Monday, April 28, 2008

Mission Call

I found this at my mom's house yesterday. I'd been looking for it for a while.
When I put in my mission papers, I kept saying that I'd go anywhere, that I'd be happy with any mission call. But the truth was that I really only wanted to serve in Brazil. I'd taken Portuguese for 2 years at BYU, and really wanted to speak Portuguese on my mission. Portugal would have been okay, but I really wanted the Brazilian Portuguese. When I opened my call, I saw Brazil at the end of one line and was so happy, I didn't even care about the city.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Different Names Revisited

Just as an update from the last post about this, Brock's Institute teacher spent the whole semester (because I sat in with him) thinking that my name was Susan. So I guess that one's plausible.
Me, as a Susan. Hmmmmm.

Your thoughts?

Because I've seen them a lot lately...

I've seen a lot more tattoos lately. I don't know why I've noticed them more. Oh, I just figured it out. I'm not at BYU everyday anymore. But still, I've seen tons of tattoos around lately. I really am not a fan. I don't care if they're the "cool" tribal, or if they're funny, if they're about things that you absolutely love, if they're religiously themed, if they're for your family, or whatever.

But then why do I find this show so interesting? And it was better before Kat left, too.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Things that should be discussed more

Hillary Clinton didn't win by 10% in Pennsylvania. She won by 9.4%, which if you round it to the nearest whole number, is a 9.

The Utah Jazz are playing as well as any team in the league right now. They're the only playoff team to have won the first two games on the road this season. No one talks about them. Maybe it's okay because it means they're flying under the radar. But seriously, if they win at least one road game in every playoff series, it's lights out, because no one's going to win in Radium Stadium.

Since Ohio's primary, the number of white working class workers supporting Obama has risen. He's closed the gap. Why don't people mention this about Pennsylvania's results?

Not only does Barack Obama not wear a U.S. flag lapel pin, but John McCain doesn't wear one either!! For that matter Hillary Clinton doesn't wear one. So what's the big deal? It's a stupid story, and it should've been pointed out at the last debate, that Hillary Clinton wasn't wearing a pin, that the moderators weren't wearing a pin, that most people in the audience weren't wearing a pin. But the craziest thing about this is that four days later, John McCain was on This Week with one of the moderators, George Stephanopoulos, and he wasn't wearing an American flag lapel pin!! Where was the question then, Mr. Stephanopoulos?

John McCain's pastor problem. People say that it's different because Jeremiah Wright was Obama's pastor. But McCain actually sought out Hagee's endorsement because he's trying to court the right-wingers. But Hagee is a hatemonger as much as the Wright statements were hatemongering. Oh, guess where John McCain is today? New Orleans.
But don't worry because Sen. McCain said on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, "I’m glad to have his (Hagee's) endorsement. I condemn remarks that are, in any way, viewed as anti-anything. But thanks for asking." Anti-anything? What does that mean? He's glad to have Hagee's endorsement, but maybe he shouldn't have sought after it? Hindsight is 20/20? Give me a break.

Sorry if I've gone on too long. I'm just frustrated with the media right now. What are they getting at?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Only in Provo?

So there's a radio show called Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me that goes thru the previous week's news via quizzes and stuff. It's honestly hysterical. There's one section of it called Bluff the Listener where the panelists read three different stories, only one being real and the other two simple concoctions of the panelists minds. They were all so funny, but since P-Town got a shout-out, I thought I'd share the love. See if you can guess which of the three is real:
(No picture, just sound)

Why do bad things happen to good people?

I'm watching something and this was one of the questions raised: "Why do you think it is that a loving God allows innocent people to suffer?" The person responded with a sigh and an eventual, "And I don't know. I can't wait to ask him...I have just pondered it endless endlessly." But after this statement, (person) followed with something that I found very perspicacious:

But I do want to just add that what that means to me is that in the face of suffering, there is no doubt in my mind that God calls us to respond. You know, that's part of what we are expected to do. For whatever reason it exists, it's very existence is a call to action.
I thought that it was a great point, that even though this person didn't know the reasons for suffering, that its existence was an opportunity for us to help, that we then have an opportunity to serve. We're here to help each other and this point was again driven home when I heard this statement.
I think it's pretty cool.

*Addendum: As a side note, this Education Week talk by Mary Ellen Edmunds, The Royal Law of the Gospel: Love, is excellent. I've listened to it maybe 5 times in the last year or two. It think it's a great gospel discussion of what I blogged about.
I love this site for all of its mp3 downloads.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A huge explosion

I'm sitting at my computer, which I get to do for most of the day writing test, and then suddenly I hear by far the loudest explosion I've ever heard. I had the sliding door open a bit because today's so nice. Anyway, because of this I actually felt the compression of air from said explosion. My left ear, which was closer to the door, still feels a bit funny. The wind chimes hanging from the tree which have been in constant motion since, I don't know, yesterday, stopped--totally stopped--for about 15 seconds because of the concussion of air.
It was eerie, I tell you what. I have no idea what it was, but some of our neighbors started leaving their apartments with their kids and congregated in the cul-de-sac to discuss what happened.
It sounded like it came from just southeast of here. I wanna know what crazy experiment some college student was doing to cause that.

Anyway, I just sat in stoic silence for a sec after it happened. I didn't know what to do. That was one of the weirdest things I've ever witnessed, seriously. I mean, the concussion of air hit me. If I'd been standing up on our balcony I know that it would've been strong enough to push me back a bit.

What the heck was it?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Baseball takes forever, but seriously

It's 1:44am right now and I'm still watching the Rockies-Padres game that started at 8:05pm yesterday. Yes, this game has gone for 5 1/2 hours. It's in the bottom of the 20th inning right now. Oh wait, that inning just finished, now it's the top of the 21st.
Anyway, the game went into extra innings at 0-0. In the 14th each team scored 1 run, so it's knotted at 1 right now.
The announcers have been punchy for about 7 innings. This is great.
There are fans waving like from that stupid movie, Angels in the Outfield.
I love baseball.

**Update: 2:02am, going to the 22nd inning

**Update: 2:11am, a runner stole second and then ended up on third base on the poor throw from the catcher. He scored on a double by the next batter. Rockies ahead 2-1 and we're heading into the bottom of the 22nd. Are the Padres gonna score?

**Update: 2:22am, bottom, with a runner on 1st base, Padres batter strikes out looking.

The game lasted 6 hours and 16 minutes.

I know that no one really cares about this, but it helped me stay awake. And the game was really cool.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The most children I ever had, via sneezing

So, in a lot of places when you sneeze once people respond with the word "health" (but in their language, of course). There are places that follow the second sneeze not with another "health," but with "money" or "luck." If you sneeze a third time it can be followed with a "love" or "marriage," but on the fourth you'll get "death." However, there are those that instead of saying death, follow up the marriage after the third sneeze by counting children out in the subsequent sneezes. Hence the fourth sneeze is your first child, fifth sneeze=2 children, sixth sneeze=3 children, and so forth. The counting of children makes a bit more sense because what if you sneeze 6 times? Is that triple death?
So to recap:
1st sneeze=HEALTH
2nd sneeze=MONEY/LUCK
3rd sneeze=MARRIAGE/LOVE
4th sneeze=1st CHILD/DEATH
5th sneeze=2nd CHILD
6th sneeze=3rd CHILD

I tell you this because the most children I ever got to was 19. Yes, I sneezed 22 times in 5 minutes. After I finished one sneeze, my stupid nose prepared to load another one. I strained a muscle in my stomach.

As allergy season hovers over us and we begin to sneeze with wild abandon, I think we should start this trend among Americans. No more bless yous or Gesundheits--unless you're ready to follow up that German with a Geld, Ehe, das erste Kind, das zweite Kind, das dritte Kind, etc.

And for those of you who are eagerly wondering about the Portuguese: saúde, dinheiro, casamento, primeira criança, segunda criança, terceira criança, etc.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Quite the Weekend

So it was my rebirthday on Friday. That was great. Then Brock got his mission call (finally!!!), Chile Santiago West. I love Santiago, it's such an awesome place. I was only there for 4 days--which was so not enough. Brock's gonna love it! And...there's a temple in Santiago!!!
Then on Saturday I went to the baptism of one of my students. (!!!!!!) It was really cool. Another one of my students gave the a talk about baptism. She's only been a member for 2 years. Both are from Ecuador. I have another former student who actually serving in María's home mission. the world is so small.
Then after the baptism I left and drove like a mad woman all the way to South Jordan, thru psycho traffic, to get to my aunt's wedding. She got remarried and I'm really happy for her because of the situation she came from. After the wedding I talked for a long while to my cousin, Steven, about his mission in Hungary. He just barely had gotten back.
Then there was, of course, church today.

Needless to say, it's been a great weekend. The Church rocks!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Happy Rebirthday To Me!!

I like celebrating rebirthdays (anniversaries of baptisms, the day we're reborn of course).
To celebrate my rebirthday I'm going to share with the blogging community one of my favorite Old Testament factoids.

In Exodus 3, Jehovah is talking to Moses while calling him as his prophet. Moses wanted reassurance as well as a way to let Israel know that he was God's prophet. Here are verses 13-14:

13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? awhat shall I say unto them?

14 And God said unto Moses, aI AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

I was always confused about the I AM, how that would be an obvious indicator to the people of Israel and why it was such a comfort to Moses--to say nothing of why it would put Pharaoh back on his heels. (11 And Moses said unto God, aWho am I, that I should go unto bPharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?)
I learned something interesting about Hebrew a few years back, there's this cool verb conjugation thingie called the causative. Essentially what this means is that when you conjugate the verb in the causative, the verb makes something happen, so when God says that he is I AM, it's in the causative. In other words, if we were to translate I AM with its full grammatical meaning it would say in our scriptures, Because I exist, all things exist.
That's pretty powerful and that's why it was such a comfort to Moses, a signifier to the Israelites that Moses was called of God, and would be something that would set Pharaoh, the most militaristically powerful man on the earth, back on his heels thinking, "What's this Moses got that I don't have?"

Pretty cool, eh? Oh, man, do I ever love grammar!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Bowling Dreamily

So right before I woke up (very late) this morning, I had a dream that I was bowling. I was in the zone, seriously bowling the best game of my life. I had the lane all to myself and I just went berserk. The dream was so vivid that I woke up and remembered exactly what I had bowled:
Strike Spare Strike Strike Strike Strike Strike Strike Spare Strike Eight-Zero.
Man, when have I ever bowled more beautifully than this morning at 7:36am?
If you're curious about my score, take a gander:

I totally rock at sleep bowling.

Friday, April 4, 2008

40 Years

Earlier this week I stopped into the Languages office at UVSC to say hi to the 2 secretaries that work there. I was wearing my Barack Obama shirt and conversation ensued.
Carol, who was born somewhere in the 1950s and grew up in Virginia, told me about what it was like to be in school when integration occurred. She talked about how she watched Dr. King's famous speech at the Mall live on television and how she was so completely moved by his charisma and the words he spoke. (The link here is that she said Senator Obama's oratory skill reminded her of MLK.)
Anyway, she talked about the influence the Dr. King had on her when she was young, his words as well as the social equality movement that surrounded him. Then she made a statement that I thought very amazing. Said she, "You know, when I was sixteen I realized that if you believed in the gospel, you couldn't be racist." Thinking about where she grew up, what she insinuated she was surrounded with and the fact that she was in the middle of school integration, I was struck by her strength as a 16 year old.
This reinforced to me the power of words, how words can inspire us to be better, can lead our hearts to change. Which leads me contemplatively into Conference weekend...

So on this 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., I salute those who have said words that have caused great change in the souls of men. And I salute those who have had the courage to follow these inspiring charges to better ourselves.

"I Have a Dream"

Forgiveness, President Hinckley, October '05.

President Hinckley's testimony of the Risen Lord

Robert F. Kennedy announcing MLK's murder to a crowd gathered in Indianapolis

"There were riots in more than 100 cities across America after King's death. But that night, there was calm in Indianapolis."

John F. Kennedy's speech in Berlin

Walter Cronkite's report of the MLK assassination in CBS Evening News

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Shirt problems

As I was walking to my last class today, I walked by a girl wearing a green shirt. When I looked over at her I finally realized what her shirt actually said, but because the straps from her backpack had obscured a portion of the word, I was initially shocked. Here's the word: