Birthday

Grumpy Cat wishes Twins a (happy) birthday!

Today Parker and I turn 19.

dang. We’re old! (Haha just kidding)

But Parkers not here.

This is only the second time in our entire lives that we have been apart for our birthday.

The first time was when he was on the National Jamboree for Scouts a few summers ago, and even then, I got to call him.

It’s weird.

When we were little, I hated sharing a birthday. Now it just doesn’t seem right without him here.

All I really want for my birthday is to give him a big hug, like this one:

IMG_7716(This picture makes my cry literally every time I look at it.)

377498_2798202200625_2125240642_nI feel like this picture describes us perfectly.

My Advice

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As I have been preparing for my mission, there are some things that I wish I would have know before. So I’m going to write down what I’ve learned!

I am going to split this in two parts:

{Part 1} Advice for anyone preparing to serve a mission

{Part 2} Advice for Sister Missionaries

{Part 1}

As I near my report date, I want to leave some advice for those preparing to serve, whether you have your call, are waiting for your call, or are still on the fence about whether or not to serve.

-STUDY PREACH MY GOSPEL!! Seriously, I cannot stress this enough! DO IT! It will help you so much it is unbelievable!

Life as of late

-Study your scriptures. You need to be familiar with the scriptures so you can use them when you teach. Sharing scriptures will help your lessons tremendously!

Pray! You are going to need it. Your life is going to be an emotional rollercoaster from the time you decide to serve right up until you leave. Prayer will help.

Don’t stress out. It’s going to be fine. Everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. Just take a deep breath and turn it over to the Lord. (Here is a great conference talk to go along with this)

-Enjoy the moment. When you open your call, you will be freaking out (I know I was!). But don’t get so caught up in everything you forget to enjoy them moment. You will look back and wish you could relive that moment over and over, so make it count!

-Spend time with your family.  It seems obvious, but really, you won’t regret it. Sure you will miss your friends when you are in the field, but really it’s your FAMILY you will want to see again them most.

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(This is my AMAZING family, and man am I going to miss them!!)

But don’t forget your friends. Yes, spend a lot of time with your family, but don’t blow off your friends either. Go have fun! It’s nice to be able to just relax and have fun, and seriously, it will probably keep you sane!

Favorites and Anticipations

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Friends

(These are a few of my best friends.)

Take Mission Prep. If you possibly can take it, mission prep will be a HUGE blessing in your life! I LOVE my mission prep class! I have learned so much from it and I know I will be a better missionary for it!

-It’s okay to cry. It’s totally normal to have moments when you freak out and wonder what the heck you are doing. Believe me, I’ve had plenty! This is where prayer comes in, and also, if you can, ask for a priesthood blessing, it really will help!

-Go to the Temple. I am lucky enough to live about 2 minutes away from a Temple. I know very few people share that luxury, but regular temple attendance is SO WORTH IT! Whether it be before of after you are endowed, make it a goal to go as often as possible. I try to go at least once a week. Obviously not everyone can do that, but do what you can. It is a wonderful place!

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(Mesa Arizona Temple)

-TEACH! I cant stress this enough!! Practice teaching the discussions! Teach you family, your friends, your pet goldfish, ANYONE! Yeah, it’s awkward and weird at first, but would you rather be awkward and weird with someone you know, or a real investigator? I think we all know the answer to that one. And as cliché as it sounds, you WILL learn more from teaching than being taught. I promise.

{Part 2}

This is advice just for sisters.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I was confused about a lot of things when I go my call, so here are some of the thing I learned.

-Don’t buy ANYTHING until you have your call. Seriously. I wish I had known this. As tempting as it is to buy tons of what you think are “Mission Clothes” before you have your call, DONT DO IT! I did and ended up with stuff I can’t take because of the climate of my mission (cardigans and long sleeves+ the Philippines= Not so good). You could be going anywhere in the world, and you may need specific types of clothing for that area, so resist the temptation and WAIT! (You will thank me later)

-Buy durable clothes. As much as we all want to be “cute” on our missions, sometimes its better to be practical. Shirts from Forever 21 are cute, and may even be modest, but you have to remember you will be wearing the same 10ish outfits for a year and a half. Go for durable. You don’t want your clothes wearing out after a few months, especially if you are going foreign! And if you are going somewhere humid, get breathable fabrics like cotton.

-Shoes. If you are anything like I was, you decided to serve and thought to yourself “I WILL have cute shoes!!” Girls, as much as it pains me to say this, you probably wont end up with cute shoes. In most missions you will be walking, ALOT! If your feet hurt, you are going to be miserable. Sometimes, you just have to sacrifice cute for comfort. (and no, you can’t wear Tom’s. Sad, I know)

-Skirts. My best friend left on her mission almost 2 months ago, and while in the MTC she wrote me a letter saying how lots of the sisters were wearing skirts that weren’t quite long enough. They were modest, but your skirts MUST cover the front AND back of your knees, sitting or standing. I’ve found that going for mid calf length is the best (better safe that sorry!) And to answer the ultimate question, no, maxi skirts are not allowed, that length of skirts has been associated with cults (an image the church wants to stay FAR away from!). The hem needs to be at least a few inches above your ankle.

-Going Foreign. If you are going foreign, and don’t have a passport, get on ASAP! You will have to have one, and if you have to get a Visa (and you most likely will) they can’t start that process until you have one. It might be kind of a hassle, but seriously, just go get it done now! Also, find out about the climate of your mission so you can prepare accordingly.

-Packing tips. Make sure you know the size limits for you suitcases. The fee’s for oversized bags (even if its only like an inch) are ridiculous! Your call packet should have more details on size limits. Also, use your space wisely., I personally like these ideas:

WHAT! Mind=blown. Arrange your clothes on hanging Shelves and drop them into your suitcase. When you arrive at your hotel, just hang them in the closet. No need to unpack.

packing tips

Pack 6 days worth of nice clothes, shoes, toiletries into a carry-on bag with room left over! This is AMAZING!! now i just need 18 months worth of stuff in 2 bags...-Jewelry. Keep it simple. You don’t want to wear anything that will distract people from what you are teaching. And, if you are going to a third-world country (like I am) you don’t want to get mugged over a necklace you got at Forever 21 (just saying….) And this is probably the greatest Idea EVER for taking earrings! I just made one for myself and I LOVE it!

This is awesome!  Super smart!

-Vitamins. If you are going somewhere in the U.S. or another highly developed country, this probably wont be that big of an issue for you, but if you are going foreign, especially to a third world country, you are not going to be getting all of the nutrients your body is used to. I can’t even tell you how many horror story I’ve heard about girls getting sick and their  hair falling out because they aren’t getting enough nutrients. TAKE VITAMINS! I don’t know about you guys, but I seriously don’t want that to happen to me!

-Exercise. As Nike says, Just Do It. It doesn’t have to be anything long or crazy, just get moving! Staying in shape will give you more energy and help you feel better in general. I like the idea of making a “Work Out Book” full of work out ideas. Here is a link to an AWESOME one:

Sister Kati Ford...Happily Serving in Ukraine! : Working Out as a Sister Missionary + Exercise Book!-Hair &  Makeup. Just like with the Jewelry, keep it simple. Remember you only have about 30 minutes to get ready in the morning, so you don’t want anything too high maintenance. Here are some suggestions.

Well Sisters, I hope this was helpful! Good luck! You will all do wonderful things!

6 weeks.

One transfer.

That’s how long until I leave for the Provo MTC.

AAHH!

I am so excited!!

(although, I am realizing just how much I have left to do before I leave… YIKES!)

When we sent my twin brother off to the Guatemala MTC, I was afraid it would make me nervous about going,  but it didn’t.

Okay, maybe for like two seconds, but that doesn’t really count.

It made me SO EXCITED to serve!

Seeing how happy and peaceful he was made me feel so much better.

People keep asking me if I am nervous, and seem surprised when I say no.

But really, I’m not.

Sure, I have moments occasionally where I freak out a little, but I think that’s normal, and they pass quickly.

I know it will be fine, because this is the Lord’s work and he will take care of us.

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Twins

mothersdayWell, it had to happen eventually. My twin brother Parker, is leaving on his mission to the Guatemala, Guatemala City South Mission tomorow.

Holy cow, it seems like just a few weeks ago he was getting his call.

Where has the time gone?!?

Even though we fight all the time and drive each other crazy, I’m going to miss him SO.MUCH.

The longest we have ever been apart is 3 weeks.

I don’t know what the heck I’m going to do!

AH!

Well, I could continue on and be all sappy and stuff, but I doubt you want to read all that, so here are some pictures of us instead:

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When we were 4 or 5 (ish)

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Our graduation pictures

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more graduation pictures

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Before winter formal (2011)

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Temple lights (2011)

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Winter Formal (2011)

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Before prom (2012)

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Before Mormon Prom (2011)

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Mormon prom (2011)

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Sometime in 9th grade I think.. haha

and for anyone wanting to write him, here are his addresses:

blog2He will be in the MTC until about July 23

(**Clarification, we did NOT go to the dances together, my parents just took our pictures before. Just in case anyone was wondering…haha)

60

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Sister Evans

Philippines Bacolod Mission

You report in 60 days. 

That’s right, I have 60 days until I leave on my mission.

How crazy is that??  It has seriously flown by!

I get more and more excited every day, but man, Satan has been trying SO HARD to discourage me!

I am constantly battling feelings of depression and anxiety.

Little does he know it is only strengthening my resolve to serve not weakening it!

He wants me to think I’m inadequate, that I’m not good enough.

But I am good enough! I’m not perfect, I’m not even close, but I am trying my best.

This quote from Elder Holland has helped me a lot.

I KNOW this is what Heavenly Father wants me to do,  imperfections and all, and NOTHING is going to change that.

EVER.

I can not wait to serve the wonderful people of the Philippines!! It is going to be amazing!!