocker) my upcoming mission.  While I may not have my call, or even have my papers in yet, I know that now is the time for me to allow the Lord to start shaping me to be a more perfect tool in his hand.  There is a lot of growth to get in to something like a few MONTHS instead of two more years that I have to have learned and prepared before my mission, and that mean (dun dun duuuuun) more trials!

This is a daunting prospect.  I mean, it's NOT usually a great idea to pray for more hardships in life, because while I doubt the Lord will ever give more than we can bear, the last time I did that, I ended up with Celiac Disease and physically not being able to go to school for all of third quarter! (From January to Mid April) my Junior year of High School.  So yeah.  Not doing THAT again!  I've come to accept the fact that the Lord knows what exactly will TRY me without BREAKING me (though sometimes it comes very very close to doing the latter!)

At least the Lord has practice with this.  I mean, I know we aren't supposed to compare ourselves, but I will in this case.  Look at Saul/Paul, BOTH sets of Almas, and the sons of Mosiah.  I think it is safe to say that I am NOT actively trying to destroy the church of God and while I am not perfect, I know I am far from being "the vilest of sinners."  But if the Lord could take these, the more rebellious (excluding Alma the Elder) of his children and mold them into tools that fit his hand, it stands to reason that he can do the same for me.

It won't be easy.  Nothing worthwhile ever is (goodness knows, my parents are SAINTS for putting up with me from ages 14 to about now!) but look at the rewards.  My parents have their first child serving a mission soon.  Paul and Alma received a remission of their sins (DONE! GONE!) And in the end, those who allow their will to be swallowed up in that of the Father (as well as they can; we are still human after all) will be able to more fully take advantage of the Atonement until that great and last day shall come and the Lord will say "Well done my good and faithful child.  Now enter into my kingdom."

Makes a few piffling trials now seem more doable, don't it?

You can do this!

Now back to studying for finals.  If you need me I will be hiding behind a pile of books frantically cramming every ounce of information I can into my sad little cranium.

Love always


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Knowing When...

There are a plethora of things that are important to know.

For example:
It is important to know that we have a living prophet upon the earth today (and we definitely just got to listen to him speak!)
It is important to know that our Savior lives and because of him, we can live once again.

It is important to know that families can be sealed together for all eternity. These two temples are REALLY important to me for that reason: The Mesa AZ temple where my Mother's parents were sealed more than 50 years ago, and the Jordan River UT temple where my parents were sealed (I THINK) 22 years ago, and going on 23 years this year (don't quote me on that).

It is immensely important (for me, right now) to know that Heavenly Father has a plan for me and when I can serve a mission. (Because waiting to turn in my papers is KILLER)
Some day soon.
It's also important to know when you are beat and when to give up and throw in the towel. (Redundant phrase I know, but no less true.)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

More Loneliness Give Me

So I've been thinking. (A dangerous pass time, I know.)  I am a social person.  This may come as a complete shock to those of you who know how neurotic I get if I don't get a LOT of people time.  I've been thinking though.  A lot of the time, the Lord allows us to grow the most when we are most alone.

Think about it; Moroni was arguably the most lonely man on the face of the planet at the time of his death.  He was hunted down by his distantly related relatives.  His people -- as abominably disgustingly wicked as they were -- were all dead.  He was totally alone.  This forced him to rely on the Lord more than most of us will ever have to in this life.  And yet, I think he was blessed beyond measure; especially with the integral role he played in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.
I found this picture of Mormon and Moroni.  I absolutely ADORE it!

His father Mormon was yet another man who was (almost; he had his son) utterly alone.  And yet, what an example of forgiveness he is!  The last words he wrote were to the children of the very people who had wounded him so badly that they thought he was dead on the battlefield.  He forgave their fathers all the murders, all the bloodshed.  He only wanted to make it possible for them to gain exaltation.  Wow.  Can you say Christlike?

There are countless other examples of people who were strengthened by their loneliness:  Esther, Daniel (of lion's den fame), Joan of Arc, David as he faced Goliath, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, the list goes on.  But, as always, all things testify of Christ: when our Saviour atoned for the world (and any other worlds there happen to be) he was literally the most lonely being ever to have existed.  But through that loneliness he was not only to overcome his own death, but overcome yours and mine as well.  Because of him, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I can live again.  I know that I will see my friends and family who have gone before me.
Yo se que vive mi Señor consuelo es poder saber
Que vive aunque muerto fue y siempre su amor tendré
El vive para bendecir y ante Dios por mi pedir
El vive para sustentar y a mi alma alentar
 El vive para sostener y con su mano protejer
El vive para escuchar y oidos a mis quejas dar
El vive para alentar y mis angustias sosegar
El vive para ayudar y a mi alma consolar
El vive mi amigo fiel, me ama para siempre El
El vive y siempre cantare El vive mi Señor y rey
Por el la vida yo tendre la muerte yo conquistare
mi gran mansión preparará y vivire con el allá
El vive y yo lo honraré a Cristo siempre alabaré
gozoso canto con fervor yo sé que vive mi Señor
El vive y yo lo honraré a Cristo siempre alabare
Gozoso canto con fervor yo se que vive mi Señor

My conclusion?  Loneliness is NOT fun and I doubt I will ever like it (especially on yet ANOTHER of those Friday/Saturday nights that I have been having...dateless while all my friends are on dates and/or doing homework.)  But loneliness is a chance to grow nearer to my Saviour, my Older Brother, my Best Friend.  If that's the price I need to pay, well, I'm in good company (ironic, isn't it?)
He is Risen!

Love always -- Azya