החיים טובים

I got on the bus Thursday afternoon and two guys nearby sat down, and started talking, obviously part of the same ward. “Hey, remind me, have you proposed yet?” “Dude, I’ve never even had a girlfriend!” Of course, this was followed by some apologies for confusing him with someone else. I cracked up. Truth! Here’s to you! Keep hanging in there!

For those interested, at BYU, there are currently:

-216 Tanner’s

-101 Hunter’s

-14 Porter’s

-16 Cooper’s

-0 Miller’s

-0 Breyer’s

I love feeling stretched intellectually, and that happened with the appearance of Scott Yenor this week. He is a Catholic professor teaching at Boise State. Toqueville Society paid for him to come and speak on “Three Ideologies that are Undermining the Family.” As a club member, we met with him Thursday night to discuss his recent article, “Sex, Gender, and the origin of the Culture Wars.” That was my first time actually thinking about feminism, and I can honestly say it was life-changing. My way of thinking changed that night. For those interested, here is the article:

https://www.heritage.org/gender/report/sex-gender-and-the-origin-the-culture-wars-intellectual-history

The next day, Friday, we listened to his lecture, but as much had been discussed the night before, it was sort of a letdown. Until the Q+A. A solid crowd attended, and I was surprised by how many people took shot at Dr. Yenor and his ideology. At BYU. This piqued my interest further, and I’ve been talking with as many women I can to find out their opinions on this subject. We concluded his visit, by having lunch as a club, and hearing even more about transgenderism, etc.

Later that Friday evening, I went with Caitlin (from Montana) to BYU’s annual Seder Dinner. They hold what is termed a learning Passover dinner on three nights around this time every year, with 250 in attendance at each one. While it turned out to not be the best place for a first date, my understanding of Passover and how it relates to Christianity today increased. I especially liked how in Exodus 12:17 it talks about partaking of this (passover) ordinance forever.

As we broke the unleavened bread and partook, reading the traditional scriptures from Psalms that the Jews read at this point, it became very obvious how the sacrament relates to Passover and fulfills Exodus 12:17 as we take the sacrament every week. I would highly recommend the dinner for anyone who is able. Seriously, when a date that involves eating horseradish, and listening to Hebrew prayers still turns out good, you know this is something worth doing.

Saturday was our ward temple trip to Manti. I invited my friend Robert, and we were accompanied by five women from the ward. During the 1.5 hour drive down, we took the opportunity to discuss various questions, and I am thankful for that. Pres. Packer taught that one of the main purposes of college is to know yourself, who you really are, and these small debates have been profoundly impacting me and helping me to do so, as well as to understand the world better.

The temple was spectacular, my favorite that I’ve visited in Utah. It was special to remember that it was here, some fifty years ago, that my grandparents were sealed and our families journey in the gospel in many ways began.

Before driving back, we stopped at Miller’s Drive-Through Diner. Delicious. When a restaurant in the middle of nowhere has famous fish sandwiches, you know its good. (Although I opted for the classic BBQ Bacon Burger.) And their ice cream was great, and I saw for the first time in years, Superman Ice Cream.

That night it was off to Tanmarie’s to play with Nora and compete at Parcheesi. Life is good.

On the Homestretch

Its been a while! I switched website providers and it took me much longer than I expected to figure how to switch everything over.

My business is officially up and running. Check it out:

www.achievement-rings.com

I launched the first ads on Saturday, so we’ll see how it goes. As of now, I’ve invested $89 so far to create everything.

Friday was our Spring Break, and I took advantage of the day off to watch Holiday Inn. Ok, just kidding. I’ll make it until at least the next official holiday before  I watch it.

Mitt Romney joining the Senate Race caused the jump in ticket price for the annual Utah County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner. My freshman year I attended and had a fantastic time, courtesy of a student priced ticket, at $10. This year, the students had a specially priced ticket of $32.50. Needless to say, I missed this one. However, I did receive (somewhat accidentally) a Mitt Romney for Utah t-shirt.

My last date before yesterday, was a few weeks ago, and I went to the soap factory again, and in honor of Texas Independence day made this:

I took a shower with my new soap, (having loaded it with fragrance) and the winter mint was amazing. I felt so clean, it was like taking a shower in Listerine.

I again participated in an Intercollegiate Studies (ISI) conference. This one was in Salt Lake City, and the theme was “The False Promise of Radical Politics.” I took the train up early Friday morning, visited the temple, ate at the Lion House then spent a few hours doing family history. I also visited the old tabernacle, listened to the organ performance at noon, and then went up to the organ.

 

I checked in to the hotel about 5, and spent the next two days there. BYU had the largest contingency of any college, with us totaling 5. My roommate was Ken, a junior at Auburn University and with the biggest alabama drawl I’ve ever heard. He’s studying journalism, and it was fascinating to hear some of the projects he’s working on.

During our free time Saturday afternoon, we visited the Cathedral of the Madeline, Temple Square, and the museum of Modern Art.

 

 At the art museum

But my favorite stop was at the RootsTech conference. This is the largest Genealogy conference in the world, and is held annually in Salt Lake City. Saturday is their free day to visit. Unfortunately, we only caught the tail end, as it was an hour from ending for the year. Still, it was enough to confirm I’ll be back!

We left Sunday morning, navigating another snowstorm, to make it safely back. I again played the organ on this Sunday.

   McKenzie, the other BYU student had left the reception at this point.

It was at this conference, that I decided to start a school-wide journal about politics here at BYU. We’ve since received a grant, and I’ll be going to Indianapolis in a few weeks to participate in a “Start the Presses” workshop weekend. ISI has definitely been good to me. They hired a new area director and she visited BYU on Thursday and met us and bought lunch.

As hinted at, I went on a date yesterday. Again it was bowling. There were 4: cousin Abby (from Massachusetts) with James (from NY) and I went with Jennica (from New Hampshire). It was a very northeastern evening. To keep it short, after about four frames we put the bumpers on. Nevertheless, it was fun, and Abby actually whooped me the second game, with her score of 135.

Other news: I golfed  at Thanksgiving Point last Saturday. The course was a little worse off than I thought, bumpy and brown etc. with snow in the bunkers, but it was still wonderful to get out and play. This was my best shot below: A par 3, 215 yards, I hit it over the ravine onto the green a few shorts short of the flagstick.

Admittedly this one went over the green

Last weekend was our stake conference, and we had Jorg Klebingat of the 70 presiding. Saturday night he conducted a Q+A for 2.5 hours. It was incredible! He told his courtship story with his wife, and it is one of the most inspiring, unusual ones I’ve ever heard! I was taught, and I was inspired. As the Holy Ghost is the real teacher, I won’t include many notes here. I will add though, that he emphasized the necessity of pondering. We have lost that art because of loudness, and always expecting fast turn around in everything. We need to reflect, to have stillness in our lives, for that is when the still, small voice of the Holy Ghost will touch us.

And finally, just a cool quote from George Orwell I found reading a book this week:

The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.