Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sister Gotze

I had the chance to go to a viewing for Filomena Gotze, who passed away last week from a stroke. She and her husband had flown to Utah from Aruba to celebrate their daughter's college graduation and visit with some of her other kids and grandkids.

As I watched the picture slideshow, what really got my attention was her eyes--they just shine in every picture. She looks so tranquil and happy with her grandkids, her kids, her husband, her church friends.

There's a different feeling at a funeral where people know about God's plan. There wasn't lots of crying, although my heart ached for her sweet husband of 40+ years. Still, her kids and husband talked about how things had worked out in a way that let them know God was mindful of them. She was able to spend time with kids and grandkids who lived in the U.S. and Spain, and visit Temple Square just before she died. Temple Square was a place she really loved.

Seeing two sisters I loved from my mission pass away recently has reminded me about the person I want to be. I'm grateful for both of their examples. I'm so grateful that families can be together eternally, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I hope I can live worthy of those blessings.

This Song is AWESOME

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sister Maylinda

Meet "Sister Maylinda."

Born in the Dominican Republic, she moved to Aruba in her younger years to marry an Aruban. I knew her because I was a missionary in Aruba for 9 months. Every Friday, she had us over for lunch. She made the best food--rice and beans, but they were THE BEST rice and beans I've ever had. She'd usually make us some kind of chicken or meat to go with it. Plus, she'd make fresh passion fruit or mango or pineapple juice. And she'd serve us a little snack-pack pudding for dessert. When we finished lunch, we'd always take our plates over to the sink. Sometimes I would absentmindedly throw the chicken bones from my plate in the trash. She hated that--she saved every scrap so she could give it to the dogs on the side of the road.

She was a very talented seamstress. She ran a successful business for years, but by the time I knew her, she mostly just did favors for people. One time I was with her when she ran into someone who remembered Maylinda from 20 years before because Maylinda had made her wedding dress. She made my companion and me skirts one time--I still remember her exclaiming how VERY WIDE my hips were when she measured me. :) (Thanks to her beans and rice, probably.)

When I went back to Aruba a year after my mission to do research, she let me stay at her house. Even though I didn't expect her to, she doted on me and fed me. She was always putting people up in the spare bedroom in her house--it wasn't just me--and I'm sure she took care of them all, too.

A couple of times as a missionary, I remember having to go through her bedroom to get to the bathroom. Her bedroom was perfectly tidy. The bed was always made. All she really had in there was a set of scriptures sitting on the stand next to her bed. It was simple and clean and focused, just like her.

Maylinda was dependable. Nearly every week, she came with us to the English class we taught, just to be there. (She already spoke fine English.)

She was a sweet grandmother. Her grandkids LOVED spending the day at her house.

She walked to the bus stop every Sunday so she could go to church.

She would respond immediately if she heard someone didn't have anything to eat, by taking them a hot meal.

I remember someone we taught as missionaries who didn't know how to read. Maylinda agreed to have the woman over every week so she could read the scriptures to her. The woman continued to walk to Maylinda's house for months after my companion and I stopped teaching her. All kinds of people felt welcome in her house.

Aruba won't be the same place now that she's gone. I'm grateful for her example, her testimony, and her constant service. Mi ta stima bo pa semper, Hermana Maylinda.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Weepies!!

Atlanta+Friends+Some-of-the-best-pizza-ever+THE WEEPIES LIVE=happiness.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I read the following talk by Elder Hales (one of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)

He said:

"Throughout His life our Savior showed us how to use our agency. As a boy in Jerusalem, He deliberately chose to “be about [His] Father’s business.”10 In His ministry, He obediently chose “to do the will of [His] Father.”11 In Gethsemane, He chose to suffer all things, saying, “Not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.”12 On the cross, He chose to love His enemies, praying, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”13 And then, so that He could finally demonstrate that He was choosing for Himself, He was left alone. “[Father,] why hast thou forsaken me?” He asked.14 At last, He exercised His agency to act, enduring to the end, until He could say, “It is finished.”15

I like the phrase "deliberately chose" in that second sentence. It's making me think about my life, and how often I deliberately choose to follow Christ. Sometimes, I may just do the right things out of habit or because my family and friends do them. But I feel a desire to be more intentional in following the Savior.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Music on Grooveshark

Hey there. Some of you know that I like to write music. I'm no professional, but it's something that I really enjoy. A while back I spent some time (and moolah) making a recording of some of my songs. The quality isn't perfect, and some of them could DEFINITELY stand to be re-done. But, I found a way to share them! Just go to and search "Cammie Beckstead" and they'll come up.


Saturday, October 9, 2010


My name is Cammie. I'm from Alabamy. Well, I live here anyways. With either a church or a Waffle House on every block, this is definitely the south. Football is king--don't even think about going for a drive on game day. And campus? It's closed down for the weekend. That's right, even the library. Here in the south, the world is green and beautiful. People say "Yes, ma'am," and "Yes, sir." People ask me where I'm from and tell me I have an accent. If you don't like someone, you just say, "Bless her heart," and everyone knows what you really mean. This is my new home, and I'm loving it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Trust in Me

Why, I wonder, is it so hard to trust people?

Today, I got a $30 parking citation. This was given to me in a Visitor's Lot on BYU campus, after I had spoken with the parking attendant girl at the booth, and she had asked me if I was a BYU student. No, I told her, I wasn't a student. She asked me if I had graduated previously (the answer is yes), and if I was a grad student at BYU (the answer is no), and then she gave me a temporary Visitor's pass for my car, as well as a razor blade to try and remove the ridiculous Y lot sticker that I can't get off my windshield. (Maybe that was what made her think I was a student in the first place.)

Anyway, I got out of my car with my backpack, ready to hit up campus for some work on my research project, and when I came back out two hours later there was a $30 citation. On the bottom of the ticket, in girly handwriting, were the words, "See parking booth attendant to avoid ticket." Turns out the ticket was issued by the same girl who had given me permission to park there in the first place, and she thought I was a liar all along.

Why would I even park in the Visitor's Lot at 8 in the morning in the summer, when I could have my pick of all the student lots around campus? Also, how weird that the girl wouldn't have just verified my non-student-ship during the initial interrogation.

Oh, well. I'm over it. I gave her my ID, and stood there somewhat smugly as she called someone to verify that I wasn't afilliated with the school. I guess it's just hard to trust people these days.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Goodbye, Friend

My friend moved away on Sunday. Things around here don't feel the same without him.

One of my friends told me something his mom said one time when they moved to a new state. She was leaving a dear friend behind and she said something like, "Don't make friends. Every time you do, you just end up having to say goodbye."

I don't share her philosophy deep down, except when I have to feel a goodbye--that emptiness--and it brings out the melodramatic in me.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I'm Happy I Was Born

1. Archie came to get me at 8:30 this morning and took me here: I had french toast and amazing syrup. Mmmmmm.

2. Walked into work. There are two lines for pick-up. The first says this:

I don't know if you can read that, but it says "Order Pick-up." The other one says "Customer Service." Only when I came in to work, dear Curt had changed out the sign to look like this:

3. Got this card at work today from my co-worker, James. He was embarrassed by it but I love it.

Check out the inside...

4. Went to lunch with my beloved co-workers, Curt, James, and Laura. Getting our food took over an hour, and in total we were away from work for about an hour and 40 minutes. It seemed okay because it was my birthday.

5. Went to a birthday bonfire at the Hansens' house in Payson. Roasted hotdogs, marshmallows, and starbursts. Maggie is my best friend and so thoughtful to get a lot of my favorite people together for my birthday.

I'm pretty sure I have the best friends and family in the whole world.

Monday, May 24, 2010


That's right, it snowed today. It's almost June, and it snowed today. My birthday is in 3 days, and it snowed today. My birthday! Which is--it always HAS been--a "summer birthday." Meaning, I never brought cupcakes to school on my birthday. Because my birthday was during SUMMER VACATION. I don't care if the summer season doesn't officially begin until June, my birthday is a summer birthday. And it snowed today.

That said, I shouldn't complain about anything that keeps people in their homes and away from our busy Will Call office on a Monday morning. It's like a lovely little Christmas gift, in May.

I'm training for my second triathlon. Only this time, I kind of want to challenge myself and go for the Olympic one instead of the Sprint one. The sprint one was pretty comfortable, but making the jump to the Olympic one seems completely daunting. I don't want to regret not going for it, though. I was terrified of the swimming section of the sprint until I did it last year, and it wasn't bad! So I'm hoping that's how the olympic one will be, this year. Can you tell I'm still trying to fully convince myself I can do it? I still haven't registered. But I made up my training plan. Too bad I started late--it's already three weeks into what's supposed to be a 10-week plan. Whoops. I can do it though, right? I'm young! If I can't do it now, then when will I? Although, I remember learning in an Adult Development class that old people, while they decline in speed and agility, actually IMPROVE in endurance. Isn't that cool? That must be why there were so many elderly folks at last year's triathlon kicking my trash.

I went to an awesome concert on Saturday. Check out the Local Natives, if you haven't listened to them before. Also, the opening act was pretty good, too. Check out The Suckers here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wanna know what keeps me sane at work?

It's a fishing pole.

After working here for about 5 months, I decided I deserved a seating change. I selected a cubicle right next to favorite co-worker #1, and right across from favorite co-worker #2. Favorite co-worker #2 fashioned a fishing pole out of two wooden dowels (not sure where he found them) taped together, with a couple of shoe-laces tied end-to-end forming the line. Whenever one of us is bored, we have but to lower the line down onto the other side of the divider between our desks, and wait for the other to attach some prize. I've fished out all kinds of things. Yesterday, it was a pack of Gushers. Another day, it was a mouse pad. Once it was a cleaned-out Wendy's salad bowl (Weird, I know, but FC#2 knows I like to reuse them).

This kind of fishing is still just as thrilling as I remember it being as a kid.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

If I wasn't moving to Alabama...

I would buy a pull-up bar.

And maybe a punching bag.

I feel like both of those things would make me feel tough. But, since I have to cram myself, my Dad, and everything I own into a Toyota Camry this August, and the lot of us has to make it across the country, I won't. I guess I'll be glad I still have the money, if not the muscles, when I go to buy my textbooks.

I think my Dad would be proud of my reasoning abilities and my (if intermittent) bouts of self-control.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

May 5th.

None of these thoughts are related to each other:

I thought it was really funny yesterday when a lady called me at work and complained, "I didn't know the automatic shipment had to be automatic."

Also, I really liked something I read in the Book of Mormon yesterday, in Helaman 3.

4 And they did travel to an exceedingly great distance, insomuch that they came to alarge bodies of water and many rivers.
5 Yea, and even they did spread forth into all parts of the land, into whatever parts it had not been rendered desolate and without timber, because of the many inhabitants who had before inherited the land.
6 And now no part of the land was desolate, save it were for timber; but because of the greatness of the adestruction of the people who had before inhabited the land it was called bdesolate.
7 And there being but little timber upon the face of the land, nevertheless the people who went forth became exceedingly expert in the working of cement; therefore they did build houses of cement, in the which they did dwell.
8 And it came to pass that they did multiply and spread, and did go forth from the land southward to the land northward, and did spread insomuch that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea awest to the sea east.
9 And the people who were in the land northward did dwell in tents, and in houses of cement, and they did suffer whatsoever tree should spring up upon the face of the land that it should grow up, that in time they might have timber to build their houses, yea, their cities, and their temples, and their bsynagogues, and their sanctuaries, and all manner of their buildings.
10 And it came to pass as timber was exceedingly scarce in the land northward, they did send forth much by the way of shipping.
11 And thus they did enable the people in the land northward that they might build many cities, both of wood and of cement.

I think it's cool how these people made do with what they had, but still looked forward towards the future. They became cement gurus, because they didn't have any wood. And at the same time, they let the trees grow in so they'd have 'em, and they were able to supply other communities with that wood.

Sometimes we might have to be patient (have you ever waited for a tree to grow?), but that doesn't mean we can't make do with what we have, and look forward til our trees come in.

I may or may not have just glanced in my boss's office to see him staring at his own picture, magnified 200% on his computer screen.

Also, I may or may not have pulled a muscle in my back trying to lift a 106 pound weight yesterday at Play It Again Sports during my lunch break. What was I thinking?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Today's Tidbits

Quick update: (and this probably won't even be an update anymore, if you know me from anywhere other than my blog). I picked a grad school! I'll be headed to Auburn, Alabama to attend the Marriage and Family Therapy program at Auburn University.

Things that make me nervous and hope I've made the right choice include the fact that I still think about how much I liked Nebraska when I visited their program. I hate that I can’t always choose everything I want. Sometimes I feel a pang of sadness when I think about having had to tell them no.

Things that make me happy I'm going to the South:
• There’s a lady from South Carolina who called me at work the other day, and when our chatty conversation turned to my plans to move to Alabama, she shouted into the phone, “Well, sugar, you’re going to the heart o’ Dixie! Welcome to the South!” I love that she would welcome me to her sector of the United States, even though I’m not even moving to her state.
• I watched the movie Blind Side, and when the football recruiter from Auburn University showed up, I was filled with a surge of pride. I called my brother, who was sitting on the other side of the theater, to make sure he’d seen it, too. His response was, “Yes. I’m hanging up now.”
• Auburn has a good football team, and I think I’d rather be a tiger than a cornhusker, if I was going to be reincarnated as one or the other.

Okay, so those are mostly silly reasons. Turns out, in addition to all those reasons, Auburn is reputed to have one of the top MFT programs in the country, in a beautiful state, with lots of culture and history and people I’m excited to know. Class starts August 18th.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Famous People, and Nebraska

Last weekend was quite eventful as I traveled to Lincoln, Nebraska for a graduate school interview. I got to the Salt Lake Airport at 5 am Thursday morning and boarded my flight. As I sat at my window seat, wondering who would be occupying the seat next to me, a very large man came into view. I grumbled within myself. "Oh great, looks like I'll be sharing half of my seat," I thought.

The man sat down and we began chatting. He was on his way to Colorado to give a speech. When I asked him what for, he told me he used to wrestle. "Like, professionally?" was all I could think to ask. "I won the gold medal in Sydney and the bronze in Athens." What?! At that point I knew I had heard of him, but I had to ask his name. "Rulon Gardner," he confirmed. No way--I was sitting next to Rulon Gardner. We talked about what it felt like to win a Gold Medal, and how one goes about training for a sport like wrestling. My dumb question was, "How do you train for wrestling, anyway? It's not like you can just wrestle people, all the time!" He paused, and then said, "Yep, that's how you train. You just wrestle people, all the time. Big people, small people. You just find people to wrestle."

In Denver, I got on my connecting flight to Omaha. This time I sat next to a man with a British accent, and we immediately began chatting about where we were going and why. He was a musician headed to Iowa for a performance. When I probed, I found out he was a member of the King's Singers. He told me about singing for President Hinckley, we talked about religious traditions like Mardi Gras and Lent, and he told me stories of times when he had failed or not been given what he wanted but how he knew God had a plan for him. He seemed like such a wise fellow. His parting words to me were, "Have a nice journey. Be yourself!"

And there I was, in Omaha, having spent my morning with two different famous people, and wondering what I could/should have learned from each of them. And then I started thinking about how much I could probably learn from ANY person, if I could sit with them and talk with them and invest the same amount of interest in what they had to say as I would for an Olympic athlete or a world-class singer.

The next four days were spent in Lincoln, Nebraska. Friday I had my all-day interview with the faculty of the Marriage and Family Therapy program at University of Nebraska. It was great; I was impressed by the program and liked the town. I added a slew of items to the 'pros' side of my running pros and cons list for Nebraska (I have one for each of the schools I'm applying to).

Tuesday morning I got a call from one of the MFT faculty from Nebraska. I'm in! What a huge relief to get in to a program. I will go to school next year, for sure! I have two interviews left, and lots more considering to do, but I'm stoked about the idea of being a Corn Husker.


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