Sunday, July 13, 2008

Viva Las Vegas

This past weekend I was able to visit Jessie while in Vegas and it was an amazing weekend. My dad and I left on Wednesday and drove as far as Cedar City. On the trip down I read the 7th Harry Potter book and absolutely loved it! When we reached St. George on Thursday we got ready to go to the temple and do a session before heading to Las Vegas. We reached the door and saw that it was closed so we packed up and headed to the Las Vegas Temple. It was such a good experience to return to the temple after almost 2 years. The Spirit was so strong and I felt such peace while there. As we left the Temple and headed through Vegas a different spirit was felt. As fun as Vegas is, if Jessie wasn't there I don't think I would have gone. However, I got to see Jessie on Thursday and we had a blast for the rest of the weekend. We went out to eat and visited the Strip on Thursday night. We went to M&M world and Coke world and then we made a little stop before calling it a night.......................... :)

Friday morning I got ready for the day and then waited until I could see Jessie after she was done teaching. We picked her up around 4:00 and headed straight to the Bellagio Buffet. It was incredible and I LOVED the food that we ate. They have an incredible dessert buffet and Jessie and I ended up getting 7 or 8 different desserts that we wanted to try. We had cheesecake, carrot cake, raspberry mousse, peanut butter bar, chocolate hazlenut cake, caramel flan, and then some more that I can't remember. We then saw the movie Hancock which was weird but actually pretty entertaining. Saturday we went to the outlet mall and helped me get some clothes so that I can look normal now that I am home. I then had to say goodbye to Jessie but I will be seeing her again on Wednesday! It was a very fun trip, but I hope that my trips with Jessie take me to other places besides Vegas. :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

2 years.

2 years in Texas and it seems like nothing stayed the same, except for maybe one thing. As I left my little brother was still going up and down on his roller coaster, my sisters were all beginning their families, my dad was still with Banta Publications and my mom was working hard at home. I came off the plane and my little brother wasn't there, my nieces and nephews seemed to have begun to multiplicate on their own, my dad had switched companies, twice, and my mom is working on becoming a graduate in elementary education. Not to mention that my whole family blogs now. I swear when I left that blogging was for video game junkies. On the car ride home I continued to call my friend "Elder," and then they placed a thing in my lap which look familiar but foreign at the same time. Turns out it was my cell phone and it is a pretty cool thing I was given. Not only does it make phone calls, it is my daily/weekly planner, address book, new video game system, GPS-enabled navigator, alarm clock, pass-word keeper, and who knows what else I'll find. The moment I got home, there was my Stake President walking up to the door. We found a quiet room and after talking for a moment he released me as a full time missionary. We left the room and seeing as how my mama was the person to first put a tag on me, I had her take it off for the last time. After that I changed quickly and took off for the airport listening to "normal people" music for the first time in two years, not caring at all that it was Abba. As I arrived at the airport with Jessie's little brothers, my heart started pounding and my hands began to shake. We waited and waited and I swear that the screen at the airport shouldn't be allowed to say "ontime" next to a flight when it is actually 15 minutes late. Next thing I new I saw Jessie walking down across the floor and it all felt like a dream. Even from 50 yards I could see her start to cry and cover her mouth. I'm pretty sure we both had things planned out to say, but all we could do was hug and stand there. For the first time since getting off the plane my world slowed down and everything seemed to be ok. As we drove home we kept shooting glances at eachother making sure it was real, and even a couple days later the glances kept coming. After that moment it was hard to catch us apart and I'm pretty sure my family, although they hadn't seen me for two years, were rooting and cheering for us.
On my first night home I had my first "breakdown." I hadn't really been allowed to sit down and think about everything, and when that moment came my stomach dropped quick and I felt overwhelmed. I asked Jessie to help me with something, and when we were alone I let everything out. I told her that I was happy to be home, but that I wasn't ready for it at the same time. I told her how much I love South Texas, how much I love the Mexican people and their culture, along with the Texans and their culture. How grateful I am to have learned what is truly important in life. How grateful I am to finally be abe to say with confidence that I have a deep and firm testimony of my Savior and of His gospel. That I love the Book of Mormon with all my heart and can't believe I set it aside so many times before in my life. As I was letting everything out, she just listened and helped me get back to my feet and keep going.
Since that moment there have been times of longing for South Texas and the Mexican people, and even at times for some humidity in the air. :) However, life is good and the blessings continue to come. There are still some awkward/laughable moments, such as the time I had two of the most awkward conversations of my life with old friends from high school, so awkward that I could see the uncomfort in their faces and still feel I need to go and apologize. Or the time when we were playing "Blurt!" (where someone reads the definition of a word and anybody can blurt out the word) and the definition read was "a long feather, hollow, used for writing..." and I shouted out, "PLUME!"
(In spanish, a feather/quill is called "pluma.") I got some weird looks, and then a lot of good laughs.
Overall however, life is good. I feel happy and life is great. Especially considering the fact that I am in Vegas now and about to visit Jessie. :) Life is good.