“What we love determines what we seek. What we seek determines what we think and do. What we think and do determines who we are — and who we will become.” ― Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Sunday, May 20, 2012


After much anticipation, I finally received my mission call.

Called to serve in the......

Louisiana Baton Rouge, Spanish Speaking Mission!
Reporting to the Missionary Training Center July 11th
(That's the Mississippi River. How cool!)

Opening my mission call was an incredible experience. It meant the world to me to be able to have my amazing family on Skype. I felt so much love and support from them. I appreciated it more than they could imagine. I love you guys. 

Never in my whole life would I have EVER expected to go down South. (but I will admit that I secretly wanted to). I would joke around saying things like "If God loves me, He will send me somewhere warm"........ I guess He loves me. Ok ok ok. I've always known that He loves me, but I am so happy that I am not going somewhere cold. I can handle humidity. I can't handle the snot in my nose freezing as soon as I step out the door.

And there is a TEMPLE in my mission! I was really hoping for that :) 

Baton Rouge Louisiana Mormon Temple

I pretty much knew that I would go Spanish speaking. It's basically in my blood. I'm half Puerto Rican, not Mexican. Just to clarify. I will be able to come home in 18 months and converse with all my uncles and friends who have served Spanish speaking missions as well (along with the oh-so-talented Alyssa Ball who spent a million years of her life learning the language)

Excited would be an understatement. I am THRILLED. I love my Savior and I love His gospel. I cannot wait to go and serve the people of Louisiana and teach them about their Savior. I know that serving a mission will be difficult, but I am ready for it. I know that through those difficult moments lies the most growth and the more we draw nearer to our Heavenly Father and His Son. I am looking forward to the growth, to the experiences I will have, the people I will meet, the food I will eat, the things I will learn,  and the friendships I will gain. I feel so grateful to be able to have an opportunity to serve a mission.
And you should definitely consider writing me.
This is one of my favorites
But this is my ALL TIME favorite.
Titled "My Child"

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Meet Alyssa Ball. She has a great blog. Keeps me entertained, at least. And she's also just an awesome friend/human being.
Anyways, as I sat here thinking about how I should give myself "worst blogger ever" award because I never know what to blog about, her latest blog post gave me a topic!

My List of 5 Favorite Things (at this current moment in time)
1. Diptic. My new app on my iphone that let's you make a collage of your pictures. Love it. So fun.
(this boy is also on my list of favorites)

2. This next picture is a sum of a few favorite things of mine: sunny SPRING days, walks, and good solid conversations with friends.
we were laying down under this beautiful blossoming tree. loved every second of.

2. General Conference. I love everything about it. I liken it unto Christmas morning. That's how much I look forward to conference every 6 months. Seriously. love it so much. It's always so uplifting. I always feel like burdens are lifted. And it usually revolves around making good food. That's always a bonus.
Alyssa got us tickets to the Sunday morning session. 
3. Eliza. She is my favorite co-worker, and just an awesome friend in general. She makes me laugh.....all of the time. She brings out a side of me that no one else can. A typical conversation at work with us would be something as follows.....
B-"Oooohhhh Walt....." (speaking about Walt Disney, of course)

E-"Do you think they ever called him Walter?"
B-"Only his mother....and when she got mad at him."
E-"WALTER! Stop putting spiders in my soup!!!!!!"
B-"WALTER! Stop putting frogs in your sisters underwear!!!!" 

(yes, all of this was said, or yelled, as customers were present.)

"They should give us a promotion for entertaining their customers! That's top-notch customer service right there!" 

4. My new favorite (local) band. The Folka Dots. Listen to them HERE
( on the topic of fav local bands....LADY AND GENT. pure awesome. Jayson and I discovered them at velour one night. I can't get enough of them. Harmonica and banjo....enough said)

5. Easter. Love everything it symbolizes. and Spring is my favorite season. 
Let me share with you my favorite song that represents Easter well. 

Mormon Tabernacle Choir- "This Is The Christ"

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lessons I Learned Through A Child

As most of you know, I took all of last week off of work to do another job. I was a full time nanny for a family while the parents went on a cruise. It was one of the biggest blessings and such a great opportunity. I was grateful every day for it. The children I was a nanny for were 14, 9, and 2 years of age. I spent all day at home playing with the little two year old girl named Athena (you know, like the Greek goddess?). She was an angel. The first few days were a little rough, but I gave her a break because of course it was going to be hard being away from her parents all week and being stuck with a stranger. After the first few days, she started becoming  more happy and cheerful and completely fun to hang out with and play with. But what I learned from Athena was how obedient she was and how willing she was to do whatever I asked of her. This little girl taught me a huge life lesson. Her three favorite words are..."mhm", "why?", and "okay."
Okay. such a simple word, but had so much meaning behind it. No matter what it was that I asked her to do, she would always respond with an "okay!" and I watched how she would immediately drop whatever she was doing to go and do the thing that I had asked of her. I hardly had to ask her twice and only on occasion would  she put up a bit of a struggle. I feel this is what the Lord asks of us. He asks for our obedience and willingness to follow Him. Even when we are feeling sorrowful for missing dear loved ones as Athena had. If we hear Him speak to us through the soft whisperings of the Spirit, we should be simply saying "okay" and dropping our will to do His. The Lord is never going to ask us to do things that aren't necessary and that aren't going to benefit us and make us more happy in the long run. Sometimes we may be told to do something that we might not understand at the moment, or we may be told to do something that is extremely difficult to do, but we do them anyways because we love Him and we trust in Him.

Sometimes it's hard, so so hard. But the most difficult times we experience are the most important ones. They are the times that we are given to grow closer to our Savior and to really feel the love He has for us.  I know that I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior. I also know that I can be better at listening to Him when He is trying to speak to me and instead of questioning it or putting up a struggle, I can simply say "okay".

Monday, February 6, 2012


Destination: Mesa, Arizona
Reason: Baby blessing (roommate's niece)
Hours in car: 22
Hours in Arizona: 23
Short but sweet. 
Saturday at 7:45am I hit the road with my roommate, Rachel, and her two older brothers for a long car ride to AZ. It was actually quite fun. I slept a lot. I listened to her older brother, Cameron, talk about the structure of a cell and about hormones and about how he is in school to become a doctor. Ok, it sounds boring, but it actually was not. We went straight to her grandparents house in Mesa and immediately had a big family dinner. It was so fun to meet her sisters and grandparents and parents and that sweet little baby. 
We stayed the night at her little sister's apartment. Church didn't start until 1pm on Sunday so we spent the day eating pancakes and reading and coloring Rachel's hair and stopping to take my picture next to a cactus.  
After the baby blessing and sacrament meeting, we went to her older sister's house with all of their extended family. Ate a lot of good food. Listened to her whole family speak Spanish (none are Hispanic, all went on spanish speaking missions). Hung out. Soaked up the beautiful sun. Then drove back home......
We stopped at Hoover Dam around 10 pm. We were told that we couldn't stop and get out to take pictures.  
But we did it anyways. 
Oh well, the cops were pretty chill about it. 
Over all. It was a fabulous little trip. Kind of just seems like a dream. 
But a warm and sunny dream that I didn't want to leave. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

The 5 Love Languages

I'm sure most of you have read this and/or already know what your love language is. The 5 languages are:
1. Words of Affirmation
2. Receiving of Gifts
3. Physical Touch
4. Quality Time
5. Acts of Service
What's my love language you ask? Definitely, hands down, quality time. Of course everything else is nice and most certainly welcomed, because they are all positive things, but I would love nothing more than to share quality time with you. Whether it be a family member, friend, or significant other, my most favorite thing in the world is to do something where I can just sit and have good conversations with you. I was remembering how true this was for me when I was contemplating why I had such a good day the other day. I really hadn't done much. But what I had done, was sit and talk with two wonderful people (both at different times in the day) and had some solid conversations with them. I love people. I love listening to them and learning about their lives. I love everything that each person has to teach me. I also love talking. I love being able to share new things with them. 
I just love good solid quality time. 
You know what I also love?
Frozen Yogurt. 
So if you're ever in the neighborhood, let's go get some froyo and talk :) 

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Last Wedding

Wednesday night at 11pm I headed off (drove) to Sacramento, California to go to my Uncle Mikes wedding. He was the last of all of my aunts and uncles to marry and it was an awesome trip. 
I rode down with one of his friends who lives in Orem. He was way cool. He is from Pakistan and I got to hear him speak his native language a few times. So crazy! We had some good conversations and he told me a lot about his country and some of their customs and traditions. It was a loooong drive. We got McDonalds at 3am and got pulled over in Reno. (And we got pulled over again on our way back. NOTE: I was never the one to get pulled over!) 
We finally arrived at my Aunt Dani's house around 8am on Thursday. The morning was filled with playing with my adorable cousins. 
 The girls were singing and staring at themselves in this mirror for a good 3 minutes. 

I spent the day shopping and running errands with my grandma. It was a blast. We had to go to the Lexus place because her key broke and she had to use pliers to start and stop her car. As comical as it was, it got a little tedious. 
Grandma: "People only listen to me when I speak." 
Gma: "I'm sorry that we didn't have time to go to See's Candies, but that's kind of my life in a nutshell" 
When we got back, I was the chosen babysitter while everyone went to the temple for my (new) Aunt Dana's endowments. It was a crazy house, but tons of fun. 
On Friday, we got up early to help set up the chapel for the reception. Grandma and I went to to Costco (happiest place on earth) and got ready for a big dinner we had later that night. It was all of the family and a bunch of the bride and grooms friends. 
Miss Emmeline

 Guacamole to feed an army
 We had authentic Mexican tacos. They. were. amazing. 
Grandma: "Matt, do you want me to pick up the drinks instead?"
Matt: "Yeah, make sure to stock up on Coke so we can actually enjoy this thing tonight."

Saturday was the big day. We left to the temple in the morning and again, I was designated babysitter. We found a nursery room in the chapel next to the temple. It was the easiest babysitting job.ever. Thank goodness for technology. 
Baby Axel and Jake
 Garrett with an iphone
 Gordon, Oscar, and Maya with an ipad
 Gordon with an ipad
 Brooklyn with an iphone
 Taylor, Emmeline, Eleanor, Annabelle, and Margaret watching a movie. 
Then it was time to watch the new Mr. and Mrs. Ward come out of the temple!!
Her veil kept blowing off. 
 Mike and Dana with the Ward grandkids (minus me).

Maggie (talking to me): "We're getting married today!!"
Maggie: "Where's uncle Dana?"
 I had to get a picture of all the parents trying to make their kids look at the camera. 
 Side view of the Sacramento Temple. Gorgeous. 
 Beautiful couple. 

The reception was beautiful and PACKED. There was good food and good dancing. It was a great evening. 
Bright and early Sunday morning we were back to Utah. Again, longest drive of my life. 
Yay for weddings and family. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bring Him Home

Do you like Les Miserables?
I sure do. This love affair all started with my senior high school production of Les Mis. My FAVORITE high school experience. Hands down.
If you were wondering, I was a lovely lady. ;)

If you knew me......you would know that I'm obsessed. And that I can watch the 25th Anniversery movie 3 times in a row and then maybe a 4th and 5th time. And that I tend to sing along with every song I know, but when it comes to Les Mis, I let these incredibly talented musicians do the singing while I do all the listening (i'm a really great listener). And that my favorite song in the universe is "Bring Him Home". And that I have listened to that song on re-wind for 2 hours straight. And that it gives me chills.

Listen to this one. It's Alfie Boe.

And then, listen to this one. It's 4 Jean Val Jean's singing "Bring Him Home". They amaze me.

And finally, (after you have the words memorized), listen to this one. It's John Schmidt and a beautiful cellist. (If you knew me, you would also know that the piano and cello are my favorite instruments........and the hermonica and banjo....but that's for another time and place.)