Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Working out is hard too do!

Working out is so hard too do, or at least it was for me. Before I decided to go on a mission I would work out every now and then but I would eventually get discouraged. I felt out of shape but didn't want to spend time focusing on working out. I would rather spend time watching TV, playing games online, or going out with friends. I knew once I decided to go on a mission that I needed to get prepared in three different ways: Spiritually, Emotionally, and Physically. This weeks post is all about my journey towards becoming a healthier person and getting more physically prepared. 

The photo on the left was two weeks after I decided to go on a mission (February 16, 2013) and I had been working out a few days a week. Less than two months later, I am walking/running 2-3 miles per day, lifting weights, and boxing. I am so excited that I have been able to eat healthier and have been able to lose 16 lbs! That is the most I have ever lost on a "workout program". My goal is to lose 14 more lbs before I enter the Missionary Training Center (MTC).

My attitude towards working out has totally changed. I now get sad and sometime really mad when I don't get to work out right after work or for the day because of other responsibilities  I just keep reminding myself that I am getting prepared spiritually, physically, and emotionally for a mission and that has totally changed my outlook. When you are a full time missionary you walk at the least 6 miles a day and bike 12 miles a day. Over the past month and a half I have went from walking a mile and feeling like I was going to trip on the treadmill and take myself out! Now I am walking/running 2 miles per day and not running out of breath. :)

Some things that have helped me keep to a workout schedule are:
  • Get your workout clothes ready the night before (saves you time in the morning & makes it so you can't procrastinate)
  • If you miss a day or two or three it's okay, just get back to the GYM
  • Have a workout buddy 
  • Check out Pinterest for quick workout ideas
  • Spend at least an hour a day working out
    • 30 minutes doing Cardio
    • 20 minutes doing Calisthenics
    • 10 minutes doing something fun, in my case it's Boxing or Lifting Weights
  • Change the workout scene, when it's nice, go outside
  • Drink lots of water
  • What you eat matters - I eat salads twice a day and a Spinach smoothie at night
  • Don't eat after 7 PM (it has helped me a lot!)
  • If you are feel hungry after you have eaten or want a snack that's bad, try drinking a glass of water first, after if you still feel hungry, then eat some veggies. You're body may mistake a craving for sweets or soda as hunger instead of a craving.
Hope this helps you on your journey to become the best missionary you can be!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Appointments, Immunizations, and the Book of Mormon Challenge

Appointments & Immunizations

It is no joke that the longest part of the missionary application process can be setting up doctor's appointments, getting your dental exams complete, and making sure you have the required immunizations started.

I thought my immunizations were all up to date but come to find out I am missing quite a few which is crazy!  I have been with Kaiser since I was a kid but apparently even they miss the fact that I started an immunization cycle and never finished it. If you are someone who is getting ready to go on a mission or are still contemplating it, here are the immunization requirements are for ALL missionaries, as stated in the missionary application paperwork:

All missionaries, including those serving in their resident countries, require immunizations for tetanus/diphtheria, and hepatitis A and B. In addition, missionaries born after 1957 also require immunizations for measles/mumps/rubella (MMR 1 and 2) and Polio  However, the immunizations are not required to complete this form but should be completed as soon as possible before entering the Missionary Training Center (MTC).

So check your immunizations history with your  medical provider and see what you have already received and what you are missing. This will save so much time and you won't be like me and have to get a bunch of shots all at once or wait even longer to go. :(

Oh and just in case you are wondering what else is required for your Physical Health Evaluation, you are also required to:

  • Full physical 
  • Tuberculosis screening 
  • Urinalysis
  • Hemoglobin or hematocrit test
It really isn't much but if you don't have your immunizations done and you want to go on your mission as soon as you are eligible then get started early. :)

The Book of Mormon Challenge

Temple Square Visitors Center
We have quite a few future Elders and Sisters in our ward. My visiting teacher, who is still in high school  just turned in his Missionary Application to Salt Lake this past week and we are all exciting and waiting to hear where he will be assigned. During this last fast and testimony meeting, the Bishop challenged everyone in our ward to read the Book of Mormon during the month of March! I was sitting there thinking oh my words how am I going to have time to do this! I already feel like I do so much, when am I going to find the time to read 518 pages in 31 days...The answer was simple, if I plan on going on a mission then I should probably live my life more like a missionary. 

So here is what I did to prioritize my day and read at minimum 22 pages a day.

  • I decided to read the Book of Mormon like a book and skip the chapter headings. I find that I focus more on what is happening in the chapters.
  • I got a little chart started so I can cross off what I have read
  • I read any chance I get! 
    • Break or Lunch at Work
    • Running on the Treadmill
  • I listen to the scriptures on Mormon Radio (I did this while I got my teeth cleaned the other day).
  • I read even a versus if I can't get in a few pages.
  • Instead of watching TV I read my scriptures.
  • Carry your scriptures with you (I have the mini one in my purse and access to them on my iPhone)
  • Last but not least, don't be discouraged if you miss a day - the point is to gain a stronger testimony of the Book of Mormon!
If you have not read the Book of Mormon in the last 6 months, then I challenge you to pick it up and start reading. It is an amazing book that will have an answer specifically for you!

Monday, March 11, 2013

I completed my missionary application online!

March 3, 2013 

Last year on March 3, 2012 at 8:30 AM I was getting ready to go on vacation for the first time to Hawaii! The night before I couldn't sleep, counting sheep didn't sound like fun. I didn't feel like packing either.  So instead I layed down next to my dad (who was pretty ill by this time) and held his hand as he laid there and tried to sleep himself. He would try to talk but he could barely speak. His body was so tired and yet he was still trying to hold on.    Finally after being up for 24 hours, I feel asleep for about 30 minutes just holding my dad's hand. My mom finally woke me up at 5:30 AM and told me I should get ready for the trip. So I went to my room and packed but cried the whole time and didn't know why. An hour later my sisters and I headed for the airport and that was the last time I saw my dad. I gave him a hug and told him I loved him and that I couldn't wait to see him again. I cried as I hugged my brother who was staying with Dad while we went to the airport with my mother. 

When we got to the airport and were going through security, I got a call from my two brothers who were crying to tell us that our dad had stoped breathing. They wanted to know what to do. I quitely said do not do anything, he did not want any assistance with coming back to life. (My father had a DNR or Do Not Resistitae order however my mother and I were the only two who knew at that point) My sisters and I were 45 minutes away from home at the time. We sat down at the terminal and I balled for what seemed like forever. My world was shattering around me. My father was gone. 

It has been a year since my father passed away so today was extermely meaningful for me. Today we got together as a family, went to church, got to hear my mother give a beautiful testimony on the blessings that can be found during trials, and ate dinner together. While we were visiting, the Bishop and his wife came over to see how we were all doing. The Bishop asked me why I had not clicked submit on my missionary application if I have everything complete. So while he was there, I went online and submitted my missionary application to the Bishop! 

A year ago I wouldn't have even considered going on a mission or that a year after my father passed away that I would be at this point. I'm so thankful for my amazing family, for their support in all of my decisions and for their love. :D today like any Sunday was family day and it was so awesome to be around our entire lively family. We miss our father so much but know that we will be together again after this life and that brings me a great deal of peace and hope! I'm so thankful for the knowledge I have of the gospel and am so thankful that I was strengthened this year spiritually and that I am able to see the blessings in my life instead of focusing on the loss. I love you dad...I miss you...and can't wait for your big hug when we see each other again.

I believe that Families are Forever.  I know that this is true and that I can live with my entire family in the next life and live with my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  To learn more about the gospel that has brought me such peace, comfort, and joy in my life go to www.mormon.org

**Families are Forever**

Family Photo with Dad and Mom - February 2012 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I started my mission papers!

It has been a two weeks since my last blog. So I wanted to share some more journal entries from the past month...since I decided to GO on a mission! Yes that is right, this girl who thought I would never serve a mission has started her Mission Papers! 

February 5, 2013 

I meet with the Bishop tonight and shared the news of my decision. He was just as excited as I was. I still have my fears but I know that as I prepare for a mission those will be at ease. Fear is only with my because I am letting the adversary put these fears in my heart. While I was in his office he set up my access to do start my Mission Papers on LDS.org. I couldn't wait to go home and start filling out all the questions!

February 6, 2013 

 I was up late last night and early today to complete almost all of the online missionary application with the exception of my doctor's and dentist's examine questions. I have to find a dentist this month and get in to see them so they can examine my teeth and fill out the forms for me. I also have to get a hold of Kaiser, my last medical provider and have them send my records to my new doctor. (I should have done this years ago when I switched providers but it is such a hassle :(...but it would have saved me some time now). So hopefully I can get that setup during the month of February and March and turn in my papers ASAP! I'm so excited that I have already printed out everything and am just waiting to get the doctor and dental examines setup!!

February 16, 2013 

Let me just start by saying I love my sister Jessica and how she is always so willing to help and of course test out her new camera! Today Jessica is going to come with me and take photos so I can select a picture for my missionary application. I was so excited to take the photo but I was afraid that the clothes I had in my closet were not modest enough for a mission. They were too short or too tight and the list goes on. So last night I went through my closet and dresser to try and put some outfits together. It wasn't until I did that I found a lot of clothes that were modest with a t-shirt, cardigan, or scarf! I ended up packing a whole bag of clothes (yes 8 outfits) for my photo shoot! 

This morning my day started a bit late because I woke up late...and ended up getting to my sister's house about 2 hours later than I said I would be there. She was super irritated when I got to her house because she has so much homework to do this weekend. I told her I would watch Maiya and Luis tonight to help out at her house so she could study. So the day started off with rain (not good for a photo shoot outside, which is what I wanted)...so we decided to head to Hillsboro where the clouds looked blue.  So we went to a really pretty park in Hillsboro but it started to downpour rain, so we just got more irritated. :( We thought about going to the Temple to take photos but I didn't want to waste more of her time. So I just said I prayed it to stop raining but apparently we needed it. So we got back in the car and drove back to Jessica's house. When we got there it was super sunny so our day got a bit brighter. We ended up taking photos in her backyard which is normally not so pretty during the winter months but it was a great backdrop! We took over 200 photos in an hour and they turned out amazing! Thank you so much Jessica for the photos! Here are a few or our favorites and the one I picked for my missionary application (which is the first one on the far left).

Xoxo AnnaAlicia