Tuesday, September 25, 2012

So much to do, so little time!

Last week we went to Mormon night at the Columbus Crew stadium and watched our first professional soccer game, we drove down to Louisville to see Wicked (amazing!), on the way home from Louisville we stopped in Cincinnati to see USA compete in their first ever international firework competition, and last of all we went on a beautiful Sunday walk at a new park…we are trying to go to a new park/trail every time because there is so many around here, we want to see them all!

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The Columbus temple

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The Columbus Crew

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All the missionaries in the mission got to go to the game, so cool to see them all there!

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The stadium

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I wanna see it again! Everytime Glenda spoke, sang, or did anything we just kept thinking how her part was written exactly for Kristin Chenoweth. It was SO awesome! Thanks babe for a great bday present!

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Some of the crowd gathered in the empty swimming pool at Coney Island to watch the fireworks.

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Since Denis and I didn’t hear about the fireworks till an hour after we left home, we got to stop and shop for some jackets to wear to the park. Good excuse, right? haha

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It was cold!!!

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Our Sunday walk

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Yeah, I know. He’s hott.

There is so much to do here and we have so little time to do it. I really love it here…haha, I think I might have mentioned that before.

Monday, September 24, 2012

I can be a brat

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Okay so I admit it, when I’m hungry or tired or hungry or sick or hungry or depressed or hungry or going through a hard time or…did I mention HUNGRY? I’m a brat. Plain and simple. When I say or do something rude, I like to find an excuse for it. Often you’ll hear me say something like this, “I know, I’m sorry, that was mean, but I don’t care I’m SO tired.” Well, a few weeks ago I decided I’m going to stop making excuses and start being responsible for the things I do and say. I’m still struggling with it, but it feels great to be trying to be better.

Let me introduce you to an amazing woman that I was so blessed to get to know. Her name is Debra. She is probably the sweetest southern lady that has or ever will walk this earth. You could be in the very worst mood and after talking with Debra for two minutes you feel so happy you just know that everything in your life is going to not only be okay, but it will turn out amazing. I don’t know how Debra does it, she is a miracle.

Well a few months ago Debra suffered two heart attacks in a row. It left her speech slurred, one of her arms disabled, and not able to walk on her own (she is doing much better today, she has made great progress in all of those areas). I can imagine if that happened to me…it would be a fantastic opportunity to start whipping out all my best excuses as to why I’m acting so grumpy. Not Debra though.

I remember the first time Denis and I went to visit her after her strokes. We sat down at her bedside and she taught me such a simple, but beautiful lesson that day. We asked her how she was doing and she responded, “Well, I’m doin’ okay, I’m just fine. I decided that I’m not going to be angry about it, because the only person that hurts is me. I just feel so blessed for having so many people that care about me and help me.” Or something along those lines. Wow! She said it so simple, but I knew how absolutely true it was.  How blessed I am to have met Debra, a woman who makes the choice to be happy and gives happiness to everyone around her.

On Sunday, I got to go to my first Beehive lesson. I swear I learned more than the girls did in that lesson. I can’t believe how smart and inspired those 12 and 13 year old girls are, I’m so lucky to get to serve with them. Another leader that serves in Beehives with me made a comment on Sunday about how even though she has a son who is two years old and only weighs 21 lbs and the doctors don’t know why he can’t gain weight…she chooses to be positive. She said something along the lines of she could walk around being miserable and sad all the time, but she knows that won’t help anything. Again, she has all the excuses in the world to be negative, she is going through something incredibly hard, but instead she chooses to be happy.  What a fantastic example she is of faith and endurance.

In the CES fireside this month Elder Holland spoke directly to me, even though thousands of other people were listening…at least that is what it felt like to me. He said to me,

“Look, it’s easy to be righteous when things are calm and life is good and everything is smooth. The test is when there is real trial or temptation, when there is pressure and fatigue, anger and fear or the possibility of real transgression. Can we be faithful then? That is the question.” 

–Elder Holland CES fireside September 2012, “Israel, Israel, God is Calling”
 

Sure I can be a brat, but I’m going to choose not to be. I’m going to choose to be happy. That doesn’t mean that I’m not going to have hard days and that I’m never going to be grumpy or sad ever again, but I’m going to stop making excuses. I’m going to try really hard to be a kind, loving, and happy person even when I’m hungry or tired or hungry or sick or hungry or depressed or hungry or going through a hard time. Because that is the real test.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Land of Festivals

My goodness there are so many fun things to do in Ohio. I’m nicknaming it “The Land of Festivals” because I’ve never heard of a place where they have so many. Last weekend one of my friends said she went to the Greek festival on Friday, the Italian festival on Saturday, and the popcorn festival on Sunday. We didn’t even know there were Greek and Italian festivals going on…but we found a website that helps us know all the information for events in the area and there is a chocolate festival coming up that I’m not going to miss.

On Labor Day weekend our friends, the Garza’s, came for a short visit. We ended up going to a  Renaissance Fair with them on Saturday, it was a lot of fun. None of us had ever been to one before, but we had a blast. I think my favorite part was watching the jousting and seeing everyone dressed up in costumes. Enoch and Lily had a great time, there was a ton of fun stuff to do and see for kids.

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The Garza’s got to come to church with us on Sunday too, here is our little photo-shoot after church, before they left to go visit their other friends in Columbus.

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Maybe another good nickname for Ohio is “The Town of Trails”, there are SO many biking, walking, running, and hiking trails around here…I absolutely LOVE it! Denis and I went to Creekside trail this last weekend, it was so beautiful. I’m excited to explore and try out some of the other trails. We also went to the popcorn festival and just walked around looking at all the stuff in the booths and of course we had to try some popcorn.

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Also, I started my new job yesterday at Hollon Flowers. It was really good! I was there for 5 hours and only sat down for a total of 5 minutes. My kind of work! I love to be busy, so much better than being bored. Already they had me making 20 bouquets for a grocery store and doing a ton of other stuff. I can’t wait to learn more!

Oh and I was given a calling this Sunday, but I won’t say what it is yet since I haven’t been sustained, but I will say that I’m SUPER excited about it!

I can see why people come to Ohio and stay for a very long time. I think I say this at least five times a day to Denis, but I love it here!