Alma 37:6 Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Chapter 5

Wherein Asterisk and Meme keep their promise to babysit.
Asterisk: It's been a while since I've done any babysitting.
Meme: Don't worry, the kids love you, and that's the most important part.  That and changing diapers.

Asterisk: Diapers? 

Meme: Just kidding, all the girls are potty-trained. 
(Su and Meissa check out the play equipment)

Meme: Come to sister, Minnie! 
Meme: I actually babysit all the time.  All. The. Time.
Asterisk: How much do you charge?  I've heard that you can make quite a bit babysitting.

Meme: It all depends on who I'm babysitting for...and what I'm babysitting for.

Asterisk: What do you mean, "what"  you're babysitting for?

Meme: Can you grab the For the Strength of Youth booklet? It's over there, behind you.

Asterisk: Okay, okay, which section do you want me to turn to?

Meme: There should be a section on service

(Asterisk reads the section)

Asterisk: Let me see if I understand serving others, we are serving God? I always thought of 'serving' as something waitresses do...and they not only get paid, but if they're really good, they get a big tip.

Meme: I guess the 'big tip' that you get from this kind of service is found on the inside.
Asterisk: On the inside? 

Meme: You know, your spirit.  The more I serve or help others, the closer I feel to Heavenly Father.
Asterisk: This kind of serving is pretty fun.  The little girls have been so's easy to feel good about this kind of service. I'm guessing that service is not limited to easy stuff.

Meme: You got it. I've done a lot of different types of service, and my parents do even more.

Asterisk:  Like what?

Meme: My dad spent two years as a missionary in Chile.  He was just a couple of years older than us when he went.  He worked summers and weekends all through high school to earn the money to go.  He was able to pay for most of it by himself.  My mom is a seminary teacher.  She gets up at 4:30am every school day and teaches seminary to a bunch of sleepy teenagers.  She spends time every day preparing lessons...she has done this for years - all unpaid.

Asterisk: I guess my family does 'service' too. We always sign up to help at the food bank around the holidays, and my parents both donate blood whenever there is a blood drive.  That's service, isn't it?
Meme: Absolutely.  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Chapter 4

Wherein Asterisk and Meme take advantage of a little sunshine in order to do a little outdoor work.

Asterisk:  Your mom is pretty cool.

Meme:  You think so?

Asterisk:  Absolutely.  She's giving us free reign with her sewing stuff! We can make whatever we want with her fabric and even use her sewing machine.  My mom doesn't a)even own a sewing machine and b)wouldn't let anyone but herself touch it, if she did.

Meme:  You do realize that my mom's generosity comes with a price?

Asterisk:  She made it pretty clear.  Two hours of yard work and four hours of babysitting.  I don't mind.  It's not like I had anything planned for this weekend anyway.

Meme: Let's see how you feel after two hours of yard work.

Two hours later....

Asterisk:  Wow.  that was a lot of work.  I didn't know how much bending and squatting I'd have to do.  It was like a workout at the gym...but with dirty hands.

Meme:  I'm going to be feeling it tomorrow, for sure.

Asterisk:  Your mom must really love flowers.

Meme: She does, but what makes you think so?

Asterisk:  All the flower beds we just weeded!

Meme:  Oh.  They're not all flower beds.  The two big ones are for vegetables.

Asterisk:  You grow your own vegetables?  You do realize that we live in a town...not out in the country?

Meme: Yeah, we don't grow ALL of our own fact some years we hardly grow any, but my dad says that we should know HOW to grow them.
Asterisk:  Why do you need to know how to grow your own vegetables?  Isn't that what grocery stores are for?  Are your parents into "prepping" know...getting ready for doomsday or whatever?

Meme:  In a way, they are...and in a way they aren't...How far have you read in the For the Strength of Youth booklet? 

Asterisk:  I think I'm about half way through.  I just finished reading about Honesty and Integrity

Meme:  There's a section, near the end, I think, that talks about being "self reliant".  That's why my parents "practice" having a's not so much about preparing for doomsday, as it is about being, well, prepared.  Prepared for whatever life throws your way.  

Asterisk:  Self reliant.  Hmm...I like the sound of that.  But haven't I heard you talk about being "reliant" on the Lord?  I hate to say it, but that sounds sort of contradictory.

Meme:  Yeah, I may have mentioned it...because it's true.  It's also true that we should do whatever we can to help ourselves.  It's like a scripture I memorized for seminary.   "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works."(James 2:17-18)
Asterisk: So, you're telling me that you show your faith in God by doing things?  I thought we were saved by grace...not by anything we can do.

Meme: I'm studying the Book of Mormon in seminary this year...there's a scripture in it that says something like "we are saved by grace...after all we can do" (2 Nephi 25:23).  

Asterisk: I guess that makes sense.  I just wish I knew what I'm supposed to do!

Meme:  Would you like me to introduce you to the sister missionaries.  I think they might be able to answer your questions better than I can.

Asterisk: That would be cool, but I'd better ask my parents first.

Meme: Are we still on for babysitting the twins next Friday night?

Asterisk: I can't wait! After they go to bed maybe we can decide what pattern and fabric to use to make skirts.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Chapter 3

Wherein Asterisk and Meme discuss the Youth activity that they both attended the night before and Asterisk decides that her wardrobe needs a few adjustments.
Meme:  How did you like the activity last night?

Asterisk: Well...

Meme: What do you mean, "Well"?  Well, what???

Asterisk: The kids seemed pretty nice...but I did feel a little overwhelmed. There was a lot going on, and the other team was so determined to win.  I was also a little embarrassed.

Meme:  Yeah, sometimes the boys can be a little loud - and competitive.  Why were you embarrassed?

Asterisk: I didn't feel comfortable with what I was wearing.

Meme: Why?

Asterisk: During the activity I read a little more in that booklet you gave me.

Meme: The For The Strength of Youth booklet?

Asterisk: Yeah, that one. I wanted to finish up the section that talked about tattoos and stuff.

Meme: The "Dress and Appearance" section?

Asterisk: yeah.

Asterisk: Near the end of that section there's a question.  It said  "Would I feel comfortable with my appearance if I were in the Lord's presence?"...and I realized that I wouldn't.  I haven't ever given much thought to modesty before...I have always picked out clothes based on how cute I think I look in them. There were some pretty specific instructions? guidelines? suggestions?...well, whatever they were, in that book, and they were things I hadn't ever really considered.

Meme: Such as?

Asterisk: I know that you know the guidelines - I've seen the way you dress.  Your dresses are a lot longer than mine, you never wear shirts that are too short...or too low...or sleeveless...stuff like that.  What I hadn't considered was why you did it.

Meme: Why do you think I dress the way I do?

Asterisk:  Well, the booklet said that you do it to show you know how precious your body is and that you also dress modestly to show that you follow Jesus Christ.  Isn't that why?

Meme: I'd like to say that I think that way all the time, but frankly most of my dressing habits are simply that, habits...but, yeah, I think that deep down, the reason that I'm careful about what I wear is that I don't want to disappoint the Lord by wearing clothes that make me look cheap or trashy in some way.

Asterisk: You see my problem here...this is the longest skirt I own!

Meme:  I've seen you wear longer stuff.

Asterisk: Sure, I have a few dresses that are longer...but they are all sleeveless or strapless.

Meme: What would you think about making a skirt?  

Asterisk: I'm not very good at sewing. In fact, I've never made anything harder than a scrunchie before.

Meme: We could pick a simple pattern to start with - I think I might have one or two that we could look at...and besides, my mom has a ton of fabric.  I'll bet she would let us have some if we asked nicely...and volunteered to babysit or do some weeding in the garden.

Chapter 2

Wherein Asterisk asks Meme some questions and Meme does some inviting.

 Meme: We've known each other for, what, 10 years?

Asterisk: Yeah...first grade with Miss Aspartame. You wore braids back then too.

Meme: I'm aiming for a retro-chic vibe.

Asterisk: Nailed it.

Meme: Have you thought any more about getting a tattoo?

Asterisk: I wasn't really set on getting one - just toying with the idea. What you said really made me think about what I want to do with my life.  You always sound so sure of yourself, I thought you might be able to help me figure out where I'm going.

Meme:  I'll try.  I guess you could say that all the decisions I make are influenced by my faith.  You do know that I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, right?

Asterisk: I thought you were a Mormon.

Meme: It's the same church - "Mormon" is sort of a nickname.

Asterisk: It's a lot shorter.

Meme: My church has a strong program for youth - Young Men and Young Women.  I meet with other Young Women on Sunday and Tuesdays.  We have lessons and activities that help us learn more about God and our relationship with Him.

Asterisk:  I've always believed in God, what makes your church any different from the others?

Meme: Wow, that's a big question.  Can we save it for a little later?

Asterisk: Okay...but I still want to know how I can figure out my life and where I'm going.

Meme:  How about if we start small.  Small-ish.  Here's a booklet that I got at church (hands Asterisk a For the Strength of Youth booklet)

Asterisk:  Cool building...what does it have to do with youth having strength?

Meme: It's picture of the Salt Lake Temple.  My parents were married there.

Asterisk:  Was it expensive?  I know weddings cost a fortune!

Meme:  It was free.  The only thing it cost was personal worthiness.

Asterisk:  You lost me there.  Personal worthiness?

Meme:  It's like being clean.  You wouldn't want to walk in God's house with dirt on your shoes would you?  Personal worthiness is like making sure you don't have dirt on your spirit.

Asterisk:  I like the idea of being clean - I'm a bit of a neat freak.  How do I make my spirit clean?

Meme:  That booklet that I gave you can help get you started. Feel free to take it home and read it. You can call me if you don't understand something.

Asterisk: Thanks, I'll read it tonight.  Is that all there is to it?

Meme: I think you know the answer to that.  When you take a class at school do you just do the reading? 

Asterisk: No, there are usually homework assignments. What's my homework, besides reading?

Meme: Do you think you could pray about it?

Asterisk: Pray?  Well, I guess so.  I noticed you have this other booklet "Personal Progress" can I read that one too?

Meme: One at a time. I'll have to ask my Young Women's leader if she has a spare copy. One more thing.  You're probably going to need to refer to the scriptures while you're reading For the Strength of Youth. You can totally download a scripture app for your phone.  I'll send you a link.

Asterisk: You've sure given me a lot of stuff to think about.

Meme: Tell you what, why don't you come to Young Women's with me tomorrow.  We're going to have an activity based on the For the Strength of Youth booklet.  It'll be fun, and I'm pretty sure there will be treats. I'll pick you up at 6:45.

Asterisk: Sounds good. I need to head home now...I've got some homework to do!

Hmm...For the Strength of Youth.  I like the sound of that.  I've always wanted to be a strong person.  I think I'll read this before I tackle my math homework.

Chapter 1

Wherein we meet Asterisk, a young woman at a crossroad in her life, and Meme (she requests that you pronounce it "may-may"), a Young Woman who has a few of the answers Asterisk is looking for.
Asterisk (on phone): Hey Meme, what's up? 

Meme: Oh, I'm just hanging around listening to 1D (One Direction).

Asterisk: Do you have a minute? I'm at a need a little advice.

Meme: I've already paused the music - what's your prob?

Asterisk: Well...I'm thinking about getting a tattoo - but I can't decide where to have it, or what it should say.  I want it to be something classy - like a cool bible verse, and since I know you read the bible, I thought you could help me pick one.

Meme:, I do know some awesome bible verses, but have you really considered what you're doing? 

Asterisk: What do you mean? 

Meme: You do realize that tattoos are permanent?

Asterisk: Yeah, but I'm sure I'll always love it!  Besides, it's really pretty mainstream to get a tattoo nowadays - everyone does it.

Meme: I do know a bible verse that talks about doing stuff to your body.

Asterisk: I knew I could count on you!

Meme: Let me look it it is “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Corinthians 3:16–17).

Asterisk: Oh! I never thought of my body as a temple of God.  Do you really think God will destroy me for getting a tattoo?

Meme: I don't know, but I DO know that if God doesn't want me to do something, then I won't do it.  

Asterisk: I wouldn't want to do anything "bad"...I guess I'll think it over a little bit more.  Thanks for your help.  Bye.

Meme: Call me if you need an ear. Bye.

My body is a temple of God?  That sounds amazing...and scary.  I always just figured it was my body...that's what everyone says - "my body/my choice".  I can see that I need to do a little research.  I wonder if Meme can help me out?