Saturday, 16 April 2011

"More than a moment in time, it's the life of leaving home..."

-'Life of Leaving Home', Yellowcard

I can't believe it's finals week already. The semester is over. Reading days are done. And I completed a couple of finals today. The weather has been so perfect these past couple of days. Life has been great.
        A couple of weeks ago we headed to Bro. Wilcox's house for Home Evening (April 4th). I didn't even know we were going over there, until we left to actually go there, but it was really fun. It was great to get to meet him and talk with him, and he was excited to hear I'm going to be serving in Greece. I'm pretty excited too.
        Then the very next day (April 5th), I was interviewed by the Church for a new online video, to be featured on the Youth LDS website. John Hilton III contacted me on Facebook and asked if I wanted to be a part of it. Of course, I didn't decline. I put on my favourite shirt, and tried to think of what to say. (Kinda like a date, really.) It was pretty cool to be in front of the camera, with a mic above me and a light shining on me - a professional set-up - in the middle of the JFSB square. They asked me questions about chastity and sexual purity, and I certainly did my best to answer them! I want to see the finished product, but it won't be done for a little while yet. Look out for it.
        Classes are completely finished now. For the past couple of weeks I've been kinda nostalgic, and not looking forward to it. Right now, I'm really excited for the future. On my last day of Book Of Mormon (Rel A 122) with Bro. Marsh, I got a pic with him. I had him for 121 last semester too, and he's such a brilliant teacher - award-winning, in fact. I've learnt a lot from him, and would love to be as knowledgeable as he is. I love going to his class and feeling the Spirit. It increases my testimony every Monday and Wednesday morning.

        There's been a couple of things I wanted to do before the semester came to a close. The first was to go on a date with Ashley. Ashley was my dance teacher for Social Dance 180 last semester, she's a Junior, a Finance major, Dance minor, she's on the ballroom team, and she's one of the most beautiful girls I've ever met. It was, honestly, quite awkward when I asked her out last Thursday. It took a lot of courage, but ask her I did. The date Monday afternoon was perfect. Rose in hand, I met her by outside the Tanner, and we drove, with the windows down and sun shining, to Tucanos. [Alcohol-free] cocktails were ready for us on the table, and then we enjoyed all-you-can-eat meat and good conversation. She's just great, and I really like her. And she's helping me with the Marriott School application process. As I dropped her back at her apartment, I got a picture with her.

        My second aim was to complete getting my BYU Basketball poster signed by the team. Kyle Collinsworth told me after Ward Prayer when he visited to add him on Facebook, which I did. I met him again after the Unforum on Tuesday, where he gave me his cell number to arrange getting my poster signed. And I met Pres. Samuelson and his wife outside the Marriott on Tuesday, and got to briefly visit with them, which was a great privilege. So Kyle gave me his number and, cut a long story short, got me into a closed signing on Thursday. I was just heading into an Econ review, when I saw I had a text from him: "Meet me at the marriott center in 10 mins". I biked over to the Marriott and waited. I walked with him to the Stadium and got inside. It wasn't open to the public, so I sat quietly and tried not to get kicked out. The entire team had what looked like thousands of items to sign. I only needed three more signatures to finish up my poster: Zylstra; Anderson; and Fredette. I got Brock and James' as soon as I got in, and then waited for Jimmer to turn up. While I was in there, I gave my good friend Katie a call, and she couldn't believe I was in there with the team. I even got Jackson to talk to her on my phone for a minute while he was signing t-shirts, and she was almost in tears when I got the phone back. She later dropped a couple of posters off to get signed, but couldn't come inside. A did get asked by a couple of girls who were organising the event if I was with someone from the team, and I let them know I was with Kyle, so they let me stay. I talked with Charles Abouo, and when he found out I was going to Greece, asked me to send him my mission email address so he can write to me and let me know when the team are going to be there - apparently the team are going there in August. Abouo is so awesome, we were just chatting, and he's so friendly. I got a picture with him and Jackson Emery. Emery's really cool too. In the pic he looks so nerdy haha. Finally the team finished up and left one by one, and then Jimmer turned up. He's such a fantastic player, and he was the last signature I needed on my poster. I really wanted a picture with him, but some other woman who seemed in charge who I hadn't spoken to already just wanted me out. In her words, "this wasn't supposed to be open to the public." One of the other girls let her know I was friends with Kyle Collinsworth, but they still kicked me out pretty pronto after my poster had been signed by him. I was pretty excited that I had got my poster signed by the whole team, and watched each player sign personally. They're my favourite team, and it has been such an incredible season. They're one of the greatest teams in BYU history. My poster is a perfect souvenir to commemorate the season.

        I wish I could write about everything, but this post is taking enough time as it is. I went to the BYU Ballroom Concert, "imagine", last week with Hannah. I was good to see Ashley performing in that show. For the record, my favourite dance that evening was "A Drop in the Ocean", performed by Jared Kelson and Elisha Thompson, the 2011 US National Amateur Cabaret Champions. Last night I went out to Cold Stone with Meredith, which was a great date after a busy day studying. I went with Olive for a photoshoot on Monday, to get a picture for my mission plaque back home for when I leave on my mission. I posted my favourite one below. I hung out with Michelle on Wednesday, and we sat outside discussing the best parts of the year.
        I've enjoyed sleeping in the past couple of days. I've had a chance to see some friends, relax in the sun, and get a whole lot of studying done. Waking up late, biking to campus through the fresh morning air, and then studying. I love how the semester winds down to a finish. Today, I was on campus nine hours straight, including 4 hours in the library and almost three and a half hours in the Testing Center. I took my Book of Mormon and Econ finals today, and I'm really pleased with how they went. Just a few more days to go, and college will be over for good. For this year anyway. This really has been the greatest year of my life. I made extraordinary friends, made the most of every opportunity, and created unforgettable memories. One more week...