Monday, January 30, 2012

Housing Search Continued

On Monday January 30th, 2012,
I woke up,
did homework,
went to geography,
did more homework,
went to spanish, 
sat outside my Book of Mormon class for ten minutes before remembering that class was cancelled,
picked up Angela from class,
went apartment hunting,
came back to the dorms to make phone calls to various landlords and take housing notes, 
put those notes into my apartment chart,
looked at other options just in case,
went to dinner where the Cannon actually made me happy for once though I can't remember why,
did more homework,
went to FHE,
did more homework,
started this blog post,
skyped Newel with Angela,
worked on blog post,
got chocolate milk,
did homework,
and so on.

The Highlights of the Day:

The housing search continues... I cannot wait for this week to be over and I will know where my life will be next semester. Anyways, today Angela and I went over and visited
Single Tree apartments for women. Literally half a block down the street from Regency, so location is great. Price, on the other hand, is a bit higher. They're a little newer, a little more spacious, but there are only a few units. Twelve to be exact. Anyways, some photos of the inside for you to enjoy.
The living room...spacious, comes with TV and couches.
Kitchen...granite countertops, slightly cramped, but about the same compared to Regency
Washer and dryer...yes, there's a washer and dryer IN THE APARTMENT. Big point for me.
Bedroom...each unit has two private rooms and one shared room.
But only one bathroom for the four girls.

The outside...looks quite nice actually.
The sign for the complex.
So when we went to Regency on Friday, I forgot to take pictures of the outside. This is what the complex looks like. Sorry the pictures are a little dark... I forgot to adjust my camera exposure.

So those are the two options right now. Still working out a bunch of details, but we will just have to wait and see where this all goes. We have one more option to go check out on Thursday, so there may be more housing pictures to come. Like I said, I can't wait for this week to be over.

By the way, the basketball game on Saturday is actually a women's basketball game against St. Mary's at 1:00 pm. Even better to honor my sister's birthday.

One major perk about Helaman Halls is that this is my backyard:

Pretty awesome. As pretty much anyone here can tell you, I really love the mountains. They are gorgeous with the snow on top, and then when it gets a little darker outside it looks so cool, and AHHH they are just amazing. I'll leave it at that.

FHE was...interesting. I'm hoping that as the semester progresses that more people will come. We combined with another FHE group tonight, and when there weren't enough girls, our "parents" had to modify the plans. So we ended up playing around the world - ping pong version. Quite entertaining. I had some fun taking pictures. Here's the lovely group below. As you can see, a little short on girls...
Essentially, you hit the ping pong ball, drop the paddle for the next person to pick up, and either run around to the other side of the table if you're down to two people, or simply take your position in line. 

So besides the three more hours of homework I have left to finish before my 8 am class tomorrow...and the housing decisions...and my paper that's due later this week...and the chapters of textbook reading I need to catch up on... is pretty fantastic.

Good night world...eventually.


I really love Sundays, so it kind of stinks when I don't feel that great.

Angela and I woke up a little late, and I think she's starting to get sick too. My new team teacher, Annabel, taught today, and I admit it was kind of nice to have a break from teaching Sunday School. Angela and I got in a nice, long, several-hour nap that both of us needed. A hot shower, and then some lunch at the Cannon with a few ward friends.
Did I mention that I really love our ward?
Sacrament meeting was amazing. We had fast and testimony meeting today since Helaman Halls has stake conference next Sunday. I am so lucky to know these people. I love my Bishop. He is such an incredible man, and I am so thankful for his love and support. My friends have such strong testimonies; each of them is an example to me of how to live a Christ-like life. I know I wasn't the only person touched during that meeting. It's looking forward to experiences like these, and remembering the times I feel the spirit so strongly, that pull me through the rough and stressful weeks.

After a nice nap and talking with my parents on the phone, I drove over to the Edwards' house to celebrate my Uncle Brad's birthday! Not only did I get to have a delicious, home-cooked chicken and broccoli casserole, but I also got to Skype with my family with everyone who was at the Edwards, and it was just a blast to spend some time with my cousins. It was also fun to see my grandparents from Oregon who are in town for the next two weeks. They came by a little later during visiting hours tonight to see my dorm, and later this week they will get to enjoy the Cannon dining experience. Lucky them :)

Another great part about today was my home teachers!! Last semester, my home teachers weren't that great about actually coming by to home teach. With people moving in and out and switching rooms, all of the teaching assignments switched. I am super excited for my friend Andy to be one of my home teachers, and I'm excited to get to know Tyler better over the semester. I'm just grateful for these guys who are wonderful examples to me, who are dedicated to the gospel, and who always honor their Priesthood.

And now, ending the night with a chocolate milk and homework party with Angela.

It's going to be a good week.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Exams and the Cannon

After a productive and stressful Friday, I fell into bed exhausted. Woke up the next morning around 10:30 feeling even more exhausted and like my cold had simply become aggravated overnight.

The morning started out stressful as I had my first exam of the semester at 2:30 pm and still had a lot to cover in my studying. I do not like the fact that my spanish exams are now graded by computer. It's fine for multiple choice questions or fill-in-the-blanks where they provide options to put in the blank, but for the ones where you have to come up with the answer yourself, one misplaced accent gets the whole question wrong. Did I mention there was a writing portion? 150 word essay on an exam that is later graded by a computer? yeah, that was great.

Anyways, I have no idea how I did, but most of the content was review from my sophomore year of spanish, so I feel okay about the exam. Still not entirely confident about those written portions though. I do know I did well on the listening part (thank you Profe for forcing us to listen to all those horribly long and difficult to understand podcasts all year in AP).

This is a thought that was running through my head most of that morning. One of my favorite quotes by one of my favorite apostles. I love it.

I came back from the two hour test, took a short nap as I could barely think straight, woke up and realized that I hadn't eaten anything all day. I had some crackers while I was studying for the test, but other than that, nothing. So I headed up to dinner by myself because I was starving.

Dinner at the Cannon is always an entertaining time. Found a group from the ward to sit with which included a bunch of people I wouldn't usually go eat with. An interesting group, some fun conversations, ate some "Navajo Taco" and a salad. I was still hungry, but everyone else was ready to leave, so I made myself a waffle and went and sat with my friends, Brooke and Derrick.

Which led to me and Derrick staying for another hour in the Cannon while various people from the ward cycled through the table. It's always fun when you take a little longer to eat to just sit and visit with all the people who come to the table. We have such an incredible ward!!

It's also a lot more fun going to the Cannon with someone who hasn't been there before, or with someone who still thinks the food is wonderful. Derrick, for example, just moved in this semester and thought the "Navajo Taco" was delicious. I, on the other hand, have had it multiple times and don't find it all that amazing. Honestly, I only got it because the other options were a hamburger (which I typically try to avoid if possible) and some strange shrimp pasta. When you go with someone who still sees the Cannon as a novelty, it makes the experience a little more entertaining and you tend to come out with a slightly better attitude towards the food. Actually, just go eat with someone. It's more fun that way.

But honestly, I am so excited for when I get to cook my own food. I guess that's one perk of growing up.

More homework. More housing research. And then bed. Oh the excitement of my Saturday nights.

Apartment Hunting

So my friends and I have pretty much decided that growing up isn't that great. This housing search is not fun. And it's going to be expensive. But I guess that's part of life right?

Angela and I visited our first apartment on Friday!!
Regency Apartments for women. It looks awesome! The complex is about as close to campus as possible (see map), seems to be super cheap in comparison to other places, and is also right next to two restaurants and a used book store for selling back textbooks. One of my friends recommended it for spring, and it looks super nice.

Amenities include: 

  • extra storage in the apartment 
  • extra freezer
  • grill and BBQ area
  • swimming pool 
  • laundry facilities 
  • lounge 
  • exercise room 
  • free Internet
  • gorgeous view

When we went to visit, we ran into a resident doing her laundry who was more than willing to tell us all about the apartments. She even let us walk around her unit for a little while!

Angela was wonderful enough to let me use some of her pictures of the apartments so you actually get to see what we might live in next year...or in 3 months depending on what we decide about spring and summer term.
The bedrooms.... comes with desks, nightstand, and shelf. oh, and a bed of course. 
The desk.... lots of storage space!

The bathroom area... the sink and counter literally stretch the whole hall.
Two bathrooms which means two showers and two toilets for six girls.

The exercise room in the lounge upstairs... includes TV, weight machine, treadmill, and small trampoline.

The lounge... TV and sink area

The lounge... couches and soft carpet. I'm sold :)

Oh hey! This is Angela everyone!! I think this is one of our first pictures together since becoming roommates actually. 
THE VIEW!!! You can actually see the temple from our apartments which is just awesome. Oh, the pool is there, too.
The apartments seem really nice, the only thing is that contracts are given out based on a lottery system. So there's no guarantee that we can get a spot here. Angela and I both are hoping we can get a spot here, especially for spring and summer terms.

Oh yeah, I'm staying for spring to work and take a few classes. Mom's still not sold on me staying summer term, but I'm pretty sure I'll be doing the same also. Which means I'll be in Utah pretty much permanently now.

Therefore, the plan moving forward:
- visit another complex called Single Tree which is literally half a block from Regency
- talk to the Regency management on Thursday
- decide between the two 
- and then if we decide on Regency... go get the contracts signed on Saturday morning!

Once I have a place, I think I'll feel a lot better about this whole growing up thing. Particularly the fact that I can cook my own meals instead of eating at the Cannon...

Friday night, Angela and I went up to Salt Lake to see my old friend, Lia, in the BYU vs. Utah gymnastics meet. The place was packed! I was surprised, but I guess basketball for BYU is what gymnastics for Utah is. Anyways, just some pictures from the rival event: we lost by the way. Apparently we have only won twice in now 25 competitions against them. The Ute gymnasts are incredible!!
Jon Huntsman Center
BYU on beam
The Utah gymnasts were amazing! This was probably my favorite floor routine of the night.

Me and Angela (Angela and me?) at the meet! Two pictures of us in one day - wow!
By the way, does anyone know of any way to make glasses lenses anti-glare??
Saturday, by the way, is Megan's (my sister) birthday! Which means I will be going to the BYU men's basketball game in her honor. I'm putting this on the blog so you all can hold me to actually going. No excuses now.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Days 2, 3, and 4

Ok so I haven't done as great for my goals. And there really isn't a great excuse for that except for the fact that I am getting sick. Don't panic - I'm not seriously sick, just a normal cold. I won't go into specifics of what I haven't done because that's depressing.

Instead, I'll focus on what I have done: I have been doing homework, I have been studying for some upcoming exams, I have researched housing, and I've been going to classes and figuring out the next few months of my life.

So besides a couple extra naps, it's been a fairly productive past few days.

Some highlights:
  • having a nice BYU guy scrape the ice off the windshield of the car before driving up to class
  • taking a friend to the Student Health Center and then to the ER. She just has a nasty case of the flu. She'll be fine, thank goodness!
  • I mailed in paperwork for a textbook reimbursement program. One of the benefits of having cancer.
  • eating for the first time at the Blue Line deli in the Tanner Building. Angela, her friend Will, Austin, and I all met there for dinner after my personal finance class. I do believe that will become my dinner place for Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Angela, Will, me, and Austin after the Blue Line.
Will broke his leg a few days ago, hence the scooter.
  • watching Angela make moccasins out of paper bags for her Visual Arts for Elementary Education (or something like that) class. yes, it is as entertaining as it sounds. check her blog for pictures on that.
  • cleaning the room for cleaning checks. I am so thankful to have a clean roommate and to have had parents (Mom) who taught me to be organized and tidy. It definitely makes getting ready for cleaning checks a whole lot easier.
  • ward prayer!! we actually had spotlights tonight, and a friend came to show us all how amazing he is with a whip. (yes, a whip. He's from a ranch in Florida.)
  • finding out who my new team-teacher for Gospel Doctrine will be...
  • talking with friends. eating with friends. driving with friends. lots and lots of time with friends.
And now, because I feel bad this post isn't media-rich with photos or videos, please enjoy this song that is currently my most-played song on iTunes.

Scotty McCreery - The Trouble With Girls

On another note, I was going through some old blog posts to look for some inspiration for my Book of Mormon insight paper. I came across this old post about chemo. I am so thankful to be done with that, even if it is only for a short while. It's nice to review those past events as a reminder that, with the Lord's help, I can get through these exams, classes, choosing housing, and other hard decisions that are fast approaching as I grow up.
Coming soon: 
apartment hunting, apartment contracts signed, grandparents visiting, and more studying.

Looking forward to the weekend!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Monday. Day 1 Report

To return and report on my progress with my ten goals for the week:
  1. Out of bed at 8:03 am. So almost made it to 8:00 am. Personally, I think it counts.
  2. Not all of my homework was done the day before. But some of it was. So not quite. 
  3. Plan schedule for the day. Check. see picture below
  4. I read my scriptures for 30 minutes actually. But not this morning. But I still didn't fall asleep. So you decide if that counts or not.
  5. Backpack ready to go this morning. Check.
  6. Excess computer time: probably about an hour today. Still some cutting back to do.
  7. Letters written today: zero. Though I did get to read two from missionaries.
  8. 10 minutes of "soul time" spent breathing in the freezing air and catching snowflakes on my tongue. Pure happiness right there. 
  9. Remember to live like Christ: I'm not really sure how to measure this one... I went to Book of Mormon today, I did my visiting teaching, I helped out a friend who was sick by taking her to the emergency room. I guess those are the kind of things I'm trying to get at...maybe.
  10. And of course the most important one of all: at least 3 pictures. Check. actually, there are five today all for you to see how my day was. and there isn't a single one of the mountains (sorry).
The schedule and to-do list I made last night. Ready to go and got quite a bit checked off for the day!
This is me being productive in the maps section of the library doing my atlas exercise for geography. And listening to my country music to keep me focused. 
By the way - please note the little white square on my laptop. Those are my goals. I've been reading them all day and they are pretty much ingrained into my head already. And it's only Monday.
I GOT A PACKAGE!!!! And I picked up the Housing Guide. Did I mention how much I love growing up? And the free copy of the Wall Street Journal from the Cannon Center that's a day old. Need to keep up so I can ace those quizzes in government. The last one...yeah I obviously didn't keep up with what was happening with national politics. 
Contents of previously mentioned package: Nutella (apparently I am the only Holbrook who appreciates it so Mom sent me the leftover bottle from the food storage), t-shirts that didn't fit in my suitcase coming home, and magnetic clips I got from Santa for Christmas.

The Case of the Lost Wallet: A Humorous Narrative

This is a good story. Promise. I came home from dropping my friend off at the Health Center, and to may great dismay could not find my wallet anywhere. I searched high and low; in my backpack, on my desk, repacked and unpacked the package, looked under the bed covers, opened my food bins, even scanned the fridge and searched every nook and cranny of the car. I couldn't find it anywhere. I finally felt like I had left it at the Bookstore when I was purchasing a binder for my class and the wallet simply hadn't made it into the bag, though I was almost positive it had. Being family home evening, however, the bookstore and the lost and found were both closed by the time I came to this realization.

So I called my Mom who had me talk to Dad. That was a super fun conversation. Anyways, he cancelled the credit card and my debit card and told me what to do when I found the wallet.

I worked on homework for a while, watched a program on 401(k)'s for personal finance, and was going to read a book for a little while before I went to bed to lift my spirits and calm myself from the stress of losing the wallet.

I turned around with book in hand and saw this on the bed.

Angela and I both kind of freaked out. Promise - it hadn't been there an hour ago. Needless to say, I was incredibly grateful to find it. I then proceeded to spend a half hour on the phone reactivating my debit card. Dad took care of the credit card - isn't he wonderful? Love you Daddy :)

Lesson learned: don't ever lose your wallet again.

Another thought from the day: I am so incredibly thankful for the power of the Priesthood in my life and in others as well. It is such a wonderful blessing to have so many worthy young men literally a phone call away who are always so excited and willing to come give a blessing. I know miracles come through faith and the Priesthood combined - I have seen it happen in my own life and in others'.

I love Brigham Young University. I love the mountains. I love the beauty of the winter snow, though it sometimes takes a little work to appreciate it. I love my amazing friends.

Life is good!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Goals for the Week

So I still need to write down all my resolutions, but for now, I figure I'll let you all know about my goals at least for this week so I can report on them as I blog the rest of the week.
Updates on my weekend will come later. Probably tomorrow after I finish homework.

So here are my Ten Goals for this week:

  1. Be up and out of bed by 8:00 each morning. Which would mean waking up around 7:30. Except for Tuesday and Thursday when I have class at 8. Then I'll be up by 6:30.
  2. Take at least 3 pictures each day of whatever is happening. Does not include landscape photos of the mountains.
  3. Finish homework the day before it is due even if I have several hours in the morning to finish. I need to get out of the habit of procrastination.
  4. Plan out my schedule for the day each morning.
  5. Read my scriptures for 15 minutes in the morning. I need to stop reading right before I go to bed - I tend to fall asleep which kind of defeats the purpose of reading my scriptures.
  6. Pack my backpack the night before so I'm not so rushed in the morning.
  7. Limit excess computer time to 30 minutes a day. Blogging and Blackboard/homework do not count in those 30 minutes. Does include, however, Facebook, email, and whatever else I happen upon.
  8. Write letters to at least 3 missionaries. Which does not include sending a birthday letter to my cousin, Steven, who is currently on his mission in Tulsa Oklahoma, Spanish-speaking. So I guess I'll be writing to 4 missionaries.
  9. Take ten minutes of "soul time" each day. This is something one of my friends mentioned at hall meeting today. It would include standing outside and enjoying the mountains, reading scriptures for a little extra time, playing piano just for fun. Essentially, taking a breath of fresh air from the craziness of the day.
  10. Remember. who I am. who I want to become. Remember my Savior and show His love to those around me.
I literally just printed these out. They are taped to the top of my computer. I can't ignore them. I have been listening to the song "I Will" by Hilary Weeks a lot today. I am doing well, but there's a whole lot more I can do to be better. Here's to being recommitted to my Savior, my goals, and myself.

By the way... it snowed. And it's gorgeous.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Snow-Capped Mountains

I forgot how incredibly beautiful Utah can be in the winter time. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I love the mountains. There is something incredibly majestic about these huge pieces of earth sticking out of the flat surface of the valley. I find them to have a protective feeling; I don't feel enclosed in a cage but more like I'm being held in a hug. Mountains are truly evidence to me of the incredible creations of our Heavenly Father and how blessed we are to be on this earth.

I took a trip after spanish today over to the new Heritage Halls and the Bean Museum parking lots to get some pictures of the mountains because they are incredibly gorgeous. And I played around with some of the editing features on my Mac, which was fun.
view of Rock Canyon above the Harold B. Lee Library
view of Y Mountain above the library. again.
from the JKB. there's actually a really pretty mountain back there, the clouds are just covering it. 
the pretty mountain you should have been able to see in the previous picture. but this is a way better view.
the bell tower. it plays a different hymn every hour. love BYU!
Mount Timpanogos. in black and white. pretty gorgeous.
pretty snow covered mountain and me playing with my photo editing tools.

But honestly, the pictures don't do the view any justice.

Now about my day...

I realized that there are actually a lot of guys (particularly guys from my ward) who go eat breakfast between 7:15 and 7:30 am on Tuesday and Thursday. So it's nice to have someone to talk to (and try to wake up) in those early morning hours. So I ate, and then headed up to class with my friend Ben from my ward. I really enjoy government, and I am so glad that I do. Currently, the only thing not motivating me to go to that class is the early hour. Otherwise, I absolutely love it.

I did a lot of spanish homework today. Trying to get ahead still requires those hours, just at a different time than usual.

Met with my geography TA. Apparently I have an atlas assignment due tomorrow. Since I don't have the atlas...this should be interesting.

Picked up letters from the University Accessibility Center. Now comes the fun part of telling my professors "the story." I love people's reactions!

Book of Mormon celebration (kind of...) with Hattie. And Haley. We went and tracked down some Tillamook ice cream (the best cheese and ice cream in the world) at a local grocery store. And then came back and talked while we ate ice cream for the hour before ward prayer.

Haley after ice cream...
mint Pirouette cookies + Tillamook mint chocolate chip ice cream = happy Hattie 
this should be a Tillamook ad. just saying.
that's me. happy college student showing off my school spirit while eating ice cream. yep.
Hey question: anyone know how to get pictures to go side-by-side in blogger? 

Ward prayer with great friends and singing/figuring out songs on the piano and talking and dancing around like crazy people and playing chopsticks and staying up way too late. Enough said. Check out Angela's post here for pictures from tonight.

To end an awesome day:

I just want to say that I am incredibly grateful that I was able to come out to BYU at the beginning of last semester. So many miracles happened last year that made it possible for me to come to school for fall semester, and to still be here for winter. I am just so thankful to be here in this amazing place with such amazing people. 

Go Cougars!

Starting Pictures and Book of Mormon

So I started writing this last night and then decided I could think more clearly in the morning. And then I never actually published it until late tonight. Therefore, this post was completed on Thursday though it is a recap of Wednesday.

I did have a camera with me today. I guess that's a start. I just didn't take very many pictures. Angela, on the other hand, took several and you can enjoy her pictures here as I was with her for the majority of the time she was photographing everyone.

Dinner time with Hattie, Haley, Eden, and Drew. As well as Angela, Austin, Ken, Eric, Jeff, and Mike (not pictured). Dinner is one of the best parts of the day because I get to be with my awesome friends!!
Done with the second half of the Book of Mormon, meaning I read it all the way through (if you include my reading of the first half from last semester) during my freshman year of college.
And sorry this is backwards. I was using my webcam to take the picture and still can't figure out how to flip it. But that is the Book of Mormon, in case you couldn't tell.
I finished my Book of Mormon assignment: read the second half of the Book of Mormon (Alma 30 to the end, making 250 pages) in two weeks. I managed to procrastinate the assignment, ending up with quite a bit of reading to get done today.

But you know what? It actually worked out really well. I absolutely loved having to read straight through it all today. There were a lot more connections, the references made to previous stories or teachings are more fresh in your brain, and it just flows. I found that the closer I got to the end, the more reluctant I was to stop reading. I mean, I love the Book of Mormon, but I have never really sat down and read it for hours on end like I would with most other books I enjoy. This entire experience has built up my testimony of the Book of Mormon more than I thought possible.

I know, without a single doubt in my mind, the Book of Mormon is true. 

Reading it for several hours straight today confirmed that. The Spirit is there every minute I spend with that book. I love the words of the prophets it contains. I love learning more about my Savior when I read. The time I spend with the Book of Mormon has had an incredible impact on my optimistic attitude; one cannot help but feel the joyful message of Christ and the gospel throughout the book.

Brother Merrill said on the first day of class that he hopes we will read the Book of Mormon (well, the second half at least) 5 times before the end of the semester.

1. In the first two weeks of class.
2. Reviewing the chapters before class.
3. Reviewing the chapters after class.
4. Reviewing and re-reading for the midterm.
5. Reviewing and re-reading for the final exam.

I cannot wait to start reading it again! Book of Mormon class starts again on Monday and I am so excited! And that's the life of a typical BYU freshman on a typical Wednesday night. Life's pretty good.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Reality, Missionaries, and the Book of Mormon

Yesterday was a wonderful day off.

Today was a not-so-gentle return to reality.

8:00 am American Government and Politics.
I actually really enjoy this class. The professor is humorous, engaging, and loud enough that I don't start to fall asleep during lectures. I feel like I am getting to know a little bit more about the government structure and how politics work, which is probably a good thing considering I do need to register to vote this year. yikes. I even found a guy in my ward who's in the class. So I have a great professor, a friend to sit with, and an enjoyable subject which all motivate me to go to attend class.

It's just so early in the morning.

When I headed back to the dorms for nap time, I woke up Angela so she could get ready for her noon class, and I promptly laid back down to sleep for ten more minutes. I then proceeded to sleep through not just one, but three alarms, the devotional, and also spanish class.
Apparently this lack of sleep the past few nights finally caught up with me. It felt wonderful, but I feel bad about missing class. I really need to institute a good sleeping schedule. With all these guys leaving for missions, maybe I should draw some inspiration from them and start going to bed at 10:30.

And I still haven't watched devotional. Angela and I will be watching it tomorrow night. I heard it was fantastic and I'm excited to listen to it!

So besides sleeping, here are some other, slightly more productive, things I did and thought about today:

Personal Finance blows my mind every week. I can't wait until we get into the units that I can actually start applying right now (talking about a 401(k) currently doesn't have much application in my current unemployed stage of life).

I decided to switch geography classes. I was exhausted from government and staying awake through the class with a less-than-entertaining professor. So now geography is on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11. I'm excited for the switch. Plus it just might help get me out of bed those days instead of sleeping past ten in the morning for spanish at one.

My friend Brandon came to visit today. He will be entering the MTC at 12:40 pm tomorrow to begin his mission. It was great to see him one more time before he heads out.
It's crazy to see all these guys (who, by the way, are my age) who are just amazing people choose to serve the Lord for two years. I don't know why, but for me, it is one of the most incredible parts of this Church. I love this quote, though I don't know who said it: "If the Church wasn't true, nineteen-year-old boys would have ruined it a long time ago."
I could talk about this for forever. 
I am grateful to be here at BYU surrounded by such incredible young men. 
Thank you boys for your examples and willingness to serve. 

So you know, it's now past midnight here. Which means it is theoretically Wednesday January 18th here in Provo, Utah. Today is the day my friends Logan, Brandon, and James all head to the MTC. Good luck you guys. You will be amazing missionaries!

I also cleaned off my desktop today. Here are some picture quotes for you to enjoy and to also break up the text of this rather long post (sorry about that).

The other great thing about today (well, yesterday...) was a Book of Mormon reading party!! Yes it is as thrilling as it sounds. Hattie, Harrison, Hannah and I all need to finish up our reading of the second half of the Book of Mormon that is due tomorrow at 11:55 pm. We probably weren't as productive as we could have been in other circumstances, but it was definitely entertaining.
And a little more motivating to know there were other people reading with you so you can't actually fall asleep while reading your scriptures...

I admit. I am a Mormon nerd. Apparently it's quite visible if you watch me read the Book of Mormon. I can't help it though.
Captain Moroni is my hero. 
I love all these lessons from the war chapters. 
I literally cheer when I read about the stripling warriors.
I am thoroughly entertained by some of the wording and will laugh out loud. 
I get incredibly frustrated when the Nephites start right back into the pride cycle. 

But more importantly, I love all the incredible teachings within the book: faith, repentance, humility, the importance of prayer and fasting, showing charity towards each other, and, of course, the mission and love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

I just absolutely love the Book of Mormon, and not just the stories, but the lessons it teaches.
I know this book is true without a doubt in my mind. And I have loved every minute I have spent reading the entire second half over the past few weeks. This book is one of the greatest blessings in my life. I cannot wait until my Book of Mormon professor comes back from China and I can go back to class next Monday!

Sorry this is kind of long and word-heavy. I just need to start taking my camera everywhere with me around campus. Honestly, I wish I had had it this morning for the sunrise (one of the perks of an early class).
As a side note, Angela and I were literally just talking about this, so the camera is now in my backpack. Readily accessible at any point tomorrow.

If you care to know, I am currently listening to the soundtrack for Pride and Prejudice. Such amazing music from a pretty awesome movie. One of my favorites in fact.

Good night. Sleep tight.
Remember to smile!