Thursday, August 5, 2010

Midnight Perusals

I am currently reading in "Jesus the Christ" and I was reading the section about Mary and Martha. I ran across this passage and it made me think about growing up. I grew up in a home with 5 other siblings, but only 4 bedrooms. Our house was never immaculate, but it was full of love and happy memories. I remember other houses I had been to that were museum-like clean, but people didn't seem as happy or close as I felt with my parents and siblings. Reading this in "Jesus the Christ" helped me make the connection that my parents valued strong family relationships and teaching opportunities over a pristinely kept house (and I'm glad they did). To quote a close family friend, our house was "lived in"--you knew people lived there and you knew the people who lived there enjoyed life to the fullest! Here's the excerpt:
By inattention to household duties, the little touches that make or mar the family peace, many a[n individual] has reduced [his/]her home to a comfortless house; and many another has eliminated the essential elements of home by [his/]her self-assumed and persistent drudgery, in which [he/]she denies to [his/]her dear ones the cheer of [his/]her loving companionship. One-sided service, however devoted, may become neglect. There is a time for labor inside the home as in the open; in every family time should be found for cultivating that better part, that one thing needful--true, spiritual development.
My mom is a Mary...with her focus on the more eternal aspect of spiritual development, but also keeping up with the temporal aspects of life. She says she struggles and that she probably should focus more on the temporal aspect, but I say that I am glad her forte was the spiritual aspect. Had it been the other way around, I don't think my family would have the unity and love that we all have, nor would we have the devotion and loyalty to the Church. And yes, the saying is true, at the side of every good man stands a strong woman; my dad is right there with my mom! They are great examples to me and I still have much to learn from them.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Experiences

So, this summer, being my first in Ogden and the Top of Utah area, has been full of fun and new experiences. 

First of all, I experiences my first demolition derby (and a second one...they are pretty fun!) I first went to the on in Hooper, UT (pronounced Hupper). Here I am with some friends from the ward. It was much funner than I thought it would be. It's amazing how in to the derby you get when you see these cars crash into others! I loved it! My friend told me there was another one up in Logan, UT. Naturally, a bunch of us went up there to see that one as well. It was much better than the one in Hooper! I do have to draws an interesting crowd. I saw so many unique mullets! Here are some additional pictures of the cars.

Later on in the month of July, I went to the rodeo. Now, I am not a country boy (I do believe I am a city boy through and through...a big-city boy!) That being said, I LOVE rodeos! It is amazing to see the different activities. PETA and other animal rights activists can say what they want, but I will always be at the rodeo enjoying the activities! Here is a picture of the friends that I went with. Following the rodeo, we enjoyed a very late dinner at none other than Denny's. CLASSIC!

Now, who could forget, or who would want to miss out on the wonderful "Days of '47 Parade"? Or, as another friend calls it, "Mormon Mardi Gras" :)

The Ogden YSA (Young Single Adult) 2nd Stake had a little breakfast before the parade. The fun part (well, breakfast was fun, but I didn't really know too many people there) was that the stake had roped off the entire side of Washington Blvd (on the temple block) for us! :) I got nice front row seats to the parade and it was AMAZING!!!! The floats, the horses, the carriages, the old-fashioned cars, everything! Here are some pictures :)

Friends at the parade :)

And here I am in the picture :)

The Ogden UT Temple Presidency

This was a cool float that had a nice depiction of the Ogden Temple

I really like the Ogden Temple design. It'll be sad to see it go, but also exciting.

This was a pretty cool float having a modern-day temple and a Book of Mormon-time Temple.

The Ogden Temple, old and new
Overall, July was a great month for me. Lots of great experiences :)

Temple Square in the Summer

 Well, I did it again. On a day I had off, I decided to just go down to Salt Lake City and spend the day on Temple Square. The weather seemed to agree (thank goodness!), so I hopped on the Front Runner and then spent the day down at Temple Square. I wandered around and took pictures (obviously), then I'd read, then I'd wander around again to take pictures. It was an amazing day! I also wanted to see that display the Church had placed in the South Visitor's Entrance. Much to my dismay, the display was being "worked on" and by that I mean they were taking it apart (I don't know if it was to take it down...I really hope not!) Needless to say, I did not get a chance to see what I wanted. I could see the pieces from a distance, but I was not satisfied. I will just have to wait and go back another time (Darn!)
So, I went out to read. On may way, I took some pictures. I really like the Assembly Hall! The spires that
surround it, along with the brick, really make it an inspiring sight. I also like the Star of David in the windows. It's a great Old Testament touch. In addition, it is great to see the City Creek Center rising right across the street. In all honesty, I want an apartment on the top floor of the building in this picture. But, alas, I will never have the $4 million required for the likely down payment. That being said, I went with a friend to check out some of the apartments in the City Creek Center. A studio went for about $158,000 and a two bedroom (with a den) was a little over $1 million. In a very generous move, the City Creek Center provides you with 1 parking spot, but, no worries, it's only $50,000 for an additional spot!

Anyway...moving back to the nice part of the day...

Another nice shot of the temple! I particularly liked the flag :)

Anyway, there was a nice little outdoor eating area on the Main Street Plaza (just between the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and Temple Square) where I sat most of the time reading. It was so cool because the temple rose through the trees and you could hear water running and then see the water in the reflecting pond. It was a very peaceful place to peaceful in fact that I kept nodding off while reading. It was perfect temperatures outside, particularly in the shade, and completely quiet (with the added birds singing in the background). Anyway, here are some other pictures that I liked. It was really an amazing day!

The Salt Lake Tabernacle

It is amazing to see the temple right above the trees. And the blue sky is an added benefit!

The Conference Center

The new Church History Museum. I need to go make a visit!

Church Office Building

Right outside the Beehive and Lion Houses

Beehive House

Lion House

Probably my favorite picture of the bunch!

I can't get enough!
I hope you enjoyed! I could spend an entire summer down on Temple Square and not get bored!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

To My Loyal Fans...

...please stay tuned for postings on:
  • sky diving
  • house hunting
  • more Temple Square (summer)


"[Confucius] taught that the country which develops the finest music, the grandest poetry, and the noblest moral ideals--that is, the country with the most exalted culture--will always yield the greatest power in the world."

-Letters from the Jade Dragon Box by Gale Sears

"Who is such a reprobate as I! And yet it seems that even I am in Somebody's hand!'

-Mr. Henchard in The Mayor of Casterbridge

"...[T]he magnitude of [life] is not as to [one's] external displacements, but as to [one's] subjective experiences."

-Thomas Hardy in Tess of the d'Urbervilles

"...I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked and never destroyed--because 'Thou mayest.'"

-Lee in East of Eden