26 February 2012

Happy Sunday: Don't Be a Scrub

So.......that title has [almost] nothing to do with the message of this post.  However, Elder Wirthlin DOES talk about scrubs for a brief moment which increases my love and respect for the man exponentially, because, really, when have you heard the use of the term scrub outside of TLC's top 10 single, like, 100 years ago when you were getting your Junior High groove on at Classic Skate? 

Now, read this.  I discovered this talk on my mission and it remains one of my absolute favorites.  As an apostle of the Lord, Elder Wirthlin testifies of His resurrection--how He went from the deepest, darkest despair to the most glorious triumph that the world has ever known.  Though none of us can ever expect to experience what Christ suffered, we all have our pits and valleys that we must pass through before we reach our mountain summit.  During those miserable moments, there is nothing that offers greater hope, optimism, and comfort than the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As my roommate suffers the recent loss of her father to cancer, I've been reflecting a lot on this lately.  A knowledge of God's divine plan for His children will not take away the pain of losing a loved one--we're meant to experience pain and sorrow so that we can appreciate joy--but it certainly provides much-needed hope, something that seems to be becoming an increasingly rare commodity in our world today.

Seriously, peeps, this talk is amazing and worth 12 minutes to read.  It starts a bit slow but don't let that turn you off.

Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.
But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.
No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come.  
 (Joseph B. Wirthlin,"Sunday Will Come," October 2006 General Conference)

23 February 2012

A Mad World Milestone

To celebrate my 100th post on Mad World, I will write the very first thing that comes into my head.....

.....I hate memes.

Well, folks, that was pure, unadulterated thought freshly plucked from the mad mind of Sarah.  Happy 100, Mad World!

But wait, maybe I can expound on this....

.....ok, maybe not.  I have nothing intelligible to say.  Only that memes are annoying and trite and they suffocate my FBoo newsfeed and less than 5% of them are actually funny.

That's all.

22 February 2012

By George!

Happy Birthday, big guy!  Here is a cupcake from Cupcake Rob

Bucket List

I created  a sort of Bucket/To-Do list towards the end of 2008.  Since New Year's resolutions have always been a massive failure for me, this was my glorified attempt at conceptualizing my goals and keeping myself in check.  And I'm a total list person.  So this kind of thing works for me.

Failed resolutions:

I have a tendency to hold on to clothing items that I never wear but refuse to get rid of in case there is ONE time that it will be the PERFECT thing to have.  Halloween?  Themed parties?  What if those long, flowy, lesbian hippy skirts come back in style (please, no)? This year, I will pick 10 outfits I actually wear and sell all the others or donate them to naked orphans!!!!!

FAIL.  I couldn't give up the thought of needing an emergency pastel plaid pencil skirt for a golf tournament where my presence would be required.  Still have never been to a golf tournament.

Another year, I thought it would be a fantastic idea to volunteer to work with underprivileged kindergartners at a local elementary school.  I love children.  I love education.  Wow, this is perfect!  I'm such a nice person!

FAIL.  I imagined it would be like my kindergarten days when all we did was count cereal, cut hearts out of construction paper, marble paint, and feed the classroom pet parakeet.  Nowadays they learn everything the futuristic way.  By futuristic, I mean they use things like...compuuuuuters...to learn their ABC's.  And we all know what a retard I am when it comes to technology.  That crap was beyond me.  I couldn't handle it.  

So this is why the Bucket List is such a great thing.  I don't feel like I'm forced into making some lofty resolution that I never achieve.  They're actually things I genuinely want to do but don't feel pressured to accomplish them in a given year.  Over the past 3 or so years, I've crossed off quite a few.  Check it out:

Learn how to play the guitar. 
In my guitar class, we've finally moved on from "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain."  It took about a month. Now I can play Norah Jones. Never mind that it sounds less like Norah Jones and more like Peter, Paul and Mary. It's progress. 
Learn how to play the harmonica. 
Does "Taps" count?
Learn how to sew.
After hours of labor and constant supervision, I created an apron.  Domestic goddess!
Learn how to French braid. 
This one's kind of a hit-or-miss. 
Para-glide in Interlaken. 
Checked this one off last summer with my brother.  I wouldn't have rather done it with anybody else. 
Serve a mission.
I miss it.
Learn another foreign language.
My mission helped out with this one. 
Take better photogs.
Remember that photo essay I posted?  100%!  And my prof only gave out 3 A's.  I'm shamelessly bragging right now.  What!  I'm proud of myself!
Two....more....months.  I'm dyyyyying.
Travel to Chile.
This May!
Hike Machu Picchu.
Good thing Peru is right next to Chile!

There are still roughly 1000 more things on my list, but fortunately I have a lifetime to complete them.   

19 February 2012

Happy Sunday: Waiting on Our Road to Damascus

In light of the current presidential campaigns, my personal advocacy for Mitt Romney has caused me to consider again and again my role as a Mormon and if indeed there is a correlation between my religion and my politics. I always reach the conclusion that, no, I am not voting for him just because he is Mormon, nor am I so dense as to elect anyone to office just because we share common beliefs. All the Mormon hype in the media, however, has allowed me the opportunity to weigh the level of my devotion to my church. How converted am I? Do I accept something as truth just because I was taught it at church? Is it worth all of the crap that is plastered all over the media about Mormons?

I have questions about my religion. Shocking, I know. I am far from understanding everything, doctrinally and spiritually. But I think that the things the perplex me can be occasions for growth and development rather than hindrances to spiritual progression. All of this reflection on my faith has been a good reminder that conversion really is a continual process. As the video below stresses, we can't expect to be struck with a lightning bolt of perfect knowledge--a sort of night-to-day revelatory experience like Paul had on the road to Damascus.

When the going gets tough and I find myself questioning God's will for me, I throw out all the things I don't know and embrace the things I do. "I know that God lives and that He loves us. We are His children and....that knowledge alone is priceless."

14 February 2012

That Awkward Moment When...

...your boyfriend breaks up with you 4 days before Valentine's Day and the flowers he ordered 2 weeks ago are delivered anyway.  (Calm down, all you drama lovers. It's actually not that awkward.)

Happy Valentine's Day!

07 February 2012

Spiritual Parallels in the Rural and the Urban: A Photographic Essay

The following is a photo essay that I did for the French photography class that I'm currently enrolled in.  Yes, French photography.  That doesn't mean anything except that it is taught in French.  Basically, it's the only way my photogro-phile professor, who works in the French department, could get away with teaching a class on photography.  I was reading the bucket list I made back in 2008 and one of my to-do items is "take better pictures."  So...check?  Obviously I plan on getting better and better, but the mere fact that I'm taking this class should allow me to cross that one off, I think.  
Spiritual Parallels in the Rural and the Urban

There is no greater solace than nature. It is where I spent my childhood, my adolescence, and where I continue to go for peace, clarity, inspiration, and spiritual renewal.  It is where I feel the closest to my Savior and where His teachings come alive—in overgrown trails, in rocky canyons, and in majestic peaks.  As my travels and schooling bring me often to the city, I have sought reflections of nature in urban life. The following photograph essay contains observations I have made between the rural and the urban, and the spiritual parallels that can be drawn to each. 

[Wisdom] standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths (Proverbs 8:2).
Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths (Psalms 25:4). 
Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established (Proverbs 4:26).
I cried unto the Lord with my voice; with my voice unto theLord did I make my supplication. I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me (Psalms 142:1-3,7).
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths (Isaiah 2:2,3).