Sunday, January 27, 2008

Pres. Hinckley

Tonight I received some sad news - well, sad and not sad at the same time. Pres. Hinckley, the prophet for the past 12 years, died this evening around 7:00 p.m. I chose this picture of him because he was usually as cheerful as he looks in the photo. I hope it was legal for me to put it on here. I think it was. If not, someone can tell me and I'll change it.
One of my friends called and told me the news. He wanted me to get onto the Internet to see if I could verify it. It took me awhile to get into a Utah news station's web-site. I think Latter-Day Saints everywhere were trying to do the same thing.
When I said something about how sad it was, one of my roommates said, "No, it's not sad." That's because we know where he is. Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley was a prophet of God, and he has returned to Him who he served. Not only that, but Pres. Hinckley's wife died a few years ago, and now he doesn't have to be separated from her.
Tonight, I just want to post how I feel about Pres. Hinckley. For years, my testimony, or conviction of who he was, was stronger than my feelings about most other things religious in nature. The Holy Ghost has witnessed to me more times than I can count, that this man was truly a prophet of the Lord. Pres. Hinckley has been the prophet since I was fifteen years old. Each General Conference, when I would get the opportunity to watch him speak, the Spirit would whisper to me that he really was the prophet. My heart would burn, and I often felt a little emotional. My conviction of who he was has helped me when I have had doubts about other parts of my testimony. I can recall one specific time when I questioned my testimony. As I questioned some things, I thought to myself, "Pres. Hinckley is a prophet of God. I know that, and because I know that, that means that the church is true. And because of that . . ." and so on. I will forever be grateful for this inspired man who revealed to me what the Lord wanted me to know for the last several years.
Happily, I know that just because Pres. Hinckley has moved on to the next stage of his progression, I am not left alone in the world. A new prophet will be called of God, and he will reveal God's word to me. I am so grateful for my testimony. It brings me such comfort and steadiness in the midst of this world and all that comes with it.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Friend!

Today is a great day for a few different reasons:

1) It's my friend's birthday today. And he's not just any friend - he's one of the best friends I have, and I love him. We had quite a long chat on the phone today, which I really enjoyed. It's nice to have a good long talk from time to time. He is kind of an unexpected friend. Have you ever had one of those? When I met him I thought that he was cute and cool, but the first couple of times that I tried to get to know him he kind of blew me off. I figured he didn't like me and decided to leave him alone, but, strangely enough, he approached me one day. After that we gradually became friends, though it wasn't until I moved away that things started to get better (what does that say about me, I wonder? :o) )

Anyways, he's been there for me when I have needed him most over the past several years, for which I will forever be grateful for him; I will also forever be in his debt for those things. I have recently learned that he will be moving to a neighboring city soon, which means I can see him - yea!

2) THERE IS FINALLY A COMMENT ON MY BLOG!! Thanks Lizzie! You don't know how good that makes me feel. It's proof that someone has actually read your blog. Now, don't worry everyone. I'm not saying that you need to feel obligated to comment - you don't have to. It was just exciting for me today.

On a completely unrelated note I will soon be posting about the interesting e-cards my dad likes to send me. I just have to think of a witty way to talk about them first. So stay tuned.

And, once again, Happy Birthday Friend!

Friday, January 18, 2008

All She Wants to do is Bailar, Bailar, Bailar

One of my friends just finished her Master's Degree and is moving to D.C. She and her roommates are really cool girls. They all seem very nice, sophisticated, and like they're going places. I call them the Activist Girls because they're all involved in various changing-the-world activities. Besides the above mentioned qualities, these girls also love to dance. They go Salsa dancing at a local club from time to time. I have only been with them once, but I love dancing (especially Latin dancing), and have been wanting to go again. Therefore, when I heard the Activist Girls were going one last time before the one moves to D.C., I had to go.

One thing that should be understood is that although I LOVE to dance, I usually end up quite depressed by the end of the night because I don't get asked to dance. In fact, my roommates are familiar with my Oreo-in-milk-dipping that usually concludes my evening - I drown my sadness in milk and Oreo's at the end of the night before going to bed. Well, I had a great time with the girls when I went before, but I didn't get asked to dance that night, like always. This being said, I did not expect to dance tonight, either, but (just like my first date) I think the Lord blesses me with a wonderful, tailored-to-me experience every once in a while that just makes my day smile.

The night started like all the others: I was excited to dance but felt a little awkward. I danced a little, here and there, while watching some of the girls dance with the guys they had talked into coming with them, as well as with the Latin men who asked them to dance. After awhile, though, while I was kind of leaning on this pillar, I suddenly felt a hand on my back and realized that one of the guys from our little group was leading me out to the floor - yeah! We probably didn't look all that great out there, but I was just happy that he'd asked me. Then (as I always think when a guy finally asks me to dance), I thought to myself, 'Well, I guess the night is complete. I don't need to be depressed now. Yeah!'

A little later I wandered off to sit with some of the group. Then, a couple of minutes into that, this white guy came walking by and he stopped to talk.

"Didn't you come to dance?"


"Then why aren't you out there?"


"How do you expect to get asked to dance if you're sitting here, far away from the floor?"

Then, kindly, he asked me to dance. Whoa - asked to dance by a complete stranger - amazing!

Adding to the coolness, he actually knows how to dance - he's taken classes and knows how to keep time, how to lead, etc., etc. Unfortunately for him, his partner is not good at keeping track of the count, is even worse at following, probably had bad breath, and is not equal to him in attractiveness. But, he was totally nice and patient and tried to teach me. He put up with me for several songs, so I had the time of my life. I wanted to get his number and ask him to come and teach me some more sometime, but I didn't. Instead we left it at, "Maybe I'll see you around sometime." He was probably thinking, 'Why did I ask that girl? She totally did not know what she was doing.' However, I'm glad that he put up with me for as long as he did. So, what started as an evening of awkwardness with me trying to prep myself for the inevitable depression that would follow, ended with a cute guy teaching me some steps and making my night. I guess it just goes to show that you never can tell. One thing's for certain, though, and that is that I had better get back there again sometime!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Colonel!

It's my friend's birthday today, so this post is all for him (and his amazing wife). Happy Birthday! Don't they look like a great couple? We had a little shin-dig last night, and the picture is from then. We'll call them Colonel Brandon and Elizabeth Bennet (actually if you can think of someone you think you identify with better, let me know and I'll change the post - and does that make me Charlotte? I haven't found a Collins yet, but maybe someday. :p Oh, and I totally realize that Brandon and Elizabeth are from different stories, but we were comparing the birthday boy to Brandon the other day, and Elizabeth is the Austin character who I thought most resembles my former roommate who is now Brandon's roommate).

Don't you ever get annoyed with couples? When people start really dating, they sometimes forget that anyone else exists. There can be way too many P.D.A.s when around them, which makes life uncomfortable - like the time I came home to find a roommate making out with her boyfriend. I think she cheerfully greeted me and then went back to business - yuck! I left the house, feeling resentful of the fact that I was not comfortable in my own home. There are also those people who totally change (or, at least, it seems that way) when they hook up with/marry someone. You feel like you don't know them anymore. That's not comfortable either.

That's why these guys win the award for Best Couple Ever. Somehow, they have made the transition from single to married without doing any of those awful things that most people do. It's not even that I'm blaming the married masses for behaving the way they do - it seems to be the inevitable fate for most couples. This couple is just exceptional - that's all I'm saying. Never too much P.D.A., they are still totally aware that you are there, and they are still the same people that they were before. I love it! And, the Colonel still let's me hang out with Lizzie, which is also a big plus. So, thank you, friends, for being who you are. And, once again, Happy Birthday, Colonel!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Sunday I went to my roommate's parents' home after church (which was great, by the way). My roommate made a Spanish tortilla dinner. I made paella, another Spanish dish. A Spanish tortilla is NOT like the tortillas we Westerners think of. It is an omelette, rather. I am not posting a picture of one, so you will have to look it up if you wish to see one. I am posting a picture of my paella, though. The more authentic paella has seafood in it, but I don't like seafood, so I just used chicken. Well, this is boring, but it's late and I have work tomorrow. Good night!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Enduring Well

"Endurance is more than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance; it is not only acceptance of the things allotted to us, it is to 'act for ourselves' by magnifying what is allotted to us."
- Neal A. Maxwell, “‘Endure It Well’,” Ensign, May 1990, 33

I was going to post about the party that my roommate and I, along with my sister and her husband, attended, but this quote was way more interesting. When I read it, I thought about my trials and how I often do just pace "up and down within the cell of [my] circumstance." How much better would my life be if I endured well and magnified what was allotted to me? How much more would I discover and learn?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Two in One Day

Normally, I would probably not post twice in a day, but my roommate just told me about another blog that had the following questions to answer. I thought it looked like a good idea, and I'm putting off going to bed, like I probably should be doing, so here goes:

1. What do you want to acknowledge yourself for in regard to 2007?(What did you create? What challenges did you face with courage and strength? What promises did you keep to yourself? What brave choices did you make? What are you proud of?)

This year I was okay with one of my brothers and one of my sisters getting married - that's kind of big for me because I am older than them. I also love both of my new in laws, which I desperately wanted because it is important to love everyone - especially family. I began a new job by taking a teaching position at a charter high school. I do not have a degree in teaching, and I was nervous about learning the ropes, but I think I did well for my first year. I finally let go of my desire to have a better relationship with a friend. That may not sound positive, but I have a very hard time letting go of people, even if they wish to be let go. I feel that it took courage and strength for me to go to work for awhile this fall semester, while my life was a kind of hell. I am proud that I have made it through this year altogether, which I think I will explain better in the next question. Everything I have mentioned in my response so far was only accomplished with God's help, which I gratefully acknowledge.

2. What is there to grieve about 2007?(What was disappointing? What was scary? What was hard? What can you forgive yourself for?)

Wow! This question seems to apply most to 2007 for me - it was quite a rough year, perhaps the hardest of my life so far. I have problems with anxiety (at least, I think that's what it is), and this year I had some sort of breakdown. I already mentioned a couple of siblings getting married. In addition to this, I moved to a different home, and I had a couple of relationships that were not peaceful, which was perhaps the most trying for me, because I like my relationships with people to be harmonious. I was bitterly disappointed with a relationship failure, which I eventually let go of and can celebrate, like I mentioned in the first question. I think that the combination of everything that happened was a little too much for me, for some reason. My anxiety issues have been quite scary - that's what anxiety is, after all - awful, irrational fear that persists, refusing to be silent or go away. There is no hiding from it, because it is in you, and you cannot get away from yourself. Anxiety can be almost too hard to deal with. Without the support of family, friends, and, most of all, God, I don't know how I could have done it. And it's not over yet. I grieve dropping out of the teacher certification program, although that might have been a good move for me, for the time being. I think I am trying to forgive myself for that and come to terms with who I am and what I should be.

3. What else do you need to say about the year to declare it complete?

To declare 2007 complete, I think I need to say that although it was rough for me, and although I would love to not have experienced a whole lot of it, it has certainly been a year of learning to understand for me. I feel much more sympathetic and less judgemental towards others (I feel like a hypocrite saying that, however, because I know I am still far too critical of others regarding different matters). The year was complete because I learned much more about Christ's atonement. I feel so much more grateful and in awe of the Savior because I know that He felt everything I felt this year - and so much more. It is incomprehensible to me that someone would willingly suffer the pain and anguish I have experienced this year, but I know that He did - it is truly amazing. I feel closer to Him, and that definitely makes 2007 a fulfilling year for me.

2008 is my year of self-care (although that should be accomplished through serving others)!

"The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning." -George Baker (this quote is from the blog I got the questions from)


I have been meaning to think of and post some resolutions for this year - to make them public so I maybe feel a little more accountable for doing them. It's been kind of stressful because I'm trying to figure out what I should really be doing with my life right now. I feel lazy but so stressed out when I think of doing certain things that I can't seem to handle even visualizing myself working on them. The following, however, are some things that I can handle doing:

Exercise at least 3 times a week (pathetic, I know, but it's a start)

Be nice to EVERYONE (not just in front of them, but all the time)

Notice God's hand in my life each day

Take notes on my daily gospel study and spend more time studying

There are a few more that are a little more personal, so I will not post them, but these are most of them. My mission president always said to pick no more than three things to work on at a time, so I may have to drop a few for awhile.

Oh, and I also want to clean my room by the end of the week. I may take daily pictures and post them, so we can see my progress. Posting pictures may be embarrassing enough to motivate me to get it done, too.

Tomorrow I go back to school, so I should have some more interesting things to post soon. Until then!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Happy New Year! Today has been such a crazy day that I'm not sure that I would like it to be a foreshadowing of the year ahead. It began all too early - at about 5:45 this morning. My roommate wanted to drive up the mountain to watch the first sunrise of the new year. I have long been a proponent of sunsets over sunrises, for the simple fact that you don't have to wake up to see a sunset. Not only that, but I see the sunrise almost everyday during the winter months on my way to work.

We were up until past midnight last night to ring in the new year, so 5:45 came all too soon. I'm not sure why we stayed up so late - we went to a dance, but weren't having any fun and left it a little before midnight. We came home and celebrated the new year - just the two of us on our balcony, clanging pots and shooting off little confetti things and watching other people's cool fireworks go off to the north of us. Doesn't that sound exciting?

My roommate's good friend showed up a little after 6:00 this morning. Nobody else came (enjoying their sleep, no doubt), so our little trio took off, up the mountain. I was kind of grouchy about it, but tried to tell myself that it was a neat idea to welcome the sun on the first day of 2008. We made it to a look-out on the mountain about one minute before the sun peaked over another mountain at us. It was beautiful, and I will have to get the picture from my roommate to post on here.

Then, we continued up the mountain to go to a church campground to make breakfast. I just wanted to go home and was kind of happy when the campground was too icy to get into. However, my roommate was determined, and we found another place to make breakfast. By this time I was pretty starving and more grumpy, but I acquiesced, and finally got out of the car to help the others. Breakfast was delicious, and I was was in much better spirits after eating the canned hash.

That doesn't begin to describe the day, but this post is already longer than it probably should be. Suffice it to say that the day was rather an emotional roller coaster, with high points (sunrise, make-shift sledding on the mountain, sleeping for several hours, watching Oscar, playing the Wii), and lows (feeling alone and friendless, looking at my messy house, realizing that some of my friends are in places in their lives that I cannot follow), and although I do not wish today to foreshadow the year, I supposed that it is actually a pretty accurate summary of life. I guess the trick is to truly enjoy the highs and to learn from and appreciate the lows for what they teach us about life and about ourselves.

I have only begun to think about resolutions. Maybe I will post them tomorrow. What are you going to do this year?