Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday talk

Last week, they asked me to speak in sacrament meeting. It's the first time Derek or I have spoke in the new ward and any speaking assignment makes me nervous. And I had to teach the sunday school lesson today. It was my turn. But I think everything went well. And Derek said I did a good job and I got a few compliments. They might have been saying it because they felt they had too, but I'm ok with that. Not the best talk I've given, but still good.

There are some improvisation that I made while speaking, so those aren't in here, but this is the general idea.

Applying the Words of the Prophets in Our Own Lives

I’d first like to start out with a scripture: D&C 21:4-5. (4 Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me; 5 For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.)
Our prophets are a direct link to God. He speaks to us through them. We give heed unto his words, because they are the words of the Lord given to us. Also in Amos 3:7 it says: Surely the Lord God will do nothing, abut he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

Derek and I teach Sunday School for the youth and a few weeks ago we had a lesson on Amos. And something interesting that was pointed out in the manual is the Joseph Smith Translation, as it changes the word “but” to “until”. Listen again to it (read again with word changes) It gives the verse a whole new meaning. It’s also an example of taking the Prophets words and applying them. I think one thing we can take from that scripture is that God tells his Prophets of what’s to come and to have them relay that message to us, in ancient times and now in Latter-Days. He gives us warnings and hope and faith and comfort through those appointed men. And they tell us, through General Conference, through the Friend, the Ensign, and the New Era, and many other ways as well. It’s up to us to apply the things he tells us. Which is faith. And as we know in James 2:20 it says 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Applying the words of the Prophets in our lives is the work we have to do to make the faith alive.

Sometimes it’s hard to follow the counsel given to us. In Early Lessons on Following the Prophet by Guy L. Dorius from the April 2001 Ensign it says: The cares of the world are very real to those who accept the message of a living prophet. Prophetic teachings often run counter to the popular notions and ideas of the day. It’s sometimes a challenge and a risk to go against the views of the world. Things can very easily disguised as something that’s “not that bad” when in truth it’s much more of a challenge and risk to heed the words and counsel of the Prophets. That same talk given by Guy L Dorius also says: Others found it more difficult to follow the Prophet, and their names have quickly faded from Church history. They gave heed, but only to a point, then something happened in their association with Joseph or he asked of them something they thought was beyond his purview. Their lukewarm obedience led to their separation from the kingdom of God. Many of these early members faced immense challenges, and we should be cautious not to make harsh judgments, yet the examples of these individuals who fell away from the gospel in the New York and Kirtland periods provide insights on following living prophets. We CANNOT be only “lukewarm obedient”. We have to have full trust in the Prophets and their words because those words come straight from God. We follow them to the best of our ability, whole-heartedly and without restraint! I know it is easier to do so during times like General Conference when we are immersed in their words for 2 days. And when their wonderful talks and insight are with us for some time after. But we must pursue their words and teachings always. We can do so by reading the church publications. They have a magazine for every stage in life. Childhood, youth, and adulthood. We can listen to our Bishopric, listen to our Sunday School teachers, our Seminary and Institute teachers, our Home and Visiting Teachers, our Relief Society and Elders Quorum and Young Womens and Primary Presidencies. What a lucky people we are to be able to have all these wonderful people in our lives to guide us and help show us the way. I think we can say it is rare in modern times as a people to receive such an incredible gift. They are an example of God’s love for us. To show us that he loves us and cares for us, he bring such amazing people to us.
I’ve taken some time talking about modern-day prophets and how we receive their words, but another way is through the ancient prophets in the scriptures. Sometimes it seems as you read them, it may be hard to apply their message to our latter-day lives and trials. But history repeats itself. And 1st Nephi 19:23 proves that they can help us, no matter the year or century or generation. It says: 23 And I did read many things unto them which were written in the books of Moses; but that I might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer I did read unto them that which was written by the prophet Isaiah; for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning. And to quote the talk Likening the Scriptures to Our Personal Lives in the March 2009 Ensign: An institute teacher who helped his class liken the scriptures to themselves related the following: “I wanted my students to see that even though the scriptures were written long ago, they can provide inspiration for our modern-day dilemmas. I asked them to think about a current challenge they were facing. I then assigned them to read silently a chapter in Moroni, looking for something that could help them with their challenge. After they had studied quietly for 10 minutes, I asked them to raise their hand if they found a verse that helped them. I was pleased, and I think they were amazed, to see that almost everyone had. Likening the scriptures to our personal lives leads to inspiration about the questions or concerns we encounter today. If I had the chance to ask you as a congregation the same thing today I’m positive I would see a good show of hands from you.

I know I’ve received the answers for questions from the ancient prophets in the scriptures, and through the modern prophets today. I know that I need to have the faith to apply them in my life and make them come alive through works. I know that we all do our best and that’s all that has been asked of us. I love this ward and the spirit I feel here every week. I’m grateful to be in a place I can feel that and I hope to leave the same impact on you today.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Loving this right now

As you know, I am a big fan of fashion blogs. I'm always posting about giveaways and the like and while looking for pictures for my last "Shopgirl" post I stumbled on The Glamorous Grad Student and have fallen in love! I feel like most fashion blogs I go to tell you how to dress, what's in style, what you should have, etc. And I don't want to be told. I want to figure it out for myself. She came up with this whole questionnaire about your fashion wants and inspirations. I sometimes feel like the society of the place I live in is only accepting of certain kinds of style and fashion and that has been bugging me lately. I feel like I'm dressing towards their expectation instead of my own and I want to find my own style again. Be comfortable in my own clothes and skin. Not have to conform to the ideas everyone else has. So I printed out this little questionnaire and filled it out and I'm going to post it on here. Just to have something for me to look back on to remind myself what I really want and not get sidetracked.

Part One: Wardrobe Practicalities
This section is for reflecting the unique wardrobe needs of your individual lifestyle.

* You get up in the morning and open your closet to start getting dressed. What do you want people to think about you and your style? What's the best compliment you could get?
I want to look crisp and put together. Simple, classic, but interesting and unique. Adventurous! Contrasting colors and fabrics.

* What do you feel are the problems with your style at the moment?
I feel like a frump mom most of the time. I feel like I don't have the options I want, that my style isn't fun like it used to be. I have a lot of my old clothes that don't fit or flatter my body anymore after having a baby.

* On a normal day, what sort of situations are ahead of you? Do any of them have dress codes or particular style needs? I'm a mom. I need something comfortable and wearable and washable. I'm a jeans and a t-shirt lady. I need something modest. And for sundays I want to dress up when I get the opportunity.

* What are the most versitile (most-worn) items in your closet?
Cardigans for layering. V-neck solid t-shirt. Tanktops for layering. My skinny jeans.

* What were the biggest shopping mistakes, things you barely wore or never even took the tag off. Heels! I spent $80 on these gorgeous sating Nine West heels 3 years ago and probably only wore them half a dozen times. I like the way they look on other people and how they make my legs look sexy, but I'm much more comfortable in a cute flat. Even possibly a wedge.

* Is there a dream outfit you often wish you had, when you stare into your closet in the morning? I don't have an outfit, but I'd like a few key pieces for different seasons. I want a jersey skirt for summer to wear with sandals and a t-shirt, I want boots for fall to wear with skinny jeans and cute skirts and tights, a military style long winter coat and cute sandals for spring. I think if I had a few cute pieces for everyday stuff I could work around that.

Part Two: Wardrobe Glee
This section is for exploring you feel best wearing.

* What was/is your favourite outfit ever, as in an outfit which filled you with glee, confidence and other fun things? Describe it and your feelings about it as fully as possible. My high school graduation dress. It took me forever to find! I was looking for just the right thing. It was beautiful and yellow and floral. Cute empire waist and gathered bust. Made me feel bright and sunny and confident. Wish I still had it. But even if I did I couldn't fit into it anyway.

* What was the worst outfit ever, as in an outfit you were unhappy in from the moment you put it on... As in, if wild dogs had ripped it off you and destroyed it you'd have given them a leg of ham in gratitude. So many instances in high school trying to be different and adventurous just ended up looking disastrous! But at least I tried

* What parts of your body are you happiest about and happiest showing off? I like my collarbones and my chest. Always wanted big boobs and now I have them. I also like my calves and ankles

* Are there parts of your body you'd rather not focus on? Please don't think you should hide any part of your body or be ashamed of it (because you shouldn't be!), but if there are things you don't want to highlight, that's ok to admit. My tummy and thighs I don't like. Would not like to showcase those.

* What are your feelings towards colour and pattern? I love them! Bright colors and cute patterns are so fun and make things so much more interesting.
o Which colours do you find yourself wearing day-to-day? Floral, lots of stripes. Blue & grey a lot
o Which colours fill you with glee and confidence to wear? (Is there overlap between your day-to-day and your filled-with-glee colours?) Purple, yellow, corals one of my favorites so I'd like to get more cute things in that
o Do you like patterns? If so, which ones? Love patterns! I like floral and stripes, herringbone and I like chevron, but that seems more friendly to decoration

Part Three: Wardrobe Inspiration
This section is for discovering the elements of your ideal style.

* Which famous person scores highest for style with you? Can be an actress, singer, politician, It-girl... Whoever appeals to you! Ellen Page, Audrey Hepburn, Coco Chanel, Gwen Stefani (minus all the midriffs)

* What are your favourite literary, movie and television characters, if style alone were the criteria? Mirabelle Buttersfield, Marla Singer, Betty Draper is classic

* Time and place can be so evocative. When and where would you love to live, just for the style? List up to three. 1940's London, 1960's, Maybe even a little Jane Austen time in there

* If money/shipping limitations/stupid sizing were not issues, what shops and designers would you go to for clothes? Anthropologie, J Crew, Banana Republic, Modcloth. I love forever 21 too! Anything that costs money is an issue when you don't have much of a budget to spend

I think this is a good start. I can start thinking about what I like and getting things ready and put together

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Ever since seeing it about 5 years ago, I have loved Mirabelle's style. The dresses, the brooches. Love it so much! Want it for my own? But where do I find the clothes for a good price. Here's a showcase of the style, just for you.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Another giveaway!

You guys, you know the reason I post these is so I have a better chance of winning myself. I mean who wouldn't want the awesome bag, shown here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Word Verification

I love the word verifications they give you when you post a comment on someone's blog. I just got one that said "shing". I used to put the words in quotes along with the comments I posted, but no one ever said anything. So I just stopped. Maybe they thought it was weird

Monday, September 6, 2010

Kohl's is a new love

I've only ever shopped at Kohl's maybe, once or twice before. And honestly, wasn't that impressed. But I signed up for their email newsletters and the first one they send you they basically give you $5. So I had occasion to shop! But I was pleasantly surprised by the brands, quality and styles. The accessories and shoes weren't great, but everything else was awesome! I ended up buying a beautiful Lauren Conrad cardigan.

Lately I have been in love with sequins. They're definitely not something I would normally buy, and that's mostly the appeal. I'm loving the girly details lately. Ruffles and sequins and bows and flowers. Loving it all! Almost bought a plain long sleeve grey crewneck. So glad I got this instead! Now it just needs to get cool enough to wear it.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Gundersen Reunion

(From top left: Jonah in golf cart, Aunt Betty, Jan and Shauna, Aunt Jolynn, Derek and I, Shauna and her daughter Jen, Mom and Dad, Jonah loving that golf cart, Jan. These women are like aunts to me. Not just my mom's cousins. I love them!)

Sorry guys! I'm just catching up on my picasa and updating you on the other things in my life besides fashion blogs and food and TV.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Perfect chocolate cake! And more!

We have like 6 zucchini's (not kidding) in our house right now and Derek found a recipe for a chocolate zucchini cake with cream cheese chocolate frosting. And so I needed an occasion to make it, and tonight our ward is doing the last EQ BBQ of the summer. And I have to say it is atleast the prettiest cake I have ever made. I hope the yummiest too. Haven't tasted anything because that would ruin the prettiness! See, look!

Just after frosting it

Then I added powdered sugar. It needed something extra.

I have to wait to taste it until at least 6:30 tonight. And hope it doesn't wilt in the heat because there is no room in my fridge right now! And I need to transfer it to a prettier tray. Anyone know how to do that?

On another note, Jonah had his 18 month appointment today. 7% for weight, so he went up a percent since last appointment, which is a relief! Because if he stayed as he was they were probably going to make me change his diet. 55% for his head and something like 22% for height. My pediatrician says he's tiny, but perfect! Perfect. That's always what you want to hear about your child.

P.S. Recipe for you!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010