Morn’ Identity

September 20, 2008 at 5:42 pm (Monk)

A few months ago the fort was broken into, ransacked, infiltrated by the enemy. When my roommates and I arrived we found evidence of all sorts of curious pranks scattered about the house. Some we recognized earlier than others, and some took more time to discover. We immediately realized that every garbage can had been maliciously stolen, it took 7 days to find the 7 goldfish that were swimming separately in 7 different cups, and the girls/enemy laughed when it took until the 7th day to find the one in the cleaning closet. The colder shower in the morning showed that the enemy was clever, and I was grateful that my roommate checked the hot water heater early so no repercussions were felt from that one. Lastly, and most noteworthy for discussion seemed a small thing a few months ago, but taught me something important this very morning. The enemy had to point out that they removed all the labels from each of the cans of various types of food that we had, and sure enough when we checked the cupboards, all the labels were gone and we had no way of knowing what food was in each of the cans. We didn’t really care, because we didn’t cook, and we made a game out of it- I would pass each can around have everybody guess and then we would open it to discover the real contents. The whole potatoes, refried beans, and green beans went to waste, while we consumed the canned peaches and pears. Life went on, and as the days passed sporadically when I wanted food I would look into the cupboard and smile when I saw the cans with no name, no indication of what they were or who they were. I always ended up giving up on identifying the cans and eating something else.

This morning was different. I woke up at 5am sharp and cleaned my room, did some laundry but halted because my stomach was calling for food, and specifically some fruit. I instinctively looked into the cupboard to locate my canned peaches and saw that I would have to open 8 cans to find my peaches, because I didn’t know what they were and having all been put in the same location, I was surprised how important those labels were in finding what I wanted. I had no good way to distinguish between the good (peaches) and the bad (whole potatoes). That is when I thought and realized that it is important to have a name, know our name, and display our name, so that any day that the Lord calls on us, whether it be today when he asks us to “show forth good examples” bearing his name, or the last day when he calls us by name, we will know the name, remember and retain the name, and finally recognize and respond to the name. After all, it is His name by which we are called. (Mosiah 5:8-12; Alma 5:38). I will try and be better at representing him and his name.

I eventually found the peaches and I have enjoyed eating them while I have been typing this up.


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Photographic Evidence

June 20, 2008 at 6:04 am (Uncategorized)

Hey kids, it’s me again. You really should check out my pictures I posted on my facebook. These serve as proof to myself and others that I really truly did do at least one crazy impetuous thing in my life….drop everything and spend a summer in Eastern Europe!

Enjoy the pics. This is Ace signing off.

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Hump Day

June 19, 2008 at 7:30 am (Uncategorized)

Hey kids. So this Saturday is my hump day. My Ukraine experience is half over. I approach this momentous day with mixed feelings. I’ve absolutely loved being here. All the new and exciting things I’ve experienced will be forever etched in my memory to dust off and fondly revisit later in life.

I’ve seen and done things thus far that I never beleived I would see or do in the flesh. Castles. Paul McCartney in concert…downtown Kiev…free. (Kindly withhold your skepticism, for though it sounds unreal…it happened) Chernobyl Museum. Ukraine in the summer. More mullets than I can count. I can only imagine what the next few weeks have in store.

Alas, here’s where the mixed feelings come in and I’ll just say it straight and plain. I miss you kids. The whole living with 8 other girls in the same room is really grating on my nerves. I miss you, my closest and most treasured friends. I miss how you make me feel like the most hilarious person around (and rightly so…for I believe I bring hilarity in healthy doses) I miss feeling that people would rather have me around than not (and rightly so…for I believe I am pleasant company) I realize I say this at the risk of sounding a little down in the dumps. Don’t worry your little heads. I’m ok. I just thought I’d give a shout out to tell you guys how grateful I am to have friends like you. Always inclusive, intuitive, protective, inventive. You guys rock.

I want you to have as much fun as you possibly can these next few weeks so we can tell each other all about our great adventures. These next few weeks hold some pretty incredible things in store. Next weekend I visit the Black Sea while I stay in a town called Odessa. And here’s the big news……I’m going to Egypt for one week at the end of my stay here in Eastern Europe. Sadly this fantastic trip to Egypt means that I will not be going to Nauvoo if in fact that trip is still a go for all of you. This saddens me, however when else am I going to get to go on a trip to Egypt for $700 (that includes the charter flight there and back from Kiev, the resort stay within walking distance to the white sands of the Red Sea, and breafast and dinner every day among other awesome things) Pretty unbelievable.

So, I’d love to hear your thoughts. We have internet at the school where we live now so I can check it more often and write longer entries. Maybe I’ll even post some pictures…if I can figure out how to do that.

Until next time, this is Ace signing off.

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June 15, 2008 at 1:45 am (Uncategorized)

Such fun we’ve been having this summer!

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Day Old Mush

June 10, 2008 at 5:39 pm (Sister Mary)

Dear Brain: I realize I take you for granted. I don’t exercise you nearly as often as I should. I know I should read more often, and watch movies less often, in order to keep the juices flowing. However your near abandonment to me the past 2 days is just not necessary. My head currently feels like– and is as useful to me as day old mush. This is not a good thing. For both of my jobs, I sort of need you to function. Any time you would to return, with witty charm intact, would be great. I will welcome you with open arms. Please.

What an interesting few months. Back in January I thought for sure I had made this grand decision to move to Holladay. I thought things were going to start looking up for me, and fall into place. Then I thought I was wrong. Dead wrong. The first little while I spent in SL, I thought for sure I had somehow made the wrong choice, and was going to be miserable. I tried to think of, and look for, the positives in my move,but I wasn’t seeing many. The biggest one, was being out of Orem, and all that my life there entailed. But that was basically it. I tried to ignore the devastating feelings residing permanently in the pit of my stomach, over my apparent bad choice.

I prayed and prayed to meet new, fantastic, great people. Oh how I needed a change of scenery in every sense of the word. I needed a new ward, new friends ( let it be known that 99% of my friends in Utah County, are great, and I do miss them, I just really needed some ‘newness’ in my life.) I needed to breathe in everything good and wonderful and new. I desired a closeness with my roommates, and Bishopric. I felt as though I needed these things ,in order to progress and to be the person whom I needed to be.

I prayed to be surrounded by boys who were good, pure, strong, and respectful. Who had a keen mind, and a strong understanding of the gospel, and all it entails. Boys who could give a blessing to me whenever I needed it.

So when nothing was falling into place in Holladay, I felt some of my hope deflate. I imagined all these great things happening when I moved, and it was a harsh reality to realize that sometimes what I want, and what I plan, is surely not what was meant to be.

Enter the most fantastic group of girls and boys anyone could ever want. The girls, oh what fun we have. I love late night talks, mandatory girls nights, which are attended by all, even those with boys. I love laughing with them as we ‘talk’ without talking, and read each others minds. I love their concern for everyone they meet, and their true desires to be good.I love how warm and welcoming they were to me, and to anyone and everyone. Vee often says that everyone would naturally be better off if they become friends with us. I agree. These girls are some of the best, most fantastic girls I have ever met. And I cannot wait to have them as roommates. Last night, Vee and I divulged unto each other our first impressions of one another. Neither of us really thought we would be friends at all. I knew from the first second that Albie and I were destined to be friends, and as time has gone on, that has been proven time and time again. As is the case with each of these girls. We all need each other for different reasons.

And the boys, what a random mixture of boys. I was thinking last night how very different each of them are. All bases are covered, if I ever need a lesson on Ebonics, I can have it. If I need a lesson on computer parts and sales, I have it. Dental question? Check. Plants/writing?( which I obviously need…)Check. But more than being diverse and intelligent boys, they are such good, giving, caring and sweet boys. Earlier today, Pixx said she didn’t think the boys knew that when they became friends with ‘the nunnery’ they entered into a world of protection. I would second that. I have only been in the crew for about a month, but I care about these boys so much. They are each of them, like brothers to me. And as pixx said, I know any of us would do anything for them.

Last night was sort of the straw to almost break the camels back. So many things have been going on in my family, and in the life of those whom I care the most about, and it was all taking a toll on me last night. I decided to hang out with my friends last night, when all I wanted to do was go on a drive up the canyon alone, or go sleep the night away. And, as usual they all delivered. Many concerned glances were directed my way, many hugs and words of reassurance were given, and many, many laughs were shared. No one knew/knows everything that is going on, but most caught on that something wasn’t right,and their concern is greatly appreciated.

So as usual, things all end up working out for the best. I am being granted all those things which I desired, just differently than what I first imagined. Isn’t that the way it generally goes? On a lighter note, I am already looking forward to this weekend. I worked all last weekend, so it was kind of a dead one for me. But this weekend will be full of, Scottish men in kilts,( the Scottish Fest.) Chalk Art, a visit from sweet Sarah, and hopefully a fire up the canyon at some point. All events are bound to be a blast with this crew.

This is Sister Mary, why won’t it let me have my own name/title?

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To the fellas

June 10, 2008 at 11:41 am (Pix)

I don’t think our guy friends realize the protection they stumbled on when they became our friends. We, the nunnery, would go to the ends of the earth to protect these fellas from a skeezy girl or godzilla, whatever the monster happens to be. Anyway, the point is that we think these guys are great and would do just about anything for them.

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The phenomenon that is a vacation within a vacation

June 6, 2008 at 9:53 am (Uncategorized)

So here I am sitting in an internet cafe in the main train station in downtown Kiev about to board a sleeper train headed to Castle City. It’s our first weekend after a week of teaching and we decided to go on a vacation. The place sounds incredibly cool. We plan on seeing two castles that are over 1,000 years old. There are also catacombs beneath one of the castles we’re visiting. I’m incredibly stoked to go into those. It’s funny, the constant feeling that I’m a character in one of my favorite novels. Visiting outlandish places I’ve never even heard of. I’m loving every minute of it.

The teaching is also going great. The kids surprise me every day with how smart they are and how funny they can be even while English is their second language. This one boy Igor made me laugh to myself the other day. We have a rule during class that the kids are not allowed to speak Russian or any other language during class, only English. When they speak Russian we take away points. So Igor decided he was the self-designated Russian police. If another kid spoke Russian he would gasp and point at them and say, “Jessica! Nastia spoke Russian!” Naturally Nastia would deny it. So then Igor would take a vote. “Who says Nastia spoke Rrrrrussian” (when they’re excited they roll their r’s a lot) Then he’d count the votes. “See! 4 to 1! (the one vote was still Nastia in denial) Nastia spoke Russian! Minus one point!” Oh man. They’re so great.

Well, I’m off to catch my train. Until next time, this is Ace signing off.

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Miracles in Housing

June 5, 2008 at 3:22 pm (Vee)

Roommates. They are a necessary thing in every single girl’s life, partly because we can’t afford our own place, and partly because without them our lives would be a little less exciting, a little less dramatic and a lot more lonely. I’ve certainly gone through my fair share in my years since high school. Some have been catty, mean and stressful, like the girls I lived with my first semester of college who let drunk boys sleep on our couch and called me horrible names behind my back and to my face. Luckily since then I’ve been blessed with (mostly) terrific, fun and kind girls to share my space and my life with, and a few have become my best friends. Like Whitney, who introduced me to my artistic side and always encouraged me to follow my passions. Her going on a mission was a great example to me and I’m so grateful for her. She I and are in the same ward again this summer and I could not be happier to have her around. And then there was Jessie, who kept me grounded during one of the most difficult times of my life. She’s married now to a boy I watched her fall in love with, proving that good people do get what they deserve. I miss her and wish we had stayed in touch better.

My roommate experience since moving back to Salt Lake a little over a year ago has been nothing short of miraculous. I basically picked an apartment at random and ended up living with Michelle, exactly the kind of girl I needed, who also happened to need me. We had a wonderful/horrible few months in that first apartment and then we decided to move, probably to Sugar House or somewhere else a little more hip than Sandy. But as a last ditch effort to stay in our ward we announced in Relief Society we needed a place to live. And there on the second row was Jill, the beautiful, intimidating former classmate of Michelle’s who just bought a house and was looking for someone to move in. We didn’t expect to be friends with Jill, but the next Sunday after church as Jill and I sat on the couch and bonded over which boys in our ward were the cutest, I knew the three of us would be fast friends.

It’s been almost a year since that fateful Sunday and we’ve been through a lot. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve fought, we’ve eaten ridiculous amounts of ice cream. And now they’ve both found the perfect guys for them and are getting married. Watching them both go through this process from beginning to end in such different ways has been a learning experience and I’m so grateful to have been there. I hope their respective future husbands know how lucky they are to be marrying these strong, smart, funny girls. I’m going to miss them so much, my life has been enriched beyond measure by their kindness and love and unflinching loyalty. I will never be quiet the same.

But that’s just how life is. Things change, people progress, and hopefully you take a little of them with you as you move on too. Happily, another Housing Miracle is about to occur and before long I’ll be living with some of the best girls I know. And we’ll have our own inside jokes and bonding moments. We’ll get in fights and break up with boys and cry and laugh and eat ice cream and I’ll never want anything to change. But then it will, that’s just how it is.

Jill and Michelle, good luck in the next phase of your lives. I’m glad we were thrown together, you were just what I needed. I love you to the fourth floor and back.

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All is well on the Eastern front.

June 2, 2008 at 10:20 am (Ace)

Hey kids, it’s your good friend the world traveler. A little word to ease your troubled minds…because I know you’re dying to know. Things are fantastically novel and delightfully weird abroad. I have to date ridden a train nestled under the armpit of an intoxicated man who smelled like pee, attempted a break-in to my own school slash place of residence using only a bobby pin and a stolen slash borrowed screwdriver, and been hit on by two youths doing shots on a train. It’s all wonderfully amusing.

This is Ace signing off.

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23 Things To Do While I’m 23

May 29, 2008 at 4:54 pm (Uncategorized, Vee)

1. Get a passport and use it.

2. Do something incredibly brave and out of my box.

3. Get a job I care about.

4. Take a cooking class.

5. Read the paper/watch the news regularly.

6. Run a race.

7. Be in a play.

8. Fall in love.

9. Only buy things (especially clothes) that are going to last.

10. Travel to three new places.

11. Share the gospel more freely and assist one convert to baptism.

12. Visit five new temples.

13. Stop drinking Diet Coke and friends, except in social situation, of course.

14. Find a cause I’m passionate about and volunteer.

15. Be more eco-friendly.

16. Road trip with no plan.

17. Read only really great books.

18. Paint something huge/take pictures and then do something with them.

19. Be better at my calling.

20. Set up a successful couple.

21. Get over my fear of the Great Salt Lake.

22. Make the things I’m most passionate about my main focus.

23. Blog about my fabulous life.

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