Monday, March 30, 2009

Bienvenidas a Mexico!

Well Hola to all! For the maybe 3 people who check up on the Tik-ster and the A-man, here is my Mexico update. Nick Dueck and I went on a cruise on the Carnival Elation to Ensenada Mexico for our company Linx. It was pretty awesome. We especially had a good time in Mexico. We spoke spanish the whole time and made a few contacts with the locals and referred them to the missionaries.
Mainly the whole trip I thought about the gospel and Tikla. I thought of how wonderful she is and how much I missed her. Man, when I got home I got the biggest hug ever! The 4 day reunion was awesome! YOu know we are engaged when we can barely handle 4 whole days. She made it a proactive weekend however. I am very grateful to be back and get into the swing of things. I lost my voice and maybe the climate change got to me but I spent some of the day today just resting. Anyway here are some photos from my trip to Mexico!

We stayed wednesday night in a hotel in the heart of las vegas. Freaky!
The hotel makers were clever. We had to walk across the casino twice to check in and then go to our room.
Nick and I went out on the strip for 10 minutes so that he could buy a toothbrush. This was an extremely small store and I thought it was hilarious that they had a whole isle to head and stomach related medicines.

Ensenada Mexico.
Cruisin' the streets.
Fortunately in Mexico they also have Dr. Pepper. Whew!
This one is for Tikla. It was formal night, I ate two lobsters, 10 tiger shrimps and two chocolate desserts. This picture was before dinner. Yea, I don't look that skinny anymore.

Bottom Line. I love Tikla. It wasn't the same without her, the whole time I just wanted to talk to her. Nick and I walked for an hour looking for an internet cafe so we could talk to our babilicious babes. How I love HER!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cruising solo for a few days

Today is the first day, since we started dating, that I haven't seen Austin. He is on his way from "sin city" to board a free cruise to Mexico. He works for Linx and this is just one of the perks. Is it sad that I miss him and it's been one day? We'll see how I hold up for two months this summer!

So, quick update:

It's freezing cold again! We had a few wonderfully sunny days last week, but lots of determined flurries today.

My family is in a new house. They also got a dog (really weird for me since we've never really had pets) with an identity crisis. She is known as brownie, sparky, frisky, blackie, and Ned.

Crunchy peanut butter is still ultimately better than creamy.

We almost have an apartment contract for next fall.

My family is coming up to Utah June 3rd.

Classes are intense.

Cafe Rio, or as Austin would say "Captain Rio," is sooooo yummy!

Invitations are almost done!

Life is wonderful!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Stake Conference Golden Nuggets of Thought

Hymn #131

sung prayerfully

More holiness give me,
More strivings within,
More patience in suffering,
More sorrow for sin,
More faith in my Savior,
More sense of his care,
More joy in his service,
More purpose in prayer.

More gratitude give me,
More trust in the Lord,
More pride in his glory,
More hope in his word,
More tears for his sorrows,
More pain at his grief,
More meekness in trial,
More praise for relief.

More purity give me,
More strength to overcome,
More freedom from earth-stains,
More longing for home.
More fit for the kingdom,
More used would I be,
More blessed and holy—
More, Savior, like thee.

Austin and I had a wonderful talk last night about how in order for the Lord to use us, we can't be filled with self pity. The third to last line of this hymn says, "more used would I be." That is my goal. To live my life in a way that I can be used by the Lord.

What is holiness? Something holy is set aside for a sacred purpose. I thought a lot during the Saturday session of what I can do to make my life more holy. In my thoughts, my actions, my dealings with others, how can I set my life aside for a holy purpose.

The entire Saturday session was filled with references to the temple. I was overcome by a desire to prepare myself in every way to be more holy, and therefore more worthy to receive my endowments in the temple. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ walk the halls of the Temples. What a blessing to us to have their house open to us as we live worthily. What mercy! I certainly don't deserve it on my own.

Satan will find good people and try to tempt them. He wants nothing to do with goodness. There is a pattern in the scriptures of families who are attacked by the devil. It's a battle! "Will the youth of Zion falter? NO!!"

Callings come from God. When we receive a calling we should ask ourselves how we can best prepare ourselves for this assignment.

How amazing that the prophet of the Lord knew way back in 1995 that it was necessary to have The Family: A Proclamation to the World. The family is under attack and the watchman on the tower saw it coming. How important it is that we listen to the voice of warning. In just three weeks we will get to hear the prophet and his apostles and other general authorities of the church speak to us. They have inspiration and keys necessary to lead and guide the church on the earth today.

Six points from former President Wilkey:

1) These are the latter days! We don't need to be fearful. Shine on!

2) The things that matter most are the things that last the longest.

3) The direction you are going is more important than the speed with which your traveling.

4) The devil will never have a body, he wants you to misuse yours,

The devil will never have a family, he wants yours.

Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly.

5) The Lord will give direction, correction, and affection.

ponder General Conference talks

put pictures from the temple in every room

write a letter to a contact or investigator

6) Feed your faith and your doubts will starve.

When we suffer we learn faith and perseverance.

Trials = blessings

Satan is a coward.

These are just a small piece of the thoughts I had as I listened to our inspired leaders. Goals have been set, inspiration received, and I'm so excited for another week of life!

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is TRUE. I know it. What a spiritually fulfilling day.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Purple Finger Paint!

So mess was my idea, and the color is dedicated to mom Fife.

I accidentally ripped his shirt. Yikes he looks scary in this one!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What a STUD!


The night that Austin proposed we immediately went back to my apartment and Skyped our families. My mom accidentally took a still picture from the webcam while we were talking. It doesn't quite capture the excitement of the moment, but it's fun that it was taken that night!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Engagement Pictures!

Thanks again Amber! Fife Photography is the best!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Austin's Version

Okay so I decided for all you eager parents/friends/possible enemies that I would write brief history of how things went down with Tikla & I leading up to the engagement.

After a lot of thought and meditation we both decided at the beginning of January that we wanted to start praying about the issue of marriage. I had my mind made up that Tikla is absolutely perfect for me and despite my imperfections, I for her. We set out a plan. When, where, why, how etc. After a couple days of planning and discussing we metaphorically parted our own ways to start praying about marriage.

I had a surprising hard time (especially for those of you who know tikla!). However I tried to be worthy and diligent in my lifestyle and prayers.

Finally it came. January 24th in sacrament meeting my mind felt so completely clear and I received a clear, God-inspired answered. After that meeting I had some concerns about some temporal issues like housing and engagement rings but I felt confident that God would provide a way.
I decided that the following Saturday I would call Brother Brown and ask for his permission to marry his daughter. No luck! He was sick! Okay…Hmmm. Back to square one. So over the next few days I continued tried calling and hit roadblock after roadblock. Finally Wednesday I was determined to talk to him without giving it away to Tikla what was going on. NO LUCK! We had a great game of telephone tag but no serious conversations.

Thursday I woke up a little under the weather. After class I came home, prepared lunch and took a quick nap. For some random reason I decided to check the mail (not my custom). I looked inside and it was my day! I had like 3 letters! Then I noticed in the back of the mailbox a small package from Saipan. Surely enough it was from Tikla’s parents. On the customs form on the back it said, “Gift”. Hmmm, a little late for Christmas but it was a nice gesture.

I went to my room and opened up the little box they sent me. Inside was some weird looking Korean coin pocket or something and a note. I thought, “Hmmm, this must be an oriental thing?” I read the letter and my jaw dropped. There inside of the pocket was Tikla’s heirloom ring that she had inherited from both her great grandmother’s. The ring was just gorgeous (you may visit Tikla to see it!).

My heart began to race. I had an answer and now I had a ring. What I thought might occur a couple months down the road was now close.

I called the Brown’s that night. We all had a good laugh because I had been trying to get a hold of them for 5 days. So I guess as far as Brother Brown’s permission I had my answer! Nevertheless I asked him that night for his blessing and permission to marry his daughter. We had a great conversation and later with Sister Brown too.

I then began planning the proposal. I was thinking maybe in a couple weeks. However long story short I was on my way home from work on Saturday and I had this overwhelming feeling that I should do it that very night. “What??!!” I thought. Am I crazy? It was so last minute, so not planned! But it felt perfect so I got home, showered and got everything ready.

I told Tikla that we wouldn’t be able to go to the temple like we had planned but we could instead go to the Timp. Temple and walk around. She was disappointed but excited to go to Timp.
I tried to stay as casual as possible. We walked around the front and chatted casually and eventually made it inside to the waiting room. We got a drink of water and admired a picture of the Savior and the atonement.

We walked outside with the intent to walk toward the back. Oh boy my heart was really going by this time. Once we reached the back I simply held her and we talked. Subtly I stepped back and let go of her hand. I pointed at Moroni to get her to have her back toward me.
When Tikla turned around I was on one knee with a little black box in my hand. I opened it up and I asked her to marry me.

To sum up Tikla’s reaction, let me just say that she “FREAKED OUT”. First she threw her hands over her mouth as if all oxygen had disappeared. Then she cried a little. Then she screamed. Then she jumped up and down. Finally she said YES! I got up and embraced her with the most joy I have ever felt. I of course asked her jokingly, “So was that a yes?”

Tikla and I are so excited for the future. It will be wonderful, miserable, bliss, painful and everything else that comes with important eternal decisions. I absolutely love her!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tikla's Version

Feb 7th, 2009 Austin and I were going to go to the Provo temple. He was going to do endowments and I'd do baptisms. I got dressed up to go to the temple and then my phone started vibrating. "The love of my life" was calling. I answered and he explained that he was going to be home later than expected from work. I was disappointed, but I was excited when he suggested we drive up to the Timpanogos temple instead and just walk around the grounds.

He came to pick me up. We were both dressed up, and he looked dashing. He led me out to Nick's jeep and explained something about Nick needing his car tonight. He opened my door, and off we went. We chatted about whatever and nothing and everything. Soon the temple lit up the night and we hopped out of the car. I suspected nothing. We walked inside for a moment to get a drink and sit down for a minute. Then we headed back out of the temple. As we walked through the arches that marked the entrance to the temple, I couldn't help thinking about what it would be like to walk down that same place dressed in white, sealed eternally the to this incredible man, walking hand in hand. As we walked down the side of the temple I admired the stained glass windows and decided again that this must be my favorite temple. We rounded to the back of the temple and we paused. Austin kissed me gently and we held each other for a moment. He stepped back a little and pointed something out up on the temple. I turned away from him to look up. When I turned back toward him he was down on one knee. He held a little black box in his hand with my great-grandmother's heirloom diamond ring glittering inside.

"Tikla, will you marry me for time and all eternity?"

My heart stopped. My hands flew up to my mouth and I inhaled so sharply you'd think I'd sucked my fingers to my face. I must have stood their for 5 minutes before I could unthaw enough to move. When I did though, look out world!

"YES!" I strangled Austin and he picked me up and twirled me around. I switched back and forth from spazzing out, laughing, crying, and holding him as tight as I could for the next few minutes. He slipped the ring onto my left ring finger. Our excitement far outshone the glitter of the ring.

We stayed there being engaged and doing what engaged couples do for a little while longer. Then he escorted me back to the car. Instead of opening my door however he opened the back hatch of Nick's jeep. Scattered all over the back were rose pedals. A single whitish, pinkish, orangeish rose lay in the middle next to the black leather journal I'd given him for Christmas. He handed me the rose and we both sat in the back of the car while he opened his journal to the date when he had received his confirmation from the Lord that asking me to marry him was the right thing to do. As we say in my family, I "happy cried..."

We drove home and Skyped my family and his family. I couldn't sleep that night. All I could think about was how amazing Austin was and how I was the luckiest woman in the world. I knew that by marrying Austin I would be the happiest woman in the world. I love him with all of my heart and can't, and won't, wait to try my hardest to deserve him.