Sunday, July 27, 2008

Lagaan and conference talks - the best things in life

To celebrate my first ever Utah pioneer day, I watched a bollywood movie! Lagaan is one of the best movies of all time. It's about an Indian village in a drought that is struggling to pay taxes to the British. A young man named Bhuran ends up in a bet with a British official that if the Indians beat the British at Cricket, the whole province doesn't have to pay lagaan for three years. But if the British win, they have to pay triple lagaan. It is filled with good morals, beautiful Indian music and dancing, romance, and an intense cricket game at the end. You haven't lived until you've seen Lagaan!!!

Another good thing I experienced this weekend was "Trust in the Lord" by Richard G. Scott. I have been so stressed out this week by school, work, and financial worries. Reading this talk calmed me down and reminded me of the love my Heavenly Father has for me. A couple of my favorite quotes from it:

“When those trials are not consequences of our disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more."

"If all matters were immediately resolved at your first petition, you could not grow. Your Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son love you perfectly. They would not require you to experience a moment more of difficulty than is absolutely needed for your personal benefit.”

“His invitation 'ask and ye shall recieve,' does not ensure that you will get what you want. It does guarantee that, if worthy, you will get what you need."

God is so good. This church is so true. Jesus Christ is His Son and does live! Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, as is Thomas S. Monson and the other apostles who I love so dearly. I know this with all of my heart.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hecka Fun Weekend!

Hey friends,

First up this weekend was the Stake BBQ/Decades dance on Friday. I was a 50s girl, and Rachel was a almost everyone else. We talked a little, danced a little, ate a little, made fun of the ridiculous DJ and little, then left after an hour and a half. Myles was one of the 12 winners of the costume contest for his extraordinary Pirate outfit, so he got a gift certificate to Smart Cookie. Rachel, Laura, Myles, and I walked down there and had BLISS! They take 2 cookies and put ice cream in between them...mmmm! I couldn't help laughing because they are so messy too. I decided that the next time one of my friends has a bad day I am going to take them down there, because who wouldn't feel better after cookies and ice cream? Then Myles showed Rachel and I clips from Lagan, a bollywood movie with the energy of HSM. I love the dancing, it is so fun! I can't wait to see the whole thing! Here is a very blurry clip of the big dance number.

Saturday was the on-campus housing invitational "Midnight Masquerade!" (even though it ended at 11...haha!) It was so fun. We made our own masks and I made my "date" Emily a corsage...out of marshmallows! She is almost always eating marshmallows so I jokingly told her that I was going to do that, and then i actually did. I wouldn't recommend it though...very messy! We went with my FHE group and a bunch of other friends from my ward. It was way fun! I have just a few pictures, but my roommates and I have decided that in a few weeks we will have a fancy dress up day JUST to get pictures so you back home will not have to cry tears of frustration any more and the sight of another picture-less blog of mine. haha

Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak in church, which went wonderfully! The topic was "Neglect not the gift that is in Thee" so I talked about our gifts and the obligation to use them in serving others. It was really fun because I had had some good experiences that went perfectly with the theme. The funniest part was that the guy who spoke after me kept refrencing my remarks but calling me "Tay-sha" so the congregation was kind of chuckling. And he quoted me like 7 times!!! It was pretty great :] There was also an adorable little old man who was sustained as our stake patriarch yesterday who told me, "Your talk was awesome!" or something like that, which pretty much made my day!

Some other big news from yesterday was that someone snuck into our apartment when we were at choir and stole our cinnamon rolls, the ward choir is singing next week, one of my friends got called to serve in the New Jersey Morristown mission, and we went to tunnel singing but stayed up WAY too late afterwards. Other than that, "All is Well in Zion!"

PS- My mom says that lots of people are reading this, but I had no idea because I only get one or two comments. It would be lovely to get comments on my blogs so I know that you guys are reading! Thanks!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Long overdue Pictures!

So I haven't been taking very many pictures since I've been here, but my roommate took a few that I finally rescued from the depths of her hard drive. There will be more from INVITATIONAL this weekend, which is going to be AMAZING! But for now, enjoy!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

100 days until High School Musical 3!

I woke up at 1 am to hear my roommates screaming "TASHA TASHA TASHA!!!! IT"S THE HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL THREE TRAILER!"

I debated getting out of bed to watch it, but I decided it could wait for the morning. It is pretty intense though!

Laura made a giant paper chain to count down the days, because it premieres in exactly 100 days.

Go wildcats!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dancing, Singing, Cooking, Stressing!

Hello Friends!

This week has been a fun one. It started off with some fun FHE games Monday night and a late night trip to feed the ducks at the botany pond. Unfortunately the ducks were not hungry and we ended up filling the pond with bread and chasing the ducks around the pond. It was a nice warm summer night and it was fun to get to know our FHE brother better. They are really great, fun guys.

Tuesday in my Book of Mormon class we sang "Book of Mormon Stories" and I got to lead the hand motions! Maybe I was being extra reverent. haha We also watched some funny old silent films in my Humanites class. I love the one of a body builder just flexing over and over again...that's entertainment?

That night was my second experience at the Social Dance Club. At first I was thinking I was in the wrong place because the guys I was dancing with were all really good and expected me to be too. But then the more amateur guys came and they were really fun to dance with. I love that I can go to a school where I can live my dancing dreams for FREE!

Thursday afternoon my grandparents and cousin Kayla came up from Hurricane and took me out to dinner. It was nice to see them and share our BYU stories. I look forward to seeing them more often now that I am closer by.

Friday was 7/11 aka Free Slurpee day! Unfortunately for me it was $1.25 slurpee day because by the time I got there all the complimentary cups were gone. But it was still enjoyable. It now officially feels like summer because I have had my slurpee.

After the slurpees it was MAN HATER NIGHT! My friend Holly had just gone through a break up, so we decided to let out some steam with some good old man hating activities. Apparently they had a bonfire of boy memorobilia in a dark parking lot and danced around it! Then we brushed each other's hair and sang Disney songs. Life in a dorm is good :]

Saturday night was the Social Dance Club's semi-formal dance! A few of us went and that was pretty fun, but then Emily, Heidi, and I moved next door to the Swing Dance, which was like heaven on earth! It was so fun to dance with really really good guys and just make stuff up as I went. I even got to dance with the hillarious "Tall Lanky Guy" (whose real name is Ransom...I'm not sure which is better!). They have dances every Saturday night, and I will surely be there from now on! Plus Emily and I are going to check out the hip hop club Tuesday night, which is sure to be a treat!

Today my roommate Rachel and I sang "Because I have been Given Much" in Sacrament Meeting, which was a treat. She is so fun to harmonize with :] Hopefully our voices are good enough to woo some guys! We just had a stake presidency fireside (including Brad Wilcox, who is one of the counselors!) about earning our Pioneer Legacy. It was very inspiring and made me want to be the best I can be.

My roommates and I made our first "fancy" Sunday dinner tonight! It was way fun. We had pork chops, mashed potatoes, salad, lemonade, and LOVE! We made sure to take lots of pictures too, since we were so proud of our work. Here is the link to the photo album.

Well this next week looks very scary...I have midterms starting Wednesday, an apartment cleaning check Wednesday, 12 hours of work, a talk to give on Sunday, and two dances this weekend. Yikes! I'm sure I will survive and learn lots from it, so next week's blog should be pretty long!

Lots of Love,

Sunday, July 6, 2008

All is Well, All is Well!

Hey friends!

This last week has been pretty crazy for me, and I have tons to share!

Monday the 30th was the last day to add or drop classes, and also happened to be the day that I realized that things weren't so good in my English Lit class. We were reading some nasty literature (The Canterbury Tales, apparently there weren't high standards even in 1386!) and I knew that something HAD to change. It was sucking the Spirit out of my life, and with all I have pulling on my right now, I can't afford to lose the Spirit. I talked to my friends and family about it, and everyone had such different opinions. After much thought, I made a decision to drop the class and add an American Humanities class. I asked Heavenly Father if it was the right thing to do. I wasn't sure if everything would work out, but I had peace that that's what the Lord wanted me to do. I was extremely nervous that I wouldn't be able to add my new class, that I wouldn't be able to catch up, that I would end up with only 3 classes. But, of course, my Heavenly Father had blessings for me that I never could have imagined!!! My new professor is very patient, kind, and encouraging. I absolutely love the class and think it's perfect for me as a History major and art lover. I have already made friends, and caught up with all the work! Many people think that I should be angry with my previous professor for bringing in offensive literature and causing such an inconveneice for me, but the Lord has helped me with that too. I can see how after teaching so long at a big party school, the worldly attitudes could have crept into his life and made him more casual about the Lord's standards. I am sorry that he did what he did, but the disappointment is swallowed up in my peace and gratitude for this experience. I have learned so much and strengthened my testimony.

On a happier note, I started work this week at the Deseret Book in the University mall! The shifts are longer and the store is humongous, but I love it. I love all the new people I work with and staying busy helping customers. I'm hoping to maybe find a job closer to campus for the fall, but for now I am really enjoying staying at DB. Glenn Beck came to do a booksigning on the 4th, so the place was packed! He was just wearing a t-shirt and jeans, and seemed very friendly and down to earth. And I got to be 10 feet away from a celebrity! gasp!

Today I was set apart as the BYU 118th ward Relief Society Chorister! I am so excited to finally have a roommate can tell you all about my excited dance when I came home from my interview with the bishop! I know that this is the perfect calling for me right now with my talents and circumstances. I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to serve my sisters through one of my favorite things in the world. I started right away, but they had asked someone else to lead the music as well just in case. So after I had climbed up on the stand I looked to my side and saw another girl ready to conduct. The look on her face was priceless! We stood there gawking at each other for a moment while the auditorium exploded with reverent laughter, then she quickly ran back to her seat so I could take over. I have to say that that moment could be one of the highlights of my BYU experience!

Being set apart was a beautiful experience as well. I got to have my roommate and bestie Rachel there with me, because she had just been set apart as a ward greeter. Our bishop is such a sweet, humble, selfless man, and I could feel his love for me. I could also feel my Heavenly Father's love for me as He spoke to me through one of His worthy servants. He blessed me with all the things I need right now as I am still trying to settle into my busy college schedule. My experiences this week have been challenging, but they have strengthened my testimony of a God who knows my needs and finds ways to fill them. Knowing that is one of the best feelings in the world!

Tonight at tunnel singing, I finally went up and requested "Come, come ye saints" which I have wanted to sing for like 3 weeks now. I'm so glad I did! It was so powerful for me, because I turned to that hymn a lot in the past two years. I would always sing it thinking of the place the Lord had prepared for me here in Utah, at BYU. I would think of my pioneer ancestors and their trials, and how they must have been cheering me on in mine. I would resolve not to "mourn or think [my] lot was hard, 'tis not so, all is right. Why should we think to earn a great reward if we now shun the fight?" I would sing it thinking of the great future and opportunities the Lord had prepared for me. Tonight was the first time I've really sung that song since I've moved out to Utah, and my heart was filled with gratitude. I'm so grateful for my loving friends and roommates, to have the luxury of never feeling alone. I'm so grateful for their Christlike examples and the unfailing strength they are to me. I'm so grateful to live in this beautiful valley "where none shall come to hurt or make afraid, [where] the Saints [ARE] blessed." I'm so grateful to join with other Saints as we fulfill prophesy:
"We'll make the air with music ring
Shout praises to our God and King...
Oh, how we'll make this chorus swell,
All is well, All is well!!!"