Before I dive into my birthday/farewell yesterday (which went great!) I will start with a couple of highlights from the days following up.
I went up to SLC for a "sister missionary meet-up". 40 people were supposed to come but last minute the date and time were changed so a ton of the expected guests weren't able to make it. It was a lot of fun! The weather was perfect for the whole thing- very sunny and not too hot.
Our missions were spanning the world: New Hampshire, Canada, The DR, Hong Kong, and Norway!
My favorite part was when two temple square sister missionaries came up and talked with us. They had such a unique light about them that I really think i've only seen missionaries have. They were bubbly and excited for us to go on missions- and all I could think was Can I be one of you yet? Just seeing their glow and hearing their testimony made me SO excited to be a missionary. I am getting really close to my departure date!
This is a picture from my last night as a coach. These goodbyes were possibly some of the hardest! This year has been my best year yet coaching, and I have grown to 100% love each and every one of these girls. I'll really miss them that's for sure!
I tried some braided up-do's because let's be honest- i'm going to need to know how to do these in the DR humidity! #1: You can't see this well but it's an inside out braid leading down to a side messy bun. #2: A braided crown. I got the ideas from pinterest- which I can't seem to stay away from lately- and for once my attempts actually weren't terrible. However, they did take me WAY too long to do, so I need to get the hang of it or I won't have time to do it out in the mission.
This is my mom and I watching Jessi's tryouts for the volleyball freshman league. My sister is AMAZING at volleyball, it's so fun to watch her! Other people kept telling my mom she was good enough to be on the MVHS sophomore team (but she can't be because she's too young) so she will try out for that next year. I'm really grateful for moments like this when I get to cheer on my siblings because i'll really miss that. Jessi made the top team and we are so proud of her! One of the great things about Jessi is that she is never cocky about being a good player, she reaches out to others and helps them but never in a "i'm way better than you" kind of way. I really admire that about her. What a natural born leader!
On Saturday night the Davis's took me to the Latino Festival in Provo! It was so cool! We went to a Bolivian stand because that's were Tanner is on his mission and tried some Saltenas (idk if I spelled that right) which I liked! They were a little too sweet with no spice, but they were pretty good. We then saw a Dominican stand!! So in my picture I am holding Morir Sonando y Empenada- my computer struggles with accent marks haha. Anyway the drink means " to die dreaming " and I can see why- it was amazing! It tasted a lot like Orange Julius. The empenada was SOOO GOOD. I was dying. The dominican people at the stand were super nice and excited for me to go there on my mission. Thank you Davis family for a great time!
Also on Saturday night, I decided to do a last minute session at the Timp. temple. It was a great session, and it really brought so much peace into my night before the crazy day that lied ahead. My car was jerking all the way there and back, so i'm pretty sure it's on it's last lap of it's race. Good timing though, am I right?
I woke up on Sunday super excited- I was finally 19! Finally the same age as all of my friends, except in about a month when they all turn 20. My family started with presents. They got me a lot of cute cards to give to people on the mission, and a couple of more clothes. It was absolutely perfect. They also got me a cute watch and a Spanish CTR (HLJ) ring. I got all ready for church, while watching mormon messages, and I always cry when I watch those so I cried my eyes out. I was trying to get all my tears out before my talk because no one can understand me if I cry. Fortunately it worked, and I didn't end up crying during my talk. I think it was because I was sobbing during the sacrament meeting hymn- I don't know why but the words just hit me so hard yesterday- so my tears were gone for a while after that. The highlight of that whole meeting was seeing one of my best friends, Leda, in the congregation. She got baptized in San Diego on my 18th birthday so it was her year anniversary of being a member, and she moved to Utah and she could be there for my farewell! I talked about her in my talk so it was really special to have her there.
After I spoke we had a family luncheon for all of my family members. I was really happy that quite a few members of my family came so I could say goodbye to them in case I don't see them before I leave. It was a nice couple of hours with the family. I'm also really grateful I separated my family and friend open houses because that would have been so chaotic together! I would suggest that to anyone going on a mission and planning your farewell/open house.
We had 5 hours of break but barely any of that time was wasted. We were saving all the pinteresty decorations for that night with the friends, so we were getting that all ready. The cupcakes, fruits, veggies, candy, water bottles... you'll see by the pictures. It is what happens when you don't have work anymore, most of your friends are in school or on missions, and your mom/sister-in-law love pinterest too. So we decided to have fun and go all out. My sister-in-law Marissa is a ninja at all things pinterest so it was great to hear her ideas.
The open house was so great!!! I just felt like crying the whole time because I was so happy to see all of these people that I loved. It was almost overwhelming having all of these people I cared about in the same house because I just wanted to talk to EVERYONE. So I was all over the place, but it was so awesome. Seriously, if you are one of the people who made it I want you to know it meant SO much to me. It was my greatest birthday present to see all of you. I'm grateful for the good conversations and funny moments I had with so many of you. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.
So now i'm home for 3 weeks, (my farewell got pushed back because of fast sunday, stake conference, and a temple dedication), so I should be hearing a ton of, "I thought you left" for the rest of my time home. I'm really happy for my 3 weeks still here because it gives me an opportunity to visit a lot of people before checking out of the USA. I am just so excited to go!!
So here is a plethora of pictures from a great day!
(cupcake toppings: Called to Serve, Hermana Schmidt, My mission call shrunken down, The Santo Domingo Temple, the DR FLAG, and my mission scripture- 3 Nephi 5:13.)
(cute water bottles I made from the idea my mom and Marissa gave me- 200 in all)
The finished product on the table. Back right- fruit cups, front right-veggies, Middle back-cupcakes, front middle-muddie buddies and no pic but eventually PB bars Rachel and Megan Davis brought over (thank you!!), Front left- blue and red candy (for the blue and red DR flag). It looked amazing thanks to the help of my siblings: Calli, Jessi, Luc, and Danni. My sister in law Marissa and my mom.
Everything ended up looking great!! I'm so blessed with such amazing people in my family!
I'm sad I didn't have more pictures with people on my camera or phone- but I love all of you and am so blessed to have all of you in my life. It was a perfect birthday and a wonderful farewell.