Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Asian in Me

My sweet roommate called to see if I wanted to go to the devotional at BYU with her. Seeing as how I am now jobless and have always enjoyed BYU forums and devotionals, I said yes. I got ready in 10 minutes flat and ran up to campus. It was a man named Greg Mortenson, author of the Best-selling book, "Three Cups of Tea: One man's mission to promote peace...One school at a time." He talked about the importance of educating the young people in impoverished countries. Especially, he says, young girls. He shared the African Proverb that if you educate a boy you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a community. Brigham Young (the 2nd prophet of the LDS church) changed that a little when he said if you educate a woman, you educate a generation. I had a strong confirmation during Mr. Mortenson's speech that the opportunity a woman has to educate her children...or any children around her... is priceless.

I have a roommate from China. Her name is Jing and she is SUCH a light and joy in my life. She is not a member of the LDS church, yet she attends school at BYU: a private LDS university. She is taking the discussions from the missionaries assigned to Asian investigators in Provo. She comes from zero religious background and is having a hard time knowing if she even believes there is a God. She doesn't know how to recognize the spirit if she is feeling it. Last week we sang "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" in Relief Society. Jing turned around at the end of the song and asked me and her visiting teacher what the song was called. Her visiting teacher said "you liked it didn't you?" Jing said she loved it! Her visiting teacher asked her how it made her feel and Jing said, "happy!" We told her that was the spirit. I was so happy. One of her missionaries is going home this week at the end of his 2 years. She cried and cried and couldn't really understand why. This girl is as pure as they come and I'm so grateful for her in my life.

I used to say I never wanted to go to China or Japan or Korea...I just wasn't that interested in the Asian culture. I think someone is trying to teach me a lesson by filling my life with Asians. They are bringing out my inner Asian. Maybe I'd like to go to China and Japan after all.

I was really in the mood the other week to entertain people, so we had a caramel apple party at my apartment. It was a huge success.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I think I've told this story before. Oh well. When I was in New Zealand I attended a funeral of one of our friends from the branch, Brother Bennett. Sister Kawe-Small, the Relief Society president, bought a lot of helium balloons for us to write messages to Brother Bennett on. After his grave was dedicated and the service was over, sister Kawe-Small (who is Maori) delivered a Maori chant as we let go of our balloons and watched them float to heaven. It was an awesome experience. Well, yesterday my roommate Kaylee and I, in an attempt to find something fun to do, purchased helium balloons. We wrote messages to the world on them and took them to the park to release them. We didn't do a Maori chant but the experience was a fun one anyway. It was cool for me to think back on the experience with Sister Kawe-Small at Brother Bennett's grave. Kaylee and I had good time taking pictures and trying really hard to get good jumping pictures. We really struggled :).

I AM PECULIAR (this is a permanent post. If you have already read it, scroll down to see my latest)

Those of you who read my blog could probably make a list of all the reasons that you think I am a bit peculiar. No worries, I would be the first to shout an amen to everything you could think of. I know I’m peculiar; but let me tell you the number one thing on my list that I think makes me a peculiar person.

I know where I come from, why I am here and where I am going. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some of you will know me as a “Mormon” although that is just a nickname. The word ‘Saint’ just means ‘member’ in this context. I believe in God the Eternal Father, that I am a daughter of God, and that He loves me and wants me to be happy. I believe in my Savior Jesus Christ who lived a perfect life, atoned for my sins, died and was resurrected all that I might enjoy the blessing of being forgiven of my sins, and having my body and spirit reunited after death. I know that just as God called prophets in the Old and New Testament times that He has in fact called a prophet to lead and guide us today. I believe that families can live together for eternity; death does not have to be the end of our relationships with the ones we love. Some of you may wonder how on earth I can know these things. As I learn more and more from the Bible and other scriptures and actually live what I learn I see the promises the Lord has made being fulfilled in my life, and I feel the Holy Spirit bear witness that these things are true.

I know, I’m peculiar, but thankfully there are over 13 million other peculiar members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and with each year that number grows. I feel so much joy and happiness in my life because of this knowledge. If you want to know more depth about anything I have said that makes me peculiar, visit www.mormon.org. This website explains in detail much of what I have just professed to believe and more.