Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Rant: Yes, Florida.

And it isn't any less important than your mission trip to Haiti.

Note: The tone of this post is meant to be informative, not sarcastic or ill-mannered.

I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. On October 14, 2015, I opened a letter that told me where I would be serving my full-time mission for 18 months. And it just so happens to be within the United States. 

Yes, there are starving people in China. But the man in front of you at the checkout has an addiction he's been praying for help with. 

Yes, there are people without homes in Mexico. But your neighbor recently lost her mother and she has lost all hope and sunken into depression.

Yes, Ethipoia is in need of clean water. But your son's best friend's father left and now the mother is struggling to pay the mortgage. 

>>Enter Mormon Missionaries. 

Everyone that breathes is aware that there are people outside of America that are in desperate need of help. And how lucky they are to have so many wonderful people give up a week, a month, and even years of their lives and dedicate it to helping better the lives of the less fortunate. Heavenly Father is aware of those people. He also knows all the things we don't. 

I don't know what the reason was for being called to serve in Florida. But I DO know that the person who called me there, my loving Father in Heaven, knows why. And I know that He needs me there. 

I once dated a guy who had served a full-time mission. He wanted to create a meme to post on the BYU Memes Facebook page. And I didn't fully understand it until now:

First of all, I had never seen this movie (and if you're like me and still haven't seen it, just watch this clip), and I, like many, had the mentality that missionaries were just there to teach the restored gospel. But they do SO much more.

They instill hope.

And everyone needs that in their life. 

When I had my interview with my Bishop prior to submitting my mission papers, he asked me if there was anywhere I did not want to go. I responded without hesitation that there wasn't. I knew, and still know, that Heavenly Father already knew where I would best be needed, and that gave me peace in knowing that my mission would be the best mission ever. 

To learn more about Mormon Missionary work, click here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Say It Isn't So

As we slowly grow closer to my report date, I'm realizing more and more things I'm going to miss while serving my mission. And I just can't believe it. Here's a list of the thing's I've thought of so far:

  • Music
  • Sandals
  • Running shorts
  • Headphones
  • Sleeping in
  • Midnight drive-through runs
  • Texting jk no one texts me anyway #foreveralone
  • Seeing the latest Daily Man Bun posts
  • Ellen
  • Being my own boss
  • Leggings
  • Cat videos
  • My Kitty
  • Going without shaving my legs for nearly a whole month
  • Friends
  • Family
A moment of silence for the ones we have lost here today. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Called to Serve

It came. IT FINALLY CAME! After what has felt like an eternity, my mission call arrived in my mailbox this afternoon. And of all times, it was just minutes before I was leaving for the dance studio. So of course for the next few hours I basically watched the clock change from minute to minute. You know how they say "the watched pot never boils"? Well, it's true. Longest three hours of my LIFE. I had texted/called all my family and friends to let them know and to ask them to come to the church to witness the opening of my call.

I got home, ran inside like a banshee and quickly changed clothes and put on some make up. I just threw up my hair in a pony--now be aware that my bangs are in that awkward phase where they're too long to hang outside of my ponytails, but too long to stay down, so they just stick straight up out of my ponytail--as we're walking out the door to go to the church, my mom comments: "You're wearing your hair like that? This is how your future children are going to see you opening your mission call..." My response: "Haters gonna hate". Seriously! What I look like is the least of my worries right now. Besides, I'm sure that by the time my children are old enough to watch my mission call video and comprehend how ridiculous my hair is, they will already have a pretty good idea of how ridiculous I am anyway. I actually think it's kind of cute when my bangs still stick up like that. I feel like Cindy-Lou-Who.


We get to the church and wait for everyone to show up. My best friend of nearly 10 years, Isabelle, is in town visiting her family because her brother just got home from his mission this week, so luckily she got to be there, along with my grandma, both of my parents, all my siblings, my sweet friend Heather, the elders, and some other wardies that trickled in. I also had my best friends from Utah Skype in. Shout out to technology. We had an opening prayer, I gave a short speech, and nervously opened the fat envelope. My hands were so crazy sweaty. I read "Dear Sister Yance" to myself about 8 times before I actually read the letter.

"...You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints..."

I was ugly crying by this point.

I moved the envelope down a line to reveal...

"...You are assigned to labor in the FLORIDA ORLANDO MISSION."

WHAT!!!!! (que cheers and applause) It was crazy because my friend Samantha (whose blog you should check out) is also going on a mission and this is the mission I guessed for her, and she for me. I pointed at her when I read it.

I report to the Provo MTC on January 27, 2016, and will be speaking ENGLISH. Thank heaven.

My grandma was so happy. She took us kids out to Braum's for ice cream to celebrate. When we got home, I wasted zero time opening up my mission booklet. Now if you'll excuse me, I have quite the checklist to get started on.

I'm coming for ya, Orlando!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

It's Like Summer

This summer has been awesome. SO. AWESOME. So awesome, that I'm just now getting around to writing about it because I've been so busy. I'll start from the beginning.

While teaching in Utah, I became particularly close with one of my students who is now one of my closest friends. This was her senior year, and I had been away for the whole thing, so I decided I would surprise her and show up to her recital/graduation. I flew in early on Thursday and stayed with my HamFam. I have been their summer nanny for two summers now and we're basically family. Love them so much. I got to the Covey Center and was as cautious as possible. I made the mistake of parking across from Sam, though. OOPS. Just as I turned off the car, Sam was walking to her car, and I had to duck, on the double. I swear I sat there for 7 minutes before I checked to see if she was gone. Luckily, she was. As I was walking toward the entrance, I heard "SHUT! UP!" she was walking back out to her car and spotted me. Best reaction ever. I got to be the backstage manager for the show, which was great because I got to see all my former students. I can't believe how much they've grown. Especially my little 6 year olds (that aren't 6 anymore). 

I stayed for the next day and a half and attended Sam's graduation, went shopping and spent some quality time with the Hammons (p.s. Emily has an amazing blog you should all check out), and I even got a job. What? I should mention that my tonsils had started swelling up the night before I left for Utah, and I had no voice for the rest of the weekend. So when Cierra called me to ask to set up an interview, I had to let it go to voicemail, then I very unprofessionally texted her back, explaining that I literally could not speak, and that I was leaving the next day, but would love to meet up. I interviewed and got the job on the spot. I'm just that good okay? BTW, if you've never had Sodalicious, you. have not. lived. I recommend the Funky Cold Medina with a Big Fat Crispy. 

After my short weekend in Utah, I came home and got ready for my studio's showcase. I only taught one class this year so it wasn't very stressful for me, but I made sure that I was ready and willing to help out with anything I could. Cody and I had backstage crew duty. Oh, and I performed a solo. NBD. (you can watch it here) This piece was a dedication to my dear friend Spencer, who died in January. 

Now it was time to pack up again and leave to Utah for the Summer. Yay! I had missed it SO much, ironically. I used to always say how I couldn't wait to get back to Texas, and I wouldn't miss it all all. My, how the tables have turned. I took this trip alone this time, and it went by a lot faster than I thought it would. It was actually kind of fun, and freeing to road trip alone. I got a lot of time to think, sing like a crazy person, cry about all my problems.... and no one was there to judge me. Win. 

Once I got to Utah, Sam met me at my new townhouse and helped me unpack, then the next day, Keith took me to the Neon Trees concert at UVU. It was more like a sort of music festival like Warped Tour, and Keith and I mostly just sat in the chairs and caught up with one another while enjoying the music from a distance. 

I taught a couple dance camps, worked at Sodalicious and nannied for the Hammons. We went to the pool a few times, but mostly stayed at the house this summer. James started growing his own garden and it's just so adorable. He's so amped up about it, and so determined to grow the best produce. He even set up a little farmer's market outside his house to sell some. Shelby got a haircut, and Max just got cuter. I didn't think that was possible. But it happened, okay? Max did not like me the first couple of months last year, but he warmed up to me. I was so worried he wouldn't remember me, but he did!! He and I became pretty close buddies this summer. He's developed quite the personality. Jake and Emily were there for me when I went through something difficult, and Jake was able to give me a priesthood blessing. I'm so grateful for their friendship and I wish I could see them more often. At least I can finally say I have family in Utah!

I went to a couple of concerts, Imagine Dragons (Halsey opened for them and I had no idea. I was a happy, surprised woman), and Fall Out Boy.

I hung out with some besties.

I made new friends.

My birthday was stellar.

I went to NEW FREAKIN YORK (which will be a whole different post).

I went on zero dates.

And I'm still alive.

R.I.P. Summer '15