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.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Winter that Never Ends

Today I opened my door today, May 1, expecting to see sunshine and today be a beautiful spring morning, but I was shell shocked when I opened my door and see the ground covered in and feel snow blowing in my face. Then I went over to my truck and realized I would have to scrap my windows in the cold snowy wind before going to work. I was not excited.

This has made me wonder if summer will ever comes. What makes this winter even worse is that it is the first winter here in Idaho Falls. Even though I am from Idaho the weather in Boise is nothing like the weather here. I have never been in such cold weather and seen so much snow. Through at first I thought it was really cool seeing all the snow. But this excitement for the snow wore off when I had to begin driving in the snow, day in and day out. I especially didn't like having to drive 25 all the way to work because it was so slick. Also there was that one week where I got stuck several times, that was not fun. Or even scarier was when I did a donut on 17th street. Fortunately no one was around! All these things have made me not like the snow so much. I prefer what it does in Boise where it snows one day and then the snow is all gone in a couple days. That way it is exciting when it snows and not a drudgery when you walk out your door and there is snow on the ground. In Boise, if you really want to see the snow you can drive 30 minutes into the mountains and visit it. One good thing out of this snowy winter has been I have learned how to drive in snow!

I thought it was slightly preposterous when someone told that one 4th of July it snowed. But now I am actually seeing how that could happen. I really hope that this doesn't happen this summer!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Family History

Recently I have taken an interest in my Family History again. In the past through my Church callings I have felt I should do some work on my Family History. But unfortunately in past times I have looked at the magnitude of what needs to be done and have started but I have often given up from being overwhelmed and frustrated and where to even start.

Well recently I decided to try and push forward again and get a litte farther than I have in the past and use some of my free time. The last two weekends I have visited the family history center in Idaho Falls to get some help and I have found some useful tools and techniques that have simplified the work needed to be done. Also over the past year my mom has taken an interest in figuring out her ancestors. Through these two things I am excited that I have started making progress again.

Another thing that has got me excited about family history was I remember a few years ago President Hinckley saying in opening remarks in October 2005 General Conference: "One of the most troublesome aspects of our temple activity is that as we get more and more temples scattered across the earth there is duplication of effort in proxy work. People in various nations simultaneously work on the same family lines and come up with the same names. They do not know that those in other areas are doing the same thing. We, therefore, have been engaged for some time in a very difficult undertaking. To avoid such duplication, the solution lies in complex computer technology. Preliminary indications are that it will work, and if this is so, it will be a truly remarkable thing with worldwide implications."

My techno-nerd curiosity has made me wonder what might be coming in the near future to help do family history. So I decided to Google this quote and I found this blog which talks about new tool that will simply doing temple work considerably and accomplish what President Hinckley said. This new feature will be added to over the following year. This new software is being rolled out methodically to all the temple districts one by one. Even though it has not yet been announced for the Idaho Falls temple district it is already used in many other temple districts. So in a matter of time this tool will be available in Idaho Falls. So I am excited for when the announcement comes to this area.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

General Conference

I love General Conference. This was an interesting Conference for me. Because it was the first General Conference that is presided with a new president of the Church, President Monson. As I am convert to the Church I have only known President Hinckley as the President and Prophet of the Church. But by watching Conference I could feel that the mantle had moved to President Monson which is a similar feeling I have felt when one of my Bishops was released or when I had received a new Mission President. Through the feelings I felt I could feel that President Monson was the new Prophet and President of the Church.

As always I enjoy hearing all the talks given. I have some favorites that I received inspiration from like listening to our new Prophet President Monson and also the ones given last night at the priesthood session by President Eyring on the Oath and Covenant of the priesthood, President Uchtdorf talk on how being a few degrees off can lead you far from the gospel if a course change is not made.

I can't wait till May when the General Conference Ensign magazine comes out so I can read these talks and feel the spirit of Conference.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Finished Tom Swayer and Huckleberry Finn

It was fun to finish reading two classic books that I haven't read since Junior High. It is fun to re-read a book a second time in a different time period of life and doing not because a teacher told you to read it.

And it was cool when Brother Belnap read this quote from Huckleberry Finn:
"It made me shiver. And I about made up my mind to pray, and see if I couldn't try to quit being the kind of a boy I was and be better. So I kneeled down. But the words wouldn't come. Why wouldn't they? It warn't no use to try and hide it from Him. Nor from ME, neither. I knowed very well why they wouldn't come. It was because my heart warn't right; it was because I warn't square; it was because I was playing double. I was letting ON to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all. I was trying to make my mouth SAY I would do the right thing and the clean thing, and go and write to that nigger's owner and tell where he was; but deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie--I found that out." This quote is certainly true.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Country Drive

On my Friday off I decided to drive over to Jackson Hole and up to the Tetons National Park. It was a fun drive, listening to music and seeing the beautiful scenery. I mostly just saw what I could get to from my truck. And I took several pictures like this one:

Also I did take a small hike up near Jackson Lake and I also visited one of the visitor centers. This was enjoyable trip. I might have to make another visit in a couple months when it warms up and I can take the ferry across Jenny Lake and get a little closer to the Tetons.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Amazing what you can do with your hands

This is an ad by Volkswagen where they make lots of shadow puppets with lots of hands. It is incredible! Someone must of had a lot of free time to come up with this idea!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Google has a picture of my parents' house

About 6 months ago Google added street view, a new feature to their maps. Which is where Google has taken lots of pictures and strung them together and then one can as if they are on the street moving along the street and look at what is around like you are walking or driving down the street. At first it was in only in big cities like San Francisco and it was only the main streets in town. Well that changed a couple weeks ago I was looking at this feature again and I saw they had done it for Boise, Idaho. Amazed they did for Boise and then I was even more amazed that they did it for every street in Boise. Not believing that it was true I went to see if I could walk down the street where I lived while growing up. And sure enough they did it even for where I lived! They have photos of my parents house as you can see.

I am not sure how I feel that Google has even posted residential streets in their street view. Now any one in the world can virtually drive down the street where I lived.
I wonder what is next!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Trying out something new

I have never had a blog so I am trying something new! Stay tuned as I try to format my blog to look better! It might take a little bit because I am not very good at HTML even though I might be considered a computer nerd at heart.