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Sunday, April 24, 2011
♦ 4/24/2011 05:49:00 PM 0 comments

(32) An Account of Alma and the people of the Lord, who were driven into the wilderness by the people of King Noah... Mosiah 23:1-2 "Now Alma, having been warned of the Lord that the armies of king Noah would come upon them, and having made it known to his people, therefore they gathered together their flocks, and took of their grain, and departed into the wilderness before the armies of king Noah. And the Lord did strengthen them, that the people of king Noah could not overtake them to destroy them." I think it is fair to say that we have also been continuously warned by the Lord of the armies that are come up against us. Ever General Conference we are warned about Satan and his armies. Do we also take heed and flee from the danger when directed? If we do, the Lord will similarly strengthen us so that the armies of those that seek to destroy cannot overtake us.

(33) Mosiah 23:9 "But remember the iniquity of king Noah and his priests; and I myself was caught in a snare, and did many things which were abominable in the sight of the Lord, which caused me sore repentance." Isn't it interesting how Alma terms it "sore repentance." Repentance was and is not meant to be comfortable or easy. I think it is the "soreness" of it all that makes it a true true repentance.

(34) Mosiah 23:21 "Nevertheless, the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith." Even when we are living righteously we are not exempt from tribulation. It is the way that our faith is tried so that it may continue to grow.

(35) Mosiah 27:9 Discusses Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah, but mostly Alma the younger. In verse  8 it says that "he was a man of many words, and did speak much flattery to the people," Verse 9 goes on to say, "And he became a great hinderment to the prosperity of the church of God; stealing away the hearts of the people; causing much dissention among the people; giving a chance for the enemy of God to exercise his power over them." I find it interesting that the word "chance" is used here. The only way that Satan was able to gain power over an individual was if that person chose to enable him to be able to exercise his power over them. Alma could not give Satan power over all the people, but only a chance at that power. It is the same thing now. If we feel that Satan is exercising power over our own individual lives, it is only because we are allowing him to do so.

(36) Mosiah 27:29 An angel of the Lord has just appeared to Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah. "And now the astonishment of Alma was so great that he became dumb, that he could not open his mouth; yea, and he became weak, even that he could not move his hands; therefore, he was taken by those that were with him, and carried helpless, even until he was laid before his father." Laman and Lemuel also had angels appear to them, yet that never resulted in any permanent change. Why do you think it is that the appearance of an angel to Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah had such a lasting and positive effect on them, and not on Laman and Lemuel?

(37) Alma 1:30 This verse lists a lot of Godlike qualities that we should strive towards. "And thus, in their prosperous circumstances, they did not send away any who were naked, or that were hungry, or that were athirst, or that were sick, or that had not been nourished; and they did not set their hearts upon riches; therefore they were liberal to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, whether out of the church or in the church, having no respect to persons as to those who stood in need."

(38) Alma 4:11-13 "Alma saw the wickedness of the church, and he saw also that the example of the church began to lead those who were unbelievers on from one piece of iniquity to another, thus bringing on the destruction of the people. Yea, he saw great inequality among the people, some lifting themselves up with their pride, despising others, turning their backs upon the needy and the naked and those who were hungry, and those who were athirst, and those who were sick and afflicted. Now this was a great cause for lamentation among the people, while others were abasing themselves..." This word (abasing) comes in part from the Latin word that means to lower in stature. The righteous, then, were willing to be lowered in their worldly stature, I think, to be made equal with Christ (I am probably not wording this very well). If we remember correctly, Christ did not gain very high regard from the world, but he did from the poor, needy, and afflicted, because it was to them that he administered. If we are to become Christlike, we must do the same and not forget to be humble.

(39) Alma 4:14 "Looking forward to that day, thus retaining a remission of their sins; being filled with great joy because of the resurrection of the dead, according to the will and power of deliverance of Jesus Christ from the bands of death." I just found it ironic that I would read this verse for Easter. Also, I was thinking about this the other night at the Relief Society meeting we had for my ward where we went to the Temple Visitor's Center. While we were there, we watched the movie Lamb of God. There is a part in that movie that shows Pilot asking the people, essentially, who he should release from death: Barabbas or Jesus Christ. Truly, Barabbus probably deserved to die (we read in the New Testament that he was  not really a great guy. The Bible Dictionary says that he was an insurrectionist and a robber), but because Jesus was chosen to be crucified, he was thus released of his bands and set free from prison. Through the Atonement, Christ has offered to do the same for all of us.

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A Pay it Forward Giveaway
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
♦ 4/19/2011 08:43:00 PM 0 comments

The first 3 people to leave a comment on this post will receive a hand made gift from me during the next 12 months. When and what will be a surprise, but I'll try to make it be something I think you'll like. Here's the catch:  You have to post this on your blog then come back and leave a comment (preferably with a link), telling me you're in. (It's like a pay it forward kind of deal; you get something, you give something. Get it?) Sound fun?

Taiwan non-update
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
♦ 4/13/2011 10:21:00 PM 0 comments

Yes, I'm still procrastinating my paper. Hey, it's not due until Friday. Don't judge me, yet! (You may judge me tomorrow around 8pm when I am irritated with myself for putting it off so long and I've only got one out of 3 pages written. For the record, I think these assignments -and this class- are stupid, and at this point it will be really difficult for me to fail the class. Not that I want to challenge my grade, but I just about have stopped caring about it, you know?)

Anyway. People keep asking me if I've heard yet. You know, about Taiwan, to know if I'm actually going or not. I promise, promise that I will tell everyone in the world when I finally hear back, but as of now, the answer is still "no, I haven't." Yesterday, in a fit of anxiety and other emotions, I finally emailed ILP (again) to see if/when anyone knew anything. It's been about three weeks since I was told the school(s) were going over my paperwork and I would hear back soon. The kind (and when I say "kind," I actually mean kind; she is amazing) Taiwan Rep emailed me back this evening:

No worries! I totally understand how hard it is waiting when you want to be able to make decisions on things. The school is looking over all the paperwork right now and I should be able to let you know within the next few days. I will let you know as soon as I hear back.
I understand that there really isn't a lot that she can do to speed the process along. It's just that if I'm not going to be, you know, going this summer, then I need to start working on Plan B now. There's a job opening that I could be interesting in doing stuff like what I did at the Bindery when I was up at the Y, but applications have to be in by Friday. So my conundrum is thus: do I apply for it or not? I am fairly confident I could get the job (I am going to have the most flexible schedule on earth once classes let out, and I have Connections with the company), but at the same time I don't want to waste their time if they interview me, and then I end up getting this position overseas. I also don't want to be left high and dry if I don't get this teaching job. I really am not sure what to do.

To bring religion into it, I KNOW without the teeny-weeny shadow of a doubt that I needed to apply for this program teaching in Taiwan. I cannot even question it without feeling a fool. So I hope that, you know, needing to apply for it means that I will get it, but I'm not positive about it. I get this "hey, don't worry so much" feeling when I do pray about it (well, that is when I get any feeling at all, sometimes there's nothing and I think it's because I've become annoying about it). There are some days, weeks even, when I am so confident and sure that it will work out the way I want it to. But, lately, the majority of the time has been me feeling really anxious about it and preparing myself for disappointment, because that's what I do when I anticipate something I really, really want happening.

Now that I've basically exhausted that subject, I suppose it's back to the homeworks. I've got one sentence down... three pages to go?

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Happy Wind's-Day!
♦ 4/13/2011 06:00:00 PM 0 comments

It is also very windy here today. Supposedly I am supposed to be doing homework, but we all see how well that is working out for me. Two more weeks, guys, and then classes are over. Three weeks from today I will have taken my last final. I can hardly wait!

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Scripture Notes
Friday, April 08, 2011
♦ 4/08/2011 04:48:00 PM 0 comments

(26)Mosiah 4:8-10
"Neither are there any conditions whereby man can be saved except the conditions which I have told you. Believe in God; believe that he is and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend. And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them." These verses describe in very simple terms how it is that we come about our salvation: believe in God and his matchless power; believe that you must repent, forsake your sins and be humble; act on your beliefs.

(27)Mosiah 9:11 "Therefore it came to pass, that after we had dwelt in the land for the space of twelve years that king Laman began to grow uneasy, lest by any means my people should wax strong in the land, and that they could not overpower them and bring them into bondage." This is the same thing with Satan. As we begin to prosper, he does what he can do bring us back into bondage, for fear of not being stronger than we are. Guess what, though? Satan is not as strong as us. He can do very little of his own power for lack of a body. It is through our actions that he can, sometimes, gain power. When we are strong (in the gospel), he cannot overpower us or bring us into bondage.

(28) Mosiah 10:1 "And it came to pass that we again began to establish the kingdom and we again began to possess the land in peace. And I caused that there should be weapons of war made of every kind, that thereby I might have weapons for my people against the time the Lamanites should come up again to war against my people." Even though there was peace in the land, Zeniff knew that the Lamanites were still out there and that they were prone to fighting. Because of this, he prepared his people for the day that the Lamanites would come up against them to battle by forging weapons. In our day, even though we experience relative peace, we cannot afford to forget that the devil is still out there and so we should also prepare ourselves to defend against him and all of his angels.

(29) Mosiah 12:6 "they shall also be smitten with the east wind" I wonder why it is specifically the east wind and not the west. Do you think it has something to do with Matthew 24:27?

(30) Mosiah 12:30 I feel like this verse contains a very good definition of what wisdom is. It says, "Ye have not applied your hearts to understanding; therefore, ye have not been wise." Wisdom is, then, more than knowledge, because with wisdom you apply your heart to what you have learned or come to understand.

(31) Mosiah 16:14 "Therefore, if ye teach the law of Moses, also teach that it is a shadow of those things which are to come." Shadow: weak and inferior, insubstantial or fleeting. So if the law of Moses was a shadow of things to come, then he is saying that the law of Moses is inferior, even insubstantial in comparison to that which Christ would bring. This really makes perfect sense, as Christ came to fulfill the law and brought to the world a greater law in the process.

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Los Angeles
Saturday, April 02, 2011
♦ 4/02/2011 05:38:00 PM 1 comments

So, last week I went with the college's Art Department to the Los Angeles area to do artsy stuff. A lot of the pictures I have already posted on my other blog, so for the better looking ones, you should go there. Also, this is not exactly in chronological order. And I've run out of storage space (how did that not happen before now?), so a lot of things are being cut out, and I guess I'm not uploading any pictures onto my blog for a while? This will be remedied before I leave the country.

Thursday when we reached California, our first (real) stop was the Huntington. Stephanie and I spent most of the time there in the botanical gardens, and a minimal amount of time in the art galleries. Because apparently I don't like art as much as I thought I did. Or I just prefer being outside with the flowers.

This was the Chinese garden. The Japanese one was mostly bonsai trees, which were cool, but... I was less inclined to photograph them.

The guy who chopped off Medusa's head. Sorry, I'm not well versed in my mythology and I have no idea what his name is, nor do I really feel the need to Google it right now.

Friday night we went to Disneyland! Kaiyo was a dear and signed Steph and me in. It was, of course, busy (being Friday and Spring Break season), but it was still fun.
 Also awesome, when they roped off the castle (for the fireworks) and I was able to snap a couple of pictures without hordes of other people being in it! Bonus, it wasn't so dark that my camera felt like it needed a tripod yet.

 I don't know how many times I've been past Pooh Corner or been on the ride, but this was the first time I noticed sign for Pooh Stix bridge. Steph was the one that pointed it out to me.

 Earlier Friday we went to the Getty Villa. There was this fountain that had faces like that one on Roman Holiday (you know, where Audry Hepburn puts her hand in the mouth?) So, of course, we felt like we had to do the same. Um. There's a picture of Steph, too, but it is either on her camera or my other camera, of which I have not yet downloaded any of the pictures. Not that that really matters at this point.
 Even more earlier on Friday we stopped at Redondo Pier, which, in my opinion, is really lame. Especially since ALL THE STORES WERE CLOSED, the ocean was cold (and stinky), and the beach was not that clean. Anyway, this little figurine was in the window of one of the shops, and I thought it was kind of endearing (look at it! It's Titanic!). Not that I would have purchased it, but it was still cute in it's own gruesome way.
 There were, however, these two pigeons that were kind of entertaining. The one on the left is missing a foot, and the one on the right was feeding it. And then decided to climb on the back of pigeon on the left for about 2 seconds before getting back down. That was...awkward, and we left them alone after that.

 Then there was the small child that was feeding all the seagulls with his mom. Precious.
Also, homeless people sleeping under the pier in sleeping bags. That was a little eerie, and I did not altogether approve.
 At the LACMA, there was a Japanese exhibit (among many others), and I fell in love with this screen. I want one!
 They also had this exhibit on fashion. Look at this amazing dress.
Also, while we were looking at the fashion exhibit, we ran into this lady. She was very friendly and echoed my sentiments of the bustles and various other fashion implements: "torture implements."
This is the other dress I loved.
 Saturday we went to the LA LDS Temple. Most of the group went to the Visitor's Center, but I favored walking around the grounds more. I know it is hard to see in this picture, but that big tree in the background? I loved it. I want one. It was gnarly (literally) and reminded me of a giant bonsai.

Sunday we stopped at Forest Lawn before heading back to Utah. Cameras aren't allowed in any of the buildings, so I only got a few pictures outside.

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Day Zero Update
♦ 4/02/2011 03:19:00 PM 0 comments

For those of you keeping track (or that might just be interested), I have completed 41% of the goals listed below. Some are more in progress than others, but I feel like I am doing pretty well. Especially considering the fact that I don't need to be done with these goals until March 2, 2013. That is almost 2 years away!

1. Live in Taiwan
2. Sleep under the stars
3. Fall in love
4. Kiss in the rain
5. Go camping
6. Watch the sunrise and sunset in the same day
7. Find out my blood type (done: A-)
8. Dance in the rain
9. Make a new friend (done)
10. Read 100 books (in progress)
11. Take a photography class
12. Find a personally inspirational quote and work it into a piece of art or home decor
13. Go to 5 different museums (done and then some)
14. Get a passport (done)
15. Do something that scares me to death (done)
16. Improve my posture (in progress- my current Physical Therapist feels strongly about this and is teaching me what I need to do)
17. Buy a new computer (done)
18. plant a tree
19. Make a birthday cake for someone (done)
20. Make a custom recipe book
21. Do some volunteer work (done)
22. Graduate College (May 6)
23. Visit Japan
24. Sleep in a hammock (done)
25. Teach English in a foreign country
26. Visit Choco Canyon
27. Attend at least one session in every Utah temple (in progress)
28. Go to Maui
29. Go Paragliding (done)
30. Tie a note to a balloon and let it go
31. Go ice skating (done)
32. Make a quilt (done)
33. Try a new ethnic food
34. Travel outside of the country (done)
35. walk barefoot on the beach with someone I love
36. Blog something meaningful once a week for a month (done)
37. visit teach my sisters every month for 6 months
38. Feed the ducks
39. build a fort while on a date
40. practice piano half an hour every day for a month
41. learn to say no
42. learn to speak a foreign language fluently
43. Exercise at least 3 times a week for a month (half an hour each time)
44. Become CPR certified
45. Save $ for every goal I complete
46. Get my own, personal stamp for business
47. enter a photography contest
48. be able to touch my toes
49. Reach out to an old friend (failed, but done)
50. Learn how to use photoshop (or some other photo-editing program)
51. Visit Karen in Texas
52. Find a reason to wear a fancy dress
53. Get a job I love
54. Go on an "adventure" at least once a month for a year (in progress)
55. Get some business cards that I LIKE (done)
56. Get up by 9 am every day for a month (done)
57. Save $5,000
58. Don't spend any money for 1 week. (done)
59. Save a dollar a day for a year (0/365)
60. Find someone who will truly love me for who I am
61. Read the Book of Mormon in Japanese
62. Go to the temple at 32 times to do ordinances (in progress)
63. Give someone a gift, just because (done)
64. Sell 5 items on etsy (done)
65. Visit Watkins Glen (again) (done)
66. Explore a cave
67. Journal every day for a month (done)
68. Keep my car clean for a whole month (done)
69. Finish the blanket I'm knitting (done)
70. Organize photo collection (done but needs to be done again)
71. Visit a butterfly garden (done)
72. Finish my Terry Pratchett collection
73. Learn a new craft (done)
74. Get a credit card- and pay it off every month (in progress)
75. Try 5 new foods (done)
76. Make someone else dinner (done)
77. Learn to play at least one song on the guitar (done)
78. Learn to like my smile
79. Go to Niagara Falls (again) (done)
80. Make and actually send Christmas Cards (done)
81. Go to bed every night before midnight for an entire month (done)
82. Make my own bread from scratch (done)
83. Complete my Christmas Advent Calendar
84. Visit a state I've never been to before
85. Learn to change the oil in my car
86. Make a conscious effort not to speed for one day when I'm driving (done)
87. Finish one cross stitch project
88. Make my own quote book with all of my favorite quotes
89. Finish all the initiatories that are waiting to be done
90. Go two weeks without speaking ill of anyone (done)
91. Learn to write with my left hand
92. Write a letter to someone I admire
93. Read "Alice in Wonderland" (done)
94. Share my testimony with 3 people outside of church (1/3)
95. Get all of my books on my book shelves
96. Don't spend money on anything unnecessary for one month (done)
97. Make Honey Candy (done)
98. Get all of my dolls out on display (done)
99. Finish Melissa's sculpture before her birthday (done)
100. Visit 3 National Parks/Monuments (done)
101. Buy a macro lens for my camera

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Ghost Towning
♦ 4/02/2011 02:53:00 PM 0 comments

About a month ago, Chilly and Michael came to visit me and we went to a few ghost towns that are near where I live. Because I am lazy/busy with other things, I am only now getting around to blogging about it.

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