Thursday, December 15, 2011


I grew up on the oldies, and Marvin Gaye is one of those amazing singers that I heard on KBEST95 while my dad drove my sister and I to school, quizzing us on who sang what song and the names of the songs.

When I was thinking about friends that I have, for some reason the title of this song came into my head. How sweet it really truly is, to be loved by friends. It's one of the greatest feelings in the world (it goes right along with being remembered.) And with my past experiences with friends, I really truly mean that from the bottom of my heart (well I should say butt, because it's bigger) (ok that was a pinterest joke but it's true.) There's no feeling like the feeling of being alone, betrayed and friendless. But I'd rather remember the moments when I've had the secure feeling knowing that there's someone there to be a good friend.

Moving from Provo to Salt Lake was a great change for me and I've met amazing people, and made amazing friends. Considering it was finals week, I didn't even bother to think about my birthday coming up. It was the last thing on my mind. I had papers to write, presentations to make, finals to pass... and my birthday was at the end of it all and I just couldn't think about it. I don't like to bother other people either, especially since my birthday always lands during finals week as well as Christmas time and everyone is off seeing the MoTab in concert and whatnot.

Luckily, I have good friends. I received texts asking what we were doing for my birthday, and when I said I didn't know they all began texting each other until I ran into one of my old roommates, Jessie, who said, "So, my phone has been blowing up with everyone asking about your birthday..." And tonight we went out to eat. Jessie brought balloons and a cake (she's so responsible) (and AWESOME) and it was a very, very funny evening. If it weren't for a couple of great friends, I would've stayed home and been completely fine with it. But this was really a treat :)

Everyone was looking at the camera so only Al and I know what really was happening right before the photo... needless to say it was... something that made me turn bright red... and laugh... and cringe.

Jessie is truly a friend that everyone should have, and I don't know how I got so lucky so have her as one of mine.

This might seem like routine for a friends birthday for them, and really not that big of a deal... but it is. Being remembered and knowing that people really do care about me is an amazing feeling and I am so grateful that I have made such good friends. I miss not having them around all the time.

I woke up to these notes littered in the apartment. You would think my roommate would know how to spell my name correctly... It's ok, she's too kind!

FROZEN OREOS!! I knew it when I touched it.

One of my good friends from my youth and I became obsessed with Switchfoot in high school, and they were my first concert I ever went to. I just realized last night that this is my song for today, well, and to kick off my 24th year.... and the song I'll be posting on all my friends facebook pages for when they turn the big 2-4. It came out 8 years ago when I was 16, and 24 seemed so far away...

Can men and women be friends?

1st thought that runs through my head: of course.

Now... watch this:

Then I continue with my thought, "Of course they can just be friends. They just took a lot of interviews and cropped them to make the audience view this statement how they want them to." When confronted about how predictable my response was to the video because I'm a woman, I thought about it and said, "No... I really believe it!" The first person I thought of to use as an example was a co-worker I am good friends with and completely open and honest with about everything... and then I had to re-think about that friendship and came to the conclusion it doesn't count... because he's gay. Can men and women really not be friends?

I decided to begin interviewing. First I began interviewing the people I work with. Considering they're all guys... I was really interested to hear their opinions. I asked them a few questions. 1. Can men and women be friends? 2. Do you consider us friends? Work friends? Or not friends at all? Here are the results...

Opinion #1: No... no they can't. And a friend is someone you've hung out with outside of work. And it doesn't count if one of the two are in a relationship. You're a work friend, which is different, because I don't consider work friends, friends. (I felt a stab in the back with that harsh statement!)

Opinion #2: Yes... but 90% of the time, no. We're friends, but most of the time for other people it's not that way. (Ok, I'm beginning to warm up to this way of thinking...)

Opinion #3: Yes. I agree with opinion #2.

Opinion #4: Yes. And I consider you work friends, but note that I do see you more than my family and close friends, so... (yeah, that was my boss. I felt special. He specifically told me not to get mushy though.)

Opinion #5: Yes. (Long discussion, can you tell?)

Opinion #6: What is a definition of friend? Because, if one of the two is fantasizing about the other, then no... but the other person doesn't know, yet they're still friends. You can't eliminate that sexual tension, especially if the two are single... even if it's in the back of your head.

Opinion #7: Yes, IF the girl is ugly. (My personal favorite.)

Opinion #8: (Random girl checking in book that I asked) No. I didn't know that my best friend growing up was totally in love with me, so... nope. (Come on girl, you're not helping my case here!)

Opinion #9: Yes. Wait... why wouldn't they be?

Opinion #10: No. Unless, not to sound like a douche, but unless there's no attraction. Then yes.

Opinion #9: (after hearing opinion #10) Oh... ok. Yeah, Kelsy, I think this might create a problem between us.

Is it possible that men and women can't be friends, no matter how little the interest may be? Over the process of these interviews I've heard a lot of different opinions, which has caused me to reflect over this question. Why do I believe they can be? Am I in denial? Is this just a protective cover that I (or we as women) put up when in reality we know that every time we meet someone of the opposite sex we judge their character or their looks or whether or not something someday we could possibly date them? Is it just to save face? Do we deny the sexual tension that lies in between the sexes, even if the guy is a total douche? (OK, that one I can answer... YES.) These are all questions that have been raised during my informal research... and came to a surprising conclusion. (Surprising because I felt so strongly about my first opinion... but as I spell it out, nope, not surprising.)

This is the result that I came to, after hearing opinions (from mostly men): Men and Women, 90% of the time, cannot be friends (the other 10% is when the other person may not be attracted to that particular sex... as well as if BOTH parties are not attracted to each other). I have this handicap: when I am around a guy I'm interested in, I become a total idiot and become a stupid girl rather than the really cool girl that I am (yeah, I just said that. What of it?) Too often, I'm that really cool girl around guys I'm not interested in and they take my totally awesome personality the wrong way.

So after a week of questioning, pondering, and debating with my inner self... I came to this conclusion based on answers primarily from the male sex:

Men and women CAN be friends!

I'm a girl and I will always believe that men and women can be friends. While I think that we can, most of the time it isn't mutual... because men don't think like women. I will continue to say that I consider many of my male friends JUST friends... but I can't always say that's mutual. Like my friend Kim said, "This has made me question a lot of my male friendships... So, do I even have male friends?? Have all my male friendships been lies??"

For me, I believe fully that men and women can be friends. Men might not have the same viewpoint, but my viewpoint is the only one that matters to me. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Taken for Granted

I've realized that there's things I truly appreciated and absolutely looked forward to on my mission that I hoped I'd continue afterwards. It's amazing how time gets filled so quickly and the ambitions I once had slowly fade away until one day I realize, "Wait a second, this is great... why haven't I been doing this the whole time?"

Here are some things that I take for granted, that I truly appreciated as a missionary:

1. The Ensign. I loved it, loved reading the stories in it... it was like a mini- general conference each month.
2. Temple worship. We could only go once every 6 months, which made me appreciate the value of it more.
3. Visiting teaching. Almost all of the wards I served in had a completely broken visiting teaching program that many souls could have been saved by if they were fixed... and I vowed that when I came back that I would do my duty to make it successful in my ward.
4. Lesson manuels. There's a reason why there are teacher and student manuals, so students can prepare and get the most out of their sunday school lessons.
5. Service opportunities. We looked for them everywhere. Now... I just occupy my time with work and school when I know I'm happiest when I am helping others.

Would the missionary I was a year and a half ago be disappointed in who I had become today? I don't think so... but definitely saddened that I didn't try harder to accomplish these goals I had set to do as frequently as possible. It's possible to do, and I need to remember why I had these goals in the first place: to strengthen my faith and testimony, to not give into temptation, and to be an example of the believers.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ode to the iPhone

You've done me no wrong. When I used and abused you, you were nothing but kind to me and lasted me as long as I would still have you for. I have become attached to you, dear cell phone with the "icrack" app that has prevented many from stealing you from me. Thank you for lasting me 1 1/2 years with many drops, and a year with your handicap. I was the only one that could read you, which became useful when I didn't want anyone to see a text. Thank you for being a great conversation starter. Thank you for getting men to use you as a great pick up line. We've had so many good times together, and I will never forget you my dear, first, iPhone.

Once Upon a Time

I absolutely love this show. It's one of the few (if any) shows I make sure to hulu each week since I don't have cable. It's like a movie... a very long movie that reminds me of Lost in that it tells you a story about a specific character in each episode and takes you to their past... and you start seeing the connections within the storyline.

I do have some questions:

1. If everyone in Storybrook is a fairy tale character- who is the Sheriff??
2. If David was in the hospital for years in Storybrook, how did his wife not know he was in the hospital in her hometown? Or does she not live in Storybrook? And if not, how did he get out of Storybrook since no one can leave Storybrook??
3. Ginnifer Goodwin is a movie actress, I'm curious as to how many seasons it will last?
4. If it lasts longer than one season, do you think they would have a totally horrible ending like Lost because they dragged it out too long? I hope they won't do that, it would let their audience down!

Doesn't hurt that Prince Charming is ridiculously good looking either.

I love each episode, but I really enjoyed this past Sundays'... "The Shepard." I totally related with Jennifer Goodwins' character what she said in the last scene:

"You ever walk into a situation where you know exactly what's going to happen? And then you go into it anyways. And then when what you're afraid of happens, you kick yourself because you should've known better. But that's just who you are, as if you're just punishing yourself."

I guess that's just what happens to hopeless romantics... too often! It worked out well for her in He's Just Not That Into You so I guess I have no choice but to keep pushing on. (Terrible and raunchy movie by the way. I don't recommend it. Unless you need to learn the lessons that are taught... then find a clean version of it. I often find myself asking girls telling me stories about guys if they've ever seen the movie... because they're just not that into them.)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Days of Thanks

Each day of this month I have recorded what I am grateful for. Most of the time, the thanks that I give pertains to something that has happened that day- which reminds me of the Lords hand in my life on a daily basis. There is something to be grateful for in each day.

1. Heaters
2. Air conditioners
3. Carpet
4. Clean water from the tap that I don't have to bleach or boil to avoid parasites
5. Snow.  (It's so beautiful, and so much fun to ski in!)
6. Church leaders who show up to church on time and prepared
7. Public servicemen such as: police officers, firemen, paramedics and alert systems
8. That I have made some good friends in my classes this semester
9. My jobs. I can never complain about work. "HERE'S TO JOBS!" (Thanksgiving '08)
10. My ability to read & write.
11. Nyquil, Dayquil, Halls cough drops & sore throat remedies
12. Umbrellas (I used for both sunshine and rain in Paraguay- mostly snow here in Utah)
13. The Eakins, my only family in Utah.
14. Pinterest, because I honestly could not come up with anything this creative on my own.
15. Long-distance relatives- it makes the visits much more meaningful
16. The gospel.
17. My Savior.
18. I have a deep gratitude for when someone remembers me.
19. My mom.
20. Happy moments.
21. Kory who stuck w/ me through 26.2 miles of laughs, songs, worries, pain & celebration
22. Memories of the mission
23. Siblings & in-laws who enjoy skiing
24. Very grateful that the Thanksgiving movie was so easy to chose this year. And that mom sold the boat so we can keep the condo & traditions.
25. Hand & feet warmers. And fireplaces for when they don't work.
26. A car. I mean it. Even though it's been breaking everywhere, I'm glad I have it.
27. Grateful for Christmas lights. I love Christmas lights, celebrating the season, and grateful for people who say, "Merry Christmas."
28. I'm grateful that I had covered parking for at least 2 months. Now it's gone, someone moved into that designated apartment. But I'm glad I didn't have to scrape off ice for 2 months! In process of finding another empty apartment so I can park in their spot...
29. The United States and EVERYTHING it stands for
30. What an excellent way to end November, a day full of thanks and surprises: SUPER grateful that tickets are selling for my event on Saturday, that the copy machine worked at Kinkos to get the fliers printed, that I nailed my mock interview, grateful that I didn't get attacked on the way to my car on the night I don't have my mace with me, for the trees lit up on Foothill that make me smile every time I drive to and from school, grateful that I have made good friendships, that things I was having anxiety about I suddenly became excited for... today was a good day. Full of things to be grateful for.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Good Tradition Never Dies

Every year my family and I have Thanksgiving in Utah. We've been coming up to Utah the week of Thanksgiving ever since I can remember. We spend it with good family friends (I'd say they're more family than some of our extended family), the Eakins, who live in Sandy. Each year the two families come together and traditions are made, funny memories are remembered and new traditions and stories are made for future years.

We kicked it off this year with a full day of skiing at Alta (where else?) This was a monumental year! Steve went skiing! And from what I've heard, he's had a blast skiing. This was absolutely fantastic! Kaitlin & I spent the two hours he was in a lesson taking over the slopes- which was her first time in 6 years! What a trooper.

What a beautiful day for skiing!

Later in the afternoon I skiied with Christian & Juanita. We were the last ones on sugarloaf- which felt great.

This year is different, not in a bad way, but different in that Jean & Jim, the parents of the Eakins, recently left on a mission for Guam. Jean is the master at making killer dinner rolls, and Jim is always the master of carving the turkey each year. None of the other Eakins kids planned on coming out for Thanksgiving... only Jenna. Who lives in her parents house, and had no other option but to entertain the Welch's for Thanksgiving. We had some new and fun memories this year. One being that Jenna saved the day by nervously cooking the turkey even though she had no idea how to, and no one was around to help her.

Followed by Buddy completely pooping in the middle of the kitchen where everyone was walking around and cooking, rather than finding solitude to poop on carpet somewhere hidden. And the Welch's do one thing absolutely fantastic- play cards while the Eakins prepare us dinner.

Doing what Welch's do best.

Don't be fooled by this shot. We really did help out. Jenna was right there playing with us because we were just waiting on the rolls to rise. But here are some other photos to prove we really did help out:
Cleaning up
Dad doing dishes.
Juan was really more helpful that this picutre portrays...
The dog man.

Here at this Thanksgiving tradition with the Welch's & Eakins, we don't know how to accomodate for a smaller party of 8. We only know how to cook for the masses. We had enough matinelli's so that each person could have their own bottle, and then some.

We had enough pies so that each person could have an entire pie, and then some.

Jenna made two different kinds of rolls recipes.

She was hesistant if they would turn out, and after the dough finally rising it became known as the "Thanksgiving miracle!"

Two different kinds of stuffings were made (and the corn bread stuffing was a HIT and is definitely a new tradition!) And a double recipe of the pink fluff was made as well... which we barely made a dent in though it was so dang delicious.
Steve and I peeled 10 lbs. of bite-size potatoes; him with a peeler, and me with a knife- which looked like we didn't even touch after dinner. Dad became the turkey carver this year, and for the first time in years, sat at the head of the Thanksgiving dinner table!

Why is it that Thanksgiving dinner, out of all the dinners in the year, fills you up the quickest? No one had any room for pie after dinner. We went straight to see the Muppet movie (HIT! Loved it.) and then had pie afterwards.

"What is it with people when you give them a camera, they turn into idiots!"

Friday after Thanksgiving, we always go to see the lights on Temple Square- another great tradition.
"I've been blinded by the light!" Wait for it... "Oh, haha, I get it."

We went over to see the lights at the conference center and went up stairs. Unknowingly to me, Jenna had asked how to get outside to someone working there and she said we had to go downstairs, outside, and then up the stairs outside. I saw a door and said, "Let's go outside." Jenna said, "We can't, it's locked." I went over and pushed on it, "No it's not..." Jenna whispered, "Hurry! Walk fast! Walk fast! Walk fast!" We then rushed outside laughing hysterically- followed by a man telling us we couldn't walk out that door.

Jenna was consistently taking photos for her parents so that they could feel like they were actually there.  Dad began taking photos on his cell phone and so Christian and I decided to jump into his photo. When Dad decided to jump into Jenna's photo- she kicked him out.

A bright red face after a bitter-cold day of skiing!

Thanksgiving is a week I get so excited for. I love traditions, being with my family and close friends, and creating memories. It's my favorite holiday of the year, because of our solid tradition of coming to Utah. All of the kids in both families have grown up, most are married & have kids, and not everyone can come out each year. But it's fun for those who can make it. I'd like to call us "the keepers of tradition" in the families.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

If you're ever feeling down, buy halls cough drops.

Thursday, my boss had my sanitize everything at the desk.

"Everyone is getting sick. I can't afford for anyone else to get sick!"

I sanitized, and then I came back that night for another shift. I sanitized again. I went back to the security office later to get myself a slice of some homemade bread, and before touching it I thought to myself, "I should probably sanitize my hands before eating this." The bathroom was far away, so was the sanitizer. "Whatever." I thought, and ate the delicious bread.

That night, on my way home from work, I began coughing.

I started work yesterday morning and felt incredibly exhausted, my throat began hurting. I went home after work to stay in bed all day and watch netflix while my throat was throbbing. I found some throat relief remedies on the internet (it is actually QUITE delightful- recipe to follow) and went to the store to buy some honey. I slept all night like a rock.

This morning I woke up, having to go to work, and stopped at the grocery store to buy some cough drops since my throat remedy would have been difficult to make at work. I decided to not go cheap and buy Halls lemon/honey throat something-or-others. To my pleasant surprise, each wrapper has a message, or five! Just like dove chocolates. It makes my cough drop experience that much better. Here are some of the things that the cough drop wrappers have told me to raise my spirits:

Tough is your middle name
You got it in you
Impress yourself today
Buckle down and go forth!
Go get it!

Go for it
Get through it
Put a little strut in it
Don't waste a precious minute.
Don't give up on yourself.
Fire up those engines!
The show must go on. Or work.
Take charge and mean it.
Inspire envy.
Push on!
March forward!
It's yours for the taking
Nothing you can't handle
You can do it and you know it
Get back in there champ!
Conquer today.
Hi-five yourself
Bet on yourself
Seize the day
Flex your "can do" muscle
Be unstoppable
Take charge and mean it
Power through
Dust off and get up.
Keep your chin up
Elicit a few "wows" today
Change your "can do" into "can did!"
You got it in you.

What a better way to uplift someone who is sick?!

Home-made throat stuff:
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1tbsp lemon juice
8 oz water

Heat up, and enjoy! I just kind of winged it with the honey and lemon to taste.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ch ch ch ch ch ch changing....

I have never, ever imagined I would be THIS excited to see snow fall. It's the first true snow fall of the season, where cars and streets are covered in white, and it just looks like a graceful Christmas morning at the beginning of November. I've lived in Utah for over 3 years and this is the first time I have ever been this excited to see snow (other than on my birthday last year when I went skiing in the middle of the week on a day when fresh powdered REINED). Why am I this excited? Is it because that means there will be snow on the mountains for Thanksgiving? Yes, I believe so. Is it because it's beautiful? Why yes... I do believe so!

This just strikes me as funny because this time last year, I was cursing the snow. I cursed the snow ever since I moved to Utah, other than on ski days. What has happened to me?

I used to curse mornings as well. I was NOT a morning person at all (and I have mission companions who could attest to that). Then I finally decided to change myself, considering how I have to talk to people at 5am.  Now, I love mornings. I feel like there's so much more that can get done in a morning and it's just this awesome feeling of morning-time. It's beautiful and crisp. I can carry on a conversation without wanting to shoot the person for trying to talk to me.

I guess I just realized how much someone can change. And it's all for the better. There's no one I'd rather avoid being around than a negative and cranky person all the time.  I used to be that person in the mornings and when it snowed. I'm so much happier loving snow (SKI SEASON!) and mornings. Who would've thought? I have a feeling this is going to be a really good season.
I saw this video earlier this week on twitter from Jimmy Kimmel, just another thing to make you smile:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My understanding of the new diet

A discussion on how I'm coming to an understanding of this new diet:

Suzanne: "Can you eat a breakfast burrito at 8:30?"
Kelsy: "Yeah, wait, no, wait, what? I thought we had a shake at 6."
Suzanne: "That's the 1st breakfast, this is 2nd breakfast."
Kelsy: "SWEET! Yes. I can totally do second breakfast."
Suzanne: "Ok, snack is at 11..."
Kelsy: "When's 2nd snack?"
Suzanne: "There is no second snack. Lunch is at 1:30..."
Kelsy: "When's second lunch?"
Suzanne: "There is no second lunch. Dinner is at 4:30..."
Kelsy: "... there's no second dinner either?"
Suzanne: "That's at 7."
Kelsy: "SWEET! When's dessert?"
Suzanne: "... oh yeah, there's 1st and 2nd dessert, the diet book just forgot to put it in there. And we're waking up at 4 to workout."
Kelsy: "This diet sucks."

Suzanne said I needed a motivational picture.  I thought she was going to show me a picture like this:

Or like this:

Instead, this is what Suzanne said should be my motivation picture:

Now after you are disgusted and appalled that I would even put this up (don't worry, I was, too) notice that it is a black woman, wearing caucasian leggings.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Interesting study habits, really good at procrastination, or ADHD?

I sit down to study, "I have to turn this in tomorrow. Oh wait, I need to get my laundry done." 
10 minutes later...
"Ok, seriously, laundry is in, focus. Wait, I haven't had lunch." 
5 minutes later...
"Time to focus. My desk is a disaster. Speaking of disasters, I have a pile of clothes on my chair. Clean-up time." 
10 minutes later...
"Alright, book is open, this is it. Not leaving my room until it's done. Oh that's right, I was going to clean my computer since it hasn't been cleaned since 2006." 
20 minutes later...
"Ok, I'm reading. This is good, wait, do people understand this whole illegal immigrants get in-state tuition thing? My parents are legal, they've been paying taxes for DECADES and I have to pay nonresident tuition? I MUST tweet about this." Tweets lead to facebook.
30 minutes later...
"Going in for the kill, seriously this time. Oh shoot, I need to mail in that rebate and return the random package I got." 
15 minutes later...
"', property tax, and, in some cases, federal and state income taxes which are withheld from their paychecks...' I shouldn't have put my study habits as my facebook status. That's blog worthy."

Seriously this time. I'm not blogging, tweeting, updating anything until I get this done.

Wait, what? Last nights modern family is on hulu today? Sorry paper, you just might have to wait another 20 minutes or so.

My computer IS really clean...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

DON'T go to Nick's Auto Group in La Mesa, CA; DO get your work done by EL TIGRE in Salt Lake City

August, 2010
I buy a car that had a 30-day warranty and on day 31 everything decided to break.  Just one thing after another.  First, it was the radiator and water coolant.  I had to replace my entire radiator, heating core, AC unit, and water coolant, I was recently told I had to replace the entire back unit for tail lights bc of the wiring, my window stopped rolling up, my blinkers and hazard lights stopped working, and to top it off,

December, 2010
I finally cave because of the freezing cold, and replace the heating core.

January, 2011
I can be a typical girl. Not thinking about registration, I parked my car on a public street and was ticketed 2 times in one week for not having registered plates (I HATE university parking).  Nick's Auto Group in La Mesa, CA NEVER got my car registered.  My dad had to go down there and force them to do the registration by threatening to file a lawsuit for never getting their work done- even 8 months after the sale.  Their excuse was that their DMV person was sick...  for 8 months?

June, 2011
I replaced my AC unit because I was sweating from every pore.  Oh yeah... my engine light went on and I found out I had a big problem with my transmission.  One that out of 3 shops, no one knew the problem.  I was told to drive the car until it just... dies.  Then rebuild the transmission, a $2-3,000 cost for parts alone.

August, 2011
Blinkers and hazard lights quit working.

Goal before November 1, 2011
"What needs to get done so I can pass safety and emissions, get my car registered in Utah, so I don't have to pay out-of-state tuition?"  I had to get a new license, file for a duplicate title (because the the shady auto group I bought my car from never got me a title, either), wait for the title, and then be able to register my car.

September, 2011
Window stops rolling up.

October, 2011
But wait, oh that's right... things just keep going wrong with my car.  I got my blinker and hazard lights fixed, had the test, and I failed the safety and emissions because my emergency break didn't work, my tail light was out and my engine light went on.  Moral of the story of the year: Girl can't catch a break.

BEST PART OF THIS STORY: Today I was ready to tackle it all.  Get things done.  Get things fixed, approved and registered.  I woke up at 8, got myself packed before my trip to California and then drove to El Tigre's shop in Salt Lake (on the corner of Main & 900 S).  El tigre (that's what they call him, seriously) had assisted me a week ago when I failed the safety test with the lady that works in the same shop as him.  I started speaking to him in spanish and we instantly became friends.  He checked my car out for free and told me to come back so he could fix it- and he gave me a very reasonable price.  At first he said I looked like a millionaire so he was going to charger me a ton, but when I came back later I was in sweats and a sweatshirt and asked if I looked like a millionaire anymore, so he wouldn't charge me so much.  Today when I went, he not only did he find out that what I thought was wrong wasn't wrong, and that he just needed to tighten a few things.  I asked him to clear my computer so I could pass my emissions test and get the engine light off and I had told him that I always wanted to learn how to work on cars.  I had called him on his cell (he gave it to me!) and he came in earlier than anticipated just to help me out.  He started teaching me some things on the car, like the spark plugs, the oil filter, the transmission, etc.  He practically saved me because he checked the oil and I had been driving it practically just on gas.  He drove me to an auto store to buy oil (bc it was clean out of oil), we got oil and an oil filter and drove back to fill it up.  (I swear it's leaking somewhere, I JUST filled it up- promise!) He couldn't help but laugh at me that I was driving it without oil, mocking me saying in a girly voice, "Yeah I filled it up- in 2003."  He helped me clean my spark plugs and told me to watch my oil and if it's starts running out rather quickly then to come back and he'd show me how to put on an oil filter.  Best part?  For all of his help- getting there early, checking out my brakes, tightening, checking my transmission, clearing my computer, driving me to a local auto store to buy oil and filling it up... he only charged me $40.  That's it.  It was like we were long-time buddies and he was just so nice about everything.  But I didn't have cash so I drove back to my apartment in Holladay, got my debit, went to an ATM, (all in hopes that maybe I'd be able to make it to the DMV in Draper- I hear that's where the lines are shortest- to register my car before my flight) called the DMV and asked if there was a wait time (nope) found a closer DMV in hopes that it wouldn't take me too long and I could get it done before my trip, went to the DMV, was in, out, ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom, I had my registration, went back to pay el tigre in cash, drove to a new hotel where I parked my car out while being in California for a few days (they were the cheapest to park a car there at a daily rate than all the others around them), found out that I didn't have to pay them as long as I was a patron of some sort buy a purchase, was able to borrow a flat head (at which the concierge thought I was asking for a person, I had to explain to him what a flathead was), got my plates changed (sad day but was bound to happen) and managed to get a shuttle to the airport AN HOUR AND 20 MINUTES BEFORE MY FLIGHT.   AND I was one of the last ones on the flight and still managed to get the front row, aisle seat, while all the other seats open were middle seats AND I drank water from an aluminum can for the first time. Say whaaaat??

It couldn't have worked out more perfect.  I called southwest to see how much it would be to change my flight to a later time so I could get my car registered at the DMV before I left.  Because it cost more, I decided to not do that and race to the finish.  It was fun and the Lord was looking out for me.  Just when I think things couldn't get any rougher with my car and never work out- there's a light at the end of the tunnel.  I could not believe how perfectly everything worked out today!  And I'M ENDING IT IN SAN DIEGO!!!  What more could I ask for?! 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mission Reunion

Paraguay Asuncion North Mission Reunion
September 30, 2011

Last night I had the opportunity to go to my mission reunion.  The last time I went was a year ago, I didn't get to go in April.  I was slightly hesitant on whether or not I wanted to go, and I don't know why.  But I went, and I am so incredibly glad that I did!  We mingled a little bit beforehand, and then we had President and Hermana Wade talk to us as a group.  Everyone introduced themselves, stated where they were and what they were doing.  To which, I responded, "I go to the University of Utah, go Cougars!"

In the main photo are wonderful hermanas that I had the opportunity to work with in Paraguay.  Leavitt (far left) was my MTC companion and was also a in  a trio with me for a week in the mission.  We lived with each other for 2 changes in the mission, 9 weeks in the MTC, a total of 5 months.  I was so blessed to have her as my first companion.  We used to have "Paraguay moments"; when we got so sick and tired of being in the MTC, we'd look on for anything pertaining to Paraguay to motivate us again and get us excited.  I had the opportunity to attend her sealing with another good mission friend this past August.

Hermana Nelson (2nd to the left) was my companion for a total of 3 days.  I think 3?  I can't remember.  But they were the most relieving 3 days of the last transfer in my mission.  I had a companion that was so sick that she couldn't work anymore and I felt like something was leeching the fire out of me.  Having Hermana Nelson and her excitement for the work got me motivated about working in my area again.  It was only 3 days but she did wonders for me.

Hermana Henderson (far right) was my companion for 2 changes.  We had so many good times together.  We definitely had a ton of highs, and our lows.  But I love this girl to death.  She shares some of our hilarious mission stories here:  
She made me drink a fish.

Hermana Wade
I could not have asked for a more understanding mother of the mission. Hermana Wade helped me during the one of roughest times during my mission. I had a companion that had a different view of the mission than I did, and it really brought me to the first time in my mission when I felt failure. Hermana Wade listened to my horrible cries on the phone when I didn't know what else to do, she gave me the best advice that anyone could have given me at the time. She is an amazing woman, and truly in touch with the spirit. I admire her faith, kindness and friendship dearly.

President Wade
Good old, P.Wade. How I love this man. If I ever had to stick up for him in the Heavens, I'd do it instantly- though I don't ever see that happening. I can say this with no exaggeration that P. Wade changed my life. He saved me from myself, making horrible decisions that I would have regretted forever. There is truth in what Elder Oaks said in the April 2009 conference, there's something to be learned from those who have gone before you. They have experience, and they know what they're talking about. I can not express my gratitude and my love for what he has taught me, and I will never let any of my kids live without knowing that this was an amazing man who, like his wife, is incredibly in-touch with the spirit in order to lift others up. He is a living example of becoming a tool in the Lord's hands.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Miracles never cease

I have been up, meaning to study, but procrastinating by looking at all my mission pictures.  I went to tag someone in my pictures, one page lead to another and I saw a picture that made my night.

Ok, so this got me curious, they're all in white... right?  So I kept looking, because I wasn't sure if I was just seeing things or what but...

You see the one in the middle?  That's Mai.  Mai is the eldest of 4 kids in a half Paraguayan/ Vietnamese family in Paraguay that I taught.  This family was found by the hermanas that opened the area before I arrived there, but we kept on visiting the family.  We got a couple of their daughters to come to a Stake Conference with us once, Mai was always friends with us but never around or "cool" enough to go to church.  I knew he wanted to, but it just wasn't cool enough.  And then he made friends. 

See Arnold, the young man on the far right?  Such a good kid.  Didn't serve a mission, but he has been doing a great job of continuing the work in the area.  I'm so happy that he's done such a great job of being a missionary and just inviting people to church activities and making friends.  

Hancel, Isidro, Hnas Welch y Garcia, Arnold
Hancel is a convert that Isidro & Arnold befriended

That's what I love so much about Paraguayans.  They make the church their life, and invite everyone to it regardless.  They have no fears of rejection, no fears of what their friends are going to say.  They love the church, they love their activities, and their excitement for the gospel gets people investigating.  Seeing these pictures and going through all my mission pictures made me miss the people there SO much.  I really did develop a love for them that I can't lose.  I miss them.  And I am so grateful that the work continues.  I love seeing things like this.  It makes me grateful for social networking- no matter how frustrated I get with it, it is such a blessing.

And this is what I found in his baptism album on facebook:

Next miracle, same album:

Check out the girl dancing with the young man in green.  The Segovia family was totally inactive when I was in her area.  They always welcomed us with open arms to visit, but they didn't go to church because their dad didn't want to.  Their daughter wanted to go to church so bad, but wasn't allowed to go alone.  She loves the YW program, and even worked on it when her family wasn't going to church.  And her mom wanted to go, but it would've made their dad mad that they went to church without him, even though he didn't want to go.  He wanted to go when he was ready.  Within my 3 transfers in the area, I saw them at church once.  It was rough, and now I'm seeing her at a baptism interacting with the youth.  What a miracle, she's back at church activities.  

La Familia Segovia

The Lord never ceases to work miracles!  It's amazing and wonderful to see the work continuing on, and that somethings I had a part of weren't left behind.  I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to serve the Lord in Paraguay.  It was long, and very very VERY difficult.  I've never been more blessed in my life to have had the opportunity to meet such wonderful people.  I miss them so much.