Sunday, September 21, 2014

Unfortunately I have ZERO pictures this week because I restored my phone to the factory settings versus the "backed up" settings. Whoops.

My grandmother, Nanny, visited Texas last weekend. Her visits are an unusual occurrence, so if she's gonna make the trip, you know it's for something big (wedding, or new baby usually). Well, last weekend, we went to something BIG. Like AT&T stadium big. She took Mom and Dad and me to the UCLA vs. UT game held in Arlington.

Now, I have been known to root for the Longhorns in the past. This was when I was young and ignorant and thought that orange was an appealing color. But now, as a proud member of the fightin' Aggies (WHOOP!), I'm pretty much expected to hate the guts of UT. So of course I rooted for the Bruins. Still, prior to the game, I had no personal reasons to dislike anyone belonging to that school. Well lemme tell ya, I've got a whole list now, and top of that list is the fans. They were SO obnoxious, it was absolutely ridiculous. My poor grandmother got caught sandwiched in a tussle between the row of UT guys in front of us (they were being sorry losers), and the UCLA guys behind us (they were rubbing it in everyone else's faces). There was blame to be had on both sides, but the UT guys were causing trouble from the get-go.

Other than that the game was a blast! The teams were pretty evenly matched so it kept the game suspenseful. I love a good nail biter. Tip to any girl who is interested in going to a game at Cowboys stadium: make sure you leave your purse in the car. That's a whole other story, however...

Mom and I also went to the temple again on saturday. I've only been twice, but I already love it. I want to go every week! Houston temple is closed for maintenance right now and won't reopen for a few more weeks. The closest options then are Dallas and San Antonio, both of which are 3 hours away. I'm super bummed :( I keep telling myself that it's not right to complain when there are others who have to travel hours and hours to get to a Temple. Sometimes they have to cross borders to get there! I only have to drive 3 hours. And I'm staying within my own state.

School this week was good. I have really been enjoying my institute class, and this week I went to two classes. The teachers are amazing. There are also many converts in the singles ward, and they always have such interesting perspectives on the gospel. I love to hear their stories.

I have been pondering "faith" recently. I know that faith is a super basic principle and shouldn't be that hard to understand, but I've always struggled with it. Not so much having faith, but what I can do with it. From what I've read, there are basically two parts to faith. The first part is the one we're all familiar with. It's believing or hoping in something which isn't seen (has no evidence), but nonetheless is true. Easy. Got it. The second one has more to do with the power of faith. Something that actually allows you to perform miracles and things. This one I don't get. We're told that we can do anything as long as we have faith. But if I pray and ask God to give me the ability to fly, will He? Absolutely not. Is this because I have a lack of faith? No, it's because that request is totally unreasonable. However, I have all the faith in the world that He could give me that ability, if He really wanted to. So how do you find that balance between believing something will happen because you asked for it in faith, and understanding that sometimes God has a different idea in mind? All the faith in the world cannot change His plan for us, right?

In several of Boyd. K. Packer's talks he has stated, "fear, is the opposite of faith." I have faith. But I am still afraid that what I ask for will be denied because whatever I'm asking for is not what God intends for me. Do you kinda see what I'm getting at?

I always welcome comments or links to helpful conference addresses ;)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Very Good Week

Mr. Yates! One of the great friends I made this summer working at Head of Dean. He is among the very small handful of individuals that I know out here in Aggieland, and he has been a tremendous help this first week. I saved a butt-load of cash by not buying books this year, because Yates told me never to bother with them. "The library has everything you need!" And so far, everything has gone super smoothly, and I don't own a single textbook. Also, he let me borrow his $60 iClicker for the whole semester in exchange for a couple haircuts. Boomshakalaka. 

            First week of classes = success. I like all of my classes, except for math. But I knew I'd probably dislike it going into it. My Computer Prof. is hysterical. He's a little older, with a thick Texas accent and a handlebar mustache. He goes off on some rather interesting tangents, and I get the feeling everyone else is either not listening, or annoyed that he's discussing something entirely off topic (today the subjects were Ben Hur, Gilgamesh, and Hollyhocks), but I find it highly entertaining. The work is not the most exciting, so I enjoy having a professor that keeps things a little interesting. 
            I can feel myself being lured into the Anthropology department every time I go to Anthropology class. It's such an interesting subject! But I've been told that the students and faculty in that area of study are a bunch of pretentious snobs, so steer clear! 
            Ecology is... yikes. It's been a while since I've had to memorize that many terms and read that many graphs. I find the content interesting, but the terms and formulas a little overwhelming. Wouldn't it be cool if all general ed classes used the "for dummies" books for their curriculum? 

            Well on Sunday night I did end up going to dinner at that friends house. I met several other people there and had a great time :) on Monday I went to FHE, got assigned a group and met a few more people, also had a great time. Then I got asked by one the ward members I hardly knew if I would take him to WalMart so he could, quote, "get graph paper". I said yes. 


            It ended up being an hour long ordeal and I about wanted to throttle him by the end. Oh well, lesson learned. Next time a dude asks me for a ride to WalMart when he has two legs and a perfectly functioning bike, I'm gonna tell him to zip up his man-suit and ride the bike. I just have a really hard time telling people "NO". Maybe I need to zip up MY man-suit... 

            The stars started to align while I was at Philmont this summer. In August, I received a text from Mom that a few girls from our stake had gone through the temple. The church has not made any real statements yet, but young adult women who are interested are being encouraged to go through the temple regardless of whether they are serving a mission or getting married. Hallelujah! For over a year I have felt a strong pull towards the temple. When I would go do baptisms, I always felt like I was missing out on something, like there was more I was supposed to be doing. However, I couldn’t do anything about it because I had no “reason” to! This new change just makes so much sense to me. All those years of Young Women, each Sunday we recite in the theme that we are being prepared to “make and keep sacred covenants” and “receive the ordinances of the temple.” We’ve been preparing our entire lives for this, is there really any reason to wait? There are enough challenges being thrown at young people today that they need the temple just as much as someone preparing for marriage or for a mission needs it.
            Caroline, luckily enough, already had plans to be in Texas the first week of September, and it took little persuading to get Holly down here as well, so plans were made and interviews completed, and I went to the temple with my family on Saturday! I want to roll my eyes at myself for saying this, but the only way to describe the temple is “very special, and very sacred.” Before I went through, I wanted to throttle anyone who said that to me. “Yes, that’s very helpful, now can you give me some REAL answers, please?” But now I understand. And it was, very sacred, and very special. I can't wait to go again :) 

            It was a fun-filled weekend, and I cried when they all left, and I cried when I hugged my parents and then hopped back in my car and started the drive back to College Station. Honestly, it’s a 3-hour drive and I’m doing it again this weekend. I’ll see my parents all the time! But goodbyes are something I just can’t handle. It does not matter how long or short the separation will be, I hate saying goodbye every single time. I’m already counting down the days until all my family comes back to Fort Worth for Thanksgiving.