Sunday, November 1, 2009
When I started this blog, I never intended to be that guy. So on this day when I gain an extra hour, I will write instead of sleep.
I don't even know where to start except to say that I been doing a lot since I last posted. This semester is great but hectic. I feel like I don't have time for schoolwork because of everything else I have to do. Work at the Bradley agency has been crazy. PRSSA is awesome but time-occupying. I am still working for the museum in Springville. I am in a choir. And the list goes on...
Because even highlighting the last few months seems daunting, I won't even try. I will, however, tell you about last week and honor a good friend.
I have lived with Robison Sundell for a couple of years. He is one of the kindest people I know. He is always serving others and always focuses on people rather than tasks.
Last Thursday, Robi was longboarding down a steep hill with some other roommates. He lost control and hit his head really hard. He never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead the next day. He remained on a ventilator until recipients of his organs could be prepared for their transplants. Even in his death he continued to give. (Here is the KSL article: http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=8452265 )
We all traveled to Las Vegas Wednesday for his funeral on Thursday. It was a touching service with talks from friends and brothers and sisters. Everyone did a great job and I felt inspired to make my life more like Robi's.
It is still hard to comprehend the fact that Robi is gone. It is haunting to come home and feel the emptiness of his bedroom. It is surreal to look out my window and not see his beloved Jeep and truck.
It is amazing that God has a perfect plan for us. I am grateful for the comfort that can be found even in times of heartache and loss. I know Robi is doing great work in the Spirit World. He will continue to touch many lives.
I hope to be more like Robi. I hope to give precedence to people over tasks on my to-do list. I hope to take more time to enjoy life.
This week will be busy. I am going to San Diego for PRSSA National Conference. Me and a few classmates are making a presentation at the conference. It should be lots of fun.
My November resolution is to be a more consistent blogger. Wish me luck!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Last year we went to Colorado two times to see the band. Both concerts were fantastic and fun. We decided the band needs do a concert a little closer to home, so we have kicked off a campaign to get them here.
The first tactic in the campaign: Idaho-themed shirts:
This was my first stab at Adobe Illustrator. I hope the printers do a good job. (The colors are kind of messed up here.)
The rest of our campaign is secret. Even if it doesn't work, we will have an awesome time. I hope we don't get lost again on a country road in the middle of the night.
Enjoy the music:
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Hey! I just signed up for my first 5K race—The Mr. Call Fun Run. I am very excited. I have been pretty faithful in my gym attendance since January and feel like I am in OK shape. But I have never run a 5K. After signing up I Googled “How to train for first 5K” and was disheartened to read that it takes at least six weeks. SIX WEEKS! I don’t have six weeks.
Oh well, I am sure if I run just a little more on the treadmill each day for the next two weeks I should at least finish. I hope.
But I am not just excited about the idea of running a race; I am excited for the cause I will be supporting. Mr. Richard Call is a dedicated drama teacher at Burley High School. He is very talented at teaching and directing and gives his all to his students. I had the privilege of working with him on a high school play (I was a citizen of Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz—a very important role) and admire his professionalism and passion for his work. He is also an amazing father to one of my good friends and a great community member. He has been courageously fighting cancer lately, and the race is to benefit him.
The race is the Saturday morning of fair week—the most important week of the year in Burley—and it should be lots of fun. I know that lots of people who grew up in Burley come home that weekend and I encourage you all to join me for the race. If I can do it, so can you.
For more information, visit http://burley99.blogspot.com/2009/07/mr-call-fun-run.html or click the button at the right.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
It's not like nothing noteworthy has happened lately. I just haven't taken the time to write about it.
I have been really involved lately in lots of things. I hesitate to say the word busy because I have banned it from my vocabulary. Everyone is busy. I made a sign to hang in the Bradley Agency that says "'I'm busy' is no excuse. We are all busy."
I'm working at BYU Grounds, then working at the PR lab or at my internship. I am having lots of fun experiences and making good friends along the way. I need to weave blogging into my schedule.
My commitment for the next week is to blog seriously at least once.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
It is a blessing to reflect on those who have impacted my life greatly on this special day. It is a commandment to honor our fathers, and I believe we should do it much more often than on an annual holiday.
On this blog I recently shared my feelings about my dear father. Today I would like to tell you about how amazing my grandpa Harper, who passed away a few months ago, is.
One of my earliest memories of Grandpa centers on his decision to sell all that he had to serve the Lord on a mission to Fiji. I remember vaguely the process of hauling all the farm implements to a park with an old white building for an auction. From my earliest recollection, Grandpa had noble priorities.
During his decade of missionary service with Grandma, I have patchy remembrances of good times spent together. After their return from a mission, they had no car or other transportation. Grandpa quickly got to work and found something they could drive—a Chevrolet Panel truck. It was like a three-door Suburban. I went to pick it up with Grandpa from an old neighbor. When we pulled up I could hardly believe he was planning on paying money for the vehicle nestled in the Kosha weeds next to a cinder block shed. I honestly was scared to hop in one of the three doors because I was certain it was infested with Kamima Pack Rats (with big teeth).
I was wrong about that old rig; after Grandpa cleaned it up it took us grandchildren on amazing adventures, adventures we won't soon forget.
Every trip with Grandpa turned into a spectacular journey. Grandpa wasn't one to take the easy or common road to get places; he always created a path of his own—or at least got lost in the attempt. I loved when he took me on DuPont sales calls or trips to the back farm or to visit cousins, not necessarily because of the destination but because of the stories along the way. Grandpa had a unique way of sensing the times when I was especially concerned about my family (even when I was really young) and would lovingly assure me that things would work out and that he was there to help.
I remember one trip to the livestock sale very well. Before the big event, Grandpa and I got "hangaburs" at the auction yard cafe and discussed livestock. He acted like he valued my opinion about what he should purchase. When the sale finally started I got Grandpa in a bit of trouble, I think. I guess I talk with my hands a lot, because the auctioneer kept thinking I was bidding on animals. Grandpa taught me to keep my hands down and let him do the bidding because he was registered to do so. And he knew the difference between a cow and a bull.
I am not sure what Grandpa planned on purchasing that day, but I remember what we took home in the blue and white Ford with the livestock rack on back: a stubborn donkey and a silly "nana" goat. It was almost impossible to get that dumb goat to get down from her perch on top of the spare tire. I remember Grandpa and me laughing hysterically as we poked her and coaxed her to forego her mountain goat instincts.
Whenever I was with Grandpa, I knew he was respected. After eight of us plus our luggage experienced a long ride home to Philly from the Annapolis airport I was privileged to see Grandpa as a missionary for a few days. I remember walking down the streets of South Philadelphia with him one day and seeing him say "hello" to everyone. It seemed as if they all were his old friends: the lady at the dry cleaner, the CVS attendant and the mailman. His goodness certainly shined in his eyes.
In addition to his goodness I admire his strength. He battled with cancer in such an amazing way. One of my biggest concerns upon my return home from my mission was to see grandpa because I had heard he wasn't doing so well. When I first saw him with his new look, the "moon face" as he called it, he was still the same person I remembered and adored.
Associating with Grandpa the past couple of years has been a tremendous blessing. I believe that the end of our life is sort of the last question on the test of mortality we are all presently taking. The last question on a test is usually the most difficult, but Grandpa didn't let it stump him. He truly "endured to the end."
I won't forget the early morning chats over breakfast. I won't forget the times he would call days in advance of my trip home for the weekend to schedule a Saturday lunch date at Charlie's for ribs--"Grandma, she don't like them ribs as much as we do." I won't forget the times we were in the temple together and he insisted I push his wheelchair, as if I were an expert or something. Due to that, I won't forget the dedication I saw in his eyes as he renewed his commitment to keep sacred promises he had made with the Lord.
I feel blessed for the time I had to spend with him in the hospital preceding his death. I learned how a real man and disciple of Jesus Christ acts during times of adversity. He never lost faith or treated others poorly even though he was visibly weary and in pain.
"Hate is a pretty strong word," was the first thing I remember him teaching me. It is probably one of the last things he taught me as well, and illustrates the complete lack of hypocrisy in his character. He didn't hate anyone. He didn't hate his difficult circumstances. He didn't hate the Lord for allowing bad things to happen.
In place of hate in his life was charity--pure and everlasting love.
Grandpa was pretty sick the last time I visited him. We were watching boxing and chatting while Grandma was out; she hated to leave him alone. Our conversation was light at times but became very serious when he started talking about Grandma and his family. I know that his love for her is the "highest, noblest kind of love." At that moment, I understood what pure love really is: what Grandpa had for Grandma.
"But Charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him." (Moroni 8:47)
I am blessed to know that such pure love doesn't cease with death. I am blessed to understand better what charity is because of my Grandpa.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
I loved seeing this video this morning. I am grateful for my membership in a church with leaders that inspire me to be a better person. I am especially grateful for the message of President Monson, who said the best gift he could receive for his birthday was for church members to
"Find someone who is having a hard time and do something for them."
On this memorial weekend, I am thinking of those who taught this message to me through their actions. Many of them have already passed on, but I am still inspired by their legacy. I feel so blessed to have known heroes who thought of others even in the moment of personal affliction and pain.
I pay tribute to those who sacrifice for the benefit of others. I am especially grateful for those who have given their lives in the service of this country. This "last measure of devotion" is greatly appreciated, and I hope to always respect that which they so nobly fought and died for.
Thanks, and happy Memorial Day tomorrow!