Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What Else Is There?

I feel that before I write this post I ought to explain that title. Kathryn and I have kind of maybe sort of become obsessed with "The Swan Princess" (stop that judging, right now). One of the best parts is when Odette asks Derek if he likes her for anything more than beauty. He of course responds, "What else is there?" And so that line has been stuck in my head forever!

Well SO much has happened since the last time I really wrote about anything besides my mission call. Like a ton. I haven't done a life update since February. That's half a semester to catch up on! Not sure it's possible, but I'll try to do a quick review.

So of course I am still going through a lot of Italy withdrawals. Although they might be fits of anticipation now... Luckily, all of the girls from my study abroad have been going through the same thing so we have had a LOT of Italy reunions. From pilgrimages to Terra Mia to Yogurtland to Bridal Showers to eating pizza at the incredible Settebello we've had some great times. I love those girls!! I am so sad that a lot of them are either graduating or leaving for the summer, but I am so glad for the time we have had.

Those who stayed late at our big reunion

At Jenna's bridal shower

Libby threw a Jane Austen party. Yep, my friends are awesome!

I have also learned to make homemade artisan bread. It is SO easy and wonderfully tasty. Did I really need an excuse to eat more carbs? My waistline would say no...

Can you say yum?

Beyond those few things this semester has passed in a blur of school, work, STRESS, and singleness. It has honestly been one of the most roller coaster-y semesters of my life! There's been some low lows and high highs. Some crazy adventures and some boring study sessions. I suppose that's college. I am just so grateful to have great friends to get me through it and listen to my endless complaints.

So this past week was finals and of course by Saturday I was in need of a study break. Fortunately, my friends were feeling the same need and we headed down to Moab to enjoy National Parks Week at Arches. Can I just say that I LOVE Southern Utah? On this trip we hiked through the Devil's Garden. Despite the name the scenery is actually quite lovely. I also discovered my future life. I would like to inform you that in my next life I will be reincarnated as a big horned sheep. I mean, COME ON! It would be so sweet. I could nimbly climb rocks, I wouldn't fear heights, and it would be socially acceptable for me to hit people with my heard. I'll let you know how it goes...

See! I said it was gorgeous.

My hiking buddies.

Doesn't look very devilish to me. Just sayin...

Double O Arch

So maybe we were too lazy to hike to Delicate Arch, 
but it is there in the background.

Well I am done with finals!!!! Wahoo! That means no school until April 2015! What, what?! I am psyched. However, the end of school also means the beginning of goodbyes. For some strange reason my friends all decided to live exciting lives this summer. They are going on internships, missions, and study abroads all over the world. WHAT AM I GOING TO WITHOUT THEM?!?! If you don't know this I'll be a little shocked, but I am horrible with goodbyes. I just feel like they end everything and that life will not go on. Although it always does. But this time I am saying goodbye for a LONG time and most of my friends are going to be graduated when I get back. Alas, I'll miss them. If any of you read this, I LOVE YOU. Y'all are seriously great (am I allowed to say y'all?). Ahhh change stinks.

That's all for now! Bring on summer!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I Hope They Call Me On a Mission! Oh Wait, They Already Did...

Well as probably all of you reading this know I got my mission call! So I thought I'd blog about it and share my inner, juicy, and ever so exciting feelings. Was that enough hype for this post?

Let me just say that the last two weeks of waiting have been SO nerve racking! I have checked the mail  approximately 1,234,983 times in the last week (not an exaggeration at all). It got to the point that I was starting to get nervous stomach pains. Not exactly the best thing to happen the week before finals! On Monday night I had a horrible night of sleep and had even worse dreams. In one of the dreams I got a rejection letter that told me the Church already had enough missionaries and wouldn't be needing me. Yikes! I foolishly hoped that my call would come a day early and arrive on Tuesday. What foolishness! Of course it didn't come. So on Wednesday I frantically waited for my roommates to check the mail while I was at school and work.

At 3:30 on Wednesday I finally got the text. My. Mission. Call. Came. What?! How did this become real? I was so excited. I called my mom and sent out the texts to all of my friends. I set the opening time for 9:30. Just six hours to wait. Then came the pacing. Lots of pacing.

Thankfully I had work, the temple, and dinner with friends to distract me for the first five of the six hours. However, the last hour was spent at home staring at my call. Who knew a plain white envelope could be so interesting? Side note: holding your call up to the light will not allow you to see through the envelope.

Finally, at 9:30, it was time.

Before I talke about opening my call I think I should tell you about my thoughts about where I was going. Of course I wanted to go to Italy, but that wasn't why I put my papers in. I am going to serve the Lord, not to travel back to my favorite place ever. So I didn't really think it would happen. I mean I thought it was logical, but in the week before I got my call I was pretty convinced I was going to end up in the South. Somewhere humid, Bible belted, and deep fried.

So it was with much excitement that I read "You are assigned to labor in the Italy Rome Mission."


I am pretty sure that I am going back because I threw several coins in the Trevi Fountain. They say if you throw a second coin in the fountain you are guaranteed to come back.

Actually, I know that I am going to Rome because that is where the Lord wants me to serve. I know that that is where I am needed. I know that there are people waiting for me to talk to them. I know that it is where I will grow the most.

Anyways my call to Italy feels like a call home. Somehow I had always thought that if I got called to Italy it would be to Milan. I am bummed that Siena won't be in my mission, but I am excited to see more of Italy. I feel so blessed to go to a country where I know how things work. I get to share the gospel I love in a language I love and to a people that I already love. I am literally going to my favorite place in the world. How many people can say that?

The only downside is the impending weight gain. I gained 20 pounds in 3 months in Italy. How much am I going to gain in 18 months?!?! But who can really complain about a little more insulation when you're eating Bucatini all-Amatriciana, Giolitti, and San Crispino? No one! (Rome really does have so many of my favorite foods and restaurants)

I am so humbled by the opportunity to serve my Heavenly Father and share His truths with the Italian people.

The Gospel is true, I promise.

Me and Alisa with my call!

Oh you know just one of my favorite pictures I took of my mission!