Monday, April 30, 2012

Busy, Busy Busy

I am so busy I can't even think straight!!! Its spring time, so I've added to my already busy life landscaping and gardening duties. But, I do get more sunlight, so that's good. Well, before I get too whiney, I have picked up a new habit that I am spending some spare time on, after reading "The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo" in three days, ( I was sick for most of it, and couldn't get out of bed, or watch anything without getting a blinding headache and one can only sleep so much) I started to feel better, and a friend mentioned a show I had never heard of before "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding."  So as soon as my headache went away, I went to youtube and checked it out. I am sure my friends are watching the American version, but on youtube, I found the BBC original series. Having met a fair few Gypsies on my mission in the Baltics, I had to check it out.  I must say, I have discovered that (even though the show features primarily Irish Travellers, and only a few Romani so far) That there are some similarities, and many differences between the Romani people I met and encountered in Lithuania. Well, from what I can tell from a TV show. But there are some similarities too. I think that, and the rediculous wedding dresses and cakes are two reasons I can't stop watching this show!!!!  any way, wanted to let everyone know I am still alive. Happy spring to all!!! Go get married so I can watch!!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

General Conference is my FAVORITE!!!!

 Since the time I was  at least 12, perhaps earlier, my family has had a fun tradition at the time for the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  For those who aren't familiar with this, every six months in April, and in October  all of our church  in the world meets together (via satellite broadcast, Internet, TV broadcast, or for those  who can come live in the conference center in salt lake as obviously 14 Million plus people cant all be in one place at once) to hear the words of the Prophets, Apostles, and other leaders of our church. 
  So the fun tradition usually involved food. My mom said since we were having a spiritual feast, we would also have a physical feast. My earliest memories involve conference bingo with m&ms . we played bingo to listen for common words or phrases in conference, when it was over we ate the m&m markers. As I got older it evolved into everyone getting to pick their favorite food, and my mom would cook it and we would have a feast while we watched.  Over time I became more interested in what was being said, then in the food. But we always had a lot of friends over to our house to watch conference. I love this. I love being gathered with others to listen to the words of the prophet
  Now I live far from my family, and I still carry on the tradition of the double conference feast. I decided the words should be the most important part so i try to get the food out before so its not so distracting. But as I had my friends over i really enjoyed the time we spent together.  This weekend I loved listening to the talks as always, because as always it related to things that I knew me and my friends needed to hear. 
  There was a talk about single parents, especially single moms. I have a lot of friends that are single moms, and it was so neat to hear the words of support and comfort to them. I have a friend that has a 17mo old son who has a very aggressive cancer.(See  there were many talks that talked about sickness, and trials and shared very similar and applicable  stories and council for those struggling like my friend with such trials.  I cried as I thought of my friend, and was grateful for the words mentioned in the talks.  There were a TON of talks about the importance of family. At least twice it was said that "Families are the most important unit in time and eternity"  As we see the break down and decay of society around us, the lack of frame work that comes from good families that love each other and work for each other is apparent.  They talked alot about Grace, Jesus Christ, and his atoneing sacrifice for us, to over come trials, sin, and also to forgive and love  others. That was another prevalent theme. My favorite talk on this subject was by President Dieter F Uchtdorf  of the first presidency of the church. His simple council was to love one another, forgive one another, and if there is hate, envy, gossip, or hurtfulness toward others simply to "Stop it". Sister Julie b Beck talked about the wonderful and amazing things that women can do if we will catch vision of what we are supposed to be. It was two days , six hours of talks and singing by the Mormon Tabernacle choir. The song Come Thou Fount  was one of my favorite sung, and filled my heart with joy.  
   I know these men and women are inspired by God, their messages, if listened to, and followed would add greater strength to families and societies all over the world if headed, by members of my church, and non members alike. If you haven't had a chance to hear any of these talks, Check it out
 I know that last April the words at spoken at this conference changed my life, it made me a better, less selfish, more forgiving, more loving of my family and friends kind of person, and I hope that I will apply the words I heard this weekend to do even better.  I love you all, and am grateful that God does indeed still speak to his children and give us direction, love and truth today. And I am grateful that so many friends came over this weekend to watch, and to eat food from Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Croatia, and Poland with me. It truly was a feast in ever sense of the word.