Thursday, February 28, 2013

Insider Scoop

One of my absolute favorite parts about studying at Brigham Young University is that I have professors who rub shoulders with general authorities on a regular basis. It is so fun to hear them tell stories about apostles and other church leaders. It helps me remember that they're normal people too.

This semester, I am taking LDS Marriage & Family from Brother Matthew Richardson (2nd counselor in the general Sunday school presidency). He is an amazing teacher, and I always love his class. I especially love it when he shares stories with us about church leaders. Here are a few of my favorites:

When Elder Packer was 16, he wore a suit that was way too big to church. The kids at church laughed at him, so he left. He said he was never going back to church. I forget the whole story, but it comes down to this: even though he had been humiliated, he couldn't stay away from church. He knew it was true, so he went back.

The second story comes from a meeting Brother Richardson was in with President Eyring. Actually, I think it was Elder Eyring at the time of the story, but I can't exactly remember. Anyway, President Eyring stood up to get the meeting started. He took off his suit jacket and rolled up his sleeves. Brother Richardson said this was the only time he had been in a meeting where an apostle just took off his jacket and rolled up his sleeves like that. President Eyring addressed the group, "I don't know what faith is." Brother Richardson said at this point in the meeting he was just floored. An apostle of the Lord, Jesus Christ said he didn't know what faith was! Brother Richardson just wanted to rattle off a primary answer or quote scripture. But then President Eyring tapped his finger to his lips and said, "But I do know what faith looks like. Faith looks like those who give their all to God, without knowing what all is." I just love that.

Okay, last story of the night. Brother Richardson was in another meeting being led by an apostle (I forget who). The apostle leading the meeting was talking about how a major problem in the church is that members aren't fully converted. He asked everyone in the meeting to report back to their next meeting with a 6-page report about receiving personal revelation and becoming converted. They were supposed to study the topic out in the scriptures and experiment in their own lives. Brother Richardson was sitting next to Sister Beck, the Relief Society General President. Sister Beck said she didn't know when she would find the time to do this assignment. She had just returned home from a training in Mexico and was preparing her talk for General Conference. Evidently her talk wasn't going so well. She said her home office was just a mess with crumpled up papers. Sister Beck decided to start completely over with her talk. This time, she relied fully on the Lord. She sought revelation as she prepared her talk. Her talk ended up being a lot about personal revelation. It makes her talk so much more meaningful (in my opinion) knowing that her talk on personal revelation came as a result of her own quest for personal revelation. Brother Richardson particularly liked one line of the talk: The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life. When Brother Richardson told Sister Beck how much he liked that particular line she told him about how that line came about. She had written that line as it now reads, but when the proof readers read it they suggested she change the word skill. They went back and forth several times, but Sister Beck felt strongly that "skill" was the appropriate word. Obviously, she won. Receving personal revelation is a skill. It is something we can acquire. Something we can get better at with practice. LOVE IT! Click here to read her General Conference talk in full.

Sister Chiou

On Tuesday night, Chloe and I had the privilege of picking Alena Sister Chiou up from the airport. She was with us for less than 24 hours before entering the MTC (Missionary Training Center), but she certainly blessed our apartment for those precious few hours she was with us. We love and miss her already!

Chloe and I left for the airport at 6:30 pm. Alena's plane was supposed to land at 7:27 pm. We thought we were cutting it close. Turns out we had plenty of time. Alena's plane was delayed for TWO HOURS! Chloe and I entertained ourselves with snacks and lots of playing on the escalators. We especially enjoyed dancing on the flat escalators. We even made friends with a cute little family. We also checked the monitors every 30 seconds in anticipation of seeing Alena. Needless to say, we were REALLY excited.

Alena FINALLY arrived and we ran past the line thing to hug her. Evidently you're supposed to greet people behind the line, but we were too excited to follow rules. The guys standing in front of Alena hurried out of our way saying "We better get out of the way or we'll get trampled!" Oops. A cute couple who was at the airport to pick up another sister missionary entering the MTC on Wednesday snapped a quick picture of the three of us.

 As you can see, Alena is holding the fabulous sign I made on the way to pick her up. Napkin + pen + very melted crayons = a masterpiece. All the people who were holding posters to welcome people off the plane were probably extremely jealous of Alena's napkin sign.

When we got home, Tall Todd and the rest of our roomies were there to greet Alena. Shortly after we arrived at the apartment, the B-11 boys came over and we had a birthday cake and sang happy birthday to Alena. We made a special gluten and dairy free cake, but it turns out Alena has decided to eat gluten and dairy now...haha, oh well.

We tried to get Alena to bed on time, but since her plane was so late we failed. Midnight is basically 10:30, right? We had a blast catching up.

In the morning, Alena made breakfast. She tricked me into thinking she made me a special breakfast, but really it was just her messed up attempt at hashbrowns. Everyone laughed because they thought I was really going to eat it, but I thought it would be rude not to at least try it. Thankfully, Alena gave in and told me it was a joke before I took a bite. Then they let  me eat the real breakfast.

After breakfast, Alena went to class with Chloe. I gave her a big hug and said goodbye see ya later.

It was such a treat to go home from classes that day and see that Alena had left us a sweet note on our white board.

Alena made our fall semester incredible. When I moved into B38, I had no idea that this stranger I was now living with would have such a big impact on my life. I never knew we would become such close friends. I will forever cherish all of our memories: Alena showing up at my bedroom door for girl talk, Alena singing in the living room, THE quote that we kept hidden on the back of the door, bouncing in between the beds, trying on all of Chloe's clothes, and the list goes on and on.

Florida better brace itself; Sister Chiou is on her way!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

NEEDED: Strong Man and/or Professional Boot Repairer

I have a heck of a lot of homework to do, but it's been a long day and I need to wallow for a few minutes. Feel free to find humor in my rather unfortunate day. I know today's boot drama (just wait for it) was hilarious, but right now I am not laughing. No, tonight I am listening to Rosi Golan sing about how it has been a looooong day as I eat muddy buddies and whine to my blog.

The boot drama...

This morning I went to put on my brown boots. Left foot in. Zip. Right foot in.! Stuck. The zipper was stuck. It wouldn't budge, up or down. Not only was the zipper stuck, I was stuck. In my boots. I sat on the floor and tugged and tugged. Nothing. Finally, I was able to wiggle my foot out of the boot. I put on my black boots and hurried to class (did I mention I was running late?).

Let's just say it wasn't my morning. To top it off, my struggles with the zipper left my hands all cut up (it got pretty intense). Touching things was a wee bit painful today. Especially door knobs. I always get shocked, and getting shocked on fingertip zipper cuts? OUCH.

Then came my ray of sunshine for the day. James brought me a candy bar at work! Chocolate solves most first world problems. Mitchell, jealous that I told James he was my favorite for bringing me chocolate, bought me the most delicious chicken sandwich I have ever consumed. It was so good.
Call me a dog, but I am totally okay if my reward for making it through my boot fiasco this morning comes in the form of food.

When I got home tonight, I tried desperately to save the boots. For over an hour I pulled and *gasp* cut. No luck. That zipper is STUCK. The little girl inside of me just wants to cry in frustration. The big girl in me says to suck it up and eat chocolate. The big girl won. 

So, if some really strong man wants to impress me with his brawn and try to rescue my boots...I wouldn't be opposed. Or, maybe you just like solving problems. My boots will gladly volunteer to be the problem you solve tonight. 

 Damsel in Distress

Disclaimer: I am fully aware that it is ridiculous to be so worked up about a pair of boots. I realize this problem is very minor in the grand scheme of things and that my life will not end just because I may never be able to wear my boots again. Life goes on. I will be okay.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Dear Whoever You Might Be

My roommates love to pick on me about my future husband. I may be slightly more in love with my future husband than most girls who haven't met their future husbands are. I pray for him a lot. One time during apartment bedtime prayer I prayed for all of my roommates' husbands. They laughed. But that's besides the point. I have this box. The Box. The Box contains letters to my husband and to myself and I get to open it when I get engaged. It's a pretty big deal. Anyway, Mom sent me a Valentine's Day card to add to The Box. Haha, mom bought a Valentine for me to give to my husband. My roommates really got a kick out of that. 
Silly Mom, haha.

Then yesterday, Chloe ran into my room insisting I stop doing my homework and listen to a song. You see, once upon a time I was having one of those days when I was tired of waiting and I just wanted future husband to show up on my doorstep and sweep me off my feet. Soooooo, I told Chloe I missed my husband. She told me I couldn't possibly miss someone I've never met, but I really did miss him! And then Chloe found this song:
Why are you so far from me?
In my arms is where you ought to be
How long will you make me wait?
I don't know how much more I can take
I missed you
But I haven't met you
Oh but I want to
How I do
Slowly counting down the days
Till I finally know your name
Ooo the way your hand feels 'round my wait
They way you laugh
The way your kisses taste
I missed you
But I haven't met you
Oh but I want to
How I do, How I do
I've missed you
But I haven't met you
Oh I missed you
I haven't met you
Oh but I want to
Oh how I want to
Dear whoever you might be
I'm still waiting patiently


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Galentine's Day

In case you were not aware, today (February 13th) is Galentine's Day. Today we celebrate our friendships with our favorite ladies. Allow me to introduce you to my Galentines:

Chlozell (Chloe) is the baby, daddy in the apartment. She is the youngest in the apartment and absolutely loves when I remind her and everyone else in the world that she is the baby. She is also the apartment dad, because she always chooses someone to say the prayer before we eat. 
Favorite pick-up line: "If you were a burger at McDonald's, you'd be a McGorgeous."

Gretzel (Greta) is my science buddy. We knocked out our science GE's together. Also, we have the same laundry schedule, which I think is pretty special. Be careful not to anger Greta, or she may erase a list of your favorite pick-up lines off the kitchen white-board.
Favorite pick-up line:  Oh wait, Greta doesn't have one...she just likes to erase them ;)

Admittedly, this is not a fair picture for me to post of Megan. First off, it doesn't continue with the picture theme of my roommates holding me. Secondly, Megan is actually a good cook and this picture just happened to catch her during a cake explosion mishap. It happens.
Favorite pick-up line: "Was that an earthquake or did you just rock my world?" 
**bonus variation** "Was that an ear ache or did you just rock my world?"

Obviously, I have the best Galentines ever.

Mardi Gras minus the beads, parades, drinking, New Orleans...we might as well re-name it Lisa Gras

B38 went on a little trip to Louisiana this week. Actually, that statement is a little misleading. In truth, we brought Louisiana to us. In honor of Mardi Gras (a holiday BYU does not acknowledge for some weird's like they don't want to encourage flashing for beads and drinking or something strange like that) we had king cake and gumbo. Let's just say my roommates have never been more happy to have a roommate from Louisiana.