Hey y’all! The spice girls are hitting up Salt Lake City fixin to win Questival! Behold. Lindsey as sporty spice, Whitney as posh spice, Spencer as baby spice, and Katie as scary spice. 🍾💋
Questival Portland 2017!! #iLLAMAnaticonfirmed
|| firsts ||
When you are someone like me, who hasn’t really gone anywhere, and you move to somewhere like Laie, you go through a lot of first times and you learn a lot of new cultural things. I am now accustomed to kissing cheeks as a greeting, rather than shaking hands. I have tried a bunch of food that sounded strange at first, but ended up being delicious! Koko rice, for example. It’s a Samoan dish, rice cooked with chocolate and coconut milk, often more liquid than not, and used as a dip for big, thick slices of homemade white bread. It sounded weird to me but I love trying new things, and I’m so glad I did because I’m in love with the koko! I’m trying to master making it myself so I can go home and make it for my friends and family! Besides new forms of greeting and new food, I also swam in an OCEAN for the first time!!
|| valentines day ||
My roommates and I got each other cute gifts for Valentine’s Day. I made my friend a scavenger hunt where with every clue she found her favorite candies. My friend spoiled me with way too many chocolate-peanut butter goodies…#fatfriday!
|| traditions ||
I love our traditions! We have Pizza Thursdays (my favorite day of the week), Adventure Saturdays, and Dessert Sundays. I am lucky to have a friend who is basically a chef, she cooks so well, and a friend who should probably open her own bakery. But I have a part in this, too. Anna cooks, Jerica bakes, I eat. It’s perfect, we were made for each other! 😉
|| sunday jams ||
A newer tradition for us is Sunday Jam Sessions! We sit in an outdoor hallway for hours on Sunday nights with a bunch of people and just sing together. There are some seriously skilled guitar and ukelele players in the mix. I could sit there and listen to them play for days!
|| decisions, decisions ||
Before I moved here, I really wanted to move to BYU in Provo. My heart was set on it. It was my dream school. And it didn’t happen. Somehow, I got accepted to BYU-H, and I’m immensely glad that I came here because I have learned more about myself and about the world around me. I just found out that I got accepted to BYU for the spring term…dream school, what up. But now I don’t know what to do! I love both places, and both have a lot of pros and not so many cons. I am praying and weighing my options for which school to go to now, among other major life decisions that are coming up. I love that I can trust God to take care of everything for me! He loves me so much and it’s mutual! 🙂
“To exercise faith is to trust that the Lord knows what He is doing with you and that He can accomplish it for your eternal good even though you cannot understand how He can possibly do it.” –Richard G. Scott
This week, I spent most of my free time exploring with my roommates (who I absolutely ADORE). I’m so thankful for them. We keep each other laughing and laughing, it’s already a fun semester, thanks to them!
|| volleyball and cabaret ||
One thing I super love about home is Thursday night volleyball at the church. So when I heard about ward intramurals here, I dragged my friend along and off we went! My team was mostly all Polynesian students, and man they are scary good at volleyball! It was a lot of fun and we won both of our games! Earlier in the week, we went to a broadway cabaret style show put on by some of the drama students. Well known songs were crafted into clever spoofs and the show poked fun at BYU and LDS culture–it was hilarious (and pretty true), and the entire production was created by the students! They showcased a variety of sty
les of singing and acting. 10 out of 10 for BYUH!
|| roomies are foodies ||
This week, various combinations of my roommates and I hunted down good food to try. Anna and I tried locally grown apple bananas. Emily, Jerica, and I hit the local L&L Hawaiian BBQ (not as good as Roxy’s back home, I’m sorry!). Ulziika and I had the island’s most famous shave ice. We ate curry made with a homemade Japanese broth. The other night we made breakfast for dinner:
pancakes with peanut butter, bananas, and coconut syrup–you have to try coconut syrup, it’s pretty delicious. Next on our list is Acai bowls and the local shrimp trucks!
|| honolulu ||
Jerica, Emily, and I raced to the bus stop yesterday morning, only to find that we had just missed our bus to town. So, we waited. And waited. The buses here aren’t too picky about keeping with their posted schedules. But a cute little stray kitty hung out with us for the hour we were stuck!
In Honolulu, we ate lunch and then walked to Waikiki. Waikiki is filled with sky-high hotels, stores the likes of which I feel unworthy to walk next to, and people of all shapes and sizes….yes, ALL shapes and sizes…..just let that sink in.
We also visited an aquarium and saw all kinds of crazy critters! Zebra striped fish, sharks, jellyfish, and more. Plus, an adorable sea lion who did turns and tricks for us. He was a total showoff! Another showoff was the stingray w
ho, when we approached the tank, immediately got up and swam around for us, blocking our view of any other creatures we were trying to see, pressing up to the glass of the tank, totally eating up the attention!
We definitely got lost a few times in Honolulu, but that’s all part of the fun!
|| sunday was the best day ||
Today was AMAZING. I got called to be our ward’s choir pianist! Which was my calling at home…and I’m so excited! I LOVE piano, and I was dying out here with no ivories to tickle from the comfort of my own home, so this will be a nice change!
I played a musical number during church today…which is normally no big deal at all, because normally, I play while someone sings, so the main focus is on them, and I’m in the background. But today it was just me. I was way n
ervous and excited, but I think it went well. I made a mix of the hymns Nearer My God to Thee and Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. It was a cool juxtaposition, mixing the slower, more reverent song with the upbeat tune, but it was way fun. And the goal is to point people to Christ, and not myself, anyway, so I just focused on that.
My roommate made chocolate chip cookies today. The Law of Homemade Cookies states that “you eat until you hate yourself”, so I definitely followed that law, no worries, everyone. 😉
My family FaceTimed me again tonight and they had another #cupcakeparty with the homies! So jealous!
This week was so great. I’m really growing to love it here, and for the last couple days it’s even felt like home because it’s been raining a lot! Love and miss ya all, thanks for reading!
First week, down! Only 14 more to go!
This week was full of getting to know. Getting to know the island, the campus, the roomies, the culture, the self.
I love it here! I love my roommates. There are 5 of us; we are all vastly different, but get along so well. I have been making a lot of new friends from crazy places all around the world, like Tahiti, Colombia, Indonesia, Mongolia, the Cook Islands, Samoa, oh, and Utah. 😉 Yet somehow I’ve found a good amount of people also from Oregon! It’s very interesting being immersed in diversity. There are over 70 countries represented within the 2,500 student population. I, being a white female, am the minority here, and it is a GOOD experience. There are so many various backgrounds and cultures represented here, yet we are united in Christ, and you can feel it on campus.
|| circle island tour ||
I got on a school bus packed full of students and we embarked on a journey around the island of Oahu. We stopped at beautiful places such as Poly Lookout, the Pearl Harbor Museum, and a historic town with the best shave ice on the island! The bus rides themselves were pretty fun, too. A hilarious guy from Tahiti sat by my roommate and I, and we had such a laugh the entire time. At one point, we got most of the bus, including the tour guides, singing “Let it Go” from the movie Frozen!
|| family ||
Sunday night was my dad’s birthday and my friend’s birthday. And everyone was at my house hanging out and making cupcakes WITHOUT me! #sojealous . Lauren was wearing my clothes. Dad held an iPad for the first time…and spent most of his time marveling at how he could see himself in its camera. #classicdad . I was sent this picture. Aren’t they adorable?
|| polynesian cultural center ||
If you’ve never been to the Polynesian Cultural Center in Oahu, you need to go. It’s a blast, and super educational. The PCC is a huge tourist spot in Hawaii, is owned by members of the Church, and partners closely with BYUH, so many of the students have jobs there. Dad and I went there during the day before he left for home. We saw a guy monkey-climb a tall palm tree, some men and women do native dances, and many more interesting things. The other evening, the night show at the PCC was free for new students, so a group of friends went, and it was beautiful. My favorite part was the fire-throwers. These guys are insanely talented! They set sticks on fire and move the fire around with their hands or by holding the flames in their mouths, and do lots of tricks and throw the fire to each other across the stage!
|| putting God first ||
Guess what was emphasized in just about every church meeting, Sunday school lesson, and devotional this week? Yep, you guessed it. Putting God first. This message was prevalent all day Sunday, and it was, yet again, exactly what I needed. I have a lot on my mind, and it was the perfect reminder to remember what matters most. In my life so far, I’ve noticed that when I am thinking way too much about what will happen next, about myself, about that cute boy–or whatever–and am not spending enough time praying, reading scriptures, being thankful, and giving things to God, things begin to become stressful, to fall apart. Gotta think big picture! #eternalperspective . When I focus on spending time with the Lord, putting His will before mine, and serving others instead of myself, everything falls into place and I feel peace and true joy!
Thank you for reading! I love ya! 🙂
It’s a whole. New. World.
Everything here is different. The highways are narrow, so close to the beach that we can get sprayed by waves, and we go 40 mph, but it’s okay because there is a lot more to look at here! Wild chickens and roosters roam around the island. In fact, one rooster seems to live right outside my window, which was obviously pleasant the first night, but I’m already used to the noise! I found a centipede buddy in the bathroom. My roommates and I found a huge spider buddy in the kitchen. We also lost him under the refrigerator, but it’s not like we all screamed or jumped up onto the counters or anything……The people are laid back and extremely nice. People will just walk up to you and ask you what your name is, where you are from, and bam, you have a new friend. The color palette here is bright and vibrant–the island is just beautiful!
The first night was rough. I was missing home. Missing friends. Every little thing was going wrong. I couldn’t find my shorts when it was so hot you could burn yourself to cool off. I lost my roommate at a new student event and found my way home in the dark by myself. I lost my house key (somehow it got into my boot…which I was not wearing…). I let all these little things get to me. I was complaining to myself. I called my mom and complained to her. Basically? I was being a #complainer. Which, if you know me, probably isn’t like me. So, I stopped. Time out. I prayed. Heavenly Father, take all these things and work them out. Put me in a good mood again. Guess what? Prayer works. In this case, instantly. I put my trust in the Lord and I was happy. I found my roommate. I found my key. I found my shorts. I found my good mood. When I woke up the next morning, I opened my Gospel Library app, and it happened to be open to Proverbs 3:26, which, surprise, surprise, is exactly what I needed to hear. Funny how God works those things out for us. It says: “For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.” Um, hello. The Lord is my confidence. My Heavenly Father and my best friend Jesus Christ truly want what is best for me. God has it under control, I just had to let go and let Him steer.
I have to say, I feel incredibly LOVED. I am so grateful. Hashtag blessed, right? I am so so so thankful for all you friends who made it a point to hang out with me before I left, for those who pulled an all nighter with me, who continued our tradition of eating crappy food before taking each other to airports, who text and message and skype and call me–y’all truly mean the world to me. I feel like I wouldn’t be able to function out here without those wonderful pieces of home!
Thanks for reading! I love you!