Saturday, February 28, 2015

'So in the world of today: 27 February 2015' by Sam Orr

So in the world of today:
-Iran tested a new weapon.
-Jewish persecution reached a seven year high.
-Both the rebels and military withdrew from east Ukraine.
-The Mormon tabernacle choir was inducted to the classical music hall of fame.
-Virginia agreed to compensate people they forcefully sterilized from 1924-1979.
-Investigators found hundreds of thousands of IRS emails related to the IRS tea party scandal. The IRS attempted to destroy said emails.

Friday, February 27, 2015

My Work and My Interesting Health Situation Currently

This blog post is a segment of the journal entry of Alex Hicken found at the following

     I would like to tell you about my work and my interesting health situation currently. I don't know why I am not feeling well, but yesterday I felt weak at work. On Monday, I felt like my feet and hands were freezing all morning long. On Tuesday or so, I was wondering about my diet because I felt fine, but something was off. I think that I am not getting enough calories. I think that I have been getting about 1000 calories. Since I fasted, I could not eat as much breakfast as usual. I thought that my body was weak not eating enough, and fasting pushed it over the edge; plus, I donated blood last week. My grandma was thinking that I may have a little 24 hour bug to overcome. I think that I was getting about 200-300 calories for breakfast, 300-400 calories for lunch, and 400-600 calories for dinner; which is a range of 900-1300 calories because my grandparents usually prepare and serve me food. The drama that I had with Jessica over the weekend had me return to my usual habit of not snacking between meals of lunch and dinner, which snacking I did on previous weeks. I need about 2500 calories for my job, since I am lifting most of the day, and it is cold. I am use to getting about 500 calories for breakfast and 800-1000 calories for lunch and dinner, ranging from 2100-2500 calories a day at school. I went to tell management that I felt weak, and they fed me a bunch of food, and I didn't feel week after lunch, but I did feel achy allover my body. Today my stomach has been feeling weird, but the aching has been gone since this morning. I ate my usual 500 calorie breakfast this morning, feeling good about that, but I didn't feel full like usual. At lunch, I told my grandma that I felt bloated, so she recommended that I drink a teaspoon of baking soda. The recovery from that is weird because it makes you more bloated. It tastes like odd salt water, making one burp like consuming a carbonated drink. This is my current state.

Making Jamaican Rice and Peas for my Grandparents

This blog post is a segment of the journal entry of Alex Hicken found at the following


     I also made Jamaican rice and peas on Wednesday for my grandparents, but making that is not as special as curry.


This is the recipe that I followed. I recommend cooking the beans for an hour; maybe more, you can taste it yourself after soaking it over night; then, add the rice in the pot to cook. The beans when I cooked it was a little crunchy.
The scallion, Scotch bonnet, garlic, and thyme are not meant to be in the food when you serve it; therefore, take them out before serving it. Put the entire scallion, garlic clove, thyme, and Scotch bonnet in the pot when it is cooking. Scotch bonnet is a Jamaican pepper. I usually replace it with a habanero. Don't dice anything.

 x peas 1 cup first!       serves 3-4
x garlic a clove or two when boiling the peas
x rice two cups
x coconut milk three cups
x salt pepper   table spoon
x pimento seeds
x scallion a couple whole strains
x butter       table spoon
x thyme  a sprig is a few inches long. Use two
x Scotch bonnet

thyme  a sprig is a few inches long. Use two
Scotch bonnet
pimento seeds


Praying for a Missionary Opportunity

This blog post is a segment of the journal entry of Alex Hicken found at the following

On Wednesday night, I prayed for a missionary opportunity, and the next day my work situation changed. 
A coworker of mine is named Carlos, and he has been told to take the position of another coworker, who I usually work with, since he did not show up on Thursday and Friday. We got along well. His English was mediocre, so we were able to develop a closer friendship easily especially since he loves to talk. On Friday he asked me what church that I attend, and I said the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; then, he replied that he began to read the Book of Mormon last Monday. I listened to him talk, and he seemed to be a solid person. I can't judge his personality, but he has great integrity, respecting himself and the law of chastity. I got his phone number Friday afternoon, hoping that he could come to a game night that night. I had not been invited to it yet, but I was invited to last week's. He said that he was coming to the game night, but he never came. Missionary opportunities scare me because they rarely turn out well. I have had a couple, and I feel responsibility for their souls, since I am their link to the church. I invited him to church, and he did not reply to my message. This is how quickly God will answer prayers of your willingness to serve in his work to save souls, for I prayed for a missionary opportunity on Wednesday night, and Carlos was led to me the next day. I hope that I follow through well tomorrow.
     I am adding more content, since today is the 27th of February, a Friday. Weird things happen when you are working with a good investigator friend. Carlos' phone was not working well that first week when I invited him to church, and he couldn't reply to my messages. On Monday we went to pick him up for FHE, but he was at a bar. It turned out that a friend called him up, asking for him to counsel with him because life was hard on him with his ex wife and daughter. On Thursday night, we were planning to go to Institute, but the class was cancelled because the teacher couldn't make it. We are hoping to go to church on Sunday.

Taxes with TurboTax's Mobile App

This blog post is a segment of the journal entry of Alex Hicken found at the following

Late this past week, I started doing my taxes, and I completed it on Saturday. I did it with the mobile app of TurboTax. It is surprising that one could do their taxes with a mobile app. It was easily understood. The only difficulty was that it would not except my double check with my Utah tax return. I took most of the day to figure out everything, but only about 6 hours of work for me. It may be different for others.

Personal Dating Advice From God

This blog post is a segment of the journal entry of Alex Hicken found at the following

On Wednesday when Jessica and I began to Skype, a thought popped up in my mind, saying "You should not be dating her." This is not the first time that this happened, so I gave it some thought. Today is Sunday, and Jessica and I are fasting to confirm this prompting today. Pondering the thought that I should not be dating Jessica was unbearable last night, and I expressed it to her.
     The thought that "You should not be dating her." for an odd reason came when I saw how young Jessica looked as we Skyped a couple times. This happened about a month ago, and Jessica felt the prompting to, but we did not hearken to it. Ever since that night on Wednesday, the thought that I should not be dating Jessica has been plaguing my mind. It became so unbearable last night that I could not fake a cheerful nature in our nightly conversations. I have no idea why God intervened in our relationship. I asked if we can text each other rather than talk over the phone because I was troubled by God's advice. I recently learned that if a thought is dwelling on my mind unyielding to my desire for it to go away with prayer, it is the Spirit of God. I had to communicate what was on my mind. It took me forty minutes of pondering whether I should send the text message. I knew that it will turn our relationship into a tailspin. We decided to fast after our hearts were torn apart by the thought that we should be apart. I felt the spirit after beginning the discussion. My fast was a petition to God to let us continue dating. When I got home after the fast and church, I prayed for a long time for a solid answer. I am feeling the spirit strongly sustaining my petition. Today is now Tuesday. I asked what Jessica concluded in our inquiry of God, concerning us. She concluded that we should not continue to date steadily, so we decided to have an open relationship. We are hoping that she will grow into herself by the fall that we may date again.
     It has been a week since our dating drama happened, and things have settled. My revelation was that we can keep our relationship because we want to be together, but Jessica's revelation was that she is not ready for steady dating and marriage. Gordon B. Hinckley once said "It is better, my friends, to date a variety of companions until you are ready to marry." I feel a connection between the personal advice to me from God that "You should not be dating her" with her revelation that she is not ready for a serious relationship. It makes more sense. 'I should not be dating her because she is not ready' is God’s advice. We fasted about whether we should date, and I felt that was a petition to the Lord that we could continue dating, since we did not just let it fall apart. We somewhat decided to quit dating for a little bit until she matures; then, resume the relationship. That didn't make much sense to me. Why should we date around, if we want to be together in the end? Dating is a pain. We decided to work on the things that she feels that she needs to mature in. We were taking it slow anyways, and it's not any slower, but we have a greater focus on our preparations.

The Impressive Love of My Valentine Arrived

This blog post is a segment of the journal entry of Alex Hicken found at the following

     Jessica's Valentine was greater than I can ever imagine. It was ocean themed for I said that I love goldfish, the cheese snack. I gave her seaweed snacks on the first time that we ever ran together, so that fit in the theme too. She decorated the inside of a box like an ocean, putting stickers and fun quotes on it. She also wrote a note, putting it in a bottle. I am grateful that God let us have a most glorious Valentine's Day before reminding me that I should not be dating her.




A Special Opportunity with the Red Cross

This blog post is a segment of the journal entry of Alex Hicken found at the following

The opportunity to give blood became exciting on Tuesday, when I found out that my blood type is O positive. I was told that I can do a special donation where I give double the red blood cells. They said that it was actually easier on the body because they only take the red blood cells, and put the plasma and everything back into the body. One thing that I would need to do is gain fifteen pounds because O positive people need to weigh 150 pounds to qualify for the opportunity. I don't want to gain 15 pounds, hoping to convince them to let me do that special donation without gaining the weight.

My Review of "Runaround" and "Reason," Short Stories, Preparing For Isaac Asimov's Robot and Foundation Science Fiction Series

This blog post is a segment of the journal entry of Alex Hicken found at the following

Follow up Monday: I told you that I was going to tell you about "Runaround," a short story that leads into the science fiction series of Foundation and Robot by Isaac Asimov. It explains the three founding rules of the artificial intelligence of robots in a story, showing the limits of their intelligence. The story is very interesting, but it is obviously set up to explain these three rules and the usefulness of them. An interesting story is not always amazing.

     Jessica and I also read "Reason," the next short story of the Robot Series. I think that the fundamentals of reason in the robot is a reflection of the author's opinion of religion. The perspective of the robot is interesting. Jessica and I realized that part of the story is flawed because the other robots should not have the same reasoning skills as Cutie. I think that the author was just excited about a new development in his robotics idea because he eluded to basically what Cutie achieved at the end of the story. I think that literature is a reflection of the author's perspective, and I think that it is interesting to learn about the author from their compositions.

Adventures with Eve Hicken

This blog post is a segment of the journal entry of Alex Hicken found at the following



Here are some adventures with Eve. She is stealing some of Goldfish, and she had a message from the One Direction band who she loves. She said that the video is the greatest thing that she has ever done. 

February 22, 2015

This week has been productive somewhat. I gave blood on Tuesday, and Jessica and I received our Valentine's Day packages on that day too. On Wednesday when Jessica and I began to Skype, a thought popped up in my mind, saying "You should not be dating her." This is not the first time that this happened, so I gave it some thought. Today is Sunday, and Jessica and I are fasting to confirm this prompting today. Pondering the thought that I should not be dating Jessica was unbearable last night, and I expressed it to her.  Also on Wednesday night, I prayed for a missionary opportunity, and the next day my work situation changed. I did my taxes on Saturday.
     The opportunity to give blood became exciting on Tuesday, when I found out that my blood type is O positive. I was told that I can do a special donation where I give double the red blood cells. They said that it was actually easier on the body because they only take the red blood cells, and put the plasma and everything back into the body. One thing that I would need to do is gain fifteen pounds because O positive people need to weigh 150 pounds to qualify for the opportunity. I don't want to gain 15 pounds, hoping to convince them to let me do that special donation without gaining the weight.
     Jessica's Valentine was greater than I can ever imagine. It was ocean themed for I said that I love goldfish, the cheese snack. I gave her seaweed snacks on the first time that we ever ran together, so that fit in the theme too. She decorated the inside of a box like an ocean, putting stickers and fun quotes on it. She also wrote a note, putting it in a bottle. I am grateful that God let us have a most glorious Valentine's Day before reminding me that I should not be dating her.






     The thought that "You should not be dating her." for an odd reason came when I saw how young Jessica looked as we Skyped a couple times. This happened about a month ago, and Jessica felt the prompting to, but we did not hearken to it. Ever since that night on Wednesday, the thought that I should not be dating Jessica has been plaguing my mind. It became so unbearable last night that I could not fake a cheerful nature in our nightly conversations. I have no idea why God intervened in our relationship. I asked if we can text each other rather than talk over the phone because I was troubled by God's advice. I recently learned that if a thought is dwelling on my mind unyielding to my desire for it to go away with prayer, it is the Spirit of God. I had to communicate what was on my mind. It took me forty minutes of pondering whether I should send the text message. I knew that it will turn our relationship into a tailspin. We decided to fast after our hearts were torn apart by the thought that we should be apart. I felt the spirit after beginning the discussion. My fast was a petition to God to let us continue dating. When I got home after the fast and church, I prayed for a long time for a solid answer. I am feeling the spirit strongly sustaining my petition. Today is now Tuesday. I asked what Jessica concluded in our inquiry of God, concerning us. She concluded that we should not continue to date steadily, so we decided to have an open relationship. We are hoping that she will grow into herself by the fall that we may date again.
     It has been a week since our dating drama happened, and things have settled. My revelation was that we can keep our relationship because we want to be together, but Jessica's revelation was that she is not ready for steady dating and marriage. Gordon B. Hinckley once said "It is better, my friends, to date a variety of companions until you are ready to marry." I feel a connection between the personal advice to me from God that "You should not be dating her" with her revelation that she is not ready for a serious relationship. It makes more sense. 'I should not be dating her because she is not ready' is God’s advice. We fasted about whether we should date, and I felt that was a petition to the Lord that we could continue dating, since we did not just let it fall apart. We somewhat decided to quit dating for a little bit until she matures; then, resume the relationship. That didn't make much sense to me. Why should we date around, if we want to be together in the end? Dating is a pain. We decided to work on the things that she feels that she needs to mature in. We were taking it slow anyways, and it's not any slower, but we have a greater focus on our preparations.
     A coworker of mine is named Carlos, and he has been told to take the position of another coworker, who I usually work with, since he did not show up on Thursday and Friday. We got along well. His English was mediocre, so we were able to develop a closer friendship easily especially since he loves to talk. On Friday he asked me what church that I attend, and I said the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; then, he replied that he began to read the Book of Mormon last Monday. I listened to him talk, and he seemed to be a solid person. I can't judge his personality, but he has great integrity, respecting himself and the law of chastity. I got his phone number Friday afternoon, hoping that he could come to a game night that night. I had not been invited to it yet, but I was invited to last week's. He said that he was coming to the game night, but he never came. Missionary opportunities scare me because they rarely turn out well. I have had a couple, and I feel responsibility for their souls, since I am their link to the church. I invited him to church, and he did not reply to my message. This is how quickly God will answer prayers of your willingness to serve in his work to save souls, for I prayed for a missionary opportunity on Wednesday night, and Carlos was led to me the next day. I hope that I follow through well tomorrow.
     Late this past week, I started doing my taxes, and I completed it on Saturday. I did it with the mobile app of TurboTax. It is surprising that one could do their taxes with a mobile app. It was easily understood. The only difficulty was that it would not except my double check with my Utah tax return. I took most of the day to figure out everything, but only about 6 hours of work for me. It may be different for others.
     I am adding more content, since today is the 27th of February, a Friday. Weird things happen when you are working with a good investigator friend. Carlos' phone was not working well that first week when I invited him to church, and he couldn't reply to my messages. On Monday we went to pick him up for FHE, but he was at a bar. It turned out that a friend called him up, asking for him to counsel with him because life was hard on him with his ex wife and daughter. On Thursday night, we were planning to go to Institute, but the class was cancelled because the teacher couldn't make it. We are hoping to go to church on Sunday.
     I would like to tell you about my work and my interesting health situation currently. I don't know why I am not feeling well, but yesterday I felt weak at work. On Monday, I felt like my feet and hands were freezing all morning long. On Tuesday or so, I was wondering about my diet because I felt fine, but something was off. I think that I am not getting enough calories. I think that I have been getting about 1000 calories. Since I fasted, I could not eat as much breakfast as usual. I thought that my body was weak not eating enough, and fasting pushed it over the edge; plus, I donated blood last week. My grandma was thinking that I may have a little 24 hour bug to overcome. I think that I was getting about 200-300 calories for breakfast, 300-400 calories for lunch, and 400-600 calories for dinner; which is a range of 900-1300 calories because my grandparents usually prepare and serve me food. The drama that I had with Jessica over the weekend had me return to my usual habit of not snacking between meals of lunch and dinner, which snacking I did on previous weeks. I need about 2500 calories for my job, since I am lifting most of the day, and it is cold. I am use to getting about 500 calories for breakfast and 800-1000 calories for lunch and dinner, ranging from 2100-2500 calories a day at school. I went to tell management that I felt weak, and they fed me a bunch of food, and I didn't feel week after lunch, but I did feel achy allover my body. Today my stomach has been feeling weird, but the aching has been gone since this morning. I ate my usual 500 calorie breakfast this morning, feeling good about that, but I didn't feel full like usual. At lunch, I told my grandma that I felt bloated, so she recommended that I drink a teaspoon of baking soda. The recovery from that is weird because it makes you more bloated. It tastes like odd salt water, making one burp like consuming a carbonated drink. This is my current state.
     I also made Jamaican rice and peas on Wednesday for my grandparents, but making that is not as special as curry.
     This is the recipe that I followed. I recommend cooking the beans for an hour; maybe more, you can taste it yourself after soaking it over night; then, add the rice in the pot to cook. The beans when I cooked it was a little crunchy.
The scallion, Scotch bonnet, garlic, and thyme are not meant to be in the food when you serve it; therefore, take them out before serving it. Put the entire scallion, garlic clove, thyme, and Scotch bonnet in the pot when it is cooking. Scotch bonnet is a Jamaican pepper. I usually replace it with a habanero. Don't dice anything.

 x peas 1 cup first!       serves 3-4
x garlic a clove or two when boiling the peas
x rice two cups
x coconut milk three cups
x salt pepper   table spoon
x pimento seeds
x scallion a couple whole strains
x butter       table spoon
x thyme  a sprig is a few inches long. Use two
x Scotch bonnet

thyme  a sprig is a few inches long. Use two
Scotch bonnet
pimento seeds





Here are some adventures with Eve. She is stealing some of Goldfish, and she had a message from the One Direction band who she loves. She said that the video is the greatest thing that she has ever done. 




Follow up Monday: I told you that I was going to tell you about "Runaround," a short story that leads into the science fiction series of Foundation and Robot by Isaac Asimov. It explains the three founding rules of the artificial intelligence of robots in a story, showing the limits of their intelligence. The story is very interesting, but it is obviously set up to explain these three rules and the usefulness of them. An interesting story is not always amazing.

     Jessica and I also read "Reason," the next short story of the Robot Series. I think that the fundamentals of reason in the robot is a reflection of the author's opinion of religion. The perspective of the robot is interesting. Jessica and I realized that part of the story is flawed because the other robots should not have the same reasoning skills as Cutie. I think that the author was just excited about a new development in his robotics idea because he eluded to basically what Cutie achieved at the end of the story. I think that literature is a reflection of the author's perspective, and I think that it is interesting to learn about the author from their compositions. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

'so in the world of today: 23 Feb 2015' by Sam Orr

So in the world of today:
-Isis is inducting five yea- olds.
-200 anti-government activities were arrested in Cuba.
-Egypt’s president is calling for an Arab coalition to combat Isis.
-South Sudanese rebels kidnapped 89 children and adolescents.
-Russia is trying to sell its anti-missile defense system to Iran.
-A 94 year old man is on trial for working at Auschwitz.
-Al Shabab is calling for attacks on malls in the US, Canada, and the UK.
-Russia is suffering economically.
-Scientists may soon have a peanut allergy patch.
-A study out of Dartmouth found that kids who are formula fed are more likely to get arsenic poisoning.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

'So in the world of today: 19 Feb 2015' by Sam Orr

So in the world of today:
-The UK caught a Russian war plane in their airspace.
-The Feds are considering changing the rules for what constitutes unlawful search and seizure to allow them to hack any computer system they choose.
-An old woman in Washington was found guilty of discrimination for refusing to do a floral arrangement at a gay wedding.
-Walmart upped its minimum wage, and plans to do so again next year.
-Obama is asking for 1.2 Billion to combat ‘superbugs’.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

'So in the world of today: 18 Feb 2015' by Sam Orr

So in the world of today:
-A study found that a UN fund meant to help victims of natural disasters was instead going into North Korea.
-Prokopis Pavlopoulos was elected president of Greece.
-Oregon appointed Kate Brown to be the US’s first bisexual governor.
-The University of Massachusetts reversed its policy of barring Iranians from certain majors.
-The Kurds had a major victory against Isis.
-China is building bases in disputed territories.
-The US state department has been keeping Israel in the dark about some of the Iran nuclear talks.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

'So in the world of today: (long one) 17 Feb 2015' by Sam Orr

So in the world of today: (long one)
-Ukraine’s ceasefire ended.
-Egypt is asking the UN to call on the international community to fight Isis.
-57% of Americans disapprove of Obama’s handling of Isis according to MSNBC.
-A Texas Judge has temporarily blocked Obama’s immigration executive order.
-The Libyan ambassador blamed the rise of Isis on the vacuum created by the fall of Gaddafi.
- A study found that teens with more active church and family participation in their lives are less likely to commit suicide.
-The white house said there’s no evidence that American Muslims are more likely to become terrorists than other groups.
-France says it’s tracking hundreds of sleeper cell terrorists.
-Isis killed 45 people in Iraq.


Monday, February 16, 2015

'so in the world of today: 16 Feb 2015' by Sam Orr

so in the world of today:
-The University of Massachusetts is banning Iranian students from being engineering majors.
-A ring of hackers stole at least one billion from banks around the world.
-A 72 year old man may lose his pension and spend 10 years in jail for having an antique gun in his glove compartment.
-A large tobacco conglomerate is suing to force several small nations to do less to limit tobacco distribution.

The Writers' Support Group Perspective on Writing Mistakes

Questions Tuesday: What are irritating writing mistakes?

     "I feel irritated at myself when I find I've written 900 words and meant to write 300 :)" Velda begins the discussion.
     "Why do you think that you write three times the amount that you plan?" Alex questions. 
     "Alexander, I think I just get carried away sometimes. :) Sometimes I'll save my "unabridged" post privately." Velda explanations. 
 
     "I hate when people misspell words." Matea hates.
     "Their vs they're vs there, you're vs your" Sarah complains.
     "not getting the spelling right" confesses Lesego.
      "I learned from a favorite substitute teacher in high school that the word "that is the most missed word in the English language, so I make sure keep them where they should." Alex expresses.
     "I use ... Way too much" Sariah acknowledges.  

     "Are we talking our own writing mistakes or what other people get bugged by in our writing? I'm not bugged by mistakes. They set me free. There's always another rewrite." Audrey reveals.
     Alex relates. "Yeah. I am patient with writing too, Audrey. Maybe this is a better rephrasing of question. What is difficult about writing?
     Audrey ponders."Hmmmm. Difficult? I'd say getting all the balances right. Making it interesting, compelling, relatable." 

      "A irritating writing mistake or difficulty that I remembered this morning at work is when characters in a book all have a similar personality or perspective. The main thing different between the characters is their backgrounds. I believe that it shows a big reflection of the author's personality and lack of thought about how each person's thought processes and perspective are very different." Alex proclaims.  

     Velda rethinks the question. "Oh we're talking about other people's writing? hehe.  I find it annoying when someone uses a really ... creative phrase to describe something, but then they continue to use that phrase repeatedly in the book."
Alex laughingly excuses himself. "Haha. Don't be offended by my laughter. I laugh a lot."
Velda continues "Example: "Her hair rippled in the breeze like waves of tall grass on the prairie" .. and then they use the exact phrase like, three other times in the book :s  I don't mind it the first time, even if their simile is a bit cheesy, but i have a pretty good memory so if I see the same thing again it really makes me roll my eyes :-p
Alex laughs again. ":D 555 (5 in Thai is pronounced 'ha'.) :P Another challenge that I have is to not start every sentence with I."

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Impressive Love of My Valentine

 This article is a segment of the journal blog of Alexander Hicken from http://mormonysa.blogspot.com/2015/02/february-8-2015.html. 

    Valentine's Day was great. My Valentine was chosen months ago for the first time ever, and she knew it. I didn't have to ask. Will you be my Valentine? I was planning to go to Oregon to visit Jessica, but we decided that it was a waste of money to fly there for only slightly over one day. I don't like the idea of flying on Sunday either. The pilots and flight attendants should rest on the Sabbath. Jessica is so loving, and it was expressed wonderfully by her, creating a Valentine. She started working on it about a week and a half before the special day, and she worked on it so diligently even until the very last minute. She probably worked on it for more than forty hours. She called it her project. That effort makes my Valentine's Day glorious because of her pure display of love; although, it will arrive next week. My package was a gift. At first I only purchased a present from Etsy called a 'smitten', we need one of these badly in the fall semester because we have a habit of holding hands wherever we walk even though our hands are freezing. Smittens have a mitten fit for two hands. I also heard that Fifa started drooping on Valentine's Day morning. My heart sunk when Jessica said that she had something bad to tell me, but it was the flower, dying. Flowers are replaceable, so I had an Antonium send to her. She was surprised how I could have flowers delivered in the same day. I just called a local florist, having them deliver it. It's too bad that Fifa is going to die from a disease that we had control over. The pot that she was planted in astonished me, for it was glued to a plate, and only a few pin holes were given for ventilation of water and air. I told her that the ventilation might not be enough, but I let her learn for herself because Jessica was confident that it was fine. We Skyped late last night because her family went out to dinner, and she waited to open her gift to do so in front of me. I ran out of service for making a WiFi hot-spot with my phone last month, so this is the first time in a few weeks that we Skyped.

My More Practical Dating Commitment

 This article is a segment of the journal blog of Alexander Hicken from http://mormonysa.blogspot.com/2015/02/february-8-2015.html. 

Jessica and I made some steps to be more practical, deciding to unite our finances and language. The practice of finances is personal, but this knowledge should be applied early in a courtship to have greater unity and respect to each other. We decided to make Spanish our main language to speak to each other. Both of my brothers will most likely have Spanish speaking families, so I should be right with everyone and the language. I am grateful that Jessica is patient with our preparation.

My Contribution to Building the Provo City Center Temple

 This article is a segment of the journal blog of Alexander Hicken from http://mormonysa.blogspot.com/2015/02/february-8-2015.html. 

     The work in the small shop of Delta Stone Products is hard, but it is more chill than the previous station that I worked at. I like the small shop because it is where custom pieces are prepared for the customer. Since I sat in the Provo City Center Temple seminar a couple weeks ago, I thought that it was complete, but I was wrong with to assume that. Aaron Hicken said that they will be producing product for the temple until the fall comes. I was able to sand pieces of the stone which is going to be placed in the construction of the temple. I identified where the stone for the temple is placed, and I looked at them, thinking that God must have prepared the stone and the company to provide it for his house. One artisan was having a hard time sanding a product for the temple because there was not enough water on the stone, so I took the hose and followed his lead. He greatly appreciated my help.

Science Fictional Book Reviews: Stranger in a Strange Land; Robbie, the first short story of the Foundation Series, and The Book of Jer3miah: Premonition

 This article is a segment of the journal blog of Alexander Hicken from http://mormonysa.blogspot.com/2015/02/february-8-2015.html. 

The Stranger in a Strange Land book became a disappointment quickly. Why would a Martian ever create a nudist church? Jessica and I decided to read the Foundation series upon the advice of Jessica's father. We are starting from the very beginning of Isaac Asimov's compositions. Robbie is one of the cutest stories ever imagined. Jessica and I are still reading the Book of Jer3miah: Premonition, and the ninth chapter finally moves on with the development of the story; however, it feels like it is coming from all angles too quickly.

How I Cooked Thai Curry with my Mother's Advice

 This article is a segment of the journal blog of Alexander Hicken from http://mormonysa.blogspot.com/2015/02/february-8-2015.html. 

   On Wednesday, I cooked curry for the first time. I think that curry is intimidating to make because the paste looks toxic. I have been cooking for my grandparents for the past couple Wednesdays. Since they have a can of curry paste, I decided to cook curry. My mother probably gave it to my grandparents about ten years ago because it was expired almost for eight years, but it looked and smelt fine. I asked my father about it, and he said that if it was not bulging that it should be fine.
The can had a simple recipe on it, which made shopping easy. It just called for two cups of coconut milk, 300 grams of potatoes and onion, and 600 grams of chicken. I chose to purchase some red potatoes and purple onions because the curry seemed to have yellow color, and purple and yellow are opposite colors, which will make it look nice. The directions to cook it were just to boil until the chicken was cooked. I called my mother as I walked to the store, but she was not available. She called me as I cooked through, which was good, because she gave me some tips on making it taste good. She said to put about 5/6th of a cup or half of the can of the coconut milk instead of half a cup, the recipe recommendation. The broth is too thick otherwise in my mother's highly respected opinion. I just put everything in the pot, letting it boil. Tasting the broth, I thought that it was a little bland, so I added a little sugar and salt until the broth's taste became what I desired. This was according to my mother's advisement to. It turned out well. The only thing that I forgot to double check was the potatoes, but they were fine. One thing that made me happy when I cooked for grandma and grandpa is that grandma said that she should invite her friends over for a nice dinner, so I can cook for them.
 

Growing an Amaryllis with Jessica

 This article is a segment of the journal blog of Alexander Hicken from http://mormonysa.blogspot.com/2015/02/february-8-2015.html. 


 Jessica's amaryllis is finally blooming. I bought it for her for Christmas. My grandmother's amaryllis bloomed with four flowers one at a time seemingly over the time period of a week a couple weeks ago. I got a picture of each blossom. I named our amaryllis Fifa because it is Thai for the plant, yet it means light bulb. I don't really understand the word. Here is the growth of the flowers in pictures.
Fifa has gotten a disease, having red spots on it, because her soil was too moist, and I think that there is not enough ventilation of water and air. I believe that Fifa is growing slowly because she doesn't get natural sunlight. She depends on man made light from electricity.







February 8, 2015

Not that much happened this week. At work I was sent to work in the small shop of Delta Stone Products. This location is impressive. I got to witness the custom pieces of the Provo City Center Temple be cut and sanded. The Stranger in a Strange Land book became a disappointment quickly. Why would a Martian ever create a nudist church? Jessica and I decided to read the Foundation series upon the advice of Jessica's father. We are starting from the very beginning of Isaac Asimov's compositions. Robbie is one of the cutest stories ever imagined. Jessica and I are still reading the Book of Jer3miah: Premonition, and the ninth chapter finally moves on with the development of the story; however, it feels like it is coming from all angles too quickly. Jessica and I are developing a higher level of commitment and practicality to each other. Eve and Ezra are still as great as ever. We went to a dinner hosted by the Boy Scouts of America. This past week I have a curry dinner and my Valentine's Day to write about.
     The work in the small shop is hard, but it is more chill than the previous station that I worked at. I like the small shop because it is where custom pieces are prepared for the customer. Since I sat in the Provo City Center Temple seminar a couple weeks ago, I thought that it was complete, but I was wrong with to assume that. Aaron Hicken said that they will be producing product for the temple until the fall comes. I was able to sand pieces of the stone which is going to be placed in the construction of the temple. I identified where the stone for the temple is placed, and I looked at them, thinking that God must have prepared the stone and the company to provide it for his house. One artisan was having a hard time sanding a product for the temple because there was not enough water on the stone, so I took the hose and followed his lead. He greatly appreciated my help.
     Jessica and I made some steps to be more practical, deciding to unite our finances and language. The practice of finances is personal, but this knowledge should be applied early in a courtship to have greater unity and respect to each other. We decided to make Spanish our main language to speak to each other. Both of my brothers will most likely have Spanish speaking families, so I should be right with everyone and the language. I am grateful that Jessica is patient with our preparation.
     A Boy Scouts of America fund raising spaghetti dinner was Saturday night, and I was exhausted. Eve wanted to play, but I wasn't feeling it. I felt bad. Parents consecrate their lives to blessing their children's lives; therefore, I should not let feeling exhausted effect my playtime. At dinner, Eve was very sloppy, so I thought her some dining skills. I told her to try to not get sauce all over her face, and she was receptive. She took it to an extreme though, going to great lengths to not get a drop of sauce on her face. It did not look natural. I told her that she needs to do it gracefully. She asked what that means, and I said that it means to make it look natural. She thanked me for my advice.
     On Sunday, I met a cool sister at choir practice. Her name is Beth Ward. I hung out with her during Sunday School and the linger longer. At the linger longer two people that sat with us coincidentally worked with me at Delta Stone Products. It was nice to be led to make new good friends. I am trying to find good friends that I can hang out with, but it's not coming easy.

 Jessica's amaryllis is finally blooming. I bought it for her for Christmas. My grandmother's amaryllis bloomed with four flowers one at a time seemingly over the time period of a week a couple weeks ago. I got a picture of each blossom. I named our amaryllis Fifa because it is Thai for the plant, yet it means light bulb. I don't really understand the word. Here is the growth of the flowers in pictures.
Fifa has gotten a disease, having red spots on it, because her soil was too moist, and I think that there is not enough ventilation of water and air. I believe that Fifa is growing slowly because she doesn't get natural sunlight. She depends on man made light from electricity.







     On Wednesday, I cooked curry for the first time. I think that curry is intimidating to make because the paste looks toxic. I have been cooking for my grandparents for the past couple Wednesdays. Since they have a can of curry paste, I decided to cook curry. My mother probably gave it to my grandparents about ten years ago because it was expired almost for eight years, but it looked and smelt fine. I asked my father about it, and he said that if it was not bulging that it should be fine.
The can had a simple recipe on it, which made shopping easy. It just called for two cups of coconut milk, 300 grams of potatoes and onion, and 600 grams of chicken. I chose to purchase some red potatoes and purple onions because the curry seemed to have yellow color, and purple and yellow are opposite colors, which will make it look nice. The directions to cook it were just to boil until the chicken was cooked. I called my mother as I walked to the store, but she was not available. She called me as I cooked through, which was good, because she gave me some tips on making it taste good. She said to put about 5/6th of a cup or half of the can of the coconut milk instead of half a cup, the recipe recommendation. The broth is too thick otherwise in my mother's highly respected opinion. I just put everything in the pot, letting it boil. Tasting the broth, I thought that it was a little bland, so I added a little sugar and salt until the broth's taste became what I desired. This was according to my mother's advisement to. It turned out well. The only thing that I forgot to double check was the potatoes, but they were fine. One thing that made me happy when I cooked for grandma and grandpa is that grandma said that she should invite her friends over for a nice dinner, so I can cook for them.
 
     Valentine's Day was great. My Valentine was chosen months ago for the first time ever, and she knew it. I didn't have to ask. Will you be my Valentine? I was planning to go to Oregon to visit Jessica, but we decided that it was a waste of money to fly there for only slightly over one day. I don't like the idea of flying on Sunday either. The pilots and flight attendants should rest on the Sabbath. Jessica is so loving, and it was expressed wonderfully by her, creating a Valentine. She started working on it about a week and a half before the special day, and she worked on it so diligently even until the very last minute. She probably worked on it for more than forty hours. She called it her project. That effort makes my Valentine's Day glorious because of her pure display of love; although, it will arrive next week. My package was a gift. At first I only purchased a present from Etsy called a 'smitten', we need one of these badly in the fall semester because we have a habit of holding hands wherever we walk even though our hands are freezing. Smittens have a mitten fit for two hands. I also heard that Fifa started drooping on Valentine's Day morning. My heart sunk when Jessica said that she had something bad to tell me, but it was the flower, dying. Flowers are replaceable, so I had an Antonium send to her. She was surprised how I could have flowers delivered in the same day. I just called a local florist, having them deliver it. It's too bad that Fifa is going to die from a disease that we had control over. The pot that she was planted in astonished me, for it was glued to a plate, and only a few pin holes were given for ventilation of water and air. I told her that the ventilation might not be enough, but I let her learn for herself because Jessica was confident that it was fine. We Skyped late last night because her family went out to dinner, and she waited to open her gift to do so in front of me. I ran out of service for making a WiFi hot-spot with my phone last month, so this is the first time in a few weeks that we Skyped.

Friday, February 13, 2015

'so in the world of today: 13 Feb 2015' by Sam Orr

so in the world of today:
-A study found that by 2050 the US will experience a ‘mega-drought’ due to climate change.
-Over a thousand people gathered in DC to mourn the murder of three Muslim Americans.
-A majority of Americans support Obama’s proposed war on Isis.
-Ruth Bader Ginsburg admitted to being drunk during the president’s State of the Union address.
-A Turkish journalist was arrested for tweeting about corruption in the government.
-The UN threatened to sanction anyone who buys oil from Isis.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

'so in the world of today: 12 Feb 2015' by Sam Orr

so in the world of today:
-A ceasefire deal was reached in Ukraine.
-A leukemia patient in California is suing to have the state allow her a doctor assisted suicide.
-A study found that children raised by a homosexual parent or parents are more likely to suffer emotional distress than those of heterosexual parent or parents.
-An Oregon court ruled that a bakery refusing to make a gay wedding cake was guilty of discrimination.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

'So in the world of today: 10 Feb 2015' by Sam Orr

So in the world of today:
-Newsweek’s twitter account may’ve been hacked by Isis.
-Governor Jeb Bush released private information on hundreds of Florida residents to the public.
-The FEC chairperson (in charge of responsible election spending) was found to spend thousands of tax dollars in every trip.
-Obama may ask congress for permission to declare war with Isis.
-A study found that Europe’s Jewish population dropped by 1.8 million since 1960.

Monday, February 9, 2015

'Hi Beautiful' by Sister Koroitamana

Hi! How are you? How was your week?

This week we've been trying to help our Investigator Everson from Brazil to prepare for Baptism. He has a baptismal Date for this coming Saturday but he just doesn't feel ready yet. We spoke with our leaders and we felt good about having meet with President White (He is one of Presidents in our Mission who helps people resolve their concerns before being Baptized) it was a great meeting but Everson still wasn't really willing to progress:( I just felt sooo sad through out that lesson. I've been praying for him and trying to discern really what it is that Heavenly Father wants us to do to help him but he still struggles with believing that the Book of Mormon is true. He believes that part of it is true but not all of it. During that lesson with President I just felt like a Mom trying to help her child but not really knowing how. I don't know how we can help Everson but I do know that I really love him and desire his salvation. Please pray for him. How I am realizing so much now that God really is anxious to talk to us. I am learning so much about the importance of those small and simple things like reading and praying daily and how much of a blessing they can be in our lives. 

This week we had a great weekend. Our Recent Convert Eddie received the Priesthood and he has just changed and just looks and feels so much more happier now since he's been baptized. I am really proud of him and I know and can feel that Heavenly Father is as well. He was a little iffy about Baptism for a couple of months but now that he's taken that step he just looks so much happier and Brighter. The Gospel really does something to us. One Tender Mercy this week that I really wanted to share was that while we were in Downtown LA trying to talk with Everyone we met a man named David as we talked with him he mentioned that he just got out prison last September after being there for the last 20 years! He was in there since 1994! Wow! Sister Peterson and I were really just in awe and sooo happy for him. He was soooo happy to be alive and out and to be free. Wow! we introduced ourselves and straight away asked where the church was. We told him about it and told him about the Book of Mormon. He said that he would like to read one. He promised that he would read if he could get one. (Normally we didn't really carry extra copies of Books of Mormon with us besides the one that we normally use but that day as we were about to leave our car I felt the Holy Ghost tell me to pack an extra one just in case) I was sooo glad I did because we weren't close to the car and David was sooo grateful to have it. We called him the day after and he committed to read it. We also met another cute couple in their 70's while in Downtown! There names were Aaron and Sharon.As we spoke with them and introduced ourselves they immediately recognized us as "Mormon Missionaries" then they said that they'd been telling themselves and thinking that they should become a Mormon and convert. They have had such a great experience with Members in their lives and they really just want that :) Sister Peterson and I were just all smiles as we listened to them express their love for the Mormons in their lives that they knew. They are going to start meeting with Missionaries in their area. 

Also this week we had a mini Missionary with us:) It was sooo Fun! Her name was Sister Dawn Frost she's Samoan and soo cute! She loved being with us and is currently waiting to finish her papers and receive her call. Reminds me of me when I went on my Mini Mission.

I Love you!!!

Sister Koroitamana

'So in the world of today: 9 Feb 2015' by Sam Orr

So in the world of today:
-North Korea says it has new ‘cutting edge’ misses
-Bagdad’s curfew was lifted. Lots of people died.
-Obama asked Germany to give the NSA the ‘benefit of the doubt’.
-Boko Harem abducted 30.
-France and Morocco vowed to fight terror together.

Friday, February 6, 2015

'Some of my Feelings About Jesus and the First Amendment' by Sam Orr

     So recently in the world Isis and other Islamist extremists like Al Qaeda and Boko Harem have dominated the headlines, and they’ve done so by almost being your stereotypical mustache twirling villains. Honestly they couldn’t be any less subtle about being evil if they got someone with a stereo to follow them around and play the imperial march everywhere they went. On the one hand it’s refreshing when the enemy is so clear-cut and obvious. But on the other hand this means that some people have had a tendency to clump everyone with the same ideology together in one camp.
     Now as silly as this may sound, some have been taking it seriously. Some have even been calling for war. Not war with a specific nation, or with extremism, but war with Islam itself.  Ridiculous isn’t it? Islam is a religion that teaches charity, virtue, love faith and good works, but few alleged Muslims go bananas and suddenly the world religion is evil. I think you’ll agree with me when I say a good Christian should not want war with good Muslims, but rather want to live in harmony with them.
     Now where am I going with this you may ask? Well as it happens one of those email directed me to a YouTube page, where more of this hateful talk was being spouted. I’m sorry to say I read the comments. Really you shouldn’t read YouTube comments since there’s rarely anything there worth reading, but I did anyway. One person I noted was speaking out against the hatred in the comments and the video. Another person responded very harshly, saying in essence that the original poster was being naïve and that his/her ideas were shortsighted. The responder said that one day he/she would have to choose a side.
     The first commenter responded, and the response I feel illustrates quite clearly why I love being a Christian and an American.
“I have chosen a side. I side with the constitution of the United States which says that all men are created equal. It says that everyone ought to have the freedom to worship as they choose to worship even if they worship Allah. I also side with Jesus Christ, our Lord, who said to love our enemies forgive those who trespass against us and turn the other cheek.”
So profound was this response that when I went back to pick up this quote I found that the responder had removed their reply entirely. I know that Christ Lives, and that he loves each of us, even those of us who worship a different God, or the same God in a different way. I know he set up this land for us, so we would have the freedom to become better, perhaps even become like him.
In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, Amen.

'so in the world of today: 6 Feb 2015' by Sam Orr

so in the world of today:
-Isis is selling Iraqi children into slavery.
-Ferguson is experimenting with less-lethal guns.
-The Pope says spanking is OK as long as it’s done respectfully.
-Representative Blumenauer proposed that the government find ways to tax people by the miles they drive.
-Russia is helping the Ukrainian separatists
-Turkey refused to be at a security meeting because they didn't want to associate with the Israeli delegation.
-Some parts of Canada may soon allow doctor assisted suicides.
-China is upset about the Dali Lama attending a public event that Obama also attended.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

'so in the world of today: 5 Feb 2015' by Sam Orr

so in the world of today:
-In Cameroon Boko Harem killed at least 60 people.
-A drone got an al-Qaida leader.
-Putin may have Aspergers.
-Isis are killing kids in the most tortuous and brutal fashion.
-Obama vetoed two bills meant to bring transparency to federal spending.
-Staples bought Office Depot.
-Anthem health insurance was hacked.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

'So in the world of today (it's another big one): 3 Feb 2015' by Sam Orr

So in the world of today (it's another big one):
-Poland decided to sell Ukraine weapons.
-224 Ukrainians (both nationalists and separatists) have dies in the last 3 weeks.
-A new study found that viewing pornography literally shuts down the brains decision processing centers.
-A man in Texas was arrested for paying his property taxes in folded 1$ bills.
-The White House is cutting back on some veteran care programs.
-A Muslim family on a Delta plane was made to move to the back of the plane because of their faith.
-The Muslim brotherhood met with the state department, then declared ‘a long uncompromising jihad’.
-Students at the University of Chicago are holding a fundraiser to help a convicted terrorist.
-The NSA has new regulations. They can still spy on you, but they can’t keep the data for long.
-The UN decided that the systematic killing of 8,000 Muslims in the 90’s by Serbia wasn't really genocide.

'Small and Simple Things:)' by Sister Koroitamana

This past Saturday we had the privilege and blessing to go through the Temple with Bob Black. He is the Recent Convert from Manhattan Beach that we found a little over a year ago and helped and was baptized. He looked so happy and at Peace. As we prepared ourselves to go there my heart was sooooooo full of Gratitude and love for our Heavenly Father and Savior and this wonderful work and for leading us to find Bob and especially for the person that he is now because of the Gospel. Being there with him really just helped me to see the Eternal Perspective of everything we do here. It was really an amazing experience:) One I will cherish forever. As we all stood in the Temple with Bob and some of the members from the Manhattan Beach ward my heart was again filled with so much gratitude and love to be surrounded all in one room with all these people that I've come to love so much! I was sooo filled with Joy. I looked at Bob and saw how he was just taking everything in - it was sooo great to reflect on how the small and simple things we do everyday can really lead to great things. I am grateful the spirit led us to talk to Bob in his Garage that day that we met him. He is soooo cool I am so grateful for Temples. I really needed to go there that day. It really just helped me to feel and see the Eternal Perspective and feel really how much Heavenly Father really does love us so individually and sooo deeply. I am sooo grateful for Covenants. I don't think I ever would have really understood how wonderful covenant keeping really is if I weren't here. Something that I really loved about the Temple this time was just seeing and feeling how single minded to his Father's will our Savior was. I am so in awe and humbled to feel how much love he had for his Father and how obedient he was. I want to be like that. It reminded of this quote I had come across earlier in my Mission: "Remember thatJesus’ power came through His single-mindeddevotion to the will of the Father. He nevervaried from that which pleased His Father.11Strive to be that kind of disciple of the Fatherand the Son, and your influence will neverfade."  Elder Christofferson. I love this quote it's really helped me a lot! and really helped me to feel closer to my Heavenly Father and I've definitely seen and felt this promise ring true. 
This week my Companion and I saw lots of Miracles as well! Wow! I really love listening to and following promptings! I feel like this is something that I am learning so much here and something that I really treasure. I am learning to discern that whatever thought that comes to my mind if it is to do good than I can know with all surety that it is from God:) that is something I am constantly striving to work on and Sister Peterson has really helped me a lot with that. Each time I feel like I am getting a prompting to do something, to visit some one or to go somewhere she's always really supportive regardless of how inconvenient it may be. One such experience happened on Saturday night. We had just had dinner and we were on our way to Hollywood when suddenly and almost subtly the thought to be in a different area and talk to people there came to my mind. I told Sister Peterson about it and we both were like uh..it's a little out of the way and we didn't really have time so we prayed about it and decided that after going tot visit a less active in Hollywood we were going to straight there and talk to people there. We did just that and when we got to the less active Sisters home in Hollywood we called her and told her we were outside and she somehow had forgotten that we were suppose to meet that night hence she wasn't really ready for a visit.We rescheduled with her and straight away went to the place we felt we prompted to go to. As we went there we only had about 30 minutes left for the night so we said a prayer and went about sharing the Gospel. As we got there I personally said a prayer in my heart and just told Heavenly Father that I trusted him and that this is us trying to follow this prompting/good thought. As we  continued to talk with people time almost soo fast caught up with us and before we knew it it was almost time to go home. Right as we were waiting at the light to cross and get to our car. I felt prompted to talk with at least more person while we were still waiting at the light so I turned around and found the person that looked like we could talk to.As we talked with him we learned that his name was Brandon and he looked happy but also a little surprised that we were talking with him. We talked with him and testified to him that we weren't really sure where we should go that night but we felt that we should be there and we knew that God led us there that night for a reason. He looked at us then expressed that a couple of weeks ago he had come across a lady that had told him a little about the Savior coming again and upon hearing that he felt scared because of all the things that were written in scripture that would happen. He expressed that since then that has been on his mind and he has been feeling such a need to go to church but didn't really have any that he was going to. My heart felt so comforted as he said these things and I could just feel so deeply that Heavenly Father loves him so much and that he led us there so that we could help Brandon. We had a great little lesson with him that night and testified to him that we knew God had sent us there to find him. He agreed to come to church and to meet with us again. I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost and for our Heavenly Father and Savior. I am so grateful to know that Our Heavenly Father loves each of his children and knows what it is that they need and as we listen to the subtle whisperings of the Holy Ghost, miracles happen.

I Love you!!! Keep Following your promptings!
Love,

Sister Koroitamana:)

Monday, February 2, 2015

'So in the world of today: February 2, 2015' by Sam Orr

So in the world of today:
-Egypt approved the death penalty for 183 people.
-A 93 year old Nazi is being tried for his involvement in the Holocaust.
-The center for immigration studies found that the Obama administration has given out several million work permits to illegal immigrants since 2009.
-Obama announced that blocking his immigration actions may threaten national security.
-United steel workers are striking for more money.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

January 25, 2015

     The evening after I got the word that I was not chosen for the internship position with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I informed Aaron Hicken, the General Manager of Delta Stone Products and my father's cousin, that I will be staying here in Heber. It took me a while to get to word to come in for work, but I finally did on Friday. Eve and Ezra have finally come to play. I think that my grandparents were waiting until they knew that I was staying before letting them come. Thursday was a big day for me. Today is now Friday, the thirtieth of January. I just finished my first week of work. I have not actually started my internship yet. Work is just like what I did in the summer. I like production work because it lets me think a lot. Things that I thought of this past week were starting my career now, a weekly exciting schedule for the Mormon YSA Blog Spot Writer's Support Group, and an invention. Jessica and I have been reading the Book of Jer3miah: Premonition, but it has been disappointing. We are currently looking for another book to read. I have consulted John Reed, an old friend, and he offered many great suggestions. I was placed in a new station at Delta Stone Products because a coworker speaks English. I couldn't understand him today, when he explained our new product. It inspires me to write about one concept that I introduced in the last journal entry. That is assumption and communication. I have a lot of inspiring thoughts, but I am not always inspired. I am full of errors like everyone else.
     Aaron said that he was going to call me a couple days in a row, but he has been too busy that he never got back to me. On Thursday the twenty second, I decided to go on a run to visit Delta Stone Products and a local architect. I also tried to visit some friends around town, but they were all not available. The architect was not out of town, and I was surprised that Aaron Hicken was in his office when I visited. He is rarely there. Aaron said that he has been installing new equipment, which should have been working a month ago, forcing him to work sixteen to seventeen hours a day. We caught up a little bit, and he said that he was going to call me that night at 10. When he was not calling again, I texted his number. We arranged that I call him the next day after two in the afternoon, and I had to call him three times to get to him. He basically told me to come to work on Monday, and we will start figuring out learning opportunities for my internship after the first week because the equipment's installation will be finished.
     I worked at Delta Stone Products last Summer, but I was placed in a different station for the first week. We took raw stone and cut it down to a shape in which the veneer would be sawed off.
     The work has been going very smoothly; although, the machines break a lot. A hydraulic tube exploded. The teeth of the pressure stone cutting machine break all the time, and the thing connecting the motor to the conveyor belt broke yesterday. The machine was probably down for at least two hours this week. I saw my coworker write that the hydraulic tube broke three times in the  past three weeks. It is pretty chill. I was out in that station because that coworker speaks English, but since he goes home during lunch, we don't chat much; plus, it is too loud to talk during work.
     I would like to talk about a communication principle that I have introduced in the last journal entry. It is assumption and communication. We were palletizing a new product in a complex way. He assumed that I understood his explanation, but I didn't understand what he said. It came to a point that he realized that he needed to clarify what the operation is. I felt like I was having a conversation like Nephi with the Holy Ghost because he asked me if I know what is going on, and I said that I knew that it had to do with a combination of rocks. I can't recall the conversation, but it reminded me of Nephi's vision. He said that I needed to work faster, and I looked like I didn't want to work. I just didn't know what is going on. He made a lot of assumptions, and communication would solve many problems. One main concept about assumption and communication that I thought of currently is assuming agreement. This can be seen in relationships. I have heard people say at school that if a couple has been dating and they kiss. They assume that they are dating, but I can see how that can get people in trouble. I never heard of a DTR conversation (Determine The Relationship) before I went to BYUI, but I felt communicating whether the friendship is a steady dating relationship is important before I went to my university. Another way that couples can assume agreement is when one party says something, but the other individual doesn't feel that the individual can express their disagreement and view like my work situation. My parent's situation is like this. I have learned that this communication skills is important to relationship because of them. It is annoying to date girls that don't put their input, and they want you to basically run the show. My mother feels free to express her ideas, but my father doesn't always agree, not feeling comfortable enough to express himself. She does things assuming their agreement. My immediate family is not very conscious nor united because both my father and brother feel stuck. My mother can make things very miserable because the parental communication lacks proper humility. I always check my relationship with Jessica for agreement, and I am so grateful for the humble communication that we have.
     I have a lot of time to think at work. This is one reason that I like production work. I thought of how I can start my career. I want to design completely self sufficient buildings that produce and retain water and electricity. There are a lot of places hurting for water. If I design a fruitful product that can do these things, I can save many people's lives, raising the living standards greatly. I was thinking of making places of refuge for troubled nations making off grid cities and restoring wasteland.
     I also thought of a fun routine, seeking the success of the Mormon YSA Blog Spot Writer's Support Group. This is how it goes: Follow Up Monday, Question Tuesday, Recent Post Wednesday, Introduce Yourself Thursday, and Feedback Friday. I like how I thought of clever rhymes. The group has been active.
     Jessica and I have been reading Book of Jer3miah: Premonition. It is a conspiracy novel published by the Deseret Book Company. Jessica and I put our opinions together, thinking that it is unnecessary intense. The background characters are idiots. The situations are unrealistic. Finally, the story progresses to slow. I am a straight forward person. This book is not successful because it is not designed to be successful. In the last chapter that I read Jeremiah's bishop coincidentally was sitting next to Jeremiah at the airport after a funeral on his way home. The bishop coincidentally served with Jeremiah's father on a mission, and his wife gave the bishop clothing and food by chance that he runs into Jeremiah in the airport. Luggage is costly at an airport. People don't just walk around with extra stuff by the chance that they may run into someone in the airport. I am a blunt person sometimes. If you want my opinion, I will give it to you, holding back nothing. I am not going to act as though everything is great. There is always room for improvement.
    When Jessica and I decided to look for another book to read, I knew the right person to ask. His name is John Reed. I remembered that he was reading the Dune series in high school. Jessica and I were looking for a science fiction book, so this is what I have for you.
     "Hi John Reed, Didn't you read the Dune series? How good is the story and science fiction?"
     "The story is very good it lightly touched on science it is More about human nature"
     "Oh. Do you know any good science fiction books with a good story too?"
     "Dune is only read yearly list"
     "What do you mean?"
     "I read it once a year minimum. Starship troopers"
     "Do you have other books that you read yearly?"
     "Die the fire by am sterling and his emberverce series"
     "Hmm I will check them out. How have you been? ... Isn't Dune post-apocalyptic too?"
     "And Empire and hidden empire by Orson Scot card. Dune is future."
    "Do you know any science fiction that blows the readers mind?"
     "Atlas shrugged by Ayn Rand"
     "How bad does the romance get? Have you read it?"
     "So first of it band in all communist country's. It is on the heavy side moderate.
     "Does it describe sex scenes and suggestive themes?"
     "I would recommend it to a high school senior. But it does describe them but not graphically."
     "How often and long are these scenes?"
     "Twice and not very long. But the book helped shape American mind set"
     "Hmmm. That one is tempting. Do you know any other good science fiction books like Atlas Shrugged? I am going to read it with my girlfriend, and I would like other options. I would rather not deal with sex scenes."
     "Stranger in a strange land"
     "This one sounds good. Thanks."
     Eve and Ezra visit often mainly on the weekends. We sometimes have a hard time thinking of things to do because it is cold outside, but we have fun. We were wrestling last night. Eve and I are thinking of producing another video. We are thinking of making short film about what may have happened after the Monsters Inc discovery that harvesting the energy for children's laughter is a lot more productive than their fear and screaming. I talk to Jessica every morning and night, and she enjoyed hearing the rough housing and fun that we were having.
     Eve and I were able to have a good discussion about modesty after she visited with a new outfit and boots. The conversation was good. She asked me to clarify the words that I were saying like self-esteem and chastity. I told her that how you respect your body with what you wear tells people about you, and you will attract people into your life that may be a blessing or a curse. The way that you treat yourself will indicate how people will and can treat you. If you treat yourself well, the people around you will most likely treat you much greater. If you treat yourself badly, the people around you will most likely treat you much worse. For, you will receive the love that you think that you deserve, but it must first be reflected in the individual's behavior. You do not want to attract bad situations and people into your life. The way that you show yourself to the world is a display of your self-esteem; confidence, respect, and love in yourself; and integrity. People can tell, without getting to know you, the behaviors that you will most likely have. It is a reflection of your character. It tells people that you either worship God or the world. If you are weak to the ways of the world, you will most likely fall into it. If you are strong in the ways of God, you will most likely come as close to him as possible. I will post a picture of her outfit, for I took it for Eve to hear the opinion of others. This outfit says that she is weak to the ways of the world. Many people would say that it is cute, but the shirt without the undershirt is inappropriate. I would say. If you do not feel comfortable with wearing the shirt without an undershirt, you should not consider wearing it. This depicts a weakness to the world. Girls should not be dressed up with sexy outfits with undershirts, saying that the clothing makes them 'cute'. They do not need to externalize their beauty to how they look. Their beauty should not depend on their clothing, skin, hair, face, make up or anything external, but these external things should magnify their self-esteem; confidence, respect, and love in yourself; and integrity. These outfits are simple; not gaudy too tight or loose. I particularly don't like fabrics that are too soft. If you dress you girls up in sexy outfits but say that it is cute, it shows the girl how to sexy. Girls should not have to feel sexy to feel happy and accepted. If I seek to date sexy girls, there is a vanity in it. I didn't want to say that sexy people are vain, but it is what their external display tells me. Their personalities are weak in some kind of confidence. I told my grandma and my mother about my conversation with Eve, and they both said that her outfits are immodest. Her immediate response was shocked, when I told Eve their opinions which I agreed with, saying that she may not come visit me again, not feeling accepted by anyone in the house, but after a while she understood our love for her.