Aug 30, 2004

Is it Revelation?

A link to an article from the July 2004 New Era. Wonderful article, and very true. I'm grateful for our Prophet and our leaders for helping to keep us holding tight to the Iron Rod.

Is it Revelation?

Aug 28, 2004

Sorting things out...

Well, I've been doing some research into what I need to do. Like i said in a previous blog, there is a program called Project Teaching! here in Wisconsin. But that is if I want to teach Spanish. Is Spanish what I'm supposed to teach? I'm not sure. I was also looking into some ESL programs...because surely I would teach English better than Spanish (I've already taught ESL when I was in Spain) but my bilingualism would also help me immensely in that area as well. BYU has a 1 year Master's certificate program.

So why am I looking at BYU? Sure there is a similar program here. Well, I don't know. But BYU has been popping up in my dreams lately. And NO, it's not because I want/need to go there to find someone to marry. I'm sure if I went there I'd date plenty and if circumstances became that Heavenly Father's mission for me was simply not going to happen, I could find someone out there. But I certainly do not want to go out there for that. I've already lived there, and I wasn't too keen on the dating population then. Being the person I am now, I know, for me, it would be even worse. I felt very alone the first time I was there, and it will be even more so now, because I have overcome my blind, judgmental, critical ways of looking at people and the world. Being amongst so many people who are exactly like I was doesn't sound too appealing (and yeah, I know, that is a judgment call in itself -- I'm sorry if I sound like a hypocrite). I know who I am, I know God's plan for me, and I know He is happy with who I have become and where I am headed. I am not worried about that. I know this gospel is true; I know the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on the Earth, and I know that we are led today by Prophets of God. I will never, ever deny this knowledge. But because I'm so stubborn about my testimony and my beliefs, it's ironic, but I stick out like a sore thumb in the Mormon culture, LOL. It's probably because I'm not that quiet, reserved woman that so many women are. I'm very vocal about my testimony, and very emotional about it, too.

But I'm digressing. Anyway, yes, there is a Master's program there. But then I was thinking..am I supposed to teach ESL? Maybe I should look into teaching Institute! I really love my calling, despite how frightened and dubious I was when I received it. The fire within me; the knowledge I have that this gospel is true enables me to teach with the Spirit and with a passion. I know my stuff. I have studied the scriptures, and I have gained knowledge through the testimonies and words of our prophets and general authorities, as well as through personal reflection and prayer, and not to mention, through experiences and bad choices I have made as well. I love this gospel with all my heart and soul...I love my Heavenly Father, and I love Christ. I want to share that with others. If I can't do it on a regular mission, there are still lots of ways I can do it. And maybe teaching institute is one way. It's something to consider.

But anyway. There are a lot of things to think about. It's funny, but when I think about myself, and think about that determination and passion I have for the gospel, I wonder why I was never called on a mission, especially considering that the reason wasn't your typical reason -- that I was supposed to get married. Even recently when I have contemplated it and prayed about it, truly wanting to go this time, I was told there were other ways to serve a mission. When I think about Jeremy, and that same passion and testimony that he has, I recognize something in him that I see in myself. As many Mormons as I know, I have never met anyone who had that same "something" that Jeremy and I both have. This is why I know he will be an excellent missionary, in any manner that the Lord calls him. I know he loves this gospel with all his soul, just like I do. Yeah, we're human, we still screw up, but learning from mistakes just strengthens our determination and our testimony even more. I recognize that light within him, and I can feel it. That is why when he talks about not being so great or whatever, it hurts me. It's not that I live in this fairyland world and think he can do no wrong. I know of his mistakes, and heck, I know what he has done to me! LOL he has hurt me more than anyone I have ever met, but because I'm easily able to forgive him doesn't mean I think he is perfect! Why do some people think I believe that? I think he is great because of who he is. I think he is wonderful because I recognize in him something that very few people have.

I recognize myself in him. And I recognize Christ in him. And he doesn't possess that because he is perfect or even close to it. He posesses that because he chooses to have it, and because despite the weaknesses he might have, he is one good man who is determined to fight for what is right and just, and to overcome those very things within himself. His determination and humility alone is what allows Christ to shine from him.

And that is why I love him so much.

Aug 27, 2004

To be happy...or not to be...

I was talking to Mark online today, and he was telling me about how happy he was, finding his future wife and all that. I was sincerely happy for him, and so glad that some people out there are making things work. Yet he mentioned Jeremy a few times, and told me that Jeremy didn't hate me; that he wanted me to be happy. I just typed my little smile emoticon and that was pretty much all I said to that.

Yeah, whatever. I believe he is sincere, but then why does he refuse to believe that which we both were told? I oft times wish I could deny it; that I could believe things were so black and white; figuring that there is ONLY one correct path, and anything that comes in my way of the path I am taking will just be pushed away. Why can't I be like that? Well ok, I guess I don't really want to be like that. If I had been like that, I never would have done many things in my life. I never would have gone to Spain. I knew I was supposed to go. I was told feverently and many times. Yet my family, my doctors, my bishop...everyone told me not to go. Everyone told me I had to stay home and get better. Everyone told me I wouldn't make it. Everyone told me it was the wrong choice. Everyone questioned my sanity. Even reality opposed it. I couldn't find an internship! The one I had fell through! I had no place to stay and no idea how I would accomplish the task at hand, but I got on that plane and I went anyway.

And it all worked out exactly as it needed. I had faith, even if at times it was shaky. I did what God told me to do, and I not only was able to retain that internship, but to extend it another 3 months, make some great friends, found a place to live, and really began to master the language at hand. It was exactly what Heavenly Father knew would help me heal from my wounds, and to grow and become the woman I needed to be. He also knew that I was placed there to help others begin their own missions, or to just be a friend. He knew me, even when everyone who loved me or was concerned for me thought they did as well.

Why do people in my life think I'm weaker than I really am? Why do they think my self-esteem is lower than it really is? To tell you the truth, other than a low self esteem concerning my looks, I have to be careful to not get too proud! I know who I am, and I wouldn't want to be ANYONE else. I know I have an abundance of talents and gifts. Geez...low self-esteem? Weak? Give me a break!.

But anyway, my point is -- everything and everyone was against me, but I did not let my faith falter. Sure, I questioned it plenty of times. I cried over the reality of it all -- reality pointed out that I wasn't going anywhere. But Heavenly Father kept telling me to hang on, and hang on I did.

So this is why I can't be that kind of person who simply denies those things that are too hard; too scary, or just don't seem right because they contradict our original, righteous plans. I am so weary though, and so tired of trying to be strong every day, of putting a smile on my face, and counting my blessings. Being happy shouldn't be this difficult! But when you know with every fiber of your being that you were put on this earth for a specific mission, and that mission is interrupted because of the choices of another...what the heck are you supposed to do???

What am I supposed to do?? I can't live like this for much longer. God might think I'm capable, but I am beginning to doubt it. I know what Jeremy has said. I know what reality speaks. I know what his loved ones and a few of mine have told me. But I have priesthood blessings, experiences in the temple, and other very personal and sacred reasons for believing what I do.

But the truth is; I am just so weary. I've tried to forget it; I've tried to deny it. But I can't, and I have found that when I do, I am even more miserable. Heavenly Father has His reasons, and must have faith in him that He knows best.

New Photo Album

Well, I found a new Photo Album tool which seemed to make my 'conversion' of the 24+galleries I had into one seamless one. For some reason it offers the viewer to order prints (but it is disabled) but this is the new photo album that I will be linking from my new website. It's far more user-friendly than the previous version.

To get a sneak-peek at it now, just Click here.

Aug 26, 2004

So...what to teach?

There's this program called Project Teaching that Wisconsin has that allows students who have bachelor degrees in areas of high school teaching to get their certificate in one semester. There are a total of 100 hours, a combination of weekend classes, online classes, and 20 hours teaching/assisting in a local classroom, if you have 5 years of professional experience behind you. Then you are "monitored" for 2 years as you teach, and are then given your license.

I'm not sure that is what I want to do, though. While it's only a semester, it costs about $3000, and then I'm stuck to an additional 2 years of being in WI for monitoring. Ok, that's not that long of a time, but still. I have to have the application in November 15th to start in January, so I have to pray about this.

My other qualm over it is that it would license me to teach Spanish. I love Spanish, and I think it is one of the most useful languages to learn. Anyone who has studied socio-economic trends knows that Spanish is already the 2nd most spoken language in the U.S., and in the next 20 years it might surpass even English. Does that it mean it would become our official language? No. But it could become our second official language. Then, not to mention that After Chinese and English, Spanish is the most spoken language in the world. I know that being able to speak it has enabled my friends, my sister, and I to have that extra "edge" in the job market. That alone has gotten us a job where the other candidates were similarily qualified, but just couldn't speak Spanish.

So yes, I love the language. But...can I teach it? No matter how hard I try, I still sound like an American when I speak it. I cannot roll my R's. While I pronounce almost everything correctly, it still isn't quite right. While I have been told that my abilities with Spanish are excellent by my college professors, and that my speech barriers shouldn't prevent me from teaching it, I still worry. I personally would want a teacher who could pronounce the language well. Sure, I could teach first and second year Spanish with probably no problem, but after that?? My students wouldn't take my abilities seriously.

And it sucks, because of my speech impediment. I just can't do anything about it. I have practiced this language ever since I was 13 years old, but I will always sound like I do. So can I teach it?

That is the question.

Aug 25, 2004

New blogger design

So, what does everyone think of my new design? Pink is my new color this year, and I thought I'd start using it in my design now that I've gotten used to wearing it and using it in my makeup palette. I got sick of the black and orangish/pink thing I had going on, so I modified a design by Dan Celderholm, called TicTac, and made it my own.

Anyway, not much else going on. I got bored tonight and decided to change the way this looks. I still have to change my entire website, which was done about 3 years ago and is way out of date. Well, the info -- not so much -- but the way it looks -- definitely. I want something that will pretty much match what I have here. My website is just basically my portfolio, my resume, and photos (not to mention my blog). I want it to reflect my taste and style, and right now it's reflecting a Michelle from quite awhile ago.

Oh! I got a brand-new PowerMac G5 at work! It is the fastest machine out there, according to most speed tests. I have dual 2.5 GHZ processors (that's a blazing 5 GHZ) and almost 2GB of RAM. This machine is sweet. Extremely expensive, but I decided a few weeks ago to confront my boss about my unhappiness with how things were going at work and he asked me what he could do. While he can't do much concerning my salary (although we're working on that) he did buy me the sweetest machine available, plus an additional Apple flat-panel monitor. So now I have two flat panel monitors -- side by side...one a 22 inch Cinema display and the other a 17 inch. I now have plenty of room for all my panels, instant messaging windows, email clients, and the like :) It is totally the sweetest system out there.

Anyway, now it's time for bed, so off I go.

Courage

"It is this sweet assurance that can guide you and me--in our time, in our day, in our lives. Of course, we will face fear, experience ridicule, and meet opposition. Let us have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God's approval. Courage becomes a living and an attractive virtue when it is
regarded not only as a willingness to die manfully, but also as a determination to live decently. A moral coward is one who is afraid to do what he thinks is right because others will disapprove or laugh. Remember that all men have their fears, but those who face their fears with dignity have courage as well."

(Thomas S. Monson, "The Call for Courage," Ensign, May 2004, 55-56)

Aug 23, 2004

A Tribute

My cousin, Jason, is in Iraq. We all miss him. He was first in South Korea for about 6 months and now he is in Iraq for, I think, 18 more months. I am so proud of him and I miss him a lot. His wife, Alyssa, set up a site where we can send messages to him via a public posting system. I do encourage anyone who knows him or who simply supports our troops and is grateful for what they do to go post a message. let's keep the morale up!

A tribute to our troops

Aug 22, 2004

The Cramer Bunch

Technology can be really cool sometimes. Here is almost my entire 'nuclear' family online chatting and using webcams:) It was my brother Chris, my sister and I, my mother, my aunt, my cousin Jason who is in Iraq right now, and his wife, our cousin Alyssa, who is in Kentucky. Jason is the guy in the bottom left hand corner, Alyssa is next to him, Auntie C is next to her, and then of course Laurie and I up on top. Mom can be seen in the background of Auntie's pic, and of course my brother doesn't have a camera...yet:) But his birthday is coming up;)

imfamily_blur.jpg

The Great Plan of Happiness

Today my lesson was on the Great Plan of Happiness, as told in Alma 40-42, when Alma explained it to his son Corianton. For some reason, an investigator (or a friend of a member) was in my class instead of Gospel Essentials. I didn't know he wasn't a member, so I breezed through the things we already knew concerning the pre-mortal existence, our mortal probation, the spirit kingdom (paradise and the spirit prision), and then three kingdoms. When I was finished with my lesson, however, he came up to me and wanted to learn more about it. I explained it to him as much as I could, and then sent him to the missionaries to talk with them.

Yet again I had another missionary experience:) I am so grateful for those experiences. My bishop commented as well on how everyone just "flocks" to my class. I even had a member of the stake president in my class!

I'm a good teacher. I now know this. There is so much more I can do, however. I have plenty of ideas, and I'm grateful for the power of the scriptures and the power of prayer that allows me to teach with the spirit.

I am always praying. I pray from morning to night. I have long prayers and conversations with my Father in Heaven. I have short ones. I have prayers in my heart continually. I pray for myself, and I pray for others. How anyone could think that I do not pray enough? I am always fighting off the Adversary. I do not allow him to overcome me . I've gotten many blessings in the past several months. Every time I'm told that my interpretations of personal revelation are right. I'm told that God is pleased with me, and pleased with the choices I have made. I'm told to trust myself and to trust in God. I'm told to be patient and endure...and to serve others. And I do. Not only do I do my best to magnify my calling and teach the gospel at church, but I have had so many opportunties at work and elsewhere to share the gospel. I do. I serve in my community for CCI, a non-profit organization. I can always do more. I try my hardest, I really do.

I read my scriptures often. I pour over them. I love my calling so much; I'm so grateful for the opportunity. They say that the best way to retain knowledge is to teach it to others. This is so true!! Teaching the Book of Mormon has helped me to learn so much more about the gospel. It is such an amazing book!

I love this gospel. I love the Atonement. I love knowing that I can discern truth from non-truths. I am humbly grateful for the knowledge I have gained through my experiences, both good and bad. I'm grateful for the Holy Ghost, and knowing how to recognize it.

Life isn't always easy, and sometimes it's downright painful. But I am still grateful for every second of it. I know it is my probationary state, and I'm grateful for this opportunity to grow closer to my Father in Heaven and to learn through the many trials that do and will come my way.
"Those who stand firm, steadfast, and immovable are given great inner hidden powers and unseen strengths."
—President James E. Faust
Ensign, Feb. 1982, 71

Aug 21, 2004

"My Confession" by Josh Groban

I have been blind, unwilling to see
The true love you're giving.
I have ignored every blessing.
I'm on my knees confessing

That I feel myself surrender
Each time I see your face.
I am staggered by your beauty,
Your unassuming grace.
And I feel my heart is turning,
Falling into place.
I can't hide
Now hear my confession.

I have been wrong about you.
Thought I was strong without you.
For so long nothing could move me.
For so long nothing could change me.
Now I feel myself surrender
Each time I see your face.
I am captured by your beauty,
Your unassuming grace.
And I feel my heart is turning,
Falling into place.
I can't hide
Now hear my confession.

[bridge:]
You are the air that I breathe.
You're the ground beneath my feet.
When did I stop believing?

Cause I feel myself surrender
Each time I see your face.
I am staggered by your beauty,
Your unassuming grace.
And I feel my heart
Falling into place.
I can't hide
Now hear my confession.
I can't hide
Now hear my confession.
Hear my confession

Aug 19, 2004

The Attitude of Gratitude

Things have been weird and hectic lately, and I realized suddenly that again I've gotten into one of those "woe is me" slumps; forgetting all the blessings I have. So I'm going to take some time again to vocally (or in this case, typographically) express my gratitude for the wonderful blessings in my life.

I am still grateful for my trials. I must mention these first, because yes, I'm still in the thick of them. It's amazing how only a year and a half ago I was told by my bishop that I had "passed" an ardurous Abrahamic trial. While those words didn't provide immediate relief from the heartache I was feeling at the time, they stuck with me and helped me heal remarkably well. By the end of that very same year, as I had guessed would happen but feared might not, I had met the man that God had been preparing for me (and I for him).

Little did I know that an even more painful trial was just beginning. I think this one might be approaching Job-like, but I just read some of Job again tonight and I realized, just as Joseph Smith was chastized, "I am not yet like Job." And I'm not. Things could be so much worse. But it is, indeed, another Abrahamic trial. Another test of faith and patience; of endurance and perseverence, of love and of obedience. The things I have learned already in 2004 have been amazing. I gained an extremely firm testimony and an amazing will and strength in overcoming one of my greatest weaknesses. It will never be completely gone; this I know; but the testimony I have gained of the reason for the laws that God has given us; for the covenants I have made in the temple -- well, now I truly know. I am grateful for that. The consequences of those mistakes are as far-reaching as even today, as I sit here. I know I was forgiven a long time ago. I know I forgave myself a long time ago too. But for those consequences I am grateful. They have hurt, yes indeed, but how else would I gain such knowledge and strength that I have? I am so grateful for the gifts that the Lord has given me in my weaknesses and my foibles. It is heart-wrenching, yes, to have to humble myself and admit to the mistakes I have made or to the things I seem to just not get RIGHT. Those mistakes I make frequently -- we all have these tendencies. But knowing about the miraculous gift of repentance and forgiveness, I mean, wow. The fact that anger no longer enters my heart when someone wounds me. The fact that I am able to freely offer my forgiveness and my love, and to seek forgiveness from those who I have hurt...it is an amazing step in conquering "the natural (wo)man" and truly becoming like Christ.

I am so grateful for the trials and the consequences of both good and bad decisions I have made. I am grateful for the gift of personal revelation and the knowledge that I can, and do, receive inspiration and guidance through the gift of the Holy Ghost. I am grateful for the promises I have made to my Father in Heaven, and for the promises He has made to me. I am grateful that he doesn't give me everything that I want and when I want it; because that truly would go against the great plan of happiness and would greatly hinder my eternal progression.

I am also, of course, grateful for the obvious blessings in my life. My wonderful family. My loving friends. My solid and sometimes entertaining job:) I'm so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and for the roadmap that I have in the Holy Scriptures. I'm grateful to know that a living prophet walks on the earth today, and that I know he walks and talks with God. I'm grateful for the peace and serenity granted to me when I enter the Holy temple. I'm grateful for sweet, joyous music that uplifts my soul and gives me if even but a glimpse of what heaven may be like. I'm grateful for my memories, my opportunities, my capabilities, my talents, and my strengths. I'm even grateful for this body of mine! I'm so grateful that I have the opportunity to learn how it works, and how to treat it as the temple of God that I know it is. I'm grateful to be able to take time to go to the gym when I can and to take the daily vitamins and minerals that I need to nourish it. I'm grateful for its weaknesses; for they keep me humble but at the same time encourage me to learn about health and fitness in ways that people who aren't "metabolically challenged" fail to ever learn. Are they lucky because they can eat whatever they want, sit around as much as they want, and still not gain weight? I used to think so, but I don't anymore. It's too easy to take such a thing for granted when you haven't known anything else in your life.

I'm just grateful to be alive. I have so much more to learn; so much more I can do. I'm grateful for finally getting an answer to my prayers, after all these years, to know that I am suppose to be a teacher. I'm grateful for the example my mother has been to me both as a mother, a teacher, and a friend.

But most of all, I'm grateful for the Atonement. The fact that Jesus Christ spilled blood from every poor while in the Garden of Gethsamanee for me...that He suffered for every sin I have committed and will commit; that he felt every pain, of the heart, soul and body alike...and that he died on the cross for me to be able to live with Him and with Our Heavenly Parents again...well...the love I feel for my Elder brother is amazing. And the fact that He would have still done it; if it was only me on this whole Earth, is even more astounding. But considering that He did this for each and every one of us; well, it sends "taking it personally" to an entirely new level! How much He loves us! He willingly sacrificed himself for us...and He could have said "no". What greater love is there than this?? Because of His gift, we, through true repentance and through faith AND good works, can return again! It's just so beautifully simple and marvelously amazing!!!

I know that I have said this several times, but my love for my Savior and Brother is just overbrimming. I can't say enough. I want to shout it from the rooftops. I know that my Redeemer LIVES.

Yes, I am grateful for everything in my life -- the heartache and despair, and the sweet joy and peace. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for making me who I am and blessing me so abundantly.

Aug 15, 2004

Goals I will one day attain

So there is this strenuous 25 mile hike around the rim of the Grand Canyon (down into it and then back up out of it) that I heard about. It isn't for the faint or the weak. The thought of it makes me nauseous; and for that very reason I want to do it. I want to get in shape and prepare for it. Why? Because I need to prove to myself that I can. It may not happen for several more years yet; but that is because I am making lifestyle changes, and those take time.

I guess I also want to do it because it is something Michelle Glenetski would never do. But I know I can do anything if I set my mind to it. For this very reason I want to succeed at such a daunting task. With the help and encouragement of loved ones, I believe I can. In fact, I know I can.

Aug 14, 2004

foolishness?

Well, there isn't much to say, but at the same time, my mind and my heart are in a whirlwind of thoughts and feelings. You know, I have always prided myself in being independent. Yes, I won't lie, I am emotionally needy, but despite that, I also have been able to be by myself and not rely on anyone, financially, emotionally, or otherwise -- especially men. My problem is once I let them into my life, I open up too much at that point and then they get scared. I guess they don't want to feel that, but what am I supposed to do? It doesn't mean I can't survive without them. I can, and I know it. So does God.

But I have had to admit defeat. I've had to surrender. I have never, and I mean never felt such a need for another human being as I do now. Why am I even admitting this on my blog? I don't honestly know. I hate the fact that I need someone else. I don't like knowing that there are things I simply will not accomplish in my life without this person. But it's the simple truth, and I have surrendered to it.

I have never needed a man in such a spiritual manner as this. The need I have for Jeremy surpasses any physical or emotional needs I have ever had or required to be met. This is so very different, and leaves me utterly vulnerable. But I do need him, and I feel deep down he needs me too. Why I fight it; I do not know. I guess I would like to think that I can do it alone...with God.

But God has said himself in the Bible, "man is not meant to be alone." It is foolishness to assume we can do it that way. I know my mission; and I know I can't do it without him. Do I want to admit this? No. Do I want to scare him off if he reads this? No. Do I want to manipulate him by letting him know this? NO. But it is the truth, and it is a truth that I cannot deny. I feel it within every fiber of my being. What am I supposed to do about that?

Patience is no longer an issue for me. I have all the patience I need. Time isn't an issue, either. But what can I do to quench this spiritual need? This spiritual longing? I guess keep doing what I am doing. Magnify my callings. Keep on bettering myself. Serve others. Read the Word.

Well, I guess that is all I CAN do. But for some reason, there is still something missing; and I finally admitted to realizing what it is.

Aug 12, 2004

Ok, so this is a tiny image (stupid SBC will make us pay for a larger one) but here is Jess, Laurie and I at the State Fair.


Aug 11, 2004

It is August 10th. It's the hottest month of the year, and I am wearing my warmest Gap fleece and STILL cold! It is only 53 degrees and on top of that it is windy! I feel like I'm in the middle of October. In fact, on my way to work this morning, as I was walking, a sense of dejâ vù came over me. The weather, the music I was listening to ("Remember When it Rained -- Josh Groban, of course), the way I felt about my life, etc...I felt like I was back on campus at BYU. I felt displaced then; and I feel displaced now. Oddly enough, though, I feel like I'm supposed to be on campus at BYU right now. I'm sure it's just a fleeting thought/feeling, but it is odd. I will admit, though, that my dislike for Utah has been greatly diminishing. Maybe that's because someday I'll end up back there, I don't know. Although, teaching in Utah doesn't sound great to me, considering their less-than-stellar education record, but hey, maybe that's why -- they need good teachers:) But, I don't want to go there alone. I really don't know how I can afford to go back to school, anyway. I'm not sure how to do any of this. It's quite confusing.

But anyway. I'm still missing Jeremy, of course. I can't help it; I have finally surrendered to the truth, I guess. I tried fighting it but I can't. The Adversary has tried all he can, too, to convince me to just give up and do as I please. But I find that my desires and the desires the Lord has for me are getting closer every day. I'm grateful for that, but at the same time, perplexed. I'm a little frightened, but I know I can't allow that to overcome me. I am stronger than that. I can follow the Lord's will for me, even if right now it's completely blindly. I have to have faith, and that's all there is to it.

Well, I guess I better get back to work. I feel so weird and out of sorts, and yeah, displaced. But anyway.
I get emails every day from LDS-GEMS. I really liked this one on repentance. It reminds me (as it should all of us) that everything is forgivable. It reminds me of what the Atonement is really about!

"One may think, It is too late, my life will soon be over, and I am
eternally doomed. Not so, for 'if in this life only we have hope in Christ,
we are of all men most miserable' (1 Cor. 15:19).

"Just as the physical body can be cleansed and healed, so can the spirit be
washed clean by the power of the Atonement. The Lord will lift you and
carry your burden during the suffering and struggle required to make you
clean. That is what the Atonement of Christ is all about." - Boyd K. Packer

Oh how I love Christ! How grateful I am for his sacrifice and his Redeeming love!

Aug 9, 2004

Oh my gosh, that was the most beautiful music I have ever heard. Josh Groban has an absolutely amazing voice, and it is even richer and more beautiful in person than it is on album, if that is even possible! Most artists are great in the recording studio, but not so great live. Josh was simply amazing.

Music rarely touches my soul as his does. His genre is interesting; it's almost modern opera/inspirational/adult contemporary. It's not a concert where you stand up and scream. It's one where you close your eyes and drown in the music. Not only are his vocals amazing, but the instrumentation...he had this amazing violist...I don't remember her name but I was amazed by her talent. I love to listen to the viola, and that mixed with his vocals -- all I can say is wow. He sings mostly in English and Italian, but also in Spanish. One of my favorite songs of his, "Si Volvieras a Mi" was not sung, which was disappointing, but it was still an amazing concert. He did sing "You Lift Me Up", which is one of my favorite songs. Gilly introduced that song to me back in February after I broke up with the love of my life. The song really touched my soul.

It was just amazing. We don't have talent like that on the air waves much these days, and it's a shame, because he is truly an artist. I would much rather listen to soulful and inspirational music such as his than the R&B crap that only talks about sex which is played so often nowadays. I'm just glad that Gilly introduced me to Josh Groban. What a spectacular show.

Aug 7, 2004

Well, we're off to the Wisconsin State Fair. I don't particularily feel like going, but everyone is begging me to go. So, I'll go.

Then tomorrow we're going to Chicago and going to a Josh Groban concert. I guess I need time away from hanging out at home all the time. Laurie's friend Ryan flew in from Washington (they met at ldsso.com) and is staying the weekend. So, Laurie's doing the whole city-in-a-day tour. Yesterday was Wisconsin Dells and Madison, today will be Milwaukee, and tomorrow Chicago.

Well, there's not much to say today. I'm really missing Jeremy...BAD. Gosh I love that man. More than ever. It is killing me, LOL.

Well...I'll probably write more tomorrow night and talk about the weekend.

Aug 6, 2004

Well, I figured out what I am supposed to be.

I was right when I was a child. I was right when I declared my major the first time.

I am supposed to be a teacher.

I have taught before. I taught English at La Escuela Suprior de Negocios in Spain. I taught Web design here at the university. But I always felt I wasn't a good teacher; that I couldn't verbalize the things that needed to be said.

But my experience, so far, in teaching Sunday School has been immensely rewarding, humbling and empowering at the same time. Through this experience, and through the advice of friends, impressions that I had been getting (and mentioned in earlier blogs) and finally, yet another prayer...

Well, my prayer was answered. This time it was crystal clear. I am supposed to teach.

Now I have to figure out what it is I am supposed to teach, and where I am supposed to live and teach. Then I will need to obtain the necessary licenture in that particular state, after going back to school, if that be necessary. There are still a lot of things to figure out, but my heart tells me that in due time I will be saying farewell to Wisconsin, and heading out west. While change is intimidating, at the same time, I must trust my heart and trust my answers to prayers.

Yol bolsun.

Aug 5, 2004

I've never felt the dangerous power of the Adversary as I have as of late. I literally see and feel the destruction he is causing in the world and in my life. I am seeing his power in destroying relationships, building up mistrust and hatred, feeding upon low self-esteem, convincing me and the people that I love that they are worthless, that our sins are unforgivable, and that we do not merit the Redeeming love of our Savior. I see how he rejoices in our despair.

He is really trying to do all he can to destroy me and the people in my life. I have never before feared the Adversary's power, because I have always had more power to overcome him. But now seeing how he can influence well-intentioned people and subtly create havoc in my life and in my relationships is starting to scare me.

I know that Heavenly Father will protect me. I know I have the power of the Holy Ghost to help me. But to literally see the subtle cleverness and evil that the Adversary uses; to see how he can use good people to try to convince us that the ways of the Lord are in fact the wrong paths, to see how he will use these tactics to allow hatred, anger, and mistrust enter into our lives...well it's just too much.

I will fight him every step of the way. I knew my life would be like this, but the strongest tactic Satan has against me is my despair and my mistrust of myself and the promises of the Lord. I am sinking into despair; I feel like I cannot escape it, and that the darkness is too much. I see how he has ruined many of the good, righteous relationships I have by causing the same feelings to enter into their hearts as entered into mine.

But he WILL NOT WIN. I can recognize and discern him and his disciples from those of God, and I will NOT allow Satan to overcome me. It may mean I will stand alone in high places...it may mean I will lose everything I hold dear and precious. BUT HE WILL NOT, and I repeat WILL NOT, win me. I am a DAUGHTER OF GOD, and I know who I am. I need to raise myself above this and also try as I can to help those others around me who are feeling the same influence.

God is my strength. Christ is my Redeemer and my Brother. Through them I will succeed.

Aug 4, 2004

Aug 1, 2004

Oh, I want to go on a road trip SOO BADLY!!! I just want to get in my car and drive out west. I want to visit Laura in Provo, and see her new place. I want to see Christine and Ahlan in SLC, and their three children (none of which I've ever even met yet!) I want to do an endowment session in the SLC temple. I want to see the changes they have made to BYU. I'd love to go to Wyoming and see my family, and visit Yellowstone again. I want to see the Grand Canyon. I want to go to Arizona, meet James and his family, and give him a gigantic hug for all the help he's given me. I want to see my cousins in Phoenix.

I want to take two weeks and just GO. I want to feel the wind in my hair and the sun on my face, and sing at the top of my lungs as I drive. I don't want to worry about work, my life...nothing...I just want to feel free!!!!

Oh, I want to go so badly.
Below is a photo of our Mama mourning dove, laying on her eggs.







Here is a photo of the darling babies the day they hatched.







And here is a photo of them yesterday. Their mother must have been gone looking for food, so I got a good closeup of the cuties :)