August 17, 2014

returned missionary

It's hard to ever imagine actually claiming this status, a returned missionary. RM. (To read more about the best 18 months for my life, read Here)
Well, that's me. It's been a month. A month since I had to take off that nametag, ditch the skirts. I'm allowed to take a siesta. I don't HAVE to exercise every day.

Being home is nice....there's food, hot shower, a washer and dryer. But the truth is, I find myself wanted to go take a little bike ride. I want to read my scriptures (in spanish of course). It's awkward to pray in english. Going to church without calling anyone or picking anyone up just seems too easy.

Why is there not an MTC for RM's??!! We have to reintegrate back into society. I know after 18 months, we change. The world has changed too. And coming back, our before life and who we are now don't completely fit together. I think this is how it is meant to be. God wants us to change, to be more converted. This means that our desires and actions have changed also. (Definitely doesn't apply to my love for cookie dough and my bed and things like that). I don't have so much in common with some friends that I did before. Other things don't interest me so much. Maybe I'm a boring old lady? Maybe. Or maybe I would rather look at my 2500+ pictures. And eat an alfajore. And trade mission stories of being attacked, robbed, crazy people that there are in the world, and miracles that we have seen. You can't just "let go" or "separate" the most influential 18 months of your life. It is part of my life now.
Russell T. Osguthorpe, Sunday School general president, October 2012 general conference
Every (fresh) RM needs to have a purpose. A schedule. Some things that have been beneficial for me are....

+ Reading and praying every single day. Don't ditch the most basic and most important things first. You taught this for years, now live it.
+ Stay connected on FB. cool is that to talk with people clear around the world. You don't have the nametag and calling, but you can still invite people, check up on their progress, and motivate them to continue faithful in the gospel.
+ Eat food. I mean, eat Argentine food. Or whatever kind it may be. I am still loving my dulce de leche. It's fun to find recipes, try cooking, find little bakeries or restaurants. Keep the culture. Drink mate.
+ Go to the temple. I didn't have the opportunity to go for more than a year, so hey, better take advantage of it now. It's service, but also to help us stay focused and keep the influence of the spirit. (I actually received a call from the temple, the day I got home, before I was even bishop had submitted my name to work in the temple. Talk about on the ball...)
+ Keep a schedule...mas o menos. Sleeping is nice, but my body wakes up by 7 every day. (I shouldn't complain, this will be good when school starts) Do things during the day. Go to walmart. Be inspired by pinterest. Make cookies. Clean your clothes closet. Ya know, something to occupy your time and have purpose. 
+ Write missionary letters. Yes sounds so cheesy...but finally I have time to write to missionaries/comps:)  know what you like to hear in letters, what helps, etc.

It's a funny time of life. It's a transition. You don't have to conform to the life of others. You just have to get over all the wedding announcements and baby pictures on facebook. You don't have to be interested in everything that you did before. People will continue asking when you are getting married. People will not understand your need to carry around a planner. Unless someone has served a mission, they just don't quite know what it's like to come home.
Here  is a lovely talk for returned missionaries.
As I look back on my life following my mission, I realize that there were periods when I was able to maintain the same closeness to the Lord that I experienced in the mission field. There were also periods when the world seemed to creep in and I was less consistent and faithful with my prayers.
Wouldn’t this be a good time for a little self-evaluation to determine if we still have the same relationship with our Father in Heaven that we enjoyed in the mission field? If the world has diverted us from the practice of prayer, we then have lost a great spiritual power. Maybe it is time that we rekindle our missionary spirit through more frequent, consistent, and mighty prayer.
There has never been a time in the history of mankind when we have been better equipped to teach the gospel to our Father in Heaven’s children here on earth. And they seem to need it more today than they ever have. We see a deterioration of faith. We see an increased love for worldliness and a depletion of moral values, both of which will cause increased heartache and despair. What we need is a royal army of returned missionaries reenlisted into service. While they would not wear the badge of a full-time missionary, they could possess the same resolve and determination to bring the light of the gospel to a world struggling to find its way.
I call on you returned missionaries to rededicate yourselves, to become reinfused with the desire and spirit of missionary service. I call on you to look the part, to be the part, and to act the part of a servant of our Father in Heaven. I pray for your renewed determination to proclaim the gospel that you may become more actively engaged in this great work the Lord has called all of us to do. I want to promise you there are great blessings in store for you if you continue to press forward with the zeal you once possessed as a full-time missionary.  (Elder L. Tom Perry)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints will grow and become strengthened, not from an increased number of convert baptisms, but from a number of converted returned missionaries. Heavenly Father is calling his children to not only serve for a year or two, but to return more converted to Christ with a greater understanding of what the purpose of life is, that the gospel is the plan God has created. 
Now I am one of them. An RM. We have so much to do, and where much is given, much is required.

July 22, 2014

Hello America

Well, I'm back.
The cliche about it's easier to leave your family, than to come back to your family, is true. Your family you know you will see again, Argentina and the life as a full time missionary you are leaving forever. 
It's like you live 21 years to get ready to be a missionary...and then just like that you are back in the house that you left. It's weird. It's like Argentina was just a dream.
But it wasn't. I really was a missionary, a representative of Jesus Christ.Taking off the nametag made it a reality.

Now I could be classified as an awkward returned missionary.
Well, it's been a whole 5 days. (I think?)
As for awkward....I did go to the homecoming of my mission president sunday, and kinda forgot that I can hug ex-elders. One went to hug me and I stuck out my hand. Oops.
I went to walmart by myself. I drove. I have turned on the radio. I have been alone without my companion. I have taken long, hot showers. I slept in (one day only) until 9. I have stayed up past 10:30. Wow, what a wild life. The truth is, you feel a little guilty for doing all you should be out knocking doors and studying and all. But then you remember that the 24/7 calling changes just a little....

I have eaten Kneaders, cafe rio, slurpees, chocolate chip cookies. (Not to mention an alfajor, dulce de leche, mate cocido). I have ventured on to facebook (because almost any form of friend I have nowdays lives there). I have put on jeans. I went to a wedding shower.

The craziest part was first walking in my house. I walked in my room and was speechless. I forgot all I had, and couldn't believe I actually owned it. Like, there was even carpet. It felt magical to wash and dry all my clothes in a matter of hours. I just stood in awe, looking around my house. It has it all...a dishwasher, automatic garage door, cleanliness. The fridge was full, the cupboards had more than rice and oil and pasta. You would never understand all that until you have lived in a different world. The truth is, everything has seemed superficial here.

People say I talk in english funny. Sometimes the phrases don't come out quite right. And the accent is different. Oh please, I never want to lose the spanish. 

I would love to eat a churripan and a big bowl of hermana carlson's fideos. We did go to the argentina panaderia in orem...and it is closed Mondays. Dang it. My next project will be to relive the mission through looking at and organizing all the pictures. And tomando mate. I guess if I can't go to Argentina, it will have to come to me.  (I may even start sweeping the porch every morning)

flag of Argentina

January 15, 2013


For the next 18 months, any updates will be posted at

Too bad suits and ties are not acceptable...

As a girl who has spent looots of time looking for clothes. (And been to what feels like every store in Utah). I thought it would have been helpful to know where to go, brands to look for, etc. There are about a million girls going on missions now that could benefit from this. Of course, I have not walked around hundreds of miles in my shoes yet, or walked the scorching hot streets or survived a freezing winter. The after review will have to wait 18 months. I did try to avoid anything overly frumpy or that may be mistaken for polygamist clothing. I know, I know...comfort should come first. (The pictures below only show a small sample) But here it goes.

- Born (Dillards)
Born Womens Jerrica
- Hush Puppies (Macys)

- Nurture (Dillards) ....I got them in blue

- Boots (Shoe Carnival)

- Downeast
- My mamma's sewing skills
- Urban Wear
- Forever 21
Polka dot skirtDress Barn

- These are from everywhere (Forever21, H&M, Kohls, Sister Missionary Mall, Bohme)
-Modbe Clothing - TopsDouble Ruffle Top "Short Sleeve"

- Cardigans in every color ( I already had a few, but got some from H&M, Platos Closet, Kohls, Rue21)
- 2 Peacoats (Yellow one from Gordmans and black one I already had)

Other stuff:
- Scarves (I already had quite a few, from random stores)
- Tights (Target, Walmart )
- Bag (JCPenney)

January 6, 2013

Vacation woohoo!

What a drive. Good thing we are hilarious, and country music never gets old.
A few (boxes) oreos and Nicholas Sparks audio books never hurt a long drive...

That would be our hotel, the only one right on the beach.
Santa Barbara
Cutest little fatties ever. Sea otters are adorable.
Babe. Single and mormon.
Yes, we went on a sunset sailboat ride. Dream come true.
Biking along the beach and all over Ventura. Not to mention, the breaks were broken. And tandems are risky. It was a hoot.
Kite flying on the beach!
California with the best friend....Hotel on the beach in Ventura, biking, beaches, 65 degree weather (with everyone still in scarves and boots), fooood, Six Flags, more food, Santa Barbara, sailboats, more beaches, cute streets, prettiest outside mall ever, long rides, more food, sleeping, swimming, more warm weather, and a drive home in -6 degree weather.   
12 hour drives, 2 hour traffic jams in the middle-of-nowhere Nevada, LA freeways, ridiculous gas prices, and stale food at Taco Time doesn't stop us. 
Pretty much if she was a boy and I was a girl, we would be the cutest couple with the best adventures ever.

Happy December

Temple square trip #1 in December
Snowboarding #2
21 baby!

Argentinine (??) empanadas. Mmm.

Zoo lights. Our dream to finally go to the zoo came true. Even in 28 degree weather.

Snowboarding, 2nd time that week. I felt like a grandma.

Merry Christmas 2012

 Merry Christmas 2012

The little elves cutting cheese.

Christmas tree #3

Traditional Jesus dinner on Christmas Eve. Fish, pita bread, grapes, olives, cheese, hummus, fig newtons, grape juice, couscous.  

Christmas was a success. I wasn't even woken up at 4am this year to open presents. Christmas dinner was pizza. It was a prime day for sleeping. The elves made the delivery for left over gifts on New Years eve. Until next year...

December 9, 2012

"Give a Little Love"

This is the greatest. I love this video - because it's believable, not cheesy, and real life stuff.
But seriously....What if every person in your school was represented in this? Your city? In the US? In the world?

It can be tiring reading/seeing/hearing the cliches about "changing the world"....they can seem oversimplified or far-fetched. The idea to "give a little love" is not. This gives a little more hope in humanity.

This is the month of December. There seems to be a sudden serge of people willing to give a little extra, to be more aware, and to live in a more idealistic society. (Why do we not have food drives in July and SilverRush in September??) But...we should take advantage of the Christmas spirit and try give a little more, because it does make a difference, whether people choose to recognize it or not. Society often overlooks simple opportunities to give time/money/attention or underestimates the impact of 1 person.

I simply have a list of a few things/ways to help another person this month, and others which will be spontaneous. I don't want to look back and realize how many opportunities I overlooked to do good. We could all give a little love.
  1. Write an anonymous note to someone.
  2. Scrape another persons snowy car.
  3. Go through a drivethrough and pay for the person behind me.
  4. Give sincere compliments.
  5. Be aware of those around me and make effort to smile.
  6. Let someone in front of me in line at Walmart.
  7. Open the door for people.
  8. Be extra patient to angry providers at work.
  9.  Resist making a rude comment, even when it feels absolutely necessary:)
  10. .........

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” [Aesop]
True that.