Hello world! Or at least the portion of the world that will read this :D
I have not been very consistent in my blogging since I've been home from my mission. Last week, I attended LDS Share, a conference about spreading the gospel online, and was inspired to be better at sharing the gospel through social media. There were a lot of fantastic suggestions as to how to increase the effect of things I already do and how to start doing things I haven't been doing. So here I am!
This weekend was conference. It is a weekend full of talks by the Prophet, Apostles, and other leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was fantastic. I love being able to hear the words that our Heavenly Father wants us to hear at this time.
Life in general is fantastic. I absolutely love living in my condo. I love sitting here and knowing it's mine. I love that I got to pick everything in it and being so happy with how it turned out. I hope I'll be able to live here at least a few years with my husband so he can appreciate it too :D
My friend posted these fantastic ideas on his blog. I wanted to link to them on Pinterest, but didn't want to risk his family's privacy, so I'm reposting and pinning them from here.
PIE Sunday (Priesthood Interviews for Everyone) On these Sundays, I will hold a priesthood interview with everyone individually. We will talk about personal prayers and scripture study, their goals, and resolve any concerns or questions they may have. This will also be when Amy and I hold our companionship inventory. After dinner, we will all enjoy a pie together.
MTC Sunday (Missionary Training Center) We have been counseled to make our homes little missionary training centers. On MTC day, we will study together one chapter from Preach My Gospel and one of the missionary lessons. Doing this will allow us to get through all 13 chapters of Preach My Gospel in one year, and go over each lesson four times. We will also try to memorize a new scripture each month.
CTR Sunday (Current Temple Recommend) These Sundays will serve as a focus on things we need to do to remain worthy to enter the temple, and will also help prepare each family member for sacred covenants made in the House of the Lord. When possible, we will visit the temple grounds on a Sunday together as a family.
FAN Sunday (Fellowship a Neighbor) This Sunday is an ideal time to do home and visiting teaching, although those assignments obviously won't be limited to this one Sunday only. Some ideas for this Sunday include: invite some over for dinner, visit someone in need, perform an act of service for someone, or plan a service activity for the following week.
SWM Sunday (Sound of Worthy Music) In the First Presidency message in front of the hymn book, they say fill our homes "with the sound of worthy music." These Sundays will give us an opportunity as a family to learn a new hymn or primary song together. We will also learn the history of the song and read the scriptures that go along with it.
The activities we do with these themes will change and vary as our children get older, but we are excited to use these ideas to help us focus on the Lord on the Sabbath Day and to do His will.
Remember that one time I hadn't posted since July...of 2012. Yeah. I think it's time to start posting again :D
Well! In July of 2012 I was happily working at Deseret Book, just 4 months separated from my mission, and considering one of two options--teaching English in China or going back to school for my MBA. I had applications in at the Jordan and Canyons school districts, but hadn't heard back from anyone. I was actually quite pleased! I didn't want to teach and I was happy that I could say that I'd applied, but--ah shucks--no one had called for an interview.
Around that time, I was sitting in Sunday School when I had the thought, "I would accept a teaching job if I was offered one." This was NOT a thought I wanted to have, so I knew it was Heavenly Father. Right after that, I had the thought, "You will have a teaching job in the fall." I wrote these thoughts down because I knew it was inspiration from Heavenly Father.
That week, Karen Thompson came by my house. She was a leader when I was in the YW program and was also a principal I had worked under when doing a long-term sub. I wasn't there, but she told my mom that if I wanted a teaching job, she would certainly pass on a recommendation. Perfect timing.
So I started being more aggressive in my hunt for a job! I looked on teachers-teachers and applied like crazy. In the Jordan District, however, year-round schools abound. That means that school starts in July for 3 of the 4 tracks. Even those that weren't year-round would be starting the next month. I realized most were already staffed. As I applied for jobs, I got quite a few responses informing me that they'd already filled the position. Despite that, I knew I would have a teaching job in the fall.
After work on Aug 10, I got a call from Herriman Elementary (where I didn't even recall applying) asking me to set up an interview the following Tuesday. I was still at work, so I went to talk to my manager about leaving early that day. I also mentioned that if I got the job, I'd have to start pretty soon.
I went in for the interview on Aug 14. I met with the principal and one of the sixth grade teachers. I had always wanted to teach the younger grades, but took what I could get. They called me the next day to hire me and inform me I needed to be at the school the day after. So I started on Thursday and the kids started that next Monday. Talk about a whirlwind!
Almost immediately, I was so grateful for Heavenly Father's hand in procuring me this position. Sixth grade is exactly where I need to be. I loved those kids SO much. I'm now in my second year of teaching and love these kids SO much, too! I absolutely love being a teacher and am so grateful that Heavenly Father helped me to see that and that I was in tune enough to listen.
Well..I guess I failed on the weekly posting thing. Life's been good! I love having all of my brothers home! We had an EXCELLENT trip to Seattle. Life's been fabulous!
I've been reading this incredible new book by Merilee Boyack--Standing Up in a Sit-Down World. It's really been opening my eyes to what I can do in this world. I have a whole list of notes I want to share, but they're downstairs, so I'll just do one for now!! This is kind of a summary of what I read:
Think about how long it takes to smile at your cashier--a split-second--yet it brightens their day! How long does it take to tell a friend/family member you're proud of them--a split-second--yet it brightens their day! How long does it take to give your dog a good scratch between the ears--a few seconds--yet it brightens his day! She challenged us to lift our right arms to the square and pledge to give away 5 split-seconds every day. What a thought! Brightening days 5 times a day! And it's infectious!! Pretty soon, we'll be addicted to it, spreading joy at the grocery store, at work, and on the freeway!
Isn't that such a cool idea?! It truly empowered me and helped me to see what I could do to improve the life of others in an incredibly simple way. I challenge you all to do it!!!
Yes..I'm postdating this. I really did write it on the 29th---just didn't upload it :D
Get ready for a doozy!
Well, we’re just driving through Idaho on our way to
Seattle via Bend, OR, so I guess I have some time to do a blog post!
Monday June 18
We did something monumentous for FHE, I’m sure, but I
can’t remember which monumentous thing it was.
(Word is saying that monumentous is not a word….is this true?!) Oh! I
remembered! We did a service project and
cleaned up the trails around the River Bottoms in SoJo. ‘Twas fun.
Today I got the day off to get together with Megs, Whit
K, and Lizzle! Meg’s hubby Scott and her
baby Savanna came too, which was really fun. We had a picnic together and then
went on a non-hike to a waterfall. It
was super fun! After that, Megs and I
went to the Y to walk around and reminisce.
I ended up giving blood—it was exactly 8 weeks from the last time—and
then we went to Sugar and Spice for some ice cream. We took a stroll through the BYU Bookstore
and then I dropped her off to her hubby at Costco.
(Megs has pics...so when I get them I'll share them!)
That night was a Relief Society Tea Party. I wanted to wear a specific dress, but it
didn’t fit like I would like, so I opted for a princess dress. I figured that little girls dress as
princesses at tea parties so it would work—not so much. Some people didn’t even wear dresses and there
I was dressed as Rapunzel. Good thing I
like dressing up :D They did a great job
on the event, but as soon as it came to idle chitchat, Tawni and I got
antsy—the mission’ll do that to ya! We
decided to RedBox a movie. Like Crazy
sounded good, so we tried it. It was
awful. Rather disappointing, but at
least with someone I love!! :D
Wednesday June 20
The day before Code-man got home. I was supposed to have orchestra rehearsal
for Cinderella, but it got canceled, so I stayed home and cleaned. It felt so good and was really nice to not
have to be somewhere!
Thursday June 21
CODY GOT HOME!!!
After work I ran over to the Salt Lake temple to do a session. Chazzer picked me up afterward and we booked
it to the airport. Code’s flight landed
early and we thought we were going to miss his epic descent on the
escalator. The missionaries decided to
dawdle, so we had plenty of time. It was
so good to see him! He wasn’t hungry,
but we were all famished. He conceded
that he could go for a frosty, so we headed off to Wendy’s! We were all enjoying our time when we
realized we were going to miss his releasing and we sped home. Then we stayed up late enjoying one another’s
Friday June 22
Chazzer turned 19 today.
We went out to Texas Roadhouse for his birthday and I met up with Sister
Johnson, an old companion, while there.
After that, it was off to the Jorgensen’s for Harry Potter movie
night. We watched the 7pt1 and ended
around 12 or 1. They sent us off to
watch the second DVD at our place. We
stuck it in Clearplay, but I couldn’t get to the menu to adjust the settings,
so the violence was edited on high. In
Harry Potter, that means that every time they say Avada Kedavra, they cut out
the death…slightly anticlimactic.
Saturday June 23
The Summit!! At
12:30 we showed up to the institute for our cruise. 1pm was John Bytheway. He gave an excellent talk on marinating
ourselves like chicken. After a little
break, we had a great talk by Sheri Dew prefaced by a beautiful song by Jessie
Clark Funk. Next was EFY games. Finally, it was time for the luau
dinner. It was DELICIOUS!! After dinner we had another speaker—Alisa
Goodwin Snell aka Utah’s dating coach.
She’s pretty entertaining! Then
we had the dance. Cody and Kyle stayed,
which they weren’t planning on doing, and we had a lot of fun!
Sunday June 24
I got to go to Elder Garner’s homecoming! It was fun to see Pres and Sis Summerhays as
well as E Allsop and E Garner. Love my
Lancaster boys! He did a great job. That night, we had a fireside in the
tabernacle that was great. The speaker’s
daughter sang—she was fabulous. As was
David Osmond. Over to the park for some
ice cream and then home for the night.
Monday June 25
Finally on this week!
For HE (That’s going to take some getting used to) we played water
balloon volleyball. There weren’t enough
towels at first, so Tawni, Kyle, and I played Rummikub with Sis
Ripplinger. We went and played and my
brother tried to play matchmaker by making me go meet some new guy and be his
partner. He was nice, though, so all’s
well that ends well, right? We went home
a little early because Megs and fam stopped by the house. I love them!
That was the night!
Tuesday June 26
Tuesday night we headed down to Manti for the pageant
with Hillary, Tawni, and my bros. We
stopped at a pizza place that wasn’t as good as it should’ve been and made it
to the temple grounds JUST in time for it to start. It was great!
We got home late :D
Wednesday June 27
After work I had an eye exam-I’ll be getting reading
glasses! Then I was supposed to have
orchestra practice, but it got cancelled again.
Instead, we ended up hiking donut falls!
SO fun! We literally climbed up
the waterfall! We went with the Quinns,
Leon, my bros, Alex (their new roommate), Holly, Kelly, and Max. It was SO much fun! Then we had movie night at our house—Mirror,
Mirror. LOVE that movie! My bros and Alex stayed from the hiking group
and we added Crysi, Tawni, Kami, and Steven (one of Cody’s comps). It was a blast. After the movie we stayed up singing and
Thursday June 28
I had dentist
appointment after work and then headed to the institute to help someone with
the organ. We were locked out, but I had
an interview there pretty soon after, so I just chilled and read a book
outside. After the interview was flash
mob practice! I’m SO excited to be in my
first flash mob—total bucket list experience.
I met a girl who is the little sister of a woman In my ward, so that was
neat, too. At home, Kyle had prepared some
AWESOME shrimp, so it was dinner, an episode of Love in the Wild, and then
Friday June 29
I was super busy this week and hadn’t had a chance to go
to the temple, so I hopped over to the Jordan River temple to do some initiatories. Then it was home for my home teachers at
5:45. They couldn’t make it, but not to
worry—visiting teachers came at 6pm.
Must be the end of the month, eh?
Stand by for more on that! Our
ward had an Amazing Race date night and Kyle and I were helping with one of the
stations, so we headed to the church at 7pm.
At 8:45 my comp picked me up because we had our own visiting teaching to
do! I LOVE that I visit teach two of my
best friends—Jenni and Tawni. Awesome
:D I got to chat it up with them and
then head home to look at some grad schools online while I waited for laundry
to get done. I went to bed around 1, got
up at 5ish to move some laundry, and then up at 6:30 to get ready to head
out! Now we’re on the road :D
Man, life is so great, you know!? It was such a busy week. I feel like these last few/next few are more like my letters to the world again. Oh well! Maybe if I have some deep thoughts about some random subject I can add them during the week. So...on to the week!
We went hiking for Home Evening! It was SO fun! The initial hike was super steep, but it was a REAL hike ;D No paved trail. When we reached the "destination" there was a GORGEOUS waterfall. We waded through the freezing water, sacrificing for a good picture :D
There were people scaling the rocks (look behind me), so I decided we should climb higher too! We didn't climb by the waterfall, but climbed quite a ways up on some rocks. Rock climbing is SO fun! Who knew!? And even more--who knew I could actually do it!? There was a gorgeous view of the valley from the top. This is a pic of me and the view and then some of my friends climbing back down.
That night, we watched Pirates 4 for my first time.
Institute forum taught by Mayor Applegarth. 'Twas good! Wednesday
Our chuch's floor was just refinished, so they have to keep the doors open from 9am-9pm to air it out. I was in charge of guarding it from 6pm-9pm. I got to talk to tons of people from PA which was great!
I was supposed to have Cinderella rehearsal, but it got canceled. I ended up going to an acting workshop with my neighbors. They had guests from Broadway who came to teach. It was fun to watch!
I got to do nothing Friday night, which was pretty great!!
6:30am--helping Hillary set up for a garage sale
9am--I though I was going to help clean the temple grounds, but I was off by a day, so I went to the South Jordan Country Fest Parade with Tawni, Brooke, Curtis, and Lucy. Check out our awesome hats!
1pm Cinderella Pit Orchestra Rehearsal
3:30pm We got to go help at a soup kitchen downtown. It was a neat opportunity
6:30pm Luau!! They roasted a PIG! The meat was delicious!
8:30pm Pool Party--Our pool was opened this week!! Yay!!
10pm Movie at Michelle's. I got to watch Ocean's 11 for the first time--love it!
My cousin TJ received the Melchizedek Priesthood, so we headed up to Oakley. I got to go for another ride with my Uncle up the canyon. So gorgeous!
It's another great week ahead! Roomie reunion (with MEGHANN!!), Cody gets home, and the Summit!!