Visiting Teaching Waffle


I am so thankful for my Visiting Teaching companion!

This month was moving right along.  Last month we asked each of our sisters what the best ways are to contact them.  So I put a couple of them to use.  One day I was thinking about them, so I called each and left a voice message (I didn’t catch any of them).  And I sent them Halloween cards to brighten their day.

Additionally my Visiting Teaching companion called them and left voice messages asking when a good time to stop by and visit with them would be.  She did reach one sister, had a nice little chat, but found out that there was so much going on that there would not be a good time to visit her in person this month.

My Visiting Teaching companion and I discussed what our availability was to go visit them.  There was one day we could make it, but we hadn’t heard back from them about their availability.  We reviewed what we’d done so far, and I suggested perhaps we had done enough and could not worry about trying to stop by.

My companion hesitated.  I almost ignored it and restated my thought.

But then I stopped and listened to her.  She again brought up that she thought maybe we ought to give it a try and just stop by to see if we can catch them.  I said OK.

The following day as I thought about it I felt great gratitude for my companion.  It would have been so easy to agree and say that we’d done quite a bit and surely that would be good enough this month.  But she wasn’t comfortable with that.  And I knew I shouldn’t be either.

Thank you, my companion!  :)

Darkness Cannot Drive Out Darkness


I recently got a very thought-provoking fortune from a fortune cookie: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.”

This “proverb” has more truth to it than may first meet the eye.  More on that in a minute.

Then I got a quote from the Daily Prayer Thought of The Sisters of Charity Health: “Darkness can only be scattered by light, hatred can only be conquered by love.” St. Pope John Paul II.

These days we are surrounded by darkness, confusion, hatred, sin, crime, disobedience, etc.  It can be hard to know where to turn for relief, for comfort, for safety, for the truth.

As both of these thoughts point out, the answer lies in “light”.  But, what is light?  Where do we find light, how can we have light in our lives?

“John wrote, ‘God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.’ (1 Jn. 1:5.)

“I would like to speak about God’s realm of light in contrast to the dark realm of Satan. Those who follow Satan will be cast into outer darkness, ‘where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth.’ (D&C 133:73.) How terrible to live in such a place of darkness and cold. It is entirely different from what we usually think of as ‘burning in hell.’ That burning is the lasting regret one feels who has chosen the darkness of Satan in preference to the light of Christ.

“Through modern revelation we have been taught that ‘the glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.’ Such light and truth forsake the evil one. (See D&C 93:36–37.)

“We have been advised that if our eye be single to the glory of God, our whole body shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in us, for a body which is filled with God’s light will be able to comprehend all things. (See D&C 88:67.)”  Theodore M. Burton (read or hear his full speech at https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1981/04/light-and-truth?lang=eng).

The light that overcomes all things is God.  He is the Person Who knows all, has all power, and wants to share all that He is with His children, you and me.  Our Father in Heaven invites everyone to seek after the good, to ask what is true, and to talk with Him anytime, anyplace with any questions, thoughts, or feelings we have.

He tells us that He will tell us what we want to know.  He will guide and direct us, He will give us the answers.

What is our part in this process?  We ask Him in faith, believing (sometimes simply desiring to believe) that He will give us the answer.  Heavenly Father has promised that we can know the truth of all things, “

 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truthof it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

 And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is.

 And ye may know that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever.”  Moroni 10:3-7.

Turning to others who do not have the truth, who may seek to lead you astray, who are lost themselves and do not know the truth, or who may actually seek to deceive will never help you find the truth.  Just because they say it over and over and over and over does NOT make it so.  It may start to sound plausible, start to make some semblance of sense, sound familiar because you’ve heard it so much, but that does not make it correct!

Truth will always be truth and you don’t have to be talked into it, shamed or punished into it.  And at any point in your life you can begin the process to find out the truth for yourself.  Simply ask your Father in Heaven.  Then listen for His answer.  He will share it with you.  I have done so oftentimes in my own life.

So I know this to be true.  And His light drives out all darkness.

An Enriching Hour


We just spent a wonderful hour in, or I should say, at (or maybe on) YouTube.  There is some marvelous stuff there!

We heard about a special upload that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently put on YouTube, and thought we’d check it out.  But, how to find it?

Beloved hubby suggested putting “LDS Church” into the search box, which we did.  The third result was the one we’d heard about and so we watched it.  It was done so beautifully and movingly.  When it ended a pleasant sight greeted my eyes!

Every suggestion of what to watch next was from the Church, and there was some great stuff to choose from!  We selected one about all worthy male members being able to have the priesthood, then a video about missionaries, another about the daily life of missionaries in the Mission Training Center, one or two more, then one about the temples of the Church.

What a beautiful video that one was!  It explained how the temples are different than our regular meetinghouses, explained why only those who are devote members are allowed to enter, why we go there (though before they are dedicated all people are allowed to go through and see them), and showed the great beauty of these buildings both inside and out!

It left me feeling in awe and grateful, even though I’ve been in the temple hundreds (at least) of times.  Of course, that is exactly why I love going to the temple!

It was an absolutely wonderful hour.  Even now I am still basking in the warm glow and soft, reverent emotions evoked by this very special hour.  I also feel closer to Beloved hubby having watched the pictures of brides and grooms being married in the beautiful, sacred temples all over the world and remembering my own marriage in the Salt Lake Temple many :) years ago.

What a great way to spend an hour!  :)

Bariatric + 9


At 9 months since his bariatric surgery things are progressing well.

He continues to lose weight – which is noticeable as you look at him, not from having his weight checked as he has been doing so well that he hasn’t seen a doctor in a couple months!

His diet has pretty well normalized.  He drinks plenty of water, using Crystal Light (name brand and generic) for flavor, sipping it throughout the day.  For breakfast he eats about half what he did pre-surgery, and has a better variety, a bowl of broth and a bowl of cereal.  He loves citrus fruits during the day, with maybe a salad or some tomatoes with Italian dressing.  Dinner is more varied, spaghetti (again about half what he used to eat), hamburger, different types of fish, and with cooler weather finally beginning to approach, casseroles.  He snacks better too, less sweets and more cottage cheese, corn tortillas with cheese and a little meat, or blue cheese (yuck!)  :)

He has more energy, so is doing more on his own, without always needing someone right there to help out.  He falls asleep faster and sleeps better.  There’s still the arthritis issue, and he gets more sore from doing more, but it hasn’t stopped him, only slowed him sometimes.  He doesn’t bounce, but he walks with more balance.  His outlook on life is better too.

Bariatric surgery has been a blessing in his life!

Gratitude for Columbus :)


Today we celebrate Columbus Day!  It is really on Oct. 12, but since that was yesterday, Sunday, the official celebration is today.

I am grateful for Christopher Columbus!

Does that surprise you?  Well, it shouldn’t.  He was a truly remarkable man.  He lived at a time when people believed only what they could see, and they could see the edge of the world.  Therefore, the world was flat and if you traveled too far, you would fall off, just like off a table!  Yet, Columbus was inspired enough to know better, and believed the world to be round.  Granted, he did not realize how big that roundness was, as he thought by sailing westward on the Atlantic Ocean he would reach the east side of India.  But his out-of-the-box thinking led him to see a very different world than his compatriots saw.

Columbus was a very brave man.  He lost his entire fortune, yet persisted in following his dream to prove that his theory of a round world was correct.  He may well have had some trepidation about setting out to prove his point, but he was able to overcome any doubts, continue to press onward until he gained the backing he needed, set sail with a group of men who certainly did not all believe as he did but led them to go on in spite of their fears, and succeed in completing the goal he set out to reach.  Indeed, as he said, “By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.”

Columbus was an inspired man.  “And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land.” 1 Nephi 13:12.  Columbus was not evil, he was a man [human being] and he was led by God, inspired.  He went to visit his neighbors!  :)

Additionally, the Indians of the Americas [Native Americans] had also migrated here, only thousands of years before the Europeans.  So, more “indigenous” than we today, but non-indigenous none-the-less.  Their forebears were also led by God, inspired.  As a matter of fact, as we learn from the Book of Mormon, three separate groups were led here to the promised land long before the Europeans came.

So, let’s dig a little deeper:

  • Myth: Columbus brought slavery to the new world.  Truth: Slavery had existed in the new world for thousands of years.  The Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas all were regional superpowers that enslaved nearby tribes.  We also know from American history that Sacajawea was captured as a young girl by the Sioux Indian tribe and made a slave.  She was later sold to the French trapper hired by Lewis and Clark to guide them.
  • Myth: America was peaceful prior to Columbus.  Truth: In addition to the regional superpowers mentioned above, we know that Hiawatha helped found the Iroquois League of Nations circa 1300.  Over the next 400 years this League’s aggressive expansion resulted in a wholesale rearrangement of tribal lands in what is now the United States and Canada.  For example, the Sioux Indians were at that time residents of Michigan and Illinois prior to being driven west by the Iroquois League.  The Sioux were later fortunate to obtain escaped horses from the Spanish, and only became the plains Indians as we think of them circa 1700.  (This also puts a dent in their story of the Black Hills being their ancestral homeland since time immemorial.)  From the Lewis and Clark journals circa 1804 we know that the Sioux pushed the Shoshone Indians from central Montana to west of the continental divide during the period of Sacajawea’s enslavement.  Other major displacements precipitated by the Iroquois were the western migration of the Blackfoot tribe in the US and the Blood tribe in Canada.  A similar regional power developed in the southeastern United States with the establishment of the Creek Indian Nation, resulting in the western migration of, among other tribes, the Comanches which pushed the Apache over into Arizona and western New Mexico.
  • Myth: The Europeans brought genocide into the Americas.  Truth: In the far north, the Inuit conducted complete genocide of the Thule civilization, totally eradicating it from the earth.  We also know that in the great basin desert the Goshute, described by Mark Twain as the Digger Indians, were pushed into a near-barren landscape that no one else wanted, where they were dying out (see Mark Twain’s journals of the American West).  Doubtless there are many other ones that ceased to exist, including the Maya which were eventually toppled, and the Anasazi which ceased to exist in the 1300s.
  • Myth: European culture was the first to alter the landscape of the Americas.  Truth: As described in the book 1491, there is extensive evidence that the Indian civilizations in both North and South America managed their landscapes.  For example, the woods that greeted the settlers in Indiana and Illinois were not there in 1490, due to slash-and-burn farming.  There was also extensive landscape management performed by the much earlier mound-builder civilization.  In Central America and much of the Amazonian basin, complex landscape management used slash-and-burn farming where much of today’s rainforests now exist.
  • Myth: The Europeans deliberately caused germ warfare.  Truth: While it is true that disease brought over by the Europeans caused thousands of the Indian population to die, this was not purposeful, nor was it a one-way street as the Indians also introduced disease to the Europeans.  Part of the calamity in this topic is that, with the lack of gene-pool caused by their much smaller numbers, the Indians had a more restricted immune systems than the Europeans had.  They also had a more limited spectrum of responses, meaning that their antigens didn’t recognize viruses, nor could their white cells then fight them nearly as well.  This “illustrate[s] the importance to a population of having multiple HLA profiles; one person’s HLAs may miss a particular bug, but another person may be equipped to combat it, and the population as a whole survives.” Charles C. Mann, 1491.

Bottom line, without Columbus and others like him, most of us would not be here today.  And, “All of God’s children, through their variety, add flavor to the daily stew that is our life.  This is regardless of their race, ancestral homeland, creed, or color.  Almost everybody has something they can teach us if we but have the sense to learn.” Lloyd Pearson.

Yes, I am grateful for Columbus.  :)

Flood of Feelings


It was near the end of my workday when I saw an email from the boss and double-clicked to open it up.

It had to do with the move to our new hospital.  OK, I know that is coming up on 12/13/14 day (December 13, 2014).  Our department moves a couple weeks before that, and this looked like more specific information for us.

There were several attachments and I started opening them one by one.  The first couple were general information, one a little lengthy so I’d come back to it later.  Then I opened the timeline.

At first glance I saw that some of our departments were moving starting today.  Not a big surprise as one of my friends mentioned last week that she’d be moving this week.  There were several departments moving this week.

Next tab was for the move in late November, my move.  I began reading through this group of departments making that move, and it happened.

A small wave washed over me.  Which surprised me.

I have worked here since long before the idea of building a new hospital even came up.  I’ve been here through thick and thin as talks began, great obstacles arose, and success was finally assured.  I’ve seen the progress every step of the way, buildings come down, streets straighten out or pushed through, new buildings go up, the enormous hole, cement, 3 huge cranes, cement, layer after layer, cement, steel and cement, cement, cement, cement, walls, windows, bricks, on and on and on!  It has been fascinating!

The excitement has been building.  Pictures and the model look wonderful.  Landscaping, signs, and sidewalks all add to the vision.  Everyone can hardly wait.  When will we finally get to see inside?!

But now suddenly, here I am, looking at the schedule and the wave hits.  A strange little feeling.  Hmmm.  I open the remaining attachments.  And I go back to the lengthy one, glancing through it, stopping to read a little here and there.

The wave isn’t bothering me anymore.  Because now it’s a flood!  I feel giddy, it’s so real, I feel anxious, will it all work out, there’s still excitement, it’s actually coming!  I’m having trouble concentrating.  I need to process these feelings.  Good thing I read this at the end of my day, I’d hate to have to deal with all this all day!

I imagine tomorrow will feel better.  And I wonder how many others are, or will have (perhaps even have had) this flood wash over them?  There will be a lot of differing reactions, I’m sure.  Hopefully I can help some, knowing what they’re going through.  And perhaps I’ll be a little more prepared having experienced this myself to a degree.

And the really funny thing is, I won’t even be in the new building!  We’ll be in an ancillary building.  :0

 

The Aspen in Colorado


Beloved hubby finally felt up to doing something again yesterday after having kind of a rough couple weeks.  So for the first time in years we took a ride to see the aspen in the Colorado mountains.

Since I’d filled the car with gas a couple days earlier, we didn’t have to worry about buying any or running out.  So off we went!

As we left the city behind and became engulfed in the mountains, I found myself relaxing, feeling calmer, and drinking in the beauty of the landscape around us.

As we traveled, the yellow fields gave way to evergreens and bushes, and before long also to aspen trees.  Beautiful, golden, quaking, “money trees”.  A few here and there at first, then yards of them, and soon – mountains of them nestled amongst the myriad of evergreens blanketing the valleys as far as the eye could see!

The deeper we went, the fresher the air, the bluer the sky, the greater our tranquility.  It was wonderful.

Then I noticed the aspen were differing shades – yellow, deep gold, flowing into crimson.  So much beauty!

It lifted my spirits, filled my soul, and strengthened my relationship with God, the Great Creator of it all!

I found peace in the aspen of Colorado.  :)