little things

9:21 PM Marcie Parson 1 Comments

A few little things I have been appreciating since my arrival home:

Having "my people" welcome me at the airport
Staying in "my room" at the Turner home
Having a Prince-Hatch reunion at the Hatch home
Getting my fix of "Herndon food"
Laughing with friends I haven't seen for two years
Singing "home of the hornets" during the national anthem
Watching the dance team babies do their thang
Every street recalling a memory


world traveler

12:23 PM Marcie Parson 2 Comments

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have been accepted to volunteer on the 2012 HELP International Nicaragua. I couldn't be more excited to spend 6 weeks of my summer to help change lives. Check it out:

This will be my 5th country I'll travel to in 2012 (Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Colombia, and Nicaragua)!
Look at me go.

Bring on the traveling, 2012.



7:45 PM Marcie Parson 3 Comments

I had a wonderful, quiet Thanksgiving week in Provo with two of my best friends. It was my first Thanksgiving away from home, so that was a little odd, but it was good nonetheless. I tried to write up a list of things I'm grateful for, but it was too long and got me all choked up. So, to sum up my feelings and spare you the blubbering, I leave you with a Prince family quote:

As my Grandpa Prince always says, "Good things happen to me."


one year ago...

10:22 PM Marcie 2 Comments

I remember being literally dragged out of bed by a handful of girls from my dorm. You know that awkward stage of freshman year where you meet hundreds of people yet still manage to not have any best friends? It was that time. These were my friends, but I didn't really know them yet. That didn't stop them. They pulled me out of bed, dressed me, and stuffed me in a car. I remember being on the verge of tears, but the second I heard the Christmas music blasting, everything was okay. We drove up to Salt Lake for dinner at CPK and went shopping at the Gateway. I laughed and forgot about everything that was bothering me that week. I thought that maybe these girls would turn out to be my best friends after all. They did.

Good thing I had a depressing week a year ago. Or else none of this would have happened:

Happy one year anniversary of friendship, friends!


and then there were two.

12:23 PM Marcie 0 Comments

It happened.
We had our money on Jasmine from day one.
She didn't disappoint. She was the first to get married.
They tied the knot on 10/8/11.
Now taking bets on who's next!


the little things

9:39 AM Marcie 0 Comments

  • Roommates who have made your bed
  • Hugs from people you love the most
  • Real food in the fridge
  • Getting back into your routine
  • Not living out of a suitcase
  • Sleeping in your own bed


    Sobrinito number 8

    4:11 PM Marcie 0 Comments

    Meet Matthan Lee Airmet
    (and his big sister Madeline).
    He was born Monday, October 3, 2011 at 1:35 AM.
    He was 8 lbs 2 oz and 21.5 inches long.
    I love him already.

    Can't wait to meet him in two months!


    C's get Degrees

    9:00 AM Marcie 1 Comments

    This week has been such a joy.
    And by joy I mean disaster.
    Amidst my struggles to complete my to-do list (and believe me, I was struggling), I was blessed to work with a charming group of people on a group project. Let's just say this menagerie of 'hardworking students' set me back quite a bit on my overflowing to-do list.
    I've had quite lovely experiences with group projects in the past, and this one was no exception.

    My first traumatizing experience with group projects was when I moved to St. George at the lovely age of 17.
    I was miserable there for about a year.
    My first semester I was enrolled in financial literacy with Coach Denos. I'm pretty sure it was his first time ever teaching, but of course, he was a coach, so he had to be hired out of some obligation I do not understand. Poor guy never stood a chance. I judged him from day one. Of course, I was the one being judged in my class since A) I had no friends, and B) I wasn't particularly trying to make any.
    Needless to say, when a group project rolled around, no one was antsy to be in my group.
    Guess what grade we got?
    a C.

    I was furious. I spoke to the coach, and he wouldn't budge
    As a result, I took my first A- in a class. Dramatic, I know. Not a big deal, right? It was for me.
    I was a straight A student except for that one A-.
    Thank you, Coach Denos. I will never let you live that one down.

    This week I was yet again assigned to a winner of a group.
    Everyone literally had to copy and paste ONE paragraph into a googledoc and ONE slide onto a google presentation.
    On the day our presentation was due, there were two paragraphs written. We were missing 6 paragraphs. I freaked out all morning. I emailed everyone, wrote some of the paragraphs myself, put together a slideshow, and organized a group meeting before class. I printed out our paper with 5 minutes to spare.
    As I expressed my feelings of disappointment and stress, the boy to my left politely told me,
    "We'll just take a bad grade on this one. C's get degrees!"


    I politely informed him that I, Marcie Prince, do not get C's. And that as long as he is in my group, we will be getting an A.

    Yep, I am that girl. Judge away.


    L is for Loser

    10:54 AM Marcie 0 Comments

    Big brother Sean came into town yesterday. To put it quite simply, Sean is the same person as my dad. It was like my dad flew all the way to Provo to hang out with me. It was awesome.

    Upon his arrival, he commented on how strange it was to be back in Provo again and watch everyone all paired off. I asked, "is it nice to be married now and away from the awful Provo dating game?"

    Pause. Laugh.
    "I won!"

    ... that awkward moment when you realize you're losing.


    ten years ago

    8:47 PM Marcie 0 Comments

    Ten years ago today, I was 9 years old.
    I lived 30 minutes away from the Pentagon.
    I was in Mrs. Stein's 4th grade class. 
    I was sitting at my desk when she got a phone call from her daughter in New York.
    I watched as she paced at her desk and gasped. 
    I was confused.
    I didn't understand why we were watching TV at school.
    I sat on the floor around the small TV in the corner and hugged my friends. 
    I watched as my classmates whose parents were working in the trade centers or the Pentagon started to cry.
    I wanted to get pulled out of class like the rest of my friends.
     I came home to a phone ringing incessantly with incoming calls from worried friends and family.

    Ten years ago today, I definitely didn't understand the gravity of the terrorist attacks, but I can vividly remember that day and the effect it had on our nation. As the days went passed, we learned more bits and pieces about the event, and I even found out that my dad could have been working there that day.
    I'm so grateful he wasn't.

    God bless America.
    God bless all those whose families were changed forever
    on September 11, 2001.


    college thus far

    9:05 PM Marcie 1 Comments

    I'd say it's been a great start to sophomore year.



    10:34 AM Marcie 2 Comments

    There is a tradition here in the Colombia Cali mission that began long before the Prince era. Whenever there are missionaries finishing their mission, they come to the mission home for a lunch with our family and the office crew. Then they go around and tell us what they will miss and what they will not miss about their mission.

    I feel it's only appropriate that I share a few of mine since I recently ended my time in the Colombia Cali mission.

    What I will miss:

    The office crew. These guys are so hilarious I can't get over it, and they know more English than they let on. I love how they call my mom "mom" in English. I love hearing their English "horror stories" of how scared they get when they have to call the parents of the North American missionaries who are going home, and they panic because they can't understand what they are saying when they start speaking too fast - hello, that is the story of my LIFE in Colombia. Elder "Alfo" Alfaro says the weirdest things in English like "we are not alone" and I die laughing - who is teaching him these things? P.S. whoever taught Elder Gallo the word "feisty," thank you. I also love that they are obsessed with the song Love Story meets Viva la Vida by Jon Schmidt. They begged me to play it for them, and you should have seen them dancing. I love when they come to our house and have ice cream, brownies, cookies, and pizza parties. Yes, pretty much whenever food is involved. It breaks my heart that I might never see them again.

    How green it is here. I am obsessed with green. I think when I lived in Virginia I took it for granted because when I moved to Utah it pained me to live in the desert. Colombia is like Virginia on steroids. We're talking massive, never ending Andes mountain range, and I have never seen such beautiful scenery. It is breathtaking. It was so frustrating that no matter how hard I tried to take pictures, they never captured the beauty of Colombia.

    Arequipe. Okay, why do we not have Arequipe in America. That stuff is golden. I love it almost as much as peanut butter. I would put it on ice cream, sandwiches, and brownies all the live long day if we had it.

    Crepes & Waffles. Let me tell you, my friends. I have eaten at that restaurant three times now, and it is amazing as it sounds. We're talking dinner crepes, dessert crepes, dessert waffles, and entire dessert BOOK - not menu - with ice cream masterpieces. Someone please call Bogotá and tell them to come to America.

    My parents. I don't know if any of you have left your parents for 3 years, but I am not looking forward to it. I already miss them terribly. I don't want to grow up. I don't know how to take care of adult things like cars and money. I feel like I have been thrown into the real world, and the worst part is that I don't have my mommy or daddy a phone call away. And that is all I will say because I want to cry every time I think about it.

    What I will not miss:
    Getting stared at by everyone who sees me, the language barrier, fearing for my life every time we drive in Cali, people telling me I look like I'm fourteen, not knowing what I'm eating, lack of cell phone/communication with friends in America, fear of getting Dengue every time I have a mosquito bite, possible cold showers, waking up at 3 AM to travel, and the fear of accidentally drinking unfiltered water via brushing my teeth or showering and dying.

    My last night in Colombia I was treated to a song by the office crew. Of course, they were trying to make me cry, but it was still precious. I love them. I love Colombia. I miss it.


    when words fail, music speaks

    8:37 AM Marcie 0 Comments

    Today I am grateful that music isn't written in Spanish or English, and that I can play piano at whatever conference, fireside, baptism, or meeting that I attend, and everyone understands me. Sure, I can't speak your language, but I can play a mean musical number.

    On Saturday we attended a baptism of a woman who had her severely handicapped brother with her. He walked around, shouted, and was a bit of a distraction. But whenever music started playing, he tapped right along to the beat in perfect rhythm. It's almost as if the music transcended his handicap, spoke to him, and he understood it perfectly. Music, my friends, is a wonderful thing. 

    On a lighter note, I stumbled upon this gem today, recorded over a year ago. 
    Were we talented or what?


    anorexia, day one

    4:47 PM Marcie 3 Comments

    List of things I've eaten so far today:



     All my besties would be so proud. 
    If I can keep this up I'll lose 3 pounds in no time.


    every member's a missionary

    10:15 PM Marcie 0 Comments

    Although I'm not planning on serving a mission for our church, I am experiencing a mission. I have lived in the mission home, met 165 missionaries, inspected missionaries' apartments with the zone leaders, attended zone conferences and trainings, met investigators, and even put in my two cents about upcoming transfers. I've seen a new country and culture for the first time and have eaten questionable food. I know exactly which missionaries call my parents and whine to them, those who have been in some sticky situations, and those who are sick. I know which are obeying the rules and which are, well, most certainly not. Sometimes I feel like I know more about these missionaries and their issues than their parents know.

    There was something special about last week. We had zone conference here in Cali with four zones. Like usual, the meeting started with some lucky Latin missionaries being chosen to give testimonies or short talks in English. The meeting was instantly flooded with the spirit as more and more volunteers lined up to give simple testimonies and express their love for the Lord in a language that is foreign and hard for them. That is certainly something that we understand!

    That night, we were invited to a baptism. The elders asked me to accompany them for a special musical number, and let me tell you, there is something about the power with which the missionaries sing that gets me every time - even if I did have to play on a junky keyboard with no pedal (plink, plink, plink).

    On Sunday, our office elders planned a family night at our house for about eight of their investigators. I was right smack dab in the middle of missionary work. I sat there in awe as my friends taught the restoration of the gospel and the importance of living prophets and apostles, and the spirit filled the room. I even participated - in Spanish, mind you. WOW they are good. I am so impressed with these elders! It was a really special experience. It made me realize how lucky I am to have been born into this gospel and to know so many wonderful missionaries around the world right now doing that very same thing.

    To top it off, this week we were in Armenia, Manizales, and Pereira for zone conferences. While el presidente was in interviews, my mom and I decided to walk around Manizales. We were approached by a police man, and while we worried about what he could possibly want, we were pleasantly surprised when he said, "Where are you from? I want to practice my English." This sweet man offered to give us a tour of the Monumento a los Colonizadores in the best English he could manage. When he asked what my mom's nametag was, we found ourselves explaining the differences between our church and other churches, and I had my first opportunity to share the gospel! I am so glad to be a part of this church!

     At some of the conferences I have been pressured into giving my testimony in Spanish. My response used to be, "but I'm not a missionary!" I've been quickly out-ruled as they remind me that "every member is a missionary!"
    I guess that's true. 
    I am such a missionary. and I love it.


    everyone has a rebellious phase... or two

    5:48 PM Marcie 0 Comments

    Who is this brunette wonder, you ask? 
    Your favorite mission mom, Hermana Prince!

    She survived her first trip to the Salón de Belleza and still looks beautiful,
    even if her hair did end up a "poco más oscuro" than planned.

    The two of us went on a little outing today, and she was feeling a little rebellious.
    She decided to go "incognito."
    Pants instead of a skirt
    Dyed hair
    She almost didn't wear her name tag.

    Okay, so maybe it didn't last very long.
    Besides, it's hard to disguise the fact that she is a wonderful mission mom.
    I suppose everyone needs a little rebellion in their lives. 
    For me, it was when I was 15.

    However, I take this as an okay to have a rebellious stage (or moment) when I'm in my fifties. 
    Look out world!


    ignorance is bliss

    6:27 PM Marcie 0 Comments

    We have started traveling again - for zone conferences this time! Last week we were in Medellín and Belén, and this week we went to Pasto. It was... well, interesting. On several occasions my mom and I would laugh uncontrollably on account of having no idea what was going on or what we were doing there. Our traveling experiences are just too good not to share, mostly due to the fact that we have no idea what's going on.

    It starts on the plane. Actually, it starts in a taxi at 4 AM, meaning we wake up at 3:30 AM. We just love our early morning schedule. We're all a little delirious. We actually would have no clue what to do or where to go without the elders. These pictures were taken at 6 AM, because as I recall, we thought it would be "fun for everyone to see what type of plane we fly on."
     I laugh every time I see this.
    The hotel in Pasto was out of control, like always. There were problems checking in and out, a suitcase belonging to someone else in our closet (it was gone when we had come back from meetings - we put a chair in front of our door that night), strange people showing up at our door, etc. If that's not enough, for some reason we always seem to get the honeymoon suite or something. It comes complete with pink mood lighting, big tub in the middle of the room, and uncomfortable pictures, I mean, art on the wall. Why? We definitely did not ask for any sort of honeymoon suite.
    We had some time to kill while my dad was in interviews, so my mom and I decided to take a taxi to La Cocha, which we had heard was a beautiful lake in the mountains. We drove up this sketchy mountain with road repair, mudslides, and fog. At this point we were both wondering what we had gotten ourselves into. We finally reached the town - which was flooded. Did that stop the taxi driver? Definitely not.
    We pulled into the town and were swarmed by people wanting to take us on a boat ride around the lake. Did I have a clue what was going on? Definitely not. Next thing I know, the three of us (my mom made the taxi driver come with us) are piling on this tiny boat with this old woman who I swear was speaking some indian dialect, and we ventured out into questionable waters in the rain. Good thing there were life jackets on board to protect us... from the rain.
    The last night in Pasto, my dad was our working with the missionaries and left mom and I to fend for ourselves for dinner. Not brave enough to venture outside in the freezing cold/dangerous streets of Pasto, we decided to play it safe and eat downstairs in the hotel restaraunt where we had eaten the past 3 meals. First of all, the place was eerily empty. We sat down, wondering if it was open, when we saw the waiter come in, from outside the hotel. We asked for a menu to share. He came back with a bowl of soup. We asked for french fries. He told us they would take too long. He came back with a plate of... leftovers?

    We started noticing that the other people who had come in also did not get a menu, and instead got the same mush of questionable leftovers. We asked for dessert. He came back empty handed. We still have no idea what was going on! Was it no-food-Wednesday or something? We had eaten there all week with a normal menu and normal results. I wish I had taken a picture of the food we got. Menú is pretty hard to confuse with sopa, Hotel Bolivar. Our Spanish isn't that bad, I promise.

    So... we are living in ignorance. Our insufficient Spanish and lack of understanding of the culture leaves us, at times, utterly confused. Sometimes it's more traumatizing than funny, but laughing about it has certainly made it more enjoyable.


    don't judge a book by its cover

    7:47 PM Marcie 0 Comments

    I can't get enough of this beautiful green country.
    I've have been lucky enough to travel the west coast of Colombia and visit almost every major city within the Colombia Cali mission. 
    This means driving through the mountains, valleys, and countryside.
    I've seen cathedrals, waterfalls, rainbows, busy cities, and have met hundreds of loving missionaries and Colombian people along the way. 
    My parents have spoken at firesides, conferences, meetings, etc, 
    and I've played piano at every meeting I've attended. 
    We squeeze in some sightseeing if we have time.

    I am overwhelmed again and again with how loving the people are. 
    People here welcome you with literal open arms, kisses on the cheek, unnecessarily large meals, and smiles. 
    I sit down with people who talk my ear off, regardless of how much I understand, and like always, ask me what I think of Colombia. 
    I always tell them that I think it's beautiful. 
    Granted, there's not that much I can say in their language anyway, 
    but I really do think it's absolutely beautiful.
    To my surprise, many people have asked if it's a lot different than everything I heard before I came. I don't really know that I heard too much about Colombia before I came, and I'm not exactly sure what I expected. They painfully tell me that most people just assume Colombia is a dangerous place and only associate it with drugs. 
    I guess that's true.
    It makes me sad to hear that many people think so poorly of their country. 
    They always tell me I will learn to love it. 
    I think I already do! 

    Lesson learned: Don't judge a book by it's cover. Not by what you see on the news, hear from your friends, or read in the papers. Colombia is beautiful and full of wonderful people, despite what it may have been years ago.

    my mom did think I was kidnapped for a solid half hour today and had the elders looking for me. She made sure no one in the office told El Presidente. 
    I'm safe, Dad, I promise!

    note to self: learn to salsa so I can participate in future spontaneous salsa dance parties


    count your blessings

    9:07 PM Marcie 1 Comments

    A few things I will appreciate oh-so-much-more upon returning to the states:
    • Indoor heating. One of the zones we traveled to, Pasto, is on top of a mountain, which means it is freezing. All the time. Definitely didn't take that into consideration when packing for a country so close to the equator. Because of the lack of indoor heating, even our hotel was ice cold. I shamelessly wore my dad's thick dress socks underneath my sandals and every shirt I brought for the weekend, including my mom's cardigan underneath my own sweater. Bring on the crazy North American stereotypes.
    • Diversity. I like to claim that my high school was about 50% white, 50% everything else. Needless to say, I was exposed to a lot of different races. Here, everyone is pretty much pure Colombian, and it's not exactly a hot tourist spot either. Whenever I go anywhere, I get stared at. It is quite possible that I, Marcie Prince, am the first Caucasian many people have ever encountered in the flesh.
    • Safety and security. I feel like safe in Colombia does not mean the same thing as it does in the states. Although this is a relatively "safe" time for Colombia, it's definitely not recommended to go frolicking around the city. This means that I can't go out unless I'm with my parents, who happen to be busy 90% of the time. As a result, I sit inside our apartment. But hey, I've read two books already!
    • Dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers. Even though we are fortunate enough to have these appliances in our humble apartment, most Colombians are not. Also, they are slightly less reliable than the ones in America. Our dishwasher was not installed for the first five days we were here. No problem. We just washed our dishes by hand - until our sink broke and almost flooded out kitchen four times. Even after the sink was "fixed" and the dishwasher was so-called "installed," water poured out onto our kitchen floor. By that time, I couldn't stop laughing.
    • Traffic laws. Good gosh. The roads are terrifying. After over a week of avoiding driving out of pure fear, my mom finally buckled up and took the steering wheel yesterday. We survived!
    • Clean water. You cannot drink the water here. It has a myriad of parasites and other wonderful things that make you sick. It's not hard to find filtered water, but I sure am grateful that the water in the states is safe!
    • English. I admire these missionaries who are trying to learn English. Learning a new language is awful, and I am just not sure I'm motivated enough to really master Spanish! The embarrassment and frustration from my lack of communication just might do it for me though. We'll see where I'm at by the end of the summer.
    • Cups, Miles, Fahrenheit, and other US forms of measurement. Go ahead and try to bake cookies using grams and degrees Celsius. 
    • Friends. Missing my friends back in the states. It's no fun to not have a cell phone and have to communicate via the internet. Thank goodness for social media.


    when in rome, do as the romans do

    2:22 PM Marcie 3 Comments

    or in our case, when in Colombia, do as the Colombians do.

    For example:
    • Speak Spanish. They do not understand English, and they will look at you funny if you try to talk to them in English. They do not understand you if you say "como se dice ____." Try to picture my dad attempting to ask his missionaries how to say "assert yourself".
    • Drive like a maniac. They do not tolerate timid driving, and they will hit your car - and drive away. Honk frequently, drive in the middle of two lanes, disregard all stop signs and traffic lights, and look out for the millions of "motos" (motorcycles/scooters).
    • Give gifts to guests. My parents and I went to a single adult fireside, and they gave us all gifts. I was given a Colombian leather purse. Seriously? I'm obsessed.
    • Eat a huge lunch. Breakfast and dinner might as well not exist. Their lunches are the size of all 3 meals combined.
    • Keep all the windows open. Air conditioning is rare here, and sometimes the buildings don't even have windows that close. Sounds hot, but it's actually so breezy and quite lovely. In one of the church buildings, there is a courtyard in the middle of the building, and everything is wide open. I love it.
    • Carry a machine gun. Just kidding... but we have indeed seen some with the DAS and police officers who chill in the streets.
    • Ride the MetroCables! In Medellín, there are metro cable cars that take you up the mountains. You can see the entire city, and it's beautiful!
    • Give big hugs and kiss all the women on the cheek. Colombians are a very loving people and so friendly! I have gotten more kisses on the cheek in the past 5 days than I have in my entire life.
    • Listen to uncomfortably loud music into the early hours of the morning so no one can sleep. Around 10 PM, the music starts, and if you're not like me, who can sleep like a rock, you will be kept awake.
    • and in my case, walk through the city with my bodyguards, the elders! I fit right in, minus the nametag. Just call me Hermana Prince!


    it's a small (mormon) world after all

    9:52 AM Marcie 1 Comments

    So here I am in Cali, Colombia, sitting on the balcony of our 15th floor apartment. It is so green and beautiful. I've had quite the eventful past few days, having traveled to an entirely different continent and two new countries. I've never really been outside of the country - excluding some vacations to the Caribbean, which don't count - so this has been quite the adventure! Until now, I've actually been lucky to speak a lot of English with the other North American mission president couples we were traveling with, two of the new Lima East mission president's daughters who are learning English, and some of the Area Office leadership in Peru - but we're on our own now!

    We have officially arrived in Colombia, and it seems like another world. South America is so incredibly different. In fact, the first thing I thought when I landed in Peru was that I cannot believe the world is so big. It is so amazing to me that there are places like this all over the world where people are living their lives in different languages with different cultures and different everything! Every aspect of life is different.

    But what is it about the Mormon world? Everyone always seems to somehow known someone who knows someone, and we always make these weird connections. Despite the grandiose size of the world - don't think about it too much; it'll give you a headache - the mormon world is so so small. My first day in Peru we went to the Lima temple. When my dad came out of the session and told me that an Elder Richards from the McLean Stake was there, I couldn't believe it. I went around front, and sure enough, there was Stephen Richards. He is in the Lima MTC and it happened to be his P-Day! What are the chances?
    The next day my parents had meetings at the Area Office pretty much all day, so they arranged for me to hang out at the mission home of the Lima Central Mission. President Tyler has an 18 year old daughter, Melissa, who is going to BYU in the fall, so we were talking about how she's going to be a freshman and such. This is how the conversation went:

    So are you going to be living in the dorms?
    No, I'm actually going to be living in Liberty Square to be closer to my brothers.
    No way, me too! What building?Jefferson, I think.
    What! No way! Me too! What apartment?
    27 maybe?
    WHAT! That's my apartment!!

    My friends and I are living in a 6 person apartment, and there are 5 of us, which means we had one random roommate. Turns out that Melissa is going to be our 6th roommate! What are the chances of meeting her in Peru, of all places. Small world eh? I spent the day exploring Lima with her, and I'm really excited to be living with her in the fall!

    Now that I'm in Cali, there is a LOT to learn. For starters, spanish. Yikes. I have actually been able to understand a lot more than I thought I would, but it is so mediocre that it's embarrassing. Today I woke up and my parents were gone - leaving only me and the maid (why yes, we have a maid named Ana... I know). My feeble attempts to communicate with her left me completely confused, and I felt like an idiot. I'm getting really good at smiling and nodding.

    Goal for the summer: be able to successfully communicate with Ana.

    p.s. aren't my parents the cutest?