Sunday, July 28, 2019

The Gospel Shall roll forth...

I worked a few days this past week trying to set up my Arabic class for Fall semester. I finally have a basic structure which makes me feel such a relief. I can add things and improve as the semester goes on.

I went camping with Danae on Thursday. We went for a walk in Herriman state park which was nice aside from the mosquitoes. But, I guess you can't avoid those this time of year.

I will post some pictures below:

Although this guy below looks cute, my friend was telling me the other day that she got a university van to go on a trip....and a rock chuck went inside the hood and chewed up all the wires in the car. they had to come tow the car away. They couldn't even make him get out of the engine area. The mechanic was not trained to remove rock chucks apparently.

Why do you go camping people ask me? it is not convenient. You don't have the normal conveniences of life.  That's true (even though camping in a trailer gives you a lot of the conveniences). It did feel good to take a shower after two days of camping. Camping makes me appreciate those things we often take for granted like electricity and hot showers. No, I don't go camping to learn more gratitude although that is a good part of it. I go camping to relax. Camping takes me away from my daily busy life to a place where I can't sit on my phone or computer all day, a place where I get up and walk in nature, where I can enjoy the beauty around me. 

My brother Maher is coming to visit on Thursday and then a few days after that I go home. I am so excited and can't wait. I still have a lot more shopping I have to do though.

Some friends of mine came to visit tonight. I invited them to dinner and we talked a lot about the church in the Middle East. My friend told me about some amazing things that are happening with church growth among the Arabic speakers. I think with the way things are going the church may really start to spread in the Middle East soon.

My friend referred me to the chapters about the sons of Mosiah and their mission to preach among the Lamanites. This relates to the Middle East. I mean when they went there to preach to the Lamanites, everyone thought they were crazy. They all thought there is no hope. But, they brought many to the knowledge of the Savior.

In Alma chapter 27 we read:
"3 Behold, I answer for you; for our brethren, the Lamanites, were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.
Behold, thousands of them do rejoice, and have been brought into the fold of God.
Behold, the field was ripe, and blessed are ye, for ye did thrust in the sickle, and did reap with your might, yea, all the day long did ye labor; and behold the number of your sheaves! And they shall be gathered into the garners, that they are not wasted."
Once the gospel starts to grow in a certain area, there is no hand that can stop it. It will spread fast and many will come to the knowledge of their redeemer, the Son of God.
I am so excited for these last days before the second coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I know bad things will happen (they already are), but I also know amazing things will happen. As president Nelson describes it "it is going to be exciting!".

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Yay the long semester is over!

I am so glad this semester is over. I think the last month in the semester was a year long! I finished the material early so I didn't have class on Thursday and Friday this week. But, I had plenty to do with grading and answering students' questions.

I had the best group of students in my Math221 class this semester. I don't know what made this group so different. I don't know if I said something or did something to make them work harder and understand the material better. But, whatever I did, I want to do it again! I feel sad because I will miss their enthusiasm and energy. Sadly, I don't get that every semester. 

We have graduation on Tuesday then I am off school until beginning of September. I do need a break, I'm tired! 
I had a long week because we had 4 people on campus to interview for a position in our department. We went to lunch with them and dinner with them and had meetings to decide who to hire. After going out to eat 5 times in three days, I could not do it anymore. I guess there is a limit as to how much food you can eat. 

I am amazed as I look at the faculty we have at BYU-I and how each of them are amazing and perfect in their own way. Each of them adds a unique skill to our department. I am so blessed to work with such amazing people. We involve the Lord in making decisions about who to hire and He guides us. It is just different and special. One of the people we interviewed did well yet I specifically felt we should not hire them.  

One of my students was talking to me the other day and telling me I could easily get a better job with a PhD in Statistics. I told him that I can't (maybe I can get higher pay, but not a better job). This is the best job I ever had.

My brother Maher and his wife are coming to visit next month (well, in 10 days). Then after they leave I will head home! Yay!

I had the opportunity to volunteer to clean the temple last week. I am always busy when our ward has a turn to do it. But, this time I was not busy and decided to do it. Everyone says the temple is so clean and they feel that they are not really cleaning. Well, I think one of my jobs was to clean something that was not really clean - the bathroom floors. I scrubbed, but felt I didn't have the right tools to make it super clean (and this is after using a high tech machine and a scrubbing broom). Some of my other jobs was to clean the doors (and yes, those were clean so I felt like I was not cleaning much), and lockers, and walls (??). 

It was amazing how detailed the instructions we received were. We are specific about taking care of the house of the Lord. Everything has a certain way it is cleaned and you have to follow instructions. It was fun though. I was so tired and sore afterwards.

I also got to clean the church building yesterday. I often wonder why so many people (even young girls and boys) are willing to come to volunteer to clean their church? It helps us appreciate it more and take care of it more. The church could easily hire someone to clean it. But, that takes all the blessings from the members who come to do it.

I had pain in my leg the last two days. I don't know what it is, but it is not the kind of pain I used to have (it is a little different). I hope it gets better. I have a hard time walking and have been slightly limping today and yesterday.  I think doing 3 hours of yard work and cleaning the temple was too much. I probably just need to rest. I'm glad I am not doing much in the next few days.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Revelation from God

We had girls' camp this past week. I went on the last night, but it was fun to spend some time with the young women. I loved to see how they serve each other and care about each other. They really had a good time (except when they were being bitten by mosquitoes and horse flies). 
I have enjoyed my calling; serving with amazing leaders and girls. My lesson today in Young Women was about receiving personal revelation.

One girls shared how she felt a prompting from the Holy Ghost to serve a mother and her baby in an airplane and others shared how the Holy Ghost prompted them to be in a certain place to help someone.  

I had often thought that we have a silent God who hears prayers, but would never speak to me.  I discovered and learned later on, throughout the years that the more we listen to Him, the more He communicates with us.  Having a parent that is quiet all the time is unusual. What if you always speak to someone and they never respond? God wants to speak to you! He is your Father.

I want to share a favorite quote from President Russel M. Nelson:
"Pray in the name of Jesus Christ about your concerns, your fears, your weaknessesyes, the very longings of your heart. And then listen! Write the thoughts that come to your mind. Record your feelings and follow through with actions that you are prompted to take. As you repeat this process day after day, month after month, year after year, you will grow into the principle of revelation.
Does God really want to speak to you? Yes!"  

What I like about that quote from Pres. Nelson is that we can become better at receiving revelation. We can learn to be better at listening to God.

I often don't listen carefully enough to hear what God has to say. I say my prayers and I go to bed right away, or go about my day. I don't wait to hear what He has to say.  He speaks to us through feelings in our heart. And even sometimes in dreams. I heard His voice, it is real and it is clear. We just need to listen.

I had the girls talk for 20 seconds during the lesson. As they talked, I told them 3 things. None of them heard what I told them. "Wait, you said something?" a lot of them commented. We need to be still and quiet to hear God's voice. We need to be still to hear the still, small voice of the Spirit.

We have a Facebook page for those that are interested in our Church. The other day I saw a comment on there that I found interesting. The comment was from a Muslim man from Iraq. He said that he saw a few dreams in the past, and then his dreams started coming true. He said that in 1990 he dreamed about the war in Iraq and it did happen. He dreamed about other things that ended up happening too.

Then he said that he had a dream in 1990 about the second coming of the Savior. He said he believes the second coming is close because the events he saw happen before it are already starting to be fulfilled. He said he saw that there were many following the Savior, but many were not. 

He said that ever since his dream in 1990 (for almost 30 years now) he has been looking for someone who looks like those that were following the Savior. He said they looked different, and so all his life he has been looking for someone who looks like them.

He said he finally found someone the other day! He found out that this person is a member of our church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). He did not learn much about this man because he only spoke English so they could not communicate. But, he found our Facebook page and is interested in the church because of his experience.

Now, I don't know if this person really has visions. And I don't think that is the point I want to make. What I am trying to say is that God is real, He does speak to everyone if they listen. 

The second coming is closer than we all think. As the time gets closer to that amazing event, things will get worse. We need the Holy Ghost to comfort, guide and direct us during these difficult times.
Here is another one of my favorite quotes from Pres. Nelson's talk:
"Our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, will perform some of His mightiest works between now and when He comes again. We will see miraculous indications that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, preside over this Church in majesty and glory. But in coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost."
I include the talk at the end here if you want to listen to the whole thing: (I think I listened to this talk 10 times and still find new things in there)

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Brief Post

I don't have much to say. The semester is almost over and I am so grateful for that. I can't wait to get a break from teaching. I have a lot to look forward to this summer. Some of my family members are coming to visit then I am going home in August. I am so excited to be able to go home.

I spent July 4th working on my garden and planting flowers. I avoided the parade just because it is always so crowded. I meant to go to watch fireworks, but after I was done with yard work I was so tired I could not even move. So, I stayed home and watched some of the fireworks my neighbors did.  It seems like the US spends 1 billion dollars on fireworks during July 4th! Strange! That is a lot of money. 

We had class on Friday, the 5th. Many of my students didn't come to class. I understand that they all want to be with family on this day...I wish I didn't have to go to class either :)

I left after work on Friday and went camping with my friend and her family. 
The weather was perfect...and other than a few mosquito bites, it was a perfect camping trip. There is nothing more relaxing than sitting in the hammock looking at the trees and sky.  All your stress dissolves as you listen to the birds and watch the tall trees bending with the wind.

How do such tall trees manage to not break in the strong Idaho wind? They bend well I guess.  They are so tall but they are not thick. Sometimes bending when trials come is an important skill to have. When the wind is too strong we bend and get on our knees and pray for the strength to be able to survive our storm.

Meanwhile in the town where my cousin lives in California they had two major earthquakes. I have never been in an earthquake, nor do I know what to do when one hits.  It is scary that things like that can happen when we don't expect them. Thankfully my cousin and her husband are fine. We need to always be prepared. And just like the trees, we need to reach for the heavens and stand tall and look upward. So that when hard things happen, we will be able to survive them.

Here is me in my hammock: