Saturday, December 31, 2016

Thank you, 2016.

I can't seem to find the resolutions I set in 2016 anywhere. I've searched every journal, every note in my phone and every email to missionaries. So my first resolution for 2017 — keep track of where I write down my resolutions.

I'm resurrecting my old blog because I wanted a venue to bid goodbye to 2016. 

This year has been unlike any other year in my life. I never realized how grounding it is to have a life plan. I defined my life plan through my youth — preschool, elementary school, middle school, high school, college, mission, finish college. 

And this year I no longer had that plan. In December 2015 I left Brigham Young University with my bachelor's degree in-hand (well, in the mail) and embarked on a new adventure, beginning my career as a journalist.

I started the year out in Salt Lake City. An internship with Deseret News bursted my Provo bubble and I headed 45 miles to the north. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I could have made. My path led me to a team with two of the most marvelous individuals I've ever worked with. Emily and Morgan exemplified the career goals I hadn't yet discovered for myself. I envied Emily's talents with writing and Morgan painted a picture of passion when it came to her work that I wanted to pursue for myself. 

Outside of my internship the trail of life took me to these two homies. Chantel, Kelcy and I bonded over Criminal Minds, $5 Tuesdays at the Cinemark and gallons of cookie dough. Chantel understood the transition to adulthood and constantly supported me and Kelcy gave us plenty of reasons to laugh. 
 

In March this little angel came into my life. Aunt is one of my favorite titles, especially when I have a niece as adorable as Mikaya. 
Just over 250 bylines later, my internship came to a close and I faced a fork in the road. I spent a few days in Arches National Park trying to decide what to do. Amidst all of my decision-making, we took plenty of selfies. 
Eventually I decided to return down south and start a new journey with Utah Valley Magazine. So I packed up my bed and my bookshelf (still working on expanding my furniture collection) and returned to my home away from home, Utah Valley.
Working at Utah Valley Magazine is fulfilling a dream I forgot I had. I found an old journal during my first month at the magazine. I listed my dream job as a magazine writer. Not only am I living the dream job, I'm surrounded by dream people. Every day I get to work with people who inspire me in different ways and I feel so blessed. 

The highlight of my year though is a moment that I will never forget. Returning to Riverside for the sealing of the Cuniche family was incredible. This family is an example to me of overcoming trials, trusting in God and living with faith. Many tears were shed in the sealing room of the Redlands Temple and the joy I felt might rival the joy I feel on my wedding day (TBD).
 

The other highlight of the year was being reunited with my sister. Adding to the list of why we are often mistaken for twins is now we both speak Spanish learned during Southern California Missions. 


2016 has been full of change as I've tried to figure out my path in life. There are many people who have guided me through the transition who I feel incredibly blessed to have in my life. Chances are if you took the time to read this to this point, you're one of them. So thank you. 

This year I've learned the importance of following God's will.  I experienced the dissonance when I went against it and felt the pure harmony of aligning my will with His. 

I am excited for 2017. I'm ready for new adventures, new growing experiences and more chances to become like Christ. I bid this year farewell with a quote from my favorite talk I read in 2016, "Be Renewed in the Spirit of your Mind," by Sister Patricia Holland. 

"As Paul sad in another setting, 'Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new' (2 Corinthians 5:17). Welcome to a new year and what can be literally a new life in Christ, where all things become new and old things pass away."

Welcome 2017!


Vocal Point + Shayla = Awesomeness
A few other 2016 highlights:




















The first Williams Family picture with eight members

Added Zion's to my list of National Parks. 
Waterfalls are meant to be played in.
When you crop a pic for Instagram to make the scenery prettier. 
The one session I didn't work this year.
Mariah is joy.
Seeing Hannah sing is always a thrill. 
The engaged Katie!
Some things never change.

Grateful that goodbyes don't last forever. 




Sunday, November 6, 2016

I Have No Friends

   "No friends. No friends. I have no friends."
   These are the lyrics to one of the masterpieces written by my brother, Alaric. We were in high school. He invited his friends to come over that night and every single one of them was late. Even though it led to a depressing song, I was grateful because we laughed for hours about it. In fact, Alaric and I still smile when we think of that song. 
   That memory always brings a dose of sunshine to the moments I feel like I have no friends (yep, I have those some times). It makes me smile when I've moved to a new place and I have no one to sit with at church. Or when I have no plans on a Friday night. 
   Maybe I'm just crazy but I think other people have those moments they feel friendless. 
   Recently though I realized my problem is I don't necessarily feel friendless — I feel like I'm not measuring up to the number of friends I should have or the number of new friends I should be making.
   Earlier this week I had an experience that changed my perspective. My brother, Sean, asked me to edit a eulogy he was going to give at the funeral of one of his best friends. 
   As I read these words, truth entered my soul.
   "Karina was a very special friend to me, the type that only comes around a handful of times in a lifetime. As I’ve been thinking about it, the fact that friends as amazing as Karina are so rare is probably by design. You don’t need many friends like that when you can savor such a rich friendship."
   You don't need many friends like that when you can savor such a rich friendship.
   Wow.
   This caused me to pause. I looked back on every time I had sung Alaric's "No Friends" jingle and realized I had measured my success in the world of friends the wrong way all along.
   See, I feel like I have friends when I have plans every night in a week. I feel like I have friends when I host a party and have more people than can fit in my living room — even if I don't know half of them. I feel like I have friends when I have more text messages than I can respond to.
   Man, was I wrong.
   I've measured friends in quantity instead of in quality. 
   I literally have the best friends.
   Seriously though. There are over a dozen people in my life that I say label "one of my best friends."
   I'm so blessed with rich friendships. 
   So when I get discouraged that I'm not making new friends, I can't help but think it's because of the incredible standard created by the people in my life. 
  I'm lucky.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What I Learned (Not Reported) at Education Week

Guess what?
I'm officially a reporter for The Universe!
(That's BYU's Campus Newspaper, in case you didn't know).
Most of you know that I'm a Communications Major (Journalism Emphasis) at school. Part of the major is this super difficult (supposedly, I'm taking it in the fall) class called Comms 321: News Reporting. In that class you write articles for the paper. All of the members of the class got an email inviting us to get a head start on our inch count by reporting on Education Week. I decided this sounded like a splendid idea and signed up.
Let me tell you, nine articles in four days is no easy feat. Well, maybe it is for more experienced reporters but I felt busy all the time.
For those of you who don't know what education week is, it's pretty much you go to a bunch of classes on various topics ranging from the life of Jesus to how to plant a garden box. 
The hardest part of reporting? Trying to write the articles for the public instead of writing the articles as "This is what I, Lindsey Williams, took out of the class." I knew that some of the stories I heard were just too sacred to put into a paper and some of the feelings I had were not anything the speaker said but rather what I had learned personally.
So, for you lucky boys and girls, this is what I learned (not reported) at Education Week:
  •  I'm a terrible communicator. Funny that a communications major is saying this, right? In the class we talked about bad communication isn't just saying things you don't mean because of you're emotions. This is a list of the characteristics of bad communication from The Feeling Good Handbook by David B. Burns. I realized that I'm guilty of a lot of these!
 

  • One class I went to talked about worshiping Christ. In the class, the teacher (Bro. Millet), mentioned that one way we worship is to acknowledge God's greatness and His majesty and confess our total dependence on him. Bro. Millet pointed out, "God does not need the acknowledgement, we do." He talked about how when we focus have that gratitude we will be happier. "There is something spiritually therapeutic about acknowledging the hand of God."
  • "Happiness is the fulfillment of expectations." -Michael Allred
  • Never shrug off a scripture saying that you've already heard it before. There is always something new to learn.
  • Don't be afraid to admit you have a weakness; everyone has weaknesses.
  • You're not humble if...
    • You are not ready to hear difficult answers
    • You are not accepting criticism
  • "If you have not received an answer to your prayers in the last three days you must change the way you pray. If you have not received an answer by reading the scriptures in the past week you need to change your scripture study."- Merrilee A. Boyack
  • Go to the scriptures before Google.
  • Stop dwelling on the past. Christ is always in front of us. If we keep looking behind us we cannot come unto him. "If we face the S[o]n, the shadows fall behind us." -Helen Keller
  • “When a man wages war against his weakness, this is the most holy war he can ever enter, and the joy of accomplishment is the most exquisite.” -Marion G. Romney
Two of the classes I went to were my absolute favorites so they get a special pull-out section. The first one was by Sherrie Mills Johnson about avoiding unnecessary pain in our lives.
She talked about how there were only four types of necessary pain in our lives:
  1. Necessary pain is encountered as we travel the path of righteousness.
  2. Adversity that occurs because of the natural telestial world (i.e. a jammed finger).
  3. When other people misuse their agency (i.e. a drunk driver).
  4. Repentance.
And then she talked about types of unnecessary pain:
  1. Sin
  2. Fighting against the truth or verity of a telestial world - She talked about how everyone at some point will be stuck in a traffic jam. But does complaining about the traffic jam ever change it? No.
  3. Trying to avoid the necessary pain of life - Using an analogy of a toddler learning how to walk (a painful process indeed), she posed the question of if we all had to wait until we were eight years old to learn how to walk how many people would choose to just stay crawling in order to avoid the pain?
  4. Denying Jesus Christ- she talked about four ways we deny Jesus Christ that we may not realize:
    1. When we feel the need to do it all by ourselves - Christ commanded us to take his yoke upon us. He never said to go plow the field by ourselves.
    2. Feeling like we can never be forgiven - Christ has promised to heal us of every sin. Feeling like we can't be forgiven is calling Christ a liar.
    3. Comparing ourselves to other people - When we are not content with our own lives in comparison with others it is a way of saying, "Christ did not know what was best for me."
    4. Thinking that we can never be good enough - "You won’t ever be good enough…But Jesus Christ died to be good enough for us. He is the good.”
After looking at these lists, I realized that a lot of the pain in my life is pain I cause on my own. I think the one I have the biggest problem with is fighting against the truth. But I'm going to work on it!

The other class I went to was by Brian G. Andre... It was absolutely my favorite class (I went to it twice even). But, there is no way I will be able to put into words everything I learned in the class. It was hard enough to write my article (it's called Healing Power, the link is below). I would encourage you to check out this website though. This is the organization Andre works for that helps out the leprosy colonies in India.  

What a wonderful week I had. :)

(Oh, and if you're interested, here are the links to my articles. For some reason I can only find six online).

California!


A few weeks ago, my friend Denise asked me if I wanted to go to California with her. I'm no dummy, so of course I said yes! We went to California right after Summer Term ended. 
California was amazing. We left good ole Utah around noon on Wednesday and drove down. I never realized how short of a drive it was to California from Utah. I guess I have always figured it was a long drive but it was shorter than the Colorado Springs to St. George drive. 
The drive was really enjoyable. Two inside jokes came out of the drive: "Laying in the shade" & "Eating Pie."
The first day we went to California Adventure and it was ridiculously enjoyable. Ashlee and Melanie had never been so we had lots of fun showing them around. It was our friend Bobby's birthday so we made him a birthday video. Funny part is as we were making this video I jammed my finger so bad. By the end of the day it had swollen to three times its normal size. I went to two places I had never been to before in California Adventure: the animation studio (which is awesome!) and the first aid room. Hahaha. 




California Adventure also just expanded with Cars Land. Cars Land was packed! The coolest ride, Radiator Springs Racecars, had a 100 minute wait. We did it as single riders and got through really quickly. :) It's a really fun ride and incredibly well designed. 




I saw two temples I hadn't seen before on the trip. The first one was the Redlands California Temple...

The funniest part of the night though was when Denise's mom walked in and asked, "Denise, is there something your not telling me?" Her mom pulled out a Nourishing Newborns package that for some reason had been shipped to the house. Haha! It was pretty hilarious. 

That night we stayed at Denise's parents' house and of course-ate some pie. :)
Now this night my finger was hurting so bad. So as I was doing my nightly scripture study I stumbled across these verses in 1 Nephi 18:
15 And it came to pass that we were about to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea. And after we had been driven back upon the waters for the space of four days, my brethren began to see that the judgments of God were upon them, and that they must perish save that they should repent of their iniquities; wherefore, they came unto me, and loosed the bands which were upon my wrists, and behold they had swollen exceedingly; and also mine ankles were much swollen, and great was the soreness thereof
16 Nevertheless, I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions. 
I felt pretty humbled after reading that. Haha. So I stopped complaining about my finger. 
The next day was Disneyland which was so fantastic. We met up with Denise's friend Shannon and just had so much fun. The parade went by and a chimney sweep waved right at me (after I air punched him of course). The best part though? We went onto the Storybook Boats right before the fireworks started. The ride stopped right around a bend and the fireworks went off on both sides of the boat. We were in the middle of the fireworks so it was really cool! 




That night we drove to San Diego. The next day spent in San Diego was incredible. I've decided that's where I want to go for my next vacation. It's such a beautiful place. We went to the beach for most of the day. Lots of seaweed was on the beach. The most interesting part was watching seaweed girl. She tried to make a dress out of the seaweed but eventually just gave up and sat in the pile of seaweed. Haha.




Temple #2: San Diego Temple :)
 That night we went for dinner at Coronado Island. Oh my goodness it was delicious Mexican food! They have the best queso ever. There was also a statue of three Mexican Dolls but one of them was missing a head. I went to put the head back on and a head from a different doll fell off. It was so funny.


So that was California. It was a really fun week. :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Summertime

"Summertime and the living is easy."
Summer term has been my favorite for the past two years. Something about the sun being up all the time, having classes that start and end before you even know how to pronounce your professor's name correctly, and constantly being in the pool just makes life so wonderful. 
I'm not sure if this summer has beat last summer but it is absolutely fantastic thus far.
We had a mud fight! The construction next to our complex has just been absolutely ridiculous. They take up the entire street when they are there with the parking. They leave us notes on our door that say they are pouring concrete at 4 AM (which I think is against the city noise ordinance) and apologizing for the inconvenience. So we decided to enjoy the construction for once and we had a mud fight.  (For those of you who are wondering, the mud did come out of my white shirt).

I've learned how to longboard. It all started because all of my friends began longboarding. I basically had the choice to learn how to longboard or be totally left out as all of my friends went longboarding. So I decided to try something new. I'm pretty terrible at it but it's still pretty fun.
I shot a real gun for the first time in my life. For some reason I thought the guns we shot at Girl's Camp were real guns. Oh how wrong I was. I shot a revolver and a mag. It was kind of scary but mostly awesome. I even hit some of the targets. The best part of the trip though was watching a watermelon explode after being hit with a rifle bullet.
I won Iron Chef for the first time. Iron Chef was brought to Utah by my friend Gina. It's basically a cooking competition. We pick one secret ingredient, which isn't really a secret ingredient, it's more of a common ingredient that everyone uses in their dish. It was on a Sunday and on this particular Sunday I was giving a talk. So I picked an easy but delicious recipe, peppermint lemonade. Here's the link to the recipe: Peppermint Lemonade
We had a ward camping trip down in Manti, Utah. We saw the Mormon Miracle Pageant which is definitely a bit on the cheesy side but it's still good. It's a pre-recorded soundtrack that was recorded a long time ago. I can't find the exact year it was recorded but from what I can find it looks like it was first recorded in 1970 and if it's been re-recorded it hasn't changed much. The pageant was really good but the camping was even better. We slept under the stars (first time I've ever done that). It was way fun. :)
Once a year Chick-Fil-A hosts cow appreciation day. Basically if you dress like a cow you get a free meal. So we did it! We even went cow-tipping afterwards...



On Monday after FHE I felt like going to grab some shaved ice. So a few of us went over and I ran into my old Young Women's president, Sister Gurr! It was the happiest moment ever. I love her so much. The picture above is from Monday and then the picture on the right is from 2008, four whole years ago! Man, time certainly does fly.




Recently, I've fallen in love with this quote from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin:

"If only we would look beyond our present suffering and see our struggles as a temporary chrysalis. If only we would have the faith and trust in our Heavenly Father to see how, after a little season, then we can emerge from our trials more refined and glorious.
What parent would say to a child, 'Learning to walk is such a painful and difficult experience, you will stumble, you will most likely hurt yourself, you will cry many times when you fall. I will protect you from the struggle?' I have watched our youngest grandson, Seth, as he was learning to walk. Through this process of gaining experience, he now walks with confidence. Could I have said to him, 'Out of my love for you, I will save you from this'? If so, because I could not bear to see him take a tumble at times, he may have never learned to walk. That is unthinkable for a loving parent or grandparent.
The child, if he or she is ever to walk, must pass through the stumbling and often painful process of learning. We encouraged Seth to learn through his experience. Yes, even knowing that the process would be difficult, we knew that the freedom and joy of walking would outweigh any temporary pain or adversity."
I just love this quote so much. It's simply fantastic. Sometimes we don't realize that our stumbles and falls are just helping us learn to do something even greater in the end.

I've also fallen in love with this quote from Stephen King:

“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that's all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.”
 
I've never been one to let go of friends easily. I understand that people always come into our lives for a reason if only for a season. But unless I can see why the season is supposed to end I struggle to let go of the person. I've recently learned though that it's okay to let someone go even if you can't see the reason why or don't understand why the season is now. 

That's all folks! 


Friday, June 15, 2012

One year down

Last year ago today I moved into my new apartment. That's such a crazy thought. The past year has definitely been an exciting one.

It all started out last summer. I don't think anything can even hold a candle to how amazing last summer was. Almost everyone that I was close with last summer were people who were brand new to my life. There have been two times in my life that I have had this totally new start in a city where you basically know no one. The first was when I went to Virginia. The second was last summer. In a lot of ways, both of these experiences have provided a marvelous opportunity--an opportunity to be whoever I wanted to be. Anyway, the summer was amazing. Full of new friends and really fun times.

Then fall semester began. In the distance, there was the looming threat of my application to the journalism major. One of the major components of the application was my grades in three of my classes. It was definitely intimidating to think about. But, fall semester went by quicker than I thought it would. A few highlights:

  • Perhaps one of the most exciting things about fall semester was having roommates again. Over the summer Kelli was home in Colorado and my other roommate was engaged and working two jobs so I rarely saw her. When fall semester started I had the treat of having two amazing roommates: Kelli and Shayla. I knew I was in for a good year when one of the first things I did together with Kelli was have a funeral for a dead fish. That's what this picture is from. :) 
  • One night we had a game night at our apartment. It was still warm and we decided we wanted to play Ultimate Spoons. But then we decided to make it a little more intense so we went over to the pool next door and played Ultimate Spoons in a swimming pool. It was ridiculously fun!

  • One of the most exciting moments was when Abby and I went to a soccer game together and we just so happened to run into the cast of Kid History! It was basically the best thing ever.
  • Another awesome moment was October General Conference. I think I had about 10 people over at my apartment when they announced the Provo Tabernacle Temple. We were all so excited about it!
  • General Conference was also awesome because Wendy came out to visit. Greg, Kelli and I took her up to temple square for General Conference. We didn't have tickets but it was a beautiful day so we just sat on the lawn and listened.
  • Greg getting his mission call! I was so excited because I was able to be with Greg when he opened the call. He is currently serving in the Japan Kobe Mission. I miss him lots.
Then came Winter Semester. My journalism application was due in January which really made me nervous. My classes required more work than the previous semester which was okay but I stayed pretty busy. I did get into the Journalism major and I also have added a History and a Family Life Minor. :) But, amongst the business I still found time to have a little bit of fun. :)
  • One of the defining characteristics of this roommate was really getting close to both of my roommates. They are both so lovely and I basically adore them. Another event from this semester was the decision I made to move out of my current ward and into an apartment south of campus. Sadly, this means I'll be leaving these two beautiful ladies. :( But I'm totally going to stay close with them.
  • Gina is basically amazing and got us some awesome conference tickets. We were so close! It was my first time actually attending conference which was really exciting. :)
  • I think the thing that I enjoyed most of this semester was temple trips. I made a goal to do 100 baptisms by the end of the year. Currently I'm already up to 70 something. I'm kind of excited about it. :)
School ended and I spent the last two months working for my aunt and traveling. :) I went to California with my grandparents and my Aunt, came home to surprise my Mom for Mother's Day, went to St. George with Gina and went down a zipline!, went to Park City with my old roommate Avy, went to St. George again with Wendy and met my Dad down there, and now I'm currently in Colorado. I've seriously not been at my apartment for two weeks straight for a really long time. I'm looking forward to being at my apartment more this summer.

So, as you can hopefully tell, I've had a really good year. I've learned a lot too, both inside and outside of school.

One quote I've grown to love more and more each and every day is this one:
"All of us.. when we think we are talking most intimately to someone else, are actually addressing an image we have of the person to whom we believe we speak." -Gene Wolfe
Think about this quote for a little bit. I dare you. I've been taking this quote and applying it to my life a little bit. I think as humans we all have times where we get annoyed with someone. Have you ever noticed how when you are annoyed with someone suddenly anything they do immediately bothers you? That's because that's their image currently in your mind. The power of what you think of someone can really alter your relationship with them.

I think I'll leave it at that for today. :) I'm seriously going to be better at posting on this blog though, and I'm serious this time. :)