I hope this picture looks like it would be hot because that's exactly what it has felt like at our house for the majority of the past week. The tail end of the week was high 90s and then when the weekend hit, it was triple digits, leaving our un-air conditioned home a true oven. You know that phrase that "you could fry an egg on the pavement"? It's not an exaggeration.
We moved houses a couple of years ago and it's at times like these when the weather is so unbearably hot that I yearn for the perfect combination of swamp cooler and attic fan that once was ours. We have the fan routine down pretty well in this house: we have the fans that you can set to either blow in or blow out, allowing you to expel the hot air during the day and suck in the cool air at night, but when it's this hot, all the fans really do is just circulate the hot air because nothing is cool.
Yesterday at church I didn't even complain about the freezing cold air blowing on me all throughout the three-hour block because I knew that's the only time I'd be cold all week. The kitchen is so hot that when you're standing there getting some water to offset impending heat stroke you start feeling clammy and lightheaded and faintly sick to your stomach because the heat is so intense.
Last night I slept in shorts and tank on top of my sheets because the thought of sleeping in covers was truly nauseating. The weather forecast predicts the highs to drop to the low 90s by the end of the week, but as we all know, weather forecasts hold no promises.
On a less pessimistic note, I went to my first drive-in movie on Saturday! A bunch of us got together and drove some cars to the scary Cinderella City drive-in theater and paid $9 each for a double feature. We saw "Pirates of the Caribbean 2" and "Cars," both of which I've already seen but I think it's better to have already seen the movies before seeing them at a drive-in because it's harder to pay attention when you're outside. We were fully equipped with Reese's mini cups (which were really soft due to the heat), Starbursts, Lifesavers, Gummi Bears, Orange Slices, and water. The first movie started at 8:30 and the second began at 11:35, meaning Emily and I didn't make it home until 3:00 am. I thought the drive-in was a lot of fun and I think I'd go again because 1) there was a nice breeze to counter the end-of-the-day heat stagnation and 2) it was fun and relaxing to be with a bunch of friends watching a movie outside.
To end on a more reflective vein, this heat made me start thinking about our pioneer forebears and their perseverance despite harsh opposition. Pretty soon the LDS community will celebrate our pioneers and their trek west and they probably endured heat like this while crossing the Plains. They didn't have air conditioning in their wagons, fans to circulate air, or attic fans to suck in cool night breezes. They couldn't even dress accordingly; they donned long dresses, bonnets, and maybe even petticoats--I couldn't imagine living in this heat without short sleeves, capris, knee-length skirts, and the tank top for sleeping! They couldn't go to Grandma's house to get cooler because everywhere was the same. What is most impressing to me about the pioneer story is that they endured all the hardship, pain, and discomfort for a greater cause: their God. I think my testimony is strong enough so that were I asked to trek across the Plains in covered wagons, I'd do it. I think that if I have faith that our Heavenly Father can help me through math tests, keep me safe when the car breaks down in Cinderella City theater, and comfort me when I'm feeling discouraged about having enough money for gas that I can also have faith that He could get me across the Plains as well.
I think if your faith is real, then it's all encompassing. I don't know if it's possible to know of God's power and authority and still doubt His ability to perform great miracles. I do believe it possible for your faith to grow to encompass all; it can't be all enveloping initially. If faith is stagnant however, I don't think it's actual faith, only more of an inhibited reliance. The way to expand your faith and to make it grow is to take those leaps, putting out your trust and relying on Heavenly Father to keep his end. It's like if you have a testimony of Joseph Smith, you consequently must believe the Book of Mormon to be true, Gordon B. Hinckley is a prophet, and the Church is true; you may not have a separate testimony of each of these things, but you rely in the knowledge of their origination. You may rely on your faith of one smaller thing, leading you to have some acceptance of other things, but not true faith. I'd like to think that if I were called to do something akin to the pioneers trekking across the country, that my faith for other things would reassure me in going forth, leading to a greater faith in Heavenly Father.
I love Alma's faith analogy: faith starts out small (like a seed) and then grows if nurtured properly. Our faith may start out small; we may only have faith in one small thing, but if we nourish that small faith, it will grow to greater heights, grow to embody more. I believe that all encompassing faith is having faith that when tested will extend. That's the kind of faith I'd like to develop, the kind of faith I see in those I admire, the kind of faith that is truly reassuring and comforting.
Well, those are my thoughts emerging from the heat wave and the upcoming pioneer celebration. Hopefully the heat will die down so I don't feel like I'm melting, but after thinking about the pioneers and thier sacrifices I think I can probably just deal with it.