Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sometimes It's All For the Weekend

    My apologies for taking such a long time to post again! This week has been Bee Uoo eSss Yii BUSY! Up until this week, I've been pretty good at going to bed at a decent hour, however now that is not the case! Some nights I was up past 3 A.M., but hey, that's the life of a college student! (or high school student, or busy parent, etc., etc...)
      Classes are going pretty well. I am finally starting to enjoy my Western Literature class, which is nice. We are reading the Odyssey right now and I really enjoy it! Although I do wish we only had to read one or two chapters a night instead of five... Spanish is...well I don't know. Sometimes I feel really good about Spanish and think I'm actually understanding it but then the irregular verbs such as "gustar" get thrown at us and get all messed up because I'm barely getting the hang of "ser." You Spanish speakers know what I'm talking about. I don't currently have anything else I really want to say about any of my other classes. But...
      Work is great! We just started up again this week and I am so excited! I love my job. I work as a student ambassador at the Southern Virginia University call center. We mostly call prospective students and donors, and I just enjoy it so much! I enjoy helping the University that I love so much grow. Already it has been cool to see the new Freshmen walking around campus and talking to them and realizing that a good handful of them are here because of I phone call that I made! It makes me happy :) Plus I have an awesome boss and awesome co-workers, the hours are nice, and it makes me feel productive.
    Cross Country:
      I started running pretty consistently this week! I didn't do all the same workouts as the team, but I'm working my way back to running with them regularly. I am so extremely grateful at the rate in which my ankle has been able to heal. I know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have been right there with me this entire time and I know that I have been blessed. I'm so grateful I was able to receive a priesthood blessing from a friend who is striving to uphold his priesthood duties and being a good friend to me.
      Church was really good today. It makes me sad and disappointed in myself because since it's been such a busy week, I've felt that my spirituality wasn't as up to par as I would like it to be. I taught Sunday school today and it went really well, even though I was a little rushed. Yesterday was the Relief Society broadcast and I was so grateful for that because it really lifted my spirits.

    I also had the wonderfully amazing opportunity to go to the temple in Washington, D.C. yesterday with a small group of girls on the cross country team with me. We were all really sleep deprived and it had been a busy, stressful week for each of us, so it was so nice to be able to go to the temple and feel the comfort of the Holy Ghost. I have so much to be grateful for and I know it. Please enjoy the pictures of this beautiful House of God.

Shelbi, Leah, Jacey and [Me].


   The week was rough, but the weekend was really enjoyable. Sometimes it's all for the weekend :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Leader, Leader, Pumpkin-Eater

    Last week I got many a calls to leadership rolls! Which I'm happy about. None of them are HUGE deals, but maybe that's good because if I had three leadership rolls that were a big deal I don't know if I could do it. I am the Activities Secretary for the Lofts Hall Council, Vice-President of Bella Voce, and President of my Institute class! See, just small things, but they should all be fun.

    Guess what happened this morning? I COULD SEE MY BREATH. Gah! I am not okay with this. It is only September! It's not supposed to be cold enough to see my breath yet! I am honestly quite nervous for this winter.

    Guess what happened yesterday? (This is actually a big deal.) My sister Ashley had a baby! Her name is Mckenna Rae Eaton and she is Ashley's second baby. I have to wait clear until December to meet her! But when I do, I'm sure it will be quite exciting. :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Victory Run

    Guess what I did today? I ran 4 whole miles! I kept my brace on, but I did it! However, my left leg was totally compensating I think because it started hurting and cramping up pretty badly. So what did I do? I took an ice bath. Some of my other teammates joined me - it's good team bonding! (but that's not actually why they joined me...they were sore too) Ah! Ice baths are so dreadful. But they really do help me feel so much better! 15 minutes of being in 35 degree ice water = days of muscles feeling much better. It's worth it. But believe me, when I'm first slipping into that icy water, I do NOT feel like it's worth it. I literally screamed when I submerged myself in the water today. Ah. Ice's a love/hate relationship for sure.

Team bonding in the ice bath! Jacey, Kelli and [Me].

Falling into Autumn

   The aroma of pumpkin spice, delectable pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, red and orange leaves, the feeling of mystery, intrigue and change, Halloween, home-baked pies, nice weather, colorful scarves... It's officially FALL! My favorite season of the year :) Plus Virginia falls/real falls/not Southern Utah falls are absolutely beautiful! So many different trees create an array of colors that paint the earth majestically.
   In celebration of this fabulous season, I went on a walk in the woods and took pictures, especially of some of the first fall leaves.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Constitution Day!

    I am currently taking an Institute class called Church History: Part I. It is AMAZING. Seriously. I love it so much. In honor of Constitution Day (today), I'd like to quote a few lines from the student manual, Church History in the Fulness of Times.

"the Constitution of the United States is a glorious standard; it is founded in the wisdom of God."

"under the Constitution the Lord could restore the gospel and reestablish his church..."

"The discovery [of America] was one of the most important factors in bringing to pass the purpose of the Almighty in the restoration of his Gospel in its fulness for the salvation of men in the latter days."

"The restoration of the gospel and of the Lord's true Church could not have taken place amidst the religious intolerance in Europe and early America. It was only possible in the setting of religious liberty, reevalutaion of Christian thinking, and spiritual awakening that had developed in early nineteenth-century America. The Lord's hand was evident in directing that the Restoration take place exactly when it did."

    As I've been studying, I have been in awe at how remarkable the coming forth of the gospel actually has been. The Lord's hand is in literally everything as He works to bring forth the blessings of the gospel to his children and to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of men. We studied the Apostasy and the dark ages, the formation of America and the New England heritage Joseph Smith Jr. was raised in, and my mind is exposed more and more to the miraculous chain of events that lead to the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It truly is remarkable. I have a testimony of the miracles of the restoration and I know that God's hand is in my life just as much as it was in the restoration. I love the United States of America, and although there are certainly some scary things going on, I know that America needed to exist so that the gospel could come forth. Ether 2: 12 says "Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written." I am grateful for this beautiful country and feel so blessed to have been born here. I am grateful for the gospel as well and that it was able to come forth in this nation.

    Happy Constitution Day everyone, and may we all try our best to be our best and remember to not take living in this country and having so many rights for granted. God bless America.

Marvelous Monday Masterpieces

    Today is a rainy Monday...I got to wear my bright orange/pink rain jacket! I also got to walk to all my classes without crutches! It was a pretty good feeling. I'm still workin' the ankle brace, but it's getting better! I feel so blessed. However I'm still a little nervous, so I'm being pretty cautious.
    Monday's at SVU mean FHE! I had a lot of fun doing this:

Delaney and Amber

[Me] and Jacey
I hope ya'll had a marvelous Monday! :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Crutches Like to Party Too!

    The weekend arrived and I was kind of nervous that I would just feel lame because it's hard to have fun with crutches...however, the weekend was still super fun! Acting class was very entertaining and it was fun using my crutches as props in an exercise similar to charades. On Friday night I went to an Elephant Shortcut concert, followed by a dance. I only stayed at the dance for about half an hour, but I didn't let my crutches stop me from dancing! Except dancing on one leg is a little more difficult than using both legs, and I got tired really fast. On Saturday I went with the team to the cross country meet on a Civil War battlefield in New Market, VA. It was really cool and even though it was disappointing not being able to run, I had a good time cheering the team on. When we got home, after I did physical therapy and took a nap, I went to a luau at the Institute followed by a surprise birthday party for my lovely roommate, Delaney Gustafson! This morning I got a call at 7:30 from Patrick. He was really sick and did not feel able to come to church, so he asked me to teach the Sunday school lesson again...I prepared for it in thirty minutes, but I think it went really well and the spirit was so strong! It's been a good weekend. :)

Spencer and I both got injured on the same course! It's not exactly fun being injured, but at least we're in it together!

Spencer and I enjoying the Elephant Shortcut concert with our crutches

My team :)

The vistor's center at the New Market Battlefield

Ice bath! (the bubbles make it look warm, but don't be deceived - it was 40 degrees!)

Delaney and I :) (DG squared)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My New Best Frenemies

Hello! Meet my new best frenemies:

Their names are Bob and Amelia Crutch. They have been extremely helpful, however they are also a pain in the...armpit. We're getting to know each other quite well!

Why am I being accompanied by the Crutches, you ask? Well, you see, at cross country practice yesterday we were running up on Mount Pleasant when suddenly I heard a loud noise that sounded like a landslide. Sure enough, just about 40 meters in front of me, a giant boulder was rolling toward one of my cross country teammates! I don't know how I did it, but some super awesome fast-power energy surged through me and I sprinted ahead just in time to push my teammate out of the way of the tumbling boulder. Unfortunately, the boulder rolled right over my ankle and it started swelling up and I went to the school nurse who introduced me to Bob and Amelia and then wrapped my ankle.

Not a bad story, eh? Nah, none of that is true...well except for the swelling up part. And the running on Mount Pleasant. The name is deceiving though, because it wasn't actually very pleasant. I was just running along on a rocky downhill trail, chatting with my friend Leah about Antigone and Socrates when I just stumbled over a rock in the path. I heard a loud 'snap' that sounded like cracking a stick in half, a sharp pain shot through my ankle, and I collapsed face down in the dirt. You know those times when you get hurt and you want to cry, but you don't, even though there is a giant lump of tears in your throat? Well that did not happen. Instead I just cried/moaned/screamed as if it were a natural reflex. I did not even think about it, and after about 40 seconds I realized I should probably stop crying and saying things like "I don't want to be hurt!" My teammates pep talked me and then kind Patrick carried me about halfway back to the beginning of the course where we sat in the van and I elevated my foot while Shelbi (who had stayed at the vans because she forgot her shoes) and Patrick took turns holding a cold water bottle against my ankle that was beginning to swell. When we got back to the school, I went to the trainer, Amanda, and she examined it, iced it, wrapped it, and gave me the Crutches.

Today was fun then, hobbling around campus! I feel truly blessed though because so many people have been so kind and willing to help me and give me rides. Right now we aren't sure of the status of my ankle, but the swelling has gone down and it is feeling a little better today than it did yesterday. I won't be able to run the race this Saturday, but Amanda says we'll try to get me running again in time for next weeks race. I'm counting my many blessings though, because I truly do have many and I know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are always there for me.

Oh, and Bob and Amelia say hi. :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sometimes I Wear Purple Pants and Put Feathers in My Hair

    My schedule is officially official! It's nice to actually know for sure which classes I'm going to now.

Acting I (3 credits)
Institute: Church History Part 1 (2 credits)
Leader-Servant (1 credit)
Spanish I (4 credits)
Cross Country (1 credit)

Health and Wellness (2 credits)
Bella Voce (1 credit)
Spanish I
Western Literature (3 credits)
Cross Country

...and starting block two semester I'll have Information Literacy for 2 credits.

Putting the grand total at 18 credits! I've never done this many we'll see how this goes.

Oh yeah, and sometimes I wear purple pants and put feathers in my hair. Just because. :)

In honor of this date, we sang "America the Beautiful" in Bella Voce. The events that occurred on 9/11/2001 influenced so many lives. May we learn that life is precious and remember it forever. May we thank the heroes who risked their lives on that day, as well as many to come and many before. God bless America.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

First Race of the 2012 Season...

    Today I ran my first cross country race of the 2012 season! It was a 5k at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. I FELT GREAT! It was so good. I am in much better shape this season than I was last year, and I am really excited about that. Last year around this time, I was tenth on our team. Today, however, I was sixth! I am going to keep working hard so that I may continue to improve throughout this season. Our team took second place overall, thanks to all my amazing teammates! Here we all are (minus one girl, Ashley) with our 2nd place plaque:

Nicole, Kelli, [Me], Tori, Jacey, Shelbi, Kera, Leah, Katelyn and Elle.

These three girls (Jacey, Tori and Leah) are fantastic and got t-shirts for placing in the top 15!

It's a great day to be a Knight!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Mornings Like This...

    Welcome to Virginia, where mornings like this...

turn into afternoons like this!

    Odd, right? You think fog means rain (or at least that's what I thought, growing up in a desert), but usually the mornings with heavy fogs turn into beautiful, sunshine-y afternoons. I actually love the misty mornings. The morning mist is enchanting, plus it has a unique, refreshing smell. I woke up and started getting ready, then decided to look out the window and was delighted when I was greeted by the crisp, foggy morning.
Add the mystical foggy morning, the sunny afternoon, happy faces, smooth classes, and it has been a great Friday!
    I went to my acting class where we did a really interesting exercise to try to get the "feel" of the energy in the room by standing in a circle and trying to lift our arms as an entire group. We had to use what Professor Stoddard referred to as "soft focus" where you kind of stare off into space but watch the entire room at once. It was actually really cool and I was able to feel the energy of the other students in the classroom, and eventually, we all raised and lowered our arms at the same time without saying a single word or making any gestures or eye contact.
    After acting, I went to my Spanish I class. I am enjoying Spanish so far, but it is certainly new to me. The best part about class today though, was Professor Fuentes told me a spot had opened up in her 12:30 class so that I can switch into it and consequently be in Bella Voce (the Women's chorus here at SVU) as well! Originally it conflicted with my Spanish class and the 12:30 section was too full, but all is well now! When Spanish ended, I went to Convocation where I met some new people and listened to great, enthusiastic speakers from the SVU faculty, staff and board. The first week of school has indicated an exciting semester. Busy, yes, but also exciting and full of opportunities.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

    I'd like to wish a happy labor day to you all! What did I do to celebrate? Well, first I ran the annual Buena Vista Labor Day 5k with my cross country team, did laundry, ate food, and all that good stuff, then I ended the night by going to a drive-in movie for my first time! It was quite exciting :) especially since it started to rain during the movie. Haha. Oh, and p.s., the movie was The Avengers. So fantastic.

Our healthy snacks for the drive-in movie.

Lovely Sundays

      Yesterday was such a wonderful Sunday! Church was simply amazing. I had the opportunity to teach the Gospel Doctrine class in church, but little did I know it was not going to be a one time substitution! After class, my bishop called me into his office and extended a calling to me to be a Gospel Doctrines teacher! I am super excited. I sincerely enjoy teaching. It is going to be a calling that takes a lot of preparation and diligence, which can be a difficult commitment for a college student, but I know I can do it because it's what the Lord has called me to do. Fast and testimony meeting was also a very uplifting experience. So many people bore beautiful testimonies that brought the Spirit and just filled my heart with hope and joy. I love my Buena Vista YSA 4th ward already! It is going to be (and is!) so great.
      After taking a nap and eating dinner, I attended a fireside that was also spiritually and emotionally uplifting. When the fireside was over, I got together with a lovely group of friends (Joanna, Caitlyn and Kailey) and we watched Mormon Message videos on and had some beautiful spiritual discussions.

      I have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that Christ lives. He died for us and was resurrected so that we too may live again and be cleansed through his atoning sacrifice. Heavenly Father sent him - his perfect, only begotten Son - to die for us. He loves us more than we can fathom, for He loves us enough to send his Son. We must not let his suffering be in vain - we must turn to the Savior, repent, and strive to live a righteous, virtuous life. As quoted from the document The Living Christ, "God be thanked for the matchless gift of his divine Son." Every single person has the ability to repent, the capacity to be cleansed and made whole and pure. Christ didn't suffer for perfect people - he suffered for sinners. He did it because he loves us and wants us to obtain eternal life and joy. Satan is real though, and he does not want us to succeed in being happy and living righteously. Often times he targets those who are succeeding because he wants us to be as miserable as he is. It is our choice whether or not we let temptations and trials block our path to eternal joy. We don't have to let Satan win the battle. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, on the other hand, actually want us to be happy. God is always, always willing to bless us, as long as we come unto Him.

     As I said, a lovely Sunday indeed. :)