Elysha's World

Elysha's World

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Great and Terrible Soul Surfer!

Today I had a unique experience. I was doing some service when I noticed a pregnant woman with one arm. We were both participating in the same activity, and she had a friend with her, so I didn’t think much of it. Later during one of our activities, I had finished early and was just looking around. The one armed lady had her friend helping her, but because she was helping, her own project was not getting done. I walked over and asked if she would like some help, so her friend could finish what she was supposed to be doing. They both looked really relieved, and I was happy to be of assistance. The rest of the day I thought of this woman. I thought about the trials she'd had before in her life, and the trials she was about to have. She was beautiful. She was maybe in her 30’s, short, dark hair, married, and humble. I thought a lot of what words I would use to describe her. I think it’s fascinating the words we use to describe people. It all depends on the type of picture we want to paint. 

There is a book series that I absolutely love! It’s called “The Great and Terrible” by Chris Stewart. I accidentally fell upon this book series about 3 years ago while working at a different University. I had a similar job and got to listen to books on CD every day. I went to the library and picked out a book that looked good, and started reading it. I’m not really an avid reader, in fact, this was the last series I read, and by that I mean I was tired of waiting for the CD’s that were checked out to come back to the library, so I got the books and sat down and read them!  

Someone once mentioned to me a very profound thought. They said, “When God is talking to his angels, and your name comes up, what words does he use to describe you?” It really made me think. I hoped it was good. Maybe something like, “She’s a little all over the place, but she’s a great listener” or “She’s not perfect, but she tries her best.”

So in the first book of The Great and Terrible series called “Prologue: The Brothers” There is a paragraph where the Lord does just that. He comes to visit a particular family, and starts talking with one of the brothers, Ammon, about his sister Elizabeth. She’s not around, but she’s a painter. Here’s a bit of the conversation that ensues:

Jehovah walked to the small painting and picked it up, examining it proudly. “I’m so pleased with her,” he said, his voice full of pride. “She has worked so hard. And she is getting very good.” He shot a knowing look to Ammon. “Can I tell you something about her?” He asked him as he smiled.
Ammon nodded anxiously.

“When Elizabeth first started painting, it was very difficult for her. But look at this now. Isn’t it wonderful! Isn’t it great how she does that: sets her mind to something, decides she’s going to develop a talent, then works patiently, not embarrassed by her efforts, even if she starts out a little behind. When it comes to talents, I wish all of Father’s children could be just a little more like Beth: not afraid of failing, not embarrassed for their weakness, not so prideful in their efforts to improve.”

Ammon nodded agreement. Jehovah admired the painting for several minutes, turning it in various directions to catch the different shades of light. “It’s wonderful!” he said finally. “I’ve got to tell her how pleased I am” ( Stewart 108).

If you’re looking for a wonderful book to read, this series will change the way you look at life. 

Meeting this one armed lady today also made me think of the movie “Soul Surfer.” It’s a story about a girl who loves surfing, and one day gets bit by a shark while out in the water. I was really moved and touched by this true story, and my heart goes out to her. I’m impressed that she keeps going and doing what she loves. 

Many of us are “handicapped” in some way. Most people it’s in a way that no one can see. It’s easy to see someone who is struggling with a physical disability and know when and how to help them. Most of my friends who are handicapped are very humble, and love it when people offer to help at the appropriate time. They do all they can do, and when they’ve come to a point that they can’t keep going they ask for help. I think everyone needs to be more like this. I do anyway. When I feel like I’m sinking, I usually just keep swimming and hope I make it to dry land. It would be so much easier to tread water while you call for the lifeboat that is paddling right beside you.  This is all Christ asks us to do. To do our best, to do all that we can do, and he’ll do the rest. 

I’m so grateful for all of the blessings in my life, especially for my friends and family that help me all the time.  I’m grateful for a functioning body that works correctly, and for the opportunity people give me to help and learn from them. 

Works Cited:
Stewart, Chris. Prologue: The Brothers. Salt Lake City 2003. Print.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Don't You Worry Child - See Heaven's Got A Plan For You!

There are certain things that “speak” to each of us. One of the things that moves me is music. I think that’s the way the Lord communicates with me the most.  That’s probably because I always have the radio or something else on. I think that was one of the hardest things about being on an LDS mission. I could no long sit down and watch movies at any point in the day to relax, and I wasn’t constantly plugged into my IPod.

 Around this time, two years ago, I was serving a mission for my church in Taiwan, and I started to get sick. It started out small, with leg cramps aka Charlie Horses every couple of nights. They were so bad that they’d wake me up, and I’d have to walk around our small apartment to get them to stop. After a few more months they were happening every night. On top of that I started having nightmares. I would wake up in the middle of the night terrified and wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep. I figured there was no reason for my companion and I to both be awake, so I would sit up against the wall and pray and think until I felt better. I had many lonely sleepless nights. While all that was going on, my stomach started to hurt. It didn’t seem to matter what I ate, at some point, my stomach would start to hurt, and I would feel nauseous. The only way I would start to feel better was if I could lie down, curl into the fetal position, and if possible sleep it off.

Click this link to read in more detail about what kind of pain I was having: Gallbladder Pain

I started having a few other symptoms, and after a week of non-stop fevers, and a few doctors’ visits, we decided it would be best for me to come home and try to figure out what was wrong with me. I came home 6 months early, and had complete culture shock. I had 24 hours’ notice that I was flying home, and didn’t have enough time to figure out all of my emotions connected with coming home, or say goodbye. I didn’t want to leave Taiwan and all of the wonderful people I’d met there. I didn’t know if I would be able to speak English correctly, now that I’d FINALLY picked up Mandarin Chinese well enough to not have someone translating it for me. However, whether I liked it or not, I was home, and I didn’t feel well.

I spent the first two months at home on my couch watching movies. I didn’t want to go outside, I didn’t want to see anyone, I was afraid to eat because I knew my stomach would start to hurt. I didn’t know what people thought of me, and while I craved love and attention from my friends, very few of them had served a mission, and so they didn’t quite understand what I was feeling. My mom was my angel! She would give me projects to do, and helped me make a T-shirt quilt with all my old high school T-shirts on it. 

 During this time there was a song that played frequently on the radio. I didn’t know the name of it, but it was catchy and I liked it. I thought that the chorus said, “Sierra has a plan for you.” So I always thought maybe the Pussy Cat dolls had become this non-profit organization that helped kids in Africa, and some other artist had written a song about them. Ha ha, What did I know? I hadn’t known what was going on in the media for the past year. 

One day I decided to look up the lyrics to this song. I’d had a rough day, and I had had another day of no energy and my stomach hurting. I looked up the lyrics, and then I started to cry. 

"Don't You Worry Child"
(feat. John Martin)

There was a time
I used to look into my father's eyes.
In a happy home
I was a king, I had a golden throne.
Those days are gone,
Now the memory's on the wall.
I hear the songs
From the places where I was born.

Upon a hill across a blue lake,
That's where I had my first heartbreak.
I still remember how it all changed.

My father said,
"Don't you worry, don't you worry, child.
See heaven's got a plan for you.
Don't you worry, don't you worry now."

"Don't you worry, don't you worry, child.
See heaven's got a plan for you.
Don't you worry, don't you worry now."

There was a time
I met a girl of a different kind.
We ruled the world,
I thought I'd never lose her out of sight.
We were so young,
I think of her now and then.
I still hear the songs
Reminding me of a friend.

Upon a hill across a blue lake,
That's where I had my first heartbreak.
I still remember how it all changed.

My father said,
"Don't you worry, don't you worry, child.
See heaven's got a plan for you.
Don't you worry, don't you worry now."

Oh, oh, oh!
Oh, oh, oh!

See heaven's got a plan for you
[Live version repetitions:]
See heaven's got a plan for you
See heaven's got a plan for you

"Don't you worry, don't you worry, child.
See heaven's got a plan for you.
Don't you worry, don't you worry now."

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh! [3x]

The part that really got me was the chorus. “Don’t you worry, don’t you worry, child. See heaven’s got a plan for you.” I was worried. I was scared. I felt alone. I felt upset at myself for not being able to complete my mission. I felt confused. I felt depressed. I couldn’t see the silver lining; I didn’t see how this would benefit me in the end. 

I realized really fast that I wasn’t alone in what I was feeling. 3 of my friends, including one of my old roommates had also come home. Two of them had similar symptoms to mine, and one with a different problem. I spent a lot of time talking to them, and I’m glad the Lord put them in my life. It was during this time that I realized that if I went through this really hard experience, that there were probably other people in the middle of the same experience, and maybe my story could help them feel not so alone. 

I kept going to the doctors and getting different tests done to try and figure out what was wrong with me. By this time I knew that I was supposed to be home, and that the Lord really did have a different plan for me, than I had for myself. There were so many tender mercies that happened, that I can’t deny it! Some people started thinking that it was all in my head, and that I was in fact crazy. Sometimes I felt crazy because I’d be fine for a little while, and then I would be in so much pain I’d have to sit down. 

I was at a bunko party with my mom and her friends one night, when I had a sharp pain in my back. It felt like I had a sore muscle/ knot in my back, but it couldn’t be rubbed out and was very painful to touch. It was by my shoulder blade. I mentioned this to my mom, and then we ate dinner and played the game. During the game, one of the ladies randomly started talking to my mom about how her dad last week was in severe pain for no reason. They took him to the hospital and found out it was his gallbladder and he had surgery the next day. My mom is a nurse, and the light bulb instantly went off in her brain, and she was pretty sure she knew what was wrong with me!

The next few weeks were filled with tests which all turned out to tell us nothing. They said all the tests showed that I was perfectly healthy. So we took our own tests. I went to a ward activity and had chicken cordon blue with sour cream, buttered rolls, cheese, mashed potatoes, and cheese cake. I went home and got ready for bed. About 1 in the morning the pain started. It hurt so bad that I had to go up to my mom’s room and she rubbed my back while I cried. Eating all those fatty foods, helped us figure out what was wrong with me. We also discovered it wasn’t my stomach that hurt, but a place right at the bottom of my ribs, right in the middle. This is where the gallbladder is.  

We went to the doctors the next day, and he felt around to see if it still hurt. When he pushed right there, I almost threw up it hurt so bad. So we scheduled an appointment the next day, and I went in and had my surgery. The doctor told me that it would probably be a healthy pink color, but we figured that if we took it out, and I was still in pain, at least we’d know that that wasn’t the problem. When the doctor came out of surgery he told my mom that we had been right. Everyone in the operating room was surprised when they pulled it out, because it did not look like the gallbladder of a healthy 22 year old. It was scarred and a different color. No wonder I had been in so much pain! 

It took me a few weeks to bounce back from my surgery. I felt a lot better after that, and tried to figure out what to do with my life. I graduated from college before my mission, and so I decided it was time for me to get a job. I was very blessed to have no repercussions from my surgery. A few weeks right after there were certain things like spicy food I couldn’t eat. But after a few weeks that went away, and I can eat whatever I want now! 

Now that I’ve gone through this experience I’m glad that I’ve had it, and I’ve learned a lot. Would I want to do it again? No. I don’t even want other people to go through it, but I know that they probably will. It helps to know that you’re not alone through the hard times. Even if it seems like you are, the Lord is always there; although, it’s nice to have someone here to talk to, or to give you a big hug every once in a while.  You’re not alone!

I also really like this version of “Don’t You Worry” byAnthem Lights. The reason I like this version as well as the original version, is because in the middle of this song they add the words. “You are loved. No mistake. You are perfectly made.” 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

MLIA: My Life Is Average

A few years ago I was obsessed with this website called MLIA.com Basically people would write down average things that would happen to them in their everyday life, and then post about it. I have a few favorites that I still tell to people, but here are some good ones I just found. 

Today me and my sister went to Olive Garden we asked them "Can you direct us to your garden of olives?" The look they gave us was priceless. MLIA

Today, I realised vollyball is just a more intense version of "Don't let the balloon touch the floor" MLIA 

Today, my AP Calculus class was having a test on graphing functions. Thirteen minutes into the test a kid shouted out, "Holy shift! Look at the asymptote on that mother function." This earned the kid extra credit and the math department now has new t-shirts. MLIA

today, my sister and i were walking home when we notice two black guys waking toward us. instead of passing each other, the two guys seperated and allowed us to walk in between them. as we passed i heard one of them say "yes! another oreo!" the other responded with "double stuffed!" MLIA.

I abbreviated my name like J. Lo, and it didn't work so well for me. E. Re. MLIA

Anyway, you get the idea. It’s a funny website, and a great way to waste time when you’re not wanting to study for your next test at school.  So, today I had a pretty average day, and I thought I’d write a post about it.

It all started when I went to work. I was a little late because I didn’t get up to my alarm. Then I had 3 really hard transcripts. They took me all day, and even my boss wasn’t sure what to do with them. After work I decided I should go get something to eat for lunch. I tried to think of someone I could invite to go with me, but I decided I’d just go get take-out instead of eating at a table by myself. I’ve never done that actually. I’d rather sit in my car and eat instead of sitting in a restaurant and eating by myself. So I followed the signs and ended up at Noodles And Company. 

I went inside and ordered some delicious looking food. Then I sat down. I pulled out my phone and started a playing a game, so I’d look distracted and wouldn’t have to talk to anyone. I wanted to talk to people, but the only one available was the older looking gentleman sitting next to me. So instead I just pretended to be busy. Nevertheless a man came walking in and ordered food as well. I He was just standing there, and there was plenty of room to sit down, so I just kept my thoughts to myself. After a few minutes he came over to me, and asked if he could sit by me. I asked him if he’d ever played the game I was playing on my phone. He said no. He worked at the Best Buy across the street and came over for lunch. 

He had a nice looking fohawk, and gages in his ears. He seemed really nice. I explained to him that I recently ventured into a Best Buy for the first time, but the whole time I was in there, I could only think of the TV show Chuck.

 I was sure there were secret agents everywhere. Then he confessed something to me: He was in fact a spy! Yeah, it was a good few minutes. Then my food came. Instead of asking him if he wanted to eat lunch together I said, “Nice to meet you. Bye.” Then I stood up and walked out to my car. I drove home and ate lunch by myself.

Later tonight while driving home I almost hit a deer and almost got hit by two other dear. Oh dear!
What can I say… MLIA

Also I love Lunch. I sing this song everyday! Improv Everywhere! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dating Explained Through Musicals In 15 Steps

Dating! It's something that is often on the mind of single people. 

The first song I thought of when starting to write this post was the song "This Is My Idea" From The Swan Princess. It's a long amazing song, that pretty much sums up dating in about 7 minutes. But what fun would that be if you learn everything there is to know about dating and arranged marriages in 7 minutes.

I've been thinking about doing this for a few weeks now. I'm sure there are many other combinations and a million other songs to choose from, but for those of you who are musically or dating challenged, I'll spell it out for you. I tried to use a video clips from many different musicals, and I tried to use some from the less well known plays.

 I'll use these video clips from musicals to explain dating to you :)

1. How Lovely To Be A Woman - Bye Bye Birdie

I especially like how when she's finally 16, she's excited to get out there and start dating! She's excited to put on make-up, dress up, and go dancing!

2. Bless Your Beautiful Hide - Seven Brides For Seven Brothers
Guys are always on the look out too. They're looking for a bride.

3. You Are 16 Going on 17 - The Sound of Music
This encompasses how young love makes young children make promises to each other, that they probably won't actually keep. It's a classic song! They have a romantic encounter after they sneak away from the house. The boy is trying to show how manly he is, and that he can take care of the girl.

 4. I Can See Him Now - Calvin Berger
I've sang this song to myself many times. Where is he? According to this song, he was wondering the same thing too. 

5. Take a Chance On Me - Little Women
In order to go on a date with someone, you have to get to know them first. A little talking and dancing always helps. When you go on a date with someone, you're taking a chance, a risk, a gamble on that person. You've got one shot, so you better make it a good one!

6. First Date Last Night - Dog Fight
Okay So this is one of my favorite songs! This is what both the guy and girl are both thinking on the first date. "Don't know why I decided to come." I love the lyrics. Why do we go on some dates? There are awkward pauses...the struggle is real.

7. How I Am - Little Women

I feel like this song perfectly shows how guys and girls feel when they like someone. They get all tongue tied. They know all of the things they'd like to say, but they don't know how to actually say it to the other person.

8. One Boy - Bye Bye Birdie
So eventually you get though all of the awkward first dates, and you find someone to "go steady" with. You have to make a decision, and then there are many more dates and fun experiences to come.

9. Who Do You Love - Annie Get Your Gun
You go out and have fun! Sometimes one person, or the other person gets a little jealous, but you learn to work those things out. But you are never quite sure if they actually really really like you, or if they Love you.

10. All Er Nothin - Oklahoma
Usually eventually there is trouble in paradise. The happy couple goes through a little rough patch. The guy might get jealous, or the girl needs to be more understanding.

11. Hey #1 - Next To Normal
They get in a fight and someone thinks about ending the relationship. But I'll let you know what they're really thinking. Couples usually get in fights about something small, but then it's blown out of proportion. This happens, because someone probably has something deeper going on inside, that's not actually related to what's going on.

12. Safer - First Date
This song beautifully shows us that the problem isn't with the guys she's dating. She's FREAKING OUT! It's something that she has to deal with and make a decision on. She can move past it and keep dating, or she can run away.

13. Agony - Into The Woods

Once they have some alone time to think and say what it is that they really mean, the reason they're together usually becomes more clear. At this point they're ready to come back together with new resolve!

14. Small Umbrella - Little Women
After all of they've been through together, they finally figure it all out. They find common ground and everything works out.

15. I'll Cover You - Rent
This is such a beautiful song. It has such great imagery. You learn to be there for each other. The End. They will live happily ever after.

Now you know all there is to know about dating. See, musicals can teach you a lot more than you thought they could! Hopefully if everything goes well you and your partner will end up across the alter. Although, just so you're aware....girls are kind of crazy....and you want to make sure everyone is 100% wanting to take the next step. If not, this bonus video could happen to you.

16. Not Getting Married - Company