Day: October 7, 2012

Eat Pray Love Day 3

So the last day of my trip has come and gone.  It was a fabulous day but the entry will probably be a little shorter because it was pretty simple.

Today was all about relaxation and inspiration

Started out with room service.  I’ve only had room service one other time on my cruise (not as expensive as you think $11 plus tip)

Yummy!

Then I watched General Conference in my room.  In April I discovered Conference twitter groups and I love it.  I find I learn more because I’m involving more senses.  Plus I make new friends and get more followers (like 35 new one’s today!).

I was so inspired by every talk.  To me a lot on staying strong no matter what.  A lot about loyalty and Christlike service.  Of course, with the new announcement yesterday there was a lot about missionary work which I love.  I am going to try and be bolder with my testimony.

My favorite talk from morning conference was Elder Holland’s talk.  Elder Hollands teaches the scriptures in such a personal way.  I felt like I was there with the early apostles.  Powerfully Elder Holland asked the question to each of us asked Peter “Do you love me?”.   If we do than we need to serve Him and feed His sheep.   Gosh I just can’t do it justice.  I honestly think it was a masterpiece.  I don’t know how you don’t feel something when He testifies of the Gospel.  I’ve listened to 3 times today and still blown away Just listen:

I know I want to be a better, more faithfully sensitive saint.   I want to serve in any way I can.  No half-hearted devotion for me.  No complete returning to my normal life after this weekend.  Powerful experience may only subtlety change you but they do change.

President Eyring’s talk also inspried me.  Sometimes I feel like aiming high is aiming for the impossible.  It has given me encouragement.  Just this week I did a seemingly impossible thing for work and look, I got through it.  His talk also reminded me that sometimes what we think would be good for our career or life may not be what God has in store.  Powerful.

Then we got to the break and I had to get some lunch.  Problem is most everything is closed on Sundays so I walked around until I found a large sports bar famous for subs and pizza I decided to give it a try.  Glad I did.  Delicious! It was called Maxwells Deli

I love this kind of NYC thin crust pizza with ricotta, Italian meats, other yummies $3 a slice!
Me at lunch. It was so funny wearing my Romney shirt I got waves, hey ya’s, fist bumps, and someone asked me where I got the shirt. Even whistled at twice . Who knew?

After lunch got back for 2nd session (I’m seriously sore from all this city walking! Such a wimp!).  2nd session was also wonderful but the highlight for me was Elder Bednar and President Monson.

Elder Bednar spoke about the importance of loyalty to the church and not just testimony but true conversion.  It is one I will have to reread over and over again because it was so deep with content and doctrine.  Profound.   Again it made me want to be more bold in my testimony and to make sure I am spiritually ready for any challenges.

I thought Elder Bednar’s distinction between a testimony and conversion was profound. “Conversion is an enlarging of the ungirding base of testimony” “Conversion is an offering of self, love, and loyalty.  We give to God in gratitude for the gift of testimony”.  But why should I quote Elder Bednar when you can listen to the address:

President Monson was inspirational of course and told a lot of new stories.  Each story was about how the Lord will use you to answer promptings.  He also reiterated President Uchtdorf’s thoughts about not losing God in the details of life.  It’s so comforting to hear the words of a prophet and to know that we have a prophet to lead and guide my life.  I have a testimony that President Monson is the prophet of our age.

After conference I was sad (the spiritual feeding was so wonderful.  I wish I could have it every day!).

Anyway, I went up to the pool to relax and unwind, read

Does that look like a happy face? Contented. Zen. Great!
And rereading a favorite book. So relaxing! After missing reading for about 2 weeks its been great!

Once I was seriously unwound I had no more energy.  I called a few friends and ate some food from the hotel.  Then I watched some special TV

Season 3…

So there you go Friday I ate miraculously, Saturday I felt tons of love from my family, Sunday I prayed, contemplated and listened to the prophet.

I know I will be a better person after this weekend.  I’m not saying I will never have an anxiety attack again but every year I’m getting more skills and learning how to deal.  Every year I’m growing stronger in my testimony and more passionate in my faith.  It is my everything.  You could take away my swimming, singing, even my family as painful as that would be and it would be nothing to taking away my faith.

I have never wavered in my faith despite the trials that I have gone through.  I Know it is true and it is my life.  I know Jesus is the Christ.  That the Book of Mormon is true.  I know covenants are real if we chose to keep them they will give us power now and later.

The work of the gospel is progressing.  We are going to have thousands of new missionaries.  I wouldn’t be surprised if triple the sister missionaries go out.  That means we will also have thousands of endowed individuals who will be able to do work for their family. Everything is moving up mountains as President Eyring would say.  We have to be ready to follow.  We have to be strong.  We have to support each other and most important we have to be loyal, honest and examples of integrity

I’m a Mormon. I know it.  I live it.  I love it.

want on a wall in my new apartment

Ok.  I’m super tired.  What a relaxing wonderful weekend.  I feel inspired.  I know who I am.  I know that I wasn’t listening to the what God wanted when I fought Him on the Slam the Dam.  I know that Heavenly Father helped me through the anxiety attack and helped me make the right choice.  I know He loves me and am grateful He allowed me to have this wonderful weekend.  He knows our needs. He really cares.

I feel renewed, at peace and energized.  (Remind me of this moment when things get rough)

Thanks to all my friends for putting up with my constant photos and ups and downs.  I’m trying really hard to do what is right and to be happy, treat everyone right.  I hope you all know that when you are down or happy I am here for you night or day.  Seriously 2 in the morning call me and I’ll be there.

On to regular week.  I’m going to be watching for ways to fill my daily life with pieces of this magical weekend.  Goodnight 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strabismus Success and The Difference

I just wanted to show all of you why I got the strabismus surgery and went through all that pain.  Some of you may have wondered “I didn’t notice a weird thing in Rachel’s eye.  Why did she go through that?”

Here’s why.  Look at the difference between these 2 pictures.  One taken in January, one yesterday.

Before Strabismus surgery.

It is almost painful for me to look at this photo.  My alignment is so clearly off and it had serious impact on my mental, physical and social health.  It made dating challenging, job interviews impossible, and even a barrage of other activities difficult.

Here is my face today:

Pretty amazing difference. Right!

Just wanted to share that with you because to me it is very exciting!  I’m so grateful to my doctor and all the nurses, family and friends who supported me.

To read all my posts on this surgery check out these links.

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/?s=strabismus

Rachel Eat Pray Love Day 2

So after a spectacular day 1 I awoke with great expectations for my Rachel Rehab Day 2.

Its interesting because it couldn’t have been more different than the previous day but still totally great.  (And it was a true Eat, Pray, Love Moment).

Started out at 8 I walked over to Les Madelines Bakery a few blocks down.  I must admit I’m exhausted from all this city walking.  It’s funny I always think I’m in great shape and then I do something I’ve never tried before or done in a while and it kills me!   All the walking I did today my feet are killing me and might have 2 blisters!
(I could only find 1 tennis shoe for half the day…Insanity is starting in).  So flip flops it was and I’m sure that caused more pain than was required.

Anyway I made it to breakfast at the famed bakery Les Madelines.  Everything was delicious but my favorite was the pan au chocolate (or chocolate croissant).  The hot chocolate was super good but very rich.  Almost wished I had someone there to share it with.

I also bought macaroons for my Mom as a thank you gift for her help with my surgery.  Yum!

My favorite pan au chocolate
yummy hot cocoa

How do you decide?
I heart this trip!

After my delicious breakfast I came home and enjoyed conference but to be honest it was hard to totally enjoy it after President Monson’s big announcement-   new ages for missionaries!  I think 19 for women is just about the best thing I’ve ever heard.   It will give so many more women the chance to serve.  To have the experience of a mission to build up their families.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we have whole districts on missions just with sisters.  I think the numbers will increase that much.  Awesome is so overused but fits.

Think of all the great people who will be taught, the service that will be done and the women they will become.  I am a huge fan of the new rule!!  I think it takes one extra step in equalizing the genders within the church which also feels good.

I was inspired (definitely fit the ‘pray’ part of my weekend).  I also loved President Uchdtorf’s talk.  He talked about life’s regrets:

“Sometimes in life we become so focused on the finish line, that we fail to find joy in the journey. . . we shouldn’t wait to be happy until we reach some future point, only to discover that happiness was already available — all the time! Life is not meant to only be appreciated in retrospect. This is the day which the Lord hath made, the psalmist wrote, rejoice and be glad in it! No matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there’s something in each day to embrace and cherish. There’s something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy . . if only we will see and appreciate it. . .”

I found this very moving.  I do sometimes think if I had my dream job or a boyfriend I’d be happier. No I need to be happy now.  This weekend has taught me that I have the capability to make myself happy without any other involvement.  That’s power! (Well me and God but no other humans)!


Power to create happiness that’s a profound concept.

So after the first session I went to city creek mall (the new outdoor mall they built in SLC.  Its pretty amazing).  It was a lot of fun and very busy.  Still I got some Lush bath bombs (yum!) and headed off to Deseret Book (they have a lot of sales and things between conference).  To my thrill Alex  Boye was there performing and boy was he great!  He shook my hand and we briefly spoke.  He was so funny and engaging.  Danced, sang and did the splits!   It was such a treat!

Me and Alex Boye.   He’s so cool!

After that treat I walked around some more and then gave up on the City Creek restaurants and found a food cart across near the Harmons advertising tacos.  I love tacos, especially authentic small street style tacos.

$1 each! Delicious tacos.
happy face happy tacos
Taco truck. Just me or is the taco guy kind of cute!

To me street food can be just as exciting as a fancy meal with a paragraph to explain ingredients.  The tacos were prepared with care and full of flavor, presented with kindness.  That’s what matters.

For the next set of Conference my sister Anna came to join me and we cheered to the new announcement!

Mormon Toast. (Apple Cider) Cheers!

After that we went swimming and it was a lot of fun.  They have a great pool here. After all the swims I’ve done in the last year and a half I still find it the most relaxing thing I can do.  That and hot tubs.  I LOVE HOT TUBS!!!! I still have a lot of muscle pain each day and the hot water relaxes them like nothing else.  When my muscles aren’t tense I’m less tense, that’s why I love hot tubs and massages.

swimming= happy Rachel
Love hot tubs

We talked about the higher things of life which to me is actual talking but also some silly stuff too.  So fun. I really appreciated her coming down and spending the day with me.  Its funny how I can have such a fabulous time talking deeply with my best friends and yet enjoy being alone just as much? Seems like an impossibility but its true.

sisters. The thing I like most about Anna is we can both talk about our lives and hearts but not feel a need to solve those problems. Just talking.

She also gave me 2 t-shirts that are cute!  It’s so fun now that I’ve lost weight people can actually give me clothes without me feeling  a sense of panic that it isn’t going to fit and there will be an embarrassing moment.  Hurray!

Surprise gift seemed perfect for this weekend. Thanks Anna!

Next we went to dinner and being an asian studies major Anna loves that type of food.  I do as well but am maybe a bit more picky.  We went to Plum Alley which is minutes from my hotel.  Maybe I’ve been spoiled the last few days because it was good but not great.  There was something in the soup and noodles that tasted strange to me.  It had a spice I wasn’t used to.  Still, liked a lot of it.

My favorite thing was these steamed buns:

These pork bun sandwiches were really good. Honestly if I went to this restaurant again I would just get the appetizers.
Anna enjoying the steam bun!

We had such good discussions and I pondered on where my life is and where her life is starting out.   I envy her and at that same time am grateful I don’t have that kind of pressure.

Once we left dinner my family was in town for Conference so we headed over to my grandma’s and visited with my aunts, uncles, cousins, parents and grandma.   I gave my Mom some macaroons in return for her help with me during my surgery.  They were yummy (she cant have wheat or dairy so one of the few things she can eat).

My Mom
French Macaroons. Yum!

I’ve always had a good relationship with my cousins.  My cousins the Kings are great conversationalists and as a philosophy major, my cousin James is especially interesting to talk to.  I wish he was around more to wax philosophic with because so few will do that with me.  Most people find that annoying. I’m going to try and do better with getting my cousins together.

We actually played the game psychiatrist.  It’s one of those group games like murder in the dark but more fun.  We had a great time together.

Unfortunately my phone was out of juice so I only got one photo of the ice cream bar (Mormon tradition!).   My Dad took a bunch of photos I will post when I get the chance.

Wouldn’t be conference without lots of ice cream! 🙂

Anyway, I would say of the eat pray love days, this was the love day.  I really am so loved.  I am loved by God and Jesus Christ.  I am loved by my family and my dear friends.  I may not have found my true love but I should never complain for lack of love.

So, Friday eat day out of the way.  Saturday love day.  Better get some serious praying today 🙂 .  I think it will be a slower, more contemplative day so it shouldn’t be a problem.

On to day 3!