Saturday, July 17, 2010

Since I've Been Home

Well, I've been putting off and putting off this whole "blog" thing... mainly because I felt like I had so much to update that I'd never be able to and it was just way too overwhelming. So I was looking at a friend's blog today and it made me want to actually use my blog... here goes nothing... In order to decrease the overwhelmingness, I decided that I would put up a post each Sunday about some great thing from my mission, or since I've been home if I feel so inclined. We'll see how that goes, but it seems much more manageable.

Since I hate catch-ups, I'll just put pictures of what's been going on in my life since I've been home with short explanations and then if I ever decide to elaborate more, I'll do it later. There I go...procrastinating from the get-go.

Yesterday, I went to my missionary trainer's wedding reception. Sister Nielsen is now Rachel Holland. It's crazy - especially since she's only been home three months more than me. They were set up on a blind date...apparently they work sometimes! I'm so happy for her - she was the best trainer I could have asked for and was such an amazing missionary and she deserves all the happiness in the world. I'm just so glad to know her! I also got to see a few mission friends for the first time - it was fabulous!
Me, Whitney Soper, Rachel Nielsen Holland, Travis Holland, Chase Terry
Add in Shalane Titmus. Not gonna lie, it was strange actually being able to put my arm around Elder Terry...

Last week I left the great state of Texas to come back to Utah to be trained in my dream job, then finish up school in the fall. For the first time in at least 8 years, we had my whole family on vacation together! It was great. Plus we got to add in cousin Katrina who is probably the funniest person I've been around since I left Florida. We went to Yellowstone to get a picture in our traditional spot...on the side of a mountain. It was great, but according to Sarah and Becca NEVER happening again...
Me, Andie, Becca, Sarah, Katrina, Michael and Tobbie

July 3, 2010 - one of my top ten days EVER (maybe...), I went to see WICKED! It was life changing, I laughed, I cried, I didn't want it to end. It was absolutely amazing and I can now die happy and fulfilled. I'm pretty sure I could watch Wicked everyday and never get sick of it. There just aren't words to describe my love....

Oh yeah...

Me all gussied up for the theater...somehow my hair curls now...don't ask me how...

So, Twilight came out just a few weeks after I left on my mission. It was the saddest thing! Becca, Sarah and I LOVE the books and we were all quite sad I wasn't there for the midnight showing of it...or New Moon for that matter. Tragic. Despite the fact that it was a terrible movie and I knew it would be, Twilight was the first movie I watched when I got home. Needless to say, there was no way I would miss the midnight showing of Eclipse. It was super sad that Sarah couldn't come cause her job is ridiculous and she was working til 2 that morning. But, I got to go with Becca and we had a great time! I'm pretty sure the highlight of the whole ordeal was getting to see the trailer for the next Narnia movie! Can't wait til December!

I seem to have gotten old... I turned 23. I don't know how I feel about that...but then I remember that Sarah and Becca are both older than me and I feel a bit better! We celebrated all three of our birthdays together as usual (our birthdays are within 12 days of each other...). We had a great time! Minus the whole getting old part...
Becca, me and Sarah at Carino's
Monkey face!!

We had a tragic death in the family... our Pecan tree that has been there for over a hundred years got cut down. It was 90% dead from some stupid nasty bug and with hurricane season here, we didn't want to risk it falling on our house. So, we said goodbye to the one source of shade in our front yard.

One of my best friends got married! Brooke Kerby became Brooke Fowers. I got to go to San Diego to be there with her. I was so excited to see the beautiful San Diego Temple, but I was surprised to see it completely covered in scaffolding! So, Cinderella's Temple didn't look quite as beautiful as I'd hoped, but the bride more than made up for it! Brooke was BEAUTIFUL and I was SO glad to get to share that day with her. I got to get to know her family also, and the were awesome. Such a great vacation!

Sarah gave me the best gift EVER for my homecoming...a CRUISE! We left from Jacksonville after our mission tour, and went to Key West and the Bahamas. It was definitely a learning experience (I will NEVER go Carnival again. And who knew? everything in the Bahamas closes at 6) but we had such an amazing time! I am blessed to have the two best sisters EVER and the only thing that would have made that trip better was if Becca could have come. Too bad she gets motion sick.
Sarah and I dressed up for formal night the Bahamas! Coolest thing EVER! once I retrained myself to breathe under water...that was a weird experience for sure!

Sarah and I on the cruise boat!

As before mentioned, I visited Jacksonville a month after getting home. Mom and Sarah came with me. It was fabulous and made me even more mission-sick than I already was. I had such a good time seeing my converts, all my friends in the wards I served in and some of the missionaries I served with. I miss my mission WAY more than I thought was possible. It was the best, hardest, most amazing, most tiring, most rewarding thing I've ever done. Why do sisters only get 18 months?
Mom, President and Sister Newman and I. Be listening for Russell Newman being called as a General Authority in General Conference in the near future...he is amazing and the best thing that ever happened to Jacksonville and quite possibly my favorite person in the world.

Oh how I miss my name tag... Here's me with some of the missionaries I served with. Elder Birch from the MTC, Elder Williams from Mandarin and my Zone Leader in Orange Park, Elder Clark - one of my District Leaders in Lake Butler, Sister Safley from the MTC and my last companion, Elder Wilkey and Elder Ferrin - both in my Orange Park district and with me at the end.

So there you have it...all the major happenings since I've been home. It's been weird. A huge part of me just wants to go back to Jacksonville and be a missionary. But it has been great being home. I'm looking forward to the next stages of my life. Who knows what the next few months and years will bring, but I'm ready for whatever comes!


chrissy said...

Lovie!!! I've been waiting for you to do something with this :) It's so good to see your picture and stuff. Let me know when you're in the neighborhood, 'kay? It's really no big deal for me to come up to Provo or wherever to see you ^_^

Ashley said...

oh my gosh!! welcome home rachel!! i didn't know brooke got marrried?! Crazy! Im so excited to keep updated on you now that you are home! good luck with your last semester of school!!

Rachel said...

Yea! I love all the pictures and you look smoking in that red dress!

Lindsay said...

welcome back rachel!!!!!!!!! You look gorgeous and WOW you have been busy!! I didn't know brooke got married, how exciting!