Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Season of Gratitude

This week was Thanksgiving. I have so much to be grateful for. I haven’t logged onto my blog at all this week since I’ve been home. It was so good to be home with them this year. On Tuesday, every time I thought about being home for the holiday I teared up. I was so excited to be going home with my family. On my way home from the school Tuesday afternoon the song “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” came on the radio and I outright cried. I was so ready to go home!

Spending time with my family was amazing. It was so good to just be with them. We just watched movies and played games. We did go to the museum one day, and mom took Kesha and me shopping so we could give her ideas of clothes that we like for Christmas. And I ended up spending close to $200 on new outfits for student teaching. I didn’t want to leave them there because I could wear them now in the school, but this way I’ve got a bunch of new clothes when I get down to Utah. It will be worth it.

Anyway, I have so much that I have to be grateful for. A few months ago I started keeping a “tender mercies” journal. It has been a blessing for me to keep track of the blessings I see in my life each day. That has especially helped me on the days that have been especially rotten. I have been able to see that the Lord really does bless my life each and every day.
  •   Family
  •   Good friends
  •  Amazing roommates
  •  The opportunity I had to serve a mission
  •  The people I met on the mission
  •  The Gospel
  •  A testimony of the Gospel
  •  Modern Day Prophets
  •  Scriptures to study
  •  Parents who raised me well and taught me to follow what I know is right
  •  A love of children
  •   A wonderful education program at BYU-Idaho
  •   Amazing professors who have passed on their love of educating children
  •   The sacrifice my Savior made so I will be able to return and live with my family for eternity
  •   A merciful Father in Heaven
  •   A free country where I have been able grow up with many rights that other people only dream of
  •   A warm house to live in
  •   A comfortable bed to sleep in
  •   Food to eat
  •   A place to live while I student teach
  •   Legs so I can walk
  •   Eyes so I can see
  •   Ears so I can hear
  •   A nose so I can smell
  •   Laughter
  •   Children, and the funny things they say
  •   Happy memories
  •   A good job
  •   A boss who is willing to work around my schedule
  •   Fun people to work with
  •   Family vacations and the memories we’ve made
  •   Spanish—it’s a beautiful language
  •   Customers who speak Spanish at work and the ability I have to help them
  •   Technology that allows me to keep in touch with people I met on my mission
  •   The Atonement that has given me strength to overcome challenges in my life
  •   A sense of humor
  •   A temple close enough that I can walk
  •   Blessings of the temple
  •   Peace that is felt in the temple, and being able to leave everything outside
  •   Green leaves and flowers in the spring
  •   Beautiful, white snow at Christmas time
  •   Music
  •   Newfound musical talents
  •   My calling and the many people who support me
  •   Peaceful Sunday afternoons
  •   Service
  •   People who love me
  •   People for me to love
  •   Prayer and the way it allows me to communicate with my Father in Heaven
  •   Life in general
This list is just a short sample of all of the many things I am grateful for. My heart has been so full of gratitude. I am so blessed! I will never cease to be grateful for all I have!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I Love My Calling!

This semester, I am the Ward Choir Director. I absolutely love this calling! We have had a really good turnout at all, well, most of our practices. We sang in Sacrament Meeting today. Because Thanksgiving is this week, I wanted to do a song that relates to Thanksgiving, so I chose to sing "Because I Have Been Given Much." I personally have been reflecting on all of the blessings that I have in my life. And they really are so numerous. And this calling is one of them. I have learned so much about my musical abilities. In fact, without this calling I never would have discovered that I have the ability to arrange music. After choir practice tonight, one of the girls came over to me with our Christmas song in her hand and said, "I didn't realize that you arranged this! This is amazing!" She wanted to know if it was my major...and was completely shocked when she learned that it was the first song I've ever arranged. She said that she absolutely loves it. I really can't wait to share it with the ward in a few weeks. That song really is my testimony of Christmas put to music. It is incredible! I am so blessed!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Ready for a Change

Yes, it's time. I've been in Rexburg for what seems like ages. And when you look at it, I kinda have been. I am over halfway through my 8th semester here, but because of serving a mission have been here longer than pretty much everyone I know. I was thinking about it today, and I need a change of scenery, a change of pace. Don't get me wrong, I love Rexburg. I love BYU-Idaho. But I can only handle so much of "BYU-I-do." That's right. I'm sick of dating here...or rather, NOT dating. I've actually talked with several returned sister missionaries (both in Rexburg and Provo) and we all agree that the dating life of an RM sister who is close to, to put it nicely...isn't so hot. In fact, it's quite non-existent. We've come to the conclusion that it is because they are intimidated by us. Not to be "better than thou" but let's be the mere fact that we're RMs says that we've accomplished a lot. And being within weeks of graduating from college doesn't help that either.

All of the guys around here are so interested in asking out the freshman girls...girls who, for the most part, don't want to get married yet. They just want to play. And then...there's people like me. I don't want to play. I want to settle down and have a family. I love teaching, but I'd be 100% okay if I never got to teach in a classroom of my own because I had a family. Anyway, back to my rant...

I am so tired of seeing all of the guys who I'd be remotely interested in with a freshman clinging to their arm with what seems like a death grip. (I may be a little biased in saying this, but I really do feel bad for girls who get married young, because I have had so many wonderful experiences that I know I wouldn't have been able to have if I was married already). But in saying that, it doesn't mean that I don't want to date and work toward getting married. Because I do. I'm trying to be patient in dating opportunities. But I'm kind of getting fed up with the fact that I never go on dates. Ever. I can count on one hand the number of dates I've been asked on, ever...and I don't even need a whole hand. Like I only need 1/5 of a hand. Which, when you think about it, is really pathetic because it has been "legal" for me to date for 6 years (if you take out the time I was on the mission, anyway. Add that on and it's been 7 1/2 years).

I know that my roommates are getting sick of hearing me complaining about my (lack of) dating life. And I really am trying hard to be positive. But I'm ready for a change. I'm ready to head down to Utah and have the chance to get to know a whole new side of men that I don't get here in Rexburg. At least that's what I'm hoping. I guess I'll find out in 7 weeks when I move down there.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mission Coming-homes

It was a great weekend. After 2 all-nighters in a row last week, I was able to sleep well Friday night and get up early for my Praxis test Saturday morning. Then I headed down to Utah. The first sister I solo-trained got home from her mission last week, and gave her homecoming talk today! I have been so excited to see her. I don't know what it was, but I felt a special connection to her. Maybe it's because of all the hard times we went through together. I don't know. But I have been so flipping excited to see her! I prayed like crazy that the weather would be good this weekend, because it wasn't looking good at all. But the roads were fine. Tender mercy? I think so.

Anyway, Lindsay gave a wonderful talk this morning. She made me cry. She reminded me so much of me when I got home. It was unreal! I got to see a few other missionaries I served with too. It was good to see everyone...but mostly her. She rode with me back to her house. She wanted to back me up...but I wouldn't let her. We've got to break her out of the missionary bubble sometime! And she's got a couple of great friends who did a great job making her feel super awkward with a Lindsay-sandwich.

Driving home tonight I was able to reflect on the mission and all of the good times that we had together. I love Lindsay so much! I can't wait to get down to Utah so we can see each other more often!

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Family is Forever

Today I had the opportunity to go to the temple sealing of one of my friends. She was actually my counselor last semester in the Relief Society Presidency. I hadn't ever been to a sealing, so I was kind of excited.

One thing that I love about Rexburg is that the temple is so conveniently placed to campus. I was able to walk up to the temple from class in about 20 minutes, and that was going at a nice pace (I probably could have made it in about 7 minutes if I'd needed to). It is so amazing to walk up the hill and think of everything that beautiful, white building symbolizes.

A few months ago, I went to a civil marriage. The "happy" couple didn't look so happy. But Lydia and Matt...they were happy! The feeling of a temple sealing is completely different than a civil marriage. No, I don't want anything else in my life. The Spirit that I felt inside the sealing room is something I can't even begin to explain. It was unlike any Spirit I'd ever felt before. It was amazing!

Another difference in today's wedding was the talk of eternity. There was nothing about "'til death do you part." They will have each other FOREVER. They will have their parents FOREVER. They will have their children FOREVER. Who doesn't want that? What a blessing!

I know that someday I'll have the opportunity to be sealed to a wonderful man for time and all eternity. But until that time comes, I'll keep preparing myself to be the best wife and mother I can be.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Just my luck

Yes, I went country dancing tonight. And yes, Mr. Amazing from last week was there alright. And we even danced...once. And we talked for a few minutes after the song ended. And that was that. For the rest of the night, he had another girl practically hanging on his arm. And I wasn't asked to dance again. Good thing I've been able to get rid of my bubble and ask guys to dance or it would have been a miserable evening. (I told myself that I had to dance so I wouldn't stand there feeling sorry for myself, so I kind of had to ask the guys to dance or I would have been miserable. So I actually danced more tonight than I have yet this semester.)

Anyway, I started the semester with high hopes for dating, after all, I am over the awkwardness of being an RM. And I am adjusted back into life as a student. But the further into the semester we get, the more pessimistic I start to feel once again. I swear, there is something in the water here. Oh well. I only have 5 1/2 more weeks left of life in Rexburg, then I'll be on to new places. Places where I won't know anyone and no one else will know me either. I think that will be good. I think that will be needed. If I can only survive these next 5 1/2 weeks and not be totally and completely miserable, I'll be fine.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

But of course this would happen...

So I went country dancing tonight, as per my Wednesday-night ritual. And ya know, it was a great night! I danced...kind of a lot. I was just getting ready to ask one guy to dance, but he beat me to the punch and asked me instead! He came over and was like "Do you know how to do this? Will you teach me?" So I proceeded to teach him the basics. Which, I'll be honest...isn't the easiest thing for me, because I just follow. But, we worked it out and I was able to teach him a few things. After that song, we walked off the dance floor, but kept talking. So he asked me again. And we danced 2 more songs. Then we went our separate ways. But later, he came over and asked me to dance again, and we danced a song, walked off the floor talking and danced again. Yep, you counted right. 5 songs. With the same guy. After the 5th song, I told myself that next time I saw him I'd invite him to a game night at our apartment that we'd have this weekend. But he completely disappeared after that, so I didn't get the chance to ask him. Of course. Oh well. Whatever. He may have been attractive, and quick at learning (and told me that he does other types of dance), and heck, he's even in the "zone" set by mom! If I'm supposed to see him again, I will. But now I've got to wait a whole nother week. But! If I see him next week, I'm making it up that the roomies and I are having a game night on Friday and inviting him. I'm not gonna make that mistake again!