Sunday, January 15, 2017

Life is Short

I lost two dear friends of mine these past few weeks. Those were amazing men who have done so much good in the world. They both died so suddenly after being sick for only a short time. One of them was Chris Coray, a mathematician who taught at Utah State University. Him and his wife served the people of Syria and Jordan with all their hearts.

The other was Elder Bruce Porter who had kidney failure for years, but finally received a transplant that cured him...But, he died of something completely different a couple of weeks ago. Elder and Sister Porter and the nicest people I ever met. They have helped and supported me so much. I still remember the blessing Elder Porter gave me right before my mission saying that many doors will open up before me and many blessings will come my way. It seemed strange to hear at the time, but he was right. Many doors did open and many blessings did come...

I was telling my students the other day about my experience at Magic Mountain where I waited one and a half hours to get on a ride that lasted a minute or so and was over. It seems to me as if life was like that. You waited thousands of years to come to earth...then the time you spend here is so short compared to eternities. I mean even after waiting some 11,000 years to come to earth, the 80 or 90 years you spend on earth seem like nothing.  I hope we are making this time count. I hope we are using this short earth life to prepare to meet God. I also hope we are finding enjoyment in this life.

I think I am saying this because I know I have been wasting these days. Yesterday I did nothing else but watch TV. I decided the other day to review my Turkish, so I started watching a Turkish soap opera. Bad idea...Because when you watch that on the internet, you can't stop. It always ends with something exciting, and you can't just stop watching at the end of the episode, so you move on to the next episode and the next...Now, I am addicted. But, the good news is, my Turkish is getting better! 

I'll find a balance and not watch more than one episode a day...
I am less busy this semester because I am not teaching any new classes. My students are keeping me busy though by coming to visit me in my office or emailing me with questions. I actually like that because that means they are excited about the class and are trying hard to succeed. 

My goals for this year were to spend more time doing things that are good, serving others, reading the scriptures, praying, going to the temple...I never bother to make goals because I never follow through.  But, I need to try harder maybe this is the year I will succeed. I figure if I can do something for 2 weeks, it will become a habit, right? 

I am reading a book about this girl who joined the church. She is so excited about the gospel it is contagious.  She describes how much her life changed after she gained a testimony and how she found happiness and purpose. I don't seem to have that spark and excitement anymore and I hope I can find it again. Life is truly short and we need to spend it doing good things...

I also recently met a young woman who gained a testimony of the gospel, she read the book of Mormon and knows it is true, but sadly can't join the church. This is because of where she is from and because her parents are against her decision to join the church. I admire her courage and patience. I remember when I first found out the church is true, I was so excited and so happy as if I had just won the lottery. But, having those you love mock your feelings or discourage you or criticize you hurts deeply. It does not change how you feel about the truth and about your desire to get baptized, but it does break your heart.  Heavenly Father knows your struggles and your fears...He will not leave you alone. He never left me, He was always there lifting me and strengthening me.

 I hope we can do the same for others...I hope we can spend our short few years on the earth lifting and helping others. I hope we can all bring others unto Christ who is the source of all strength and comfort.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Back in Rexburg

I made it home safely to freezing Rexburg. It has finally started to warm up here...It has been in the negatives a lot! But, this week they say it will get warmer (between -10 and 0 Celsius). I guess the weather heard my complaint on Facebook and decided to be nice to me. 

I spent a couple of days in Vegas with my family. Although I vowed never to go to Vegas again, I gave in...but, now I say really never again. It was nice to see my family and spend time with them. My nephew and his wife came and we avoided Vegas and it's crazy life and went and did other things. We went to the Valley of Fire and to Hoover Dam which was fun.

Even Vegas was cold. They had 40 mile/hr wind and it just made it feel so cold! But, my family says I brought the cold with me because after I left it went up to 68 degrees and was great...
The drive back from Utah was not fun at all. There was only one lane (barely open) on the highway and we were going 40 miles an hour all the way. Actually, I was glad to be going slow to stay safe. There was an accident every 10 miles...and some of those accidents were people who were going fast and moved to the lane that was full of snow to pass all the cars going slow. I would say in my mind 'this guy is going to have an accident' and a few miles down the road I would find his car on the side of the road buried in snow. There was only one serious accident, most of the cars were just stuck in the snow and everyone was fine. They just have to wait to be rescued.

If you can take pictures while driving on the highway, you know you are going REALLLLLY slow...

Wednesday was a crazy day. I still look back and say "how did I do all that in one day?" I had two Dentist appointments. One in Kaysville, Utah and one in Idaho Falls. I went to both...I drove from Utah to Rexburg (which took almost 5-6 hours going super slow) I also worked for 4 hours on campus preparing for my classes. I did laundry, went shopping, cleaned the house, took down the Christmas decorations, got my car washed and even had time to watch TV and rest...It must have been divine help because there aren't enough hours in any day to do all that!

We started a new semester and I felt so unprepared to start. I spent all day Thursday and Friday (aside from being in class) answering emails from students. I don't know why I am getting that many emails this time! Some of them are worried about getting things right and worried about doing well int he class...I hope this extra attention and devotion continues until the end....

My snow blower stopped working yesterday so I realized it was out of gas.. I was not happy about leaving the house again and going to buy gas, but I knew it was going to snow today, so I needed it. Actually someone cleared my driveway this morning (thank you to whoever did it), but it is full of snow again.

I must say having snow on the roads is way better than ice. At least I feel I can go 10 miles an hour instead of 5 ha ha.