Thursday, October 25, 2012

How to Survive a Rexburg Winter

Today marks the beginning of my third winter in Idaho. I am pretty much a pro at survival. As our first snow of the season approaches the 1 foot mark, I decided that I should share a few tips for Rexburg winters. Trust me. It is a winter like no where else. These solutions will not work for everyone, but I’m still alive and going strong!

What I wish I would have known as a freshman...
  •        There is no such thing as a snow day. – Snow is on the ground almost every day from now until late April. Sometimes later if we’re lucky.Almost like the ocean reaching the sky, the snow line does the same thing. If you’re like me and hate snow. Congratulations, you live in a snow globe. Figure it out. You’re going to have to trudge in it every day for the next six months.
  •        We Rexburgers have a term for when you slip on the snow/ice. It’s called “The Rexburg.” –I do not care who you are. Before you graduate or transfer, (whichever comes first), you WILL “do the Rexburg.” Embrace the embarrassment. And save your tailbone, don’t walk with your phone in your hand.
  • Robert Frost was a man of incredible wisdom. – “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” When possible, do NOT take the commonly use route. People walking in the snow equates to snow melting or getting packed down. Melted and/or packed snow equates to ice. Ice means Rexburging. If you can, walk in the powder… If not… Make the best of falling.
  •  NEVER say “It’s cold out.” – Saying it’s cold is like egging the universe on. Right now it’s a balmy 30 degrees. It ALWAYS (can and will) get colder.  Invest in long johns and/or footie pajamas.
  • Winter is not a fashion show. – Some people are totally cute in their scarves and pea coats… but really, they’re freezing. My recommendation, buy a few pairs of CHEAP winter jeans. Walmart actually has some cute ones. Buy them at least a size too big. Then you have plenty of space for layering! (I know, I’m brilliant.) Also, cute boots are just that. Cute. In my experience, cute boots have no traction. Please refer to tip 2 to see the result of no traction.
  • Tuck your jeans in your boots. – I really recommend boots. I really recommend tucking your jeans. Most places use salt to clear the road. Rexburg uses red sand. Washing machines aren’t that great in college. So tuck. Otherwise, you’ll have red clay caked to the cuff or your jeans until April. GROSS.
  • Hair. – Men don’t really have a problem with this. Or makeup for that matter. However, girls, we have issues. My suggestions either put it up, or style it the way it is naturally. We always want what we don’t have but trust me. Curly hair if straightened will just go curly. Straight hair if curled will just look awful. On that note… Make sure it’s COMPLETELY dry before you leave the house… it can, and does freeze. Popsicle hair, though totally fashion forward, breaks. Seriously.
  • Bring tissues. – The fact of the matter is. It’s cold. It will only get colder. Fun fact about cold weather: nose hairs freeze. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling. It’s even worse when you walk in a building and immediately Niagara falls relocated to your face. Either give yourself even time to go to the restroom before class, or bring tissues. No one likes hearing you sniffle.
  • Beware of traffic. – Pedestrians. Bicycles. Unicycles (if you haven’t seen her, she does exist). Cars. You name it. Snow makes people do crazy things. If you Rexburg into someone else… Well, that’ll hurt and I might laugh.
  • Leave your windshield wipers up. – In the cold. In the snow… Rubber freezes to glass. Pretty much everything freezes actually. If you have a car, and you don’t want to replace your windshield wipers every week. Stick ‘em up. 
  • For the beach babes.  - Your skin is probably turning a color you've never seen before. There are three tanning salons in Rexburg. If you want to look like an alien, sign up now. The rest of us are just going to stay pale... It's not worth the drive or walk. 
  • Be positive. -- The last and most important tip to survive Rexburg is to stay positive. There is always something to complain about. Always. Anyone can complain, but it takes a true Rexburg Champion to make the best of this cold, white, and dreary situation.
You got this!! 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Very Special Announcement

Yesterday, I announced on Facebook the following:

On Tuesday afternoon I read this scripture, "And now, O my son(daughter), ye are called of God to preach the word unto this people. And now, my son (daughter), go thy way, declare the word with truth and soberness, that thou mayest bring souls unto repentance, that the great plan of mercy may have claim upon them. And may God grant unto you even according to my words. Amen." (Alma 42: 31)

This afternoon in the 182nd Semi-Annual General Conference, President Thomas S. Monson announced that young women can now serve a full-time mission at the age of 19.
My dear friends and family,
I am pleased, and excited, to announce that I have chosen to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I feel as though the Lord has prepared me for this decision and for the wonderful experiences that will come from it. I will begin preparing my papers within the week. Much love!

There has been an influx of love and support from the members of my family, and of the communities which I have lived in. However, I have also seen many people who have made their less supportive comments in other, indirect ways. I wish to take this opportunity to address those concerns. I agree because this is a life changing decision, it is not one that should be made lightly, nor should it be made because others are making it. This is personal. It is between the individual and God. I want to share with you some of the experiences leading to this decision; I pray that in doing so those who are more skeptical will see that this is not a rash or rushed decision.
Some three and a half years ago, I received my patriarchal blessing. (For those not familiar with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this is a special blessing received which is given to provide guidance and direction throughout our mortal lives). Within this blessing, there was quite a bit of detail concerning the opportunity that I would have, if I desired it, to serve a full-time, proselyting mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From that time forward, I have always considered serving if I made it to the age of 21, (the age at which young women used to be able to serve), without getting married.
Not too long after that, I had the opportunity to participate in a youth activity called the mini- MTC (Missionary Training Center). Myself, along with a hundred, or so, other youth spent a weekend as if we were on our missions. We learned the gospel discussions which are taught, and we were even allowed to try our hand at preaching the gospel from door to door. It was a very challenging weekend, but it affirmed my desire to serve.
Over the years, I have had the desire to serve, but have been told by many that there is no way that I would make it to the required age without a shiny diamond ring on my finger. These comments have been difficult to hear, and often disheartening, but I never gave up my desire.
In the past year, I have encountered many difficulties. I have felt heart ache and heart break like never imaginable, but I have been positive because of my love for, and trust in Christ. Just over a month ago, I made the decision to be more consistent in my daily scripture study and prayer. I also determined I would attend the temple, (a sacred place of worship), on a weekly basis. As I have done so, I have felt more strongly that I should serve a mission.
I feel that I have been preparing for, and working towards this decision for many years. I feel that it is right for me to go now.  In addressing the church this morning President Thomas S. Monson firmly stated that we should not hesitate to answer a prompting. I am not, and will not, hesitate. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I believe it. I know it. And I live it.
Again, I am grateful for the love and support which I have felt. I pray that the Lord will be with me in my endeavors, and that each of you reading will feel of His love.