Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Change of Plans...

So much to do and oh so little time!

Up until this past week I thought I had everything figured out. Financially anyway, with this financial plan I was able to pay off my loans, buy everything I need for my mission, pay for half of my mission, AND have money for when I get home. Sounds pretty great, eh?

Well, I guess it was all too good to be true. But that's life, and you've gotta learn to bend in the wind, and as Tim Gunn would say, "Make it work!"

So, I've planned an emergency trip to Utah! I'll be there from the 6th- 11th of May.  I was lucky enough to find a $100 plane ticket home. Which is SO great! I'm going to go visit my Big sister and her cute little family so I can sell my car! Which will hopefully help me get at least some of the things I need for my mission if not help me survive until I can finally leave!

Why am I going to Utah to sell my car? Well, why ever not?

The license plate is from Utah and my Bro-in law is a BOSS at selling cars. I also plan to get a Utah Drivers License so that if I ever feel the need to go to UVU again I can, without having to pay out-of-state tuition. That's the WORST! If I go to BYU again it really won't make a difference because tuition is pretty decently priced anyway, but this way I'll be covered on ALL fronts!

I have a pretty good idea what's going to happen when I get home from the mission. But a girl has to have her options!

By the way... How is it that student loans add up so quick?! I've only had them for 2 semesters and I already want to cry!...oh wait...that already happened D:

There is still SO MUCH to do! I wish reality would just HIT ME already! I would have so much more motivation!

I did get to cross some things off my pre-mission bucket list this weekend though!

I went to the Ape Caves with a ton of friends at like midnight one night. It was pretty creepy and we all thought we were going to either die or get eaten by cougars. All our parents were probably watching the news waiting for our missing faces to show up.
Yep, that ghost right there between Jess and Bo would be me, and of course,
what would an adventure  be without Cody?! 
I got to ride on a Motorcycle this week too! Uhh...it was awesome. Thanks Tom! 

One of my goals before leaving on the mission has been to attend the temple at least once a week. It's been such a blessing to go through with my friends who are going for the first time! It is the best and is definitely what keeps me going, not to mention it seems to be the cure to every over-thinking problem I have! 

To my Mormon people: Go to the Temple and GO OFTEN! Like seriously, every week if you can!

To my not-so-Mormon people: Do everything you can to get there, including (but not limited to) Getting baptized, Repenting, reading the Book of Mormon, taking Missionary Discussions....All that! Ok, maybe not in that order.... but seriously, give it a chance!

You can be sealed to your family FOREVER!
That's what we have because of temples- ETERNAL families! Go to the temple. Go often.

That's my goal, to go every week for the rest of my life! (besides my mission) 

This week Jess went through to receive her Endowments (another super cool part of what happens in the temple)! She'll be serving in the Tennessee, Knoxville mission! 
Tom, Me, Jess, and Cody! 

Another blessing this last week was spending time with one of my good friends, David! Who was home for a short ten days before returning to Camp Pendleton for more training. He's a stud. If only every Marine were like him!

As for my progress on reading the Book of Mormon....Well I've reached 1 Nephi 11...haha! Hey, It's progress! 

I decided that I needed to find a place to study, because in this house it is SO HARD to feel the spirit. I wont go into details, but I don't know why I haven't figured it out before now! 

I used to be pretty good at reading when I had the priesthood at home AKA mi padre. But now it goes like this- When I go to mission prep or institute or church I'm SO pumped about the Gospel and I just want to keep it going when I get back to the house, and in the car I'll be thinking about what I want to read and all that stuff and I'll be on this spiritual high and it's really fantastic! But when I open that door it just all falls away! What's the deal?! I'm blaming at least 60% of that on the fact that no one in this house holds the priesthood- I'm definitely willing to take the blame for the other 40% though (procrastination has been getting the best of me) 

But now I guess I just gotta take the "Stand ye in holy places" approach... which really should be the approach no matter what. But hopefully I'll be able to find that place- either mentally or physically- where I can have that solid study time every day. Otherwise, this girl's gonna find herself in some t-r-o-u-b-l-e. 

Only 70 days left! Yikes! Better get a move-on! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Opportunity of a Lifetime

"Look, if you had one shot, one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted...one moment. Would you capture it or just let it slip?"

You better believe that I'm quoting Eminem right now...

"You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only got one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime"

I know that he's not exactly talking about an LDS mission here or anything, but this guy's got a pretty good point!

So does W. Christopher Waddell of the Seventy
He gave a great talk in October of 2011 called: The Opportunity of a Lifetime.
Take a listen, I promise that it'll be worth it!

I don't know about you, but sometimes it's hard to remember just how amazing this opportunity is that's been given to us as missionaries serving full-time missions. As a friend once said, "It is a solemn honor to serve in the Lord's army." I think that's something worth remembering.

Preparing for a mission is tough, for sure- but I think we can all agree that it's the waiting that's (one of, if not) the hardest part. Whether its 3 weeks or 5 months between receiving the call and reporting to the MTC  the wait can be just a little bit of a downer sometimes. That time between opening up your papers and getting them submitted can be pretty brutal too, no doubt about that! But it is the gift of time that the Lord has given us to prepare.

What are the demons you find yourself facing as you've been preparing?
For me, it's definitely procrastination- a few other things, but boy is this one going to bite me in the butt BIG TIME if I don't get a handle on it quick!

Recognition is the first step in recovery, right?

It seems that almost every Sister or Elder that I've talked to wishes they had started sooner, finished quicker, studied harder, prayed longer. They all say, "do it now! Get your stuff, start to learn the language, know the lessons!" Have any of us met someone who felt 100% ready to go on their report date? I haven't, but boy is it my goal to be as close to 100% as possible!

There are a few things I think about often that just give me that spark to get off my butt and get goin:

First, the Lord will do things in his own time. My availability date was in February and I don't leave until July. Some people leave on their date, others days after or just weeks after. If you're working on turning in your papers and are still hesitant about that date, just realize that there is absolutely NO pattern within the giving of calls and dates that missionaries report. It is only on the Lord's time that you are called to do the work and not by any other means.

Second, Mission Calls are not a random assignment. They are inspired. We just had General Conference a few weeks ago, one of those amazing Elders already has or will at one point take the time to ponder over you and assign you to the place that the Lord needs you to serve. I know that this is hard to remember and sometimes even hard to believe. But I have faith that this reason will be made known to me....eventually.

               Side note: I totally wish there was a way to find out who assigned me to my mission! That would be pretty dang sweet.

Third. I'ts never been my time to spend. I could maybe go on to say this about my whole life, but the moment I got my call I gave my time to the Lord. I've been given this time of preparation because He KNOWS I need it! It is a tender mercy from the Lord that I have so much time to prepare. Whether it's a few weeks or a few months we need not waste the time that we've been given to prepare ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually to submit mission papers and to enter the MTC.

With that, I've decided to set a few simple goals for myself.

I'm just going to start out with this one for today:

My goal is to  read the Book of Mormon once in English and once in Portuguese before I enter the MTC on July 3rd.

More specifically, I want to finish it in English by May 13th. I've never been great at everyday prayer and scripture study (yikes, right? We all have our struggles.) but this will push me to be reading and studying every day. My Stake President counselled that I pray before AND after my study time.So that will be happening as well.

To hold myself accountable to this goal I plan on giving a brief update (here) with where I am/get to each day.

I heard once that 50% of achieving a goal is writing it down...so *Hooray for being 50% there!*

I'm sure I will think of plenty more goals here shortly. Anyone have suggestions? What do you wish you would have done earlier in preparing for your mission? Advice on anything? Readyyyy Go!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

80 Days!

80 Days!! The time is sure tickin’! I got my call two whole months ago! It feels like it was just yesterday!

Well, I am happy to announce that my Visa Papers are FINALLY done! And honestly I owe it all to my good friend Bo! He’s a champ. We spent a solid 8 hours on Wednesday working on everything, and we got it all done! Did you understand that? IT’S ALL DONE!!

Ahhh…HUGE weight lifted off my shoulders!

I probably wouldn’t have gotten it done without Bo’s help! I may have just put it off for...well forever! So Bo- You’re the best! Thank you SO MUCH for helping me out! And thanks Bev for letting us use your car! :D You guys are the BEST! I guess I should also thank Brother Morrison (the best Seminary teacher on the planet), Mrs. Slater (the most amazing notary at Hillsboro High School), and Audg for making the trip to Salem a little more interesting, oh and mi Padre for being the best Padre...even all the way from Texas! 

8:00 AM Here we go! 
First stop: Walgreens 

Got it! Clearance Letter and Passport photos! BOOM

Gettin' my Certificate of Birth. Needless to say, my parents REALLY ARE my parents! 
The most delicious food ever!  :D 

Mrs. Slater = THE BEST 

Classic Audg. 
So much love! 

Awkward missionary photo vs. real people picture

Lookin like freaks....as usual....

THEN we made cookies. 

They were pretty delicious...considering...

And then! We cleaned the kitchen! That's right Dad...here's the proof! 

This week I also got a letter from my Mission President! It took a SOLID 6 weeks to get here…so start sendin those Birthday cards on May 22nd! (don’t worry, I’ll remind you!) 

A lot of other awesome things happened this week too. Got to go to Voodoo donuts twice, went to the temple, and David got back from Boot Camps, and helped Audric ask Kenzie to Prom!
! Life is good :]  but I SERIOUSLY want to be on my mission already!

Voodoo with Cody! 

Don't be fooled. We love each other. ehhh...kinda ;] haha! 

So happy this guy is home, even if it is just for a few days!
Proud of you David! 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Best Moment's from Conference!

If you watched, you'll get it, if not take a walk on over to gc.lds.org and get in the loop!! 

“And then what I thought was the perfect solution came into my 8-year-old mind. I said to Danny, ‘All we need do is to set these weeds on fire. We’ll just burn a circle in the weeds.’ He readily agreed! An ran to our cabin to get a few matches. *rolls eyes*”

And of course when Enrique R. Falabella of the quorum of the Seventy told the story of him and his wife shortly after they were married...

What was your favorite part of conference?Tell me about it!

C is for Conference and Cinnamon Rolls!

Six months ago the announcement was made
Now, here I am 87 days away from reporting to the MTC! 

Conference Weekend wrapped up just about ten minutes ago. I just want to mention the statistics given yesterday morning concerning the number of full-time missionaries.

as of December 31, 2011 there were 55,410 full time missionaries 
Yesterday it was announced that as of April 4, 2013 there are 65,634  full time missionaries

and with a special announcement given by President Monson himself. 
Shout out to all you Elders and Sisters who have answered the Call to serve! 

Good luck out there! 

“No force in the entire world can stop the work of God”
-President Monson