“Here we go again!”

Our conversation ranges from “everything and nothing and all that’s in between.” Amanda’s words, and I couldn’t say it better myself.

Attending a BYU Women’s Chorus choir concert with other people from her ward. This was Jean Appleonie’s last time conducting before retiring, and she chose as her last number, an energetic medley from “Mamma Mia,” which was the perfect way to go out.

In any case, tonight will be our 36th time together, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

School is wrapping up and finals are looming, but we’ve both found the time for each other. Saturday, we were going to a game night, but turns out it was the wrong apartment and we awkwardly ran into a bachelorette party or something like it. Making a quick escape, we went to my apartment, painted some watercolors and listened to Simon and Garfunkel on the record player.

Friday was a really fun date night as well. Amanda was babysitting and had  cleared my presence with the parents so I joined her the last half-hour of that assignment, watching 3- month old Rose. Then we went to the Easter conference and listened to the historian Richard Lyman Bushman and Emeritus general authority Bruce C. Hafen bear their testimonies on our Savior Jesus Christ and and his atonement. Definitely got me in the easter spirit. We followed that by going out to dinner. Thinking chinese, we went to Panda Express to find out it was inexplicably closed for the evening. Going to downtown, the local chinese place had shuttered its doors at 8:30, and so in our conundrum, we were rescued by a kind old woman, Mrs. Wright who invited us to follow her to Joe Vera’s, where she promised the best mexican food in Provo. Leaving Mrs. Wright to wait for her husband to arrive, we found a booth, and both ordered a carne asado burrito. After meandering a bit to find our parked car, we went to her apartment and watched Sherlock Holmes defeat Lord Blackwood.

Last bit I’ll share of dating has to do with conference. We watched all four sessions together, attending in person two of them thanks to Uncle Rich. It was a great experience. And I confess, we quickly figured out, that as Amanda is left-handed and I’m right-handed, with her on the left, and me on the right, we could hold hands and still take notes. (;

Sunday morning

In the Conference Center for the Saturday Afternoon session, I was anxiously awaiting the new area authorities to be called, having thought Uncle Rich would be called. The names are called in alphabetical order, and after a “hess” and a “Holmes” when they said Richard S. Hawkins, I figured he had been called, as there was no reason to return to the Ha-‘s. Hutchins it was.

Monday I got a call from Uncle Ben asking if I’d like to help him with a landscaping project. I jumped at that, needing to get out and do some physical work. I missed the last class of the day, but it was worth it. We went to Sandy and Uncle Ben pruned a bunch of trees, and I moved 3,700 pounds of rock from the trailer into the yard. The shoveling wasn’t bad, but the grass was soaked and it didn’t matter how much weight I put in the wheelbarrow, it was tough to keep moving on the grass. Uncle Ben was the BEST lawn care person I’ve ever seen. Not many people mix a couple college degrees, great customer service, with deep professional knowledge and yet carry themselves humbly but Uncle Ben did this and more. It was a fantastic time. And after I felt great – completely worn out, but like something had been accomplished.

Last week the high council member, Bro. Holmes brought me a 7-iron he had purchased. I lost mine before the mission and have played with one ever since. We’ve played once together, and this was very nice of him. On Wednesday I went with Michael and two of his friends to Sleepy Ridge to play  again. This was the worst weather in a month, with snow swirling, hail falling, and the wind whipping up to gusts of 25 mph. I didn’t honestly know if we’d make it, but we finished 9 holes. It was a challenge, and oh so much fun.

Yesterday at 1:50, I finished my last college class. Now, I’ll only be negotiating finals and I’m done. Crazy to realize how soon my collegiate career is wrapping up. I applied to about 10 jobs around here, and as time lessens, have widened the search aware that starting a dream job in May is becoming increasingly unlikely and it is more important to just have something soon.

Sunday I was released from my calling, ending my tenure as EQP. I’ve loved this calling, and the opportunities and challenges that have arisen due to it. I felt the mantle leave on Sunday, and will never forget this time. The Crestwood has become a holy place to me, because of the experiences here. My contract ends at the end of the month, and I’ll be off to somewhere new. (TBD).

The outgoing presidency, Nathan Folkman, me, and Porter Wright. I’ll never forget these two good brethren.

 

Saturday I attended the temple with my mission pal Lawson, and we went through a Portuguese session, which happens once a month. It was really cool, and definitely something I’ll do again.

 

I don’t quote Nietzsche often, but here it is:

He whose life has a why can bear almost any how.

At this moment there is so much uncertainty in my life. At times that can make me a little anxious. But I know the why, and I know that there is purpose. And above all else, I believe in Paul’s statement to the Romans, (8:28) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.”

I do love my Heavenly Father and my Savior, and thus it is ever onward.