Saturday, December 27, 2008
Mat's nephew's Ross, Rogan, Tad and Peter have decided that I'm okay (after much persuasion and coaxing with treats and playdates). We've bonded through raisins, tickling and, as my family calls it, "The Holey-Doley Store" (kids game). They'll even come and sit on my lap at Mat's volleyball games!
While in Kentucky (I went to see my brother who is in residency and U of K) we took the kids to a Shaker community. Has anyone ever learned about Shaker's before? They have some....interesting...beliefs. The kids stay in one part of the house (hmm....i'm liking this idea...), the men in one room and the women in another (wait...not liking this anymore...) they don't use technology (no blowdryer? cellphone? laptop? not cool...) but here's the one that threw us all for a loop: they live a life of celebacy. hmmm... I wonder what God thinks about that one? I think they missed the "multiply and replenish the earth" part in the bible... but that kinda makes you wonder though. How does a community like that thrive?
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
1) being introduced as "Amber" by my boss
2) BYU catering brownies with nuts
3) the sun
4) knowing I'll be home in 2 days!
5) not ever having to name another bird again!
6) Christmas shopping
7) bundling under a blanket
8) Not having to plan study groups for at least a month!
9) helping women with strollers get through big puddles
10) temple sealings with family
11) watching my boyfriend get teased because of me (i mean, really, did i need the rest of the list?)
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Randy Bott doesn't sugarcoat the challenges his Brigham Young University students will face when they serve missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He tells it like it is during the missionary preparation courses he teaches, with a mixture of wit and wisdom, and they love him for it. They love him so much that Bott is the highest-rated professor in America in 2008 at RateMyProfessors.com.
"Everyone says before you leave BYU, you have to take a class from Brother Bott," said psychology major Cassandra Lawyer, a 22-year-old senior from San Diego...This year alone, 3,149 have taken Bott's classes. That's a full 10 percent of BYU's student body.
"It's ruined my life," Bott said with customary deadpan humor. "My colleagues ask me if they should bow or curtsey. I am by no stretch of the imagination the top professor in the United States."BYU ranked seventh on the Web site's list of highest-rated faculties, but Bott's place at the top isn't a surprise...Students consider him a mission coach and self-help guru. At the start of his mission prep class on Monday night, Bott asked which of a couple hundred students had received mission calls in the prior week. One woman stood to announce she will be going to Portugal in February. A man was called to go to Brazil in April. Bott also asked if anyone got engaged during the week. None had. "Huh," Bott said, shaking his head in sadness at a sorry group. "Anybody manage a date?"
Short, stout and 63, Bott wore a white, long-sleeved shirt and tie. A low-lying crown of white hair circled his head topped by a wisp of white on top. The packaging made him wonder at the RateMyProfessors.com rankings. "I'm a bland person," he said. "I'm not audio-visually friendly." The smile came after the joke.
To his students, Bott is like a cool older uncle or grandfather who makes you laugh, makes you feel good about yourself and sometimes tells a family secret when parents won't, but only to teach you and help you love the family more. He peppers his teaching with highly relevant stories drawn from those sources and his own mission to Samoa.
"Those lessons stick, said Ken Alford, who joined BYU's religion faculty this fall after nearly 30 years as an Army officer. "I have a son on a mission in Fiji who took a class from Brother Bott," he said. "He raved about him then, and he's raved about him even from the mission field."
Bott's ministry extends beyond the classroom. He spends four to six hours a day responding to e-mails from students and former students who ask him for help with life problems. The issues range from the silly — an Armenian woman was told by missionaries he could help her prepare a Relief Society lesson — to the heartbreaking, like handling the divorce of parents and moral trouble. "You get known for that type of stuff," Bott said. "Now I get e-mails from parents and friends of students, too."Getting an "A" from Bott is easy, according to the ratings on RateMyProfessors.com. Lawyer said tests are open-note, open-book. "It doesn't have to be a hard class to be a good class," she said. "Missionaries all over the world will tell you they are using things he taught them."
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Me: "que dijo el?" (asking about a movie...)
Mat: "He said that...."
Me: "You know, Mat, you always say that you don't speak Spanish, but every time I speak it to you you answer accordingly."
Mat: "Well, that's because I only understand BAD spanish..."
Me: "Ha ha, Uh, thanks Mat..."
Mat: "Wait, I uh, (laughing)...I'm not getting myself out of that am I?"
Me: "Ha ha...nope....."
Thursday, November 13, 2008
1) Post the fourth picture in the fourth folder of the pictures on your computer.
2) Tell everyone what is happening in the picture, stories, etc.
3) Tag four others to do the same.
Good Luck to you four!
Here's my picture and explanation:This is a picture of about 2 weeks after I got home from my mission. Eric Berglund, one of my very good friends from High School, and I went to Elk River Falls and swam in the freezing cold water falls (come to think of it, it probably wasn't that cold, but I'd just come home of a tropical island...so everything was cold...). At the second falls i almost fell in the water and Eric saved me (my hero!). This was taken at the lower falls. Notice our amazing fashion. That's right, I'm wearing my tennis shoes with a swimming suit and you can't see this, but Eric has one sandal and one shoe on. Those are the Falls behind us. It was beautiful!
So that's my story! Good luck to all those that take the challenge!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Ahhhhh ..... The joys of having girls. My mother taught me to read when I was four years old (her first mistake). One day, I was in the bathroom and noticed one of the cabinet doors was ajar. I read the boxin the cabinet. I then asked my mother why she was keeping 'napkins' in the bathroom. Didn't they belong in the kitchen? Not wanting to burden me with unnecessary facts, she told me that those were for 'special occasions' (her second mistake). Now fast forward a few months......It's Thanksgiving Day, and my folks are leaving to pick up my uncle and his wife for dinner. Mom had assignments for all of us while they were gone. Mine was to set the table. When they returned, my uncle came in first and immediately burst into laughter. Next came his wife who gasped, then began giggling. Next came my father, who roared with laughter. Then came Mom, who almost died of embarrassment when she saw each place setting on the table with a 'special occasion' Kotex napkin at each plate, with the fork carefully arranged on top. I had even tucked the little tail in so they didn't hang off the edge!! My mother asked me why I used these and, of course, my response sent the other adults into further fits of laughter. “Mom, you said they were for special occasions!!!” Life is too short for drama and petty things, so kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly........and for heaven’s sake, use the good napkins whenever you can!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I got to thinking about language though, and I shouldn't be surprised that this happens to me. I often find myself making funny word choices, thinking that it clearly makes sense to me, only to see the receiver of my rhetoric tilt their head and say, "What?" Then as I repeat it, have them ask me to repeat it...again...oh, dear...
Or the many times I get so excited about what I am saying that my brain working faster than my mouth, literally causing my words to make NO SENSE...
Or when I quote movies, that's just a disaster, mostly because 90% of the people I talk to have no idea how my brain used such transductive reasoning to come to the phrase that I said.
Or the time when I told everyone in Spanish that I loved underwear...yeah, not my finest moment.
Or how about every time I'm walking somewhere and people watch my hands as I compulsively "handspell" my own thoughts...yes, even when I run I do it...strange, I know...
So I write this post in hopes that others have had such blunders and would be so kind as to share them with me, and the rest of the world, thus easing my tongue-twister woes...
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
As I sat in the temple waiting for the session to start, I began to gaze over the card from Grandpa I had chosen to do today. I looked at the name, Mary Barber, and said a prayer in my heart for her, hoping and praying she would accept this last piece of her temple work (she had already been sealed to her parents). Looking over the card, I was randomly drawn to the extractors name. To my surprise, this time it didn't day "Kenneth Eugene Zirker" as the hundreds of other cards I've done for Grandpa. This time it said: Leona Sagers Shields Zirker. Completely taken aback and confused, I looked at the dates on the card. This woman's ordinances had been started back in February of 1999. Grandma passed away a year later, and never had the chance to finish them. Mary had been waiting 9 years for someone to finish it. 9 years! Can you imagine that?! All i could think was, "All this time..."
I learned a good lesson from that. I had been so nonchalant in doing her work, and she'd been waiting nine years, knowing full well that her name was ALREADY IN THE SYSTEM! What a humbling experience it was for me to be reminded of my part in genealogy. I may not be as amazing as Grandpa on Family Search (come to think of it, I'm not even sure I know how to use it, sadly), but I can do my small part. I'm so excited to meet Mary Barber someday and ask her about her side of the experience. Waiting for NINE years -- what a lesson of patience! I wonder if she and Grandma are friends...
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Well, that got me to thinking...is it just kids that do these things? I don't seem to think so.
Take exhibit A for example....
Yes, that is a 19-year-old girl with underwear on her head....
We shove ourselves inside the same underwear as someone else...
We even shove ourselves into remotely small locations..."just for laughs"..yeah, it's all fun until we can't get out!
But despite our efforts, we all just seem to be getting older and older, faster and faster...i mean, take a look at this kid...he grew up so fast that his beard turned green!It seems to be unanimous...kids do have more fun. Now all I need to do is figure out how to stay young...
Monday, October 6, 2008
As I listened to her, my favorite analogy that I learned on my mission came to mind, and I had the opportunity to share it with her. This analogy has changed my life. And I wish to share it with each of you as well. The analogy goes something like this:
Each of us in this life has a bucket, full of water, which we carry with us everywhere. The water represents happiness, compliments, and energy that we have, or rather in a gospel perspective, the love of God. as we go throughout life, we have the ability to give water to others through service, compliments, etc. and people have the opportunity to do the same to us. Thus, in healthy living, your bucket should stay neutral - as you give to another, you dip out of your own bucket and give to theirs. Similarly, another can do the same and fill your bucket. This process keeps one emotionally stable as he passes through the difficulties and trials of this earth life. But what happens if someone is always giving, always dipping the water out of their bucket to give to others, and never receiving? Sooner or later, his bucket runs dry, he can give no more, and he either gives up, breaks down, or becomes bitter.
This is exactly what happened to Ashley. She had completely emptied her bucket, without receiving anything in return. Her bucket ran dry and she could give no more, causing her to resort to frustration and tears.
This analogy causes one to think: Are you a giver or a taker? And how is your bucket doing? Are you running dry? If so, what is the formula to fill your bucket again?
Naturally, the easiest way to fill your bucket would be to seek compliments from others, or surround yourself with good friends. I would be a fool to not admit that this is an excellent tactic. I believe that this is why Heavenly Father has given us families, so that we can lift each other up, or fill each other's bucket. Similarly, good friends can be a source to receive the love of God daily. Is there any doubt why the leaders of the church counsel us to surround ourselves with good friends?
Let us not forget, however, that there is a greater source of water, living water that we can receive whenever we need it: the light and love of our Savior. Jesus counseled the Samaritan woman, saying, "If thou knewest...who it is that saith to thee, give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee LIVING WATER." Confused the woman asked where she could find such water. Jesus answers humbly, helping us to understand the HE himself is the living water. "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give shall never thirst." (John 4:10-15)
Our Savior is the living source of water from which we can and should fill our bucket. We can dip from his bucket freely, for His is the only one that never runs dry. His water is a source that leads to everlasting life.
May we each be conscious of two things in our lives: that we daily drink from the living water of the Savior, and that we also remember to fill the buckets of those around us. There are those, like Ashley, who ache for their bucket to be filled. The spirit gave me a chance to fill her bucket; and I believe that he grants these opportunities to each of us. May we be in tune enough to act on them.
One last thing: For those of you who feel like your bucket might be a little empty at the moment: know how much I love you, appreciate you and pray for you. You mean the world to me and make a difference in my life. I’m so grateful I know you. Your Savior is mindful of you and can help you fill your bucket, so that you can reach out to others. He’s done it a million times for me, when I’ve felt completely empty. I know He can do it for you.
Monday, September 29, 2008
How often are we, myself included, so quick to judge? Christ teaches that we should remove the beam in our own eyes before removing the mote in someone else’s. I learned a great lesson that day. As I closed my prayer, i felt a greater love for these girls in my ward, hoping that they would be able to receive answers as well. And I WAS able to focus after that because of the greater love that I had for them. What a blessing it was to partake of the blessings of the atoning sacrifice of our Savior. I’m so grateful that I can be forgiven for all the times I was a deterrent from the spirit. May we each be able to feel greater love for those around us, even when they cause us frustration and pain.
Some more of the girls…
And the bride and groom. Aren't they cute?
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
this one time, on my mission...
~ I ate Iguana
~ I accidentally slide tackled an elder playing soccer in the rain
~ I got clotheslined by my Trainer playing football
~ We did a mission-wide fast to turn a hurricane...and it worked!
~ I transposed an entire piano piece...by ear, from a CD!
~ I had to play the piano every week for a year in sacrament meeting
~ We tracted in the rain for 4 hours...really fun!!
~ The last day of the mission, i found the best investigator in the world -- she approached us and is now a faithful member!
~ Ran the car through a puddle...more like a lake...and blew out the radiator
~ Was called, "gordita", "llenita", and "gorda"... meaning "the fat one"...good titles to have! :)
~ Used Cholesterol in my hair, a foot scrubber on my face, and hydrogen peroxide to "beautify"
~ Convinced my companion to use Ex-lax because she was sick
~ Watched the sun rise in the rain
~ Was almost given a priesthood blessing by a woman (apostasy! she really tried!)
~ Was asked if my companion was my daughter
~ Developed Hypoglycemia (don't ask...it's a long story)
~ Ate four dinners in one night. After the 3rd, we had to come home and throw up just so the 4th would fit...
~ Got *punked* by all the elders in our Zone -- they told us that we were getting whitewashed instead of actually telling us what was happening at transfers...i wanted to kill them!
Hope you enjoyed that as much as i did! Aren't mission experiences fun?
Sunday, September 14, 2008
or wearing a swimming suit (although I do apologize to all those that are still going through eye therapy from the whiteness of my legs. Really sorry about that.).
~Not studying your scriptures all the time
~Being in the same room as a guy without your companion…
~Or, dare I say…date!?
~Doing your hair….AND makeup….on the same day! Or at all!
~Or what about getting used to styles? Since when did side ponytails come back in? does it make it not so 80’s if it’s a side bun?
Needless to say, I’m still trying to find out who this “new me is”, and apparently so is the rest of the world! Every time I see someone they say something like, “wow! You look so….different!” which I’m starting to wonder what the pause means before they say different… but still get a good laugh when people tilt their heads as if it were a better view of my face… I guess I shouldn’t mock it, I’ve never seen my own face from a head tilted view…maybe I should try it…