Friday, April 29, 2011

In order to know one, you got to know the other

These past few weeks for me I've been on a WW2 kick. I've started watching a documentary on Auschwitz and currently watching Anne Frank. I also just finished a book on the Temple by Apostle Boyd K. Packer. Very good book if you're new to the Temple. With Passover just ending and having two best friends who are Jewish I always take a time to research a little on it and remind myself what they are celebrating. Especially since the book I was reading kept talking about Elijah.

The point of this blog is that in order for people to understand one, they need to understand the other. So! In order to truly understand the Bible (King James version, I've never read others so I can't speak for those) you need to understand the beginning. This being the Old Testament or the Torah (first 5 books of the Old Testament). You need to take a good luck at the Passover, Rosh Shanna, Yom Kipur and depending on your level of Judiasm much more. How many people know what the number 7 means? 3? Did you know that when they say 40 days in the Bible it usually really isn't 40 days!! It's just a really long time. I think some of my Jewish friends get sick of the questions. But I know that for me to really understand why some things are the way that they are you need to look at the beginning. The past 2 summers I have had a co-worker that is an Orthodox Jew, we would love to sit and talk about the similarities and differences between us. Have you ever done this? It's amazing!! I have truly learned a lot and in turn, have become a better Mormon. In this book about the Temples they kept talking about Elijah. Elijah is in the Old Testament people!! To understand the Temple, you need to understand the Old Testament! At Passover there is a place set at the table of Elijah, for when he comes. I am appalled sometimes at how little people know of other religions. We should always look for opportunities to learn, you may understand more about your own religion. For some Religion is a taboo subject, but if you approach it the right way it's not taboo at all, it's so interesting and such a learning experience. When talking to my Orthodox Jew friend I always learned more about Mormonism, and I think she in turn learned a lot.
So if you want to understand even more of the Bible I hope you will take my advice and learn more about the Judaism faith.  The Religion and history is so amazing and incomparable to others.
I challenge, my readers, if there are any. To talk to a friend, co-worker, the man in the bike next to you at the gym. To, if it feels appropriate and can come up, to talk about religion. Ask questions, seek to learn more about what they believe and why (not in a challenging way).   In order to know one, you got to know the other, don't you?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone has had a lovely Easter Sunday. My Easter got started early this year. For a Mormon every Sunday is Easter, that is we always are reminded of what Jesus has done for us, not just once a year. We still have a special service, etc but the message is the same. Saturday we had choir (yes I sing the choir, I am capable of harmonizing with the person next to me) practice for the Easter program. Then Troy and I zipped up to the temple. We did an Endowment session (we are hoping to go every week at least until we get married) where the couple we had Temple prep with were going through for the first time, and my brother best friend was going through as well we found out when we got there, there were many other friends there. I saw them all in a different light as we were all standing waiting for the session dressed in white. After wards the couple was being sealed. This was the first one Troy and I had seen. What an amazing experience! It was so short and so simple yet so powerful. This isn't a "till death do you part" thing it's FOREVER! If you die you're still married to this person. So you better make sure you love them, or can at least stand them. On our way back to change I saw 2 friends Courtney and Cameron who were visiting home. I forget who said it but it's been said "there are no coincidences at the temple, every thing happens for a reason." Having been going to do Baptisms for the dead since I was 12, I've learned this on a personal level to be true.  After that I was done for the day, at least in the beginning going to the temple can really take it out of you because there is so much to digest and attempt to understand.
Sunday morning I woke up late. But I got to church on time, and sang in the choir. Troy's alarm didn't go off so he slept through church. It was my partners last Sunday, she's been wonderful! Usually churches are packed on Easter Sunday, this one has just a little fuller than usual. I've had up to 5-6 children in my Sunbeams calls, today there was 3. We did the Easter story and colored, like usual. Since it was Easter I made little treat bags. We got invited to the Whetzel's house for Easter dinner. Her youngest son was one of campers at summer rec and now I'm working with her daughter. This is a wonderful family, everyone is welcome with open arms and treated the same. Troy and I got Easter baskets! I haven't got one since I was like 8. And this was a real one, no math work books or underwear, no this was chocolate and gorgeous flower and more chocolate and a Disney princess puzzle. They have known me a year and I've been invited to family events. It's amazing! After they stuffed us with Ham and other goodies it was time to go. They gave us left overs and getting in the car I dropped the Mac n' cheese. I ran inside and she gave me more. When getting out of the car I dropped the meatballs. Thank goodness the Ham was spared! I think my blood sugars are just to high. I haven't had this great of an Easter in a long time. I was surrounded by love ones, and most importantly I truly remembered and understood why we celebrate this holiday.
"Christ the Lord has risen today Hallelujah"
He is Risen!
May we all remember the reason for this Holiday and give thanks to him who has risen.


Monday, April 18, 2011

"Are you taking me to the Doctor?"

What a weekend! Mom and Gwen went to Utah to go get David from Provo. This would leave Dad and I alone for the week. As some of you know Dad is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. We found out Friday that he needs to have another eye surgery since he didn't follow directions the first time. So this left little old me alone, and I still have to work and go to school this week, with a man who needs surgery, and can't remember what a doctor told him two hours ago. Needless to say I broke down and Mom came home last night. This was the first time I had spent some really time at home with my dad in a long time. I knew the diagnosis I knew he didn't remember things day to day. What I didn't  know was that his short term memory is basically gone. In order for things to go into long term, they have to make it through short term. This means all new events,  will most likely never be remembered. During the 2 days I was with him he has asked me about every hour "Are you taking me to the doctor?" This was heartbreaking to watch. But every time I said with a smile "No Dad, mom is coming home and will take you."

With Alzheimer's there are usually personality changes. My father who is a very calm tempered man was getting very heated over how to start a DVD. Which remote, which channel, when to hit what button. He kept yelling for my name then he would yell that the company was an idiot for this design, etc. Finally we got his DVD playing and he was content. After this I knew I couldn't do this without help and mom started to reschedule flights. Both his parent's had dementia. Since Dad is the oldest of four boys, the brothers have been watching their oldest brother follow the same path as their father, and see what could (and most likely will) happen to them.  I recently read a book on Alzheimer's called "Finding life in the land of Alzheimer's" If you have a family member with this disease then I HIGHLY recommend this book. This woman's mother had Alzheimer's and she did everything she could to stay out of the way, after she died she starts working at an assisted living facility for Alzheimer's specifically. While none of the characters "are my dad" I saw bits and pieces of him in each.  Here she makes the statement that while it's painful to watch and stand by their side, it must be done. Unfortunately I couldn't stand by his side this time. But I plan to next time.

To learn more about Alzheimer's go to: Alzheimer's Foundation for Ameica


Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Noah Please"

Since everyone seems to have a blog, I figured I'd start one. I got opinions and ideas that I'd like to share with the world. I may not be the best writer or speller (I apologize now), but why not.

 I am a personal caregiver to persons with disabilities. The government pays me to go into peoples homes and help parents with their children of all ages. I'm currently working with a 5 year old with CHARGE syndrome ( go here to learn about it Both parents work at Mclean Bible Church. Every morning when I come at 7:30AM during breakfast they are sitting as a family and listening to a Bible story or church related tape. What a way to start your day! The other daughter is 7 and goes to a private Christian school. The 5 year old's favorite is the Story of Noah's Ark. She says "Noah please!" She also has a Noah's ark set with animals and people. So we'll sit there and play with this while listening to Noah. I ask questions about the story and she answers them for the most part right. The older sister will jump in and play with us as well. It's so heart warming to see two sisters play together like nothing is wrong. So many siblings avoid the one with disabilities and keep the conversations short and impersonal. These 2 play like any other siblings would and fight like them too. I don't remember a time in my life where I was excited to wake up at 6:00AM to go to work. It's like a version of Seminary. It gets you all geared up for the rest of the day with the Holy Ghost right next to you. As a Sunbeam teacher (3-4 year old Sunday school teacher) it's even better. This 5 year old knows just as much if not more about Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father then a good portion of the population, yet she has a disability... or Ability.
This family has changed my mornings and as a result my attitude for the whole day. As Mormons we talk about being a family and doing things together, learning as a family, etc. But how many of us do it? How many of us hold family dinner? How many of us have daily scripture study as family? But it's all talk! How many of actually do it?! I know I need to better about it. This family is an example to me.
Who would think that the family I work for, that I'm paid to be there, actually gives me so much more.