Friday, October 10, 2008

My Mission Home

Today marks two years home from the mission, some would call it my "mission home." Here are a few of the events that transpired during that monumental time:

Right before I left Nicaragua I was in a hotel with my parents who had come down to pick me up. They were trying to get to sleep in order to be ready for our 5:15am flight. I was a couple floors above them in Elder Hyde's room with him and Elder Shaeffer. We were reflecting upon the two years that we had just spent in the country that we not only loved, but that we were about to leave. It was a very emotional time filled with laughing and crying and some other things that can't be mentioned at this time. While we were sharing our experiences and growing more close to each other than ever before, the phone rang. We looked at eachother and then at the clock... 3:00am. After the second ring Elder Hyde asnwered with a quiet "Hello" and a slight pause, then he looked at me and held out the phone. I picked it up with what I'm sure was a very perplexed look and then with a quiet "Hello" I found that the person on the other end was my dad. He wasn't very happy with the fact that I wasn't back at the room, in fact, I would go as far to say that I was "in trouble." Can you believe it? I was 21 years old and just 4 days earlier my parents saw me for the first time in the two years that I was gone, you would think they would give me a little slack. I was told to get back to the room immediately. Without another word I hung up and went and did that which my father had commanded me. Obedience was at that time ingrained on my soul.

The next day came very quickly. All the missionaries that I would be going home with would be at the airport in Managua waiting, just like me, to board the plane and head home. You could feel the anxiety and nerves of all the other Elders who were feeling scared and excited all at the same time to be home. It wouldn't be more than 10 hours before I would be back in Las Vegas. But first, we had to stop in Miami. As I wondered around the airport in the city we knew as the front door to the U.S. (Miami) remembering what it was like to be on United States soil, tears came to my eyes as I witnessed the exchange of dollars at the Burger King. It was hard to believe that this world still existed, the world that I had left behind so long before. It was neat.

I left Miami after a couple hours of exploring. This is when I parted ways with the Elders that I had grown to love on the mission. It wouldn't be until the following April at General Conference that I would see them again.

Las Vegas came into view around 3:00pm of that same day. My eyes widened and my gaze couldn't be broken from this city of sin that I knew as home. I sat silently in my seat during the landing and I slowly got off the plane with thoughts of seeing my friends and family again. It was on the escalator when I first met everyone's eyes looking at me with the biggest smiles never before seen, as if they were genuinely glad to see me... I was home.

The next couple of weeks were filled with confusion and depression. I didn't like being so free, free to do whatever I wanted. I could wake up whenever I wanted and go places by myself. It was weird. It took several months to really feel comfortable in "the world," but it happened. Now, I am two years away from those days. In writing this post I have realized a few things, but the thing that has really hit me the hardest is knowing that in the last two years I have wasted more time than any other time in my entire life. The last two years have been filled with some of the dumbest things ever! Hopefully the next two years will be more fulfilling, right? Ha ha!

Anyways, Happy Anniversary all you missionaries that came home with me! Shout out to MTC District 52a!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

23 And Still Single...You Should Try It, It's fun!

Yesterday was my birthday. I am now 23 years old. Weeee!! Pretty crazy huh?

I went through some of my old journal entries to see what I was doing on past birthdays and came accross some pretty funny pages. If fact, I decided to share these pages with all who fall upon this page. As you will probably see, two of the three pages are from my mission. the other one was when I turned 12. I was going to put in the page from a year ago, but it was too embarrassing, so I didn't.

Kinda boring huh? I thought it was fun to see what was going on.

I was going to upload a picture of my 14th birthday party, but it wouldn't upload...sorry.

I did, however, find a picture where I am at a birthday gathering, I believe it is Audreys...I only say that because she looks way too happy for it to be someone else's. Also, the cake is right in front of her. I like this picture because it looks like I am smoking a marijuana cigarette.

Anyways, I threw a birthday party for myself. I bought some trick candles so that at least some part of my birthday had a surprise, even though I wasn't the one getting surprised. I called almost everyone I knew that was around and willing to come, I even called some people who were unwilling to come, I even didn't call some people that were willing to come...and did. The point is that I had some of my friends stop by for some cake and ice cream. My roommate (Nate) and I prepared (he baked it and I frosted it) the cake. The party wasn't anything spectacular, just a little something that I put together so that everyone who wanted to, could come over and let me know how much they love me, thats it. Here are some pictures:

Me with Lauren Rice and Shelby there in the back

A few peeps and the awesome cake
Nate in white, Shelby in blue, Mike in Red, and Leana in the Jeans
I'm making my wish

Anyways, I had a really good time and I am glad that I have friends that are so giving of there time to come over and celebrate such an uneventful occasion with me. 

Thanks to all that called, texted, facebook messaged, or however else you might have expressed your wishes to me. I love you all. Even you Dad...I know you were at least thinking about me, or does Mom do that for you too? ha ha, J/K.