Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mission Bound!!!

I'm reporting in just 3 days! Here is info if you want to get in touch with me (which I would love).

The MTC (this isn't my exact address with PO Box but it'll get to me all the same - I receive the PO Box in the MTC)
Sister Nicole Dawn Martino
Argentina Rosario Mission
Provo Missionary Training Center
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604

The Mission Home
Sister Nicole Dawn Martino
Argentina Rosario Mission
Blvd Argentino 7935
2000 Rosario
Santa Fe

Through Salt Lake
*Pouch (letters to this address can only be one piece of 8.5 by 11 paper folded in thirds and taped closed with the address written on the other side).
Sister Nicole Dawn Martino
Argentina Rosario Mission
POB 30150
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150

My "blog" that Mom will be updating for me is at

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pumpkin Pancakes with Caramel Syrup

My roommate Jessi (Taylor) Hulme made these for me one morning... and I fell in love with her for these - they are simply amazing!

Pumpkin Pancakes
2 c Bisquick
2 T Brown Sugar
2 t Cinnamon
1 t All Spice
1 12 oz can Evaporated Milk
1 c Pumpkin
2 T Oil
2 Eggs
1 t Vanilla

Mix together and serve with the caramel syrup and whipped cream!
Caramel Syrup
1 T Karo Syrup
1 c Sugar
3/4 c Buttermilk
1 t Baking Soda
1/4 c Butter
1/4 t Vanilla
Pinch of Salt

On Med/Hi place all ingredients in a large pan. Bring to a boil and stir continuously for 4-5 minutes. The longer it cooks, the thicker it will be, make sure not to over cook.

These are amazing! I doubled the batch for an apartment of 5 guys, 2 girls, and myself. It's not the healthiest thing ever but a well worth it splurge.

Circles and Prayers

Life moves in really interesting ways. We think we know what is going to happen next and then we turn the corner and find that we're on a country road versus Broadway. It's good, just never what is expected. I find the closer I get to serving a mission, the more thankful I am for the Lord's tender mercies. I'm serving going to go serve in Rosario in less than 3 months and I've started dating someone. With this a little more zest is in my life. We both have received separate, interesting, experiences that confirms my need and choice of a mission being positive and yet I am very thankful to get to share this experience with Jeremy. He makes me laugh every day, remember who I am and what potential I have by setting good habits in my life. I wouldn't discount this as just another 'learning experience' because in my book those are never... shall we say the most pleasant? But I will say that I feel he can greatly help me prepare in ways that I wouldn't have on my own. I love this funny life so much! I keep getting a stronger and stronger feeling for how intently my life is being watched "not even the sparrow's fall goes unnoticed" (paraphrased). Ahhhhh life is just simply wonderful and that constant feeling from the Spirit just confirms that now more than ever!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Effort versus skill

I must admit... I'm addicted to Special Olympics! Back when I was a swim instructor I got to teach a little boy with down syndrome how to swim. Those were some of my happiest summer afternoons. Now, here in Provo, on a beautifully, sunny Saturday, I got to volunteer at the local Special Olympics (thank you Greta!). There's such a sense of unity and loving bond at the Games that I wish we would take more of this edge with us in regular track&field, soccer, softball events. It's all about the love of the game and not the winning or losing, right? These blessed souls understand that whereas we who don't have any form of physical or mental handicap or in turn impaired by our normalcy. I learn so much from these type of people (swimming with them, working with them, volunteering with them) and they remind me how we really are sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father. If I could have it my way, I'd volunteer every month for this great event. If anyone knows of any in the Utah for June (again) or Texas for July, could you let me know? I've been looking but haven't been able to find anything - if anyone hears rumor of one round about, please let me know!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Long While

So, seeing as how it has been nearly 6 months since last I wrote, I decided (through insistent nudging from my sister) that I should provide an update on my life.

Let's see, from the beginning... so many different major life decisions have been made too, all equally important... let's begin with Bryce. Bryce and I fell in love. We found that things can work out very pleasantly when two people try real hard to make them work. We put many hours of laughing and crying into our relationship. Many discussions of taking it further (being married this month) came and after all is said and done, we found that we were to go our separate ways. He's still an amazing man and has treated me with so much respect, I have learned a better appreciation and respect for God's children on earth through him. He taught me the value of service and the need to go out of our way to do those little rays of sunshine for people in our lives. I am a better person from him and hope that I will one day marry a man that can have similar views of stepping out of the confines of social norm to express love to our fellow sisters and brothers.

General Conference was a very powerful time for me. Many questions of what to do with my life were in my head and so I decided to take one to Heavenly Father that I had taken to him at the beginning of October - May I serve a mission and be an instrument in Thy hands? I am surprised and pleased to say I have never received such a clear resonating affirmation to a question in my life. It wasn't a "yes, go" reply but through the various addresses given in conference, each one seemed to hit me deeper and deeper that missionary work was the right thing to do. Serving a mission was a noble endeavor that I was worthy to do at this point in my life. Finally, in praying I felt a clarity of mind and a clearness in direction for what to do. After learning quite frustratingly what a stupor of thought was, this was a welcome relief. I proceeded to fill out the paper work and arrange for the various meetings with Bishop Hatch and my stake president. If it hadn't been for the dental work in Texas, I would have had my papers completed and submitted within a week and a half. As it was, I submitted my papers in April 28th, the day after I got back from Texas. Talking to Bishop Hatch, he reaffirmed my feelings by adding that I would be blessing my family and future in ways that not even I would be able to fathom. I received my call to serve for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on May 15th. After stalking the mailman for 4 days and many hours of roadbiking and rockclimbing to vent some stress in anticipation, I received it from his very hand, just shy of 5pm. I drove to the Scoville's house in American Fork and opened it up with my entire family on a conference call, Nelson, Heather and Kevin, Heidi and Gary, and my friend Nate Watterson (and Amanda Cornwell on the phone). I am serving Spanish speaking to the people in Argentina, Rosario and reporting August 12 to the Provo Missionary Training Center. I am growing to have such excitement for the mission and have been trying to prepare by praying very basic prayers in Spanish, reading Preach My Gospel in my freetime, and reading through the Book of Mormon with my personal impressions written down in a notebook as I read. I am getting nervous because I am dealing with the next 18 months of my life, other people's salvation (to a degree), and my entire family and friend network (rolemodeling as well as learning what weakness really is). I am excited however to go home July 1st or 2nd with my brother for the Martino Family Reunion as well as getting the opportunity to study the Book of Mormon in Spanish with Dad. This is definitely affecting my life for 'a long while'.

For the 'short while' before, I've been taking some remaining classes for my major (8 credits spring term), dancing (country and salsa), trying to go to the temple 2-3 times a week, hanging out with friends, roadbiking solo or with friends, and rock climbing with Nelson. I'm never one to sit around and wait for experiences to happen. So, inorder to fix my time gaps I all of the sudden had, I decided to take a stronger passion in rock climbing. I've been going with Nelson for the last 4 weeks as well as with other friends in between when Nelson and I climb. It's an interesting thing rock climbing. It teaches you to trust on those around you and the virtue of the rock face. We've been climbing various different climbs in Rock Canyon Park, and much to the chagrin of my mother (because I don't think she really knows what this is), I've been learning to lead climb. Lead climbing is when the climber must clip in, taking the rope and clipping into the quickdraws as you climb. This is a much more dangerous approach to climbing but it teaches you a new trust - trust in yourself and your ability. God gave us so many gifts, one of which is a body that we often second guess. Might I dare add that although the reality may not be all too heroic and superman-like, we are able to accomplish quite a bit if we trust in Him and what He's given us. Although I ended up being quite sore and quite banged up, I can now say (with the help of Nelson and his friend Taylor), I have led climbed once - quite exhilarating.

The next item of news that is truly timely and shall I dare say amusing(?) is that I started dating my best friend Nate's roommate - Jeremy Perkins (this happens to be a picture from right before we started to date). It's been a whole whopping three days. I feel fine about dating him. He feels good about dating me. I am going on a mission. He wants me to go on a mission. He's not the personality type I am attracted to and yet I am attracted to him in an uncanny way. I'm not the personality type he's attracted to and yet he's attracted to me in an odd way. It's been three days and yet sometimes it feels almost as though it's been a month. I leave in 4 weeks to come home. He is going to Jerusalem for this fall. I'll probably fall in love with him and he will probably fall in love with me. With all this said, I am thankful for having been given the opportunity to learn a little more clearly that it's not up to me to plan and judge my life. The Lord puts people in our lives that we can learn most from and that can help us most when we need it and least expect it. I also am coming to realize that Heavenly Father is merciful towards us, His children. He wants us to know we're never alone and that this earth is made for one large family unit - we are the uplifting angels when we reach to our brother or sister.

Life is full of interesting twists and turns. With the various decisions I get to make in this crux of my life, various decisions that effect me for a long while, I love that I have the Lord to guide me in every footstep (if I can ever get this hard head of mine to listen that is) and that laughter is the best remedy for stress of the unknown.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A new semester as well as new year

So, I decided while waiting for the opportunity to register for my practice room in the HFAC (at midnight of course) to write down a few of the things that are happening of late in my life as well as some of my thoughts.

First, and one of the best parts, is that I found.. he found?... my roommate Jessi found?... who ever is to blame for the blessed fortune - a boy was found for me and I am ever so grateful. He is ever courteous to not only me and my family but also strangers who we have never met before, quiet in unfamiliar settings but to hear him laugh when he really gets excited and warmed up to people is something fantastic, a work ethic stronger and more diligent than a stubborn mule (he works until the job is done to his satisfaction and studies hours on end until he has mastered a skill), and a heart of gold (always helping friends, acquaintances, as well as strangers with their vehicle problems as well as making sure every night we end it laughing and happy with life and each other). Bryce is one I didn't know was still around (I thought all the girls had already snatched up his type or that they were simply in the storybooks and hollywoodized). He's great, basically. He tried real hard to do a lot for me while I had my broken foot.... these past 2 months.

Second, yes, I broke my foot. I technically broke my 5th and possibly 4th metatarsal while... are you ready for this? ... walking down my FHE brothers' apartment stairs. No terrific fall or acrobatic pirroutte gone awry, I simply stepped and my ankle twisted, allowing the tendon no time to give, snapping my bone. Heck, and for such a small bone, it caused quite the fuss of pain too! Being my slightly stubborn self though, I didn't go to the doctor that night and instead went to study in the library. Of course it's too embarrassing to be carried out of a public building by boys like the damsal-in-distress I was and so I hopped from the 5th floor, through the elevator, and to the library atrium doors with my foot that had swollen so much, I could no longer where a slipon shoe on that foot. Thank goodness my kind friend Jonathan was there to carry me to the car and the next morning drive me to the student health center. However, 9 and a 1/2 weeks, 2 x-rays, and a handicapped parking pass later, I'm healed... unless my foot rebreaks during a my coed soccer team's intermurals game I just signed up for.

Third, classes ended turning out quite well after much stress and effort. They also look as though they will be very interesting and good this semester as well, 10 classes, 16 credits. I don't think my classes will be too bad though, quite intriguing with my Hymns of the Restoration class, Middle East Lecture series in the middle of the semester, as well as Percussion Workshop. Although, I would have to say that I preferred this past week over those classes. I spent 4 days in deep concentration learning what evaporation, freezing points and mountains all have in common along with a human anatomy firsthand experience as I exercised longtime dormant muscles for the first time... this ski season. Snowbird, it really does have some of the best snow and runs available in Utah!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

dating, breaking feet, and social library interactions

So, I realized I hadn't written anything in... a number of months? I decided before I go on my date today to try and catch things up.

First thing is first - school is going great. It's rather hectic with the various classes. I still think that my Music 301 class is pretty much pointless but am trying to ignore this fact. Although my Doctrine and Covenants class causes lack of sleep - I still love the class along with my teacher, Alonzo Gaskill. I finished one composition for my theory class and have only one remaining before the end of semester. I... have to pass out of my piano class because I relied too heavily on what little skill I have on the piano (bad idea!). Needless to say, my piano class is one of the most frustrating at the time. However, with all that said, classes are going well and I am sooooo happy that it hasn't snowed horribly yet because that means a few more days of great, enjoyable warmth.

Secondly, I have my reasons for not liking the snow at the moment because I don't get to enjoy it in any normal way. I broke my foot walking down stairs, no good fall, no good story, simply walking down the stairs, rolling my foot, and realizing after I heard a pop that I wasn't going to be able to walk this rolled foot pain off. Snow and ice are phobias currently, can only imagine what... amusement I could have trying to walk uphill with my booted foot and iffy balance with ice. Although I have nightmares for the day it snows and ices here in Utah, I have found great benefits to having a broken foot (yes, it actually broke - the 5th and possibly 4th metatarcel). The first is that I have a number of really cute boys thinking me a damsel in distress. Now, I have too much pride to concede to too many chivalrous acts but as for driving me to school, carrying my book bags when I was on crutches for the last two weeks (I am officially finally off crutches!), occassional piggy back rides up and down stairs where there are no elevators... quite the positive consequences to a broken foot! Oh, and I also received a temporary handicap parking pass on campus which is such a relief and dare I say, way to spoil myself?

Now that my health and school has been covered, the love life. Of course that's always something interesting. I found the key to excessively dating this past month. It takes a month in prepping the area but afterwards, two to three dates a weekend! Study in the library every night till midnight, work every other day, and of course be nice (as usual) to those you interact with daily in school. Now, the common man would think this would afford no social life. However, with this simple formula I was asked on FIVE dates! for this Friday (yesterday) and Saturday (today) night. Don't ask me how, I actually have no clue how I've been dating so much this semester. Truthfully, I've been avoiding trying to date and more focusing on things in school. Turns out I have a number of people who love me, think that I would get along great with another friend they love and so I've been set up on numerous first dates this semester. With all that said though, I commend my roommate (engaged) Jessi who definitely set me up with a keeper. He can be more shy and reserved in some social settings but is one of the funniest people that I can genuinely laugh WITH when he's in the zone. Of course he's tall, dark, and handsome. Well... he's not extremely tall and he's blonde... but he's handsome for sure, with a very dear smile (the smile is what gets me because it shows how much a person can laugh, how dear they can be, and how happy as an individual they really are). Bryce is pretty much amazing (texan!) and it's always fun to go out with him doing new things each time (but of course my favorite is the studying in the library j/k!). I do appreciate all the close friendships I've formed this semester though with my close family friend Nelson and a dear friend who happens to now be in my home stake, Jonathan.

With all that said, I am trying to no do too many stupid things (no worries, the triathlon I about signed up for, I decided to drop due to my sadly broken appendage). I'm eating my veggies (actually, spaghetti squash is really good and with a few other ingredients very tasty). I'm sleeping more than normal at least these past two weeks - I blame that one on my foot draining me of all energy but I don't think Dad or Mom really care what I blame getting more sleep on as long as I do. I'm saying my pleases and thank yous (especially to Heavenly Father for keeping me healthy, happy, and sane). I've been trying to think of ways to make this year of my life really memorable (not in a stupid sense) because of the example Tannon had become when he was 20 years old. After pondering and trying various things, I think I figured out that for me to make this year very impressionable on myself and others is by having a passion for people. I developed this while ini Jerusalem, I'm just learning how to slightly alter it to fit the area that I live in now and yet find so many rewarding benefits from it. I've had such great examples lately and from talking to some of them, they have been able to gain something from me as well. It's been stronglt iterated to me that no matter what we do, we affect those around us. If I sit on a bench and shake my foot, even if it is subconciously that I tap my foot, I affect those that sit next to me with my jitteriness. Even the smallest action has some form of reprecussive events on those around us. Life is really interesting and truly a puzzling wonder sometimes.
"If you ain't got it in ya, you can't blow it out" - Louis Armstrong