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.

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