Wednesday, September 30, 2009

8 hours

Starting tonight I'm switching over to mission standards: going to bed @ 10:30...waking up @ 6:30 (well...doing my best to wake up somewhat close to 6:30; I'm not a morning person.) 

Monday, September 21, 2009

Special Guest

This past weekend was the Y.S.A. conference (young single adult) for the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. There were workshops and service projects on Saturday, but the highlight (for me @ least) was getting to listen to President Uchtdorf address us for the Sunday night fireside. President Uchtdorf is an apostle and a member of the first presidency for the church.

It is just so amazing that a member of the first presidency would take time out of his incredibly busy schedule to speak @ a Y.S.A. fireside! This church really is for everyone and everyone is important to our Heavenly Father. 

P.S. I found out yesterday that I am giving my farewell talk next week! 

Friday, September 18, 2009


So...while learning more about Brazil and it's culture, I couldn't help but come across a bajillion articles related to the country's obsession with soccer a.k.a. futebol.  

I am super stoked for the world cup which will be going on in South Africa next year! The matches officially start on Friday June 11, 2010 so I will get to be in the middle of all the Brazilian hub-bub. I've been told about past world cups and how Brazil goes crazy every time their team scores a GGOOOOOOAAAAALLLL!!!! 

Fun facts:
-Brazil has won 5 world cups...more than any other country and has been runner up twice.
-In the 2006 games, 17 of the 23 players on the roster went by a single name i.e. Ronaldinho...who knows what his last name is?
-There is @ least 1 soccer stadium in every Brazilian city

Since soccer is so huge I look forward to getting schooled by some 7 year old kids who have the sport in their blood! Ole ole ole ole!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Connectors according to Gladwell

I've been reading "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. It was required reading for an advertising class I didn't take, but it looked interesting, so I bought it anyways. In one of the first chapters, Gladwell discusses how people dubbed "connectors" are the reason behind social networks. They are the butterflies who introduce everyone they know to each other and are the root behind many friendships.

The book gave an example of listing 40 people in any given person's social network and most of those 40 people would somehow be linked back to one connector. I decided to give this a try and made a list of 40 people in my social network and linked back to who was the source of the friendship. I met lots of people through my friend Jared Aida...but since I met Jared through my roomie Stacy, all of the people I met through Jared wouldn't have been a part of my life if Stacy hadn't been around. Make sense? My lists looked something like this: Jovy-Joe-Curtis-Jared-Stacy

What was interesting about my social circle, was that 12 of my closest friends had no connector...just the church. And those 12 people (mainly Stacy) were the connectors behind the majority of my other friends. The church is a connector, but not for the social aspect...

"A church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints."
Abigail Van Buren 

Words of wisdom from Dear Abby :) The church has allowed me to meet the people I need most in my life. It creates a strong support system filled with people who share the same standards, beliefs, and compassion. We are meant to help each other, to learn and grow together. I moved back home...24 hours away from most of my friends, but the church is still true in Dallas Texas and I've already met some wonderful people here who I know will become part of my new social circle.

Friday, September 11, 2009 a bat

I went to my last eye doctor's appointment for the next year and half...and I still have terrible vision. I think eye doctor's s love to toy with people who can't see. (my vision is -5.0 and -6.5) Every single time I go in, they read my chart, take note on my poor eye sight, have me take out my contacts, then ask me to read the letters displayed on the other side of the room. They know I can't see and if I could only squint hard enough to look at their face, I'm sure I would find them smiling at their little joke.  

The appointment was uneventful. I'm still blind...and I still hate that air puff machine.

Before I left Utah, I had my last dentist appointment. After 20 years of going to the dentists, I still don't understand why the hygienists ask me questions expecting me to answer while she has her sharp cleaning utensils in my mouth. 

The appointment was uneventful. I still have receding gum lines (yes, you read that right...who knew it was possible to brush too hard)...and I still hate the gritty feeling of the polish.

I am far from having a perfect body without flaws or shortcomings but I am grateful that I have a healthy body. I am grateful that I am capable of serving a mission that I know will be tiring and difficult. If I am able to live righteously for the rest of my earthy life, there is a blessing that is promised to me and everyone else:

"The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame."
Alma 40:23

My eye sight will be 20/ longboarding scars will go away...and I will finally be able to run more than 2 miles at a time!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Because I don't speak Portuguese...

My mom purchased an intense Franklin translator for me to take to Brazil. It is lighter and smaller than having to heft around a Portuguese/English dictionary which is nice, but that doesn't mean I will be whipping it out while talking with the Brazilians...I want to @ least look like I understand what they're saying. 
Here are some phrases that were programmed into the translator and I will probably use on a daily basis :) 
Tenho tempo para lanchar?- Do I have time to go get a snack?
Poderia me trazer um moedor de pimenta, por favor?- Could you bring a pepper mill, please?
Tenho passaporte belga.- I have a Belgian passport
Pode-se dançar aqui?- Is there dancing here?
Bebi água que não- I drank water that was not boiled

What's going to be hardest for me is the fact that I speak a decent amount of Spanish. Portuguese looks like Spanish when written out...but sounds NOTHING like it. Personally I think it sounds more French. So I'm going to have to forget 7 years of Spanish classes and try to learn Portuguese in 2 months! 

"I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear."

I've been studying the "Preach My Gospel" lessons so that I will @ least be able to teach in English and I am learning all I can about Brazil. I know that as long as I do my part, Heavenly Father will do his. Gift of tongues, right?