Sunday, August 31, 2008

Transferring the power

This is Kate, sitting in for Rie. Rie is transferring the power of the blog to me!! Stay tuned for excerpts from her missionary e-mails!! Coming to you via California!! Since she hasn't left yet, she keeps telling me what I can't say!!! Bwah-ha-ha!!! Wednesday she'll be gone, and then I can do what I want!!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Nervous

Of course I'm nervous! Whenever people ask "Are you ready?" my answers always switch from "Always," to "Never." Tomorrow I'm being set apart as a missionary. I'm not entirely sure what that means for my Monday and Tuesday. I'm not sure if I'll post again or if this is my last one. I've kind of had a blank in my head these last few days. I feel like there's not much to say except that I am both nervous and ecstatic.

A friend suggested that I turn this blog over to my mom to manage. That is the current plan, so you can all fill free to keep checking up on me :) Oh and write me!! I accept letters. I, like most of you, am not the best at keeping in contact with people. I was never good at writing missionaries, so hey, I won't take offense. Although, with all the people I've gotten to commit to writing me, you'd think that I would have a constant supply of letters. (Except for the fact that everyone I've committed to write a letter has commented on their own lack of keeping in contact skills). Letters to Italy weighing less than an ounce are right now 94 cents. It's less than a dollar, come on.

Golly, the anticipation is killing me! I've wanted this for so long, and now all I can think about is if I really am up to this. (This is when the devil pops up on one shoulder and an angel pops up on the other shoulder and they battle back and forth telling me whether I can do it or not). So, yeah, don't forget to write me.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Proposition 8

On Saturday I got to have another glimpse of missionary work...except for it wasn't. Here in California, Proposition 8 refers to an amendment in the Californian Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. On Saturday, I got to knock on people's doors and ask how they felt about it. There was no "this is how I feel and this is how you should feel!" All we were doing was polling.

After we asked the first person, I remember feeling sad. It's not good statistics when you only have one answer and that answer is negative. Someone (very correctly) mentioned that if this proposition is going to pass, it's going to be the valley that passes it. We are surrounded on all sides by liberalness, but here in the valley we have some sense. (It's because we're the ones that have access to all the fruit, and you know what they say about those who eat their fruits and vegetables).

Random tangent: In fourth grade (I think) my teacher randomly decided to spout out some questions. "Raise your hands if you like carrots." "Raise your hands if you like green beans." "Raise your hands if you like lettuce." This continued on for a bit before she decided to make a conclusion. She remarked that on the side that people rose their hands fewer times, people tended to talk more and get in trouble more often. The other side of the class, that tended to be more obedient actually liked more vegetables. Interesting huh. Guess which side of the classroom I was on :)

Back to Proposition 8: Overall, though, we had more people speak in favor of Proposition 8. That made me happy.

Yesterday we had another family dinner. I'm grateful for a family that uses every excuse it can to get together. I am truly blessed.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Kid Size!

Once upon a time there was this fabulous woman who was my mother. As she was shopping one day she found a little box that contained SIXTY ice cream cones. Now how, she thought, does this little box have room for sixty ice cream cones? She studied the box to find that the picture on the front revealed the words "actual size." These were no ordinary ice cream cones, they were kid sized ice cream cones.
Why is the dog in this picture? Maybe to show you that I like to taunt her. I don't know. She was just there.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Glimpse Into the Future

Yesterday I finally grabbed the courage and called the sister missionaries. It's a number I made sure to get the first week I was home, and yet it took me all this time to finally call it. All was arranged so that I could sit in two discussions today, one at 1 and one at 2. I say sitting in, but I also received the assignment of talking about one of the principles in the first discussion. Good practice, right?

Somewhere there's a rule that if I don't get lost on my way to a new place, then something is devilishly wrong. But missionary work is certainly not devilish, which is why I did in fact get lost trying to find the sister missionaries. Then I found out that one of the sisters was sick, so instead of me accompanying the sisters, I became THE companion.

We knock on the first door to find out it does not contain the person who supposedly lived there. She had given the missionaries the wrong address and the true occupant was not interested. With an hour to spare, my new companion suggested we go tracting. We knocked on a few doors before she decided to just go early to the next appointment. However, as we got there, our appointment was leaving. There was sincerity in her eyes as she realized that she had done some bad scheduling. We rescheduled for 4.

That's when I went home and drove the real missionary to her companion. As the sister left, she decided since it would be the two of us giving the discussion, I should take a few more points to speak about. So up until 4 I was studying, shaking, studying, and messing around on facebook.

We came back at 4, but their car was not there. So she decided we'd go around back and visit with this other guy. He wasn't there, but the girl who answered looked a lot (and talked a lot) like a girl I know from high school. I'm still not sure it wasn't her. I haven't seen her since high school. She didn't look exactly the same, but it still could have been her. She smiled like she may have even been thinking the same about me. Anyway, I'll know for sure on Monday, because I'm scheduled to have lunch with this long ago friend. Awkward...you'd think I'd remember her well enough to recognize her if we're going to have lunch together. Anyway, so because he wasn't there either, we decided to do some more tracting and we got more rejections.

Yes, I'm still excited to go on a mission. Yes, I'm still nervous. One thing I'll have to work on is to not take things so personally. That's always been difficult for me. I am excited to go to Italy though. It's funny how scared I can be to just talk in my own language. How much more scared will I be to talk in a language that I won't feel comfortable in?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Two Weeks

Wow! I enter the MTC in exactly two weeks. In my head I figured 11 was early in the morning. Now, as I look at the clock and realize that I've already been up for two hours and it's still only 8:30, 11 doesn't seem so early.

One of my favorite soundtracks growing up was Messengers of Light by Lex De Azevedo. As I woke up this morning, I had a craving to listen to one of those songs. All of a sudden all the warmth this soundtrack has brought to me over the years came back and I'm not sure if I'll be listening to anything else for a while. It struck me powerfully that this was going to be me. I know, I know, I've been talking about my mission for forever, but as the time approaches I get more and more excited. Right now it's all anticipation and its driving me up the wall. Part of me wants to just begin and the other part holds back declaring, "I'm not ready!" Well, ready or not, here I come...in two weeks.

One of my other goals was to be prepared to give the first discussion in Russian before I enter the MTC. My logic: I'm called to speak in Italian so that means that I should spend my time in the field learning the gospel in Italian; but if I can be prepared to give the discussion in Russian before I go, then that will mean I'll know the first discussion well enough to be able to start working on translating it when I get to the MTC. And there's always the off chance that I might run into someone who speaks Russian who also happens to be interested in the church. Yesterday as I sat in front of my Preach My Gospel a wave of hopelessness fell on me. Sure, I can read it and understand, but there is so much vocabulary that I won't be able to come up with on the spot. This isn't something I just barely came up with. And yet with all my reading and studying I still feel hopeless. I guess that's just the first step of being a good missionary: getting over those hopeless feelings.

They say a mission is hard. I believe them. They also say the first week in the MTC is the hardest. I believe that too. People have remarked on the fact that Rome is the capital of the Catholic church and that my specific mission will be hard. As true as that statement is, the gospel of Jesus Christ is a more true thing. I don't know if I should be preparing myself for a lot of disappointment, or to foolishly believe that I'm going to help covert the entire nation. I think the church in Italy is ready to expand. Whether that means that I get to pave the way for other future missionaries or if I get to reap the rewards of the pavement from those who have gone before, it does not matter. I just want to do my best to serve the Lord. Everyone deserves the right to know about the Restoration of the gospel.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My Dog is Limping

Okay, so she's not my dog. My dog died over a year ago, but Sariah isn't here. I'm going to claim some ownership simply because I can. Anyway, I'm sorry Shannon.
video

Friday, August 15, 2008

Doesn't This Look Appetizing

I entered the kitchen and saw that there was water boiling. So I looked inside and this is what I found.





Mmmm. Bellow is a picture with the flash. I think it makes the water look grotesque too, which is why I decided to add it.






When my mom entered the kitchen, I asked, "So, what's cooking?" She smiled and replied, "Not food."

I'm not a plant specialist and I'm assuming most of you aren't either. So I'll just let you know that it's comfrey. It's supposed to heal wounds (or something like that).

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Post 200: The Craving

I tend to compare places a lot. I get used to where I am and then all of a sudden I feel it strange to be where I was before I was not. (Hee hee, that sounds more confusing than it really is). In other words, after being in Utah, I find it strange to see a lot of cars with Modesto license plates.

My next comparison is not fair to make Californian verses Utah. There was a Rite Aid in Utah, I just never went there. Here in Modesto I know that Rite aid bought out Thrifty. I don't know about Utah. However, I have now decided that I like Thrifty's ice cream if for no other reason that I have not found any other brand with Chocolate Malted Crunch. Last year, one day, I decided I had a craving for such an ice cream. To my astonishment, I couldn't even find an off brand of like status. No, not even in the all inclusive Super WalMart could I find this luscious flavor. One of my goals for this month was to obtain this rare and precious ice cream. Today would have been the day if they weren't currently out! And apparently, there's some kind of packaging problem, so no one really knows when they will get more.

Do not fear, though, Chocolate Malted Crunch isn't really my favorite ice cream, it's just becoming my favorite because it does appear to be more rare. A few years ago I asked for two flavors of ice cream for my birthday. I don't remember what the other one was, but I remembered asking for chocolate malted crunch. That was when it REALLY became my favorite because everyone went after the other ice cream and I pretty much had the whole box to myself. People don't know what they're missing, and I'm cool with that.

Friday, August 08, 2008

08/08/08

I had this great idea of posting at 8 o'clock on 8/8/08. Originally there was going to be this party. It either got canceled or I got uninvited. Then there was this other event that's supposed to start in an hour, however I really don't want to go because I'm trying to go to bed by 10:30. The party ends at midnight, it's in Oakdale so it would be pointless to drive my own car just so I could leave early, and I don't really have a desire to go. Raeann is trying to make me feel guilty for not going. So, on this special day, I'm feeling rather lousy. However, I was still going to post at 8 o'clock and the world would have to remember that I did something right.

Then, at 7:05, approximately five minutes passed 7 o'clock, I realized my blog was probably on Mountain standard time. Therefore, I was five minutes late of the possibility of achieving my goal. Sure, I can change the setting on my blog, but what's the point? I'm not going to live in the same place all my life. I can't just keep switching the settings just to meet current needs...or can I. Maybe I'm just being ridiculous. But then again, doing absolutely nothing for an hour just to be able to achieve a little time stamp on my blog seems ridiculous too. Woe is me.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

And the Clock Ticks On

This computer is scaring me a little. The other day I sent an email to a friend and for the subject I called it "Crazy News." A few days later, I was on facebook (which is very different from gmail mind you), sending a message to a cousin and I was going to call it "Cousin Talk". When I typed in the "C" all of a sudden "Crazy News" popped up. This computer not only remembers every username and/or URL stuff, it also remembers subject titles. Well, so now if any of you use this computer, you can know every single thing about every single thing I do. Scary.

Anyway, time is a very strange and perplexing concept. You can walk around the house wasting it, thinking that it's going slowly, and then realize that it's actually going pretty quickly. I look at what I've done this last week and I see a lot of family things. That makes me happy, but I assumed I'd come home and have nothing to do. Now I look around, see too much to do, and don't do anything. I have a lot of goals for the rest of my month, but today I realized the month of August was already 1/6 gone. Where have I been?

Hmph, I guess I just need to breathe. People don't die when they enter the MTC. Sure my life will be incredibly different, but it will go on. Okay, I'm going to hop up and do something really important!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Another Goal Completed

I know I'm weird. However, ever since facebook started having chat capabilities, it has been my goal to one day gmail chat and facebook chat with the same person at the same time. Thanks to my lovely sister Sariah, this has now come to pass. I'm so grateful for people who give in to my silly whims:)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Skype

I love my family. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned that before. By Tuesday night, all the family was here except for one sister and two in-laws. Before going to bed, Becky told me she had a surprise for me. The next morning as I entered the kitchen, my dad said, "It's Sariah." No one told me that that was Becky's surprise. Anyway, apparently our family has upgraded to using skype. (Sariah was on the computer screen). This has been such a great week full of aunts, uncles, parents, siblings, and a grandma. I feel like it's Christmas.

Yesterday I got to go to the Fresno Temple and start a whole new life. I don't want to say much more about it on the internet, but I didn't think it would be right for me to completely ignore it. Anyway, that's why I've had so much family around lately. Well, kind of, and there's the fact that I just have a lot of family here in California.