Monday, April 29, 2013

These guys


When I went to check my email today to see if there was one from my Elder, I was also surprised to see a screen name that I did not recognize until I read the email the whole way through---

Hi Alyssa!
 
I just wanted to tell you, I LOVE ELDER PINSENT.
 
We've laughed, we've cried, we've even spooned (many times), and love(d) serving together. He's sitting next to me.
 
I love you!
 
Elder Alpert
 
KEEP CALM AND CHEW BUBBLEGUM


Elder Pinsent has known Elder Alpert for a couple months now and it is safe to say that they have become Best Friends.  I got to 'meet' Elder Alpert for a second on Skype on Christmas Day and he told me how proud I should be of Elder Pinsent.  And I am.  I am also happy that he has been in the good hands and that they have built a bond that will go beyond their mission.  Elder Alpert lives in California, so someday we will go visit him.  He has made Haig a better missionary and has made him happy which in turn makes me happy.

And in other news, Elder Pinsent is also doing very well and he is loving the work.  He is currently serving in Mankato Minnesota and he is training a new missionary.  The work is moving forth and they have baptismal dates set for a number of families.  He is growing strong spiritually and I love what he said in his family email today---

I have spent some time considering the meaning of the word "Keys" lately. We throw it around a lot, the Prophet has keys, bishops have keys...But what are they actually for and how do we use them. Keys are used when we seek revelation and inspiration for an individual or group. If you hold the keys for an individual you are entitled to revelation for them due to those keys. As we know keys are also a tool, they are something that we use every single day. Unlock doors, start cars, all kinds of things. Therefore keys are also tools in the Lords hands. If we are using our keys properly then the Lord can use them to do whatever He needs to. 

I just Love my Elder Pinsent
XO, Lyssa

Dominican Republic pt. 3









Sunday, April 28, 2013

dominican republic pt. 2

I went to Dominican Republic with three people that I can now call my best friends (sappy right?).  No but really, I love them so much now especially for making it such an enjoyable experience.

Casey and I have been friends for a long time now and we have also been travel companions to Europe, NYC and Quebec.  When the chance to travel with her again came up, I was super excited.  This girl is the best.  She has stuck with me through thick and thin.  She tries to understand what I am going though and gives me advice on things I should do.  She recently started dating Cody and I have not seen her happier so that makes me very happy for her.  She has been there for me over the past years and she has put up with my crap and drama that I have gone through with some of our other friends.  We have also had our moments, but we always come out on top.  I'm happy that she is in my life and that I got to go on this trip with her.  We got to talk a lot and catch up on life because we have not been together as much this past semester.  We got to talk a lot about our futures and I can say that I am glad she will be in mine.  We are only 20 years old, but I know she will really be a life long friend.  I love my Casey face.






Jocelyn Neal and I became friends last fall through Casey.  I had heard about her in the years before because Casey attended Holland College with her.  We started hanging out here and there last fall to go to school and business society events.  Jocelyn is so much fun.  She is open and down to earth.  She will tell you anything and she is also not scared to talk about anything.  She has given me lots of advice and she has respected the standards that I have.  This blog is my journal sometimes, so I will share that while we were on our trip, Jocelyn heard home from her family that her Grandfather had passed away.  It was devastating news to hear on our week of relaxation and Cody, Casey and I worked along side her to try and get her home to be with her family, but in the end she decided to stay with us.  She exemplified to me strength and courage to be away from her family during such a hard time.  She was also sweet enough to let me pray for her and I really hope it helper her and brought her comfort.  I am happy to say that Jocelyn and I became closer because of this trip and that she was such a good roommate for the week.  She dealt with me with foolish things and I dealt with hers too ;)  I love you Jocelyn and just know I'm always here for you!




And then there was Cody.  He is pretty cool... I guess... ;)
Casey and Cody started dating last fall and honestly I have not hung out with him as much as I should have before but I would think that this trip has brought us closer.  He would be the first to laugh at my foolish jokes and comments and her certainly knew how to make me laugh.  I could feel his protectiveness over us especially when Jocelyn and I would go off by ourselves to do stuff.  He also made me wish that Haig was there because I think they would have gotten along.  He put up with our girly conversations and even joined in on some aqua aerobics with us.  We teased that he would get made fun of for going on a trip with three girls, but every where we went down there he got complimented that he was with three girls and he would quickly state that he was only dating one of them.  It was pretty funny!  Every time I see him now, especially at school I will be yelling "Hola Sexii Papi!"


like look how cute these two are---


 Dominican 2013 with my good friends Jocelyn, Casey and Cody
So thankful for them.



Saturday, April 27, 2013

dominican republic pt. 1

It was just an idea as we sat around the table at The Wave the night of Beach Blast.  Let's go on a trip down south.  I had never been and although money is tight as a university student, I figured after the year I had, I deserved a good trip to relax and get off the island.  Not that the year was terrible, but come on'.  I sent my best friend off to Minnesota, I stressed big time in my business courses, and I had to deal with work crap on and off during the year.  A little bit of drama here and there and throw in my life just being a train wreck sometimes, I just really wanted to get away from it all and enjoy a trip to somewhere hot and beautiful.



We booked the trip a couple weeks later.  I was in Staples getting my business plan printed when Jocelyn called me and said "Girl, pack your bags, we are going to Dominican".  I freaked out right there in the fancy paper aisle after looking at the plainest wedding invitations.  ***Making note that I will not be that cheap when I plan my big day.



The trip was actually a fair deal.  I was not too worried about money to begin with but after I made my trip to Halifax Easter weekend, I started to a little bit.  I no way regret my trip to Halifax though because I loved spending that long weekend with the Pinsent family.  We had so much fun!  However, when I got home my dad also found a leak in my gas tank.  So I had to take some money out of what my Grandma had given me for Christmas months ago and money I had put aside for something really special and great.  But when things like this happen, that something special and great was a new gas tank or something... I'm not even sure.  The next conflict that came into play was that an apostle, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland would be coming to the New Brunswick Stake Conference the weekend that I would be gone.  I was completely devastated because his words inspire me and I really wanted to go.  After some words from my mother and from Nichla (Haig's momma bear), they both encouraged me to stick with the trip that I had booked and be happy about it!



I did not realize how much planning and money goes into a trip even after it is already booked.  The travel expenses to get to Halifax (luckily we got a bridge pass for free [thanks Bryan!] and Jocelyn also had won a night in a hotel in Halifax at her staff party last Christmas).  But then you also have to think about all the travel needs, like SPF, Hats, Tip money, gifts for the maids and maybe a new (or couple new) swim suits.  Lots of money spent, but money well spent ;)


We drove over to Halifax on the night of the 16th, checked into our hotel and took a late night dinner at Boston Pizza.  If you have not had Boston Pizza past 10pm, you may have not lived.  We had to be at the airport for about 4am so there was not a lot of sleep that first night.  It was exciting to be at the airport though.  Airports are cool because it is a new place to be explored.

I honestly won't go into too many details of travel, but flying into Dominican and the hour drive to the resort may have been my two favorite parts of the entire trip.  The country is so beautiful.  So much green, and floral.  The towns were small and there were lots of people.  There were people driving on little motor bikes getting so close to our tour bus I was scared for them.  There was garbage on the streets and my heart was sad for the conditions that some of these beautiful people experienced.  To narrate a little more, most of the people that we drove by on the bus would just stare, and I wondered what they must have thought of us.  Coming into their country to just indulge in a life of relaxation while they work to provide for their family in poor conditions.  I was reminded that they were all children of God and that I know he loves them enough and they will be provided for.





 The resort was pretty nice.  It was the Bahia Principe in San Juan.  It was cute and like a little village community.  It was also nice that our trip was booked though Air Canada vacations so we became friendly with the other people on the same vacation package as us.  We got lost the first couple of times we tried to get to our rooms, but we had it down pretty good after that.  The food was decent enough at the buffets.  I am wishing that I didn't eat as much as I did day to day because now my body is like "Alyssa take my to the gym, like NOW".

The resort had a lovely pool which is where we spent the most part of our days.  Just relaxing.  Some days we joined in on the water aerobics and another day Jocelyn and I played darts with some people.  One day around lunch time, the three of them went into a beer chugging contest, and I just sat back and laughed at them.  As a Mormon going down south, it was kind of funny to see reactions when I would decline alcohol, but I am happy that it is not hard for me to do so.  The one thing that I would not have normally done, is that I wore two piece bathing suits.  Normally I don't here because it is not a form of modest attire, but I decided that I would down south.  I went down worried that I would come back and be judged for wearing them, but I grew happy with the idea that I am confident enough with my body to wear them anyways.



more to come--- 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

DOMINICAN 2013



This is your LIFE. Do what you love, and do it often. If you don't like something, change it. If you don't like your job, quit. If you don't have enough time, stop watching TV. If you are looking for the LOVE of your Life, STOP; they will be WAITING for you when you START doing things you LOVE. Stop over Analyzing. Life should be SIMPLE. all emotions are beautiful. Open your mind, arms, and heart to new things and people. TRAVEL OFTEN. Getting lost will help you find yourself. Some opportunities only come once, SEIZE them. 


Live is short. Live your dreams.


more Dominican to come, once I get a good night sleep in my own bed <<<<3
XO, Lyssa

Monday, April 15, 2013

End of the Semester

I finished classes a couple weeks ago, so I took a little vacation over to Halifax to celebrate being done.  I however, had one more assignment to complete.  A 15 page paper on a chosen topic.  My topic was some issues the elderly and their families face in Italy... because the course that I am in is called Culture and Aging (duh).  My dad was home the week I got back from Nova Scotia, so I still did not start it right away.  I gave myself a week to work on it although I had already typed up my notes from the articles more than a month ago, so the paper process took about two hours a day for a week.  I liked that I was able to take my time with it because my Prof so graciously gave us a great due date on it of the 18th, but I wanted to have it done before going away obviously.  Anyways, so last week was filled with some paper writing, but also a lot of lazy afternoons and evenings at home, some food, my cozy house coat.  I finished on Friday!  I am just a little worried to get it back now but I am already doing good in the course so I should be okay!

So now I am officially done 2nd Semester, 2nd Year of UPEI.






and regardless of this picture, I am pretty darn happy about it!  (just stressed and worried about my marks but I need to calm down because in 48 hours I will be tanning on a beach in the Dominican Republic... EXCITED :) !!! )

XO, Lyssa

Sunday, April 14, 2013

I had the best day with you


Last June you came over so we could celebrate your 20th Birthday together.  You also came over for my birthday just a couple weeks before.  After getting your mission call a little more than two months before, we knew we had to make the most of the time we had left together.  So you came twice, and I enjoyed every second of it.  On this day we relaxed for the most part but we took a little drive downtown, I think we had to pick Kayla up from school or something so we were downtown for awhile and we found this little wooden dock and we sat on it together for a long time and just talked. At one point we were kind of talking about something awkward and then we realized there was an old lady sitting by herself on a park bench behind us and she probably heard the entire conversation. I hope she enjoyed watching our young love. We are so silly and weird and I love it.  Every now and then I have to look back at pictures just to remind me of the great memories we had, the ones I will cherish for another 17 months until I have you back and we can start to make new ones.

I think that some of the most cherished moments that I have are the ones of your laugh in my head, or your smile or how you would look at me in a certain way.  I can't always remember what we talked about or if we were planning for the future or just living in the moment.  I can however remember that I was always happy.  I was always happy when I was with you, and I always will be.  We had our moments of scarce and frustration, but they only made us stronger.  And our goodbye on September 4th 2012 was still the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life.  It is one of the most vivid memories in my mind of Victoria hugging me after you were gone and I felt like my whole world was going to fall apart that I remember most of the time.  I look back on it now and realize that we have already come so far.  I am so happy for us.  I am happy for you and that you are teaching people about our Savior Jesus Christ and that he has atoned for our sins.  I am happy you are teaching people that families can be together forever and that you are teaching people that the gospel has been restored on the Earth.

Some days are really hard, and some days are just okay.  I do think about you a lot.  Sometimes when I am not I kind of just realize that I am not worried about you, and I think that is okay because I know you are always in good hands of the Lord, your mission President and your companions  This past month has been hard though because I have not gotten any letters.  I see changes in you and I see it the most in your writing  I know we will cherish the letters that we have sent to each other for a very long time. I am sorry that I am not so good at it sometimes.  You just have a better way with words than I do lately.  I have been singing a lot more though.  I want to sing with you, lots... when you get home.  I love when you sing.  You would always sing at spontaneous moment or out of the blue that it would awesome.  I miss it.

I think about Minnesota a lot too.  That I have been falling in love with this place.  This State that I have never been to.  Not even close.  I did not even know it was a state really before you got your mission call.  I am sure that I had heard of it before but not enough to know much about it.  I won't forget how excited I was to find out Minnesota and Prince Edward Island have the same representative flower, The Lady Slipper.  I don't think I have ever seen a Lady Slipper.  I can't wait to visit Minnesota.  You tell me that it is pretty nice.  I say we take a little vacation there sometime, ride our bikes, meet up with your new friends, eat some good food and go to the Temple.  What do you say?

I miss you, but I am okay and I am rooting for us.  I am rooting for you.  Team Elder Pinsent.  You are my best friend.  You have seen me at my best and worst.  Just keep moving forward, because we only have so much time left.
i love you,
-little miss

'The fight for you is all I've ever known' 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Burger Love #3

Last night I had a little dinner date with my two friends Amanda & Scott

Amanda is home for another couple weeks but she has been here from Lethbridge, AB to do a practicum as a child and youth care worker.  It has been a tough couple weeks for her I am sure as I listened to some of her stories last night, but I know that she is really good at what she has been doing and that she enjoys it.  Unfortunately because I was so busy with school last month, I only got to see her at church and some church activities.  A little sad.  This month, I also jetted off to Nova Scotia as soon as I was done school so I didn't get to see her much around that time either.  I had to hang out with her before I left for my trip of course, so we planned a little dinner date along with our good friend Scott.

And it is April, so you can't have a dinner date this month without a little Burger Love.  We went to Daniel Brennan Brickhouse.  I love the atmosphere there and I am kind of jealous that my friend Casey works there because she gets to be in it a lot, and even more this summer when she goes on full-time.  Their burger is called "The Wall Street Heat" because it was a little hot hot hot.  Really good though for sure.

I am kind of glad Haig is not home.  Because if he was, he probably would have been with us and I don't know if I would have wanted him to see me eat that burger.  It got pretty messy.  But hey, so worth it!




Then we went to Scott's apartment and looked at yearbooks from Grade 8 and 9, watched funny videos and   listened to good music.
and it was awesome.

Thanks for the great night you two!
XO, Lyssa

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

General Conference

This past weekend, I took part in watching 8 hours of a church broadcast from Salt Lake City Utah.  This broadcast features talk from our Prophet, his counselors, apostles and other church leaders.  The words that they share with us are inspired and after talking to a number of people since the weekend, I know how inspired some of the speakers must have been to give talks on matters that even my closest friends needed to hear.  I had a number of favorite talks from these sessions on conference that I got to watch so I will share some stuff from a couple of them.

Sister Dalton's talk.  She is such a sweetheart right?  I am sad that she is released as the Young Women's President but I am grateful for her service especially in my time in young womens.  When she spoke I knew that I have a roles to fulfill as a daughter of God, a sister in Zion, a daughter of earthly parents, a friend, a future wife and a future mother.  WHAT E'ER THOU ART ACT WELL THY PART.  

 Elder Bednar's talk in the Saturday afternoon session was also profound!  I love when someone just gets in there and is bold with us about a topic like the Law of Chastity.  It is SO important and I love how he expressed it with his words and stated how much it needed to be followed.  It is something that is not taken lightly.  I love the quote "Love increases through Righteous restraint".   

 L. Whitney Clayton's talk about Eternal Marriage.  "The quality of our marriage [will be] our gift of love to Him", and I look forward to giving it someday when I have my own Eternal companion.  

Thomas S. Monson's talk on Obedience was PERFECT.  Sums up everything about what we should do as Latter-Day Saints.  I love him so much and I am so happy he is our Prophet on the Earth today and he leads and guides the church that I believe in.  All he is asking that we do is be obedient to the things we are taught, asked to do or things we must follow.  




* new scripture case in photo is upcycled leather made by Haig's mother Nichla
   you can find her on etsy at www.etsy.com/shop/MaggiePearce

So all in all it was a spiritual and uplifting weekend for me.  I am also so happy to know that as I watch General Conference, my best friend in Minnesota was watching it too.  He is doing so well and that makes me glad.  He always has some good stories to tell like the one I talked about the other day.  I had the chance to go out teaching with our sister missionaries here in Charlottetown last night and I honestly don't know if I could do it.  It is a lifestyle that young people of my church have to decide to make for 18 months-2 years.  It is a lot of sacrifice and a huge time commitment, but in perspective, Missionaries change Lives and Lives to Come.  I am so thankful for this new wave of missionaries and that they will help take the gospel to all nations and ends of the Earth and I am so happy that I have so many close friends serving missions to hasten the work.  


General Conference, I love you.  Missionaries, I love you all too!

XO, Lyssa

nieces ....



ULLEY, David 
David Donald Edward Ulley of Airdrie, Alberta passed away peacefully in his home Thursday, April 4, 2013, after a battle with cancer. David is survived by his wife, Annette (nee Stewart); his son, Devon; daughter, Amber; his mother, Joyce; brothers, Dean and Darrin (Terri); sister, Kim as well as nieces, nephews and many other relatives. David started his work life with 22 years in the Canadian Armed Forces 1977-1998; he started as a Metal Tech then became a Non-Destructive Testing Tech. After the military he worked at Amoco, RTD Quality Services, Hyperion Tech Inc. and finally Jazz. David enjoyed motorcycling, camping, hunting, video gaming and many sports, as well as spending time with family and friends. 


I love you Uncle Dave, 
Til we meet again
Your niece, Alyssa

ps, cancer sucks! 


Monday, April 8, 2013

A Missionary Moment from my Elder


"early in the week we ran into this guy who was long boarding around, of course I went and talked to him
I told him how much i loved to ride and he said that I could take a spin on his board, when I declined he didn't understand, I explained that as a missionary i gave up longboarding among other things to share the gospel with people.

he suddenly realized that I was serious and invited us to go and teach a sermon to his longboarding friends. turns out he is the head of the Minnesota state university longboarding club and committee. he also runs the local skate shop, so on Friday i taught on  how longboarding is like the gospel for 45 minutes to a crowd of almost 150 people! it was nuts and so much fun! they were all so cool, it was a blast. I cant believe it actually happened it made me wish that more people were long boarders so i would have an easy in with them.

i love you longboard but i love the gospel more
and i love you
talk to you next week
Elder Pinsent

i love you too Elder Pinsent, you are the greatest.





Friday, April 5, 2013

7 Months Down

17 more to go.

Dear Elder Pinsent,
Words cannot express how thankful I am for what you are doing. I am grateful that this experience is changing you day by day. Seven months ago you left a young man and in Seventeen months you will return a worthy man who took time out of his life, and our life together to serve the Lord. I look forward to feeling closer to you this weekend as we both watch sessions of General Conference. Myself here and you 3500 Kms away in Minnesota.
I'll see you soon :)
your little miss



PEI Burger Love

To Prince Edward Island, April brings Burger Love month.  Many restaurants from across the province partake in a competition to have the best Island beef burger.  And oh my goodness, it makes for a wonderful month.  Last year I think I got to try a couple and I was pretty impressed.  When my friends Casey and Jocelyn called me yesterday and extended a lunch date for Burger Love, the answer would not be No.  We headed into town to a place called The Big Orange Lunchbox.  They started off as a food truck last summer and I never got a chance to try it (hopefully I will this summer).  However since the summer they moved into a location downtown to sell some delicious food!  For Burger Love, they are selling "The Ric Flair Donair"

9oz Island Beef Burger with Donair Sauce, Home-Made Donair Meat, Provolone Cheese, Lettuce, Red Onions, Tomato and Sweet & Sour Pickles on a Home-Made Roasted Coriander Bun

So, it was delicious!  I do love donair a lot and so it was great to try it on a burger.  The pickles were also super yummy and I was the only one out of the three of us to come close to finishing my burger.  I was hungry okay?  Well, and it was also Fantastic!



In the evening, when mom, dad and Kayla got home, they asked if I wanted to go out to eat.  I was still pretty full from my lunch but I jumped at the opportunity to hang out with my family especially because my dad is heading back out West to work on Monday.  We went to BOOM Burger which is near place of work.  They make pretty original burgers and since I was still full, I just got some fries and shared them with my family.  Mom and Dad got the burgers and I had a couple bites of theirs.  Honestly, it was nothing too fancy, just an average burger.  It was still nice to get out with the family.
  
My Parents love each other wayy more than they loved the burger :)


PEI Burger Love, I'm Loving you
XO, Lyssa

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Easter In Nova Scotia Part 3

Just some added extras of some more of my favorites from the weekend;;;

Eli, Victoria and a little kitten @ Eric's house Thursday night

the lovely Sydney MacLennan and myself.  this talented lady took these pictures for us last summer!

one of the MacLennan bunnies, 
be still my soul

a selfie with my friend Ben as we did some longboarding

being on the board makes me miss Elder Pinsent

my favorite tug boat in Halifax, NS

 when we got back to Dartmouth we could not get to my car because a train just came in so we had to wait for it to go by!  So of course I had to take pictures with it!

this is another one of mine and Haig's good friends Jordan Bruce.  He is such a sweetheart and pretty handsome too.  He is single ladies!


made a sheep friend!!!


I loved Easter in Nova Scotia, 2013
XO, Lyssa