Theater Thursday: Marching Band Drill&Music

By now, you should know that I am in a marching band. As a trumpet player we get main parts (mostly) unless you are a 3rd trumpet. It is the easiest music compared to the 1st and 2nd pieces, but I am okay with that since I have only been playing for about six months.

Anyway, on Friday last week we got our drill for the marching band show. The drill is pretty much the grid of what the show will look like for each set (section that you move from). This year we had the drill writer from Avon write our drill and so it looks really sweet. We started running drill on Monday this week.

The music goes with the drill, so you rehearse them separately and put them together. It is really cool. Today we are running drill and music together on the field. I'm so excited!

The marching band uniforms are hot and you get reallllly sweaty in them, since they are made out of wool. It looks really awesome with the gloves and hat though.

Well, Monday is the 4th of July. We are playing in the Provo parade and it is about 3 miles long...wish me luck! :)

Treat Tuesday: Inari Sushi

Get this. It really isn't a treat, but it tastes like it. It is the most delicious Japanese food that I have ever tasted! My Obaachan (Grandma) was here this past week and we made some inari sushi. They, the grandparents, know that our family LOVES this and so they were decked out with some when they got off the plane and gave it to us. It was so delicious!

So, if you want to know how to make the most delicious food in the world read on. If not, well, let's just say you are missing out.

What are you waiting for? Let's get started!

(Makes about 80 inari's)

9 Cups   Sticky Rice (Asian Rice)
40   Aburage (Inari Skins--You can find them at an Asain store)
14 oz. pkg   Peas, Chopped Carrots, or Chopped Mushrooms
1 pkg          Dashi
1 Cups        Sugar
1/4 Cups     Soy Sauce
3 Cups        Water
1 Cup          Vinegar
3/4 Cup       Sugar

Rinse all of the skins. Get all the gross oils out!

Cut the skins in half.
Carefully open the middle of the pouches. That is where the rice will go!
Mix the sugar, soy sauce, dashi, and water over low heat until boiling.

Once boiling, put the inari skins in the pot. Don't stir with chopsticks, since it will cut holes in the pouch. Drain each pouch before putting them on a plate. DO NOT PUT THE JUICE DOWN THE DRAIN!

Wash the peas and put them in the leftover juices on the stove. Leave in until boiling.
Mix sugar and vinegar. Spoon rice in a bowl, and take a spoonful of vinegar/sugar mixture and slice through it. Once finished, add peas and mix well

Then...stuff the pouches with rice.. and
They taste amazing. I love this recipe

New Camera! YES


This is it. The our new Nikon d5100. It is intense. It takes amazing pictures. It is perfect for photographing food.
We bought it on Saturday right after the parade. Literally right after the parade. Anyway, we have been experimenting with it, and just today we went and got the free bag that was in the ad this week and a telephoto lens.

We went geocaching after marching band practice today, and we totally used it. It was phenomenal. I love it! I can't wait until I make something tomorrow to take pictures!

OH and I have to put this in here. Check this site out. It is hilarious.

That is all. Have a good day :)

Mormon Missionary Monday: Week of 6/20

For those of you who want to know how my bro's doing in Cali, then read on! Monday is my favorite day now because it is mail day! I love it!

The only thing that I don't like about his emails is that he never capitalizes...I guess he doesn't have time when he is writing in the Apple store on P day....

this week has been pretty regular i guess. it's the first week that hasn't been really crazy or anything really out of the ordinary that has happened.
tuesday started off normally, studies, workout, etc. we had a zone conference at 9. it was pretty awesome. we had the 3 valley zones get together, our zone is pretty small, only about 14 missionaries total, we had maybe 50 missionaries attending the conference. president martin, his wife, and the assitants to the president (AP's) all gave trainings on different subjects they felt inspired to share. the AP's training was on creating good habits here because that's one of the only things we get to take back with us. president martin is a huge business guy, ran pepsico for a while and also fritolay. he's world renowned in the business world and had alot of great insight on the habits to develop and that the mission help you with. the ap's focused on the spiritual aspect of things. it helps each day to wake up, pray, and study the scriptures. it sets the mood for the day and invivest the guidance from God in your life. they had alot of quotes from top business executives and professors from around the world, mormon and not, commenting on how the mission is the thing that changed their lives and it's why they are the top of the business world now. the experiences you have and learn from on the mission are completely applicable to daily life and any profession, esp business. you have to work with people, sell religion, get along with someone 24/7 that you have never met before, work in a heirarchy of leadership and a chain of command, plan, follow through, get to appointments, give trainings, receive trainings, and so much more. they said to focus on forming good habits that you can take back in daily routine, but also in your personality. how you listen, treat others, develop relationships, etc. it was a great training that lasted until 4. we had a couple appointments with some lessa ctive members that we are working with to get back. we met with a family that was less active for dinner. their son was never in church, but since coming back, we have been able to teach him the lessons and he wants to get baptized on saturday! we're starting to put everything together for that and see if his dad can baptize him, they dont remember if he has the proper priesthood authority yet, but we'll keep working on it. we had a wonderful dinner and a lesson, he's only 13 but very sharp, quiet, which makes lessons more of a presentation, but he can tell us what we taught him in detail afterward. he's a solid kid, with a good group of friends already in the young men's program in the church area.
wednesday we had exchanges. exchanges is where the companionships swap, or exchange, companions for a day. i left my area to go with elder smith, a zone leader. he's over the singles ward in our stake, so they have a little more area to cover. his companion, elder brinkerhoff came down to encino, my area for the day with elder schiess, my companion. we switched tuesday night, and woke the next day. same routine, wake, pray, workout, shower/get ready, study. we had a zone-district mtg at 11 with the district leaders and the zone leaders. i am neither so it's extra study time for me. i read through some of the talks given in general conference this past time loking for some good stroies to share. elder smith had set up a busy day for us so we got started right after lunch. monique was first. we picked up a recent convert, hugo, who has his mission call to texas to come with us. we met with monique and taught her the word of wisdom and the commandments. we also planned out her baptism for sunday. she was way excited and loves the church. her mother had been taking the lessons, stopped for some reason unkown to me, and monique started taking them. we left there and dropped off hugo and went to see hao. a chinese man who doesn't have a strong belief in God, more of a superior power. we taught him about king lamoni's father's conversion and prayer and how he can know for himself if God is there. the prayer goes: "o God, aaron (a missionary teaching the king) hath told me there is a God, and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me?" a powerful lesson, with just the desire to know God, he will let us know he is there. he prayed, got nothing immeidiatley but said he would continue to try. we left and took a short break, it was way hot, then we went knocking for an hour. we just knock on people's doors and see if they might be interested in the gospel and Jesus Christ. it's fun because alot of the people here are jewish so they don't want anything to do with us, and the rest are catholic. we try anyway though. we went to see one investigator, annetta, a hungarian young lady, maybe 22, in the united states for about 3 months, and living with a guy whose family is LDS. she got a book of mormon on sunday and read all of first nephi by wednesday when we stopped by (53 pgs.). we were impressed, talked for a bit and promised to stop by another time (we can't be with a sister alone, another sister has to join us or another brother just for safety and precaution). after that we met up with the sister missionary companionship who had an investigator to pass to us. since elder smith and elder brinkerhoff cover the singles ward (an area plus all the young single adults in the larger area) they wanted to pass the investigator to them. joey is a single polynesian 27 year old, catholic background. we taught him the plan of happiness or plan of salvation. he asked about alot of things, but though it made sense overall. we asked him to be baptized, and he wasnt ready to make the committment but would pray about it, and said he was searching for something deeper. his catholic baptism was more tradition he said, and for a saving ordinance he felt like there had to be something deeper about it, a more personal decision than just because of family, also he wondered about the baptism of fire the scriptures talk about and the receiving of the Holy Ghost. we got to tell him about all of that, how the Holy Ghost can be with continually after one is baptized. he was excited but sober about it, its intense stuff to talk about but he's a deep thinker and is quick to pick up on things. we went from there to our dinner appointment with a member who is engaged and moving out of the house he shares with 5 other guys all renting out. he served a mission in argentina, a great guy with alot of good advice and great stories. we went from there to story time, some of the ward get together each wednesday night to talk about a topic from general conference. we brought the topic of focusing on what matters most and not getting distracted. we shared president uchtdorf's story of the lightlbulb and the plane crash to illustrate. it was a great discussion. we returned home and swapped back to normal areas.
thrusday wasn't a very good day. we had very little planned out and alot of time to figure out what do to. we studied, had companionship study, planned out the day, and went out. we had a couple appointments that all fell through, we thought we would stop by some elderly sisters and those wh are home-bound, but none answered. we scrambled for our dinner appoinment, but finally got it set up and went. we rushed from there to our lesson with david, another investigator in a less active family. he's also gettng baptized on saturday. he came to play basketball with us, ws interested, came to church, loved it, took the lessons. we'll teach him the last one this week and he'll be baptized on saturday! but that was about it on thursday, nothing really intense or interesting.
friday was very interesting. we started off normally. we had a district meeting where those members of the area get together and elder schiess, district leader, gives a training for us. we took lunch with the whole zone. we went from here, dropped off our car and elders smith and brinkerhoff's apartment, and went to give a baptismal interview to monique. elder smith was at an eye appointment, so we both went with elder brinkerhoff. we arrived, had hugo and sarah, another recent convert, come with us, but monique wasnt there! she had to run to the hospital with friend who had some serious sickness or something. we returned to our car, which wouldn't start. we popped the hood. one side of the battery was completly corroded over, we knocked on a door to get some tools to get the wires off to clean it. the car still wouldn't even turn over. we gave it a couple jumps from hugo's car but it still did nothing. we were stranded. we called pep boys to get a tow and it was estimated to be about and hour and a half for it to arrive. elder schies drove back with hugo and sarah to get our car while brinkerhoff and i stayed with the broken car. the tow came, jumped us, and the car started. we slowly followed the tow truck to pep boys and got it checked. meanwhile, elder schiess and elder smith arrived with our car. brinkerhoff and schiess left to do monique's interview, leaving me and elder smith to tend the car. they got it fixed, the battery wasnt holding a charge at all so they replaced it. by now it was 5:45. elder schiess and i had dinner at 6 and elder smith and brinkerhoff for 6:30. we went on exchanges again. elder smith and i drove for a ways to our dinner with leslie, a wonderful young sister. her mother was visiting her as well, she rents from another member too. leslie had homemade everything, enchaladas, queso dip, salsa, rice, beans, it was very good. we left with a spiritual thought and drove back to elder smith's apartment. elder brinkerhoff and schiess came back, and we went home. a long, exhausting interesting day.
friday was also kinda interesting. we play basketball with some members and their friends as a way to get potential investigators, like david. we played at 8 till 9 and left to get ready. we had a missionary blitz with the sherman oaks area. all the missionaries from our zone get together with the ward members, go out and knock doors. it's great for us to get out, it helps the members see what the missionaries do and say, and gets them excited about missionary work. it also gets alot of ground covered for that ward. i went out with brother stroud, a younger guy, just married in january, to a recent convert, baptized in january. they are in a band together, and have been working with each other for like 15 years. we had a couple lessons later, and set a baptismal date with another investigator. we contacted some, and hopefully get some calls from that as well.
i'm about out of time for emailing so i will stop there. sunday was great, but nothing incredible, we went to two baptisms for our area, monique and another lady in another ward. but yeah. a good week full of adventure and work. we are always tired but its a great feeling knowing that there is nothing better we could be doing.
-Elder Bates

Excuses, Excuses

Well, marching band season has begun. The only reason why I haven't posted in the million years that I have been off is, you guessed it - marching band. This past week we had 'Ed Camp' with a guy named Ed (of course) and we were at the school from 8:00am-5:00pm. After marching and playing music for a good 8 or so hours (lunch is an hour) you are pretty tired.

Saturday was a parade in one of the neighboring cities, and it was fun, but also exhausting. At only 1.5 miles, my lips were getting tired and so were my legs. I cannot even imagine what the Tournament of the Roses Parade will be like at 5.5 miles long.

I have a cousin who is a budding photographer. He just recently opened his first blog and I think you should check it out! He helps explain photoshop elements and different things. It is really fun.

Today we have marching band from 7:00am-9:30am as a whole band, and then we have sectionals from 9:45-10:45. Tonight we are also playing in an amphitheater, so wish me good luck!

I hope I see you tomorrow!

Theater Thursday: Soul Surfer

I recently saw Soul Surfer at a nearby movie theater. It was fantastic! I wouldn't have HAD to see it on the big screen though...

The whole story is amazing in that it is true. I can't believe that Bethany wanted to keep surfing after her shark attack. It is pretty incredible. Personally, the movie kind of made me not want to learn how to surf for the fear of a shark attack, but that is just me...

See you tomorrow!

Birds' Nests Cookies

I love this! If you have any chow mein noodles then this is a perfect chocolate recipe!
This is where I found the recipe.


12 ounces chocolate chips
6 ounces butterscotch chips
12 ounces chow mein noodles

1. First, line 8 custard cups with plastic wrap.

2. Place the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in the microwave for 90 seconds. If they aren't fully melted, put it in for 15 second sets. Be careful for it to not bubble or burn.

3. Put in chow mein noodles gradually, because you may not need as much as you think.

4. Stir chow mein noodles and chocolate together and put in lined cups.

5. Put in fridge for an hour to set.

Favorite Post Friday: Cute White Board Frame

So we have lived in our house for about 6 months now, and we hardly have anything put up on the walls to make our home more interesting...So I was surfing the web, and stumbled upon this project!

I haven't made it just yet..I have to get the supplies and pick out the cute paper :)

Sorry for such a short post, but I am making:
-3 Batches of Brownies
-2 Batches of Cookies
-3 Batches of Rice Krispie Treats
-(I already made 2 batches of truffles)
So I have to get busy on that!
Thanks for reading.

Thrifty Thursday: Jewelry Repurposing

Have you ever had a piece of jewelry that was either too plain or too busy? Well, there is a simple solution.

Just take them apart and combine them!

Here is an example:

I just put these together while watching a movie. How easy!

Well that's all for today...look again tomorrow for Favorite Post Friday!

SUPER EASY Sugar Cookies

I have a HUGE yard sale on Saturday, so I wanted to make my favorite things! They will debut this whole week, and then I will show to pictures at the end of the yard sale!

So today was Sugar Cookie day! I searched on the web and found an AMAZING recipe!
This is the link.

I whipped some up in less than 30 minutes! Here is the recipe:


2 3/4 C All Purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1 C butter, softened
1 1/2 C granulated sugar
1 Egg
1 t vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl stir flour, baking soda, and baking powder together. Set aside

2. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar together until smooth. Add egg and vanilla. Blend dry ingredients in gradually.

3. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake for 8-10 minutes in oven, or until golden. Let sit on cookie sheet for a couple of minutes, and remove and set them on a wire rack.

I was really impressed at how these turned out!

Mormon Missionary Monday: The Mystery Package

So, how is it going? Late last week we received a package from my brother, who is in the MTC. It looked like a short wrapping paper roll that had plugs on the ends so I was curious about what it was!

I opened it (the first thing from him that I opened) and inside were......
                                                                                                                big gospel doctrine pictures!

To say the least we were a bit puzzled. Such thoughts were going through our minds:
"Why did he send us this?"
"Where did these come from?"
"Did we just get the ones he didn't want?"
And so forth. So my older brother and I divided up the pictures. I chose one, he chose one and so forth.

We eventually got them framed and I am waiting to put them up above my bookcase. I am so excited!

My brother just left for the mission field (San Fernando, Cali) on Wednesday. I hope he is having fun.


Sacred Sunday: Personal Progress

Well hello again my friends! I took a mental break because I AM OUT OF SCHOOL! Friday was the last day, and well, yesterday was busy out in the sun (if anyone was wondering, I was in the sun for 8 hours practicing how to march..:).. ) and playing around. Anyway, I am back on track and ready to roll!

So to start the REAL beginning of the schedule off, I want to write about something that I am very determined to finish. You probably guessed it...Personal Progress!!!

The personal progress program is a part of the Young Women's branch of the LDS church. It is for girls 12-18 years old. (Leaders can participate too...Anyway, it is a book that helps young women develop qualities such as faith, divine nature, individual worth, knowledge, choice and accountability, good works, integrity, and virtue. If a young women completes this achievement, she gets a medallion that has a temple on it!

I have been working on finishing my personal progress for about a year and a half now. It is really fun to be able to check off a project or requirement!

So how is this relevant to Sacred Sunday?

Today I just passed off my Knowledge project (the 10 hour project that is required in order to receive your medallion) and I feel really good! I have been working on Virtue (reading the Book of Mormon) since a couple of weeks ago. It is really coming along. I have decided to read a set amount of pages a day to finish it in time for my birthday.

The personal progress program helps girls to remember to keep their faith, divine nature, and all the other good qualities that the values are.

Well that is my Sacred Sunday spiel. I hope you stay motivated to keep doing it!