Sunday, November 29, 2009

I know I am beginning to like country when ...

1. I get Country songs stuck in your head .
2. I have 200+ country songs on your IPOD.
3. I only listened to country on my 4 hour drive home for Thanksgiving.
4. Country music is basically the only thing I listen to in the last 2 months.

So I guess it is time to admit my feelings towards country music has changed. So I have several friends who love country music. I have never really been much of fan. That is partly because I judged the entire country song genre by a few country songs that I didn't like. So a couple months ago I decided to give country music a another chance.

This time I would truly try listening to it and not let those country songs I don't like taint my feelings towards the entire genre. So I found two country stations 99.5 and 105.5 and began to listen to it on the radio while driving to work. I found two radio stations that way whenever songs like Rockin' the beer gut or Summer Nights or others songs that I didn't like came on I could switch to another station.

There was several songs I really didn't like but to my surprise I started to find country songs I enjoyed listening too. I started listening to it more and more. I even began listening to country radio stations while I worked. Some of the songs got stuck in my head. Then I decided to goto iTunes and browse the country music section. I bought a few albums from Keith Urban, Brooks & Dunn, Lady Antebellum and George Strait that I had heard on the radio. I began to listen to them on my IPOD.

I have found that I only really listen to country music. The number of country songs in my IPOD has grown. I have found more and more country artists I like.

These are my favorite country music artists so far:
1. Brooks & Dunn
2. Keith Urban
3. Lady Antebellum
4. Alan Jackson
5. Reba McEntire

These are some of my favorite songs:
1. Days go By
2. Cowgirls Don't Cry
3. Red Dirt Road
4. Neon Moon
5. Sissy's Song

So it seems that thanks to friends I have learned I am country fan. I never expected that to happen.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

New York Trip

So at the end of June me, my grandma, my mom and possibly my sister are going to New York for two weeks. I will drive over to Boise and fly out to Buffalo New York with my bom on Tuesday June 23. Then we will go see Niagara Falls near Buffalo. Then we will be staying near Perry a small town south of Rochester. This is where my grandma grew up. We will visit with her sister and other relatives until Sunday. Also while we are there we will visit Rochester and see where my bom was born and lived till she was about 12 when her family moved to Phoenix, Arizona.

Then since we will be only about 60 miles southwest of Palmyra. I am going to visit the church sites around Palmyra and hopefully I can get others to come along. We will see what happens. I am so excited to see the Sacred Grove and Hill Cumorah and other sites around Palmyra.

Since we are only 6 hours from New York City, then on Monday me, my bom and maybe my sister will drive to New York City. Along the way to New York City we probably see the battlefield of Sarotoga outside of Albany, New York. Then we will stay just outside of New York City and take train or bus into New York City and see the main attractions. We probably spend about a day visiting sites like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Central Park, Times Square and other places. Then we will drive and see things between New York City and Philly. We will then see Indepence Hall, Valley Forge outside of Philly. Then we will fly back July 3 to Boise. This trip should be fun!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I Love the Temple

The temple has always been an important place since I was baptized. I remember getting a picture of the Boise Temple from the missionaries when I was first baptized. I remember enjoying the first time going there to do Baptisms for the Dead.

Also shortly after being baptized I was able to watch the dedication of the Palmyra Temple. Then in college I was able to watch the dedication of the Winter Quarters Temple in the Marriott Center.

Then a tender mercy occurred in my life when me and my friend submitted our papers to go on a mission at the same time. And in fact we would report to the MTC the same day. Since we were leaving on a mission at the same time we planned to take our Endowments out at the Boise Temple on the same day. Also before we left on our mission we got to go down to Salt Lake Temple and see a live session together.

During my mission I didn't think I would see a temple after I left the MTC. A miracle did occur I was able to touch the doors of the Bern Switzerland Temple. The reason was that while I was on my mission the Nauvoo Temple was dedicated. And at the time I was serving in the eastern part of my mission in Switzerland. It happened that the Stake center by the Bern Switzerland Temple was closer than the Geneva Switzerland Stake Center. So after the dedication of the Nauvoo Temple we got to touch the doors of the temple and take pictures of the temple.

While I was at college I would attend regularly the Provo Temple. In a ward at BYU, it was decided that it would be fun to go to a session at the other temples in Utah each month. It unfortunately didn’t last long but we did go to Mount Timpanogos, Salt Lake and Manti. The trip to Manti temple to do a session was my favorite.

Then I had an opportunity to be called as Temple & Family History Chair in the Elders Quorum. I probably shouldn’t favorite callings but other than my mission this probably has been the most enjoyable calling I have ever had. I had this calling for almost a year. As a committee we were able to organize some fun activities around the temple. One of my favorite activities that we planned was to go to the Manti Pageant as a Ward.

Then at Christmas the predecessor to me had setup to go do Baptism for the Dead in the Salt Lake Temple during December. There was over 40 sisters who went to do Baptisms and then we met in the Salt Lake Temple cafeteria with the others that had done a session and had dinner as a Ward. Then we toured the lights on Temple Square. It was most enjoyable.

Also as a committee we setup once a month to do Baptisms for the Dead and then another night to do a session. It was most enjoyable to go do temple work each month. It was hard when the time had finally come for me to be released from this calling. I had loved helping setup up temple nights and other activities around the temple. It had been very enjoyable to plan activities that edified others and which also helped those that had died without the gospel.

Then here in Idaho Falls this trend has followed. As a branch we attend the temple each month and have a free dinner in the Temple cafeteria. Then I was able to take a tour of the Rexburg temple before it was dedicated. I had never before taken a tour of a temple before it was dedicated which was enjoyable. Also I got to watch the Rexburg and Twin Falls temple be dedicated. Just recently a group of friends have started a Temple of the Month trip club. We have already visited Rexburg Temple and the Logan Temple. Next month we are planning to attend a session at the Mount Timpanogos Temple.

I love the temple so much. It gives me such peace when I am able to attend. It helps me to focus on what is important in life. I am so glad that I can attend the temple often and that is the center of my life.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

How not to Start a Trip

My trip to Colorado started a little earlier than planned. I decided to leave on Thursday to avoid the snow that was coming that night. I also decided instead of driving down myself I would catch a ride with my parents because I was still feeling sick. My stomach was not feeling the greatest and I didn't have much desire to eat. The trip was going alright till about Rock Springs. At this point my stomach would began to hurt and I began to need to make frequent unpleasant stops at restrooms. The need for frequent restroom breaks would only stop when the crackers and cereal went through my system. Also at the same time that I was making frequent stops at restrooms the wind began to pick up. This would cause some serious blowing of snow onto the interstate. At times there was gusts of winds that caused the road literally to disappear for several seconds and you would only hope that the road would repair and it hadn't didn't disappeared for good.

Well we reached Laramie where we were going to take 287 a shortcut to Fort Collins. As we turned off the interstate, we drove by a sign that was blinking meaning that 287 was closed. Well we thought this is alright we will just take Interstate 80 to Cheyenne and then head down to Fort Collins. Only to find there was a gate across the interstate marking that it was closed. All the local radio road report channel said the roads were closed due to "Severe Winter Weather". We decided to go back to a truck stop to find out more information. As we were driving back we saw that the way we had come was closed because a truck was blocking both lanes. So all roads out of Laramie were closed. The people at the truck station didn't have any more information. So we resigned that we had to get a hotel in Laramie for the night. The funny thing about the road being closed is earlier my Dad had said he had never had a road close on him because the weather was bad, well this was no longer true. We found out the next day the road was closed because of 100 MPH winds and drifting snow.

Day 2

The next day we headed to Fort Collins. I was feeling a little better. So when I got Fort Collins I had a small snack. I didn't eat much because I didn't want to repeat the experience I had yesterday. Then we met my sister, Abra at her dorms. She wanted to go eat at the Dorms for the last time. It was fairly nice cafeteria but I just had fries as I was leery of eating anything. Then we began to walk over for my Sister's Honor Award Ceremony. As we were walking we heard my mom scream. Only to look behind us to find her on the ground in pain. And water was dropping onto her from on overhang and freezing on the sidewalk. She couldn't get up and so we pulled her away from the dripping water. We would find she had slipped on where the water was refreezing on the ice. My sister went to get the car as my Dad and me tried to get her up. She was in a lot of pain and we almost had to call the ambulance. But finally we were able to help her up. Then by the time she got up my sister had come back with the vehicle and get it about 10 feet from her. My mom took excruciating painful steps to the car. Then we took her to the hospital.

After getting to the emergency room, me and my sister left my Mom and Dad because we had to do several errands. My sister had to finish moving out of her dorm by
10 PM that night and drop off the rental car she had been using to do student teaching at 6 PM that night. There was a fair amount to move. And being sick and having not eaten much in the last few days this would not be easy. We started by moving 3 heavy boxes(i.e Textbooks) from a storage unit which was on the opposite side of the building from the car. This about killed me and if I had thought about it a bit more we would have moved the car closer. Then after catching my breath I would help move her bike and all her stuff in the Dorm. In all it would take about an 1 hour for me and my sister to move everything to the cars. And her rental car was full and part of my parents car was full. Then we had to take her stuff to different place such as friends' houses, the hotel, and a storage unit in Fort Collins. Then we returned the rental. Then went to her dorm and get a few miscellaneous items and clean her dorm before checking out.

At the same time we were doing all this we were getting updates about Craig's plane trip from Cleveland to Denver. His plane was being delayed and would learn that he would miss connecting flight so he would not be coming in at 10 PM that night. He wouldn't arrive at the airport till 11:30 tomorrow and unfortunately miss my Sisters graduation at 12:30. In fact due to mechanical problems on his plane he didn't arrive till 1 PM.

After all this it was 6 PM, we finally got a call from my Dad that my Mom had fractured couple of bones in her leg and may have tore several ligaments in the area around her knee. She would have to ware a cast and come back to the Doctor for a diagnosis to check, if she would need surgery.

After picking up my Mom from the hospital we would go back to the hotel about 7 PM. Then would order Chinese Cary Out. I was looking forward to eating and I was thinking I might be over my sickness only for it to come back just before eating Chinese food. So I would not be eating much again.

Well this ends the beginning of the start of my families vacation. I hope the worse is over and the rest of the trip will go the best it can.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Special Time of Year

This time of year is special for me. The reason is because every year I have a chance to reflect on my baptism that happened 9 years ago on November 14, 1999. This event and the changes that occurred because of it have changed my life in ways that I never imagined.

It all started when my I came home from a service project at the end of October and my parents told there had been two people in suits wanting to talk to you. I thought that is a little odd.

Then a couple days later I received a phone call. It was a missionary who said that they had special message they would like to share about their Church. I was somewhat reluctant to accept because when I had religious discussions with others I always came across feeling lousy as I felt I was looked down because I didn’t go to Church. I am thankful that I didn’t decline the offer to hear their message. I agreed to meet them at Brian, my friend’s house the next Sunday evening. Later I would learn Brian had given me as reference to the missionaries in Seminary.

That Sunday I went over to my friend’s house. I met the missionaries for this first time. We talked for a little bit with my friend Brian and then the missionaries began to share the first Discussion. They started with basics about believing in God and Christ, which wasn’t new to me. From the occasional chances to attend a Christian Church with my Grandparents and Aunt and also reading stories in the Bible I felt there was a God. Then they began to share the story of Joseph Smith. This story just sounded wonderful and I had similar feeling as Joseph Smith. Often I thought it would be nice to go to Church but my parents didn’t attend church. I often thought that when I moved from home I would like to go to Church but it would difficult to find a Church that same beliefs as them. As they shared the story of the vision, I just had a comfortable feeling and that the answer he got made sense. Then for them to share that he also received the Book of Mormon was wonderful and tangible evidence he was a prophet. The missionaries were able to answer my questions in such simple ways that made sense. Things led from one thing to another till at the end of the night the missionaries asked if I would like to be baptized. As I thought about it, I agreed because the story of Joseph Smith seemed good and I felt like friends like Brian and others who I knew were members were good people, so it must not be a bad thing. They set the date for my Baptism the following Sunday.

I then met with the missionaries every day and had the discussions in rapid manner. Also I attended Mutual where I met other friends of mine. Then I attended Church for the first time that Sunday. Then that evening I was baptized. Not realizing what blessings were in store in my life and the changes that would occur in my life.

I found Church wonderful. For me the 3 hours of church was amazing because it seemed that everything that was said was something I had not heard before. I enjoyed learning more about the gospel. Also I continued to read the Book of Mormon which was amazing to read and I found to be far more exciting and easier to understand than those found in the Bible. As I came to finishing the Book of Mormon, I was kind of wondering to myself how much would I have to take on faith that Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon was true. Then as I reached the final pages of The Book of Mormon I had a wonderful spiritual experience confirming that it was absolutely true nothing doubting. This experience has been an anchor to me in trying times whenever I have began to doubt.

From being given as reference by friend Brian and that single phone call 9 years ago my life has changed significantly for the better. My testimony has slowly grown from there to know that this Church is led by Jesus Christ and the fullness of the gospel is in this Church.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Old Yellow Bike

I was just thinking about the oldness of my bike. A couple weeks ago, I went to get it tuned up because it really needed it. They kind of looked at it funny and said "that's an old bike." This bike is truly an old bike. This bike was my Dad's for five or 6 years and then when he went to get a new bike it became mine. I have had it for about 15 years.

It has been through quite a bit since I have got it. My bike has been in Idaho, Oregon and Utah.
It has been rode down the Oregon Coast twice and the mileage to get prepared for it. It has been on numerous family bike rides. It has been on the greenbelt(a 15+ mile bike path along the river) in Boise numerous times. It has been through numerous crashes.

It is getting to that age where it needs to be retired for good. But maybe it has just has little bit more before I can find a new bike to replace it. Hopefully in the mean time it never falls apart while I am on it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

One year in IF

I have been Idaho Falls for 1 year. I moved up here last May after getting a job at the Idaho National Laboratory. At the time it was only a temporary job lasting through September and I didn't know if wanted or would stay longer. But things all came together and my job turned into a permanent position. I have loved my job. It is a job where I learn every day and it has pushed me in areas I didn't expect like interviewing someone for a job on our project team two weeks ago.

I have loved the area. When I moved here I had only driven through Idaho Falls once during a trip to Yellowstone with a group of friends from BYU. Even though I am from Boise I never spent any time on this side of the state. The closest I came was stopping in Arco on a family trip to Craters of the Moon when I was little.

I love that places like Tetons and Yellowstone are so close. Also it was enjoyable to experience to be around here when the Rexburg Temple was dedicated. It was the first temple I have been able to attend the open house. I also enjoy all the fun activities that are planned in this area.

It is truly a fun place to live.