Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Utah - Memorial Day Trip

Here's me in Melissa's car, playing with Melissa's new phone, on our way to go scouting for our shopping trip to the Gateway Mall we were planning for Monday (Memorial Day). This was Saturday. I just got back. Maybe I'll put more pictures on here later. Oh, and Mum, I know I'm making the lip face thing. I'm meaning to. It's a pose.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Conversion to More than the Gospel

I just got back from a ward FHE about being thankful. President Christiansen and his wife asked that we focus on the thanks we feel for others and experiences. After they spoke they asked that we share any thanks we felt for others or for experiences in our lives. I couldn't really think of one that involved others. After hearing a couple of other people share theirs, I thought of a great one! (The following is the extended version of what I shared.)

I was 19, had been away from home for a over a year, and had finished my first semester of school. I was back in Maine working for the summer at Jordan Pond House Restaurant & Gift Shop. My schedule was beyond hectic, bringing in over 66 crazy hours a week, which gave me only Sundays and late nights to keep for myself. I lived in the dorms provided by the company, which sat about 2 minutes away from the restaurant, walking ... slowly. I looked forward to Sunday when I would be able to relax and hang out with friends that I didn't work, eat, or sleep with. I was the second counselor in the Primary, and was put in charge of sharing time. It was a lot of fun, but required a lot of enthusiasm. Those late nights to myself were often spent at least partially in coming up with some lesson/activity that would keep the more energetic portion of the church's membership entertained.

I had never been visit taught. I had been an active member of the Relief Society in three different wards by this time, Saipan, Ellsworth, and the BYU-I 62nd ward. In Saipan they just never gave me anyone to teach or to teach me. In BYU-I, they gave me people, and I would spend the whole first half of each month seeking out my companion and we would finally get together with our girls and teach them, but I only remember being taught maybe once, and it wasn't a private meeting like it's supposed to be, but rather it was my roommate and I (who shared visiting teachers) thrown in together. In Maine, my first summer, although I had asked for a companion I never received one, nor was I taught. My second summer, I asked again, and finally in August I got teachers - no companion, but I did get teachers.

The whole ward knows my family, and of all the kids they probably know me the best. I always figured that the reason I never got home- or visit-taught in Maine was because of two reasons. First of all, I was fine. Everyone knew that I had a testimony, no major problems, and that overall I was a cheerful, active young woman with an extremely busy schedule. The second reason was because I was just so freaking far away from everything. When I say I lived in the woods, that is exactly what I mean. By August, I had moved into the nearest town, Seal Harbor, with a friend's family. They weren't LDS, and neither was anyone else in the village. The closest members were probably 20 - 30 minutes away, and that was if - if the traffic wasn't bad. (I lived on a scenic drive, so it was pretty much always busy with buses, bikers, and tourists who insisted on driving slower than death in order to watch anything from blowing leaves to pesky sea gulls.)

One Sunday, as I was getting ready to leave church with my friend/chauffeur, Carol B. and Anne D. ran up to me.
Carol: "Mallory, Anne and I are your visiting teachers. We were wondering if there was any time that we could come by the dorms and teach you?"
Me, a little surprised: "Uhh, yeah. Yeah, sure! I don't work Sundays at all, or Mondays before 2. Anytime then would be fine with me."
Carol: "OKay, how about we come by next week on Monday?"
Me: "Yeah, that'd be great!" I was shocked! A little surprised, and a little less than faithful that they would actually pull through with it. Anne and Carol are both amazing women, but they are both very busy. Carol is a mother with a daughter very active in her extra-curricular activities still at home. She is also a grandmother. Anne has two boys still at home and two more home for the summer. She and her husband have a small house in Bar Harbor that they let out for tourists in the summer, and have to clean every couple of weeks in order to ready it for the new tenants. I had complete faith in their intentions, but not so much in their capability to find time nor energy to come all the way out to my dorm.

Sure enough, Monday rolled around and they called.
Carol: "Mallory, we actually can't come today. Is there any way that we could come tomorrow? I know you work all day, but we only need 10 minutes."
I had a break between working at the gift shop in the morning and working in the kitchen night shift. It was only about two hours, sometimes less depending on how much prep I had to get done for dinner. I usually spent this time trying to catch up on my already much-deprived sleep schedule in one of the beds upstairs on the girl's floor.
Me: "Yeah, if you want to come about twelve tomorrow, I'm sure it'd work out fine."
Again, I didn't expect them to be able to show. Still, I sat out in the sun reading a book, keeping an eye open for them, just in case.

I was kind of dosing off when I heard a car pull up in the parking lot. Out climbed Carol and Anne. We went inside and had a short meeting upstairs in one of the rooms, away from the few co-workers that were spending their day-off lounging around the dorm. I don't remember what the message was, but I do remember what must have been most important for me to know. Those two sisters helped me to gain a testimony of visiting teaching that I have since taken a little for granted. In fact, it wasn't until last night that I finally realized that it was that meeting that marked my conversion to Relief Society.

Visiting teaching is not for the infirm, the unfaithful, nor the unknown sisters of the church. Rather it is for any and all sisters. I was not going through a rough time spiritually, and there was nothing their visit could have done for me that would have helped me in any physical way. When they left I did not feel immediately closer to either of the women, and in fact barely had time to think on them at all since I had to hurry over to work. Now though I realize just how thankful I am to them for helping me to gain that testimony of RS and of the relationship the women in the church not only should have, but can have. Neither of these women were remotely my age, and aside from knowing each other rather well, we didn't share too much in common. Yet they still made time in their schedules to come and look in on a girl who not only gave the appearance of being fine, but who really was. That is sisterly love.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Decision

I'm staying with English Ed. I've tried for over a month now to give it up, and I can't actually go through with it. It's an addiction. Thanks for the input everyone.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Major Dilemma

Okay, so I've been thinking of changing my major, yet again, but am finding it almost impossible to let go of my current one. I've decided on weighing the pros and cons to each, and taking any input. Let's begin, shall we?

English Ed. (Current Major):
Pros: *I am already in this major and have started on some of my major courses.
*I would love to teach, especially between middle and high school.
*I love the history, imagination, and meanings found in literature.
*I love that prose and poetry are left up to the interpretation of the reader.
*I love to study about authors.
*I could take classes in journalism, and would not only be taught to do it, but would be qualified to teach it with just 20 credits.
*I've only ever had one English teacher I didn't like, well two, if you can consider Mrs. Dunbar-Kari a teacher.
*My philosophy is that if a student has a solid understanding of their language, all other subjects come more easily, even subjects such as math, that don't seem to have any link to language, but in reality are impressively affected by it. To teach remedial English would not be the most fun part of the teaching occupation, but I do think it would end up being one of the most satisfying.

*If I did go into teaching, which is most likely to happen, I would have to stop once I started having kids. (This is not up for debate, it's a personal decision.)
*I feel that it does, in some ways, confine or at least obligate me to be a teacher. (Look, it's a noble thing, but so is being able to feed, clothe, and shelter myself!)
*Although I love to read, I tend to be slow. Keeping up in class-assigned readings have always been difficult for me, and I can see those classes taking a lot out of me.

Communications, Emphasizing in Journalism (Major up for Consideration):
Pros: *I would love to write for magazines like Discover! or National Geographic. That would be freaking awesome!
*Freelance journalism would be easily workable from home, even after having children.
*Where I fall short in reading, writing comes naturally. I can (and have) research, write, edit, and cite a paper on almost any topic in four hours and still pull off nothing short of a B+.
*I absolutely love writing research papers. They're my favorites!
*I think that doing investigative journalism for, oh, I dunno, like The New York Times would be a lot of fun.

Cons: *The few education credits would not transfer over, and I would almost certainly end up having to apply for a credit extension and I would have to stay in school longer.
*I would have to, especially at the beginning of my career, cover the topics that no one wants to cover. (i.e., obituaries, etc.)
*I wouldn't be teaching, and that would kind of suck.
*I might not get to take classes on the literature side of it all.

Now, changing my minor is not an option at this point. I want to keep it Russian. I could look into double minoring, but that'd be hard with an education major. They are pretty adamant about making sure everyone who majors in education also minors in some field of it.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Catching Everyone Up - Picture Wise at Least

Okay, here are some of the pictures I have been meaning to post over the last couple of weeks. They cover from our crepe party, which was the last week of winter semester, to the day I got back from Houston.

Here's Ang, enjoying a crepe filled with, I think, apples, strawberries, and a little whipped cream.

Me making bunny cake! I had to get it decorated before we left to Bro. Wright's place for dinner.

Kyle named it Derryl. It's some inside joke the boys have, but I am totally out of the loop here. I haven't a clue as to what they're talking about.

This is what you get when the ratio of men to women is 3 to 1. Easter dinner hadn't started, so they ate Pizza Bites or whatever they're called. Jym and Kyle were done, Josh had some left - you get the picture.

Jym and me down in Houston. It was a relatively cold day, so I borrowed his brother's jacket, which, come to find out, is actually a girls jacket anyway. It's not that great a picture of me, personally, but Jym looks good, and I know he's the one everyone wants to see anyway, so there you have it.

This is Josh and me in Angela's new apartment over in Nauvoo House. They're right across the street from where I live. This is the night I got back, I think.