The Wondrous Gift of Mortality

Last semester lasted the full 10 rounds, split decision, but I’ve won. That was a tough one though – my last night before break was no night at all, as I pulled an all-nighter finishing a couple of projects, and then taking three finals in the morning. Nevertheless, knowing that I was heading home to see family and relax for a couple weeks, saw me through more easily than I foresaw.

My time at BYU is drawing to a close. In fact, this will be my last semester. After talking with mom last night, (Jan. 12) I thought about graduation, and decided that this was the right thing to do. Its funny that if you had asked me 6 months ago, I was leaning towards graduating April 2020, then it slowly shifted to December 2019, then perhaps August 2019, and now its April. Repeat: I’ll graduate in April. I have not felt rushed at all, and as this is only my 6th semester, wasn’t worried about taking another year, but my opinion as to what I need to do has changed. I’ve had a great run, and absolutely loved my time here, but now I need to move on. I think my education has reached the level I hoped and I’d be spinning my wheels more than anything else, if I stayed. And having made that decision, my remaining time in Provo, not knowing what the future might hold, feels extra important to me.

I ate out for the first time this year. Over the break, two of my roommates moved out, so we planned a meet-up on Saturday January 5th. Derik is getting married, and I know he’d be leaving over the break, having sold his contract, but Jeremiah’s exit was a surprise. He decided to move north, to American Fork, to be closer to his work. We hit up Kneaders, and took advantage of their $6 unlimited french toast. This week (Jan. 8-14) I’ve tried a few new foods. I made fudge for the first time, as well as croutons, and then returned for a sophomore iteration, changing the recipes slightly. In addition, I’ve enjoyed some acai, and have vowed to never buy salad dressing again, making homemade poppy seed, caeser (two thumbs down first try) and balsamic. Someone better stop me before I buy a sewing machine. Or spinning wheel.

Not much to report on with dates. I went out on Friday with Macey. Originally we had planned to go bowling but after my friends had to bail, and unwilling to contemplate trying to get to know someone while we would inevitably be on our feet taking our turns bowling, we went to the classic Soap Factory. Thankfully, the bill came out lower than every other time I’ve went, and we had a good time there. I suppose also of interest is my redownloading the mutual app. Not much to report there yet, but it should set up a couple dates in the near future.

The first few Sundays of the year have been AMAZING. While I was ecstatic for two hour church, I didn’t foresee a noticeable change in church , just one hour less of attendance. However, Sundays feel completely different. Sacrament meetings have been fantastic, with fast Sunday especially remarkable as perhaps 20 members got up, bore their testimonies, with no grandstanding, irrelevant story telling, etc., only pure testimony. And the second hour has been just as good, with lots of participation, from a vibrant audience, as even I am not checking my watch every five minutes, but feel engaged with the lesson. For the first time in my life, church feels short, and leaves me wanting more.

Saturday was another ISI conference. This one was held at BYU, and we welcomed students from UVU, Utah State, U of U, and BYU-Idaho. The theme focused on  religious belief and secular learning, and while worthwhile, i confess, I am tiring of conferences. And I am already on the books for a few more. No more applying though.

I am currently unemployed. I left Canopy, left Northwestern Mutual, did actially put some hours in with event staff, but given I’ve worked five hours for them in two months, can’t really count that as a job. I even turned over the majority of responsibility to another student with the MaeserLaser. Uh-oh. What could I possible be cooking up? Not much. I’m almost consigned to getting a real job after graduation, for at least the rest of 2019 (almost). I’ve made my return to chess club, in preparation for one more shot at the intercollegiate tourney. In two weeks, I’m 8-1. And think the level of competition has gone down significantly. My love of painting continues to grow. And I spent hours yesterday with Tanmarie tickling Nora, eating dinner, and playing games. Finally, for the lunar eclipse, we clambered onto their roof, I brought my telescope and we contemplated the wonders of the infinite. As Immanuel Kant said,

Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me, and the moral law within me.

I suppose the one project that I have devoted some considerable time to is the formation of a pizza company. Its called Victory Pizza, as some mission friends are helping me do it, and just so our motto could be, “Conquer Your Hunger.” Pans are in, boxes on there way, recipe finalized (or nearly) and our first day to sell is this Saturday. During one recipe test, I made a guacamole like paste, and used that instead of a tomato based sauce. The avocado one was amazing, and we’ll be expanding on that concept if our normal pizza sells. 

Reading Moroni 1:4, “Wherefore, I write a dew more thing, contrary to that which I had supposed; for I had supposed not to have written any more; but i write a few more things, that perhaps they may be of worth unto my brethren..”

This hit home for me – and reinforced the idea that I can do more. The Book of Moroni is one of my favorite books of scripture, and we have it because Moroni went above and beyond what he expected to do. When we go above and beyond what we think or expect, our efforts will likewise bless the lives of many, even if we are not present to witness those effects.

One thought on “The Wondrous Gift of Mortality”

  1. Hi Hunter,

    I enjoyed your letter as usual. I am sure you are so excited about heading to Texas for a couple of weeks. I am sure your brothers and your sister can hardly wait for you to return. More tea parties with Breyer.

    Graduation in April!! That is awesome. Do you plan on getting a job in Texas or in Utah? I’m sure it is a hard decision to make. What would you like to do as far as jobs go? Just curious.

    The weather here is COLD!! It snowed and rained here on Sunday with the rain turning to sleet and freezing rain. Then the temperatures dropped and everything is solid ice. Fortunately maintenance cleaned off all of our cars, moved them, and then plowed. There is still ice next to the cars. I was going to go to the nursing home today to volunteer, which I do on Tuesdays. But, I didn’t know what the parking situation was at the home and I decided I didn’t want to drive 12 miles to find out. I called the gal in Human Resources and left a message that I would not be there. Better to be safe than sorry. I did have to go to the grocery store for cat litter, dry food and a couple of other items. I took the New Pond Village bus at 11:30 and did my errands. There were two others on the bus, and we didn’t have a lot of shopping to do. We were back here by 12:15. Then I went to a tea that was being held in the auditorium. It was nice, but it wasn’t that fancy. The middle of February, I am taking two friends to Fancy That which is a tea house not too far from New Pond. It is such a lovely place and feels like you are in another world. Just what is needed this time of year.

    I went to NH to the Inn on Golden Pond over New Year’s. I went on the 31st and came home on the 2nd of January. The weather was fine while there. I’ve really lucked out over the years, as I have perfect weather going and coming home. If it snows in between, I don’t care because I am there. This year, I stopped at the hospital in Plymouth to have lunch with my friend Nancy. She is a volunteer in the gift shop. Usually I go to her house in Rumney for lunch and then we knit and chat for a couple of hours. I also spent some time with friends in Holderness as well. The next time I go will be the end of July. Uncle David and I loved the Inn, as it felt like a second home to us. I still feel the same way, even though he isn’t there to enjoy it with me.

    We had a New Year’s Eve Eve party here on the 30th with a live band and that was a lot of fun. Did lot of dancing which I really enjoy.

    Well, my dear, I must end for now. Take care, and give my love to Tanner and AnneMarie and that sweet little Nora along with your Uncle Ben and crew and your cousins.

    Sending lots of love,

    Aunt Shirley

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