Thursday, April 21, 2016

Y MOUNTAIN & GOODBYES

Today is gonna be a rough day.
We're moving out tomorrow.

Yesterday was Jordan's last day with us so we spent it all together. ALSO the last day of finals! I thought I wasn't going to pass chemistry there for a second but I PASSED! And I finished this semester with a higher GPA from last semester so all in all, I'm satisfied. Anyways, at midnight we met at the boys apartment and played a few rounds of Mario Kart before we piled into Em's mini van for Y mountain. We've been here for almost nine months and still hadn't made the hike so we decided tonight was the night to do it.

Going up was pretty rough because since I've been here I've probably gone on two runs total so we took a couple breaks but eventually made it to the top. Up there we took some pictures that turned out insanely good for how tired and gross we were.

Jordan's last day with us. I'll miss that big ol' maple leaf so much. *secret handshake*

Squad with Provo in the background

Roomies 5ever

Last Taylor pic </3

This picture was taken before we were crazy delirious from staying up all night

Kyle pre-haircut. RIP the fro.

We stayed up there until 2 am talking about the semester and reminiscing on good times. We soon were overtaken by hunger so we made the trek back to the parking lot. I learned that I have really bad depth perception in the dark and I totally wiped out on one of the switchbacks trying to beat Kyle. I guess my blue drift was a little *too* clutch.
We came back to Heritage to cram Heidi and Alex in the car and Alex had to lay across Nick, Kyle and I in the back. Within less than a minute of Alex laying across us he farted, which shouldn't surprise me, but he's such a butthole. We went to Denny's and got a half seat half booth table and instantly ordered because we were DYING.

The only picture of Alex from tonight. *Alex voice* awe.

We ate and talked for a good two hours until our conversation quickly deteriorated near the end into weird sounds effects and explosive laughter at nothing. We were pretty tired. We crammed back into the car and went back to Heritage since they still had a crap ton of stuff to do and it was really late. In the car Alex was being absolutely crazy and kept trying to kiss me and poking out his tummy so much so I would rub it. He's one crazy kid. When we got home, we walked the boys back their building and said our goodbyes to Jordan. I hadn't really felt too sad the entire night but when we were actually hugging and saying goodbye, it suddenly got so real. I had to hold back them salty tears cause I felt them coming. I know Jordan is going to do crazy amazing things in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

We went back to our apartment feeling all sentimental and stayed up until the sun did too. We went outside and tried to watch the sun come up over the mountains but the dang sun never came, so we ended up just spooning on the concrete in front of our apartment for a solid 45 minutes. Needless to say, when we came back inside, we passed out for like five hours.

Photo courtesy of grape

Tonight is our last night with the rest of the boys and tomorrow is my last day with my beloved roomies. It doesn't even seem real. I feel like I moved in a month ago and I still have classes. I feel like we just met the boys at the ice cream social and now we're already leaving. They became the best friends I've had here at college and I'll always be grateful that Jordan took a chance on us and sat next to a bunch of random, weird girls that were super antisocial. I don't want to say goodbye to them, but as Carson said to me at the end of fall semester, "the sooner we say goodbye, the sooner we'll see each other again."

Here's to the end of my first year of college, amazing roommates, and great friends that I hope last a lifetime. Two short years. See you soon, my friends.



Sunday, April 10, 2016

COMPANIONS(?) AND THE FOURTH DATE

Our dorm went on a group date today with the boys (I've already been on three dates with Kyle off the record which I don't count but all the boys insist they do).
But before I get into that, I met some girls that have also been called to the Philippines Bacolod Mission! Their names are Sarah and Jessie and they're super sweet.


We went out to lunch at Costa Vida together and just talked and talked about our mission and the Philippines. Turns out I'm a super huge freak because from the zillions of blogs I've been pouring over for information, I've learned a crap ton of facts about the Philippines and its people.
Examples:
- Filipinos love their karaoke machines
- Their spaghetti sauce is very sweet
- Bacolod is known as the "city of smiles"
- A/C really is not a thing there
- Bucket showers are the way you get clean
That's only a few, I literally kept dropping all these random facts through the lunch and probably sounded like a huge dork. I don't really care though cause I'm crazy excited.
After lunch, we went to the Provo temple to snap a few pics together. Jessie leaves on May 4th and Sarah leaves June 15th, so we'll just barely miss each other in the MTC since we're only there for six weeks. Hopefully I'll see them again out on the field as one of my COMPANIONS!


Jessie dropped us off at our dorms and I hurried back home to grab my camera for our group date. Our plan was to go to the Kiwanis Park for a cute little picnic and just screw around for the rest of the day, playing games and enjoying each others company in one big group for probably the last time. We set up a blanket and ate junk food like chips and pop tarts when we got there and Alex shoved a bunch of chips in his mouth ~just~ for me.

It looks like he's winking but I think he's struggling to swallow. Classic Alex.

After a little bit we went over to the basketball court and played HORSE and Sav and I got out pretty fast. While everyone else was finishing up, we went over to the playground to explore and Savannah tried to hang upside down which seemed to go really good for her.

Yep, that was sarcasm. She pretty much almost died.

We went back over to play another game called "hoops" and then just started screwing around and making random shots while shouting "ball is life" every 20 seconds. Kyle actually got a really good shot after Jordan failed several times in a row (if you're reading this Jordan, my man, ball is life and you win at basketball forever *special handshake*). Kyle thinks ball is life but...


It started raining so we gathered up the food and went back to our apartment. I brought out my nice speakers and blasted some Daft Punk while we waited for pizza to come and Jordan got some charades going and I must say, he really gets into it. We played a game of poker and I was on a team with Kyle and we WON. Good job on the fourth date, Kyle.
We played another card game and soon enough it was already curfew. So, our eight hour date was super fun and I'll miss these crazy boys so much. 

I'll never let go, Nick

It's insane to think that in just two weeks, my first year of college will be over and I won't see these guys again for another two years. But, I know they'll do amazing things on their missions and I can't wait to see the men they become when we see each other again. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

CALLED TO SERVE: HILI-WHAT?

So... my mission call finally arrived. According to my Bishop, it actually came fairly quickly (which was yesterday, Thursday). I was sitting at my computer and refreshing my email every half hour, but I wasn't expecting anything since Thursday was the earliest day I could possibly receive my call. But here it is in all its glory!

(thanks sav-age for the pic)

The path that has led me here has been kind of a long one. I was never planning to serve a mission, not because I didn't want to, but it was just nothing I had ever planned because I never thought I would serve one. It wasn't until I was sixteen and Rachael, my sister, made the decision to serve a mission that I began wondering if a mission was for me too.
Immediately I had thoughts that it would be too hard and it wouldn't be for me. I'm pretty stubborn and I let people's bad attitudes get to me sometimes, so at that time I wasn't thinking I would be the best candidate for loving so many people in a random place unconditionally. However, the more I thought about it, the more I felt the desire to serve.
I came to college with the idea of going on a mission looking more realistic but I didn't think about it too much, the idea of filling out papers and making it a sure thing freaked me out. I would pray for a confirmation, if this was what I should be doing, and would it be the best decision for me to put my life on pause for a year and a half. I put it on the back-burner for awhile until one night in November. It was Sunday night and I went to tunnel singing (it is exactly what it sounds like, a bunch of students gather in this tunnel and sing hymns for an hour) and we began to sing a hymn that I knew and liked, but had never read the lyrics. The hymn was "More Holiness Give Me" and it opened my eyes to what a mission could be and was just the answer I needed. 
The third verse of this beautiful hymn is what spoke to me so profoundly, it reads:

More purity give me,
More strength to o'ercome,
More freedom from earth-stains,
More longing for home.
More fit for the kingdom,
More used would I be,
More blessed and holy--
More, Savior, like thee.

 "More, Savior, like thee". Such beautiful words. This made me realize that a mission is an opportunity for me to be more Christlike, an attribute that I think everyone should strive to develop. I felt this desire in my heart to serve more than I had ever felt before and finally understood that either way I chose, whether I chose to serve a mission or not, it would all be okay. Nobody will force me to make this decision and there is no expectation for me to fill. However, serving a mission could only benefit me and bless me in ways I can't even comprehend. 
I started my papers with my Bishop at the start of the semester and here I am, a pre-missionary. Nothing can really describe the intense anxiety you feel the week you're expecting your mission call. You have absolutely NO clue where you could be going and praying that you go somewhere that you can at least pronounce. I can honestly I couldn't make a guess on where I was to go (I'll go where you want me to go...) But I would have never guessed where I ended up getting called to.

Anyways, I opened my call yesterday! After much waiting and getting family on Skype, I opened it. Words cannot describe the overwhelming feeling of joy that I felt from just reading the first line "Dear Sister Pope...", I was instantly SO emotional. I tried to restrict my eyes from glancing down the page, but I saw my calling and was so gone. I seriously read it so fast I'm surprised anyone caught it, but I am officially called to the Philippines Bacolod mission speaking Hiligaynon(Ilonggo). 

My face when I saw the name of the language "You'll be speaking in the hilly-gay-nan language?!?!!"

WHAT IS THIS LANGUAGE?? I couldn't even pronounce it and so many thoughts and feelings were going through my head that I sounded like such a doofus trying to read it. 
BUT
I'm SO excited.
I stayed up until 2:30 am reading missionary blogs and familiarizing myself with anything related to the Philippines. The general consensus: The Philippines rock. Also, it's super hot there and bugs are everywhere BUT the people are the most amazing and kindest people you'll meet. Also, they seem to like music a LOT so I'm so pumped for that.

Right after I opened my call... squinty eyes so nobody can see the tears of joy, fear and excitement

Kyle: "If you were called to the Taiwan Taichung Mission I would've had to propose to you"

 Alex and his tummy.. also Nick looks like a model

 Emily was going around and getting everyone's guesses.. she cracks me up

TrIPpy rOomiEs for LYFe

Not sure what's going on here

Overall, I'm thrilled to serve in the Philippines. I've been reading everything I can to get a better idea of what it'll be like (notice my avoidance of the word "prepare"... NOBODY'S prepared) and I get more and more excited the more I read (except for the cockroaches). Called to serve! 


Monday, April 4, 2016

ROOMIES AND PALS

I thought I should dedicate a post to my roommates/buds here at BYU so here we go.
These are my roommates:

[Taylor, Savannah, Heidi, Alex, me and Emily]

Since day one we've been doing tons of stuff together, I think we got incredibly lucky in terms of roommate arrangements. 
We can get a little crayrazy at times.


Most of our inside jokes consist of late, sleep-deprived nights of studying and slightly losing it. Some of these involve: obaba, rhinorrhea, anise, heritage as breadsticks, and countless weird things that don't even make sense to us the day after we think it's funny. 

We've had some crazy times together and all in all I love these girls so much.

Emily and I collecting macroinverterbrates at Provo River

Krazy Kamping

Does this look like a Y?? It does to us. GO BYU.


We usually only hang out with one other group of guys that I mentioned in my last post, and that is our lovely boy dorm which we refer to as "the boys".
We met them our first Sunday here at a ward ice cream social and good ol' Jordan decided to sit next to us. We didn't really think we'd see much of them after that activity but we saw them again at a pizza activity for our ward so we just kept hanging out with them. I think they were a little boring at first and didn't ~really~ like hanging out with us but we've definitely grown on them since then. We took a trip up in the mountains with them a while back with a couple of them and it was such a blast, these guys crack me up.

[kyle, nick, jordan and carson]

Kyle achieving ~model~ status

Around Thanksgiving weekend I was at the apartment by myself and Carson said he was up to hang out so Carson, Jordan, Nick, Alex and I all went down to Park City for the day, eating food and roaming around Native American shops.

Jordan likes to hang loose

Carson left us at semester for his mission in Houston, Texas

I hate how much Alex likes this picture but it's the best one I have of him


Nickle pickle <3

These guys are super fun and we've had a blast lurking around the campus tunnels, playing video games, and watching movies with them. Nick and Kyle have both been called to serve in Taiwan, Jordan's been called to the Czech/Slovak mission, and Alex is serving a performing mission in Nauvoo, Illinois. He also recently decided to submit his papers for a full-time mission, he's going to be great. Hopefully I'll be able to stay in touch with these nerds when we all get back from our missions, they're pretty ~groovy~ and fun.


Sunday, April 3, 2016

FIRST POST: BYU

I've never used a blog before but I've been stalking countless missionary blogs and decided I had to get my own. Also my dumb roommate has one and hers is pretty cute. Savannah, if you ever see this, you're sitting on your bed right now watching Gossip Girl and laughing so loud it's distracting me. Also, you get partial credit for me getting a blog.

Anyways, I thought I'd catch myself up on all my happenings on my first year of college in a single blog post. 

These are our guy friends of whom we met on our first day of college:

(photo courtesy of yours truly)

From left to right, it goes Jordan, Kyle, Alex, Carson, Nick and Anthony (Tony). I love these guys. They're crazy and weird but super fun. Also, we miss Carson who is on his mission right now in South Houston, Texas. We love you Carso!

My roommates are also crazy fun and my own roomie is super fun (who has only been my roommate from the beginning of the semester). My old roommate was really type-A and totally got on my nerves and I guess I did the same since she moved out last semester. Oops ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Here's a pretty good picture of the whole gang looking fire *fire emoji*


It goes Savannah, Emily, me, Taylor and Alex. We're missing one in this picture but she was in art class that day.

Pretty much my only other friends here have been my love Elizabeth Melby and a few randos on the way. Smelby's and my shenanigans mostly consist of watching crazy good movies, eating food, and doing weird/fun stuff, like the Holli festival.


I've recently started hanging out with this guy named Ron (that's his real name) and he's pretty fun and is insane about rock climbing. Seriously. I think half the time he just lives in Rock Canyon (he actually did for like a week and was sort of homeless). He's fun and not too weird and loves ROCKS so how can I not at least be buds with him?? He's taken me rock climbing a couple times and brought his weirdo teddy-bear friend Eugene. Ron also took me on a ~date~ a couple of weekends ago and we went on a hike up Squaw Peak. The. Whole. Thing. I was dead tired but the view was awesome.

7.1 mile hike baby!

I'm currently loving it here at Brigham Young University though and I'm absolutely loving my major in Geology! Rocks are amazing and Earth processes fascinate me. Fingers crossed I still love it when I get back from my mission.

Speaking of, I get my calling in about a week or so, fingers crossed I make it through the week and don't go absolutely insane! Em just got hers and is going to Richmond, Virginia Spanish speaking, she's going to be an amazing missionary. 
Here's her being adorable and reading off her calling:


It's only a matter of time until I know! I'm so pumped to serve the Lord and go out for a year and a half. I just wanna know WHERE. Soon enough.