When in America...

I just got a mass group of trick-or-treaters! Luckily I bought candy today just in case (well, I'll admit it, I bought it to eat all by myself) but it seems risky to go trick-or-treating in newly married student apartments. You could end up with Ramen or pickles or whatever they have on hand.

When my grandparents lived in Provo, they rented out their basement to a couple of men from India. The day after Halloween the men were talking to my grandparents about what a great holiday it was, what fun traditions they had in America, etc. "People kept ringing our doorbell and giving us candy!" Turns out they thought the kids were offering them the candy in their pillowcases instead of asking for more, so the Indians would take a few pieces and wait for the next group to show up.

I wish I had had the presence of mind to take a little sample from each kid's bag instead of giving them my luscious Reeses.


Call for Friends

Hey, has anyone heard anything about this new movie, "Across the Universe"? Does anyone want to go see it with me? (Maybe after finals-ha)

North South East West- Ogdenis the very best

I just copied this from the e-mail that I sent my family. I am not 100% sure I can be on here, but I figure I'll keep posting here until somebody tells me I can't. I think the funniest thing about Utah is that people tell you directions by the mountains. Example: Go east, towards the mountains. Um, do they not realize that there are mountains facing 3 of the 4 cardinal directions? It makes me laugh. I am in Danny Leavitt's neck of the woods. Sweet. We are teaching this fellow, James Koenig, that reminds me of SIster Morgan/seminar. He is great. Oh, I'll paste my letter starting now:

[My district sang to my Mom for her birthday yesterday, I forgot to send her a card. Oops] We had interviews with our Zone leaders last week. SIster Bedwell adn I are the only sisters in our zone, and we can't play any contact sport (apparently vollyball falls under the category of 'contact sport' and other sports of the like) with the elders because we might touch each other or something scandalous like that. Elder McClure, one of our ZL's, asked us (B and me) if there were any sports that we wanted to play as a district. After a nanosecond I chirped up, "I think water polo would be a really good P-Day activity." HA he was very confused until he realized I was trying to be funny. Maybe next time I should use my joke-voice. I wrote a list of everything that I wanted to say, but I forgot it. I got a coat from the DI for $15. It's a cranberry and cream herringbone mock-peacoat; it only has 2 buttons, so that is why I decided it's a mock-peacoat.. And it's ankle-length. So it should keep me warmish. We were at dinner the other night at the Golding's house, and he is a chiropractor or something like that, and he said that he could get rid of my egg allergies. It sounded really hokey to me; he said they test to make sure you are allergic to the whatever it is; and then they massage your back and then do this probe thign and then you ahve to hold a vial of eggs or something for 20 minutes and tehn you can't touch anytyhing related to eggs or poultry for 24 hours and then you are cured! I don't see how it could possibly work, but maybe it's because I don't have enough faith. Who knows. We shall see. We have mission conference this weekend; President HOlland is coming. YAYAYAYAYA! I am super excited. I think that will pep us up a bit. Sister Bedwell's mentality is that the members need to help us out more, and she focuses on how we can get members involved; my mentality is that the members are being lame/lazy and aren't doing anytyhing, so we need to get up and get moving. And so I make sure that we are up and moving. I am trying not to be to bossy about it. When I plugged in the treadmill yesterday morning I think I short-circuted the downstairs becasue half of the plugs don't work. Oops. We are teaching McKenzie right now; she has 2 kids and she smokes. She realizes that she needs to quit smoking, but she doesn't want to. I can't remember if I told you about this already; if I did, too bad, you have to hear about it again. It's really frustrating because she wants to progress, but that dumb smoking thing is keeping her back. HELLOOOOO can't she see that eternal salvation has a no-smoking sign on the door? I need to quit being so negative. Luckily for her, though, she has the Atonement to help her. Penny, an 11-year-old girl we are teaching, had a baptismal interview yesterday. SHe came out of the room, and said really quitely, "I'm not ready to be baptized." I was thinking, "WHAT? Are you serious? I know that you've felt the spirit and that we've taught you everything that you need to know, crap I am a horrible missionary, etc." and then her mom, who was sitting next to me, starts saying, "Aw, quit teasing us, you stinker" or something like that, and I am thinking "Kathy, this is not a time to be joking around- WAIT. Penny and Elder FUnaki are pulling the wool over our eyes. CURSES! I fell for it. I found a potato on the side of the road yesterday. I took a picture of it. If this computer wasn't as old as the dinosaurs I would be able to load it up for you, but you can probably use your imagination and conjure (is that spelled right? I can't tell) up a mental image of some sort. SIster Bedwell and I were looking for service the other day, so we grabbed some rakes and went around to the houses on our street and when someone opened the door we asked if we could rake their leaves. Some people told us no, I can't imagine why they would do that. IF someone knocked on my door asking to do chores I woudl have them work all day. ANyway, we ended up raking the leaves for an elderly, wheel-chair bound gentleman. Tender mercy: last night our dinner appointment did not make eggs for dinner like she planned, she instead made Venezuelan food. With no eggs. Oh my, it was amazing. Tonight we are going on splits and we 4 people to teach; 2 of them are recent converts, 1 is an investigator, adn 1 is less-active. Cool. I am not good at teaching at ALL; I never remember what I had prepared to teach, people are dropping their baptismal dates like moths to a flame, and we haven't found any new people to teach. OH well, I have quite a while to become a better teacher. and to become more patient. Last week sometime, we helped the Prices (a devout Lutheran couple we are teaching) with their laundry. We sorted socks for 45 minutes- that's how backed up on laundry they were. It took at least 3 houses in their neighborhood, each doing laundry for a couple of hours straight, to make an impact in their laundry pile. SHeesh. WEll, I think I've rambled on enough. We are working hard teaching and trying to find mroe people to teach. Oh, we spoke about the Restoration at one of the Elder's baptisms last week, and tehy got another investigator from our presentation. Yay for them. The end.

It was lovely reading up on all of your lives, I made a mental note on all of your blogs. Too bad nobody can see them, though...


P.S. Here is my e-mail address: kirstenforsberg@myldsmail.net
P.P.S. Have a splendid day.


Halloween Smalloween--Guky Smuky

Halloween scares the crap out of me. Even more, people who get off on Halloween scare me out of my head. I don't understand them. I hate Halloween. I mean it's not like we're celebrating love or hearts or Christmas trees and lights; we're centering in on ghosts, Satan, blood (have you seen some of the masks they sell to kids?), guts, & goblins, PLUS candy. (I'm like Chris--I buy the candy on sale weeks before.) But I KNOW I'm going to eat it all myself because when everyone else is celebrating "ugliness," I either go to a movie or turn out the lights and read a book by the little book lamp one of you gave me for Christmas. I enjoyed Halloween before they quit throwing carnivals at the schools for LITTLE kids--with cake walks, fish ponds, bobbing for apples, and before we had to take all candy to the hospital in Provo to have it examined for possible razor blades stuck in apples. Really. People are too sick today to celebrate a sick holiday. It just adds to the madness.

The only Halloween party I've ever been to was Meghan Hoyos--mainly because we were also celebrating her birthday. Chad and Savannah were dressed up like CATS ( I'm not kidding--so creepy); DJ had on a full prison jumpsuit; and Meghan switched between at least three full hoop-skirted ball gowns and got so hung up in swooping the skirts back and forth on the floor just like Scarlet O'Hara in Gone with the Wind that I thought she was for sure stoned on something other than red kool-aid (why do they call that sugary stuff "aid"? Or did I spell it wrong?) Then, Chad tried to teach me how to swing dance. Really. I was so freaked out that I totaled my car on the way home, had to have my son, Turner, call Meghan from the hospital to tell her not to come out to my house the next morning as planned, and puleeese do NOT come to hospital as I was fine. Did they listen? No. Next morning I open my eyes to see Chad and Mike Danielson standing--with flowers--staring at my bruises and swollen-up body, etc. (all damage caused by air bags). I hate Halloween.

And ChrisBob, I keep asking and asking for your e-mail, so I can go to "permissions" on this site, where I send you an invitation, which you answer, which adds you as author/admin. We need you. We miss you. Where's Afton? Why doesn't she write? (I sound like Costner in Dances with Wolves.) Don't get your own site. Use ours, 'cause you make us laugh, and we need help in supporting Julie & Chan, so Chan doesn't come back to us next semester driven completely mad by his mud-sucking job, and so Julie doesn't throw books at students, kill one of them, lose her support money for the fam, which would mean that she and D. starve to death before David can even get through his first year of med school. It's pretty serious. Plus Leanna has developed an Aloneness neurosis AND voyeurism habits. (I've thought of talking to Lance privately. What do you think?) Haylie has a beautiful new baby, but Kameron has disappeared into the world of Busy-ness and dropped off the earth, Rhett is so happily married that he makes everyone sick, and Dan (Jami's brother?), I don't even know how to describe his weirdness. Believe me when I say, we need you.

And, puleeeeease, do not let Anona fool you. She's the one who hauled the straw bales up the three flights, trying to keep buff for soccor (msp?) but it's so uncool that she insists on acting surprised. Sure. Sure. She'll do anything to keep that unruffled, queen-like cover. The little twit.

Also, do not visit me this weekend. I'm still chain sawing trees that fell, trying to unscrew sprinklers before snow, so I'm so overwhelmed that I haven't even washed dishes for a week (had to use a WC paper cup this morning for water), and I'd feel like I'd have to, at least, clean off a place for you and yours to sit, but I can't. The snows she is a comin' Mun. Come see me next time you're here, which better be soon. Go make fun of Anona's straw bales. And trick or treat at her door, so she's not disappointed. AND SEND YOUR E-MAIL.


Trick or Treat?

So people in Pennsylvania are weird. I know I've said this before, but really, they are bizarre. You have this holiday called "Halloween," right? The one where all the children dress up as monsters, princesses, and the latest super-hero movie star and then go and raid people's homes for candy. That day, as far as I have ever known it, is on October 31. Always. Halloween is October 31. Not a hard concept. But here , oh no, here they decided to have Halloween the Thursday before October 31. Always. And the things is, no one knows why we are having the holiday up to a week early. We just are. So today, the Thursday before Halloween, we celebrated Halloween.

So it's a week early. Okay. Fine. I'm still excited about this because this year I will actually get trick-or-treaters. I mean, in Rexburg, no kids comes to the apartment complexes. So I went to Wal-mart and bought 15 dollars worth of candy. (The paranoid person within me was afraid I would run out). I bought those little plastic spider rings and Halloween pencils. Reflecting back, I have to think, what do pencils have to do with Halloween and why would a child want one? But oh, well, they were shiny and festive and I was taken in by someone's marketing ploy.

I go to work today and I ask if I can get off a little early, so I can be home in time to hand out candy to the kids. I get home around sixish and I wait. And wait. And wait, until finally the door bell. I race down the stairs and my eyes behold an adult. "Trick-or-treat," they say with a smile. I am about to slam the door in this person's face. How dare they have the audacity to steal the candy that belongs to children? Then I realize that it is my neighbor asking for the mail key. I trudge back up the stairs and wait some more. All night.

And the grand total of trick or treaters? Six. I got a Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, a cowgirl and an Indian, a leopard, and a cow. And I have never had such a good time with Halloween, even if it was a week before it was suppose to be. I thought for sure I would be disgruntled, but with the six trick or treaters I got, I was able to talk to them, they explained to me their costumes, how much candy they had already gotten, and how the cow was sure she saw a vampire. It was the best round of trick-or-treaters I've had in four years PLUS I gave them so much candy, pencils, and rings, I'm sure they'll come back next year.

Don't worry though, I had enough candy. I didn't run out.


Hate job

I hate my job. There are two good things about my job. 1) I get to drive a forklift. They can pick up heavy things and turn really sharp. 2) I get to see the sunrise out a big bay door near my area. I can't remember the last time I was awake early enough to see a sunrise; before beginning this job, that is. They used to have free popsicles, which would have made three things, but not anymore.

I get so angry at work lately. The past couple of weeks I've been training guys into my area so I could switch to a different one. But after training five guys who either quit or were fired (five!), I just stayed. They changed my area so it's much less efficient, meaning more work for me. I don't mind work, I like work. But I don't like having extra work piled on me by someone who doesn't acknowledge me at all. It's like I'm not a person in there. They just expect me--if they even consider that there is an I, a me doing their work--to do it, no questions asked. I feel helpless, and I hate, hate, hate feeling helpless. It makes me angry; plows me straight into the dirt.

On a lighter note...I currently have a beard. Congratulations on your engagement, Tyler. Coincidentally, the last time Southern California was burning to the ground (for years ago) I was serving my mission in Tyler's home ward.



Hey, did everyone but moi know that Tyler Little is engaged? Look at the first picture. Ha Ha Barbara is thinking Hmmm . . . He's too too crazy. How can I get out of this and still keep the ring. No. Congrats. Congrats.
It's going to be a little like going through Eric's thing again--separated, planning a wedding long-distance? Remember how wiggy he got? And he never really recovered, did he? Don't worry, Tyler. We'll help you out. I don't know how, but don't worry.
Also, Haylie--Remember, Haylie? The missing person whose name we sent into Without a Trace?--came in to the office today with babe. I took great pictures and will post them tomorrow.

This just came through from Kirsten's mission. Write her?

From: Kirsten Forsberg [mailto:kirstenforsberg@myldsmail.net]
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2007 8:31 AM
To: Morgan, Sharon
Subject: Well hello
Well here I am in the mission field. I am sure the reality of it will sink in someday; right now I feel like I am substituting for someone else. We are busy teaching people; we have a couple of investigators getting baptized, some that are struggling with their testimonies, and we are teaching some less-active and recent convert lessons. So we are on our toes. Going into he transfer there were 7 sisters in the mission, and 6 came up from the MTC. Do the math, and you realize that just about every sister is training. One sister has only been out 6 weeks and she is training, mine has been out for 4 1/2 months so I am counting myself lucky. Sister Bedwell, my companion, likes to sing and give hugs. I guess I am just gong to have to get used to that aren't I. She is helping me be nice to people, so that is always a plus. Hindsight is so cool sometimes; I was pondering about life the other day and I realized how much the Lord has been preparing me for going on a mission. It says in the D&C 38ish "I have prepared thee for a greater work" or something like that, and it's a blessing to know that the Lord really does know what He is doing. How is the semester going? Sorry for the grammatical and spelling errors; I am trying to type lightning fast and my sausage fingers sometimes hit the wrong keys. Have a great week, let me know how you are doing.



My husband left me Friday morning. It's been our first time apart since we got married a little over a year ago. He went to his sister's wedding in North Carolina, so since Friday I've been alone. Well, except Jami Joy's husband had to work all night, so she came over and we had a slumber party! I don't think I've done that in years. We painted our nails, watched chick flicks, ate too much junk food, I got her addicted to hot chocolate and creamer, and we talked...a lot. It was nice not having to sleep all by myself. Oh and if you want any scoop on Jami's inner psyche, just let me know because she talks in her sleep. Just kidding...

All of that was Friday night, but last night I was most definitely alone, except for the company of my cat. I turned on two night lights (why we have two, I don't know...) and cuddled up with an old teddy bear (yes, I still have a teddy bear). It's weird how scared I was. I kept telling myself "Come on, Leanna, you used to sleep by yourself all the time for 21 years until you got married! Now what's happened to you?" and "It's okay, Leanna, those noises outside are only the wind not some madman about to come through your window...right?" It was like just having him here makes me feel safe. And I can't even tell you how many ditzy things I did while he was gone because he wasn't here to keep me on track. They say you become one when you get married, and I'm learning that that is so very true. So much that it's a bit scary.

(And everyone admit, I got you good with that first line, didn't I!)



Help me people, because I'm living small. I make lists at the beginning of each day to add purpose to my life, which include items like "finish reading my library books," or "cut Austin’s hair." Why don’t I ever put "go to grad school," or "climb a mountain"? I never get everything on my list done, so I guess in proportion to the goals I didn’t accomplish, my guilt too would grow.
You know what, I’m just too comfortable. Being married has definitely not helped in the "do great things" area. This may sound bad, but it just means now that I know someone is okay with the person I am now, in this moment, I’m not searching for something big to define myself by. But I think I could do better. I haven't done any homework for the past two weeks. Any suggestions?


Across the Universe

I always end up with the best people in the whole universe working for the Center. Ultra sensitive students (well, except Dan--Joke) teach me constantly by example. It has been this way for several years now. You seem to be in a continuous state of awareness about the condition of others around you.
I, on the other hand, walk in my own clouds and stumble through life hitting doors and trees, unaware when someone else is in need until they actually reach for the Kleenex in my office. For example, I have been ill. (I feel so much better today that I suddenly realize just how ill I've been. Thanks everyone for holding things together, for helping my supervisors, for doing your job with diligence and responsibility.) However, certain--unmentionable in-an-open-blog-- elements still linger from the illness. This afternoon as I sat in a session with a student from South Africa, my stomach dropped out from where it usually sits, and I panicked. I didn't know how to excuse myself without being rude, but it became critical that I move quickly, so I yelled for Kiersten (who had an ID card in her hand to swipe) to come quickly and show Eric how to indent a long quotation, Puleeeese! As I walked/ran down the hall to the restroom, I thought, thank Heavens Kiersten didn't protest, joke, quibble, or question me. Bless her heart. Later, I looked up and Em Po was waving her finger in the air--my own sign for "wrap it up--NOW." Too funny. Then when I walked into my office, I found a bowl of fruit and some Yoplait with a note: "You look like you could use a snack."
Now, I'm sure some of you have been in similar situations while tutoring ESL students from Siberia who don't understand the workings of our sickly soft, unable-to-play-soccer, Caucasian bodies. But did I ever notice and run to your rescue? Nooooo. Never. Not once. I only notice if you're talking too much in a session or if you're late. Last week, when I came back to my office after many days of murkiness, I found food and vitamin C (which Lance had made lighter by 150+. "We need them too, Leanna."), and a sweet note from my "supervisors" taped to my screen. Then here comes three Assistants to the door, bearing more gifts: Jami brought me lotion, which I bought for the front desk; Meghan had the basket of mints in her hands; Em Po brought...Kleenex from the front? Cute. They just wanted to bring me something to make it better. So they faked it. And I loved the feelings behind it. It reminded me of the Christmas Jaren and Greg came early and realized they hadn't brought any gifts? Does this shame them? NO, while I'm rushing to wrap a few paltry things for the spouses I forgot were coming, they go from room to room of my house, collect small treasures, sneak into the loft to wrap them, and address them all to me. When I opened one later, I said, "Geez, I love this; I just bought one just like it at DI." Such is the mettle of those who have served here and who serve here now.
During that beautiful snowstorm over conference, I lost half the trees in my yard. Big clumps of trees fell as my retribution for killing a beaver this spring. I've tried to clean it up, but it's been overwhelming. I could barely pull the tree limbs into piles, sweating, slightly cussing, retreating to the couch in total defeat, hoping to find even a John Wayne movie on TV to distract me from having to spend all my free time in the bathroom. (Wait till you try to play soccer at sixty, Anona; the realization that you won't have a good functioning body back until the resurrection hits you from behind. I still gasp with surprise when I can't even climb on top of my truck to pull a branch off the wires without scraping my knee, which caused me to pull the branch down on my face. Ahhh.) But last Saturday I came home to this note: Sis. Morgan (this rules out my hipster and cowboy friends and half the intellectual company I keep), I didn't realize the amount of limbs until I got here! I didn't have a chain saw so I couldn't do much. I hope I didn't make a bigger mess than there was. Thanks for all you do! Anonymous. I looked around and someone had pulled trees, brush and limbs into four or five huge piles--as tall as my house. I remember thinking whoever did this is very tired right now, and I prayed for blessings to come down on his/her head. "Make a bigger mess?" Hardly. It would have taken days and weeks for me to do what this person had given up a Saturday to do. And then the note ends with "Thanks for all I do"? Sure. Did I feel humbled? What do you think? Good people. Good company. Good job. Good year.
(Now, will these blessings and this current humility keep me from yelling at you from now on? Hmm . . . .)


Thirty seconds of writing which is all I have to spare

1. K-mart is a microcosm for life (more on this later).
2. Teaching is hard.
3. Sugar cookies are best when they are first taken out of the oven.
4. "Hostess" is just another way for saying "Superficial."
5. Life is better when it is cold outside.
6. First graders have an attention span of about 30 seconds.
7. First graders are like fly paper for every germ known to mankind.
8. Run down places known as "the projects" really do exist outside of movies.
9. Teaching is really hard.
10. Ice Cream should be on the National Nutrition Standards Food Essential Chart Thing (Yes I did make that name up) because it is saving my life.
11. Gettysburg should be visited by everyone before they die.
12. I know that more than Anona, Chandler, and Sis. Morgan read this blog so you should all get busy and write!!!!!! (i.e. I miss hearing from you all).


The Brutal Sport

Last Thursday I played in my first soccer game. I didn't really mean to. The thing is, for the ward teams there has to be at least three girls playing, otherwise you forfeit. So Austin and I are rushing from campus, he's changing in the car, and we pull up and this big group gathered around the ref all turn and stare at me. Then Gaelin, our next-door neighbor, runs up to my window and starts pleading with me to play. ("You don't even have to run, you can just stand there on the field...I'll cook you a t-bone steak...etc.) Anyway, I agree, because otherwise everyone in the ward will know me as "the-girl-who-caused-us-to-forfeit-our-game" right?

I've only played with my family before (homeschooled, remember?) but I was having fun running around until this girl who had gotten a yellow card earlier kicked a soccer ball at me at close range. The upshot of which is, I had forgotten to take my ring off, so the ball crunched my fingers onto my ring, gouging a square gash down the inside of my pinky and bruising the side of my hand, then ricocheted off the left side of my face, leaving a red streak up the side of it for the next 24 hours. I was really embarrassed because I started crying just as an instant reaction to the pain when the ball hit my face, and the girl started apologizing profusely and the ref came over and asked me if I wanted to go out, and I'm just trying to wave them away and tell them I'm fine as I'm crying and holding my face. Because come on, it's sports--no pain no gain! As this girl in a session today said, pain in sports is like a toy in your Happy Meal--you just expect it.


I have good intentions of posting on here all the time but can never think of what to write. Sister Morgan is probably rolling her eyes and saying, "pffshh, well duh," to her computer as she reads that. It's probably the oldest excuse on the planet for writers. I can recall specific instances when I used it in 2nd grade, but I used it even before that, I'm sure.

Week days roll by one after another. (Well, that's stupid. How else would they roll by, two and three at time? I'm trying to say that week days all seem the same and pass without event) At best I wake up willing to get out of bed and put on my steel-toed sneakers and greasy, dusty shorts and shirt I wear all week without washing. Sometimes a warehouse colleague will say something I can laugh about with my family when I get home (the latest, compliments of Bill: "...of course I can count! I've been countin' since I was six!" Impressive). At worst I go to bed late, convince myself from 5:45 to 5:50am that I won't quit my job and will go in to work, run from my car to the timeclock to punch in by 6:30, try not to work too quickly until lunch at 11:00, forget my plight for a moment at 3:30 while eating a three pack of vanilla Zingers from the gas station on my way home, and then think about doing something productive with my time from 4:00 until I go to bed at 9:30. Refrain.

No, days don't always, or even usually go that miserably. Mostly I like my job, kinda. But time has felt slow the past week with little on the horizon to focus on. It's like the point in a roadtrip when you're tired of your music, conversation has lapsed, you've eaten too many Swedish fish, and you're still too far from your destination to anticipate reaching it. Blah.

Oh well. I'll write again next week when I'll probably be happier. I hope everyone is well, I love reading your posts.