Monday, February 28, 2011

Random goods

I probably shouldn't be blogging right now but I'm doing it anyway. I just finished a riveting paper comparing the mortality rates between the U.S. and the Dominican Republic and I just want to write my own thoughts for a second. Random goods from this last week:

I went to Starbucks because, you guessed it, it reminds me of Europe. The girl that was working says to me, "OMFG is your hair naturally curly?"

Wow. So many thoughts. First of all, when did we add an 'f' to that acronym? Secondly, are you texting me outloud? Are we doing that now? "LOL that's actually a FAQ. It is naturally curly, actually. Well GTG!" haha I mean really. It's not that I didn't appreciate her compliment, I did. That was very sweet of her and she really didn't have to say anything and yet she did. I more just found the acronym good that made me laugh. Maybe I'm 100% out of the loop but...I just didn't know we were getting so lazy that we can't just text acronyms, but we have started saying them out loud to each other too. Hilarious.

Another funny comment from the week. While walking through the parking lot on my way to the library, two football players were walking my direction and we were going to pass eachother. Well they asked how I was doing and I said, the reflex, "good. How are you?" Then they did some compliment paying..."I like your hair." That's nice to say right? "Thank you." I respond. He made it a lot less complimentary by his follow-up. "It's them curls. They really do something for me." Hmm....exiting stage right. haha How am I supposed to respond to that? Congratulations sir, you have just made me feel awkward and like I'm wandering around Europe late at night. haha Good times.

So I was talking to a friend in my major the other day and she said that there are so many sports players in all of our classes because our major is the easiest one on campus. Awkward. I had no idea it had that reputation. Now I kind of feel like a git for when I'm stressed out. haha Yipes, remind me to be less proud of my major when people ask me about it. It is, after all, the easiest one on campus. Just ask the kid in the parking lot who my hair does something for.

We went to a basketball game on Saturday. I don't know why but I can't take the text off underline. Judge me if you must, but just pay it no mind. The game was wonderful. My roommate is hard core and goes to all of the games hours beforehand. We were on the third row, right with all of the insane fans that yell ridiculous but mostly hilarious comments. After 2 years at BYU-Idaho where sports/school spirit is not really prevalent, I enjoy every second of basketball games. It is my favorite sport to watch and I'm so sad that was the last one of the season. Good thing we one eh?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Parable of the Chef

So I don't know at what point in the mish I started doing this, but some investigators in different areas understood our lessons a lot better if we broke it down into a simpler parable. It became one of my favorite things because I could watch the lesson register with them in a deeper way. Some of my favorites are Word of Wisdom compared to a sports car, living the gospel is like a cookie, and the commandments compared to a soccer game. I have since the mission continued to put my life situations in a different context to help me understand them better or think of them in a different way. This situation has been on my mind for a long while and somehow this home brewed parable has been a product of my ponderings. Here she be: The Parable of the Chef. My Ethics and Values teacher this summer told us that when we get mad, it's because something unexpected has happened. (ex. someone cutting us off on the freeway) I, however, will be referring to being upset about different things. For example, I have noticed that I have had a hard time in the past when I feel like I pray about something, I make plans, I have it all figured out just how it's supposed to work and...WHAMY, it doesn't happen that way. What the heck?! I'm then bothered because I had it all figured out and it worked out exactly...not that way.

Some real life examples (I have no problem being a good bad example): Back in '08 I was stoked out of my mind about my killer plans to move back to Paris. It was exactly what I wanted. I had a job set up, place to stay, practically a perm-a-grin just thinking about it. Well, long story very short, I got my patriarchal blessing, did some praying, and got a very clear answer to serve a mission. Wow. Cue the tears. It was not what I had in mind. Not what I had planned. And yet in hindsight, I will forever be grateful that Heavenly Father told me to serve a mission rather than be entirely selfish and run off to France. I met people that I love with all my heart, love and understand the gospel so much more, learned a lot about service and hard work...the list goes on and on but the point is, His way was better than my killer plans.

Or (another good bad example) there was a bit in my mission when I had a rough time in a particular area. I prayed frequently expressing how it was wearing on me and my desire to be transferred. And transfer after transfer...I just kept on staying. I remember after receiving every transfer call that told me I was staying, I couldn't wait for my prayers that night because I really needed to talk to Him about it. haha It was not what I had planned you see. I'd had hopes, expectations and...they'd not gone the way I'd already decided they should.

So pretty much anytime you already have things "figured out", decided, an expectation, assumption of how things "should" be, etc. and those things don't work least for me, I sometimes feel frustrated, confused, and wonder what it is Heavenly Father has in mind because...there has obviously been a miscommunication somewhere along the way right? haha The one thing that appears to always be consistent, is I look back on the experience grateful out of my mind that I didn't get what I wanted. Weird right? The thing that I'm bothered that I don't get, is something I'm later thanking God He didn't give me. My mission, changed my life. Staying in that area for 6 MONTHS, taught me lessons and strengthened me and my relationship with God in a way that never could have happened if I had gotten my way and been transferred. So here comes the parable:
I feel like life can be like heading into a restaurant. We sit down, we get our menu (although we know exactly what we want) and we order. I tell the waiter, "I would love some right nice minestrone soup." Yup. It's my favorite. I know that I like it. It's what I want.
Well...I wait for a wee bit, soooo stoked about my soup because I've been thinking about it and how ridiculously delicious it's going to be and... the waiter comes out with this:

Errr....hilarious but seriously...not funny. Lobster? Come on. I don't like fish. This is not what I ordered. It's not what I want. The waiter says some comment about how the chef insisted I try his world famous lobster. Okay...but he could just as well brew me my minestrone soup right?! haha Well I obviously want a word with this chef because I'd appreciate some sort of explanation. The chef comes out and tells me that he didn't give me what I ordered because he wanted me to try something new. And most likely, in my trying this new dish, I'll discover a new favorite food or a passion for a new spice or vegetable. It's a discovery I never would have made if he'd just always bring me my minestrone soup. He's trying to broaden my horizon--show me new favorites.
I don't know if any of this made sense to you at all but it has really helped me when I find myself in situations when I'm getting served Lobster and all I wanted was minestrone. Yeah, God doesn't always give you what you want when you want it. And let's face it, in hindsight we're always grateful that He didn't. We'd be spoiled, "picky eaters". There's always a purpose behind what He's exposing us to. Always a lesson to learn, we're being strengthened, He's showing us a different a perspective, introducing us to new "favorites", helping us acquire new personality traits, be compassionate toward those around us, and I've noticed humility and patience are two of his favorite side dishes to serve free of charge. :) As frustrating as it can seem in the moment--when things don't go as we'd expected, His way is always, always better. I'm so glad He doesn't always give me what I order because I have learned to love so many other things because of it. That is all. :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

One fortnight...

3 Day weekend. My roommates and I thought it'd be a brilliant idea to go back to the days when we were like...8 years old, and build a fort! And look what we have created: Truly a masterpiece. Our couches are tipped on their sides + yarns strung about + blankets + clothes pins + Christmas lights! It's magical. You could probably fall in love in there. haha It took a little while to figure out how to construct it so it'd be nice and sturdy but we figured it out.
I can't find my battery charger for my camera so I stole these pics from my roomies. They insisted we watch "17 Again" because I'd never seen it. It was a joy. I'm pretty sure everything is funnier in our little fort as well. Which might be partly why Sunday (which can seem like a long day for a non-studying on sunday college student) was such a great day. Lots of talking and laughing---seriously I don't know what it is but everything is funnier in there. haha
Our FHE mom texted me and asked if we could have family prayer at our apartment and I said yes....but gave her some fore-warning on the fort. It was a hit. We all got inside and had family prayer and they stayed for probably another hour. I don't have pictures with them but it was a good time.Me, Whit and Tinille
Can you tell the couch behind me is vertical?haha It's gonna be a sad day when we have to take it down. We've had some crazy good times in this little fort. I feel like I haven't seen them all semester because I've been everywhere all at once so it was fun to have some girl time and just be completely ridiculous together. Tomorrow we'll have to go back to school, rarely see eachother because we're always studying, and sleep in our own rooms with zero twinkly lights. I'm pretty sad about it. But this coming weekend we're planning on letting out our stress with hamster racing. I'll take pics. :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sunday stroll...

Roommates out of town. Dear friend feeling quite ill so I couldn't spend lots of time with her. Not a huge fan of naps and don't do homework on Sundays so...going for a sunday stroll seems like a good way to use some of my time post-church. Here's some Blowgan:Random objects around campus. I'd never realized how many there were until I walked around an empty campus. Yeah, there's crazy stuff like this pretty often. Is it a duck? A dollop of daisy? haha You tell me. But it seemed picture worthy.Ever since Italy and a delightful store called Calzedonia, I've always wanted colored tights. They're very plumy. But I like them. They're not void of personality. Let's just say that.This is Old Main. I have pretty much all of my classes in this building. I have always thought it was cool looking but it seemed especially pretty on Sunday. I'll add another one later.Mystified by the silver rings. I initially thought they were a place to put bikes but...I don't think that's what they're for. Decoration? Why not. "You know what we need here in this patch of land? I'd say three rows of silver rings protruding from the ground."
Aaandd one more of Old Main. After starring at it and taking many a picture, it almost started to look like a castle to me. I guess if I look hard enough I can find things that I loved about Europe all around me. Castles, random art objects, and a little color to my legs. Happy sunday indeed.

Friday, February 4, 2011

"Future Husband"

My sister is awesome.

I was talking to her on the phone the other day. And she randomly brought up, as she has occasionally done in the past, the "future husband" topic. "Mallory, I just want you to know that I'm a little protective of you and I just think I'm gonna have a hard time thinking he's wonderful enough." Come on, who doesn't want their sister to be all darling and protective like that?

So for my own amusement I asked, "So....what's he gonna have to be like Kim?" haha This is going to be fun.

"Hmm...well, he's going to have to be really attractive." haha Oh I'm enjoying this game already. "And...he's going to have to worship you and just think you're the most wonderful thing in the world." haha Excellent. Zero complaints thus far. "Aaannndd...he should probably be righteous." We both busted up laughing because that's kind of a big deal, that last one there.

Ah yes, my sister's all kinds of wonderful and it's going to be an enjoyable day indeed when whoever this poor lad is gets to meet my funny sister. I'm going to laugh and hope she likes him. Those are some pretty high standards.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Put your pride down and walk away

I have learned something new this week. You really can't have pride and be sick. I woke up on Tuesday at 3 am and was blessed by hourly trips to the bathroom. "I'll wait for it to pass right through me", I thought, "and...whatevs." Or, it could go on all day and Wednesday too. Hmm...yep, 9 pounds down in 24 hours and I decided I should probably stop trying to be independent and strong and just get some medical attention.

They took my vitals and led me into the room with the chair that has the paper on it. Ugh. I don't know why those chairs rub me the wrong way but I just wanted to postpone sitting on it for as long as I could. I sat on the chair against the wall waiting for the doctor to come in. I had brought one of our kitchen bowls with me that had been a constant companion the last 24 hours. Though it made the people in the waiting room afraid to take their eyes off me for too long-- like my very existence in the same room as them made them sorely uncomfortable. Uh...sorry guys!
The doctor came in, and stethoscoped me (Hmm...that can't be a verb. To stethoscope? haha You understand though). He said, "This is a very pretty shirt but you're gonna need to take it off." Look sir, you don't have to compliment my clothes. We're not on a date. I'll take my shirt off for you. Just fix me.

After poking at my stomach asking me when I felt pain he concluded our visit with, "It could be a lot of things. Why don't we wait til Friday--to see if it's viral-- and if you're still sick we'll run some lab tests on you." Uh...okay, I officially feel like a small rodent. Lab tests? And Friday? Sir, 9 pounds! That's like the weight of a new born infant. I wish you would give me something other than a poke to the stomach.

With papa and brothers far, I realize I'm probably gonna have to ask some guy up here for a blessing. Once again, my pride is not in short supply. I really don't want to have to call a non-relative guy and ask him to drop everything for me. Well, I finally end up caving and asked a guy in my ward. He came over with 2 others and they were wonderful. One is going to be a doctor and after telling him of my very unhelpful trip to the student wellness center this morning, asked me some questions. He was asking all about my vomit and diarrhea which was somehow not even awkward to talk about with these chaps that I'll see on Sunday. Seriously, sickness will wipe the pride, among other things, right out of you.

As much as it is not enjoyable to be sick away from home, my gratitude for my friends has gone way up. I think I've just gotten so used to being able to take care of myself and do things by myself that the idea that I can't do that was completely frustrating. But my dear insistent friends were so helpful and overwhelmingly kind. Soup, Gatorade, yummy bread, popsicles, movies, the guys in my ward even ran to the store to get me pepto, juice, and coke after giving me a blessing. Thoughtful. If I wasn't crying from pain, the fact that so many people were being so wonderful surely did it. The phone calls from my siblings and my mom letting me cry to her a couple of times didn't hurt either. haha

I think a lesson that I was supposed to learn from this is humility. Put the pride and stubborness down and look at how many people love and care for you. It was actually a huge blessing to see that. It's been a wee bit difficult transitioning to life in Blowgan. At times I feel frustrated cause it seems like all of my friends are in Utah Country, or elsewhere...but not as highly concentrated here. But it was nice to have a moment that made me realize that there are a lot of people that care about me enough to help me even when I am inwardly mad at myself about it. haha God is good. I love how any time something comes along that's difficult, there's always something to take away that shows me that that trial wasn't without purpose. There's always something to learn, and usually in one way or another it's God telling me that He loves me and I should be happy. I love that.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dear, giddy freshmen

So it's a long story but I'm a member of a club here called "The Storytellers Committee". Permission granted, by-the-way, at your desire to laugh. I find myself laughing about it all the time. Not only am I a member of this group, but somehow I've wound up on the committee and spend time making phone calls to nursing homes to see if we can read the newspaper with its residents. haha Kinda random but I'm actually excited because I think it sounds fun. Anywho, we haven't started that weekly activity yet but...since I'm kind of in charge of it, I'll keep you posted.

So...because I got put on the committee, when it was time for the service fair, I had to be there. It was a day when all of the service clubs on campus met in the student center with a booth and told people about opportunities to serve and had them sign up if they wanted to join. So I spent a couple hour shift at this booth getting passers by excited about the idea of helping at elementary schools and nursing homes. ha Well at the service fair I was sporting this:

Super big, obviously fake. And yet, I think those things make it hilarious and therefore wear it on occasion. Well there were two girls that were signing up for our e-mailing list and they caught a glimpse of it. They gasped and asked in almost awed disbelief, "Is that your engagement ring?"

Consider me torn. Part of me smirked inside and, just because I wanted to see what they'd say, really wanted to tell them 'yes' with a straight face. Ah, the lies I want to tell sometimes just because I find life funny.

The other part (the part that won) gave a reflex laugh and said, "Oh no no. It's totally fake." I've worn it a couple of times since then and when I catch a glimpse of it during the day it usually makes me laugh a bit that someone honestly thought it was real, and represented "I belong to someone". Good times promoting nursing home literacy.

Oh crepe!

If it's not already bad enough that I still miss Paris 3 years later (seriously, thankfully I've never had a bad break up because mylanta I can't even get over a location!), I also have the flaw of repeatedly doing things that remind me of it. One thing that we did in Paris, and not on the rare occasion, was treat ourselves to some right nice crepes.

The other day, my friend Kori and I were walking around on campus and stumbled upon a table of coupon books. We've decided that venturing to the random discounted places will provide us with some entertainment up here. Well to our surprise, and opposite of disappointment, there was a coupon for a crepe place. Uh...yeah, consider us in! Kori and I have both lived in Paris (unfortunately at seperate times) and there was something that made me smile inside at the fact that I knew we would be comparing these crepes to the real thing....cause you know, we've had them and stuff. haha Well they had legit crepe makers. Like the kind our egyptian friends made our Parisian crepes off of. So...check!

One of the workers overheard us mention that we'd been to paris and he kept saying things like, "Oh yeah...we uh....import all the ingredients from paris and stuff." Pleased. Laughable moment of the evening: the worker telling us the numerous requests he gets of people wanting ketchup or ranch dipping sauce. Pretty much a parisian food sin. Ketchup and ranch?! haha

This crepe place is in an old house. They have it decorated really cool which, to a person like me, just makes it more lovely.

I'm gonna go ahead and call the evening a success. Nutella banana crepe, wrapped in wax paper (which was a pleasant, "authentic" bonus.) haha It was blissful. On the downside, I woke up the next day with food poisoning. Oh my dear life. haha


I only spent like 24 hours at home but for some reason there's always something nice about even a little of time spent there. Late night talks with my mama, teasing my funny sister, and visiting a few friends,etc
Exhibit A
Miss Layne~ Sometimes we go to breakfast at Kneaders and have ourselves some french toast, good laughs, and lovely conversation about life post-mission and present in Utah. Every time I'm with her it reminds me of how much I adore her and the non-coincidental..ness with which we were put in the same MTC group. We spent PE time together in the MTC, served on the island at the same time, wrote throughout our missions (which I loved in every way), and never feel disappointed with our play time together. In fact, we even took a nice trip to Target in search of colored tights. They've been on my list of wardrobe items that I've wanted for a while. In Italy they have a store dedicated to the fashion wonder of tights. The store's called Calzedonia. It's like le Louvre of tights! colors, patterns, cuts, etc. We picked up some really cute plum colored ones. Now we just need to plan something wonderful to wear them to.
Haha I love us so much.
High school ladies! Miss Lindsey is engaged. I'm so happy for her. Though I've never met the lucky lad, he must obviously be wonderful cause dear Linds lights up when she talks about him. We stopped by her very popular bridal shower and got to see her for a quick bit.

Me, Linds, Min, and Stac
Short but fun. I really need to make a trip down that isn't only 24 hours. Fun to be had.