Monday, January 26, 2015

Idaho

I had an interview at BYU Idaho on Wednesday. I drove up there on Tuesday. The drive was really nice. The roads were empty, and so were the sides of the road. When I entered Idaho I started to doubt anyone actually lived there because I saw nothing but empty hills and fields (well there were cows, but no people). I missed one of the exits and thought I would find a populated area to get something to eat shortly after...no...I had to drive for a while before reaching the next place I could stop at.

I stopped to fix something in my car. The check engine light came on and I stopped in Idaho Falls to fix it. The guy said nothing was wrong and re-set the light for me at no cost. I am glad I stopped there because Idaho falls was beautiful. I drove to the temple and took pictures of the waterfalls. Everyone told me how cold it would be, but the weather was perfect that day. So much that I was not wearing a jacket when I took those pictures. It does look frozen, but it was not very cold.






I got to the hotel and rested a while then went over to the Huffs for dinner. Br. and Sister Huff were at the Jerusalem center many years ago and they invited me over. Br. Huff teaches at BYU and he was able to answer all my questions about it. They also took me on a tour of campus, this helped me know my way around the following day.

The night at the hotel was horrible. The heater was making cracking noises all night. They told me that when the temperature goes down below freezing all of the heaters do that! I was not able to sleep at all. At 3:30 am I finally turned the heater off (they told me how to do it--I didn't know), but by then I was completely awake and could not go back to sleep.

I went to my interview and worried I won't do well due to the lack of sleep! It went mostly OK. I had an interview with a General Authority first. Then had interviews with others in the university. Everyone was so kind and helpful. This would be such an amazing place to work at. I really hope I get this job! Some of the faculty members took me out to lunch and then to dinner. I also had to teach a class as part of the interview process.  The first half of the class went well, but then I tried to hurry through to finish the material (I shouldn't have) and I felt the students were lost. Some of the students gave me positive comments which made me feel better. There were faculty members in the back watching and someone was taping the lecture as well which made me more nervous.

That morning it was very cold, but it warmed up a bit. I was able to walk around campus and see some of the buildings. 
When I got to the hotel that night I was so tired. I don't think I have ever been this tired (well except after a long flight). 
I got up in the morning and went to the Rexburg Temple. Again, the weather in the morning was freezing. Even the air was frozen! I think it was warm the day I got there just to welcome me. Gladly, it warmed up a bit as the sun came up. The temple was so beautiful and it was so nice to be there. I headed home right after the session. And actually was able to drive all the way stopping shortly only once.




 The next day, BYU-I called me and said that I was chosen as one of two finalists that they will submit to the board. The board then decides on one of those. the Board meets Mid-March. And it is pretty much a 50-50 chance for me at this point. But, I still have a feeling that I will get the job. So, we will have to wait till March and see. Again thank you all for your prayers and support. I know I would not have done well in the interview with no sleep if it wasn't for all your prayers.

I am trying to find cheap tickets as I fly home mid-February for my nephew's wedding. I am reluctant to get a one-way because I still hope that I will return soon. I should get my ticket soon though as there is not much time left.

I stopped looking for work and right now just hoping the BYU job would work. I am trying to pack and do some shopping before I go home. I can't believe I have accumulated that much stuff in the short time I have been here!! It is so strange. Luckily I can leave all of it here (in the hopes that I would return). If I don't return I guess hopefully my friend will make some use of it.

I gave a fireside yesterday and will give another one on the 8th of February.  It has been a great experience to address these amazing saints. I sometimes feel that my experiences are so different than the experiences of people in Utah, but at least from the comments I heard, I learned that they become more grateful for their blessings when they hear my story. 

I also got a text the other day from one of the missionaries I served with in England. I felt I did not make a difference during my mission. But, this sister told me that even the few talks I gave helped people. She said she knows some people who came back to church because of what I said. This really helped me understand a bit about why I was there.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Plans and Fireside info

Here is information about my fireside on Sunday, January 25th at 7:00 pm. It is going to be about overcoming trials. Even though I won't have much time to prepare, I feel this will be my best fireside yet (I have a lot to say on this topic!). So, please come, and invite friends.  Here is the address:

12682 Starlite Hill Lane,
Herriman, UT



I am about done looking for jobs. It is not that I am discouraged, quite the opposite. I actually feel that I have done all I could. And feel that one of the positions I applied to will work out. I am not worried or concerned at all.  I wanted to thank all of you who have helped me. I could not have survived without your help and prayers.

I don't know if I am being too optimistic, and maybe I should continue to look.  But, I have less than a month left in this country and finding something new now is pretty hard. So, I have to focus on the positions that I have already applied to.

I have an interview this week at BYU-I and I have a presentation at BYU Provo on the 12th of Feb for a visiting professor position here. I would LOVE to work for BYU. Especially BYU-I, partly because I have come to notice how nice people there are and what a comfortable work environment it would be.  I am also waiting to hear from a few other positions I have interviewed for. 

I have also been thinking that with my hip problem there is no way I could get a desk job. I can't sit for 8 hours every day. So, my hope is to find a teaching position where I can stand most of the day.  I know the Lord is mindful of me and the right job will come along sometime soon.

My nephew is getting married on Feb 21st. So, I will go home mid-Feb for the wedding. My hope is that I would have a job offer before I go home, so I can go through the visa process while there and come back to the US to work.  It seems like I have made a plan 'assuming' something will work out. But, I really think it will...If it does not, then I would be totally fine with going home to be with my mother who has been patiently waiting my return. 

I have come to realize that there are other people who need a job more than I do. People that have families to support and are in desperate need. I have a few friends in that situation and I hope they will find work. My prayers are now focused on them more than on me. Because I can simply go home and live with my mother and won't need to work.  

I don't have much exciting news to put in this post. I hope I will have more news next week. I will at least post pictures of my trip to Idaho...I am not looking forward to the long drive and SITTING in the car for a long time. But, I will survive.



Monday, January 12, 2015

Happiness

I gave a fireside yesterday. It had a good turn out mostly people from my ward. I love my ward, there are amazing people there who have very strong testimonies. I learn so much from them every Sunday. I am giving another fireside on the 25th.  I'll post the address later in case someone you know may want to go.

Palestine had some snow last week. Everyone there gets so excited to see the snow and mostly everything shuts down. This is because it is very hilly and they are not equipped to deal with the snow. This is mostly what makes the snow fun, knowing you don't have to go to school or work. Here the snow is mostly gone. It has been warm relatively. I guess it was just cold mainly the week when Rana and Samar were here. Today it is a bit rainy, but still not as cold. This is a picture from last week. now the snow is mostly gone.


I had no desire to look for work the past week. But, I made myself do some networking. I will need to move on next month. My tourist visa expires in March and I have to find something before then. So, I basically have one month left and need to find a job within that time. I feel that somehow things will work out. I got discouraged for a while, but them came to realize something that has helped me. I realized that the Savior has all wisdom and power. He created the world, he can control the elements (calmed the sea, helped his disciples catch fish, fed the 5000).  And the good news is, He's on my side. I know that He will help me find work or work something out.  If it does not work out for me to stay here, then my mother will be happy at least. She is counting the days for me to return.

I started taking a class at UVU about personal development. It is great and is helping a lot except for the fact that I have to sit for 6 hours every week. 
Here is a quote from class: 
"Happiness does not depend on outward conditions. It depends on inner conditions.  It isn't what we have, who we are, or what we are doing that makes us happy or unhappy.  It's what we think about it.  For example, two people may be in the same place, doing the same thing, and yet one may be miserable and the other happy. Why? Because of a different mental attitude." -Dale Carnegie

I think a lot of times we measure our happiness by circumstances. What kind of job we have, where we live, the amount of money we have...but happiness, joy and peace should be independent of our situation. These are internal feelings that we can control.  I find that as I serve others and focus on improving myself I find joy regardless of my situation.

I decided I needed to color my hair the other day. So, I went and had it done, paying a lot of money. It seems like the color won't last though and looks like they did a bad job. I also got my hair cut. I asked for a trim, and asked her to cut the top part (not my bangs). But, she basically shaved my bangs. Now I look like a kid who took the scissors and cut their own hair. It is not even also and looks really strange. Oh well, at least I won't have to cut my bangs for a while. I considered wearing a wig, but I guess I will just live with it and hope it grows fast.

I had the chance to see some old friends at the MTC this week. They are going on missions (again). Amazing couples, and I know they will make a difference wherever they are going. Being at the MTC is great. I got to point to the map I never got to point to when I went on my mission. Because I never got to go to the MTC when I went on my mission. Sorry the picture with the Allens and Halversons is fuzzy (that's what you get when you have the security guy take the photo).









Sunday, January 4, 2015

Fun Times--Fireside info

Let me start with this..
I am giving a fireside in my ward (but it will be a different building). You are welcome to invite friends. It will be pretty much the same one I gave in Sandy in November. So, if you came to that one, don't bore yourself and come again.  

The date is Sunday, Jan 11th at 7:00 pm
Address: South Chapel 1038 N 1200 E in Provo

It has been a busy week as my sister and cousin were here in Utah visiting. It was really cold and snowed on the day my cousin arrived and on the day my sister arrived as well. We did a lot of fun things even though it was cold. We went sledding on tubes. Although my sister and cousin wanted to do it again, once was enough for me. I have never been that cold! The temperature was like -4 F (-20 Celsius) and we waited in line for a while. One of the guys even knew we were freezing and gave us hand warmers (even though he could not understand what we saying --we were speaking Arabic). Going up the hill on the tube was fun, but going down was not so much fun. I really felt my face freeze. Because when it is that cold and you are going down fast with the air in your face it is pretty bad.

The drive in Provo canyon was really pretty. We saw the water falls and even stopped at a lake to take pictures. (well, for a few seconds--that is all the time we could spend outside)

We went to an aquarium and watched the cute penguins and saw sharks and other amazing sea creatures. We took a short trip to SLC and visited temple square. We did not get to wait until it was dark to see the Christmas lights. It was too cold, but the lights were just as pretty when it was still light outside. 

On New Year's eve we went to see a movie (ya I know we are nuts) then stayed in the mall waiting for the fireworks. We watched the fireworks for 30 seconds then felt we were frozen to death. We went and watched the rest of them from the car. 

I had a few possible jobs, but it seems like none of them will work. Don't want to seem pessimistic. I am still hoping for the one at BYU-I and I have an interview with them on the 21st and so I should know soon after that. If nothing works, I will probably go to NY for a few months then go home. I have no job at home either because I turned down the job with UNRWA and so I don't know if I will find anything there. The hardest thing for me is not knowing what I am doing next month. I just want my life to be planned for the next two months. Is that too much to ask? I really want to know! Plane tickets are expensive last minute! Oh well...

Below is the snowman my cousin and I tried to build. the snow was very fluffy and hard to make into balls. We then could not figure out what to use for mouth and nose. Ok, I know carrots are used for noses, but hey they work for eyes as well. We made the mistake of building it in the driveway (and in the middle of the sidewalk). Then we tried to move it and could not! I had to kill Frosty on Friday, he started to melt anyway and looked ugly.


I have been naughty this year...even though I did get plenty of great gifts...thanks to everyone who played Santa...See the real santa would probably never give me gifts...
 

my sister and I at the aquarium:
 


Went to the festival of lights and it was fun to see all the lights and drive through...
 

At soldier hallow where we went sledding in the tube. Some strange snow formations, pretty cool (and freezing too).
 

I love the icicles on the sides of the houses as we drive by. This is not the best one, but the only one I took a picture of.
 

A lake in Provo canyon. Even the lake looks frozen...I really feel the movie 'Frozen' applies here...
 

I found 16 free plays in the machine and won this stuffed dog in my 10th try...sheesh those things are hard...This was on New Year's day as we waited for the fireworks...
 
 While driving in the tree streets in Provo we ran across two deer that just watched the car and stood there...cute...