9 OF 30
list 10 people that have influenced you and describe how.
since i'm limited to only 10 (i have had dozens of people that have had a big impact on my life!) i'm going to leave out my parents and my friends. i could write pages and pages and pages on how they have influenced me, but i've recently written about my parents, and i've written a ton of stuff about my friends.
and by the way, these are not in any particular order, these are just 10 (of the many!) people that have had an influence for good in my life.
1. Michelle Bowman. my piano teacher. before i started taking lessons from michelle, the piano seemed difficult and boring. i didn't want to practice. i hadn't liked any of my previous teachers much and i so desperately wanted to give up playing. it was hard and i wanted to quit. when i started taking lessons from michelle, my perspective changed. michelle loved the piano with all of her heart. each time i went to her house for lessons, some of her enthusiasm and passion for the piano was transferred to me. i felt the Spirit when i played for michelle, and she bore her testimony time and time again of how important music was to her and how it helped her strengthen her testimony. after about a year of taking lessons from michelle, i found myself absolutely in love with the piano. i loved going to lessons and i loved playing! michelle became more than a piano teacher to me, she became my friend and someone i looked up to. i will always be so thankful for the huge impact she had on my life.
2. Misti and Matt. my aunt misti has always been my role model. from the time i was little, i have looked at her as the ultimate example of who i want to be in the future. i have been trying to walk in her footsteps from the time i could walk. she is beautiful, fun, friendly, good with kids, and has an amazing testimony. some of my favorite childhood memories are with misti -- singing silly songs, playing fun games, doing crafts, confiding in her, sleeping over at her apartment, and laughing with her. when she got married to uncle matt, he adopted me as his younger sister/daughter/niece and i have felt so close to both of them. they strive to do what is right in every situation. i have watched them go through good and bad together, always putting the Lord first and keeping a positive attitude. as much as it pains me to see them go through something so hard, i look at them with admiration and respect and love because i know they are doing what Heavenly Father would have them do. i hope that my relationship with my future husband is a lot like matt and misti's. i sure do love them.
3. Bishop Draper. i still have trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that i won't see this good man until the next life. he has influenced me for good in everything that he did. each time i saw him, he greeted me with a smile and a hearty "Well how are ya!" when he shook my hand, i thought he was going to break my arm. every time -- and i mean EVERY time -- i went into his office, whether it was a calling being extended, or a youth interview, or tithing settlement, he always had tears well up in his eyes and tell me how good of a girl i was and how proud he was of me. but probably my favorite thing about my bishop was the fact that he loved his wife. he and kathy had such a special relationship, and everyone could see it. he praised her and loved her and respected her, and she him. they didn't have a huge house or the nicest of everything, but they didn't need it! they had each other, they had their family, they had their friends, they had the gospel. and that is the most important lesson i learned: you don't need much to be completely, totally, 100% happy in life. i'm going to miss Bishop and Sister Draper, but i know i'll see them again. what a blessing that is.
4. Brother Ryan Bennett. my senior year of seminary, i had a teacher that i absolutely hated. he was loud, rude, and detracted from the Spirit. i thought so many of the things he said were inappropriate and crass. so i talked to the principal and he transferred me to brother bennett's class. there was a complete black and white difference from my first teacher. brother bennett was extremely friendly and welcoming to me the second i stepped into his classroom. he was funny, friendly, and strong in the gospel. his lessons were amazing. i loved going to seminary every day, because i knew brother bennett would be there to greet me with a smile and genuinely wanted to know how i was doing. he talked to me about my personal life and i knew that he really cared. i knew i could talk to brother bennett about anything. i grew to trust and love and respect him. even after i went to BYU, spencer and i went back to his classroom over thanksgiving break to catch up and i knew that he still cared.
5. Suzanne Rowser. suzanne was my young women's president for the majority of my years as a young woman. i love that woman. she and i bonded right away and i always knew she was there to give me a hug, a smile, tease me about something, or talk to me about something. one of my favorite memories with suzanne is at girl's camp. we were on a hike, and megan greenhalgh, suzanne and i were all walking together. we all talked about boys. suzanne was telling us all about richard -- who she married later! :) -- and megan and i vented about the silliness of high school boys. i remember looking up to suzanne so much because of her strength. she was a single woman with a wonderful family, a wonderful testimony, and a wonderful personality. i am so happy that she found richard because i know he makes her happy. i haven't seen suzanne in forever, but i will always remember how much she cared about me. it makes a difference when you know that someone loves you.
6. Grandma & Grandpa Wilcox. my dad's parents are wonderful people. i look up to both of them so much. my grandpa is the hardest worker i know. when he does something, he gets it done right. he has passed that on to my dad, who has passed that down to me. i am so thankful for my grandpa's legacy of hard work! i also love that my grandpa cares about my life. he always asks me how i'm doing, and i know that he legitimately wants to know. my grandpa paid for me to get my hair done for junior prom, and even came down to see my promenade. he also surprised me and showed up at my work last week when i started here at red ledges! i love that he makes an effort to be a part of my life. i love my grandpa! :) my grandma is such a strong woman. she has suffered with MS for years and years, and yet i have never heard her complain -- not once. she is always asking what she can do for me, when the question should be the other way around! she, also, makes an effort to be a part of my life. she always is telling me to call her and tell her what is going on in my life. i need to be better about doing this. she is also so gentle. i have never heard my grandma yell. one of my favorite things about my grandma is her laugh. i LOVE seeing my grandma laugh -- it's so contagious and you can't help but smile when my grandma is laughing. love you grandma! :)
7. Whitney, Parker, and Jaren. my siblings have each taught me something so valuable. i could write about them forever, but i'll just share a little bit. my whit twit helps me to be more happy. she is the happiest person alive, always smiling and laughing and making the mood a little bit lighter. when i need a laugh i know it's time to talk to my sister. she and i have been best friends from day 1 and i'm sure that as life continues, our relationship will only continue to grow. parker has grown up these past few years. i'm gonna be honest and say that when i was little, i never really thought of parker as my "friend." just my little brother. he wasn't quite old enough to be considered one of the big kids, and he was a boy so he didn't like playing what whit and i wanted to play. however, as he's grown up into a totally cute teenager, i'm happy to say that we, too, are best friends. parker and i share a passion for the piano. i love to sit down and listen to parker play. he's incredible. his joy for music has helped me develop mine. he is a good kid and i love him to death. jaren is a little travis junior. he is the sweetest boy you will ever meet. jaren has pushed me to be a better person simply by his example. he is a better cook than i am, and this has consequently made me want to learn more recipes (just so i don't get passed up by an 11 year old). the other night, i saw his "goals of the week" on a whiteboard in his room. his goals included reading the scriptures daily, getting grades up to A's, keeping his room clean, and organizing his desk. i about cried. how cute is that?! i thought right then and there that i need to be better about all of those things as well. if jaren can do it, i can do it. thanks for your good example, jare bear.
8. Ms. T. my AP English teacher and sterling scholar advisor. it was the HARDEST class i have ever taken but i learned so much. i credit Ms. T with helping me discover how passionate i feel about English. in her class, she challenged us to analyze and critique so many things that i began to think like she did. i was amazed with how much i could get out of a few lines of poetry or a chapter from a novel. in sterling scholar, she was very picky about how my portfolio looked. i must have redone it at least 15 times before she was satisfied, but i knew that she was trying to help me reach my potential. by challenging me more than anyone ever had, she helped me grow in a way that i didn't know i could grow. i am so thankful to her for pushing me so hard. it was tough, but i am a better person because of it!
9. Brad & Kerry Belcher. brad and kerry are like my second parents and two of my favorite people on earth. they have been the greatest friends to our family and do things for us all the time. i love playing games with the belchers -- they're big gamers, which i think is so fun! i honestly feel like they are just an extension of our family. they've joined us for many a family home evening, new year's eve, backyard barbecue, sunday dinner, and more. i love that they'll jump right into our spiritual discussions and share their testimonies with us. they each are such great examples to me. when my dad was the bishop and we were all little kids, my mom would stay after church for choir practice. we would walk straight over to the belcher's house and hang out after church, playing hide-and-seek in the crawl space under their house (which we dubbed "the cabin"), playing wii, or jumping on their trampoline. when my mom would come home from church to take us home, we'd all run downstairs to "the cabin" and refuse to come out. half the time, our plan worked, and kerry invited us to stay for dinner. the other half of the time, my mom threatened to make us walk home if we didn't come out. sometimes we had to walk. to this day, i love the belchers with all my heart.
10. Grandma & Grandpa Waddoups. my mom's parents are wonderful examples to me (just like my dad's are!) i look up to my grandpa a lot. he is pretty quiet for the most part, but when he does say something, he says something good. he has a very strong testimony of the gospel, and one of the things i love about him is that whenever we get together as a family, he leads us in some type of spiritual-something: devotional, scripture study, family prayer, etc. i know that he loves his family and desires for us to be together forever. love you, grandpa! my grandma is the sweetest lady you'll ever meet. she is always so thoughtful! she loves garage sales and always finds fun treasures that she passes along to her grandkids. i love going to grandma's house and having her say, "look what i found for you!" she is so sweet. she is also an amaaaazing cook. if she lived any closer, i'm sure i would be a lot heavier than i am because all i'd want to do is eat her delicious food. sadly, i did not inherit that (hehe) but i hope to improve in this area and be more like my grandma. she is also extremely compassionate and would cry along with me in any situation. i find this so endearing. honestly, i think my grandma waddoups could vy for the title of "nicest person on the planet." i love my grandma!
sorry, that post was a novel... but i have so many good people out there in my life! i have tons more, but i'm sure you don't want to be reading my blog for a year. ;)