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.