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Monday, February 2, 2015

Church News Conference/Big Developments in Our Lives

Hello, all. Once again, life caught up with me in a big way and I haven't blogged for two weeks. But I have some time now and wanted to use it to update you all on some very interesting developments in the Church and in our lives. That said, hang on to your hats! This will be a wild ride!

First of all, on the religious front, the Church held a press conference last Tuesday to discuss their position on the seemingly unbridgeable gap between those who advocate religious freedom and those who advocate gay rights. Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve conducted the conference, and two other members of the Twelve, Elder Dallin H. Oaks and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, spoke during the press conference, along with Sister Neill F. Marriott, Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency. The purpose of the press conference was to make clear the Church's position on the issue: We publicly favor equal rights for the LGBT community as far as housing and employment are concerned, as such should not be determined by sexual orientation, though we still remain firm in our stance that marriage between a man and a woman is the only acceptable option in God's eyes, and though the court of last resort has effectively made such marriages legal in 30 states, the LDS Church should not be expected to perform or condone such marriages. I have yet to watch the press conference, but I am glad the Church has spoken out so that there is no confusion about where Latter-day Saints should stand on this issue. In my opinion, this press conference was long overdue.

That being said, I now turn my attention to less controversial subjects: an update of what has happened to us since I last posted. It has been quite an interesting two weeks. Work has progressed steadily. I have had two opportunities to review my calls and conduct with my team leader. During one of those reviews, I had no dead air time. I managed to keep the member engaged in conversation during the entire call. My team leader was so impressed by this that he gave me what the company calls a "Ticket to Rock". What that is is basically a ticket that I submitted to the front desk to be put into a drawing to win something. Work has been giving away lots of cool stuff to those who win the drawings, which take place about once a week. I received another such ticket when my entire team increased our productivity from last place on the floor to second place (there are four teams). While I haven't won anything yet, and I have no idea how long the tickets are kept in the drawing, it's a nice incentive to keep improving. Each week I am getting better and better. There are still always things I could do more effectively and efficiently, though.

Then a major development happened on Friday of last week. I was instructed to go to the front desk. There I received some paperwork and was told to bring it back by tomorrow. As I looked it over, I discovered that it was for the purpose of making me a full-fledged employee of ROI Solutions. Up until now, I had been "on loan" to the company and employed by Kelly Services. I guess I've clocked in enough time and tenure to be hired directly by ROI. I was excited about that. I believe that this means I will be paid once every two weeks instead of every week. But the checks will be more substantial that way. I just hope we can make them last the full two weeks. My greatest fear is that in having more to work with every couple of weeks we might be tempted to spend it all at once and then have nothing to work with for the remaining time before the next check. However, I don't see that as being too much of an issue.

I got in contact with Paul Hickman, my sister's father-in-law who works in the real estate industry. We set up a meeting which took place a week ago yesterday. He asked us about our budget and what we were looking for in a house. He will keep an eye out for anything that looks promising. He told us straight out, however, that with a limited budget and wanting to confine our search to a specific area (the American Fork East Stake, which is where the Lord wants us to be), it might be difficult if not impossible to find a house that would work for us. He suggested that we consider taking out a loan for whatever additional money we might need. I honestly don't know if that would be wise. We are barely making it financially as it is. But if it can get us a house sooner, it might be worth it. Another option would be to approach Amy's dad and see if he might be able and willing to give us more to work with. But Amy says that's very unlikely.

At any rate, the issue of how to pay for a house won't be an issue unless and until we find one. We found one that looked promising in my parent's ward, and Amy even made an offer on it. But sadly the offer was far below what they were asking for it, and the house was sold to someone else. We are really disappointed about that because it looked like we were very close to a solution to finding a house. But I still am optimistic that when the time is right, the Lord will reveal the house He is preparing for us. Until that time, we must be content to keep looking and praying and watching and waiting.

My dad came over later that same day to help us try to get the Blu Ray Player to play our Blu Ray disk. He got it connected to our landlord's network with the help of our landlord. But the Blu Ray player still wouldn't play the disk. We got a replacement for it and still no luck. Then Amy did some work on it, and whatever she did fixed the problem. It was wonderful to finally be able to watch "The Slipper and the Rose" on Blu Ray, which Amy had originally purchased as a birthday gift for me. Best of all, the fact that she herself was able to fix the problem helped her to stop feeling guilty about purchasing a Blu Ray disk and a Blu Ray Player that were not working.

We saw Dr. Sean Doyle, my PCP, at some point during the last two weeks. I can't remember exactly when, and we didn't have my medical folder with me for the visit, so I am going off of what I remember. He said for my low Vitamin D levels, adding a Vitamin D supplement, in addition to the supplement I am already taking that has some Vitamin D in it, should help. I have done so. As far as my high blood glucose level is concerned, he ordered a blood test, which I had done on the morning of Saturday the 24th after Physical Therapy. My blood glucose levels were still high, so he recommended a change in my diet, which I couldn't do because my diet is already restrictive enough with the Celiac Disease, and said that because of my weight, I was at a high risk for diabetes. Yet another reason for me to get serious about exercising. What will it take before I stop being stubborn and get on the ball exercise-wise? I don't know, but I need to make some changes, because I don't want to be at risk of yet another health problem. It's time I got up off my sorry rear end and did something about it.

Last Sunday was my cousin Eliza Howden's mission homecoming. It was so good to see her again. Before her mission, when she was away at school, I had many opportunities to chat with her on Facebook late into the night. I will always treasure those special conversations. It sounds like she had a very successful mission. We are so glad to have her back home and an active part of our lives again! Being at that homecoming also allowed me to reconnect with other members of her family, who are like extra aunts, uncles and cousins to me. It was especially good to see Uncle George Sturt, who has been a surrogate grandfather all my life, and with whom, in some ways, I connect with better than I had with my own natural grandfathers. He recently turned 86 and is still in excellent health, which is great news. I hope he's around for many more years to come.

Today (Sunday) was an interesting day. I had stayed up far too late last night. As a result, I was kind of out of it during Sacrament Meeting, and I barely stayed awake to fulfill my responsibilities at the library. At Amy's insistence (which I was very grateful for) she took me home and told me to get some rest. I slept for several hours and woke up feeling much improved. I have a very weird feeling in my head, however, so I hope everything's all right. I was able to enjoy the rest of my day with my beloved Amy.

That, in a nutshell, is what has been going on with us. I hope you are all doing well and that you are all still enjoying these blog posts. Until I write again, all the best!