Sunday, September 28, 2008

I lo-ove to sing!

Hello my friends!

First off, I added a couple new songs to my lovely playlist. The first is "O Magnum Mysterium," a Latin piece we are singing in choir. It's simply gorgeous. The second is "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schimdt," which we are also singing in choir...just kidding!

Yesterday we had choir retreat for 8 hours, which was amazing! We sang a lot, but we also played games, got to meet people, and heard the stories of the directors’ courtships. We are putting on a concert in December which is going to be awesome because there are so many talented people in the group. They are going to record it on a CD, so maybe I’ll have to send it to you guys. Even though school has only been in for 4 weeks, I feel that I have grown so much as a singer. And the best part about BYU choirs is that all of our songs that we sing are about the Savior, so it’s another opportunity to bear testimony of Him. I'm looking into auditioning for a higher level choir because I absolutely LOVE this choir thing and never want to give it up! So we will see how that goes. :]

Last night was the General Relief Society broadcast, which was really inspirational. It was my first time going to a Relief Society one, because they only come once a year and I am barely 18. My favorite talk was by President Uchtdorf; I think he’s my favorite General Authority because he’s so loving and always makes me feel at peace. Anyways, he talked about how our Heavenly Father is the most creative being in the universe, and as His daughers who are trying to become like Him, we also have the desire to create and should cultivate it. He talked about how creation isn’t just painting a picture but is also done by bringing peace into your home, cooking a meal, or making people laugh. In creating anything that hadn’t existed before, we are satisfying our souls and becoming more like God. Isn’t that awesome?! It just made me want to go out and use all of my creativity. I can’t wait for General Conference next week and to hear more from our beloved prophets.

I love you lots and will write again soon!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Hair Adventure

So yesterday I decided to try some of my roommate's hair product to see if it would bring out any curl in my hair. This was the result:
Yep. It did nothing. My hair is hopelessly straight. So then I decided to experiment. First, I put my hair in pigtails:

Yeah, that was pretty silly. They stuck out of my head like Pippi Longstockings. But the next one is even better...

So in the end I just decided to go to the game with my hair down so I would look like I had fat sticks growing out of my head. haha We beat Wyoming 44-0 by the way! Go Cougars!

Thursday night at 11:40 Brian's sister Courtney had her baby! Kate Marie was born a month early, but she and her mommy are doing fine. They should be going home any day now. She is the cutest thing ever. I wish more than anything that I could meet her and hold her! If I can't find a way to get home for Thanksgiving I will be able to meet her then!

Today I was sustained in church as an FHE group 3 co-leader. (NOT FHE MOM! The Bishop is adamant that I should not be called that.) I am so thrilled! I talked to my other coleader today and he is so nice. He also has fun ideas and I think this will be a great experience for all of us! Tomorrow we are gonna make brownies and play Apples to Apples, so it should be pretty awesome.

Well, I have a stake fireside soon so I will write more later! Love you all!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Roasted Bruin!

This has been a great weekend! I don't even know where to begin.

Friday night I hiked the Y with my roomies, which was tons of fun! I had some trouble because I am waaaaay out of shape and they were going pretty fast, but sweet Erika slowed down to keep me company. It was fun to talk with just her and get to know her better. We got some really cute pictures of us that are now hanging up on our kitchen wall.

Saturday was my "first" BYU football game! I had a blast with Tyelar. And now I kinda understand football! I at least know the right times to cheer. Well, our Cougars won 59 to 0!!!!!! Take the UCLA! We are now on the longest winning streak in the nation! I think it's gonna be a good year. It was way fun to see the marching band and try to figure out where Brian was, sing the cougar fight song, and cheering a team I actually care about! I had no idea football games could be 3 1/2 hours long, but it was so worth it.

That night was Brian's facebook freshman dance! I had so much fun. It was so joyous to dance and have good clean fun with my favorite people - Summer roommate Rachel, Michael Watkins, Brian, other friends from the facebook group. An estimated 1,000 people showed up, which was amazing! It was quite a success! I am so proud of my boy and all the good that he does. Here is a link to the article the Daily Universe did about him yesterday!

Sunday was nice. We had a very good church service topped off with a powerful lesson Sunday School lesson from my good friend Mark. That kid amazes me with his sincere and loving heart combined with a great scriptural knowlege and Christlike humilty. Unfortunately he also amazes every other girl in the ward as well...haha For dinner we had the boys from Brian's apartment over for a fancy dinner, which was way fun! I love those guys and always enjoy their antics :]

Tonight the missionaries came over for the third time to teach my Baptist roommate Krysten. They showed "The Restoration" film which she had seen before and really enjoyed. I hadn't seen it for a while, so it was a nice reminder of how much I love and revere the prophet Joseph Smith. However, I think the missionaries are a bit confused. They got a referral for her because she met with Sisters back in Texas to get to know the church so she wouldn't have so much culture shock coming out to Utah. These Elders think that she is looking for a new church and wants to be baptized. I told her she could ask them not to come back, but she hasn't for some reason. She is still favoring her Baptist faith but maybe she hasn't turned them away for another reason she doesn't want to share... I think that she isn't ready to be baptized yet because with all of these life changes going on right now, the Baptist church is like home to her. However, we shall see! God knows much more than I do and often surprises me. I am enjoying the opportunity to explain Church concepts with her and share my testimony. It makes me long to be a sister missionary someday.

Anyway, here is the link to my latest facebook picture album! Enjoy!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

1 day, 3 Apostles

This morning I attended over 100 stake conferences! Okay, well it wasn’t that hard. We had a regional conference for 120 something stakes in Utah and Wasatch Valleys held in the Marriott Center. We heard from Elder Marvin K. Jensen of the Seventy, Sister Ann Monson Dibbs of the Young Women General Presidency, Elder Boyd K. Packer, and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. All of their addresses were wonderful, but I especially enjoyed President Uchtdorf’s. He spoke of the importance of strengthening our relationship with the Savior through living worthy of a temple recommend and strengthening marriages and families. I feel that in my special situation that I am able to strengthen my family by sharing my testimony through the letters I have writing them. It is an incredible privilege for me to be able to attend this university, and I loving sharing what I have learned with them. Even though I don't get many letters back, I hear that they are a great strength to my younger cousins and help my grandparents feel like a part of my life. And I feel like "the hearts of the children are turning to their fathers." :]

Then we had an AMAZING CES fireside with Elder Holland tonight...3 Apostles in one day!!! Elder Holland spoke about three things we can learn from Joseph Smith's experience in the "prison-temple" of Liberty Jail: everyone goes through trials and God does not abandon them, the path to salvation always goes through Gethsemane, and the rights of the priesthood are inseperably connected with the powers of Heaven. Then he pronounced a beautiful Apostolic blessing upon our congregation in the Marriott center and all those watching the broadcast across the world. Elder Holland blessed us to know that God loves us and will NEVER leave us, and that He wants us to succeed! Elder Holland blessed the bretheren that they would recieve the priesthood blessings outlined in sections 121-123 if they lived worthy, and those blessings would assist them in their preisthood duties. He blessed us sisters that we may know of how the Church - and the world - loves us and needs us, and he blessed that all the righteous desires we hold in our hearts tonight will be granted to us. This made me weep with peace and gratitude because I have so many righteous desires held up in my heart right now. I want to be able to do well in school and work and my calling, when I finally recieve one. I want to be able to find the finances to continue school and buy some snow clothes! I want to find out if I should switch my major and what course the Lord wants me to pursue in my education. I want to be able to have the Spirit in my home to help my roommate learn of the truth of this gospel. I want to be a strength to my home and family. I want to be a strength to Brian as he has been called as Executive Secretary and has other pressures on him, but keep a balance of loving him and meeting new friends as well. I want to be able to find a wonderful man to be sealed to for all eternity, raise a family with him, support in all his callings and trials and triumphs, and share eternal glory with him. When Elder Holland blessed me with this, I knew that the Lord is with me in my moments of trial and that He knows my heart. He wants me to succeed and will help me do so!!! It is possible!!! I know that I can conquer my weaknesses and shortcomings, but only with His help. I've tried it alone and failed too many times. Finally, Elder Holland blessed us that faith always triumphs and God's promises are always kept! Then he clearly and slowly told us, "Hold on thy way, fear not, God shall be with you forever and ever." What powerful promises from a beloved Apostle and Prophet! I just wanted to run down the stairs and embrace him. And then the incredible choir sang one of my favorite songs, "My Kindness Shall Not Depart From Thee." It was such an incredible day. I know that with the Lord on my side and my testimony built firmly on the rock of my Redeemer, I "cannot fall."

"The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose

I will not, I cannot, desert to His foes;

That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,

I'll never, no never, I'll never, no never,

I'll never, no never, no never forsake!"

-How firm a foundation

Friday, September 5, 2008

My Song in the Night

Hey friends!

Well, I have found that fall semester is very different than summer! The other summer freshman and I are having a bit of culture shock. First of all, it has gotten piercingly cold very quickly. We had our first rainy tunnel singing and Labor day was just freezing. It has warmed up this week, but summer weather is definitely gone. Secondly, it is so crowded! We thought EFY was bad but fall semester is crazy. There are students just everywhere, which I am not used to. All of my classes have around 200 people in them! Oh well, that's undergrad life. I am taking Music Civilizations, Book of Mormon 121, World History 202, Poli Sci 110, and University Chorale. (I actually signed up for a Return Missionary BOM class on accident that I had to drop. Whoops!) Even though they will be a little challenging (Poli Sci especially!) I am enjoying them and can't wait to learn new things.

Well that football game was a disappointment. My friend from my sports pass group hadn't come back to Provo yet, so I sat by myself for an hour in the hot sun and finally left in frustration. I spent the time doing indexing though, so it was worth it. He's back now so the Sept. 13th game against UCLA should be much better!!!

Yesterday my roommate Ann and I auditioned for Noteworthy, our campus female a capella ensemble. I sang "Defying Gravity" which went very well! It was such a fun experience. I did not make it into the ensemble, but I expected that because there were only 5 openings and lots of very talented girls! I might try again next year. For now I am content singing in University Chorale. We haven't really started working on our music yet since we have only met for 2 hours this week, but it looks sooooo good. They are all gospel/religious songs, and I have not heard any of them before (except the 2 Christmas songs, but what do you expect?) I was skimming through some of the lyrics today, which are just breathtaking. Here are some of my favorite quotes from them:

"O Jesus, my Savior, my song in the night,
Come to us with Thy tender love, my souls' delight,
my comfort and joy, my souls' delight,
O Jesus Savior, my song in the night."
- Song in the Night, Southern Folk Song

"As the stream flows to the river,
as the spark turns into fire,
we grow stronger in our journey
to the land of heart's desire,
where the evil will be broken,
where the wrong will be made right.
And the ones who live in darkness
shall be children of the Light."
- Pilgrim Spring, by Sheila Dunlop and Reginald Unterseher

I can't wait to learn the beautiful music that goes along with these powerful lyrics. It will be so incredible to join in song with my fellow brothers and sisters, our voices intwined in rich harmonies and our hearts united in Christlike love. I never feel complete as a singer unless I am singing praises to the God who gives me my voice and breath to sing with, so I am most grateful for more opportunities to worship my Heavenly Father. As my voice rises to Heaven, I feel my heart rising closer to the Lord as well. Thank goodness for music!

Speaking of artsy things, I am considering minoring in Humanities or even switching my major to Humanites with an art history emphasis. I LOVED my American Humanities class during the summer and would love to learn about more art, literature, and music and how it shaped history. I still have lots of research and prayer to do before I make a decision, but we will see where the Lord wants me :]

My roommate situation is getting better. We have been socializing a lot more and having tons of fun together. In fact, it is difficult to get things done because we just want to play all the time! Not all of them like to obey the rules like I do, and sometimes bad things pop up on the TV or iTunes playlist, but I have been able to go into my room or another place to get away from it. I am going to go to the Conflict Resolution Center on campus to get some advice to prevent conflicts from arising. If any of you have advice for me, I would love to hear it!

One last quote before I go:
"There is power which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the Book [of Mormon.] You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the straight and narrow path."
-Ezra Taft Benson

This is gonna be a good year. :]