“Hallelujah!” 9/16/2018

The title arises from the fact that earlier today I realized that I was wearing a home-made tie making pasta by hand. Pretty cool. I’ve also realized that there is a strong correlation between amount of flour used and happiness. Not simply because of the treats that go to me, but mainly for the fact that flour = service and kneading dough = therapy. So I gave myself a self-sufficiency “hallelujah!”

I should add, besides no dates, there was also no golf played this week, and thus begs the question, “is the world ending?” What will I write about?

 From Labor Day – with the windmills in the background.

The easy answer is no. Of course not! Even though Utah does in fact appear to be burning. (even the mountains have been obscured by all the smoke, and ash has sprinkled down on us at BYU – this is the closest I’ve ever been to a wildfire that I know of.)

Photo courtesy of Taylor Yardley and LDS Living: In Payson, about 15 miles south.

The real answer I’ve come to, (after wondering how the prophets for millennia have truthfully been able to declare, “Repent! the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!”) is that the world might not be ending, but ours is. Truth is, no matter how you do the math, mortality is a blink. And we best be preparing for the next life, because it’s coming to claim us sooner than we might think. Ours is to act, and not to shrink.

My classes have been great. This week in Shakespeare we read some of his sonnets and interestingly many of them dealt with the idea of eternity and Mr. Bill Shakespeare appears to have with various sonnets  preached the idea that kids yield some degree of immortality, and if that doesn’t work, then written lines surely will.

We also read “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” which although fantastical, was fantastic. I loved it. I have already become a committed fan.

I’ve chosen a couple family history projects: I am researching Horatio Gates and family, b. 1812 d. 1883. And for another one, I am researching Nancy Starbird Glass Wilson b. 1824 d. 1868 and her family. I was happy to see Horatio was a farmer and am truly eager to learn more.

Other notable news: I cut my head open with a door. No serious damage. Just an embarrassing/funny story to remember, and a current lump that looks like an award-winning pimple instead of a manly cut.

We mopped the floor voluntarily – without having a spill or accident compel us. Normally something happens before the floor actually gets dirty from just shoes. The last time we mopped was because I had inadvertently put in dish soap instead of dishwashing liquid. Didn’t, and don’t know the difference. The thing was a bubble machine and we just used all the overflowing suds to clean up the floor.

Tuesday, out of the many club choices available and appealing, I decided to go to the Family History one, where Jennifer Ann Mackley, author of Wilford Woodruff’s Witness: The Development of Temple Doctrine lectured on exactly that, the development of temple doctrine.

Fast-forward to Saturday, and going to the temple was a little more significant reflecting on some aspects of what I’d learned.

First time cooking exploits this week include making cinnamon rolls for the first time. They were amazing! Hit the spot, causing a small sugar overload as I downed 6 or 7 before I gave the rest away. Also Maple Bavarian Cream. I still need to eat that though. It said to chill, and it’s been chilling since.

Today at church I did nothing. No talks or lesson. No organ playing. No helping with the sacrament. I simply sat back and enjoyed the services and quite honestly, felt completely rejuvenated and refreshed.

Earlier in the week my I was in some pain and though my bottom left wisdom tooth was agitating like a toddler in church, causing a disturbance, and thought if it doesn’t stop, he’ll have to come out. Well, big blessing, turned out I only had a cut on my gum (from what I know not).

Work at Canopy continues. My bosses have been good at scheduling trainings and helping me improve. I’ve always been the person who would spend the whole day hacking at a tree without sharpening the saw and they’ve been good about scheduling time to help me improve.
I finally saw Tanmarie and Nora. It’s been a couple weeks, and I decided to be spontaneous and show up unannounced Sunday afternoon. Sounds like law school is good and ms. Nora is getting close to walking!

On Sunday, Dad was busy and Mom wasn’t home and after talking to Cooper for a while, Breyer came in and took over. That 15 minutes was perhaps the best part of the week for me. With her infectious laugh, innocence, and complete sincerity I was reminded once again why we are commanded to be like little children and felt brought down to real life. That’s what’s really important – and I left uplifted and with a refreshed perspective.

Another candidate for moment of the week was on Wednesday when as a presidency we redid most of the ministering assignments. My testimony was strengthened that we are involved in the Lord’s work and he knows each and every one of us personally, as we repeatedly had names come to our minds for both companionships and who they needed to visit. It wasn’t our doing – we were simply the instruments.

Saturday night I sat down with some homework and put on the Fiddler on the Roof. It’s been years since I’ve seen it, and didn’t remember much. I thought especially pertinent was the struggle Tevye had with tradition. Some changed, but others he would not, could not give up. Everything is liable to be questioned, and it is just as important for us to realize the traditions, some divinely instituted, that we can not give up or change.

I am grateful for the traditions that we have in our family. I have learned of Christ and his gospel since being an infant and I’ll forever be grateful for that. Elder Holland said:

Your love for Jesus Christ and your discipleship in His cause must be the consuming preoccupation and passion of your mortality. You must strive every day to know the Savior in the most personal way that you can – to study His life, to learn His teachings, to follow His doctrine, to reverence His priesthood.


Top 10 of the Week that Was: 9/9/2018

Coming to you a couple of days late. Here is the top 10:

10. BYU Football- I’m becoming increasingly apathetic with regards to sports. Long gone are the days of playground fun. The atmosphere is ridiculous with lots of people taking the game so seriously. I’m now a supervisor for the event staff. I learned that means I do whatever I want. But I’m there to work, and I will.

9. Date with Megan- I accompanied Megan Rowley to the Face- to face with Q. L. Cook (see #4) for a triple date with Lawson (and Andrea) and Kimball (and Aubrey). After, we went to my apartment for apple pie, ice cream and some games.

8. EQ Interviews – definitely one of the best parts of my calling. I enjoy continually meeting with my fellow quorum members in a spiritual setting to talk about life. Saturday was an EQ Super Smash Bros activity. I was absent, working the football game, but seems the activity went well, and a couple struggling elders showed up.

7. Labor Day Golf – Erin Hiatt came in from Idaho for the weekend; we had planned this outing a long time back. Philip Gebler played along with Mac, and all four of us enjoyed the perfect weather, and beautiful scenery of Spanish Fork. There are giant wind turbines nearby, and for the first time in my life, I thought they added a little to the scenery (albeit only from where we were. Driving through Spanish Fork before, I thought they were an absolute eyesore.) Philip’s sister, Rebekah Ann walked with the entire time, and viewed each shot optimistically. I was a couple over par but the last few holes was driving better than ever before. My drives on #5,6,7 went 390, 375, 360 yards right where I was aiming. Incredible.

6. Gym – I’m back. Without a car, there would be no way this is happening, so its another blessing to chalk up to the Sienna and my parents+grandparents. Working out is something I enjoy, and a great stress reliever.

5. Date with Avery – From 12-3 I helped set up signs outlining the new BYU stadium bag policy (following the NFL, only clear bags allowed) and then ran to Mapleton to pick up Avery Bishop. We went to Sub- Zero Ice Cream in Spanish Fork. I’ve wanted to try the nitrogen blasted treat for a while, but was extremely disappointed. Not with Avery though, she was very impressive with her vision and goals. Friday she heads up to Idaho for school, and I am sure will do great things.

4. Face – to – face with Quentin L. Cook – The member of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles answered questions from Nauvoo along with a couple church historians, Kate Holbrook and Matt Grow. Probably the most significant statement for me came from Kate Holbrook as she related how when she does something well, she thanks the Book of Mormon. It helped me understand better how the scriptures can be applied to my life.

3. Date with Maggie – I went with Maggie Bromley to the BYU Art Museum. She is a photographer and we especially enjoyed the Pulitzer Prize winning photos being exhibited, and then had ice cream at the Creamery.

2. Class Schedule – Crazy excited for my classes this semester. School started last Tuesday. Here is the lineup: Shakespeare – Northern US Family History Research – Family and Law in American History – Family Historian’s Craft – Reason, Revelation and Politics – Writings of Isaiah. 17 credits total, all of the classes have been excellent so far. They are challenging and definitely expanding my mind.

  1. Elder Schenewark- Porter is serving where the recently returned Elder Gabriel Bicharelli now lives, and Gabriel sent some updates and a picture. Good to see both of them.


The Drum beats on

I’ve been deeply touched by a scripture, quoted by Abinadi in Mosiah, and found in Isaiah 53:11, saying,

He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.

To know of the Savior’s love for us is so amazing! Seeing us, he knows that the Atonement, and all his suffering and sacrifice was worthwhile. Furthermore, thinking about the Savior’s work, especially the Atonement, has made me question what work shall satisfy my soul. Can’t say I really know. But I have been thinking a lot more of what it eternally important.

And talking about what is really important, I was surprised to learn that the word really is used in only one verse of scripture in the entire standard works. Jacob 4:13

“For the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be; wherefore these things are manifested unto us plainly for the salvation of our souls.”

We based our discussion in Elders Quorum on that and talked about focusing on the eternally important things, how we can use technology to help us with that, and how we can be prepared to confront the challenges that will inevitably come in our lives.

Sunday was crazy. Besides teaching EQ, I tried playing a couple new hymns on the organ, and scraped through 165, Abide with Me tis Eventide. During Ward Council, Mimi calls, and I didn’t answer, being occupied, but immediately after saw that she left a voicemail asking me to call immediately. I’d already been wondering what’s up, as I always call them, not vice-versa. Needless to say the voicemail didn’t assuage any fears, and I hesitated to think of what could have happened – someone is deathly ill, there is a problem with the car I’m driving, their house is on fire, etc. So I call back ASAP, and my dear grandmother lets me know that Avery Bishop is in Utah for ten more days, and that I need to go out with her.

An unforeseen tragedy did happen internationally – the National Museum of Brazil burned down. The government still hasn’t shared the extent of the damage, but spectators filmed it being absolutely torched and I’ll be surprised if anything survives.

Other news: Sunday night my roommate (a different one) left the toilet clogged. He’s very responsible in general housekeeping, and I figured he must not know. However, turns out he was without medicine and thus very sick,  so I figured the buck was passing to me, and I had a chance (unwanted) to serve. Twenty minutes later, having finished mopping the floor from overflow, I was done, and ready for bed. I’ve started using masks to help care for my skin (and mostly because it is incredibly relaxing.) This was definitely a night for that.

The BYU semester officially starts tomorrow. I am so excited! I’ll be down to working only 20 hours a week, and I am beyond ready to go back to the classroom.

The Maeser Laser is one week from print. Stay tuned. I’m hoping we’ll be ready, but there is a lot of work left to be done.

Wednesday I went out with Brooke Ferrin. Surprise – I went to Rockwell’s Ice Cream. I’m not superstitious, but I am getting tired of going to the same place. Time for a new first date place. Preferably cheaper.

Friday after work I golfed The Ranches with Kimball and Lawson. This was their first time playing on a real course; we have completed the 7-hole executive course a few times before. Kimball’s first two shots hit houses 150 yards down the right side of the fairway, and when we got there, a couple was waiting for him outside. Hilarious! Thankfully nothing was broken, but he was ready to quit the round right there and live at the range only for a year or two. The rest of the round went much smoother, and was very enjoyable.

Saturday Kara and I made chocolate chip cookies, lots of them, and that evening accompanied by the EQ presidency, SS pres., and Ward Mission leader, we visited men’s apartments that we felt could use a little help and delivered them. Nearly every apartment was watching college football, and having decided to not watch any this year, after finishing our visits, I was persuaded to return to one of the apartments we had stopped by to watch the second half of BYU’s game, which was way better than I expected. Looks like we’ll have a team this year.

Sunday night was family dinner at Uncle Ben and Aunt Joy’s house. Dinner, especially dessert (chocolate cake and ice cream) was delicious. Emma was there for the first time, and it’s nice to welcome her to Utah/college life. Seems like everything is going well for her. Stevie and Abby are back as well – and that was my first time in two weeks to see Nora awake, and she continues to grow so fast! Walking is right around the corner now.