Sunday, October 6, 2013

on a mission

In exactly one hour, I will be set apart as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

You can follow all of my wonderful missionary adventures over at my missionary blog, which is linked up at the top, or right here below.

Love you all. Keep smiling, and I'll see you in 2015!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

my parents

I'm going through the five thousand pictures we have from three cameras and two iPhones of this summer's road trip.
More on that craziness to come.

But I found all these pictures of my parents that are just too adorable not to share.
22 years of marriage, and they're still just as in love as the day they were married.

Ok so this is actually before our summer road trip. But it was only like 3 days before. So here it is.
I mean, just look at how adorable they are. They haven't aged one bit either.

Definitely not afraid to be dorks when their kids ask them to be.
The Lewis and Clark pose everyone.

Candid moment at the Grand Canyon.

I mean, seriously. Just look at how adorable they are. 

This had to be the greatest moment of the trip. Hands down.
We visited the University of Utah campus [enemy territory] for a few brief moments.
Just so Dad could re-enact his proposal to mom at the exact spot it took place for us kids to see.
Except there was a tree. And snow. So I'm told.
But really, that's just adorable. 

And that is why my parents should win the most adorable people ever award.
The end.


Surprise! I'm still here!
Only for 21 more days.

I'm in the process of copying pictures over and uploading them to blogger so you can all see the adventures of this year's summer vacation road trip. While that magic is happening, I thought I'd share with you all one of the most incredible days of my life.

On August 15th, I went through the temple for the first time.
Several of my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins were able to be there with me.
I was so incredibly blessed to be able to go to the Provo Temple, where I have already spent so many hours with dear friends and family members.

Words cannot adequately describe the peace and joy I felt being in the temple with my family.

my eyes might be closed in this one. oh well.
Uncle Brad, me, and Steven!!
Uncle Jeff, Aunt Carly, Grandma Hyde, me, Steven, Grandpa Hyde, mom, and dad

note: there's a waaay better picture except it's on my laptop and Rachel has that. so you're stuck with this one. sorry.
Having been able to go to the temple a few more times since that beautiful day, my love for the temple has grown every single time.

Moses 1:39 says:
"For behold, this is my work and my glory; to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."

Heavenly Father's work is the work of eternity.
Missionary work is the work of eternity.
One of the members of the temple presidency spoke to the youth when I went to help out with baptisms a few weeks ago. He said something that really stuck out to me:
"You may be here for just a few short hours out of your busy lives. But the work you are doing changes someone's eternity."

That is the whole reason that I want to serve a mission.
This isn't about me.
Sure, I'm excited to have a mission call, to be missing out on finals for a year and a half, and to be getting a whole new wardrobe. #eldershaveiteasy

But that's not why I'm serving.
I am serving because I love my Savior.
Because I love my brothers and sisters.
Because I want all of them to experience the same joy and love that I felt on that day.
Because I pray that I can be an instrument in my Heavenly Father's hands in bringing them back to Him.
Because I hope that each of us can be with our families for eternity.
I love my family dearly, and I cannot imagine eternity without them.
I feel so incredibly blessed and honored to have been entrusted with this responsibility and privilege of inviting my brothers and sisters to come unto Christ, to strive to return to our Heavenly Father, and to one day live with Him again.

Going to the temple helped put that into the eternal perspective.
I thought I couldn't be more excited to serve a mission.
I was wrong.
Every single day, that desire and excitement grows.
21 more days.
It can't come soon enough.

I also found this really cute picture of when I opened my mission call that I never knew existed. 

It is my hope and prayer that each person I know [or will soon know] will be able to come to the temple often and feel of the joy, peace, and love of our Heavenly Father.

Friday, July 26, 2013

getting closer...


In preparation for leaving on a mission for eighteen months, I've been cleaning out my life.
Well, my life according to my closet.
Boy did I find some good stuff.

"Trading cards" my fourth grade class made for me when I moved away.
My childhood as defined by my favorite computer games.

The secret code cards from those adorable Mary Kate and Ashley mystery books.
Every single get well card from the past ten years.

Trophies from when I actually participated in elementary school.
Terrifying picture.
Trophies from that one year I did soccer, and then Reflections program trophies.
All for participation of course.
Old school projects. Like an eight-generation pedigree chart.
Several cheesy Disney snow globes.
About four thousand stuffed animals. All those get well gifts make for an epic stuffed animal collection.
fluffy bunny, awkward dog, and fancy bears.
my personal favorite.
medical bears.
another personal favorite: the fluffy duck.
Young Women handouts and trinkets. Those were the days.
Old pictures. Awkward pictures. You name it, it was in my closet.
The fake pansies from a Young Women in Excellence event.
Several dolls. Even a Barbie that makes a twinkling, magic sound when her right arm moves.
The porcelain doll I named Clarisse.
After the porcelain doll D.W. (from Arthur) borrowed from her grandma.
The paper mache angel I made that won some art contest in eighth grade.
Bracelets and necklaces from aunt's and cousins' wedding receptions.
Exciting medical technology. Like biopsy tweezers and this lovely mask from radiation.
so hot.
Horse everything. Charms, pillows, paintings, pictures, necklaces, books. Everything. I was obsessed.
The family history chart I made when I was eight years old.

A poster of my favorite things from when I was six and stuck in the hospital. Read and enjoy.
[I even remember making it with the Child Life lady. Fun times in the pediatric hospital.]

And Rachel came across this gem of a picture of me from our trip to Disney World when I was seven years old. If nothing else, I hope this makes you laugh today.

Keep on smiling and laughing today.
At least you aren't in a tutu.

recently in LZ

I have been back at home for about three weeks now.
A whole lot has happened since then.
Most importantly, I got my mission call. Greatest day of my life thus far.

Along with that, I've been cleaning, running errands, writing missionary letters, going on adventures with the family to Wisconsin, having temple prep lessons, organizing, and studying Preach My Gospel like none other.
And trying to survive the humidity.
It's good to be home.

Greg and Wendy and their family came and visited us on their Church history road trip.
Our adventures included: Legos at home, a downtown trip to the aquarium, Hershey store, Lego store, and American Girl store, Chicago traffic, and sleepovers with the girls.
Good times.
Love my city.
we love chocolate.
These two boys were fascinated by everything at the aquarium. Even that tortoise that hasn't moved for weeks.
Love them to death. 
He's my favorite. Jon loves Legos a whole lot. 
We've also been undergoing some home renovations.
First we got new carpet.
And now it's our driveway. The deck is next week.
Pictures for those of you who care.

We dug out the asphalt and had that bothersome curb cut down to actually meet the street.
No more driving over a tree to pull into our driveway! 
And they filled it all in.
The finished product!
And that about sums up life here in LZ.
Hope your summer is as wonderful as mine is so far.

little stories

I helped my grandparents unpack some boxes back when they were moving into their new Utah house.
And we found this entire box of napkins. Paper napkins. That Grandma saved.

Visiting baby Zachary before he had his trach. What a trooper.

You have to read this.
"The Flu" by Rachel Holbrook
One of the greatest get well cards ever.

That one year dad got a third waffle maker for Father's Day.

My first grade picture is now a meme.
I have nothing more to add.

The Center for Service Spring Symposium. This is one of good friends, Weston. He sucked me into the Center, has been a fantastic teacher and leader to me and his other PD's, and we're all going to miss him. He's off to dental school, but he'll probably just miss us all too much and end up coming back.

The adventure mom and I had after a visit to the doctor's office downtown.

Greatest popcorn in the world.
They must inject steroids or something into that stuff.

independence day

[thoughts from July 3rd, 2013]
Tonight I was watching a fireworks show and listening to the "Stars and Stripes" march.
And I started thinking.

About how July 3, 1776 might have been.

Just the day before, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress.
That day must have held quite a bit of emotion.
What these Founding Fathers were planning to do was considered high treason by England.

Thomas Jefferson - the writer and mastermind behind the Declaration.
John Adams - one of the leaders in the strive for independence.
Benjamin Franklin - arguably the most brilliant mind of his era.
Charles Carroll - the keeper of the clue, "the secret lies with Charlotte." Anyone? Never mind.

Fifty-six men signed their names on this now-historic document.
I admire their courage and their dedication to building up this incredible country.
I am so grateful for their willingness to fight for what they believed in, despite the fears they may have had concerning the consequences of their actions.

I love America.
Thank you, Founding Fathers.

Lovely spot at Thanksgiving Point gardens
Rachel's face when the trumpets started playing one of her favorite Sousa marches.

good times in p-town

So there was this time when I went home and just kind of stayed there.
For a month.
I came back to the lovely Provo to pack up my apartment, move out officially, and get everything set to leave for eighteen months.
I will be back home for the rest of the summer getting ready for the mission.
Here are the adventures of my two week stay in my home away from home.

Explored the Milwaukee airport. Quite a lovely experience actually.

Day with Rachel. This included walking around the entire BYU campus, going to a friend's wedding reception, a drive up the canyon, a late night visit to the Edwards.
her future home. Man I miss freshman year.
Bridal Veil falls. and some adventurous kids. 

love her.
Volunteering at Summer New Student Orientation. Love the little freshman.
But seriously: get involved with Y-Serve while you're at BYU. Best thing ever.

Missionary Broadcast. Absolutely incredible meeting!
Along with some quality time with my friend, Marian.

Sunday drive by the Provo Temple. And a beautiful sunset.

An interview with my Stake President to finally submit those mission papers.

Watching and studying other devotionals and talks. Like this one by Elder Holland.

Exploring Fairview, Utah with grandparents and finding a few common ancestors.
Selfies: what happens when grandpa has an iPhone and his two grandkids are stuck in the backseat on a long drive.
we found them!
And then watching the Manti Pageant.

Training new Center for Service Program Directors.
Again: Y-Serve is the greatest.

Dinner and the Despicable Me 2 premiere with Rachel, Clark, and Steven. Fantastic movie!

Visiting baby Zachary, hanging out with Steven, and baptisms at the Jordan River Temple.

Lunch with the Champion family. Basically the sweetest kids ever.

photo cred: Lionell.
Dinner with the Pettitt's. Loved catching up with them!

And of course, the more menial things like running errands, packing up my life, and getting a haircut.

Until October Provo. 
I'll miss you. Just a little.