Sunday, October 28, 2007

100% Exhausted

I was so exhausted the whole weekend, which was weird because during the week is when I'm really active and usually I rest on the weekend. I think everything from the past 3 weeks just caught up with me. I was just so drained. I think I stopped myself before thinking too irrational about things.

Friday night we had a Halloween party for the branch. It was actulaly a birthday party, but we turned it into a Halloween party. Saturday I helped our Matt Schultz put on stamps on all these postcards he's sending out. He's running for reelection on the city council. I had a great chat with him about politics, Council Bluffs, the presidential candidates, etc. I'm really thinking about working full-time for the Republican nominee after the winter semester even if it's not Romney, though I think it will be Romney. He also gave me ideas about running for office around here.

Sunday was kind of rough. I had this problem on my mission too, but it's frustrating and stressful when others don't have the same level of committment I do. Sometimes I really feel like shaking someone and saying, "Come on man, get with this, do that and then this will happen." It's definitely a weakness of mine, but also a strength. When I commit to something, I commit like a pitbull and will not let go, but I expect people to have this same level of committment or just place too high expectations for them period. I need to cut people more slack and not be "in the box" towards them. I've read some really good books lately- Leadership and Self-Deception and Anatomy of Peace. There's really good advice in those books about not letting you see yourself as the victim and preventing you from being "in the box" or a warring attitude toward them. I really recommend those books.

Kayla scored two goals at this game

AL-TJ. City rivals. I went over to enemy territory during the game. I think Colby's out there on kickoff return.

There's Jamie...and Colby #4 in the background.

We won 20-6 and the students rushed the field...reminded me of when we won my senior year and they all rushed the field.

So after the game I decided to reenact my last carry...Beck takes the ball at the 6 yard line, he breaks to the outside, spin move and...

TOUCHDOWN! I miss football. It hurt going to the games.

Attagirl Kayla, way to ride that bike.

Ha, Zuster Lambooij called me and chewed me out for not having her picture up on my blog still, so I put her back on. Alstublieft Zuster Lambooij! Ik houd van jou.

7:00 in the morning, getting my music ready and pumping myself up.

I'm really not sure why, but a lot of people started out far back...there was room up front, but whatever.

Look how happy I am...obviously I have no idea what the marathon will really be like.


They wouldn't let me fall over and die like I wanted to.

Jamie Lynn came with me.

On our way out. It was almost sad to end all the training, running, and the actual marathon.

I believe the song that was playing was, "I'm too sexy"...fitting.

Ha, there was a lot of costume swapping at the Halloween party.

Yeah, it's true, I used the same costume as last year. But it works.

I gave my ostrich the name of Erwin.


Dad's helping Jamie with her math homework. So the tradition continues.

I think my handwriting comes out in my carving a pumpkin. It's just obvious which one is mine.

Somebody had to walk around with the mikes at the town meeting with Governor Romney.

Yeah Governor. Seriously folks, he's our next President.

So this is what Rusty does to get attention: He comes up to you, does this little stretch thing, and then hugs your legs, curls up and encourages you to rub his belly. He's trying to be cute.

Kayla said she was cold so I wrapped in like 10 blankets.

Proof that humans are smarter than dogs.

Rusty sleeping.

Colby fell over in his was pretty funny.

A sketch of the kids when I was on my mission. For some reason I just really like this picture.

Uganda buddy.

Kayla turned 12, so she blew out the candles...three times.

The Stake Young Women's President asked me to read this letter at a young women's fireside. It was nice.

To My Dream Girl...We'll be in love someday, you and I. But I'm not sure I know you now. Someday somewhere we will discover each other.I'm home from the mission field, still feeling the way only a returned missionary can feel, still floating on memories too new to be dim. And, Dream Girl, I'm looking for you. A few years ago I was one of the boys, running the race of popularity - more concerned with sharp styles and good-looking cars than anything else.Then came the call, the farewell, the field. I was a missionary. There was the humbling realization of my greenishness and the regrets that I hadn't spent more hours gaining an understanding of the plan of living. I worked and studied and prayed. With new understanding of the precepts of Christ came new determination to live them, and new what had been a vague inner assurance became a burning testimony. I began tasting what is only a word until you tast it--joy--an exalted happiness that dwarfed the passing pleasures I had thought so desirable only yesterday. I began to comprehend the deeper significance of love and marriage and the family. I began thinking serious thoughts about the girl of the future--about you, Dream Girl--wondering, like all who are young, where you were and how I would know you.You, I told myself, would know what I knew. You would want to share the joy that would come from walking though life with the Lord at our side. You would want to go to the Temple. You would want to be queen of the greatest kingdom on earth--the home. You would want to be a mother. I brought home with me the knowledge that the gospel is essential to true happiness--and part of the gospel is you.And so I'm not interested in the girl who gives her lips freely--the girl who is immodest in dress and conduct. I'm not interested in the girl who changes her standards to fit her company--the girl who can see nothing wrong with an occasional cigarette or an occasional drink or occasional immorality. My mission taught me that "just once won't matter" can be traced to the Prince of Lies. I'm not looking for you at shady parties because, Dream Girl, you're not there.
You will not be the kind of girl who cares nothing and knows nothing about homemaking. Marriage will bring us face-to-face with the down-to-earth problems of living. There will be meals to prepare and dishes to wash, clothes to care for, and dirt to battle. There will be budgeting and sacrificing. There will be all the cares and responsibilities of parenthood. Going through the temple is not a magic solution for the preparing for the responsibilities we will carry as husband and wife and as parents.Neither of us will be perfect, Dream Girl, but we will love each other for what we want to be as well as for what we are. And when we don't see eye-to-eye, we will kneel hand in hand and seek the inspiration of the Father.There will not be many tomorrows until we meet. And when we do, I will still enjoy dating and dancing, still laugh with you, still relish good clean fun. But I will sense the inner part of you, too. I will feel your faith-your love for God. I will not be concerned with your popularity as much as with your spirituality, with your face and figure as much as with your ideas and ideals, with your ability to dance as much as your ability to make a home. I will see you as my future Queen.

So there you are--in my dreams.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Notes from Elder Oaks, "The Challenge to Become"

The Apostle Paul taught that the Lord’s teachings and teachers were given that we may all attain “the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13). This process requires far more than acquiring knowledge. It is not even enough for us to be convinced of the gospel; we must act and think so that we are converted by it. In contrast to the institutions of the world, which teach us to know something, the gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to become something.

Many Bible and modern scriptures speak of a final judgment at which all persons will be rewarded according to their deeds or works or the desires of their hearts. But other scriptures enlarge upon this by referring to our being judged by the condition we have achieved.
The prophet Nephi describes the Final Judgment in terms of what we have become: “And if their works have been filthiness they must needs be filthy; and if they be filthy it must needs be that they cannot dwell in the kingdom of God” (1 Ne. 15:33; emphasis added). Moroni declares, “He that is filthy shall be filthy still; and he that is righteous shall be righteous still” (Morm. 9:14; emphasis added; see also Rev. 22:11–12; 2 Ne. 9:16; D&C 88:35). The same would be true of “selfish” or “disobedient” or any other personal attribute inconsistent with the requirements of God. Referring to the “state” of the wicked in the Final Judgment, Alma explains that if we are condemned by our words, our works, and our thoughts, “we shall not be found spotless; … and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God” (Alma 12:14).

From such teachings we conclude that the Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts—what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts—what we have become. It is not enough for anyone just to go through the motions. The commandments, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel are not a list of deposits required to be made in some heavenly account. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become.

Christ told Simon Peter, “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:32). Jesus’ challenge shows that the conversion He required for those who would enter the kingdom of heaven (see Matt. 18:3) was far more than just being converted to testify to the truthfulness of the gospel. To testify is to know and to declare. The gospel challenges us to be “converted,” which requires us to do and to become. If any of us relies solely upon our knowledge and testimony of the gospel, we are in the same position as the blessed but still unfinished Apostles whom Jesus challenged to be “converted.” We all know someone who has a strong testimony but does not act upon it so as to be converted. For example, returned missionaries, are you still seeking to be converted, or are you caught up in the ways of the world? The gospel of Jesus Christ is the plan by which we can become what children of God are supposed to become. This spotless and perfected state will result from a steady succession of covenants, ordinances, and actions, an accumulation of right choices, and from continuing repentance. I hope the importance of conversion and becoming will cause our local leaders to reduce their concentration on statistical measures of actions and to focus more on what our brothers and sisters are and what they are striving to become.

Our needed conversions are often achieved more readily by suffering and adversity than by comfort and tranquillity, as Elder Hales taught us so beautifully this morning. Father Lehi promised his son Jacob that God would “consecrate [his] afflictions for [his] gain” (2 Ne. 2:2). The Prophet Joseph was promised that “thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high” (D&C 121:7–8). Most of us experience some measure of what the scriptures call “the furnace of affliction” (Isa. 48:10; 1 Ne. 20:10). Some are submerged in service to a disadvantaged family member. Others suffer the death of a loved one or the loss or postponement of a righteous goal like marriage or childbearing. Still others struggle with personal impairments or with feelings of rejection, inadequacy, or depression. Through the justice and mercy of a loving Father in Heaven, the refinement and sanctification possible through such experiences can help us achieve what God desires us to become. We are challenged to move through a process of conversion toward that status and condition called eternal life. This is achieved not just by doing what is right, but by doing it for the right reason—for the pure love of Christ. The reason charity never fails and the reason charity is greater than even the most significant acts of goodness he cited is that charity, “the pure love of Christ” (Moro. 7:47), is not an act but a condition or state of being. Charity is attained through a succession of acts that result in a conversion. Charity is something one becomes. We do not obtain our heavenly reward by punching a time clock. What is essential is that our labors in the workplace of the Lord have caused us to become something. For some of us, this requires a longer time than for others. What is important in the end is what we have become by our labors.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Somewhat of a Journal Entry

Well, I'm done with my marathon. My legs have been wobbly, but they're getting better. I'm really glad I did it. It really is up there for one of the hardest things I've ever done, especially cause my right knee just gave out and I had to run on it for so long. It was so painful to run or walk because of the pain in my knee was so sharp. Ben thinks it probably happened cause of worn out shoes. I've had these shoes since my junior year in high school, but they look fine, and they never gave me problems during training. It would be awesome to run in another marathon, but it just takes so much time and effort to train. Plus I'm not sure I could afford to train for another one, I mean I have eaten SO much food because of all the calories I run off. So doing a marathon takes a lot of time...a lot of effort...a lot of food, water, really hard on the body...but the feeling of crossing the finish line is incredibl. I wish I could do a better job describing that feeling because it just brings this feeling of, "(deep breath) yes, I did it, it's done...accomplished." I think I'll run in a half-marathon in the spring.

Last Thursday our team at TD Ameritrade went to a bar/restaurant for an afternoon meeting with the head guy in our department. It was fun chilling with everyone and feeling like I was professionally hanging out with co-workers. Afterwards I made a ton of phone calls at our campaing phone back. We get a ton of dials every week and last week we got probably twice as many to do. So it was tough doing all of them, but we got them done. Friday the Governor came to Southwest Iowa, so I drove out to Shenandoah, a small town about an hour away, and helped out put that event on, and then back to Council Bluffs for another event with him at the library. It was really cool to be a part of the event and have him here. I'll probably write about this in another entry, but everyday I think his chances get better and better. I really think he'll get the Republican nomination and then beat Hillary. Friday evening Jamie decided to come with me to Sioux City, so we had to cancel plans to sleep at the Bishop's house in Sioux City because we would get there really late cause she had to cheer at the football game. So we left at 4 Saturday morning, went up to Sioux City, took a 45 minute nap, then we took the shuttle to the starting line. On the ride home both of us were really tired, but we made it back and I hung around all day, rested and watched college football. Man, I need to do an entry about this season cause it has been awesome! So many teams have been upset, all the conferences are messed up, it's just good college football. Sunday I spoke in a branch in our stake. Driving around SW Iowa has been really neat cause all the trees are different colors. I'm pretty sure Fall is my favorite season- the smell, the colors, the coolness in the air, etc. After church we had a ward blitz where a lot of were put into companionships and we visited people our age who aren't coming to our branch for whatever reason. There are a lot of people our age who fall through the cracks and didn't go to the singles' ward because it was so far away and didn't go to their family ward because they felt out of place. I really think it's important that this singles branch gets established and grows. I think others are starting to feel this way too. This past week a good friend decided to go on a mission. He told me that in the temple and it made me so happy and excited for him. He'll be a good missionary. A mission really is the greatest thing ever. I hope we can get a lot of the other guys in our branch to also go.

The other day I pulled out a CD I haven't listened to since high school. I really like the lyrics to my favorite song on the CD:

You're a hero in the making--your miracle's out there waiting,
when your heart says go-that's all you need to know,
when your heart says move-that's all you need to do,
when your heart says yes-don't wait and second guess,
when your heart says go-that's all you need to know

It's better to music.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


For help, for health, for good weather...for not dieing.

Mile 1- This isn't so bad. It would be really boring if we just ran back and forth from the start to mile 1, 13 times.
2- Wow, somebody could cheat pretty easily right here.
3- (whistle, whistle)
4- Kinda sweet that we get to run in Nebraska, then Iowa, on the South Dakota border.
5- First major incline. Man it stinks, sewage doesn't smell good, especially when you're running.
6- That wasn't so, how does this guy who stops for every drink and goes to the bathroom a lot keep on catching up with us?
7- OUCH! Where did that come from?
8- Guy to me: Over there is where Iowa's first state fair happened. Lewis and Clark came up the river over there, ya know.
9- I think everything is numb now...sweet, crusin right along. I should probably be embarrassed that old guys are passing me.
10- I should have eaten more oranges at that last stand.
11- K, here's the first devil hill that people told me about.
12- Almost done with this hill
13- K, halfway there, I wouldn't mind just running back the same way, the scenery was gorgeous.
14- Maybe I'll be able to run the whole way
15- "dare you to run" "I can go the distance, I know every mile will be worth my while." I think I have a memory with all of these songs.
16- Haha, Nope. OUCH! It's back.
17- Oh my gosh I hate this hill, this is the real devil hill. How do we have such steep inclines like this in Iowa?!
18- Hill, you should end right now. I thought they said the hill is only up to mile 17?!
19- Ya is like that. A lot of devil hills and miles 15-18, but on the downhill there's always a sweet old lady to give you gatorade.
20- This bites.
21- Don't think about the pain, don't think about the pain.
22-25- Pain, torture, cruelty...evil world, life bites. My legs hate me. I don't like my right knee right now. How is it possible to hurt in every inch of my legs?!
26.2- (deep breath)...yes. it's over, I did it, these oranges are good. Sup Jamie? Where can I fall over and die? Life is good. All is well. Accomplishment.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Then and Now

A couple weeks ago Colby and the AL football team beat our city rivals- TJ 20-6. It was going there sitting on the away side. I went to the other side to talk to a couple old coaches- Mr. Beyenhof and Coach Olsen. While I was over there I remembered how much I despised TJ in high school. I feel the same way about U of Utah now. I really hope we slaughter them. Jamie was out there cheering and I thought of something cool that I hadn't thought of before. When we were all really little we would play on our football team, the BYU Becks. Our basement was our stadium. I remember how it looked too with the ugly yellow carpet and underneath the stairs was our locker room. We used tape as the yard lines, and we made uniforms for ourselves. Carrie and Jamie were cheerleaders, I was the quarterback, Dallas was the center, Colby was the running back, and Skyler was the receiver. Kayla, unfortunetely, wasn't around, we probably would have put her on the field. Now that I think about it, I think Carrie was the center and Dallas was the running back sometimes, probably before we let Colby and Jamie hang out with the "older kids"...and Dallas. So yeah, I thought it was cool seeing Jamie cheer for Colby. I can't believe I didn't think of how cool it was when Carrie would cheer for me, and then later Dallas.

At the game I ran into a couple of old friends from my class that I played football with. It was cool catching up with them but it was different. You can really see what drinking in college has done to them. We talked about our last game our senior year, which was against TJ. We were the away team, it was really cold, but the stadium was packed. It was an amazing game. I was so nervous the whole week before because it was my last football game. Football was a big part of my life in high school, so it was hard to see it end. But we won it in the final seconds with a field was a magical finish. It was the best game of my life and my last carry was for a touchdown. I was really grateful to go out like that. It's funny running into old coaches who like to inflate my stats. They'll see me and say, "Kasey Beck, TJ game, what'd ya have 200 yards or something?" "Ha, yep," I always reply.

Haha, I can't believe I forgot to write about this a month and a half ago when it happened. So I was looking for another job (who knows why). Actually I saw this ad for an international business looking for people who were hard workers and liked making money (I know I know I should have seen the signs). Anyway, so I made an appointment with them. I went in, talked with the receptionist and then talked with a guy in a room where lots of people were talking one on one with other biz reps. We talked and then gave a presentation. This was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. It just seemed that everything was fake, for one it was an herbal supplement company, kinda like Herbal Life, but not so well known. Whenever the speaker asked a question everybody around me would simultaneously say yes, knodding their heads, and be all excited about the answers saying things like "yes" or "sure." It was really funny seeing all these people act in unison. It was pretty obvious that the other people around me weren't really perspective employees but reps sitting in so I wouldn't be the only one in there. Once when these people were doing this I was looking around the room at the people and then I saw another guy who wasn't responding either; he looked at me and we communicated the same thing to each other with our expressions, "haha, this is hilarious."

Marathon this Saturday. Race starts at 7:00 AM. 26 miles. Yikes.

Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat Speaker of House and other House Democrats are doing the most idiotic thing of the decade. They have decided that because they don't have the guts to cut funding for the war or end it through the proper means, they are going to fight dirty. They have decided to vote on declaring that the Ottoman Empire committed genocide against the Armenians back in the early 1900's. Yes, there is no question that it was genocide, but why say that now? There is no logical reason. The timing is extremely bad and intentional. They are clearly trying to hurt our troops. Turkey is our ally in Iraq and allows us to use their air space and facilities to transport water and supplies to our troops. Turkey is furious about this vote and are saying that irreversible damage would be done if Congress voted in favor of this. This is sparking talks in Turkey of invading Northern Iraq to deal with a rebel Kurdish group that hides there. And this has caused oil prices to go up and the whole stock market has extremely suffered the past couple days. So all these severe problems are happening because Nancy Pelosi and other high-up Democrats in the House are spineless, selfish, desperate, idiots who are endangering our troops, deteriorating our relations with a key ally, causing a domino effect harming the global economy. Idiots.

Friday, October 12, 2007

And then some

Why is Hillary trying so hard to take our money? Why does she want to take away our freedom? She has proposed $5,000 baby bonds, matching IRA contributions up to $1,000, nationwide broadband network, and the funniest thing she said recently was that she had over a million ideas but the nation couldn't afford her ideas. Congressman Charlie Rangel from Harlem proposed a trillion dollar tax, which would basically redistribute a third of our income. When did this nation go socialist? Europe is trying to become more like America...and America is trying to become more like Europe. Socialism is the government taking over the economy and redistributing wealth from the rich to the poor. It doesn't promote productivity. Capitalism is about the government mostly staying out of the economy, letting it run by itself, inspiring competition, which brings about more productivity. Ezra Taft Benson wrote about why socialism is of the devil. The bottom line is that they are taking away our freedoms by limiting what we can do, where we can spend our money, etc.

One of the greatest things about America is that if you work hard you are rewarded. Our nation leads in innovation and technology because there is so much competition to be better than the next business. This lowers prices and brings about self-employment. No other nation produces more entrepreneurs than ours. The US pays the cheapest prices in the world in several goods, including gas. We dominate all others, including 2nd place China, in GDP. The government uses our taxes to improve our conditions and help others around the world. Bush instituted several tax cuts. Several thought this was a bad idea, but now people are seeing that this was actually a good thing. Government revenue is at an all-time high. Because people are able to keep more money, they spend more, they employ more, they invest more...these things improve others' finances and brings in more money in taxes. Unemployment is really low, companies are doing well, the economy is doing very well right now. Incredible isn't it!! It really isn't a hard concept that if people are able to keep more things go really well.

What motivation do I have to be more productive if I just had to give it to the government? This is why communism failed in Russia and Eastern Europe...and China (China is still communist, but their economy really isn't, they are more just a totalitarian government). Venezuela will soon find out that socialism isn't the way to go and if we elect Hillary or any of the other Democrats who want to take us to death we will receive the consequences.

What government program is successful besides the defense department? It's really hard to think of one. Than why would we want the government to take over more health care?!! We have the best health care system in the world. Canadians and foreigners all over who are on long wait lists come here where they can help immediately. Let people choose for themselves...let the free market perform! I can't believe we haven't learned these things already. There's a reason we have the most productive economy...because we allow people to have the freedom to choose what to do with their money. We have promoted productivity by letting people hold on to their money. I fear for our nation because we are turning more socialist. We need to preserve the freedoms that our founding fathers fought so hard to preserve.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Kasey Beck Unleashed

I'm getting really sick of uncivilized politics and this big game they are playing in Washington. Some politicians are really bothering me because they consider some voters to be stupid essentially. They will use the "drive-by media," hoping that some will only see a headline and base a judgement on a cheap smear. Let me explain...

During the week of September 11th, General David Petraeus came from Iraq and gave a report of the current status of the war because Congress (headed by the Democrats) asked him to, back in early summer. Before he came, Democrats had already dismissed his report because they said he was a mouthpiece of Bush's propaganda. Back in August, some Democrats had even said that if Petraeus gave a favorable report of the current status of the war, then that would be a real problem for them. Holy cow, winning the war is a problem?!?! We are winning, things are changing there, and it would be the biggest mistake ever for us to just leave right now. That statement just sums up the problem with politics today, and especially the problem I've seen with the Democratic Party- they are not based on principles, they only want power. They are not doing what's best for the country. They want the government to control every part of society. The model they look to is European socialism. They look at "good things" of the European nations but refuse to look at their struggling economies and escalating moral problems. They believe the typical citizen is stupid and needs the government to take control of their life. They have this obsession with controlling our lives and it's starting to come out in the different things that have happened recently: Hillary's health care proposal, her baby bonds, matching retirement funds, and California passing a law saying you can't smoke in some homes.

Petraeus came and gave a detailed report about the war, saying the surge had largely succeeded in making the Anbar province safer. He also said that Iran is fighting a proxy war with us, supplying Shia militants with weapons, bombs, and suicide bombers. Democrats let Petraeus have it. They did everything they could to discredit his report. They personally attacked him, questioned everything about it, and just treated him with little to no respect. The New York Times gave a $100,000 discount to a far left, very liberal website to print a full page advertisement with the title: General Betray Us. They took it to the next level in personally attacking the General for giving a report that Democrats had asked for. The Senate passed a resolution denouncing, but several key Democrats such as Hillary and Obama refused to sign and refused to denounce They were even involved in the very critical interviews with him. How could they treat a 4-star general with such disrespect and expect to work with him if they were elected to president? How could they belittle somebody like this who is dedicated to defending the US? Stupid cake eater tricks.

Ok, so then around this time Columbia invited Iran's president, Pres. Ahmadinejad, to speak. I just couldn't believe this. Here is a person who is ruling his nation like a dictator, has called for the destruction of the US and Israel, is responsible for smuggling arms into the hands of militants in Iraq, is defying UN resolutions by persuing nuclear energy, and denies the Holocaust. He is evil. It would be like asking Hitler to come and speak at a university here in the US. Anyway, so he comes and Columbia's president, Lee Bollinger, rips Ahmadinejad up and down. He really put a number on him, calling him a petty and cruel dictator, etc. Ok, now obviously Ahmadinejad is everything Bollinger called him and more, but this was such a bad move. You don't invite somebody and then bash them, that's so disrespectful. The other really dumb thing is that a liberal such as Bollinger exposed himself. He's part of the far left who says we've made a huge mistake in invading Iraq and should leave now, Bush is evil, etc. They really do know what the stakes are in Iraq and how crucial it is to be there and prevent Iran from making more chaos...but they are the way they are to appease to the very far left because they fear them. It's the same with Hillary, Obama, and Edwards. Sure they say things the far left likes, but in reality they know we should be in Iraq and the next president will not withdraw the troops. They know that and are starting to shy away from Iraq as an issue.

I listen to a lot of talk radio, which is dominated by the conservative media. I listen to a lot of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Bill O'Reilly. They blasted liberals for their harassment of General Petraeus. The past couple of weeks have been interesting, as liberals have tried to "get even." Bill O'Reilly did a show about how African-Americans like 50 cent, Snoop Dog, and other people like that give African-Americans a bad name and how the media doesn't give enough attention to accomplished African-Americans. Bill said how he went to a restaurant with Al Sharpton in Harlem and was surprised with its quality. The liberal media, CNN and CNBC, ripped on Bill for saying such things...even though they knew the context of the conversation. They took a couple disjointed statements and pretty much lived up to the definition of slander. It is irresponsible news reporting, dishonesty, slander, and just really bad stuff. I've lost all respect for CNN and CNBC. Apparently so have thousands of other Americans as their ratings have sharply slipped recently.

And then there's Senator Harry Reid...oh brother. Our Senate Majority Leader took this smear campaign to the Senate Floor and is so obsessed with getting cheap shots in that he's using his office more for political gain and power than doing good for the American people. A couple weeks ago ABC did a special on a "soldier" who said that he had received a Purple Medal for his long and courageous service in Iraq. This soldier is now here talking about why we should get out of Iraq and all that stuff. Anyway, turns out this soldier was only enlisted for 40 some days and then quit. So ABC did a special on "phony soldiers." Well Rush was really upset with this and in a comment about them he called them "phony soldiers." Harry gets furious and took a resolution to the Senate Floor saying that the Senate should denounce Rush for his comments because they attack troop morale. Can you believe this?!! There was a phony soldier, ABC called them that as well and didn't get any condemnation from Harry Reid, and there is such a thing as free speech in this country! Harry has gone downhill. He said the other day that right-wingers such as Ezra Taft Benson have led members of the Church astray. Did he just say that a prophet led members astray?! Now I'll agree that most of Pres. Benson's statements came before he was prophet, and there is a difference between revelation from a prophet and political ideas of a prophet, but still to condemn somebody like that is crossing the line in my opinion. But figures that would come from Harry Reid who I respect as a person, but not as a politician. He is dishonest, unethical, unprincipled, didn't vote for banning gay marriage when he says that he believes it is wrong and the First Presidency asked us to support a ban. He is just like Tom Daschle and will go down just like Daschle went down. Those that play that game will get what's coming to them.

Justice Clarrence Thomas came out with a book, My Grandfather's Son, a couple weeks ago. I was able to catch a little of Sean Hannity's interview with him. Clarrence went on about how uncivilized politics have become, how when he was nominated for the Supreme Court he had to go through so much humilition and personal attacks from people he admired- politicians. He said how he felt he was reduced to nothing, and mentioned how liberals tried to be the party for minorities, but once someone believes something contrary to liberal views (such as opposition to abortion) they are treated as an enemy. Now this was 16 years ago. It has gotten a lot worse. I agree that nominations should be taken seriously, but there is no need for nominees such as John Bolton, John Robert, Samuel Alito, and others to be treated in such an uncivilized way.

That is what politics has become...using uncivilized and unethical tactics to get more power, hold onto it through whatever means possible. I see it on both sides, but I mostly see it coming from the Democrats...and it's ticking me off.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Roaring Twenties

Frequently I get really excited about life...about being alive, being healthy, being involved with many things, having a good family, good friends...and ya know what, the Gospel's true!! It's great being young. I hope I'm not wrong in thinking that being young is really a state of mind, cause I hear others who are younger than me complain about being old or not being married or whatever. Life is awesome man...and full of opportunities...suck it dry!

I'm giving up on the mustache contest at work. I really only tried for 3 days, but then I remembered Skyler went the whole 6 weeks in Europe without shaving and had no mustache, so yeah, that's that.

Yesterday I watched 2 stocks go up 400% and 70%. It kills me to see them go up like that and not have any money in them. Hopefully by the end of the semester I'll have some money to throw around and play with. I'm tracking like 200 stocks, so maybe I'll get lucky.

I ran into Sonya the other day at one of my dad's stores. Sonya was our football trainer back in the day. I had bad ankles my junior and senior years so she would wrap them everyday. We had some good conversations, so it was good catching up with her. I asked her about recommendations for shoes to train with and she remember my "feet type"- arched. Thought that was funny.

Ya know that feeling of "life is just good"? I had that the other day while I was running on the hill behind our house. The sun was setting on one side of the sky, and on the other some clouds around the moon and some stars were out. I felt a nice cool breeze and just thought, "life is good." Those good times help me get through the bad times cause you know you'll get through them, you know the world isn't out to get you like ya sometimes think, of course everything will work out if ya just trust in God. It seems like that as I get older the hard times get harder...but the good times get...gooder.
I'm reading these really interesting books my grandparents have. It's this series about the war between good and evil. I've only read the first book, but I'll be starting the second tonight probably. Here's what's happened so far: Lucifer and Jehovah presented their plans and spirits are quickly allying themselves with each side. Michael is the commander on God's side and is very anxiously recruiting, holding meetings and strengthening God's army. The story focuses on 3 brothers and a sister and their struggles. One of the brothers left home and went over to Lucifer's side. The others are shocked and devastated. They really struggle with this. One of the brothers tries to go find him and runs into Lucifer, who tries convincing him to join his side. One of the tools Lucifer uses is showing him what life will actually be like. He shows him poverty, murder, war, theft...all things that Lucifer himself would cause, but not telling him that. The author is very good at making Lucifer really convincing. You read it and you can almost see why he got so many people to follow him. Later on in the story people are on earth in families, in different situations. It's so interesting to me to think about that. We lived through and experienced so much before coming here. We made decisions, we had really good friends...we were existent, thinking individuals. I can't help but wonder if I had really close friends or maybe even people who would have been family of mine who were deceived and didn't come to earth. It kind of bites not remembering all the experiences and things that happened, because we went through a lot. It's weird and cool thinking about the pre-earth life and how real it is and how different things are here. Just look at the person next to you and think, "they went through the same things, they also supported Christ, do they realize what this whole life thing is about? did I ever meet them before this life?" So many fun things to think about, so many important things we went through, and most of us don't even realize these things...crazy.

On my mission I met people who appeared to love dogs more than kids. They would give so much attention to their dogs, spoil them, and have lots of fun with them. I hope I'm not slowly turning into one of those people. It's just so fascinating and fun watching Rusty and playing with him. We're both easily entertained, he likes being chased around the house, and I like chasing him around the house. Sometimes he gets really hyper and runs around the house, or in circles. Sometimes he runs around, picks something up, throws it in the air, and picks it up again while being really restless. I could really watch him for hours at times, he does a lot of funny things. Whenever someone is eating something he'll keep jumping to try to look at it. It's really funny sitting on the other end of the table and seeing his head pop up and down. The other day he had water in his ears, it was really funny watching him try to get the water out. He's such a funny dog, I'm glad we have him, he adds a lot to the family. Last night, around midnight, he was on the stairs barking. I picked him up and put him on the chair and he just looked at me like he didn't want me to go. It reminded me a lot of when I'd hold Colby, Jamie, or Kayla when they were little. They would cry a lot in the middle of the night and didn't want me to go...good memories.

Marathon training is on schedule, I ran 13 miles Saturday. My knees hurt a little afterwards. I'm getting nervous/scared to run the whole 26 miles on Oct. 20th. I'm really glad I'm finally doing it. On that run on Saturday I figured out a couple things about myself and why I'm doing it. There have been a couple times in my life when I felt a sort inferior, scared feeling. In football I felt inferior to guys that were much bigger, stronger, faster, in addition to feeling inferior to bigger schools. On my mission I felt inferior to the Dutch people. The Dutch are really tall, the tallest people in the world, they speak Dutch perfectly, and are very assertive in letting you know that religion isn't for them, and that it's often just for the simple-minded. The thought of running a marathon brings back those same daunting, challenging, overpowering, inferior feelings where I feel very timid, worthless and shrink to the task. Two things happened my senior year that helped me get over those feelings. I was in the backfield, all ready for the play in our team scrimmage. I was to kick the Defensive End outside. I remember thinking, "you know what, I don't care how much bigger he is, I'm going to run through him and knock him back." I was able to knock him back a foot, doing my job by keeping him outside and out of the play. It was something small, but gave me mental confidence. The second thing was also pretty small, but we played West Des Moines Valley in Des Moines the Saturday after September 11th. Valley has the best program in the state. They are big, rich, and good at everything. Anyway, it was really small, but I just had a good game against them, I think I had a touchdown or something, but it helped me get over the whole inferior to other schools thing. One day on my mission on a single day something had happened to all four of our baptismal committments and they dropped out of our baptism pool. It really hurt...and I snapped. Disney had a little video of Lambert the sheepish lion where Lambert, a lion who is raised by sheep, one day snaps out of it and realizes he's a lion. I snapped that day and everything I felt of being inferior or timid was gone. This was the true Gospel, everyone needs it, I was determined to be a lion in declaring it, I'd be like Enoch who was described as a wild man after he overcame his speech problems. That day was the turning point in my mission. So anyway, running a marathon brings back those same feelings which is why I'm trying to overcome my fears and inferior feelings. It's really not fun having those feelings. God gives us weaknesses, yes, but also opportunities to overcome them and grow. This marathon is probably the hardest thing I've ever done because it requires so much mental discipline and physical endurance. For me it's really been about goal setting and telling myself I am going to run 6 miles...13, or whatever I'm running that day. Playing football in high school really helped me with this cause football makes you find the energy somewhere when you don't think there is any left. Running a marathon is about checking something off my life to-do list- yes, but it's becoming more about accomplishment, bettering myself, and overcoming these inferior feelings and realized inadequacies that come up from time to time.

Me, Kayla, Chris Kaiser, and Mark Smith made the trek out to Utah a week and a half ago. It was a lot of fun. I had really bad allergies going out there. It's funny cause the last couple years I'd always get sick coming back home from Utah and on the trip I got sick going back to Utah from home. It was great being out there! We got tickets to the Air Force game, which was pretty sweet. I tell ya, we are unstoppable playing at home, it's those away games that hurt us. Max Hall has really impressed me, though he didn't play that great against New Mexico. I'm a little disappointed in our defense. Our defense was supposed to be better than last year but we've been giving up way too many points. It was a ton of fun playing werewolves for hours and just see people again and catching up with them. It's gorgeous in Utah right now. The trees in the mountains are all turning awesome Autumn colors. I'm really excited to go back to Park Place in the winter semester, it's such a fun place. While I was there and on the ride back I was really missing BYU, wishing I was there, but that was short-lived, cause honestly I'm not reall missing it. I miss different parts of it of course, like Park Place and my roommates, but I am really enjoying being home and doing all the things I'm doing right now.

The main reason I went back out to Utah for the weekend is because we had a reunion for all the Uganda volunteers. I was sad that not everybody came but it was still really nice to see these really good friends that I made while I was there. My friend, April, explained coming back really well. She said that it was a lot like coming home from a mission, "nobody will understand your experience." That's really true. I wish I could just let people experience the feelings I had or somehow communicate to them how much it's affected me, but unfortunately I am stuck to have to be limited by words only. In telling people about my mission and Uganda experience, it's impossible to really tell them how I feel about those places and the people and what I did. Both were so incredible and have left a special feeling that can come back everytime I think about those experiences. I hope to go back to Uganda or some other developing country and experience the "real world." Two-third of the world's population lives on less than $2 a day. It's so different in other parts of the world than here in the U.s., yet we are the exception, we have so much here. I hope my desire to help people and change the world doesn't die. It's really easy to get distracted and not think about the experiences I had there. There's so much I want to do, I wish I had the money to improve people's situations or the time to figure out how to best help people.

Looking for a great online game to waste time? Google, then snake game. Man it's fun.

My journal is really suffering from my busy schedule and blog. I should probably try to write shorter, more frequent entries instead of these novels everyone once in awhile.

Be sure to check out Becca's Blog