Sunday, December 25, 2011

Another Christmas, Come and Gone!

I can hardly believe another Christmas has come and gone in the blink of an eye. This Christmas season passed far quicker than I hoped it would! I've been able to spend my break in Phoenix (as usual) with my dad's side of the family. What a blessing it is to be surrounded by people you love, even when you only get to see them once a year.

Through trials and changes, I've realized how much of my life I spent focusing on myself, instead of on the Savior. As I read the story of the Savior's birth, I realized just how little I understand. Christ was born in the most humble of circumstances. Yet, He was perfect in every way. Who am I to blame my imperfections on a situation or environment? So, this Christmas I've decided to recommit. I want to keep the spirit of this season with me throughout the year. As each day passes, I find more and more imperfections that I have, more that I can improve on, more that I can become. I am overwhelmed by the amount of footage I need to cover to become like the Savior. But I have an increased desire to know my Savior. Not just know about Him, but to KNOW Him and love Him. So as this wonderful day of peace and joy closes, I am humbled by the progress yet ahead of me to become like the Savior. But I am learning, as Mary did, that "with God nothing shall be impossible".

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Finals Week

  • 9 Hours of Statistics in one day
  • Two 7 page papers due in the middle of finals week with 14 sources each.
  • Eating only PB & J's so I don't have food left here over the break
  • Singing ridiculous camp songs out of insanity
  • Much internal conflict about next semester...

Christmas Break, please come soon!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 30: Gratitude

Welp, my thirty days gratitude are up! What a joyful thirty days it has been! I realized just how much more optimistic life seems to be when I think of what I'm grateful for. Reminds me of the song (from A White Christmas-my favorite movie!) Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep. Also, the hymn Count Your Blessings, of course! It really is true how surprising it is what the Lord has done for us. So, in conclusion I'm grateful for gratitude. It definitely brightens my day. When I sit and think about it, I have absolutely nothing to complain about. Even on the worst days, I am still so blessed! I hope to be able to be at least a little more grateful in my daily life because of this.

Day 29: Oakcrest

Seriously, where would I be without Oakcrest. Also, why does no one understand!!! Working at Oakcrest was one of the single-most life changing events I've had. I'd like to think I'm a new person because of that camp. Who would have thought that 11 weeks in the mountains with a bunch of girls would do what it did. I miss absolutely everything about that place! Okay, maybe not the homesick girls, camper cards, or Monday mornings. I have a problem and cannot express my feelings without a list... AH! Oh well. So here it is. Things I miss/love about Oakcrest (brace yourself).

  • Receiving cards Monday morning and reading things like "doesn't work well with groups", "doesn't like having a schedule", or worse-the blank ones.
  • Trying to act as ridiculous as possible in Aspen Grove, even though we were all exhausted.
  • Teaching FHE about self esteem and the importance of the Savior.
  • The Monday Night Program, especially the video "Our True Identity"
  • TEACHING UNIT PRAYER!!!! Favorite part of Oakcrest.
  • The sound of girls hitting the mat at the end of the zipline. Never gets old!
  • Staff meetings, where counselors show how tired they really are.
  • Making up count-offs.
  • Singing the theme song, "Stand With The Savior".
  • Broken down buses and lingering campers.
  • Coloring! We were the "Scribblets" after all....
  • Sitting in the bathroom just to have 2 minutes of peace.
  • Free time with the girls.
  • The smiling faces of the Kitchen Staff. 
  • Tuesday night party with costume (made of butcher paper) parade.
  • Craft time=nap time.
  • Painting finger nails, even if it meant my nailpolish never lived again.
  • Realizing on Friday that your girls really do love you! 
  • The staff mission statement. 
  • Hairy's chicken costume 
  • Blank stares from campers. Hourly.
  • Side ponytail Tuesdays. 
  • Dance parties to Hannah Montana (but the girls would only dance if JB came on). 
  • Walking outside to find girls lighting their hands on fire at 2 am. 
  • Waking up the first morning to snow.
  • Sunday nights with the staff.
  • Ticks. And campers thinking every bug in the world is one.
  • The attractive attire on hike day. 
  • Praying 20 times a day.
  • Hike. Mostly seeing girls who wouldn't sit in the dirt.
  • Chasing moose off the mountain without the girls noticing.
  • Roasting starbursts over the candle.
  • Dead mice in rolled up carpet.
  • Testimony meeting-even though it was the most nerve racking and most awkward by far.
  • Conveniently having the whiney girls clean the toilets during kapers.
  • Late night chats with roommates.
  • Rainboots. Period.
  • Scattering sunshine.
  • Girls guessing counselor names.
  • 3 page get-to-know you papers from campers when most girls wrote 3 sentences
  • Thinking we were cool for learning the Hoe Down Throw Down.
  • Salamanders in firepits (with Nesquik).
  • Bathroom quotes. 
  • The birthday song.
  • Painting rock friends.
  • Notes from campers (Probably my absolutely FAVORITE part!)
  • Jedi braids.
  • Tucking campers into bed.
  • Girls trying to take pictures of the north star. 
  • Successful testimony meetings when they're least expected.
  • Oakcrest miracles, where do I even begin???
  • Guhnat covering me in cake batter and powder sugar.
  • Girls collapsing at the sound of Justin Beiber.
  • Campers that tell me they're breaking up with their boyfriends after camp! YAH! 
  • Watching girls change their hearts in 5 days. 
  • Thursday night fireside from the Womens Committee.
  • Foam slide. Mostly because it meant shower time. 
  • Overflowing toilets.
  • Camper skits, especially the ones about counselors. But even more so, the ones that made no sense at all. 
  • Power outages
  • Spraying girls with water in the face during human foosball.
  • Cookouts! =Counselor bonding+fire+dutchoven-even when its raining.
  • Friday scripture study  (especially with Guhnat) and testifying of the Book of Mormon.
  • The sunsets at Oakcrest.
  • Gospel classes by the directorship. 
  • Not having a cell phone all week! 
  • Daisy and Aunt Polly in the Trading Post.
  • Guhnat wetting her pants weekly.
  • Flour fights.
  • Waka Waka.
  • Mail from the Womens Committee.
  • Receiving revelation on how to help campers.
  • Listening to the sound of a smile! (When 500 people smile at the same time, you really can hear it!)
  • Staff Serenade every week!!!
  • Eavesdropping on camper conversations.
  • Finding bear poop on the trail between the cabins and Dogwood (bathrooms)
  • Watching other counselors with their girls. 
  • Listening to the girls singing Lone Tree only on Stake Night so their leaders knew how cool they were
  • Alex, the camper who hated me.
  • The rivalry of love with Buttercup.
  • Cinnamon roll hugs.
  • Screaming "Best Friends FOREVER".
  • Singing the Beaver Song.
  • Singing to the girls are they leave camp.
  • Dino nuggets.
  • The directorship!
If you've never been to Oakcrest, I'm sorry. One, because none of that made any sense to you. Two, because you're missing out on the greatest opportunity of your life!!!! Oakcrest was definitely the HARDEST 11 weeks of my life. But they were even more so the great 11 weeks of my life. I know I'm still leaving out a million things! No list can be composed to demonstrate my whole summer. But aside from the laughter and fun, Oakcrest strengthened my testimony of faith, prayer, the atonement, and the power of love. As we say at camp, THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!! I know this because over the summer, I saw miracles happen daily that would not have happened except through the Savior. I'm am incredibly grateful for the friendships, trials, laughs, and lessons that Oakcrest has brought into my life. I will never EVER forget those 11 weeks.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 28: Education

What a blessing it is to have the opportunity to further my education. Attending BYU has really been one of the greatest things of my life! It has been completely opposite of what I expected it to be. It's so wonderful to have professors who feed me temporally and spiritually. The great thing is they don't just tell us information trying to blindly lead us into the church's point of view. They help us challenge the way we think. I never thought that in a History of Psychology class I would learn about how I need to be more altruistic, approaches to missionary work in different countries, the role of the Atonement in change and therapy, the list goes on. But BYU is just one source of this learning. I've realized everything provides us the opportunity to learn!

There are times when I get so depressed thinking that my college life will one day end. Not just because I love this lifestyle, but I love that everyone day I get to learn something new. I really love learning about pretty much every subject under the sun. But the great thing is that we get to spend the rest of our lives learning! It never has to end! There are billions of books with millions of subjects that can always be studied deeper. There are seminars and speakers, neighbors with stories, never ending information! I'm so glad that we get to learn! Even though I hate finals and homework, I love having the opportunity to further my knowledge.

Day 27: Visits Home

Boy, do I love to go home!!! It's always so rejuvenating to be surrounded by people who love you, a room to call your own, and in a home that feels like heaven. I love so many things about visiting home! (Warning, list in the near future. I can't resist!) The smell of alfalfa-I really can't get enough!, my comfy bed, real food, waving to the neighbors-and everyone else in the county, actually being able to see the stars and sunset, girl talk, sleeping in, the porch swing, hugs, playing the piano, cows (yes, I admit it), visiting the home ward, driving the truck (and riding in the back), the smell of food baking, walks around the block. Home really is a heaven on earth! Although it was hard to come back to face finals, I have to say that visiting home has given me new energy to face these last three weeks of the semester. I really can be myself at home, and that's what I love most about it :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 26: Life in a Bubble

I've recently realized that I've lived my entire life in a bit of a bubble. I went to high school in a dominantly Mormon community with a graduating class of 75, moved to Snow where I rarely had roommate problems and everyone had the same beliefs as me, I then worked at Oakcrest where we couldn't wear anything but pants and t-shirts, didn't say anything resembling anything negative or similar to swearing, and only listened to approved music, and now I'm at BYU living in Happy Valley and surrounded by people just like me...

While many people would absolutely hate the narrow-mindedness and lack of variety, I am happily living in my own little bubble. I grew up in a town that shops at Wal Mart and writes letters to the editor about Repulican candidates and four wheeling trails. Don't get me wrong, I love learning about absolutely everything and live to travel, but I'm quickly learning how much there is that I don't want to experience. Take for example Black Friday or our skip over Thanksgiving to focus on consumerism...what has society turned into?  Or The Twilight Series. Who writes a novel geared toward teenage girls and then introduces scenes blatant sexuality and a baby covered in of flesh and blood? I often find myself longing to live in the mountains in a cabin far away from the world (Yes, I saw Breaking Dawn...).

Maybe that's a little dramatic. What I'm getting at is that although many would find my "lack of living" naive and ignorant, I view my lifestyle as refreshing and safe. I don't mind one bit that I live in what some would call a bubble. In fact, I enjoy it! That doesn't mean I'm judgmental or uneducated. I just choose a lifestyle that separates me from so many things that bring misery and discomfort. As they say "ignorance is bliss" right?

Day 25: The Outdoors

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall-I love it all! I'm so blessed to live in such a beautiful state! The fall leaves, fog covered mountains, a flock of geese, falling snow, pine trees, clear blue lakes,  rainstorms, flower gardens, miles of fields, sunsets, cloudy skies, waterfalls, the smell of alfalfa, views of the valley, hot springs, green grass, flowing rivers, quakies, hummingbirds,  frosted trees, can we ever get enough of it??

Teaching FHE at Oakcrest, we discussed how God has given us these beautiful creations to show us that He loves us. He could have make it so simple, but instead He leaves it as a love note- a reminder that He longs for us to experience joy. I often forget this simple lesson. There are so many times when I rush through the day, complaining of how cold it is or how I hate the wind. Rarely do I really think about the blessings of these little things. Nothing is coincidence, especially mother nature.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 24: Family

I love the game nights, washing the dishes together while listening to music, camping trips, tickle fights, daily phone calls, late night chats, working in the yard, nights on the porch swing, looking through pictures, watching movies, having political discussions, home videos,  truck rides, teasing and jokes, visits to museums, and family dinners.

Dad, Mom, Jake, Abby, you are my life, my love, and my joy. I'm thankful for parents who love each other as well as their children. They have selflessly sacrificed their own desires to ensure the happiness of their children. I'm thankful for two siblings who love me unconditionally, play with me, tease me, and teach me. While our family isn't perfect by any means, we love each other perfectly.

Through tests of patience and lessons of humility, we have learned that the joy of family doesn't come through the absence of sorrow and trials, but the ability to endure that hardship together. Yes, we're ridiculous to everyone else in the world. We occasionally lose our patience and shorten our tempers. But together, we create a unique family that I would never want to be without.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 23: The Necessities

By necessities, I guess I should say what I consider necessities. I'm grateful for a warm house, food on the table, electricity, running water, and clothes to wear. I realized today just how good I have it. There are millions out there who don't have these simple things, things that I've never had to go without. I'm thankful that this Thanksgiving seasons, I am able to have the necessities.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 22: The Temple

Mt. Timpanogas

Jordan River


Oquirrh Mountain

Salt Lake City





St. George
 Today as I was able to attend the temple, I realized what a huge blessing it is for so many. And by "so many" I mean everyone who has ever lived. Because of the temples, everyone has the opportunity to be baptized. We are able to be sealed with our families. Not only this, but the temple brings such temporal happiness as well. It's wonderful to see everyone dressed in white, knowing that in the Lord's house, we are all equal. These are the temples I've had the opportunity of visiting in the last year. What a blessing it is to live in a state that is spotted with these beautiful buildings. I'm so grateful I have access to the temple and cannot wait for the day when I get to make those sacred covenants inside. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 21: Pictures

If you've ever been to any sort of social outing with me, you're aware that I'm the girl that creepily takes pictures of everything! Yup, I LOVE pictures! Ever since I was a little girl I loved taking pictures, looking at pictures, being in pictures, hanging pictures, anything to do with pictures!!! They are a huge passion of mine. I left the professional photography to my dad and brother, but I still absolutely love looking through old pictures and taking new ones. Whenever I go home, I pull out the picture boxes and thumb through the memories. There is something so wonderful about capturing those moments. They remind me of all the happy memories in my life. I have at least 130 pictures hanging on my wall to remind me of those I love and the good times we've had. I'm so thankful that we have pictures!!! They help me remember that life is a beautiful gift and that 
I need to enjoy the simple things. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 20: Family Dinners

I may or may not have gone home this weekend, even though Thanksgiving Break is two days away. I had good reasons! But I realized just how much I love my family and spending time with them. I realize every time I'm with them, but today was superb. Conversation before dinner:
Me: Abby, Mom told me today that I'm the favorite daughter
Abby: Really? Because today Mom said to me that she doesn't even consider you her daughter so that means I fulfill the top position.
Me: Mom said thats not possible because you're rude.
Dad: Dad says that Abby should say that prayer.
Abby: Abby says... the prayer. 
Why is that so funny to me!?! My eyes were leaking during the entire prayer. I love my family so much! I adore the ridiculous conversations we have around the dinner table. The silly comments, how Abby hands me her plate every single time, eating ice cream, going around the table hugging everyone afterwards, and the discussions we have.  My family is definitely ridiculous, but I am so glad we can have family dinner together.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 19: Friends

Its true that you don't know what you have til its gone. Living in Provo by myself  has really made me realize how blessed I have been my entire life to have incredible friends!

Today I was able to attend my best friends bridal shower! This was the happiest reunion of my life!!! My old roommates were there, including my roommate from Oakcrest! It was so great to see my Snow College friends who I have missed so dearly! I realized these things today:

  • It is SOOO easy to be myself around them! Since I've been surrounded by strangers for the last three months (except my Oakcrest friends of course), its such a relief to just be able to be yourself without thinking about it. They accept me and love me for who I am. Always! 
  • They make me happy. I don't feel like I have to politely laugh. I cry with tears streaming down my face over how ridiculous they are. 
  • My friends are incredible examples. I am the person I am because of them. They are constantly serving others and trying to better themselves. Whenever I am with them, I want to be a better person.
  • They love me! I love how they greet me by screaming my name and attacking me. They sincerely care about me and how I am doing. I know that I can turn to them any day, any time and they will be there. 
I really don't know what I would do without these incredible people in my life! They have been some of the greatest blessings I have ever received! Through trials and treasures, they have been through it all. I am grateful for all of the friends in my life, for their love and examples. I will never EVER be able repay them. 

PS-Sarah, Steph, Calliane, Erica, Jamie, Emily, Tori, Guhnat, Jenn,Valerie, Sara, Charee, Cami, Chante, Abby-Thanks for making this day the best EVER! 

Day 18: Answered Prayers

I'm a day late. Don't judge... So I left Provo Friday night at 9 pm just as it was starting to snow, headed to a bridal shower that was Sat. morning. My usual hour long drive to Ephraim ended up taking two hours. I've never driven this car in the snow before and I was by myself, in the city (still a big deal for me!). It was a complete white out! I could not see a single thing in front of me, including the sides of the road or where my lane was. The road was covered with slushy water and I started hydyoplanning. I had no idea where I was and realized I had no idea how I was going to make it the whole drive.  Through the tears, I prayed and pleaded. I was able to not only make it to Ephraim in safety, but to have my troubled heart feel peace.

I am so grateful that we can pray. I am grateful that we can have our prayers answered. He hears every word. There are so many occasions where I feel that Heavenly Father is the only one I can talk to, who understands. And better yet, He can actually help. And He does, every time.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 17: The Book of Mormon

I was never one to be a very diligent scripture reader. Over the last year, however, I've challenged myself to be a little better. I must confess... at first it almost felt like torture. But as time passed, a miraculous thing happened. I fell in love with the Book of Mormon. I never imagined how much better it could get! I really never thought that I could feel the Spirit so strongly out of such a simple book. After teaching about scripture study and the Book of Mormon at camp, I've realized just how easy something is that I once made so difficult. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon! It answers my questions and brings my mind to peace without fail. I can honestly say I feel a difference in my day when I don't read it. I feel so blessed to have such a precious gift in my life, knowing that so many sacrificed everything just for this generation to have.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 16: Tomorrows

I'm grateful that tomorrow is always another day full of second chances and fresh starts.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 15: My Health

In a recent letter, my friend told me about a blessing he gave to someone who had received very serious burns. I realized just how grateful I am to have a healthy body. What incredible gifts they are! Sadly, it isn't until my health is taken from me that I realize how much of a blessing it is. As I've just gotten over a minor cold, I've realized how big of a deal such small things seem (mostly because I'm a baby). No one has been able to replicate the human body. Without them, we would have no power over Satan. I'm so thankful for such simple things as nose hairs (yup, I just said that...) and taste buds. I'm so glad that I don't have to worry about my basic health so that I can focus on my average daily life.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 14: A Future Break

Today I am grateful that in a week, I will be on Thanksgiving break and not thinking about Anthropology. The end.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 13: Revelation

Where would I be without the influence of the Holy Ghost in my life? *Shutter* I don't even want to think about it. Today as I sat through Ward Conference, I had question after question answered with each lesson. What a blessing it is to be able to receive personal revelation. From the blanketing feeling of reassurance, to the burning anxiousness of knowing something different needs to be done. I have been blessed with a Patriarchal Blessing, General Authorities, the Book of Mormon, the Ensign, lesson manuals, prayer, church meetings, religion classes (even regular classes), firesides/devotionals, missionary letters, all of which provide opportunities to receive revelation. All that being said, I'm realizing how rare it is that I actually take the time to receive that personal guidance. Eeek! Step it up, Bec! 

Time after time I am slapped in the face with the realization that my wisdom doesn't come close to being enough.  I need it. Every single day! I am grateful for that still small voice that helps me along the path of life. My dearest friend, Elder Brock Mays, said "God doesn't use a floodlight when he can use a flashlight." How true that is! I am so very grateful for those promptings, big and small that help me to make the choices that will bring others and myself great happiness. The church is true!!! 

Day 12: Missionary Letters

So, maybe I'm a little ridiculous and check the mail several times a day on occasion. Or maybe everyday... But I just love missionary letters!!! They have answered so many prayers and brought so much joy to many of my days. In previous days, I struggled to get a page or two written to them. But now that all of my really close friends are out, I have a hard time not sending 12 pages every time. I love, love, LOVE seeing the changes that come from the Spirit. I can see their testimonies strengthen with each letter. While it has been hard to have my best friends scattered across the world, their letters make it feel like they're still so close. I love the random drawings, ridiculous list of nicknames on the envelopes, and all the inside jokes. There are very few things that make me happier! Most of all, I love seeing the happiness that comes from the gospel. A true conversion is the most beautiful thing their is, both the missionaries and those they teach. I am so thankful that I can receive letters from the Lord's servants. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 11: Veterans

I'm ashamed to admit that I spend more than the first half of my life completely ignorant of the sacrifices being made in my behalf. As another Veteran's Day rolls around, I can't help but reflect on the many blessings I have, all because of a select few willing to sacrifice everything for this great land. If you follow my blog, I'm sure you're  aware of my feelings of patriotism and love for this great land. I cannot comprehend the magnitude of what I've been given because of the men and women of the armed forces. Today I am grateful to have the freedoms I do. More so, I am grateful for those who have given those to me. And while I will never be able to express how I feel towards them, there is a large place in my heart of our veterans. As I texted my brother on Veteran's day, he replied stating that he is the last person he think of as a Veteran. For him, he thinks about those like our grandfather who left for a war honestly not knowing who would win. So here's my shout out to all the Veterans out there. May God bless you into the eternities for all you have done.

To my brother: Thank you. You have set an example to me, our family, friends, and nation. You have done something that many will never be able to do, and for that you are a real hero. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 10: My Mother

Where do I even begin? Of all the things I could list this month, this is at the top. There is no doubt that my mom is my hero and best friend. Everything I am, I owe to her. She has blessed my life in more ways than I can begin to express. I'll attempt to make a list, but know that no amount of words could ever express the love and gratitude I have for her.
  • My mom is my best friend. I tell her absolutely everything. Do I call her every single day? Yes. She listens so selflessly. Not only that, but she always knows how to help. We go on drives and discuss everything under the sun. I can and do tell her anything and everything. She is incredibly patient to whole-heartedly listen to my every word. I can't count the late nights she spend letting me cry to her while she played with my hair and told me she loved me. 
  • I love spending time with her. She makes me smile when I'm around her. Even when we aren't doing anything particular, I love to just be around her. She is always excited to see me and makes me feel loved. We love to go for drives up the canyon or to have girl talk late into the night.
  • She is incredibly talented. My mom can do pretty much anything. Sew, cook, bake, paint, restore 100 year old houses :), decorate, embroider, crochet, stain glass, canning, dutch oven cooking, takes care of the chickens, quilting, cleaning, yard work, reupholstering, gardening, you name it! She even does sprinkler systems! Not only that, but she is an incredible secretary at the Monroe Seminary. The helps the students feel the love of the Savior and manages to keep the teachers under control. She is an INCREDIBLE homemaker. Our home was always a place of peace. 
  • She is selfless. My mother never, EVER thinks of herself. She never requests a television show to watch, where to vacation, how to spend a saturday, or says no to someone asking for help. She is always willing to make someone a meal, hem a pair of pants, or bake a favorite dessert. She makes great sacrifices for her children, including six weeks in the hospital with my sister, and driving to California to spend several weeks helping my brother when he was in need. She sacrifices her own desires to pay for her kids' schooling and other needs. She endured two deployments with patience and faith. Today she drove to Provo to go to the doctor's office with me when I didn't feel like I could go by myself. She sacrificed a second income in order to stay home with her children, to raise us in the gospel. She always woke up with us in the morning, made us a hot breakfast and made sure we were to school on time. She spent her time in the PTA and volunteering to assist our education. She's made countless Halloween costumes and Christmas dresses, suffered through hours of painful piano practicing, and endured many unfinished projects. 
  • She is an incredible example of Christ. The more I study the Savior, the more I realize my mom is an incredible disciple of Him. As my mother, she has never judged me. She never tells me that my best isn't enough or that I'm doing something wrong. She loves each of us wholly and completely, without even a thought of doing otherwise. While we, as her children, have made our own choices-good and bad, she has always been there right beside us loving and supporting us. No matter how stupid or selfish I can be, she is always there ready to help. She never thinks twice about service. She humbly goes about doing her best and never asking for praise or recognition. She has truly made home a heaven on earth. I feel like my best self when I am with her. She always lets me know that I am welcome at home and excitedly greets me when I arrive. 
The list could go on and on. I am guilty of not showing enough appreciation for all my mother does. What a blessing it is to have her in my life. She is truly one of the GREATEST gifts Heavenly Father has given me. As I've taken several family classes, I've realized just how blessed I have been. Because of her, I have the testimony I do. Because of her, I am happy with my life and who I am. Because of her, I want my family to be together forever. Because of her obedience and commitment to covenants, we CAN be together forever! I will be doing well if I could be half the woman she is. To my mother, I owe that I have. 

Day 9: Frozen Yogurt

Oops... I got super busy and am posting this a day late!  My bad. I'm grateful for frozen yogurt. Seriously though! It makes any day just a little bit better. What did I ever do without Yogurtland and my Oakcrest friends who will escape reality for a frozen delectable! I LOVE FROZEN YOGURT!!!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 8: Late Night Chats

I've been known for my love of talking. Well, not just talking, but engaging in conversation. I have dearly missed those deep heart to hearts or pillow talks that so abundantly filled my life in years previous. I really do live for those! There is something that is so deeply fulfilling about conversing with a friend that you feel completely comfortable with and trusting of. I'm grateful that I have friends who understand me and are willing to exchange feelings, desires, pains, and secrets. A special thanks to Queen Bee (Anna Fulton) for letting me run away and vent. I feel like a whole new person :) I will NEVER grow tired of late night chats. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 7: Laughter

"Laughter is part of the human survival kit."
I pretty much have the best Statistics professor known to mankind. We listened to videos making fun of computer pronunciations.  Why is that so funny to me?? Furthermore, why did no one else in the class think it was funny but me and the professor? Needless to say, we both spent several minutes crying over the ridiculousness of it all. Best of all, I left Stats not hating my life! Thats a big accomplishment!!

When life gets too much to stand, lay on your bed and laugh until you cry for no apparent reason while your roommate stares at you with wide eyes, wondering what possessed you. Great philosophy eh? It worked for me! I've found that when I'm most stressed, I laugh at the most ridiculous things. Laughing to hide the pain? Pretty much. But it works! Every day on my way home from class, I try to think of something funny. It's the only way I can face the rest of the busy day. What I've found is that on days where nothing else eases the stress, laughter works without fail. I'm so grateful we have laughter! Simple as it may be, it really is a huge blessing. The days I can laugh at myself are the days that I can handle the burdens of life. I'm grateful that laughter truly is the best medicine and for those who make me laugh :) 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 6: Sundays

Favorite picture ever!
Thank you Freshman
year of Snow College :)
It's funny how growing up really changes your view on pretty much everything. I can't say I ever remember a time when I dreaded church, but I certainly never enjoyed it as much as I do now. It amazes me how every commandment God gives is really an opportunity for Him to pour out His blessings upon us. As school and work have consumed every second of my life, I've made it a personal goal to not to any homework on Sunday. When I spend all weekend on it, and still don't get it done, its difficult to let it sit lifelessly on the shelf throughout Sunday. But what I've learned is just how big of a blessing the Sabbath day really is. Not only is it an opportunity to rest from our labors, but a time to receive the spiritual boost to get us through the week. I've truly gained a testimony of the importance of the Sabbath. 

Extra bonuses of Sunday: Wearing skirts (why do I love that?), Sunday naps, indexing, writing missionary letters, Sunday dinner, temple walks, drives up the canyon, phone calls home, church movies (wahoo!), journal writing, firesides, church music, and roommate bonding :) And as we say at Oakcrest, "THE CHURCH IS TRUE!"

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 5: Sleep

Its no secret, I love sleep. 
Probably more than the average human being should. Anyone in my family can testify of this. Today, I tried to comprehend life without needing sleep. Couldn't do it! Nothing feels better than waking up in a cold world and being able to stay in bed. Its true that I'm well known for my late nights...but when the morning comes I love my sleep. And then there are naps... yum! 

Not only is sleep cool because it feels good, but its so weird! We just lay there...and then go unconscious... and make up stories in our minds out of our control! And occasionally talk (or in my case, make weird yelling sounds) or walk. So. wonderful. The end! 

Day 4: John Allred

My car doesn't lie. I love Allred. Tonight's concert was honestly one of the best nights of my life!!! His music has been a huge influence in the last four years of my life. I feel like a 14 year old girl crushing in Justin Beiber, but Allred holds a very dear spot in my heart. The lyrics he writes, the way he interacts with his audience, how he sings into his guitar, his beautiful face; I love it all! His recorded music is nothing compared to a live show. Looping = INCREDIBLE!
Yup, it's a bit pathetic that his music makes me weak. I'm hopeless. But what I truly love most about Allred is how since he is. He cares about his fans and his music. When he sang Come Thou Fount I melted into a puddle! Allred's songs mean something to him, and he shares that with his audience. I love John Allred!!!  I am grateful to have had the opportunity to attend several of his shows and be touched by his music. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 3: My Job

Miracles happen! After having the perfect job in Ephraim, I assumed I would never again be able to find a job like that one. And then the clouds opened up, and a pillar of light descended! My roommate, Janelle, suggested I apply at her old job and here I am. I spend about 30 minutes actually working, and the rest is homework time. The management is wonderful and I feel right at home :) Ogden's Flooring and Design, you saved my life! After working at a marketing company making phone calls for 20 hours a week, this is definitely a breath of fresh air. It's nice to be back in the interior design world!.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 2: Nyquil, Orange Juice, and Mentholatum

Illness never mixes well with.... pretty much anything. With exams and assignments, I most definitely didn't schedule a cold into my agenda. What started out as a headache quickly led to a sore throat, runny nose, head congestion, plugged ears, and a raspy voice. Worst part? My mother is 2 hours away from me :( But reality tells me I need to be a big girl and grow up, and so I invested in some night-time Nyquil, orange juice, and brought out the mentholatum. Miraculous things, those three are! I've never slept so well in my life. Also, special thanks to those who endured my unshowered, sniffly, dazed, half-deaf self.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thirty Days of Gratitude-Day 1: President Monson

Part of me is really hesitant to even begin this, knowing my crazy schedule and love for sleep. But I figure, what better way to really celebrate Thanksgiving than to truly think about what I'm grateful for? So here goes nothin'!
Day 1: President Thomas S. Monson

Today I had the rare opportunity of listening to President Monson speak, in person! He came to the BYU devotional and delivered a superb message about being an example and the importance of gaining our own individual testimony through the Book of Mormon. I am continually amazed by our Prophet of God. Not only is he a Prophet during these trying final days, but he sets an example to the world in so many areas. I absolutely love his ability to make a serious subject lighter without distracting from the Spirit. What a blessing it is to have a living Prophet on the Earth today to give us revelation from God. Any man who can bring a chatty audience of over 50,000 people to silence simply by walking into the room  is undeniably a man whyo carries the Spirit of Christ with him. I am truly grateful for the opportunity I've had to listen to his words of wisdom and counsel. 

Friday, September 30, 2011

These are the Moments

So, I'm gonna brag for a second. I had an AMAZING week!!! Since I enjoyed it so much, naturally I'm writing a blog about it. Lucky you :) Below are the highlights from the week.
Jimmer's All Stars-Let's be honest, I've never cared about Jimmer a day of my life... Did I watch a single BYU basketball game last year? Nope! But, my roommate and I got discount tickets for the All-Star game. Legit? Yes!!! NBA basketball all stars, who could ask for more? Compared to high school basketball (which is all I've ever watched) it was magical. Am I obsessed with Jimmer? Not in the slighest. BUT! I do feel like a true BYU student now. 
Cafe Rio-Dacy came down from USU and so I had lunch with her and Lauren. I won't lie, I still have a hard time accepting that they used to be my complete enemies. But times have changes :) And who doesn't love Cafe Rio???
BYU vs. UCF Football game- Since when does Bec care about football? Well, pretty much since 3 weeks ago. Do I understand it? Not on my own... but I love it! It's so much easier to understand when you're actually there. And! My tickets were on the third row! That's right, THIRD! And we won :) We forgive and forget, right? Well...some day we'll forget the Utah game... 
General Relief Society Broadcast-I won't lie, I was INCREDIBLY  tired through the entire thing. I managed to stay awake and get some pretty legit insights. President Uchtdorf is about as good as it gets!
Back yard bon fire- So.... I seem to have an addiction. To fire... What can I say, it's a problem. I got to go home for the first time since school started. I will NEVER get sick of going home! I had a fire in my backyard under a blanket of beautiful stars (I miss them so dearly!). Better yet, three of my very best friends from high school were there. Did it last til 4 am? There's a pretty good possibility! But you know how I live for those deep conversations that only come late into the night. Thanks Marie, Rachel, and Ryan 
Jimmy's Farewell-Best. Farewell. EVER! Seriously, he's on his way to be the next General Authority. I was BLOWN away by the words he spoke and the spirit he facilitated. Washington won't know what 'em! Bonus: I got to see a ton of friends from high school, including my Snow College roommates! Not to mention my incredible family
Prank Wars: It's still in it's weak stages, but we're getting there. After printing look alike pictures of some guys in our ward, Bret's car got seran wrapped. So we decided to go to their apartment and steal all their chairs. Well, their roommate kind of gave them to us...we're innocent! After being invaded, we finally signed a peace treaty involving stuffed wolves and cheesecake. We'll see if they follow through.
BYU Police Beat-A beautiful discovery has been made in "The Daily Universe"! The BYU police report!!! Does it get better? I think not! Here are just a few examples: 

  • A student reported his backpack stolen. He found it later.
  • A man claimed another man rammed him with a stroller at the bus stop. He believed the other man was cutting in line. The matter is under investigation.
  • A student through he found his stolen bike by the Kimball Tower. Officers checked the serial number and determined it was not his bike. 
  • There was a call reporting two suspicious people sleeping on a sidewalk. Officers arrived and discovered they were not sleeping and were not on the sidewalk. They were lying on the grass talking to each other
Do you see the beauty???
Graded paper-I wrote a paper with absolutely no idea what I was doing. I received it back with the remarks " Absolutely perfect! This is brilliant!" I guess I'll take what I can get!
Speaker Phone Call-There is nothing better than getting a phone call from two of your previous roommates on speaker phone. Emily and Sarah, I love you a lot! It definitely made my life complete to hear from those two beautiful souls again. 
Roommate dinner-Whoever made the decision that it was okay for us to be in public together was terribly wrong! We went to Olive Garden for Natalie's birthday. As a result, we completely creeped out one of the waiters by talking about him every time he passed, and once while he was standing right next to us. SOOO worth it! 
Provo Temple-I decided to be a good student and get my homework done early so I could go to the temple. I still feel super awkward there with missionaries flooding that place, especially having 4 friends in the MTC. But I absoutely love that temple and being able to do baptisms. After watching 17 miracles last night (which my next door neighbor was in! Woot!) I realized one again that I am incredibly blessed beyond all comprehension. 
 So there you have it! Definitely a week to remember! And one cannot forget that question I was asked today in class. "Will you please grade our unicorns and tell us which one is better?" Why yes, don't mind if I do! And tomorrow I not only get to wake up to my "Friday" alarm (a personal favorite), but I also have my Oakcrest reunion!!! WAHOO! I cannot wait! You may be thinking to yourself, "Dude, Bec's life must stink if she's looking for such pathetic things to enjoy" Well, let's be honest. You're probably right. But at least I'm happy :) 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Livin' the Dream

What happened to July and August??? Life is crazy! The summer flashed right before my eyes. I'm sure you're well aware that Oakcrest is now over. Along with that, life is now over. Okay, maybe that's a little dramatic. But let's be honest, a huge part of me there. Leaving camp was much harder than I expected it to be. I have never felt God's love so powerfully as I did there. I never dreamed I would miss scraping plates, getting dressed in .5 seconds, and not showering. More than anything, I miss the optimism Oakcrest provided in my life. The world is much different to me than it was when I left for camp. Yes, I'm completely awkward now. But that's not what I 'm referring to.

So, rumor has it I'm living the dream. You better believe it!!! I've now been in Provo for three weeks now. At first, I was terrified and feeling lonely. Adjusting to life after Snow College is hard, no matter where you are. Let's face it, Snow is just as good as it gets! But with time I've adjusted to a big school, city life, and moving on without my friends right by my side. Some of my beloved friends have been kind enough to take me in and let me tag along, for which I am incredibly grateful.  I must say, Oakcrest not only blessed my life at camp but continues to help me every day! For one, I am now surrounded by a dozen people from camp who truly help me every single day. They are the greatest friends I could ever ask for. Second, I have been blessed with faith as I face this new life. For some reason, most hard things don't phase me much any more. I know this is where I'm supposed to be. There are opportunities here that I can't wait to find.

 How do I like BYU? Words cannot express the deep love I feel for this place! The dream I've had since I was twelve years old is now a reality. I can feel the Spirit on campus! My teachers can take any subject and relate it to the gospel. My Psych 201 professor is possibly my new hero. He truly challenges us intellectually, and relates the gospel in such a profound and stimulating way. I absolutely love it here. I was able to go to the CES fireside of Elder Oaks, and a BYU devotional given by Elder Anderson. I worried that by being around so many incredible people, I would feel lost and inadequate. Instead, I find it intriguing and it motivates me to be better. Yes, the BYU stereotypes drive me crazy! Certainly, there are people here that fit them. But for the most part, I have met some incredibly sincere and humble people. I've come to realize just how much of it's in our heads. People come here, knowing that "typical BYU student" expectation is set for them. And so they conform to it. It's all about what you look for. What a blessing it is to be in an academic environment that is sponsored by the church. No I'm not engaged. Talking to boys pretty much gives me paralysing anxiety due to Oakcrest. But I'm adjusting! 

It's miracle time! Once upon a time it was the first day of school. I had been having a hard time adjusting to being so far away from the ones I loved. I started to pray for opportunities to make new friends if I made a sincere effort to meet people. I went to the library to do some reading and left feeling bummed with the realization that I was pretty much here alone. As I left the library, I stumbled (quite literally) upon some fellows laying on the sidewalk and grass. Trying to get out of their way, I was asked by two guys if I wanted to join them in nightgames. Feeling sorry for myself, I declined and continued on my way. I heard them from a distance joking about their rejection. I got about 50 yards away when I stopped and felt the need to go play. I realized this was the opportunity I was looking for! However, I still had numerous things to do.  Again, I felt a strong desire to go join them! I turned around and started walking back, and then realized how ridiculous I would look after already walking away. Again, I felt a spiritual kick to the stomach, telling me to go play. After walking back and forth at least three times, looking even more ridiculous, I marched back to the group and told them I changed my mind and wanted to play. Throughout the night, I met some incredibly nice people. One girl came up to me afterward and told me she had just gotten home from a mission and didn't know very many people. We exchanged numbers and have hung out on a few occasions since then. I even joined the facebook group and now go every week! These students are possibly the most friendly and accepting people I've met at BYU. I feel a little piece of Snow College here with me when I'm with them. This group certainly has no idea of the impact they've had on me in the last three weeks, simply by asking a stranger to play with them. God works in mysterious ways. Even through nightgames!!! 

I'm still getting used to so many things here. Callings, roommates, walking 20 minutes to get to class, a class bigger than my high school, and the library (I get lost every time...). But every day comes with the promise of new opportunities and a step toward becoming the person I truly want to become. 

PS - I even got a picture with John Allred and met the guys from Kid History! 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

"You will find true happiness"

Two more weeks at Oakcrest have flown by in the blink of an eye! Week five is over. Guess what that means? We're halfway done! I am saddened to think that this divine calling will end so soon. Part of me feels like I've been at camp for a week or so. Another part feels like I've been there my whole life. I can hardly remember what a normal life feels like! 

As for the last two weeks, they were as adventurous as ever! Week 4 was a miracle. Period. I had been deep in thought the weekend before about how much more I could do for my girls. With my prayers and fasting, I hoped I would be able to love my girls unconditionally. When Monday morning came around, I immediately felt like those girls were my best friend. They were hilarious! I actually wanted to spend my free time with them. I realized just how much the Savior really does fill in the gaps when we try our hardest. I truly felt that I could see at least a small portion of their potential and Heavenly Father's love for those girls. I miss them so much already! Note to self: be warned when a mother writes "chatty" on her camper card. Highlights: definitely convincing the girls we had baby monitors in the cabin and listened to everything they say, and a girl trying to take a picture of the north star with her disposable camera

Just one experience to share: Thursday night, I had NO IDEA what to teach unit prayer on. This is a far too familiar situation. While at staff meeting, I had a feeling as clear as glass that I needed to teach on families. I prepared the lesson and went out to teach the girls. When I went out, two girls were crying. One had a received a letter that her grandmother had passed away and the other was crying because he dad had passed away when she was younger and the feelings came back very strongly. I panicked that the topic would be too sensative to discuss. Debating on changing it, I once again had that undeniable feeling that I needed to teach on families. So I proceeded. The lesson went much different than planned, but still focused on families none the less. One of my girls pulled me aside after to ask further questions and talk to me about a few things. As we talked, I realized just how badly she needed that lesson. I ended up receiving a note from her best friend telling me how much she needed that lesson, as well as her friend. It was the sweetest note I've ever read, saying that unit prayer contained the answers she was looking for the entire week, that she looked up to me, and that I had changed her life. I know, however, that it wasn't me that changed her but the Spirit. Departing from those girls was truly the hardest part of the week. 

As for week 5, let's just say my energy was a little low. I tried to fake it but I don't think the girls were convinced. It took until Thursday night to really feel any connection to them. My hardest part of the week was patience. That lack of gratitude and whining just gets right to me. Highlight of the week? I was able to give a little presenation to the entire camp on the 4th of July about what freedom means to me. I shared with them my experience of having Jake deployed. It was wonderful! I received so many compliments. I am truly realizing how much the Spirit can teach when we facilitate it. It was a hard thing for me to get through, for it is so dear to my heart. But I realized that not only can we benefit from our trials, but so can others. Those two deployments were so hard, but that night made it entirely worth it knowing that others were able to feel that gratitude and respect. Due to the flash flood this week, I was able to see what a joy and gift music is in our lives. Nothing unifies those girls or calms them quicker than song.

Favorite quotes of the last two weeks:

  • First thing my dad says when I come home: "You look like a hippie."
  • I wrote this in one of my girls cards without realizing how creepy it sounded: " Remember that people are always, always watching you."
  • After doing foam slide in the rain, a girl says " Is it safe to shower when there's a storm?"
  • (this one's for the boys downstairs) As I'm telling the girls the other names I was considering, one said "I don't think I'd like you if your name was sledgehammer..."
  • After telling my girls we're going star gazing, one asks "What's star gazing..."
  • During introductions a girls says, "I'm from a really small town. You've probably never heard of it. It's called South Jordan."
  • While walking to the lodge, a girl says "Do they pay you to be optimistic? Because normal people aren't like this..."
  • After lending a girl my coloring book, I asked for it back. She said, "Oh ya, I was just keeping it safe in my suitcase" Hm...
  • While handing out bananas for breakfast, a girl asks "What are these for?" I stared at her for a second and said " eat?"
So to sum it all up, I've come to really realize what true happiness is. This job is the hardest thing I've ever done. Each day comes with so many challenges. But as I overcome them and trust in the Lord, I am able to see the miracles that happen every day. I am seeing what pure and true happiness come from teaching the gospel and bringing others unto Christ, just as the blessing I received when I was set apart said I would. I am determined to make these next five weeks the best 35 days of my life. Oakcrest, I am deeply in love with you! 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Three Down, Seven To Go!

In some ways, I can hardly believe week three at Oakcrest has come and gone! In other ways, I feel like I've been working at camp my entire life. I won't lie, when I think about the fact that I have seven more weeks I get a little overwhelmed. But I'm taking it a day at a time and learning to make the most out of each and every day! I am loving every day I am at camp, truly making best friends forever. *Insert the Oakcrest staff with their arms around each other chanting "BEST FRIENDS FOREVER" repeatedly*. 

Week 2 was my floater week, and it was definitely needed! The days blurred together into one. Aside from feeling like a creep while doing shower duty, it was a stupendous week! Partying with the specialists, kitchen staff, and directorship was so great. I could listen to Spud all day, every day. The party went wonderfully! The theme was game shows. We had staff saran wrapped together, people eating onion jello, and girls balancing Oreos on their faces. The highlight of my week definitely had to be our Tree Hut table cheer, where we stood up and yelled, "WE LOVE JUSTIN BIEBER" just to see how the girls would react. I think every girl in the lodge had a miniature heartache just at the mentioning of his name. Coming in close second was getting my braces off :) Okay, that's a lie. Getting braces off = BEST DAY EVER!!!

Week 3 was definitely harder than week 1. I had some super tough girls that made my life a little difficult. Between pranks being pulled, a complete lack of unity, girls who refused to sit on anything but a bench, laughing during Unity Prayers, 30 minutes to get out the door every time, and a never-ending amount of girls wandering off on their own, I was completely exhausted. Some of them seemed so hard headed that I thought I would never get through to them. And I don't think I did, but the Spirit definitely did. Even though testimony meeting was an hour and a half, and nearly half the girls bore their testimonies more than three times, it was still one of the greatest I've had. I was able to see a change of heart in so many of them. They certainly made my week one of the hardest of my life. But I realized how grateful I am for the Oakcrest staff. They were more than willing to take my girls for me, talk about how things were going, and give a hug. Despite the difficulties, there were still highlights:
  • Peter Breinholt concert! (And my girls didn't even have to go to the bathroom during it!)
  • Flour fight
  • Telling my girls to go to bed, convincing them I had gone back into my room, and catching them talking again :)
  • Twinnie's surprise mission call!!!
  • Watching Triscuit kill her first spider
  • During lunch on the hike: "Look, the Draper temple! I can see my house from here!!"-Calle "That's not Draper dear..."-Me "Oh, then what temple is that?"-Calle "That's a barn...."-Me

  • Having my girls do my hair and nails
  • Receiving a note from Tiffany that melted my heart. She was my hardest girl and proved to me that I was actually making a difference in their lives
  • Making rock buddies with my girls
  • Convincing the girls that Dandelion and I are sisters. Still kind of feeling guilty about that one...
  • "Why don't we duct tape the top of our shirts to ourselves so we don't get ticks down them?"
  • Comment during dating discussion while going over For the Strength of Youth: "My brother studied this pamphlet five times before his mission. He said he was going to get married right after he got home. He's been home for two years now, and still isn't married."
  • FINALLY getting a few missionary letters out.
  • Having a girl tell me that day was the longest of the year. I thought she was trying to insult me...apparently it was literally the longest day of the year. 
  • New roommates! Chewy and Guhnat. CAN'T WAIT!
Despite many tears and prayers, lack of patience and motivation, I still was able to learn so much from these girls. It amazes me how little we know the difference we're making in someone until they flat out tell us. It's those little notes the girls leave at the end that make the whole week of hardship worth it. Am I nervous for this next week? Most certainly! But I know that no matter what comes, I'll make it through somehow. I'm doing the Lord's work. I know He is aware of me.