Dancing with Cougars

First, a Happy Birthday to Tanner. I’m just coming back from his birthday party, good times, and I feel like I always leave a better person after spending time with AnneMarie and him. It’s been an evening full of games and food. Specifically shish kebabs of peppers, pineapple, mushrooms and chicken. That had been marinated for 12 hours. As AnneMarie says, Tanner’s food has to taste good and look aesthetically pleasing. (they prepared it all). And then lots of ice cream, and brownies and lemon bars. Good stuff. Saturday, we also celebrated his special day by going to a movie, Murder on the Orient Express, and then playing games in the evening. Earlier, about a week ago, asking me to come to the movie, Tanner said that it would be so fun, they would all dress up like characters from the film, and really get into it. Well, I’m not the type of person you need to call to remind about something, like giving a talk in church, etc. I don’t forget. And thus, I watched the trailer to get an idea, and dressed up. I was subsequently picked up by TanMarie, who had on gym clothes. And we were then joined by others. In gym clothes. #fake news. They got me good.

Of course, there’s a little more to the story than just that. That morning, I had spent grilling with my charcoal grill and watching football, (I also cooked the kebabs which makes my new favorite hobby BBQ’ing) and was eating my steak quickly to finish in time. When, I heard shouts for help coming from the small gym in the clubhouse. I went over to look, and the lone athlete had dislocated his shoulder and asked me to put it back in. I never took anatomy in school or anything similar which might have explained his wails that almost cracked the glass doors, but hey, after a couple tries, his shoulder went back in. Then, I returned to finish my steak. Of course, I was now five minutes behind schedule and texted Tanner to let him know. I wanted to make sure I had time to change and wouldn’t be the only one not dressed up. C’est la vie. But hey, steak, a good movie, better company, and games all in 24 hours? Even if you throw in a scary dislocated shoulder, it was still a nice day.

Friday, was also a memorable day. I had work off, because of Veteran’s Day. However, my boss called on Thursday wanting to know if I would come to his house and do a concrete project. I couldn’t because of prior commitments, but appreciated the offer, and the trust. Those prior commitments included meeting with Roger Minert, world-renowned german family history specialist. He isn’t just an expert in the field, he is the expert. He is teaching my class on that subject, and I’ve already learned a lot, but it was amazing to spend an hour and work through some tough problems on our tree. The main goal is still to find where Frank Schenewark and Fam. lived in Germany. I sprinted from that meeting back to my apt, changed clothes, had lunch, and was back on campus for my 2nd stab at Dancesport. This time we were dancing the quickstep, and I had put some serious practice time into it, and we were looking good! Alas, it was not to be, as disaster struck and we failed to advance. Everything went wrong. Another couple bumped into us, we were thrown off, and instead of fixing the slight damage at that point, we tried to keep going without missing a beat, and that made us go downhill faster than Paul Bunyan could fell a tree. It was  disappointing. And to add to the forgettable finish, I had given my camera to someone, but they couldn’t figure out how to film us until half the dance was over, and then didn’t know how to zoom in.

 With my friend who won one of the Latin divisions. Coincidentally, we matched.

Friday night is date night (at least in theory). This week theory went into practice, and I went on a double date, with a friend from the MTC, Paul. I set him up with Rebecca Welch, and he set me up with Cassidy. It was actually a good time; we started off by going to the soap factory where we made our own custom bar of soap. I chose a flower design, blue color, and eucalyptus/pine scent. Cassidy went with a purple penguin with lemongrass. Paul and Becca made 12 tiny dinosaurs. The best? Definitely the one smelling like rootbeer. Paul says it will be his new car freshener. While we waited for the soap to set, we played banana grams, then went for ice cream at Rockwell’s. It was hard, but I branched out, only sampling my go-to cookie dough flavor, and instead choosing Apple Pie Ice Cream. Impressive, and worth a return trip.

I bucked the natural hesitancy for change, and put my winter housing contract up for sale last week. Only one person appeared interested, but that one person (in D.C. on an internship) got into contact, had his sister come over to look the place over, and tonight, asked to close. I’ll be leaving in December, (still looking for a new place to live,) and am mulling what the future holds in store. Stay tuned….

 

The Man in the Arena

This week saw my return, this time triumphant to chess  club. I was asked to be a part of the team sent to the Pan-American Intercollegiate Chess Tournament. Unfortunately, it’s held in Columbus, Ohio during Christmas Break, so I don’t think I’ll be going.

I asked out a girl from one of my classes, and if you’re wondering how it went, let’s just say that this would be an appropriate place for the following:

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Yes, judging by this poignant, impassioned speech, good ol’ Teddy Roosevelt must have suffered his dating defeats as well.

One of my roommates told me that getting turned down meant I could treat myself to something. I think he meant ice cream or a snickers bar, but I went and bought bitcoin. Those who know me, know that I am extremely cautious with money and that it takes months for me to buy the simplest (non-food) items. I wanted to buy Bitcoin before my mission, with the money left over, but my last day, the internet went down. I left instructions with the family to purchase it for me, but alas, it was not to be. At the time, the price was $200 something. It reached $7000 this week. 3000% gain in two years. Oh well. I still feel like it has a lot of room to grow, and expect to see it reach $10,000 before the end of the year.  And don’t worry, I’m not risking the farm, you are able to buy 1/ 1 millionth of a coin.

On Wednesday, dateless, I went with a friend to see the BYU Symphony play. They played a variety of dances, mostly by some Russian composers. And Friday, dateless, I went solo to see the Wind Symphony play. And won a gift card to a soda parlor while there, so, if I do get a date, i’ll know where to go. Tanner always kids me that my favorite instrument is a trumpet- something brash and powerful. No, I think I’d choose strings any day. However, after hearing the wind symphony, I must admit, it is overpowering what a good brass section can do. And similarly, while I think I like adagios better, the marches I heard were good pick-me uppers.

Saturday, I cleaned the house, did laundry, etc, and went shopping at Costco with Tanner and AnneMarie. The kitchen shelves were bare before, but have since feasted. Think fish, and cranberry sauce, and rolls. Yummy. Thats what happens when your teachers don’t assign any homework. I am up 4 pounds this semester, with a goal of between 7-10 more to get back to that pre-mish weight.

This weekend was stake conference and it was one of the best I’ve ever been to. Every talk was fabulous and inspiring. The Spirit was strong throughout the conference. And, Sunday morning we were sweetly serenaded to by a Polynesian Choir singing in Samoan. Oh yeah. If you haven’t heard it, put this on your bucketlist. They have the gift of music and sing happiness.

And Sunday evening I spent with Tanmarie again, joining them for dinner and fun games. Crazy to think I’ll be joining unclehood in like 2.5 weeks.

Global Warming

This week, swamped with tests and homework, the trumpets sounded and the cavalry arrived with reinforcements. A beautiful box from the Bach’s.

For FHE, we went to a giant corn maze and wandered around trying to find our way out.

I visited the Tabernacle replica, and have included some pictures. Like Uncle Zach, I found it fascinating that there was no light besides a potential heavenly figure to light up the Holy of Holies. Also, there is a rabbinic tradition that the High Priest who entered in, would first tie a rope around his waist, in case he was unworthy and smitten dead upon entering. Being the only authorized person, if someone else entered to pull his body out, he would also die. thus, the rope around the waist to prevent body buildup.

   Standing next to a replica of a high priest.

I went and listened to McKay Coppins speak; I honestly went because Tanner wanted me to, as well as to network a little, but I ended up thoroughly enjoying his speech. He talked about the changing face of journalism and how it is nigh impossible to find neutral reporting without the journalists using something to promote an agenda, and often in a way that is false. And, on the other side, when they do tell the truth, the public often doesn’t believe it, as especially since Trump became president, media bashing has become something of a national hobby.

I took three midterms this week, doing really well on two and not so hot on the last one.

There was another BYU football home game which I worked on Saturday. One more to go. It was nice to see the team pull out a win.

  Ark of the Covenant

 

Church was special today. Sacrament was fantastic all around, I taught family history class, and 3rd hour was a combined meeting where social services came and talked about dating for an hour. Their presentation was very well done, and I walked away having learned. Also, with family history, I stumbled across this website, http://geogen.stoepel.net/

Plugging in the name Schenewark, you can tell that the name must have been changed. Schenewerk likewise yields nothing. However, Schoenewerk does, and provides a rough estimate of where are ancestors came from. The website shows where modern day germans live, based on telephone records.

Today, I went to Uncle Ben and Aunt Joy’s house. Like usual, dinner was fabulous, nevertheless, the highlight was seeing Grampy and Mimi. The always lively conversation included discussing possible family reunions being on a cruise, and how the various couples assembled became engaged. That was enlightening. I knew Tanner’s, and most of Grampy’s, but had never heard Uncle Ben’s nor Bro. Tenney’s. Mimi told of being chased by countless suitors, and rejecting proposals by Grampy many times, and even fleeing to Connecticut for a time and changing her name there to have some peace. Of course, while working there at a restaurant, “Kim” was proposed to by some patron. She was offered a hefty monthly payout not to marry Grampy; I knew all this, however, it was new hearing about Mouhmed Ab????? apparently another suitor and son of the Iraqi ambassador to the USA. Wild times I tell you. Uncle Ben proposed after dating for two weeks before summer break, and two weeks after. But hey, when you know, you know. He proposed at Thanksgiving Point, Aunt Joy having picked him up at the airport, and as he kneeled, the sprinklers rotated and sprayed Aunt Joy in the face while Indiana Jones escaped with his head (and a fiance). Like nearly all good relationships, Sister Tenney rejected Bro. Tenney many times before accepting. He met her the same night he was released from his mission. He asked to go out many times, but she rejected each. She was studying at San Diego St. and he left to return to BYU. However, at Christmas break, she finally accepted, having seen he wasn’t leaving what he learned on his mission behind him. They also moved quickly, dating from December and getting engaged in February.

I read all of Bruce R. McConkie’s biography this week; I know, now you are thinking obviously this week wasn’t too hard after all. Well, there might be some truth to that, but more than that, this book was spellbinding. I could write much about what I learned from the book, but for now, I’ll include only one brief quote. When asked to define greatness, he said “true greatness is found only in the family.” Think about that. For all who are reading, I am thankful you are part of my family.

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.

PHYSICALLY

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.

 

SPIRITUALLY
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. 

MENTALLY

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.

SOCIALLY 

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”https://www.sultanandthesaintfilm.com/ 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. https://religion.byu.edu/tabernacle

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.

9/17/2017

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