Monday, November 18, 2013

Awesome Links!!

This is my last blog where I am actually on! I am now turning this over to my dad. He will keep it updated with pictures and my letters.
I was set apart as a missionary last night and I leave in a few hours for Provo!! Then I report to the MTC on Wednesday. I cannot wait. Tokyo, Japan here I come!

Here are a few fun links I had saved for a post. But, I never had time to actually make the post. I found these and thought they were great so I had to share!
Plan of salvation chart!

Missionary Music!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Accessories Part II

Things have been really crazy lately! I'm in the final week before I report to the MTC and I feel like I have no time for anything. It's rough. Especially, when I think about my brother who had a few leisure months before he reported. But I promise I am not complaining! I just wish there were more hours in the day.
Because I have had zero time to do anything, I haven't been able to post anything. And because I don't have much time left I'm going to post only the important stuff for accessories. No detailed inventory of where I got my scarves, belts and boot socks...just a quick run down. Sorry!

So, let's talk about the most important thing...SHOES! I refuse to wear those ugly-stereotypical-sister-missionary shoes. Refuse I say! But in so doing I made life a whole lot harder for myself and have also come to the conclusion that sister missionaries who wear these ugly shoes are not tasteless, but smart. They probably saved countless hours not looking on the internet, or taking multiple trips out to stores. So hopefully I can save you a few hours by showing you what I got, and you can learn from my mistakes too.

For everyday shoes I got three pairs. Two of which are from Land's end (my new favorite store).  I bought a pair of black venetian flats and a pair of tan loafers. (Land's end has flash shoe sales too. I'd sign up for their emails so you get alerted. Then you can do what I did and get shoes for 40% off.) The third pair is from Clarks; wingtips!!! These are now on sale too. They weren't when I got them... I love all three of these pairs of shoes. They all have soles with support and are super comfy. Just a warning with loafers- you NEED to break them in. I've owned 3 or 4 pairs and they are always a little uncomfortable at first and I always get blisters. After a week or so of wearing them they are usually broken in and I never get blisters again! You want to make sure you do this BEFORE you are out on your mission. Especially, if you are in a walking or biking area.


 For the winter I got riding boots. I just can't bring myself to wear those boots that lace up and are furry at the top. Blah. So, I decided to go for a nice pair of riding boots. Boy did that turn out to be an ordeal! I did lots of research and found, what I thought was going to be, the perfect pair. They were timberlands. Waterproof, with a tread on the bottom, leather, cute zipper and buckle details...they sound perfect right? Well, I ordered them and got them a few days later. I was sooo excited to try them on! I took them out of their box and slipped one onto my foot. It felt a little roomy but I didn't think anything of it and continued to put the second one on. As, I tried to walk around in them I tripped! They were humongous!! My dad tried to say that was fine, with socks they would fit. Well, with socks they didn't fit any better. My Mom, whose feet are bigger(possibly more than a size) than mine , tried them on. They were big on her too! I decided just to keep them. But I shunned them. I couldn't bare to look at them. Or wear them for that matter. Finally, I decided I had to return them and I had the hardest time with that (beware of Heart &Sole on Amazon...that's all I'm saying). By the time I got them to take them back the smaller size I needed was gone! I tried ordering them from another company and they ended up being out of stock. So, I took it as a sign and found a new pair of boots. I love these! They are great. They are also Timberland. Waterproof, leather, tread, and special insulation to keep your feet warm. And, for all you environmentally conscious folk out there they are made out of renewable, organic and recycled material. AND, if you order now you can get 30% off with the code 30SHOES1. And if you have riding boots you can't wear them without boot socks!!! My favorite brands are Vera Wang and Apt.9. Both can be found at Kohls and both are usually on some sort of sale. Here are some just to give you an idea. There are way more options in the store. Knee- highs are great but I also love buying over- the- knee socks and then scrunching them at the top of the boot. It looks cute!

Originally I wasn't planning on getting rain boots. Then, I decided I would just get them in the field. After that I realized that even though a size 8 may be the norm here it is NOT over in Japan. So, I ended up with rain boots. I did a little research (mostly on the Hunters webpage and one google search of "fold-able rain boots") and I came up with the Hunter Packable tour rain boot. The claimed this boot could roll up but still gave good support...I didn't really believe it...but, being on a time crunch and all I ordered them (you can find them here with free shipping or here with a few more color options...and free shipping as well... that I just noticed). I got the classic yellow color. Which actually is a little darker than I thought it would be. I got my boots today! They are amazing! They roll right up! It's great. They just take up a little more than the size of their sole. It is fantastic. Almost too good to be true. But thankfully is true!

Now for scarves and belts real quick. I got most of my belts from Forever21 and JCpenney. I got this belt in 3 or 4 different colors. They are great. And, I only paid a few dollars for each one. I'm pretty sure they get a new and improved style each season so check the clearance area of your JCPenney to find these belts for super cheap. I have a few thin braided "leather" belts from Forever21 and H&M as well. I couldn't find any online. But I'm sure if you went in to either of those stores you could easily find a few of those belts.
Scarves are my favorite accessory. And it is kind of killing me not to have a picture of my beautiful scarves for you! I pretty much feel naked if I don't have a scarf on (regardless of the temperature). It is the greatest finishing touch on any outfit. My two favorite places to find scarves are Forever21 and H&M. They are big and voluminous. Simply wonderful. I also really love these. I have quite a few colors. I'm bringing my light pink and cream with me. Then I am bringing an older version of this H&M scarf with me and from Forever21 a few of these for the winter, this mint one, this black and white polka dot one, as well as older versions of this and this. Again, sorry for the lack of pictures or detail.

Well that is it for now. Hopefully this was some help...despite the lack of pictures.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

'Cus I'm Going to the Temple

Well, today was a crazy day! And I really wanted to share. I feel so lucky and blessed.
This weekend I am watching a family's two youngest kids while they are out of town. It's super fun. Today we woke up and it was decided that pancakes should be made for breakfast. While I was struggling to make said pancakes (me + any pan that isn't teflon = a big fat mess) I missed a call from my mother. I called her back to see what she needed. She was a bit distressed over the fact that our temple closes today for cleaning and doesn't open up again until after I will be in Utah. I haven't gone through the temple you can see the problem! I didn't know what she wanted me to do! I had kids that needed to be watched. I couldn't just leave them and run off to the temple. And I reaaally didn't want to leave them to someone else to watch. But, I had two options. Go to the temple today with my family OR go alone in Utah. Of course I chose option one! It's crazy how Heavenly Father helps things to fall right into place. My mother called the temple to see if I'd be able to go today. They said I could. I called an amazing Sister in from my home ward and asked if she could watch the kids. She could! So, I went to the temple today!
Heavenly Father knew what he was doing. After the kid's parents left, their dad came back in and told me that if I needed to have someone else watch the kids I could- do whatever I needed. I thought that was so strange. Why would I have someone else watch the kids if I'm suppose to be. Boy was he inspired!! This was on Wednesday. Temples were totally not on my mind. And going to the temple while I was watching someone else's children was not on the agenda. But, it turned out I needed to go today! And it was wonderful. I'm so grateful that I have been living in a way that allowed me to be able to go. Makes me think of the parable of the 10 virgins!  I was also a little apprehensive about going. I think Heavenly Father knew this. So, instead of me putting off going again and again, I had the need to go thrust upon me. There was no way I could get out of it this time. And I think He knew that was exactly what I needed to happen! To anyone who is preparing to go- don't worry! There is nothing you need to worry about. Chances are you will be going with people who love you and support you. And, even though you may not know anyone else there, they are all so excited for you too!

 I think it might be tradition to take a picture after going through the temple. Sadly, I don't have an actual picture from today. It was rainy and gross out. But here is the Palmyra temple! And I'm in there too.

For anyone who isn't LDS (Latter-day Saint) let me explain a couple of things. I'm you might be reading this and scratchy your head. Let me explain a few things:
First; Temples. When most people think of temples Buddhist temples or chanting and prayers pop into our minds. Right? Well, LDS temples are a little different. We have 140 temples worldwide and 29 more being built or about to be built. Only worthy members (someone who is keeping the commandments and has a testimony of the gospel) of our church are allowed to enter. And that isn't because we are trying to hide anything. You can learn all about temples right here and even see what some temples look like on the inside. In the temple we participate in activities (we call them ordinances) that we consider sacred. Because what takes place in the temple is special to us, and very important not everyone can come in. What I keep referring to as "going through the temple" is one of those ordinances. It is called the endowment. "The word endowenment means "gift" or "bestowal." As part of this ordinance, we are taight about the purpose of life, mission and Atonement of Jesus Christ, and Heavenly's Father's Plan for His children. We gain a glimpse of what it will be like to live in His presence as we feel the peaceful atmosphere of the temple." (I got that from here)  Another ordinances is sealings. Sealings are temple marriages. Husbands and wives can be sealed together and children can be sealed to their parents. This means that we can be a family forever. No "until death do you part." Who doesn't want that?? Baptisms for the dead is another ordinance that we do in the temple. Don't worry we do not baptize dead people! We believe that being baptized is a saving ordinance and something you can only do with a body. So, we are baptized in place/ or for those who have already died. Then, those up in heaven have the opportunity to accept the ordinance that has been performed for them.
Just because I love infographs... here is one comparing temples to one of our regular church buildings (or chapels as we call them). It tells a little about each too!