Friday, July 31, 2009

Family Reunions: part deux

The last week has been of a sobering nature for me. I have not been myself and instead, have ultimately changed into a new "self," or a re-discovery thereof. As I awoke this morning and completed the tasks of my day, it was barely 9 o'clock in the morning. With the whole day left and not enough strength to overcome my challenges, I decided to pick up a book and read it in its entirety. This is not unusual for members of my family - we read books like camels drink water.

Through the last week I have had certain questions in my mind. A large question that grabbed my consciousness dealt with how to spend my time effectively when I found myself alone. I am no stranger to being alone; I have always been severely independent and over the past year or so I have found myself changing. I am now more dependent in a very good way and yet am unaccustomed to the feelings that have arisen in my attempts to merge my two experiences. As of late I have been despondent. I felt hindered by my own vices of unimportance, lack of worth, and other such emotions that are fairly common to many.

After a month long struggle with illness and exhaustion, pretense and masquerades, I found myself at the brink of it all last night. However, as the sun fell and rose again, light shone once more through my window upon the wisdom I sought from President Boyd K. Packer. A dear friend gave us the book "The Holy Temple" and I have sought to finish it since last August. Today, I read it from cover to cover in a little under 3 hours, pausing to think, take notes, and make important connections as to what the Temple really entails.

Towards the end of the book, I noticed that the tone had shifted away from exactly what we do inside of the temple but rather to what our purpose is concerning temples and how we involve the Spirit of Elijah. The Spirit of Elijah - some may be wondering just what that entails - is sent to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers.
Watch here and now, for this "thread" of which President Packer speaks is so intriguing.

In Jewish tradition, there remains a belief that Elijah will return (rooted in a reference in Malachi) and he is expected. "In the celebration of the Feast of the Passover, an extra place is set for Elijah. The tradition is observed even in our day." Elijah holds the priesthood keys that seal what is upon the earth to heaven. I found this account, also taken from "The Holy Temple" to be enlightening:
"The door is opened and the fourth and last cup of wine is filled. An additional cup, the Cup of Elijah the Prophet, is set on the table. The company arises as if to greet him. Elijah in Jewish tradition is the long expected messenger of the final redemption of mankind from all oppression. (Passover Haggadah, Christian Friends Bulletin of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, March 1954)."
"In modern-day Jerusalem, Temple Hill, or the Place of the Rock, is a religious shrine to Islam, to Christianity, and to Judaism. All three great religions hold tie to this place. All three, likewise, have a common thread in a tradition that Elijah the prophet would return. (The Holy Temple, Packer, B.K., p. 117)"

Elijah did return, during the week of Passover, to the Prophet Joseph Smith and to Oliver Cowdery on April 3, 1836 in the Kirtland Temple. He once again restored the keys of sealing to the Prophet Joseph. He was able to do so because Elijah is a translated being, who also gave those same keys, eighteen hundred years earlier to Peter, James, and John. This allows Latter-Day Saints to once again turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. In doing so, we 'seal' together our generations in the Holy Temple.
President Joseph Fielding Smith commented upon this incident of 1836:
"It was, I am informed, on the third day of April, 1836, that the Jews, in their homes at the Paschal feast, opened their doors for Elijah to enter. On that very day Elijah did enter - not in the home of the Jews to partake of the Passover with them - but he appeared in the house of the Lord, erected to his name and received by the Lord in Kirtland, and there bestowed his keys to bring to pass the very thing for which these Jews, assembled in their homes, were seeking. (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:101)"

Why do we hold family reunions? To gather more information, for genealogical and temple work. Its a far grander scheme then the attractions that we arrange to lure our family members there. We have a desire to search for our fathers that we may know them and in turn, link ourselves and our children to them.

- I have a testimony of the things I have written. I may not fill my blog with pictures, state original feelings in creative methods or with splashes of color, nor do I update it regularly. However, I was commanded by an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ to bear witness to the things that I know to be true in this method. Solemnly, I do so. I did not present all of the pieces of this doctrine upon my blog; I presented the piece that has been re-affirmed in my heart and soul. How much we share in common with those that are not of the Latter-Day faith! I find it fascinating and enlightening to learn and apply the lessons I have garnered from the pages of this text. I know that our Father in Heaven loves each and every one of us, regardless of our location, race, religion, or status. May we be increasingly aware of those around us who need the ministering of angles. May we be those angles, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Can Anyone Explain?

-what's the deal with Family Reunions?

-I don't get it.

-Never had one.

-Seems like an excuse to take off of work in the summer - the more of those you have, the better your summer will be....(i think haha)


-so confused.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Innate Sense of.....


i miss it.

friends who make you laugh so hard you fall off of your chair....
who accept you for you without a moment's notice....
-kate, khia, nancy-
-obviously me on the floor-

The roommate who always let you borrow her clothes and has the nicest personality ever....

High School. Seriously, I would go back in a heart beat.
These are the people that saw you through your most awkward moments
and still loved you for them.
They're the friends that would invite you out even if you haven't seen them in 5 years.
They're the friends, that if I ever needed anything, I know would have my back.
These are the friends I wish I saw more over the last 5 years...and it hurts every day.
I miss you guys.
-Dani, Ng, Rae, me, Mare-
-Jules, not pictured-
Thanks so much. You'll never even know....

The way I used to celebrate Pioneer Day :)
Utah Holidays....ever so random

These guys, plus 2
words can't even describe how lost I feel sometimes being away
thanks for accepting me, grounding me when i broke curfew by 4 hours,
and for your love and support. not only for me,
but for all of the lives that you touch and no one will ever know...
i do.
i am so blessed.
and i miss you.

thanks for that smile - you made the picture.
you understand,
without these words,
exactly how i feel
we don't even have to say anything more.
miss you
love you
wish i could have all of this back again.

For now, onto living life, one day at a time.
tears don't last forever
and the memories do.

if i had to do 10 things, these would definitely be up there. I would go back and experience all of this all over again.

the feeling of belonging is more than words can say
i miss it

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


here, have some

-no worries; totally free of charge ;)

want more?

try this

-feel free to thank them

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Don't Stop...Believin'


Fills me with glee.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Affording Grace

Lately, I've had a lot of cause to think about the concept of grace. What it means, and how its application in our lives is very much the underlying theme of it all.

However, I've also been thinking about the concept in the picture above. Holding grace in our hands.

Problem Uno: Sometimes I don't understand the choices that people make. Just don't get it. (I bet that is exactly how our Heavenly Father feels too.) Its given me a lot to think about. How quick we can be to judge those around us. How easy it is to complain that life isn't fair, especially when the choices someone else makes affects those around them. How easy it would be to act unjustifiably selfish and hurtful and the list goes on and on.

Solution: Holding grace out in our hands. Can we afford others the grace of allowing them to make their own choices? Well, we can - most of us are just out of practice. Our grace has nothing to do with salvation, forgiveness, etc - it has to do with us. Allowing ourselves to look just a few feet further into a situation and LOVE. Interesting. Especially when our love goes unrecognized.

Problem Dos: Still don't have a camera, but our 4th was the bomb! Our whole weekend was more then a prayer being answered - it was just spectacular! We hung out with great and amazing friends, chatted until our jaws hurt, made delicious Strawberry Daquiris (thanks Ashley!) and grilled to our hearts content. Loved this weekend. We should have a 4th of July every weekend!

Solution: Tell your friends to take pictures....haha

Enjoy your week!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Catch Up - Just to blog about it :) Feel Free to Skip

Tuesday - June 30

Today we discussed the Chrom-Agar, which we use to plate urines on. This helps to rapidly identify or at least narrow down what the organism may potentially be. For instance, two plates usually come with a urine culture, a SB (sheep blood) and the Chrom-Agar. Because of the amount of testing that the Microbiology lab undertakes, those two plates may not make it to the Urine bench at the same time. If you have the sheep blood, you could make a quick deduction that would further lead you to understand what potential pathogen(s)/ normal flora may be present. An example lies within distinguishing between gram negative and gram positive bacteria. Gram positive colonies on a SB plate are usually small and non-mucoid, whereas the gram negative bacteria are larger, more spready or mucoid. When you look at the chom-agar, E.coli appears pink. So do a few other gram positive organisms, such as S. saprophyticus. However, having the sheep blood allows you to do a quick sweep catalase if needed, or colony morphology can be very decisive. If the SB plate does not make it with the chrom-agar, it is very easy to look at the plate and almost know, without any other reference, what is growing upon that specific plate. Gram staining is always used for clinical application, as well as simple tests such as oxidase and catalase. From there, organisms are counted for CFU/ml. If an organism has over 100 CFU/ml, we know that there is an infection, and our work up then travels to the susceptibility bench, after we have the bug isolated.

We also discussed policies and procedures as we began reviewing more CF plates as well as other samples. Pesudomonas aeruginosa, as I have reflected upon many times before, can present with so many strains that differentiating can be very difficult. We were also given the chance to observe the plates without previous deduction, and asked to identify the organisms upon sight. This proved to be unnerving. I felt uncomfortable just making a judgement without any further testing - luckily, further testing is only a drop of hydrogen peroxide away. I really appreciated the insight that our teaching instructors in the lab gave us today.

Wednesday - July 1

Today was very interesting; my teaching instructor thought I had swine flu. Thus, I don’t remember much of what happened. I distinctly remember being frustrated with the “review” that was given, but I deviate. Wednesday was fascinating when we plated in the afternoon. So many different sample types were presented to us within in the hour that I felt as though my technique greatly improved. We plated BAL samples, pleural fluid, respiratory samples searching for Legionella, wound samples searching for anaerobic organisms, sputum (most likely a CF patient), throat (I despise getting my throat swabbed, as did our instructor, so she told us to be extra sensitive - I thought that was nice), NP (nasopharyngeal) culture searching for Pertussis (as in Bordatella pertussis), and a CSF culture. I watched how much the instructor had to know immediately upon receiving the sample. Conveniently, cards with the standard procedure are provided to double check.

Again, we sat upon the bench, and this time did some gram staining. Another specialist was adamant that we compare pure isolates of certain bugs under the microscope - its easy to think that gram negative cocci, such as Moraxella catarrhalis and Strep. pneumoniae appear similar, but upon closer examination, the S. pneumoniae appears lancet shaped - often, they can also be confused with Enterococcus. We reviewed more plates from CF patients and reference samples, helping us to become increasingly more familiar with the process. We also reviewed more procedures as we did the plate exercise.

Thursday - July 2

An exam filled the first hour or so of the morning. Then, it was back to the lab to review more bench samples. A favorite part of today was when we were able to retrieve the samples that had been plated the day before and review them with the bench tech. All of a sudden, and for the first time, we were actually being instructed. It was as though a light shone down upon our little section in the lab and enlightenment came to be. We were able to look the the plates individually alongside the resident expert. This was so rewarding. I isolated this beautiful example of Beta-Strep and when the medical residents came around, they took my plate to instruct the doctors upon the appearance and clinical significance of Beta-Strep. Our resident tech was very helpful is assisting us with differentiating colonies as well as grading our isolation. I was very appreciative and felt as though microbiology was manageable after all.

down down down

I know you'll all be so disappointed, but our internet is down and I can't blog about my science days! Well, at least not until I fix the So here's a break!

Tomorrow = NO SCHOOL....

it also = GIRLS DAY!

One of my fav friends is coming up to Salt Lake, and it better stop raining, dangit! We are going to have a lovely time doing _____________.

I have no clue. I've lived here for a year and still don't know what there is to do. haha Sometimes, school is my worst enemy!

Any suggestions?! Please! Send them my way!

Love your 4th!