Friday, November 07, 2008

Photo Tag and Thankful Thoughts

Sonja who writes for the Wonder Years, tagged me in this fun little tag. Here are the rules. Post the fourth picture in the fourth folder of your picture files. Tell us about the picture. Tag a friend or two.

This picture was taken of me and my all time favorite professor Dr. James A. Toronto in April of 2006. Obviously, I had just graduated and was super excited to go out and conquer the world. At the moment, Dr. Toronto is serving as a Mission President in Italy. When he does come back to BYU and if you are still a student at BYU, I recommend that all of you take a class from him.

Now some thoughts on why I am thankful for this man. The first time I meet him I was 10 years old. He was living in the Middle East the same time my family was. Most of my classes that I took at BYU were taught by him.

He had more faith in me than any other professor I encountered. I can not recall the number of times I sat in his office to discuss my future and how I would make it happen. One time I meet with him to discuss my senior paper and without letting him know I had other things on my mind, he knew exactly what I was thinking. He told me how he struggled in making life decisions and how he was thankful that he ventured into unknown territory to figure out what his life calling was. I am thankful for that conversation since I myself struggled to understand the aspects of my life calling.

In all the classes I took from him, he encouraged his students to think out of the box, to dig deeper for the sake of truth, and to take in account others differences in order to better serve and love them. He pushed his students to excel to their highest abilities. "I can't do this" was not in his vocabulary. In his closing remarks to my senior thesis class, he expressed that we may always continue on our path for the search of truth, to understand differences, and to make this world a better place.

Before I had the opportunity to take his classes, I lived in a bubble and was influenced a lot by my surroundings. I made decisions with out thinking them through and followed along with what everyone else though and did. Because of Dr. Toronto's encouragements, I began to think for myself and to make my own judgments based on what I felt the right thing was. I began to realize that it was ok to be different and to stand up for what you believed in. Thank you Dr. Toronto for those encouragements. Your lectures and faith have helped to mold me into the person I am today.

By the way, I tag Sharon, Diana, and Kelly.

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