Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thanksgiving Pictures

I'm trying to figure out the most efficient way to get pictures from my phone to other places. I'm adding here a ton of pictures from Thanksgiving. It looks like these photos are all out of order and I don't feel like putting them in order. So, this method is probably not the best.
















Tuesday, October 25, 2016

My Thoughts on the 2016 Election


 I am referencing this post because I’m repeating some things. You don’t have to go reread it, though, because this post is a complete thought.

Back when I was at BYU, I got extra credit if I went to a lecture. I don’t remember who the lecturer was, so I apologize for not giving him credit for his ideas. Anyway, to start out, we all got a piece of paper. We were told to either choose Plan A or Plan B. If the majority of the people chose Plan A, then everyone who chose Plan A would get $100. Everyone who chose Plan B would get $50. If the majority of the people chose Plan B, then everyone who chose Plan B would get $10 and everyone who chose Plan A would get nothing. That day, the majority of us chose Plan A. Our lecturer was astounded because that never happened. People usually go with Plan B because it’s safe. The point of the exercise, though, was that we can do a lot better if we communicate and work together.

Enter the election 2016. Clinton and Trump are the most unliked presidential candidates I think ever. It would seem that the thing to do would be everyone vote third party. However, no one trusts each other. Some are too afraid of Clinton wining, so they vote Trump. Others are afraid of Trump winning, so they vote Clinton. What should have been an easy victory for a third party has turned into the same old story. (You can also argue that none of the third parties were on the ball enough to gain a ton of support).

I live in Utah. So let’s talk about McMullin. On the website "I side with" I score very high with McMullin. He’s a Mormon, so a lot of his ideas are easy for us Mormons to get behind. Everything he says sounds great. His popularity in Utah has climbed really high in a short amount of time.

There’s just one problem – how do we know we can trust him? McMullin has worked for the CIA, Goldman Sachs, and the Republican House Conference. Unfortunately, he can’t really tell us a lot about any of his work because it is private/ confidential etc. He hasn’t been vetted by any political party as he is running independent. I’ve heard one person point out that both he and Hilary Clinton belong to the Council on Foreign Relations (it’s on his LinkedIn profile so I don’t feel bad at spreading that). Obviously that means he’s a plant for Clinton, right? If you look at his time for entering the race, who he’s targeting, etc, it sure looks like he was the perfect person to come and keep Utah from going red.  

I’ve heard the argument made that Mormons are just too trusting. That is why we have all rallied behind McMullin. We see one of our own and we believe him. He knows what to say to reach our hearts. But I ask you, is being too trusting a bad thing? From the example with Plan A and Plan B we can see that everyone benefits when everyone is trusting and trustworthy. When does being trusting turn from being a strength into a weakness? How do we know when we’ve crossed the line into the range of being naïve? Has that happened here? Or is McMullin actually deserving of the trust Utah has placed in him?

My purpose of this post is not to tell you to vote for anyone in particular. My purpose is to tell you to vote your conscience. That is going to mean something different for difference people. For some that means voting the lesser of two evils. For some that means voting for someone who doesn’t have a chance of winning. That’s okay. After listening to a lot of people’s opinions, I’ve formed one of my own. Your vote means exactly what you want it to mean. Yes they will look at the statistics at the end. However, they aren’t going to separate it out like, “well these ten votes were made to stress their opposition to the Republican Party, these ten votes were just voting along party line, and these ten votes were cast because they wanted to stick it to the man.” Only you can determine why you vote a certain way. Don’t let people bully you into voting for anything. Don't let people tell you your vote means something different. We all think differently and that’s okay. The value of your vote is what you give it.

Now, after saying that, please don’t shame others for thinking differently than you. I’ll admit, as a conservative, I’m not a huge fan of Clinton; but that doesn’t mean I think less of those who will vote for her. I understand why my friends are willing to vote for her. I also understand why people will vote for Trump. I also get why people will vote third party even though they know their candidate won’t win. If you’re saying you don’t understand why anyone could be so stupid and vote for (enter candidate name here), you’re doing more than just shaming others. You’re refusing to listen. You can disagree, but please don’t shame.


At the end of the day, we’re all still Americans. We all still need to work together. We all could be a little better. And we are all probably better than we think we are. Let’s lift each other up. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Dream Prayers


Sometimes I wake up thinking, "Wow! That was an awesome dream!" even if while I was in it I was completely terrified. This morning I got to wondering how Heavenly Father reacts when we pray in our dreams.

Me: Heavenly Father, I really don't want to die right now.
Heavenly Father: I'm glad you don't, but you're not in any actual danger.
Me: Please be with the people who went on ahead of us. We've lost all communication and I don't know what happened to them.
HF: Well, they don't actually exist.
Me: This is a pretty awful storm right now.
HF: Yeah, it is, but it is literally all in your head.

The more I thought about it, I began to wonder if he reacts similarly in our waking lives.

Me: This is a really hard thing I'm going through right now.
HF: Yes it is, but you can't see as clearly as I can. If you just keep holding on, it will be all right. The blessings from overcoming this trial far exceed the pain it takes to go through it. Stay near me, Child. I have been through this before, and I know how to help.

And because you're probably now curious to know what my "awesome" dream was - there was a group of us stranded on the mountain. For whatever reason, we couldn't go back down, we had to keep going up. Meanwhile, there was this intense storm making it all rather difficult. We separated into three groups (ahem... surprise! There was a red group, a blue group, and a yellow group). The red group went on a head first. Since the yellow group was pretty small, we joined the blue group. Someone tried and failed to start my car, so they deemed it unsafe and wouldn't let me drive. Oh darn. Then we all got into cars and traveled up the steep mountain in a terrible storm. We reached our first stop which was owned by a man who just lives on the mountain. He let use his radio to contact people, but we couldn't reach anyone. Knowing we had to go back into the storm, and being terrified to get back into someone's car, I said that I wanted to start walking. One of the guys in our group thought that was suicide. For me, I knew it was possible to die either way and I felt safer walking than driving. I woke up before I went back into the storm though.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Trip to Zion

This last weekend I went to Zion National Park with some friends. Here, have some pictures.

Most of the campsites near Zion were full, so we ended up camping at Kolob Reservoir. It was so pretty!


 There was a dead snake in the road.










Saturday morning we found ducklings!







In case you couldn't find the ducklings, let me point to them.


The mountains surrounding us were so pretty!


We hiked the narrows. Silly me, I didn't realize it was less of a hike and more of a walk in water.




I like to take pictures of people when they are not looking.


Selfie.


Let's go repelling down a waterfall!





Sometimes I tell people to pose for me.


Most of the time I don't.




I know it's blurry, but I wanted a picture of my friends just chilling in the water.


Saturday, June 18, 2016

New Phone

I bought a new phone. Actually, I bought it a couple of months ago. Today, however, I actually went to AT&T to get a new SIM card. Turns out they don't make me start over with my account. Good to know. My question is this: now that I have a phone with a great camera that makes taking selfies easier, will I take more selfies? Time will tell.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Crossing the Street

This is a silly story. I know it is a silly story. However, I feel like this silly story has taught me a little about life and myself.

Preface: When I am a pedestrian at a stop light, I prefer to cross only with the green man's permission. My experience has shown that if the green man doesn't pop up, it is highly likely that the light will not stay green long enough for me to cross the street.

I walked to work this morning. When I came to my first street light, I pressed the button to cross, just as I normally do. I got there before the perpendicular light turned yellow, so I knew - I KNEW - that I would be given my green man this time around.

But he didn't come.

I was shocked and puzzled. Should I go anyway? Perhaps it had given a green arrow to the oncoming traffic. No, if it had done that, it would not have given a green light to traffic going in my direction. I hesitated long enough to watch the light turn yellow. This light was especially unkind to pedestrians. I knew if the green man did not show up, it for sure would not give me enough time to cross the street. I pressed the button again. I covered the top to confirm that the light was in fact shining stating that it registered that the button had been pushed.

I started forming a backup plan. If the green man didn't show up again, I would just cross the street anyway. If I had to run, I could do it. After all, I couldn't just stay at this light forever. But hopefully it would give me a green man.

One of those curb cleaning vehicles pulled up in the turn lane and stopped to wait for the light. It was in the turn lane, and so I thought it would turn. This put a lurch in my plan. If it didn't give me a green man, should I still cross the street? What if I did and this curb cleaning machine decided to take me out? The light turned green. No man came. I waited to see what the curb cleaner would do. It went straight. It didn't even turn. By the time I realized this, however, it was already too late. The light was already turning yellow.

Fear gripped me. I had just missed two lights that were supposed to be mine. My resolve to go without the green man was firmer than ever. However, I had been distracted this last round. What if something always came up to keep me from crossing the street? How long was I going to be stuck at this light?

No, it didn't matter. Come what may, I was going to cross the street this next time. I pounded on the button with all my frustration.

The light turned green. The green man showed his face. I crossed the street.

What got to me, however, was how torn apart I was on the inside. This was such a silly occurrence, but I was on the brink of tears. I was able to cross the street, but I still felt the panic of being trapped.

I thought about how this relates to trust. I trusted that the button would work and that I would be allowed to cross the street the first time. I hoped that it would let me cross the second time. By the third time I had lost all my trust in that machine. I had felt such a huge betrayal from our system.Why didn't it work the first two times? I don't know. Perhaps it was wearing down and it didn't register the push until I slammed into it in frustration. It might have only looked like it was glowing before because of the sun. I don't know.

Sometimes in life we don't consider the possibility that there will be obstacles in our path. It frustrates us. We make a plan to confront the obstacle, but something else comes up that we don't plan on (such as the curb cleaner). After failing twice, we can feel hopeless, like the world is out to get us. We have to remember that Heavenly Father will not abandon us. Nephi 3:7 clearly states that God will provide a way for us to keep his commandments. It may not come in the timing we expect, but it will come. Yes there can be an after effect. Yes our hearts can break. Yes we can feel so helpless and hopeless that we will break down. But unlike a street light, we can have perfect hope in Christ. The street light can break down and never give us the light we need, but Heavenly Father will always provide a way for us.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

To get to the Airport

The plan: take frontrunner and trax to the airport.

The good: I noticed before I left that I didn't have my license.

The bad: Because I had to run home first, I got to get to the frontrunner station just in time to see my train leave.

Up until that point, frontrunner runs every half hour. Apparently from that point forward, it only ran every hour. So it seemed as though driving was my only option.

Ahem. I got to the airport to find out my flight got delayed an hour. Oh the lives we live.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Thoughts on God's Love for Us

John 3:17 reads "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

I used to think that God had two messages for his children. 1) I love you come unto me. 2) Repent or you will be destroyed. The more I learn about God, however, I realize that the second message really is just a continuation of the first message. I love you so much that I really want you to be happy, and you can only be happy by following my commandments. If you do not follow my commandments, there will be consequences that are hard. I'd rather you not have to experience those, so please, come back to me. To be Christlike, we would do well to remember John 3:17. We do not need to condemn others, we simply need to love them.

On the other hand, we must not forget Isaiah 5:20 "Wo unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"We live in a world that tells us if we love someone, we will let them do whatever they want to do. To some extent, that is true. Heavenly Father gave us agency, and because he loves us, he will not take that away from us. However, that does not stop him from reaching out to us. That does not stop him from giving us his commandments. That does not stop him from trying to teach us how to how to be happy.

In the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet, it states, "Choose friends who share your values so you can strengthen and encourage each other to  live high standards." This can be tricky. We must love everyone. We must not accept sin. We must choose friends with high values. That almost sounds like we must be exclusive, but that goes against stipulation number one - we must love everyone. There is a balance between loving people, and not accepting sin. It does not mean we condemn all those that sin, because quite frankly, we'd have a lot of condemning to do. In my opinion, I think it means that we should live and be clear with what our standards are. We should be open to accepting those with opposing views, but be clear that we will not budge on some issues. Somehow we need to bring people to Christ without condemning them. Instead of calling others sinners, we can call them children of God. Both are true statements. The former, however, is only true inasmuch as you recognize the latter. what I mean by that is that if we are not children of God, then there is no sin. For the most part, being a sinner means that we are imperfect seedlings learning how to grow.

The Moral of this post: Love others so much that they want to come unto Christ.