Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Utah Shakespeare Festival!

Earlier this month, my family took our annual trip down to Cedar City, one of my favorite places on the planet, to experience this year's Shakespeare Festival. We saw the play Much Ado About Nothing in the new Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre, which was designed to look like the original Globe Theatre where Shakespeare's plays were first performed. I enjoyed the play, as I have enjoyed the plays every year. I hope that next year, it will be easier to purchase refreshments during intermission, but on the whole, I enjoyed the experience. While Much Ado About Nothing was the only play I saw, there were many other plays offered, not all of them written by Shakespeare. The play utsekf was well done, and the theatre, as well as the rest of the new campus for the Festival, helped the experience. I plan to continue going to the festival every year for a long time, and encourage others to do the same! Visit the following link to learn more about the Utah Shakespeare Festival!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sapporo Japan LDS Temple

When I first heard that there was going to be an LDS (Mormon) temple built in Sapporo, I was extremely excited. I had served an LDS mission in the Japan Sapporo mission, and I loved the people there, and the island of Hokkaido, which is where Sapporo is located. While I haven't been able to afford to go to the open house, where the public is allowed to go inside the temple and see all the rooms before the building is dedicated, I was so pleased to hear that so many of my fellow missionaries, and wonderful Christensen Shimai (Sister Christensen) our mission president's wife, were able to go and see it. I especially got choked up that my trainer, Akau Shimai's (Sister Akau's) husband and kids were able to go in her memory. I've mentioned Akau Shimai before, and how she passed away in the fall of 2014. I was so glad they were able to go, and took so many pictures. Her daughters are absolutely beautiful young ladies, and look so much like her, it makes me tear up. While on my mission, I always believed that someday an LDS temple would be built on the island of Hokkaido, and it has been!
Follow this link here to learn more about the Sapporo Temple, and other LDS temples.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Author L T Kodzo

L T Kodzo is a great writer whose books written for and about young people, focus on issues that teens face, and deal with them in effective and powerful ways. 

Her book, which I read with my journalism class, titled Dead Things, deals with abuse. The main character, Jimmy, is a sixteen year old young man who is half-Ute, and who has a lot of difficulty trusting people because of the abuse he suffered when he was younger. His favorite things are dead things; dinosaurs, and dead men who can't hurt him any more because they're gone. His issue now, is learning how to trust the right people who are still alive. Can he learn which people he can trust, and which people he can't, before he gets hurt again?

Aother book, Locker 572 deals with the issue of bullying, and the very real pain that comes with it. Sheridan Alexander, who has moved from one foster home to another, finds the abandoned journal of someone named Ribbon Barber. In the journal, she reads about the girl's pain from being bullied. Sheridan wants to find the author of the journal and help her before it's too late.

We don't have control over other people, nor do we have control over what they've done to us in the past; but what we do have control over, is ourselves.  We can choose to move in a positive direction regardless of how other people have treated us. We can choose to be kind, empathetic people who make the world a better place. I think L T Kodzo's books are fantastic because of how they show how even after bullying and abuse, it is possible to be positive and move in a positive direction.