June 27, 2012

oh hello there....

So when are you going back to Logan?
Uh....I will actually be living here for a while, I'm not going to school in the fall. 

Oh...Are you working or just doing other things?
Well, I'm actually going on a mission. :)

Oh, cool. That will be good, missions are great! A challenge but you will love it. 
Yep, they are good. (Duh, that's why I'm going. It's not like I'm looking for a 18 month vacation.)

So, where do you want to go?
Wherever I get sent! I can't say outloud...it's like a jinx. :)  (Well of course that is the answer everyone gives. But honestly, everyone is hoping to get a call to somewhere like London, Ghana, or at least anywhere besides the Rexburg, ID mission. If that's even a mission.) I want to learn spanish SO bad. So of course that means I will probably go either english speaking U.S. or Taiwan. As I think about getting a call though, I worry less about where I go and know that wherever I get called is where I need to be. Sound cliche and a little cheesy, right? But it's true. This girl would love to go to Central America, but some big U.S. city would be just fantastic. And if I get to Tennessee, I'm sure it could be my new favorite state too:)

Wait-aren't you like, only 20?
Yep. But I can turn my papers in 120 days before, which makes it August.

A little eager, huh?
Believe me, this was not a spur of the moment decision. (Trust me on this, I have thought about it. Plenty.) A mission is something I know I want to do, so why not go now? It makes the most sense to go as soon as possible, for multiple reasons including school. And no, I am not going because I'm not married or don't know what to do with my life. First of all, I'm only 20. Also, I would be hanging around if I was worried about the whole marriage part. I feel like I am definitely going for the right reasons. There are many reasons..... When looking for someone to marry, a returned missionary is high on my list. Just as I expect this out of the person I marry, I want to be the best developed and prepared for my future husband also. I know that the effort I put into 18 months of a mission is worth more than I could learn in a loooong time. The gospel is the most important thing in my life, and there is nothing better I could do at this point in my life than to go share what I know is true with other people. The knowledge I have can bless people more than even being a social worker could right now. Knowing who I really am and my potential brings hope, so of course I want to help others be happy through the gospel.

Deciding to go on a mission is a personal thing. Boys are expected to go. But girls....well, it's all about decision making.
And for this girl, it is the decision she made. I am SO excited to go on a mission.
There have been things such as negative stereotypes of sister missionaries, misconceptions, school, money, and time that could have gotten in the way. However, for me, right now, a mission is what I know I want to do.
Yes, I have months before I can even go. Unfortunately I can't hop on a plane next week.
Yes, there are slight moments where I question if it's really worth it and what the heck I am doing.
Yes, I will miss not living in Logan in the fall. (Living at home is a change for sure...)
Yes, technically I could go to another semester of school, but it would mess up my standing in my program, and it costs money.
No, I don't tell every person I meet my life plans, because lets be honest, they don't really care. And that's fine:)
No, I don't have the biggest social life, especially when people find out I won't be around long term. (It's a sad thought when a boy tells you 'You probably shouldn't tell boys you are going on a mission if you want to have any fun before you leave.' Oh, thanks for the advice.) haha.
No, sister missionaries don't always have to wear skirts to their ankles and turtlenecks. :)

There it is, the most commonly asked questions/conversations I seem to have all the time.
Peoples lives go on, people change, and we can't go back to freshman year of college forever. It's hard to make decisions that will separate you from everything that is familiar and fun while everyone else's lives move on. Despite that, I know what some of my priorities in life are. Serving a mission has been a goal for a long time, and it's crazy to think, but this point in my life is where I get to focus on serving my Heavenly Father full-time for 18 months; to be a representative of Jesus Christ. I remember one day in Institute my teacher saying that "surely Heavenly Father will withold no blessing from a daughter who loves him enough to serve him for 18 months". I feel like a pretty lucky girl to have the gospel be what directs my life, but also be in a position to share what I know is true with other people. It's going to be a good time for sure:)

June 23, 2012

 I am pretty much the luckiest girl in the world to spend part of my summer being an EFY counselor. SO. MUCH. FUN. Like 10 times funner than going as a participant, and those were pretty fun times.

The first week me and Nathan were co's....And we rocked it. First week ever for both of us, so our motto was 'fake it til ya make it'...Our kids thought we were the coolest ever. (Did we ever get in trouble?....lets just say I didn't keep track of how many things we even did wrong day 1 haha..)Nothing to build up your confidence like hanging out with 14 year olds:)

I had a fantastic group of girls, and loved the boys too. One of the things I realized very first is how much love and concern you can feel for a group of people you hardly even know. I feel like a mom being with them all week!

Some things from the life of EFY....
Monday check in (you can always tell who wants to be there and what 15 year old boy is being dragged along by their mom...huge contrast from when they will leave on Saturday), meet your group (both weeks so far all my girls have come alone which I love), meet the company (with the usual segregation and awkward looks at each other that hopefully goes away by day 2 or 3), orientation (I really think all the kids are kinda freaked out how crazy some of the counselors dance and when they realize what they are getting in to), waking up way too early (well at least that's supposed to happen, unless the I just happened to sleep through all my alarms and miss part of a meeting...oops), morning participant devotionals (it's awesome the girls get an opportunity to teach each other), starting out the day at the lovely Morris Center (who decided it's ok to serve donuts at every meal and fermented tasting pineapple...like school lunch all over), morningside devotionals (the first week Brother Anderson was the session director, he is INCREDIBLE! That guy tells stories and talks like no one I have ever met. Lucky for me he is in my stake presidency too:), classes, lunch duty (guess someones got to be the one to guard the potties and make sure no children wander off), a dance! (whether it's being on passion patrol, making boys actually ask girls to dance, or doing the ever-so-famous pb&j dance it's a fantastic night), sharing the gospel activity (they learn to teach little lessons from preach my gospel. I was initially skeptical about a room full of 15 year olds doing this, but it is incredible to see when they take it seriously and power that is there as they share their testimonies and basic truths of what we believe. At testimony meeting people often share experiences and what they felt as they taught, so I know it is soo beneficial), game night (it wouldn't be game night and cheer off without a remember-the-titans type cheer, in a circle, and the haka. And ever group thinks they are so original in coming up with it...:), pizza night! (yummm. First week Dominos was late to deliver, so we waited. And waited. And an hour and half later they showed up. But our order wasn't there. So we waited some more. And then they gave us some random pizza. Not how pizza night is supposed to go), young women/young men activity (this year we talking about The Living Christ), variety show (I got to be a judge and do auditions one week...so much fun!), musical program (love. this. part.), testimony meeting (it's incredible to see how much people grow and change in just a few days.), more dancing (all pride goes out the window during these....), taking pictures (one week I layed down the rule....we were not going to use 20 different cameras when everyone can just get it off FB. Not my favorite part of the week...), friday night lockdown (sit in the hallway until the wee hours of the night, waiting for everyone to shut up and go to sleep. But let's be honest....they don't sleep.  Knowing they aren't going to run away, I usually just go to bed eventually. I know, bad counselor.)

June 3, 2012

happy memorial day

Happy Memorial Day:)

This is for you Boyd. There's nothing sentimental, profound, or smart sounding  in the least bit. Just a pic of you sitting there chowing down your food.

 Sibling love :)

Payson cemetery. Warm weather. Adorable cousins. And even some kickball.