Well, Christmas went well. I got an autmated kitty litter box (Littermaid Plus) but I still don't think it's going to be big enough. It's deeper than the one Jess bought for Baxy and Beau, but it's not long enough. I could see my cats making a mess outside the box even when they are inside it. So...we'll see.
What I really loved about this year was the look on my brother's face when he opened his gift from me. I gave him my old iBook -- cleaned it up for him, got rid of all my extra stuff, and since I even had the original packaging, CD's and manuals, the effect was, well, magical. He really had no idea that I would even consider giving him my iBook for Christmas. He absolutely loved it. It just warmed my heart seeing that joy on his face:)
I did meet this guy on ldsmingle.com who recently moved from Utah. I met him last night for dinner -- (his name is Mark). He's an interesting fellow :) Kind of scruffy, but he hast these really nice eyes and a nice smile...but... in many ways we feel differently about the gospel. He said he knows it is true, but feels like the church micromanages his life...and he has to keep telling himself the people aren't perfect, but the gospel is. I know where he's coming from...just like every other one of my friends who is having problems with the church. They all know the gospel and the doctrine is true, but they can't stand the people!! I feel this way too, actually....so many Mormons think they are so damn good and so much better than other people, like they have a corner on righteousness or truth or something...and that is NOT the way Christ taught us to behave. I think many of them will be surprised when judgment day comes and they find out they weren't as good as they would like to believe they were.
But, despite my dislike for many of the church's members, I still attend my meetings. I decided that I had to make a decision -- was I going to church for the people, or for Heavenly Father? Would I want Heavenly Father asking me, on my own judgment day, why I cared more about what people said or did or thought than what He thought? Besides, for my own spiritual growth, I need to retain my temple recommend. I can't do that if I don't attend my meetings. The thought of not having it pains me..not because I care one wink what other people might think, but because I know how I feel when I enter the House of the Lord. I need to regularly have that opportunity. It strengthens me, refreshes my spirit, and encourages me to continue to endure well. And in the temple, I do not have to deal with the idiosyncracies of the people. Yes, people are there (obviously) but it's not them who I'm listening to or conversing with. Being in the temple reminds me of why I am Mormon, and what the truth really is about.
But anyway...I'm at work (and I think there are three others here and that is it) so I have to go find something to do:) I guess I'll write more later!