Wednesday, December 30, 2009

You're Not Cool Unless You Pee Your Pants

I was going to write a post about how much I love High School Musical, but that one will have to wait for a little bit.

I went to Concord, California to visit my brother and his family. We decided to take BART (Bay Area Rapid Transport) to San Fransisco and then take the cable cars to the part of the city we wanted to be in. A nice homeless man, "the best dressed homeless man in the city" walked us to a cable car up the street that had no line. If we would have stayed where we were originally we would have waited almost an hour. Thanks to that homeless man for his kind service. Anyway, I grabbed Xander (my 3 year old nephew) and jumped up on the cable car. In San Fransisco it's every man for himself. You literally have to push and shove your way into everything and you had better do it fast.

You know, I used to be a bed wetter. I guess that's not something you should admit on your blog. It hasn't been a problem though since I was very young--I haven't had an accident since I was 8 years old. I have a friend who, up until like last year, she still would lose control of her bladder when she had to go on scary rides like the Mouse Trap at Lagoon. :). I was sitting there with Xander on my lap in the CROWDED cable car dying of heat. We thought it would be cold so we all bundled up pretty good. Xander fell asleep and I was having a great time sliding up and down on the bench when we would go up and down the steep streets of San Fransisco. Well, when we got off the cable car and I gave Xander to his mom, this is what we found:
Don't be alarmed: my "staying dry" streak has not been compromised. This is not MY pee. This is Xander's pee. Have you ever had someone else pee your pants? Well it's gross. No one really seemed to care. They laughed a little and then we mozied on over to a bathroom. I tried to wipe the pee off with a wet paper towel, but I think all I did was to soak the pee further into my pants and legs. It was quite funny, and although I didn't enjoy walking around with pee on my pants, I had a great time and I still love Xander.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Jesus Wept

Sometimes when I feel like life has thrown me into a washing machine the only thing I want to do is WRITE. It’s at these times I wish I had my friend Marcie’s ability to put my thoughts into words.

It’s Christmas Eve. Caleb and I will be up at 6:30 AM to open our presents. I’m grateful Caleb still gets excited to wake up early. I would be embarrassed if at 21 years old I was the only one still excited about it.

Tonight we gathered at my grandma and grandpa Porter’s home to eat and do our traditional white elephant exchange. My nephew Luke was upset after it all because he wanted a different present or another present or something like that. My sister Hannah turned to me and said it is so hard to teach little kids to be grateful for what they have. They just always want more or better, and can’t understand being content with what they are given.

Yesterday I watched my sister Betsy’s kids for a few hours. Porter all of a sudden started whining that he wanted his mom. If you know Betsy’s kids you know that is unusual. They are the most easy going kids I know and rarely ever ask for their mom when someone else is babysitting. Anyway, I told Porter that she would be home later, but he kept crying and saying “I want her now.” I tried to explain that I know he WANTS her now, but there is no way she could come home at the moment and he was just going to have to wait.

Jesus Christ often counsels us to become as little children. Observing these two experiences with my 3 and 4 year old nephews I realized I’m a lot like a little child. I often want more and better without being grateful for what I already have. I also have a hard time being patient: when I want something, I want it NOW. Unfortunately, I’m sure that’s not what the Savior meant when he told us to be like little children. I drop to my knees and plead for one thing or another over and over again, and I can imagine Him saying to me as I said to Porter, “I know you want it now and I want you to have it, but you just need to wait.” I can hear Him telling me that it’s so hard to teach His children (meaning me) to be grateful for what they already have.

We read accounts in the scriptures of Jesus weeping. He wept as he visited the Lamanites and Nephites as a resurrected being in 3 Nephi. He wept over Jerusalem’s wickedness in the book of Luke. He wept when he came to the tomb of Lazarus, his friend, in the book of John. He wept in the book of Moses over His people who had forgotten their Creator and chose to hate and do wickedness. I’d like to think that He has wept a hundred thousand times more with me. It is comforting to know that He has felt what I feel and he has wept tears of sorrow and tears of joy with me. The King of Kings has wept with ME. Tomorrow as I open presents to celebrate the Savior’s birth, I will be thinking about how I couldn’t ask for anything more than what He has already given me. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mission Statement

Do you have a mission statement? I've come to realize that most organizations do, but most individuals don't. It's probably true that most individuals have no idea what any organization's mission statement is, and they probably don't really care to know either--most likely they care less about developing their own mission statement. I know BYU's mission statement is "enter to date go forth to mate".....just kidding. That is what my non-LDS roommates religion teacher told the class of non-LDS students to make them laugh. I thought it was a funny joke. Anyway, BYU's real mission statement is "Enter to Learn go forth to Serve". In the book "7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens" by Sean Covey (yes I read the one for Teens because we were supposed to read it when I worked at the high school--but I think what I'm about to say is also in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) it talks about the importance of individuals having a mission statement. I decided I'd like to have one.

My mission statement is "Believe. Learn. Do." I created this to help me face the challenges that came up as I worked at Merit (the charter high school). I wanted to believe in myself and my own abilities, but most importantly I wanted to let the kids know I believed in them and their abilities. I wanted to learn everything I could about how to help parents, faculty and students and how to do my job efficiently. I wanted to not be afraid to DO and I wanted to help the students not be afraid to DO. Sometimes that's the hardest part right? You can find out a way to believe in yourself, and then learn what you need to do, but when it comes to the actual doing part it gets a little harder. It turns out my mission statement is really applicable to every aspect of my life, and I have placed it in the title of my blog to help me remember. It gives me a little extra courage. When my life is over I want everyone to know that I was a believer in my self and others, that I learned every chance I got, and that I wasn't afraid to do what I knew and learned. In General Conference Elder Bednar said rather than just continuing to know more stuff we should make sure we are also doing more of what we know is right.

Advice from the 7 Habits book: there is no right way to write a mission statement. It can be long or short, it can be a quote someone else already said, it can be a poem or just 2 simple words. Once you write it, put it in a place where you'll see it often.

These picture are of my roommates and me at Jing's 20th birthday party. Today Jing said the closing prayer in Sunday School (she is not a member) and she said it in Cantonese. I think it's cool that God speaks every language there is and that he hears Jing's prayer in Cantonese or Mandarin just as well as he hears mine in English.

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 This website explains in detail much of what I have just professed to believe and more.