Monday, December 14, 2009

Home for the Holidays.

I think it's easier to read blogs that are numbered. For this week here are 10 things that have been on my mind lately.

1. Without the gospel I wouldn't have anything good to put here. It's just how it is.

2. I turned down a 5month paid prestigious internship in DC to see if I can make a dream work in the west. My heart wouldn't let me try anything else. "One see's clearly only with the heart, anything essential is invisible to the eyes" (quoted by President Uchdorf).

3. I'm going to be in DC and Pennsylvania for the Holidays. Paid demolition work for my sister!

4. Man I don't look my age. Twice this year I have been carded to see if I was 18.

5. Next summer I will be in South Dakota living a different dream I didn't know I had.

6. I have a job in Maine after that. I don't know if I will go back but there is a wonderful branch there!

7. I still love the song "All These Things That I've Done"

8. I'm happier when I do things that I want to do. In proportion of course.

9. College was extremely difficult for me. Extremely. I want a home of my own so that I'm not living like a sailor or gypsy anymore. The problem is I need a girl to get this done.

10. I hate musicians. They're so annoying with their fashion and their skinny arrogance. I want to hit them in the head with their own guitar and then see how much they whine in an unnatural voice about their emotions.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


(Note about the picture above: Jackson was crying and as soon as I held him and cupped his head with my hand he stopped. I'm not sure if he was terrified or if he felt safe. I felt a little bad and I hope he didn't think I was going to crush him.)

Thanks everyone for being life for me. For being examples. For all the times I call and ask for help, ask for reassurance, or to tell you something I'm excited about. For being people to react and respond to-life wouldn't mean much without you.

And I feel grateful most often when I am still, when I don't force things. Example: I was in the weight room and swimming pool tonight working out with some kids going into BUDs (Navy SEALs). They were doing a whole bunch of push-ups and pull-ups and stuff and I joined in a bit. But the excellent thing is that I didn't finish everything they did. The swimming part was pretty easy so I didn't have to push much. I am definitely not in the push-up pull-up shape I used to be in so I just didn't finish all of it. In the past I could have done twice what they did by sheer numbers alone. But I didn't want to push myself. I'm still loved without being in SEAL mode. More importantly I just didn't care that I wasn't tough enough or whatever.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Our Valley

Me and my friend Matt with another year at Sky Mountain Ranch

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


This is a story about a recent tender mercy. Earlier this year I felt I should apply for an internship with the Heritage Foundation. It's a political think tank in DC. I didn't have much going on until grad school so I thought it would be fun. So I got an internship with the Foundation through the help of my professors. It wasn't exactly the internship I wanted but I can't be picky right? I got the offer a week before Thanksgiving and had to decide by the Monday before Thanksgiving. I think I was in Michigan when I called and declined the offer. I realized it wasn't for me.
Then on Wednesday while Matt was taking pictures of granite columns outside of Mount Rushmore, I went inside to look at the books and ranger stuff. I started talking with the ranger and he offered me an internship. I didn't believe it. I told him to wait while I went to get a resume. What are the odds that I would have one readily available amongst everything that I own. But I did and gave it to him. He left ten minutes later to leave to the other side of the state for a family thanksgiving dinner. Good timing. On Saturday morning I emailed him references and stuff. The Monday after Thanksgiving I called the ranger to see if he got my materials. He said he did and then he gave me the internship.
This is how the internship goes: I will be giving two types of tours and a possible 3rd one. The first will be a 1/2 hour trail walk around the base of the monument. All I have to do is spend a half hour talking about why the men are there. Within those parameters I can do whatever I want. The point is to inspire and teach the American people about what made this country and to inspire stewardship in their hearts. The second is about the building of the monument. The third is before an audience of 3 thousand in the amphitheatre and it is strictly patriotic and meant to inspire and to teach. It's like missionary pre-discussions.
On Monday I turned down an amazing internship opportunity and on Wednesday I got a much better, cooler, custom fitted one.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Road Trip Dos

These pictures are in order. I also saw Ft. Knox-but you're not allowed to take pictures of it. It was a great way to get across the counrty. There were weird situations and tender mercies. This year there have been defining moments and opportunities that have far surpassed my greatest expectations. I suppose them surpassing my greatest expectations is what makes them tender mercies.

Grateful for:
the Lousiville Slugger baseball bat I was able to purchase for $17
being able to stay with my good friend Matt
huge dogs
my worn-in soccer cleats
documentaries and Ken Burns
big skies
music that moves me
being generally stronger than most 13 year olds
my shoes that have lasted for over 2 1/2 years--rare
my car and an open country of roads
the National Park system
Maine, Kieve/TLS, and all the people there
Scripture and prayer
good deals on backpacks and jackets

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Final Countdown

I have six days left till I drive back west. I am excited. I have had a great time coming here, the branch has been amazing. I do not know where I'll be in January. I could be in Rexburg, the Arizona desert, Maine, or Washington DC. If I get the internship in DC I don't know if I could pass it up seeing as how it could positively affect the rest of my life and my future family's quality of life. However, so could following a prompting of the spirit in another direction. Promptings trump anything, as long as I'm strong enough to listen and obey.

I am excited for:

  • the continuity of a job and the blessings of a calling.
  • the benefits of hard work and remuneration to save for necessities.
  • stability in order to pursue friendships, family, coaching, grappling, creation, and education.
  • a life of faith and the knowledge that it replaces loneliness and trials.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Yeah you, you got what I need!

2009 has been quite a year. And in two weeks I am going to be driving out to the west coast again and will see great people.

This fall: My friend Matt is flying out to Rhode Island and we are driving out on the 21st of November. I am going to have Thanksgiving in Paul, Idaho with extended family. I am then going to spend the next 2 1/2 weeks finishing up my online class. This takes me to Christmas, I have no idea where I will be going. I am actually tired of the vagrant gypsy life and hope to have an address that is my own to put on applications sometime soon. It has been a challenge since 13 to battle the feeling of this poem:

I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky.
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sails shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face and a grey dawn breaking.

I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife,
And all I ask is a merry yarn from laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over. --John Mansfield

(Note: This poem come from the Dangerous Book for Boys book and I read my boys these poems, war stories, and other extraordinary stories almost every night--depending on their behavior.)

This winter: I also do not know where I will be this winter. I only have two options though. I will either be in DC in January or in the west for a few months tills coming back to Maine for the final 3 months of the school year. Then I have to find somewhere to go for the summer again till graduate school in the fall.

The challenge: Ihave to battle the spirit of adventure and lack of responsibility I feel as a single man. But primarily, I think similar to everyone it is difficult to plan too far into the future because I have no idea what the Lord will put in my path. It is not necessary that I know everything that will come, I will move forward with faith though. Coming out to Maine has been perfect. I have returned to happiness and found new direction in life.

Finally: I know that I have been compelled to give things up that are dear to me. I feel I have learned many lessons right now. And I also hope that while I am learning these lessons I am becoming better myself. I will be happy no matter what happens. My happiness is obedience to the commandments and faith, which is "a moveable feast." This I have always known.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Boston finally happened!

I finally saw Lexington and Concord. I finally went to Boston and saw some of the city. This has been something I have wanted to do for the last ten years. Although I always have my eyes closed in pictures I still want to share some.

I was so happy on Sunday. I was walking around thinking, "I'm here. I'm really here." I've been reading about the events that took place here and now I'm finally seeing and experiencing it. Funny Things: For Halloween we went to a Masquerade Ball at the Harvard Club with a singles function. I had duct tape holding my glasses together and I couldn't see anything when I took them off. I think I asked a 45 year old women to dance which was so awkward and embarrassing I went and sat down afterwards. I was shaking I was so embarrassed. I don't think anyone could take me seriously because of either my glasses or my squinting. Funny: After a great stake conference with Elder Ballard an 89 year old man drove us around Lexington and Concord for a tour. I have no idea why he was driving. He almost killed everyone around us; including, bikers, other cars, and the gear box. It was so crazy I wasn't even nervous or scared. I just laughed. As you can see by the pictures he is not even looking at the road while driving and is blasting the heat for a 75 degree cab.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

That's right sir. They're glasses sir.

I break and or bend my glasses almost every day. Normally it's from getting hit in the face by someones body that I am wrestling or some ball of some kind. Whatever the reason I hate glasses. Yesterday while playing catch I took my glasses off to bend them a bit and the metal rim around the lens completely broke. I knew this time would come. Every thing breaks. This summer I broke a crowbar. Back to the point, I purchased 2 pairs of the glasses above. They were $25 with prescription and everything. I am excited to see again with nerd glasses. It's a new style and I don't think it will last long because I now can find good cheap glasses for like $10. I can break them without feeling guilty anymore! Wrestling city here I come.

More importantly, my sister had a baby this week. He is not named after me and I am still coming to terms with this. Lilly and I will be forming a protest committee.

Have you ever made maybe one of the most difficult decisions of your life and realised you made the best decision and that you did it because you were a better person than you used to be? I had a situation like that recently. Daily scripture study, prayer, and temple attendance changes who we are in a good way if done with sincerity. It's just how it is.

And finally, every night this week I gave the boys in a cabin a 'how to become a man' speech. Monday night I talked to them about how to treat women. When I finished they asked if I could give them another 'how to become a man' speech the next night. They got quiet and in their bunks Tuesday night waiting for what I would say. Tuesday I talked to them about integrity, Wednesday about values (what you would have integrity about), and Thursday night I gave them their final talk about work and service--that they needed to be good for someone else not just for themselves. What a full week!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


This has been such an interesting week in the most extreme sense. Extreme tests of faith followed by great spiritual experiences. On Friday I gave two copies of The Book of Mormon away. Each was to a close friend and each was a private and a sincere experience. In both of these experiences I did not plan them nor did I force them. I love The Book of Mormon and I love these people, I wanted them to have this book. Then today, us three mormons at Kieve, went down to Boothbay Harbor and had more intense spiritual experiences. Great day, great day.

Friday, October 23, 2009

These are some of the things . . .

I know my mom reads this and I think Elise read my last post; and, sometimes Jessamyn reads. So for the 2.5-4 people who read this, these are some of the things I care about or love in no particular order:

It turns out I am not as deep as I wanted to be -- pretty uncomplicated. I like hitting things, smashing things, running around, and generally wasting energy.


I chose this picture because it moved me. I think I love people; and, it is important to note that I have been taught this.


I love standing for something, alone or with a group. This is because every day is a battle -- if it wasn't I wouldn't love standing for something.


Although this is a commentary on child labor I am choosing this photo because it is filled with the pathos of a heart yearning and feeling. And in the business of the day I love taking time to feel and listen. I have regained this here in Maine.


Work. I have been saying this for the last few years. I have learned that I'm not as hard a worker as I thought I was, I wish I was more. But dispite this I still love it; and, this love stems from something that work gives me.


This is a given that I have recently decided how grateful I am for it. I have read this book so much that I almost forgot if it meant as much to me as it should. I love it, I read it, and I wish I loved it more.

This is a pretty simple list. I have tried to complicate it more in my life but my wants or needs are pretty simple -- I really don't need much more to be happy than the essence of what these things mean. I am learning to come to terms with this.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I'm Done

I recently looked at pictures of college. At first they were good memories. Then I realized some themes or patterns that made me feel ashamed from the first few years (my senior year was pretty good.) Times of passivity, patterns of dishonesty to self, and times of muted happiness. I'm done with these things. I'm moving on. I'm done.

On another note: I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. I have made covenants and I have faith that things will work out.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mom and Boston and More

My mom came up to visit me the other weekend. You can see her in this picture of us to the left with the EAT sign. I have no idea who the woman in the beanie is.
I also fended off some creepy guy in a North Face store. He wanted me to buy stuff for him. I didn't. I felt clean and honest after.

The LOVE thing in Rockland, ME. The sun was bright.

I finally got to go to the Boston Temple. I am grateful that it is there and that I can go to it, and feel and learn.

I am excited to go to the temple for the rest of my life. An older woman was in the car with us for the ride and she was funny, she was kind.

I have heard multiple times that "A Man for all Seasons" was Gordon B Hinckley's favorite movie. I can tell why. I accidentally purchased it while buying some online books for my Africa class. I watched it. The cinematography is excellent, especially for the time. The music was seldom heard which is a plus in my opinion. If you can't deliver emotion through plot and dialogue you should look into another trade(but then what would happen to Hollywood?) The strand that made this movie perfect in my mind are the ideas that are at play, and the acting which delivered some superbly written dialogue. The role of conscience in this movie is as it should be, ever present and ever dictating one's actions.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Paid to Play Dodgeball

I do not know what to say. I'm pretty happy in Maine. I haven't had such a consistent release and enjoyment in life in eight years. I have enjoyed just having fun so much that I almost do not trust it.

I laugh every day. I also have periods of reflection and spiritual nourishment every day. I play sports and games every day. I feel the cold weather tighten my skin and the heat negate the need for layers. I run because I want; and, never stop. I teach because I don't want to stop.

I feel little worry because nobody is telling me to worry. I think a lack of confidence in my own judgement and intuitive ability confuses and stresses me more than real trials. It takes time to make decisions. You can't yell at a plant to grow faster than it is-- that's just inappropriate and somewhat rude.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Recent Thoughts

I am enjoying my time in Maine. I think it's a dirty state in certain ways but beautiful in others. Everyone is a sailor here so they all swear like one.

The state capitol looks huge, but it's like a hollywood set, super small when you walk around it.

I had stake conference this weekend and then last night listened to the CES fireside in which President Dalton spoke. She spoke on virtue. She said without chastity there is no virtue and vice-versa. So true. This weekend supercharged me. It helped me to see how distracting life can be. There are so many things that just don't matter and that suck our focus from us. There is so much of a lack of discipline in those around. Sometimes it seems like discipline and pertinacity is all I've got under me. Grit is something tangible and saves us from the distractions that everyone else allows as necessities. I love to have fun, but how can you have any fun at all if you're not driven towards something great? What do you even have to take a break from?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Left Overs from This Year

More BarsI ran on a beach
Played games
Made paper with Cami!

I had been wanting to make paper for over a year and I told Cami that it's about time I do it! So she brought over her blender and we shredded my semesters homework and tests. It doesn't take much paper to make paper apparently. It was fun to get out of my system and if we had better screen equiptment the paper would have turned out better. I probably won't do it again for a while but that adventure is over.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


It has been such a blessing to be in Maine. I feel that I can make good choices here, also I can relax and enjoy life.
I am reading "Too Late the Phalarope" and I wanted to share a passage:

. . . And if the homestead could not be seen, for the farms are rich and large in the grass country, he would say where it lay, and what trees grew there, and that there was a girl there, lovely and true, who would make a good wife for a young constable, and might one day bring him riches, so that he could give up the Police, and round in the sun and air. And what was better than that, for in the rain you could hear the plovers calling, and the piet-my-vrou would cry from the kloof, which was like a hand suddenly plucking at the strings of the heart, so that your whole being shook and trembled; and why and why, why no one knew, it was the nature of man and of creation, that some sound, long remembered from the days of innocence before the world's corruption, could open the door of the soul, flooding it with a sudden knowledge of the sadness and terror and beauty of man's home and the earth. But you could not keep such knowledge, you could not hold it in your hand like a flower or a book, for it came and went like the wind; and the door of the soul would not stay open, for maybe it was too great joy and sorrow for a man, and meant only for angels. Yet you could ride again in the rain, in the piet-my-vrou's season, and he would call again, and catch you by the throat and make you tremble. (55)

I thought this was beautiful writing and I wanted to share.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Recently I finished working in the Teton Valley and working at Sky Mountain Ranch.

And then I drove 44 hours straight to Maine to work at the Leadership School at Kieve. I don't know why everything happens the way it does and why we sometimes don't get what we want but I believe it's because the Lord is preparing something better for us. It's part of the tapestry of life. Right?
This is exiting but not where I necessarily want to end up. I miss people, especially those people I think are the best thing ever. I have no idea how the next year will turn out. But I know how I'd like it to turn out.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Rexburg and Work

This is where I Work

Rexburg Skies

Our temple on campus.

Sky Mountain Ranch Where I work

BYU-Idaho's 4-Plex where I play sports

And I went to a jazz concert on campus. I can't remember his name but they said he was one of the best in the world. We were all just happy to have him on campus.