Saturday, February 27, 2016

E-mail Feb. 22, 2016: "Applesauce..."

...Is what covered most of our kitchen yesterday thanks to yours truly.

These last few days I've been drinking a lot of apple juice and I decided that I would try to make it myself. The recipe should have been easy: blend apples with a little water and you're done; but due to my uncanny lack of patience I ended up making it a bit harder.

Blending apples in our blending jar works great, it just takes a long time and sometimes it doesn't blend everything completely. As I stood in the kitchen wondering how I could possibly make the process faster a brilliant idea came to mind: Why not use the small grinding cup attachment instead of the mixing jar? Just the day before I had read the owners manual for the blender trying to figure out what all the different jars were for. Although the caption for the grinding cup said "for small amounts of dry ingredients" I presumed I knew better than the manufacturer and proceeded with my "brilliant idea."

I chopped up the apples, added a small amount of water, stuck it in the cup, put on the lid, and turned the machine on. At first it sounded like it was going great, but again my impatience prompted me to turn up the power so it would be done faster, and that's when disaster struck.

Guess what? The grinding cup has a flat lid that's not designed for the pressure buildup that occurs when you turn up the speed on wet ingredients. Wish I'd known that beforehand.

As I turned up the power the lid blew off and an applesauce volcano erupted all over the kitchen. I say applesauce because I didn't add enough water and so it wasn't quite a liquid, which was unfortunate because sauce is much harder to clean up than juice.

After coming out of my apple-induced shock and surveying the mess I realized that it had been a bad idea. But could my bad idea become a good idea if I just used less apples? Surely that's where the problem occurred, so I sliced up another apple and only partly filled the cup this time. Once again I turned on the machine and once again the lid blew off and I was standing in a second coat of sticky sauce.

I know! If I hold the lid down tightly I'll be able to keep it on and I can finish the rest of my apples this way! So for the third time I loaded up the grinder, popped on the poor lid and after pressing it down with all my might switched on the blender.

They say that insanity is defined as doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result. If that's true then I certified myself as clinically insane today because even after the third try I once again got the same disastrous result.

My folly doesn't even end there though. After finally finishing my apples I was pretty hungry and as I looked around at the mess I decided that I'd come back later to clean it up. Guess what? Applesauce doesn't clean up so good when it's dry. I ended up spending a large amount of time scrubbing and re-scrubbing every inch of our kitchen within a four foot radius of the blender until it was finally shining again.

I know you're all probably waiting for pictures of all this but unfortunately that was the day I left my camera in the other Elders' apartment. Go figure.

I share this story because as I was scrubbing I couldn't help but think about how I could have avoided all this and how maybe there were some life lessons to learn from this. Here's a few that I found:
-In many areas of life and the gospel there's a right way and a wrong way to do things. I had read the manual but still felt that my way was better and that I was smarter than the makers. How often do we read the instructions given to us by our Maker yet persist in our own way because we think we know better? I learned to trust the manuals I've been given instead of doing things my way.

-The first time I made the mistake should have taught me to do things differently, and the second time should have been more than enough. How often do we realize our mistakes and even repent of them but still fall back to our old habits again and again? I learned that it's not very smart to continue to make the same mistakes again and again. The very reason God provided repentance is for us to change, and I realized that if I'm not changing then I guess I'm not really repenting.

-The third time I tried I thought I was strong enough to keep the lid on and therefore avoid the problem. How many times do we know the commandments but get close to the lines anyways because we think we're strong enough to avoid sin until it's too late and we end up covered in problems? I learned that even if I think I'm strong enough for something I shouldn't take the risk.
-And finally I shouldn't have waited to clean up my mess. Do we ever make a mistake, big or small, and then avoid cleaning it up because we think it will be too hard, we don't really need to, or we're afraid of what people will think? I learned that if I had cleaned up my mess immediately it would've made things much easier for me.

I end this with my testimony that the Savior lives and His atonement is real. If we will trust in Him we can avoid so many problems and heartaches but even if we have strayed from the path it's never too late, or too early, to repent. I testify that Christ is there to help each of us clean up our individual messes, no matter how sticky they may be.

Love you all. Stay strong and rock on. :)
-Elder Cloward

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