lesson learned and relearned.
ALWAYS CHECK THE SCHEDULE WHEN GOING TO A FAR AWAY TEMPLE.
if you don't, it will inevitably be closed.
so since this temple was closed and we were stuck here...
with no desires to do anything on the strip (except that rollercoaster. i really do love them!!! but there was just no way).... so we magically wound up at an old mormon fort. random. but hilarious.
that's me. (i'm not quite tall enough to look through the look-out...i'd be a terrible defensive army person.)
and we also found this huge cactus.
as i anxiously awaited my friends that left me over the long holiday break to visit the zócalo and eat tacos al pastor while gloating towards me all the while. how dare they!
it was a joyous reunion!
and it only got better.
we passed the weekend in san diego and it. was. UNREAL.
hermana mendoza and i did WORK in la mesa when she first arrived to SD as a missionary. we stayed in a cute apt directly across the street from the battalion and loved our lives. and SOMEHOW we were fortunate enough to stay in that same now-vacant apartment again when we visited together. it was surreal. i relished every tiny detail of it!
the kitchen with the white cabinets hermana adams had scraped clean...
the door with the faded grey-red bow i'd put up from christmas....
the piano sister lewis would tocar frequently...
the pictures i taped on the wall that are still up there...
the heavy bookcase we painstakingly dragged across the room...
the tape remnants from the christmas lights across the kitchen counter...
the clean but empty closets...
the welded-open shower window that now suddenly magically closes...
the tiny bathroom with its messed up/backwards shower handles...
that clean white fridge...
so many memories.
december to august of my mission and life spent in that apartment.
my heart quería estallarse. just explode. so happy.
speaking of exploding hearts...
we woke up to a spanish tour at the mb. best way to rise and shout.
bring on the nostalgia...cleaning up after christmas at the battalion...
feeling grateful for my ancestors.
loving this familiar and cherished view from the battalion's tower.
hello dear friend, colonel cook, aka jc.
touching the sandy beachy ocean of coronado, san diego for the first time in my life.
felt too good.
the water almost frost bit my tots off but someday i will return and meterme. i will also kayak these waters, mark my word.
dream come true=
mexican food+mariachi serenade+mexican company+latin dancing.
squared. times infinity. let's do it again?!
when heaven met earth as my besty married her best man.
love you, kels.
oh, praise the day. beautiful forever friendships meet carne asada.
well, after we attended three different ramas at three different times all day sunday, we raced back to utah in a speedin' 9 1/2 hours. believe it. sooo worth it i tell you. there is nothing like being in branches you served in on a fast sunday. especially the first fast sunday of the year... no no no, seriously. those rooms were PACKED, people's hearts were full, and the spirit was strong. my life was complete.
i must say, however, that being able to stand in front of my Linda Vista third, one year after I'd done it the last time, and thank my father in heaven for the blessing and privilege of having done so... was so meaningful. even more meaningful, however, was what i'd learned the week before. remember new years? remember how i yelled from the depths of my lungs outside grandma's and then it was 2013? and then dad was like..."why aren't you out partying with your friends?" and i had no answer for him? (i didn't tell you that part.) the point is that after the yelling and the huge symbolic exhale, i felt like i needed to get home and read my journal. and boy, did i. i fast forwarded backwards--wait a sec. digo...i mean rewound--one year to the day and was RIVETED, literally RIVETED, at what 2011 almost 2012 tawny wrote.
----->random sidenote: i just want to testify of journal writing. i tell you, the things she (aka i) wrote back then were really for 2012 almost 2013 tawny...aka me ahora. i needed them for NOW, and i needed them hard. i forget things so easily! even things that are so important and meaningful! it's the exact same way with another journal, the ancient one called the BOOK OF MORMON. i am SO grateful for records that we have to read, study, treasure, and remember the past--to remember the Lord. the home teaching message this month talks about that, too--the second question at the end of the message says,
"The Doctrine and Covenants is filled with answers to questions asked by people in prayer. What if the answers to their questions (the revelations) were never recorded?
the point is that had i not been sitting indian-style on my now less-hard bed in orem with my tear-stained face, learning and relearning lesson after lesson that new years eve, i would not have been able to approach my dear saints in Linda and promise them that I will honor them forever and always by choosing to be happy. it was fast sunday, and everyone seemed to be testifying of happiness, literally. i was fortunate enough to close the meeting with my testimony. i promised them that i'll make 2013 better than 2012 because it's MY CHOICE. i made this fool-proof connection in my mind that links to my favorite scripture that ties into everything everywhere everytime:
And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the away; and there is bnone other way nor cname given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the ddoctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of theeFather, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is fone God, without end. Amen. (2 Nephi 31:21)
so now here's the proof (think geometry, people):
happiness is the GOAL
happiness is a CHOICE
we are happy WHEN we live the gospel
if we want to be happy, we HAVE TO LIVE THE GOSPEL
so. if 2013 is going to be the best, i've gotta live the gospel. and you've gotta, too!
and i promised them i would. and i promised heavenly father i would. because as a wise sister...
...recently said--without knowing how much i needed to hear it--that we literally mock heavenly father, jesus christ, and all the blessings they've given me if we choose to not be as sublimely happy as we should be.
i don't want to mock them.
they've given me too much.
i'll follow the motto of my wonderful ancestor and those of the mormon battalion of 1846, trekking thousands of miles across the united states to demonstrate faith in the Savior...
"despite their difficult circumstances, they chose to be happy."
let's all do so.
do you commit?
then this cutie pie also got married. congrats!
then WE were suddenly the ones reporting on our in-country internship experience. crazy!
it's just amazing how there's a plan for everything. i didn't see it or even dream about it when i sat in this same room listening to the previous interns last may, preparing to embark to costa (somewhat grudgingly on my part)...but now i see why.
...well, at least part of the why. :)
and i'm so grateful!
and now? well, now, my friends, we're "up to speed." whatever that means.
yep. winter semester 2013. and guess what? i have no idea what will happen come april. none at all. but i do know that time is short-lived and that we've gotta enjoy what little and what precious we have.
so bring on the ski class..
and the spanish classes,
and the pink tights/black leo/leather shoes.
i'm ready to live it and LOVE IT.
a very happy 23rd to this sweet compa/roomy of mine. sure love ya, whit.
what on earth would i do without you?!
(first cafe rio in años. ha ha. pure satisfaction right there!)
and, finally, let's just talk about joyous reunions:
sister lewis tackling sister burden over our couch after her surprise entrance to our abode before our movie night.
sister burleigh at her homecoming. :)
sister newman at her homecoming. :)
told ya. the latest is the greatest errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.