Okay, so not only is Gumbopalooza later today, but wonderful amazing things are happening in Louisiana!!!!
The best story I had on my mission was that of a man named James who was totally anti-Mormon in the past but started coming to church with his wife and liked it. Over time, he learned more and eventually we invited him to pray and fast to know if he should be baptized. He did, he got his answer, and he was baptized my last weekend in the area.
Today he's going to the temple.
In my last area, there was a sweet family who the elders were teaching. The three girls ages 12 and 10 (twins) were baptized my first week in the area. The elders worked a lot with her mom but she was not progressing at all. I found out today that she's getting baptized this afternoon.
Today really was a fabulous Friday!!! It started out leading in to Friday with a Thursday night temple trip. That was amazing. Our ward got to meet with a member of the temple presidency before our session. That was really neat. He talked about the temple being a house of miracles. He also talked about how we can influence people by our very being, our personality, our smile. I really liked all of his insights. That was great.
This morning I had three classes and they all went pretty well. Got full marks on a project and a really good score on a test and then did well on my Spanish oral exam, so I felt really good about that. God really loves me.
Then I went to spend the day with Morgan, one of my mission companions. We made gumbo. Two big ole pots of gumbo. One will be seafood (have to add it for the last little bit of cooking and we didn't want to add it till tomorrow when we actually eat the gumbo), and the other is chicken and sausage. Neither of us had made gumbo before but we got it down. We are really good gumbo makers. We had a little mishap with the second batch and had to start over with our roux, but then we got it down. (Roux: the base of a gumbo, made with equal parts flour and oil; Gumbo: like a soup but thicker and made with a roux and so dang good.) So we are SUPER excited for our Gumbopalooza tomorrow night! There are going to be a ton of people there, mostly mission folks, but also a bunch of people from Morgan's ward. Her apartment isn't that big, so it'll be interesting, but mostly I think it'll be fun. I've still got to make a potato salad and brownies to take as my contribution. I'm also considering trying to make a King Cake, but that's pretty ambitious. On the other hand, gumbo was a little intimidating and it turned out awesome, so maybe I'll give King Cake a try too.
Today was so great and I'm way excited for tomorrow! Besides Gumbopalooza, I'm also joining a lot of my Spanish classmates at the International Cinema to see some Chilean(?) movie in the afternoon. Should be a busy and awesome day. Absolutely fabulous.
So, coming back to BYU has been a little scary, hard, and sometimes awkward. For one thing, there are SO MANY PEOPLE! Oh my goodness, I'm more used to it now, but it freaked me out to be in such huge crowds. It's kind of like when I got transferred from Oakdale to Covington and I went to the Walmart there. Huge compared to Oakdale. So many people. It was overwhelming. That is BYU. Crowded.
Then you have to relearn how to interact with all these people. A lot of the time I don't very much. I keep to myself. You'd think that I could strike up a conversation with anyone after doing it for 18 months. But in a way, it's nice to not feel bad if you don't talk to everybody you meet. I probably could be and should be a little more outgoing though. Friends are good to have.
So then in addition to the social readjustment, there's the academic readjustment. Missionaries study every day, yes, but oh boy is there a lot to do now! The studying hardly ever stops (although I'm basically done with all my homework for the week and I'll be starting on next week shortly--can't hurt to get ahead). There are so many projects, so much reading, and this semester, a lot of worksheet-type homework.
Not only is the study time crazy, but the subject matter itself is ridiculous. What the heck am I doing? I keep telling myself that just because you don't like one class doesn't mean you shouldn't study something, but sometimes I think I'm completely insane. English Language and editing? Wait, why did I think I liked editing? This class is awful. That's where all the worksheets come in. And the readings from 6 books. And the memorization of spelling words and vocab. Uh, this sounds like high school. Didn't I graduate 5 years ago?
There's definitely a struggle in figuring out what I really want to do, and I don't particularly like any of the classes for my major this semester. But I'm going forward. We'll see how it goes.
But in spite of all the struggles and frustrations the first few weeks of school have entailed, I can say that God does bless His children. I know He's been helping me keep up. He's helped me study. He's helped me do better on my tests and assignments than I expected. He's definitely blessing me and making up the difference. I've forgotten all sorts of things that I should know, but it's okay. It's still working out. I just have to keep trusting in Him. One thing I started to really understand as a missionary was the reality of the enabling power of grace. But of course that lesson isn't learned, it's not done. And I get to keep learning now. That's what life is all about.
Now that I've found the perfect name, I have to come up with the perfect posts. This is also a challenge. What should one write about? It seems like when I didn't have a blog, I always thought of things I could write if I did have a blog. Of course those things don't come to mind now...
What makes a good blog post? I read a lot of blogs. Which ones do I keep reading? Well, first, those belonging to good friends and family. What else? Those that are funny. Those with awesome pictures. Those that are interesting. Those that are honest and open and make me think. I hope I can do those things and make my blog as fabulous as it ought to be.
I've been thinking about starting a blog for a good minute now (that's Louisianan for "long time"). I thought about it several years ago, but then I decided since I was going on an LDS mission and wouldn't be able to post on it for a while, I decided to wait.
Then I was going to start one a few months ago...and I couldn't come up with a name.
Today I didn't feel like doing my homework (don't judge, it's not even due till Friday), so I began the naming process again...hmm...what would be the perfect blog name for me? It's gotta be good. A song. A good song. I like too many songs... Backwards...no... Lucky...no... Crush...no... The Boys are Back...uh, no, but...High School Musical!...My School Musical?...no...My Life's a Musical...no...Get'cha Head in the Game, Bop to the Top...maybe...no, I have it! Fabulous. I want fabulous. I need a little fabulous. That's it. That's the name. After checking with my bff, I did it. I started a blog. And the world will never be the same.