Sunday, October 28, 2018

Happy Halloween

It was a good week and it went by fast. 
I don't have much to say today. Our Young Women lesson was about gratitude and I definitely feel I need to be more grateful for what I have. I often look around me and wonder how did I get to this point? Everything seems to happen pretty fast. I mean getting this job and moving to Rexburg of all places. I am indeed grateful for the many miracles that led me here. 

I had my friends over for dinner last week and made stuffed chicken. I made little chickens and stuffed 5 of them (my sister's recommendation). But, Americans either don't eat as much as Palestinians or they don't like my food. I had a lot of left overs, but it was good because I didn't have to cook for a few days. We actually ended up taking one of the chickens to a neighbor who had a baby so it worked out well. 

I think most people here don't like grape leaves. But, I love them. I am too lazy to make them though. It is such a pain.

We had so many in our ward had babies. I am not sure how that happened. But, it is fun to see all the cute babies.  

We had a pumpkin painting activity at my house and I made one of these for some of those that had babies. I thought it was a cute idea and it only took like 2 minutes to make. Mine actually looked even cuter, but I forgot to take pictures.

We are getting a new department chair and I am really sad to see Jackie go to another assignment. I have never had a better department chair. It will be interesting to see who gets chosen to follow him.

I finally gave in and got the flu shot this year. I don't know if it will help. I actually didn't get the flu last year, but I got it twice the year  before that and that was miserable. I really don't want that to happen again. But, they actually had a booth on campus and were giving them free to the students. I think that too may help. If my students don't get the flu, I won't get the flu! They are all who I interact with every day.

I get asked so many times "what happened with your green card?" I am not going to have a response to that for a while. When something happens, believe me you will know. I will let the world know. I am so anxious to have something happen. But, I am told the least wait period is 10 months, so nothing until March (I applied in May). Well, March is the EARLIEST I could hear back from them. But, I am hopeful that a miracle will happen and I will hear back sooner. We will see. Hey at least I don't have a rejection notice, so that is good, right?

Happy Halloween! I don't really like Halloween, but it is fun to have kids come to my door and I can give them candy. We will see how many come this year...I either will run out of candy or have a lot of candy left over. Left over candy will go to my students on Thursday.  So left over candy is not necessarily bad. 


Sunday, October 21, 2018

I love my Savior

I don't have much to say today except how grateful I am for my blessings and for the love Heavenly Father has for me.

I went to the doctor to check on my ear and he said it was mostly healed. I have been hearing perfect with it (he even tested it to prove that), even though I still have some buzzing that I hear in it. Hopefully that will go away when it is completely healed. But, I am really grateful I don't need to have surgery or anything to fix the hole.

I am teaching in YW today. Those girls are amazing and I am so blessed to be working with them. I must say I did not put enough effort into this lesson, but I think it is a topic the YW need to hear over and over.

I gave a talk in my friends ward last week. I realized I have too much politics in my talks and I need to focus more on the Savior. The talk actually went well and the Spirit was there. Then at the end someone asked a question that seemed to take away from the spirit of the meeting. 

This man has been taught wrong and has heard one side of the story all his life. He has been told that Palestinians don't want peace and that every time there are negotiations they seem not willing to stop the terrorist acts. I could not leave it at that and had to answer him...I don't like to argue. That is not why I give firesides. I don't try to convince people that our side is the right side. I only try to give them the facts about what is going on. Facts that they have never heard. 

Ultimately, I want to bring people to Christ. Him who is the healer of our souls and hearts. The author and finisher of peace. Through Him and only through Him can peace be established in the Holy Land. Only through Him and the healing power of His love and atonement can forgiveness be established. Only through Him, can someone like me and like my Israeli friend Daphna be friends.

I have 4 speaking assignments next month. Just about one every week. I am looking forward to each of those. I love to stand and bear witness of my Savior and talk about the peace He brought into my life.

I love my Savior more than words can describe. I am eternally grateful for the life He has given me. He gave me a new life and a new heart 22 years ago when I got baptized.  The more I follow Him, the more peace and joy I find in my life.

I love this song...Listen to "I feel my Savior's love" Here

Our Sunday school teacher told us the day that she was in a meeting when President Kimball said to those attending that some of them will be alive when the Savior comes again. She was 8 years old at the time.  The second coming could be closer than we all think.

I can't wait! I hope I am there during that day. I hope I will be there to welcome the Savior as He parts the skies and appears in glory. I can't wait to bow at His feet and thank Him for what He has done for me. He is my rock and my salvation; He is my joy and my song; He is my brother and my redeemer. I am going to end with this quote by Elder Ucthdorf...

"The love God speaks of is the kind that enters our hearts when we awake in the morning, stays with us throughout the day, and swells in our hearts as we give voice to our prayers of gratitude at evening’s end.

This is the inexpressible love Heavenly Father has for us.

It is this endless compassion that allows us to more clearly see others for who they are. Through the lens of pure love, we see immortal beings of infinite potential and worth and beloved sons and daughters of Almighty God.

Once we see through that lens, we cannot discount, disregard, or discriminate against anyone."

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Healer of our Souls

I know I didn't post anything last week. I was in Utah interpreting for general conference. Aside from the first session where some people didn't show up and we had 2 talks left to translate, conference ran smoothly. We had a hard time translating Elder Uchtdorf's joke about being a 'German Shepherd', but Jabra managed to explain why everyone was laughing and that a German shepherd was a kind of dog. We had time because Elder Uctdorf paused and we had time to add a few words. I had no such time while interpreting sister Cordon's talk. She spoke too fast! But, hopefully members listened to Elder Uchtdorf's talk and figured out what a German shepherd was.

It is interesting how sometimes such a rich language seems to fail to explain something coming from another language. This makes us all unique and different. Yet the constant message that came out of all the talks in general conference was love. How we need to love others and see them as the Savior sees them.

The other common message to me personally was that I need to prepare spiritually for what is to come.  I have been reading the Book of Mormon like President Nelson suggested. I find reference to the Savior in almost every page. Sometimes 10 times in one page. I have started making a list of what the Savior did and does for us. I always thought that He saved us from physical and spiritual death and that was the extent of it. But, there is so so much more (and I am only in 2nd Nephi)...Here are some of the things I found...
1.  He is the source of truth.
2. We are made white through His blood.
3. The Holy Ghost comes through His power.
4. He knows all things and can teach us all things.
5. He is our judge.
6. He helps us escape the power of Satan.
7. He gave us breath and life...
8. He heals us.
9. He is our strength. I have a new favorite verse that has a cool reference 2 Nephi 2: 22 "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and be not afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; and also has become my salvation." 

Reading the Book of Mormon with more focus has changed my life. I feel the Spirit more and feel happier. If you have not been doing what Pres. Nelson told us to do, I encourage you to. If you are not a member of our church, then read the bible and do the same thing: highlight every verse that references to the Savior. He is truly our strength and our salvation. I love Him and testify that He loves each of us. When we face trials He is there to lift and strengthen us.

This morning I got a missionary discussions from some missionaries who were studying Turkish and wanted to practice giving a lesson. Their lesson was about general conference and specifically about trials. One missionary talked about how when we are sick we go to a doctor, but when we are sick spiritually we should go to the Savior who is the healer of our souls.

Elder Anderson said: "My brothers and sisters, it is my promise to you that increasing your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will bring you added strength and greater hope. For you, the righteous, the Healer of our souls, in His time and His way, will heal all your wounds. No injustice, no persecution, no trial, no sadness, no heartache, no suffering, no wound—however deep, however wide, however painful—will be excluded from the comfort, peace, and lasting hope of Him whose open arms and whose wounded hands will welcome us back into His presence." 

I was surprised and thrilled that the missionaries I spoke to were all going to Germany. There are so many Turkish people in Germany and they will teach the gospel there in Turkish. I wonder if maybe people from the Middle East will also hear the gospel outside their country somehow. It is already happening...And with the temple announcements I am constantly waiting for a temple in the Middle East. But, I may not live to see that day.