Thursday, August 13, 2015

Almost Two Years Later....

I forgot that I had this one thing.... a blog.

In case you forgot where I was, I am now back from serving my mission in beautiful Mesa, Arizona for a whole year and a half! It was the most wonderful experience of my life and I miss it every single day. I want to go back so bad but I know that I have so much to look forward to being a returned missionary!

I could probably try to recap my 18 months in Mesa... but that would take forever and wouldn't do any justice to the experience I had there. So I'll give you a small taste :)

I served in 4 areas, a YSA ward (Young Single Adults, anyone from 18-31 who aren't married) for 6 months, a family ward in Apache Junction, Arizona, then two more family wards in East Mesa. Each of those 4 areas brought life long friends and new scenery.

I served with 6 different companions. As a missionary you are assigned a companion, someone you work with to proselyte full time. You are within sight and sound of this person 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, until the mission president decides one of you needs to be transferred (could be 6 weeks could be 6 months!). My alone time over those 18 months consisted of going to the bathroom and showering. That's it. Which may sound horrible, especially since I'm fairly introverted and quiet, but my companions were my best friends! You can't live with someone in such close proximity for any extended period of time without sharing experiences that bring you together.

During my time off (Prep Days, Mondays from 10 AM to 6 PM) I got to hike, play sports, and spend time with my missionary friends. Missions are hard work, but they're also so much fun!

I had the wonderful opportunity to meet people who were interested in learning more about my church and eventually made the decision to be baptized! It was so cool to see people learning about Christ and His Atonement and actually seeing them apply it to their own lives!

I guess that's the short version of my time in Mesa. Now I've been back for about 4 months. I've kept quite busy in that time. I worked at my old restaurant for a few months and now I'm preparing to go back to school! I'll be attending Boise State University, majoring in Kinesiology! I'm excited for the adventures life is going to throw at me in the next few months! I'll try to keep it all documented here :)

While a blog is good, the easiest way to follow my adventures is on Instagram! Feel free to follow lindsey.sparhawk

Thanks for reading and keep in touch for some adventures to follow!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Here I GO!!!

Well, my time as a pre-missionary is coming to a close. I gave my farewell talks today and they went very well! I spoke on a talk by Elaine S Dalton, the former General Young Women's President. Her talk was titled Be Not Moved, it was such an amazing talk! I urge you all to go read it (the link on her name will take you to it!). I was blessed to be able to give my talk twice actually! I gave it in my home ward along with a boy who is leaving on the same day as me. We then sang Come Thou Fount with our siblings. It all went really well and I did so well at not crying until I was done singing! I then gave another version of the same talk in my singles ward, it was also good! Except that I cried, because my very best friend was in the congregation watching!

But Anyways...

Just 23 hours until I am set apart as a missionary! It's all so overwhelming because I don't feel prepared at all, yet the list of things I actually need to get done isn't all that big.

Well.... I guess packing is kind of a big thing

I should probably get to that

But anyways, this blog will be run by my wonderful mother from now! I'll be emailing her so she can post all of my adventures here!

I would love to hear from anyone and everyone! Please shoot me an email or even a letter! My addresses can be found under the "Send Me Some Love!!" tab at the top of this blog!

God bless

I'll see you all on the flip side

Monday, September 16, 2013

You might be a future sister missionary if...

You might be a future sister missionary if...

  • People keep reminding you when you leave
  • People keep asking where you're going (even after the 10th time you've told them)
  • People keep telling you about the cousins/brother/sister-in-law/uncle they have living in your area
  • People keep telling you what the weather will be like in your area, even if they've never been there
  • Boys are suddenly 110% less attracted to you
  • Boys are suddenly 110% more attractive to you
  • Everyone keeps asking you if you're excited
  • Everyone keeps asking you if you're nervous
  • Everyone tells you that you'll have so much fun
  • Everyone tells you that it will be the hardest 18 months of your life
  • PMG is your light reading for before bed
  • Shopping is 90% less fun
  • Shoe shopping makes you want to cry
  • You need to replace 90% of your wardrobe
  • You decide to get up at 6:30 every morning and go to bed at 10:30 every night
  • You actually get up at 10 every morning and go to bed at 2 AM, 5 days a week
  • You can tell people how many days until you report at the drop of a hat
  • You count down all your lasts (last full month, last full week, last weekend)
  • Your Facebook profile picture is you holding up your call
  • Your cover photo is a temple
  • Your Facebook name starts with Sister or Hermana
  • You're part of the "Many are called...but few are sisters" Facebook page
  • Watching other people open their calls makes you cry...even if you don't know them
  • Watching anyone do anything that requires more effort that breathing makes you cry because it's just so darn inspirational
  • The best gift anyone could give you is a mini hymn book
  • You have a blog
  • Your favorite weekend activity is doing temple sessions
  • You know exactly how many outfits you can make out of 8 blouses, 9 skirts, 4 cardigans, 3 pairs of shoes, and 2 scarves
  • Your workplace is your favorite place to tell people about the church, whether they want to hear it or not
  • You can't decide if "Called to Serve" or "I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go" is your favorite song
Thanks for reading! Hopefully everyone found it a little true and a little funny :) If you have any to add feel free to comment!! Come back soon for more!

Probably only one or two more posts before I report (in 9 days!)! My mom is going to take over the blog and hopefully have an update every week or so!

Monday, September 9, 2013

I Can Do Hard Things

It's been a crazy busy week in the life of a future missionary! With only 16 days until I report to the MTC it's all coming down to the wire. Everything big is taken care of and it's all just details I have to worry about now. Writing my farewell talk and (thinking about) starting to pack is making everything real. In just a few days I'll be able to count down my days left in Idaho on my fingers!

So this past weekend I got to support my dad in a big bike race that we've participated in several times as a family. The LoToJa Classic is a road bike race covering 206 miles and 3 states in one day. Starting in Logan, Utah and ending in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Both my parents are extremely talented ultra distance road cyclists. I have no idea where that gene went when I was born. I hate biking. I would so much rather run. Which was why I started crying a little bit when I got a letter from my mission president stating I'll need a bike for at least part of my mission. But anyways. With my parents always racing and me never racing it only made sense that I start supporting them! In most long distance bike races all the racers are required to have a support vehicle. That's where I come in. I drive the family mini van along the race course and stop at designated feed zones to hand my racers food, drinks, water, whatever they may need. After years of practice, my mom (who didn't race LoToJa this year) and I make a pretty dang good support team. We were able to get my dad through a feed zone in a matter of seconds. We never timed it, but my best guess is that the time it took from him stopping his bike to him starting back out was about 30 seconds total. Ya, we were that good.

But anyways, I always get emotional and inspired at this type of event. And I was comparing this type of race to the gospel all day long. Life is like a big long bike ride. There are uphill parts that are so tiring we're not sure if we'll ever make it to the top, there are downhill parts that you just fly down with no effort and enjoying the scenery the whole way down, there are also the long flat country roads that go on forever and are so mind-numbingly boring that you would almost rather be battling up a mountain. The church and the gospel are like the nutrition and water we need in order to finish this ride. Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father are the ones supporting us. We trust them in our mid-exercise state of mind, when we can't tell if we're hungry, thirsty, nauseous, or simply need to go to the bathroom, to get us what we need. We might think we need just water to survive, but they know better and give us water enriched with sports drink, plus they know when to give us sports bars or energy gels. The finish line of this ride we call life is when we finally get to get off our bikes and hug those who supported us and thank them for taking care of us.

Biking 206 miles in one day is hard. Really hard. That's why I've never done it. Life is also hard. But if we accept the support that is so willingly offered to us by our Savior then it becomes a beautiful ride through a gorgeous country.

Another tender tidbit on this years' LoToJa... Last year a man from Mesa started LoToJa, not knowing it would be his last. On a bridge about 180 miles into the race, there was a wreck that resulted in his death. This year, his wife started riding the course on the bridge and finished the race in his honor. She received a finishers medal at the awards ceremony the next morning. It was a really beautiful tribute and many eyes (including mine) were wet with tears. Faith in humanity: restored.

On a happier note! My dad finished LoToJa for his sixth time this year and received his 1000 mile club trophy! Plus he set a PR for this race of 9 hours and 27 minutes!

And so, in conclusion. It was a good weekend. Seeing as I'm done working (quite sad, actually) I have plenty of hours in my days to prepare to leave! Getting all my shopping for the little things like razors and a new make up bag done. I'll actually have to start packing soon... shudder. It's kind of like how it felt when I was getting ready to leave for college. But times 100.

We also got to do a session in the Logan Temple the day before the race, it was so beautiful! First time I've done a session outside the Boise temple!

Hope you enjoyed this post! Come back soon for more and feel free to email me or comment below!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Nobody said it would be this hard...

I am 24 days from leaving my family for 18 months. I have 22 days left in my beautiful state of Idaho. 

24 days.

Everyone keeps telling me I'll have the time of my life. It will be the best 18 months I ever have. 

So why does it feel like I only have 24 days left to live? 

Nobody told me it would feel like the goodbyes are final goodbyes. Nobody said it would be so difficult to explain to people why you're happy and sad all at the same time. Nobody said it would be hard to explain why you even want to do this.

I knew the tears would flow, but never did I anticipate the ease and volume that they would present themselves with. I knew I would be saying goodbye to friends and co workers, but I didn't know how attached I would be to the people I'm leaving for a year and a half. I knew the packing list would be long, but I didn't quite comprehend how much stuff you need for 18 months of life.

Going on a mission is hard.

I'm giving up my friends and family, my laptop, my phone, dating, jeans, flip flops, alone time, and over $7,000 to do this.

I want to be there to tell my fellow future sister missionaries that it's ok to scared. Heaven knows I'm terrified out of my wits! And I'm not even going anywhere remotely dangerous! I'm so so scared, but it's ok because I have the comfort from my Heavenly Father. What more do I need? If God can help Moses part the seas then he better be able to stop my tears and tell me that everything will be fine. And if Job can show faith through bankruptcy, abandonment, and illness then I can show faith in perfect health, with a whole support system of a family, and with abundance that I don't even appreciate as much as I should.

It's been an emotional few days. Getting down to the wire with not much time left for preparation. It's all getting real, and that's the scary part! I report in less than a month. I made a list of everything that I need to do and buy to be ready to go, it's less than a page long. I'm leaving my job this Thursday, and this is really proving to be harder than I thought it would be. I didn't think I would love the goofballs I work with this much. But I do. Oh well.

It was my last Fast and Testimony meeting before I leave, so naturally I had to get up and bear my testimony on missionary work. Just hoping my farewell talks go more smoothly!

Be faithful and happy. Don't worry about anything, because God has your back. Always has. Always will. Promise.

Thanks for reading! This was all my emotion just kind of pouring out into a random post! Come back soon for more and feel free to comment or email me!

Monday, August 26, 2013

The 30 Day Countdown Begins

Well, here it is! The last month of my life as a pre-missionary! It's... difficult to describe these feelings. It's kind of like this....

My thought process: ONLY 30 DAYS LEFT!!!! ....oh my gosh.... only 30 days left.... I'M SO PUMPED GET ME OUT THERE!!!.... I'm not going..... I'M GOING TO BE THE BEST MISSIONARY EVER!!!!....I'm going to be the worst missionary ever....

Ya, that's pretty much it.

But, in honor of my 30 days until I report I thought I would post 30 things NOT to procrastinate on while preparing for a mission!

30 Things NOT to Procrastinate on While Preparing for a Mission:

1. Immunizations. Seriously, I'm leaving in 30 days (!!!) and still haven't gotten one of my Hep shots, I'm so worried I won't be able to go...
2. Shoe Shopping! As soon as you get your call, start asking around and finding out the best shoes for that climate. Go find them where you're going to buy them, if they're already on sale, buy them. If they're not on sale first ask for a missionary discount, if that doesn't work then keep watching the shoes until they do go on sale. If they don't go on sale and you're like a month from leaving just suck it up and buy them.
3. Bag Shopping. A mission bag has been one of the hardest non-clothing items to find. It's worth the time to look around and find good quality, good sales, and good fashion ;)
4. Reading the Book of Mormon. I was already reading the BOM consistently, but I only recently committed myself to reading it cover to cover one more time before leaving.
5. Reading Preach My Gospel. Just starting reading it! Please!
6. Going through the temple. Go as soon as you can! Seriously, it is the most beautiful place and the most important work. Go and go often.
7. Taking Mission Prep classes. Even if you're just thinking about a mission, sign up for an institute mission prep class and go. It will give you good pointers and might tell you if you're supposed to go or not.
8. Sending in your Acceptance Letter. Try to send it as soon as you get your call. The sooner you send it in the sooner you'll hear from your mission president (in most cases).
9. Watching The District. Start watching it now so you can re watch it and re watch it as many times as you want! And believe me, you'll want!
10. Starting Family History work. I'm not a huge family history person. I feel bad, but it's really not my strong point. Get started early so you're not rushing to get it done before you go.
11. Compiling a complete packing list. No matter how long you have until you report, start your list. This way if any family asks you "what do you need? I want to help!" you can look at your list and say "I need a mini PMG, or a mini hymn book, or a travel size alarm clock!"
12. Memorizing important scriptures. This is will bless you on your mission. Start memorizing early so you can really get the words and the meaning behind them ingrained into your mind.
13. Getting a driving record and have your license renewed. The DMV sucks sometimes. Scratch that. The DMV sucks all the time. Just get it over with.
14. Start collecting addresses. Tell your friends and family that you want to leave with an address book full of addresses so you can start telling them about your adventures right away!
15. Settling bills/debts. I had a doctor bill up until a few days ago that I was really worried about because I was trying to pay for mission stuff, not doctor stuff! Get all debts settled so you can peacefully save up for the important stuff!
16. Working out who will be in charge of your finances while you're gone. It could get awkward if you're a week from leaving and your parents or whoever is incharge of money doesn't know how/what to do for financing the mission! Meet with them and your bishop at the same time so you can work it all out.
17. Figuring out your health insurance for while you're gone. Cause it's not fun to be on the phone with an insurance company a week before you leave trying to explain your situation.
18. Waking up earlier. I know. I'm not ready to get up at 6:30 AM everyday for 18 months either. But any preparation for this is better than none.
19. Getting in the habit of DAILY study. You may study the scriptures and PMG consistently 4 or 5 days a week, but that's not enough out in the field. Just try to get in the habit of studying at least a little bit every single day. Without fail. And no. I'm not good at this. But I try.
20. If you have a job, settling when your last days will be and if you'll be able to come back after your mission. It's so nice to know you'll have a job after being away for a year and a half. Managers will most likely want to know if you plan on coming back and when you plan on leaving pretty early on. And make sure you don't tell them your last day is going to be the day before you report. I'm leaving my job about 2 weeks before I leave so I have more time to prepare and say goodbyes.
21. If you're going to school, making an official deferment. This is SO important. I go to BYUI so they are pretty easy going about this sort of thing, but if you don't go to a church school make sure the school knows exactly when you'll be gone and why and all that jazz.
22. Telling your bank where you're going. You'll want your debit card to work while your gone (providing you're going somewhere where you'll be able to use it) so make sure you let your bank know where you're going so they don't deactivate your card because they think someone stole your identity!
23. Start following any mission rules feasible to your daily life. Preparing to follow these rules will help you transition a little more easily into the missionary life. But hey, I am not by any means saying you should give up dates before you go! Fill your canteens girls! ;)
24. Getting ready to walk/bike A LOT. Ya. I'm not so excited to have to bike everywhere. But refusing to believe it's going to happen and blocking it out of my mind will only make it more difficult when the time comes.
25. Start talking to people who live in/have lived in/served in your mission. I'm serving in Arizona. Without fail, every single time anyone finds this out they say "oh my gosh look out for my cousin that lives there!" or "ah! my missionary is serving there! Look out for Elder so and so!" or "I used to live there!" or "I have family down there! If you meet any generic-last-names tell them I say hi!" Every. Single. Time. And you know what? I don't remember a single name anyone has told me to look out for. Sorry, not sorry. But in all seriousness, if you know anyone who served in your mission ask them questions! Ask them about the weather/climate, ask them about the president, all that jazz! Getting advice from someone with first hand experience is priceless.
26. Starting a mission journal. As soon as you get your call. Or even as soon as you start your papers. Dedicate a journal to missionary-related journal stuff!
27. Start writing all the missionaries you know for advice. Even all those guys in your ward that you don't really know all that well but you have their address anyway (you all know there are so many of them!) send them a card and tell them where you're going and ask for one piece of advice!
28. Trusting the Spirit. Acting on prompting from the Holy Ghost is such a big part of missionary work, start that right now! Pray and ask for missionary experiences and act on ALL prompting you receive! Practice makes perfect.
29. Starting your missionary work! Like I said above. Pray for missionary experiences. Before your mission is the perfect time to tell people about the church, they will more than likely be curious about what a mission is and why you're going. Tell them and bear your testimony to them.
30. Making memories with family and friends to last you 18 months! You won't see these people for a year and a half! Take pictures! Make memories! Have fun! These fun times will carry you through your mission when you are missing them like crazy.

Well, there are my 30 things not to procrastinate doing while prepping for your mission. Hopefully it's been at least a little informative! If you have anything to add please comment below or email me! Thanks for reading and come back soon for more!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

An 18 Month Packing List?!?

My life for a whole year and a half is limited to fitting into two suitcases and a shoulder bag! I guess I can only speak for myself, but I feel like many girls my age could probably fit half their wardrobe into that, not taking into account toiletries, accessories, books, etc... And yet, here I am, compiling a packing list that is to last me a whole of 18 months. This is my first draft of a packing list, please feel free to tell me if I forgot anything or have something here that I won't need! Keep in mind, I'm going to Arizona, so I don't feel the need to pack any really heavy winter clothes. Hopefully this will be helpful to other sisters out there!

Arizona Here I Come!
·        Clothes
o   Missionary clothes
§  Skirts
§  Blouses
§  Dresses
§  Jacket
§  Cardigans
§  Tank tops
o   P Day Clothes
§  T shirts
§  Jeans
o   Exercise Clothes
§  Shirts
§  Pants
o   PJs
§  PJ pants
§  PJ shirts
o   Shoes
§  Flats
§  Flipflops
§  Sneakers
o   Unders
§  Garments
§  Underwear for exercise
§  Bras
§  Sports bras
§  Spandex Shorts for Biking
§  Slips
o   Accessories
§  Belts
§  Necklaces
§  Bracelets
§  Earrings
·        Toiletries
o   Teeth
§  Toothbrush
§  Toothpaste
§  Floss
o   Hair
§  Shamp/Condit
§  Hair brush
§  Bobby Pins
§  Hair Ties
§  Hair spray
§  Curling Iron/Straightener?
§  Blow Dryer
o   Make Up
§  Foundation
§  Eyeliner
§  Mascara
§  Eye Shadow
§  Lip balm
§  Lip Gloss
§  Brushes
o   Skin
§  Lotion
§  Face Wash
§  Sun Screen
o   Body
§  Deoderant
§  Towel
§  Hand Towel
§  Wash Cloth
§  Biotin
§  Mini ibuprofen/Tylenol
§  Insect Repellant
§  Kleenex
§  Razor
§  Shaving Cream
§  Soap
§  Body Wash
§  Q-Tips
o   Feminine
§  Tampons
§  Pads
o   Nails
§  Clippers
§  Polish
§  Mani Set
·        Misc
o   Gospel books
§  Scriptures
§  PMG
§  True to the Faith
o   Clothes Hangers
o   Journal
o   Pens/pencils/highlighter
o   Notebooks
o   Shoulder Bag
o   Camera and Charger
o   Bedding
o   Alarm Clock
o   Laundry Bag
o   Small Flashlight
o   Batteries
o   Stationary (stamps, paper, envelopes)
o   Ipod and Speakers?
·        Documents
o   ID
o   Debit Card
o   Driving Record
o   Temple Recommend
o   Family history Chart
o   Insurance Card
o   Immunization Record
o   Copy Of Mission Call

o   Address Book

Thanks for reading! Have a great week, come back soon for more! Follow me on Pinterest, email me at, or comment below!