-Footprints in the Sand-

-Footprints in the Sand-

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the LORD.

Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene he noticed two sets offootprints in the sand: one belonging to him, and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand.

He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints.

He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really troubled him and he questioned the LORD about it:

"LORD, you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me."

The LORD replied:

"My son, my precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Till We Meet Again

I think that there are two things that the majority of the world fears:  the thought of not being able to see the unknown, and death.  I know that today, on September 23, 2012 one of my friends knew exactly where she was going.  She made her way to the gates of heaven.  She died today of a brain aneurism, and is now in loving care of her Father in Heaven.  I am saddened to know that the world lost a beautiful daughter of God, and the ray of sunshine that followed her.  She was my age, and a young wife of 5 months.  I pray that her husband and family will be comforted with the thought that she is in a better place now. 

 I met this beautiful daughter 2 years ago in college.  She was the supervisor in my preschool lab, and she taught me the basics of everything that I needed to know.  I followed her steps, and became a supervisor of my own lab this past semester at college.  I thought often of her, and how she would handle the crying child at the door, or how to make something boring, enjoyable and worthwhile for the kids.  I am beyond grateful for everything that she taught me while she was here.  She taught me perseverance when she showed up to class with a swollen jaw, and still ready to teach because that is what she loved.   She was a hard worker, a keeper of her word, and a loving person. 

I know that this is not the last time I will she her smiling face.  Heavenly Father has graciously accepted his daughter into Heaven, and I know that she is happy.  Knowing that at any moment something can change my life, and change the way the world see's me is kind of unsettling.  Yesterday I was watching Mormon Messages on my computer, and one of my favorites is a story told by Elder Russell M. Nelson.  The story goes that he was in an airplane, and something went wrong with one of the wings, and the plane started a downward spiral to the ground.  A woman across the aisle was hysterical with the fear of coming to her death.  He mentions that he was calm.  Totally calm.  He says that he was, "ready to meet [his] maker."  and that, "Heartaches will come... but be patient because perfection does not come in this life, it comes in the life to come....we can receive strength from these tumultuous times."


I would like to say that I would be like Elder Nelson, and be completely calm when I am faced with adversity.  However, I see myself as the woman who didn't know the unknown.  I know where I am going, but am I ready?  I am not.  I need a ton of improvement, but what I need to realize is that I am on the Lord's time, not my own.  If he so sees to give me or my family adversity in life, I need to be ready.  There is only so much time he can wait.  I want to let the Lord help me make a difference in my life.  I am grateful for the gospel for the strength it gives me, and the comfort it helps me see in times of sorrow.  

I loved my friend dearly.  I know it is ok to mourn for her life, and the irreplaceable spot that no one else will be able to fill.  Mourning is evidence you have loved.  We will one day be able to sit in Heaven with our world full of kids, and remember the times that were, and the times that will be.  Life is eternal; there is no end to light, to glory, or to love, and I know this to be true.  "God Be with You till We Meet Again," my peaceful friend.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Love. Just. Like. Her.

On Saturdays, mi familia has a thing were they make all this awesome food, and invite uncles, aunts, and grandparents; like a little fiesta every week. I love the whole emphasis on families here in Mexico, it's just very Mormon like.  :-)  Well today we had enchiladas verde, and it was sooooooo good!!  I feel like Saturdays are the one day where I can eat, and not want any more food after for a really long time.  So both my grandmas were here today.  I truly do love those ladies.  :-)  They always try to talk to me, even though I have no idea what they are telling me.  It is funny to watch us speak to each other, but I really admire their patience with me.

So while we were all seated at the dinner table, the grandma (on the dad's side) get's up, and walks over to where I was at the table.  I really didn't know what she was going to do, but I thought she was getting something off of the shelf or something, and then return to her seat.  Well before I knew it, she was at my side and had my head in her hands.  She then gave me the kindest kiss on the forehead.  She muttered something in my ear, then kissed me again on the cheek.  I was speechless, I didn't really know what to say, so I just sat there and blushed.  I had enchiladas all in my mouth, and really could not think of adequate words to express my feelings at that moment.  I think I sounded a little like, "Thank..smh..uh...ha..uhhhhhhhhh..."  My grandma finally ventured over to her seat, and began eating again; and when she sat down my dad told me what she had muttered in my ear.

She said, "That even though I am not your mom, I still want to give you a kiss."  :)

Who does that?  And how in the world was I blessed to live with, and meet such great people??  I really love that she showed her love to me.  There is a talk by one of the apostles, although I cannot remember which one at the moment, who said that we need to SHOW  our love to those we love.  We can do this through words, actions, or service.  You cannot expect someone to know that you love them without showing them.  This experience was the prime example of that in my life.  Never before have I felt that somebody truly loved me, without really knowing me first.  This woman was an example to me in my life, and how I need to remind those that I care about that I love them, even if I don't know them all that well.  I know that it can make an impact in one's life, as it did mine.  

A few weeks ago, was the first time I saw this loving woman as she was.  We all went on an outing to the movies as a family, and grandma, my sister, and I were all in the backseat with me stuck in the middle as usual.  :p  When the movie was over, we all walked back to the car, grandma arm in arm with her son.  As any elderly person, she had a hard time walking, so the pace was really slow leaving the theater.  The night air was unfortunately chilly, so we were eager to get in the car as soon as possible and warm up.  When we got the car unlocked and everything running, grandma very gently took her hand in mine, and held it all the way to her house.  Every now and then, she would give my hand a little squeeze, as if to make sure my hand was still there.  As she got out of the car she looked back at me and said, "Muchas gracias hija."  This woman is amazing, and I can already say that when I grow up, I would like to LOVE. JUST. LIKE. HER.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Food should be my middle name....No, but really.

As I have been in Mexico I have had an appetite the size of a hippopotamus, and a pig combined.  You could probably throw in a rhino, and that would probably be more accurate.  As I have done research, I have found some reasons why my body has taken this change.  They are:

1-  I'm stressed.
2-  I'm walking more than ever in my life, and I need to keep up my calories.
3-  I'm stressed.
4-  The food I eat here is absolutely amazing, so I feel the need to stuff myself every chance I get before I leave.
5-  I'm stressed.
6-  I just love food!

Since I do know my body more than anybody else; well except for one person, (don't worry it's God!) I have come to the conclusion that I am, yes, stressed; but I feel like it's more than that.  I am legitimately HUNGRY ALL the time!  I feel like if I don't eat, I won't have the energy to make it through the day.  Check it:

For breakfast I ate a:
-Cinnamon roll &
-Oatmeal Atole

After teaching in the morning I ate a:
-Apple &
-Drank a Yakuit

After Spanish Class #1 I ate:
-An amazing piece of cake...I would actually like some more now as I type...
-2 ham/cheese/jalapeno tortillas.

After Spanish Class #2 I ate:
-2 tostadas with avocado &
-A bowl full of papaya.

After teaching my night class I ate:
-3 Yakis (which are really spicy chips.  Really good though!)
-Chicken and zucchini soup.
-The BEST chile relleno I have ever had in my life!  &
-One awesome cup of homemade juice.

Did you get all of that?  Kinda ridiculous right?  The best part is, is that I made a new friend.  In my dreams that is.  I had a dream last night that I met this really awesome woman who's dream was to make an amazing restaurant named after her.  Well, after a lot of sweat and hard work, we made a pretty stinkin' amazing restaurant if I do say so myself.  The front room was super chill and colorful, but the best part was the back of the store.  You walk through these curtains and all of a sudden your standing in the middle of a fresh market with apples, bananas, and anything else you wanted.  It truly was amazing!  The not so great part, was when life had to take it's course.  I remember thinking that I wanted this woman and her restaurant only a walk away for the rest of my life.  However, I had other duties.  Not sure what they were, but I had to leave the town where we had started her life dream.  Then I woke up.  Friend, food, and restaurant all gone.

I'm not sure what this dream even means, but it involved food, like I don't get enough of it in my life.  As you can see, that is not a problem here!  I just kind of feel guilty about eating all the time, but at the same time, I'm like, "Hey, I'm on an extended vacation.  Give me a break." (KitKat anyone?  =P) My Mom and Pop's definitely have nothing to worry about, especially having their crazy daughter starve to death in Mexico.  :-)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Beauty to the Rescue

This weekend I had the opportunity to visit a place in the foothills of Mexico; Cuetzalan, Puebla.  The ride was about 6 hours by bus, with never ending curves.  I don't get bus sick very often, but there was no stopping it this time.  It actually surprises me, that a person could even drive a bus.  I mean the things are huge!  Driving a straight line would be all I could do sober...which isn't really saying much, considering I have run over my fair share of curbs in my day.  But really, driving up to Cuetzalan was all mountainous, so around and around, and around we went.  Some of the curves were sharp, and I really don't know how I made it there, cause looking out the window and seeing a cliff the size of the ocean could really get your doubts flying.  The drive was beyond beautiful though, and was really refreshing to see something new. 

The first night we got there, it rained....sooo much!  The bottom of my jeans were wet to the knees so I had to roll them up.

   I have come the realization of two things just from this experience: 
1-  Being that sometimes being short does suck.
2-  There really is a purpose for skinny jeans.

That first day we got to see people called...Well, I will just call them the Flying Mohawks considering I have no idea what they were called!  Flying because they were technically flying through the air, maybe not with wings, but with ropes!  They went around and around this pole...

Flying Mohawks up close.

Really up close and personal.  I love how none of them look excited to take this picture.  And you only see my eyes...yet another reason shortness takes a backseat in my book.  :P
After the cool Flying Mohawks show, I did what any other tourist would do and toured the town.  I saw an amazing church, took pictures cause that's what I like to do, then ate, and ate, and ate!  (My eating habit could have a blog page all to itself it's so large in stature.)  So after all the festivities, night time came and there was a huge concert.  The concert was of this mariachi band, who were pretty good.  However, listening to mariachi music for more than an hour may cause you to secretly want earplugs.  Well when we were there for about 2 hours we decided to go back to our hostel since it was like 11 o'clock, and really dark.  So we went to sleep off the day, and dream of our next adventures.

*Side note- During the night I was awakened by someone laughing...I may or may not have been a little scared, but then I realized it was Janessa. :P

The next day we got to sleep in and take it easy and not worry about teaching for once, then went and got a brunch at a restaurant.  It was so good, you have no idea.  After our pit stop we toured the town some more then went to see a waterfall!  This was an amazing sight to behold.

I love that our Heavenly Father gave us beautiful things to look at.  When you think about it, it is kind of surreal that someone could make something so beautiful.  Where did it all begin you ask?  Well I know that life is never ending, kind of like a figure 8.  I do know that he made things to bring us joy.  Think of it like a car.  I know absolutely nothing about cars, but I know that there was some genius man who invented it all.  I may not know him personally, but I can study and find out what he was like, and how he came to build something so awesome.  The same is with the earth.  Study things out in the scriptures, and you are bound to know just who made every thing that makes you smile.  For me, those would be this waterfall, pretty flowers, my family, goats, silly children, and even the food that I eat everyday.  I am grateful for it all, and thank God in Heaven for it all.  

Things are not always easy peezy lemon squeezy though.  Life takes work, and A LOT of faith.  Giving up when things get hard is not what life was supposed to be about.  When life gets hard, that means that we need to look to the things that can make our day better a lot more than we would any other day.  This is the beauty of the world.  It is the best stress reliever, and it's free.  A word that we all like to hear.  :)  I was walking to the store today, and I thought I saw purple leaves on the sidewalk.  I was really excited by my findings, but upon closer inspection, Janessa actually pointed out that it was a flower.  A flower that looked like leaves that is!  I don't know why, but the beauty of that flower somehow made my day better.  I don't think I could explain why, but I know it put a smile on my face.  That is all it takes to change a day.  It may sound silly, but it is what it is.  You should try it sometime.  Go for a walk, and see what you find, but remember to thank the person that created such amazing things in the first place.  Really you should do it...like now.  Ready...Set...Go.

Friday, September 14, 2012

My Start to a Forseen Amazing Independence Weekend!

This was the start of my Independence Day!  A high school band marching down my street! 
I am not sure why I am so excited about this, but it really just made
my day!

   They weren't half bad either!  :)

I also got to see them the next morning as well. 
-Even got the flag twirlers. ;-)
 Double awesomeness to start my four day weekend.

After the week was over, I went to my host mom's school,
(She teaches 6th grade)
and I got to witness their "ceremony" for the holiday.  It was one of the
coolest things I have ever seen.  Some girls did a flag march, and 
another group of kids did some dancin'.  :)  My favorite was the kinder's dance.  I love the twirl at the very end!
They were so cute, I had to get them on camera! 


 This little girl was in the kinder dance.  :)  She is our nannies little girl.  She did a great job!
 I just met her, and I love her!!  :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

It's finally SUNDAY. That's my fun day :)

Church for me here in Mexico starts at 8 o'clock in the morning.  I am very excited for Sundays, considering it is my chill day to well...chill.  Our first meeting is Sacrament meeting.  All of our services are held in Spanish, so it is an interesting experience to be able to see what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is like in another country.  The amazing thing about it is that besides the language, everything is the same.  I love that I can walk into the church, and feel totally welcome and comfortable because it is all familiar to me like in the states.  There is a bishop, two counselors, relief society president, and of course missionaries, all who are most gracious to have us there. 

I don't have a translator for our sacrament meeting, and my young adult class, so it is up to me to listen, and get as much as I can out of it.  It is actually really cool because I understand a lot more than I thought I was capable.  Last Sunday was fast and testimony meeting, and it was interesting to watch the people get up and bear their testimonies of what they know to be true.  One thing that IS different, is that Americans are a lot more long winded.  :p  There was about 20 people of adults and youth that had the chance to speak.  Whereas, in America, we would be lucky to get 10 people up on the pulpit!  I loved the time that I had to maybe not understand what the members were saying, but to feel their spirit of truth and hope. 

I also had the opportunity to say a prayer in our last class of the day, (which we do have a translator for) also known as relief society.  :)  I was grateful for the opportunity to share my prayer in English with them, and be able to feel welcome in the ward.  I love the chance I have to get together with the sisters of the church, and be able to talk about our topic of the hour which was faith.  We talked about Noah, Moses, the three Hebrews, Lot, and of course Jesus Christ.  I hope to one day have the faith the scriptures talk about: faith strong enough to move mountains.  This may be literal in the scripture sense, but in my life I have come to accept that no matter how much I wish it to happen, it never will.  :p  One day while walking to school, my friend pointed out the mountains in the distance which I have never noticed before.  They really were beautiful, and even though I may not be able to move them, I hope that the testimony I hold dear to my heart will be like one of those mountains which stands solid with no one to budge them out of their place.

I am so very grateful that almost 6 years ago I was able to be baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  I have met many people who have led and guided me when my path seemed broken and "unfixable."  Some of these people are in the scriptures and the Book of Mormon.  I have a testimony of our modern day prophet Thomas S. Monson, and his apostles.  I love this gospel, not only in America but anywhere I may be sent.  I am happy.  I am a Mormon, and Sundays are my fun days.  :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Living in Mexico there are a lot of things that I am not used to and will probably never get used to for that fact.  For example, I have never in my life been stared at, talked to, and whistled at more times in my entire life than I do in one day here.  It's just weird.  I try not to seem too happy about where I am going (as to not be targeted as a weakness ya know), and keep a straight face as much as I can.  Doing that though, just makes me laugh at myself, so people think that I am psychotic.  Whatever though right?

I also have a friend.  :)  Pretty sure his name is Daniel, but he was talking too fast for me to really know.  He is a mechanic, and his right hand/arm is broken.  Since twice a day I walk by his shop with another teacher at the school, he knew pretty quickly that we were Americans.  He is a happy fella of 40ish, and likes to make small talk.  Too bad I don't know what he is saying though.

I had my second Spanish class today, and it was a lot of fun.  My teacher was trying to say sheet, but said s*** instead...like 5 times.  Hilarious it was!

There was a huge rain that decided to come down and flood the roads.  On the walk home, I got splashed with water by a truck full of police men with HUGE guns.  It felt like they did it on purpose, but I hope that is just my mind telling me that.  Oh and the water smells....like fish when it rains. :/  So I pretty much was one wet, muddy, and stinky person walking home.  Back to the guns though...I never thought that I would see someone hold guns that big...it's scary to know that they need them here.  :/

Serenata at 5 p...a.m

Rated S: For slurring, and mentioning of guns and famous people.  

Earlier this month on September 2 at 5:00 a.m, I was awakened by a sound that I would care not to wake up to again.  As the video states, it sounded like trumpets and drums, and sounded like a parade going down the street.  I was worried the night before I went to sleep that I wouldn't be able to wake up at 6 o'clock to make my 8 o'clock sacrament meeting.  Had I known what was ahead, the thought wouldn't even have crossed my mind!  So I lay there for a few seconds, thinking that it was coming from inside my house.  A thought of, "Maybe this is how Mexicans celebrate every first Sunday...with a mariachi party,"  but when I got out of bed to look, it was definitely coming from outside on the street.  I really wanted to go downstairs to see what all the ruckus was about, but because I was maybealittlebitscared to find out exactly what it was, I just got back in bed and waited it out.  I waited.  And waited. And recorded my feelings on tape.  And waited.  AND waited for a whole hour to pass.  Now this was unfortunate considering it was time for me to wake up anyways and go to church.  I got up, got ready and went outside hoping to find some remnants of a party of some sort.  Paper mache, pinatas, streamers...but nothing.  Upon arriving home from my Sunday festivities, my "parents" told me all about the serenata's here in Mexico.  They told me that, "When a guy loves a girl and wants to show that love to her, he hires people to sing and play for her."  An appropriate reply would have been, "Aww." or "That's sweet," but all they got was an "Oh."  Maybe I could have been more excited, but due to the exhaustion it caused me I almost fell where I stood.  Thanks serenata, oh and the guy that I now know loves his gurrrl more than anything.  Thanks for sharing with the world.  :p 


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