My freshman year of college, I moved into an apartment full of strangers. When I moved out of that apartment, I had lifelong friends. The whole group seemed to have been meant to be. We laughed together, hung out together, teased each other, angsted to one another, played nertz late into the night, and occasionally studied. I could not have imagined a better freshman year and it was made that way by the girls I lived with. Their love of life, strength in the gospel, complete goofiness and open hearts made the whole experience one I wouldn't trade for the world. One of those 5 girls is Chantelle. She was always the responsible one - the girl who got up for class even if we had kept her up until 2 in the morning. She was tidy, smart, motivated, fun, not afraid to be crazy once in a while, and incredibly gorgeous. I was impressed (and intimidated) by her from day one. I came to rely on her as one of my roommates that I could talk to about more than the cute boys in the ward or the bad score on my math quiz. The girl has depth, and wasn't afraid to share it.
Obviously, we're no longer freshmen, but we've remained friends. Various iterations of the original group have roommed together in subsequent years, and we've never lost contact. During some of the hardest times of my college years, Chantelle was there for me, always ready to listen, but full of optimism and hope at the same time. Wherever she goes, Chantelle reaches out to those around her, selflessly serving, quick to do the right thing. I don't think I know a better person. I know for a fact that she has left a deep imprint on many, many lives.
All 6 of us have gone our separate ways. As of this moment, 3 are married, one is engaged, on is in Korea serving a mission, and Chantelle leaves for Belgium on Wednesday, also to serve a mission.I'd just like to say, Chantelle, that I love you, and that I'll miss you. I admire you tremendously for what you're going to do, and what you've already done in your life. The people of Belgium and The Netherlands have no idea what they're in for, and I envy them. They better work hard to deserve you.