-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."

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Cookie Challenge

Welp....today was the last day.  The last day at Discovery that is.  It was for sure a great day to end on.   For the first part of class we had to combine our openings because someone decided to pee (criminal still at large) on the floor in the other classroom.  We all joined in and sang the pirate song, and the bumblebee song then parted for a time.  And guess what we got to do!?!  The amazing cookie challenge of course.  It was pretty hilarious, and a great note to end my 6 weeks with them.  I think for this post I will let the pictures do most of the talking.  :)  It went something awesome like this:

 I think most of them were in it, just for the cookies, not the actual challenge.  Am I surprised?  Not one bit!  ;P

One thing that is priceless in the world is a child's face...but it's double priceless when it is a funny face.  

                                         This Angry Bird was on a roll!

Today for some reason, the children didn't have to wear those blue uniforms.  They are actually very stylish when you give them the chance.  Leather jacket, fur vest, yellow skinny jeans, and of course the angry bird shirts just made my day that much better!

She was the closet at actually getting the cookie in her mouth.  I will miss her bunches, and bunches!

I kinda loved teasing them.  I was starting to wonder if they had ever eaten cookies before....I could understand why there parents wouldn't allow such a thing in their home though.  :P

Not sure what he was trying to accomplish here...but I caught him in action. :)

 Love his face! :p

After my activity was over, we waited for Miss Madi's class to come in.  The best part was that they made me a farewell gift.  A balloon with pictures they drew, and their names beside them.  I will keep it forever...maybe not inflated, but kept safe away in my journal.  :)

It's for sure the best balloon in the world!

 After Miss Madi's class came in I gave them all cookies, and had a mini party.  I made them hug me first if they wanted a cookie, so I am 16 hugs richer.  :)  Miss Madi took some awesome pictures to make this memory last forever. 

-  This is the first class + my awesome balloon.  We gradually added more...
                                    ....and more....:)

                                        Until everyone was in the picture!!!  :D

Teaching these kids has definitely been one of the hardest things that I have ever done, but it was a most rewarding experience.  My hairs may stay a little better on my head, and my energy a little more reserved, but I wouldn't have changed this experience for nothin' in the world.  I love these kids SO much!  I know that they will go as far in life as they want to. After class, 2 boys came and gave me more hugs, so make that 18 hugs richer, with many more to gain.  I am grateful for the time that Heavenly Father has given to me to spend with these children.  I know that we all learned something new, something blue, and definitely something funny in the process.  ;P

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mercado in Mexico

 Every Saturday, my host dad and sister go to the mercado, or market to buy fresh fruits and vegetables for the week.  Every chance I get, I go with them to experience Mexican culture.  I will say that I enjoy it a lot, and that I am grateful they have given me the opportunity to go with them so many times.  These are a few pictures that I have taken, although like always they can never do a place justice. 

The one on the left is a picture of a candle holder.  The white things are placed inside the bowl and lit with a lighter.  You wait for it, and it smokes!  Kinda like a fog machine, only cooler!

This is another picture.

A little ways down, and I actually saw some burning on the floor!  Lucky me!

One thing about the market is that it is really dirty, crowded, and really noisy.  We actually got to listen to Gangnam Style this time cause it was blasting on the speakers.  It kinda makes you wanna dance while you barter...for real. 
Since Halloween is only like a week away, it wouldn't be a market if you didn't have the means to celebrate!  This is candy, chocolate, skulls, and everything else you can think of on a table.  It all looked so yummy.  The little skulls sell for 10 pesos, so about 1 U.S dollar, and the bigger ones sold for 50 pesos, about 5 U.S dollars.  Not bad right?  :) 

 These are candles that everyone seemed to be buying.  Personally, I think that they are much to pretty to burn.  They had an abundance of stands selling them, so maybe I will have to invest in one this Halloween!

 Of course the best part of the market is the fruits and the vegetables.  I really love that I can buy them in abundance, and not to mention the price.  Super cheap.  I have never eaten so much avocado in my life, and I am really lovin' it!

This is my host dad testing the green stuff, (not sure what it is called.)  Since our usual spot was closed we had to venture off and buy them somewhere else.  Ya gotta make sure that it is the good stuff!  

He actually took this picture.  He wanted the picture to capture the variety of colors the market has to offer.  I think he did a great job in doing just that!
 So this is one of my new favorite foods here in Mexico.  You will never believe what it is.  Corn.  Only this corn has been on the cob for a lot longer than usual.  So the lady that sold it to us said that it is corn that has hongos, or in English fungus on it.  Not really sure how they make it edible, but who cares if it tastes good.  ;)

This is the best picture I could take with just one part of the market.  Trust me it is a million times bigger, and better!  Ya just gotta come to Mexico to experience this awesome place.  Trust me, you won't regret it.  Plus you get awesome food.  It's a win, win situation.  So come now!! :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Just a bunch of junk

Today has been a day where I don't really care about what punctuation I use or how I spell or all the other things that are on my mind when I write a blog.  I simply just want to write and tell what has been happenin these past few weeks. ....welll this past week seemed to go on forever considering it was mid semester visits so i was a little nervous, but really i had nothing to worry about.  right now on my mind I have amanda siler, and how she followed a mom and young girl to thier baptist church this morning.  I am chuckling to mycelf as I am typing this.  I think that it was funny that she was caught in the middle of alll those mexican baptists fainting and hollering and what not.  If only I could have recorded it.

i have one more week at Discovery, and I am full of mixed emotions from those children.  I love to love them, but it is difficult when they are climbing, shoving, shooting poking slapping biting sucking jumping mocking and falling everywhere.  they are adorable though!  i am going to give them cookies and popcorn on friday...it's weird that i am already thinking of friday.  friday. Friday, friday...gotta get down on friday....lookin forward to the weekend...partying, partying YEAH....blah blah blahhhhhhhhhlksjfoihfdjfldjsflndslkjdfoij

today the teachers and i all were early for church...considering it started two hours late.  for stake conference that is.  don't worry they aren't always this late, but actually mexicans in general are very late.  kinda sucks not gonna lie, but there isn't much ya can do about that one.  i am excited that halloween is coming up.  its just gonna be an awesome celebration.  i am broke.  i have found 2 bugs in my room...they weren't scary ones but annoying nonetheless.  There is  a spider in the corner of my classroom at school, and i am very tempted to tell the kids so that i can see their faces, as they all stampede to the door yelling and screaming, only God knows what at the top of their lungs.  that would make me the best teacher in the world :)

Oh lets see, i am thinkin of going to thailand next fall.  we will see where that idea takes me.  i was asked to be a head teacher at byui in the winter and i am excited to get to be in the preschool again.  i will also get paid which is even super cooooooowaeeeeee!   sometimes i hate spanish....but other times i fall in love with it.  i don't really understand our relationship at the moment.  my mom booked my plane ticket to go back to college january 4th....flying into salt lake, that should be exciting. 

my host dad sang john lennon to me last night..super funny!  i also gave him a book of mormon in spanish while he made me "breakfast" at 12:30 this afternoon.  i really really really really love love love love love this family.  we are planning a football day when tennessee and miami play...considering they are our favs.  who will be the winner??  only time will tell that one but seriously tn's got in it the bag ;)

are you bored yet cause i'm fallin asleep over here!  maybe if i changed the font to ALL CAPS THEN THAT WILL AWAKEN MY MIND TO FINISH THIS POST.  I WENT ON VACATION THIS LAST WEEKEND AND THAT WAS FUN...(that wasn't working)...but i ate crickets.  not on the top of my most delicious list.  I had a fun time though, puebla is a beautiful place.

my birthday is in less than a month, and i am super excited for dia del muerto!  i really love it here, and will be so sad to leave everything behind.  i can only live for the moment, and make the best out of it.  making memories in mexico is one of the best decisions i have made thus far. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Noticing People

When you have a 23 minute walk that you have to take everyday, you can't help but to notice things and people on the way.  For the past 4 and a half weeks I have been making the long trek to school at 8:40 every morning.  I have come to realize that I look forward to those familiar things and faces to get me to my desired destination.  This weekend while standing on a balcony in Puebla, Kaylie and I had a talk that kinda got me thinking.  We were talking about history, and how much of it really exists in the world.  Everyone has one, and everything on the earth for that matter, and I just couldn't help but think about the history that exists on the streets that I walk on.  For example:

-  I start out by passing a guy selling smoothies on the street parallel to mine.  He is always mixin' up something in his blender, which I am always tempted to stop and try one of those awesome smoothies, (cause I'm sure they are)  but if I did that with every vendor I see I might go broke. Oh wait a second, I already am.

-  I then pass a mom walking her little son to school.

-  A dad and a daughter of about 3 walk by as well.  The little girl is adorable, and talks a million miles a minute.  :)

-  The last family that I pass (I believe) is a grandmother, and a granddaughter.  This family I smile a little bigger at on my way.  One day while walking down the street I saw them walking arm in arm, and very happily the granddaughter gave her grandma a kiss on the temple.  The granddaughter has down-syndrome, and it warmed my heart to see her love for her grandma.  

-  I pass plenty of mechanic shops, one which belongs to my friend Daniel. (At least I think that is his name.)  It cracked me up one day, when I saw him on the sidewalk, on a motorcycle/moped shindig, with aviator sunglasses and a helmet the size of a watermelon on.  SO funny!  He was patiently waiting for his wife to come out of the house, as he wished me luck on the rest of my walk.

-  About half way through my walk, I run into the lady making breakfast at her stand.  Whatever she cooks smells super good, and I secretly wish that she would offer me some.  :p

-  I think the next is the worse part of my walk.  I pass a boy in an arcade store, who just stares when I walk by.  Kinda awkward.  I think he found a better hobby however, because lately the store has been locked up when I have walked by.  I mean, who really plays arcade games in the morning anyways?? 

-  The Zumba building is the most exciting building I will admit!  What is better than Zumba music to start your day?  There are about 20-30 people all crammed in there doing dance moves I could never dream of doing, but I know 2 people brave enough to try it.  :)

-  The guy running his dog with the blue and black Nikes on.  His dog is huge, and could probably swallow me whole.

-  And to end my walk, I walk into the school to see Flor, our helper, cleaning diligently and happily to make sure the school is clean before others start to arrive. I am always welcomed with a "Buenos Dias," and a smile. 

All within my 23 minute walk, I am able to see so many individuals who I do not know personally, but know that they; like me, have a history.  I am curious to know about all of them, and what brings them to stand in the same streets, and be in the same place at the same time as me.  I know that I am here to teach English to amazing children, but the journey isn't always that easy.  What are their stories?  I will never know the things that I want to know about these people, but I know that one person does.  It is kind of boggling to me that Heavenly Father knows everything about everyone, and how he will never forget a detail of it.  It makes me feel special.  Knowing that I am important with all the other people who have ever lived on the world really makes me grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who can help me;  all because he knows me.  Maybe one day, I will get to sit down with these individuals who I met in Mexico and talk about their footprints they left behind in the world. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

ALL My Children!!

I realize that I came to Mexico to teach English, and you're probably asking, "Well why haven't you blogged about the children and your awesome experiences teaching!?"  Well honestly, A LOT of it was so very enjoyable, but MOST of it was challenging.  I will also say that ALL of it was a blessing.  I taught at two schools, one at 9:25 in the morning, and one at 4 in the evening.  This blog post will be about my 9:25 class.  They are in the 1st grade, so about 6 or 7 years old.  

*September 19th-  On this night I had a dream that my head teacher came up to me that day, and told me, "There is no Discovery on Friday because it is Grandparents Day." I woke up kinda sad that it wasn't true...only to find out that it was true...weird experience if I do say so myself.  Well I love teaching, but a day off at Discovery is always welcome.  Why you ask?  Well I will tell you.  Right.  Now.

Our relationship went as follows:

September 20th-  Today was my third day of teaching at Discovery.  It seems to get harder and harder, and the children seem like they don't want to learn anything.  We made fishing poles, and played "You Caught a What?"  which was a huge hit in the states...here not so much.  One child thought it appropriate to take the fishing pole out of my hands, and tear it apart.  The same thing happened yesterday with the binoculars.  On the way to class one child yelled, "No me gusta Ingles!"  Which is, "I don't like English!" in Spanish.  I felt kinda pointless at that point.  If they don't like it, then they won't learn it right?  Is that why they choose to jump on the desks, hide under the desks, climb the bookshelf, and lay in the backpacks on the floor?  And it has to be why they mock you, make fun of you, make faces at you, stick their tongues out at you, and make ridiculous noises that disrupt the class?  What ever the reason I know that I need to do something different.  I find myself becoming angry, which makes me even more angry because I know I cannot do that anymore.  Teaching English is hard, but teaching English to children who have problems beyond what WE understand is even harder.

September 24th-  Last night I spent a whole 2 hours preparing materials to make our opening a little more interesting for the children.  I made a magic bag, to make our routine a little less predictable and exciting.  The kids had to draw a piece of paper out of the bag which had a sticker (Buzz Lightyear, a fish, a castle which was really a temple sticker :p) and other colorful stickers on them.  They then had to match the sticker to the chart I made, to see what we had to do next.  The children absolutely LOVE stickers here.  My plan worked for some of the children, and I am beyond happy with that.  Expecting all the children to become engaged would have been a horrible guesstimate, and one that I was not expecting to happen.  The children still saw it fit before our whole opening to get on top of the desks, and roar like dinosaurs.  One teacher who stepped in the room for a second told me, "Why!  They do have a lot of energy today!"  Woman, they have this kind of energy EVERY DAY!  So after our half successful opening, we started our maraca activity.  It went surprising well.  Overall, today was a success and am excited to see what the rest of this week has to offer.  :-)

September 25th-  Our opening exercises went much better!  I am not sure if this was due to the stern teacher who talked to them for a good 5 minutes before class about how the, "Classroom is NOT a playground," or if it was due to awesome teaching skills.  Whatever the reason I know it wasn't the last option!  I have 2 groups at discovery , and the last one is the more rowdy of the bunch.  However, today they did remarkably well.  The child that broke my binoculars, and my fishing pole gave me the most awesome hug today.  Two of them actually!  He didn't break my slingshot because he was really interested in shooting the target.  ;) I am so very proud of his improvement that I saw today.  One thing that I really admire about teaching is how unpredictable it is.  Some days go well, while others can go downhill faster than Jack and Jill got there.  It's what makes it fun.  I have found a new admiration for the children making me think on my toes.  They know how to make me a better person, than I could do by myself. 

October 1st-  Today was a Monday.  Enough said.

October 3rd-  As I am sitting here at night writing a dear friend, and telling him about my Discovery bunch, I realize that 2/3's of the things I said about them was positive.  I have an overwhelming feeling of love in my heart for them.  I must tell you what's on my mind with this certain unique group.  The first thing that comes to mind, is how giving they are.  Even though they may want everything, and anything you have in your bag for the day's activity, they are the most giving children I have ever seen.  After classes are out, it is time for the children to eat their lunch.  So I dismiss them, and they grab their lunches and go eat.  The cafeteria is outside, so I walk by the eating area to leave the school.  Almost everyday I leave, I am approached by children with chips, or whatever their mamas packed that day, and they offer the "teacher" some of it.  I never would turn down a chip, so this is especially awesome when you are starving yourself.  They also like to wave bye, and some of them even give you hugs before you leave.  They really are loving, and amazing in their own special way.  I also had a child offer me some money before he left class once.  This I am not entirely sure why, but the thought was super sweet!  He is just one loving, energetic child.  Today, two of the children got into a little pickle, and one boy started crying.  He put his head down on the table, while I explained to the other child that it is hurtful when we hit our friends.  While I was explaining this to him, one girl got up and gave the crying child a hug.  I was touched.  Needless to say, everyone left happy and friends again.  This is why I love children.  They are so forgiving, and giving.  One day, I would like to be just like them.  :)

October 6-  Today was Miss Amanda's last day!!  How sad we were to see her leave!  Every 6 weeks we change schedules, and her 6 weeks was unfortunately up.  She taught those children amazing things, and I know that they will miss her and her spirit.  As a surprise, I had my class make her "I will miss you cards," and they just did so well.  I really, really, REALLY enjoyed teaching them today.  Little Emir stayed awake, and asked for all of his materials, and Alejandro wrote a whole poem to Miss Amanda.  That was a miracle in and of itself!!  :p  It amazes me how caring children are, and how willing they are to do things for others.  When we were finished with the cards, we went next door and made a circle around it.  It was really cute because I told them it was a surprise, so they tiptoed all the way to the door.  I didn't think they had such abilities as tiptoeing!  They were really quiet too, which was really weird considering I have never heard them quiet without feeling like pulling teeth.  When we got to the door, I told them to yell surprise when I opened it, and they did!  I think it was a surprise for sure, Miss Amanda sure deserved it!

                                                                 They gave her hugs :)

                                                                  And their cards :)

                                                        And she gave them cookies!!
(I never really thought that I would see them stand in such a straight line before. :p...also the orange things on their heads are crowns that Amanda made with her group.  The tape on their noses was of their own doings, so I promise they're not all broken. ;p)

It is really crazy to think that my time with these young ones is coming to a close as well.  I only have 3 more weeks...and I am already sad!  I will do my best to continue to teach these wonderful spirits, and give them as much knowledge as a teacher can.  I feel they have already grown in their unique ways, and have learned some English too!  :)  As I was reading back to the first post that I wrote, I wrote that a day off at Discovery was always welcome.  While this is still true, the reason for it has changed.  I love teaching these children, and will continue to do so as long as needed, whenever I am needed.  These children will always be my children, no matter how far away in the world I may be. 

These are the only pics I have taken of them thus far...I will get more I can promise you that!!!

Cause' cookies are soooo good!!  :)

We love them a lot!!


Not a broken nose! :)

They may look like they just got out of the hospital, but it was far from it.  :D

3 weeks down, 3 weeks amazing more to go!!!  ;D ;D

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Oaxacan Experience

One thing that people know Mormons for is, "Them temples!"  I had the opportunity to go to the temple in Oaxaca, and be blessed beyond what I ever could have imagined.  Many people want to know what the temple is, so if you are curious I will go ahead and give you the scoop in the best way that I can.

If you don't know what a temple is, you should first know A.)  It's a place....and it's on earth.  :P  If you have never seen one, then this is what the one I went to this weekend looked like.

Beautiful right!?  Now, B) Not every temple looks the same...some look like this:

Salt Lake City Temple

                                                                    San Diego Temple

Rexburg, ID Temple

                                                                   Nauvoo, IL Temple

In my opinion, all of them are gorgeous and it is on my bucket list to visit all of them...in the U.S. that is!  I have been in the Tennessee, Nashville Temple, the Rexburg, ID Temple, and the Oaxaca Temple.  That means only 76 more to go.  :) 

So now that you know what they look like, you may be wondering what they look like on the inside.  Well many people think that it is only for Latter-Day Saints to see the inside, and this is partially correct.  EVERY time a new temple is built, there is what we call an open house.  This is where anyone, member or not, can tour the temple before it is dedicated.  So if ya wanna see one,  Arizona has 2, Colorado has 1, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming also all have one either announced, or under construction as we speak.  http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/maps/  Check it out! 

If you don't live near any of those places then this is a good website to visit:  https://www.lds.org/church/temples/why-we-build-temples/inside-the-temple?lang=eng

Even more beautiful right!  Now I love the temple with all of my heart, and I am glad that it is a sacred thing that I can keep in my life.  Do notice that I said sacred, not secret.  It isn't a secret, simply sacred.  When a temple is dedicated, then only worthy members are allowed in to do the ordinances that Heavenly Father has prepared for us.

Every member has to have a recommend upon entering the temple.  To get a temple recommend we meet with our bishop and talk to him, and answer questions pertaining to faith, and the keeping of the commandments.  Honestly, if ya really wanna know everything about the temple, you should get baptized and check it out for yourself.  Just read the Book of Mormon, I promise you won't be disappointed!  :)

Side note:  You know the Disney princess stories where they live happily ever after, and there is always that picture in the background of a beautiful castle.  Now, this is what I am sure what getting married in the temple feels like.  Yes, I know you are already princes, and princesses, but you need proof right...this is your chance brothas and sistas.  :)


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