Saturday, September 7, 2013

Pictures, as promised.
Prettyboy Reservoir had some gorgeous ferns.


As my sister and I were driving to Prettyboy Reservoir, we were discussing the fact that when we were children, growing up in Utah and Idaho, we would sometimes read books that seemed a little silly to us. "You don't have to say that you run into a fox AND a lizard AND an owl all in one walk, you know; you don't have to lie to make the story interesting," we would say in our heads to the book. But after you've lived here for a while, you realize: maybe they really weren't making things up. It's a funny realization, to suddenly notice that something you thought was fictionalized wasn't quite as fictionalized as you had thought. But it's also nice to be around so much nature, which is why I whip out my camera when I see a lizard, or a chipmunk, or even lots of turtles in the same spot. They're still kind of amazing to me.

My chapel (i.e. the one I attend) is Quite Beautiful, as well as a little older than many I've worshipped at.

And, as promised, yet another picture of the Temple. I discovered that on the temple grounds, in the woods surrounding the formal gardens, is a nature trail; this was the one good shot I got from there.

Friday, September 6, 2013

I Support This

Sister Mary Martha (check out her blog, to the left) mentioned that Pope Francis has called for a day of fasting and prayer for Syria. It's on Saturday, the 7th, if you feel so inclined and read this in time. (If you feel inclined but don't read it in time, I hereby speculate that such late prayers may be like unto when I arrived late at Stake Conference* when we had ours last Spring: both more and better company than I'd expected.)

Last summer, I ran into a guy who had studied Arabic at the same time as me, just a couple of years before 9/11, and we both happened to mention that our one regret from that time of our lives is that we didn't go to Syria when the group that went from our University did their study abroad there.

I feel like weeping every time I read news of new atrocities. I'm not utterly convinced that dropping more bombs on them is going to help the situation. There really do appear to be creepy-bad people on both sides of this conflict. Do we just drop bombs on both sides until yet another faction emerges, one that we feel we can support?

But praying, you know, that I can support.

Anyway. Pictures soon (the temple yet AGAIN, and a cool lizard, and a little bit from Prettyboy reservoir, which is kind of a weird name but really gorgeous place). Also, I'm not sure whether I'm hopeful or hopeless, but I'm starting a new blog, with neeflings. Stay tuned, as it were.

*I tried to find a succinct, accurate explanation of Stake Conference, but was unable to without more searching than I'm up for, so here it is: Mormons are assigned to smaller congregations, (usually) called wards (300-500 people, normally, I think), and then wards in turn are grouped into larger units called Stakes-- often compared to a Catholic Diocese**. Most Sunday meetings and other church activities are held at a ward level, but every six months or so, the entire stake gets together for a Stake Conference, often with meetings held on a Saturday night and a Sunday morning. When I arrived late at the Sunday morning meeting feeling all ashamed for not being together enough to be on time, I found that lo and behold! I was in, as mentioned, excellent (friends... leaders of the ward... ) as well as numerous company.

**Catholic Dioceses, which I know of almost exclusively for purposes of comparing them with Mormon Stakes; I tend to think of them as "the Catholic version of a Stake." It's all about perspective.