Sunday, December 4, 2016

Light the World

I don't have a lot to say today. I think you all are pretty busy with the holidays approaching that you don't want to spend time reading my blog anyway.

I had surgery on my gums. One of my lower teeth needed a gum graft. I kept postponing it not wanting to do it remembering how horrible and painful my first graft was and the fact that it failed. But, I figured that 12 years of medicine development may make a difference. 

I did the surgery on Monday and I was impressed that I was no in any pain and I was able to eat and talk just fine. I was worried I would not be able to teach or something...

This lasted until Friday (4 days after the surgery) when I woke up in the morning with a severe bleeding. The doctor said it is normal and that it isn't a lot of blood, but I don't think I ever saw that much blood. It would not stop...It finally stopped and I went to work. 5 minutes into my class, it started again. I had to rush out without explaining to my students why. I got the bleeding to stop long enough to go back and tell my students that I was cancelling class. I had my department head cover my 9 o'clock class.  I did not have any breakfast and was finally starving by lunch time...I started to eat, but after a few bites it started to bleed again.

It has been fine all weekend except that it seems infected as I have a big lump on the top of my mouth. Strangely enough the site of the graft is fine, it is just the piece that they took out from the top of my mouth that is bothering me. It has not bled since Friday, but I am freaking out thinking it may bleed in the middle of class tomorrow. I can't afford to cancel anymore classes.

My students have been amazing...Those that have not given up hope about passing and are still coming to class. I have many that gave up already and just don't come. All those that come on time early in the morning keep asking for extra credit. The other day one of the students said that there are always 4 students that come to class super early (like 7:20 or something)...I decided I would bring cupcakes tomorrow for those that are there early. Those who come late won't get any ;-)

I am giving a talk about Christmas in Bethlehem tomorrow at a friend's house. We also have our ward Christmas party tomorrow. I am making funeral potatoes (to take to the dinner). This is the first time I make those...See, I am truly embracing the culture here...we'll see how they turn out.

I can't wait to eat some real food. I have been living on soups, yogurt, and soft stuff. I miss biting into things!  

It started to get cold here pretty quick. I finally managed to turn on my snow blower with the help of my friend. I must say it was not as easy as I thought since it is not that easy to maneuver. But, at least I had a clean driveway for a day before the wind blow up all the snow back today and last night. Ugh why bother? People here should just get some reindeer and a sleigh.  No point in having a car...that would save a lot of hours on shoveling.  I think Santa must have been from Rexburg. Don't you think?

It is supposed to go down to 10 degrees (-12 Celsius) this week during the day (much lower at night)...

I am excited for the break. About one more week of classes left and then finals. I need to get my classes for next semester ready as I will be going to California and Las Vegas over the break. I am not sure why setting up a class online takes that long...

I have not done many things from the 'light the world' campaign. I would, however, like to promote it as I think it is an amazing idea. 
Here is the link if you have not seen it: 
Click here to see the 'Light the world' calendar 

I hope you all can continue to let your light so shine that others may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven.  Each of us can reflect the Savior's light this Christmas. As great as his first coming was, born as a babe in Bethlehem...His second coming is going to be so much more magnificent and breath-taking. I can't wait...May we all prepare for his second coming by opening up our hearts to the Savior of the world.   


Sunday, November 27, 2016

My Family

I gave into the American way of putting up Christmas decorations early. But, this is the only holiday I have where I can find some free time to do that.

I bought a cheap tree, but for the price of the tree and decorations (totaling $60), I think it turned out pretty nice.

And we even got some snow this morning to make it even more like Christmas. I remember back home when we got this much snow we were so excited and went out to play in it. Here, my thoughts are..."here comes winter with the cold days and slippery roads." not too exciting. But the snow is still pretty, even with all the work that comes with it. Now I have a driveway to clean. I spent a lot of money on a snow blower, so maybe it won't be so bad to shovel snow.

Thanksgiving was great...I was able to get caught up on most of the things I needed to do. Writing final exams, preparing for class, ... etc. I did sit down and watch a lot of Christmas movies as well so it was not all work.

I went to Thanksgiving dinner at my friend Danae's parents' house. They are an amazing family...The food was great as well, especially the pies. I am still eating pie until today.

I have received quite a few dinner invitations for thanksgiving. Some of them were from people that don't know me very well, but were worried about me spending Thanksgiving alone. I even had one of my previous students come over to my office and invite me over. I am amazed at how many good people there are around here. I am blessed to have such amazing friends.

As I have spent some time with the people here, my friends and their families, I am impressed by the healthy family relationships they have.  I know each family has issues and they are not as perfect as they may seem on the outside, but it still makes me wonder. During the 5 hours I spent with Danae's family, there was not a rude word spoken...they joked and talked together all the time.

When my family is together we are either complaining, yelling at each other, or criticizing one another.  Even when we play games, it is often yelling or being angry at one another. And I think, what is wrong with my family?  I remember the days when I was a child and we would have fun together... When we laughed and joked and went on trips together. 

When I went to Las Vegas with my two brothers this past summer, I felt it was the worst vacation I ever had. Why could we not enjoy each others company? What is wrong with us? Is it my fault? Have I not tried hard enough to make sure everyone had a good time?

I had a dream the other day that I had cancer. It was so real and I felt I was really going to die. Oh boy was that awakening! What if it was real? What if I were to die soon without spending quality time with my family...

I am so homesick. It is hard to run away from it during the holidays...because the name "Bethlehem" comes up a lot! Oh how I miss the little town of Bethlehem. I want nothing more than to be home for Christmas. I want nothing more than to spend some time with my mother and sisters and family...But, on the other side of this coin, if I leave the US I may not be able to return...what will happen to my job and my house and my car...My life seems to be here now and I am happy...the only thing lacking is my family. 

Christmas is really not Christmas when you don't have your family there...when the gifts under your tree are but empty boxes, just to make the tree look nice. There is nothing better than Christmas day at home in Beit Sahour when my nieces and nephew's kids come over and open the gifts under our tree. My family is sometimes crazy and sometimes weird, but I love them. I'm so grateful for them. I am going to try and improve our family relationship and strive to be a better person...a better sister and daughter.

I hope we all can thank Heavenly Father for our families wherever they may be.