Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mission Photos: Did Someone Say "Free"!?

If you're looking to get mission photos taken and you live in the Salt Lake City area, look no further!

Rachael Tyler Photograpy: Takes FREE mission photos for soon to be missionaries! 

Rachael is primarily a Wedding Photographer, but schedules for a few missionaries every week, it fills up fast, so go check her out! 

I'm from Oregon, but I just happened to be visiting my family in Provo one week that she had an opening. 

She was great! Here's the result: 
And let's be real, what could be better than something that's free AND quality!? 

Side note:  Go to  the DI, Good Will, or Salvation Army to find mission clothes! 
It's seriously the best, you might only find one thing while you're there, 
but it is SO worth it! 
Especially if it only cost you six bucks to put an outfit together
 (like the one I'm wearing) 
just don't even second guess it, GO! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pro Stalker

Don't lie to me...We've all done it. 
If not, you're missing out! 
Go to your mission on Google Street view RIGHT NOW. 

Isn't this little town in Santa Caterina so cute!? 
Ahhhh 35 days left! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Post Memorial Day Post

Memorial day comes around once a year. 
But hardly a day goes by that I don't think about the heroes of our day. 

The men and women in uniform. 

One in particular will always have my heart. 

My Papa. 

Papa was in the Navy. He died when I was 13 years old. 

He taught me to laugh, to love, and to never give up. 

He is my hero. 

I've had a couple of really special experiences with him in the last six months or so. 

The one I want to tell you about is about his truck. 

It was pretty much the coolest vehicle ever-

a 1970 Ford F250..if I remember correctly..

I had a friend that would always ask, "What kind of truck is it?"

"I don't's red." 

He would laugh and shake his head. 

This was the truck that my mom learned to drive in...She says she hated it. 
(But secretly she really did love it.) 

When my turn came around, I used it for all sorts of things. 

At one point I drove to school with it every day...the gas was killer, but the ride was awesome. 

I would just be laughing at myself the whole way- 
my feet barley touched the pedals, and my arms couldn't reach anything. 

I would leave school at one point almost every day to take a nap or do homework inside. 

It was great for hauling hay and going to drive in movies with. 

Papa was a people person. I'm sure he was laughing right along with us during those nights that we piled in the bed and watched the shows.

It was bad at starting though. 
I don't think I ever had to have more faith than when trying to start that bad boy.

It took a lot of time and patience.

you had to turn the key in a certain way, while pumping the gas a particular number of times.

There was definitely an art to it, and even though I was almost perfect at it I prayed my most fervent prayers before trying starting it. 

Moroni 7:48

It took ALL the energy of my heart to get it going. 

Faith is what fueled this truck...nothing else. 
It got me from A to B. It gave me everything I ever needed. 

Well. A time came when my family sorta peaced out of Hillsboro and didn't have a place to keep it anymore,  so we took it to a friends property and kept it there.

It was nice to see driving down the highway, but it didn't ever get used, and that was pretty sad. 

I thought about selling the truck before, and talked to my mom about it a little bit... 
but I never really felt very good about it. 

Then came October 6th, 2012

The announcement was made that Sisters could now serve missions at the age of 19. 

I was thrilled.

I knew that it might take some time, but that I'd be in the mission field at the end of it.

I was eating dinner at my friends apartment just sitting and talking about all that had happened that day. 

When I heard a voice. Clear as day inside my mind.

The sound filled my heart with love as it softly spoke. 

"It's time to sell the truck." 

It was hard to let it go when the time finally came. 

But, like I said, Papa was a people person not only that, he was everyone's person. 
I'm just here to help him spread the love! 

So here's a big shout out to Papa for the continuous support in achieving my goals.
 To all the men and women who have died to protect the land that I love. 
To my friends and family serving the military, mission field, or valiantly doing what they can from home. 

Ya'll are the best. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Scripture Power

"….Scripture Power keeps me safe from sin, scripture power is the power to win...Scripture power, every day I need, the POWER THAT I GET EACH TIME I REEEEEEAAADDD!" 

Anyone else know this song? Careful, it’s pretty catchy! If you do know it, I apologize for it being suck in your head the rest of the day :P

Well, when I posted that post about packing and such I realized just how nervous and anxious it makes me feel being subject to the judgment of people I don’t even know. This kind of stuff REALLY scares me, and I didn't realize it until I saw how many people read that post! 

What did I just dooo!? hahahaha! 
I guess I better get over that. After all, my sister and I are running for President/Vice President in the 2032 Election…

for real though.

One of the BIGGEST weakness I have is allowing myself to be vulnerable (which is a little ironic I think) and it's probably something I should learn to be ok with….eventually.

The mission is definitely going to teach me and help me along with that.

People are going to have strong feelings about what I’m doing and what I stand for. They’re either gonna love me or hate me.

Sooooo I guess that’s why I decided maybe now would be a good time to start peeling back some layers. 

Lets just reminisce on this scene for a second:

Shrek: For your information, there's a lot more to ogres than people think.
Donkey: Example?
Shrek: Example... uh... ogres are like onions!
[holds up an onion, which Donkey sniffs]
Donkey: They stink?
Shrek: Yes... No!
Donkey: Oh, they make you cry?
Shrek: No!
Donkey: Oh, you leave 'em out in the sun, they get all brown, start sproutin' little white hairs...
Shrek: [peels an onion] NO! Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. You get it? We both have layers.
[walks off]
Donkey: Oh, you both have LAYERS. Oh. You know, not everybody like onions. What about cake? Everybody loves cake!
Shrek: I don't care what everyone else likes! Ogres are not like cakes.

SO FUNNY. I love Shrek. 

Anyway. People have layers too. Lots-a layer! So People = Ogres = Onions
Moral of the story: Wear deodorant, because you'll stink if ya don't! 

I crack myself up.   Really, I do.


One of my favorite things to do is look at other people’s scriptures; see how they mark, what they write, and what they keep there. It’s the safest and best place to store all those little things that really mean the most, whether they be thoughts or pictures; it’s like a little peek into the heart.

I got my set of scriptures the day I was baptized. September 1, 2001. They belonged to my mom, I’m pretty sure that my dad gave them to her. She offered them to my two older sisters when they were baptized, but both opted for a fresh new set of their own.

So I got them. A maroon mini quad with a snap on the front.
Small, simple, and sentimental.


When I got them there were only a few highlighted scriptures. Buuuuuuttt after 11 years, seminary, institute, and all my personal study it’s safe to say they've gone through a LOT.

The least merciful of them being my primary years.
Kinda cute though...right? haha

I think we all went through a phase where we thought that highlighting every single verse read  was a REALLY good idea. I right?? 

Well it happened to me. FOR SURE.

I had fun.

Sometimes I feel like an archaeologist looking though my scriptures, I can tell exactly what time of life I was in when I  highlighted each scripture because of the coloring job or what kind of pen, pencil, or crayon was used to do the job.

My horrible spelling and handwriting from those tender Primary years reminds me that I wasn't always perfect while the worn pages and inkblots from the pens that I use now remind me that, at least in this life, I never will be ;)
Yep..Thats GLITTER over that scripture!!! I only use glitter to mark the most special verses ;)
Let your light so shine! 
That last bit of Moroni. It's the best. I like it. 
Stickers, the "coloring pages", pictures, quotes, the Brasil Flag by my mission scripture.
A well loved set of scriptures! 

I keep a lot of pictures in my scriptures.
At the top is a copy of my mission call and patriarchal blessing
shrunken up to fit the baby sized scriptures that I have. 

At the back I keep sticky tabs, and a Rick’s Ready Reference. It’s amazing!

I love being able to search for a topic on my pone and get a whole list of scriptures almost instantly. Well, we don’t get that luxury on the mission, but this little black book is the best substitute!
Gotta have the Pokemon card too! 

Behind that I keep some letters, one from my Uncle Lucky who passed away a few years ago and another from a close friend (which shares an envelope with my patriarchal blessing and some notes from my old roommate and her husband.)

I used to keep a hymn book back there too, but it stressed out the case so much that I have it separate now. The outside pocket is filled with pictures of my family and random quotes from different lessons. 

So yeah. That has been your special tour of my scriptures! I'm excited to have them with me on my mission and to learn to love them even more!! 

It might be time to retire them when I get back though. I don't know that there will be ANY blank pages by then!! 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How George McDonald Stole My Heart

I took a stab at the 'Typography' thing...and this is what happened.
Definitely less than perfect, but a little prettier than plain words on paper. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

50 Outfits + 1 Carry On = Mad Packing Skills

Last week I came to Texas to visit my Dad!

Yep...That's us. 

I brought one carry on sized bag and a backpack for three weeks of fun in the Texas sun! 

While here, I came across this photo and was inspired to make a "Mission Capsule" suitable for myself, and all us soon-to-be Sister Missionaries.

Now we can't exactly wear tank tops or short shorts on the mission so I had to throw in some more skirts and tops to make it all work out. 

In the end I used 15 pieces for roughly 30 outfits. 
Some...not so super cute, but I made it work! 

Excuse the mess... you know how it is ;)

Some times I find myself getting super jealous of the Elders. They just have to worry about white shirts and that they alternate ties every day. Wouldn't that be great if we could just wear the SAME thing EVERY DAY? 

Yeah, it would...

But it would also be pretty boring. 

We, as Sisters, get variation (to the MAX). Shoes, skirts, belts, tops, cardigans/sweaters, and jewelry make it all possible to create a wardrobe out of virtually nothing. 

But here's the reality of it all. 

1. It's hard to think of a new way to mix it all up sometimes
2. It's easy to wear our favorite outfit once a week without even noticing.
3. Repetition happens

                                           ...although there are some of us out there who are genius about this stuff and work REALLY hard to keep it fresh every time.  Kudos to you ladies!

I've noticed that a LOT of us tend to over shop for the mission and end up having to sell our extra clothes online to other soon-to-be missionaries. 

SO before you go spend your life away on (which is FANTASTIC by the way) 
 here's my tips for making the MOST of what you've got already! 
(and if you literally don't have ANYTHING keep these things in mind while purchasing clothes) 

  • Black and white/ivory basically go with everything! Neutrals are your friend! 

  • Solid skirts or skirts with lots of coloring (not necessarily bright though) make it easier to mix and match too, skirts that have just two colors often become what I like to call a "one trick pony" and don't make the mission wardrobe very efficient or versatile.

  • Ideally you'd have pieces that are all in the same color palate which makes it WAY easier to mix and match. Having a color palette wardrobe takes a lot of time and work to get right, as you get older and your body is constantly the same size you'll probably notice your wardrobe leans towards a certain group of colors, for me it's almost always been blue. But if you keep this in mind as your shopping for clothes I PROMISE it'll make it easier to mix and match your stuff. 

  • Think of the two or three colors or tones you wear the most and then pick an 'accent color', try your best to build your wardrobe around that and the neutral colors like black, grey, white, and tan. 

(You may vary in color every now and then and that's ok...but be careful! 
 I bought a grey and yellow skirt once thinking it would be a GREAT addition to my mission closet. Only...I don't wear yellow...EVER, so that caused me to buy a yellow cardigan to wear with it- and I cant mix and match ANY of that with what I already have- my "One Trick Pony.")

Speaking of ponies, here's mine! :]  His name is Zane.       

My compilation of outfits used 4 skirts, 7 tops, 3 cardigans, and 1 dress

30 outfits. out of that. 

What's more, is that it can all fit into a carry on bag!  

Well, that and WAY MORE. Here's the list of EVERYTHING I was able to fit inside that baby bag:
15 Tops
8 Cardigans 
5 Skirts
1 Slip
1 Dress
7 T-Shirts
3 Pairs of Yoga Pants
3 Sweatshirts
1 Pair of Jeans
a TON of Socks
7 Sets of G's 
7 Undershirts 
Nylons and an extra bra. 


A Full bottle of: Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash, Face Wash, Contact Solution
Toothpaste and a toothbrush
Shoes (came with one pair, going out with 4...yikes.) 

OH! And a hairdryer and straighter. 


Impressive, right? If you're interested to see how in the WORLD I managed to fit so much into such a little space...let me know! I leave Texas in two weeks and will be packing all that (PLUS MORE) into my suitcase.

Anyway, I figure with everything that I have, I could probably do at LEAST 50 outfits maybe more, which pretty much covers one transfer. Now that is a beautiful thing! 

Getting tired of the clothes we have on the mission is pretty much unavoidable. But it's not about us. It's about the people we're going to be teaching. Let's do our best to look approachable though, yeah? 
I have a feeling we're going to be the cutest Sister Missionaries the world has ever seen (me being at the bottom of that spectrum ;]) 
No more of that Pioneer/Grandma looking missionary stereotype! (no offense grandma :]) 

I am so proud to be one of the tens of thousands of missionaries serving the Lord. 

MTC bound in 43 Days!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

The More You Know...

Mission Advice: I just eat it up! It was the first thing I started gathering after I received my mission call. Before- I had ZERO connections to the foreign land of Florianoplis, now...well... 
It's a small world!  

The first connection that was made was just moments after I finally figured out how to say the location of my mission. My friend Sarah practically yelled, "that's where Sam is going too!"

I know Sam from high school, and now we'll be serving in the same mission! Say whaaat? But seriously- How cool is that? 

Let me just say that technology is AMAZING these days. There are two facebook groups that I am a part of. "Many are called...few are Sisters" and "We are as the Army of Helaman" both are for soon-to-be missionaries to talk with each other, find others who will be serving in the same mission, but most importantly it's the best place to ask questions! Everyone is going through the same thing together, and we're all figuring this whole mission thing out. So, whether it be problems with a Visa, finding clothing, or the adversary has just given you a beating- this is where you go to get answers, advice, and hundreds- Heck, THOUSANDS of other young men and women who are going through the EXACT same thing as you. 

it's awesome

Now these are great, but I've made a couple of friends in the weirdest places online in the past couple months. The two that have been the most helpful...Yahoo Answers guessed it. Instagram!

The first I met on Yahoo Answers, he served in the Brazil, Florianopolis mission as well! My dear Instagram friend is from Brazil, served in Floianopolis, and is now living in Italy! 

So, here's some 'Mission Specific' information that is just GOLD:

Contrary to popular belief (aka my mind) it DOES get cold in Brazil. “And it’s not that it’s just cold that’s the problem, it’s getting OUT of the cold that’s the problem. Bring warm clothes; especially things that you can layer that won’t add a ton of extra bulk.“

“Games are great to learn another language, so is Music!”

“Brazillians are the most open people, they love you no matter who you are and everyone is so nice.  Of course you get the occasional bible bash but gennerally they are very accepting.” 
“The southern part of Brazil is really European so we don't have quite the success that they do up north, but our mission is the leading mission of the south!”

“So that was hard sometimes, really working really hard and seeing no results, but in the end it all pays off.  When you are doing all that you can eventually the blessings come!  Its just a trial of faith!!” 

“President Fernandes is awesome.  He is very into 100% obedience and he isn't afraid to lay down the law if you get what I mean, but you will love sister as well.  Both of them are amazing.

 “The members are really excited with him there and he is an amazing guy!! He can play around with you, but when its time to get serious he also has that side.

 ”Over the summer from like october to march-ish it gets really hot, january has some very hot days and the humidity is like you are swimming, you basically dont get dry for 5 months.

“But it is very humid to say the least which makes the hot hotter and the cold colder.

I am SO PUMPED to go experience Brazil for myself! Only TWO months left!! Who's excited!?