Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Break

So far I am not entirely convinced that California is the greatest place on earth. It is nice but I am glad I have a week to still get used to it. Everyone I have met so far are all really nice and inviting but I just have to get used to the rest of the culture. You know how everywhere you go just has a certain feel to it? I don't know what it is but something about California would just need a lot of getting used to for me. It just wouldn't be a place where I feel like I could live there. It is definitely a place where I could visit and stuff but so far it just isn't my style. I can't really put it into words. People have their own tastes and things they enjoy and I am going to be hundred percent honest that I like everybody... my roommate, his girlfriend, his family, their family, friends, etc. It isn't that it is just something else but I can't put my finger on it. Maybe it is just the looming finals that I can't get out of my mind, the papers I have yet to write for my English class, my Instrumentation class, etc. We will see if things change by the time the week is over. I hope they do because it would be nice to intern in California or go to graduate school here... things are all still up in the air.

Sunday was good as always! Classes went well and I was able to help out a bit in one of the classes I was in. There was a convert in our Priesthood class who is really gun-ho but he needed a little instruction. I didn't have a reference for everything I believe but I do have a testimony and I know that I try to live by example and I know that the missionaries have been a good example for him. We were talking about Signs of the Second Coming and somehow that became a lesson about making sure we have a strong testimony because of the parable of the Ten Virgins and Christ being the bridegroom. The Ten Virgins represent the members of the Church of Christ. Oil can't represent having a testimony of the Savior because they are all looking forward to His Coming. Oil is how valiant we are in our testimonies. We all strive to have a temple recommend and try to attend the temple. But how many of us come worthy and prepared with questions? We do our best to live the commandments, but do we understand why we have them in the first place? God gives us this life to help us develop and become what we are in the first place, His children. Commandments are a way for God to teach us to realize our divine potential by giving us the habits that will perfect us. Any correction that we receive is really the Lord allowing us the time we need to change and grow. There is a lot I hoped to portray to this excited youngster in the gospel but I hope by testifying by the Spirit, I may have been guided in my words and that he felt and understood what I was trying to say. Hopefully I was a good instrument in the Lord's hands. Anyways, back to the vacation I am trying to enjoy... wish me luck in trying to get done everything I need to so I can really relax!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Future Blessings

I don't know how many of you when you get off a high you suddenly find yourself in some sort of a low feeling? In any case, I found myself wondering when I would finally get a certain blessing I have been fighting for. And in your case, this might be some sort of desire or want, something you hoped to overcome and you have been struggling with for some time, or just anything you may have been wondering... when will it ever be my turn?

These may not directly questions about whoa is me... why me... you get the idea. But indirectly that is exactly what they are. I try to be happy for the people around me because they are my friends and I care about them. And I am sincere when I tell them congratulations on some sort of accomplishment or blessing that has happened in their lives. But then my mind wanders to... wait, what about me? When is it going to be my turn? When in reality if I was truly patient, my mindset should be more like... that is going to be me too some day. Blessings are never truly out of our reach. Some may not be meant for us and they would in some way be more of a burden than a blessing. Other times we aren't ready. We haven't progressed to where we need to be and are not yet ready to move on because we haven't learned everything that we needed to learn. But in the end, we don't need to fret. Any good desire can be ours in time.

The future really isn't so far away because every moment is new and every choice can lead us to where we want to go. We just need to steady our course and continue faithfully until our chosen time has arrived and then those blessings can become ours. Patience truly is the key.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Spiritual Booster

I had a pretty long day yesterday with work, school, and homework. It just seemed like it was this never-ending string of busy-ness. Then at the end of the day, I got to go home and listen to music videos as I folded my laundry. Everyone has those moments where they go on a long Youtube purge. Mine mostly consist of movies or music videos, but it just so happened that I had finished some Doctrine & Covenants homework so I naturally began to gravitate from dance music to Christian alternative. The apex happened when I ran back into Tenth Avenue North. They have this new music video out that is really good. If you get a chance follow the link and I am sure you will be happy that you did...

Anyways, I felt like I should post this on Facebook and I felt really good that I did. It is funny though because I had this amazing Elder's Quorum President Freshman year here at BYU and he has always been an outstanding guy. Anyways, he happened to have posted a Mormon Message off of Youtube as well. I felt slightly one-upped as I watched it and the Spirit poured out. It was an amazing spiritual experience. It was like feeling a warm rain wash over you and fill you up with such peace and love that you can't stop the tearing from coming and a smile bloom across your face. I probably spent the next 15 minutes just watching Mormon Messages. If you have ever wondered how God sees us and how much He loves us, watch this video about the Atonement of Jesus Christ...

I found my Patriarchial Blessing and read it. After all of these things, I truly felt God's love for me and I had a renewed desire to do what was right. I prayed with sincerity in gratitude for that experience. It was exactly what I needed to get my week started off right and in order. I feel like I can understand in some small way that God truly loves me and has a plan for me. If I am willing and have a sincere desire, He will not only help me become a better person but He will freely forgive and forget my past mistakes. There is real power in the Atonement and in the power of prayer. I have to try harder to remember three things: Who I really am, what God has entrusted me with through the covenants I have made, and how Christ has made all this possible.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Non-Aggressive Versus Aggressive Behavior

One of the biggest problems I had in high school sports was I wasn't aggressive enough. I was competitive but I never really wanted to hurt someone. The only time I really would get physical enough was when I had my buttons pushed or if someone was playing dirty. So I am not running cross-country or wrestling here at college but apparently in intramurals, there are a few kids who still are pursuing their high school dreams of professional sports. They just are way too into it and so they throw a couple cheap shots when they are down.

We are in the playoffs for intramural soccer and it is single elimination. We took a little time as a team to hit our peak but we couldn't have planned it better. Last game, we had a lot more control over the ball, great ball movement, solid passes, people stayed in their positions, and we just played as a team. I ended up personally with an assist for a goal and two goals myself. In the end, we won 4-2. It was just a solid game and both team played well, we just happened to be a little bit better that day. Today was a slightly different story.

Today I was not the next Ronaldinho by any means. In fact, I didn't score at all. My roommate however had a solid give-and-go which set him up with a great goal. We won in the end 3-1 because of Ryan's goal and two other goals that were crosses that went off the defense and into the back of the net. Still, a win is a win and we took it with a smile on our faces. The reason for the post though is the first game was just a solid game and everyone played fair.

This last game however, as the opposing team started to fall apart, poor passes, struggled to trap the ball, a few of the players began to play overly aggressively. They started shoving and pushing off, stiff arming, cussing, and just gave me a hundred of different reasons to give them a real reason to complain. One player in particular was a real jerk and I wish I could have had an opportunity to play closer to him but he went out to send in a corner. I saw one of his teammates who was also getting overly aggressive call for the ball and start into the box. I am not a huge guy but I grew up playing basketball and all sorts of sports with my older brother... 5 inches taller than me, 60 to 80 pounds bigger than me. Needless to say, I had to learn how to lower my center of gravity and really hold my weight and my own. So this kid sends the ball in, his teammate cuts into the box towards the goal and I just lower my weight and I step into him and just level him. The ball goes off of him and goes out of bounds so we get the ball back. To say they were upset might be a small understatement. I'm sorry but they deserved it plus it was a solid hit. After that, I just didn't let up and was more aggressive. I didn't mean to hurt anyone but I did send a kid limping off the field because he was trying to dribble through me and I wouldn't let him.

I am grateful for my mission. When I came home, my family said the biggest thing they saw as a change was my personality. I was less competitive after playing games and I wouldn't get upset when I wasn't playing well. Still, every once in a while my past behavior comes out and rears its ugly head. Good thing I am big enough to actually back up my scrappy behavior.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Life Is Good

I feel like this week was really long. I have been having a pretty brutal semester this year with every class having either huge projects or multiple papers that needed to be written. In the last little bit, I was able to get all of the research and data collected for some of the projects and papers as well as finishing the rest. The reason it felt so long wasn't the fact that I was productive and on top of things, which feels really good. The reason it felt so long is because on top of that I had an awesome week visiting with my family, dating, spending time with my roommates, etc. It was a long week because honestly, I feel exhausted and just want to die I am so tired. Ha.

But seriously, it was awesome. My dad, who is basically a bigger version of me, came into town for business and to visit the family. I got to spend a couple of days with him and it was well needed. I don't know why but I have always had this incredibly strong sense of trust with my parents so I can tell them anything and even though I wasn't able to dump everything, I was able to get a lot of things out in the open that I wanted to and I was able to get his opinion on it
too which helped. Plus, whenever he comes we always seem to have a blast and it is a given that we will end up laughing. On top of that, I was able to catch up with some of my good friends who
I haven't seen in a long time... one of the friends was from my mission and the other was someone I met as soon as I got home from my mission around two years ago... and it just felt right. Then last night, my roommate Ryan and I had a double date with his girlfriend and a girl I know from one of my classes and we just had a blast. We made dinner for the girls, watched the LSU v. Alabama football game, played some games, and watched a movie. So after having a very long date, I was completely tired and fell asleep on the couch as soon as I got home after dropping off my date. But it was fun. This whole weekend was fun! Laughed, was competitive, played games, relaxed, was productive, we won our soccer game... it was just a good week.

Now I just need to settle back in and refocus so I will do well on my upcoming exams and hopefully finish up and start (ugh...) a couple more papers. Either way, it was a needed break and was exactly what I needed in each and every way. Grades really aren't that important, the learning process is. Being in a relationship really isn't that important, the friendships and the growing that occurs while developing them is. I guess what I am trying to say is no matter what ups and downs happen week in and week out, the important thing is that we learn and grow while we make our way to our intended destinations, but we enjoy the journey along the way.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ever Have You Ever...

Have you ever had those moments where you had so much more to say? These are the times when you finally get the chance to say how you really feel and for whatever reason you don't take advantage of it. The reasons could be endless... a past fling, fear of the future, a friendship you don't want to ruin, timing is poor, too much all at once, and so many more thousands of reasons. For whatever reason you decide to hold your peace, but inside that is anything but what you are feeling. Your whole body is pushing you to divulge this secret crush, this passion, or idea. But the only thing you seem to do is bite your tongue. I have these moments happen all the time! I swear if there were any three gifts I consistently pray for it is: better timing, tact, and confidence.

The real reason I started this blog 2 years and 126 posts ago was as a way to say those very things that I didn't say. It wasn't that I was afraid to say them because when the timing has been right, I have. The problem is that I begin to feel them so much earlier than anybody else. I try to see good in people and by that I mean that as I learn to accept the bad, hoping we are all striving to improve, and I look for the good. It is easy to point out the bad but try to list off all the good attributes someone has and if you take the time to really get to know a person, for a reason that is without reason, the list of bad qualities will begin to diminish as you learn their story. No person in my opinion is born bad. Everyone has a story and as we learn our own pasts and let healing begin, we are able to bury our skeletons and we are able to write our own adventures in life. So as I meet people and discover all these strong, powerful, and amazing individuals it makes me want to be a better person. It gives me hope for my future, strength to push on and try harder every time I fall. People are not just strangers in your path that pass you as you walk on by. Each one has a story to be told, a purpose in life, dreams and goals, and a whole lot of love. I only am trying to unlock others' potential by giving them a chance to share and express their true selves.

The issue comes again from when I meet a special kind of woman and I begin to listen, watch, and slowly see the potential that she has. Women are amazing in the fact that they are extremely passionate. They are naturally emotionally-driven individuals but this only increases the passion that they have for their innermost desires. I have met women who are passionate about their majors and their careers, their testimonies and their families, the people around them and the relationships they are in, and others that are passionate about life and the activities they do and places they can see. Every woman is attractive in their own way but to see them in their element is a new kind of beauty all together. Is there a type of woman I am specifically attracted to? I don't know if there is "a type" but I do always seem to hear a familiar sigh from my family when I tell them about this beautiful red head or brunette that I met somewhere. Still, I always seem to find myself saying this one is the exception. And I think that is because everyone has a gift personal to them; something only they can offer. I have friends who pretend that they are not emotionally-driven but when she (I am going to pick one even though they are all the same in this aspect) starts to date a man that she is seriously interested in, her thoughts, as logical as they are, seem to come up with only emotional reasons why Mr. Charming is so wonderful. So my point in all this is simply I needed a place to express myself. For all the thoughts and feelings I have, only a fraction of them actually come out between my lips in the form of conversation or a compliment. And because the things I say come from my heart, they carry a sincerity and a feeling of honesty that can surprise people.

Strolling in the Moonlight is a place where I let others choose to go. It is where they will walk through my thoughts and see the light I give to my own intentions and desires. I may not always give every little detail but it is enough that you can feel and get to know the kind of person I am. Do not pretend that this will give you as a reader enough information to say that you really know me. This is not what any good writer will do, but they give you enough information that hopefully you will understand and connect with the message that they are trying to share. So if this the first time you have stumbled upon my thoughts, do not begin to suppose that you will know me but by the time you are through, I hope you will understand. Because in the end, I never pretend that I am alone in my opinions and experiences. We all live here together in this wonderful place so I hope that we can share it together. We are never alone.