Monday, September 20, 2010

I love my ukulele

But not as much as I love 19th century Mormon pioneer hymns.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


So it's officially less than a month until I report to the MTC. Up until this point, excitement has seemed to exponentially outweigh nervousness, but the reality of the ever-approaching September 29th has caused the side of nervousness to catch up. Still so much to do. The good news is that Chelise and possibly a couple other friends will be driving me from the airport to the MTC. I received my flight itenerary yesterday, and I have about 2 hours in between landing and needing to report, so I have time to see a few familiar faces before I get thrown into who-even-kn0ws-what.

But when I step back and think about how I've always wanted to serve a mission and why I want to be a missionary, I regain perspective and the excitement, once again, grows.

I quit my job last week. For the first time for a reason other than moving. I couldn't tolerate how I was being treated by management. I've gotten used to not being appreciated for going above and beyond my job description, but I started to be accused of not doing my job by one manager in particular. His attitude began to affect my ability to make money; he started cutting my shifts and putting me in bad sections. I tried to communicate my concerns to the other managers, but they didn't care to help. So I quit. And it was one of the best decisions I've made all summer. Being a logic TA and working with and for wonderful people kind of spoiled me, I think. I'm really missing that.

I was asked to teach the Stake's home study seminary class on Wednesday nights, just until I leave and they can get a permanent teacher. I'm only teaching 3 kids, and 2 of them have learning disabilities. I'm a little nervous about that because I really want to make the class interesting and fun for them. I realized at EFY how much I love teaching teenagers. I'm really glad I get to do this.

Speaking of EFY, I really miss/love these kids:

SA01: Agents Unto Ourselves

SA02: Through the Red Sea

SA03: Chosen

My birthday is on Monday. 21-years-old. A ton of family is coming from all over the place for the weekend. And I get Mellow Mushroom.

Monday, July 26, 2010


EFY = phenomenal. I feel like my stories from EFY aren't really interesting to anyone but me, so I'll spare you.

Working at Purple Cow = less than phenomenal, but it's money, so I can't complain too much.

Preparing for a mission = fun/exciting/making me realize how much I need to do. I want to memorize all of the scripture mastery from seminary and learn a bunch of hymns on the piano perfectly and study Preach My Gospel and the missionary library and finish my Book of Mormon blog and make sure I have the clothes to make me a classy missionary. So far, so good. I got letters from two sister missionaries in Brad's mission, and both of them told me how you dress is really important. So I've made sure that as I've been buying clothes, I've kept conservative and cute in mind. Clothing haul is as follows:
  • White blazer
  • Neutral rain coat, good for Washington weather
  • Plain brown dress
  • 4 short sleeve button ups: 2 white, one pink, one blue
  • 5 cardigans, 3 of which are Lands End and were originally $40 each but we got on sale for $10 each.
  • 2 pairs of shoes, one black and one brown
  • Fabric for skirts and another blazer
I'd like two get maybe 2 more blouses and a few solid shirts from Shade to wear under my cardigans. All of my skirts are pretty dark/neutral colors, and I'm making a point of getting a lot of brightly colored tops. I'm also in the market for some conservative jewelry.

My mom mentioned earlier this evening that she never would have thought I would have been so excited to wear a mid-calf-length skirt, a cardigan, and my hair in a bun. But hey, it's not the messenger I'm excited about, it's the message.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Meanwhile, back on the ranch...

I don't write in my blog the same way my friends do. I remember in high school when Xanga was super popular and everyone wrote about every time they ate or went to school or blew their nose.


I won't be doing that, but I will finally write about things I've been doing in my life recently.

I'm back home in Texas. I flew home on Saturday. I spent the better part of last week trying to squeeze as much friend time as I could in between studying for/taking finals, packing, and cleaning. On Friday night, I invited a bunch of my friends to Guru's for a psuedo-going away party. I remember looking around at one point when there were three different conversations going on around me (one on faith vs. reason, one on the best places to get sweet potato fries in Provo, and one on something I forgot), and realized how glad I was to have figure out how to surround myself with such a great group of people for a year of my life.

That night, Sarah, Chelise, and Hannah came over, we made pangea bed (ask Hannah), and they drove me to the airport the next morning. I really don't like the idea of "best" friends, but if I had to pick, I'd say these 3 people are my best friends.

I feel like each one of these people brings out a different part of me that I really like. Chelise brings out my intellectual philosopher, Sarah brings out my genuine spiritualness, and Hannah brings out my poolside-laying-chick-lit-reader. As much as I wish I could have been friends with them longer than just a year(ish), I'm glad they all became my friends around the same time.

So I did my Temple Recommend interviews on Saturday and Sunday, and I'll be going to the Dallas Temple for my own endowments this Saturday. I'm really excited.

I got my job at Purple Cow back, so I'll be waiting tables again this summer in between EFY sessions. My first day back was today. We hit way over projection, and we had 4 servers on what should have been a 6 server lunch. But I made bank, so I can't complain. Living rent free+free food+depositing around $400 in cash every week=moneyyyyyy.

I report to the Provo MTC to prepare to serve in the Washington Everett Mission on September 29th. Yesterday, my mom and I went shopping, and I got some pretty cute tops and a nice rain coat. I had to make myself pass up the cute earrings which I probably wouldn't get any use out of on my mission, anyway. This summer I'm going to try to get through the Book of Mormon twice, learn a bunch of hymns on the piano to be able to play them without practice, and rememorize all of the seminary scripture mastery. I also want to finish my Blogging the Book of Mormon blog...which hasn't had a whole lot of activity lately.

That's pretty much my life. There will be a test later.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Why EFY holds a special place in my heart

So I'm going to be an EFY counselor this summer. There probably aren't enough adjectives in your Oxford English to describe my level of excitement. I only went to EFY once as a teenager, but once was enough to make me want to come back as a counselor. However, I've discovered that many people don't share my same enthusiasm for EFY. No, that's putting it lightly. The reply I get when I tell my friends that I'm going to be an EFY counselor is often much the same: an eye roll coupled with some scathing remarks about teenagers, laced with the pretentious attitude of, "well, I can see how those of baser interests could find that interesting."* I'm pretty good at moving on, but only after some passive-aggressive remark about why they're wrong.

What I really want to say is this:
  • Teenagers take themselves way too seriously, and if there's any category of people who should be allowed as much license to have fun as possible, it should be teenagers. This is what EFY is so good at bringing out. You take a bunch of self-conscious kids growing up in a world that teaches them to be self-conscious, and you play silly games with them or tell jokes they wouldn't dare let any of their friends at school know they think are funny. This is so important, especially for teenage girls. The level of fun and goofing off you get at EFY is so important for teenage girls because it leaves no room for, one, judging other girls, and two, comparing yourself to other girls. These, in my opinion, are two of the most self-destructive activities teenage girls can take part in.
  • It makes the Gospel relevant. Take young 20-somethings, let them teach the Gospel to teenagers, the teenagers in turn teach it to each other, and all of a sudden it makes sense to them why it's important and how it affects their lives.
  • There really is a spirit at EFY. Sure, it gets a bad wrap for its blatant emotionalism, but teenagers really aren't as stupid as we sometimes like to assume them to be. They get the Spirit and they understand how to feel God, if you just teach them how. I have a sticky note on the cover of my EFY handbook with this great quotation by J. Reuben Clark: "[Youth] are hungry for the things of the Spirit; they are eager to learn the Gospel, and they want it straight, undiluted...You do not have to sneak up behind them and whisper religion in their ears; you can bring these truths out openly."

*Read in a snooty British accent for full effect.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Even though I haven't grown a foot or two...

So I had my final interview with my stake president yesterday, and my mission papers are officially in.

I honestly don't think I've ever been more excited for anything in my life.

Friday, May 7, 2010

When I was little, I wanted a dog. But after thinking about it long enough, I would always decide that I didn't want one because I would be too sad when he died.

I think this is why falling in love scares me to death.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


When I was four years old, my preschool teacher was Mrs. J. I don't remember a whole lot else from preschool, but I remember that blue and yellow makes green. I remember that you can make play dough out of flour and water. And I remember the dandelions.

When it was warm enough outside, we spent time playing in Mrs. J's backyard. (She was usually inside, as I remember it, making play dough out of flour and water.) There were patches of dandelions next to her old wooden fence. My four-year-old mind did not consider these dandelions weeds. My four-year-old hands did not hold them as if they were valueless. I remember noticing the juxtaposition of the bright yellow petals next to the deep green of the grass. I remember examining many of them individually, how some of them had more petals than others, how some of the petals curled in while others stuck straight out, how some of the petals criss-crossed, how some of the stems courageously brought the flowers almost up to my four-year-old knees while others kept the flowers safely close to the ground. These were not weeds; they were art.

We would often pick these dandelions in large numbers and take our bouquets inside. We would proudly present them to Mrs. J. I remember her bringing out small paper cups, filling them part way with water, placing the dandelions in them, and putting them on the window sill in her kitchen to enjoy the sun. The dandelions weren't weeds to her, either.

Christ sees me like I saw dandelions as a child. I am not a weed. I am something He notices the individuality of, something He gathers, something He presents to others in a way for them to appreciate. He sees beauty where others cannot.

16 years later, it's Spring in Provo. I often walk past front yards filled with dandelions. I remember back to the spot next to the fence in Mrs. J's backyard, and to the paper cups lining her kitchen window. I continue now, as I did when I was four years old, to not only consider the lillies, but also the dandelions.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

This semester

I have to be honest when I say that I'm really disappointed with this semester. I'm taking 18 credit hours and working 20 hours a week, and while I've had similar work loads in semesters past, I'm taking all 300- and 400-level major classes and TAing for 2 classes this semester. I feel like I've been so over my head that everything I've produced this semester has been mediocre, at best. All of my assignments, all of my tests, all of my papers have been far below the level of success I'm capable of. What bothers me the most isn't that I'm not going to get all A's, but that professors whom I greatly respect and admire now have reason to doubt my intelligence. That bothers me more than any bad grade I could get. Prospective grades: Epistemology- B+/A-; Metalogic- A-/A; Philosophy of Language- B/B+; Philosophy of Theology- A; Media Law- A-/A; Research Methods for Journalism- A. We'll see what happens.

7 more days of class.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Il me manque

When I think too much about this boy...

I miss him so much I look up prices on airfare to Ireland.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

RESS, EFY, and other accronyms

So I submitted a paper to BYU's Religious Education Student Symposium back in January, and it got accepted. So I'll be presenting it on the 19th and, hopefully, getting some money out of it. I wrote the paper for my Mormon Women's History class last semester, and it's on the influence of the Relief Society Magazine on the standardization of American LDS female culture. And my mom's coming up to Utah that weekend, so that's way exciting.

I also found out yesterday that I got hired to work three sessions of EFY in San Antonio this summer!! I'm so excited. I'll be home for a few days after spring term, then I'll be in San Antonio for two weeks, then again for another week in August. And I'll be doing my mission papers over spring term, so I should be expecting my mission call sometime in June/July. I'll probably work at Purple Cow the other weeks up until I leave.

Oh, and this has been an unusually warm winter for Provo.

Everything is kind of a little really awesome right now.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happiness is...

-"Classy" dinner parties with friends. (Classy in quotation marks because, well, how classy can you get with mismatching plates.) Last night I invited some friends over for dinner. I made vegetable lasagna and French bread with homemade garlic butter. The bread wasn't homemade. Well, it was Smith's-made, if that counts.
-Having the best job on campus working for the best professor on campus. This is my third semester TAing for Phil 205 and 305 (deductive and predicate logic), and I love it. I love how much better I understand logic after teaching it so much, and the weird things to which I connect it in my life.

-Loving all my classes. I'm taking a full class load this semester: six three-credit-hour classes. But it's a good thing I love all of them. I'm taking:
  1. Epistemology. Episteme is Greek for knowledge, logy is Greek of study of (roughly). I'm taking this from one of my favorite professors in the philosophy department; one of my favorites because I feel like I do more philosophy in his classes than I do worrying about grades.
  2. Metalogic. Can anyone say hard? 99% of this class is way over my head, but as of now, I'm at least treading water in it. Luckily I work for the professor who teaches it, and he understands how difficult the class is (it was originally taught as a 400-level class in the math department, they didn't want to teach it anymore, so philosophy teaches it by historical precedent). So I imagine if I work as hard as I can, I can get away with an A.
  3. Philosophy of Language. So far, so good. We haven't studied language so much as we've talked about what philosophy is, but I'm looking forward to the material.
  4. Philosophy of Theology/Reading Scripture. Probably my favorite class this semester. We spent the entire class on Wednesday just talking about Genesis 2:1-3.
  5. Media Law and Ethics. I love studying the First Amendment, and I have a soft spot for law and government (thanks to my AP government teacher in high school). The professor is awesome, as well. She has law experience and used to teach at BYU's law school, and she's a lot of fun to listen to.
  6. Research Methods for Journalism. I'll be honest, one of the most intimidating things about being a journalist to me is how overwhelming it is to get accurate, well-cited information. I think this will be a great class to learn about more resources. Also, it's supposed to be a 2 and a half hour class, but the professor said he'll usually cut it short. I won't complain.
-Realizing that I could bring my GPA up to a 3.7 if I make this another straight-A semester and retake a few classes in which I made less-than-desirable grades my freshman year. I've really been interested in good graduate schools for journalism (Columbia, Northwestern, and UC Berkley), and if I can get my grades up high enough, I have a shot at grant money and scholarships.

-Looking forward to the future. I'm spending spring in Provo, and I'm going on a mission this fall. It's weird to think that I've wanted to serve a mission for as long as I can remember, and this is the year.