Monday, December 5, 2011

"Life Ain't Always Beautiful, But It's a Beautiful Ride"-- Blog Review

Although I have looked at other people's blogs sometimes, I never really considered getting one of my own. When the assignment was given, I was actually excited though! Throughout the semester I would get brilliant ideas  on what to blog about, but then by the time I got the chance to write it, I had already forgotten.

As I reflect on all of the things I have blogged about as a part of this assignment, I realized that I seemed to blog about a lot of events that have happened to me recently, or events that I have been thinking a lot about lately. Since we read the talk called "Sharing the Gospel Using the Internet" given by M. Russell Ballard, I tried to add spiritual insights in each blog post. When I wrote my posts, I imagined my audience being other adolescents who need the faith and assurance that they can keep going even through times that seem unbearable. A country song always seemed to come to my mind and the chorus says, "Life ain't always beautiful, but it's a beautiful ride." These lyrics seem to fit my life perfectly, and I am sure they can apply to almost everyone.

My testimony has definitely been strengthened during my first year of college at Brigham Young University. Even through trials and tribulations (a few of which I have blogged about), my faith and reliance in Christ,as well as in my family, was able to help me through these hard times. It's amazing how you can seen the hand of the Lord in everything that you do, if you take the time to recognize it. As I reread my blog posts, I was able to  be reassured of this concept and I also truly realized that everything happens for a reason. This blog will be very interesting for me to read in several years and to compare my testimony and insights. I hope to continue posting different blogs, and sharing my testimony as often as I can. The more I share my thoughts and beliefs, the stronger it seems to make them. I really enjoyed this assignment!

The Perfect Sunday!

Yesterday was just an amazing Sunday! I got up early so that my roommate could curl my hair, and then I headed to the church at about 9:30. Our ward's sacrament doesn't start until 10:00, but since I had to play the organ in sacrament, I went early so that I could practice the hymns and provide some prelude music. Today was fast and testimony meeting and the Spirit was very strong! Almost all of the men in our ward are return missionaries, so usually one by one they go up and hardly any girls get up. Well today was different. After two boys had gone, there was a brief pause so I took advantage of it and went up and bore my testimony. To my surprise, other girls began to get up and it was more balanced. I attended the Missionary Prep class and then Relief Society and the lessons were both very spiritual.

At 4:00 I had to return to the church for choir practice because I am the pianist. We practiced "What Child is This?" with a beautiful accompaniment. And then we all headed to the gym for break the fast. Then to top the day off, we went back to our apartment where we watched the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. As the true meaning of Christmas was told to us over and over, I made a commitment to myself that I would keep Christ in my heart this Christmas season, as well as throughout the whole year! As the movie they had us watch presented the story of Christ's birth, I was filled with joy and was humbled at the way that Christ, our Savior, entered this world in a stable. I am so thankful for the Christmas Season, but most of all I am thankful for my Savior who entered this world as a tiny babe: just like you and I. I am so thankful for the miracles that he performed and the example that he set for us. I know that he suffered for our pains and afflictions in the Garden of Gethsemane and that he died on the cross for each and everyone of us. I love my Savior and everything that he has done for me. He is someone that I can always count on; he is my best friend.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Y

Andrea, Holly, Allyson, Steffany, and me at the beginning
 My roommates and I had this brilliant idea one night that we wanted to hike the Y. So we planned when we were going to go and decided that it would be fun to watch the sunrise once we made it up there. We all rolled out of bed early one Friday morning (as you can tell from the pictures), and drove to the trail head. We were all excited since none of us had ever hiked it before. Before long we were stopping to rest and to take some pictures. As we continued to hike up the mountain, we realized that we wouldn't get to see the sunrise because it was rising on the other side of the mountain. When we finally made it to the ginormous Y, we sat down on it and took some more pictures. The view from the top was absolutely beautiful! That morning was a very good bonding experience for us as roommates. And it was also an excellent workout!

Us on the Y!!

Steff and I 

Friday, December 2, 2011

From best friends in 2nd grade to college roomies :)

     Once upon a time in Cody, Wyoming, a new family moved into a house by mine during the summer. My siblings and I, and one of my little brother's friends, decided to go over to their red house and introduce ourselves. There was a girl, named Steffany, who was going to be in the 2nd grade, just like me! Although we didn't have the same teacher in 2nd grade, we still became friends and ended up with the same teacher in 3rd and 4th grade! During the summers we would have lemonade stands and other random adventures. During the school year, we would have tetherball tournaments at recess and both compete to be the smartest kid in class. We were best friends and were always hanging out together coming up with many fun, but random, games. Even though she moved away after 4th grade, we still kept in contact and visited each other during the summers.
     Little did we know, that several years later we would be rooming together in Provo, Utah and that we would both be attending Brigham Young University. At first I was a little worried because we hadn't spent more than a few days together since 4th grade! That was a long time ago, and we both had changed a lot! Those worries soon faded as we almost immediately picked up right where we left off.
     Sometimes we like to do weird things! We like to run really funny with really high knees and then jump into walls. We also like to stay up really late because we are both professional procrastinators and Facebook stalkers. :) We also like to reminisce back to the good old elementary days! Looking back now, I am so thankful that we stayed in touch and that we decided to room together. She is a great friend and is always there for me! Not a day goes by that she doesn't make me laugh! Another thing that we like to do is get hot chocolate from Maverik at midnight and Krispy Kreme Donuts at 2 am. We have created many memories together this semester, and I am looking forward to next semester when we will have two classes together! I just love my roommate and best friend. Her name is Steffany Beddes.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Facebook Drama: BYU vs USU

I found this argument hilarious and thought that others would enjoy reading some of these comebacks. Facebook drama makes me laugh! :) Enjoy!!! (These are all direct quotes! The only thing changed is the names of those who were involved)

USU Student #1: Frustrated with the people blaming the student section for the loss last night. Frustrated with the administration trying to ruin the spectrum magic. Let me tell you, the three minutes we sat in silence was the longest three minutes of a basketball game EVER. I love my Aggies, win or lose. So here's to a new season, and a new winning streak at home, starting NOW.

Random person: Is it true that the students were mad about/protesting the fact that the USU president issued a letter of apology for the crowd being inappropriate and rude?

No, we protested the fact that the administration was monitoring our cheers so much that we weren't allowed to point or say "stupid."

BYU STUDENT 1: Maybe if the USU fans wouldn't have acted so inappropriately at the BYU game, there wouldn't be problems with your administration monitoring your cheers. 

BYU STUDENT 2: Your student section took bad sportsmanship to a whole new level...also known as immaturity!

It's college sports. BYU knew how crazy USU gets and coming into the Spectrum they should have expected it. But that's not even what this is about. We could care less about a stupid apology letter. But then again, if BYU can't take the heat, they shouldn't come here. It's a little immature of BYU to call us immature and "classless." I'm not going to argue about it because I could care less about BYU.

So you're saying because it's college sports it's okay to have no sportsmanship? There's a difference between having school spirit and attacking the other team's players for something so personal. And this is about BYU, because if it wasn't for how your fans acted at that game you guys wouldn't have forced your administration to have to babysit you. 

USU Student #2: I don't feel USU fans acted inappropriately at the BYU game, I just feel the BYU fans and players are a little overly sensitive. We fans are NOT players, we don't have to have 'sportsmanship'.

So you admit that your fans don't have sportsmanship. Classy. 

If we would have done this to ANY other school, there wouldn't have been a problem, but because BYU is so uptight and worried about their PR, they freaked out on us. Davies is going to get a heck of a lot more heckling from other schools because BYU is BYU.
HAHAHAH! (Lists two peoples names) There we go again! BYU FANS CALLING US CLASSY! What the heck is it with BYU fans thinking they're SOO much more classier.

The thing is you guys wouldn't do that to any other school. If any LDS guy on any other team was going through the repentance process for something like that, I guarantee you wouldn't make fun of them. Maybe there's a reason BYU fans keep saying you don't have class. Because you don't. 

USU Student #3: Saying classy is in itself not classy.

Well for one, if there was an LDS guy on another team having to go through that, he would 1. Still be playing because it;s not against the rules at any other college and 2. Not receive heckling for that because no one would ever KNOW. BYU chose to make Davies probation and the reason behind that public knowledge, so now they need to deal with the fact that people are going to heckle Davies for that. Instead, they cry and whine that we were rude and "classless." GET OVER IT. Seriously.

No, we go to a school that doesn't dictate what we can say, wear, drink, and worship. Sorry we have the freedom at USU to express ourselves anyway we like. And furthermore, BYU announced to the entire nation what Davies did. EVERY opposing team that comes to the Spectrum gets heckled. BYU was NO exception.

And THIS is why I chose Utah State over BYU.

Did you even get accepted to BYU?

haha standard response

I didn't even bother applying because I made up my mind about USU a LONG time ago.

If you've argued with one Cougar, you've argued with them all. 

Ain't it the truth USU Student #3? Hahaha.

The same can be said for Aggies. Honestly, though, we chose BYU because we want to live by the Honor Code, not because we have to. Davies messed up and fixed it, so why do you feel the need to harass him for it? And you can't say you chose USU over BYU if you didn't even get accepted-whether you applied or not.

Quit trying to argue on Facebook, it's a waste of your time. Shouldn't you be reading your scriptures or something?

Oooh, good one. You're LDS, too, so you should be reading yours just as much as I should. 

Seriously, quit wasting my time. 

Can't think of any more comebacks, can you?

This is good.

Oh no, I've got plenty. But you might find them offensive and ask me to issue an apology.

Oh, were you going to make it personal and start a rude chant about my sex life? You're right, keep it to yourself.

Thought so.

When you get kicked out because of the Honor code and it gets picked up nationally on  ESPN and other networks we'll give you a yell

Random Person: ^^ this chicks a beezy. You're saying we aren't classy? Well at least we don't look down at people saying they aren't smart enough to get accepted into take your unwanted attitude back to Provo. Kthanksbye(:

You're not supposed to have a sex-life if you go to BYU...

BYU Student #3: Dude, what's with all the hate? like, seriously. This isn't like a high school rivalry anymore. we're adults who go to Universities. Also, universities are about education, not sports. BTW, i go to BYU and I have a very good sex life... Just saying :)

Personal Narrative Final Draft

I Had the Time of My Life, With You
I was nice and cozy in my newly finished senior quilt, when I began to hear voices and movement around me. As I rolled over to see what time it was, my eyes squinted automatically as the bright sunlight shone down on me through the window. Once my eyes adjusted, I saw that my mom, grandma, and two little brothers were already awake. It took me awhile to remember that I was in my grandma’s room at the Assisted Living Center in Butte, Montana. I sat up on the pull-out bed as I stretched, and I was tempted to curl up in a ball and go back to sleep for a little while longer. However, that thought was interrupted as my mom told me that I needed to get in the shower and get ready for the day. After breakfast, we were going to head out to Whitehall, Montana, where there was an old-fashioned train bridge where we were going to take some senior pictures. Before getting in the shower, I decided to check my phone that had been charging on the other side of the room.
I had a text from my best friend, Jessie, asking me if I had heard the news. As I replied to that text, my mind was racing with the different possibilities that she could have been referring to. Right after I pressed SEND on my black Envy 2, my phone began to vibrate vigorously in my hands as I received several texts from some of my other friends. As I opened one of the texts, my eyes read over a couple of words that I never thought I would see. My legs became Jell-O and I fell to my knees as my world seemed to come crashing down on me. I checked the messages over and over, hoping and praying that I had somehow read it wrong. Tears rushed down my face as my mom came quickly over to me.
“Lyndsey! What happened?” my mom questioned as she wrapped me in hug. At that same moment, my little brother Trevor had read something on Facebook and knew exactly what was wrong.
Through many tears and in-between sobs, I tried to tell my mom what was going on, but all I could get out was, “Tylor. Killed. Car. Accident.”
            Jessie shared the details with me through text messages because she would start crying again if she tried calling me. After receiving the few details that were known at that point, I hopped in the shower as an escape from the dreadful texts that were being sent to my phone. My tears mixed with the water pouring out of the shower head, and my head was pounding. At that point, I didn’t even want to read the messages that were sent to me to offer comfort and words of support. All I wanted to do was throw my phone out of the window and wake up from this awful nightmare. How were any words supposed to provide the comfort that I needed at that time? The attempts seemed pointless. My best friend, Tylor Burke, had just been killed in a car accident, and there I was in Montana, five hours away! I got out of the shower and put on my maroon legging outfit that I had planned to wear for my senior pictures. The person that stared back at me in the mirror, however, did not look like she was ready to go take pictures. The girl in the mirror had glowing green eyes that were bloodshot, a blotchy skin tone, and red streaks that began at the corner of her eyes and continued down her face. She looked like a mess.
            “Lyndsey, do you want to come down and help me serve donuts and coffee downstairs? I am in charge this week and need some help,” said my grandma from the other room.
            “Sure Grandma! I would love to help you! Just give me a couple of minutes to finish brushing my hair,” I said trying to sound willing and excited. We both ignored the way my voice shook that didn’t quite match my attempted enthusiasm. I really did want to go help her; I was just not in the most social mood at the time.
While I finished brushing my long, brown hair, I tried to get my emotions under control so that I could go down and help my grandma. I thought that it might help me get my mind off of things for a while, so I headed downstairs arm in arm with my grandma who was wearing her favorite red sweater. 
Several people began to show up, and I greeted them with a forced smile. “Good morning! Would you like any coffee or juice to drink?”
I tried to stay busy making sure everyone’s coffee mugs stayed full and that they had the right flavor of donut available at their table. As people would ask my grandma who was helping her, she would introduce my brothers and me.
            “These are three of my wonderful grandkids. That is Trevor over there, and the other younger boy is Torey. And that is Lyndsey. She isn’t really in her cheerful mood like normal because one of her best friends was killed in a car accident this morning,” said my grandma time and time again.  Somehow, she always managed to add that fact onto the end of every introduction.
During these moments, I tried to stay strong, but they usually resulted in me walking very quickly up the stairs and into the seclusion of my grandma’s room.
“Is grandma telling everyone down there about Tylor?” asked my mom as I entered the room with tear-filled eyes.
“You know her too well!” I said as a little smile crept across my face, the first real one that had appeared all morning.
            A few days later as we were on our way home from Montana, we had to drive past the exact place where the wreck had happened. When we drove past it, I saw the torn barbed wire fence where the car had broken through, and car parts seemed to be scattered everywhere. It seemed as though a totally new dam that I didn’t know existed had broken inside of me, and the tears were falling down my face faster and faster. Looking at that site, it seemed as if a piece of me was missing. I was only 17, and it was impossible for me to think about going through the rest of my life without one of my greatest friends by my side. Senior prom, graduation, his 18th birthday, and college were just a few events that he would never get to experience.
*     *     *
            Sitting at the table in my new apartment, eight-and-a-half hours away from all of my friends and family, I began to go through some of my old pictures. I see pictures of Tylor and me wearing our matching outfits on twin day and our pictures from prom, and I can’t believe that it has now been seven months since the car accident that took his life. Coming from the other room, I hear my phone go off indicating that I have a new text message. As I go to get it I hear my ringtone: “Long live the walls we crashed through; I had the time of my life, with you”. For a split second, I hope that I will see ‘NEW MESSAGE from TYLOR BURKE’ on the screen of my phone. Reality hits me as I see that it’s just another reminder for our ward activity. Reading the new message I realize that our lives can change at any given moment; the change can even be caused by one short text message. 
Tylor and I at Prom