This is not a public journal. There is no theme, agenda, or overall purpose. I need a reason to write and it needs to be well informed. I consider myself an expert in only one subject, my own thoughts. I am reflecting my experiences onto the internet because this seems to make them more beautiful to me, especially when they are idealized and inaccurate. This is not a mirror for me to see myself looking back, nor is it a mirror that reflects a detailed image of myself to others. This page is but a jumble of letters, words, and ideas that will be interpreted differently for each person, including myself. There are no mirrors because these thoughts are directionless, inaccurate, and fuzzy; a vague, splotchy reflection of McKinley.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Idaho and Back



I was privileged to drive about 7 hours with two of my favorite people last weekend. I attended my mission president’s homecoming in Rigby, Idaho. I was accompanied by my sweet mother and my mission companion David Hilton. These are some lessons I learned.

1. People are important. I’m usually lazy about keeping in touch with people I don’t often see. A weekend in Idaho forced me to break that trend. I need to be better, people don’t know I care unless I let them know.


2.  Memories are bad. The mechanism that records and recalls our experiences that we refer to as our “memory” isn’t constantly improved and updated. It’s actually quite the opposite.  With time it wears out. There is something wrong with this function of my body. It’s not a medical problem, it’s a problem that is universal. If it’s universal I guess it isn’t really a problem so much as a norm. It’s a normal, bodily malfunction. It seems to forget things that were once important.

3. Good memories can last. So many memories from my mission came back during my day in Idaho. It renewed that feeling of love that I felt every day as a missionary. I remembered what it was like to think about people other than myself. I remembered people that I loved though they did little to deserve it. I remember President Batt’s repeated lesson “everybody that you meet is a child of God.” Again, all people are important. Please stick with me this time.


4. Old people need to be listened to. We took a little bit of time to visit my 93 year old aunt Mercina (she goes by Cenith). I felt like I walked into a Brazilian’s home. She showed us pictures, talking quickly, telling us just about everything that was on her mind. She offered us some crackers and a drink. She graciously thanked us for stopping by and gave us all warm hugs. Everyone wants their story heard, especially when you have 93 years of story to tell. We didn’t have time for all 93 years but a half hour meant a lot.

5. Time is difficult to understand. I can’t believe I have been home for over a year and a half. It goes fast and slow. Nothing changes yet everything seems different.


6. Never trust a man with a mullet. We almost ran out of gas near Blackfoot Idaho. We weren’t sure how far we were from any town and we drove past two men near their trucks. We asked them where the nearest gas station was (the car told us we had 2 miles left before running out.) One said we were close to Blackfoot, the other said that Firth was closer. We trusted the man with a mullet that sent us to Firth. About two miles down the road there was no sign of any town. A lady was out on her lawn and we stopped to ask her where we could get gas, she told us Firth was probably about 10 miles away and sent us back towards Blackfoot. Now the car said “0 miles” remained and we had to backtrack and get back on the freeway toward Blackfoot. She kindly gave us her phone number in case we got stranded. That was the longest 0 miles I’ve ever travelled. She was a great lady, felt like a friend though I had never met her before.

7. Birds are stupid. Stupid or suicidal. I ALMOST hit multiple birds during the trip. I told the passengers, “sometime I’m going to hit one of these stupid birds.” About 10 minutes later a large bird hit my front windshield and left a nasty stain. 

8. Earth is beautiful. Especially on a road trip where I only see the beauty as it passes by. Rain just bounced off my windshield. A different story for those who are stationary. Beauty is easier to spot from car windows, they defend us from everything negative. I was tired of feeling clustered in the open air simply because it was familiar. Inside a tiny, compact living space seven hours of movement let me appreciate beauty. Nature from a freeway requires no commitment, just a moment of appreciation. Guarded by car windows and steel doors with locks.