Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Beware of Mentors aka Geog 100

Advice is free.

This is probably the reason that most people are so willing to give it. I like to soak advice up like a sponge. Sometimes I will actually act on the advice, and other times I will mull it over in my head until it evaporates. Usually it's the advice that I like that I actually listen to.

Like for instance, the doctor telling me that I don't need that kind of appointment until I'm...uh...married. I don't think he counted on my being...unmarried past the age of 18, but whatever. I loved the advice, and I'm really sticking my guns to it.

Other advice I have clung to has resulted in a failed college experience. "Just get the degree!" It's all I ever heard when I started applying for college. "All you need is the diploma." "C's get degrees!" And stuff like such as.

No one mentioned to me that college is really about networking. Instead of working towards the piece of paper that they will inevitably give me (as soon as I finish stats), I should have been making nice with my professors - like, I should have become their best friends! Since my teachers only know me for needing the occasional extension, or the girl that was late/sleeping in class, I don't have any teacher that I can ask for letters of recommendation.

I always thought that I was saving myself from being a pack-rat or a hoarder by throwing away my tests and papers at the end of the semester. Turns out, I could have used those as an example that I didn't always sleep in class. I actually did do good work. But since I did throw away all those things...well, there really is no evidence that I showed up at all.

C's may get you the degree, but they sure as...won't get you into grad school!

And while I loved LOVED my major, I don't know in Sam Hill's I am going to do with it. I took classes that I was interested in. That I wanted to learn about. I studied Europe and South America and population geography and political geography. Can you get a job with an average knowledge of any of those things? NOPE. Someone should have told me that if I wanted to get a job in geography (who said that I did? I don't know!) I should have taken more GIS classes, focused on urban planning. Did research with a professor. Went to conferences and conventions and workshops and lectures and networked at all of them.

To be fair, I did learn all of this in my Geography 100 class, Intro to Geography. The main problem with that was that I took that class my senior year. Turns out, when you start BYU as a junior, you still can't get into a 100 class very easily. I tried to sign up every semester since I changed my major and just wasn't able to get in until then.

So boys and girls - just remember. When it comes to advice, sometimes you get what you pay for. Make sure that you don't just take it at face value, but actually explore to see if people know what they are talking about.

Unless it is time to see the doctor. Then I'm pretty sure it's OK.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Check it

Brad doing crunches on the kitchen floor...while the rest of us die laughing. Because we are immature and we do think the farting sounds are hilarious

Kelsie eating baby food. This makes me laugh every time I watch it.

RS Broadcast and Church

The general Relief Society broadcast was last night. Last year I actually went to the conference center and listened to Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke and gave one of the most amazing talks I have heard at a RS broadcast (that might be because I haven't always been in the habit of listening to them, but it is hard to say). If you don't remember the talk, I suggest you click here, and reread it.

This year the general Relief Society presidency talked a lot about why Relief Society is important and why we should attend and what we can get out of it...yadda yadda yadda. The thing is, I have not always been a fan of RS. I go. But I don't always enjoy it. A few years ago that changed enough to where I at least didn't want to leave - the lessons were always so good. But there's something about being in a room with a bunch of women that you view as competition or fake or just uncomfortable with that makes you want to get out of there as soon as possible. Anyway... Sister Barbara Thompson gave probably the best talk of the night and she talked about MINDING THE GAP.
The gap between "What we know vs. what we do" or "What our goals are vs. what our actual accomplishments are."
She didn't even have to say anything more about those two topics. I know them well. My whole life is about saying, "I KNOW!" and then doing the opposite and then setting goals and not accomplishing anything. So needless to say, she had me hooked from the beginning. Sister Thompson went on to talk about the gap between believing that we are daughters of God and knowing that we are.
Nothing separates us from the love of God. We need to accept His love, love ourselves and love others.

She talked about the gap in believing in Jesus Christ and being valiant in the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Basically she talked about the tube in London (their subway system) and the gap between the deck and the train. The paint on it says "mind the gap" in order to remind passengers not to get their feet stuck in there or to drop things. By minding the gap, they are kept from danger. And if we mind the gaps between the things Sister Thompson listed above, I think that we are kept from danger of losing our testimonies or losing in our war against sin.

Now, as far as church today, I just have to say that I enjoyed it very much. The elders had a 7:30am meeting today and I was so impressed when they got up in Fast and Testimony meeting and bore their testimonies about that meeting. Why? Because they got up. Because they made it to so early a meeting. On top of that, the apparent topic of discussion was the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how it has affected their testimonies and their lives. There is nothing more uplifting than listening to the brethren of the church talk about the Atonement. The Spirit was strong in Sacrament Meeting. Sunday school was good, even if cut short (Sacrament meeting ran long...guess the congregation had a lot to say about the Atonement. This is not a bad thing). And then our RS President taught the lesson in RS.

I have to say how much I like Crissy. She's very genuine. She obviously loves the sisters in the ward. She had a wonderful lesson about how the Savior knows us individually. Loves us individually. And using that knowledge to keep us from the bondage of sin - out of Satan's clutches. She brought a very sweet spirit into the room.

And I realize, this is why we have Relief Society. Because even in an over-estrogened room, there is a sweet spirit that is there too. The Lord loves the sisters of the church, and He is aware of all of us.

On a lighter note -

Jason is this guy that is basically the only friend I have in the ward, besides Becca (which, by the way, we were really funny today). Of course, we don't see him except for on Sundays and the occasional ward activity, but he manages to give us a hug every week. Since I had to fight my way down the auditorium in order to pay my tithing, Becca had met up with Jason before me. After a minute, he was like...why haven't you given me a hug yet? To which I replied, I was waiting for you to make the first move. He joked about how I shouldn't deny what I wanted and all this other stuff and we moved on...

After a few more minutes of talking he must have gotten sick of pretending that he doesn't want me and grabbed me and gave me a big hug and then kissed my cheek.

I, of course, had no adequate response except to smile coyly* at him and then head to Sunday School. It was after I had time to think about it that I was delighted. After more time, I came up with some better reactions. Next time I will just turn my head and make sure it isn't my cheek that he's getting...

Just kidding, Dad.

*For the record, I'm sure my smile was not coy at all. Probably goofy. I'm retarded when it comes to things even as innocent and simply as this.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tennis with Lauren

Typically, when I try something that I am not good at or something that is hard, I am in the habit of giving up. I just like to be successful. I like to be an "expert" at what I am doing. For instance, I am an expert at reading. Not that I read classics or profound literature...but I like it, and I am good at it. So I read. I am an expert at sleeping. I can sleep whenever, wherever etc. So I typically sleep from 3am-10am or something like such as. And maybe throw in a nap outside or something.

But I am not good at tennis.

I recognize this but it doesn't stop me from enjoying it so much. It's almost as if one good return or one good point is enough to make it not matter that I lose every game, set and match against my opponent. Who happens to Lauren Eckern. Who happens to be one of my good, good good friends. It doesn't seem to matter that she is more skilled with the racket, she continues to play with me. And even though I am no challenge to her, she still seems to have a good time beating me enough to play again instead of finding someone who will put more pressure on her.

Although, I have to put my excuses on here for just a second. Once those groundskeepers showed up, it was very distracting. Not that Harry, Scratchy and Baby were attractive or distractions like that (trust me, Lauren and I have run into legitimate distractions by way of half-naked soccer players... try serving with that in your line of vision!) - rather, it was just the fact that they were there watching us play. Terribly. Lauren sucked it up and played with the sun in her eyes the whole time. I think it was so that she could use at as an excuse when I did actually win. And so that she wouldn't crush me worse than she did.

I can't wait until we play again next week!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A little comparison...

I always think about blogging in church. This may sound irreverent, but I don't think it is. Church officials have said that using online tools to spread our testimonies through the web are a good thing, and really, those are the things that I think about. What rings true in the talks and testimonies and lessons that we get through our three-hour church services? Often there is a lot that I want to cover, but by the time I get home and get lunch in my stomach, I've forgotten most of it. But today I wanted to try something fun...or ironic. Or whichever.

First - just a few points that I was thinking about.
  • I'm fairly certain that I moved into the ward I did strictly because of the bishopric. I truly feel like they love and care about every member in the ward. I've felt this with most of my bishops and their counselors, but this has resonated true in my mind and heart since the first Sunday. I can't explain it - but I know that when Bishop Robinson stands up and says that he loves us and is there for us... I believe everything that comes out of his mouth.
  • I really do not like my new ward. This comes strictly from the awkwardness that I feel in the ward. I know that I need to put forth effort in order to include myself in the activities. But really, the brothers and sisters in my ward are so different. Even though I feel a genuine sincerity in most the girls trying to learn my name, I feel that is all they want to know. They seem nice enough. But... I don't feel comfortable being myself around them. They are all too perfect, seem superficial and there is something about that ward where I just don't feel like I will ever measure up. It's daunting and intimidating. Overwhelming. And not worth my effort. Or it is - and it should be. I am trying to be better. I know it usually takes me about 7-8 months in order for me to feel really comfortable. But I don't know if I have that kind of time. I don't know how long I will be in this ward - and I can't help but count the months until I leave it. Aside from the bishopric, I really don't want to stay.
  • The girl that taught relief society today - who almost always does a rather spectacular job, I have loved her lessons more than anyone else - kept referring to our future boyfriends and husbands as "boys." I couldn't help but shake my head. She's admittedly almost 50 (really, she's going to be turning 25 in a few months, but apparently thinks that is close to 50) and wants to marry a boy? Something doesn't seem right to me. I say, we should be looing for men. Men, after all, hold the priesthood. Not boys. Boys attend cub scouts. She also flubbed up today in saying that we should look for a boy that would be a good husband to our children. I'm pretty sure she meant father to our children, but Becca and I snickered anyway. We were the only ones. I think that means that we were the only ones listening.
  • My ward is FULL of 25+-year olds. Please tell me WHY they need to have their phones out every second of the meeting. Even sacrament meeting. It may not be a screaming baby, but...it's still not reverent. Also, semi-whispers and talking throughout the WHOLE class is not reverent. But that doesn't seem to disturb our ward members. I don't mind the occasional comment. I like to make a few to Becca myself. But seriously? Just go in the hallway (you'll find half the ward there anyway) and talk if you can't sit and listen to the lesson. It isn't like we are getting the full version anyway. We always get a condensed version because we are always running late.
  • Have you ever seen Baptist at Our Barbeque? or read the book? Do you remember the part when the bishop bans singing from church meetings because there aren't any hymn books, and all they have sheet music for is I Heard the Bells? And they sing it for the opening and closing hymn...every week? Picture that and you have our relief society. Only instead of the Christmas song, it is Families Can Be Together, I am a Child of God. Singing is my FAVORITE part of church. And so when I get ripped off by singing the same hymn every week, or they eliminate the closing song because they've run out of time or shorten it in anyway - it makes me really upset. And who wants to leave church upset?
This is turning into something longer than I expected. Still...We were talking about eternal families today and one of the Joseph Smith quotes talked about how he valued the opinion of his father almost more than any others' on this earth. Then the teacher went into talking about our parents and how they are there for our support and to give advice and "know what we are going through" and can lead, guide and aid. I have to agree. My parents are pretty much the most incredible people I know. I love them so very much. I value their opinions (even if I do not always listen or obey...and then I have to eat crow later). I really want them to respect me as a person, now that I am an "adult" and I have worked to maintain a relationship to where I feel comfortable telling them anything and everything. And when I am talking to my mom - I do mean everything. I'm just grateful she puts up with my frequent phone calls.

However, the "knows what we are going through" kind of stuck at me. Obviously, they are my parents. They know a lot about me. They know my situations because I keep them informed. I feel like they do understand my lack of direction. My inability to decide what I want to do with my life. Not knowing exactly what sort of career path I should take. They know what it is like to be frustrated at work. Or whatever.

But one of the things they focused on in relief society (typical) was that our mothers know what we are going through when it comes to dating. And that is just not true at all.

This is where my fun game comes in with my dating history:

At age 16 - I was a sophomore in high school. The only date I can remember was not really a date. I asked a guy that I had crusehd on sinced the first grade out to a movie. I drove. I paid for my own ticket - and I think his. He bought us McDonald's ice cream cones.
When my mom was 16 - She had a steady boyfriend. She had gone on a few dates with other guys in her school before she started dating Geoff.

At age 17 - I went on a few double "dates" with my sister and her boyfriend. Really, we were just hanging out... I had my first kiss with a coworker who took me out on my first real date. As in, he actually asked me. We hung out a lot after that, but never did get around to actually dating, or repeating the kiss.
When my mom was 17 - She was still dating Geoff. I'm pretty sure they kissed.

At age 18 - I did not date. Much. A random pairing off of friends, a blind date set up by a cousin or roommate. One date with a smoker...turns out he was also a druggie and immature. We did not go out again.
When my mom was 18 - She was practically engaged and sending Geoff on a mission. She wrote him, he wrote her back. She moved to Kentucky where her dad had been transferred.

At age 19 - Blind date. After blind date. After blind date. If at all. Usually, not at all.
When my mom was 19 - Geoff wrote her off. Her first (and only) broken heart, of sorts.

At age 20 - Meet a guy I really like but who is preparing for a mission. Two dates. He leaves. We write. More blind dates.
When my mom was 20 - She meets my dad. They date. He kisses her. He proposes to her. They get married.

At age 21 - Still writing boy on mission.
When my mom was 21 - Has first child - me.

At age 22 - Still writing boy on mission. He comes home. False hope flares, but dies down just as quickly. More blind dates. Start making friends with boys who are fun. Determine to go on 9 dates for the year and succeed. Went on ONE second date. No third date.
When my mom was 22 - Enjoying a very poor but happy marriage.

At age 23 - Become friends with boys. Enjoy friendships. Go on friend dates. Have a rockin' good time, but no romances. Crush on several people. Joke with lots of people.
When my mom was 23 - Had second child - Amy.

At age 24 - More or less the same.
When my mom was 24 - Two children. One house. A garden. And a husband who is working and going to school.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Murder Mystery Dinner

Meet Mercedes Accelleratti

I know that I am uploading a lot of pictures for this small event - but, I don't think that until you've actually worn thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, you realize how much FUN it is.

So anyway, my good friend Colin invited me to joing him at a work party/Murder Mystery dinner. I was told that I needed to dress in a toga and so Roberta and I had a lot of fun coming up with costume ideas. Turns out, her costume jewelry is legit - real diamonds, rubies, gold, emeralds, etc. I wasn't complaining. I have to say that I can't really pick a favorite. I LOVED the earrings. I LOVED LOVED the necklace. And I spent the majority of the evening staring at the icing on my finger that just so happened to be a ring in the shape of an alligator. Complete with ruby eyes and an opal (or some other stone) tail. It glittered like nobody's business and I couldn't help staring. Roberta also added the belt, the AMAZING Roman broach things - which couldn't have been more perfect. And of course, Becca contributed without knowing it - the t-shirt underneath and the sandals. Wala! A toga, that was ritzy and glam without paying a penny. I was super excited about the whole thing.

Meet Mercedes. Now, it turns out that my character DID try to poison her husband, Flabbius - who in fact, happened to be dead. Apparently, he was seriously lacking in the manhood department. No wonder he died. And even though she did have an affair Ben Hymn who was fast in and out of his chariot. AND, then with Maximus. Who was putty in her hands, except when it counted. He wasn't terribly bright, but he possessed all he needed to keep her happy, satisfied and also the brawn to overthrow the empire. Don't worry, though, it seems that no one was innocent in this thing. Turns out, everyone wanted Flabbius dead.

After a few hours of attempting to read the script, being called a slut or whore the whole time, all while eating dinner - we ended the game. It was my first Murder Mystery dinner. Over all, I thought it was pretty fun. I think it would have been better if we had all stayed in character the whole time and actually attempted to have conversations that led to us revealing our clues, instead of just reading them from the paper. That is easier said than done, of course, but I think it would have been well worth it in the end. Although, as you can see from the above paragraph, sometimes the way they worded things was priceless - and hard not to repeat word for word.

Also... Colin is a pretty good date. We always have a good time - even if that means that I don't get points for my How to Score a Dude course. (Apparently, Colin doesn't count towards their grading scale.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


This is where I get music...because I'm too cheap for iTunes and too moral for pirates. ...or not. But if that sounds like you - then I recommend this site. And also this artist - Ray LaMontagne. yum!

Thomas S. Monson | Principles From Prophets | September 15, 2009 | BYU Broadcasting

Thomas S. Monson | Principles From Prophets | September 15, 2009 | BYU Broadcasting

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

How to Score a Dude: Lesson 1 Removing Asinine Preconceptions

Lesson #1 involved good common sense. Men, like the incorrigible creatures that they are, do not come in neat, perfect packages. In fact, they are rather flawed. Keeping this in mind, it is important that when seeking for male companionship, one must not let their beliefs on the subject bar their chance at meeting an almost perfect, or rather, someone that will do just fine. If such a man can be found, one should make an honest effort to get to know the fellow.

Since this is the case - it was important to note that a man that grows a nice beard, possesses a desirable stature, fortune and sense of humor, along with fine traits such as a testimony of Jesus Christ, a job/education, background in cowboying, Ebonics, and general rakish behavior does not exist.


Homework assignment #1: List 5 characteristics that are desirable but that are not considered superfluous, impossible or overly ridiculous. Such traits should not include general aesthetics or personality but should stick the absolute necessary traits deemed appropriate from the course instructors.

Assignment #1
  1. A testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ
  2. An interest and honest effort in one day becoming a provider, i.e. is working to better his education and/or is currently pursuing an education
  3. In possession of a particular sense of humor
  4. One with whom I am comfortable to be myself
  5. Has instilled a particular love of family within himself

The PottsFern all-in-one course on How to Score a Dude

I was recently invited to participate in an all-inclusive course on how to "score a dude" sponsored and given by the other members of the FTC. I suppose they want to see me happily settled with a husband of my own. Or maybe they just get a real kick out of my love life...only, I don't have one. So they are hoping that through this "course" they will provide themselves some entertainment.

While I believe that the reasons are less than admirable, I couldn't help but think that I need all the help that I can get. And with Meghan and Kati at the helm, I'm sure I'll learn...a lot.

The pamphlet reads as follows:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

MBTI Results: ESFP

ESFP - "Entertainer". Radiates attractive warmth and optimism. Smooth, witty, charming, clever. Fun to be with. Very generous. 8.5% of the total population.
Take Free Jung Personality Test
personality tests by similarminds.com

Enneagram Test Results
Type 1 Perfectionism |||||||||| 40%
Type 2 Helpfulness |||||||||||| 50%
Type 3 Image Awareness |||||||||||| 50%
Type 4 Sensitivity |||||||||| 40%
Type 5 Detachment |||||||||||| 50%
Type 6 Anxiety |||||||||| 40%
Type 7 Adventurousness |||||||||| 36%
Type 8 Aggressiveness |||||||||||||| 53%
Type 9 Calmness |||||||||||||||| 63%
Your main type is 9
Your variant is sexual
Take Free Enneagram Personality Test
personality tests by similarminds.com

Portrait of an ESFP - Extraverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving
(Extraverted Sensing with Introverted Feeling)
The Performer

As an ESFP, your primary mode of living is focused externally, where you take things in via your five senses in a literal, concrete fashion. Your secondary mode is internal, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit with your personal value system.

ESFPs live in the world of people possibilties. They love people and new experiences. They are lively and fun, and enjoy being the center of attention. They live in the here-and-now, and relish excitement and drama in their lives.

ESFPs have very strong inter-personal skills, and may find themselves in the role of the peacemaker frequently. Since they make decisions by using their personal values, they are usually very sympathetic and concerned for other people's well-being. They're usually quite generous and warm. They are very observant about other people, and seem to sense what is wrong with someone before others might, responding warmly with a solution to a practical need. They might not be the best advice-givers in the world, because they dislike theory and future-planning, but they are great for giving practical care.

ESFP is definitely a spontaneous, optimistic individual. They love to have fun. If the ESFP has not developed their Thinking side by giving consideration to rational thought processing, they tend to become over-indulgent, and place more importance on immediate sensation and gratification than on their duties and obligations. They may also avoid looking at long-term consequences of their actions.

For the ESFP, the entire world is a stage. They love to be the center of attention and perform for people. They're constantly putting on a show for others to entertain them and make them happy. They enjoy stimulating other people's senses, and are extremely good at it. They would love nothing more than for life to be a continual party, in which they play the role of the fun-loving host.

ESFPs love people, and everybody loves an ESFP. One of their greatest gifts is their general acceptance of everyone. They are upbeat and enthusiastic, and genuinely like almost everybody. An ESFP is unfailingly warm and generous with their friends, and they generally treat everyone as a friend. However, once crosesed, an ESFP is likely to make a very strong and stubborn judgment against the person who crossed them. They are capable of deep dislike in such a situation.

The ESFP under a great deal of stress gets overwhelmed with negatives thoughts and possibilities. As an optimistic individual who lives in the world of possibilities, negative possibilities do not sit well with them. In an effort to combat these thoughts, they're likely to come up with simple, global statements to explain away the problem. These simplistic explanations may or may not truly get to the nature of the issue, but they serve the ESFP well by allowing them to get over it.

ESFPs are likely to be very practical, although they hate structure and routine. They like to "go with the flow", trusting in their ability to improvise in any situation presented to them. They learn best with "hands-on" experience, rather than by studying a book. They're uncomfortable with theory. If an ESFP hasn't developed their intuitive side, they may tend to avoid situations which involve a lot of theoretical thinking, or which are complex and ambiguous. For this reason, an ESFP may have difficulty in school. On the other hand, the ESFP does extremely well in situations where they're allowed to learn by interacting with others, or in which they "learn by doing".

ESFPs have a very well-developed appreciation for aesthetic beauty, and an excellent sense of space and function. If they have the means, they're likely to have to have many beautiful possessions, and an artfully furnished home. In general, they take great pleasure in objects of aesthetic beauty. They're likely to have a strong appreciation for the finer things in life, such as good food and good wine.

The ESFP is a great team player. He or she is not likely to create any problems or fuss, and is likely to create the most fun environment possible for getting the task done. ESFPs will do best in careers in which they are able to use their excellent people skills, along with their abilities to meld ideas into structured formats. Since they are fast-paced individuals who like new experiences, they should choose careers which offer or require a lot of diversity, as well as people skills.

ESFPs usually like to feel strongly bonded with other people, and have a connection with animals and small children that is not found in most other types. They're likely to have a strong appreciation for the beauties of nature as well.

The ESFP has a tremendous love for life, and knows how to have fun. They like to bring others along on their fun-rides, and are typically a lot of fun to be with. They're flexible, adaptable, genuinely interested in people, and usually kind-hearted. They have a special ability to get a lot of fun out of life, but they need to watch out for the pitfalls associated with living entirely in the moment.

Jungian functional preference ordering:

Dominant: Extraverted Sensing
Auxiliary: Introverted Feeling
Tertiary: Extraverted Thinking
Inferior: Introverted Intuition

The Incredible Edible Egg

I found a new use for eggs. I don't like them hard-boiled (blech!) and I really don't like just egg whites. I don't like meringue. I've never tried them poached. And I've only recently started liking them fried...as in over easy. I can't DO over hard...again, BLECH!

But for this, you don't actually eat the egg, so it doesn't matter what your preference of eggs actually are. Eggs are the new home-remedy for burns. Bad burns. Or blisters. It turns out that the lack of water in eggs helps keep the blister from actually blistering, which means there isn't a little pouch of annoyance ready to cry out every time you bump it on something, rub it against something or push on it in any way.

After burning my finger on the rotor of my car (I KNOW - stupid, girl) my poor little finger immediately blistered. Immediately. It hurt like a muuther. So I was carrying around a dish towel with ice - I know you aren't supposed to put ice on a burn, but the burn cream really wasn't doing anything - and Katie Call suggested that I put my finger in an egg. No one had ever heard of such a thing, but Carla offered her eggs to my poor finger, so I accepted.

Just crack the egg open in a bowl and stick your finger in. Immediately there is relief because the egg is cold from being refrigerated. And, it isn't ice, so it isn't too cold. The fact that there isn't any water for the blister to draw on, keeps if from filling with liquid. And whenever the egg started to feel warm, you could just swirl it around and it would feel cold again against your skin.

By the time I was done soaking my finger in 2 eggs, the blister was no more and the burning sensation nearly gone. I woke up with a callous on my finger, but no pain. I definitely have a testimony of this new trick! So forget anything you ever heard about vinegar or whatever. Just put an egg on it.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

New Cause: Family and Personal History

I'm cleaning my room.

I leave that as a single line simply because it is a big day. I picked up my room before I left, but I certainly didn't clean it. And I've only added to everything now that I've been back in Utah for a couple of weeks. As I am cleaning, I stumbled upon my grandpa's memorial DVD from his funeral in July. It's a slideshow of pictures from the war, his wedding to my grandma and then of the family. It was well-put together and fun to see and only furthered my convictions on family and personal history.

You're wondering why the connection? Some of the pictures on the slideshow I've never seen. Some of the facial expressions in those pictures of my grandpa are ones I've never seen. I'd always imagined my grandpa as a product of his life: harsh and a lot of work. Born just after WWI, he lived through the Depression, served in WWII and then came back to life on a farm where hard labor was imperative and money was scarce. The pictures showed another side of him. He looked so happy when he was married to my grandmother. He had a playful side. And a tender side. And as I watch these pictures flash before me, I realize that I didn't know my grandfather very well at all. I wish I did. I wish I knew more of what it was like to be raised on a farm, what were his parents like, what did he think of grandma when he first met her?

It comes back to all of the questions that we should have asked before he died - and now we can't. I don't pretend to think that my life is going to amount to anything real spectacular. No one is going to ever want to write a biography about me. But, I do wonder if some 60 years from now, my granddaughter is going to wonder what my life what like. What were my relationships with my siblings? How did I survive not having a job for all those months? Why did it take me so long to graduate? Lucky for her - I have journals. And this blog. They aren't really detailed, and they aren't anything really interesting. But they're there. So if my little granddaughter, or great-granddaughter ever needs to do a report about someone born in 1985, someone who grew up during the turn of the second century...etc, she's going to have that information available.

I know I can't persuade my parents to sit down and write down everything they remember about growing up and what their parents were like when they were children. Exactly how did they know they were meant to be with each other? When did they gain their testimonies? How did they get along with their siblings and exactly how did they end up stuck in a house for 20 years that they were supposed to be out of in...what? Five years? What are the things that went on when I was growing up, that as a child I would have never picked up on?

But that's what the scriptures teach us. It is why the Church is such an advocate of journals and records. Family history is important. Whether you think it or not - your personal history is important.

So go out there. Get yourself a journal, and start writing.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Sitting at the Computer

It's Labor Day...but I have a lot to do. Sadly, none of it requires me to actually leave this spot...right here in front of the computer. I tried to get up and go somewhere, and only got so far as the shower. I guess I could clean my room, but I still have to look at my computer.

Doing stats, searching for jobs, returning the emails from Korea, stats, blogging, writing and listening to my music - it's all done in front of the computer.

I just wish I had a more comfortable chair. (It's not even that bad... but it gets tiring.)

That's all.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Women and the Priesthood

It is a controversy for a lot of women outside the church - the fact that women don't physically hold the priesthood. Those who misunderstand the church often take offense that the organization of the church seems particularly male dominated and that women are supposed to be these submissive, meek and obedient servants to their husbands and bishops. Personally, I've never given it much thought. I don't think I would want to have the responsibility that comes with holding priesthood power. Still, reading in Elder Busche's book Yearning for the Living God on the way home from Ohio, I stumbled across from really profound quotes that really just cleared up the matter. I'd never taken issue with the fact before - but now, I know, I never will.

The priesthood is neither male or female, although it has a male part and a female part. Through the eternal bond of marriage, built on the divine gift of love, the priesthood becomes complete. The roles of the two parts are, of course, vastly different.
Heavenly Father has given the female the role of bringing new life to this world. She does so in a physical dimension - by nurturing, tutoring, training and teaching - and in wearing of the very external virtues of chastity, loyalty and wholesomeness, which are essential to the very existence of humankind. Our Heavenly Father has given the male the role of providing, protecting and admiring. Male and female are in many ways mysteriously different and, because of that, there is a natural desire to love one another in harmony with the divine laws of the gospel.
The best way to gain an understanding of the male and female part of the priesthood is to be reminded of a tree. As we look at a tree, it appears to be complete with its trunk, branches, leaves and blossoms; but we know that another equally important part of the tre is invisible, the roots - which, quite unseen, lie deeply embedded in the soil - are constantly nourishing and strengthening the visible parts of the tree. The roots do not argue with the trunk. They both enjoy oneness.
The temple is the Lord's essential instrument used to establish a true understanding of the male and female parts of the priesthood. In the temple, both men and women wear the robe of the priesthood and are given the garments of the priesthood. Righteous men and women learn that although women are not physically involved in conducting the affairs of the priesthood, no man can excel in his priesthood callings for long without the blessing and care and guidance of a righteous woman. When we listen very carefully in the temple and learn to understand and accept our male and female roles, we will soon see ourselves in our own limitations. Those who concentrate their efforts in developing the purposes and virtues of their own gender will build tender, mutual respect and admiration, inspired by this divine, miraculous power of love. A society that fails to accept the eternal concept of this godly design must pay an unbearable price of confusion of the individual, which can potentially lead to chaos, destruction and the unhappiness of the soul. (pp. 214-216)
I read another book, A New Dawn, by Jack Weyland. He's a little cheesy, but I like his wit. And there was a discussion in his book that followed this line of thinking.

"But don't you ever feel boxed in? I mean you seem to always follow your husband. That to me isn't right. I don't understand how a waomn can play second fiddle to a man."
"...the ideal is this: The husband follows the Savior and His teachings, and the woman honors and sustains her hauband. Think about the way Jesus treated the women in his life. Any woman would feel comfortable with a man who treated he that way. A man like that wouldn't be a tyrant. He'd be patient, slow to anger, sentsitive to a woman's feelings, compassionate and gentle. He'd want his wife to develop her God-given talents.... [A woman should follow the Savior all by herself without her husband being the middle-man but] in a family somebody has to have the final say, and God's established that as the role of the husband."
So that's my stance on the whole situation.

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