Friday, July 22, 2011

A really good chat with Julianna....

My heart is aching at the moment, but I guess aching for a good reason!  I just got off the phone with my dear dear Julianna.  I miss her so much!  She was one of the people on my mission that a dear, kind, loving Heavenly Father knew I needed.  He knew that we would eternally impact each others lives.  I need to be better at speaking with her on a more regular basis but it was sooo good to hear her voice tonight!  I miss her dearly, and I know her life is so difficult but I admire her and am so proud of her!
   She told me tonight that she has started going back to church.  (After speaking with Elder Andros at the mission office, I learned that her church attendance is pretty sporadic)  but hey, at this point sporadic is a giant leap in the right direction!!!  She said it was time for her to go back, that she finds happiness and peace when she goes to church.  Hopefully she can come to understand how much her Heavenly Father adores and loves her and that he does have a plan for her life as well!
   I'm not going to lie... speaking with her opened a wound I'm not sure will ever heal completely!  I miss the mission, I miss the members, I miss the language, I miss the greeks, I miss the difficulty of the mission, I miss the food, I miss giving 100% of my time to the Lord.  I miss being so spiritually in tune and feeling the Lord so near so often.  I've said it before and truly believe that when I left Greece, I left a piece of my heart there.  I feel like whenever I go back, my heart is somehow whole again!
   Who knew, that after being home for nearly five years, I could still miss it so badly that my heart could physically hurt to be back there!?!?  You would have thought I could have moved on and left it all behind, but I guess I can't because I became a whole new person there.  I gave my whole heart and soul for those 18 months and I worked my butt off doing the best I could each day, and then I allowed the Savior to step in and make up the difference.  And I guess because I gave my whole heart and soul, a part of my heart and a part of my soul will remain with those dear people forever and ever.
   Julianna is striving to find a better life for herself.  She is trying to find a way to another country.  It sounds like England may be a good possibility for her or possibly even the states...  I just hope and pray that something can work in her favor so she might be able to move on and find hope for a better life!  I don't know why, but for whatever reason speaking with her tonight really pulled at my heartstrings.  I think maybe it was because she finally sounded somewhat hopeful again.  It was so good to hear that she is finding peace within the gospel and that the wonderful couples are making such a difference in her life! I'm so grateful to them and their service and their care and concern for someone whom I love so dearly...  =)
   It is well beyond the hour of which I should be sleeping, especially because I have to work in just a few short hours but I could not leave this entry for another day or time.  It had to be written now!  I had to express the way I feel while the emotions are raw.  All I know is that I need to find a way to get back there to let those dear people know how much I adore them and really truly won't ever be able to forget them!  Hopefully there will be a European Missionary Reunion next summer and I will totally be there...
    Here are a few photos to reminisce the good old mission days!!!  Because the post is all about Julianna I guess I'll just put some of her and I...   I'll have to post later so I can add more and give tribute to the people that changed my life so much!

   So although this last picture is not of Julianna, I had to add it to the post because it shows exactly how I felt five years ago, and how I still continue to feel now!  My heart aches to be with those dear people I grew to love in such a short period of time!  I have learned how not to cry everyday since getting home (in the beginning that was a very difficult task...) but my heart still aches and every once in a while, I break down and have a good cry!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Where does the time go?!!?

   I can barely believe how quickly the last few months have gone by!!!  It's kinda crazy to think that in just a short couple of weeks I'll officially be back in Logan.   To be honest I think it has been a bit hard to get excited about moving back to my good old home town, but I truly believe it is a great choice for my life!  I am learning that I'm getting to a point in my life where I need to grow up, at least just a little bit!  =)   I think that the move to Logan is going to help me do just that.  It is going to bring more stability and a more permanent setting than I have had for quite some time!   For most of my life I have been quite flighty, moving from one place to the next, and I am finding it is time for me to settle down somewhere for more than a years time!!!
   I don't know as that Logan had to be the place that I chose to settle, but I feel like it is a good choice for the here and now...   I'm excited to be around the family more, to be so close to my new niece that is coming in November, to spend some time with Grandma Larsen while I live with her, to hopefully start building a career for myself!  I'm sure there will be some challenges along the way, especially working at dad's office... but overall I believe it will be an overall good experience.   Who knows exactly what lays ahead in the future but I am working really hard to get out of debt, hopefully invest in a house, and just live life to the fullest with NO REGRETS!!!  
   The last few weeks have been great!  I've had some fun weekends with friends and just feel blessed to have such a great life...  For the fourth of July, I went camping with Sara and Felipe in Yellowstone!  It was so much fun and such a great adventure.  I'm so glad I was able to spend some time with them.  =)  I love that they live so close and I am able to see them on a pretty regular basis.    I also took a quick trip to Vernal with the Swedes!  Sophia text me last minute and asked if I wanted to head out to the rodeo in Vernal and I thought why not!??!  We had a great trip and I loved going to a rodeo...  It's been a while since I went to one...
    I've spent a few weekends in Logan, one of which I got to spend in the temple with B.J.  He got his mission call and is headed to the Salta, Argentina mission the 17th of August...  (well, he enters the MTC on the 17th at least).  I'm so excited for him!  I can't wait to watch him grow over the next two years!  I feel like I've been really blessed to spend a decent amount of time with my adorable nephew Conner and niece Umbria as well!  I got to go to the zoo with Conner, we've been swimming at their pool a couple of times and I've been able to watch him so Jer and Stacy can have some time just the two of them!!!  I even got lucky enough to watch Umbria one evening so Brandi could go to one of Courtney's dinners at Sonora.  Hopefully I can watch her again sooner than later!!!  

  I love being an AUNT!!!   I'm pretty sure I would love being a mom even more, but...  for now I'm just grateful for the opportunity I have to be an aunt.    I have the coolest niece and nephew ever and can't wait to meet the niece on the way!   I'm glad that my siblings call me to watch them and that I live close enough that I can spend a decent amount of time with them!!!
  So... I guess, here is to the future and whatever it holds!  I'm excited for the new adventures that lay ahead!!!   I'm excited to start a new job, and to make the most of each day!  Hopefully the optimism will stick around and I can really learn to love my new life in Logan.  I'm most likely in it for the long haul so I may as well learn to love it!!!