Monday, March 29, 2010

Yeah, ok!

So I can ALMOST say I go into the MTC this month! Two more days and you better believe that'll be my facebook status. So this post is dedicated to the reasons I have decided that it was a blessing for me to be here the past few months. I really, honestly thought that I would be leaving mid March MAYBE. Like AT THE LATEST. Like I actually thought mid February was a pretty good guess. So having my entry date so late was kind of torture. BUT I've decided to post about the reasons why it maybe wasn't so bad that I was left in Provo to rot and die (or so it seemed). And here is my list:

1) First I really needed to get a grip on what was happening. I needed to wrap my brain around what a full-time mission actually is. I love lists so here are some lists of things that I've found a mission is not by talking to some returned guys and girls:
      a) It is not a time to prove that you are awesome. You're kind of worthless unless you are willing to accept that while you are awesome it's not your awesomeness that's doing the trick. You are the instrument. Let The One with the real wisdom use you accordingly.
      b) A mission is not a walk in the park. You'll want to give up sometimes. That's fine.
      c) A mission is not a time to enforce everything you've ever believed to be true. The gospel's great, it answers all of my questions. So now it's time to let it answer other people's questions even if it's not exactly the way I want things to go.
Here is a list of things that a mission is:
      a) A mission is a time to let yourself work with other people and change. Become flexible.
      b) A mission is a time to learn to depend entirely on our Heavenly Father. Let yourself go and open your mouth.
      c) A mission is a time to realize the importance of people you didn't even know existed and tell them about it.

2) I needed to stay in Provo to sort out a few situations with people. I really needed to learn to work harder when needed but also to let go when needed. There were a few friendships that I realized really do mean a lot to me and that I needed to work a little harder to show those people that I care. And, though it's sad, there were also a friendships that I needed to face the facts about. I needed to realize that your friends should build you up in all situations. Not just when it's convenient for them or when it will benefit them. And building you up doesn't mean be on your side with everything but when you are on the same side you're happy for each other and when you're not you accept the difference and move on.

3) I needed to learn to recognize when I'm being jerked around by life and when I'm jerking myself around. I've had a lot of scares through this whole process. Everything from "Can I do this?" to "What the *swear word* am I going to do when I get back?" These are very stressful situations and basically I learned that when the conflict is internal you need to give yourself the benefit of the doubt. You can do it. And when it's external that means that you aren't even completely in control of the situation, there's some other party that is contributing (making it an external conflict) so just do your part and know that you'll survive. Basically no matter who I was being jerked around by I needed to step back and realize that I'm doing just fine. Since when has every move I make been so big? Turns out never...

4) I needed to learn why I want to do this whole mission thing. I had some good reasons before but I learned more about why I want this after my mission call came than I ever realized before. The number one reason on my list relates to an experience I had in Salt Lake a few months ago about the worth of every soul and I would share it here but I just found out that my farewell in Provo's topic is "The Worth of Souls" and just about died at how amazingly perfect that is. So I'll save that story for then and for now just say that there are some Hungarians who are about to find out what Heavenly Father thinks of them.

5) Also, I kind of die a little bit in the winter and come back to life in the summer so it's actually awesome that I'm starting possibly the most difficult thing of my life at the most beautiful time of the year!

So that's all I have time for. I'll just post this (mainly because I just added a short but sweet play list to my blog and want you to hear it as you read) but this is also me admitting defeat to the fact that the past few months have been CRAZY but oh so worth it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How I Met Your Mother


These are my friends Marshall, Lily, Ted, Robin and Barney.


Each of these friends are great in different ways:
Marshall: Reminds me that I want someone who will always be on my team.
Lily: Shows me that people are supposed to be nice to each other no matter what. Unless they make you mad.
Ted: Wearing your heart on your sleeve actually isn't a bad trait.
Robin: Doing things your way isn't always selfish.

But Barney, Barney is the real gem. True: Barney is the least respectable, least ethical and least emotionally accurate character on the show BUT he's hilarious. AND he's trademarked a phrase that goes something like this: "When I get sad I stop being sad and be awesome instead, true story" and I'm coming to realize the ingenuity of that remark. When I feel like I'm too weak for something, too dumb to make a decision or too cowardly to do what I know is right I stop being weak, dumb and cowardly and be awesome instead! Since I've realized this I can't do anything but be awesome! Life is too short to become anything else. Heavenly Father is awesome so if we want to be like Him then I guess we also want to be awesome. Yesterday it was so funny because he didn't want to admit that he was sick so when he sneezed and blew his nose he said "My nose was just overflowing with awesome and I had to get some of it out!" and I laughed and laughed because I realized this is applicable to every part of life. Say you trip:

"Sorry, I had an over abundance of awesome and stumbled over it"

or you mess up what you're saying:

"Sorry my brain sometimes has a hard time processing all of my awesomeness at once"

I think if everyone could appropriately adopt this then we would all be so much happier because we would all be able to recognize our awesomeness without question. I feel like I hear too often about people who are in stressful situations (I, as a human being, can relate) and there seems to be a trend where it comes down to someone doubting their capabilties. Doubt no more my friends and...

SUIT UP!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Catalina Island: The Result



I know, I know. I just posted yesterday but I have some very important homework I'm trying to avoid and I don't think the 2 people that read this blog will mind (especially since I already told Maryn about this) and it's such a funny ending to the story.

So I finished my puzzle today and discovered that yes, indeed, I had lost a piece. I was determined to find it, it could only be in my room, so I bent over to look for it and instead found a book entitled "Missionary Miracles". I thought to myself "Nice Heavenly Father but I'm not reading it until I find that piece!" and before I finished that thought I looked down and the piece was right in front of me! Touche, Heavenly Father. Touche.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Simple Pleasures

The point of today's post is to outline the simple pleasures that are keeping me alive right now. Since I wasn't planning on being in the circumstances in which I find myself, the simple pleasures are becoming more and more important to me.

1) Putting "Fully-Loaded" Lays potato chips in my turkey and cheese sandwiches.

2) Putting an abnormally large amount of face wash around my mouth and blowing bubbles.

3) Writing on someone's Facebook wall with a ridiculous quote they recently said.

4) Doing the dishes and singing. Being under the impression that no one can hear you because the water is running is so liberating. Past roommates, you're welcome.

5) Eating french fries with a fork.

6) Eating things that are supposed to be eaten together seconds apart.
     ex: right now I'm eating apples and cheese but instead of putting the cheese on the apples I take a bite of apple and then a bite of cheese.

7) taking something mildly funny and building on it until it's completely out of control. Anyone who has talked to me about leather sleeves lately knows what I'm talking about.

8) Singing "On the Catwalk" in my head if I'm walking across a room full of people.

9) Guessing what color someone's hair is based on their pants and shoes.

10) Picturing certain real-life situations but how they would be if my life was a tv show. Complete with music and canned laughter.

11) Going to "http://www.dearelder.com/?index.php&inc_name=package_area" and putting the cursor over the "International Packages" thing and then down to "U.S. Packages" and then back up and down. It makes the elder look like he's dancing.

*I reserve the right to add to this as I think of other simple pleasures*

Monday, March 1, 2010

Catalina Island

So in an attempt to do something productive with my 51 days left before I head out I decided to buy a puzzle. The one I bought is a 1000 piecer of Catalina Island. I love things like puzzles because you have to use your brain and find a strategy that works for you to figure it out and put it together. I started the puzzle yesterday and have already decided that it's amazing what you can learn about life from something as silly as a puzzle. Here are some things I've learned so far and how they relate to life:

1) Sometimes when you feel like you've tried everything and there is not a single piece in the puzzle that will fit where you need it to and you're pretty sure that the manufacturers must have left out a piece of your puzzle you look and realize that the piece you were looking for is right in front of you. You just thought that there was no way it would fit. I'm constantly surprised at how the one piece can end and a completely different looking piece is the one you need to continue. The piece seems so unlikely to help and is discarded as an option. Together the two completely different looking pieces come together and make a requisite contribution to your puzzle. This is a lot like the people that surround us. We all have things that we need from the people around us and vice versa, that's just how it works. We don't realize that we have what others need and they have what we need until we are willing to look right in front of us and see (shout out to Avatar). Just because a person seems unlikely to help doesn't mean they should be discarded as an option.

2) The shape, color and orientation of the 1000 individual puzzle pieces splayed on your desk seem random and should not be able to fit together to make an amazing picture but they do, that's why they were put together in the box. This is just like the world in general. We shouldn't be able to work together with all of our obvious differences and yet the picture isn't as pretty if we don't take all of our differences and just let them exist together. When that happens we can make a pretty beautiful community out of this world.

3) When I went to bed last night I was a little frustrated because I had two chunks of puzzle pieces that I knew needed to be together but I couldn't figure out where the missing piece was to put them together. So eventually I went to bed and then woke up this morning, went to work, came home and looked at these two clusters of pieces again. I put my finger on one chunk and scooted it a little to the right and up. It turns out these two pieces that I wanted to have fit together vertically were meant to fit diagonally. I must have spent at least 20 minutes staring at these exact same pieces yesterday and in a matter of 20 seconds saw the answer today. This is what happens when you let a problem sit while you refresh your mind. You become aware of other options and see things you couldn't see before.

4) In this puzzle there are a lot of blue pieces representing the ocean. I collected all of the blue pieces together and began trying to put them together. I made a little headway and then hit a wall. None of the pieces would go together! I sat playing with one piece and thinking about what to do next. As I was playing with the piece I spun it with my finger and realized that when I turned it upside down the piece was still blue. It gave the appearance of being the same but in all reality it became a completely different piece because now it suddenly fit. This can be applied many different ways but the first one I thought of was that sometimes we think we know someone, what they think, feel and believe but we could be completely wrong because you can't really know until you see the person from all angles and really know them. People always look the same but you don't know how they fit into your life until you see them right side up and upside down.

5) As I was going through and organizing the pieces into appropriately colored piles and shapes I dropped one into a giant bin of shoes inconveniently located under my desk. I was holding a handful of pieces, had pieces splayed all over my desk and had a box of them over to the side. I looked at all the pieces and then down at the giant smelly bin of shoes. Then back up at the pieces and back down at the box. I then realized that even though I had 999 pieces that were in perfect condition I would never be satisfied with my puzzle until I went after the one in the giant shoe box of doom. My heart broke at the idea of having almost everything but not quite enough to complete the puzzle and knew that every effort I could make without that one piece would leave me dissatisfied. I liken this to the idea of a shepherd and his sheep that is often used in relation to our Heavenly Father and His children. If a shepherd has 100 sheep and one goes astray will he not leave the ninety and nine to go after the one (Matt 18:12)? I had to leave the 999 to go after the one. I had thought many times of how blessed I am to know that Heavenly Father will always come for me when I wander but I had never thought about the motivation behind it. I now realize that Heavenly Father will never be satisfied until He has every one of His sheep back. His puzzle won't be complete without each of the pieces in place. It's not just a kindness that He provides because He's a good Father in Heaven, He will not be satisfied until the puzzle He created is complete with every single piece needed and will sort through any proverbial smelly shoe bin to get us back.

So basically getting this puzzle has benefited me in many ways; spending my time productively, creating something that's going to be really cool looking and teaching me a few things about life.