Monday, June 30, 2008

Ligers and HSM and religion class, oh my!

Hey there,

So I survived [and loved] my first week of school! The highlights were bowling, ward choir, High School Musical, my Living Prophets Class, the Bean museum, and taunting from 10 year old boys. Let me explain.

Our friend Myles, who is an RA in Felt hall, has refused to watch HSM for months. After months of wearing him down, Laura and Sherry finally got him to give in! Apparantly they didn't finish the first one Thursday night, but he went home and finished it on his own! We were shocked because just last weekend he was very firm in his hatred of the movie. So Friday night we just had to show him HSM [singing along, of course!] And yesterday after church we played the HSM board game which was another marvelous time! One of the questions was a dare where I had to show everyone the toes on my left foot. Scary!!!! Another challenge was to tap dance to "Get'cha Head in the Game." It was most definitely a remarkable experience.

My favorite class is the Living Prophets. It is so neat to gather with other Saints from different walks of life and share our thoughts, experiences, and testimonies of the gospel. And Brother Haws is a great teacher! Thursday he played "Praise to the man" on his accordion, and he is always making us laugh. He also picks great talks for us to read. A really great one from this week is "The Peril of Hidden Wedges" by President Monson. Check it out!

Brian and I went to the bean museum on Saturday. No it's not plants, it's names after a guy whose last name was Bean. It has HUNDREDS of stuffed animals - lion, tigers, bears, ligers, cougars, birds, fish, deer, mooses(?), and even a rhino! Next time you're in Provo you should stop by. It's incredible.

Now the 10 year olds. I was studying outside on Tuesday when a sports camp walked by. The group of boys looked about 10. They were chattering to each other, and one of them yells at me, "Wanna come bowling with us?" Another one said, "No dude, that girl's old. She's probably like 25." I was laughing very hard!!!

Well, I have lots of old English Literature to read before FHE tonight (we are gonna eat pizza and play ice breaker games/frisbee. woo hoo!)


Saturday, June 21, 2008

I'm finally at BYU!!!!!

Hey friends!

Today (June 23rd...I don't know why the post is dated the 21st!) was my first day of class at BYU, a day I have been dreaming of for a long, long time! I feel so blessed that Heavenly Father helped me endure to the end and FINALLY make it here. I miss my family (and all of you!) bunches, but I am very happy to be here.

I checked into housing on Friday afternoon and met all my wonderful roommates that I have been emailing for months, and they are just as great as I thought they were! Rachel is from Switzerland, Joslyn from Alpine, Kirsten from New Mexico, and Laura the RA from Illinois. Unpacking was crazy and exhausting, and I finally got everything organized just today! I definitely packed WAY too much. haha That night we went to an orientation dance where we learned folk dances from England, Denmark, South Africa, the midwest, and Romania. It was really fun, but very exhausting! Those people are very flexible!!!

Saturday Rachel, Brian, and I explored the campus and took care of business like textbooks, ID cards, groceries, etc. We got to go to our first devotional and meet many more new people. That night, we went to a rollerskating rink in Orem, which was really fun! I'm very new, but I improved much quicker than I thought I would. Poor Rachel got horrible bruises all over her body from all of her falls, but she is a tough sport and doesn't complain.

Sunday we went to church, the 118th ward! I love our bishopric and the sisters in the ward. Everyone is so friendly and sweet, and eager to participate in class discussions. I am learning so much from my ward family. In the afternoon we organized our kitchen, made cookies and invited boys over to eat them, and went for a walk around campus to find our class buildings. Ward prayer was another uplifting activity, and then Brian gave Rachel and I blessings. It was amazing to see my best friend who I have seen grow up these last two years exercise the Holy Priesthood. He has been preparing all his life to be worthy of it, and now he has the blessing of serving with the priesthood. It brought all three of us closer together, and I feel that Rachel and Brian will be some of my closet friends during my BYU experience. After the blessing, we went to the infamous tunnel singing, which I will attempt to post a little video of. The Spirit was so strong, and I'm so grateful to go to a school where I can join in worship with my fellow students at any time of day.

My classes today were great! Well, I only had one, the Living Prophets, with my roommate Joslyn. It is sooo cool! We are going to learn all about our first presidency and quorum of the 12. We have such a diverse class and it was really neat to hear everyone's comments as we talked about the need for prophets today, what we love about President Monson, and how conference addresses have blessed our lives. I look forward to my other 3 classes tomorrow and the many more adventures that will follow this week!

I love you all and pray for you in your endeavors back home. Please pray for me in mine. I will do my best to share the blessings of my education with you as I follow BYU's motto and "Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve."


Sunday, June 8, 2008

What a day!

Well today was my last Sunday in the 13th ward...and it ended up being everyone else's last Sunday too! Now we are the UC 1st and 2nd wards, which is so crazy. Just one more changing in my evolving life, I guess. It was so strange to say goodbye to the teachers, leaders, peers, and friends that I love, and realize that I am leaving the ward I had so much growth in. And that it won't be the same when I come back. It makes me especially grateful for the knowlege that they are all my brothers and sisters, and someday we will all be reunited with our Heavenly Father as one big happy family!

"There would I find a settled rest
While others go and come
No more a stranger, nor a guest
But like a child at home."
-My Shepherd Will Supply My Need, Psalm 23 paraphrase by Isaac Watts

This evening was also seminary graduation, the closest thing to a high school graduation I will ever have! I can't believe I survived four years and that I grew so much from it! Seminary has changed my life for the better, and I encourage everyone to attend faithfully. I gained a strong testimony of the gospel and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I made amazing friends who love me for who I am and will be my friends for all eternity. I found opportunities to share my testimony and the words to say what I know to be true. I had an abundance of the Spirit with me to help me in all my doings, temporal and spiritual. I learned how the scriptures really do relate to my life, and how much I need them every day.

As sad as I am to leave behind this great chapter in my life and all the wonderful friends who have supported me and guided me, I know that this is a leap of faith I must take. It's time for me to spread my wings and fly. It's time for me to go into the world and share the light that God put in me with others, to bless the world the best I can. Thank you all for blessing me with your light and changing my life. Despite the distance, you will always be close to my heart.

"I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you...

Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good"