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Back online, though the quality can not be guaranteed yet, it may start out as random ramblings until I get a system up again.

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27 August 2009

No institute?

I have enjoyed going to institute the past few weeks and last week I wasn't going to have my usual ride. I thought, "that's ok, I have lots of work and studying to do. I can stay home and do that instead." Well that thought didn't last long before I felt a strong pull inside myself and a yearning in my spirit. I wanted to go back to institute. This semester we are starting a study of the Book of Mormon. So I called for a ride, not too hard to do, Jason Valentine was more than willing to pick me up. We were in the van, goofing off and figuring out what type of bread we were. Kirsty then came up with an interesting question. "What is the difference between muffins and cake. You're not supposed to have cake for breakfast but are muffins any better?" This was a long conversation in which Jason came up with another question, "What is the difference between Lumpia and Eggrolls?" As we pulled into the parking lot it had been decided that the only way to know would be to run a series of tests, i.e. cooking a lot and tasting. Entering the building I began to get excited, until I noticed that the teacher was nowhere to be found. This confused me but I went with it. As with the beginning of any semester, we all had to introduce ourselves and then say one interesting thing. Being the oddball that I am I told everyone that I love to write stories. That led to the question of "short stories?" to which I had to reply "no, novels and novelettes." Sometimes I wish I could keep my big mouth shut, what a nerd. Actually I have tried short stories and find myself inept, I haven't gotten down that style of writing yet. After the introductions pieces of paper were passed around for everyone to fill out and enroll for the class. Then the new book of mormon manuals were passed out, they are four times at least, the size of the old one. To my surprise a small spiritual thought was given, the book of mormon challenge announced and the closing prayer said. I sat there for a couple minutes, while everyone else was chatting and eating fudge. 'what happened?' I wondered. Even now, looking back, I feel the disappointment and a small empty feeling in my chest. "This too will pass..." A small group of us did go to Kyle's house and watch an episode of "the office" and eat spaghetti, that was delicious. Well, as far as institute goes...there's always next week.

11 August 2009

A Weekend and A Day

The YSA Conference was fun. Saturday was introducing the topics, listening to Steve Young (that was pretty cool) lunch, speed dating and workshops. Yea, I said speed dating. Never done anything like that and I found it quite pointless but interesting. I was told that part of the problem was the lack of structure and the fact that you talk for three min to each person and never see each other again. I actually didn't mind that part since the guys I talked to weren't all that interested in talking to me in the first place. I get that a lot, but it is still fun to have a captive audience for 3 min and they have to pay attention and ask questions and such. My favorite part is when one of the guys had rotated to me, he stood there and I just stared and smiled. I'm good with silence, most people aren't and find it awkward. He looked around and then back at me and then introduced himself. I made him take charge and he didn't like it, oh well. (maybe that's why I have troubles getting dates...etc...) The workshops were monotonous and boring in a drawling sort of way. Although I did learn about keeping commitments and free agency and such. I did have one workshop that was amazing. He was a professional magician and he did a few tricks during his talk/discussion. At first I thought it was just cheesy, simple tricks, but he did save the best for last. It was a card trick that illustrated that no matter what, the blessings God has promised are with us, always, even when we can't see them or when we don't know they are there. Dinner was amazing mexican, the diced chicken was the best (the salsa too spicy but there was a green sauce that was heaven. Then I selfishly went to the game hall and set up a tough puzzle. It felt good to know how many people stopped in to see me and help me with the puzzle, even grumbling but of their own free will. I did have a few regulars and we had it done right as the dance started. The dance room was crowded, like sardines and I wondered a bit, danced for two min with a few friends and was all too happy when Joan wanted to take off early. Freedom! We stayed with the Savage's, they were so nice and hospitable. Sister Savage even made a cinnamon roll, pull apart bread loaf. yum.

Sunday we had eggs, cinnamon rolls, milk and ran out the door. It was interesting to see them pass the sacrament to nearly 2,000 people. Sunday was, of course, more spiritual. Although I did enjoy sacrament meeting more than the relief society talks. One of the sisters did talk about wanting a new car and not buying it because it was over spending, unnecessary and overindulging. I do agree that America teaches us to be wasteful, gotta have it now, people. It's good to simplify your life and find joys in the small blessings, nature and even quiet bliss. Although I wonder if I might have had a more hand slapping moment if I had been in priesthood, until I heard that the speakers just hinted and beat around the bush but never came right out and said their topic straightforward. This left many of the priesthood puzzled. Lunch was potato bar....yum sour cream and bacon...oh and a salad. Someones feelings were hurt and when I left with that person, just to get away from the crowd not a pity thing, that person was cruel to my face. I was so sad, felt alone and just went off on my own. I grabbed my food and ate alone and as I was upset and down on myself I remembered what some of my friends have told me about how people will be the way they are and that I can't take all of the pains upon myself, that just throws me into depression. So I prayed and thought things through and let it go. I allowed myself to be mad at another person. After the fireside I even told that person so. I felt heartless and yet good at the same time. After talking with Joan and then Monica, I realized that it's all ok. The fireside was L. Tom Perry. I don't really remember the talk but I do remember leaving the crowded theater, through a hall and down some stairs to a little cuby where I could hear the whole talk. I laid down and stared at the ceiling and enjoyed the spirit. It felt wonderful.

Then to add to it I went to institute tonight. I do love hearing from Brother Celyia. He started with a question, "What is the relationship between the body and the spirit?"

I like deep and thought provoking questions. He then went on to talk about how the body is a house for the spirit, a temple and a protection. How the body and the spirit together make the soul. That the body symbolizes the Natural Man or an instrument of the Natural World and that the spirit symbolizes communication with God. Then how the body should be submissive to a governing spirit. And how the war between the desires of the body and the spirit is a good thing.

From this came the topics of proper sleep, word of wisdom, proper exercise and such. It was a nice lesson with some food for thought but not the only answer to the deep question that was originally brought forth. "What is the relationship between the body and the spirit?" The world may never know...(ha ha, ok, so I just had to through that little commercial bit in there.)

I did have some questions and hard things with...well I guess it wasn't with the lesson since the topic I was talking with the Lord had nothing to do with the lesson. Sometimes you can be reading a scripture, listening to a spiritual speaker, studying a topic with friends and then something completely different pops into your head. You end up talking with the Lord about something off topic and yet that can become one of the best and most memorable conversations.

07 August 2009

Depression vs a Broken Heart and Movies

After careful consideration, and the fact that I have lost all but one sticky note, this is the winner for my next blog post. This is a subject that I have been mulling over in my mind for some time now, months actually. What is the difference between serious depression and a broken heart.

At first I didn't find there to be much of a difference between the two. Observing people, watching movies, reading books and such. It just hit a button, my curiosity button.

Now I know what depression feels like. I used to go through serious roller-coasters of emotions, though I happen to be more stable now. I do still go through bouts of depression. I know what that feels like. It's similar to ripping out your soul, tearing it to shreds, stomping on it a few times and then throwing it back in your body.

It was then that I decided that I needed to experience what a broken heart felt like. I became determined to "fall in love" to trust someone completely, to open my heart, mind and soul. It turns out that love isn't something that you just decide to do one day, go figure.

Well that fell through, as it has for years. Yes, I have made this decision before and yes each time I expect a different result.

As time has passed, I have found the answer, or at least some semblance of one.

Depression throws a person deep into a never ending abyss. A person is unable to function, refuses to eat usually or eats too much, is attracted to sweets, either watches too much TV, plays too many video games or is online for hours on end doing absolutely nothing. This also leads to random bouts of crying or pain. Many times this leads to "why me" or suicidal thoughts. There is no desire to do anything and the person will lay in bed for long periods of time.

Many of these symptoms are true for the broken heart. The biggest difference that I can find is that with a broken heart there is an object/person that is the main focus. There is a sharp pain to the heart or stomach when a memory is triggered.

I don't know what I decided to write this. It was something I think about off and on, I guess you could say it's one of my obsessions. Experience life, the good and the bad. I don't know if it's some sick, sadistic way of satisfying curiosity or if it's because it really doesn't matter.

Well, I can't just end on that note. I'd like to find that I still have friends, and living friends too, by the time I come back from the YSA Conference. I saw the movie "Funny People" and I found it to be hilarious. I don't know if I'd recommend it to certain of my friends but I loved it. It wasn't just random jokes to get a laugh either, there was a pretty good storyline.

Although the movie I am most stoked to see is "2012" I love action, disaster movies and I don't know why. In order of favorite types of movies I'd have to put:
1) Comedy
2) Disaster/Action
3) Anime

Least favorite types:
1) Horror
2) Drama
3) Same story that's been told the same way before with no new interesting factor.

04 August 2009

The religious stuff

This is a compilation of a few different experiences. First of all, while still struggling with many questions, religions as a whole and my own issues I decided to start reading the Book of Mormon again. I first started by reading random scriptures. It helped me sleep better at night and would give me something to think about. Then, after talking to a friend, I realized that a goal needed to be set. I decided to start reading the Book of Mormon backwards. Well not completely but by book, starting with Moroni, then Ether, etc...While reading this scripture caught my eye:

In Moroni 7... "Wherefore a man being evil cannot do that which is good; neither will he give a good gift...a man being a servant of the devil cannot follow Christ; and if he follow Christ he cannot be a servant of the devil...Wherefore take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil."

I took this to be that even if a person believes they are not on the right path. If a person struggles with certain commandments or teachings, it's ok. Not everyone is going to get it right the first time. Not everyone will make the same choices or in the same order. If we give good gifts then we can not be a servant of the devil. Then we are not turned away from Christ.

Then a couple weeks later I was talked into going to Church on Sunday. Basically I had run out of excuses and I did know it was where I was supposed to be. While sitting in sacrament meeting and listening to the amazing talks I wrote this in my Bible:

It is easy to become complacent. To follow the religious practices of the church. Come every Sunday, fulfill your calling perfectly, visit the less active members, share the gospel with others and even praying and reading the scriptures. You can do all of this. You can feel the spirit in your life and still be missing something. It is hard to explain what it is you may be missing, but it is something necessary for true happiness. Then one day you become overwhelmed and bursting like an explosion you fall to pieces. It takes time to pick up all the pieces. One piece at a time and still you are missing something. Each piece is precious, each piece brings you closer to the prospect of happiness. but each piece is still just a small piece. They don't fit the same and the puzzle has changed. You begin to read the Book of Mormon, knowing that it is the word of God. Then you pray that the Lord can give you strength and answers. That very night you have a dream. a dream where there is no question. A dream that is precious and held close to your heart, solidifying that Jesus is our Savior and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true. Then you come back to church a little, once, and talk to your friends. That is where you find some of what you are missing. It takes time to integrate back into all of the teachings, guidelines and responsibilities of the Church with out becoming overwhelmed again and having to start all over. I am glad that the Lord makes burdens light but still allows us the freedom to experience those burdens. It is hard but He is there. This happened to me but through the Lord weak things can be made strong.

Then in Sunday School I began thinking about where I was going with my life. I thought of my friends and some of our conversations. I thought of the impression i was leaving with even my closest circles of friends and even those I haven't seen or heard from in , what? , 3 months (maybe an exaggeration). I also thought about the discussion about the priesthood that we were having. I then thought of my friends in the ward and I wrote this on a little random card.

I will not be the one to lead will make your own decisions. I will make my own decisions. I will not be the catalyst that leads you to fall back from where you would one day like to be.

I was then going for a walk, one of my long excursions, and thought about myself. Where was I going? What was I doing with the gifts and knowledge that God has given me? Who was I helping? How was my spirituality doing? I then chatted with the Lord (I do this often though on my mission I did it on an hourly basis or maybe even minute...or any spare moment? I don't know, something like that. Now it's more of an off and on thing but I think it's still relatively daily, just not as in depth as it was on the walk.) The Lord answered me:

It is important to be in the church, to live the standards, to fulfill callings, to partake in temple blessings, to share the gospel, to do genealogy, to go to activities, to go to church, to listen to the lessons, to do all these things and more. But, the thing that is more important is your free agency. If you do all these things, even if it is with a willing heart, because you were told to then you have followed the plan of the adversary. Live your life and follow your standards. The most important thing is that you incorporate the Lord in all your dealings and with in your life. If it so be that you choose to do the things which have been asked, then blessed be the day. And, if it so be that you do not choose all of these things but only a part, blessed be the day. For if you follow Christ, you do not follow the adversary even if you are not quite where you should be, or where you may one day desire to be.

No matter what, these things are a great comfort to me. I just needed to write this down for my own benefit. And, we shall see how the whole, read the BOM backwords is going to work or if I end up getting stuck at 2nd nephi. Or maybe I'll get stuck in Ether instead? Who knows.

Catching up and a story

Wow, there are many things I have thought about in the past while to post in this next blog. I have been insanely going about and doing things for everybody, cleaning, cooking, running around, picking up stuff etc...before I realized it time was passing. I have thought about my IHop experience, my experience at church the sunday before last, My recent experiences in reading the book of mormon, my workout goals and Monk. That is too much for one blog and I don't know if I have the energy or time for that many blogs so I will summarize most and then set up another blog for the spiritual part.

So from last to first...Monk starts on friday and I'm going to a YSA conference, I will have to record it and not watch it when it is first aired. oh well, as long as I get to see it, I'm not that big of a fanatic I just like the show.

I have gotten back into DDR. After two mornings in a row doing DDR my legs felt like they would fall off. I then decided to alternate. Wii fit and ddr. I did my strength exercise day the day before helping someone move. haha, my arms and shoulder were already overworked when I did the exercises. That means it has been a while since I've worked out, I shouldn't have been that sore. Well now I feel great, I just need a job so I can afford to go and get a massage but I always need one so that is really nothing different. Doing the alternating thing has really been a benefit and not as harsh on my system, although I still can feel how out of shape and such that I am. I don't mind being out of shape, I just want to be capable of doing things with out running out of breath and with out only watching tv all day. I want to alternate. sometimes zone out on movies and marathons and video games and sometimes go for long walks, hikes, swimming and who knows what else. I'm not all that big on dances but I love ddr in the privacy of my own home.

Ihop is just something I'm posting because someone I talked to was interested in the story so I figured I'd post the shortened version. Grandma, Kelley and I were going somewhere and decided to stop for breakfast first. We went to Ihop and yes we did go to the one by costco in vallejo so I guess it is our fault as well knowing they already have a bad reputation and also that most times when I go there something goes wrong. This time there were 3 waitresses, a hostess and a party of 22. We walked in the hostess yelled out to one waitress to see if she could take us and she yelled back that she couldn't. Then another waitress yelled that she could and we were seated. We were promptly ignored for nearly 10 min before Kelley went to hunt down a waitress to bring my grandma some decaff coffee. The hostess comes 5 min later hastily pouring a cup when I ask that it's decaff she glares at me and says it isn't and then walks off. another 10 min pass before we get the coffee. Then our order is taken. We are brought waters and then promptly ignored for the next 45 minutes. Then the waitress stops by and says it will be a bit longer and is gone before I could even ask for more water. Our food comes and mine is covered in the sweet syrup that I asked to not have because of my sugar problem. She takes it away. We finish our food and then ask about my pancakes which then come in 3min. We get the bill and grandma complains to the manager. He tells her his sob story about why things are the way they are and about the economy and everything and doesn't even give her a senior discount let alone the cup of coffee free to smooth it over. He demands full price. Suffice to say, we will not be going there again.