My wife and I are leaving on an internship and need to sell our contract. It runs till June, and will be available for January. The apartment is part of Lookout Pointe, located near the Y trailhead and in close proximity to BYU and yet far enough away that it is quiet and somewhat secluded. The management is new and very good and the view from our balcony is really awesome.

The contract is for 600 a month plus utilities (which run about 40-50 a month and may go up to 60 in the winter). There is coin laundry available, cable hookups, and you can even have pets if you would like.

This is not a place filled with just students or newly weds (though it is great for either/or!), but offers a good living situation for anyone. There is a really great Ward too!

Please call/e-mail me (Greg) if you would like to see the place.

Check additional photos and further details HERE

This is our bedroom. We bought and installed the curtains ourselves – very cheap at target and not too tough. We will be taking those with us. This is a queen size bed and fits comfortably in the room.

The bathroom is small – as one would expect, but it is not as small as some I’ve looked at. There is space both under the sink and above it to store cleaning products and so forth. Maintenance has done well with the small issues we had when we first moved in. They respond quickly and do a good job.

 

This is the South side of the living room, behind the white couch is the cable plugs and Internet hook ups.

 

This is the North side of the living room. It is actually pretty spacious and offers some good open space.

 

This is from the living room looking into the kitchen area. The two stools we will be leaving with the apartment at no extra cost. We got them in great condition and have no complaints, just we don’t want to haul them across the country and they go better here than where we are going. The closet on the right has room for hangers, some small storage space above and below too. It is very useful!

 

 

This is from the kitchen looking into the living room. Yes it is true, it is a pretty small kitchen. However, it does the job. The refrigerator, stove, and disposal all work fine. The microwave, toaster, and other appliances are not included.

The Balcony is great! The pine tree on the left covers a lot of the view but as you can see from the picture you have a good shot of the valley still.

 

If you have any more questions or want to come see the place in person – just let me know. 801-885-0146.

 

Thanks!

 

 

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So below I have listed a few different links that talk about successful e-mail marketing and CRM strategies.

E-mail Marketing

1. http://www.allbusiness.com/marketing/direct-marketing-e-mail/4118-1.html

The best summary of this article is the following paragraph. “You need to give your readers a clear call to action. What do you want to achieve from your campaign? Do you want people to sign up for a catalog? Buy something? Take advantage of a special deal? If so, make sure that’s clear in your message. And make sure that the links in your e-mail take customers to a landing page specifically geared toward that particular call to action. If you deposit customers on a general page or your home page, they are not going to find what they want and you will lose them quickly.”

The emphasis of this article is on the small things that helps readers see the campaign as something they want and are a part of rather than spam. Also included are certain licensing requirements and simple hints for success.

1. http://www.b2bemailmarketing.com/2008/11/elements-of-a-successful-email-marketing-campaign.html (slideshow)

Key points: importance of objective, value (what should the reader do? Why?), scannable (understand in seconds and without pictures if necessary), must have ALT tag, importance of call to action (CTA).

The focus of this slideshow is making the overall presentation very short, clear, and understandable. I hadn’t considered the importance of being what is in the first few pixels of the message and the tags that enable imaging on certain e-mail providers. These are essential when trying to maximize the amount of people receiving the message.

CRMs (Customer Relationship Management)

1. http://www.crm2day.com/editorial/EplAklAAyVvLtxYPNO.php

A key quote I feel shows the main message in this article. “Very few CRM initiatives fail because the software didn’t get implemented,” says Erin Kiniken, Vice President of CRM at the Giga Information Group. Yet getting the human aspect right can make a success of the most mediocre of technology solutions.”

Though there were many minor punctuation errors in this article – it seemed pretty thorough (though I am not the one to complain about punctuation since I have my share of problems). The main point was that communication and the people using the CRM and being managed by it should be remembered as human beings and not just numbers or dollar bills. I didn’t fully understand all he was saying but these points made sense to me.

2. http://www.relenta.com/articles/setting_successful_customer_relationship_management_goals.html

This is a very short article that emphasizes goal-setting as a critical part of CRMs. It is going to be challenging to create an effective CRM if you aren’t sure of your specific objective, target customer, and purpose. These business terms can easily be transferred over to the language of our LDS culture. “God’s work and glory” and “Our purpose” (as found in Preach My Gospel) could possibly qualify.

Essentially this article seems to be saying something along the lines of the more general and vague your purpose and audience is – then the more general and vague the implementation will be.

Last semester I was taking a class that was very difficult. You see – I am not a “math person” nor do I plan on becoming one. For this assignment I was supposed to present to the class the concept of potential gravitational energy (PGE) in still objects. I was at a stand still – until I googled it and ended up at Youtube. It was in doing this that discovered that catapults and trebuchets use PGE! Not only that but there is an amazing clip on youtube from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in which the physics of it all is clearly shown. When the time came for my presentation I pulled up Youtube and we watched PGE in action. Needless to say, my interest in physics and math was increased in the experience.

So for me the question as to wether Youtube and other video sharing sights can be used for educational purposes is not really a question at all. It is obvious that they can. “Class projects that involve presentations or directions on how to do something could be enhanced with video uploading. Imagine completing a video project with classmates, uploading to a site, and linking the site to the class’s portal for everyone to view, share, and rate based on the topic. It would be a great way to collaborate and provide ‘live’ feedback on ongoing projects; businesses do this today with a variety of online collaboration tools, and teachers can make use of this process to their advantage” (Sabah Karimi)

Like Youtube, podcasting can become a useful tool. Only recently have I really gotten into podcasting (or listening to podcasts) and just today I figured out how to make my own podcasts! If you go here you can check out my “audioboo” account and click on the iTunes icon which will connect you to my podcast.

The things that podcasts are doing to education right now are quite simply amazing. Check out Stanford University on its own iTunes U site. Basically the hundreds of lectures and classes held are made available to the public! Wow, I didn’t realize I had that sort of access. “Podcasting is truly a medium that can be applied to the myriad of current and future needs thatthe diverse field of education encounters. Its’ easily accessible , portable, and flexible naturemake podcasts the ideal companion for education on almost any level. Podcasts offer a personallevel of engagement that most other forms of electronic media are unable match. Couple all ofthese factors with podcasting’s cheap and cost-effective technology, and you have a winningcombination that could serve the field of education for decades to come” (Bryan Allen).

In relation to sharing the gospel many different organizations have begun to utilize these technologies. Some have even embarked on somewhat of an internet world wide mission in which they podcast to the world and help others prepare and serve missions in different capacities. The LDS church has used podcasting through the mormon channel and also video on their own Youtube channel called mormon messages. After looking into all these different possibilities I feel it is our responsibility to find a place on the internet that we can jive with – and start participating in the gospel conversation around us.

I had heard about the sites “delicious” and “flickr” but until now I never really knew what they were about or why people spent anytime on them. Just goes to show you need to investigate before you terminate. Seems like I would have already figured that one out by now!

Delicious is something I like because it breaks down the vast informational mass that the internet has become into a straightforward medium in which one can find interesting bookmarked sites that have info they want. Because I am not much of an internet surfer (at least in comparison to some) I don’t think that I am a very “delicious” person. However, the benefits of this site are plentiful for those who are looking for specific news and info on the web.
Check out my tiny delicious page! http://www.delicious.com/gperspective

Flickr is interesting. When I first was introduced to the idea of Flickr my first reaction was, “but with blogs, facebook, and e-mail what is the point?” Other than the fact that it is a site fully dedicated to photos, Flickr is unique because of the way it can track exactly the type of camera the photo was shot on and also the place. Though I haven’t taken a whole bunch of pictures recently you can see a few I took last Conference in SLC on my flickr page! http://www.flickr.com/photos/gperspective/

There is a really neat article found at http://www.jakesonline.org/flickringclassroom.pdf that gives a number of ideas in which Flickr can be helpful in education. Of all the ideas put forward I liked the one about writers. “Student users can also contribute to the development of online stories about images, where contributors write storylines in the comment area of each photograph in a process know as Flicktion.” This idea of Flicktion is really neat when thinking about innovative ways to encourage a student to begin to visualize and prompt writing. This is something I want to try my hand at – since I am always looking for story ideas!

I read from two articles, “Foundations Of Educational Theory For Online Learning” by Mohamed Ally, and “Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship” by Danah M. Boyd. I read from these texts with a perspective of how Social Networks such as Facebook and Myspace may be helpful in sharing the Gospel. I learned some new things and found some ideas I hadn’t considered much.

Some may feel that using social networking sites (SNS) to share the gospel somewhat lessons the importance of the message or effectiveness. The following insight adds a new dimension to this issue.

“SNSs are also challenging legal conceptions of privacy. Hodge (2006) argued that the fourth amendment to the U.S. Constitution and legal decisions concerning privacy are not equipped to address social network sites. For example, do police officers have the right to access content posted to Facebook without a warrant? The legality of this hinges on users’ expectation of privacy and whether or not Facebook profiles are considered public or private.”

Obviously the large store of information is something to ponder about when considering legal issues – but what about spiritual? Is the internet a place to share your private, core beliefs and convictions? Is this dangerous in anyway? Well, sure it is! There are dangers everywhere. However, I feel that it is how one uses the internet when sharing these personal (or private) feelings about spiritual things that really matters. The question of whether or not to use the internet itself to share the gospel ought not to be hardly a question at all at this point, it has become very clear what influence SNS have and to not utilize them would be squandering a blessing from God.

So, how should we use SNS to share the gospel? I don’t think there is one right answer. However, I believe in what Ally says in his article when discussing education and the internet. “It is the instructional strategy, not the technology that influences the quality of learning.” In other words, we are not trying to to turn people to the internet, or the cool things we have on our SNS, but it is the underlying purpose we have when using these sights. When focused clearly on the potential of using SNS then we realize that “tutoring can be done anytime, anywhere” (Ally). We need to be asking the question of “how” to use SNS to share the gospel, not “if” we should. “Educators (or online member missionaries!) should be able to adapt existing learning theories (teaching true doctrine and sharing personal testimony) for the digital age, while at the same time using the principles of connectivism (sharing with friends) to guide the development of learning materials” (Ally). Having served a mission for the LDS church I learned many basic skill sets of teaching the gospel and also experienced many things in sharing my beliefs and connecting to people. When I returned I thought that I had finished a chapter in my life in relation to sharing the gospel. However, I have come to see that these foundational principles I have learned are extremely helpful when seeking to share the gospel on Facebook and on this blog.

Because SNS are still so new there are still many more developments and uses that I know will become helpful in sharing more about the Church. Boyd sums it up well, “The work described above and included in this special theme section contributes to an on-going dialogue about the importance of social network sites, both for practitioners and researchers. Vast, uncharted waters still remain to be explored.” It is up to us as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints to be aware of these developments so that we may participate in the continually conversation about the church both online and in person.

I began my study without a very clear direction. However, I found myself turning to the chapters in 3 Nephi in which the Savior is teaching and blessing the people. I remembered a correlation the Elder Bednar made about the word “understanding” in 3 Nephi 17:3 to prayer and this instigated my thoughts further on the subject of communion with God. The Bible Dictionary gives some very helpful insight on prayer. “As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are his children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part. Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Prayer is a form of work, and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.” What really sticks out to me is that prayer is a form of steadfast work, and also a tool in which we obtain blessings from a loving Father.

Prayer is a form of work. It is up to us as to how we will approach this work, as is the case with any other sort of task. The Nephites in 3 Nephi 19:22-29 display their understanding of prayer as they believe, exercise faith, gain purification, become one with Christ in purpose, and also in verse 30 we see they are praying “steadfastly.” The term “steadfast” jumps out to me as to something I should do better in my prayers. “To be steadfast in Christ implies keeping covenants. Each week we renew our baptismal covenants to take His name upon us, to ‘always remember him,’ and to ‘keep his commandments’. We are steadfast in Christ when we do these things, and our spirits are lifted and our hearts are filled with love. Simply stated, when I keep my covenants, I feel hope and I feel love” (Susan Tanner, April Conference 2003). Remembering and reflecting on covenants while I pray can greatly enhance the meaningfulness of the experience, and communicate more effectively. The Book of Mormon has many other examples of “steadfastness” (believers watch steadfastly for sign of Christ’s birth in 3 Ne. 1:8, hope for better world makes men sure and steadfast, Ether 12:4) in which we can learn more about the manner in which our prayers can be more diligent and also reflective upon our covenants.

Prayer is one of the essential means by which we obtain blessings. “The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them” (Bible Dictionary Prayer). The Nephites in 3 Nephi are mentioned in the prayer of Christ as he thanks the Father that they have been purified on account of their faith. Not only the way we pray is important, but the why and when we pray. If prayer is one of the main sources by which we secure blessings for ourselves and others, then shouldn’t I be more thoughtful and diligent in what I am praying for? Perhaps less rote prayers for the safety of others and more prayers for charity would be healthy to my spirituality. Mormon is very clear in this field when he wrote to his son, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen” (Moroni 7:48).

I enjoyed this “study by topic” of prayer. I hadn’t seen most of these scriptures in this way and I attribute that to the lens that studying by topic gave me. Prayer is a critical element of the Gospel and one that I feel I can always improve in. I feel I can do better if I focus on my covenants as I pray by being “steadfast” and also by praying for charity and securing the blessings of Heaven.

Up until recently I had never actually created an account on Wikipedia and explored the “edit” ability and other features. I was amazed when I did create an account and began to look at past edits that have taken place and also different discussion boards.

When I looked at the Church’s site I was not really sure what to be expecting knowing that Mormon and Anti-mormon alike have access to the site and can change it whenever they feel so inclined. It was really fascinating to read some of the different sections but most interesting was to look what was being said in the earlier days and how it was being said. The posts appeared (in general) to be accurate, or at least trying to be accurate and it was interesting to see slight edits that made it a little clearer. The advantage to having the world collaborate on things like this is it presents everything in such a straightforward and unbiased manner – something that is pretty hard to find these days. However, it is slightly troubling in that the flat voice of bare facts can at times lead to misunderstanding. As with everything else, context is everything and sometimes a true thing just thrown in your face is hard to deal with if you don’t take the time to search it out. Wikipedia presents a fascinating domain for topics such as the Church to be discussed, however I wouldn’t use it as my first source of exposition of my faith to the world. I guess the edits are ever ongoing and so maybe someday it will get there?!

The discussion boards were just awful to look at for the Church. It reminded me of my mission in which I was constantly approached, and attacked for misunderstood ideals. More often than not the points of our faith the people I met had a hard time with weren’t because it wasn’t clearly explained to them, but it was their hardened attitude towards us that created an impossible barrier of communication. Reading some of the posts on the boards was sickening and yet I do see the importance that we as members of the Church have in taking a part of the conversation and not allowing others to share what we believe to the world. It is an interesting paradox. Online Bible bashing…who would have thought that 10 years ago?