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07 October 2013

Waves of Change

So many exciting and life-changing events are taking place in the lives of those I am closest to. Lexi, Rachel, and Jason are taking major steps in life and I couldn't be happier for them! I love each of them and will sum up all of the latest news for you!

Lexi & Taylor --> ENGAGED!!!
(My little sister & future brother-in-law)

Here is their engagement story from my perspective:
On a warm, Fall, Arizonan day Taylor took Lexi to Kiwanis Park for a breakfast picnic. They sat, talked, ate, took pictures, and the works. In the meantime, their favorite sister, Jenn (myself), was close by crouched behind a car on the side of the street creepily taking pictures of these two, anxiously awaiting the moment. I waited, took pictures of them, waited, and mostly got stared down by drivers passing by as I'm hiding with a big SLR camera. 

Finally I see some movement and Lexi quickly stands up off the picnic blanket and is jumping like a 4 year old saying, "Where is she?! Where is she hiding?!" haha, I assumed Lex was talking about me and figured Taylor had transitioned into getting ready to pop the question...

After the fact I came to find that she was talking about me, but Taylor's transition wasn't necessary when a random lady (that I couldn't see from my view) came and told them that there was someone taking pictures of them on the street. (HAHAHA!!) Taylor tried to play it off and was like, "Okay, thanks" and kept talking to Lex. The worried and concerned woman continued and said, "No really, there is someone taking pictures of you guys over there and I just thought I should let you know." (She'll never know she will be a part of their engagement story.) 

That was when Lex got up and anxiously was looking around for me, but also got really excited because she knew what was coming. (I would've loved to know what went through Taylor's mind at that time- Uhhh, not quite how I planned it, but I guess that's my que!) At that point he got on his knee, Lex was squealing and laughing like a teenage girl, he popped the question and asked for her hand in marriage, and she said YES!!! Happy day!! I am so excited for them and am glad I could be there to witness this event!

Rachel & Tim --> ENGAGED!!!
(My friend and roommate & her fiancé Timbo)

These two cuties got engaged as well!! I love both of them and think they make a great pair! You won't find a nicer and more caring couple! I feel lucky to have been here to witness their relationship from the very beginning up to marriage. I can't wait for their big day!! (Tim you owe me for stealing my awesome roommate!)

Jenn & Jason -->
Can you guess what's coming next?? 

Jason --> MISSION CALL!!!

Yup, that's right... Jason is going on a mission!!
He has been called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Idaho Nampa Mission! He reports to the Provo MTC on November 13th. He is going to be such an incredible missionary and will be changing the lives of all those Idahoans!

I couldn't be happier for him to be going on a full-tme mission to serve the Lord! He will seriously be an such an amazing missionary! I really respect and admire his decision to serve, even with being 25 years old, graduated with an engineering degree, and having a lot going for him at home. He is sacrificing more than the average 18 or 19 year old boy to serve and will see incredible blessings because of that. He has had quite the journey getting to this point and is very prepared because of the work he's put into having a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Although I am extremely excited for him, it will be really sad to let him go. 

And that leaves...

ME --> ???

There's a reason why this blog post is titled "Waves of Change." I'm feeling a large amount of change coming it's way and it's going to get crazy.

Right now:
Life is great! 
I am a senior at ASU and will be graduating in December. I am president of the Tempe LDS Institute Council at ASU. I am a research assistant on campus. I work part-time as a cognitive/brain trainer. I am dating an incredible and amazing man. I live with two great roommates and friends. 

I keep super busy with each of these aspects of my life and I love it! I enjoy being involved, serving, and spending time with family and friends. Unfortunately, pretty much ALL of these things are coming to an end or drastically changing within the next few months. 

In the near future:
  • Jason, my boyfriend, leaves on his mission in November. This is going to be a really sad change for me. We plan to keep in touch, but in the meantime I'll probably still date around and see what happens. 
  • Come December I will be graduated! Woo hoo! No more school until I do my masters! 
  • My research assistant position will also come to an end when I graduate. 
  • Sadly, I probably won't be able to continue as the institute council president because I will hopefully have a full-time job next semester.
  • My right hand woman, Lexi, is getting married in January and I feel like I'll never see her again! I know that's not the case, but that's how it seems to be with all my other married friends. haha!
On a positive note, I know that change is good. Uncomfortable, YES. But it can also be very beneficial. It will be a great time for growth, new job experiences, random hobbies, hanging out with different crowds, and making new friends!

Last but not least, General Conference was great this weekend and helped me feel more hopeful about embracing all of this change that will be happening soon! I love hearing the words of wisdom that come from the prophet and apostles! Some quotes that I really like include:

 If you are experiencing big decisions or lots of change as well, remember that the Lord will guide you and will always be with you! It's all part of His great plan! :)

01 September 2013

I'm Back!

Hello there! 

Over two years ago I said my good-byes to this blog and went on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I came home in January and rushed back into school 3 days later for the Spring 2013 semester. With the craziness of getting back into real life and immediately starting school, I was in a whirlwind and didn't even consider starting my up my blog again until recently. Although this will be a crazy busy semester, I've decided I am going to make the time keep it updated! (That's the plan at least!) 

I have family and friends who claim they heard more about my life and daily happenings while I was on my mission than they do now that I'm home. Hopefully this can help with keeping people I'm close with more in the loop! It's also for my own sake so that I can have a more visual (and not as personal) journal to document my life. Those are the motivating forces that have led me to start the blog back up again. So I look forward to sharing with you my major life events and random thoughts.

{So much has happened in the past 26 months since my last blog entry! To fill the major gap from my last post, I'll start by recapping my mission in Nebraska the best I can without writing a novel. Wish me luck!}

Once upon a time...

On July 20, 2011 I left for my mission in Nebraska and had an INCREDIBLE experience! I loved my mission so much and met many amazing people. Not only was I able to see many lives changed, but my own life was changed in the process. I grew to love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ even more by serving them with all of my heart and abilities. 

I also loved serving at the Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters! The Mormon pioneers are awesome!! They are such a strong, dedicated, and faithful group of people! I was able to give tours to people and discuss gospel principles along with the journey of the Mormon pioneers from Nauvoo, Illinios, to Winter Quarters, all the way to Salt Lake City, and many places in between. 

A big and happy family...
I was very blessed to have all amazing companions and be around other incredible sisters as well! There were normally about 28 of us sisters that served at the visitors center at a time, so I was able to interact with and get to know many outstanding women! I was fortunate enough to serve with and learn from the senior couples. I loved learning from their wisdom and life experiences. They treated all of us younger sisters as if we were their granddaughters and made us feel very loved. We were a huge, happy family at the visitors center!

What you might not have known:

I had two incredible mission presidents, both with amazing wives: I love all of them so much and each couple played a significant role in my life!
The Kunz's
One of my first days in Nebraska. :)

The Weston's
One of my last days in Nebraska. :(

Nebraska has bi-polar weather... 

Summer time VS. Winter time
(A night and day difference.)

The Nebraska Omaha Mission covers most of Nebraska and little parts of Iowa, Kansas, and South Dakota.
Here we are in South Dakota for a zone conference!

 Right across the street from Mormon Trail Center there is the Winter Quarters Temple and cemetery!  (Don't know much about Winter Quarters? Click HERE to read some history.)

 "It has been referred to as the tragedy of Winter Quarters, but there was no tragedy here, for tragedy spells defeat and disaster. This was the victory of Winter Quarters, for here was faith and hope and charity raised to their loftiest pinnacles, while greed and selfishness were brought low. There are times and places in the life of every nation when great spiritual heights are reached, when courage become a living thing, when faith in God stands as the granite mountain wall firm and immovable, while hardships, want, hunger, sickness, sorrow and death beat down to crush. Winter Quarters was such a time and place for the Mormon people" (President Heber J. Grant, September 20, 1936, dedication of the Winter Quaters Monument).

Did I mention that it gets SUPER cold in Nebraska? 

Yeah, that's what we looked like walking out in the wind and snow. :) That's not creepy or anything. haha!

Good-Bye NE, Hello AZ!
Eventually all good things come to an end. I came home from my mission on January 4, 2013. I was welcomed at the airport by my loving family! I was very happy to see my family and friends back home! If it weren't for them I would've tried hiding out in NE to be a missionary longer. My family and friends were a huge support to me on my mission! It was a great reunion and I have enjoyed being able to spend time with them ever since! 

In Summary...
I loved my mission and wouldn't trade the experiences I had for the world! I refuse to make the mission the highlight of my life though. It has only gotten better since then and I have had some great missionary experiences since being home. My mission has been a great springboard, which has given me greater confidence in following the Spirit, serving those around me, and doing whatever the Lord would have me do. The journey has only begun and I can't wait to see what else Heavenly Father has up his sleeve for my life! I know that as I am obedient and doing the Lord's will, He can make so much more of my life than I ever could on my own. I'm grateful I can have confidence in His plan!

I'm all blogged out for now so I'll update you on the past 9 months next time! Thanks for reminiscing with me!