Saturday, October 30, 2010


Yesterday at work, Gavin and I were hauling tarps-full of leaves to the truck about an hour before the shift ended. We were returning into a quad with an empty tarp to see two little boys, who had found our rakes lying beside a giant pile of leaves. They had picked the rakes up and were proceeding to rake the pile. The rakes were about twice as big as they were.
My first thought was, "Are they allowed to do that? How are we going to get our rakes back?"
But Gavin said, "That's so cute!" and he went over and started to talk to them. "Are you guys raking our pile? Wanna help us?"
But I was so embarrassed because I really didn't know what to say or do with those two little boys. I had no idea what to say to make them laugh, how to tell them which way to rake, anything! I was absolutely speechless. I'm sure Gavin noticed, because I usually talk quite a bit. But really, witht these kids, I had absolutely no idea what to say and how to do things around them.
But I still found lots of joy watching the others interact with the children. The others came over and we jumped in the pile with them once it was raked onto the tarp. Then we gave them a ride in the tarp over to the truck. The smallest boy -- probably only three years old -- was a little nervous to get into the tarp with his brother. But then he looked up at our encouraging faces and that was when I could see the excitement well up in his eyes and he couldn't contain how excited he was to go for a ride.
Gavin really surprised me. It was so cute, what he was doing with those kids. He'd say funny things and show them which way to rake and he'd actually talk to them. He's better with kids than I am?? And I gotta say, it was pretty hot. No joke, a man who does well with kids is definitely a gem... But then I think about what he said as we approached the two boys at the very beginning.
"It's kind of sad to say that a guy is better with kids than a girl is, but unfortunately, I think that is the case here."
But I really am no good with kids! I wonder when those motherly instincts are gonna set in. It was rather embarrassing, not being able to do anything fun with Gavin and the little boys without feeling awkward. Gavin is so good at it... I'm jealous. Really.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


When I was a kid, I loved raking leaves into a huge pile and jumping into it. The bigger the pile, the better. My sister and I would spend all fracking day raking our entire yard into one ginormous pile. Even if it meant having to rake all the leaves from the backyard into the front yard, we would do it if it meant having a bigger pile.

One year, we even raked our neighbors' yards, gathered up all their leaves into tarps, and transported them all into our yard to make an even bigger jumping pile. Finally, we had created a massive pile of crunchy leaves that would cushion your fall as you bounded into them. It was amazing.

The giant pile ended up staying there for a while, and the grass underneath was definitely damaged by the time we carted all those leaves away. My parents were not that amused at this.

Now, years later, I no longer find as much joy in raking leaves, especially when I have to do it every day in the cold weather for work. Today, we raked up a pile that was quintupled the size of the biggest pile I made at home.

If I were still a twelve-year-old girl, it would be leaf heaven for me. The pile was huge. It was like a mini-mountain range of millions and millions of leaves. You could create a whole new world in that thing. Tunnels, bridges, homes... The thing was huge.

Yet, while ten years ago I would have been literally jumping for joy into that new leaf world, I could only look at that pile today with dread. We ended up having to painstakingly move all those leaves into the street so it could be picked up by a monstrous vaccuum and transported far away from Ymount Terrace. Now I never want to look at another leaf again.

Happy Autumn, everyone!

"Glints of Gold." Hannah Johnson 2009

Listening to: Alex Goot's Cover of Jack's Mannequin's "Dark Blue"
Blessings: Gloves, Boss's Chilli, and Gavin for giving me a ride to campus.
Things Going on Today: There's an audition today for "Rise Up Shepherd" and I'm trying out I think. Also making a cake for my coworkers in honor of Halloween tonight.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Willow Smith' Whip My Hair

I actually REALLY like this video. The song is "eh" but the video is great. Her voice kind of reminds me of Rihanna... She'll probably end up growing up to be a total skank like the rest of those child performers, but here's hoping!

In the meantime, enjoy the video and the joy of being young.

Something worth documenting...

So today at work something very funny happened at my expense, but even I am still laughing about it because I'm sure it was the funniest thing ever to those who were watching.
Today at work, we went down to 3's and do some raking. We had been raking all the cold morning, and we had returned to the shed for a short break before going back down and finishing our work. Once the break was over, we returned to the truck and prepared to head back down to 3's. Both Gavin and I got into the truck, and that was when Gavin said, "Oh no! I forgot my gloves!"
That was when I realized that I, too, had forgotten my gloves, so both of us leapt down from the truck and went back into the shed to fetch them. Gavin couldn't find his right away, but mine were on the counter close to the door, so I just picked 'em up and exited the shed with Gavin trailing behind me.
By this time, Rachel had already started moving the truck away from the shed. The doors were still open from when Gavin and I left to get our gloves, and I'm sure Rachel knew that we were on our way back out, so she was driving very slowly. I thought this would be a great opportunity to look daring and cool by running up next to that open door and hopping into the moving vehicle. I would simply have to reach out, grab the little arm-handle-thingy, and leap up so that my foot could reach the little step just under the door and voila! Just like Indiana Jones!
So I did just that. I ran up next to the cab, caught hold of the handle-thingy, and leapt up onto the step. Everything worked out just as I planned, and for a brief moment I felt SO COOL. I just jumped into a moving vehicle, just like one of the guys! And it was all done so smoothly and flawlessly...
Then Rachel decided to stop the truck. I suppose it was a smart idea, seeing as Gavin was just now exiting the shed. The problem was she stopped VERY quickly. As the cab pulled to a stop, inertia lurched me forward and suddenly I felt the jarring impact of my body against the car door.
The next thing I remember was laughing like crazy. Gavin was now right behind me, also shamelessly laughing in this tiny high voice like a four-year-old girl. I heard Rachel say, "I'm sorry, Hannah! I must have stopped to quick!" Then Dan said, "That has got to be the funniest thing I've ever seen."

I just thought I'd record that little blurb for my own sake. I know someday I'm going to need a pick-me-up and this would be a great one.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Because I write to so many missionaries, it becomes quite disappointing when I don't hear from a SINGLE ONE OF THEM in a MONTH. Each day I check the mailbox a hundred times, hoping and praying that this next time there will be something in it for me... But it's always the same. Nothing. The little mail slot belonging to my apartment is either empty, stuffed with ads, or has some letter for one of my other roommates.

Last summer, my sister decided that SNAIL MAIL isn't quite the correct term to use when describing a lack of missionary correspondence. This is FAIL MAIL. A mailbox with no missionary letters is most pathetic. Here are other types of mail one can receive:

EPICFAIL MAIL: There's nothing in the mailbox but junk that you don't want. Not even a meaningful magazine... just ads and wasted paper.

FRAIL MAIL: Letters from a missionary in poor health. I would express concern for this missionary.

ALE MAIL: A letter written while intoxicated. Hopefully you never get one of these from a missionary. Not only is it bad form, it's impossible to read a drunk person's handwriting.

QUAIL MAIL: Mail delivered by homing pidgeon, which would be epic.

YALE MAIL: Letters that are waaaaaaaaaay to smart sounding for you to properly understand them. When you have to look every other word up in the dictionary, this missionary may be too smart for you.

JAIL MAIL: Letters sent from prison. I would be a little concerned if you suddenly get one of these... which leads me to...

BAIL MAIL: A letter asking you to help bail out a person from jail... Also not a very pleasant letter to receive in the mailbox.

NAIL MAIL: A letter with holes in it. Yes, these do exist. I just sent one to a friend of mine in California.

FLAIL MAIL: Mail that makes you have an epileptic seizure because it's so freaking cute.

STALE MAIL: The kind of letter you get when you really have nothing to say in response. I get these from missionaries I don't know all that well. I end up simply rambling about useless, random topics like the weather and asking questions about missionary work that I already know the answers to.

HAIL MAIL: A letter that discusss the weather.

VEIL MAIL: Letters that include marriage proposals. I really can't tell you how to adequately respond to these letters...

SCALE MAIL: Mail with content that discusses weight. These are actually more common than you think. Missionaries like talking about how much weight they've gained or lost on their missions. Which brings me to...

WHALE MAIL: Letters from an obese missionary. Hopefully you don't get too many of these. Missionaries should at least be TRYING to stay healthy while they're out.

FEMALE MAIL: Letters from a sister missionary.

BRAILLE MAIL: Letters written in Braille. (I plan on sending one of these to Mr. California Missionary as well).

WAIL MAIL: Letters that make you cry out in sorrow.

IMPALE MAIL: Letters that make you want to kill yourself out of embarassment for the sender.

BETRAYAL MAIL: A letter that states that a missionary has been discussing the content of your letters to his companions.

GALE MAIL / DALE MAIL: Letters from a missionary named Gale or Dale. I don't know any Dales or Gales in the mission field...

TO-NO-AVAIL MAIL: A letter that completely ignores all that you said in your last letter. Your words and opinions aren't even acknowledged. This is worst when it involves romance.

TELLTALE MAIL: Mail that reveals waaaaay too much about a missionary that you really didn't need to know.

PREVAIL MAIL: Mail you FINALLY get from a missionary you haven't heard from a while. These are the best kinds of letters.

Friday, October 22, 2010

My Mowing Story.

So not only have I epic-failed the blogging-every-day thing, I have hardly blogged AT ALL during the month of October!

...And I still don't have much to blog about even now that I've started a post! This is ridiculous.

I guess, because it's on my mind, I can talk about work...
Work is GREAT FUN, especially when we're not stuck mowing all morning. Mowing -- in and of itself -- is a fairly easy job that is not too dirty or physically taxing and leaves you feeling quite accomplished once you have finished. However, mowing is also a very individualized job that doesn't give you much chance to talk (and.. dare I say.. FLIRT??) with coworkers. The lawn mower is way too noisy for pleasant communication, and everyone sort of breaks off and does their own thing in their own area anyway.

Another downside of mowing is hills. That's where all the real sweat comes in, especially once the sun has come over the mountains. Just last Wednesday I had to mow this BEAST of a hill -- I will affectionately call it the SOB -- that was pretty much at a 180-degree angle with the horizon. It was also in an area where water just DOESN'T GO AWAY, so it's always very muddy and slippery all of the time. Basically, your life is in constant peril whenever you mow this hill.

I have attempted to mow the SOB only once before, and it ended in a disaster.

I decided it would be best to mow from one side of the hill to another, rather than up and down. After a few scary trips across the top of the hill, I got to a particularly muddy section and suddenly the wheels of the mower completely lost traction with the ground and the mower began to slip sideways down the hill, dragging me with it. I ended up sliding down the muddiest half of the SOB on my butt, holding my feet out in front of me, praying for a place to sink my heels into for a foothold before I careened into the wall at the bottom of the hill, breaking my mower as well as my own body.
Fortunately, I was able to successfully find a foothold, stop the mower, and save myself from crashing into the wall. But this presented a new problem: I was now holding on to an active lawn mower, holding mysef for dear life in one place with just a tiny dirt patch for a foothold that could give way at any moment. What do I do now? I was far to weak to pull the mower back up toward me, and even if I could do that, there arrived the new problem of getting the rest of this muddy line done before I slipped again. I could just let go of the mower, but the image of my boss's face upon first gaze of the completely smashed two-thousand-dollar mower in a heap next to the wall at the foot of the hill turned me off to that idea very quickly.

There was only one solution: I would have to slowly make my way down that hill in as controlled and careful of a fashion as possible. This meant I would have to put a lot of faith in my limp arms, my heels, and the slippery muddy footholes that hopefully were present in my path. This would have one of two consequences: I would be successful in my quest and find myself safe -- though a little muddy -- at the bottom of the hill.
OR I could end up losing control and gravity would take me straight into that wall. Maybe in the meantime, my pant leg would get caught in the blade of the mower and... goodbye foot.

But did I have a choice? No. So down I went. I let my foot slip from that foothold that saved my life and I carefully tried to scootch my way down the hill with a hundred-pound-mower leading the way. My legs stretched as far out as they could, searching for new footholds with which I could manipulate my speed down the hill. My poor butt scraped against the grass and mudd, leaving stains on the seat of my pants that never ever would come out.

But by some miracle, I made it to the more shallow part of the hill and I was able to successfully turn the mower away from disaster.

It was then that I decided that this SOB was not going to get mowed -- at least not that day. As I dragged the mower away from the hill, I turned my head back toward the butt-smear I had left behind in the mudd and grass. "You may have won this time," I mumbled to that hill under my breath, "But we will meet again. Someday, SOB, I will mow you, and you will not know what hit you." This was my vow as I trekked back toward the shed. I was going to mow that hill or die trying.

Well, that day was last Wednesday. Early in the morning, I awoke with the knowledge that today I would have to mow the SOB. Suddenly, my resolve to completely own the SOB with my superior mowage was not as strong as it was a few weeks earlier. I dreaded that hill. I knew it had rained that week, which meant even MORE mud and slipperiness than before. Furthermore, I had stayed up until 2 in the morning the night morning doing homework, so I was in no way ready to start my day with mowing a death trap. Why did the day have to be TODAY? I moaned to myself as I trudged to work.
Upon my arrival at the mower shed, I selected the trustiest mower I could get my hands on and prepared it for battle. I tried to take my time doing it, though. Maybe one of the boys would go handle the SOB themselves and leave me to do some other area. Sadly, only one boy -- I'll call him THE BABY from now on -- went in that direction, and this boy was the biggest WIMP I've ever met in my life. No WAY he was gonna even HELP me do that hill. By the time I caught up with him, he had mowed EVERY OTHER AREA surrounding the SOB, so it was the ONLY THING left to do. Just as I arrived, he looked back at me, shrugged, and walked away. I felt very much like the Little Red Hen right then.

So there I was, alone with that monster hill. I stiffened my upper lip and raised my head erect. This SOB was not going to mow itself, and none of my coworkers were going to help me. It was just me and the SOB.

So off I went.

The first lesson I had learned since last time was how to manipulate the motor of the mower so I didn't have to push so hard. After weeks and weeks of mowing experience, I had figured out which mower had the best motor for the job. I trudged along, starting at the bottom of the hill and working my way up, side to side, side to side. Things were only slightly scary until about halfway up the hill; that was where the mud began to appear.

The hardest part about mowing hills is switching directions. Once you got your mower moving in a straight line, there's usually no problem. But in this case, I had to pull my mower up and around on its back legs to get it to go the right direction. And there was indeed a LOT of mud...

Before I could back down, I threw myself into pushing the mower around so it was facing back the way it came. There came a point where I was directly underneath the mower on the hill. I was precariously holding that giant machine on the steepest, muddiest part of the hill with two limp noodles for arms. I could see the back wheels slipping under the muck, leaving ugly scars in the otherwise very green grass just in front of me. I could feel my own feet slipping farther and farther down the hill, into puddles of grime. It was only a matter of time before my strength would give out and the mower would slide backwards and run me over. I took a deep breath, counted to three, and using all the arm strength I could muster, I pushed that mower out of its rut and up the hill.
And my feet slipped.

I could see my life flash before my eyes. The mower was going to careen backwards down the slippery surface, crushing me and tearing me limb from limb as it passed over my fallen body. Then it would roll headlong into the wall, bursting into a thousand pieces. Whatever was left of me would then be chopped up and fed to dogs by my boss as punishment for ruining a perfectly good mower. It was inevitable. The SOB had won.

But thank heavens for human reflexes! I don't know how my legs did it. One minute they were flailing in thin air, unable to find a firm grip on the ground... The next, they were planted sturdily into the soil, and I was able to turn that mower around and back to a saver, more vertical position with the hill. I had not fallen. The mower was safe. My body was safe. I could continue the trek across the SOB and finish the job.

Perhaps it was the confidence I gained from that little triumph, but I managed to complete the entire SOB without any further problems. This time, as I walked away from the hill, I looked back and saw clean stripes of tire tracks with hardly any mud scars. I had defeated the SOB.

I AM NEVER MOWING THAT LAWN AGAIN. Next time, I'm making the Baby do it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


So my 31-day committment to blogging FAILED MISERABLY.

I blame google.

Two nights ago, I WANTED to blog! I really did! I got on the computer, clicked the blogger icon and... nothing. "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage." I tried again. Nope. Tried hitting some other links. They all worked... at least until I clicked on YouTube. YouTube wasn't working either! Then I tried looking up something on Google... and THAT failed.

So anything attatched to google was down in my neighborhood for about an hour. It was within that hour when I got preoccupied with about a hundred other things I had to do, so I never got around to posting a blog entry that day.
I guess I COULD HAVE started up again the following morning when google was back in business, but you know how it goes. Once you stop, there's little to motivate you to keep going. What's the point in having a 31-days-of-blogging marathon if you can't even get past 3 days??

So, proof of my laziness right here, but I still blame google.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Day 3: More conferences!

On to the Sunday Sessions!!

More about following prophets! I've got this feeling that Monson's talk is gonna be pretty good. I need to listen to conference to learn, to repent, and to GO AND DO. Eyring talked mostly about faith, about how Christ is the one who really causes true faith to be planted in your heart. What I really liked about Eyring's talk is when he mentioned people in the scriptures who had their faith shaken. He said he did not comletely know how they felt, and he could not completely understand why they had such little faith, but from what he knew, he wanted to teach us. I need to be that understanding and empathetic. I need to take care of my own faith before worrying about anyone elses. And my faith does need work. I pledge to strengthen my faith by finding time every day to think about Christ and his Atonement.

Packer gave an EPIC chastity talk today! My favorite part of his talk was how he said, "It is very liberating when an individual chooses to be obedient." That is SO TRUE. I find a renewed sense of power when I say no to sin, especially sexual sin. I love also that Satan cannot create life like we can, so he's trying to use us to get to that power. He also laid the spiritual SMACKDOWN when it comes to morality and politics. He said morality cannot be changed by battle or ballot. I LOVE IT. WE WILL NOT CHANGE. WE WILL PROTECT AND FOSTER THE FAMILY. I pledge to NEVER EVER step down from that ideal when it comes to morality in politics. I also pledge NOT TO LOOK BACK. To delete the immorality I have committed in the past both in thought and in deed from my mind.

Gaining a testimony does not involve hearing a voice or seeing a being. It's about feelings. This talk was all about the holy ghost. I also found out that Lehi and Joseph Smith have a ton of stuff in common. I pledge to listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, especially the promptings I get as I fervently pray.

Mary M. Cook
I want to start today, now. I want to have kids now so I can raise them in righteousness and be a good example! I am so enthusiastic about it now!! However, I have trouble maintaining this enthusiasm by keeping the faith and keeping a strong testimony. I especially want to teach my children the importance of their baptismal covenant. I'm not sure I realized the committment I made when I was baptized, and I want my kids to understand how they make a promise to God when they enter the waters of baptism. I pledge to start today in preparing to care and raise my children to be virtuous and pure.

Dallin H. Oaks
Oaks talked about two lines of revelation. There should be a balance between personal revelation and priesthood revelation. The church is the only place where we can have both. We can't rely too much on either one of these. And they should go together. God won't tell you one thing through personal revelation and then tell you another thing through the preisthood. Furthermore, in order to recieve personal revelation, we need to be following the priesthood revelation. Priesthood trumps personal. We are not receiving inspiration from God if we have been told that we are excused from Priesthood guidance. Oaks puts the SMACKDOWN ON AGNOSTICS. ORGANIZED RELIGION IS SO IMPORTANT, we NEED it!! We need to be united. We need to work together. We need preisthood leadership. I pledge NEVER to forget this important principle, and to not let the world tell me otherwise.

"Here we go, here we go, to a birthday paaarty." DO WE REMEMBER TO GIVE THANKS FOR THE BLESSINGS WE RECEIVE? Holland mentioned this too, as did Gordon B. Hinkley. If we give thanks, the miracle follows. How often do we focus on what we lack? Thank God for EVERYTHING. Ingratitude is one of the most serious sins, and gratitude is the parent of all virtues. Let's have an attitude of gratitude! Be optimistic! Let love overpower jealousy and light drive darkness out of you life. Don't be prideful or selfish. Be happy! Be satisfied! I pledge to live with gratitude in my heart, not just in my actions, especially my gratitude for my Savior, Jesus Christ.

This is mostly pertaining to priesthood stuff, but I think it applies to me, too. He told me to avoid things that are degrading in the media. To maybe avoid abuse of the media in general.
But I need to respect the priesthood and live worthily to have it in my home. I pledge to treat holders of the priesthood with respect and dignity.

How do you receive the holy ghost? It's harder than it looks.. at least for me. Just because I've been given the gift of the holy ghost after baptism doesn't mean I have it all the time. I need to live worthily of it. And come on, it is a GIFT. If someone gives me something, shouldn't I appreciate it. If I have a desire, I'm farther than I think. And I don't have any control over what the Holy ghost does. He comes to me. What I can do is withdraw myself, which I need to stop doing. I need to quit making the gospel a checklist. There is no end to what we need to do. We need to continuously work at things, maintain things, etc.

Larry R. Lawrence:
The parents of youth... I'm not one of them. Does that mean this doesn't apply to me? NO! "Be strong and of a good courage. Be not afraid." Let's remember this, whether or not we are youth. A child is standing before sin just as a child stands before a rushing freight train. It's THAT dangerous. I don't have kids yet, but I need to remember this for when I do. I also need to remember that my spouse has a say, too. I must not be afraid of my own kids. I need to lead them the right thing. Aaaand he mentions sleepovers!! GO PRESIDENT PAYNE!

Per G. Malm:
I like evocative metaphors. I am a tree. Am I hollowed out by Satan, or has Christ given me strength to stand tall and strong? Am I at rest? I have bee looking for peace in my life. True peace can be found in Jesus Christ. I gotta start there. I have been feeling the urge to repent. I need to act on those feelings. Remember, wickedness never was happiness. That is the key to having peace of mind. I pledge to find rest in Jesus Christ, not the things of the world that can eat me from the inside.

Jairo Mazzagardi:
Sin makes God sad. Am I letting sin into my life without even noticing it? Are we letting sin grow right under our noses? Little sins lead to worse sins. He mentioned night time. I have that problem. I go out at eleven and I dance and goof off and I don't have the spirit with me when that happens.

Mervyn B. Arnold:
When I take on Christ's name, I am responsible for it. One day I'm gonna look back and see my life: Will people remember my name with reverence? Rules are there to give you PROTECTION, not to hurt you. We break through these rules and cause our own deaths all the time! The rules will keep me from DYING! I plege to act in accordance with how I wish for my name to be remembered -- I will be reverent and follow Christ. I will finish my course and keep the faith.

M. Russell Ballard:
Satan tries to sneak his way into our lives through deception. He knows my weaknesses... my failures. He won't let me go. He wants me to be miserable forever. Avoid addictions. Avoid drugs. You know drug addicts. You know people who keep going until it's too late. STAY AWAY. Remember... one drink can take you down. And it's not just drug addiction. It's anything that takes away your agency. Gaming and texting are addictions. There's a way out, though. A way to escape. Prayer is the secret! Prayer can break any bad habit.

Thomas S. Monson:
"I have miles to go before I sleep. And promises to keep."

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day 2: Conferences!!

I just got done watching the Saturday Morning Session of General Conferences and here are my thoughts:

Jeffrey R. Holland:
Pretty amazing. Usually you expect a really powerful talk from him, but this one was a little more sentimental. He talked about all the great service that happens in the church, how many people do service for you that you never even acknowledge. My parents, I realize, have done so much for me and I have not even begun to return my thanks and gratitude. I resolve to be more loving and appreciative of my parents, as well as others who do service for me.

Sister Dixon:
Kids are so important, and it's our job to take care of him. I think people often forget just how much of an example we set for our children. I like the imagery Sister Dixon used when she described how we need to put our hands over the children's hands on the iron rod so we can travel down the straight and narrow path together. I don't have kids, but I have suddenly been inspired to teach the children of my present and future life through example and support.

Claudio R.M. Costa:
Brother Costa talked about something I learned last year in my Book of Mormon Class: the 14 Fundamentals of following a prophet. I tend to assume that I follow the prophet as much as I need and that there is no room for improvement. This is NOT true. I have only done a minimal amount of work when it comes to service, love, and keeping the commandments. All of these were emphasized by President Monson last conference. I pledge to do more than before when it comes to following the prophet's counsel that he will give this conference.

David M. McConkie:
This talk really hit me because I want to be a teacher someday. This guy really helped me understand that I, as a teacher, am very responsible for how much my students learn. It's all about ATTITUDE. I really liked the quote: "A Teacher's attitude is not taught, it's caught." In regards to the gospel, it is important to love what you teach and to live what you teach. Only then can you truly influence others' lives for good. I pledge to keep this in mind whenever I have a teaching opportunity, both in the church and in my work.

D. Todd Christopherson:
A consecrated life. This was a talk that covered a TON of material in only a few short words. But the main thing I took away from this talk was the importance of work and the power of integrity. I have learned that hard work -- like the work I do now -- brings your life purpose and helps you grow. As I labor in the job I have now and in the career I have in the future, I plege that I will keep this love of work that I feel today in mind, even though it may be tiresome and not as pleasant as I would want it to be. And when I have leisure time, I will try to use it to uplift my life and bring me closer to God. As for integrity, I pledge to not let Satan tell me that integrity is "passe" or "naiive." Following the commandments is never too old.

Dieter F. Uchdorf:
This was just what I needed to hear. I make life sooooo COMPLICATED, but I fail to see the simple truths and the simple things I need to do to be truly happy. Perhaps this is why I've been so down all the time. But I need to learn how to sacrifice some good things for some better things. A kid can understand that, but I can't! I need to not be distracted by the crap that's out there that makes my life really much more complicated than it should be. I need to get off the computer, quit watching the tube, quit doing nothing. I pledge to simplify my life by searching for the things that are really much more important.


Elder Quentin L. Cook:
He gave me a bit of a reality check. I need to remember that there are some things, especially in the media, that don't bring me toward Christ. It's hard to completely avoid that stuff, but I have been reminded of Elder Cook that it can be done. I pledge to do better on monitoring the things I watch, read, and listen to, and immersing myself in uplifting media material that will help me feel the spirit.

Brother Duncan:
More about the fourteen fundamentals of following the prophets! It's kinda scary how some of these talks coincide with one another. I wonder if they plan that. Apparently it's something we really need to know. It makes me excited to hear what President Monson will say next. I will repeat the pledge I made before: I pledge to do more than before when it comes to the prophet's counsel that he will give this conference.

Brother Gong:
This was such an inspiring talk. It made me really want to have an eternal family. I suddenly had this resurging feeling of connection with my ancestors and the future connection I will have with my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren. I want to find a spouse who can help me keep that chain of eternity alive. We are all trying to get home to heaven. That's an eternal perspective. I pledge to be worthy to enter into the temple and be sealed to my future spouse and children forever.

Neil L. Andersen:
This one hit home for me. I often find myself wondering, "Why should I believe this Mormon stuff? It all seems a little extreme, doesn't it?" Well Elder Andersen reminded me. Those two words, "offended" and "ashamed." I think those words come up all the time in my life. I think "fear" is my problem. I often fear so much about what other people think, that I forget that I need to be focusing on the tree of life, not the great and spacious building. I pledge to care more about what God thinks of me than others.

Richard G. Scott:
Faith, faith, faith. I'm hearing a lot about it this session. I'm hearing also about integrity and strong character. This talk is all about our attitude, our mindset. It's about the types of decisions we make as a whole, not really individual choices. This makes it harder for me to follow, because I'm a slothful, unwise servant who must be commanded in all things. But I will try. I love the quote, "We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become." I pledge to activate this quote in my life by considering how my character is affected with each choice I make.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Oh Yes, and a dream...

Forgot it's friday...

So my dream a few nights ago was a weird one. I dreamt that Elder Wall-E was home from his mission, and I went up to campus from my apartment to meet him. I cross 700, cross 800, walk up the rape hill ramp, and I'm passing between the Benson Building and the JSB when I realize there's a bunch of people in that green area, waiting for some speaker to come and give a presentation out on the lawn. For some reason, I concluded that person to be Elder W. So I was really surprised when he tapped my shoulder. I asked why he wasn't preparing to go and talk to all those waiting people. He said they can wait, and then led me back over to the back of the JSB.
The rape hill ramp was now gone. Instead, there was a hundred-foot drop-off behind the Joseph Smith Building, with nothing to help us get around it on that side except for a small bridge thing. It was more like a wrap-around balcony, actually, connected to the JSB and with a railing on the outside so that people wouldn't fall off. I've seen plenty of balconies like that at multi-level apartment complexes.
Except this one had caved in at the middle. Instead of walking on the stone walkway, eventually you had to walk on the barred handrails instead because the walkway went vertical on you. That's just what Elder Waffle and I decided to do. We crossed that bridge, hanging on for dear life as we inched our way along the treacherous path. It was like climbing around on a jungle gym, except if you fell, there wouldn't be a nice bed of sand to catch your fall. I don't even remember how far that forested hill went down. I was scared.
But we did make it across, and suddenly Elder Whistle was just laying on the ground, wearing nothing but a blue bedsheet. I sat down beside him and stroked the back of his leg, right at the crook of his knee. And for some reason, I felt as if someone was petting my own in the exact same place, though I don't remember if someone was actually there or not.

Then I woke up.

31 DAYS OF BLOGGING: Day 1: NaBloPoMo, Sprinklers, and WORK

I don't know if it's the official month for blogging, but Emily and I decided that October is as good a month as any to blog and blog and blog. I don't know what the true standard is for "a satisfactory post" so I've decided that it needs to be more than twenty lines (as I'm posting it... so now this makes four lines..) long.
... And that does not include my blessings/ listening to/ things going on today thingy at the bottom.


...(Unless there's a meaningful reason.)

So for today. Second day of work. I've decided some of my male coworkers are worth checking for wedding rings -- and none of them have any. I've also decided that everyone there is very nice, including the scary boss. I've decided I am on his good side. I just need to stay there.
Have I told you about work yet? It's the most physically taxing job I've ever had. I work grounds up at Y-Mount Terrace, which is a thirty-minute walk. Fortunately, my boss said he would let me hitch a ride up if I showed up at the grounds office promptly at 8. That is MUCH closer to my house.
Another nice thing my boss has let me do is get off early on Mondays so I can go to my voice lesson at 11:30. He let's me miss a whole HOUR of work. That gives me extra time on Monday after voice to get stuff done! Success!!
I don't know what all the jobs are, but I do know some: mowing, edging, weeding, blowing leaves, raking leaves, sucking leaves up, and eventually shoveling snow at three o'clock in the morning.
Am I nervous? Yes. Can I do it? DOUBLE YES. For some reason this job has boosted my confidence about a hundred notches, even though I don't know how anything works and I'm a total weakling and I now have to get up every morning at 7. I don't quit know why I feel so good. Perhaps it's the satisfaction that comes from good, hard work. Perhaps it's the fact that my life now has fit itself into a routine. Perhaps it's the good people I work with. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. All I know is I feel great. I probably shouldn't question it.

I also have one more story to tell you. I want to tell this story here because I don't think it's worth writing down in my actual hand-written journal, but I want to remember it anyway. Today, after work, I meet up with Emily on campus for lunch. She got a nice tomato bisque and I indulged in a Jamba Juice (hey, I'm making money now! I can afford a bit of indulgence from time to time!). We decide to go outside to eat and talk boys and relax a bit before class. We had been sitting there only for a few short minutes before we noticed that people were hurriedly getting up and moving off the little hill we were on. By the time we figured out why, it was too late. The sprinklers came on.
Turns out the groundspeople were checking all the sprinklers, so they were just turning them on for about a minute, then turning them off, moving to the next sprinkler spot. But Emily and I were there at just the wrong moment, and suddenly we were getting attacked by sprinkler-spray. It was awful. Our books, our clothes, our hair, Emily's bio poster that was due today... All were drenched. And poor Emily had worked so hard on that project the night before. I haven't seen her since then, but I hope her teacher was forgiving at the fact that her poster was completely smeared. She was wearing a white T-shirt that day, too, and some of the marker from the poster stained it.
I AM SO MAD AT THOSE GROUNDSPEOPLE. We, as students, had every right to be on that hill. Yes, I know, they were just doing their job, but part of that job is to be considerate to those who use your services! (I'm a groundsperson myself, I should know!) You have to make sure no one is still on the hill when you turn the sprinklers on. Our backs were to the crewmembers; we couldn't see them! Someone could have at least come up, tapped us on the shoulder, and said, "You gotta move!" No one did that. Instead, Emily and I were embarrassed out of our brains as we scrambled to get off the hill while getting soaked from all sides by relentless sprinklers right in front of the Scottish club! I could hear them gfawing at us. And that's not even considering poor Emily's project or clothes or food.
Fortunately, we were together when it happened. Looking back on it, it was a rather funny experience that I shared with a friend. I hope I don't forget that.

Listening to: Nothing at the moment, but I was listening to "Shame" by Matchbox 20 on my way home a few minutes ago.
Things going on today: Work! Dinner with Grandma D, Aubrey, and Riley. Also I'm spending all night writing my sociology research paper
Blessings: Work (yes, work), the miracle that is the extended deadline of my sociology paper, and Grandmothers who buy you food.