Congratulations Buffy!

I wanna tell you about my sister Buffy.

She just got engaged to Josh, her boyfriend of…6 years?  Something like that.  They’ll be getting married in May and move to the Netherlands a couple of days after that.  Her life is what she’s made it–wonderful.  I couldn’t be happier for her.  That’s a phrase that’s usually thrown around a lot when engagements happen, but here’s why it’s true:

I don’t know anybody more committed to family than Buffy.  She would (and frequently does) do anything for anybody in her family.  She supports all of us in whatever we choose, whether she agrees with it or not, because her number one priority is our happiness.  I think that’s the definition of charity.  I remember once in middle school I had been in a fight with another kid and the next day at school, as we were walking into the building that kid tried to start the fight up again. Buffy stepped in between us, pushing the kid and yelled “Nobody messes with my brother!”  That’s how I picture her, as a very protective, loving sister.  She cares about us so much and I know she’ll take that same caring spirit into her marriage and future family.

It only makes sense that she marries Josh.  They are perfect for each other.  They’ve been together for a long time and he makes her so happy.  I haven’t spent a whole lot of time with Josh, but I know he’s a great guy.  He wouldn’t last a week with Buffy if he wasn’t.  She doesn’t put up with anybody’s crap.  Ever.

The main reason why I’m so happy for Buffy is because I know what this will do for her.  It’s going to make her exponentially happier.  I don’t know how to describe this, but it’s like the bigger her family gets, the bigger her smile becomes.  Her heart only grows, it can’t ever get smaller.  She deserves all the happiness possible because she gives so much happiness to people around her.  Having a family is…the best possible thing for her.  She deserves an award.  Seriously.  Her wedding day is going to be FANTASTIC because all the love that she has given to others is going to be given right back to her.  I’m so excited, I can’t wait.  I’m about to punch somebody, I’m so excited.  If I could run up a wall and do a backflip, I would.  She is a wonderful sister.

Me, Aryn (our niece) and Buffy.  I didn’t crop you out of it this time, Buff.



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Goodbye EFY

I found out today that i was not rehired to work another summer at EFY.  I have worked EFY for the past 3 summers, 2 as a BC and 1 as a counselor. I applied to be a coordinator and they said no. The past 3 summers have been the happiest of my life, so when i found out i wasn’t going to work again, needless to say, i was heartbroken.

Many fond memories have come from EFY, some of the best of my life. EFY has been a source for friendships, spiritual experiences, fun times, hard work, and even dates.  The first time i went to Disneyland it was with 60 EFY counselors.  Priceless.  You have not experienced Disneyland until you’ve been there with 80 just-finished-my-summer-job-and-need-a-break, crazy people.

I have made many wonderful friends working EFY.  Jill Catts is one that sticks out the most.  She and Eric D. Stokes have been there every summer i’ve worked and have taught me how to be a good counselor/BC.  My fondest memories of them come from when they were BC’s together.  For some reason, they thought i was a good counselor.  They both called me the day BC applications were available but i wanted to remain a counselor. Then, when they needed to fill a vacant BC spot, Jill and Eric told Lindsay to hire me.  Choosing to be a BC that summer was one of the best decisions i have ever made.  That team was phenomenal.  We still get together with the Shupe’s every once in a while.

I knew my next summer as a BC wasn’t going to be the same, and i was right.  It was much harder, but i feel like i grew more as a person and learned more than i would have otherwise.  I’m excited to get together with that team in a couple of weeks.  Aaron and Sharon are getting married soon (which still makes me smile and then chuckle).

Dan Mortensen is another friend I’ve gained through the years.  He is such an amazing person and why he thinks i’m cool is a mystery to me.  Dru Brown is a stud.  I’ve learned a lot from him and look forward to every opportunity to hang with him.  Chuck/Charles is a lifelong friend.  He understands me and we always have fun together.  Amy Jo is on a mission and I can’t wait for her to return.  Aaron Coombs is, and will always be, the perfect example of who i’d like to be.

I’ve seen miracles happen at EFY. The most spiritual moments i had were when i was a counselor. Helping the youth has been a privilege.  One week, we had a boy who’s best friend died and he was devastated.  Those kids rallied around him and helped him through it. Praying with him next to his car as he left was a very powerful moment. He decided to come back the next day. Many of the youth would give me notes telling me something personal. My favorite that i still have (i actually still have most, if not all of them) simply says: “you helped me regain my testimony”.

I’ve had a wonderful time working at EFY.  My favorite moment all 25 weeks i worked was the saturday morning meeting. All the counselors are dead tired, but we shared funny moments from the week (like a certain chase, or the hilarious moments that came from the cruiser) and then, once it calms down, we would share spiritual moments.  The experiences everybody had would remind me why i was there, giving up my entire summer. I was energized for the next week. That’s why i worked EFY, to help those youth have amazing experiences. It’s going to be hard to let it go, but i guess it’s time to move on.  Now i have the opportunity to do other things i’ve always wanted to do during the summer. I’m looking forward to new possibilities.  I’ve learned a lot and will always look back on those summers with a smile. I’m so happy i had that opportunity.

Please remain seated after the prayer for announcements…


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Why I started a blog

I have avoided blogging for a long time.  There are too many people who blog that share completely useless information with mind-numbing stupidity and feel as if their thoughts should change the world.  I hope I don’t come off as one of those people.  I started this blog mostly as a place for me to write my thoughts and keep them collected. If people want to read them, so be it.  With that in mind, I post my first blog:

My brother Dan, with his wife Aleen and their soon-to-be 10 month old daughter Aryn, left today for England.  He has been accepted to Oxford and will be receiving his Masters degree in Jewish Studies.  For the past 4 1/2 years (since I’ve been home from my mission)Dan has been a close friend.  He’s been my roommate, golf buddy, academic advisor as well as tutor, relationship advisor and brother.  I can’t even put into words how proud I am of him for going to Oxford.  He’s accomplished so much in his field and I never thought I’d see him go as far as he already has.  He’s really changed from the guy I knew before my mission.  I’m also very impressed with Aleen, who must have seen SOMETHING in him to marry him.  Now it’s very obvious what she saw.  To think of who Dan was when they were dating, she must be able to see the future.  Together they are traveling the world and making their dreams come true.  I only wish I can do that at some point in my life, much less at such an early stage in it!

I absolutely adore Aryn.  She is such a fun girl to be around.  I’ve learned a lot from her and I’ll miss her so much.  I can’t wait to see her walking and someday be able to talk to her (and have her talk back).  I already have so many things to tell her, especially things about her when she was a newborn.

If somebody IS reading this, please forgive my writing skills.  They should get better over time.


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