Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Missionary Moments

I know, I know. I've been talking almost non-stop about the mission. And y'all are probably getting bored with reading about it (if anyone even reads my blog...but who knows). But I had a really neat experience at work tonight that made me remember how much I miss being a missionary.

It was 7:00. I was literally turning to walk over to the light switch because it was closing time, when the door opened. I hate it when that happens...and tonight was no different. A man in his 50s walked in, and I put on my "customer service" smile (side-note...one of the ladies I work with told me that the other day she had a lady ask if Kira was there because "she gave such great service last time and was so helpful." That sure made my day) Anyway...back to the story. I put on my customer service smile and asked if I could help him find anything specific.

This man said that he was looking for a Bible. And Bibles we have. So as I led him to the Bibles, while simultaneously asking if he wanted just a Bible or a Quad. He was like "Wait. This is a foreign language to me." At that moment I smelled the faint hint of cigarette smoke and realized that he wasn't a member. So I instantly went into missionary mode and explained what a Quad is and a little about the books in it. I showed him the different options of both Bibles and Quads. He decided to get a quad. While Russell was putting his name on it (because I have no clue how to use the embosser), I talked to him. Had an OYM, if you will.

He grew up around here, and then moved to California, and then Nevada. He just moved back to IF. But anyway, he grew up with friends who were members. But was never interested in hearing about the Gospel. Until now. He's got an appointment with the missionaries tomorrow night. This man is in for a real treat. As I was talking to him, I felt something that I haven't felt in 6 months. It was such a wonderful feeling...but at the same time, it made me feel super guilty BECAUSE I haven't felt that in 6 months. I mean, I've felt the Spirit, but not in that way.

And that, I realized tonight, is why I miss being a missionary. I think that I'd kinda gotten to where I just took it for granted because I felt it all the time. And that's why the first little bit I was home was hard, because I realized what I was missing. But as I've been home, that "Missionary Spirit" has been fading away as I've been in the world. After feeling it again tonight as I talked to that Brother in Deseret Book, that's not something that I want to lose again. I will be praying to have missionary experiences. And I will keep my study of the scriptures dedicated so I can keep that Spirit in my life. After having that back...how wonderful it was.

That good Brother and his missionaries will be in my prayers tonight, that the Spirit will touch his heart and tell him that it's true. That he will be able to gain a testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel that can change his life for the better. I know the Church is true. I know that lives can be changed because of it. I know that the Holy Ghost will touch the hearts of those who are ready to hear, and I felt something special as I had that conversation in Deseret Book today.

Oh how I love the Gospel! My prayers are with those missionaries who are out fighting the fight against Satan, and for the people they are teaching, those they will teach, and those who they have taught but have rejected the teachings for one reason or another. My prayer is that the Spirit will be with each and every one of them, so that all people here on the earth can have the opportunity to hear the glorious message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and come to know for themselves that it is true.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Reason, A Season, or A Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.


When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that
person..

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need
you have expressed.

They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with
guidance and support,

To aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.

They may seem like a godsend and they are.

They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,

this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an
end.

Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.

Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.

What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire
fulfilled, their work is done.

The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on...


Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has
come to share, grow or learn.


They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.

They may teach you something you have never done.

They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.

Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.


LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons,

things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional
foundation.

Your job is to accept the lesson,

love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other
relationships and areas of your life.

It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life,

whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.


This is dedicated to all of the wonderful people who have ever been a part of my life, whether for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I will forever remember each one of you and the ways in which you helped me. And to those who are from reasons or seasons that have passed, thank you for everything you did for me. You probably influenced me in more ways than you will ever be able to imagine. I love you all!

Oh how the time flies...

It has now been 6 months since I left the mission field. 6 months ago today I was in the mission home, too excited/nervous/sad to be able to sleep. I laid awake reflecting on the past 18 months and how wonderful they were. And now, even 6 months later, I still think about the mission every single day. Really. I used to think it was dumb how RMs said that they thought about their mission every day. But now I'm one of them. I have so many good memories. It was the mission that made me who I am today. It was the mission that made it possible for me to be strong, to overcome many things. It was the mission that allowed me to meet many people who have become my dearest friends.

Now, 6 months after coming home, the mission seems like a distant memory. It almost seems like a dream. So much has happened. I went from awkward RM to social butterfly able to communicate with guys better than I ever was able to before (and oddly enough, I have mostly guys in my classes...though most of them are married or engaged). I've survived an entire semester (it's kind of crazy how my 6-month mark corresponds with the end of the semester). But not only that, I've also worked and fulfilled my responsibilities as Relief Society President. I've taken a few trips to Utah, 2 completely on my own. I've made some wonderful friends. I've had the best apartment of roommates that I've ever had...and next semester will be the same. I've changed my education track a bit...to something that will open many more doors for me (certified ESL teacher). I've had happy times and sad times--but have grown from each and every experience.

All in all, I am so grateful for the person I have become. I am grateful for the path my life has taken over the last 6 months, and am excited to see where the next 6 months take me!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Finals...with a smidge of fun thrown in

Finals are next week. But it was this week that was torture for me. I've been so busy that I haven't even been able to sleep! After coming back from Utah, I was in the library on Monday from 8:30 am until 11:30 pm, minus 2 hours for class and an hour for FHE. Tuesday was pretty much the same, except I'm in class for longer on Tuesdays. I was so exhausted. I needed to come home for an apartment complex meeting about white glove. As I was walking home, Kelsey (one of my roommates) texted and asked where I was. Then she told me that she had dinner waiting on the table for me! What a sweet-heart! I could have cried. On Wednesday, I did some homework at home before class. I was so tired that I felt like I was going to fall asleep WALKING to class. I came home when I got out of class because I had to work. I laid down on the couch for 10 minut(es and fell deep-enough asleep that I was dreaming. That's pretty hard-core. I went to work. I came home, fully planning on going back to the library, but I didn't have any energy left to walk up there. So I stayed at home. I opened my computer to try to do homework, but just went cross-eyed so I closed it and went to bed. I got like 8 hours of sleep. I woke up feeling so good on Thursday! I took a nap when I got home...but only because we were going to the midnight premiere of Harry Potter 7.2! (Which, if you haven't seen it yet, is EPIC!) I drove up and picked up Mom from girl's camp. While we were on our way back to IF, Dad (who was already in line at the theater) called and said that if we also bought tickets to see Cars 2 we'd already be in our seats and not have to deal with crowds, so Mom said to go ahead. I thought that she was crazy! Because I haven't been able to stay awake through one, let alone TWO movies since I've been home! And yet here they were, paying bookoo bucks for us to see two movies, so I had to stay awake. I was standing in line trying to write a test for one of my classes that was due on Friday, and nothing was coming to me. So I eventually gave up. We watched the movies. Cars 2 is hilarious. I highly recommend it. Of course, it may have been more funny for me because my funny-bone was highly sensitive due to lack of sleep, but what can ya do? And Harry Potter...Wow. I've grown up with Harry Potter! Like I was 10 when I read the first book. That's over HALF of my life-time spent with Harry Potter! And now it's all over. Done. Nada mas! But I was so pleased with the way that the movie ended. Oh...it was SO good! It had to have been...I actually stayed awake through both of them. Wide awake. Awake enough that I went home and sat down with my computer and stayed up until 4:30 finishing my lesson plan (of course, that was partly due to necessity). Then I went to bed. I was SO tired yesterday though. When I got home, I flopped down on my bed and slept hard for like 2 hours, then got up and got ready for the night. I went to the play that one of my counselors is in. Then came home and went to bed. I woke up late this morning, and lounged around all morning. Then I went to the temple. And came home and lounged around some more. Then one of my friends was in town, so we went and got some ice cream. And now...what am I doing? Laying on my bed getting caught up on my blog. I am feeling good, going into finals. I've got one presentation, one paper to make a couple changes to and hand in, and one unit exam. That's it. I'll be done by Wednesday by 3:00. Free for 7 weeks! And getting ready to head off on vacation! And things are looking good for this semester...I think I should end up with all A's...which is pretty impressive considering the struggle I've had this semester to re-motivate myself for school.

Utah!

Last weekend, despite my pending finals, I went to Utah. Of course, it was a well-needed break. My brain was getting to the point of exhaustion. I went because my dear Hermana Newbold is home from her mission, and when I left I promised her I'd be there. And a true friend never breaks their promises. But...I had other fun along the way. I left Rexburg early Friday afternoon and hit the road. I was super excited! I had a great weekend planned! First stop: Brigham City, where I spent a little bit visiting with one of my best friends from high school who I hadn't seen since her wedding 4 years ago. And I met her adorable little boy! It was so good to see her again and catch up.

From there, I headed on down to Ogden. I stopped by my Aunt Katherine's house (ok, so she's really my dad's aunt, but close enough) and visited with her for a little bit. Then one of my friends took me out for a late birthday dinner. When I got back to my grandma's house where I was staying, I sat and visited with her and one of her sisters for a while. Then they went to bed...and I was wide awake with nothing to do. So I got on the computer.

On Saturday, I went with my grandma to Aunt Katherine's birthday lunch. It was good to see all of their sisters who I hadn't seen in a few years. We drove past the Brigham City Temple that is under construction. It's going to be a pretty one...but then again, what temple isn't? After that, I got together with a couple of college friends, Jill and Bea. We went to dinner at Cafe Rio. Then we went and walked around the mall until I got with some of my mission friends. We went bowling. It was so good to see all of them and hang out with them. I was never companions with any of these sisters as they're all English sisters, but I did serve in the same area as one of them for a transfer. But regardless...sister missionaries are close.

On my way to the homecoming on Sunday, I stopped and visited another of my friends and her husband. When I got to Hermana Newbold's church and she saw me, she gave me a HUGE hug! I didn't think she was ever gonna let go...and I didn't care! Oh how I miss the mission and my companions! Hermana Cope, well...Alli...who I came home with was there too. It was great to see both of them and catch up on good times. I'm so grateful for the change in mission boundaries that allowed me to be able to meet both of these sweet friends :) After lunch, I was able to sit and talk with Newbold...now Natalie, but that's weird...for like an hour. Poor thing. She's super shell-shocked. But she'll be fine. I've survived, haven't I? haha

Before I came home, I made one last stop to see Hermana Shade. We had a great visit too. It was so fun to talk about old times and the things we went through together and to catch up on what the other is doing now.

It was a great weekend, and it really got me excited for my student teaching in Utah here in just a few months! I've got so many friends down there! I can't wait!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Family, Fun, and the Fourth of July

Yes, I realize that the Fourth was now like a week and a half ago. Sorry. I've been busy trying to survive finals. And I think I'm gonna make it. Just maybe. If I can survive through Wednesday, well, this weekend even, it'll be free sailing.

Anyway, over the Fourth both of Dad's sisters and one of his brothers, as well as his mom and her sister came to town and we had a family reunion. It was so good to see them all again, as I'd only seen my dad's brother and one of his sister's boys since getting home 6 months ago. We started out at the water park in Pocatello where we spent Saturday. It was a nice, relaxing day! On Sunday we went to church, and otherwise just enjoyed each others' company. We also went to the temple visitor's center and walked around the temple ground
s, both in Rexburg and IF. It was great to be able to just sit around and talk and get to know each other again.

But Monday...oh boy was that a great day! We got up early and went to the parade (I wasn't going to go because sleep just sounded so much better, but how can you resist your little cousin when she says "But Kira, the whole hot-diggity-dog family's gonna be there!"). It was actually really enjoyable. I felt an overwhelming sense of pride at being an American, and as the floats and army trucks with soldiers went past us, I couldn't help but cry. What a wonderful thing they've done for our country! That afternoon, we played some "A Minute to Win It" games,

and took family pictures (classic of every family reunion, right?). And we had a BBQ. Good 'ol American hot dogs and hamburgers. Tasty! After that we headed to the park to launch water balloons. I must say, I got the best shot...hitting my cousin squarely in the chest...without aiming or anything! From there we headed to the fireworks. Wow! I don't think I realized how great it is to be home until I was sitting there watching the fireworks. It's been 3 years since I've seen the fireworks in IF. And it was wonderful. I know that I'm a big boob, but I sat there and cried through the whole thing. When they were over, we said goodbye to one of my dad's sisters and headed home. Early the next morning we came back up to Rexburg, and back to reality.
video

Friday, July 1, 2011

One year older and...crazier too!

So today started out as any other normal day this semester. I got up early, went to class. I did go to lunch with Brett which was fun. Then I went to another class, ran home and got the stuff for a presentation, finished putting it together with my partner, then sat through another class and a study group. "Some birthday" I was thinking.

Then I came home. The door was locked. Perfect. My hands were full. I was tired. I was cranky. AND my roommates had my locked out of my house. I knew they were home because I could smell the pizza cooking. Honestly, I wanted to cry. I fumbled for my keys and everything went flying. And when I finally got the door unlocked it appeared as though no one was even there! My one roommate who was home was in the bathroom. Like I said..."Some birthday."

Of course, they HAD gone to the trouble of getting stuff to decorate the living room with. Streamers and balloons. I go back to my room and drop my stuff on my bed. Then go about finishing dinner. But all my roommates were able to join us for dinner. That was fun. And then they took me to TwizlBerry where we were met by some other friends (they give a free frozen yogurt if it's your birthday). There they have an X-Box Kinect...a video game you totally control with your body and dance in front of. Kesha and Christy got up and started dancing. Then Flo, one of my neighbors talked me into doing it with her. I have NEVER done anything like that...let alone in public! But I did it. And ya know what? I had fun!

Now...even better. My dear roommates my freshman year, Hilary, Jamie, Megan, and Nicole put forth a very good effort to try to get me to do the "Tunak Tunak" dance with them. But back then I had a VERY large bubble...more like a turtle shell. If I felt in the least bit uncomfortable, I pulled my head inside my shell and hid from the world. I wouldn't do it. I spent lots of time behind the camera laughing. I admit...deep down inside, I always wished I could dance with them, because it did look like fun, but I just didn't have the self-confidence to do so. Well, today my sister pulled out her computer and was like "You guys HAVE to check out this video!" As soon as I saw what it was, I was like "YES!!!" And I totally started gettin' my groove on. One of my roommates got part of it on video.
video
Oh gosh...what HAVE I turned into???

I don't know, but whatever it is, I like it!