Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Lord needs you!

This is going to be short...You are probably glad because you have a million things to do and don't want to waste time reading pages and pages of 'Sahar's life'. Am I right?

I don't even have fun photos to share...I'm a boring friend...
I have had two long weeks. it is going to be a looooong semester. I do love my students though. They are hard working and they come often to ask questions to my office. Which is good, but it means I get nothing else done. I also need to do a few things now that I am a normal faculty..I do have added responsibility like advising students, helping with things in the department, and doing certain things for my CFS. I am also trying to do some things to improve my Stat knowledge like learning R and other things...
 
I just got back from Utah after being down there for a day so I can translate for the Women's session of conference. I didn't get many talks to translate this time for which I am grateful because these two weeks have been super busy.

I went to the signing of my friend's book yesterday. She included one of my stories in her book and will include another in her new book coming out in January. 
(the first picture is with Elder and sister Groberg)




I think Ganel-Lyn is beating me to publishing my story. My book is still being reviewed by Deseret Book and I am not sure if they will accept it for publication or not. We should know shortly though.

It was such an honor to be there to translate for the Women's session. I was so happy to see all the women of the church outside the conference center this evening, laughing together and taking pictures. I know making this session include women and girls of all ages was an inspired decision. I could see grandmothers connecting with daughters and grandchildren and could see the relationships between women increase. We are all truly daughters of a loving Heavenly Father and we are each precious.

Ganel-Lyn's books show the hardships various women have faced and I have noticed quite a few as I associated with different women from various countries. We are all strong and resilient. I just wish we all could realize our true value and identity.

I met an amazing woman who just joined the church. I am honored to know her and glad she decided to follow her heard even though her mother and family was not supportive. As someone who has made the same choice, I know that the Gospel brings happiness and joy into our lives. Following the Savior is the only way back to Heavenly Father. As was said today, the Lord is in need of faithful, strong, courageous women. He needs women of faith who are gentle and kind and full of love. He needs us because this is the only way He can spread love to the ends of the earth.

 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Fall

No, I didn't fall...Fall Season started though. It has been a little cooler lately especially the first day of classes last week. The leaves are starting to change colors. I remember my friend Emily saying that while living in Palestine, Fall was the one season she missed. Because back home we don't get much of that. It is green one day then it gets hot and everything becomes brown almost overnight. We also don't have many trees there, and the trees we have are mostly olive trees which are green year round. It surely is nice to see the vibrant colors of fall...

I have had a crazy week. The first week is often crazy because I have students on the waiting lists trying to get into the class...We had 400 students on the waiting list for Math 108 this semester. I wish we could accommodate more students, but our classes are super full. 

I love my students this semester...but I can tell that a lot of them don't have the needed math background to succeed and they will struggle this semester. It is sad...

This is going to be a busy semester it seems even though I am only teaching one new class and the other two classes I have taught before. But, I have two daily classes which makes it hard because you need to prepare for class every day. 

I am also starting to get talks for conference to translate. They are a bit late this year it seems. So, I am worried that we will get them all at the end and not have time to do them. I will be down in Utah for the Women's session, but not for general conference. I simply can't go down two weekends in a row!

We went to StringLake and hiked around the lake yesterday. We walked 4 miles and towards the end I could not walk anymore. 

It was such a beautiful day and the fall colors are starting to show. The Teton mountains were amazing. 


 









  

We saw a few animals. Some Elk which I heard bugling for the first time. It was interesting to see the females run towards the sound of the male bugling as soon as they heard it.  
We also saw a mother moose and her baby drinking from the river and a deer. Sadly, we still didn't see a bear! Or maybe luckily I should say because we didn't really want to run into a bear in the forest. That would not be good.


 I put up a fence in the back yard. It was super expensive, but it feels more private now in the back. Sadly winter is here and I won't get to enjoy it much longer. Next summer I'll buy a grill and enjoy the outdoors more. I also am going to plant at least some tomato plants because I just adore the tomatoes I got from the farmer's market. 

I still need to buy a lawn mower and a snow blower...but after I do those hopefully I won't have any major expenses. I have spent so much money on the house and getting it to where I want it to be. I would like to be done with spending money and try to save some for a change!


Sunday, September 11, 2016

A week of meetings

We had so many meetings this week. We start classes tomorrow. The good part of this past week is that we got fed throughout the day. Some days we were given breakfast, lunch AND dinner. It was great food and I often ate until I felt I would burst. I am grateful to be working at BYU-I, they treat their employees very well ;-)

We had a picnic at Rigby lake for the Math department and that was a lot of fun...it was nice to get to know the new faculty better and visit with everyone. 

I finished setting up my classes. Many are having a hard time with I-Learn 3.0 (the new system BYU-I is using), but I think I have used it enough to feel comfortable with it this semester. However, it did take me a lot of time to set up my classes this time. Hopefully, that means next semester will be easier because I am teaching the same classes. 

My nephew just got engaged and I feel bad I missed the engagement. I am also probably going to miss his wedding (unless I could find an American husband in the next few months which is unlikely at this point). I do miss my country and my family very much and hope that I will be able to go home to visit soon.

I have discovered Farmer's Market. I think I should have asked sooner about it...I don't know where it has been all my life in Rexburg. I honestly don't remember the last time I had a real tomato. Ok, I take that back, I do remember, it was in 2001 and I had planted some tomato plants in Provo. The time before that must have been ...umm...when I was a teenager. Because I think even those in Palestine started using other methods to grow fruits and vegetables and things just don't taste right anymore. It was great to have good fruit and vegetables for a change. Hopefully next year I will plant my own.


Today is September 11th. I have seen many videos remembering what happened in the US on this day. It was so sad to watch the fear and sadness in people's eyes during that day. I still feel guilty because I went to teach at BYU that day before I listened to the news and got to class and had no idea what had just happened. I thought that my students must have felt I was heartless because I said nothing about it at the beginning of class. 

I feel that day marked the collapse of a lot of things (way more than the twin towers)...things went down hill from then on. Sometimes I think the world needs more charity and forgiveness. Yet it seems to not exist anywhere. No one can forget the bad things that happen, but I hope we all can learn to forgive and love one another so that we can avoid more pain.

I went to Idaho Falls yesterday to avoid the madness in Rexburg. It is really hard to go shopping in Rexburg during the first few days of the semester when the students are arriving and trying to buy supplies and groceries. Hopefully it will calm down next weekend.
I stopped by the river and enjoyed this beautiful weather that won't last much longer. It is already going down to the 40's early in the morning and down to freezing at night. 

I got called as Gospel Doctrine Teacher at church. I am excited as I love teaching and I think I will enjoy it. It will be a lot of work though as everyone in church probably knows the scriptures better than me.  We will see how it will go.
 






  

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Camping and Relaxing before the Semester Starts

I don't feel ready to go back to work, yet we start in 2 days. I feel I should have enjoyed my summer more, but I spent a lot of it preparing for my classes and moving into my new house. 

I have also spent some time trying to make my lawn better. I increased the water and put fertilizer, but nothing has helped so far. I am going to try something else, then just give up and hope the snow kills the weeds when it comes ;-)

I went camping with Danae again last week. It was very relaxing and I didn't want to leave, but I really feel I am not prepared for this semester and wanted to spend some time preparing and getting emotionally ready for classes to start. 

We stayed in the forest and sadly the water reservoir was mostly dry so we didn't get to play much in the water. The place was empty so it was very quiet and peaceful. Sometimes we feel to appreciate the beauties around us. I hope we all can take time from our busy life to sit and relax and enjoy nature. To not think, but simply listen to the sound of the winds move the trees. I think that was the second most relaxing sound I ever heard. The first being the sound of water (waves in particular). I have always felt the sound of the waves to be relaxing.  But, second to that is the sound of wind moving trees.


This is near the spring where water just comes out of the ground and supplies this river. It was so clean and clear...and cold!
 




 And the big fish that refused to eat fish food! They must be exceedingly full!




We started a fire and roasted stuff on the coals. I didn't think the potatoes would cook that fast...and the corn tasted heavenly!
So, this magnificent meal was cooked in the outdoors...yum.



We saw some wild life. This mother moose and her baby were on the side of the road. Then they crossed the road in front of us.


We also saw some dear and I saw a fox or Coyote (can't tell them apart), but most likely a fox cross the road in front of me on the way back home.



These are at Harriman state park..reminded me of Mazin and his museum so I took pictures.
 



Silver Lake