Sunday, April 24, 2011

He Is Risen!

This is one of my favorite pictures of all time! I thing that it perfectly symbolizes our Savior and everything that we believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that He IS risen! Our Savior, Jesus Christ, suffered greater things than we can even begin to imagine. He bled at every pore. He was scourged and beaten. Nails were driven through His hands and His feet as He was hung on the cross. He died for us. For me, and for you. And then, on the third day, that beautiful Sunday morning, He rose again. Our beloved Savior broke the bonds of death and made it possible for each and every one of us to also rise again! Death is not the end, but merely the beginning.

I like to imagine how I would have felt, had I been in Mary's shoes when she arrived at the Tomb of her Lord only to find His body gone. And then to be sitting outside the Tomb, weeping, when He came to hear and said to her "Woman, why weepest thou? Why seekest thou the living among the dead?" How would I have felt to see Him standing there before me? I think that it would have been the most amazing feeling in the world to realize that, just as He said He would, Jesus Christ was resurrected on the third day after His crucifixion.

This Easter Sunday, a day when the Christian World pauses to remember what He did for us, I want to express my gratitude to my Savior for all He did for me. It is because of Him and His suffering that I was even able to finish my mission. His Atonement brought me strength greater than I could have imagined. I learned so much about my Savior during the time that I served my mission. He really truly did do so much for each and every one of us so that we can have the opportunity to live again. And what a blessing it is.

I know that He lives. I know that He died for each one of us because He loves us. I know that because of His sacrifice and suffering, we will all have the opportunity to live again, and have our eternal families.

I am eternally grateful for my Savior and for all that He did for me. I cannot wait for the day when I will be able to kneel before Him and thank Him for all that He has done for me to make my life the way it is. To quote a favorite hymn, "Oh it is wonderful, wonderful to me!"

Thursday, April 21, 2011

It's a Great Day at BYU-Idaho

Wow. I'm beat! It's only the 3rd day of classes, and I'm already wiped out. Of course, I do feel better than I did after the first day. By the time I got home after being on campus only a few hours I felt like I hadn't slept in a week! Now I just feel like an over-worked college student who is actually getting a decent amount of sleep. (But the truth of the matter is...I'm not really that over-worked. I'm just not used to this.)

I think that I'm really going to enjoy my classes this semester. They're all looking like they're going to be really insightful. I'm going to get some good information. All of my classes this semester, except my religion class, are for my minor. It is definitely a different twist on things from what I'm used to here in my college education. Sure there are some ElEd majors, but there are a lot of Secondary Ed majors as well (which isn't entirely a bad thing, because there are quite a few guys in Secondary Ed as opposed to mostly girls in ElEd). I also think that I have a lot greater appreciation for these classes now than I would have had before I served a mission and had experiences with different cultures and people from different countries, some of whom are learning English. I think my mind is a lot more open to the things that I'm learning now.

I really love the Spirit that is present here on campus. I'd forgotten what it is like. As I was sitting in class the first day, I was so overwhelmed with the Spirit. As I thought back over the past several months, I haven't felt the Spirit that strongly since I got home. It's not for lack of trying, it's just that the environment here is so completely different! What a blessing it is for me to be here at BYU-Idaho to get the education that I'm here to get! last piece of good news...I was trying to get into one more of the classes for my minor this semester. I e-mailed the professor and he told me that there was no way that I could add the class becuase as part of the class we tutor students from other countries, and there just weren't enough students for me to be able to be in the class as well. But, I decided that it wouldn't hurt to go the first day of class, just in case. So I went to class on Tuesday and talked to him. He told me that he wasn't sure, but that I could try to go again today becuase he'd have a better idea by then. Well, after class today he told me that he had another international student add his class, which made it possible for me to add! HOORAY! I had to hold back my tears of joy! What a great blessing it is for me!

Honestly, I don't know what I've done to deserve so many wonderful blessings. I'm not that good of a person. But I am forever indebted to my Heavenly Father for opening all of these doors in my life to experiences that I never would have had if I hadn't served a mission! What a wonderful day it is indeed here at BYU-Idaho...despite the dreary, winter-like conditions outside.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Back in the 'Burg!

Wahoo! I'm back in Rexburg! And boy does it feel good to be back! I'd forgotten how much fun it is up here...and I've only been here for 4 days. Friday I got up and moved back. I got my stuff unpacked and organized. I got my textbooks. Mom and dad took us to lunch. And we were on our own. It felt good to just bum around. Saturday I had to work, but when I got back, well I guess I just chilled some more. Kesha and I watched Harry Potter 6, and we were going to watch 7 but I was falling asleep. Sunday was good. It felt good to be back in a ward up here again. Well, it was 3 wards combined because there weren't enough people up here to have each ward meet separately. I saw one of the Elders I came home with, so that was pretty cool. They'd called and asked me to teach Relief Society. There was lots of participation, which always makes things better. In the evening we went to meet some of the people in our ward, the girls in our Relief Society (minus the local girls because we don't know where they live) and some of the guys. It'll be a good semester. Today I went to work. We had a ward FHE tonight and got our FHE families. 2 of our brothers were my brothers before the mission, one in my first semester and the other in my 3rd. That will be fun. It will also be fun to get to know new people. I'm excited to start my classes tomorrow. It will be good. I'm ready to start learning again. My brain may not be...but I'll break it in fast enough. It will be good to start getting into things again. And I'm excited for my classes. They'll be really great. It will be fun to meet new people. My roommates are a hoot and a half! We're gonna have an amazing semester. It's definitely going to be one of those semesters when I'll need to do all of my homework in the library so I can play. Not to mention I really doubt I'll be able to focus here at home. But that will make things great! I'm excited!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

2 Years...

It was something that happened 2 years ago today that changed my life...who I am...forever. Two years ago today I finished up another semester at BYU-Idaho. But that's not what changed my life. No, I'll be back there in another 6 days. But two years ago today, I got something in the mail that changed my life: My mission call! It was such a wonderful blessing to be able to go on a mission. Now...well, it's hard to believe that it's in the past. Someone came into work today, and described being an RM in a way that sums it up perfectly: Now, as an RM, the mission seems like a dream, not the reality. It makes me sad to know that I'll never be back there...but at the same time, when I look at who I have become, I am so extremely grateful.

Please join me in a photo journey of the past 2 years

With my mission call

Dear Sister Good, You are hereby called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are called to serve in the New Mexico Albuquerque Mission.


My MTC District

An Albuquerque Sunset

War Wounds

Missionary Shoes (Mine are on the left)

With some of the office sisters, my President's wife, and one of the APs

Making Gorditas

Temple Day

Sleeping Ute Mountain

Karina and Ivan's wedding day

Sisters With A Testimony

Missionary Shoes! (Mine are in the middle...note the difference...)

Reading my "trunky papers" This is the opposite from the first pictures in this post. This is my call to return home. Not that I wasn't excited to come home...but I was NOT excited to leave the place and people I had grown to love so much.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Oh...and just as I hit "Publish Post" on the post below this one, my phone rang. It was the BYU-I Field Services Office...wanting to schedule an interview with me tomorrow...TOMORROW...with one of the school districts where I will be doing my student teaching. Not my first choice, but the one I think I'll probably be placed in because of my minor. Anyway...They already have my letter of introduction...the one I want to change. Oh well! Here we go!

Painting a Picture of Yours Truly

I had to fill out my application for Student Teaching before I left on my mission. So like 2 years ago. The actual application part was pretty easy. But along with that application went a letter of introduction. A "picture," if you will, of me. And why I am going into education. The schools I will potentially student-teach at will see this letter. The schools I apply for jobs at will see this letter. So basically, this is kind of a big deal. I wrote the letter before the mission, obviously, because it was a part of the application process. Then I e-mailed it to the lady in charge of formatting the letter and she inserted the picture that the BYU-I campus photographer took of me. It was a great picture at the time...but it is now like 3 years old. Okay, okay. It's not horrible. But it's not me either. That will be easy to fix. All I have to do is go to the Student Teaching meetings this upcoming semester (which I need to do anyway because a lot can change in 2 years) and get a new picture taken. Easy. The hard part is editing my letter.

You see...since I wrote the letter, I believe in fall of 2009, a LOT in my life has changed. A LOT in my teaching experience has changed. Not to mention, I now will have a Minor in TESOL which was not an option when I wrote the letter...and I speak Spanish. Psh...minor detail, right? Wrong. In my profession, or what will be my profession, being able to speak Spanish will be a HUGE asset! Not to mention with the TESOL I will be a little more highly qualified than the average-Jane teacher. I'll have a little more experience and a little more knowledge of how to teach those children who are learning English, and how to help their parents (not to mention be able to actually communicate with their parents) right out of the holding pen.

But as I'm sitting here, trying to figure out what to write to paint a vivid picture of myself, I'm stuck. I'm clueless. I don't know what to write! I kind of what to totally change my letter. I know for sure that there are at least some parts that I want to nix altogether. But what to add? Who knows! I need to keep it neutral, so I can't exactly mention my mission...but that is where I had a TON of teaching experiences, and learned Spanish. It was there that I really gained an appreciation for those who have migrated to the US and are trying to make a living for themselves and their families, even if it is hard. Those parents want their children to succeed...and one day I will be the educator helping them succeed. But how do I explain that in less than a page? Just a few hundred words? Really, I have less space to explain myself than I have already taken here in this blog post! And this just so happens to be one of my smaller ones. (What can I say...I'm a girl of many words...who absolutes hates talking herself up to other people.) Why can't someone else just write the letter for me??? Oh yeah...because I'm supposed to introduce myself to the administrators I will soon be working with.

So, I'm going to sit here and attempt to paint a picture of myself and hope it turns out to be a positive, uplifting, colorful image of who I am and where I stand in terms of my love for education. And alas, I'll keep it short.

Reuniones de la Mision

This past weekend I went back to Utah. I had a mission reunion, and I wasn't going to miss it! Friday I got off work, ran, grabbed a few things, picked up a friend who was going with me (it made for a much better drive than last week's drive alone) and hit the road! Kelsey and I had a great time talking. Where she was and English sister and I Spanish, and we never really served around each other we didn't get to know each other very well in the mission field. We stopped in Tremonton to eat dinner. Then we got back on the road, for maybe 1/2 hour when we hit some pretty good traffic. It stretched out for quite a way in front of us. Lucky for us, we were right by an off-ramp, so we got over and got off the freeway, taking the back road to get to our reunion. Thank goodness we had my GPS, or we would have been very lost.

We got the church where the reunion was being held, and right away started seeing people we had known in the mission! Several former Spanish Elders were there...3 of them who served en la Rama Coronado with me. 3 of my former District Leaders were there. A former Zone Leader was there too. Two of my former companions were there. And of course President and Sister Anderson! It was great to see them again. President Anderson had us all gather in the chapel where he spoke to us for a bit. Then we moved into the cultural hall and had refreshments and got caught up on each other's lives after the mission. It was so much fun! We didn't want to leave :)
Four generations of missionaries: Me, my trainer Trunnell (now Olsen), my grandma Hartford (now Villanueva), and my great-grandma
The 5th generation, Hermana Cabello, goes home to Peru in a week

Barley and Anderson

Me, Waters, and Lamb

Weatherston and Wilding

Weatherston and Shade

With President and Sister Anderson

SPANISH MISSIONARIES! The 6 of us on the right all served en la Rama Coronado (or what would be la Rama) at one time or another, working together to get that moving! I never knew the other 3 on the left

Me and Shade