Monday, April 4, 2011

Teaching at the MTC

I was hired to teach Portuguese in August of 2010. Here is a picture with Elder Hamblin. He was originally assigned to serve in the Sao Paulo Interlagos Mission. His reassignment was to the Billings Montana Mission where he is currently serving.

I love the MTC...and...missionary thumbs never die.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hobbler Half Marathon

I never thought I'd ever be able to run 13 miles at one time...and I did it. Here are some insights and lessons learned:

1. I had prayed for Heavenly Father to help me through the race and let me feel strength from Him. At the beginning of the 6th mile, when I had been running on my own for awhile spread out from other runners, a tall, friendly man running the opposite direction (not in the race) raised his fist in the air and with a big smile yelled, "Good job! You're doing great!" I smiled and got teary-eyed because Heavenly father had answered my prayer through that man. He answers prayers in whatever situation.

2. Our bodies are capable of doing so much more than we THINK they can. Our minds stop us rather than our physical capacity. In other words, it's not that our bodies can't take a little uncomfortableness or pain--because they can. We tell ourselves that we can't. And we shouldn't. And only in pushing ourselves and challenging our bodies do we grow in our capacities.

3. My goal was to finish in 2 hours and 30 minutes. The last two miles were hard for me because I had to go to the bathroom really bad, so I felt slow and just told myself, "I'm going slow, so maybe my time will be 3 hours...who cares...I just need to finish at this point." As I crossed the finish line I was surprised to see that I had finished in 2 hours and 23 minutes. So often times, we are doing better than we think we are! And we are greater than we think we are.

4. My two best friends, Christy and Kristie came to see me after the race and it meant a lot to me. Christy also dropped me off at 5:30 am before the race because I had to catch the bus up to the start line by 6 am. One of the greatest ways to show sincere love to someone is by supporting them in their endeavors and cheering them on in their activities. I am grateful for Mom and Dad and all the friends and family that have ever supported me at my recitals and competitions and whatever I do.

Next goal: Marathon

Fourth of July, Frei Family, Falls...of Idaho

My friend Ken Frei invited Christy and I to stay at his house in Idaho Falls for the Fourth of July weekend. He really wanted us to experience the Idaho Falls fireworks show which he called "the best west of the Mississippi." He was right.

Side note: Being in Idaho Falls brought back sweet memories of going there at the end of sophomore year, with Malorie Murray, Alyssa Pearson, Shelby Smith, and Shawney, to surprise our roommate that was getting married in the Idaho Falls temple. So on this recent trip with Ken, Christy, and Stephen, we passed the hotel that I had stayed in 3 years ago.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Elk Accident

We were coming home from a trip to the Pratt's lakehouse in Duchesne, Utah, and it was about midnight. Christy was driving, Weston was in the passenger seat, and Dave, Christian and I were in the back of her Ford Explorer. Christy says, "Hey! Look guys! A deer!" When I looked up I saw about 5 deer lined up on the left side of the road. Soon after we spotted all the deer, we had hit one (going 70 mph) that must have run out in front of the car. The hood of the car flew up, and we hit 2 more, on our way off the left side of the road and onto the grass. Christy said she didn't think to put her brakes on till we were on the grass because the hood of the car was up and she couldn't see what was happening or where the car was going.

The airbags were deployed, leaving Christy with burns on her forearms and hands. The radiator was totally busted and the front of the car was demolished. After calming down, all of us got out. The boys went to go find the casualties and came back saying, "Those weren't deer . . . they were elk." The first elk we hit died on the side of the road. The second was still alive but down and injured, and the third we must have clipped but it was nowhere to be seen.

Just after the accident had happened, and we had calmed down, we decided to say a prayer in the car to thank Heavenly Father for watching over us.

Almost every car that passed by pulled over to offer us help and to ask us if we were okay. A highway patrol happened to pass by us not too long after the accident and told us he'd call another officer to come help. While waiting for the officer to come, the five of us sat in the car covered in blankets to stay warm, and sang at the top of our lungs to songs Weston played on the guitar. We even made up a song about elks.

By the time the officer came it was about 1 am. Christy filled out the report and we had called Skyler to come pick us up. (He was asleep at home when we called him so he had a hard time staying awake on his way to get us!) The officer told us he would have to "dispatch" the injured elk. We heard the gunshot from where we were. When Skyler arrived we transferred as much of our stuff as we could into his car. The five of us crammed in with Skyler. I laid across Weston, Christy, and Christian in the back, and Skyler's car was packed to the brim, with all of the food and blankets we had taken to the cabin. Dave drove home and we made it to Provo safely around 3 am.

Elk accidents are usually we experienced a miracle. First of all, before the trip Christy and I considered taking the Honda. And we didn't. Secondly, before we started the drive home Christy said a prayer to ask for protection and safety. Thirdly, the hood of the car flew up at the point of impact, rather than the elk coming through the windshield. And Christy also (though inadvertently) hit the elk in the behind, rather than at its legs, so it wasn't going to fly up on the windshield. The SUV didn't roll. No one was injured.