Potluck Jam Session

People brought food. They brought instruments. We ate. Some people decorated Easter eggs. Then, we  played and sang and had a jolly old time. Here’s a sample of the coveted event:

“Wagon Wheel” – Old Crow Medicine Show

“Mariner’s Revenge” – Decemberists

“Engine Driver” –  Decemberists

“We’re Going to Be Friends” – The White Stripes

“Hotel Yorba” – The White Stripes

“Silver Lining” – Rilo Kiley

“Hallelujah” – Jeff Buckley

Oh, the instruments:

bongo drums
glorious voices

Right now, I’m full of food and socially content. It’s time for bed.

Hosanna au grand Roi

I was flipping through the French hymnal, trying to figure out the tunes and to see if I could recognize the hymns along with the words, because sometimes the translations are a little bit different.

Given today’s holiday, maybe this hymn seemed especially appropriate. I have been humming it all day.

1. Hosanna au grand Roi! Adorez le Seigneur,
Objet de notre foi, Rendez-lui tous honneur!

2. Il règne à tout jamais Le Dieu de vérité.
Payant pour nos péchés, Sa vie il a donné.

3. Son royaume est parfait, C’est lui qui règne en tout.
Il a reçu les clés, Vainquant la mort pour nous.

Ouvrez vos coeurs, offrez vos voix, laissez éclater votre joie,
Ouvrez vos coeurs, offrez vos voix, laissez éclater votre joie.

Professor/Brother Marsh spoke to us today at a special stake conference. His message instilled hope and joy, he invited the spirit of Easter to the meeting, and it continues to abide.

He recounted the story of Elder Holland observing a family awaiting their son from his mission at an airport. He noticed the anxious and eager faces on the girlfriend and the parents. He saw how their faces lit up when the plane landed, and the father ran onto the tarmac and waited for his son to deplane. When the son stepped onto the ground, he saw his father, and the two of them walked up to each other and gave each other a big hug. It was all they could do; they couldn’t speak for several minutes because they were so happy to see each other.

Elder Holland wondered if the reunion between Christ and the Father was anything like this, when the Son was alone for those agonizing moments, and when He was able to finally ascend up to his Father. Would they have been able to speak, or would they embrace and weep and not feel like letting go?

Brother Marsh told a personal story of his best friend,  from his mission days. His friend would call him up, wanting to pay a visit, and each time the both of them would hike the Y and reminisce about old times. This last time, the friend called. He visited, but he said he didn’t want to climb the Y, but talk with Brother Marsh. In his office, the friend announced that he had cancer, and that the doctors said he only had six months to live. The friend said he didn’t though he was going to make it even that long, but he wanted his best friend to know. For the next two hours they talked and reminisced and enjoyed the closeness of their friendship. When it came time for the friend to leave, they stood up and hugged each other, and the friend told Brother Marsh that he forgave him. Knowing that there was never any contention between them in the course of their friendship, Brother Marsh understood that if there was anything that would hinder their eternal friendship, all would be forgiven.

The friend passed away just a few months later, after his birthday.

The Atonement continues to amaze me in the many ways it works in people’s lives. I’ll never fully understand it, but because it works in my life, I am grateful for it, and maybe that’s all I need.

Happy Easter.

Bonding Chat

:)’s [full name] … vanderbilt

you’re totally marrying into southern money

2:01pm 🙂
oh yes i am!
2:02pm May
they totally need your persuasive ways down there

singles dinner at my house
2:05pm 🙂
haha why?

2:06pm May
they’re convinced that theirs is the only way. and their ways are sometimes really bizarre and delusional

i already have plans today.

2:06pm 🙂
yeah my dads ward


i think they could use me in the jello/cabbage part of the world

2:07pm May
them too

those worlds sometimes combine, and it’s a big jello and grits mess

2:08pm 🙂

2:08pm May
just an idea. i know you have big plans for the world

2:09pm 🙂
i do

2:10pm May
i’ll just wait for that, then

yeah well

no rush

2:11pm May
no pressure

2:11pm 🙂
the world is not yet ripw mwahaha

2:11pm May

2:11pm 🙂
im going to be pretty chill

ruling the world

2:11pm May
i’ll be so thrilled

2:12pm 🙂
mandatory i heart irony shirts for my staff

2:12pm May
i’m glad i already have mine. oh. am i staff?

2:13pm 🙂
sure chief of…

wha do you want to be cheif of?

2:14pm May
oh, anything. subtleness. something

chief of small things

2:14pm 🙂
i liek that

overlooking small people, skittles, paperclips and monoco

2:15pm May

2:16pm 🙂
any any microbiology we have lying arounf

2:16pm May
very nice

i’m very excited

2:16pm 🙂
me to



2:18pm May
who’s in charge of reclining chairs?

[someone we know]


2:19pm 🙂
ha g2g happy birthday

i mean eater


you, too!

2:19pm 🙂
yes thats it


2:20pm 🙂 is offline.

…just keeps on giving…

One of my most favorite movie scenes ever is from “The Mission.” Robert DeNiro’s character (Mendoza) kills his brother, played by Aidan Quinn. The leader of the Jesuit order of priests establishing a mission in a native South American village, Gabriel (played by Jeremy Irons), offers Mendoza a way to receive forgiveness.

Gabriel proposes he join him at the mission. Mendoza accepts. The mission is located high in the mountains of an Amazon jungle, surrounded by towering and deafening waterfalls. Terrifyingly beautiful. The priests must climb these mountains to reach the village.

Mendoza was a mercenary and slave trader. He hunted the natives in the very same jungles Gabriel and his priests are trying to preserve. He has to go the village and face the tribe of those he has captured and even killed.

Mendoza climbs the mountains, but he has tied to him a net carrying his sword and his armor. It weighs him down. It holds him back. He slips often and slides downward through the mud. The priests wait for him to catch up at different points along the mountain. It’s frustrating to watch; I wanted to help him.

When Mendoza reaches the top, his hair is slicked with mud, he’s on his hands and knees, like a sled dog pulling his master. The tribe’s chief recognizes him. He grabs a knife, goes to him, grabs him by the hair and holds the knife to his throat. The chief seems to be shouting threats at him. Then the chief and Gabriel exchange some words and the chief cuts the rope. Mendoza’s burden tumbles down into the river.

Mendoza cries. Still hunched over, his shoulders shudder, he sobs with tremendous relief and gratitude. The natives surround him, grab at his beard and smile and laugh with joy. Gabriel runs to him and gives him a big hug. Mendoza’s heart is lighter, his former life is gone, sloughed off, no more to be remembered. His sins are forgiven. He can start a new life.

That scene gets me EVERY time.

I forgot to wish everyone a happy Easter.
“…a broken heart and a contrite spirit …”
“…for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
“…through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah …”

Take advantage of the good news. It’s free.