Saturday, November 27, 2010

Black Friday

In my mind, i live in a very unrealistic world. I believe in happy endings and as Taylor Swift says, am "a true romantic. Always." Some people say i'm gullible, but i like to believe in people. I like to trust in their goodness. Although i believe in a lot of goodness, i realize that life isn't always like the movies. So an incredible thing keeps happening here in Iowa. I've watched my fair share of Lifetime and Hallmark movies throughout the years. I remember one saturday i was the only one home and i watched like 5 Lifetime movies in a row. I'm going to blame that one on my mom. Haha, anyways since i've been here thsoe small towns where everyone knows everyone, where the whole town goes to the high school sports games, where there is a town square with holiday wreaths put up on the light poles and a 'season greetings' signs strewn across the street. The amazing thing that keeps happenin' is that these towns, they're REAL!!! And they're scattered all over in the Mid-west. I'm in awe every time we drive past them, i love it. I love where i grew up and having real stores and being able to drive into the next town in 15 minutes, but there is something magical and adoring in these small towns where they're are farm houses 10 minutes outside of downtown and where people really do go pick out a Christmas tree and cut it down for their tree that year.

Second, I went to Walmart with the May's, the ward family i stayed with for Thanksgiving on Black Friday. We went at 11:30 pm. We hit the deals that occurred at 12:01 am and then got in line and waited so they could get some tv's on sale at 5 am. I read a whole magazine on all things Taylor Swift, she's so adorable i totally want her in the possey, and just killed time. After we were done at Walmart Shelley and Doug (the May parents) and i went to Pimida at 6:00 AM to buy a vcr/dvd, and then hit a store called Farm & Home at 6:30 AM to get their son some john deere toys. As i walked around this farming store, exhausted from being up all night, i noticed a rack of clothes that cowboys and girls would wear. They're were button up shirts, jackets, and cowboy hats. I was drawn to the racks and started wishing for more spending money so i could buy a Carhart coat to keep me warm and fit in with the kids of Osceola. Just like the days of junior high, when i asked for Volcolm t-shirts from my brother, to fit in with kids at Hunter. And then i realized i'd been up WAAAAAAY to long. Sure every girl wants to live on a ranch and be a cowgirl like the girl in FLicka, but was i seriously considering buying a heavy duty farm jacket that Uncle Jack wears????? omg, i was high. hahahah
The whole shopping on Black Friday is good when you want a good deal on all those electronics. Haha i kept looking at dishes, pots and pans, towels in the adds . . . you KNOW your turning old when you do that. I had to stop myself though, since i have no need or apartment of my own just yet for those items, plus it'd be a hassle to ship them home, but it was fun to imagine! . .it was also fun to shop with Doug and Shell as they tried to grant the wishes on their children's Christmas Lists. They just kept buying and my tight wadded mind was freaking out inside. . but then i thought about the Christmas' with my family and the gifts my parents had given that were on my list or surprised. One year i got a snow cone machine, i think i'd mentioned getting one months before, but completely forgot about. I was in pure heaven because it was such a neat gift! Or the year i finally got an Easy Bake Oven! I knew i was rolling big that year! hahaah, but it just made me realize the immense sacrifice parents go through to make their children happy. They are very giving. Haha I kept thinking they didn't need to buy their kids that much stuff, they had everything they needed and they probably do, just like i always did and do. . .

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Nauvoo, Illinois

I am so excited to share this post with you all! I took waaaay more pictures, but i only put up these ones (and there's a bunch). I wish you could of all been there with me. Nauvoo is a beautiful and wonderful place! The midwest is such a beautiful landscape. Those poor Saints who left such a green fertile land. . are so great, for turning the Salt Lake valley into what it is today. The Bishop's wife and I left at 5:30 AM to make the 3 hour drive across the Nauvoo and Mississippi River to the Nauvoo Temple. Then we spent the whole day exploring. I looked up ancestors that lived here and even saw the plot of land that one of them owned back in the 1840's.
This is the view from the steps of the Mississippi River. It is SOOOOO big and beautiful! I am in love with the Mississippi and so excited to finally say i've been East of it! hahah, even tho it was only a few miles.
The temple was beautiful, as they all are in their own unique ways.
Water towers are big here in this area. . altho they don't look like our good ol' red and white checker one.
This statue sits across from the entrance of the temple as well. It's of Hyrum and Joseph Smith. They paused here, overlooking the temple and beautiful city the Saints built up, before they rode off to Carthage. It was one of my favorite spots in Nauvoo. To see the river, the temple . . to be standing in the same place the prophet Joseph stood, was very special for me. The plaque meant a lot to me to, it read of Joseph's words: "This is the lovliest place and best people under the heavens; little do they know the trials that await them."
Me waiting outside the temple for Sister Bair to finish her session.
The artwork, sun, moon of the famous temple
I love this.
The back view of the temple as i enter the 'downtown' street of Nauvoo. . look at the trees! So prettY!
Heber C. Kimball's home. . it was a big a beautiful house. Just like Brighams, Wilford's, John Taylor's.. .
The print shop sat next to john taylor's house, which is where i wished i'd lived, if i lived in Nauvoo!
The brick place! i got my famous red brick with a bunch of little kids. haha
Me and the Mississippi river at sunset. I LOVE it.
We also went to the Nauvoo Burial grounds. It was the last place we went. I tried to catch the beauty of it in the pictures. . . the serene, peacefullness here would be a wonderful resting place for my body, until the Resurrection. Many of the headstones were unreadable, so it made us wonder what our burials will be like it 150 years. . what will i leave behind? . . who will care?
The sun was streaming through the trees. . it was a perfect end, to a lovely day. We didn't have time to see everything, apparently that takes 3 days. . . and we didn't make it to Carthage, but i can't wait to get back and visit there.

Look at the colors of these leaves!
This is one of my favorites too!
The temple on the hill. I still can't believe i was able to go to Nauvoo! I feel so blessed to be living here at the time being, going to school, playing basketball, enjoying the friendships of so many wonderful people on campus and in my ward.
With the lack of mountains, the sunsets fill the sky. This is as we drove over the bridge, back into Iowa. :)
I went to Nauvoo on Saturday, on Monday i had no school, because of fall break. . so the Grave's, this old couple in our ward took me to Mt. Pisgah and Garden Grove. Two places the Saints stopped and made as living areas, as they travelled West and prepared for the long trek to Zion. All that is left of the pioneers is a cemetery area, with no head stones or marking and a monument at each. At Mt. Pisgah, the Des Moine's stake built this log cabin to represent what the Pioneers built, while they stayed for a season. They cleared the land, planted crops, harvest, planted again and left, and the next batch of Saints came and harvested. . . brother helping brother.
Mt. Pisgah monument, with saints names who died on it. . the valley below is where the Saints farmed. There's even a spot where there are wagon wheel indents, from being beaten into the ground.
This is the monument at Garden Grove.. about a half hour drive from Mt. Pisgah and Osceole, IA.
No editing necessary. A tree by Garden Grove with the setting sun and rolling green hills.
Hahah, this little jail was found in town. idk if they still use it. . but maybe they do. No one was stuck into it tonight tho. haha!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Adam-Ondi-Ahman and Far West!!!!

Today after church we went to Adam-Ondi-Ahman. I drove with Bro and Sis Graves. He is one of the counselors in our Bishopric and she is in the RS presidency. This weekend i stayed with his sisters. Above is Far West, a settlement in Missouri where pioneers had a town of 5,000 people, what is left is the Far West Temple site, that has 4 corners of the laid foundation that the pioneers did during the night, since they were constantly persecuted. They finally had to leave Far West as they headed to Nauvoo. . . This is one of the cornerstones.
Me in front of the sign!
This is me in front of the Far West monument thingy. It has scriptures and revelations, mostly from D&C. It's at the far end of the Temple ground.
But first we went to Adam-Ondi-Ahman!!! This is the big area, where we met. My ward members are viewed here.
This is me, with the low lands of Adam-Ondi-Ahman in the background. Much of the 1,000 or so acres are rented off to farmers to farm the land. . or so Bro Grave's thinks. The saints will be called here when God comes again. That's gonna be interesting. Lol Adam and Eve came here after they were kicked out of the Garden of Eden, which is in Missouri, more south.
Missouri and Iowa is Midwest, spaced out areas of beautiful farmland and greeness. It's been a wet season, so it's just beautiful here! Even the cities seem more spaced out. It's a neat place to live and be around, but if i were to live here forever my husband better be one sexy beast, and my neighbors better be a lot of fun!!! Hahah but the blue sky, shining sun and growth at Adam-- was beautiful here.
Some corn fields in Adam-Ondi-Ahman, which means Adam (Man) Ondi (around or about) Ahman (God).
This sign explained how Saints had bought land on Adam-Ondi-Ahman and Joseph Smith came to the land and realized where and what it was. They found remains of a tower, used in Adam's time. As well as 3 altars laid on a hill, which were Native America (Nephite) altars, under which there was a burial place of Nephite people. . . farther to this point was a town called Spring Hill, where the Saints mapped out a town to build, like Salt Lake's in a grid like fashion, but the town was never built, because the mobs forced them out. Although there were people that lived in this area and a ward established. Like 1,500 people lived in Adam-Ondi-Ahman, Lyman Wight was one of the first to build his log cabin there, just below our field we met at.
This is, Tower Hill i think they called it, if it's called anything. Where they found the altars and bodies.
And this is me and the sign of entrance to this Holy Land. What a neat experience to travel here with my fellow Saints and see this land. As i looked over the low lands of corn fields i tried to imagine looking at it as if i were a pioneer (which wasn't hard, since it's country land everywhere) but the world was a very different place. I'm grateful for my Pioneer ancestors and my forefathers to carry the Gospel of Jesus Christ to this land and eventually to Zion. We are so lucky to have been raised in the shadow of the Church's Headquarters. What a neat opportunity to grow and learn and be blessed by the temples, church's and gospel teachings so close and easily accesible! I have grown to love the Salt Lake Valley even more! I'm excited to travel to Liberty Jail soon, in Liberty, MO and Nauvoo soon! I'm grateful for the gospel in my life and the peace it brings in my life.
The other night i wondered, what if the gospel isn't true. What would i do? And i've had these thoughts before and i realized, even if there was nothing behind it all (which i know there is, but i'm just saying) that i would still want to be part of a religion that teaches us to be like the kindest person that ever walked this earth. To live a life of service, of hardwork, of honesty and morals. . . there's nothing wrong with living a life like that, a life that i'm proud to tell my mom what i did at the end of a late friday night, a life where i am encouraged by my prophet to look after the widows in my ward and not judge others, and lovingly encouraged to fix my many weaknesses. . . but they're are too many tender mercy's and confirmations of my heart where i feel the love of my Savior and the peace of the Holy Spirit to deny that the Lord God lives and is aware of my being and that there is life after death and i look forward to dwelling with my Heavenly Family again someday.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hello from Lamoni!!!

This is Kate, me, and Aubrey. They're roommates and they live a few doors down from me on our hall. We live on Solah, each student belongs to a "house." Solah is the oldest and most popular female house at Graceland University (which is where i go to school. fyi. haha) These 2 are freshman and each have a few cousins here at school with them. They just met, but they are hilarious to watch and be around. Aubrey is the world's most sarcastic cinic and pessimist. Yesterday she came into my room and said she's never seen so much positivity in pictures and signs in her life and had to leave cuz it was overwhelming her. Haha. Awesome. This was at our Solah Inductions last week. We each had a candle and then blew it out. I can't believe i showered for it, but everyone else was getting all ready for it. . so. .
We had a lot of welcome activities for the school and our hall. One of them on our hall was a tye dye day! I don't know, but everyone here is like super into tye dying. I haven't done it since like elementary. . but it's cool! haha i liked it! These are some girls on my hall! Kate, Kayla, Lindsay, Amantha, Aubrey and me!
Lamoni is only 3 miles from the Missouri border. And they are lots of corn fields and bean fields around! It's very green and pretty! There is a sign as we enter Lamoni that says something about being aware of buggy's and horses, to respect the Amish people in our town. Haha which is also awesome! Lamoni is actually a very cute little town! It should be filmed on a Lifetime movie.
This is one of the two hotels in town. It's called Chief Lamoni Motel, which i found amusing, since he was a king, but whatever. The school is sponsored by COC (Community of Christ- which used to be RLDS) but i don't have to take any classes or anything for it. Lots of kids' families are COC, but i haven't met many that are very active and into the religion. We had a a big religion talk last night in my room, which was good and neat. My roommate went to a Restoration high school, which is a break of COC, there were Mormons at her school, but she doesn't claim any religion. It's neat being able to talk to her about religion because she's knowledgable in it, but not judgmental about anything. She's really awesome! i love her! She's a freshman from Independence, MO.
There is something very great that I have come to appreciate each fall for the last 3 years. It is college. Higher education, better jobs, more money, competitve world, we should do it, blah, blah, blah. Actually the whole school thing is important and awesome, but college life is SOOOO easy! I love it! Sure there are times where i have to push myself physically and mentally in basketball, which is what's paying for my schooling. . . but it's a good life. I wake up each late-morning to get ready for a 50 to 75 minute class. I got to 2 or 3 a day, with breaks in between and prepared meals at my behalf in the commons, or if i'm running late in the "Swarm" which is our on campus fast food place. Things are going good!
Basketball is going good! We're having a team bonding day today, instead of practice. The girls are all pretty cool. My ward family is Awesome and so supportive! The RS presidency drove a 1/2 hour yesterday to come visit me and the 3 other mormon girl's that go here, and took us for ice cream. I get to give a talk on Sunday on Nurturing Testimonies and am going to be working in the primary! So things are looking good! If only i could stop procrastinating all homework assignments, things will be golden!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sweet Campout

Here are a few pictures I did of the sweet campout this year Enjoy :)