Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Book of Questions

A friend of mine gave me a book called " The book of Questions" for my birthday. He really is a genius of questions and getting to know people on a deeper level. (For all I know he had this book the whole time!) That's exactly what this book does. It has 200 questions and follow-up questions that make people evaluate their opinions and values and gets beyond the "what's your favorite color?" questions. There is no right or wrong answer (with the exception of some that can be backed up with scriptures of course!) Some are just fun and others are serious. They are quite useful whenever there's down time at a social gathering, on a date with someone you don't know too well, or to better understand people you already know. It kept us busy and inspired great conversations on our long drive between Mexico and Salt Lake! So I thought it might be fun to put one on my blog every now-and-again and see what everyone's responses are. Sometimes the answers are not ones you want everyone to know, but otherwise, feel free to comment with your thoughts!

Question 123:
When you do something ridiculous, how much does it bother you to have other people notice it and laugh at you?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Do You Want to be Happy?

"Do you want to be happy? Forget yourself and get lost in this great cause. Lend our efforts to helping people. Cultivate a spirit of forgiveness in your heart against any who might have offended you. Look to the Lord and live and work to lift and serve His sons and daughters. You will come to know a happiness that you have never known before if you will do that. I do not care how old you are, how young you are, whatever. You can lift people and help them. Heaven knows there are so very, very, very many people in this world who need help. Oh, so very very many. Let's get the cankering, selfish attitude out of our lives, my brothers and sisters, and stand a little taller and reach a little higher in the service of others. As Browning said, 'A man's reach should exceed his grasp.' Stand taller, stand higher, lift those with feeble knees, hold up the arms of those that hang down."

--President Gordon B. Hinckley


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Annalee's Update

July 12, 2007
4 Month Appointment in Houston

Height: 24" 5o%
Weight: 14 lb 7.4 oz 75-90%
Head: 41 50%

We have been so blessed. Annalee is just as healthy as always and so far I really like the doctor we randomly chose. Although phone conversations with people have not gone well for me, actual interaction with people has been great here in Texas. I was a little nervous, but everyone was really nice. The doctor is from Colorado but did his Residence...or whatever it in Houston and met a nurse that wouldn't leave here! So here he is. He was really impressed with her head control (Annalee's, not the nurse!) and said she should be rolling over any day now (the one milestone she hasn't reached yet for her age). She got lots of shots so she might be a little fussy, but she handled them like a trooper! It was a little pricey because we don't have insurance yet, but we were told we just have to make a claim as soon as we have the information and it will all be covered. I sure hope so because it may have been less expensive to fly out to Utah and be covered under mine!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Snapshot Memories

Memory can be a very unreliable resource. It can, however, make for some interesting stories. I thought that it would be fun to record some snapshot memories of mine. They may or may not be exact history, but this is how they exist in my brain as of the time written.

The Meeting: Part 1

We had but one chance. Luckily, we both rose to the occasion. I had only been home from my mission 2 1/2 weeks. The Young Women leaders asked me to teach the lesson that Sunday for them since the topic was missionary work. I decided to give a basic Visitor's Center presentation complete with referral cards and an invitation to refer somebody to the missionaries. I spent some time explaining to the young women the importance of getting out of their comfort zone in order to make missionary work simple. Things we say and do on a regular basis can spark questions and inspire conversations that lead to opportunities to share basic gospel principles. It can be as easy as sitting next to someone we don't know. Sometimes they start the conversation and it's a piece of cake from there.

The presentation went very well and I even received one referral! It felt good to be teaching the gospel again with confidence. My boldness was short lived, however, as I entered my Sunday School class. It was for young single adults in our ward and was taught from the "Preach My Gospel" manual, which I had grown to love on my mission. That was basically my only reason for attending the class. Everyone in there was much younger than I was. They had all just graduated from high school, the boys preparing for missions. I had already graduated from college and just completed my mission. We were totally opposite, including that there were several of them and only one of me.

Since it had taken some time to gather my materials from the previous class, I wasn't the first one in the room and was now faced with choosing a seat among the few youngens already there or entering with me. In a split-second decision I jumped back to the old me and sat off to the side by myself. I was content being separate and different from all of them. As I began to pull my manual out, a twinge of guilt knocked me on the side of my head as my own words penetrated my ears. Hadn't I just exhorted the young women to leave their comfort zone? Hadn't I specifically mentioned sitting by people you don't know instead of alone? My eyes darted nervously around the room, landing on three girls who had just been in my class. What a hypocrite I was! Could I not practice what I preach? Desperately I searched for someone who was not involved in their group conversation with whom I could talk. Hopelessness began rising in me as I realized they were all in the same discussion. There was no way for an outsider like me from a different world to jump in late.

Suddenly, my eyes depicted a form. A boy who I had never seen before. He had snuck in somehow, unnoticed by me in my distress, and had sat down behind me. My mind raced as I tried to identify him. Was he someone I knew from the ward before but had changed so much in my time away at school and the mission that now I did not recognize him? Had his family moved in and I had never seen him before at all? Could he be like one of the other kids in the class so young and so different from me? My eyes darted back to the chattering girls from the young women's class and I decided that I needed to teach by example, whether they noticed or not. Without a second thought I flipped my head around and introduced myself.