Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Ultimate Mission Prep

Blessed art thou that work in fast food kitchens. 

Alright, so that may be a little over the top. But seriously. If you want PRIME mission prep....go apply at a fast food kitchen. You will receive so many life lessons that you won't even know it until like 3 months in. That's mostly because you will hate it with such a passion that the only thing you think about while working is how much you hate working. Haha at least that's what happened to me. ;)

I was fortunate enough to obtain a full-time job in a city where everyone and their dog is looking for a full-time job. So I consider that a blessing. A big shout out to my boss for being so considerate of my need for money for my mission, that she practically hired me on the spot. Helps when your boss is LDS too. Seriously though I love her for that. 

For the first couple months of this five month job, I hated it with such a passion. It stressed me out so hard the point where I would come home and report, like so: "Mommmm! This job is stressing me out so much that I'm gonna go grey by the time I'm on my mission. People are gonna think I'm a senior sister missionary! SERIOUSLY." Ha yeah. It was bad. Who knew a fast food kitchen would be so stressful. 

But then! I had an attitude adjustment. Not sure when...but I did. One day I was thinking and I'm like, this is a fast food kitchen's not supposed to be this crazy. So from that day forward I decided to go into work with a smile and laugh at my mistakes and laugh at those who yelled at me on a daily basis. Pretty much just smile/laugh at anything that made me wanna punch a wall beforehand. 

AND LO AND BEHOLD... worked. 

Instead of pulling my hair out and losing my cool, I began to see things from a completely different perspective. I began to notice all the life skills that this place was teaching me! And wow, did I ever learn a lot. I learned things that you could only learn in a fast food restaurant kitchen. I will now give insight on everything that I think will help in the mission field. 

Things/Life Skills I Have Learned While Working in a Fast Food Kitchen:

Patience. Holy smokes. I've never had my patience tested so much in my life. Wowza. Butttt! Now my patience level has grown about 10 feet. (ahaha.) Seriously though. 

Tolerance. Once you work in a kitchen, you learn (and you learn real fast) that not everything goes how you want it to go. Especially with all the people that work with you. Sometimes things have to go a certain way and sometimes that certain way was exactly how the person you can't stand said it had to go...and you just learn to tolerate it... This may or may not have happened numerous times. This brings us to...

Learning to work with such a diverse group of people and personalities. In a fast food chain you get the pleasure of working with people from ALL over the world. And everyone is different. You connect with some people and you don't connect with some people..that's just the way the world works. But being in a tiny kitchen 8 hours a day every day makes you realize that just because you don't like that one trait about that person doesn't mean that they aren't great in other areas! Thus, you shouldn't focus on that one thing that irritates the crap outta you. Focus on the good! 

Love. This flows nicely with the point mentioned above. I learned to love those that I worked with! I began to look past those things that were like nails on a chalkboard for me and I began to see amazing people. I learned that it's much, much, MUCH easier to love someone than to be irritated by them for a stupid reason. It makes you feel lighter when you have that much love in you!

I learned kindness. When someone's yelling at you it takes A LOT to look them in the eye and not blow up on them back. It takes a great amount of effort to smile and say, I'm sorry, I'll do better next time. 

Anger management. I would be wearing headsets somedays to hear the drive thru orders (so we could make their orders as fast as possible) and some of the customers that came through were just plain rude! It would make my blood boil! There would be no respect at all. It was ridiculous. It would make me want to run out of the restaurant and throw their food in their face and say choice things that I probably shouldn't say (hahaha). But I learned that instead of taking it out on them, you just let it go. Some people are just angry! Although...can I just mention something? If you have the desire to eat at a fast food restaurant and you have the nerve to have no respect whatsoever to the people working there, just remember! That we, kitchen people, are the ones making your food. AND if you are rude to the front people, you can bet your bottom dollar that we hear about it! Like I said before....we're making your food and we aren't afraid to wreck your meal. MORAL OF THE STORY: just be respectful. Seriously. We can all behave like mature adults when ordering food. Right?

(sorry for the rant...)
Dealing with stress. When I said I would work in the kitchen I didn't think it would be as stressful as it was. Like freak. Lunch time? IS INSANE. I learned that something will only stress you out if you let it stress you out. If you don't let it get to you, you're golden. 

Long hours. On a mission, you're required to work like ALL day long. So it was good to get in some 8.5 hour days to sorta get used to what I'm getting myself into! Haha. 

I learned how to stay out of drama/gossip. I'm sure at some point(s), I was what they were gossiping about...but I personally stayed out of it. I also didn't realize how much drama there was in a little fast food joint. Seriously! It was crazy. Gives me a headache just thinking about it. But for reals. I learned that gossiping about co-workers did nothing but make you dislike them more. And if I got involved in this it would have totally contradicted my love life lesson. So I just didn't get into it. Who has time for drama and gossip anyway? Haha it's practically just a waste of my opinion. 

And finally, I learned perseverance. I wanted to quit since the first day I started working there. However! I pushed through and made it until I could officially quit to prepare (full-time) for my mission (which was a week and a half ago...woo!). I actually made it a game, to be honest. I wanted to see how long I would last. Anddd I won my own game! Hallelujah. It was also fun to watch everyone in amazement as "that white girl" managed to survive the kitchen life. Hahaha. 

I believe that all those lessons that I learned during work will indeed help me IMMENSELY on my mission. I can take each of those things I learned and apply it to the mission lyfe I'm sure. 

And therefore, fellow mission prep-ers. If you want some hard core mission prep...a fast food kitchen is the way to go. 

Until next time.

Amy (aka -future- Sister Blumel)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

"I Love to See the Temple"

Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow.


That's all I can really say after the weekend I just had.

On Saturday (October 11th) I was able to have the opportunity to go to the temple and receive my endowments in preparation for my mission. It was the most wonderful I've felt in a reallyyy long time. Seriously, I can testify with all my heart that temples ARE the houses of the Lord. There's no denying that when you can feel the Spirit so strongly there.

I went to the Cardston temple and now I can see why people hold that temple close in their hearts. It's b-e-a-u-tiful inside and out. The minute you walk in you're in awe with the architect and the paintings and just everything that's there. It's beyond perfect and I loved it. Who couldn't love something so beautiful? There's the physical beauty that you can't deny because it's right in front of your eyes, but then there's also the spiritual beauty that you can feel as soon as you walk in. As soon as I opened that door to the inside of the temple, all - the confusions, the thoughts of what I had for supper the day before and just silly things like that, the worries, the anxieties - of the world, it was if they were taken up from my mind, so I could focus on what really mattered. Those worldly feelings were immediately replaced with feelings of peace, happiness, comfort, and love.

The temple workers definitely made my experience even more of one to remember. They were all patient, loving, and caring ladies and they were just soo excited to see me going through the temple. They made sure that I understood (as best I could at that point -haha-) before moving onto the next thing. They made sure that I understood that I would be taking in a lot, but not to worry because I can come back as frequently as I want to understand things more. They were all just sweethearts and I'm grateful they were there to help me along.

Yes, the temple was crazy overwhelming the first time. However, I cannot wait to go again and again and again to keep learning more.

Something that I really loved about the temple was that after everything was done, I got to see my family and give them all hugs and it was just such an amazing moment. It was there that I realized that families *can* be eternal through the temple. I have a feeling that's what the spirit world is going to be like. I feel like you're never going to be alone once you pass on. You will always have someone. And your family members that have gone on before you will greet you with a smile and embrace you in a hug and say "you did it, I'm so proud of you."

I'm really grateful for my family. I'm grateful for my parents that have taught me about temples since the day I was born I'm sure! But seriously, without them, I don't think I could have gotten to this point in my life. They have been my rocks for my entire life. And I'm SO happy that I got to experience this amazing time with them. I'm grateful for my Grandma and Grandpa Cook. They are the best grandparents a girl could ever have asked for. Their testimonies of the gospel are such an inspiration. I'm grateful for all my aunts and uncles that came to support me. And I'm grateful for my cousins that also came. They are all amazing people and have been such great examples to me. I look up to every single one of them and I'm so happy that they're a part of my family. I'm grateful for my former young women's president, who came just for me. In young women's the goal is getting to the temple. I was able to do that this weekend and having her support was wonderful. She is such an incredible lady. Seeing everyone gave me such overwhelming feelings of joy!

I love this gospel. It is definitely the Lord's one and only church in the world today. And I cannot wait to spread it all over North Carolina.

Until next time.

Amy (aka -future- Sister Blumel)

Me and my parents. 

My parents, Aunt Randa and Uncle Vance, and my Grandparents.

Thumbs up! Yayay I did it!

Me and my Grandpa and Grandma Cook.

Me and Lindsey! (My former YW's president)