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.