Saturday, June 4, 2011

Open Mic Night!


Yesterday was Friday and I wasn't in the mood for going out and doing anything extravagant. Just happy that the weekend had finally arrived. One of my friends, Lindsay, called me and we decided to go for a walk and then try to find a place to go for a quiet dinner. Well, we were definitely in for a treat. First, we were joined by another friend (Jen). Together the three of us went for an exciting walk right outside my apartment. We saw lots of fireflies! Then we found a Thai restaurant and to our great surprise it was open mic night! There was a band and people could just go up to the band and request a song. I'm definitely not the type of person to do something like this, but I knew I needed more stories to keep my blog audience intrigued. After many other people in the audience had gone up to sing, they started asking us to go up to sing too! I was sure that I couldn't be brave enough! Then my friend Lindsay (who is super confident) stood up. I knew I couldn't just sit and watch so we braved the audience together. We sang Don't Know Why by Nora Jones. The audience liked it. There were lots of claps and no booing. In fact, they encored us! So I got brave enough to sing a second song. I never thought I could do it, but I did. It was so much fun to sing in front of an audience. The best part was the live music! What a fun Friday night!

White House


I've been to the White House!

Assateague Island


The weekend before going to Duck Beach I went camping on the beach in Maryland. The place is called Delmarva because it is close to Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. The camp ground we went to is known for the wild ponies. We got to see a few. We also camped on the beach. We got there at 2am and set up tents at that time. I was a tired camper so I fell asleep soon after the tent was up. The next day we enjoyed the beach and headed home. The most adventurous part of this trip came later when I realized that I had left my wallet in Delaware. I had to go all the way back to Delaware, 3 hour drive, and get my wallet the next day. Sad! Fortunately, my friend Kalee came with me but we had some rough moments when the GPS decided not to cooperate with us. I will never forget this adventure! I think Kalee won't either!:)







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The best part of driving back from Delaware was that I had my wallet with me AND we got to see the temple from the most beautiful view right off of the freeway:



For more info on Assateague Island click here.

Duck Beach









Duck Beach... Well, what can I say. It is a Memorial Day weekend packed with lots of beach time and lots of LDS singles. It was really fun. I got lots of sun, friends, and pics. Here they are:






Choir Music

Here is the link to all of the choir performances we had with the NOVA Institute Choir. I will forever cherish the memory of singing in this choir out here in DC.
http://tomavocals.weebly.com/download-page.html

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Teaching Sunday School

I have been teaching Sunday School in my ward for the last couple months and have learned more about the teachings and nature of Jesus Christ. It has been a privilege to teach and I will be sad to leave this ward and this calling. There are a number of lessons I've learned in regards to being a better teacher and I want to write them down here before I forget them:
  • I've learned to start the class even if there are only a few people there.
  • I've learned to ask open ended questions like "What are your thoughts on this?"
  • I've learned to be present and in the moment when people are commenting.
  • I've learned to relax in front of a crowd.
  • I've learned to let people talk and to talk less myself.
  • I've learned to always keep the purpose of the lesson in mind.
Today I taught about the parable of the unjust steward. Imagine my joy and surprise when I found out that my sister Raquel was also called to teach this week and would be teaching the same lesson! She shared the link above with me. I think one of the biggest lessons I can take away from teaching the New Testament during all of these months is that Heavenly Father doesn't just care about the things we say or the things we do even, he cares about us becoming and being. He wants us to be, not just to do. I love that. I sometimes wonder if I am becoming. I've tripped and failed many times. I do need to work harder at becoming. Teaching this class has helped me see where I fall short so I can strive to be better.

Rock Climbing


This weekend I went rock climbing with three other girls from work. We went to Sport Rock in Alexandria and got a pass and rented shoes. It was fun to be with the girls. I really had never done rock climbing in an indoor place before so that was a good experience. I actually got to the top of a rock pile! It was fun to cheer for the other girls and take pictures of everyone. At one point they mentioned going drinking and I had to explain about my religion and how we don't drink. Later we went to Olive Garden and celebrated. It was a good weekend activity. Rock climbing takes lots of strength and determination. It reminded me of my dissertation and how that's taking me so much strength and determination. As I watched some of the other rock climbers, it was evident that people really enjoy the challenge of getting to the top and I realized that when things get tough, we can change our perspective to learn to enjoy the challenge. Here is one of my friends:


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