Saturday, January 28, 2012

By Their Fruits...

An important rule to live by: "By their fruits ye shall know them" St. Matthew 7:16-20, "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth devil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (KJV of the Bible, emphasis added)

I do not follow the political campaign as much as I probably should but I am kind of at ends with the fact that religion is playing so much a part in it. When Obama was elected there were rumors of him being Muslim. So what if he was/is? Or descended from one even? Ignorant people may blame ALL Muslims for terrorism, but those who look into the matter find that it was just an extremist faction. People have free will, the ability to act for themselves. Just because one person decides to speak for a religion does not make him an expert on the matter. Research their credibility to speak on the matter before believing everything they say. Ignorance does not help tolerance. Some people say, why bring attention to Mitt Romney's religion- we don't draw attention to others if they happen to be Catholic, Jewish, Protestant or another mainstream religion. But the thing is, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (some may recognize it more by the Mormon Church) IS mainstream. More and more people join its members all the time. So why do people bring it up as a flaw in his character? Because of ignorance.

Mormonism is a cult. Definition of cult (from "1. a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies." True. We do have routines that we go through with our worship. We have the sacrament which is both a religious rite and ceremony and ordinance that is very similar to the Catholic Communion. (We partake of bread and water- not wine, the same prayer is said every time, and it is passed to us by members of our Church's Priesthood) " instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult." Somewhat true. Our members have free will and can choose how devoted they want to be. No one forces us to go to Church, though there are times when we reach out to those we haven't seen in awhile. I don't see how that is different than running into a gym pal who stopped working out and saying, "I haven't seen you in awhile at Gold's" To which he can say anything he wants: I've been busy, out of town, I switched gyms, I couldn't afford it anymore... etc. So I don't see how even those who do dedicate themselves to their beliefs are scary (Unless of course what they believe in would lead them to do scary things- I'll address this later). "3. the object of such devotion." For those who dedicate themselves to the beliefs held in the Mormon Church- true I suppose. "4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc." True. Most definitely. We classify ourselves by our MUTUAL belief in the SAME doctrines, the SAME leadership, the SAME foundation, and the SAME Savior. "5. Sociology . a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols." True. Everything has symbolism. Our baptism by immersion represents to us that we are leaving the natural man or fallen man behind- that the fallen man is dead and being buried and we are reborn and come up out of the water cleansed by our Savior Jesus Christ, and become reborn anew in His name. The bread and water of our Sacrament is all a symbol of Christ's sacrifice for us. So by the dictionary definition MOST, if not all, churches fall under the definition of a cult. Now as for the connotation of the word cult. Most of the time when Mormons are thought of as a cult it is in reference to the connotation of the word- meaning that we are brainwashed to follow a misguided leader. This can be scary. It is similar to people following a dictator who seeks to rule the rest of the world and bring it under submission by force. Is the Mormon Church a cult in this way. NO. Most people ignorantly think we are using such examples as the "Mormons" who followed Warren Jeffs. The current Mormon Polygamists. They often live in compounds. Women are sometimes forced into marriages. The whole view of that "sect" is derogatory. And if you ask a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they agree with you. Just like terrorists who use a Church as a shield or excuse for why they do the things they do, they are broken off from the majority of Muslims. Most Muslims (I say most because if I said all, I'd eventually run into the ONE who disagreed) in America do not agree with what they do. The Mormon Polygamists are an extreme group that BROKE off from our Church DECADES ago. They have nothing to do with us currently. That is part of the reason why we try not to use the term Mormon anymore. It's derogatory and also brings in reference to people with whom we do not agree with and are not associated with. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as a short name now prefers LDS. But we prefer the full name which points to who we believe is our Savior- Jesus Christ, whose name is not mentioned in the nickname. For writing purposes I will write LDS from here on out. The Polygamists sometimes use the term FLDS- but they are not associated with our Church. The LDS Church is strange to people in a lot of ways. We are very devoted to what we believe in, and many people do not understand what we believe in, so they fear we MAY be a cult in the derogatory connotation of the word. I can personally assure you we are not- but if you have doubts, research it for yourself. See what it teaches its people on or visit to see stories of individuals and how their faith in God and Jesus Christ has helped them in their lives and "by their fruits shall ye know them".

Other things people have a hard time with. Is the LDS Church a Christian Church? Yes. Why are there arguments? Several reasons. They don't baptize in the name of or believe in the Holy Trinity. Research your own faith. The Holy Trinity as defined by other Christian Churches was decided by a group of men, involved with writing the Nicene Creed, a few centuries AFTER Jesus Christ's Crucifixion. The Holy Trinity is basically The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. It's interpretation today is hazy and changes depending on who I talk to. The best I can describe it as, is that they are one, but they are not one. They are the same person but they are not the same person. The LDS believe: "We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost" (Articles of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Article #1). So the LDS also believe in God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. In the Nicene Creed it says they are consubstantial (definition: of one and the same substance, essence, or nature.). From what I understand of the Holy Trinity, it interprets it to mean of the same substance and essence and nature. In the LDS case it's just the same nature. They are three separate individuals to the LDS, who have the same purpose- to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39, LDS Scriptures in the Pearl of Great Price). Being three separate individuals they are able to stand on the right hand of another. So in my opinion everyone believes in the same thing- they just interpret it slightly differently. (Food for thought: have you ever talked with a person of another faith and found you interpreted the SAME scripture a different way? Yet even if they are both Christian faiths, you don't accuse them of being not Christians.) LDS baptize in the name of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer- our example, who points the way to God and to Heaven.

On the issue of the cross. I have met some Christians who say the LDS are not Christian because they do not worship or use the cross as a symbol of their beliefs. LDS people believe in the Crucifixion of the Lord as much as any other Christian. Jesus Christ's whole life was devoted to saving mankind. Teaching them, showing them the way and atoning for the sins of the world. He overcame death. The LDS Church believes He overcame spiritual death (death being a separation, and spiritual death being specifically a separation between us and God) in the Garden of Gethsemane right before His crucifixion. That because of that sacrifice we can make it to Heaven, where God lives. And then He was crucified. That tragic, yet selfless and saving sacrifice where He gave up His life. Three days after His crucifixion He was resurrected- He overcame physical death that we might live again. This was the climax of his life- having conquered both spiritual and physical death that we might be saved and live after death. Might I remind Christians that our two biggest holidays are Christmas, where we celebrate His birth, and Easter where we celebrate His resurrection. He was resurrected as a result of dying on the cross- true- but that is not the end of the story. He lives! He CONQUERED death! The sting of death is swallowed up by His victory. Simply because the LDS choose not to focus on His death by using the cross as their symbol does not mean they don't believe that it was important. But it LED to his resurrection. His whole life pointed to Heaven. He lives in Heaven. He conquered and is not dead anymore. The spires on LDS Churches instead of crosses remind us that He lives, that death was not the end.

LDS preach the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. True. They believe the Book of Mormon to be another Testament of Jesus Christ (emphasis added). Any who have read it can attest that it is a record of how people who followed Christ were blessed. It is a second witness to the miracles Jesus Christ performed. The LDS Church believes the Book of Mormon WITH the Bible help us grow closer to Jesus Christ- just like reading uplifting stories of how people like Mother Theresa were Christ-like help us become inspired to become more like Christ. Catholics have Saints that are revered for how they followed the Savior- how does believing that more people, as recorded in the Book of Mormon, were blessed by Jesus Christ make someone not Christian? As for Joseph Smith- he is the reason the LDS Church is different from other Christian Churches. Look at the history of all the other Christian Churches. We have Christ and His Apostles. The next thing we know is we have the Catholic Church. Then other people broke off with Martin Luther, John Calvin and others, saying that things weren't right and one doctrine or another was supposed to be different. Joseph Smith is the leader of the LDS Church, just like Martin Luther and John Calvin were for their respective break-offs. The difference is, the LDS believe that it isn't a break off but a restoration for how it was meant to be. Believe whatever Church you may, but the LDS Church simply believes that certain doctrines weren't right, just like every other break off from the Catholic Church, yet all of them are still considered Christians. Joseph Smith is a prophet to the LDS, just like Moses was to the children of Israel in the Old Testament. Moses was not their God or Savior and Joseph Smith is not the God or Savior of the LDS Church either. He was simply the man who laid out, or restored (as LDS people believe) what Christianity should be like. Any focus on Joseph Smith the LDS Church places on Him does not replace Jesus Christ in its doctrines or in the members of the LDS Church's lives.

So now that I've addressed some of the issues around the LDS Church, let's get back to politics. What does it really matter what a candidate's religion is? I agree that I don't want someone in office who is part of a cult that may prove dangerous or disastrous to our country, but Mitt Romney's religion is mainly misunderstood due to ignorance. So let me say it again- does religion matter? Does it matter if the candidate is Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, Atheist or Agnostic? I personally would rather they believe in God- to me it represents the fact that they believe in hope for a better world (anyone who believes in God or a God believes in some Heaven or blissful state). But if an Atheist has a hope for a better country and an idea as to how to get us there- isn't that belief in something better enough for us? We need a person who can lead us. What are the nation's biggest problems right now? Who can solve them? "By their fruits shall ye know them". Who has proven in their lives up to this point that they can compromise in office? Who has proven that they have skills in helping our country where we need it the most? Who has experience in convincing others to see like him or compromise and then get it into action so that things can actually pass in Congress? I don't care if you vote for Mitt Romney or anyone else, but don't withhold your vote because you don't understand his religion. Pick who has shown by their fruits (the things they've done in their lives) that they are best suited to our nation's biggest problems according to YOU. Research what they are capable of, and what they can do for good and vote accordingly. Do not pick someone who can manipulate your feelings based on a good speech full of empty promises- see if their fruits/experiences show that they can deliver at least a portion of what they promise. So metaphorically speaking, decide what fruit you think this nation needs the most and figure out who can get it. "By their fruits shall ye know them"


So I actually want to write about the political campaign- but since I haven't blogged in so long I felt I needed to give at least a brief update on my life. I am now MARRIED!!! Things are going well. :) We got married on 11.11.11 and all of our immediate family was there even though some extended family that was close to us was unable to make it (due to school and other scheduling things). We are both very opinionated and stubborn and are very happy with each other, but there are lots of times when we fight. We always have. If we've disagreed, someone has been vocal about it- but one of the things I liked about Jon is that we've always been able to work through it. In that sense, life has not been "blissful", but it has been very good and fulfilling. We are not in the oblivious phase, we have already started having minor arguments about how to do laundry ( I prefer to sort it into lights, brights and darks and he's a boy who has always just thrown it all in together). We have a three partitioned laundry basket so it hasn't been too hard for him to conform on that aspect. You throw it where it goes when you take it off and it's already sorted for you when we get to the laundry. Learning to work with each other on different things has also caused some arguments. I say arguments simply because we both get heated (probably has something to do with me being stubborn and opinionated and him being like me) about our side of the issue. But through everything we have grown closer together. We have a financial plan and although we are on the poor side now (aren't most people at one point in their lives) but living graciously on family's charity in many aspects for the first year. The roof over our head belongs to my grandma and we made a deal with her to help out in exchange for "room and board". :) We've been growing together spiritually and learning from each other in many other ways. The future is bright, and each argument we have just helps us learn more about the other person and resolve things so we can figure out how to work with each other, now and in future cases when SOMEDAY we have kids. (Not a hint at anything- we are waiting at least a year and then we'll pray about it). Anyways, life is great and I'm sorry I'm not always great at blogging. I've always enjoyed it, but sometimes it just seems hard.

I have recently become a huge supporter of Excel. I took a class on it to help with office skills (but haven't used it except personally yet). I made several spreadsheets when I got married and found I like a lot of aspects with the wedding planning. I like designing invitations and can do it for pretty cheap. I helped with my brother's as well (who also just got married on Dec. 30th). I like planning things and making sure everything has been attended to. I like making the schedule for the reception, making a playlist (for a dance party or background music). And several other things. I like spreadsheets to the point where I have made one to track my New Years' goals and friends' and family's addresses and I even made one for our budget and when we bought a new car. We found out his car was going to need repairs- ones that shouldn't be needed with the amount of miles that were on his car. So I figured out how soon they would all need to happen (in the next 2 years and divided it by the amount of months). I found a website that told us the average mpg (to determine approx. how much money we spend on gas for it in comparison to other cars) and then we searched for used cars to trade it in for. I made the spreadsheet of all the different models, how much we'd have to spend on gas to go the same distance we were in his car and how much our monthly payment could be to still save money on the repairs. Well when all was said and done we were both satisfied with our buy. We traded in his "fun" car (which he misses but he decided to do it) for a more economical one. He had a Pontiac G6 Convertible that he loved and now have a Honda Civic Hybrid- not a convertible and we've now had problems twice going up hills where we wondered if it would start going backwards. :) It hasn't gone backwards, but the engine is smaller and so hills are harder and it slows down. So it's still very reliable, we just weren't sure the first two times going up steep hills. :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Quick Car story

So the other day, me and my sister decided to help my Mom multi-task. We had to run by the grocery store, get gas in her car, go to my grandma's and get dinner before a certain restaurant closed in a little over an hour. We decided we would drop her off at the grocery store and drive around the corner to put gas in her car. She has a nice, newer BMW. Not new this year, but newer technology that will soon become important to the story....

So, we get to the gas station and I turn off the car in preparation to put gas into it... And this warning message pops up, "Key signal cannot be found. Car will not be able to start again" (Not an exact quote) My Mom's key doesn't have to be in the ignition it just has to be in the car when it starts, and it won't turn off just because the key leaves the car, it just can't start without the key being IN the car. But my Mom had left the key in her purse and taken her purse with her into the grocery store.

Result: My sister had to walk to the grocery store (luckily it really isn't that far at all) and find my Mom, get the key, walk back and then we were able to meet her back at the grocery store again. We did still make it there before she finished her shopping so that much was good. :) but it was really funny at the time. :)

Monday, May 2, 2011


So, I guess it's time for an update with the Phantom boyfriend. I'm going to start a few years back actually and jump around a little but I will try to be clear and I hope you can follow. I assume most of my readers are LDS, or believe in receiving answers to prayers, and with that I will touch on answers to my prayers over the years, and things I've done that I think were following promptings to lead me to where I am today.

So a few years back I dated a guy- I really fell for him. Technically I ended that relationship, but I hadn't wanted it to end, and when reality hit- that it was over, well I became almost zombie like- kinda like how Bella is described in New Moon- but not quite as bad- I don't think. But I was going through the motion of things for a little while. I was praying for comfort. I had thought things would work out with the other guy and I wanted some type of hope that things would work out. Well I had a really weird dream. In my dream I was in the temple, and it was supposed to be my wedding day. The groom never showed and the temple workers (this is the weird part) told me that I wasn't allowed to leave without getting married. My family and I started asking all the single men who had come if they'd marry me. Weird, I know- if I thought I was romantically attached to any other guy, I probably would not have invited them to my wedding to another guy... but anyways, every guy had an excuse- they weren't ready, they weren't sure. I woke up and dismissed it as a weird dream. I continued to pray for comfort that things would work out, and I don't know if the dream was inspired or not, but I felt assured that there was someone out there, but he wasn't ready yet, but he was out there, and one day he'd show up.

I don't know if just one year passed or a few, but time passed nonetheless, and I would try to keep my eyes open for a good guy- the type I was looking for. I was trying not to be too picky, but there were times when people told me I was too picky. I had a height requirement, which I lowered, not sure if that was before or after my dream- but now the requirement is he has to be my same height or taller when I'm wearing flip flops, preferably when I wear my highest heels too, but that second part is no longer a requirement. Before I get to the next part I want to say that over the years I have dabbled in online dating. I have tried almost every LDS singles site- or at least all the old ones and some of the new ones. So online dating wasn't new to me. I had gone on dates with guys and guys always seem to think they're taller than they really are. So I guess I lied a little about my height on my profiles... I'm somewhere in between 5'10 and 5'11, so I just decided to round up so that hopefully if a guy was 5'11 he'd hopefully at least be my same height. As a practice, I would give out my phone number, but I would meet up with people in a public place, away from my car, so if they turned out to be a stalker they couldn't go around Utah looking for where my car was parked, or know where I lived. I also would start praying about a guy before a first date. The first prayer would just be simple- asking if it was safe to meet up with them, and then I'd go based on feelings. Anyways, when it's late at night I do things that are slightly more spontaneous for me, and almost out of character. It was one of these nights that I signed up for an account on eHarmony- just to see what it was like. I saw the commercial on tv and figured, what the heck, I've tried other dating sites, might as well see what this one is like. I found I loved the way it was set up- you rate your priorities, and one of them lets you choose religion as necessary and you can pick Christian, and then specific denominations pop up. I don't know if I clicked Mormon or LDS, but I clicked the equivalent, and everyone I was paired up with was LDS- so I loved the site. It did initial matchings and then you could scan through those profiles and decide who to talk to.

For a while I chose not to pay for a membership- which meant I couldn't see any pictures (so I also chose not to upload any pictures, so we'd be on even terms). Also I could only communicate on free weekends, and hope they'd respond in time to get a few things back and forth. They obviously want you to sign up for their service so if they find you've posted your email or another way to contact you, they take your profile down, but I found a way to encrypt it in there- some guys figured it out, and others I had to wait til I got to what's called "open communication" before I could send them my email address. Well that leads me to my next answer.

One Monday night we had FHE (Family Home Evening- which is a little different in singles wards) but we had it at our Stake President's House with a message from them. I actually can't remember his name but I can still picture his face. He talked about priorities. He talked about how God should be #1, and #2 should be our spouse. If our spouse is supposed to be #2, then if we are unmarried, we should make it a priority to FIND our #2 in life. That struck out to me (and it kinda makes me laugh to think that in this past General Conference it seemed there were many talks saying that it needs to be a priority). Anyways, I went home thinking about things. I was Relief Society President. I had a job that took most of my time outside of school. I knew most of the guys in my ward and had either cancelled them out or I wasn't their type. I couldn't think of very many ways to meet more guys so I could do my part in looking for my #2 in life... So I felt prompted to pay for the membership with eHarmony. I paid for some 3 month deal. But forgot that it automatically would continue to charge me after those 3 months if I failed to cancel it. So I went 3 months with not too much luck. I mean I talked to a lot of great guys, but nothing really came of anything. Then it charged me for the fourth month, and I was a little upset at first and was like, you know what- I felt prompted to pay for it, I'll give it one more month and remember to cancel the paid membership after this month. So I decided to give it another month. That was on June 14th. On June 15th I was matched with a guy named Jon. June 16th (his birthday) I got an email from him (he had figured out my encrypted email). I had forgotten to take my email out, even after paying for the membership. Anyways, we started emailing.

So now, the first jump... His side. He has been in Indiana for school. He's been through a lot over the years but about two years ago he started dating a girl. He dated her for about a year and although he didn't have an answer to marry her, figured if he didn't have a no that he should proceed and move forward and just keep praying. So he got engaged to this girl. He kept praying and June 6th- Fast Sunday, he was fasting about things with this girl. He got a distinct- "You need to be looking in Utah" answer and knew his answer was no with this girl. He had to break it off with her, and shortly after signed up for eHarmony. Then we were matched and he saw my picture and my about me section. Later he told me that besides my picture, what I said concerning the Church was what stuck out to him. Which was funny, because after he contacted me (through email) I looked up his profile and I liked what he said concerning his feelings about the Church. We emailed several times over the summer, getting to know each other. We exchanged phone numbers and texted. In August I ended up in Mexico and that was when we really started talking and he decided he would stay in Utah a few extra days before heading back to Indiana (he's from Utah) so we could meet up when I got back to Utah for school. We planned a date- just one, the second day I was there. I got in Tuesday and things were such a mess that we decided to meet up for lunch on Wednesday. Things went really well. We went to lunch, we went to a movie, he went to drop me back off, but my mom and sister had gone shopping, so we talked outside the freshmen dorms at BYU for about an hour, then he helped carry things up with me, my Mom and my sister. He ended up dropping me off at home, we had a hug good bye. Next day he asked if I wanted to go to dinner to his favorite Mexican place in Sandy. Unfortunately I already had plans- it was my Mom's last night in Provo and we were planning on going to dinner- but my Mom said I could invite him- so I did and he came. So he met my Mom and 2 of my sisters (I have 5 siblings- 4 of those sisters) by our second date. After we went to my place and watched a movie. He invited me out to his house the next day for lunch at his favorite Mexican restaurant. I met his Mom and Dad and one of his brothers (he has 5 siblings, 2 sisters and 3 brothers). Then we hung out at his house afterwards and talked. He left the next morning to head back to school.

We had started moving fast. I had kissed him before he left- partly because I wanted to, partly because my mom told me to. And part of the reason my mom told me to was to make the most of the time and see if it would go anywhere and was worth keeping in contact with him. Funny thing is: (and I haven't told him this, and I don't know if he reads my blog or not) he was a good kisser, but I didn't feel any sparks. My Mom and sisters asked how it was the first time after we kissed and I was like, "eh... he's a good kisser". I knew he knew his stuff, but at the same time, that was how I felt- just eh. I was not sure at all. I mean I knew I liked him still, but I wasn't sure if it was going to work out in the long run. But I kept praying. He left August 28th. Our first date had been on the 25th. On the 31st I was praying. I wanted to know if I should keep dating him. And then, just for the heck of it I decided to try asking if I could marry this guy: overwhelming good feeling that lasted several minutes. The thing is, I got so wrapped up in how good I felt that I forgot what I had been praying about- I couldn't remember if that prayer I had asked about the long run or just about continuing to date him. But the answer... I've had three types of answers in my life. The smaller ones, with promptings here or a small good feelings. Then there have been the dreams, which aren't answers by themselves but somehow I understand that they are meant a certain way and I can find comfort in them. Then the ones like this- an overwhelming feeling of warmth and happiness. The only other time I got an answer like that was concerning serving a mission. I had been praying about it and just at one point I got that feeling and I KNEW I needed to serve and I never doubted after that. The difference this time is, I have my answer, but he still has his agency and could get a different answer. I know there is no one better for me out there. With all his faults he is everything I need and wants to work on things to be better himself. If he does not get a similar answer it just means there is someone else out there for me- not better than this guy, just different, one for whom I am better suited for.

I did not really realize that that was my long term answer until a few months ago- February 12th. My Mom said she thought I already had my answer- so I prayed that if that was my answer (and I knew if I had received my answer that it was the one I received in August) that I would be able to feel reassured of it. Now I know. We still have problems in our relationship- but every relationship will have problems. What matters to me, is he wants to work through them with me, and I still love him through them. Right now they mainly have to do with miscommunications- we've been doing long distance the whole time and still won't live in the same state til this September, but we're continuing to get to know each other. He's learning what I need to feel loved and I'm learning what he needs. So for now there is no big news. In my opinion it could go either way- but it all depends on him. If he wants it, if he gets his answer, then it'll work and someday, maybe soon, I'll have bigger news to share. Right now all I can say is he's still praying about things and part of him wants to live in the same state before committing to more... Which I can kinda understand... So hopefully sometime this fall I'll have exciting news. Right now I just have to have faith that everything will work out, not necessarily how I want it (though I hope so) but it will work out according to what God knows is best for me and will make me the happiest. :)

New Blogs

So I started some new blogs that aren't directly tied to me. I will continue to give updates on my personal life on this one, but other things that I feel like writing and sharing about I will likely include on my other page.

Today I wrote about my Sunday School lesson, which was predominantly on Mark 10:17-22. The link to that blog is: Feel free to check it out or the other blogs attached to that profile, found here: Lois Lang That's my user name.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Hope

Easter Hope
Whether you believe in Christ or not, imagine that you were headed somewhere and couldn't get there on your own. You needed a guide and a friend. Someone to show you the way. Christians believe that we are all trying to get to Heaven and the only way there is through Christ. He has shown the way and made it possible for us to get there. So whether you believe in Christ or not, take a moment on this Christian Easter holiday to think about what keeps you going. What do you hope in? Do you hope that Christ will lead you through this life to a better place? Do you believe in a different God and a heaven or afterlife that you are striving for? Maybe you don't believe in God at all, but you hope that you can make a difference in the world around you, make an impact, through music, words, politics, business, teaching, there are so many ways to help out and make the world a better place. No matter what you hope in, today is the Christian day set aside to celebrate our hope made possible through Christ's resurrection.

Today in my Church we talked about the things Christ did for us (or at least what we believe He did for us). Talking about Christ, "And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me." (Alma 7:11-13, The Book of Mormon)

Christ suffered for us, not only for our sins, but our pains and afflictions and sicknesses, that we would never have to be alone. We would always have a friend who knows what we're going through. He prepared the way for us. Suffered for each one of us, individually, even those who may not believe. He then was put up on the cross and died for us. But the miracle that is celebrated on Easter is His resurrection. He overcame death. No human, no scientist has found a way to escape death. It comes to all of us, rich or poor, famous or unknown. And proven or not I believe Christ overcame death and because He overcame death, we will all live again too. Life as we know it may end with death, but it is not the end. Christ is the symbol of hope for all Christians, so I beg all of you, Christian or not, figure out what you hope in, and remember it today.

As a side note, here's a great Easter video:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Phantom updates- flying Delta

So a lot really. Back in December we started officially dating. My Mom was confused as to what that meant. Before when I flew out to Indiana we were dating, meaning going on dates, and we liked each other, but not exclusively dating just the other person. So December we became boyfriend/girlfriend. :) He came home with me the first week of Christmas break and then flew back in time for Christmas with his family and then I flew back up to Utah a few days after Christmas and spent New Years Eve with him at his family party. Which was fun. I'm sure there would be a lot to blog about with that, and also Thanksgiving I guess I saw him too, but I want to focus on more recently. A few weeks ago he was performing in an Opera at his University, so I was flying out to see him in it and as it turned out, his Mom wanted to go that weekend too, so we made sure we got the same flight. I was REALLY looking forward to seeing him. But the day I was supposed to fly out I had a lot to do.

I woke up making sure I had everything packed, and ran a few errands. I was running a little late- because his Mom wanted to leave at a certain time from their house (that's where I was meeting her so we both didn't have to drive to the airport) and I was planning on leaving even earlier just to make sure. Well because I was running late I didn't end up leaving Provo when I wanted to. But I still had enough time to make it there by the time she wanted to leave their house for the airport.... except I ran into traffic- 3 times. The first time was because of an accident that I passed. Then that cleared up and then I ran into traffic for construction. That cleared up and then I hit traffic AGAIN. You know when you get to the point where it starts clearing up and you're looking for the reason traffic was stopped? It was a policeman who had his lights on and had pulled over and was talking to a man with a dog on the freeway. REALLY?! I realize a man probably should not be walking his dog on the freeway or whatever happened- but that's what people were stopped for?! So I was late getting to their house.

Then I get there and realize Phantom's Dad (who was originally driving us to the airport) had to work and so Phantom's Mom had asked her parents to drive us. No big deal. Or so we thought.... Apparently she's getting a little too old to drive on the freeway- and when I say that I don't mean she was completely an unsafe driver but driving over 45 mph made her nervous- and the speed limit is 65... and we were short on time. She got nervous when we got to the interchange and she ended up getting on a different freeway (also not a huge deal, because you can get to the airport from both the 215 and the 15, but it would've been easier for her to STAY on the 215). Overall, it took us a really long time to get to the airport considering it was only a short distance away.

Then my boarding pass and checking in. I had a problem checking in. There was no line to talk to one of the people who work at the desk but they told me they couldn't help me and I had to call some number. Their call service is NOT very efficient- WORST phone system EVER. I pressed a number to talk to someone and still had to press buttons for other options for 5 minutes before they connected me to someone who asked the SAME questions again, I just didn't have to press buttons this time because there was a person on the other end now... LAME! Anyways, it took like 10-15 minutes to check my bag.

Then we got up to security. The line seemed long so we talked to the guy there and told him our flight left soon- I think we had 30 minutes at that time... He told us we couldn't cut, because the line would only take 20 minutes... Well we hadn't gotten half way through in 10 minutes and started talking to other people in line. A lot of people in line with us had flights leaving within 5-10 minutes of our own- so they were in the same boat. We did find a few people though who had an hour before their flight who let some of us cut in front of them. Didn't help enough. Then actual security found some problem with Phantom's Mom's bag. That's fine- they usually take it and run it through again- but they normally do it right away. They held on to it for what seemed like forever and let a few other people pass before putting it through again. It was just kinda annoying.

Running to the gate... Yep- our gate was the farthest from the security point. We did our best to run as fast as we could. I tried to help carry her bag so she could go faster too. And we got to the gate and I could see the lady closing the door. I asked and practically begged her to just open the gate and call back the plane or something- I think the flight was supposed to leave at 4:30- but whatever the time was, it was two minutes before whatever time it was supposed to leave. So they told us we had to go almost all the way back to security to these phones where we could call about rescheduling our flight.

So I called- the SAME INEFFICIENT phone system as before. I finally got some lady. She was very helpful at first and then told me it was going to cost me $600. So I asked her what she could do for me, she said nothing, and so I asked to be transferred to someone who could help me. She just repeated that she couldn't do anything. I was like, look, this is what happened... related most of the story I wrote above and asked her if she felt paying $600 to rebook a flight I'd already spent $400 on seemed ridiculous to her. She said it did, so I said, then can you please transfer me to someone who IS allowed to do something more. Still she resisted and I started getting frustrated. I said, look, you claim you don't know who to transfer me to, but I know you know your boss. You work for someone, and if they can't help me then they should know someone or know someone who knows someone who can help. It took a lot of convincing before she transferred me. So then I talked to this other gal who looked up when I checked in my bag. She claimed she couldn't do anything because my bag was checked like 2 minutes after the 40 minutes before the flight or something? I told her it was because I had problems with the phone system and the person standing there at the desk with nothing to do didn't help me and that on top of that, my bag MADE the flight and I made it to the gate before the scheduled time. So she looked that up and was like, you're right, it left 2 minutes early. So what does she do? She "knocks off" the transfer price and brings it down to $500 and something... I still thought that was ridiculous and meanwhile Phantom's Mom is on the phone with her husband and he had gotten online and found tickets on the SAME flight she was offering to put us on for over $500 a person for $300 a person. RIDICULOUS! Buying a whole new ticket is cheaper than working with their customer service and getting a "deal". So we didn't take that deal. Then Phantom called me and asked how I was and I almost broke down crying. Ok I did cry, but I kept myself from sobbing. I did NOT want to miss my flight. I hate HAVING to talk to people on the phone. I hate dealing with problems- well ones like these anyways. And all I wanted at the moment was a REAL hug from Phantom which I couldn't get because I MISSED my stinking flight. Well we bought the tickets that left the following day. We eventually made it and the rest of the time was great! Things are going well and he got to meet my brother just last week too :) So those are the updates for now.