Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My First Temple Experience

I hesitate to post this--But I wanted to share with others who have maybe had a similar experience or are preparing to go for the first time. The temple is the house of God and covenants are our way back to Him--people usually have pretty strong reactions their first time through, and this is how it went for me..

Before I went to the temple I was writing in my journal about how I had anticipated this day for years. This day would be a culmination of all the choices I have made in my life up until this point and I was so excited for this experience.

After the ceremony as I sat in the celestial room with my parents--my dad helped me realize I have been waiting much, MUCH longer than 24 years for this day to come. This day was eternally significant for me. It's very possible that I have looked forward to this day for maybe eons of time.


The initiatory was such an incredible experience. I felt love and peace, and cleanliness. I felt like my Heavenly Father was very aware of me and very pleased with my decision to be there. It actually felt  a lot like my baptism day. What beautiful blessings and promises. 


As I sat in the ordinance room and the session started I was GIDDY to finally be there and finally be witnessing the things I had only heard/speculated/dreamed about up until this point in my life. I was eager to pick up on all these new profound/earth-shattering insights and my mind was racing the entire time.  So much so, that I kind of missed the bigger picture because I was so focused in on the details... 

When we got to the end of the session I had trouble trying to put everything that had just happened in context with everything else I know about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For example, on my baptismal day--I knew exactly what I was doing and why I was doing it. I needed to be baptized to enter the gate back to eternal life with my Father in Heaven. I needed to be baptized so I could be cleansed from my sins and become a member of the Lord's church. With my baptismal covenant I had a clear idea of the cause-and-effect relationship of what I was doing and how it fit into my framework of the gospel, and I understood. 

After my endowment I did not feel that way. I felt disoriented and confused and a little unsettled by some of the symbolism that was so foreign to me. I got distracted. I knew ahead of time what I would be covenanting that day and I was excited to do so. I was excited to whole-heartedly commit my life to the Lord and the gospel I love. I was not scared of the covenants I was making. But at the end of the session I was scared about the feelings I had had (or lack of feelings I was expecting to have) I was trying to piece it all together but I felt totally lost--it was so much to take in and I felt like I wasn't getting it or that maybe I'd missed it all together.

 Boyd K Packer has said, "As members of the church, can you be happy, can you be redeemed, can you be exalted without them? (speaking of temple ordinances) Answer: They are more than advisable or desirable, or even than necessary. More even than essential or vital. They are crucial for each of us" 

With baptism, I understood exactly how and why it was crucial--But at the end of my first session in the temple I wasn't connecting the dots at all. How had what I'd just done affected my eternal progression and why? Where was the Savior in all I had just done? In everything I had read and studied leading up to this day in the temple I knew that what I had just done was MONUMENTAL in my life...but sitting in the Celestial Room after I didn't really understand why. I felt disappointed that I didn't understand--disappointed that I didn't feel and experience what I thought I would feel and experience. Had I not prepared well enough?  It was a whirlwind of information and ceremony and symbolism and I was just desperately trying to get my bearings. Honestly, with so much build up leading up to it, I felt kind of heartbroken at the disappointment. 

The next morning I read a list of scriptures Sean had put together, and I reread Elder Packer's pamphlet on the temple, and as I talked to people about my experience throughout the following few days I started to settle down a little and feel a little more at ease when I realized many others had been in my shoes and had felt what I felt.  Elder Packer said:

 "The temple ceremony will not be fully understood at first experience. It will only be partly understood. Return again and again. Return to learn. Things that have troubled you or things that have been puzzling or things that have been mysterious will become known to you. Many of them will be the quiet, personal things that you really cannot explain to anyone else. But to you they are things known. What we gain from the temple will depend to a large degree on what we take to the temple in the way of humility and reverence and a desire to learn. If we are teachable we will be taught by the Spirit, in the temple."

That statement from President Packer helped put my heart at ease. I am excited to return to learn. I am excited for a lifetime of learning. I think it's true that for some people, their first time in the temple is an earth-shattering, mind blowing, life-altering experience. But as I look back on my life and try to identify patterns of gospel learning--that's never how it's been for me. I learn line upon line, precept upon precept...so it is with the temple. As I'm patient/faithful and return again and again, those earth-shattering, life-altering moments will come, right? The best moments in my life have been moments in the Spirit, and I'm excited for more to come inside the Lord's House.

Anyone who wants to learn more about temple should check out here, here, or here! :)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

My (very brief) Stint with The Color Run......and "DJ Precious P"

This summer I was at soccer conditioning every morning for Roy High, and I spent my afternoons planning and trying to get ready for seminary--But I was kind of itching to get out of Kaysville and also kind of itching to get back in touch with this certain boy... 

So one day at school, I decided to text him, and I asked if maybe he could help me get a job for the company he worked for. Just for the summer, so I could go on races on the weekends.. (semi-stalkerish?) I wasn't really expecting anything but I just thought it would be so good for us to be around each other NOT dating, but just working together and being friends. He didn't seem that weirded out--totally got me the job, and that's when I started my brief stint with The Color Run.

It was fun and fast-paced and I got sent to a different Canadian city every couple days...but my plans of hanging out with boy kinda back-fired. We never got put on a race together because he was off doing an internship, and in a random turn of events, I met and started spending time with a friend of his...''DJ Precious P''

''DJ Precious P'' seemed like kind of a tool at first (everything you would expect from a guy who refers to himself as DJ Precious P) Initially I wasn't all that interested--but he was sweet and I felt like he kinda looked out for the awkward new girl who didn't know anyone yet. I had fun hanging out with him in Canada, and I was actually really excited when he asked me out after we got home. We were soooo not each other's type and I knew it...but he was crazy attractive and I was kind of curious. 

So we went out. 

And then we went out a few more times, and then I found myself  having the funnest time getting to know him and his family. I was surprised by how much he grew on me as the summer went on...He took me to his Cabin over labor day and I kinda fell in love with his whole family. I am such a sucker for people's families.. gets me every time. His mom and sisters were just SO sweet though. And his Dad kept calling me 'sis!' WHAT WAS I EVEN SUPPOSED TO DO!? I was smitten. 

 ..I started to think maybe I could make this work after all?!

...then just like that he moved to Provo, annnd dropped off the face of the earth as far as I know. Ha. All communication ceased the day he got down there...left me feeling kind of used and stupid

He's probably dating a girl with a fake tan and bleach blonde hair extensions right now. 

Oops. Lesson learned, I guess. 

Have a nice life DJ Precious P--I'll keep my eye out for you on tour with Kaskade and Steve Aoki..

Washington DC

In March I spent my Spring Break in Washington DC with Sarah. She's always down for a trip and I had always wanted to see this city. We had a great time. My favorite parts were all the food (duh), the  Holocaust museum, Arlington cemetery, cruising around on the city bikes, and the visiting the Temple. Awesome part of the country--if you've never visited I'd highly recommend. 

Only skip the DC United game---overrrrrated.

Forza Futbol Club

Forza took me off my girls teams this spring and asked me to coach these U11 Boys.

It. was. a. nightmare. 

I have never failed so bad at something I tried so hard at. The boys were adorable but ohhh how we struggled. The parents hated me and ended up staging a full on mutiny part way through the year. 
They called a meeting to hash out with my bosses all the things they didn't like about me--meanwhile I'm just sitting there awkwardly at the front of the room trying to hold my tears in.

I felt like it was totally unfair and unjustified--just a bunch of angry people looking for somebody to blame. It was complete misery and I ended up quitting a few months after.

I had never just up and quit something before, and I gotta say---it felt awesome
Thanks for the memories Forza parents, xoxo.

Bless 'em. They sure were cute though..

Sunday, September 28, 2014

2013--- Some Highlights

It's officially been 2 years since I blogged last. Guess this is a trend that kind of came and went?--but I kind of miss it. It really is valuable for me to put my thoughts together and get some perspective on my own life---and I love that I can share with people I love who are far away. Actually, I love that I can share with people who are close!

Two years of catch up is a little daunting soooo, here's how 2012-2013 went:

Not long after my last post--Nicole and her friend Shayla threw this Murder Mystery party. We went all out and it was hilarious. Grateful for this happy memory. (Not a real cigarette...)

Later that month while I was reffing intramurals I watched my best friend get his leg snapped in half. This picture is from when he was in the hospital. This is kinda when I realized how much I loved him. (ie. He couldn't get out of bed to use the bathroom because of his leg, so someone had to empty his pee container for him.... EW. If that's not true love, I honestly don't know what is) But seriously, this is a special memory for me..

At the end of that year, my best friend married her dream guy. I was giddy for her. She's been there for me since Junior year of high school and I'm just so grateful to 'do life' with her, because she makes it so much better. She's the greatest friend in the world and this was a happy day. 

I moved home from Utah State to start my student teaching in Roy--this was January of 2013. This is a picture from my first class ever. *insert heart eyes* Student teaching was HARD and I was super stressed at this time in my life, but these kids were hilarious and awesome.

When I moved home to student teach, I was a little closer to this boy in Provo who I've dated off and on, pretty much since high school. He's pretty wonderful and I was excited because it was finally time to give us a real shot instead of the sporadic, awesome-date-once-every-couple-months-thing we'd been doing. This is a picture from valentines that year; roses, chocolates, and a poem he wrote that was both adorable and hilarious. Pretty much hit the jackpot.  

Later that month we lost Maria Fernanda to a car accident--it was (and still is) so hard to watch a family I love lose their little girl and big sister. My heart broke. But this picture from the funeral helped fill it a little..This is her youngest brother Alex watching his white balloon float up to his sister in heaven. 

While I student taught I also picked up a job at Forza coaching two little girls teams. I had a blast with these girls and I was grateful for coaching because the impending job hunt for teaching jobs was stressing. me. out. Also, this cute British coach showed up and we had a lot of fun together before I left for the summer.

April of that year I turned 23, it was pretty low key--just dinner with the fam and the next day my parents left for Peru to go pick up Doug!

In May I finally graduated. There were a couple times throughout my college career that I seriously doubted this would ever happen. So, Hallelujah for this day :)

That summer I left for Tennessee again, only this time, this handsome guy came with..

It was kind of a weird summer--I was disappointed by how different it was from the previous one, and plus, Doug was being a post-mission weirdo...But there were still PLENTY of great memories, especially thanks to Bieber, Whit, Bear the dog, annnnd Doug was fun sometimes too ;)

I mean, what am I even saying? It's the funnest job, ever. I was so happy. Tennessee life is a good life.

A miracle occurred before we left and I had a real, grown up job waiting for me with Weber School District when we got home that fall. My mentor teacher from student teaching left--so they were looking for someone to fill her spot at Roy High. I can't lie. The first year teaching kiiinda sucks. It's super stressful and made me wanna re-think alll my life's choices up to that point. But, it had it's fun moments...my dad helped me make a ping-pong table for my Sports Psychology class and the picture below that is the struggle of being a young, new, single teacher---PROMISE you won't ever see me in the news for some scandal with a student though guys. Yikes. 

How could I forget!? I guess I'll end with this because this post is getting lonnng.
Probably the biggest highlight from 2013--While Doug and I were out in Tennessee this was happening back home: 

Mine and my family's lives were changed forever. Seriously, since this moment, our entire world revolves around her. Addison is the best thing that's ever happened. This picture is from when Addi and I met for the first time:

So there ya go, the rest of the year was pretty much me trying to survive/ get acclimated to teaching. Not as many fun pictures of that..it really wasn't all that fun becoming a grown up...