Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I taught the lesson in Relief Society this week on 'Sacrifice.' Here are some of my favorite quotes that I used:

"It is not a sacrifice to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is never a sacrifice when you get back more than you give. It is an investment. And the living of the gospel of Jesus Christ becomes a greater investment than any of which we know because its dividends are eternal and everlasting" (Gordon B. Hinckley, Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [1997], 567-68).

"I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him?...I believe that missionaries and investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.

For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul.

If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, and cry, “Abba, Father (Papa), if this cup can pass, let it pass,” 16 then little wonder that salvation is not a whimsical or easy thing for us. If you wonder if there isn’t an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn’t an easier way." Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Monday, February 21, 2011

Kids Update

We haven't been up to anything at all. We are sooooooooooo sick of winter! We are ready for sunshine and bored with tv! Come on, Spring, hurry up!

Viva Las Vegas!

Adam and I are starting to get excited about our upcoming trip to Las Vegas with EF Foundation next month. They are putting us up at Caesar's Palace-- all expenses paid! While I am not a big fan of Vegas I am excited about a free trip to a fairly warm place. Two nights of food and fun without the kids! Jealous?


A few weekends ago my employer, EF Foundation for Foreign Study, flew me to Boston for two nights to do some training at their corporate office. Usually, they pay for Adam to go too but this trip was just for me and 14 other people from around the U.S. We were wined and dined and it was a fantastic weekend. I arrived at my hotel at about 2:30 on Thursday and was excited to see a 3 story mall directly across the street. I headed straight over to the mall and walked around until 6:00. If I had any extra money at all then I would have tried to go see some sites but I'm sure I will get the chance to go again. Several of my managers took me and a few other colleagues to dinner at a very lovely Italian restaurant. After dinner, they walked us across the street to a very well-known pastry shop famous for their cannolis. They bought us whatever we wanted and, after much deliberation, I decided on the chocolate mousse cannoli with chocolate chips. Holy crap it was awesome! I felt my thighs expanding with each bite. I headed straight to the gym after we got back to the hotel.
Friday we spent the day in meetings at the office and then we were treated to dinner at a very upscale French restaurant. All the drinks and food we could handle. I wish I had taken a picture of our dessert that night--it was enormous, delicious, and I ate every bite. Headed straight to the gym after we got back.
Saturday morning they paid for taxis to take us over to the Harvard area and we had brunch in beautiful, quaint, cozy, Victorian style restaurant. The food was not impressive to me at all BUT the atmosphere was fantastic and it was really neat to see Harvard and MIT even if from the inside of a cab. I think my IQ rose a few points just driving by. Then it was off to the airport.
I love EF! It is such a great company to work for. The CEO always remembers my name, where I'm from, and my family. He partied with us on the cruise (he's Swedish) and he and my other bosses really seem to care about their workers in the field. They treat us to meals at places that I would never dream of going on my own because of our financial situation. Next month we're off to Las Vegas!
James, Ruby and Adam met me at the airport with tulips which Ruby kept insisting were mine but refused to let go of them. It was cute. It was really nice to be free for a few days. And I got a lot of reading done.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


At first, I really didn't like Adam working nights but now that he doesn't, I kind of miss my me time in the evenings. I got a lot of reading done while he was working. This is my latest read and, honestly, it was frightening but very interesting. It is clear to me that my biggest challenge as a parent is raising children who are not arrogant, lazy, obsessed with their looks and wealth, and completely in love with themselves. And it all comes down to one thing: staying connected to a loving Heavenly Father.

Here are a couple of frightening statistics:

*Within only two decades (1985-2006) there was a 30% increase of Narcissistic Personality Disorder among college students. 30% in only 20 years! That's insane!

*"In 2006, 51% of 18-25 year-olds said that 'becoming famous' was an important goal of their generation--nearly five times as many as named 'becoming more spiritual' as an important goal. A 2006 poll asked children in Britain to name 'the very best thing in the world.' The most popular answer was 'being a celebrity.' 'Good looks' and 'being rich' rounded out the top three... 'God' came in last."

How sad and scary is that?

I'm not posting this to depress anyone, as depressing as these facts are. As I was reading this book, which basically implies that we're going to hell in a hand-basket because we've turned into a self-obsessed culture, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the gospel in my life. When people have no faith or belief in any kind of a higher power, their pride runs rampant. God is no longer the center of the universe, they are. And I am by no means saying that I am humble because I know I'm not. I have a long, long way to go. However, I know I'm not the center of the universe. I'm not anything but a decent person who is trying to do good things with my life. I'm so grateful for how well the gospel acts as a parenting guide. If I can point my children to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and teach them to trust and to believe in Them and to strive to emulate Them in all that they do, that's the best guard I have against pride. The other day James was looking at the picture of Jesus on the cross with Mary at his feet and he said, "Mom, is Mary crying because she's Jesus' mom and she's so, so sad that He's on the cross?" Such tender, thoughtful, empathetic words from a four year old. I hope he will always retain that child-like faith. In so many ways, I wish I were more like my children--forgiving, loving, complete faith and trust, and humble.