Tag Archives: missionary work

He Said Son, Since 1952, I’ve Been

Sometimes the road up the mountain has some switch-backs in it and you end up back tracking in the process of making it to the top. The pursuit of happiness isn’t always happy.

I said some not so nice things tonight via text and twitter, but I am going to stand by them. I’ll probably get in more trouble for revealing some facts tonight that I would normally keep boxed up as well. Hopefully I’ll stand by that decision in the morning as well. I was uninvited to Disneyland tonight due to events from earlier this week. It was clear that Larilyn didn’t want to be anywhere near me and so I guess the event tonight became girls only. To be quite honest, I don’t agree with it, but I would have been ok with it if that had been the way I was told it. Instead, I was told flat out that I was uninvited. Eventually I was told it became a girls night out. The funniest part of the whole thing was that I was so tired tonight I wasn’t planning on going to begin with! I wasn’t trying to avoid anyone; I just knew when I fell asleep at the computer driving an hour to Disneyland wasn’t going to be in my best interest or that of those others on the road.

I’ve been trying to tell Maegan all week. For whatever reason she has been avoiding me, so I left her a voicemail tonight. It only took three attempts to try and get some of what I wanted to say into a 3 minute voicemail (or whatever her time limit is). It really needed to be at least a fifteen minute conversation and I hate that it wasn’t done in person or at least in realtime. On the bright side, it is off my plate now and I can stop worrying about what I’m going to say and instead just continue to wait. Maybe I will have ended up ruining three friendships tonight, but I’m going to be selfish tonight and be ok with that.

I know very well from past experience that bottling up my feelings and not sharing them doesn’t help the situation, so I’m going to try and be more open and make sure my intentions are understood by all as early on as possible. Maegan may still come back to set me straight and tell me to leave her alone, but at least I will know for sure at that point and I will be able to move forward instead of running in circles around this mess.

The rest of the day was pretty crazy. I was back out in the field today, again back at UCSD for a good portion of the day and Batch and I took care of a few other things on the way back. We had a late lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings, without Megan who is having way too much fun over in England right now I’m sure.

I met with a senior missionary from the Riverside California Mission this evening. It sounds like the Alta Murrieta Ward missionaries will be moving in most likely next Monday. I have a few reservations, but I think it will be good and I’m prepared to make a few sacrifices if necessary for a while to give them an appropriate place to live. If nothing else it should really help me be missionary minded and hopefully keep me out of trouble cause I don’t need any more of that right now.

And I think with that I have caused enough trouble for one night and I’m going to call it quits and head to bed. I’m going to try to make it to building cleanup tomorrow since I haven’t been there all month. I’ve selectively neglected it long enough, even if Cynthia won’t be there to guilt me into coming tomorrow.

Waitin’ on a Woman

Well, to give you an idea of how things have been going: my laptop was so dead that the led on the battery wouldn’t even flash anymore to identify itself as dead. It has been over a month since I’ve journaled/blogged and I’m honestly just kind of happy that I was able to remember the password to MacJournal! If it makes a difference, I think last time I wrote was just after the last time I went to Disneyland and then I just went there last night so I’m writing again. I’ve actually been thinking for a while that I’ve needed to blog, I just haven’t found the time or energy. I’ll be honest, the laptop has stayed in the vehicle many nights lately. It has been kind of nice to just go places and not have to take fifteen bags (ok two) with me everywhere I go including in and out of the house every-time.

If I had to sum up the last month, I’m not sure if I could. I wish I could say I’ve been waitin’ on a woman, but I think that is primarily only tonight that I’ve been really doing that. I bought a new truck, if I may call it that, getting close to a month ago. There has just been too many times that I couldn’t do something with the Camry so I decided to upgrade. I’ve been thinking about buying a truck for a few months now – probably somewhat after I discovered that I only drive four miles to work each day and not the thousands of miles I used to drive a month. I was planning this as an addition, but I’ve quickly learned that having two vehicles is a major pain. Everything is always in the other one and I’ve done the math to find that unless I’m going to start driving a lot more or the price of gas is going to skyrocket (beyond what it did last year), it doesn’t make economic sense for me to keep the Camry. it’s too bad because I really like the Camry. I’ve actually made a few calls to dealers and haven’t been seeing much good news, so I may end up selling it private party.

I’ve found myself very busy at work lately. Batch was gone one week and that just about did me in. I told him that he should never expect to have another week off – or if he does that he needs to plan on taking me with him! I’m very, very glad that things have been so busy at work. There is definitely room for improvement, but right now I’m happy for anything and everything we can get that allows us to continue working and paying the bills.

It seems that I’ve been pulling away from many of the activities of church lately. I don’t know if I’m just too busy with other things or burnt out or what, but it has really been a drag to get me anywhere other than our Sunday meetings. I didn’t even go to the Dowden’s at all last week and only went to branch prayer because I walked across the street. Never fear, the church is still true; in fact I almost feel like I’m doing better in many areas (not reading) than I have for a while. I guess I’ve just been practicing selective neglect in order to accomplish the greater tasks at hand. Speaking of neglect, I really need to come up with a lesson plan for priesthood tomorrow. In my pondering today I was actually thinking that maybe I need a break from the branch. I don’t know where I would go (Alta Murrieta Ward? another singles branch?), or for how long it would be, I just feel I need a break. Maybe I should graduate from the branch?

I’ve been meeting with the missionaries for the past few weeks which I really enjoy. It is great spending time with them and I hope they are getting something out of it. I’ve been trying to find people for them to teach: members or non-members, I just haven’t been doing so well. I just need one new person per week for them to constantly have five people to teach, yet I can’t seem to come up with it.

I can’t make it sound like I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had any free time, cause that would be a lie. It just seems that the free time is so few and far between. Sometimes that can be good, but sometimes I feel that the busyness only leads to more fits of depression if you will. In fact, I can’t think of much free time I’ve had and things have been running away from me that need to get done lately. I have had a letter from Tara on my desk for at least three weeks now and I haven’t responded to her. Some of that is due to a lack of time, but I think some of it is also due to a lack of having a clue what to tell or inspire her with. In so many ways it seems that I’ve been leading a mindless life lately.

On the other hand I have been pondering some things quite a bit. One has had me completely preoccupied all day today and for a good portion of this week.

Last week we (ward) went to the temple – on Tuesday after I had come back from the temple of course. Talk about putting those extra miles on the new car! It had been closed for two weeks so I guess I was just making up for the lack of going there the past two weeks.

This Wednesdsay we had been trying to find something to do that was different as Maegan wanted to get out of her house (problem of working from home). I was trying to find a fun new activity, but couldn’t come up with anything based on what time it was and where we were so she ended up coming over to play Phase 10 after kidnapping Larilyn. Well, on her way here her car started making a funny noise. We traced it down to her air conditioning and set her an appointment to have it looked at the next morning. Thursday, I go down to Escondido to pick her up and bring her home to get the Camry.

Friday we went to Disneyland. Batch came along and we met Marie and one of her friends there. It was such a weird night. I didn’t eat but one churro (which I shared), I didn’t ride space mountain (it broke just as Marie was going to get on), didn’t even go into California Adventure, so there was no Tower of Terror or Screaming and yet those few hours which went late into the night were some of the best I’ve ever had at Disneyland.

So it was about 2:30 when I finally got home. I awoke about 8 this morning and Maegan and I went down to Escondido to get her car back. Haven’t really done anything else today other than finally blog!

Sorry for the short thoughts in some places – I need to get to sleep. More to come soon, I promise.

Broken Set Top Box

After spending close to an hour on the phone with Verizon this week, I supposedly had an appointment for 1 p.m. today for them to bring me out a new set top box. I was told they were going to call before coming, and I believe I gave them my office number. Home and office are very similar so maybe I got confused. Nonetheless, they called at 11 this morning and showed up at 11:35. Well hello, of course I wasn’t home!

I called the tech directly and he never called me back. I called Verizon again and they have again scheduled someone to come out tomorrow afternoon. I explained that I couldn’t keep taking time off work to sit and wait for nothing to happen. They apparently put notes on the ticket for them to bring the box to me at work or make other arrangements. We’ll see how it goes.

Brother Kowallis and Boaz came over to give a little missionary discussion. They’ve encouraged me to find those who may be ready to learn the truth. Anyone interested out there?

It’s not exactly cool, but I got this crazy idea to open the windows after the sun went down. The house has cooled off a bit – from 81 to 79 upstairs and 77 downstairs. Hopefully I will still be able to get to sleep and not end up closing all the windows in an hour when I’m still laying here awake cause it is too hot. I think I need to get back into investigating the whole house fan situation again so I could suck that cooler air in and cool the house off faster. We still seem to be tracking about 10 degrees above outside, I’m hoping the house fan could bring that down to within 5 degrees or maybe even closer. Maybe when I have some money I can get one and find out for myself.

I’ve been home since 2 something this afternoon. It’s been kind of nice. I was expecting Lauren to come over so we could cause some trouble, but she didn’t show. I’m having problems with my set top box power cycling randomly, so watching TV is kind of hard and none of the movies I had were short enough to let me plan on getting in bed at 10 o’clock. So I had a relaxing evening listening to music and catching up on blog reading.

Now it’s time for sleep so I can hopefully get up on time tomorrow for once since I’m planning to be at a breakfast at 7:30.

Good Sunday

Today was good. I still didn’t accomplish everything I was hoping to do, but I guess as long as the day wasn’t a complete bust I won’t complain too much. I had the whole morning off and spent it reading primarily. Church went well. I really like the talks from Melissa and Kim. Marissa was back teaching Sunday School and did a good lesson as well. It always amazes me at how much I manage to not pick up on while reading the lessons that we end up focusing on in class. We talked a lot about giving up a little sin that is holding us back. I was trying to figure out what that is in my life. I know I have lots of problems, I guess I’m just having a hard time focusing on one. Maybe it is not being considerate enough or forgiving.

We also talked a few times today about sharing the gospel and just opening our mouths. I was thinking what a great new opportunity I will have here with the house to start setting examples and traditions. I am looking forward to having a place where the Spirit will be welcome and a place where we can have those gospel discussions. Some examples were given of missionaries who were relentless with spreading the word and proclaiming the gospel. I wish I could have a fraction of the drive that they had to talk to a stranger when one helped you up from the ground after falling off your bike.

Larilyn and I made brownies after church for branch prayer. Sister Skaggs said that she wasn’t going to have anything chocolate there, so I called and asked if we should bring some brownies. They seemed like a big hit cause they were almost completely gone by the end of branch prayer tonight. It was the first time I got to use my new mixer and the oven which was good. Of course, we discovered more things that I was missing, so I’ve got some additions to the list. Maybe Sib and I will go shopping once she gets home next week.

I wanted to write to Sisters Caldwell and Shiess today, but i apparently failed at making time for that. I don’t think I have much planned for tomorrow night, so maybe I can get some letters off then and will be able to actually receive my own mail tomorrow too! I do need to go get the rest of the ceiling fans so they can be installed Tuesday and I’ve got a lot of things to do in the office tomorrow to catch up and to prepare for the board meeting Tuesday.

Well, that’s probably about it for tonight. I’m quite tired, so I’m going to call it bedtime from here. Good night to all!

Perfection

I’ve been pondering a lot this weekend, probably more than usual and I love it. And I’m talking about more than what I wrote about the last few nights. I think a good portion of it had to do with looking for a lesson for elders quorum today and maybe I’ve also just had a bit more quiet time. I’ve pondered topics such as courage, traditions, being an example, worthiness, blessings or gifts, preparing, marriage, etc. I’ve really been all over the board.

We talked tonight at branch prayer about striving for perfection. I think it hit me tonight that the problem with being comfortable is that we aren’t striving for perfection, or we have given up caring that we are not going to be perfect. We talked about going to look for the one missing sheep and I mentioned that even if we don’t find the missing sheep, if we don’t try, we aren’t even caring to attempt to find perfection or to be perfect. We are to be like our Heavenly Father who is perfect. If we find our selves comfortable with 99%, soon we will be comfortable with 98%, then 97%, 95%. We will end up more than a few degrees off and it will be too late to correct our path.

I’ve been thinking a lot about home teaching and how horrible of a job we really are doing with it. I myself am doing an unacceptable job, I’m trying and failing miserably. Maybe I need to set my sights higher and try even harder. I need perfection and it is the second thing that we can be perfect at. We have thirty days in a typical month to visit three people. That’s ten days per person just to make one visit to their house. If i can’t do that, I don’t deserve what I have been given already. It also drives me crazy that there are many who have not even been assigned a home teacher or to home teach. We have been diligently working on that as a presidency and I hope to continue pressing forward there.

I was thinking during branch prayer tonight that we as an elders quorum, or at least I, in addition to our individual home teaching assignments, need to reach out to those less actives and inactives and get them back into the fold. Even if we only meet with one extra person each month, we could have an impact. I would hope that we could arrange a time to meet with one person a week. Maybe if we split up the presidency and worked with others we could be looking at three people a week or more. If we could make this a joint effort with the missionary committee, activation and activities, we could increase our attendance and have a greater impact. I’m not sure if we would be better off working together as a presidency or individually with other companions. There could be something to be said to show up with a sister to try and welcome members back as well.

My lesson in Elders quorum was really all over the place. I felt compelled to try to do a question and answer session, but didn’t get any good questions. We then started going through the Joseph Smith manuals, but ended up off track talking about traditions and the marks we were going to leave on our future generations. With the prospects of buying a house, and starting my own home, I have been pondering much on these things lately. I think of dinners, family home evenings, family/household prayers, parties, blessings, music and so many other things that could really make the home mine. Of course, the right companion would help tremendously along that path.

On another note, the branch has started moving things back for the summer. FHE and activities are going to be starting later, so I think I’m going to start scaling back my attendance. I just can’t imagine staying at work till almost 8 in the evening – that’s 12 hours! Maybe once I find a place up in Murrieta I can attend more again.

I also got released as Sunday School President today, so I’m down to only three callings!

Stake Priesthood Leadership Meeting

We had a great stake priesthood leadership meeting tonight. They started out showing the assembly line for an aaronic priesthood holder as this deacon progresses through life to an Elder at goes to the temple and serves a mission. They did an amazing job showing the people involved in the process and what a role each one of them really plays as these children grown up to be the future leaders of our world. It was really touching when they turned their signs (each person wore a sign representing their duties) around to show the impact of one person not fulfilling their calling. One of the recently returned missionaries talked about how he wished he had that kind of support as he was preparing to go.

We talked about home teaching, and I got a much better understanding of the districts and some better ways we can make sure home teaching is being done. It’s not a question of if it was done in a certain month, but rather how it is going. It isn’t something that can be done, it is something that has to continue to be done. I learned a lot about how some of these things function outside of a singles branch which was interesting. I learned that I need to care more for those I am home teaching and those that home teach me. I have a long way to go.

Of course, we also talked about missionary work. Over 50% of the wards in the church (not sure if this is US/Canada or worldwide) have 2 or less baptisms per year! There are wards in our stake with zero. The amazing part is that with 12 baptisms per year, we would be in the top 6% of wards in terms of baptisms. The baptism rate in the US is declining about 1% (not sure of the time period). It is growing in the rest of the world at about 5%, making a net of about 4%. We really need to focus on building the church here as the US has/is/will play a big role in the worldwide church.

I must admit that I was lazy last night and didn’t get anything else done. This morning I got through most of the stuff on my desk here at home, but didn’t get much done in the way of work work. It was nice to have a morning to spent at home since my Saturday will be cut short this weekend with a wedding. I’ve got a lot to get done tomorrow morning, so I need to get to sleep so I can get an early (on time) start. Good night!

Head Start

I was called as First Counselor in the Elder’s Quorum Presidency today. I’m a little scared of the amount of work that this calling is going to involve, but I am anxious to find out how I can better serve. (And yes, I now have four (4) callings!) We had some good classes today, and a good thanks to Stephanie during her class. I’m really going to be sad to see her go. I was thinking today about when Brother Dowden and I were talking about going out to Missouri to see her and take her to dinner a few months ago. The crazy part is that I think that is something we might actually do! I was thinking if that would be something appropriate to do with Tara as well. I haven’t been to Florida in years, maybe I can find a business excuse to go there and take her and her companion out for lunch on their prep day.

I skipped branch prayer tonight as I was feeling really tired and wanted to get a jump start on getting ready for bed. I really didn’t want to be up till 11, so i thought by getting home an hour early I could get to bed around 10, which is looking good. I’ve actually gotten quite a bit done tonight, including getting things online for the next week. I guess I’m ahead of schedule since I haven’t written to Tara yet, so maybe it will be 11 before I get into bed.

I had a meeting this morning with Michael and Kelsey. We talked and they encouraged me to be a better member missionary. I really do need to step up to the plate since I probably have more non-member friends than most and see who I can refer to the missionaries. Any volunteers?

Well, the writing is done and it isn’t even 10:30 yet, so there is hope. I’m going to bed, peace out ya’ all.