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Friday, May 27, 2011


Today I found out that for my farewell I am going to be speaking on Hope. This came as a relief for me because I hate having to write things on narrow, obvious topics such as my most recent American Heritage paper which had to be done about the Law of Demand. Hope gives me a lot of room to think and come up with something at least semi-original. The more that I think about it, this ties in a lot with my last post.

There are many meanings for hope to me. Actually, one meaning but so many feelings of it. I am sure that for Michael Jordan to accomplish what he did in the NBA,  he had a lot of hope along the way. It was the hope that he could one day play in the NBA and beyond that, the hope that he could be one of the greatest players of all time. Similarly but so different, there is the hope that a certain girl or boy will one day call you and proclaim their love to you. But as I am sure you have all learned, that doesnt always happen and many times it leaves you heartbroken.

It is not so much the feeling of hope while you are hoping that is different in different situations, but rather the feelings after your hope either pays off or amounts to nothing that sets each experience different from the others. So to revise what I wrote above, there is only one hope but many different outcomes which cause many different feelings.

The significance of hope has nothing to do with the feelings that follow it though, but what more tangible things can follow it. What makes the hope Michael Jordan had about his basketball career great is not the joy it brought him, but the great superstar that resulted from the work caused by the hope. Even in situations where hope can hurt - such as if you hope for someone you have a crush on to proclaim their love for you but all they ever do is ignore your existence - you do not lose anything from hoping. If you never hoped for that thing again, you might never experience love.

All of the above is pretty obvious. But if what are important are the tangible changes that come from hope and not the feelings, then even when your hope amounts to nothing to heartbreak, you still can come out a winner. Chances are you wont feel like you won anything, but in the long run you may have picked up small things that will benefit you.

For example, I know many people who have lost control of their lives and gotten into drugs and other things. Just when it seemed like all was lost, they found what they hoped would become their significant other. The problem: the other person probably would not have accepted them or given them a chance in their current situation. So the lovestruck person changed their entire life for the one person that meant more to them than anything they were doing at the time meant to them. Regardless of the life changes, things never worked out and the heartbroken person was left with nothing at all. They most likely felt crushed and confused. However, for one reason or another, they did not go back to drugs or the life they led before. They may have felt horrible at the time, but their life was changed for the better one way or another.

The problem with hope is that the opposite is equally as possible. Big disappointments and letdowns can lead to negative life changes. Sadly, things as small as heartbreak can seem big enough to people that they can lead to drug abuse and worse. So what determines whether a person allows broken hope to change them for the better or worse? Separating your emotions from your thoughts, and allowing yourself to make rational judgements even during emotional stress.

Hope that turns into success has lead to just about every great thing in the world. Hope that fails (if dealt with correctly) can make you a stronger person, and still allow you to come out better than before that idea of hope existed.

So as cheesy as it sounds, hope away. And when it leaves you crushed and broken, remember that there is more life ahead of you and opportunities will come. So while it may feel like the end of the world, it's not.

                                                                       and remember...

- a still cloudy minded, oxycodone affected me.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


The last few months have been less stressful in comparison to the months before that. I havent had to worry about things like waking up at five every other day for AF and trying to balance school work and sleep. But I am convinced that there is never a moment in life when I wont have concerns and issues I have to deal with. Over the weekend was my birthday, and while I was at the BYU rugby game I noticed my back was hurting a little bit where my kidneys are. It went away quickly but I told my mom I felt like I was probably getting kidney stones again. Then on Tuesday at four in the morning I woke up throwing up and feeling horribly sick. By noon my back starting hurting again so I convinced my mom to take me to the doctor. He quickly told us to go to the hospital where I had CT scans, blood tests, and other tests then got hooked up to an IV. Finally today I was allowed to go home, but we are still waiting for some test results and I am on different meds. I see a lot of this as a blessing as I am leaving in less than a month, and it would have caused more problems in China than it did here. The bad thing is I missed a midterm and have been missing work. Also, as time is running out for me here, I have been trying to fix things with people who I have wronged and tried to determine which people are my true friends and which are fake. This can be one of the most difficult things in the world as many people pretend to be something theyre not, and not very many people are completely honest about everything. Sometimes I wish I could read minds so I didnt have to go off of trust and guesses. If you dislike me, dont pretend to be my best friend, and if you like some things about me but hate other things, please let me know. I feel like not expressing things like that is just fear which to me is the weakest and most disgusting emotion I can think of.

All of my pain med induced rambling does have a point (I think). No matter what you do and how hard you try, you will never be able to control your life completely. The world has billions of other people on it who have their own goals and things they are trying to do. In order for you to control your own life completely youd have to control everyone you come into contact with. To further complicate things, sometimes it is impossible to tell if somebody is who and how they say they are. I cant even count how many people try to convince me theyre one thing or feel one way, then turn around and tell someone else the complete opposite. While you cant control everything that happens to you, that doesnt mean you shouldnt try your hardest to do what you want.

There are two extremes: People who try to control everything and end up unhappy with their lives easily, and people who give up trying to be and do what they want and end up with nothing at all, also unhappy. I believe there is a healthy balance and lately that is something Ive been trying to figure out.

So do ME a favor and don't pretend you are someone or something you arent.
Do YOURSELF a favor and if you are like me and struggle with it, find the balance between trying to control things in your life and letting fate play out.

PS none of this probably made any sense since i havent eaten in the last three days and am on medication haha.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Slideshow of the past 19 years

While making this video, I had so many thoughts, feelings, and memories rushing into my head. But one of them stood out more than the rest. As I saw the pictures of me as a little kid, I can still remember what I expected myself to turn out like. For better or worse, I am a lot different than I thought I would be. It is amazing what different events and people can do to shape someone from a little ignorant kid to someone like me.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The King's Speech

I just got done watching The Kings Speech, and it surpassed any expectations I had for it. There are few movies I feel like I learn a lot from, but this was definitely one of them. It focuses on an individual's personal struggles that impede his ability to achieve his full potential.

First off, I believe this movie deserves all of the praise it has received because it portrays a story using romanticism more effectively than most other movies that I have seen try and do this. Most movies that try to be romantic (for those of you who dont understand-I'm not talking about love or anything like it) usually feel too much like soap operas to me and while they may be touching to some people, they leave me feeling disgusted that I wasted the last two hours of my life watching them. The reason why? They focus too much on evoking emotion without real substance behind the story. Therefore, I never get anything solid out of them. Too many times they revolve around a sappy love story, or a Disney-like story that ends perfectly. Other times writers will add a twist and show the sad side of Disneyesque stories, but they are still trying too hard to evoke one type of emotion or another, and that is it. If any morals are taught, they are boring and obvious, therefore the movie does not do a good job of leaving a lasting impression on the viewer that makes him or her think. The Kings Speech however, is different. It does not spell out exactly what you should be taking from it, nor is it designed around simply evoking emotion. While I see how it can evoke emotion, it does so much more than that.

The main character has a simple speech impediment. That speech impediment is not what most would consider something to completely ruin someone's life and not allow them to achieve greatness. However to the main character, it is his personal roadblock to unlocking his potential.The entire movie is focused on that simple, small problem in his life. While history books hundreds of years from now will probably not even mention the fact that King George VI stammered while speaking, this movie sheds light on the things that are not always out in the open and the things that are not important to a nation, but plagued the person directly responsible for that nation. It was by overcoming his small - to him seemingly big - obstacle that he was able to gain the confidence to take the throne and lead a nation.

The most interesting part of the movie to me was a clip where the main character was sitting in a room with his family watching film of Hitler commanding the Nazi soldiers. Hitler is shouting words to them angrily and the main character's daughter asks what he is saying. The dad responds saying that he doesnt know, as he does not speak German. Then, he watches as thousands of Nazis respond energetically to Hitler's words and it is obvious he questions his own ability to lead a nation, as he is nowhere near the orator that Hitler is. He cannot understand a single word that is said on the film, but to him what is said is not important. The fact that Hitler was able to talk and spout things off the way he did was in the main character's mind an important contribution to how Hitler was able to take control of a country.

In the big picture, it was not important to me exactly what held King George VI back, but that he had an insecurity and recognized a flaw about himself that he allowed to get in the way of his life and take control of everything he did. I am sure that if a mute king was born, he could simply use an orator or something to read his speeches for him. Having a speech impediment does not necessarily make someone unworthy of royalty. It was a personal hurdle for him that in his mind made him unworthy. He even mentioned in the movie that he was afraid people would call him "Mad George the Stammerer".

Now the point which I have been leading up to is that this movie's conflict is one that I believe everyone has. Some may have it to a higher extent than others. We all have imperfections that act as obstacles for us to achieve our full potential. Some of these obstacles are not things that we can simply conquer once and never have to deal with again. After the movie, a caption stated that the king had his speech coach in the room with him for every wartime speech he ever gave. That means that most likely, he never got over his problem, but continued to work at it so that it would not get in the way of what he wanted to do.

I know countless people who have come to me with problems in their lives. Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, schizophrenia, and even just a disposition to making mistakes often are just a few of their problems. I was a classic example of someone who ran into a problem in life. I have always struggled with anxiety and sometimes the depression that accompanies it. But more recently, it plagued me much more than I ever imagined it could. It started with an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach for no reason I could think of. Every day it grew worse, and I would be scared of everything. I stopped going to my classes, refused to wake up to go to Air Force, and wanted to do nothing but run away from everyone and everything. I forced myself sometimes to go to class where I would randomly have panic attacks for no apparent reason. I would close my eyes and try and focus on anything I could to get my mind off of the anxiety. It was so bad that I would cry because I couldn't control my brain, and that scared me. I thought that there was no way even Hell was this bad. The worst part was I could not tell anybody about it because nobody could possibly understand. "It's all in your head and you just need to get over it" was something I heard a lot. My mind would not stop fueling my anxiety. I woke up multiple times with my heart and arm hurting or numb. The first time I thought I was having a heart attack. My heart would palpitate and skip beats all day long, and I never felt comfortable. I envisioned what would happen if I lost my scholarship because of this. Then as it got worse I realized there was no point in having a scholarship because I could not even function enough to walk five minutes to my class. I could not possibly function in society at all. I felt lonely. Not because I had nobody to talk to or hang out with, but because my mind was doing things that nobody could understand. I thought differently from other people. I realized that it was getting to the point where I couldn't make friends ever or meet new people, and I could not talk to my old friends because all wanted to do was get away from life, and nobody understood me. I thought I would probably end up on the streets as a hobo because I could not do anything. Thinking about everyone I knew moving on and me only being a memory of the kid who went crazy to them scared me. This to me was my "stammering". Finally a miracle happened and things which are too personal for me to write online happened and I was able to overcome my problem without the use of medicine, counseling, or anything else. I was made aware that my anxiety would not permanently go away, but that I would have to work at suppressing it whenever it manifested. One of the happiest moments of my life was when I realized that my biggest roadblock to achieving my dreams had been conquered. Although it was only temporary and I knew that, it gave me assurance and hope that when it came up again, I would be able to overcome my "stammering" just like I did the first time.

The purpose of writing this was not to tell the world about my problems, or to try and make people feel bad for me. But the reason was to point out that this movie made me reflect on the "stammering" I have had to learn to deal with in my life and share my thoughts about the trials in everyone's lives that may threaten their futures.

The most intelligent people I know who have the most promising futures I can imagine also have some of the biggest problems. This is not to say that if you don't have problems you are not intelligent, but I believe that a lot of times intelligence comes with a disposition to depression, anxiety, or another mental illness. Most of the most intelligent and influential people in our history suffered from mental instabilities that I'm sure made them question their ability to do whatever they wanted to do in their lives.

Mental illnesses and things of that nature are not the only things that you could consider obstacles in your life. The Kings Speech shows that even something as small as a speech impediment could possibly stop you from achieving your potential. 

I realize that I am writing this at 2 in the morning so there is a good chance that it makes no sense whatsoever, but I urge everyone who reads this to realize that in their life, obstacles will present themselves. I am not talking about religion and the spiritual obstacles that will threaten your spiritual well-being. I am talking about temporal obstacles that will pose threats to your future and the things you can do for the world. You may question what you could possibly do for the world or anyone in it, you may see yourself as not good enough to do what you want, you may even question your motives for living. I just ask that when you run into these obstacles, you fight through them. Never give up because in the end making the best of your situation and achieving your full potential (whatever that may be) will do a lot more for you and for the people you come into contact with than allowing yourself to fall victim to the many possible things that could stop you. I went months suffering from what I can only explain as my mind being trapped in Hell. But luckily I had parents urging me to press forward and not give up. I now urge you all to do the same when life throws things at you that seem impossible to overcome.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Interesting statement on opening of China to missionary work

"On 12 March 1991 Elder Dallin H. Oaks, speaking at a BYU devotional, addressed the question of when China will be open for missionary work: "I state my belief that China is already 'open' – it is we who are closed. . . . We must understand their way of thinking, . . . observe their laws, and follow their example of patience. We must deserve to be their friends. . . . our Father in Heaven . . . will bring His purposes to pass in that great nation 'in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will'""

I got lucky to get called to the one mission open in China. But this makes me wonder if "their way of thinking" is really that much different than ours... Haha this will be interesting........

Monday, May 16, 2011

4 Weekends left

The time has gone by so fast. I feel like just a week ago I opened my call. But it has started to hit me that I have four weekends left before I go away for two years and my life changes dramatically. It is interesting seeing all of the people in my life that have helped mold me into who I am today. Some of them I am still close to, and others hate me. Either way, I am grateful for their part in making me who I am. It really hit me hard that my farewell is coming up last week when I met some new people and realized that it would be impossible to get that close to them considering I only have about a month left in the United States.

I  know that I am only gonna be gone for two years and then I'll be right back where I am now, but my entire life is flashing before my eyes and I've been thinking a lot about things that have happened to get me where I am today. Through all the times of uncertainty, just trying my hardest and dealing with what i have been given has paid off. I definitely could have tried harder in some things, but that's in the past, and not something to worry about.

I guess this blog post is about a whole lot of nothing. But I believe that a person is made up of all the experiences and memories in their life. While there is more than that (like how they dealt with those experiences and the way they processed them), these are the base of peoples' personalities and characters. I just wanted to thank everyone who helped create some of the memories in my life and experiences that have made me who i am. I am at a point in life where i couldnt be more content with where i am at and what i have to look forward to. The possibilities are endless, and I have a lot to look forward to both within the next two years, and in the future years of my life.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

In front of the apartment haha

If you're interested

If anyone is interested, this is a picture of my dad in afghanistan that we are selling as pictures, posters, etc... Send me an email at

Kinda an experiment

I'm new to this as this is my first blog. I figure I might as well make one now and if it works out, I will leave it in my parents' hands hoping they update it every once in a while while I am on the mish....