Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Long time

I've been a slacker. I'm now back in GA and home for summer. Mexico was absolutely amazing in a lot of ways. I learned so much there, and most of it was not about Spanish, though that definitely improved. Most of what I learned was about myself. I've really been trying to work on myself lately, and I feel like I made a lot of progress while I was in Mexico...not to say I don't have a lonng way to go. It's an eternal progress, and I don't think I'll ever really completely get there in this life. But I'm making progress and setting goals, which I need to work harder to stick to.

Mexico, though...I'll try to give a summary, in a somewhat stream-of-consciousness fashion (in other words, one word summaries of things). Kissing politicians, getting popsicles in the rain, hanging out on the roof at our house, pyramid climbing, cenote swimming, long hours on buses, random surreal experience involving being in a Mexican religious parade and a traveling circus, hot and humid, baptisms at the Merida temple, mule/horse pulled trains to go to the cenotes, amazing caves, the beach at Progreso, the rain at the beach at Progreso, awesome host family, AZ roommates, making Sunday almuerzo (late lunch, biggest meal of the day), closing social, kayaking with Lauren, fun conversations with Alyssa, and now I have to go...hopefully, more later.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Merida, como te quiero!

I believe I left off the telling of my excellent adventures in Mexico with meatloaf. Tasty, tasty meatloaf. Meatloaf is one of those things that people can just bond over, no matter their culture. Anyway, so the meatloaf was good. After we ate, I slept, and then we went to FHE with our group. It was fun. We had a great lesson by Profe Hague, and then we played I've never. Oh the interesting things you learn while playing I've never...like who's been arrested, or to the tanning bed...or streaking. I won't go into any more details than that ;) It was a lot of fun. Oh, we also had a hilarious conversation about Steve, an occasional visitor to Bekah and Lauren's bathroom. Profe Hague was rather worried at first, but he eventually surmised by our giggling that he needn't be concerned, whoever this Steve character was. It was quite hilarious to those of us "in the know." Our awesome padre gave us a ride, so we didn't even have to take the bus. It was great. On Monday, Bekah and I only had 1 class, and we came back to our casa afterwards, ostensibly to work on homework. I didn't get as much done as I'd planned to. I'm pretty sure we didn't really do anything else. Tuesday was somewhat similar. I had a lovely morning. We didn't have to do anything at 7 am, so that was very nice. We didn't have class until 11:30, and we didn't have to leave until 10:30..compared to 6 am, that's so late and wonderful. While we were walking to school, some guy wolf whistled at us..but he didn't just whistle. He had these pipes, and he kind of played the wolf whistle. It was funny. Let's see...school was fine. We went back to our house afterward and again attempted to do homework. Eventually, we walked to 7-11 and back. That was about it for Tuesday. This blog entry has been relatively boring so far. It's about to get more interesting. Yesterday, we went to see La Ultima Cancion (The Last Song) with Miley Cyrus, which was a pretty good movie. When were walking home from this is when things got interesting. We were walking by 7-11 near our house, and there were a bunch of what seemed to be college aged kids rallying for a local politician, Javier. They were waving flags and giving away lots of free stuff, like bracelets, t-shirts, posters, flags, and lighters. We walked through them the first time to get home. After a while of walking towards home, we decided we needed to turn around and go back to 7-11 for Lauren to get a drink, or in other words, to get free t-shirts. So turn around we did. We went to 7-11, and Lauren did, in fact, get a drink. (Lauren is one of our roommates. She enjoys chocolate, hanging out on the beach, reading books and chilling at home, and is terrified of small fish.) We exited the 7-11 and commenced standing around outside talking about getting free Angelica merchandise. Angelica is a local politician. She's running for the office of "Presidenta Municipal" which, as far as I can tell, is the mayor of Merida. This woman has her face plastered on basically every surface of this city. She's on bus stops, buses, taxicabs, street corners (which have fence/walls around them), billboards, people's cars, and various other surfaces. She's always there, wherever we go, watching us. She's like big brother. Only female and smiling out charmingly from her many posters, banners, stickers, and other advertisements. The slogan on her posters is "Merida, como te quiero," (Merida, how I love you), hence the title of my blog entry. We all really wanted some Angelica merchandise. I've still got my heart set on a poster. So eventually, the people at the rally, who were rallying for Javier, another politician of the same party as Angelica, came and swarmed us and were trying really hard to get us to wave flags with them. It was all very exciting, but for now, this blog entry is going to have to be continued...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Madre Day!

I've had a good couple of days. Yesterday, we went to Celestun. We met at a park and took the bus for about 1.5 hours or so..maybe more or less. I'm not sure. After we got there, we got to go out in boats to see the flamingos. On the way, we made a stop at a little island with a lot of crabs and tiny fish. Then we got to go see flamingos! They were so cool. I was excited to get to see them. Then we all went to swim in this gorgeously clear natural pool next to the water. It was way pretty. It looked like the okifanoke swamp or perhaps a jungle. There was a crocodile, and someone got the idea it was fake, so a couple of people in our group were starting to go in the water with it. Our professor came running up behind us saying No, no, I'm sorry! It's real! It was so funny. After that, we got back in the boats to go back to the restaurant on the beach where we met in the first place. The boat ride back was really fun! It was really wavy, and our boat was going fast and bouncing on the waves. It was so much fun! I love boats. The people in our boat were singing pretty much the entire time we were on it. It was a blast! After the boat ride back, we went to the restaurant and had delicious food (all of the food here is delicious), and some people played on the beach for a while. I didn't because I wanted to avoid the sun. Also, there was a man who looked like a biker in a speedo eating his lunch...did I mention he was wearing a speedo? It made me laugh every time I looked at him. And he was right in my line of sight, so I ended up looking at him more than I wanted to. It was really, really funny. Also, the bathroom signs. The women's bathroom sign was a pair of lips, and the men's bathroom sign was a pepper. It made me laugh a lot. Oh, and when I went to the bathroom some lady told me I had really pretty hair, essentially, but she told me first in English, and I couldn't understand her until she switched to Spanish because she had a really strong accent when she spoke English. That was pretty funny as well. And after that fun day, we headed back on the bus. When we got to the park, our mama was waiting to take us home, which we were happy about because we hadn't been expecting a ride. So we went home, and eventually went grocery shopping. Our papa gave us a ride to the grocery store and we walked back. I don't think much else happened last night, so on to this morning. We were running late for church because Bekah had an ear infection, so our papa took us to church after giving Bekah medicine for her ear, which was really nice of him. He is so cute..he's always got this little smile on his face, and he doesn't talk a whole lot, but he does talk. Anyway, church was good. In relief society, some or all of the primary kids (I'm not sure), came and gave the mamas roses and sang them a song. It was cute. I want kids one day! Not now by any means, but eventually. And then we went home and chilled a bit and I made meatloaf and homemade mashed potatoes for lunch. Everyone seemed to enjoy them, and our mama wants me to teach her how to make my meatloaf. It was fun. I love to cook. And that is all for now :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Raspberry Red

I seem to be in a constant state of sunburn here. It's getting less painful, though. This one doesn't even really hurt. Bekah, Lauren and I went to the beach yesterday. We were going to meet up with some other people from our group, but we couldn't find them, so we just hung out with Chase and Landon, who we met up with on the bus. It was windy and wavy...pretty much perfect. Lauren and I were both wearing sunhats and outfits that made us look like tourists. We got a picture. It was pretty epic. On the way back, we went to Costco and got samples. We were going to try to get food, but we didn't find anything we wanted. Then we went back to our house and ate and such. After a while we went and got delicious palotas (amazing popsicles) with our mama, and then she bought us very good tamales that some guy was selling out of the back of his car at a gas station. It was pretty sweet. After eating the tamales, we talked with our mama about the strange things men sometimes wear. After that, when Alyssa and I came up to go to bed, we turned our air conditioning on as usual, and it was leaking. So there was a lot of ensuing drama which ended with our air not leaking anymore, so that was good. It was pretty funny. Also, we have a hammock in our room, which I would have slept in last night, but it was right under the air, and therefore uncomfortable. Such is life here in the Yukatan!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Yeah, I'm still here...

Dear readers, I do believe I left off my last blog on Saturday night, so I will start off now with writing about Sunday. Sunday morning we had 9 am church, so I went to that. Afterwords we went to the birthday party of tia Gladis, who is the sister of our host mom who took care of us for a few days. Then we went home and chilled and made cena (basically dinner but usually smaller) for our padres. Monday, we had our first real roommate split. Lauren and Alyssa went on the turibus, a tourbus that goes around the city that you can basically get on or off whenever you want to for a whole day. Bekah and I went to a fabulous water park with the institute kids called Rio Salvaje. It was a blast! I had so much fun. We met these girls on the bus named Vidi and Lidi, and they got our email addresses, and we met a 12-year-old girl named Karen and her sister Dani, who invited us to come play at their house. Karen told us we were her hermanas (sisters). It was very cute. And we went on the Cobra, the tallest water slide in the park. It was basically a blast. I had tons of fun. The rest of Monday we just chilled at home. Tuesday, Lauren and Alyssa had school, and Bekah and I (we have the same class schedule), went with tia Gladis and her granddaughters, Anacarmen and Valeria, to see the school where she's basically a vice principal. We then went to the mall and walked around. After that, we had lunch with our host parents and their kids, who are all married and live in Merida, and her nephew and sister. Later, we went to el Colon, this fabulous ice cream shop (essentially) for someone in the group's birthday, Melia. Then we walked around in the centro for a bit before returning home. Yesterday, Wednesday, Bekah and I went home and then to the centro with our host padres. We did a lot of walking, which was nice because I need the exercise. We got back and had lunch and waited for the other girls to get back. After they got back and ate, our mama took us to have laundry done, and then we met with our group to see Ironman 2 with Spanish subtitles. It was fun. It only costed 40 pesos, which is a bit less than 4 dollars!! I love how cheap movies are here. It's been a fun time here so far in Merida :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Viva Mexico!

These past couple of days have been really fun! Yesterday, we had Monday classes even though it was a Friday because there are no classes Monday. Generally, we have no Friday classes. After class, we hung out with some of the local students for about an hour. One of them was named Tony, and he offered to take us for a ride around the city, but we didn't go. We eventually got back to nuestra casa (the house in which we are staying...our house). By we, I mean my roommate Rebecca and myself. We chilled for a while until lunch. I worked out and took a shower. Then we had lunch with Gladys, our tia Mexicana, and after lunch we talked a while. Eventually, our other roommates, Lauren and Alyssa, got back, and after a little while we went to el centro historico (in English, the historical center) and walked around and shopped a bit. The centro here is awesome. People sell stuff there and tons of people walk around and hang out there. Yesterday was "el dia de los ninos" (the day of the children), and there were festivities for that. While we were walking around, a man tried to sell us a hammock. He talked to us for a while first, though. He told us about the traditional village he lives in, and how he makes hammocks with his wife..he showed us a picture. And he told us about the festivities in the traditional villages right now. He talked about religion and other things. He was way nice. His name was Gregorio. After talking to us for a while, he kept trying to sell us a hammock, but none of us had any money. We told him that, and he kept lowering the price. He went from 450 to 200 pesos for a really big hammock by the end. It was a fun experience. After that, we went to this little restaurant across from the big Cathedral in the centro, and we ate on the balcony overlooking the centro. It was awesome. Then we went and Lauren and I split some sorbate. It was really fun. The sorbate is really, really good there. After we had sorbate, we met the rest of our group in front of the Cathedral and walked over to the temple and institute building for a dance. It was so much fun! We met some of the local people, and we learned how to dance a little :) It was awesome. Dances here are better than in the states, I think. One of the guys at the institute dance named Alan taught me a little salsa. He was funny. Another one named Gerson was pretty fluent in English, which he learned from watching movies...crazy! He helped a lot of us girls get cabs home. In the cab, the driver's name was Tony. He lived in the US for a while. I sat in the front seat, so I talked with him the whole time. He kept on pointing out bars. When we got back, Gladis was locked out because she forgot her key. She's a principal at a high school, and she had been at a fiesta for el dia de los ninos. A very short while after we got back, our mama y papa got here. They are so nice! Our mama Mexicana is soo cute. And our papa is cute, too. He's quieter, but seems really nice. I'm having a hard time writing about this in English right now for some reason. I think I'm kind of writing more in a Spanish style right now. Anyway, our mama, her name is Francis, and she is so sweet. She was just fussing over us and making sure we had everything we needed and everything. I just love her. It was pretty late when they got back, so we all went to bed shortly after. This morning, they had the best french toast I've ever had in my life waiting for us for breakfast, and then we went and met the rest of our group to go to the ruins called Dzibilchaltun, where we had a tour and then got to swim in a cenote, which is a natural water formation almost like a natural swimming pool. It's really cool.

After that, we went to the beach in Progreso. The host families were all there, and they gave us snacks, and we swam and chilled and went back to the house for lunch. Conner, one of the guys in our group, played his Ukalali a bit. It was funny. Eventually, we left, and our madre bought us popsicles. And since then I've just been chilling. And now time for dinner :)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Mas sobre Mexico

Yesterday was the first day of classes. They start at 7 am, and we ride the bus, so we have to be up shortly after 5 in order to get there. It's crazy early! I rode the crowded bus standing up. I felt very authentic. Mexico is awesome so far. I like my roommates and the people in my group. Not much to report...one of the guys in the group has sort of started a trend of getting to know the local students, so that's fun. We sat and talked with a group of them today for around an hour. People here are very blunt. One of the guys, Tony, told a couple of us our Spanish was good, and indicated a girl and basically said hers wasn't quite as good. It was kind of funny. I like that they don't seem to sugarcoat things here. Anyway, I'm about to fall asleep, so I guess I'm done for now.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Caballos y camiones

Today was very interesting and a lot of fun. We (my roommates and the girls who are staying close by and myself) went to La Universidad de Modelo, a very small university where we are studying whilst we are here, to look around and figure out the bus routes, along with the other girls' host mom. Then we all went back to the casa and chilled for a while and then had a delicious lunch with Gladis, prepared by Delila, who is very nice. Then we went to get my roommates some pesos because they didn't have any, and here, unlike the US, you can't use a credit card for absolutely everything. Then we got groceries and such and headed back to the casa again. Then we all decided to go exploring. We figured out which bus to take to get us to the centro historico (historical center, but it sounds better in Spanish). We looked at this beautiful old church and then some guy told us where to buy good hammocks, and then we took a 45 minute carriage ride around the central part of town. It was really fun. The town is beautiful. We decided to make a list of everything we want to do before we leave. After the carriage ride, we got pizza and then caught a bus back to close-ish to where we live. We got lost because we didn't realize there were different districts, but we asked a nice policeman, and he explained it to us. So we walked the rest of the way, which wasn't too far. We got home eventually. After we got here, I had a conversation with Delila in Spanish and understood most of what she was saying...she speaks really, really fast. So that was cool. Oh, and we decided earlier today that after today, we can't speak any more English, except for 30 mins at the end of the day. Did I mention that classes start at 7 am? Night, all.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Sex...What it's supposed to be

Link to amazing talk/lesson about what sex means:

Notes from a lesson in Relief society on chastity
I am going to copy my notes from the lesson...it was good, and I appreciated that he focused a lot on the good things about sex after marriage rather than why we should wait and such.
-sexual stimulation, removal of clothing, etc. not appropriate before marriage
-Lord's law of chastity applies to bodies and minds
-speaking to Heavenly Father helps clear impurities of the mind
-Don't allow fears to keep you from the blessings and relief that come from repentance
-Why we need to follow the law of chastity, from a spiritual point of view
-Today's world is at least as bad as Sodom and Gomorrah (Pres Hinckley, I think)
-Power, physical, emotional, spiritual
-Provides physical bodies for Heavenly Father's spirit children and shapes person's eternal well-being, as well as strengthening bonds of marriage
-Every use of this power has moral significance
-Power in right use part of Godliness and Godhood
-Perpetual and improper use makes user a devil
-Lord's law of chastity -how to use body, soul shaping power for good and not evil
-adhering to that law makes one's nature more Godly
-not adhering to it makes nature less Godly
-Through Atonement and true repentance can be forgiven and forgotten as though it hasn't happened
-in pure form, romantic love=highest instincts
-in adulterated form=betrays
-Satan seeks to numb our sensibilities until we are eternally miserable
-Elder Hayfen (someone who was quoted, idk about spelling)
-Elder Holland-body not really ours, but will is...God will not impose on one's will, but body different story
-flee fornication, body temple of Holy Spirit, ye are not your own, we are brought with a price
-Soul is what's at stake here, not life or body
-Why does God care so much about sexual transgression?
-Sexual unity should be a symbol of spiritual, metaphysical and complete bonding
-sharing physical intimacy outside marriage -moral schizophrenia
-sexual union as a sacrament-special kind of symbol, unite our will with God's
-Real sacrament of highest order-union of man and woman w God
-Power of procreating...we will never be more like God than when we are expressing the power of human creation
-Only control we have over this is self control
-Jesus-If men will come after Him, take cross and follow Him, deny worldly lusts...forsake the world and save your souls
-Repentance is beautiful, and so is using sexual power in its proper and intended way
-Love, support, friendship, example are good ways to help those who are struggling with these issues
-Those who go to bishops and forsake their sins are some of the most valiant and choicest of Heavenly Father's children. (b/c they recognize they have done/are doing something wrong, want to change, and are willing to go before the bishop to confess)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


So yesterday, I got a package in the mail with a tape, 3 Swiss chocolate bars, and a letter. A really long tape. It's pretty sweet. I was pretty excited. The tape was hilarious, and well worth waiting for. Sometimes, the best things are the ones we have to wait for. A lot of the time, we don't see the things we are waiting for coming. Sometimes, we just have to trust that things will work out the way they are supposed to. Waiting for a missionary is difficult. It's hard to know how much to hold on and how much to let go. But all of us are waiting. Waiting is what this life is all about. What's coming later is well worth waiting for.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Letter to the world

Dear World,
Life is beautiful. I just thought you should know. And everyone has great value in the eyes of God. I find that people compare themselves to others very often. Some people even go so far as to allow their negative views of themselves to hold themselves back from achieving their ultimate potential. I have a lot of good friends who are like this. It breaks my heart to hear them talk about how they are not worth it, or how they have messed up in the past and will never be able to redeem themselves. Not true people! Everyone has great potential, and everyone is unique and wonderful. Including you! Don't ever let the world tell you that because you are not as pretty, smart, funny, musically or athletically talented as someone else, you are not worth it. YOU are worth it!
Someone who has been there

Saturday, January 23, 2010


So...I am exhausted right now. Like, I could fall asleep, as in go to bed, and it's 8:46 pm. It's not even 9 yet, in other words.
So, I just finished listening to Taylor Swift's "Crazier" multiple times in a row. I don't listen to songs multiple times in a row. I also don't usually listen to Taylor Swift. Strange. I don't know what it is about that song, but I almost constantly have the melody stuck in my head these days. I am now listening to Matt Nathanson's "Come on Get Higher." It is also a good song. And applicable to my current situation in some ways.
I want to talk about break-ups. Dear boys, I just want you to know that, often, when a girl breaks up with you, it's extremely difficult for her. I'm not saying this happens in every case, but in many instances, the girl is doing what she thinks is best, and she doesn't want to hurt you. Girls do a lot of things with the idea of not wanting to hurt a guy, actually. It would probably surprise you to know how many things that seem cruel or confusing to a guy are actually the result of a girl not wanting to hurt him. Anyway, I am probably just rambling as I am currently very tired, so yeah..I'm going to stop writing now.