"When we die, we will turn into songs, and we will hear each other and
remember each other."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pardon My French

Bonjour mes amis,
Recently I have been really craving some good french conversation. Unfortunately, here in Utah, there is not a lot of opportunity for some good "parler".
I got so desperate for french that I starting reading "The Bourne Identity". There are a lot of random phrases in the dialogue, but it just isn't enough.
I work at a bank and I always get jealous when my Spanish-speaking co-worker gets to speak his mission language with the customers. Or, at least, I USED to be jealous.
The Starbucks by my bank recently hired a cool girl from Minnesota. She studied in Quebec, thus she speaks excellent french. She comes in a couple times a week to make the deposits and I get so excited each time. It's so much fun to watch everybody turn and look when they hear such a beautiful language.
She has been coming to the bank for a couple weeks now and it has been great to keep my french going.
But the other day, someone even better came in. I was helping a woman with a very french name purchase some traveler's cheques for her very silent friend standing next to her. I finally got the guts to ask her if she is french. "OUI!" I was so excited. I immediately fell into my soft french and loved it.
I walked around the rest of the day with a huge goofy smile on my face. It was the same goofy smile that I sported on my mission and it was great to have it back.
Another great feeling from my mission has been returning lately. These past couple of weeks I have been able to work with the missionaries at least once a week. And I love it.
Yesterday, one of the elders was sick so they called someone to come sit with him while I went out and worked with his companion. I miss doing that everyday.
Tonight, I got to baptize someone. Something I didn't get the opportunity to do while I was in Europe. (I always got transferred right before the baptisms.)
I stand by the fact that I am home for a reason. And I am at peace with that. But there is still joy to be had in a little french conversation and a good missionary lesson.
PS- I went to the gym four times this week. I'm determined to get my money's worth on this one.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kyle Wants To Pump You Up

Well. . . I finally did it. I joined a gym. Not just any gym... THE gym. That's right. I am now a member at Gold's Gym. The largest gym chain in the country (with over 600 locations world-wide).
My dear cousins (Chris and Mandy) talked me into coming with them. So I went to take a tour and have a little workout. They wanted to charge me $10 just to look around. So I just cut to the chase and talked to them about joining.
About ten minutes later I was a real member. I have my own key-chain pass thing and a sweet payment plan. After four "easy" payments of $175 dollars I will be a full-fledged muscle-man (for up to three years).
I couldn't believe how big this commitment was. I feel like I just took a big step.
So now my goal is to hit the gym at least three times a week.
Look out, ladies.

PS- If anybody has a Gold's pass and needs a workout buddy, I'm pretty low-key and would love to go with anyone.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What I Like About You: Cousin Edition

I always love a good round of "What I Like About You"
We have been planning a cousin night for about a month now and yesterday was the big day. We all met at Italian Village for dinner. Everybody loves a good pizza bender (Joe loves two of them). Then we moved the party to Amanda's condo. We watched "The Emperor's New Groove" and ate some delicious air-pop popcorn (caramel flavor). Then we busted out the ice cream and the toppings. I discovered the great taste of putting fruity pebbles on vanilla ice cream.
The real fun started when we all just sat in a big circle in the dark and chatted it up. Chris and I (the more politically-minded of the cousins) tried very hard to not slip into a debate, but it was a struggle. We all sat there for a good hour and a half just swapping scary stories and laughing at each other. I always love a good round of "What I Like About You".
I realized last night how great my cousins really are. We are all so chill. We have been spending a lot more time with each other as we have all grown older. I love it. I am so happy it is happening like this. Usually people lose touch with their cousins as people start getting married and having careers, but that is not the case with us.
We are now planning on having a cousin night once a month, and on top of that we will be watching "The Office" every Thursday night. I am so excited.
I am also starting a completely separate blog devoted to "What I Like About You." Look for links on my page.
I love you all.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Why I'm PrObama.

Let's face it, I'm no political analyst. Big surprise. However, I feel like I have a reasonably strong opinion concerning who I think will make a better President for, at least, the next four years.
According to my admittedly limited political knowledge, the office of "President of the United States" does not really have the unlimited power with which it is often credited. There's not much the President can do without the approval of congress. He (or she) can propose all the tax-cuts they want, but nothing is going to happen until the Senate and the House say so.
Obama can't change anything by himself.
McCain? . . . well, in a couple years he really won't be able to do much by himself.

It's called "checks and balances" and it's why we're the best.
I based my decision on this simple truth:
The rest of the world thinks America is a big joke right now.
The patriot inside me says "Who cares what the rest of the world thinks about us?" But the truth is the world is getting smaller every day. We need a leader who will be taken seriously by our neighbors. Barack Obama is exactly the kind of leader we need.
Plus, he is WAY cooler than John McCain.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Best Two Years

While growing up as a young man in the LDS church, the phrase "the best two years" is thrown around as something to look forward to accomplishing. Serving a mission is something you plan for as a youth, never really expecting the time to arrive.
Naturally, it does.
"The best two years" usually begin shortly after your nineteenth birthday and logically shouldn't end anytime before your twenty-first. Usually.
This past friday marked the one-year anniversary of the beginning of my "best two years." Unfortunately, I only made it eight months.
I thought this week would be one of the hardest weeks of my life.

Monday: I was working the drive-thru at Wells Fargo Bank in Riverton. I was doing fine until a car full of five missionaries came through to cash a check. It was difficult for me to speak to them, but I had to ask one of them for his ID. Their smiles and the way they carried themselves took me back to my months spent in Belgium. Back to my "best two years." I haven't cried since my farewell, but that moment was the closest I have come to shedding a few.
The next day, Tuesday, was much, much worse.
Tuesday: My cousin Michael was getting set apart as a full-time missionary on tuesday night. All day long I debated whether or not I should go. After Monday's episode, I wasn't sure if I would be able to make if through such a spiritually and emotionally draining situation. . . stress aggrivates my condition. About an hour before it was scheduled to happen, I jumped up, got dressed in "pross" and headed to the church, an hour early. I took my scriptures with me and read while I waited.
The whole family gathered in a big room at the church, and to start things off we each took turns saying anything we wanted to my cousin who was about to leave. There were tears shed by almost everyone. Bittersweet tears of pride and love. I thanked Michael for his example. At the end, a leader pointed out the support system that Michael has. Again, I found myself transported back to my mission, back to every time I was struggling. Every time a door was slammed, or every time I was in a hospital waiting room I would have this mental snapshot of all the people who were in the congregation at my farewell. I literally felt their support. I had that same support system, and while I still have all those people who love me, it is still difficult to fight feelings of failure. When I first came home, I felt as if I had let all those people down.
Wednesday passed without any sort of sorrow. I went to the State Fair. I have never been so thankful for Side-Shows and Funnel Cakes. Without them, this week would have been unbearable.
When it was time to decide whether or not to come home, I took great comfort in hearing things like "there is a reason for everything" and "the Lord will put you where you are needed."
Thursday: I endured another long day of work despite feeling a little under the weather. I had almost forgotten that I had an appointment to teach a family friend with the missionaries that night. I went over to the house and we waited for the elders to arrive. We waited for over an hour until deciding they probably weren't coming. While we were there, our family friend (who is planning on being baptized) asked me if I would baptize her.

I humbly admit that -as far as I know- I played no part in her decision to be baptized. But, things like this help me see that there is no reason this time in my life can't be my "best two years."
I love my mission. I love Belgium and France. I love the Gospel.
I know that the Lord is in charge and He brought me back for a reason.
I just have to find that reason.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Here I am

So. . . I finally made a blog. Because I'm really that vain.