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October 31, 2010

All In A Week

Sunday was Halloween! Kind of strange when it falls on a Sunday. Scott spoke in church - he is a great speaker and I enjoy hearing his insights. I think he did a good job of captivating everyone because he presents things very well. He spoke about magnifying callings in the church and how we should first magnify our callings at home as parents and spouses. Great lesson! Primary was a little interesting today as one girl decided she didn't want to be in primary anymore. We had a nice one-on-one chat about making choices that turned out pretty well. We also had our weekly video chat with the Miller family - my Sunday highlight!

Saturday the weather was great! It was a perfect fall day with sunshine and a light breeze. Probably the last good weather day for a while, which is a little sad. I spent some time out and about to visit some sisters from the branch.


Friday we spent time together as we usually do on Friday nights - something I enjoy very much.


Thursday I baked and frosted dozens of cookies. I love to bake! I especially love to bake things for holidays to give to others. I have decided that October through December is my favorite time of year. The leaves are turning, the air is crisp and there are holidays! I'd rather celebrate the fall season over the Halloween holiday, but it's fun all the same. I love Thanksgiving and Christmas because it's a reminder to everyone to be thankful and giving. Sometimes we can all use a reminder. :) We also received a package from mom and dad Miller. SO exciting! It included a picture of Scott's sister Melanie, fall decorations for the apartment, and some tasty treats.

Wednesday we went to Costco and got a membership. Yeah! We have been debating this for a very long time and finally came to a conclusion. I felt pretty grown up as it was our first time shopping at Costco without our parents. :) After our excursion I went to our Relief Society quilting night. It was great! I went with my friend TerriLyn and her darling daughters. I was able to learn a bit about piecing and tying quilts. I also got to meet more women from the branch and it was fun to socialize.

Tuesday I worked and Scott went to school. Epic.

Monday Scott took his anatomy final, ending the most heinous week of the semester. He also did a lot of cleaning (which I had neglected) before his body gave in to the illness again.

October 28, 2010

Making Friends = Loving Life Even More

That's the truth.

Most of the friends I have made in Des Moines are people who live in our branch that we met at church. I am so grateful for church! Of course, the religious aspect is the main reason that church is so wonderful - sometimes I am astounded at the things that I can learn from the scriptures - but making friends at church is a definite plus. :)

I have met so many different people who are different ages and at different life stages and I love it all! We have been over to a few other houses for dinner and dessert, had visiting and home teachers stop by, and I've been out with other women from the branch as well.

I would be going crazy if it wasn't for all the great people around us. Thank you to all my new friends in Des Moines, and below are some photos of many friends from back home.

Lunch Group Friends! Nicholas & Coventry, Scott & I, Erin and Liz
Friends I Grew Up With! McKell, Emily, Me, Jayne, Amber and Nicole

Best Friends! Dave and Janice
Lunch Group Friends! Scott, Danny, Liz, Coventry & Nicholas, Erin and Mileah & Todd
High School Friends! Lizzy, Me, Michal & Lindsay, Brandon, Danny, Nicole & Glen

October 25, 2010

The Tale of Two Kidneys

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. . ."


The past week or so was really crazy for Scott.

Tuesday - BioChem Final
Thursday - Cell Bio Test 1
Monday - Anatomy Test 2

As if that weren't enough to complete the busiest week of the entire term, Scott got a kidney infection.

Not fun.

Fever. Nights Sweats. Chills. Nausea. Back Pain. Dehydration.
Not to mention the needing to use the restroom every few minutes.

He was getting better each day, but by early evening he would crash again and feel horrible all night. It made studying very difficult. Sunday night our home teacher and friends from the branch stopped by to give him a blessing, which was really great. I love church, I love people, and I love the people at church.

And, here is an unrelated photo for your enjoyment.

Scottie. Summer 2009.

Commitment

Last Sunday I spoke in church during Sacrament Meeting. It was great! Don't get me wrong, I was crazy nervous (as always when speaking) but I was very excited to speak as well. I wasn't really nervous until it was Sunday morning and for a fleeting moment I thought "I should just call in sick". Then I realized I had just prepared a talk for our branch about commitments and the importance of keeping them. Big news. No calling in sick then. :) Aside from a short introduction about myself and Scott, below is a copy of my talk (as rallied for by friends and family members back home). Enjoy!



Today I have been asked to speak about commitment. To be honest, I had no idea where to start so I polled a few family members and close friends. They all gave their input but I was still left uncertain so I decided to visit LDS.org where I read through multiple talks for different points and ideas. No one idea stood out, but many caught my eye so I would like to cover a few different bases that are all related to being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I would like to start with a story told by Elder F. Burton Howard of The Seventy.
Elder Howard, his wife and son were going to visit family in another state. After making sandwiches and packing the car they prepared a bed in the back seat for their young son so he could rest during the 10-hour drive. After hours in the car they were beginning to get on each other’s nerves. The preschooler never slept and it was soon after sundown with two hours to go. Elder and sister Howard knew if their little boy would only close his eyes and be quiet for a while, he would fall asleep. They decided to play a game in order to get the boy to sleep and they called it hide-and-seek. The boy would close his eyes and wait for them to say “OK” before finding them crouched down in the passenger seat. After a few times they said, “We have a really good place to hide this time. It will take longer. Close your eyes and we will call you.” The parents let five minutes go by as they drove along in silence. Elder Howard said the tranquility was marvelous. They drove another 15 miles before whispering congratulations to each other on the success of the devious game. Then, from out of the backseat, came the sobbing voice of a heartbroken little boy. “You didn’t call me, and you said you would.” Elder and sister Howard never played that game again.
As members of the church, we make commitments. We commit to serve through callings. We commit to share our time and our energy. We commit to mourn with those who mourn and to comfort those who stand in need of comfort. We make commitments and covenants, but sometimes we don’t follow through. But why don’t we follow through?
Maybe there is something we deem as being more important. Maybe we don’t feel qualified or we don’t want to seem over-enthusiastic. Or maybe we just plain don’t feel well so we push it aside for another day, another week or another month. I know I have used each of those justifications at one time or another, but when I stop to think about it, I wonder what it was that I thought could really be more important than keeping true to a commitment that I have made – especially if it is a covenant made with the Lord.
One of the needs of the church is to have people keep their commitments. We need people who will do what it takes, for as long as it takes, to do what they have agreed to do. It will probably take an extra push from ourselves to keep in mind that following through and keeping commitments is important, but the end result will be well worth it. You will find that service brings joy to the soul. You may also find it easier to call on God in a time of need when you know you have been keeping true to your covenants. When you make a commitment be sure you understand what it entails and what is expected. Strive to understand the covenants you have made in the past or that you may make in the future. We are much more able to follow through with commitments that we understand. Remember that the difficult part is not actually making the promise, but in keeping it.
As members of the church we are the covenant people of the Lord. As said by Elder John A. Widtsoe, “Latter-day Saints are called a covenant people, because, under the authority of the priesthood, they have covenanted with God, by baptism and other ordinances, to obey the requirements of the plan of salvation and to give their strength to the spread of righteousness over the world. They are further called a covenant people because they accept the gospel of Abraham, and therefore claim the blessings of the Lord’s covenant with Abraham.” Not only do we accept the gospel of Abraham and claim the blessings promised to him by the Lord, but we also make our own covenants, and we should keep them.
When we are baptized we covenant with Heavenly Father that we will follow his commandments. In return, he will forgive us when we repent, give us the gift of the Holy Ghost, and allow us to return and live with Him forever. Each Sunday at church we are offered a chance to remember Christ and reflect on our own lives. We are also able to renew our baptismal covenants through partaking of the bread and water of the sacrament.
Although baptism is extremely important, it is not the only step to salvation and eternal life. When we are of age we should attend the temple. At the temple we are able to perform sacred ordinances for the dead and to work toward attaining the blessings of eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.
Temple marriage is a most important commitment and should always be treated as such. Elder Russell M. Nelson said, “Marriage—especially temple marriage—and family ties involve covenant relationships. They cannot be regarded casually. With divorce rates escalating throughout the world today, it is apparent that many spouses are failing to endure to the end of their commitments to each other. . . An enduring marriage results when both husband and wife regard their union as one of the two most important commitments they will ever make.”

It is important to remember that a temple marriage is not just a commitment between husband and wife, but involves a covenant with God as well. If both husband and wife do all that they can to keep Christ close and with one another follow His example, they will be able to continue through mortal life and on to eternal life together. We must learn to emulate Christ and follow His example to help us remember the importance of loving our spouse and our family.

Once we have made our covenants and are well on our way to keeping them, we must strive to endure to the end. Sometimes we feel like the weight of the world is too much, but if we can resist the many temptations of worldly things then we can gain eternal life. Repentance is a key factor when we make a wrong choice. We all must repent at one time or another but it must be done with a pure intent. Simply going through the steps will not suffice. We must truly forsake the sin and feel remorse. Repentance must be done through the Savior. We must humble ourselves and repent when we have done wrong.

Elder F. Burton Howard also said that commitment “involves staying the course, being constant and steadfast. It means keeping the faith and being faithful to the end despite success or failure, doubt or discouragement. It is drawing near to the Lord with all our hearts. It is doing whatever we promise to do with all our might–even when we might not feel like it. . . We will not be safe until we have given our hearts to the Lord–until we have learned to do what we have promised.”

I feel that commitment also requires trust. If we trust in the Lord we can put ourselves in His hands and more easily commit to doing His will. One of my friends from back home wrote this on her blog: “At some time in life, we need to get out of our safe zones. Even if that first step is off a ledge. But don’t worry- it’s better that way. Because you know what the difference between the safe zone and the ledge is? The safe zone has boundaries. You’ll never reach greater heights if you’re afraid to fall.”

Another important thing to remember is that although the responsibility of commitment is ours, the Lord is always there to help and we are not alone. Christ has felt our pains and deepest sorrows, our triumphs and our joys. He can see the light within us even when we cannot see it ourselves. We have been invited to come unto Him – it is never too early and never too late. Strive to be like Him and the better we will become.

I believe these things to be true and I know that we will receive many blessings if we righteously keep our commitments and follow the commandments of God.


Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts with me while I was preparing! Also, thank you to a counselor from the Branch Presidency for letting me know that my talk was inspiring. :)

October 12, 2010

Christmas!

I know it's not even Halloween yet, but I am SO excited for Christmas. Know why?

I got time off to go home for Christmas!

I know, right? I was told it was next to impossible, but put in a request anyway. Glad I didn't give up because now we get to spend time in Utah and Idaho in December. I can't even tell you how happy I am to be able to see all of our family in just a few months.

Also, my sister Cherish is engaged - looks like the wedding will be in late January so I plan to get back to Utah (or wherever the wedding is) to see the family again for the weekend.

Victory is sweet. Family is sweeter.

Joey and Cherish. Engaged.

Scott Update

Today Scott took his second to last BioChem test and he rocked it! BioChem classes are officially over, but he has one more test before the class is over. As a nice little celebration he took the night off from studying and we spent the evening together. We cleaned our apartment, did the laundry (including our bedsheets - thank heaven), and went out for Wendy's (don't worry, we know we're high class). We topped of the day by watching some tv together. Perfect evening.

Scott and I out fishin' just before we got engaged. :)

October 10, 2010

Carolina In My Mind


A few months ago Scott introduced me to James Taylor and I quickly picked out my favorite song, Carolina In My Mind. All weekend I was singing the chorus while dreaming about Utah as there are lots of things as of late that are reminding me of home the past few weeks.

Organizing all my old pictures (here you can see a few of my girl's camp pictures).

General Conference! Watching conference made me a tinge homesick. Seeing the conference center and thinking of Utah!
This is Scott heading to Priesthood with me on my way to an evening with some families from the branch.
Meet my nephew, Samwise William Eastland born in Utah on Oct 6, 2010.

Got some stuff in the mail from home - this is our long lost comforter! We are SO happy to have it back!

Care package!
Aside from our family photos (both Eastland and Miller) it came with oreos, chocolates and a Halloween shirt for me!
My dad sent the shirt because it says "Boo" which has been my nickname since I was little.

My smiling face and Boo Shirt. :)

October 4, 2010

Last week I...

...realized that I love the smell of fresh laundry.
...got a new pillow for Scott.
...bought a small utility shelf for our kitchen.
...started organizing all my pictures.
...watched countless hours of all things Netflix.
...went to work. Took phone calls. Enjoyed it.
...hand wrote a letter. I know, right?
...cooked dinner almost every night.
...took a hot shower until the hot was gone.
...missed home.
...talked to work friends about being Mormon.
...blogged. As you can see.
...took pictures. Photo below.
...got a cold and drank lots of orange juice. LOTS of orange juice.
...watched (and loved) General Conference.
...helped Scott study (including OMM (Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine) which I also love).
...cleaned the bathroom.
...unpacked our fall clothes (is it really October already?)
...had pizza and baked sugar cookies with ladies from the branch. :)

Life is good.

Organizing photos. Don't mind the ugly ones you can see - girl's camp photos are usually hideous.

OMM. What Do You Think?

OMM: Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine


Is (as wikipedia says) "the application of the distinct osteopathic philosophy when diagnosing and treating a patient. OMM takes into account the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health of a patient, and how each aspect could be contributing to the disease state."


Is not chiropractic care, nor is it a massage. I view it as the in-between ground.


Osteopathic physicians do not just massage the skin. They work with things that are deeper than the patient's skin including fascia, organs, bones, vessels, joints and ligaments.


Today Scott had his first OMM practical exam! In preparation he needed some extra study time with a patient. Me! I have come to the conclusion that I love OMM. I have mild scoliosis that causes pain in my back, neck and head daily. The pain decreased significantly with a new mattress and sleeping positions, but the pain was starting to come back. Now? I don't have any pain. Nothing! Some simple techniques and I am as good as new.


What do you think about OMM?