Tuesday, January 15, 2013

absolute truth

On Sunday, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf came to the Marriott Center to give a CES Fireside. 
It was amazing. I absolutely love that man.

I went right after church to stand in line outside the Marriott until the doors opened.
Which means I was out in the cold for about an hour and a half. I froze myself stiff.
But it was completely worth it.
I saved seats for some of my friends, and we all listened to President Uchtdorf together. It was wonderful.

Some key points that stood out from his address: you can watch it here

  • Truth can only be found through one's efforts and through divine inspiration.
  • Absolute truth exists far beyond simple belief; the truth will forever be true, even if no one believes it.
  • We don't just have the opportunity, but the obligation to personally discover the truth.
  • Just because we have the gospel, that doesn't mean we know everything. The Church was restored because a young man asked a question.
  • Coming to know the truth brings greater tolerance, patience, and humility, as well as a far greater capacity to accept our Heavenly Father's will for us.
There are lots of things I don't know, like how fast an ice cube melts or what tomorrow's sunrise will bring.  I don't know why hard things happen to righteous people. I don't know what I am supposed to do with the rest of my life. I don't know why I am here at this very moment.

Despite not knowing those things, there are a few truths that I know without a doubt:

My Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ, love me.
I know that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. As I put my hand in His, He will guide me back home.
I know that my Redeemer lives!
I know that no matter how badly I mess up or how much pain I am feeling, my Savior understands each and every emotion that I feel. Christ died for me, personally, and He wants to help me return to my Heavenly Father.
With the help of the Lord, I can conquer anything.
And that is one of the greatest, most comforting truths I know.

One day, all of my questions will be answered. I might even know just how long it takes that silly little ice cube to melt. But for now, I am so grateful for the testimony and knowledge that I do have.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

entering the work force

My first day of work was not too shabby.

I was paid to sit and listen to training session on the history and layout of the library.
Then I was paid to sit and listen to another hour-long training session on providing great customer service.

[totally unrelated note: if you ever need help in the library, just let me know!! I'm trained in such matters.]

I also got a free water bottle along with some snacks.

To be completely honest, I am incredibly excited about this job. in case you couldn't tell.

Not only will I be finding historical documents [um, YES], digitized artifacts, and whatever else the Internet may have to offer, I also get to learn about a few new languages [anyone want to help me brush up on my German, French, Italian, Portuguese, and whatever other crazy European languages you may know], about a few more countries in Europe, and maybe even meet a few new people.

The only concern my supervisor has: the possibility of getting distracted by documents or interactive databases.
Have I mentioned I am a history nerd and this will be the best thing ever?

I am not lucky; I am blessed beyond measure.

Oh, and the best part?
I have a name tag.
It's magnetic. It's pretty great. And it's totally makes me think I'm actually official.

[note: this is one of those rare occasions when I really wish I had Instagram and could make a collage of my name tag, the water bottle, and myself. Alas it is not to be.]

Welcome to the work force.
[should be a party]

Thursday, January 10, 2013

growing up

There are some things about being an adult that really aren't that fun.
Like riding public transportation...

But today was a pretty great day to be a grown-up.

I got a job.

Not just any job. It's a library job.

I essentially get to help a professor research online for digital primary sources from European countries. I will be maintaining the European documents database as well as finding additional sources to expand the site.

The best part?
I can work anywhere. Even at home. In my pajamas.

This semester just got even better.
Maybe being an adult won't be that bad after all.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

i'm a big kid now

I have an irrational fear of public transportation.
I think it has something to do with the fact that I spent my teenage years near New York City and Chicago.

However, after my hospital appointments this morning, I headed off on the grand adventure of discovering the Salt Lake City public transportation system.
But I lived to tell the tale.
My first great feat as a twenty-year-old.
Challenge complete.

It honestly was perfectly fine. Just long.
I had one transfer from the Trax to the FrontRunner and had to sit in the cold for 45 minutes. Other than that, the ride was uneventful.
I did have a great view of the mountains, though.

At the hospital, the docs told me my heart was still beating, gave me a flu shot, and sent me on my way.
I won't be back there until April.
I really like this whole "being-healthy" thing.

[also here are some old pictures from right before finals week I never posted...]

Hayley, Aunt Jen, and me after dinner at their house!
John, Hayley, and I. The three amigos. We are all freezing in this picture. And yes, I am on the top of a hill and am still the shortest.
Tomorrow holds history class excitement and a job interview.
Being an adult is overrated.
But it's so much fun.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

typical tuesday

dear Tuesday,
I love how you went today. Can we agree to do this the rest of the semester? Thanks.

I woke up relatively early, got ready, and read my scriptures for a while.
Then I headed up to the Marriott Center for devotional. Best thing ever.
I sat with John and Scott, discussed classes, and then listened to the speaker.
I attended my history class. My first major-specific class ever! I'm a big kid now.
dear self,
I am certain there is something else interesting in your life. The interesting fact "I have had three heart transplants" is getting old. Think a little harder, ok? Thanks.

dear devotionals,
I hope you know how much I love you. You are the brightest part of my week in the mundane routine of classes. Keep up the good work.

President and Sister Samuelson spoke to us today about recognizing the hand of the Lord in our lives.
It was awesome. President and Sister Samuelson are such incredible people, and I love them!

Guess who is speaking next week?
General Young Women President.
love her. 
And President Uchtdorf is speaking on Sunday.
I am beyond excited.
dear HBLL,
I have a job interview to work for you this semester. It would be great if you could maybe put in a few good words on my behalf. Because let's be honest, who else is going to as excited as I am to come work with historical documents?

dear Vocal Point,
You have stolen my heart once again. Too bad you're all married or engaged. Maybe next year.

This song. I always think of President Hicnkley when I hear this song.
"Danny Boy" as sung by BYU Vocal Point

dear extended family,
Thank you for feeding me, driving me everywhere, and talking with me. I love seeing you all, and I wish I could see you more often. Thanks for the birthday wishes and candles today.
Also, I love getting hugs from your adorable little kids. They are the cutest.

dear body,
I only have one request: No nasty surprises tomorrow, please. I am quite enjoying staying out of the hospital for extended periods of time, and I would like to try it more often.

dear self,
You need to take more pictures. Hayley can't take them for you anymore. So get out that camera and start awkwardly asking every person you hang out with if you can document your time with them. You'll thank me later.

Be happy. Stay happy. Always smile.
You never know who might be watching.
That's creepy. But profound. So just do it.

Monday, January 7, 2013

two decades

I turned 20 today.
Twenty years old.
That's old.
I am no longer a teenager.
I am officially an adult.
That means I have been alive for 7,300 days.
That's a whole lot of days.

Today was just fantastic. 
I trudged through a foot of snow up to campus.
Which was actually so much fun.
I went to New Testament.
With three of my best friends from freshman year.
Then we all went and ate lunch with my other great friend who just got back from her Italy study abroad. 
Then I had my other religion class.
Which I am beyond excited about. 
I'm hoping I got a job that I had part two of the interview for today.
I got to talk with a few other good friends for a while.
And then I got started on my New Testament homework.
I just read for about an hour. It was lovely.
To top it all off, we had a fun ward FHE activity.
Finally, I am back home.
Attempting to finish the puzzle John and I started yesterday.
We'll see how this goes.

Happy 20th Birthday to me!

On another note, I can't really believe I have made it this far. I am so grateful to every single one of you who have made it possible for me to be where I am today. There are a lot of exciting adventures in store this year, and I cannot wait to see where I end up!

Thank you to all of my incredible friends and family members who have been such great blessings in my life. I love you all. So much! Thanks for making today so wonderful!

I came across this song the other day. It completely reminds me of freshman year, great friends, and happy memories. And it seemed appropriate to share today, given that it's kind of that "year in review" time of the year. 
"Time of Our Lives"
by Tyrone Wells

This is my new mantra for this next year of life. Along with "remember to smile." 

I am going to make
the rest of my life
the BEST of my life.

Since I am at home, by myself, eating a birthday brownie that was left over from FHE, I am in kind of a weird dance-party mood. So enjoy the random song that I've been listening to quite a bit today. 

"You're the Voice"
by John Farnham

Basically, today was fantastic.
Thanks for making it great. 
Keep on smiling, y'all.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

year in review: 2012

The year the world was supposed to end.
And we all survived.

This year was full of laughter, memories, and great friends.
There were also a few rough patches. But nothing too terrible.
I even made it through a whole year with only one hospitalization. 
fyi that's the first time that's happened since 2003. pretty exciting.

~Highlights of 2012~

I turned nineteen years old.
I finished my freshman year of college. Where has the time gone?
I completed reading the Book of Mormon.
I drove [with my parents] from Provo back home to Chicago.
I moved into my first apartment, then my second, and finally my third. 
fyi I have now moved all of my belongings eight times in a 15-month period. who does that?!
I spent several days in one of the most beautiful places on the planet: Oregon.
I became a college sophomore.
I became best friends with people I never imagined would become so important to me.
I listened as President Monson announced the new missionary ages: 18 for boys, 19 for girls. 
I watched as several of my closest friends opened their mission calls to places around the world.
I surprised my brother by coming home for Thanksgiving.
I enjoyed a memorable Christmas vacation at home full of laughter and good times.

And there are other little things:
I still loved the mountains, went to the temple, reconstructed the blog, made new friends, discovered new country music, reflected on life, and continuously attempted to figure out adult life. 

"Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book.
Write a good one." 
Brad Paisley
Bring it on 2013.