Monday, May 21, 2007

Empty Nester's Home Evening

This is only going to be half a post because as we were getting ready to head out the door I made a mental note of things to include in this post. Apparently I forgot that I'm pregnant and should not make mental lists anymore. My lists need to be very, very tangible. They need to be on the white board by our front door or on my Google calendar so that I can't lose them (like I can paper lists).

So, my mental note which I am quite sure included 3 or 4 things has since dwindled to 1--and I only remembered that thing because I was wearing it.

Andrew and I entered the world of "empty nesters" today for a while. We went and gave an FHE lesson about the Middle East to some of the more elderly sisters in the ward. In fact, we almost thought about counting it as home teaching since all three of the sisters we home teach were there (we made appointments instead though).

We talked about Islam and their basic beliefs and the similarities there are between Islam and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We talked about certain cultural interpretations of the Qur'an and why they do some of the things they do. One of the hottest topics of course, was women's issues.

I went dressed in my hijab. I was pretty excited to have an excuse to put it on again, but when I pulled it out there were horrible chalk stains all over it. I thought back and remembered that I had lent it to Josie to use for an activity and she had returned it all chalky. I had forgotten to wash it. With only 15 minutes before we had to be there, I tried everything I could to get the chalk out.

First I tried brushing it off, but that didn't work very well. Next I broke out the vacuum to see if any of it was still flaky enough to suck off--a little bit came off, but not much.

I sat there dismally trying to think of anything to do. I had already tried a cloth and that didn't really work well, either.

Then I remembered one day my mom and I had gone shopping for a dress for me to wear on my first date with Andrew (sigh). I found a dress that I really liked, but there was some makeup on the collar. We took it to the counter explaining that there was only one dress that color in that size, but it had makeup on it. The girl at the counter whipped out some baby wipes, dabbed at the collar and, presto! The dress came out perfectly clean.

If only we had baby wipes, I thought. And then I remembered that our closet is full of diapers and baby wipes.

They worked wonderfully and my dress was clean by the time we left for FHE.

The ladies thought that my dress was embroidered beautifully but they were appalled that I was so covered. They got over that though when we quoted some scriptures from the Qur'an about modesty (for both males and females) and explained some reasons why they cover up the way they do. I also was able to honestly tell them that it's not that hot under there.

Sure, there are women who feel forced to dress that way, but I could name quite a few young ladies (and even some older ones) in our church who feel "oppressed" by the standard of modesty that we hold.

Anyway, our discussion went smoothly and the ladies were pretty open to what we had to say.

I must say things got kind of awkward at the end though.

The lady who asked us to speak specifically asked us to steer clear of the Iraq war and other such related issues, so we did. At the very end though when we were fielding our last few questions she asked, "So, with all this in mind, how do you feel about the war in Iraq?"

That's a pretty hot topic for a lot of people and you could feel the room tense up with passion. People started shooting off their opinions left and right, forgetting everything we'd just told them and normal, middle-of-the-road Arabs.

"Well, that's another topic for another day..." said Andrew loudly. And with that, we ate a nice slice of raspberry pie.

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