Monday, July 26, 2010

Crisis Averted

After sacrament meeting today, my roommate turned to me and said, "Hey, are you teaching today?"


I said it immediately without thinking. I had not prepared a lesson. I didn't want to teach. I was supposed to teach the Sunday after I get back from Ohio. There was no way I was teaching today. But I had this nagging feeling that I should probably check...just in case.

So, I was scheduled to teach! Talk about a heart stopping, want to die type position. Sacrament meeting was over, I did not have the Ensign talks that I was supposed to be teaching from, and I was in a panic. Also, I looked hideous, and I tend to like to look better on days that I teach...

I raced home as fast as I could (walking) and had exactly one half hour to print out the talks and figure out what I needed to be teaching on. The lucky thing is, I love the Teaching for our Times messages. All the talks given in any general conference are good and they all have pertinent information. Also, the talks (found here and here) came from the the Ensign, so it isn't likely any of the girls studied ahead or anything and everything I read would be something they heard/read awhile ago.

I showed back up in Relief Society with enough time to catch my breath and act totally calm and collected, as if I knew I had been teaching forever and was ready to go. All the while praying that things would go well. Even when the president of the Relief Society came up and confirmed that I was teaching (ha!) I said, "Oh, yeah, of course I totally have this covered..." As if I hadn't asked her just after Sacrament if she had the teaching schedule on her...which she didn't.

I didn't admit to anyone that it was a surprise to me that I didn't know I was supposed to be teaching. I didn't apologize for "taking the majority of my lesson straight from the talks." I just stood in front of the group with my outlined talks, with a few questions written in the margins, and I taught. And I encouraged as many comments as they would give me.

Yes, I did read a little bit more than I would have liked. But the material was good and the girls were all very quiet. I couldn't tell whether or not they were falling asleep or really attentive. But, there were plenty of comments, so I think that hints at the latter - a great relief to me, as my biggest fear is being a boring teacher. The lesson went great considering the amount of preparation, and maybe even just considering. I got befuddled once and that was just because one of the great comments jumped ahead a bit and I couldn't decide whether to skip material to catch up or leave it to come back to later. I also ended perfectly on time, which I worried that I wouldn't have enough material prepared.  I could have gone on longer if necessary, but it wasn't necessary.

In fact, after I ended my lesson perfectly on time (the only time I'm on time...) the Bishop got up to speak. Now, for some reason, the Bishop feels the need to get up and speak to us nearly every time he visits the relief society and it isn't always on the lesson, and it isn't always... I don't know. Sometimes I think he just likes to talk to us. And then AFTER that the president got up and added her comments. I always think this is a little superfluous, and I hate when I get jipped out of singing the closing song. But I ended on time (with 10 minutes to go) and that was what matters. I still would have liked to sing all the verses, though.

It's just a testimony to me that the Lord works with what He has. And sometimes all He has is an ill-prepared misfit of a teacher. My visiting teacher came up to me and thanked me for teaching with the Spirit. That's all I had to go by. I know that anything that touched the girls while I was teaching came strictly through the Holy Ghost, and had little to do with me. Obviously the talks that were used as the lesson material were inspired when they were given.

I can't believe how many of the girls went out of their way to thank me for a lesson I was sure would be awful and boring. One girl asked me if I enjoyed teaching, and when I admitted that I did not, she said, "Why? You're so good." That just baffles me. I've always thought of myself as a terrible teacher. It was the reason I changed my major all those many years ago. When I told her it was because I thought I read too much, she said, "No," I didn't. I asked the right questions, led a good discussion and brought the Spirit into the class.

Really, I think it is the girls in our ward that bring the Spirit into the class. They are typically very reverent, responsive to questions and just have really great, awesome life experiences to add to the class. I have been very blessed to be in this ward and to be a part of this Relief Society.

I usually try really hard to avoid getting to know the girls in my ward. I'm only interested in the boys...they're better looking, more interesting, funnier, etc. But the girls in this ward have really worked their way into my heart and I'm almost sad to be leaving now that I am moving out.

And now I sound like a member of the Relief Society...

So I'll just sign off. But I really did think that today was an amazing example of how the Lord works through other people (Cami reminding me about my lesson) and through our inadequacies and poor preparation in order to create a perfectly acceptable and inspiring lesson for those that needed to hear it. It's kind of cool to see things work out like that, and I'm beginning to think that I don't dislike teaching nearly as much as I thought I did.

Of course, that could just be because the compliments are going to my head.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dunh Dunh Dunh!

Main Entry: finish

Part of Speech: verb

Definition: bring to a conclusion; get done

Synonyms: accomplish, achieve, bag it, break up, bring to a close, carry through, cease, clinch, close, complete, conclude, crown*, culminate, deal with, determine, discharge, do, effect, end, execute, finalize, fold, fulfill, get out of the way, halt, hang
it up, have done with, make, make short work of, mop up, perfect, put finishing touches on, round off, round up, scratch, scrub,
settle, sew up, shut down, shutter, stop, terminate, top off, ultimate, wind up, wrap, wrap up

Friday, July 16, 2010

Your parents know who to thank.

I'm going to preface this story with the facts:

I went to bed around 3 a.m. this morning. I woke up at 9:15 a.m. I was therefore, "ready" for the day by 9:30 a.m. Which means, I threw on the first outfit that made as much sense as I thought necessary for a Friday, pulled my hair back in a pony tail and tried to conceal the majority of the zits on my face. (It's been a stressful week, and my skin has returned the favor in kind.) Needless to say, I was not looking my best.

So Todd comes downstairs and says we need a treat. Which, I never disagree. Breakfast is always a good thing, and I usually only eat one when there is something here in the office.

So I was standing in line at Einstein Bagel and I happened to be standing behind a man. This man was very tan, except where his sunglasses have been in place all summer, wearing black leather gloves and a cut off t-shirt. He also had longish hair. He was older, probably early 40s and had straight, white teeth that were probably fake. These observations only took place after he started talking to me, otherwise I would have never noticed him.

He turned around and said,"That's a nice ride you have." (I was driving the Ford Escape from work.) "A nice ride for a nice-looking lady."
"Yeah, thanks," I said. I like the Escape. I wish I did drive it in real life.
"Your parents know who to thank," he says. "I just get to appreciate the beauty."

I don't really recommend that as a pick-up line, unless your goal is to completely stump the person you're talking to. I nodded my head and said thank you again, and hoped that he was the next one in line. I didn't know how to respond to that. "Can I have a ride on your motorcycle?" seemed a little too forward.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

When the Lights Go Down in the City... the Stats Must Go On

So we were just sitting there, me ranting about how I hated p-values and he sitting there with his half-smirk, half-chagrin, half-I'm-probably-going-to-strangle-her look and the power goes out.


I just knew that I wouldn't have to think about p-values until tomorrow. I mean, c'mon, there's absolutely no light. The whole complex is out! Not even the moonlight was bright enough to make its way in. No sooner had I decided to start packing up, William plops down his little LED candle stick and insists that I continue working.

I make a comment about the lighting being bad for my eyes...he brings out a larger flashlight with more power. And so the torture continued. It was fairly amusing to work by flashlight, and even more... we're still on track. So I guess that's a good thing too. I guess I'm really just in awe of how undeterred William is with helping me. Because really, he doesn't have to be invested at all, and yet he has refused over this last year and half to let me quit and give up and worse, give in and actually give me the answers. He has been a life saver. And I owe him HUGE.

He's probably smiling here because he can't believe that I got the question wrong. Again. Because 1) I didn't finish reading the question, 2) I read the question but still chose to make some dumb error with either math or lack of sense (and usually it's using poor math skills coupled with the lack of sense) or 3) It's about p-values and I can't figure it out to save my life.

When I finally left his apartment at midnight, William had to walk me to my car, and the cool thing about the entire complex being without power is the fact that the stars are super visible because there isn't any light anywhere. It was a nice way to end the night, looking up at the sky and praying that something a lot more invasive gets in the way of tomorrow's study session.

Just kidding. I really do want to get this done. Promise.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


What's up with the places that discriminate against ordering water? I know that it is free (or supposed to be) and that they want to up your bill as much as possible... but what if I'm not a cheapskate? What if I really just want to drink water?

I'm not a pop addict like many people I know. In fact, I almost always prefer an ice cold water to soda, juice, milk or anything else. And I know I'm not the only one. Of course, there are those that just don't want to pay anywhere from $1.50 - $3.00 for a beverage and I really can't blame them for that.

The purpose of this rant, though, is when I go out and order a meal to go and then ask for a water and every restaurant/fast food joint wants to give you the small Styrofoam cup that holds half a cup of water. Do you remember how I ordered the hot sauce? Yeah, that's right. I'll need a little bit more. And they always give me crap and/or charge me when I ask for a bigger glass. If I were dining in, then fine, I can refill when I want. But since I'm LEAVING the establishment, why punish me?

Costa Vida is the worst. The girls get really snippy when you ask for a larger glass. And then they want to charge you. And I think, if I'm being charged, then I should probably get my money's worth and actually drink a pop...but I don't want pop. So now I've just paid more for a water than I would have had if I had just bought a water bottle from somewhere else.

What's worse is when you've gone to a fast food place, and then not only have they just charged you for your giant water, but then they proceed to take half an hour to fill your order. What happened to the word fast? Yeah... I already hate the fact that I can't tell if you are a man or woman and that you charged me for water when all I wanted was a larger cup, but now you are wasting my lunch break.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Friday Night In

After a long week, sometimes it is nice to go off the map and watch a movie in your apartment alone. Which is what I did tonight. I haven't done the best at going to bed early this week, so I thought I would try tonight since my movie ended around 10:30 p.m.

When I went into my room to change into pajamas I noticed two things: lightening and the sound of rain. And a really awful rock concert going on somewhere in the vicinity of my bedroom window. And while the rain is optimal for a good night's rest, the terrible music was not really what I would call a lullaby. You would think that the rain would be damaging to the electrical equipment. I wanted to yell out the window for them to SHUT UP! but thought the better of it because 1) they wouldn't hear me and 2) as it is Friday night, they are typically entitled to rock out all they want until Midnight. I had flashes of thoughts of me partying all hours of the night and not caring who was around trying to enjoy the last two episodes of Justified on their enjoyable night in, and who am I to ask they respect me for just trying to do the same?

So I've been trying to keep myself busy, and I have been very successful. The "concert" probably ended over an hour ago...and sadly, the rain did too.

Still, I find that 1:00 a.m. is a great time to clean the bathroom. And now I even feel like my Friday night has been productive as well as relaxing. Even if I am only now getting to bed...

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Book of Mormon Reading: 2 Nephi 28

I think I've discovered a new favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon. I was reading last night and thinking more about some conversations I have had recently with friends and with myself (yes, I have conversations with myself).

Many false churches shall be built up in the last days—They shall teach false and vain and foolish doctrines—Apostasy shall abound because of false teachers—The devil shall rage in the hearts of men—He shall teach all manner of false doctrines. Between 559 and 545 B.C.

  1 And now, behold, my brethren, I have spoken unto you, according as the Spirit hath constrained me; wherefore, I know that they must surely come to pass.

  2 And the things which shall be written out of the abook shall be of great bworth unto the children of men, and especially unto our seed, which is a cremnant of the house of Israel.

  3 For it shall come to pass in that day that the achurches which are built up, and not unto the Lord, when the one shall say unto the other: Behold, I, I am the Lord’s; and the others shall say: I, I am the Lord’s; and thus shall every one say that hath built up bchurches, and not unto the Lord—

  4 And they shall contend one with another; and their priests shall contend one with another, and they shall teach with their alearning, and deny the bHoly Ghost, which giveth utterance.

  5 And they adeny the bpower of God, the Holy One of Israel; and they say unto the people: Hearken unto us, and hear ye our precept; for behold there is cno God today, for the Lord and the Redeemer hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men;

  6 Behold, hearken ye unto my precept; if they shall say there is a miracle wrought by the hand of the Lord, believe it not; for this day he is not a God of amiracles; he hath done his work.

  7 Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: aEat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us.

  8 And there shall also be many which shall say: aEat, drink, and be bmerry; nevertheless, fear God—he will cjustify in committing a little dsin; yea, elie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a fpit for thy neighbor; there is gno harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.

  9 Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, afalse and vain and bfoolish cdoctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark.

  10 And the ablood of the saints shall cry from the ground against them.

  11 Yea, they have all gone out of the away; they have become bcorrupted.

  12 Because of apride, and because of bfalse teachers, and cfalse doctrine, their churches have become corrupted, and their churches are lifted up; because of pride they are puffed up.

  13 They arob the bpoor because of their fine sanctuaries; they rob the poor because of their fine clothing; and they persecute the meek and the poor in heart, because in their cpride they are puffed up.

  14 They wear astiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and bwhoredoms, they have all cgone astray save it be a dfew, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are eled, that in many instances they do ferr because they are taught by the precepts of men.

  15 O the awise, and the learned, and the rich, that are puffed up in the bpride of their chearts, and all those who preach dfalse doctrines, and all those who commit ewhoredoms, and pervert the right way of the Lord, fwo, wo, wo be unto them, saith the Lord God Almighty, for they shall be thrust down to hell!

  16 Wo unto them that aturn aside the just for a thing of naught and brevile against that which is good, and say that it is of no worth! For the day shall come that the Lord God will speedily visit the inhabitants of the earth; and in that day that they are cfully ripe in iniquity they shall perish.

  17 But behold, if the inhabitants of the earth shall repent of their wickedness and abominations they shall not be destroyed, saith the Lord of Hosts.

  18 But behold, that great and aabominable church, the bwhore of all the earth, must ctumble to the earth, and great must be the fall thereof.

  19 For the kingdom of the devil must ashake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or the bdevil will grasp them with his everlasting cchains, and they be stirred up to anger, and perish;

  20 For behold, at that day shall he arage in the bhearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.

  21 And others will he apacify, and lull them away into carnal bsecurity, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the cdevil dcheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.

  22 And behold, others he aflattereth away, and telleth them there is no bhell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful cchains, from whence there is no deliverance.

  23 Yea, they are grasped with death, and hell; and death, and hell, and the devil, and all that have been seized therewith must stand before the throne of God, and be ajudged according to their works, from whence they must go into the place prepared for them, even a blake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment.

  24 Therefore, wo be unto him that is at aease in Zion!

  25 Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well!

  26 Yea, wo be unto him that ahearkeneth unto the precepts of men, and denieth the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost!

  27 Yea, wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and we aneed no more!

  28 And in fine, wo unto all those who tremble, and are aangry because of bthe truth of God! For behold, he that is built upon the crock dreceiveth it with gladness; and he that is built upon a sandy foundation trembleth lest he shall fall.

  29 Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we aneed bno more of the word of God, for we have enough!

  30 For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon aprecept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn bwisdom; for unto him that creceiveth I will give dmore; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.

  31 Cursed is he that putteth his atrust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the bprecepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.

  32 aWo be unto the Gentiles, saith the Lord God of Hosts! For notwithstanding I shall lengthen out mine arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me; nevertheless, I will be merciful unto them, saith the Lord God, if they will repent and bcome unto me; for mine carm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord God of Hosts.

I didn't want to post the whole chapter, but I didn't know which parts to pick and choose from because I really think that this chapter proves that the Book of Mormon was meant for our days. I read through it and see the influences Satan is having on the world - not using just one tactic, but many in order to get us to fall into his snares. We had a high priest or someone come and speak in Sacrament meeting a few weeks ago and he mentioned how Satan will try and pacify us into doing things that aren't good. And he likened that to the pacifier we give infants, it is meant as a tool to soothe and comfort, a replica of the same thing that provides nourishment, but that will never yield no matter how hard the baby tries. That's why it is called a pacifier (I swear, I never thought of it in those terms before). Just like the baby, we will never receive the spiritual comfort or nourishment when we are seeking among the things meant to pacify us, instead of the righteous places where we should be searching. Go back and read the verses I've marked in red. The words that are used are no accident: The devil stirs up, lulls, pacifies, flatters, cheats, whispers in our ears, and leads us away from where we want to be until we our bound in the chains of hell. He is subtle and he is tricky. And it is no wonder that the things that the world tells us is OK sounds OK to us. Of course it does, because that is how it works.

The other verses I've marked are ones that I encounter all the time. Those that have taken the education they've received and turned and twisted until the gospel no longer makes sense. They seek logic where faith is necessary and they allow pride to take over completely to where they no longer understand the gospel and the way the Lord works in our lives.
And finally, the verses that talk about how "God has given us all we need." That we don't need more. I think that these verses are talking mostly about the Book of Mormon as a companion to the Bible, but I also think that it can mean the Prophet and other modern day scripture. I've had this conversation with non-member friends who say that the Bible is enough. But the Bible is 2000 years old. Yes, it has very key concepts. It allows us to see the type of man Jesus Christ was as He walked this earth and taught his disciples. It teaches us the Mosaic law. But the Mosaic law is now fulfilled, and still the New Testament was deemed necessary. 

After reading last night, I wrote in my journal something along the effects that: I'm grateful that I've grown up with the truth and with the whole and complete gospel. I have access to anything and everything that God wants me to know on how to live my life and what goals I should be seeking and most importantly, what to do when I fall off that path. Which is often.

Tales from the Upstairs

I don't know if I can accurately describe the events of this afternoon. But it had me laughing so hard that I feel like I must try.

There is a guy in our office who is different than the rest. One of his "quirks" is that he has ten or so sour cream / cottage cheese containers full of frozen leftovers in the freezer. These containers, due to the fact that his wife is more infamous than gourmet, and the unknown age of these foodstuffs, are all considered to be...disgusting. And I share that opinion. Often times while our coworker is gone, we play the game, "How much will it cost to eat/lick/smell the "food."

Today was one such occasion.

Rob took the container and shoved it into Steven's face, who valiantly tried to push the container and then Rob away. Somehow, the frozen block of rice, peas and mystery meat went flying across the upstairs towards Todd, who avoided it as it crashed into the wall, breaking on little bits and rolling towards Wes who kicked it away. Rob then recovered the block of rice, and picked it up using the container to avoid contact with it. And then somehow it started all over again. The frozen rice was then pitched over towards Rob's area who recovered it. Todd got out the shopvac to pick up all the pieces of mystery meat and rice and as soon as he had vacuumed it up, Rob dropped it again.

Wes and I mostly just stood by and laughed at the whole ordeal and I'm pretty sure it continued after I left. Luckily, I think the guys chose to throw away the food instead of replacing it...which I would never put past them under ordinary circumstances.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


I have this great loathing for scooters and motorcycles that take up a full parking spot all to themselves. If there is a posse of motorcycles in one spot, great. If it is clear at the end of the parking lot, fine. If they park in the special motorcycle/scooter parking, that's best. Sometimes this whole scenario makes me really irritable.

Of course, mostly I just get mad because I think I have a spot only to start turning in and finding that it is taken by this sneaky vehicle that can't be spotted before you have already decided to park there.

But when I saw this guy... this Rascal parked in a parking spot, I didn't know what to do. Be mad? Baffled? Slightly annoyed? Amused?

I went with amused this time, but only because I had already found a perfectly amiable spot.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Happy Birthday Father(land)!

I was just thinking that I should go to bed. I'm tired and I want to sleep, but I still have a million things to do and so it is hard to justify sleep at the moment. Of course, you're wondering then why I am "wasting" my time blogging when I should be finishing those things and getting my hind end into my bed.

My dad is probably the forerunner in those thoughts, because he never understands why I would still be awake past midnight. Clearly, if I were more mature then I would be in bed.... but then I hear the TV on and I know that my roommate is still awake. And I hear the shower and footsteps upstairs and I know the girls that live above me are still awake. And I'm betting Becca is awake. So it got me to thinking... not all of us are immature, though I think my dad would probably disagree with me. We just have different sleeping schedules. And at the age of 24(ish) I would have thought that we would all be more "responsible" and "mature" much like my dad was when he was 24.

But there's a big difference. When my dad was 24, he had a wife, two babies, a job (maybe two jobs) and was going to school. Of course he had to mature! He had four people he was trying to support while putting himself through school. And I've been struggling with just trying to support myself while going to school. So there's obviously some benefit in being forced to mature earlier, but for those of us that haven't had to grow up yet, it's no wonder we're taking our sweet time with it.

Anyway, that was my thought for this evening. My dad keeps wondering when I'll grow up and be more responsible, but obviously, I'm in no hurry. And I don't have a real reason to be. It isn't as if someone is sitting at home waiting for me to do the responsible thing.

And more to the point... On Sunday it is our nation's birthday. But more importantly, it is my dad's birthday. Since my dad is pretty great and was willing to grow up at the tender, naive age of 21, I do nothing but commend him at what an awesome husband, father and human being he is. I don't think I can accurately put into words how much I admire and love him. Most the time I find myself wishing I had been more of a daddy's girl when I was littler - it would probably be easier for him now that I really find myself wanting to cling to him.

Happy Birthday, Dad! (a little early) amo tu!

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