Saturday, May 30, 2009

For Grandma Great (1908-2008)

It's been awhile since I've heard your sweet little voice. It's been a long since I got a card from you in the mail telling me that you remembered me in some little way. It's been even longer since I heard your testimony and saw your frail form standing up tall, telling us what you knew and what we should try to learn for ourselves too. I remember hearing the news that you had left us, gone back to be with your eternal companion. The feeling was bittersweet. Grandma Great, the world is less without you around, but I'm grateful for the legacy you left behind. I'm proud to have your name. Love, McKenzie

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Here Comes The Son

Yesterday was quite possibly the longest day of my life. I know I've had bad days and days that I felt I couldn't take anymore, but yesterday was what I would call verrrrrry heavy. Have you ever heard the quote, "Don't pray for a lighter load, pray for broader shoulders"? Well I really didn't feel like applying that to myself yesterday, despite the fact that it kept on flashing over and over in my poor, shriveled-up brain. I knew from looking at my To-Do list on Monday night that it was going to be a busy day, but I had no idea that Heavenly Father had some real tests in store for me. You can always tell what your biggest weaknesses are by the things Heavenly Father tests you on the most--patience is obviously one of mine. I started Tuesday with an early early class (Book of Mormon, which is always worth waking up for) and then went to the Taylor Chapel to try and study for a super-hard Spanish test I had to take that day. I ended up having trouble staying awake because first of all, the Taylor Chapel has cushy seats, and second of all, it's very quite and peaceful in there. I started praying for help to get through the day because I could see the storm clouds already forming. Pretty soon I couldn't even focus on Spanish at all and then before I knew it it was time for my next class. All of my classes finished by 12:30 but that was just the end of Round One. P.S. I hope this post doesn't sound whiny. I'm trying to build up to all of the awesomeness that followed all the badical-ness.

After a great devotional by Brother Gardner (former member of the seventy; you should definitely look up that talk!) the madness began. I went home to squeeze in a catnap before I studied for my Spanish test, which ended up taking me an hour to take. I also didn't do as well as I thought I would, but once again I prayed that Heavenly Father would help me to accept my score and also to learn from my mistakes. After the exam I ran up to the math lab in the library to start on the intense load of math homework I had coming. At about this time I got a phone call from the ward secretary telling me that I needed to meet with the Bishop about my calling. I did some homework until 8:30 and then ran over to the Romney to meet with him. Only problem was there were 2 girls in front of me and they took a lot longer than I had anticipated. I started to feel the stress building up again and prayed (like I had been doing allllll day long; I bet Heavenly Father was getting sick of the same ol' prayer: "Help."). I ran back over to the library to get my stuff (by this time it was almost 10) and started doing homework. I could feel myself getting frustrated and blaming other people for all of my problems. I tried to push out all of these feelings but couldn't seem to shake them. That's when Bishop Cramer came out of his office and I finally went in for my interview. That's when the miracles started happening and I know it's no coincidence that it began in his office. As soon as I walked in all of the stress and worries melted away. After asking me a little bit about myself, he asked, "Is there anything special you'd like to talk about?" I had to think about it for a second, and then I realized that he didn't know I was there for a calling. The point is that I was about to start bawling in front of this man I hardly knew and tell him all about my day. Bishops are seriously the coolest guys ever! Instead of breaking down I told him why I was really there, and he was really embarrassed for not knowing about it. After he called me to be ward pianist (which I already knew about..heheh) he told me how much he loved music and how important my calling was. That meant a whole lot! After the interview he told me how grateful he was that I was so patient and kind, waiting a whole hour and half after my appointment. I took that as a "slap on the wrist" from Heavenly Father; it was a compliment I didn't deserve. As I was walking away from his office, I literally looked upward and said, "Okay, Heavenly Father, I learned my lesson. Thank you for teaching me my lesson the hard way." After that my mind was perfectly clear; I rushed back to the library and completed a math assignment in less than an hour that should've taken 2. Then I ran home and wrote a bunch of questions that had to be posted online by midnight in 20 minutes--that should've taken me at least another hour. This gave me an hour to do my Spanish homework (it was 12am by this time) and I got it done! After I finally got in my bed I was able to fall asleep quickly and it was the best night of sleep I've had since I got here. Even though it was only 6 or 7 hours, it felt like 12. I know it was deep sleep because I had three dreams and I didn't feel tired when I got up this morning. I realized that yesterday was literally a day of miracles, and it makes me want to rejoice in the love that Heavenly Father has for me and all of His children! Before writing this post, I read my older brother's letter, who is also experiencing many miracles as he serves. Somehow when we find the time to sacrifice for Heavenly Father, he always returns it to us a hundredfold! I have no doubt that Heavenly Father cares about "silly things" like grades, sleep, and tests. Not after yesterday.

Moroni 7:35-37
35 And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with apower and great glory at the last bday, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased?
36 Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he awithheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?
37 Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that amiracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of bunbelief, and all is vain.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Blown Away

The past few days I haven't really bothered making my hair perfecto before heading out to class; this is because of something I'm going to call the "Rexburg Phenomena." I'll explain: you look at your calendar, and it says that the month is "May." Well then you watch TV, and the weatherman says that it's supposed to be "sunny." All of these things usually have one thing in common: the season most often known as spring. Unfortunately, those of us living in Eastern Idaho during the curious month of May don't really understand this supposed change in the weather that's supposed to take place between March and April. I only wish that I could put a little recording on this post with the sound that my window is making right now; it kinda sounds like a screeching 2 year old. By now you've probably guessed what the sound really is--the Rexburg Phenomena is the constant-hurricane-ish-hair's-worst-enemy called wind. This wind is unlike wind in other states because in Idaho, there are no mountains around to block it out. So if you're standing at the top of campus and if you're not wearing a helmet (most people don't for social reasons), your hair is going to get a bit tousled. You're going to feel like you need anchors on the bottom of your clothes. You're going to wish you had an umbrella...just to see what would happen. You're going to forget about seeing people's faces and just settling for recognizing people by their voice. Which can be embarassing when you guess the wrong person under that flying mane. Today I learned something new about Idaho: spring doesn't start until the wind stops...and, well, so far the forecast isn't so hot. Pardon the pun.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Guess who....

He is an intelligent being, in the Image of God, possessing every organ, attribute, sense, sympathy, and affection that is possessed by God Himself. But these are possessed by man, in his rudimental state, in a subordinate sense of the word. Or, in other words, these attributes are in embryo, and are to be gradually developed. They resemble a bud, a germ, which gradually develops into a bloom and then, by progress, produces the mature fruit after its own kind. The Gift of the Holy Ghost adapts itself to all these organs or attributes. It quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections and adapts them by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to give health, vigor, animation and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being. In the presence of such persons (who have been thus affected by It), one feels to enjoy the light of their countenance, as the genial rays of a sunbeam. Their very atmosphere diffuses a thrill, a warm glow of pure gladness and sympathy of Spirit. No matter if the parties are strangers, entirely unknown to each other, each will be apt to remark in his own mind, and perhaps exclaim, when referring to the interview- "Oh, what an atmosphere encircles that stranger! How my heart thrilled with pure and holy feelings in the presence of this person. What confidence and sympathy he inspired. His countenance and spirit gave me more assurance than a thousand written recommendations, or introductory letters." Such is the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and such are it's operations, when received through the lawful channel-the Divine, Eternal Priesthood.

(Parley P. Pratt, Key to Science of Theology, pp. 101- 103)