Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!! The Greatest Holiday of the year, in my humble opinion, but you know that already. We have so much to be thankful for, mom and I are in Utah for the entire week to conduct some business, set Tiana’s wedding plans and celebrate being with the family. The world has tried to reach up and snatch my happiness this week but I’m not going to let it. Such as: the market keeps falling and my income drops, I got into an car accident with the Lexus we’re trying to sell, and BYU loses big to Utah, nevertheless the sun is up, we’re with family we love and the church is true. Those things all weigh more than any bad news I heard this week.

Our missionary experience is still going well. The missionaries, Steve, and I met last Thursday and finished up the Commandments lesson. He has now stopped smoking and drinking and is pretty much cleared to get baptized. We’re hoping for a late Dec date. His wife worries me because she doesn’t seem to be interested at all.

I hosted a dinner seminar for about 65 people at CB&Potts on Monday night to try and drum up some new business. Wed night I had a great night at the temple. I was doing initiories and all the patrons were doing their own family names. One guy was doing work for his brother-in-law and was telling me stories about his deceased relative. It brought tears to his eyes to do his temple work. Thursday was the missionary lesson. Friday I babysat Jenson and Lily all alone for 3 hours. I felt lucky I only had to do one diaper during that time.

Saturday I was attacked by a bamboo shark as he chomped down on one calf and I knocked him away and he went for the other calf and bit through the wetsuit. As I was hitting him off my 2nd leg the puffer fish came to his rescue and bit at my head. It kind of freaked me out, but was still fun.

The big trouble happened on the way to the aquarium. I was in a merge lane with a yield sign and I glanced back to make sure there was no traffic and the lady in front of me came to a dead stop in the middle of the road because she wanted to be safe and didn’t realize there was anyone behind her. Well the police gave me the ticket and it smashed in the front of the Lexus we are trying to sell and drive to Utah. It will cost hundreds of dollars to fix this little problem. Then Utah destroyed an embarrassingly poor BYU football team. So there are my weekly woes and as you can see they are a mere speed bump on the road of life. The really important things like testimony and health are doing great.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

General News

Well our little attempt at missionary seems to be working out well. I had another lesson with Steve Wilborn and the elders on Thursday night. The elders did better and Steve has set a baptismal date for Jan 7. We will be in Costa Rica at that time so we hope he can move the date forward to the last week of the year when we will all be here. He has asked me to give him a blessing at this week’s lesson and I’m praying for the spirit. Pray for him and his wife Melissa also please. Investigator class was so good today because we had Steve plus two other non member fathers there with their member wives and we talked about how the gospel blesses our family. It makes me so thankful for the church.
Well it is official – Preston (Elder Van Dyke) proposed to Tiana Friday night. They already had the date set – Feb 20; the time 11 am; and the place Salt Lake Temple. All that was needed was the asking. Preston was going to wait until he could ask me face-to-face at Thanksgiving but he ran out of patience (he lost a few points for lack of patience, but who is keeping score). He called me on Friday and after a few minutes of medium grilling him I gave my permission. He took Tiana to a fancy restaurant overlooking the temple in SLC and then walked around temple square, but never asked her. That was his plan to make her think it was coming but never ask to make her wonder what was going on. I suggested a few things to spice up the anticipation and Preston and I were suddenly in cahoots to frustrate Tiana – I like this guy. It all worked out great and Tiana was surprised. We’ll finally have someone in the family that can challenge the hulk Austin (other than Don).
Don is bringing home a girl for us to meet at Christmas time. Her name is Melissa and she is a non member, but has been to church a few times and may take the lessons. She wants to keep the commandments and is helping Don as well. I like her too, even if I haven’t met her yet. They will probably get engaged just before he leaves for Iraq in Feb and get married when he returns.
Well we have survived the first week of the projected Obana presidency and the stock market only dropped 1300 points. We're in for a long 4 years.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Change vs Improvement

It is like watching an approaching train wreck in which your kids and grandkids are in the way of a horrible disaster. It appears that this country will elect a candidate who according to his words, “will fundamentally change America”. Wait a minute, this country doesn’t need fundamental change. To quote Dennis Prager, “We change things that are bad and improve things that are good”. Our country needs improvement, but not fundamental change. McCain wants to change Washington and Obama wants to change America. We are in for a storm with the entire mechanisms of government geared to move us in a dangerous direction. Especially with the dangerous ideas of Obama as “The One” leading the charge. The fanatical following of the media towards the left removes the opportunity for intelligent debate and drives us towards one party rule – that is not the definition of hope.

The newspaper quoted a verse out of the book, “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” It described how the majority of ancient Athenians, in a very short time, moved from contributing to society to expecting from society. When their focus was on what they would get as opposed to what they could give they “lost both their security and freedom.” We are headed in the same direction.

The paper also had a quote from Thomas Jefferson which said, “A government big enough to solve every misery and problem is strong enough to take everything you own.” I see the difference between this election and the one four years ago is that a majority of Americans think and want the government to solve their problems instead of their own resources. If we have rounded this “dead man’s curve” of the expectation of our Federal government then the future is indeed bleak.

If we replace; rewarding hard work, optional charitable service, and faith is a divine higher power with governmental institutions we are a people and country in peril. Improvement yes, but no to fundamental change.

God Bless America and America Bless God.