Rebellion to Tyrants is obedience to God

That title comes from Thomas Jefferson. It was his suggestion for the US Motto.

This weekend has been the church’s annual indexing push, so if you haven’t done a batch, now is the time.

When I started using Porter’s phone, once or twice a week, I would receive an  automated call from some place in Chicago. Tired of this, I tried unsuccessfully to figure out how to block the number or get off their list. In desperation, i entered my number into the national do not call list the government operates. Mistake. They say it can take up to one month for my request to take place, and apparently in the meantime, my number is openly circulated. I’ve been repeatedly called and called and have thus placed my phone on silence for at least the near future. Only outgoing calls. The best was when some guy called with a number out of New Brunswick saying he was stranded in Puerto Rico and wanted to wish my Dad happy birthday, but didn’t have his right number and asked me to call back.

I have to choose my classes for next semester in one week, and therefore need to decide if I want to keep my job (and the resulting Tuesday-Thursday class schedule) or not. Honestly, I still don’t know. Its a good job, but I’d like to spend more time on campus and have the opportunity to attend more events. I was elated to find out the BYU entrepreneurship contest has grown significantly in my two years absence. BYU now offers 8 teams/individuals $15,000, mentoring, and office space to start a company. There are also cash awards given out, which enabled two of the aforementioned 8 companies to walk away with $55,000 and $22,000. These are completely free grants; no equity is given away. I’ve been salivating since finding out, and am working on ideas right now. I have a couple possibilities, but nothing I can say I’m truly passionate about. So, don’t have free time, but want to see your idea put into action? Talk to me! Deadline is February.

Cajoled by Tanner, I attended a lecture by Robbie George on Thursday. He is one of the leading individuals on religious liberty in the nation. He paraphrased Benjamin Franklin saying that a people who lack virtue can always be counted on to trade freedom for protection.

Friday morning, I took a day off of work and left before dawn to head to Colorado Springs for an ISI conference. Five other students from BYU went, but had already arranged carpooling before I RSVP’ed for the conference, so I went with some students from Utah State University, making the 9 hour drive to Colorado Springs. Its been an interesting and enlarging experience; I must admit, however, that academia simply is not for me. We discussed and learned about “Liberty and the Declaration of Independence.” I realized I currently feel much more comfortable discussing business than philosophy. That will be a  shortcoming I look to remedy. The conference is set up to allow many opportunities to network with other students. Try as I might, I couldn’t say I succeeded. Besides from a music performance major from Univ. of Colorado at Boulder, I did not really connect with anyone from outside of BYU. (I did not know them before, and did really enjoy conversing with them.) Not to step too high on the soapbox, I must admit that much of the difficulty in connecting can be traced to choice of drink. While not ignorant of the general college atmosphere, I was nevertheless surprised by the alcoholic intake. In a conference themed around the Declaration of Independence, Sam Adams was celebrated in the hospitality room, and neglected to an afterthought as a founding father. One professor who spoke defined the pursuit of happiness  as having a keg on a weekend. My roommate for the weekend is a student from USU, and came in around 2 am, both nights seemingly hammered by Thor himself. Drinks being free, freely flowed. Needless to say it was a reminder to be thankful for the though imperfect, utopian by comparison setting of BYU. Overall, there was 45ish students from 20 universities. One insightful comment was made mentioning that it was roughly the same size group that drafted the Declaration. I am confident that they produced a much better result than what we could have. The keynote address was on the religious sympathies of the founders. The case was well argued and proven that besides for a small number of deists or heretics, the vast majority were orthodox christians and founded our nation with that in mind.

I’m back

This week has been delightfully balanced. I’ve been able to keep up physically, spiritually, mentally, and socially.


I was able to return to working out a couple days. But, the real highlight was on Wednesday when  Josh (another intern, from the U of U, and I left to go to the driving range nearby. We paid five bucks each and hit 40 balls each, renting a 7 iron and a PW. It was wonderful to be outside and enjoy some beautiful weather.

While in possession of Annemarie’s car (see dating life below) I ran to DI for a cookie sheet. Of course, I then strolled past the organs. They were tempting, but I resisted (where would I put an organ anyway?) Then I meandered into the outdoor section and that is where I saw it. Love at first sight. Hidden in the corner, red metal jutting out. Yes, it was my grill. MTB. $15, like new, and one of my best all time purchases. Of course that necessitated charcoal and matches, but hey, you do what you gotta do. And what did I do? After getting everything ready (and having been inspired to pick up rump roast on sale at Macy’s grocery store earlier) it was cookout time this weekend. Brazilian style. Complete with a plantain to be grilled. Deeelicious. I’m back. After some rocky moments in the last few weeks including as previously reported pumpkin pie without sugar, and corn chowder a la carrot chowder as I had no corn and substituted carrots, it was time to get down to the real important stuff. Meat. Turned out fantastic. This might have to be a weekly occurrence, at least bi-weekly right? Might I add that all ward members were  incentivized to come to family history class with oatmeal chocolate chip cookies? I realized that I’d been neglecting to add ice water to my crust, and I also bought measuring cups, so my apple pie turned out heavenly.


Roommate service notes: one of them broke my pie plate. He felt bad, but honestly no one here is very rich, and he contributes a lot to the apt, so I bought another one.
And another totally clogged the toilet. He used it then shortly afterwards left the apt. I went in, saw the disaster and left to go to byu to study and practice the organ, and do some homework. When I came back 5 hours later, the problem had not been resolved, but he was home. So I let him know, and he said, “yeah, I keep forgetting to fix it.” Thinking it would then be resolved, I waited for another two hours. Nothing. So, I unceremoniously plunged it. You are welcome. I have been praying for ways to serve, so can’t really complain. I just hope it doesn’t happen again.

I watched the replay of Elder Hales funeral. Inspiring of course, and needless to say a life well lived, worthy of emulation, full of purpose, and reaching for perfection. I love the story of how when he was at Harvard and called to be Elders Quorom President, and not knowing how he would fulfill the time obligation, his wife said,  “I’d rather have an active priesthood holder than a man who holds a master’s degree from Harvard. We’ll do them both.” LOVE IT!

Sort of reminds me of what Elder Claudio Costa’s wife told him concerning time away from home concerns, (to translate and paraphrase) “I’d rather have 10% of a 100% priesthood holder, than 100% of a 10% priesthood holder.”

I’ve had the goal of following Pres. Nelson’s challenge and

  • Study everything Jesus said and did as recorded in the Old Testament.
  • Study His laws as recorded in the New Testament.
  • Study His doctrine as recorded in the Book of Mormon.
  • Study His words as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants.

He promised, “I promise those listening that if they would proceed to learn all they can about Jesus Christ, their love for Him and for God’s laws would grow beyond what they could currently imagine.” He also said “my wife asked me what impact it had on me. told her, ‘am different man!'” This week I started. 

On Tuesday, my 5-7:30 pm class was cancelled which allowed me to participate in our ward’s temple trip. 


Thursday I returned to campus at 7 to listen to an interfaith panel, of a BYU professor and a Baptist theologian from the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. They talked over various aspects of Christ’s ministery, showing how the LDS and Baptists views are similar and different. It was quite enlightening. One of my favorite parts was when Dr. McKinion from SBTS shared how Christ was born, coming out of Joseph’s virgin, womb (Joseph’s as mary was legally betrothed to him) and later would rise from the dead, coming out of the virgin (unused) tomb of Joseph of Arimethea. Good stuff.


First, let me say that Tanner and Annemarie earned saint status. St. Tanner brought me back home from work on Wednesday, and St. Annemarie dropped off her car for me to use on my date. And St Tanmarie dropped off pumpkin chocolate chip cookies with the car. Yes!

Friday night I picked up a certain Jane, a blind date (and to quell the inevitable jokes from some unnamed readers *cough* dad *cough*) I confirmed that she has 20/20 vision. And is not blind. She is a roommate of a former sister in my mission, who set this up. The only thing I knew was that she lived in Saudi Arabia for a couple years, so I invited her to see “The Saint and the Sultan” with me. We drove to the JSB, conversed, and then enjoyed the film. Interestingly, she was born in Boston, I’m guessing when her dad was going to school. And recently returned from serving a mission in Tallahassee Florida. In any case, I’ll just say that Jane is a fantastic person who has a bright future ahead of her, but….. it was like I was dancing the waltz and she was doing the foxtrot. Both great, but just seemed off when put together. And I never even told her any metaphors to be confusing. There simply wasn’t any real sparks or chemistry and everything seemed sort of forced. Forced yes, but it never was awkward, and we even hugged at the end of the night, after I walked her up to her door. So, a job well done and I’m going to add an entry in the “Valuable Dating Experience” ledger.

Happy Columbus Day!

Quick recap of the week:

Monday- Homework tried to smash me. I won, but it wasn’t easy.

Tuesday- Our dance teacher filmed us practicing and provided feedback, in preparation for the championship in November. But the video is too big to post…

Wednesday- We had a practice dance tournament. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it as far as I thought I could or should. But, getting out earlier than anticipated allowed me to go to the annual Texas party for BYU texans. It was a blast, and especially memorable as walking in, two friends from the MTC saw me and we were able to catch up.

Thursday- I elected to write a recreational essay, answering the prompt, “In the age of “doing what feels right,” are there moral absolutes? How can you tell?” This Friday they will announce the finalists, who are competing for $3500 in prize money.

Friday- After working at GPS Capital, I went straight to my job at the BYU football game. BYU lost to Boise State, their fifth straight loss, and I made it home at 1 am to finish 17 hours of work.

Saturday- Yeah, I slept in. Then, I gave my room a needed organizing and cleaning. Afterwards, it was off to a BYU chess tournament. We I finished tied for 4-5, out of 7, winning once, and losing twice. I expected it, as I haven’t been keeping up with the game. I lost one disappointingly with some errors that can be attributed to rustiness, but lost another getting wrecked and thoroughly outplayed. I spent most of the rest of the day reading.

Sunday- Church, including our first family history class. Tanner and Annemarie came over and we enjoyed some time together. And then I went to SLC to the Cathedral of the Madeleine for an organ concert. The organ was behind us on the second story, so they put up a screen for us to see. It was incredible, especially the last piece. Someone handed the organist (from France) an envelope and he opened it, and it contained only two lines of music. So, using that as inspiration, he composed and played on the spot for the next ten. So impressed were we, that after a rousing ovation, he returned and composed and played another variation on the same theme.


This was a crazy busy week. I’m settled down in my work schedule of Monday, Wednesday, Friday. We officially finished training Monday and I worked Wednesday and Friday solo. Its good. Tuesday, I have a class from 5-7:30, but we usually finish at 7:20ish. Havinf a date at 7:30, a miracle happened and the class ended at 7. That left me enough time to sneak over to clubs night, eat some (free!) pizza, and win at chess before making it to my date five minutes early. Oh yeah! We enjoyed BYU’s instrumental showcase which had four different bands, BYU’s wind symphony, philharmonic, symphony orchestra, and symphonic band playing. The best band was the Philharmonic orchestra which wowed with pieces by Bizet, and Tchaikowsky. But my personal favorite was the “Colonial Song” composed by the Aussie Percy Grainger and played by the wind symphony. My date and I both enjoyed it thoroughly, and it was doubly nice as the frequent band switches left plenty of time to talk.

Thursday I had the privilege to hear the CEO of FamilySearch talk. He visited and delivered the keynote for Family History Week at BYU and it was quite inspirational. He talked about how those doing family history are like the computer geeks of 39 years ago, and how familiy history is our way of participating in the plan of salvation.

Due to conference weekend, the testing center was closed Saturday, and thus would be doubly packed on Friday, so I was proactive and took a history and an M Com test Wednesday and Thursday. That left Friday open and I went with my pal Nate to our mission reunion in Salt Lake. Besides getting stuck in traffic for 1.5 hours, and me almost peeing in my pants, the trip up was uneventful. And the reunion truly wonderful. I went up to see Pres. and Sis. Young more than anyone, but it was nice to see lots of missionaries with whom I labored with. Given the small percentage of Americans in the mission, I was surprised with a great turnout of 40 missionaries. At the end, Pres. and Sis. young both briefly spoke, then Pres. Young called on two of us to bear our testimonies. I felt like I would be chosen, and sure enough, got the nod. Afterwards, he thanked me, and finding out where I worked (close to him) invited me for lunch, which I am looking forward to. Nate and I then went with two ex-sisters, one of whom was celebrating a birthday that night, to Waffle Love. Which, although delicious, are not worth $5 for half a waffle (or a quarter depending on which type).

   Cut Nate out. Sorry Nate. Still working on this selfie stuff.


Which brings us to conference. Actually, to close the above episode, that mission reunion & waffles resulted in me going to bed after midnight, breaking my streak of before 11pm. And thus sleeping in Saturday morning. And thus staying up late Saturday. And thus sleeping in Sunday morning. The cycle is truly vicious. Good thing I have no choice but to break it tomorrow.

And conference. I watched Saturday morning and afternoon, alone, holed up in my apt. It was nice. Saturday morning brought the guns out early. I had some questions, and before I could even get settled in on the coach, they were all answered!

For priesthood session, Tanner picked me up and we went to the conference center and watched it. Pretty good seats too. Even better was Elder Maynes talk. He spoke at BYU two weeks ago, and after these two talks, he’s on my short list of personal favorites. (Two others, Elders Zwick and Ellis were both released.) And we topped the night off with some needed quality brotherly bonding driving back to Provo, and stopping at Cafe Rio where Tanner treated me to some sweet pulled pork goodness.

Sunday morning, I was again rescued and brought to a place much higher than my own, where Annemarie served up french toast and fresh fruit. We watched the first session, then picked up Stevie and Abby to attend the afternoon session. Hearing of the passing of Elder Hales, brought a tender spirit to the session. We returned to Tanmarie’s house and enjoyed a pot roast and games. And simply time together. And I get to meet Annemarie’s sister Lynndsi. So, all in all, a fantastic week. Looking forward to another one. Hope you have one as well.

9/24/2017 “And it came to pass”

What would you do, if money were not an issue? That question has been on my mind, and due to answering that, along with some other questions, I have now decided to switch my major. Why? Basically since starting college, I have felt underwhelmed by the business classes. That feeling was intensified working as an intern right before the mission. I learned way, way more about business in those short weeks than I did taking classes. Again working, I can see that I am once more learning vastly more at my job, than in the classroom. I read how prominent New England businessmen (and mormons) like Mitt Romney majored in english, and Kevin Rollins majored in humanities. Simply put, I view a business major giving a three- to six-month head start in the workplace. After that initial period, I do not see the value. Now paying for college, I cannot imagine paying three more years for that, not to mention struggling staying interested in the classes. My end goal has not changed in terms of a profession, but the way to get there has and is. What have I decided to switch to? Haven’t the foggiest. I am leaning towards Ancient Near Eastern Studies, as I feel most passionate about that field. And, I dream about going to the Jerusalem Center. Other possibilities include history, english, or political science. Whatever the case, this door is unequivocally open. I am focused on covering all the bases for now, making sure I stay on track to graduate at the end of my eight semesters, which I feel is a mature, adult decision.

A life- size replica of the Tabernacle being built on campus. It’ll be open until Oct 29.

In an update to last week, I do, as of an hour ago have a date for Tuesday night. We’ll be going to the BYU Wind Symphony concert.

Tonight, we had a stake training for basically everyone with a calling. Recently sustained as Family History co-specialist, I joined the Temple and Family History group for training. And, during the “munch and mingle” afterwards picked up the number of one Nicole, temple committee chair of the 218th ward. Hey, whether its for a friendly ward indexing competition, or a date, its good to be prepared, As dad, asking about someone else would say, “is she someone who will help build your family tree?” Subtle, and I like the FH emphasis. I went door to door tonight meeting people and drumming up support for our FH class which will start on Oct. 8th. Bishop Gonzalez, in calling me to this position gave me the advice to “work like you did on the mission.” That has stuck with me, and I am determined to do my best. Home teaching, I also learned that one of my visits is to Mouli, a Phd candidate in physics from India, who is not a member. I am thankful for the opportunities, and feel like I am in the right place. Coming here, I had pondered and prayed to go to the right apt. complex as so much seems to hinge on it. I am thankful for the confirmations that have come letting me know this is the place.

This weekend the temperature has dipped to under 40 degrees. The mountains are covered with snow. (In September for crying out loud!!!!!) Needless to say, I have been bundled and upping the meat intake. Hopefully this week brings a return to warmer weather.

 Friday, more has fallen since.

I finally finished Neal Mazwell’s biography, “A Disciple’s Life”, having gotten sidetracked with other reading projects. Coming recommended by Uncle Zach, I am glad I took the time to read it. One fascinating story and previously unknown  to me,  happened in 1972. Senator Bennett of Utah went to Neal to announce his coming retirement from politics and ask Neal Maxwell to run for his seat. Virtually assured a victory, this man, Neal Ash Maxwell, who had majored in political science, worked in D.C., and long been fascinated with american politics, turned down this once-in-a-lifetime offer. Of course, less than two years later he would be called to be a General Authority. And to paraphrase him, the only gift we can give to the Lord is our free agency. And when we do, He will mold us into the people we have the potential to become.


Coming to you one day late.

Uncle Aaron was at the BYU game. He chose the wrong year to attend. It was nevertheless nice to see Anna and him there. I do hope he appreciates my leniency. He came in not once, but twice before we officially let people in. To put that into perspective, and how seriously I take my gatekeeping responsibilities, later this guy with his family comes over. He asks to go in, as he is needed at the media tent. “Ok, where’s your pass?” “We weren’t given any.” (Then shows me their tickets,) “We start taking tickets at 12.” “You don’t understand, I am Luke Staley.” “Nice to meet you.” (If I had really been quick, I would have said, “I am Groot!”) “I need to go in, they’re retiring my number today!” Of course, once that card is played, its out of my league. He went by with his family. And I admittedly felt bad for not knowing who he was, nor that he was being honored  this game.

    MTC meet-up

I recieved my calling: Family History Specialist! Never will a YSA have done so much family history after this………..

I went again to the temple Friday, but am now committed to bringing family names from here on out. Tanner and AnneMarie then came over where we three along with a ward friend shared an apple pie.

We spent Sunday evening with the fam, TanMarie taking me over to Uncle Ben and Aunt Joy’s where we feasted on delicious pasta and then played sushi-go. Not seeing dessert, Uncle Aaron impressively whipped up some delicious chocolate chip cookies.

Later that night, I spent a couple hours with Rebecca and Emily taking a walk down memory lane.


Not in the highlight reel: this week, I was rejected for a date. Surprised, I nevertheless decided to put into action my own field of dreams and acquired tickets for BYU’s “Instrumental Showcase” next Tuesday, the 26th. If you have tickets, a date will come.

My job at GPS Capital Markets started on Wednesday, and I took the train up Wednesday and Friday for half-day training. So far, I’ve learned way more than I could have imagined, even receiving a nice econ refresher. Today started the carpool for me, so it was a full day, us leaving at 6:30 and returning at 4:00. We had the areas of Georgia, North Carolina, and Chicago to choose from. The other two interns flipped a coin for Chicago, but for me I was set on N. Carolina. Wednesday we start our work, and I am excited!


After returning, I called Mom, who after hearing my plans for the rest of the night, urged me to go to FHE. I did not want to. I was looking forward to a workout, then a relaxing evening. I headed to BYU for this purpose; I practiced playing the organ, but on my way to the gym, felt compelled to turn around and go to FHE. Its so easy to leave behind lessons learned  on the mission. It was easier then to be obedient, as I was 100% committed. Knowing that that is what brings miracles, I figured being obedient, and 100% committed now will also bring miracles. So, it was off to FHE.  And I think my biceps grew a little just for that sacrifice. But if they didn’t, thats ok too. Of course it helps to remember that David Bednar met his wife at FHE at BYU. (And talking about Apostle courtship trivia, do you know which one married a cougarette?)

Love ya,

Hunter Schenewark

On Repentance

Returning from work on Wednesday, I had looked the BYU shuttle schedule up and knew there was a bus leaving 200N 40 East at 6:35. I had about 20 minutes to make it over from the train station. I foolishly ambled down University Ave, still reflecting on what I had read. Then, I realized I’d be cutting it close, so moved into speedwalking, before deciding to just run. It felt good, and I went for a couple blocks before stopping, thinking I was on time. Then, up ahead, I saw the bus rounding the corner and nearing the pick-up point. Once again, I picked up the pace, this time more of just a jog, thinking I had it made. Then, my backpack jerked open spilling everything out. Angry and worried, I picked a shoe, and my reading materials of the ground, and went back thinking I had already missed the bus. But no! It waited there, I could still make it. Holding this hodge podge, I instinctively reached around with my other hand and touched the backpack. Feeling empty, I looked back and sure enough, the brown dress shoe sat lost on the sidewalk 20 yards back. Now, I had missed it. I watched my ride go, then returned to pick up my shoe. It must have fallen out when I bent down to pick everything up the first time.
I won’t lie, then and there, I wanted to just stop. i was tired and hungry. I knew there was another bus route that would take me home I could catch, but my first thoughts were of quitting. Rejecting those, I again kicked it up, running in my slacks, and once again with a full backpack. This time, I made the bus. I returned home at the same time. Messing up had caused me sweat and work and was not as easy, but still, it wasn’t too late. There was another way to make it.
Its better just to be perfect, but when we mess up, we have the gift of repentance that allows us through a little extra work to arrive at our destination.
I am thankful for the simple lesson that was so profoundly taught to me this day.


9/10/2017 – The Eagle has Landed

Monday, we (TanMarie and I) went to Uncle Ben’s where we enjoyed delicious burgers, conversation and family in general. Footnote- that was my first time swimming since returning. I’ll be back. And then, after being unable mentally (at least this week, it was quite the shock) to pay $1.50 just to dry clothes (after having washed them) I stayed at Tanmarie’s house,using their dryer, where we played a sushi game which I liked. Even though I came in last.

I received a call Tuesday at about 10 am about a job interview. Asked whether today or tomorrow would work, I instinctively, or perhaps faithfully, replied, ”Today!” At 3. So, I ran home, stuffed some clothes into my backpack, ate lunch, and was back at school for my final class, leaving immediately after at 1 to go to the train station. Why? So I can go first next time we play ticket to ride or Railroad tycoon. I pulled a batman, entering inconspicuously into the bathroom dressed as a gym going young man, and quickly left ready for Wall Street. One old lady who saw the transformation quipped, ”My, you look dapper!” Hearts are breaking all across …. the 750 line to South Jordan.

The only downside? It is in South Jordan, a 1/2 hour commute. My interviewer told me that they want me, but are worried about how I would get there, so they said find a qualified friend who can drive, and we’ll hire you both. Cousin Greg accepted; I re-arranged my school schedule to make it work, and he was interviewed and offered the job the next day. And decided to turn it down. Props to him for seeking revelation, but I’ll admit, I was bummed. So, weighed a couple options (other job, buy a car, ride the train) before wisely deciding the best would be to re-arrange my schedule again to get in with an existing carpool. Pros?  A ride. The job. I have class only tuesday + thursday. Cons? I dropped my bible as literature class and portuguese.

Now that I’ve finally locked it in, here’s my schedule: international ballroom; living prophets; world religions; germanic family history; math 116; organ performance; history 201; M Com 320 (business school)

Thursday night, I had a mission pal, Nate Gibby over and we both reminisced and looked to the future.

Friday, I was productive, trying to finish everything before heading to the temple at 4. And I went with a young woman, so I’ll count that as a date. And we talked on the car ride going there and back, so it basically counts twice. Besides getting to know a very nice young lady, being in the House of the Lord was wonderful. That was my first time in the Provo City Center Temple.

I also decorated my room. Just hung up a couple pictures, but improved the ambiance, and not to boast, but I was definitely impressed with how it turned out. Pictures forthcoming.

Saturday, I saved my energy for what I knew what would be a long day, and spent most of the morning reading. At 3, I left for the BYU vs. Utah football game. The weather fortuitously stayed cool, and I helped keep the peace until game time at 8;21, when I ate some smoked brisket, and then took my customary spot on the field. It was another ugly game, and I am sure many fans are praying for a new BYU QB. I have been impressed with the defense though, even in the two losses. The fans wore me out too.

Today we had a regional conference with Elder Stevenson of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles. He spoke about Utah’s history and HOV lanes (high occupancy vehicles) which get us to our destination quicker, safer, less stress. Or, spiritually speaking, HOV, humility, obedience, virtue. And our companion for the trip should be the Holy Spirit.

And tonight, we watched Elder Bednar’s broadcast from North Carolina. Go Family History! He inspired me to strengthen the ”chain of the generations” and talked about how these welding links are what fulfills the earth’s purpose.

Lots of love, Hunter

9/3/2017 Welcome to the Big Mingle!

We’ve all heard of the Big Apple, or the Big Easy, well, Provo,  is the Big Mingle. Its good to be back.

Arriving Tuesday night, I stayed at TanMarie’s house that night, before finally going to my new apartment Wednesday. Its spacious, its clean, its quiet…its expensive. While I do have a private bedroom, I share the actual apartment with three others- Jeremiah, Austin, and Derik. All three are currently students at UVU. A quick breakdown: Austin and Derik are longtime friends from the way out in the boondocks town of Filmore, Utah. Biggest attraction/ point of interest? The Maverick gas station. They both graduated in 2014 (same as me) with Derik doing one year of National Guard before serving a mission in Chicago, (returned one month ago) and Austin serving a mission in Washington before going to Snow College for one year, and now here. I haven’t gotten to know Jeremiah as well, he grew up mostly in Albuquerque, NM, before heading to the D.C. area. He’s been at UVU for a couple years now. They all have been friendly, and seem organized and clean. I’m calling it a win, and look forward to our year together.

Annemarie also took me shopping at Costco, which was a huge help. I think I’m stocked for this semester. Its going to be good. The non-perishables….

My first night there, I felt like a celebration was in order, so I decided to cook salmon (can’t do that often!) I might just move the coaches over to the kitchen table, they are COMFY! My packing was admittedly done without as much thought and preparation as usual, and I left a couple things sort of important (belt, bedsheets, camera, etc. ) so it was nice to remember I had a coaster (shout out to the Bach’s!) It’s nice to feel at home.

I’m waiting to hear back from a couple companies about ”real jobs” but Friday I was happy to be rehired working with BYU Special Events – and turned right around and worked that nights soccer game, which saw BYU go down in a fantastic game to #1 UCLA. For three hours, I stood on the bleachers telling students, ”no, no, you can’t sit there, those seats are reserved.” ”But they are empty?!!!?” ”Yes, but that’s because the people bought them so they don’t have to show up 2 hours early like y’all to get seats.” Attendance record was set, 5,700+ showing up, 700 being standing room only. It was a spirited, nail-biter of a game. After an early UCLA goal, BYU had a couple opportunities to tie it, the best coming with 10 minutes left, on a breakaway and with the goalie leaving the box, the BYU player kicked and the ball hit the crossbar. So close. A lot better than football on Saturday. One roommate from freshman year contacted me, and he took me first to Buffalo Wild Wings, where we decided not to wait three hours, and went to Texas Roadhouse. Nothing like a ribeye. Thanks Kevin! And then he dropped me off at Uncle Ben’s and Aunt Joy’s house where we (Hutchins family, Aunt Jenny, Stevie, TanMarie) enjoyed each others company and tried to ignore what LSU was doing to BYU.

First day of church today. Wrong time to be a clerk. We welcomed about 100 people into the ward. It has a good dynamic. Next week will be a regional conference at the Marriott Center, but after that, I should receive my calling……..

This is Porter’s bike he left. Left locked up with no key. I visited the campus police and they came out and cut the lock off. Our conversation was tough. Are you a freshman? No. But the bike is parked on the freshman dorms? Yes. Actually, on the women’s freshman dorms? Yes. School hasn’t even started, how did you lose the key already? Its complicated. Do you have ID to prove its yours? No. I tried explaining, and after a thorough interrogation, they decided to simply take my info down in case anybody reported a stolen blue bike, but as one officer said, ”If I was going to steal a bike, I wouldn’t steal this one.”

On my mission, I gained such a strong testimony of the prophets, and loved every single second of general conference. However, it was essentially relegated to that, as we read only from a the scriptures and a couple other books in the ‘missionary library.’ I’ve been patiently waiting to use BYU’s library, and during this laid back week have feasted on the word. Reading biographies of men  like L. Tom Perry, and Boyd K. Packer, it is obvious at once they have been prepared, chosen, and guided from on high. I am so thankful for living prophets. I know as we emulate them, we are emulating our Savior.

Ok, heading out, going to mingle in the Big Mingle. Have a great week!