Monday, March 24, 2014

Week one of the new area that's not so new!

Dear Weasley Family and Friends,
       I decided that I needed a life is hard quote to begin this email and these are some of my favorites...
    "Life is hard. Then you die. Then they throw dirt in your face. Then the worms eat you. Be grateful it happens in that order." - David Gerrold
    "When I hear somebody sigh, 'Life is hard,' I am always tempted to ask, 'Compared to what?" - Sydney J. Harris 
        I just laughed pretty hard after reading those which made me feel both witty and hopeful. I'm feeling all journalisty today which is probably why I just said witty. I guess we will see how this email goes. I was extremely excited to see that Shawn emailed me today. I was thinking this last week that it was about time, things were about bad enough that one should be popping up soon. I was actually thinking about asking for one. You see, I've re-read them a million times. I've read them to other missionaries. I love those letters. They always came when things were either really hard at the time or right before they were about to get harder. The last one came right before my first baptism date fell through. I remember reading it and being like "Well that's nice." and then the week actually started and everything hit the fan and I was clinging to that letter like it was my life vest. So, after this week I wasn't surprised to find a letter from Shawny Boo Boo, and thank goodness because I didn't have the guts to ask for one and I was running out of ideas for how to guilt trip him into it. Okay... now this is getting excessive. My point is, I'm grateful that prayers are answered, even if they are ones we haven't prayed.
     I would like to say that this week was just a normal week, but lots of new developments have taken place. I think I probably had about 8 full out crying break downs. Some even the Elders got to be involved in. TJ and I fought a lot because of the stress of her going and me staying. I think we were both just mad to be splitting up, but also mad that we both weren't leaving. When I say that this area has taken its toll on me, I'm not kidding. I'm not sure what its been about but Sister Pitts, TJ, and I have all been pretty much at our whits end by the time we left. I really thought that I was there the week before so when I found out I was staying I was kinda like..... wait... I don't think I can go down any further.... But I guess I can :) 
      TJ left Wednesday morning and that was traumatic in its self. It was like going back a year ago when we were on our way to our first area with our trainer and I got left at the train station and they didn't. I remember the doors closing and both of our faces just in shock. That's pretty much what happened this time too. We were late and so she basically had to jump on. We were saying our goodbyes and the doors slammed shut and I was just left standing there just as confused and lost as I was a year ago. Man, I love that girl. Serving with her for 4 1/2 months straight was the best thing for me. It's funny how you find your best friends among the hardest things you do. 
     SoJO (Søster Johnson) came in a few hours later. I wasn't super thrilled, you guys know me and change, but I was ready for hopefully a fresh start. I think in my head I just wanted all the problems and the things I had going on in Tønsberg to be swept away. Spoiler alert: when you move 30 minutes down the road and still go to the same branch and still go to Tønsberg everyday for appointments, you're not really moving. So we drove back home and we spent the WHOLE day moving apartments with the Elders. Man, that was weird. Elder Rushton and I sleep in each other's beds now... not okay. And we still call each other's apartments "your apartment". Which brings up the question... wait my apartment now or my old apartment? Super confusing. But we had to take like 4 trips back and forth. It was fun though. I always love being able to be around the Elders. They keep me sane. I tried to pretty much hide the fact that I was crying all day from SoJO. I took a long shower and just sat there in cried. Spoiler alert: this shower doesn't have a 4th wall so you can just lay down while the water runs. I mean... not that I've done that or anything... 
       I did good at hiding how hard a time I was having until the second day. I got through most of comp study and then ALMOST all the way to the end of Språk (Lang) study and then the water works came and I cried and I cried and I cried. Then I asked to if I could call TJ. So I called her and then I cried and I cried and I cried. And I gave TJ two options. I said TJ, this area is my own personal Liberty Jail. I am either going home or I am calling President. TJ in all her glory said "Well if this is your Liberty Jail, then I will be your Hyrum and follow you wherever you go. I don't want to go home yet, so you can't go home, so why don't you call President." So after getting myself under control I gave President a call. It pretty much sucked. I mean Pres was way nice about it and really understanding, but I just feel like I am not humble enough for these situations. I definitely was then though. I felt like I didn't have any other options. I told Pres that I had tried everything. I had fasted, I had gotten blessings, I had prayed, and read my scriptures, and I had been the perfect missionary, but nothing was making me happy. I asked him if I could talk to Sister Perry, the counselor that TJ talks to, and he said he would call her and get everything set up for me. 
        So now I'm talking to a counselor... yep! I have become that missionary. Actually I don't really know what kind of missionary that makes me, but I know of a lot of them that I really look up to in this mission that are in counseling so I figured I might as well join the band wagon. I talked to her on Friday and then again today. It pretty much hurts like heck because I hate talking about all that stuff, but I know that it's good for me. I just have to start doing what she says. She pretty much told me that I'm angry and resentful all the time. I said, no I am a lady. I'm not angry, I'm sad. I think you're confused. Then she said, No you are just passive and don't want to think that you are capable of those emotions so you cover it up with sadness, but really you're angry. So then I stopped talking and I decided to just listen. She is a smart lady. Do I like what she is saying? No, but that's probably because I want to be perfect in all things. Which brings us to another part of my problem... but let's not turn this into too much a journal entry. 
       So yes Family, I'm at my whits end and I realized that I can't do another 7 months like this. I can't even do another week like this. And so I decided that I had to do something to change and I didn't know what, so I thought it would be best to ask Sister Perry for help. I think that it will be good for me. You know, you go on a mission and you think that just everything will go away. It's all about other people, so if you pray, fast, read your scriptures, and get blessings enough, it will all be taken away and you will just magically be able to do all the things the Lord wants you to do. You don't realize that you came on your mission for you. That you can do all the things the Lord wants you to do, but sometimes that isn't to contact this person or teach that lesson, but to change you, to help you figure out your own salvation. Sometimes he puts us in our own personal jails because He knows that that's the only time we will listen, that's the only time we will change. And that's where I'm at. Sister Perry said that my mission is the biggest gift God could give to me so that I could finally learn to work through the things I have had going on. She said He is given you this so you finally have time and the place to be angry, and you have a lot you should be or should have been angry about. I guess I have a lot of thinking to do, and what better place to do it then here on a mish? Can't be taking that stuff into marriage! 
        But, I don't want you guys to freak out. I wanted to tell you all because I want you to be apart of my life, and well this is kinda big. Plus, you all knew that I've always been crazy, so are we surprised? Things are really hard for me, I won't lie, but I know its for a reason, and I know that this is just the next thing I need to become who I was always meant to be. So don't you guys worry. I'm not coming home and I'm not going slit my wrists. Those are two important things. #depressionjokes #callmeemo #cantpaintmynailsblackbecauseimamissionary 
        The cool thing is that God has placed SO many people around me to help me. SoJO is great with my emotioness and I think honestly she needs it. She has a lot of things she is trying to figure out and a lot she holds inside, and I think my outwardness will help her figure out all her inwardness. She actually struggles with a lot of the same things I do, so I think it will be good. Might kill her, but its only 5 more weeks! TJ still texts me every day. She doesn't care when I need to talk to her, she is always there. Elder Rushton for the win though. It's like having Brent here and he's been way good about helping me through all the craziness. Sometimes you just need a boy to listen to you and nod his head. Am I right? It doesn't change in the mish, that's before. You just now have boys all around you that have to listen, because if not they will be forever pegged as that Elder that was dismissive. #rumorsspreadfast #ruinschancesofdatingsistershere #becarefulwhatyoudoelders 
     I'm working really really REALLY hard on being grateful for things. I have started a book where I write down all the things I am grateful for. It doesn't matter if they repeat or if they are stupid. I start each morning with writing down everything that comes to mind and then as the day goes on I add more. It's been cool and I am trying to change my focus a bit. It's been going well so far. 
    Mosiah 24.... the Lord is with us and strengthens us in our burdens, but that doesn't mean that he just takes us out of them. I love that chapter.
     Bread and stones: Understanding the God We Pray to (best talk ever!)-
       Well I am going to get going! The boys are on their way down and we are off to see a whale museum and have some dinner. I hope that you are all doing well. Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers. I'm pretty sure the only reason I've made it this far is because of them! I love you guys! 

Keep it real. Keep it classy. And may the odds be ever in your favor! 


Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Dear Weasley Family and Friends,
         I'VE BEEN ON MY MISSION FOR 11 MONTHS!!!!!!!!! What the what?! And some how I have managed to not lose any weight. I blame the chocolate...and the members... and the ups and downs... and the food... and anything that I can blame it on other than the fact that I have no self control. I mean I thought about a diet. And then I got a package from Linsey with lots of candy it, and I said to myself... "I can start that diet I thought about ORRRR I can sit down and eat all of this right now. All of it." So I picked the obvious choice and I ate it. I have zero regrets. :)
          I am sure that you are all wondering where I'm headed.... the anticipation kills us all huh? Well I told you guys that I was 98% sure that I was headed out right? Well last week I was thinking about it and looking at a map and nothing was sticking out. I felt like I was leaving, but I didn't feel like I was going anywhere else. It was weird. So when the moves call came I wasn't surprised. I'm headed to Sandefjord. That probably sounds super cool and mysterious to yall, but its actually about 30 minutes from where I live now and in the same ward.. So basically what is happening is that Elder Rushton and Elder Griffin are taking over my AMAZING apartment, and I am moving into their tiny baby lame apartment. Good news though? I keep the car :) Or is it bad news? #crossreferencediets 
            So the next 24 hours is going to be moving back and forth between the me and the Elders. As soon as calls were over I got a text and the boys start putting me through the ringer on what my apartment has. Then I asked about the bed situation because some have bunk beds and others don't and they sent a text back telling me who slept in which bed and then asked which one I would be picking... Was this the best idea President? 
               Actually, I am really struggling with this moves a bit... I don't really get why I am opening a new sisters area that still in the same ward and still with the same elders. I wanted President to put in new blood. I started fasting Saturday night to have peace and reassurance about the moves call. I was already ansey to begin with because Sister Thurgood and I have been together here for so long. When I got off the moves call I was ticked. I don't doubt that the Lord wants me there and that its where I need to be, but I just don't want to do it... does that make sense? So after freaking out I tried to simmer myself down. I put my Ipod on shuffle and let God play DJ for which talks I should listen to. Talk #1. Where is thy pavilion? It was about how God never puts a pavilion in our way to separate us from Him but that we put our own pavilions up. It was about being humble and patient, and willing to follow him. Talk #2. Waiting upon the Lord. Well played, Heavenly Father, well played. I listened to several talks and they were all about how we don't see what Heavenly Father sees. He has a plan and he wants us to be happy, and so sometimes we have to do things that are hard or that we don't want to do because it will help us become who we need to be. It will help us go to a higher plan and change for the better. Now of course I'm a missionary so I'm good at knowing all these things. Does that mean that I am any less anxious about these next 6 weeks? Ummmm... no comment. But I am holding on to the hope that I am going to understand better why I am here and what I need to learn. I obviously haven't learned what I'm supposed to here otherwise I would be up in Alta with President closer to the missionaries in Rome than me. So its at least another 6 weeks in this "area" (because we are technically 2 separate areas, but they overlap and we all share stuff) and then I guess I am off to the next adventure. 
                 Oh, and my comp. I completely forgot about her! Sister Johnson will be joining me there as we blaze the trail of S-town together. She and I came out together from the MTC. She was comps with Sister Thurgood in the MTC. I'm keeping positive thoughts for our companionship, but you guys know how much I love change.... as in not at all! But every time, as much as I have hated it, it has always been what I needed. Not always what I wanted, but what I needed. So I have A LOT of humbling to do and A LOT of praying. I think that God is trying to tell me that I am stubborn and prideful... and that I need to listen to my leaders... Are these the same things that you have all told me all my life? Yes. Will I change? I hope so, otherwise I'm stuck in Sandefjord for the rest of forever!
    If you would like to send me something to make these next 6 weeks a little more fun this is where you would do it... 

                                         Thor Bryns Gata 7 #4302 
                                  3211 Sandefjord Norway 
       Oh and since I know that all of you are ever so crusious, TJ is headed West Coast to Stavanger!! She will be serving with Sister Roe who is like the only sister I would really trust her to, so I feel good about it. We both wanted her to go to Stavanger and we wanted her with Sister Roe, so yay!!! She is way excited! She has served her whole mission in an 1 1/2 hour radius, so I am glad that she is finally being able to branch out! It will be way good for her! We only cry like every other 20 minutes about leaving each other, but we've promised to call each other the rest of our missions. Only 7 months left!! EEEEEKKKK!! 
       Oh and I forgot the best part!!!!!! Sister Hilton is going to be in my district!! She trained me up in Trondheim!! I am so pumped. I'm kinda in a hard place and I really really REALLY need her, so I'm glad that she is going to be so close!! I will get to see her every week for district meeting! It will be great!! 
        So last week was a lot of visiting and last chance time with members and investigators. Torunn came down from Monday to Thursday which was awesome!! In Trondheim we did this thing called "In da club". We would basically pick a random chapter from the BOM and then everyone would read it and then we would discuss it together. It was awesome. We always did it in Norwegian so that they could help us out. Torunn has a crazy dialect. Mine is American-Trøndisk, but hers is back-woods-every-dialect-in-norway-slash-way-high-north-trøndisk. In Trondheim I could hardly understand anything she said. It was so cool to teach her again because I didn't miss a beat. I just got it all! Her dialect is my favorite so it was way cool to hear it so much! It was good for me to see her. Things had been really hard for awhile and we had a lot of time to just talk about everything. She served her mission here too, and we have a lot of the same experiences so its good for me. Love that girl! 
         The funniest thing happened this week. We were at a members house and she is a YSA so we decided after our lesson we wanted cookies. So TJ starts to make these cookies right? Well the flour was on the top of the cabinets and she had to jump to get it, but she couldn't reach it. I was busy talking so I was like "I'm not getting up..." and then BAM! the flour is falling and TJ is drenched in it. Hahaah I don't think I have ever laughed that hard. It was like 30 minutes later and I would remember what happened and just start laughing all over again. Man, am I going to miss that girl!!! 
        You guys.... my convert put his head on my shoulder during sacrament meeting yesterday.... yeah I'm going to have to have a DTR-this-is-not-okay conversation with him VERY soon! Or maybe I can convince the Elders to do it.... #dangit #youreinlovewiththespiritnotme #happenseverytime 
        What else happened this week.... hmmmm... PI DAY!! Last week was 3.14 day and as missionaries we look for ANY excuse to celebrate that we can!! We knew we were going to be in the Sandefjord area so we made a pie and took it down to meet up with the Elders after our teach. The problem was that there wasn't any seating around so we just ate our pie together in our car. It was super fun!! We really do love the Elders here! I hope Sister Johnson does too because we are with them a lot. Our areas and work just kinda cross paths often!
        Its been awhile sense I have had good Elders to talk about. Elder Griffin is from Cali but has moved a lot. He is a huge nerd! He is super weird and out there, but we love him. He is the best validater so when we are upset we talk to him. He basically makes you feel like you can be and do anything and he will be okay with it. Super funny and super great!! Elder Rushton is from this tiny town outside of Vernal, Utah. He's a fireman. I spent the first week making as many fire jokes as possible. My material is getting low though... He is basically a Brent. He is super witty and finds things that I hate and does them on purpose ie. saying mo%&t, walking into the kitchen where I'm cooking or cleaning and opening all the cabinets, making it as silent and awkward as possible... and many other things. To say that we have a blast together would be an understatement. I feel like I'm back with B living in our imaginary world! They are both way cool! 
         We saw our Swedish investigators for the last time yesterday! They weren't really going anywhere investigator wise, but we love them to death. Emma and Channette! They made us Tacos and we all exchanged presents. We made them quilts (I cut some things this time!) and they got us Friendship bracelets. They are super cute!! So talented too! They are both actresses and singers! We are going to miss them! 
         Quotes of the week...
   AR (elder Rushton) sent me this text earlier this week: 
     "Sometimes I feel like a dog. I don't really do a lot, just like follow people around, but every now and then I get to make someone happy. I just do what I'm told until someone thinks I should get a treat, ya know?"
    EG (Elder Griffin): "Violence isn't the answer, it's the question, and the answer is ALWAYS yes." 
     Everyone sounds like they are doing great!!! I love you all!! I will send pics after this :)
Keep it real. Keep it classy. And may the odds be ever in your favor!


Shout outs!!!
  Heather- HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Looks like we are both celebrating today!!! I am throughly sad that we aren't going to Winger's together, but we can get caught up on all of that food when I get back! #eatingthereforaweekstraight #americanbound #myhashtagsarecomingback #happybirthday I hope that you had an AWESOME week with the fam and that you got spoiled a little bit!! I love you!!! Happy Birthday again!! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Pie Day in Norway

Emma and her blanket! she loved it!


Elder Rushton and Elder Griffin on Pie day!

Friendship bracelets!

I love sunsets!! It means we actually saw the sun that day!!

Monday, March 10, 2014


Dear Weasley Family and Friends,
      Love is in the air... as in the love of Spring and the love of the sun shinning and the love of the gospel. Don't get too excited here. This last week was kinda a blur. They all have been like that recently, but we had an AWESOME Pday last week. We went out to some old Nazi camps and built a fire. I had roasted hot dogs for the first time. Elder Rushton was very sweet to make me 2 and was very set on me having a perfect one since I hadn't ever actually had roasted hot dogs. It was way good! We had all the Norwegian toppings on them. Sweet mustard sauce and potato salad with grilled onions :) YUMMY!! We had Smores too which was super good! They aren't quite like the Smores we have back at home because they don't have graham crackers and the chocolate doesn't melt the same, but they were still good! It was really fun! And the sun was out!! 
       This Pday we went to Verdensende. It was so cool and so beautiful. It is seriously one of the prettiest places I have been in Norway. I have lots of pics so I will make sure to send them after this email. We drove there and back with the windows down and the music up. Yeah, I think the missionaries are a little different out of the country. It was so nice! I think I've just been like blah about missionary life lately so it was nice to have a day to just go out and have some fun. The Elders here have bene life savers. They are super fun and super outgoing so we have a blast with them. Its been nice actually having Elders around that we get along with. Its been good!! 
       This week coming up is CRAZY! We are getting ready to head out. We are 100% that we are being white washed by elders so we are just trying to tie up loose ends. We have tons of goodbyes to make and lots of present to give out. Its a bunch of goodbye parties and quilting. Lots of quilting is going on because we are making some for some of the people in this area... Well... I should probably correct that... SISTER THURGOOD is making quilts. I am supporting from afar. A-very-far! Also the big news this week is.... drum roll please..... Torunn is coming to visit me!!!!!!!! Yep! I am so excited! She will be here in Tønsberg in about an hour!! Yay!!! So we will be doing lots of fun missionary things with her this week. Plus we have ZLT (Zone leader training) in Drammen, so we get to go there and then we are going to meet up with Pelle and have lunch! And Thursday is Pie day. You know... 3.14 so we will def be having a pie party! Can't pass that up!
         In other news my convert keeps kissing me on the check which is kinda weird but also exciting at the same time. Okay not really exciting. Being kissed as a missionary is weird and not my favorite situation. I would rather get the double arm pat or rub that I usually get. 
          Sorry that the emails have been so lame lately. I am just ready for a new area, and I will know where I am headed next Sunday! So that will be good :) I am praying that Sister McArthur and I will be serving back together again. That would be a dream come true! But other than that things are just treking along. I will have more to share next week!!! 
   I love you all!!
Keep it real. Keep it classy. And may the odds be ever in your favor! 

P.S. This is the worst email I have ever written. Here's to hoping that pictures make it up!! 

P.S.S. Shout outs!!!

Brylee- Happy birthday!!! I can't believe you are 5!!! I hope that Nana and your parents got you something really great! I love you!! 

 Any other birthdays I forgot I will talk about next week! I forgot my cute little calendar :)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

V-day party and "the kissing bench"

Home sweet home! Or nearly!

V-Day party pics. :) This is Weronika, one of our deaf investigators

Us with Weronika and Iza

Directions of how to roast marshmellows on the back of the package!

Us on top of some mountains by the Nazi forts.

Sometimes you got to get a little more dressed up as a sister Mish. Life can get boring!

The gang! elder Griftin, Elder Rushton, me, and TJ!!


This is what they call the "official kissing bench"! It cracked us all up. I mean you would think you could get a cozier bench than that!!!


Monday, March 3, 2014


Dear Weasley Family and Friends, 

      “Deep in the meadow, under the willow
a bed of grass, a soft green pillow 
lay down your head, and close your sleepy eyes
and when again they open, the sun will rise.
Hear it's safe, here it's warm 
hear the daisies guard you from every harm 
hear your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true 
hear is the place where I love you.
Deep in the meadow, hidden far away 
a clock of leaves, a moonbeam ray
forget your woes and let your troubles lay 
and when again it's morning, they'll wash away.
Hear it's safe, hears its' warm 
hear the daises guard you from every harm 
Hear your dreams are sweet and tomorrow bring them true 
hear is the place where I love you.” - The Hunger Games 

        Family!!! How is everyone doing? This won't be a long email because the Elders are headed over in about 40 minutes and then its off to verdensende (The End of the World). We are going to the end of the peninsulas that is around here and exploring the Nazi camps and then grilling out. The sun is finally out. Holy cow, you guys have no idea how crazy I am going! I can't stand it. I don't think I have ever been so depressed in my life. The worst thing? The weather in the North is gorgeous. Trondheim is all blue skies and sun! Ugh! It doesn't even rain or snow! It just sits there with heavy clouds and gray. Everything is gray. And it makes you feel like you are suffocating. Its just this gloomy disgusting weather that isn't even productive because it never turns into anything. I hate it. 
        To put it lightly, things aren't the best they have ever been in my whole mission. I actually feel like I am literally being held together by threads. Remind me guys to one day read to you this super depressing article I wrote. Hearing that Jen cried everyday in the shower her first few months in the mish doesn't surprise me. You have these really dark periods of the mish. You go for awhile and things are good and then you just... BAM! hit a wall and fall on your face. That's where TJ and I are this week. It probably has something to do with the weather, but to me everything is just gray. 
        We have transfers coming up on the 19th of March. TJ and I know for a fact that we are getting split up, and I am about 99% positive that I'm leaving Tønsberg. I have a lot of anxiety about it but also relief. This area has been SO emotionally hard for me. It has been exhausting having a comp that has been trying to figure out all of her emotions, not to mention just deal with the craziness of this area. I always start to think that I'm crazy and then I talk to President and he reassures me that this area is a special case. I love these people, but I think loving them so much is killing me. Does that make sense? So I'm a little broken right now. I'm always going to love this place because it has been so hard, but its made me into a completely different missionary. This is the place that I became the missionary I wanted to be, but I think that its all starting to wear on me. 
        TJ and I talk about how we feel all the time. We are super open with each other which is awesome. I guess its like that when you serve with one of your best friends. I was telling her this week that it was time for me to go somewhere else because I have stopped feeling. She was super confused. I told her that it doesn't matter what I'm doing I just feel numb. A few days later Sister McArthur, my MTC comp, called me. She is in a bad place too. Its funny because both of us had been thinking about the other a lot and thinking about serving together. When she called me it just pretty much sealed the deal for me. I want to serve with her so bad! She said "Sister Hodgkiss, I just don't feel anything anymore..." I just sighed and told her that I was in the same boat. We talked forever about our missions and where we are and how we are feeling. We are right on the same page. It's crazy when it matches up like that, but I feel relieved that I'm not the only one. To say that I'm praying that we serve together would be an understatement! 
       Sorry about the grayness. Gosh I think I can't even separate it from all my other stuff now. The good news is these times come on a mission and then they leave. Well, they come in life too, but I think we go through that cycle faster because of mission life. Sooner or later there will be some more color in my life again. Right now I feel like this: 
"Sister Holland and I were married about the time both of us were reading poems like that in BYU classrooms. We were as starstruck—and as fearful—as most of you are at these ages and stages of life. We had absolutely no money. Zero. For a variety of reasons, neither of our families was able to help finance our education. We had a small apartment just south of campus—the smallest we could find: two rooms and a half bath. We were both working too many hours trying to stay afloat financially, but we had no other choice.
I remember one fall day—I think it was in the first semester after our marriage in 1963—we were walking together up the hill past the Maeser Building on the sidewalk that led between the President’s Home and the Brimhall Building. Somewhere on that path we stopped and wondered what we had gotten ourselves into. Life that day seemed so overwhelming, and the undergraduate plus graduate years that we still anticipated before us seemed monumental, nearly insurmountable. Our love for each other and our commitment to the gospel were strong, but most of all the other temporal things around us seemed particularly ominous.
On a spot that I could probably still mark for you today, I turned to Pat and said something like this: “Honey, should we give up? I can get a good job and carve out a good living for us. I can do some things. I’ll be okay without a degree. Should we stop trying to tackle what right now seems so difficult to face?”
In my best reenactment of Lot’s wife, I said, in effect, “Let’s go back. Let’s go home. The future holds nothing for us.”
Then my beloved little bride did what she has done for 45 years since then. She grabbed me by the lapels and said, “We are not going back. We are not going home. The future holds everything for us.”
She stood there in the sunlight that day and gave me a real talk. I don’t recall that she quoted Paul, but there was certainly plenty in her voice that said she was committed to setting aside all that was past in order to “press toward the mark” and seize the prize of God that lay yet ahead. It was a living demonstration of faith. It was “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). So we laughed, kept walking, and finished up sharing a root beer—one glass, two straws—at the then newly constructed Wilkinson Center.
Twenty years later I would, on occasion, look out of the window of the President’s Home across the street from the Brimhall Building and picture there on the sidewalk two newlywed BYU students, down on their money and down even more on their confidence. And as I would gaze out that window, usually at night, I would occasionally see not Pat and Jeff Holland but you and you and you, walking that same sidewalk. I would see you sometimes as couples, sometimes as a group of friends, sometimes as just a lone student. I knew something of what you were feeling. Some of you were having thoughts such as these: Is there any future for me? What does a new year or a new semester or a new major or a new romance hold for me? Will I be safe? Will life be sound? Can I trust in the Lord and in the future? Or would it be better to look back, to go back, to go home?
To all such of every generation, I call out, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the “high priest of good things to come.”
     Except in my case, Elder Holland or Sister Holland are not here to shake me awake. I guess I'll just have to wait for the Spirit to do that. :) I do love that talk though. You guys should go read it. It's called Remember Lot's Wife. Look at me being all missionary like about my sadness. I can't tell you how many times I use how I feel that exact day to teach a lesson to someone. Thank goodness I have emotions otherwise I would run out of things to say.... Just kidding. This is me we are talking about. 
     In other news, the convert, dearest Emmanuel, is doing well. He is just loving life and preparing to get the priesthood soon. He is great! 
     We had our Vday party this last week and that was way fun! TJ painted faces and I ran around like an idiot getting games started and involving everyone. It was good! The kids had an awesome time, and everyone commented on the decorations. Thanks, Mom! We had our 2 deaf investigators in town this last week so we were down at the Fhyn house often teaching them and doing family activities. It was great! 
      I got to go, but I hope that you are all doing well! Sounds like the NYC trip was a blast! Can't wait to hear about the Idaho trip!! Oh, and I keep forgetting to tell you, Lori and Brent, you are having a girl. I dreamed about it. The last two times I dreamed about Annie and Heather being preggers I was right, so I think I'll place my bet :) I love you guys! 
  Keep it real. Keep it classy. And may the odds be ever in your favor! 


P.S. Send the book mom :) Pres doesn't need to know everything... :)