Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Lovely Women

This week in Family Foundations we're studying gender and eternal identity.  A quote that I read today left an impression on me:

A woman not of our faith once wrote something to the effect that in her years of working with beautiful women she had seen several things they all had in common, and not one of them had anything to do with sizes and shapes. She said the loveliest women she had known had a glow of health, a warm personality, a love of learning, stability of character, and integrity. If we may add the sweet and gentle Spirit of the Lord carried by such a woman, then this describes the loveliness of women in any age or time, every element of which is emphasized in and attainable through the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. “  Jeffrey R. Holland, To The Young Women, October 2005 General Conference.

As this is a new year, and I am always looking for ways to improve myself, I think that while I have most of list of characteristics as described by Elder Holland, I can take his list and examine how I can improve upon these characteristics.  I have quite a way to go to get to the glow of health part!  There are many women in my life that are truly beautiful because they possess these particular qualities in abundance.  I remember when I was younger, a woman moved into my ward.  I'm ashamed to say my first impression of her was, "She is quite a homely woman."  As I got to know this person, her kindness and personality soon made her sparkle for me.  From the time she moved into the ward to the time she moved out, she became lovely in my eyes.  Physically, nothing really changed about her.  It was me that changed.  I was the beneficiary of her generous spirit and I was able to see her with new eyes - I think I caught a glimpse of how Heavenly Father saw her.  I realized then that beauty really does come from within.  We can all be lovely, every one of us.
This reminds me of the scripture in 1 Samuel 16:7, "...for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."
The Lovely Women of my family

Thursday, January 22, 2015

My Capstone Project

I am taking a class called "Family Foundations" at Brigham Young University Idaho and I've been assigned a Capstone project to work on throughout the course of the semester.  I had a variety of things to choose from for this project, but the project idea that resonated with me was starting a blog.  For privacy reasons I won't be listing my name here, but Family and Friends know who I am - if you have a burning desire to know my true identity, feel free to send me an e-mail and let's talk about that.  I tried to pick a name that was representative of how I feel about things... I'm looking forward to the adventure of living somewhere different and seeing new parts of the world... but at the same time the people I love are always on my mind and heart no matter where I'm situated.

I've been assigned to share insights about the things that I am learning throughout the course of the semester.  I also thought it might be a good way to share news with my family and friends about what the heck the Hubster and I are doing over here! 

Over here happens to be Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

When we tell people about Abu Dhabi, many of them have a confused look on their face because they're not sure where in the world Abu Dhabi is.  But if I ask them, "Have you ever heard of Dubai?"  They smile and nod their heads and seem to know where Dubai is.  Then I tell them Abu Dhabi is about 90 minutes away on the freeway from Dubai.  Since I've only been here in Abu Dhabi for two weeks, I haven't made the trek yet to Dubai, but it's on our bucket list.

Here is a picture of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.  We live about a mile away from this.  It's huge, like a big Taj Mahal looking building.

We haven't toured it yet, but that is also on our bucket list :)

So to get back to why I'm supposed to start this blog in the first place - my Family Foundations class.  It satisfies one of my religion course requirements and we are basically studying in detail the tenets of the Proclamation on the Family - this is a statement from one of our prophets on the theology of the family as believed by Latter-Day Saints (Mormons). 

Tomorrow is Friday in Abu Dhabi, which is the observed Sabbath day here.  I will write a little more after church tomorrow about what I am studying, but for now I just wanted to get this blog up and running.  Stay tuned!