Monday, October 3, 2011

Lesson learned in Utah

This last weekend was spent in Utah for my mission reunion/General Conference and I learned many many things. Many of these lessons were taught to me during General Conference because I made a list of questions that I would like answers to, provided by the Holy Ghost during the conference. I got answers, and it was awesome. This are not listed in order of importance, just in order of remembrance.

1. I am not moving to Spain next year :( I know right? tragedy! I was planning on applying for a teaching position next school year in SPAIN, and I have been praying to know if that is where the Lord wants me to be....and it's not. Shoot darn! haha It's okay I know He has something better in mind for me.

2. Stop complaining.

3. BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY hahahahaha If you watched conference you understand this counsel given by Elder Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve.

4. The little things are the big things.

5. Do family history.

Ok these things were NOT learned in conference, but in Utah nonetheless

6. Provo is weird and I never want to live there. Haha Friday night me and a bunch of Returned Missionaries from my mission went to a "parking lot techno party" and it was super bizarre, not that I have anything against parking lot parties, I rather enjoy them, this one was just strange.

7. I love Temple Square.

8. I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

9. Things aren't always how they seem.

10. Everyone should be friends.

11. "Ladies Night" in Utah means a giant sale at Deseret Book.

12. Driving past the MTC makes me want to be a missionary again. Really bad.

13. Utah is great for a weekend vacation, but I don't think I could live there

14. Babies are really really cute.

15. The iPod shuffle is basically a fortune teller. No really. It's ridiculous.

16. I can't wait for the weather to cool down in AZ, I think I might cry tears of joy when it gets below 90.

Well, that's all I can think of right now, but I am sure I learned MUCH more. It was a very successful trip, but now I am swamped in homework and other dumb things that require my time. boo.

I LOVED this talk from conference!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Expecting Adam

I just finished the book Expecting Adam by Martha Beck, which was loaned to me by the amazing Annie H., and I loooooooved it. Therefore I would like to document some of my favorite quotes and sentiments.

"What they did not realize is that they themselves were the ones who would be 'born', infants in a new world where magic is commonplace, Harvard professors are the slow learners, and retarded babies are the master teachers."
This is basically what the book is about: how her son with down syndrome taught her things that she never could have learned in her PhD program at Harvard. Love it.

"You'll never be hurt as much by being open as you have been hurt by remaining closed."
Truth. I don't feel like I struggle in being open with anyone and everyone, except when it comes to the thoughts, feelings, or ideas that portray my absolute weakness. Call me prideful, I will agree with you. I struggle with being portrayed as weak, I think because of things that happened during my childhood that required me to be the strong one in my family when everyone else fell apart. So, I don't like crying and rarely do it, I don't like asking for help, and it is not a good thing, which I why I LOVED this quote. I hope that as I accept this weakness, of trying not to be weak, that I can let myself just fall to pieces every once and awhile and that I can let someone help me pick up those pieces.

"The real magic doesn't come from achieving the perfect appearance, from being Cinderella at the ball with both glass slippers and a killer hairstyle. The real magic is in the pumpkin, in the mice, in the moonlight; not beyond ordinary life, but within it."

"This is the part of us that makes our brief, improbable little lives worth living: the ability to reach through our own isolation and find strength, and comfort, and warmth for and in each other. This is what human beings do. This is what we live for, the way horses live to run."

"Whoever said that love is blind was dead wrong. Love is the only thing on this earth that lets us see each other with the remotest accuracy."
In another part of the book she talks about how she did a mini experiment and tried for one day to look at her classmates without any preconceptions and without trying to label them. She said that this only lasted for a few moments because she couldn't stopped her eyes from filling with tears as she looked at each classmate. She goes on to say that, "if we saw people as they really are, the beauty would overwhelm us."

What a great book! This is why I love reading, because it gives me the opportunity to be introspective, no matter what kind of book it is, I get to put myself unfamiliar situations and analyze my own internal reactions and beliefs. This one gave me the chance to really think about what I would do if I had a child with a disability. How would I react? How would my plans change? What things might I be taught? I don't know what kind of children Heavenly Father will send me in the future, but I can say that this book made me excited to meet them, regardless of what challenges they will face, I know that they will be my greatest teachers.

Thanks Annie for the good read. What shall I read next? :) Anything to keep me distracted from my textbooks!

Friday, September 2, 2011


Throughout the week as I go about my classes, work, etc. I have had the opportunity to make many many many observations about the world around me, the people I associate with, and about myself in general. It is so fun! Here are a few of those observations, mixed in with some random funny things that have happened this week.

1. The world teaches us that we should focus on the negative, the Gospel teaches us to focus on the positive.
In my favorite class, the same one where we made the joy lists, our teacher asked us as a class to name one good attribute about ourselves and how that trait helps us to find joy. My class is usually pretty talkative but no one said anything. I looked at my classmates and it seemed as if they were searching within themselves yet struggling to come up with anything good they had to offer. My teacher finally said that we all have good traits and that she wanted to hear them already. Still, no one said anything. Eventually I raised my hand and said, "I don't get angry very often or easily. I am not offended easily and I focus on the bigger picture instead of the small trials I have everyday. That helps me to have a positive outlook and remain happy." I figured after I spoke that my classmates might have gained the courage to speak up but still, no one said anything! So, my teacher ended up calling each of them one by one, and it was almost like pulling teeth. This made me so sad! I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have, because of the gospel, that I am a Daughter of God and that means that I have been blessed with certain character traits that will help me return to Him after this life. I really wish that every one of my classmates knew and understood that.

2. "This conjugation is the past, this is more in the past, and this is like the pastest that you can go." SPA 412 Profesora

3. Don't text in class. Your teacher will write down your name on her roster and take away your participation points for the day. :( Dumb.

4. The high five is more complex than you think. I sit next to this girl, who I like to call Cousin, in my BLE220 class and I just so happened to have trained her at In-N-Out when I was All-Starring at the Signal Butte Store like 3 years ago. Anyways, we analyzed the high, middle and low fives and this is what we came up with.
High Five: power, triumph, encouragement, just pure awesomeness shared between two people with hands.
Low Five: secret accomplishment between the two, celebration of a triumph in front of a bunch of losers that you don't want them to see.
Middle Five: Borderline patty-cake. Don't do it. Ever.

5. "Un beso para ti" My profesor for SPA473 asked what the Mexican equivalent to indian fry bread is and I said buñuelos and he then shouted this quote, which means, "a kiss for you!" and blew me a kiss. He is like 80. The whole class basically broke out into hysterics after this one.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Tengo gozo en mi alma hoy

In my advanced conversational spanish class we were asked to make a list of the top ten things that make us happy. I had so much fun thinking about 10 things, I think it might be more fun to make an even longer list! So, if you ever catch me in a less than cheerful mood, which is rare, you will now know what to do to cheer me up.

(Number 1 is number 1, but the rest have no order of importance)

1. The relationship that I have with my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ

2. The relationships that I have with family, friends, coworkers, classmates, teachers, and even random people I have met once and will never see ever again.

3. Almost anything in spanish.

4. Getting letters in the mail. Not bills, handwritten letters.

5. Perfect weather. When it's just cold enough to wear a hoodie, and I am not freezing. When the light breeze just tickles my face. There's enough clouds that it's a bit overcast, but it's not gloomy.

6. The temple.

7. Music that seems to convey EXACTLY how I feel in that precise moment.

8. Phone calls that I wasn't expecting from someone I haven't talked to in a long time.

9. Dr. Pepper after a really stressful day at school.

10. Laughing. This should be number 2, I LOVE laughing. Hysterically, if at all possible.

11. Talking to people that I taught as a missionary and hearing how awesome they are doing.

12. Getting my homework done early and not having to stress about it.

13. Dancing, usually bachata, merengue or salsa, because I actually semi know what I am doing.

14. Being with my little sister. She is crazy just like me and when we are together it is always epic.

15. Disney movies.

16. Having the opportunity to help someone that needs it.

17. Driving with the windows down and singing to the radio at the top of my lungs.


19. Reading. Especially those books that you pick up and don't put down until you finish it at 5 in the morning.

20. Funny videos on youtube. My sister and I ALWAYS share youtube videos with each other, it's basically how we bond.

21. The things that little kids say. Such as: "Are you married? You look married." hahahaha

22. Making new friends. So, if I tell you, "let's be best friends" 5 minutes after meeting you, it is normal, and I really do want to be your best friend.

23. Running, and the feeling that I am cutting through the air.

24. Anything random, spontaneous and unexpected.

25. Living in a valley surrounded by mountains.

26. Eating homemade meals, usually made by my mother, sister hofeling or sister hansen.

27. Surprises. Only the good kind though, not like, "surprise! you got a speeding ticket!" Yeah...thanks mom.

28. New shoes. Slight addiction. Maybe.

29. Watching MormonMessages on or the profile videos on

30. HUGS. Wow how did I not think of this before 30? This is like instant joy, but only if it's a good hug, not a lame one.

Mmmmm now I want to go accomplish all of those things RIGHT NOW.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Dur-Ham Sandwich

What is a dur-ham sandwich you ask? That is what I have entitled this semester, the Dur-Ham Sandwich. My first and last classes are located in the Durham Language building, and I have 3 classes nonstop in between, no breaks, it is epic. What is on this sandwich of epic proportions? Allow me....

1. The Bottom Bread: A croissant, nice and light, easygoing, absolutely delicious. My spanish literature class is going to be a piece of cake...I mean bread. There are like 3 other RM's in that class, strength in numbers. The teacher is way laid back and I really enjoy her spanish, it is clear and easy to understand, and just nice to listen to.

2. Ham (It had to be ham, it's a dur-ham sandwich): The meat of my day, Institute. I am taking a class on the Doctrine and Covenants and am soooooo excited. I love my teacher and know that I will learn so much under his preparation. This class is what is going to help me to survive this semester and help me to keep myself focused on what is really important: the relationship that I have with my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

3. Habanero Peppers: The hardcore, wake you up in the morning, energetic class, Adv. Conversational Spanish. My teacher is a firecracker, and I love it. She is from Argentina and I love her accent, and I love that she talks to us in Vos. My favorite quotes by her today were (translated for the spanish impaired), "This class is SUPER boring, I hate teaching it," "I am lazy, so I am gonna try and change the syllabus so your writing assignments are shorter." "Hell for me would be sitting in a room stacked high to the ceiling with papers that need to be grade and the stacks don't get smaller." This class is going to be awesome.

4. Lettuce: BORING, does it even have a flavor? Or is it merely added for texture? This is my class about bilingual learning in schools, and it is taught in english, so it is like the odd class out in my schedule of all spanish classes. I feel utterly lost and speechless in this class. When the teacher says, "Are there any questions?" I think, "Cuando se entrega la tarea que apenas asigno ella? Como hago esa pregunta en ingles? Oh, ya estan hablando de otro tema :/" (translation: when is the homework due that she just assigned? How do I ask that in english? Oh, now they're talking about something else :/) I know, I should be able to handle a class in my native tongue, but when 4 of my 5 classes are in spanish, and I try to basically immerse my entire life in spanish, I struggle just a teeeeeny bit with english. Ugh.

5. The Top bread: Stale, boring, white bread that has been stepped on. That's basically how I feel in that class, Spanish Civilizations. My profesor is an older man and when he speaks it's is in a deep, mumbled voice, that I can't understand 40% of the time. I try focus alllll of my energy on understand what in the world he is saying and on laughing when he makes an attempt at a joke. Hopefully my ears/brain will get used to the way he talks and it will all click, but if not, I will be as useful in that class as a piece of stale, boring, white bread that has a shoe print on it.

Doesn't that just sound like a really nasty, unappetizing sandwich? Thank you Kid History for restoring to me a large portion of joy after having to eat the nasty Dur-ham sandwich today.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Obsession? or Investment?

I am going to choose investment. This week I might have went a littttttle bit overboard when I went to the local DI (Desert Industries, secondhand store run by the church) and bought all of these books. BUT I consider it an investment in my acquisition of knowledge and providing a solid library of uplifting books for my posterity :)

1. How to be Totally Miserable by John Bytheway
2. Himnos de Sion (1942 edition of the spanish LDS hymnal)
3. 1980 edition of the spanish triple combination
4. Nuestro Legado (Our Heritage in spanish)
5. Doctrines of Salvation Vol. 1, 1954, by Joseph Fielding Smith
6. Articles of Fatih, 1962, by James E. Talmage
7. A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, 1970, by LeGrand Richards
8. Standing for Something by Gordon B. Hinckley
9. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
10. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
11. Awake, Arise, and Come unto Christ- Talks from the 2008 BYU Women's Conference
12. God Wants a Powerful People by Sheri Dew
13. Way to Be by Gordon B. Hinckley
14. Prayer, 1977, collection of talks by various apostles of the church
15. The Four Arguments by Don Miguel Ruiz

Now if I had bought all of these books full price it would have cost...quite a large chunk of change, I don't want to do the math. BUT since they each book was either $1 or $2, I bought 15 books for the price of one. Can you say high five?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Appropriate/Inappropriate Goals

As a missionary I had a companion who I loved dearly. During our thursday weekly planning sessions we were instructed to discuss our "appropriate goals" but because she is hilarious she also suggested that we discuss our inappropriate goals. Don't worry they were PG, like the one I had to push one of the Elders really hard so that he would fall...out of appropriate missionary love of course! The following apply to this upcoming semester:

Appropriate Goals

1. Get straight A's in my classes. I have NEVER gotten straight A's in a college semester, BUT there is a first time for everything right?

2. Be able to run three miles without stopping. Good luck on that one.

3. Do my visiting teaching EVERY month.

4. Call my converts from the mission EVERY month.

5. Get a passport

6. GO TO CLASS, don't ditch/sleep through class like I did before my mission

7. Pay off my credit card :) I usually am reaaaaaallly good about keeping it paid off every month, but I had a rough time financially when I returned home from the mish and am still trying to bounce back, but I'll get there.

8. Have meaningful scripture study everyday.

9. Buy some piece of furniture from a thrift store and refinish it.

Inappropriate Goals (They're not actually inappropriate, just not really goals...more like.. stupid things)

1. Have a jam session with my mission president who happens to play the bass. I don't think he will go for this.

2. REALLY scare someone. At work people enjoy popping out of nowhere and scaring me, because it might be ridiculously easy. I just want to be able to scare someone else just once.

3. Go on a date that is exactly like the lantern scene from Tangled.

4. Embarrass my younger sister in a public setting. That should be cake.

5. A handful of spontaneous road trips.

6. Harry Potter marathon. All 8 of them. No breaks.

7. Some sort of epic battle in my home with my family after sunday fight, water balloons, nerf guns, who knows. The possibilities are endless

8. Go dancing with a suave hispanic who whispers sweet spanish nothings in my ear as we salsa/bachata/merengue the night away

9. Pull an amazingly intricate prank on teacher Kara. May or may not involved the moving of large pieces of furniture.