Sunday, November 20, 2011

Oh memories!

This has been a chaotic period in my life.  But I've had the chance to reflect on sweet memories of life and make a few new ones along the way.  Inspiration for the blog post comes from a favorite song of mine lately, there is no video for it so just read along I guess....

It is interesting what we choose to remember.  The smell of fresh rain in the forest always reminds me of summers spent in Weber canyon at my grandparents' cabins, while the smell of Tide detergent will always make me think of the 3 weeks I spent in the MTC.  The song Hotel California by The Eagles will always remind me of when I caught the bug for playing live music at the Keno Junior High talent show.   Burning my hands on the steering wheel will always bring back the memories of learning to drive when I was in High School.

If you didn't already know, I am a pretty positive person.  I like to think that people are generally good and so most of my memories are good.  This month I have been trying to make sure that is still what I do and who I am.  There have been moments when I could only remember the worst of the worst, but no more!  Just like the song posted above said I have felt my love growing cold with the seasons, but unlike the song I will always have me memories of good times, of our adventures.  Life has been far too good to me to focus of the few days of sadness when I've been given two decades of joy!  I hope some of you will recognize sharing some of the below memories with me, if you do recognize them just know that you are someone who helped me become who I am today!

*Soul Skaters
*Snow Tunnels in the backyard
*Slot cars
*"That Thing You Do"
*The Police on electric drums
*drum duets
*Jazz Choir
*One Acts
*Chemistry Challenge team
*Rain when Jocey was born
*Morning Scripture study
*Pushups in the MTC
*Snow balls in Pocatello
*E-Brakes in Ammon
*Hillary Weeks in the van
*Rollor blading
*3 shooting stars
*Sammy's Rexburg
*Royal Bliss
*Hard Rock Cafe San Diego
*Red Pickup Trucks
*Barro's Pizza on a rainy day
*Kanye West's Graduation album in a Prius
*Sonic Assault
*Brimhall Jazz Band
*Tech Decks
*"Let it Rain"
*"How Firm a Foundation"
*Jimmy Eat World
*Pat Benatar
*Fake poop
*The Simpsons and Jeopardy
*Biking Hills in Pocatello
*the drive between Challis and Salmon
*Cows on the highway
*Sky Box, for the bragging rights
*22.3 or 22.4?
*Loud in the basement
*Dad's angry eyes
*Battle of the Bands
*Billboard Antics
*Park City in the summer
*Berkley, CA
*Brighton for spring break
*Rotary Speech Contest

Obviously, this could not be an all inclusive list, if anyone actually makes it to the end it would be so cool if you could add fun memories of us together in the comments for this post!

I love you all!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What I thought I knew and what I've learned

It is hard to believe it, but one month ago I was engaged to be married to the girl of my dreams.  I've decided I can't dwell on what might have been, that would make this an exceptionally boring blog post! Rather I'd like to share what I feel like I have learned through all of this craziness and I hope that some of it will help the nine people who will actually read this.  Ready? ok let's go....

First of all, I have learned that I cannot always control whether or not the situation I am in is what will bring me the greatest measure of peace, but that it is not the situation I am in that will ultimately bring peace, but the way I choose to react to it.  This is the first of many things I have always intellectually known, but that I have never had to apply in my life until very recently.  It is amazing to me the power the Lord gives each of us to decide to have a positive attitude and to learn in every situation in which we are placed; it is not always easy, but it is always the path that will lead to the greatest good.  I keep remembering what a Sister in my mission once said, she encouraged a congregation of people to "follow the peace." I have come to learn that that does not mean I can always be in a peaceful situation, but that in every situation I have the opportunity to follow the Prince of Peace who I worship with all my heart.

The next important thing I thought I always knew and now have discovered I really do is that I have amazing friends.  God has put some the best people in the world into my life and they will never understand the incredible, salvific influence they have had on my life.  In this category I include my current roommates, my dear friends from the mission who have always inspired me to be the very best, my dear pre-mission friends from high school who have allowed me to grow with them, and of course the best family a person could ever have.  In particular in this crazy circumstance I have gained an appreciation for my dear parents who have supported me in all of my dreams and pursuits and who continue to trust me to learn from all that I have been given.  Chances are if you took the time to read this you are one of those people, so thank you!

The final and most important lesson I have learned from all of this is the incredible power forgiveness has to heal and lift.  I have been painted as vile and evil (I also have fallen in love with palindromes) by people who meant a lot to me and it has been difficult for me to let that go, but as I have, I have found such a tremendous feeling of comfort and empowerment to move forward with faith in the love of Christ.  I have preached the doctrine of forgiveness on countless occasion, and I've always wondered why I have been so drawn to that principle until this month when I have finally had a need to really apply it in my everyday living.  I'm so glad that I have spent time studying opposition and forgiveness, without it I don't know where I would be.  The freedom and release that comes is real, I have experienced it and for that I will always be grateful!

Sorry this wasn't very funny and I don't blame anyone for not reading the whole thing, but it feels so good to write it all down.