Tag Archives: conference

Sittin’ on a Bench at West Town Mall

Wow, two nights in a row. What must be wrong? Today was quite interesting. I guess in many ways it was a typical Sunday, but it was different in many ways. First off, all I wanted to do was sleep this morning and I really didn’t want to get up and get going for church. I pulled myself out of bed about 8:30 to make breakfast, prepare a lesson and have time to get ready with all the other stuff. I still barely made it to my first meeting at 11.

The Diffley’s spoke today a lot on education and preparing for the future. The typical talks about saving money, getting a good education, etc. I do keep wondering if I should go back to school, but I don’t know why I would do such a thing. It isn’t going to help me advance in my current job, but maybe I could learn something that would help me or maybe I just do it for the sake of doing it. Then reality hits me and I have to ask when in the world would I make time for school amongst the other things I’m already doing? Something would have to give and I’d have to start practicing a lot more selective neglect.

The Diffley’s spoke tonight at branch prayer about relationships. It wasn’t the typical marriage talk, but they kind of continued from some things they had mentioned this afternoon. Whenever possible marry someone within your race and your religion. It makes things easier down the road, especially when children come into the picture. I’d like to think I can handle that, but sometimes I wonder at 27 if that is going to happen. I may have the house and the car for the family, but there is no family in what I can see. They shared the experience of their first date. Sister Diffley said it was the best first date she’d ever had. Paul was the perfect gentleman. They had a nice dinner in Balboa and then she said something about a place in Westwood that had an ice cream with something on top and he said let’s go! I thought that sounded so totally like me. Drive to Arizona for dinner? OK. Vegas for dessert? No problem.

They said you need to communicate well. There will be give and takes. You need some common interests and similarities. I agreed with everything they said. I was happy I went as I was considering not going so I could write to Tara and get to bed at a reasonable time. I still did write to Tara, and I’m not getting to bed when I should, especially considering my sleep deficit I already have from this past weekend. This probably isn’t going to help my resolve to get up early and get back in the habit of reading in the mornings.

This was the second Sunday in a row that I didn’t go to the Dowden’s. This time it was their fault! Sister Dowden wasn’t feeling well so she cancelled dinner. I couldn’t eat anyway, so I guess it didn’t matter. I was so starving when I came home from church, but nothing sounded good. I ate a bit of Maegan’s leftovers from Oscar’s, but they just weren’t cutting it. I guess I’m going to be trying a new diet of not eating much. I love food so much that it really gets to me when I don’t feel like eating.

I gave a lesson in elders quorum today on Elder Wirthlin’s talk “Come What May, and Love It.” When I first read it yesterday it wasn’t really speaking to me, but this morning I was getting all sorts of good things out of it and President Monson’s talk “Finding Joy in the Journey.” I didn’t have much time, so we only covered the first one briefly in elders quorum today, but I got the benefit of studying both of them! It is quite possible that my favorite story from conference was the one Elder Wirthlin shared of his daughter and the blind date that turned out to be there to pick up one of the other daughters for baby-sitting. He suggest we learn to laugh at things and not get stressed over the trivial things. I can think of many times when I’ve laughed things off. I love it when people are in such a hurry to get to the next red light! He also counsels that we should seek for the eternal instead of getting caught up in the moment. The parking spot doesn’t matter in the big picture. I’m a big believer in that good things come from adversity and our trials, which was his third point: the principle of compensation. Finally he suggests we “put our trust in our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.” Sometimes this is the hardest one, but the hardest things also come with the richest rewards.

I also really enjoyed President Monson’s talk on fining joy in the journey. It reminds me of the song Simple Miracles performed by Emerson Drive:

It’s a dream that never dies
It’s the wonder in your eyes
it’s the magic in your touch
Every star and every wish
I wake each day and live
A life that’s filled with simple miracles

We really need to spend more time stopped and smelling the roses, enjoying a butterfly in flight and all the other simple miracles that surround us everyday.

I guess I might as well get used to it;
She’ll take her time ’cause I don’t mind
Waitin’ on a woman
(slightly modified from Brad Paisley’s Waitin’ on a Woman)

Complaining?

Today seemed like it was dragging on in the office. I was so ready to get out of there long before 4:30. The phones were pretty quiet and I was doing boring work most of the day along with a few more interesting projects.

Somehow or another I got out of taking Maegan to the airport in the morning. She had suggested coming up to Murrieta tonight to save time in the morning. I explained that I’d rather not drive to Fallbrook tonight to get her and would rather just get her in the morning. Soon after I was told Larilyn was going to take her so I must have offended her somehow. I guess that seems to be the theme for this week, which isn’t much good since this is supposed to be the week of Thanksgiving. What am I doing wrong? I am in that bad of a mood over Christmas that I can’t see my own actions?

I was thankful to go home teaching tonight with Kenny. I enjoyed the preparation time to ponder President/Elder Bednar’s talk on effective prayer from this past conference. I love his talks and feel so strongly connected to him. I probably got more out of it than Chris did, but I felt it was the one we were supposed to share. Hopefully it will help him as well.

Now I have to ask the question: Where is the line between complaining and critiquing? I’m worried some feel that I have been complaining when I have nearly been trying to improve situations. There are certainly times I complain, like about the way some things went down Saturday, but with regards to tomorrow morning, this correlation meeting and cheesecake, I haven’t been trying to complain, merely share my opinion in an attempt to arrive at a better product, use time more effective or waste less resources.

I hung out with the Dowden’s for a while tonight. I even called Sister Dowden at work this morning just to hassle her and she did such a good job with the phones I didn’t even know it was her!

I’m anxious to go to the temple tomorrow. I feel like I need that sanctuary from everything that has been going on lately. I don’t think I’m going to work after, so I may stay for a while after my shift just to enjoy. I think I got some cool sunset shots on the way home from work tonight. I stopped in the office complex by Exit Realty and took shots with the American flag there and the sunset in the background. The sunset was actually pretty good tonight, but one that would have been hard to capture without being in the right spot and so forth. I was content enjoying it in person and not worrying about getting perfect pictures, so that’s a plus.

Ahead of Schedule

Ahead of Schedule

We had the concluding session of stake conference this morning. I got there about 45 minutes early and the chapel was already full. I knew I should have kept sleeping this morning! I can’t think of anything major that I learned from conference today, but I was thinking about the testimonies that people kept bearing. I totally kept thinking last night I was going to get called up, so maybe that’s why I’ve been thinking about it so much lately. I probably don’t give mine often enough, which is also probably why it isn’t very eloquent. I did enjoy conference even if I was a bit squirmy in the hard seats. I think I’m going to bring my own recliner next time!

I high tailed it out of there to get things finished up for the trip. I really didn’t like having the business trip on my mind during conference or really having to deal with it today, but sometimes things have to be done. I think I learned some patience though and that things will work out on the Lord’s timeline, mine isn’t important. It did seem like I kept hitting things talking about keeping the Sabbath day holy and such and I felt like I was really letting the Lord down today. There are probably bigger things I should be worrying about, but I guess it’s a start.

In any event, I had a good drive to LAX and made it there with plenty of time to go. I had thoughts about calling people about home teaching, but I didn’t feel the airport was a good place to be doing it so after a few calls I stopped. I also remembered I needed to send out the branch weekly email which sidetracked me too. The flight ended up being overbooked and they were looking for people to bump. I guess since we had a full flight, we were able to get going early and there was practically no wait for takeoff at LAX. We ended up arriving almost half an hour early which is great since it’s after midnight here now. I sat next to a doctor and we talked for a good portion of the flight. We talked about prop 8 and what is already happening. We really agreed on a lot of things which was pretty cool.

The hotel here has improved since last time. I guess the remodel did them good. They’ve got new suites with 32″ LCDs, granite countertops in the bathrooms, a good size work area and more. I’m impressed. Let’s just hope breakfast has improved as well. If not, I’ll be hitting up the IHOP again. Well, I should get to sleep as I need to be up in less than 6 hours, I think. Maybe I should find the itinerary again and double check.

Stake Conference

I got started this morning getting new lappy (darkpeanut) setup for next week. I ended up going with Vista Ultimate as it seemed like the easiest path to take. I had to spend some time re-downloading and installing drivers, and I think I still need to fix some minor issues. I’m a bit worried that the DC-One software won’t work, so i don’t know if that means I have other problems or their software just isn’t happy. I was going to try and install XP on a partition, I just haven’t gotten around to it. I’ve heard mixed reports on if it will work or not.

I had to run by the church to turn in some home teaching things, then it was off to the bank to get things going for next week and home to keep working on lappy, get ready for the trip and stake conference this evening.

We had a discussion for most of priesthood which I always like better than the lecture format. Four wards ended up with 100% home teaching which I thought was pretty impressive and all wards improved. We were at 63% which isn’t great, but I think is an improvement from normal. A method of checking on the districts week by week was suggested. At weekly PEC meetings, one should be getting (or giving) a report on about 1/4 of the membership based on their perfect home teaching district. So week 1 would be districts/groups 1 & 3. Week 2 would be 2 & 5, then 4 & 7 followed by 6 & 8. This doesn’t mean members wouldn’t be taught until those weeks, but it would be expected that it would be done by then.

I had been thinking about a similar plan and am ready to get something like that implemented. The problem I see is letting people know what district those people they home teach are in. I don’t think most members know about the ranking system and it may take work to educate them in something they don’t really need to worry about. I’m thinking maybe we could just reach out and ask each home teaching companionship to make sure certain people are reached by each week. I think there are still some more changes we need to make to the perfect districts and also to our districts in EQ. I want to get more of a hierarchy going so each supervisor is only responsible for 4 companionships or so and we have more of a tree than we have now. I’ll probably have some time to work on that next week while I’m traveling and I think I will be able to make some calls to checkup on how things are going this month. I certainly don’t want to let things falter with the few off weeks we’ve had to start off this month.

We also learned that the percentage of endowed members in the stake has gone up to I think it was 80% from 60-something 6 or 12 months ago. The focus now is to get members going to our assigned week in the temple (which of course this month is the week that I will be out of town). I think they are going to change the focus during the offering in righteousness from as many sessions as possible to as many members as possible serving at least once during the week in the temple. I think both are good.

All I remember from the adult session tonight was President Smith talking about his future son-in-law calling him on the phone to ask for his daughters hand in marriage. I thought that was funny. He said that he then flew up to BYUI and the guy asked if they could go to the temple. I guess this one President Smith’s favor and he suggested always interviewing future in-laws in the celestial room.

I was thinking about trying to watch Made of Honor tonight, but I forgot about the tradition of going to Claim Jumper. Krystal came over briefly and I showed her the setup so she could come watch The Price is Right on Thursday. I’m so bummed that I am going to miss it. I hope I’ll get to watch it when I get back next weekend. We then went to join the group at Claim Jumper, but they made us sit at our own table. It actually worked out for the best probably as we got our dessert first and were able to checkout before everyone else and get home at a reasonable time. Oh wait, it’s still going to be 1 in the morning before I get to sleep. Bad plan.

General Conference Weekend

It’s a bit later than I would like it to be, but I want to put down a few thoughts before I drift off to sleep. The weather this weekend has been beautiful and I must express my thanks for that. I have loved having the windows open and getting some fresh air.

I really enjoyed conference this weekend. Elder Oak’s talk on the sacrament really touched me and I hope as I study it, I will be better prepared each week and will be a better instrument in serving the sacrament to others. We had another talk on this in priesthood I believe. I love Elder (President) Bednar. He spoke about prayer, and I especially liked his suggestion (borrowed) to only give thanks in an occasional prayer. I also liked when he explained that all of our prayers are like one ongoing prayer.

There were a couple today that stood out as well, but my mind is blanking unfortunately.

I was getting a little stir crazy last night, both in priesthood and then again while watching a movie at home. I had just spent too much time sitting and needed to get up and do something. I could tell it was starting to get to me today as well. I ended up baking cookies during the second session today as I couldn’t just sit on the couch any longer.

We had a good discussion about the branch tonight at the Dowden’s. It was just Greg, Diana, Michelle and me. We were really trying to brainstorm ways to improve the branch. It seems that things have gotten maybe a bit too casual. Maybe we have all gotten too comfortable and we need to shake things up a bit more. It seems that we have been focused on having fun lately instead of improving our relationship with the Savior. I hope we can all work on bringing that back and work on our unity.

Melissa’s Birthday, Bon Jovi & Walking

It’s way past my bedtime, but I figure since I didn’t write last night for a similar reason, I’d better get on it for tonight. I was only in the office for a few hours Friday after rolling in late and then taking off early for Melissa’s birthday bash. It was great hanging out there and the day couldn’t have worked out better for her birthday pool party. It had been cool and rainy all week and then was about 80 on Friday. It cooled down again today to about 60, so someone must really like Melissa, not that I could blame them. In any event, the party went well.

I was kind of slacking on the whole coming up with a plan for Bon jovi that night. I ended up starting to send text messages to people who i thought might be interested and Megan D. jumped on the Bon Jovi fan bandwagon. Did I mention this was at the time that we needed to be on the road? I picked her up and we hightailed it to In-N-Out and then the Honda Center. We ended up missing Daughtry by the time we got parked and into the center, but I was ok with that. Bon Jovi was great, especially since I’m not a huge fan or anything. They were good entertainers and put on a good show. They had a cool set with these awesome LED screens that kept moving around. They started as four independent screens and then merged together two form two widescreens. At one point they all came together to form an ultimate widescreen and then started separating horizontally which was really trippy.

After the concert we tried to visit Teal, but she wasn’t serving tables any longer so we tried not to torture another waitress at Cheesecake Factory Anaheim. I really love their strawberry lemonade. I think I’m over the cheesecake and it is all about the strawberry lemonade now. Megan had a blast. We finally made it home, with me getting home around 2:30.

Nine o’clock rolled around way too fast this morning and it seemed like a long way to go to my TV to watch general conference. I had a hard time finding it at first, but finally was able to figure it out along with how to schedule a manual recording. Between sessions i took a shower and ate a snack. After the second session I went to Target to get some stuff for the trip and went to the office to copy my Parallels Image to my external drive. I ended up leaving the drive there copying as I ran out to get to the priesthood session of conference, so I’ll have to swing back by tomorrow before we leave or I will have no Windows access at all on my laptop!

I don’t really have much to report from conference. I think I was still sleeping during the first session and was busy packing/playing with luggage during the second session. It didn’t seem there was anything really new or life shattering in priesthood, but I got that we are doing fairly well with responding to emergencies and needs, that we need to make sure we don’t let our compass slip a few degrees or we will crash and burn and that we shouldn’t be doing anything we don’t want our kids to be doing. I guess that phrase “don’t do this at home” doesn’t really work?

After conference i went to Oceanside. We walked the pier and along the coast and talked. We stopped at Chili’s for a daiquiri and I enjoyed some skillet queso for dinner. It was great fun, but I was probably out too late since I figure I need to be up at 6 to get ready and packed for my flight. If I had it to do over again though, I’d do the same thing, so I guess I shouldn’t be complaining, especially since it isn’t going to do me any good, right? I’m pretty sure that was the most walking I’ve done since I was in Salt Lake around New Year’s. So I guess we need to get out and do it more often or something.