The great outdoors

The best thing about winter being over (besides thawing out, of course) is being to enjoy the great outdoors. Utah has a great springtime. One of my goals in coming back to America is to take advantage of all the sweet things in and around Utah. One of my sneaky ways of getting outside is taking this Ventures of Outdoor Leadership class. It's in the Recreation Management College and is, more or less, How to be a Good YM/YW Leader. Included in the class was Intro SCUBA lessons, canoeing, and an all-expense paid trip to Moab. Here's my class, after a morning mountain bike ride:At the delicate arch:

I was amazed at how well the Delicate Arch lived up to the expectations set by the Utah State license plates. If you look real close, I'm in this one on the left.

When you lay down under the arch (top) the clouds moving behind the top of the arch (bottom) make it feel like you're moving.

Another cool arch

There was a cool climbing/rappelling wall (that's me suspended in the air)

And here on the home front, in Springville:

Out shooting with Steve, Jason and that guy with his back to the camera.

I am physically incapable of flicking my wrist the right angle to release the clay pigeon from the launcher. I think it's that same flick you use to make a frisbee really soar. I'm worse at pigeon launching than I am at frisbee, which is pretty bad.

And I probably shouldn't be allowed to hold a gun. I DID hit one of the clay pigeons, though. Once.


The Grandest of Junctions

At National Monument
Kendall and I used to live 457 steps apart. Best friends and confidantes. But since the days of Jr. High we've rarely been in the same place. She moved to Seattle in high school and after that, we bounced around the world (Kendall to Guatemala, NYU, and Israel, me to BYU, Tanzania and Thailand). In the last 4+ years we have probably spent a cumulative 3 days in the same place. Now, Kendall lives in Colorado Springs. The 9 hour drive was too far for either of us to drive, but we compromised on a half way point: Grand Junction, CO. I drove over with my roommate Angie (who dropped me off and kept driving to her house in Boulder) and Kendall took the back roads from the Springs. We stayed at the home of the parents of the roommate of this guy I went on two dates with (not awkward at all!).

A big, metal, Wells Fargo buffalo on Main Street. Main Street was full of quaint, old Issaquah-esque boutiques. We ate Nepali food (Namaste!!), I bought a t-shirt, we were 'this close' to going to the community production of the Wizard of Oz (it was sold out... and 60 bucks). The Grand Junctionese are proud of being a part of the olde west. I'm already planning on moving in. Give me 10 years.

Red Rock= so pretty! You maybe can't tell from the picture. But if you have any doubt, just look at how supermodel diva I look and I think you'll get the picture.


Las Vegas with las chicas

I'm going to be honest here, I don't much care for Las Vegas. Gambling, drinking, and naked girls just aren't my style. The bright lights, high-so shopping and desert beauty don't do it for me either. But last weekend I was in Vegas and it was a bona fide blast. What made the difference? My girls.

My girls!

Heather, Jessica, Brooke and I were roommates Freshman and Sophomore year of college. Since then, Jessica got married and has an 8 month old baby, Heather got married and lives in Hollywood, Brooke graduated and will start BYU Law in the fall, and I, well, I'm still hanging out working on my undergrad :) The last time we were all together was at Jessica's wedding in June 2005. This time, Jessica came into Vegas for her little sister's wedding, Heather drove over from So-Cal and Brooke and I somehow made it through St. George to Nevada.

We got locked out of our car at the St. George Wendy's. Fortunately, we were right next to a log cabin used car lot and the owner came to our rescue.

On the way back, Brooke and I stopped in Mesquite and had dinner with Sister Orasa. She's an eccentric Thai woman I worked with in Thailand. I've never met someone so dedicated to giving the missionaries referrals and food. She's married to a white guy and they both work as poker dealers in M-town. It was serious de ja vu. She had the Elders over, an investigator lesson about to start, ridiculous amounts of food and baggies of leftovers for the ride home. How would it be to be a missionary in Mesquite? Apparently, it would be exactly the same as Thailand!


MTC revisited

Bringing Scott to the MTC was a total dejavu experience. The elderly ushers, directing traffic, hundreds of families snapping sappy pictures, that same clip from Called to Serve and the 'bandaid' goodbye. I didn't cry when I left (I jetted out of the room before that could start) but I definitely teared up before Scott made it out of the room. I'm so proud of him, all grown up.

Awkward? Or totally rad...

Now and Then. Who's hotter?

Looking like a stud, dork dot and all.

On Saturday I happened to be at the MTC volunteering for the Thai speaking missionaries. I took the long way walking in, with my eye out for E. Knudson hoping for a chance run-in. But no such luck. Just as I was about to leave, my mom called, complaining that after over a week and a half of Scott in the MTC, we'd still not received any word from him. Mom demanded that I use my MTC connections (i.e. friends who work there) to get some sort of contact.

I'm not trying to break rules here, I'm trying to enforce them. It's a rule to write home once a week and someone's got to make sure it is done. Unfortunately my contacts failed me, but I was able to sneakily secure Elder Knudson's classroom location and take matters into my own hands.
I only knew that Scott's class was in 8M on the 2nd floor so I surreptitiously circled the floor. I didn't see any teachers (thank goodness) just missionaries in their MDT (missionary directed time) studying in pairs. Just about the last classroom before I'd leave the building and give up, I saw him, standing behind his companion looking at a computer. I stopped and he looked at me. Double-take. "Rule breaker! What are you doing here?" (His companion: "girlfriend?" Scott, impatiently: "my sister")
"Mom's mad you haven't written any letters home," I rambled, not wanting Scott to get into real trouble. I couldn't help but smile at the little man in front of me.
"Psh! I wrote like 6 already, it just takes like a week for them to get home."

Oh. So we're just impatient I guess. I asked how everything was going and he said so sincerely, "I'm doing really good." Then he showed me this diagram he made about the plan of salvation. He explained war in heaven, Christ being the center and the blessings of eternal life all on a little shield. Sheesh, he really is a missionary. A good one at that. I'm happy to report as well that he was wearing brown corduroy slacks ("Mr. Corduroy Buttons"), a classy tie and stylish square, navy shoes. Scott, of everyone, knows how to look good at what he does.