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Small Group Weekend

Small Group Weekend

This past weekend on IT Project 2014 we had small group weekend which basically means we got to spend all Saturday & Sunday with just our small group doing whatever we wanted to do. Each group had about $100 to spend however they wanted.

My small group & I had many different adventures throughout our weekend. On Friday evening we ate supper together, shared our testimonies, then went out for ice cream. On our way back to campus, we helped an LAPD search-and-rescue helicopter find an old lady that went missing. (Okay, maybe we didn’t help them, but we witnessed the whole thing!)

Saturday morning we traveled just outside Malibu to Topanga State Park & made the hike up the mountain (approximately an hour & a half) to look out over the beautiful Santa Monica beach & eat our lunch. While at the top, we actually encountered another helicopter whose pilot waved & sounded his siren to acknowledge us then proceeded to circle the mountain three times. (We have a thing with helicopters I guess?) After our trek back down the mountain we were tuckered out & ready to get to the hotel for showers. We were all expecting to stay at your average, everyday hotel. But one of our awesome leaders had a surprise for us. Apparently she has sweet connections & was able to get us a room (complete with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, a balcony, & a complete kitchen) in a super nice, super expensive hotel resort just down the street from Disney Land for free! I think all the excitement of the surprise gave us an extra burst of energy, so we walked around downtown Disney for a bit & ate supper there (& since our hotel room was free we were able to have supper paid for with our $100 — I love free meals!) We headed back to our hotel where we went to the roof & watched some fireworks for a bit. Then, to finish off the day right, we sat around reading through & singing the script of Disney’s Frozen which brought lots of laughs despite the fatigue & soreness.

Sunday morning we traveled to Belasco Theater where Hillsong LA is located every other week for church. I’m not gonna lie, I was expecting it to be a mega-church with thousands of people. But apparently it was only their third service in LA, so there were only about two or three hundred people. It was an incredible experience, though — one that I will never forget. The worship was amazing (obviously, it was Hillsong!) & Carl Lentz, who is the head pastor for Hillsong NYC was there & preached about Psalm 123. It was so good! I love his passion for Jesus & his desire to make Him known to others. I was already so pumped about the church because I was just enjoying it so much, & then I see Kevin Durant walking in from beside the stage! What?! It’s like it was the icing to an already delicious cake. After church we went to eat at PF Chang’s where we were able to sit outside on the patio & enjoy the beautiful day. (Have I mentioned how much I LOVE California weather?) We were going to go to the beach, but since we were already pretty burnt from the hike on Saturday we figured that probably wouldn’t be the best idea. So we headed back to campus where we had a few hours of free team which I have not had since our class started, so it was a great ending to a great weekend.

Today we went back to class & didn’t have anything planned for the evening (more time for homework — yay..). We now officially only have five more days of class which is really bitter-sweet. It’s sad that it’ll be over since we’ve been learning so much good stuff, but I am so ready for all this homework to be done — our brains need a break!

So that was my eventful weekend, but I hope you all had a relaxing one as well & that your summers are going great! Thank you for taking the time to catch up on my life! Much love!

PS It’s late as I’m writing this since I have no time during the day, so I apologize if it seems monotonous &/or poorly written. I may or may not wake up in the morning & be embarrassed about it, but oh well.

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Intensive Training Say What?

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Holy cow guys. Remember how I said this class is going to be intense? Boy, was I right! Tuesday was our first day of class, & I spent six hours reading afterwards. Wednesday I spent five hours reading. & Thursday I spent another six hours reading. I have yet to complete my reading for Friday’s class (which is how I’ll be spending my Sunday). The reason it’s so much is because it’s usually spread out over fifteen weeks whereas we’re compacting it into fifteen days. This means that what would normally take a week, we do in a day. Yeah, it’s that intense. Along with all these articles to read, we’re also doing what’s called an Inductive Bible Study over 1 Thessalonians which takes about two hours of work on your own each week. What makes all this work even more difficult for me is that I have this thing called FOMO (fear of missing out) so realizing I have to sit by myself for hours everyday reading instead of building relationships with all these wonderful people is quite difficult to accept.

Okay, I’m done complaining. Let’s focus on the positives.

I am learning soooo much! This class is stinkin’ awesome, which is an understatement, but I don’t even know how else to put it. Though the readings are long, they are jam-packed with some great stuff. I am surrounded by amazing, selfless people. I am in a beautiful city where the sun always shines. & every morning when I wake up & all I can think is that I’m too exhausted to get out of bed, Jesus gently reminds me that He is my strength & He will sustain me. I may be a little overwhelmed & slightly stressed out, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Life is good. Jesus is better.

Also, in case you’re wondering what else we’ve been up to, we had our first temple visit Friday evening. We went to a Mormon temple (see photo above) which was very interesting. I learned a lot, & it was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. If you’re interested about our visit or what I learned, I’d love to discuss it with you. Feel free to contact me via Facebook, email (taylor_4733@hotmail.com) or of course the next time you see me in person! But I would rather not discuss it on here. Today we went to Santa Monica Beach to do evangelism. Though I haven’t talked much to my teammates about their experiences yet, I do know there were some good conversations taking place. Tomorrow we will visit Saddleback Church in the morning & have free time afterwards for the rest of the day. Then it’s back to class on Monday!

Thank you all for caring about my life & the work that Jesus is doing — you all rock! Much love from Cali!