Monday, November 18, 2013

I Take The Throne

The King has abdicated the throne and I hereby dutifully respond to the call to serve the no longer reign less single population of the Adams family grandchildren. I must tell you- Taylor is engaged and that leaves me with the crown. As the oldest unmarried grandchild of the family, I will support all the others that fall under the same category by holding get-togthers at Grandma & Grandpa Adams' house on Sunday evenings. There we will discuss our latest endeavors as well as feast upon gingerbread and whipped cream, provided by Grandma. The amount of time that I will wear the crown is unknown, but the probability of it being a very long extended period of time is likely. Support is appreciated.


Alright, enough I say. You'll be pleased to know that I will be home this weekend! That's right, as much as I may be fooling around right now, I did hint to Grandma to make gingerbread and whipped cream on Sunday so you might want to pencil that in.

In other news, my latest design project is a historic remodel of a masonic hall in Boise, Idaho. This is the first project where we've worked on teams, and that has been a neat experience. These projects take a lot  from me. I sacrifice my weekends and evenings at the school when lots of other people are going to movies, making cookies, and searching out the man of their dreams...I think I may resort to eharmony. I can't complain though, because i've got the best design family possible. Classes together, dinner together, it's what we do.



Sunday, November 3, 2013

Passive Solar

It's over! I'm done! The dreaded project is over. Can I express to you how much freedom I feel? The exhaustion of 200+ project hours is finally hitting me though. I've been absolutely dead the last couple of days. Get this, I went to a movie. I know! Who knew that you could spend 2 hours somewhere besides the Clarke building. So I don't have any very good pictures of everything i've had to design but i'll share with you some of what I do have.

I chose my home location to be in Praia do Forte, Brazil. The home had to be passive solar, sustainable and made for accessibility. We created sample boards, 3D models, color renderings, plot plans, blue prints and client books...you name it.


It's been really re-assuring to me throughout this project that i'm doing the right thing. I love what I get to do every day and I am catching on again post-mission. yay! I absolutely love the other juniors in the program. They've accepted me like i've always been a part of this class and i'm so grateful to be with all of them. It's basically being in all of your classes with your best friends. Tomorrow we're assigned our new project...bring it!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

4 Months

I simply cannot believe it's been 4 months since I returned home from Toronto. A mission is something you think about every day. The experiences, the people, the spirit, the aches of wanting to go back...it happens. Heck, i'm still a missionary in 90% of the dreams I have. It's awesome. But you know what? Life moves on. I've made it through my first week at BYUI and it was great. The things i've learned from the mission have made me a much better student. I'm actually ok with studying at the library. I must admit, that first few hours back on AutoCAD were crazy. It's a good thing I can laugh at myself. But the longer I sit and stew it over, it comes back. Key commands, measurements...who knew muscle memory even related to that. It's great. 



Sunday, September 1, 2013

Ree-yoo-nahyt

I've opened the dreaded email. The one I found the week I returned home from my mission. It had been sitting there, in my inbox with all of the details of our fall semester project. The one I heard about from the moment I joined the Interior Design program at BYUI. The Junior year project that takes hundreds of hours leaving you without a social life, sleep and sanity. As i've begun researching solar, sustainability & barrier free design, I have to admit it's a bit exciting and a million percent overwhelming. I'm pretty sure the last time I felt this inadequate was when I got into the mission field! Or when I had to train a new missionary for the first time. So I resume my interest in design and architecture and i'm ready to tear this project to pieces. That is until I have to actually use CAD or design a floor plan. I swear i've forgotten everything. So I reunite myself with school, with homework, with design concepts and ideas running through my mind. 

re·u·nite

[ree-yoo-nahyt]  Show IPA
verb (used with object), verb (used without object),re·u·nit·ed, re·u·nit·ing.
to unite again, as after separation.

You'll also be happy to hear that I was reunited with more than just that.
About a week after I got home from my mission, I was sitting on the sofa when Mady and Taryn approached me with a secretive sort of smile on their face. They said, "we have a surprise for you!" Mady whipped out 4 tickets to the Jonas Brothers concert that they had bought months prior. It just happened to fall on Taryn's birthday! It was a day of reunitement and celebration. 




It's also been fun to be reunited with the EFY program as i've worked as a counselor this summer. The three weeks I worked for them was a great transition help for a returned missionary. The things I got to do (devotionals, talking to people, gospel stuff) was a way for me to remember the important things I learned in the field and to also get used the facts that I have to talk to boys now, and do laundry any day of the week, not just Pdays. 



But this summer i've also gotten to be with my family a lot, which has been a lot of fun. Mady is getting ready to go to Japan as a missionary. Our extended family was able to support her by going to the temple a couple of weeks ago. This week we'll all support her again...by going to Disneyland! Once last hip hurrah before we're separated just for a little awhile. 


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Another Toronto Post


 The Toronto Islands are easily one of the best places to visit in Toronto. Just a short ferry ride away from the core of downtown you're all of a sudden in a whole different place. The view of the city is spectacular! Seriously, if anyone wants to go on a yacht ride- i'm so in. If anyone wants to go to the nude beach- i'm so not in. Equipped with an amusement park, kayaks, a boardwalk and so much more..you could spend an entire day there. Sadly we got there too late to rent bikes but that would definitely be the way to do it because no cars allowed. 



Don't you love the sail boats? Our ferry went right through them. I think they're kind of dreamy.  Remember the deal with the yacht ride? Well if anyone knows how to sail, i'd take them up on that offer too.


We walked around the island taking funny pictures and looking like total tourists. Did I mention I love this view? I'm a little bit obsessed with Toronto's skyline.



 I must admit, even though the bike rentals were closed, the walk was great and the sunset on our ferry ride back was awesome.


After returning to the harbor we indulged in a street dog and poutine. I highly recommend both. But really, have you tried poutine? After 18 months in Canada I can say that i'm a fan. Other weird food habit I got into: Vinegar on french fries. Before you turn your nose up, I want you to know I did that as well. But then I tried it...and I exhort you to do the same.
Three cheers for Toronto, the Islands and Poutine.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Hello Toronto

Oh my goodness! If I was able to convey the awesomeness of my trip back to the sweet land of Ontario, I would. If I was able to take each and every one of you there myself, I would. 


We were able to visit Rochester, NY, attend the Hill Cumorah Pageant in Palmyra, ride the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls and then I was a tourist in my favorite city in the whole wide world. 

Toronto Islands from the top of the CN Tower

We stayed right in the core of downtown. I showed my family all of my favorite spots I discovered while serving nearby on my mission. 
















One of my very favorite cities in Ontario is Brampton. That's where I spent my first night in the mission field at the mission home, and then was transferred there 4 months after being out. I served there for 6 months. I learned about the Indian culture and a lot about myself. Brampton holds a very special place in my heart! I walked around the temple almost every day sharing the gospel with people standing at bus stops, just passing by or looking at the temple wondering what it was. It was so fun to be back! 

Toronto Temple in Brampton


I made sure that my family met my mission president-President Scott and his wife. As well as the beloved Caldwells who serve in the mission office. Sister Caldwell is an Interior Designer...you can say we bonded.


The night the royal baby was born, they lit the CN Tower blue!
I was so lucky to be able to visit a few people that I taught and stay in a couple of places I served in too. I just love this place! More stories to come...Until next time Toronto!


Did you wonder how this story ended? Lloyd was baptized last Sunday! 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Meet Lloyd

This past Sunday I went to church at a ward I served in on my mission. I walked in and there were a few missionaries at the door waiting for investigators, as well as a couple others. I said hi to everyone and a Jamaican man said, "do you remember me?" I looked at him for a second and said, "LLOYD! I found you by the coffee shop!" Indeed it was. My journal entry from that day I met him:

May 15, 2013
...After dinner tonight we tried to contact a referral that wasn't home so we prayed about where to go and ended up going to drop by a less active that was on our dot map. Right as we were arriving, this man passed us. He looked directly at us and said, "I've seen that beautiful girl before." Sister Cross (my companion) said, "oh, have you seen us before?" He pointed at me and said, "her, or maybe it's just her smile." 
*note-especially in crazy cities, things like this happen. You just wait for them to propose to you or keep talking to them waiting to find out they're just high. 
So I said, "Hey! I have something for you!" I walked closer to him with a mormon.org card in hand and started to talk to him about the gospel. We ended up going into a Country Style (coffee shop) and teaching him there. He wants to change his life (he wasn't high, quite normal in fact!) He has been 'church shopping' some. He said he was just telling his mom about how he wants to come back to church again. After teaching him about baptism he said, "we can meet every day and talk about this if you want!" We're going to meet him Friday! 

So the coming week after this great experience was filled with unsuccessful meet ups with Lloyd and drop bys that didn't work out either. I left the mission field one week later not thinking much about it. 
So when Lloyd asked me if I recognized him at church on Sunday it took me a second to. I was still in shock that he was actually there! But his countenance had changed. And that's the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, folks. He told me he's getting baptized in just a few weeks. 

Me & Lloyd

Another lesson taught to me about how you never know who you're influencing or what impact you may have on someone. Or perhaps just how prayer can lead you to the place you really need to be. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Little Bit of This & That

Since being home i've been engulfed in a little bit of everything. Besides trying to transition from missionary life to normal citizen i've been all over the place. A few weeks after I returned home I was driving to Provo alone. (Which was totally weird to be in a car by myself for 5 hours) I'm working for EFY as a counselor-it is the closest thing to being a full-time missionary that I can think of. It's been pretty great.









Besides working, i've also been spending time 
with family. After being away from them for 
18 months, everything seems to fit the 
phrase, "I haven't done this in like 2 years!"



Next week it's off to Toronto to show my family the city, cultures and people I fell in love with. Saying i'm excited would be a huge understatement. I may just cry as we cross the border.







Monday, June 3, 2013

I'm Back!

Well, I'm home.


It was a wee bit windy and the signs got torn a little bit...but they were pretty sweet! 



Some of my welcoming committee at the airport! 

It was a long flight home...lots of pondering time.
Oh man, it seems as though I have so much to talk about! I'll definitely have to do it in segments. I hope you're in for reading stories...Oh, and thanks for reading my letters while I was away! It's awesome when I see someone and they say, "I enjoyed reading your letters!" Ya'll are the best, you know that?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

This is soooooooo weird.



Helloooo!!
Well, we just received an email from the mission office telling us about Pday changes next week because of Victoria Day-it's changed to Wednesday which is when I fly out Sooooo this is my last Pday!!! Just an extra full day to serve the Lord, eh? :)
Self explanatory!
   This morning I was working on a letter i'm supposed to write to President Scott about what "my mission means to me"...I didn't know where to start! I'm so grateful for my mission. To try and even sum up what it means to me on paper or in words seems impossible. I've been thinking a lot about how i'm going to keep the good habits and characteristics i've developed on my mission and carry them throughout my life. Realistically I won't be able to have hours of solid study every morning etc but there are definitely things I can keep with me! My full-time mission may be ending but my responsibility to serve doesn't! I'm excited for what will start happening next but it's for sure a bitter sweet feeling.
   It was so fun talking to all of you on skype yesterday! I must agree that it was an odd feeling to just be like "well, see ya in a few days!" haha



us with Laeke
   This past week has been pretty good. We picked up a new investigator- Alice (yes, another alice! haha) She's from Rwanda, Africa. She's kind of a cool story. We found her in our former investigators and dropped by a few weeks ago. When she answered she told us she wasn't interested but I felt like we just needed to continue to talk to her, so we continued to. A few minutes later we asked again when we could come by again and talk with her & teach her more. She gave us her phone number and we called last week and made an appt! The teaching appt went really well, she prayed for the first time and you could tell she felt really happy. We're seeing her again tomorrow.
High Park and the Cherry Blossoms
   Our other investigators have been reading and praying but struggling to come to church. We have a few that we're excited to work with this week and help them overcome that barrier. One particularly we're quite excited about is Louis- he's from the Congo. He's a smart and educated guy who is sincerely seeking truth. When we taught him last week the lesson went really well. He actually showed up to church that Sunday but was like 2 min. late and we didn't see him so he left! booooo. So fingers crossed (and prayers being said) that this week goes better and he comes to church!
High Park with the Hermanas (Spanish speaking missionaries)
   Last week we met the hermanas and went to High Park. All the cherry blossoms were out so tons of people were there taking pictures. We walked around and took random pictures and what not. It was a pretty place! Today we're planning to go downtown, probably U of T and Little Italy. :)
   Well, you also asked about S.Cross skyping- it went great. She's a lot stronger than I was the first time I talked to you guys! Not a single tear was shed! haha
   Well, I suppose this is it. See ya at the airport! Don't leave me hangin'. ;)
Love Sister Messer

This is soooooooo weird.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

This week was crazy in a 100% great way!



Hello Everybody!
Well this week was crazy. Crazy in a 100% great way.We began teaching Gabriel this week and he found out that he had to leave for boot camp in Quebec a lot earlier than first planned. (He's leaving this Friday) So we were working through our leaders to see if he would be able to baptized before he leaves. So we taught him on Wed&Thur, he went to institute Friday and at Friday night at 10:25 our DL called us and said, "So President said how about he gets baptized on Sat (tomorrow) and confirmed Sunday." We were both like HOLY SMOKES. seriously? He had only been to church once but we had seen some serious commitment from him. Plus he had been going to institute activites. So we tried calling him before our curfew and couldn't get a hold of him. Saturday morning we taught ESL and finally were able to reach him and we told him about the situation and how being baptized that day would be good because then he would be confirmed Sunday. He said, "Ok ya, that's a possibility I guess." At that point we were like holy smokes! This is actually going to happen! So he had his interview a couple of hours later and at 6 we had a baptism. It was really neat to look back at the week and see how easy it was to cover the lessons so quickly. When we would teach him, it would just roll right into the next topic or commandments. Making us able to teach basically 3 lessons in 1. He brought up concerns really quickly and everything just worked out so very simply. Oh, the elect! Sunday at his confirmation we were waiting for him to get there and he wasn't showing up or answering his phone. It was after sacrament meeting had started and we were stressin. But he finally txt us and told us that his roommate had gotten arrested and had all the keys with him at the time. Long story short, our ward mission leader (the one who baptized him in the picture) drove us to go pick him up and he was confirmed after church. Gabriel is SO funny. He walked in after the stress of the morning and let out a sigh and said, "I missed {the} church."  hahaha I hope you can all meet him some day! I still can't believe we met him last Sunday, he was baptized this Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. All in a weeks work. With A LOT of special permission from President and the Lord.
   Right after Gab's baptism we went with the Don Mills South elders to downtown and handed out BoM's at the BOM play! I've never had such a fun day on my mission. It was classic. Because of the baptism we were a little late and part of the subway was shut down so we were booking it through downtown to make it to the play and just caught the tail end of the crowd. Hopefully we'll get to do it again this week though! I was surprised at how many people already said they had a BoM because they have friends who are members. Glad to hear that missionary work is happening :)
   Favorite quote from Gab this week, as we were walking the bus stop with him after church, he said, "Last night my brother brought a case of beer over as we watched the hockey game and guess what I did? I made a smoothie!" haha
   Our other investigators are doing pretty good. We're working with them all! Slowly but surely they're progressing. 


Well, in all of the excitement I hope I didn't forget anything crucial to tell ya :) The church is true! Thanks for the prayers :) We definitely felt them this week!
Sister Messer

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Great blessings this week!



Hello Everyone!
  Our sense of urgency and positive attitudes brought great blessings this week! Where shall I start? Hmmm well, we hit the standards of excellence set by Pres. Scott! If I haven't explained that before, he sets goals for us in our member present lessons, new investigators, baptismal dates and progressing investigators. We hit all of them! We found some new investigators this week that we'll continue working with, hopefully helping them to progress towards their bapt. dates. The greatest blessing came on Sunday. We've been working hard these last 2 transfers opening a new area and all, seeing success but no baptisms. I have 3 Sundays left of my mission. Saturday night I prayed and told Heavenly Father about our troubles and my desire to baptize before I go home. I told him that I know baptisms take 3 Sundays (in our mission at least they have to come to church 3 times) and that right now it's not looking like we have a SUPER solid one...and that the only way that would happen is if someone showed up to church Sunday that is prepared. A boy named Gabriel just showed up to church. He's been coming to sports nights/institute on Fridays and no one told us. He said that he felt like he wanted to finally come out to church and he just wants a good influence in his life- He's getting baptized May 12. He's moving to Quebec on May 13 for boot camp. He's an engineer for the Navy. He's YSA and super cool. Has tattoos all down his arms- he's quite the guy. Heavenly Father definitely hears our prayers and prepares people. Now it's up to him to progress- we'll be doing everything we can do!
   Remember Gidey? From last week or two who had left his apt to get away from temptation? Well we knew the complex where he had told us he lived so we went tracting inside. We weren't able to find him so we left, took the subway to a different area and start walking when he crossed us on the crosswalk! We turned around and started talking to him. Since then we've run into him every day. We have an appt tonight with him but we think he'll bomb it again.
Toronto Blue Jays doughnut!
   Funny street contacting experience of the week- we were standing on the sidewalk talking to a nice lady and I could see a homeless person coming towards us, pushing a shopping cart kind of mumbling to himself, so i stepped aside to let him pass and he creepily whispered, "I like your thighs." Everyone stopped talking and looked at him, let him pass and started laughing. The lady we were talking to thought it was super funny. Toronto never fails to impress.
   Alice is doing great, she's progressing well. We found out this week that she has cancer. So the decisions she makes are of course really important to her because the Dr. hasn't given her more than a couple of years max to live. She received a blessing a few days ago and she's reading the Book of Mormon like a mad man! She's great! We love her! She has a date for May 12. It's pretty
 soft but hoping she'll receive answers to her prayers. Gotta ask specific questions :)
   Our other investigators are doing well too. Jacob came to church yesterday as well. So it was a great week. We're excited for this coming week as well. Good things happenin'. Riding the rocket 'til the end! Speaking of riding the rocket...you asked about the Toronto terrorist alert. hahah yaaaaa. Apparently they found a plan to bomb parts of the subway? We were told to just listen to the spirit and be careful. They have the guy in custody. I think we're good :)
Love Sister Messer