life is beautiful! isn't it great to be alive??
i feel so content about life right now, and this really seems like a new sensation. i just feel at peace and like i have this whole new outlook on life, competition and unneeded stress or worry eliminated. i feel so much more laid back about life than i ever did before the mission. i'm not sure how this happened, but i feel happy. i don't want to get too comfortable, but i am just enjoying every day and basking in all the blessings and beauties around me.
i feel like i am, in good part, taking the advice of my mission president, who said that i needed to slow down when i got home. i've been going full-speed on so many intense things for the last five years and now it's time to just breathe and figure out what god wants me to do with my life and how to best broaden and contribute. it feels real good to let my guard down a bit, but i also need to be careful, like i said, to not get too comfortable. the future is daunting and foreboding but lately i just feel like: "wahoo the world is my oyster and i kind of like the glorious unknown!" i know there is good ahead, i know i need to put effort into finding it, but also i just like life right now and i want to live it.
so this is an update on my adventures since moving down to provo, which finally feels so right. part of this paradigm shift i've been attempting to explain is a complete revolution in thinking about pictures. i don't worry about them anymore (anyone who knows me realizes this is big...)and it's such an interesting change of mindset. it feels good to just enjoy and not stress about documentation and i'm learning to find a balance. so, all these pictures i got from dani and i'll try to fill in the other stuff that i just didn't worry about snapping a picture of! :)
i have been getting to the temple every single week since i got home, and i have absolutely loved it. we are so blessed here to be close to so many temples and it has been fun to temple-hop. this is me and my beloved friends at the manti temple. the old man who took this picture has never handled a camera in his life, i'm pretty sure...gotta love it - sorry you can't really see the temple. but the manti temple is absolutely incredible!!! i loved it so much; it was one of my favourite sessions of all time. i have just loved being in the house of the lord with friends and family and by myself. it was a huge refuge for me right when i got back because it felt like the only place that felt like the mission - where i knew i was just where god wanted me to be. i love the temple.
the same day as the manti trip, we went to the hare krishna temple in spanish fork for "india fest." it was so so so neat, and it got sara, dani and i super excited about going to india in february. they even had fireworks at the end!
i have loved spending time in the canyon. here you see our sweet bike ride up provo canyon trail (i am so bad on a bike that i can't turn around for a picture...) and our truck adventure on the alpine loop. so much fun, and so so great to be in the mountains. when i am up there i just feel like exclaiming "and you're telling me there's not a god???" and "god is a genius!!" (in the words of one of the girls at work).
oh, and here is one more of us in the mountains! and i actually took this one myself! jane, sara and i had an adventure up american fork canyon and it was so so stinking beautiful! the serenity and prettiness of it all kind of got interrupted by dear hunters, but still! :)
we got to go to conference right at the conference centre and it was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. you come to appreciate conference so much as a missionary (it is like christmas!!). and being on temple square - people in the mission field would give an arm and leg to be there! it was so neat to be in that amazing room with thousands of good people listening to a living prophet. when we take the time to think about that we realize how extraordinary it really is! ah! it was wonderful!
a couple weekends ago, sara and dani and i took a quick trip down to kolob. it was divine!! we had such a fun time hiking, at the new harmony apple festival, seeing aida at tuachan, pillow fighting, roadtripping, and stopping by cedar canyon and cedar breaks on the way home. the weather was perfect and it was just wonderful in every way. i felt so alive and bubbly in these magnificently beautiful places.
and then, of course, there was halloween!
we went to odyssey dance theater's "thriller" at the covey centre here in provo and it was awesome. then we had a big halloween party here at our house (i was tinkerbell, as you can see) and on halloween day itself we had a jerusalem reunion/crepe party, then carved pumpkins on our front lawn, and party hopped at night (i was a witch, a very sparkly witch, as you can see).
here's one last picture - another one i took myself! :) it was my beloved friend catherine's birthday a couple days ago and it was so fun to spend time with some of my very best friends in the world. i love these people!!
we've been having bonfires on our back porch and enrichment parties at our house, i have taken a trip up to logan to see grandma and i've found my new favourite spot on the roof of our house which i can climb out to on gloriously sunny days like the last few. i loved celebrating dad's birthday by just watching the world series and the jazz game at snowy baliwood, work has been still challenging and still wonderful, i loved studying for and got a 94 on my religion exam (yeah!) and have been able to reunite and spend time with lots of people that i love so very dearly. the leaves are vibrant and exhilarating and i love riding my bike around the neighborhood, it is fun to giggle and cuddle with my awesome roommates, and there is so much good ahead!
life is so beautiful! isn't it so great to be alive?!?!