Monday, September 30, 2013

followers of my faith [Mormon Monday 09]

On this day in 1949 was the first televised broadcast of General Conference.

That means it is so close.

I love General Conference, but I have noticed that the talks fade quickly from my mind, and I rarely go back and study them to apply into my life. Since my half birthday last week marked the turning over of a new leaf (I'm doing so great), it's a great time to commit to truly internalizing the words of the prophets that we'll hear this weekend.

Haven't worked out the details of how I'm going to do that yet, but I know something will come to mind as I prepare this week.

Good luck to all of you in your preparations!

Friday, September 27, 2013

stitch me the fabric of fall

Both I and my blog are dressed in fall colors today, so it seems like a great time to fulfill my promise to post an autumn poem here today.

I still remember exactly where I was when I wrote this poem: Honors Algebra 2, in 10th grade. That class wasn't very useful for me; most of what my friends and I did was go out in the hall and play games because we'd finished our assignments.

One day, a crisp day like today (though probably not quite so dreary), I took out my notebook and scribbled this:

Autumn - the season of beauty, of change and of surprise;
Every morning is different, with colors that dazzle one's eyes.
Why do I so adore autumn, its evenings and its days,
Its days of such heat and days of such cold, its torrents of rain or sun rays?
The reason, my dear, to me is quite clear, though you may not have a clue.
The reason I love the caprices of fall is because they remind me of you.

In trying to recall my intentions when I wrote this, I have decided that I wasn't writing this to anyone specifically. Rather, in my self-centered teenager way, I think I wanted someone to see me as Autumn. (Ah, now my wardrobe choice today is all the more ironic.)

I wanted someone to see me as beautiful and surprising, entrancing the way falling leaves in the sunlight are entrancing. I wanted someone to love me in all my moods, even the stormy ones.

My, how things have not really changed all that much. That still sounds really appealing.

But I would also like someone to see me as the warm house after coming in from the rain, the sweetness of apple cider, and a hand to hold. Someone they can go to for comfort, that they can trust, that they can hold hands with.

I guess I'd like to see someone that way too.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

perfect time

I bought my last watch in Kansas, in 2011. The one before that I lost in the carry-on bins at the airport on my way to Kansas, so getting one in Kansas was kind of a necessity.

The people at the jewelry counter there, though, didn't know how to resize a watchband. So I decided I would learn to do it myself.

It took like 3 hours and an exceeding amount of frustration, but I did it.

That watch finally gave up the ghost on Sunday, after threatening for about a week. I knew that a trip to the jewelry counter was a necessity.

They didn't have the watch I wanted but I like to branch out every once in a while. I think this new one will be just fine. It is very shiny.

I had to resize it, too.

I decided to take pictures to blog about my experience, because I need more regular posts. Also, many of you have probably not had the privilege of resizing a watchband, and I wanted to show you how it's done. (Plus I downloaded a photo editing app on my Kindle and it was fun to play with it sometimes.)

As you can see, it practically looks like I'm wearing a watch even when I'm not. My tan is fine. And I want to keep it, so I needed a new watch.
Before. See how it hangs off my wrist! That will not do. (I was listening to my roommate while taking the picture, hence the turned head. Multi-tasking!)
The first step in making the watchband smaller is opening it up. It took me a while to find a tool that would do the job, as you can see from the paraphernalia around the detached watch:
Tried tweezers, a can opener, a fork, and a knife. The knife was the main success because of its thin blade.
Then you try it against your wrist and take off the topshell of the link you want to remove at. (I did this "wrong" but I don't care.) Then you open up the watch again to detach those links, and that took a little while...
It would've made sense to hold the separate piece in my other hand, but something had to press the camera button. Oh! I could've held them both in my palm! Oh well.
Then it is a simple matter of re-attaching the links together. In Kansas, this part took so long. I think it was over an hour before I tried using tweezers, and then it took me another 45 minutes or so.
You have to put this tiny little staple in exactly the right place. I ended up moving places after this for better ("better") lighting.
But a mere 7 minutes later I did it! (Well, and even less than that, because it was 7 minutes between the timestamp of the two pictures.) It was amazing.

Look how thrilled I am.
Before I could put it on, though, I had to un-flatten the links so it wouldn't come apart again. That took a little while until I figured out a way to use the tweezers as pliers. But success was mine!

My new watch will take some getting used to, but it fits perfectly and is very comfortable, so that's good. I am pleased with my accomplishment. From the time of the first picture to the last picture was only 1 hr 20 min, which is a great improvement.

Still probably shouldn't set up shop at a jewelry counter, though.

[Title text: "Kansas" because I had to. Other contenders:
"making the most of our borrowed time" (White Light)
"the tock tock tock of time" (Level Up)
"on the table it's time" (Level Up)
"the next time 'round" (In Another Life)
"oh girl you think you got time" (Grandmother Song)]

Monday, September 23, 2013

followers of my faith [Mormon Monday 08]

Today is the eighteenth anniversary of The Family: A Proclamation to the World.

President Hinckley presented it at the General Relief Society Broadcast on September 23, 1995.

As of today, it is not officially canonized (any more than any General Conference address), but it is nonetheless a very important document to our Church.

I support the principles laid out in this document and hope that I can stand strong in their defense when I am called upon to do so. (If I were cooler I'd make a photo essay like people have been doing over at Celebrate the Family Proclamation, but I am zero cool.)

Monday, September 16, 2013

followers of my faith [Mormon Monday 07]

In Relief Society my friend drew a great parallel between the Pool of Bethesda and the Temple at Bountiful.

Assuming you're lazy like me, here are the two pertinent stories:

John 5:2-9
Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
 3 Nephi 17:5-10
 And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them.
 And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you.
 Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.
 For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you.
 And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him.
 10 And they did all, both they who had been healed and they who were whole, bow down at his feet, and did worship him; and as many as could come for the multitude did kiss his feet, insomuch that they did bathe his feet with their tears.

We had a lot to discuss about the Pool of Bethesda. We talked about how there were a lot of people there, yet Jesus still recognized this man and that he had been there a long time. And with so many people, there was no one to help this man? After years? (I personally don't think he actually lived at the pool for 38 years, but he might have.) But Jesus could help him; Jesus was paying attention. What opportunity for service can we find if we're only just paying attention?

Our purpose is to bring others to Christ. In Bountiful, those infirm souls were brought to Jesus by the multitude there. And we can find great joy in it -- "they did all, both they who had been healed and they who were whole, bow down at his feet, and did worship him"

Sometimes we are the ones who need to be healed. Often, we need to be the ones on the lookout for those who need healing. (And in doing so, we may feel better ourselves -- isn't that the message of service?)

There's a lot we could say about both of these stories, but I'm going to leave it at that today.

Monday, September 9, 2013

followers of my faith [Mormon Monday 06]

Check out this cool analogy by Sister Mary N. Cook, at the 2011 BYU Women's Conference. Her talk was entitled "Becoming Women of God." I'll be paraphrasing because copy-pasting is too much work, and so is typing everything verbatim.

Three objectives a young woman must achieve on her way to becoming a woman of God:
  • Identity: She must understand her identity as a daughter of God.
  • Testimony: She must strengthen her faith in and testimony of Jesus Christ.
  • the Spirit: She must be worthy to receive, recognize, and rely on the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
In order to create fire, four elements are required: oxygen, fuel, and heat, which, when combined, produce a chain reaction.
  • Oxygen is life-giving. Our Heavenly Father is the giver of life. We are His spirit daughters, created in His image. We are here on earth to experience mortal life. And the gift of eternal life is made possible through the Atonement.To know where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going is key to understanding who we are -- our identity.
  • Fuel is something that sustains. Our knowledge of the plan of salvation and the Atonement sustains us through mortality. A testimony is the fuel that will sustain us through life's challenges.
  • One definition of heat is "intensity of feeling." In Galatians 5:22-23 we are taught that the fruits of the Spirit are feelings: "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance."
  • A chain reaction is a series of events in which each one influences the next. Example is key to helping others recognize their divine nature and destiny. We are the models, the mentors, and the teachers to help them define their identity, strengthen their testimonies, and have experiences with the Spirit.
Want to know more about these objectives? Read her talk! It's a good one.

Monday, September 2, 2013

followers of my faith [Mormon Monday 05]

I really, really like this video:


It's about the Atonement.