Thanksgiving Day was exciting and relaxing. Jessie, Emily, John, Sarah, and I made the traditional chocolate turkies and later that night we decorated the downstairs tree. Dinner was of course delicious and the rolls were my favorite part! Usually on Thanksgiving we all go around the table and say what we're thankful for, but this year (per Jessie's suggestion), we did it alphabet style. This way we still went around the table, but we had to say something we're thankful for that corresponded to the next letter in the alphabet. (Emily said Arthur the Aardvark, when it was my turn it was on D and I said dentists). We went around the table a few times and got through the alphabet twice, making for a fun and thought provoking meal!
The next night I got together with a bunch of high school friends and we had a game night, reliving the old days when we all lived close together. I got there at 6 and then we just hung out for an hour and a half talking and laughing and catching up with everything. Then we played Scattergories (one of my most favorite games), ordered pizza, and finished up the night with a fast-paced game of Nerdz (which Rachelle and I totally won by the way ;) ) The best part was just being able to slip back into the fun groove with friends and coming back together after everyone being gone for three months.
I wasn't too stoked to return to school, but something I noticed more this time than the last time I went home, was that I found it really easy to slip back into life here in Provo. I was of course sad to leave home again after being there for the holiday, but I will be back in just a few weeks for Christmas (ah! can you believe it!) Also, (I think I've said this before but I will reiterate), my life in Denver and my life here are almost completely separate, so it's really easy to slip in and out of them without seeing traces of the other. Even though I like home better, college is way fun and I think that because at BYU there's so few things to remind me of everything going on at home, it's easier to jump right back in.
I definitely have a lot to do over the next few weeks, but I do know these weeks leading up to Christmas are going to be fun! There are decorations everywhere on campus (isn't it cool that at BYU they can put up Christmas trees in the middle of Brigham Square and in every building and not get told off for "not being PC"?) and I have some fun plans with my friends here. Next weekend our ward is going up to Salt Lake and we're going to see the Joseph Smith movie. I'm way excited because first of all, I haven't seen the movie yet and second, I get to see Temple Square at Christmastime with all the pretty lights and decorations! I definitely think the rest of the semester will be fun, despite papers, tests, projects, and finals--I'll make it all work out!
*I was way excited to post pictures, but Blogger isn't allowing it--I'll try and post them later*
- Vocal Point interview: Awesome!! I spoke with three members and they were really nice in addition to giving me some really good material for my paper. The paper is finished and I think it's a good one! (If all goes to plan I'll have a date with Vocal Point before Christmas--not an individual in Vocal Point, but Vocal Point as a whole (Timm's idea)
- Weekend happenings: Institute Dance in Orem last Friday (not yesterday, but the Friday before that), Budge hall football game, lunch at Brick Oven, field trip to Little Foxes play with English class
- This week: homework, homework, and more homework, Pilgrim and Indian ward dance on Wednesday, VOCAL POINT CONCERT THURSDAY!! (which was awesome by the way--they performed Earth, Wind, and Fire's "September" and "Thriller!"--total score)
Now for my return home: I was fortunate enough to catch a ride with Mark, who said he was leaving the Friday or Saturday before Thanksgiving which is fantastic, because that means I get a whole week home! We left this morning and made good time, driving into Denver a little before 3:00. I went to the kids' piano recital and then Mom, Sarah,Linda Jibson (mom's good friend), Rachelle, and I went to the Young Ambassadors performance in Longmont--it was really good! I thought it was funny that I left BYU, so BYU came to me!
Well, I look forward to a week of friends, family, and gratitude--I'm so excited to finally be home and this time for more than 36 hours!
I think this was an excellent choice of topic (it was also based off of one of Elder Holland's more recent conference talks) because it hit at the core of some things. Now I'm not a wayward child by any means, but moving away from home compels you to reevaluate yourself and what is really important. You change, even over the course of a couple of months, and fortunately in my case, my changes are good and deal more with how I think about things and how I react to different situations, but some people have a hard adjustment. For most, if not all, of us in Relief Society, this is our first time living away from home and I can see how it would be traumatizing if you didn't already have a strong sense of self. This lesson helped me re-realize who I am and what is really important.
The lesson concluded with those few girls standing and telling how they knew they are daughters of God and I was prompted to write down how I know. Sometimes life gets clouded with things ranging from family to school to friends to boys to church and it's easy to lose sight of who you really are; in moments like those, I think it's important to have some hard evidence of what you know. So here it goes . . .
I know I am a daughter of God because I've never doubted it. I know that sounds almost contradictory because you read and hear stories about girls who have gone astray, but then in a moment of revelation realize who they really are. For me it's that peace that has always reminded of who I am. I was taught since infancy that I'm a child of God and while it would have been easy to let that slide off, I internalized and made it a part of my identity. I've relied on that definition of myself and I allow it to encompass my personality, my acts, and my thoughts. Placing a strong faith in that identity has never let me down--I've never been disappointed when I trust in that knowledge. The fact that I'm a daughter of God is reinforced on occasion as well; sometimes out of the blue, I'll hear a song or read a passage out of a book or hear a piece of music that stikes me to the core, testifying of my divine heritage and potential.
I know I'm a daughter of God because I've felt His Spirit play a major role in my life. In my life, I've seen the Holy Ghost work as Comforter, as Guide, as Testifier, as Protector, and in each instance manifesting to me of God's love. Sometimes I let go a little; I don't study my scriptures as I should, don't read my patriarchal blessing as often, don't have fervent prayers like I should and I feel and notice the difference. The Holy Ghost has the ability to be a part of every aspect of my life and it's up to me whether I allow it. Sometimes it's hard to have a staunch faith in something you can't see or hear, but feel. It's hard sometimes to put all your trust solely in impressions, but it's never let me down.
Here are some reasons why I know Heavenly Father knows and loves me as Charlotte:
- He sent me to a time with indoor plumbing and dentists
- He sent me to earth when the full Gospel was restored and where I can enjoy the blessings of the Priesthood.
- I have a father who is a worthy Priesthood holder.
- I learned how to drive a stick without too many mishaps.
- I could come out to school where I already have family upon whom I can trust.
- I have constant, unwavering friends
- There is the Internet
- I currently live so close to a temple.
- I have a close relationship with my siblings.
- I have parents who never let me forget how much they love me.
- He sent me to a time when there's Clorox bleach and Swiffer dusters
- I was born in a free country where I have innumerable opportunities
- I have access to millions of books
- I have a close relationship with my family
- There are phones, texting, email, blogs, and snail mail all open for communication
- The Atonement allows me the opportunty and ability to return to Him
These are just a few of my thoughts of late. I'm so glad I know who I am and why I'm here. I'm so glad I've never doubted and that I've never been disappointed in trusting in the knowledge that I'm a daughter of God.
So last night, me and a couple of girls from my sociology class went to the Vocal Point concert in Springville and it was so much fun! I'm a die hard Vocal Point fan (fan really meaning obsessive, freakish, stalker-like fan) and when Melissa emailed me about this concert I knew I had to go!! It was so good--Vocal Point is AWESOME! For those of you who don't know, Vocal Point is BYU's top male a cappella group and besides the fact they're ridiculously good looking, they also sing amazingly--score for that combination :) Here's another exciting bit of information: so for my writing class we have to write a community profile research paper where we have to research something specific to BYU or Utah Valley and last Wednesday, the light bulb came on in my head and I thought: VOCAL POINT!!! I have an interview next week where I get to sit in on a part of their rehearsal--so cool!
So here's some pictures from Saturday:
Camille, Andrea, and me waiting outside the theater (Camille is in my French and sociology class and Andrea is her roommate who's also in sociology with me)
We went to Cold Stone after the concert--yum!!
This picutres needs a bit of an explanation. :) Okay, so before we got to see Vocal Point perform we had to sit through an hour of Shaun Barrowes, a jazz pianst and singer who has talent, but nothing original. He equated himself with Frank Sinatra and Harry Connick Jr., both comparisons setting him up for even more lameness. So he performed a whole hour of music (the best part being the cute bongo drummer accompanying him) and after he finished there was applause and a little cheering, but no standing ovation and here's the topper for Shaun Barrowes: he gave himself an encore. Yes, you read right. He gave himself his own encore. As the applause died down, he came back out on the stage and said "you want another one?" Good grief. However, when Vocal Point came on, it made Mr. Barrowes look even more lame when they only performed half an hour of music and received two encores complete with two standing ovations. I mean seriously, it is hard to figure out which act was the preferred? Yeah, I know. This picture anyway, is our reaction to Shaun Barrowes after his self-granted encore.
So that's my exciting weekend and I have an exciting Vocal Point filled week ahead--I'll update on my interview! I'm SO excited!!