Tuesday, August 23, 2011

mission prep 101.7 - music for the soul

I have recently acquired a nice little pile of CD's that I will be taking along with me on my mission. 
{Courtesy of my buddy Jake}  Included is a wide spectrum of what may or may not be allowed for me to listen to while I am serving {some mission presidents are more strict than others}.

I have yet to listen to all of them, but so far I have discovered that I now possess songs from: 

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir - beautiful! 

The Prince of Egypt Soundtrack - chills 

EFY music - memories 

Josh Groban - so talented! 

Spanish Hymns - ¡para practicar! 

And I just now rediscovered one of my favorite gospel albums while browsing on my dad's old MacBook.  That's right gospel. As in Hallelujah! gospel. 

I may or may not burn a CD to listen to on my way to church next week. OH and bring on my mission.
Once upon a time, before my rock solid video iPod died, I would listen to Gladys Knight and her choir on Sunday mornings.  And usually these listenings were by myself, so I was free to sing as loud as possible with my wannabe gospel choir voice.  I do remember having my roommate Alyssa listen to it while we got ready for church in the morning, and I think she liked it! She very well may have just been trying to be polite. I will never know.  The best connection I had with someone else and this album was while studying abroad in Italy.  The back of our bus was the grooviest thanks to these soulful songs. 

Crossing my fingers that my president will feel the same!  Whether or not, you should consider listening to this album.  Especially Come Come Ye Saints - it's like MoTab meets The Lion King! 

Monday, August 15, 2011

enjoy the little moments

These past few Sundays have been really great ones.  I don't know if it is because we had incredible speakers and testimonies or if it's me trying to hold on to everything about G7 before it escapes me. 

Last Sunday during Break the Fast I received some really valuable missionary advice from my friend Charan.  He told me there will be hard days, no doubt about that. He said he got stuck in a rut at one point and his companion helped him turn his attitude around once he started to enjoy the little moments. He said time will fly and you will have a blast as long as you find fun one day at a time. 

I am a huge fan of that mentality!  
I have a newer notebook where I write down the little beautiful things that happen everyday. 

Some of my favorite small moments as of recent: 

people watching at the South Pasadena Farmer's Market

watching my friends learn the Lindy 

Riding a mustang at Griffith Park with my family

holding little Callie in church 

I also had videos from my dad's iphone to post here, but they didn't work. (help?!)

Friday, August 12, 2011

what makes me happy? swing dancing

Tonight I went swing dancing (east coast and lindy hop) with a whole bunch of friends from my ward at a place called Lindy Groove in Old Town Pasadena. 

Let me tell you - I was beyond excited to go because it had been two years since my last visit and I was looking forward to see how my friends would like this different scene. 

Long story short, they are hooked.
Glad they finally understand what I have been loving all of these years! I must admit, I have been keeping this love tucked away for awhile with my recent work schedule and my other love for temple nights and salsa dancing.

Cat, you missed out!  And all you other G7 readers... you're next too.
You may get bit by the jitterbug and like it. 

I will never stop loving the groove of the lindy hop.

We were also privileged to see this amazing performance: 

{The video was filmed earlier this year at Camp Hollywood}

Dancing makes me happy. 
Dancing to old music makes me happy. 
Dancing with cute old men who have great style makes me happy. 
Dancing with guy friends who are just picking up Lindy Hop makes me happy. 
and watching my friends get caught up in what feels like a time warp back to the 40's makes me really happy : )

Monday, August 8, 2011

one month

I have one month left before I leave for my mission!

It is starting to sink in.  Every time I am with my cousins, playing games with my family, or hanging out with ward friends I become really nostalgic and sentimental thinking back about all of our good memories we've shared.  I am going to miss everyone so much. SO so much.  I wish I could bring everyone along with me so I could share this wonderful experience with them! As of now I have three friends who would like to sneak into my suitcase.  Any more takers?  

I thought that around this time before my mission I would feel a little panicked about all the things I need to buy and tasks I must complete before I leave.  Instead I just feel this great need to just be with the people that I love.  Unfortunately there is not enough time to have nice long heart-to-hearts {as I like to call them} with my favorite people. But I am doing as much as I can as I am now done with work {except for one really exciting project - shooting my friends' wedding this Saturday! woot!}

18 months. A year and a half.  September 2011 - Spring 2013.  Wow. 

I am trying to imagine what Argentina will be like. I daydream about it often:

Answering people's questions about Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon, and the temple.
Speaking in Spanish 24/7 {I can't wait!}  
Eating steak with chimichurri sauce.  
Having a companion. 
Watching people's lives change. 
Service. Non-stop service.
Talking to anyone and everyone on the street or bus.
Living in a modest apartment with unreliable appliances, 
killing cockroaches, 
and praying to never encounter large furry spiders.  
{Don't worry, I've already had a nightmare about that.}
Walking in the rain. 
{Call me silly, but I love the rain. I am convinced that I will still love it after walking in it constantly on my mission! You can hold me to it!}  
Keeping my artistic hunger satisfied with cute sister missionary outfits, hair accessories, and hair styles. 
{This girl is about to become the girliest she has ever been. Get ready!}
Dulce de leche. 
Walking on a dusty trail beside a corral of horses. 
Kids speaking in "vos".   
Pronouncing words with "y" "ll" or "rr" with "j"/"sha".  
Seeing miracles happen everyday.  

I am starting to think what it will be like when I see my little cousins in 2013. How many inches will they grow?  Will they have lost all of their baby teeth?  Will the littlest ones remember me?  

And my sister!  My buddy Brandon was teasing me the other day and said, "What if she got married while you were gone?" I didn't laugh. I got kinda freaked out at that idea.  Em, don't even think about it. 

And my G7ers - will they still be there when I get back?  Will a lot of them "graduate" and be married?  {I have a guess that two of my girl friends will be engaged soon : ) }  Will they go on to get master's degrees?  Will they move?  Will they get amazing grown-up jobs? 

  I know a lot will happen while I am gone, but I am looking at all of this as a exhilarating, breath-taking adventure into the unknown for everyone! 

Newport Temple, with my parents, Emily, and my cousin Heather after receiving my endowments.