Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Condescension of God: Lyrics

The Condescension of God

Behold, the condescension of God!

Joseph leads the donkey, Going from door to door,
Pleading, my wife is with child, Can’t you spare room and board?
No room, no room.  No room!
Mary on the donkey’s back, Opens not her mouth to complain,
But Joseph can see in her face, Contractions are causing pain.
No room, no room.  No room!

No wait, I have a spot, Where I keep the cattle and grain.
Nice, it is not; But it will keep you from the wind and rain.

Behold the birthplace of our Lord!

Joseph cleans out the filth, With fresh straw lines the stall,
Helps his wife off the donkey’s back, steadies her to avoid a fall.
Mary and Joseph, alone in the night, Naught but animals looking on,
 Will be the first to hear the baby cry before the dawn.

Behold the angels sang!  Behold the angels sang!
Glory to God on High, and on earth peace, good will to men.
Glory to God, and on earth peace, good will to men.
Shepherds heard their song and went to see
The babe in a manger laid; The King of men to be.

Father, hold me up, So I too can see.
Father, there are tears in your eyes.  What is it you see?

Behold the lamb of God, the Savior of us all.
Behold the lamb of God, is today born in this stall.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Trip to New York: 1982

The summer of 1982 Cliff Elmore and I decided to attend and adoption conference in New York.  The year prior we had completed internships at Children's Service Society in Salt Lake.  I had spent the year as an adoption worker.  We had lofty goals of having our own international adoption agency, and attending this conference was gong to give us a leg up.  As part of the training the previous year we had directed an educational group at the Society for the adoption of older children, and this had given us a lot of background information on the adoption of older children.  We had helped with the logistics and attended an adoption seminar in Salt Lake, and this was the next step. 

Where Cliff was staying in Roosevelt

Boys Town

I had recently purchased a Ford Escort, and Cliff was doing his current year placement in Roosevelt, UT.  I picked him up, and we were on our way to New York.  We followed the traditional I-80 route.  Our first stop of any consequence was Omaha.  While there we visited Boys Town, and Strategic Air Defense.  Cliff had been in the Air Force and this was nostalgic for him.  I like the song "He Ain't Heavy He's my Brother" so Boys Town was my cup of tea.  It was a big boy's home and I at the time worked for the Utah Boys Ranch. 

Our next stop was at the State Fair in Iowa. We had a fun evening looking at booths.  There was a car race going on, and although we didn't attend, you could feel the power of the engines.  We visited the barns and saw lots of farm animals, including a bore that was aroused somehow, almost to he point of knocking the fence down trying to get to the next pen.  It was a very large bore. 

From there we headed to Chicago, I was gong to visit Jody, I girl I had a thing for, and Cliff's sister also lived in he area.  While there we took several side trips, including to Nauvoo and Carthage, an arboretum in Chicago, and to a state park with a water fall. We also took a drive through Chicago and stopped and waded in Lake Michigan.
Cliff at the arboretum

State Park

Mississippi at Nauvoo


Carthage Jail
Leaving Chicago we discovered that the direct road had a considerable toll, and decided to get off the main road, which took us into Canada.  We went under the Windsor Tunnel into Cnada, and cut across the country of Niagara Falls.  The falls were totally impressive.  I just remember thinking, if I should fall in there is nothing that would save me before I was over the falls.  Such power!

From Niagara we went to Palmyra, and got there just before closing time.  We then got off the toll road again, and took a back way to New York, driving past the Finger Lakes, and ended up at Ithaca.  Ithaca is a beautiful town.  We then went down the New Jersey side of the Hudson, and crossed into New York City going through a tunnel.  We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria, which was great fun, except for the cost of parking our car there.  After the first day, Cliff parked it by Grant's Tomb.  We didn't need it as there were buses and subway.  First day we toured the U.N.  We took subway to Greenwich Village and Washington Square where the  New York University is located.  Someone actually asked me if I wanted to buy drugs.  From there we walked to the towers and went up the World Trade Center.  What a view.  At that time I think it was the second tallest building in the world after the Sears Tower in Chicago. As part of the conference there was a bus tour through New York.  We took the Coney Island Ferry across and back, and saw the Statue of Liberty from the ferry.  We saw St. Patrick's Cathedral, which was next to the Hotel, and also bussed to Central Park where we walked through the park.  We didn't have money for museums, but we were able to take time and see a Broadway play, "Evita" with Patty Lupone and Mandy Patikin.  The only Broadway experience in my life.  We were able to get half price tickets in the same-day line.   Our last day there we took a drive in the car around New York, and were able to see a few of the other Burroughs besides Manhattan and go over the Brooklyn Bridge. 
Cliff and Judy

Grant's Tomb

The conference was the 1982 North American Counsel on Adoptable Children.  The keynote speaker was George Clements who is an African American Catholic Priest who had adopted a boy.  He gave a motivational speech based on "Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative, Grab onto the affirmative, and don't mess around with Mr. In-Between."  Senator Patrick Moynihan was also there.

Other people at the conference included Sandy Dreiss who was my supervisor at Children's Services, Judy who later became Cliff's wife, and the Dickey's, from Hyrum, who were there meeting an adoptive  son with Downs Syndrome. 

The return trip included more adventures than the trip out.  We started by visiting Philadelphia.  I touched the Liberty Bell, and we toured Independence Hall and the burial site for Ben Franklin. 
Washington Monument, and four views


Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Kennedy's eternal flame

After Philadelphia was Washington.  We spent a couple days there, sleeping in the car by a park.  Both Cliff and I came down with minor cases of food poisoning from eating old salad dressing that had been left in the car.  We toured the White House, went up the Washington Monument, went to Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, and visited the Smithsonian.  There is never enough time to see everything there, but we saw the movie in the Space and Aeronautics Museum, toured artwork museums, went through the Natural History Museum.  We also went to Arlington Cemetery to the tomb of the Unknown Soldier and to Kennedy's grave site. I also made it through a session of the Temple.
Grand Old Opry

Andrew Jackson Estate

Knoxville World's Fair

From Washington we traveled to Tennessee where we visited the World's Fair, saw the Grand Old Opry, not a show but just the old building which had closed.  We took the backstage tour.  (We wanted to see it in honor of Loretta Lynn and "Coal Miner's Daughter".)  We also saw the estate of Andrew Jackson.  From there we went through the area of the Tennessee Valley Authority, and then went North to Chicago, going through Southern Illinois area where I had lived a couple years growing up.  We then took the Northern route home. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lessons from my Children: Anthony; Have a Good Time

Anthony's story of how he became a part of our family is remarkable.  He was born six weeks early, and shortly after his being born, Social Services informed us that he would be coming to our home.  We had recently been licensed as foster parents, and he was our second foster child.  We were a little bit wary, having had no experience with parenting a preemie.  Sheri visited him in the hospital a couple times, and visited with the nurses before bringing him home. He was born four pounds seven ounces, and when he came to our home at two weeks weighed about five pounds. He was the love of our life from his first coming home.  Man those preemie diapers are small.
His only medical problem after that has been his kidneys retaining too much water.  But that has pretty much resolved itself as he has gotten older.  They were also worried about the strength of his legs.  But with climbing up stairs, and jumping on trampoline, his legs are as strong as anyone's his age.  He now enjoys climbing trees, the wall the shelf etc.  He's Spider Man you know.
My proudest moment with Tony, when he was small, was taking him to my older son's Marine graduation. I had him in a carrier, and people so much wanted to see the beautiful baby.  He was still small, but such a beautiful boy.  I didn't tell anyone he was our foster baby; just our baby.
But, unfortunately, our happiness with Tony was short lived.  Social Services found a relative placement for him, with cousins, and after he was with us only two months he moved on.  I went to the exchange, which took place at the shelter.  He weighed eight pound when he left us.  We really didn't think we would ever see Tony again. 
But who knows how things work.  About ten months later, after his first birthday, Social Services called us to inform us he was available for placement. We jumped at the opportunity.  Our little boy was coming back home.
We were close to Tony from the first moment he came to our home, both times.  We have loved him.  He was very easy to love. After a child has been in your home six months you can petition for de facto parent status.  This we did as soon as we could.  And so we were then more involved in the court process.  Social Services has a general philosophy of placing with relatives, no mater the circumstance. so much so that even after his mother's parental rights were terminated, they found a relative placement for him.
When Tony became available for adoption we wanted him to stay with us, forever.  We did not feel it would be good for him to move to another home.  Social Services found a family, and after his being with us for almost a year altogether, developed a plan to move him, to family members he didn't really even know.  We felt Tony was already home, and that a further loss (he had bonded to us) would not be good for him.  He had already gone through three removals--loses in essence, and didn't need another one.  They went so far as to take our little baby by car, over an hour away for a visit.  We understood he cried all the way there.  Poor little Tony.
Tony developed a funny habit during this time.  He started seeking out Sheri's blouses when for what ever reason he couldn't have Sheri.  I was cute, but an indication to us that  he was overwhelmed with things in his life he couldn't control, and found some comfort with Sheri's smell.  He preferred dirty ones from the hamper, but would take a clean one from the closet if he couldn't get to the hamper.
And so a court contest ensued.  We petitioned the court to not move him, and discontinue visits, which they had started with the new family.  Visits were continued, but on a pared down basis.  The court decided to have hearings with regards to determining the placement.
This process seemed to drag on forever.
Generally the court sides with social services.  However there was a precedent of another case being decided in favor of a foster family.  County Counsel was representing social services, recommending movement to the relative home.   The County Attorney's office which represented Tony were fighting for him to stay with us.  We finally got our own attorney as well.
After numerous postponings, we finally made it to court.  The deciding testimony was that of Tony's pediatric MD, who was an expert on loss and separation, and told the judge that moving Tony would be detrimental, making him more susceptible to separation issues and ADHD.  What a great day when the attorney ruled in our favor and decided Tony would stay with us.

Tony's adoption was finalized April 15 2009.  He was two years, two months at that time.   H e through his adoption, and I held him the whole time.  We celebrated at BJs.
Another big day for Tony was his sealing day at the temple.  We went to celebrate before, because of people's schedules after.  Sheri went to the car to change his butt, and left her purse as we were all filing out.  Someone broke the window and took off with the purse, in that little time.  What a stunner, as the pursue contained the documents we needed for the temple, as well as the recommends for most of our party.  Tony's older siblings were going to the temple as well.
With calls to our neighbor who was able to fax the documents, and the Bishop being there to verify temple worthiness for everyone, we got the sealing done.  Tony wasn't happy until after.  He had to ride in a care with a broken window, and couldn't sleep like he normally did in the car.
It is a joy to have Tony as our son.

Tony reminds us everyday that it is important to have a good time.  I took him to the library and he gets to play on the computer, and climb on the seats, and look at books and after he will say, "We had a good time."  I take him to the park and he "swings like a monkey" on the bar, and he pretends to be Spider Man in the swing and shoots his pretend webs, and kicks me in the belly as I pretend to be the monster.  He will go by the creek and he throws stones into the water and I pick black berries.  We have a good time.  H loves to bounce in bouncy hoses, he loves to play with his toys, he loves McDonald's for the new toys.
Tony has the winningest smile.  His face is so expressive.  He has a good time, and in doing so has reminded us all that it is OK to have fun.  I can't remember exactly what the psychiatrist on MASH said, something like "Pull down you pants and slide on the ice."  That is our Tony.
The ;\last few weeks we have seen another side of Tony, which also has to do with having a good time.  He has become a server.  He will bring candy and cookies to you.  He loved handing out candy for Halloween.  He will also do little things for you, without being asked, when he sees there is a need.
Tony, like all our babies, is a miracle.  He is a miracle and we love him.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

USU Placement: State Hospital South, Blackfoot, Idaho

The Summer before my last year at Utah State University, 1982, I completed my field placement at Idaho State Hospital South in Blackfoot, Idaho.  They had a place for us to sleep, fed us lunch, and let us develop our social work skills.  I actually had had a few cases and got to do the normal paperwork someone would do.  It was actually my first experience actually doing this.  I wrote social work assessments, interacted with residents in the therapeutic community, accompanied staff for field trips, including the movie and picnics.  Steve Weatherspoon was my immediate supervisor, and Lynn Crockett was the lead clinician on our unit.  Carol Mohar was a psychiatric nurse that worked with us.  I drove up from Cache Valley each week with Mary Ellen Spackman (from Sky View) and Blair Garner who were also doing their social work placements.

I had many experiences.  On one occasion a resident was threatening everyone with a brook.  Another resident snuck up behind him, and grabbed the broom holding it against him.  That was the end of his threat as he dropped the broom.  A girl on the unit on one occasion grabbed a fork, and was holding it to her wrist threatening to do damage to herself.  I was able to grab her wrist and get the fork away from her. 

Community meetings were interesting, as this was where people would earn their levels.  Actually there had been prediscussion by the staff, so this was more an announcement of levels.  I played softball and other recreational activities with the residents.  I listened to their stories.  We had a group which Steve lead.  On a regular basis this included having lunch family style instead of in the cafeteria.

I attended a community organizing meeting of staff, as they were talking about putting a track and exercise equipment on campus for the community.  I drove by a few years later and noticed this had become a reality.

I went with the group, those who had earned the trip by their levels, to a state owned campsite close to Yellowstone.  It was very nice.  There was a small pond with fishing.  I actually caught a few fish (I am terrible at fishing.  One time I got a hook caught in the reeds, and as there were extra poles I just grabbed another one.  In the meantime a fish grabbed the first hook.  The fish wiggling freed the tangle and I brought the fish in.)  I went canoeing around the pond.  On one side was logging equipment.  We took a day trip to Yellowstone, and we saw a moose in a river.  It was cool.

I left with many good experiences, and I had my first experience working with people with mental illness.   I was able to observe the quick changes that could take place with medication when someone was in a manic state.  My supervisors praised the job I had did, and my ability to complete the paperwork and assessments.

I was the brunt of a couple of jokes.  I was sent to supply to get fallopian tubes and a left-handed monkey wrench.  I had enough trust in others to not realize it was a joke until I had sat around a couple hours waiting for supply.  Then the supply clerk looked at the order and said he couldn't help me.   I went with Carol to watch her son play little-league baseball one evening.  They lived just outside of Blackfoot in a little town called Moreland.

I enjoyed Blackfoot as a visitor.  I watched ball games, as during the years we (Hyrum) had played against Blackfoot in tournaments.  I took the bus (Greyhound) home one weekend, as no one else was driving.  It had a layover in Pocatello.  I also spent weekends by myself in Blackfoot.  It was a fun summer.  Did you know there are tunnels under the hospital that go from building to building.  They are not always used, but they are there. 

My 9/11

Taking the kids to seminary, the radio announcer KNBR was interviewing their stock market broker in New York trying to figure what was happening.  This was after the first plane had hit the World Trade Center, but before the 2nd.  The question was, whether or not this was a terrorist attack, or an accidental plane running into the World Trade Center.  They weren't even sure what size of plane it was, and there was speculation it may have been a small plane.  But in the back of my mind was this feeling it was a deliberate attack.  Just before getting to seminary about 6 a.m. on the Pacific Coast or 9 a.m. in the East, the second tower was hit.  At that point everyone new it was a terrorist attack.

I hurried home, and turned on the T.V. so we could watch the morning's events.  That is when I was presented with the gravity of the situation, and the horror.  When this event first happened, people could not get enough of watching the planes crash into the towers with the plume of fire.  It is hard to find this on the internet anymore.  The people so desperate that they were jumping from the buildings, that was a nightmare.

I had to tear myself away to go and pick people up from seminary, and then again to go to work.  The first tower had collapsed before I went to work.  That was so unbelievable.  Who could think that the towers would actually collapse.  I thought that there would be a fire, but they would remain standing, like when they were bombed previously.  I was  so convinced of the invulnerability of our country.  I had another thought coming.

Shortly after getting to work, we were evacuated to the mental health administration where we continued to watch the events.  It seems someone had made a bomb threat to the hospital, and non-essential services were moved.

We continued to watch the T.V. at the administration building, and before noon they finally told us we could go home.  What a day, and I was still glued to the T.V. watching any new tidbit I could get.  I watched the video of President Bush, being informed, but acting in such a way as not to alarm the children he was with, of the planes being scrambled, of the Washington D.C. being threatened, the president hidden away, both towers collapsing, the Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania, the loss of the first responders, the clean-up and so much more.

And then after all that, ten years of war, but through that ten years, no further attacks on our soil.  My son has been to Iraq, and who knows where he might serve in the future.  So 9/11 is not a single event, but a series of events. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cleto Genelza: A friend and coworker has passed away

June 2011
A friend from work passed away this week after a long struggle with cancer.  He and I use to compare notes with regards to our children.  His daughter was a hockey player, and he use to always let me know how she was doing.  I met him when she was in high school, and he would update me as she graduated and then was off to school.  Several years ago we switched buildings and I had less contact with him; but I would see him in the parking lot at times.  Then about a year he left the county.  Now I realize this was because of his illness.  So I want to let Cleto know I will miss him, and his family know that he was appreciated.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Jeremy's Career in the Theater

This is a partial photographic history of Jeremy's theater career.  Jeremy, more than any of the other kids (although all were in plays and musicals) was involved in theater.  Jeremy not only performed on stage but also back stage.  His first that I remember was doing Annie with the Moorpark Ward.  He was involved in theater at the Middle School doing Music Man and Into the Woods.  He also did Your Heart Will Burn, in our ward.  In this he played trumpet.  At the High School he did Guys and Dolls and Little Shop of Horrors.  He was also involved in one-acts, performing and directing.  He also did Sunnyvale Community Players, Music Man, Pippin, Anne of Green Gables (Gilbert Blythe), and The Wiz, (The Wizard.) He also did Seussical with the Moorpark Ward as the Eagle. He was also involved in back stage building set and designing lights etc.  He designed set for high school Seussical. 
Seussical, The Eagle

Music Man

cast party Pippin

High School Capella, Les Miserables
Anne of Green Gables

Charity's Wedding

Somethings deserve to be documented.  I don't know how long this movie will be available on Facebook, but it is available now.  This makes me teary.  It is Charity's first dance at her reception.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Music: Rolling Stones; Between the Buttons (to mmboe)

I can't say I am a Rolling Stone fan, but my sisters had this album when I was young, and I really enjoyed it.  The album came out in 1967.  Some of the songs on it have always been some of my favorite.  One of them had a restaurant named after it, or at least with the same name, Ruby Tuesday.  I just watched it on You Tube.  It was fun to see Nick Jagger hitting the low notes.  It also was a very nice theme.

Ruby Tuesday

She would never say where she came from
Yesterday don't matter if it's gone
While the sun is bright
Or in the darkest night
No one knows
She comes and goes

Goodbye, ruby tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I'm gonna miss you...

Don't question why she needs to be so free
She'll tell you it's the only way to be
She just can't be chained
To a life where nothing's gained
And nothing's lost
At such a cost

There's no time to lose, I heard her say
Catch your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time
Lose your dreams
And you will lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?

I especially like that part about catching your dreams before they slip away.  And it rings true, if you lose your dreams you lose your mind, dying all the time.  You have to be fighting for something to make life enjoyable.

There is another song I really liked from the album.  It is one of the songs I would sing from time to time, and when young I taught myself to play it on the piano, using chords.  This is "She Smiled Sweetly."

Why do my thoughts loom so large on me?
They seem to stay, for day after day
And won't disappear, I've tried every way

But she smiled sweetly
She smiled sweetly
She smiled sweetly
And says don't worry
Oh, no no no

Where does she hide it inside of her?
That keeps her peace most every day
And won't disappear, my hair's turning grey

There's nothing in why or when
There's no use trying, you're here
Begging again, and ov'r again

That's what she said so softly
I understood for once in my life
And feeling good most all of the time

I really like the attitude of being able to take things sweetly, even when our thoughts are getting away from us.  There are some other nice songs on this album, that I enjoyed growing up, including "Yesterday's Papers" and "Connection."  This album represents a different style for the rolling stones than what followed in their career.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Baseball: Malad, Soda Springs and other tournaments

At Dianna's I met someone from Malad Idaho over the fourth, and it has gotten me thinking about the role baseball played in our summers when I was growing up.  It was all consuming.  For many years the highlight was the Malad tournament, which came toward the end of summer.  It was usually the last of the baseball summer.

Baseball was not so organized in those days, and each community had their own team and would play other teams, but we weren't attached to a league, and so at the end of the year, Malad would invite teams to come and play.  It was always a 16-team tournament, and the person I met thought it was up o 32 teams now.  The competition was always very intense, and Hyrum being a small community, it was difficult to compete, but we would find a way. 

I played when I was 12, catching half the games.  I also helped Weldon coach many years, and then also coached myself a few years.  It was fun.  The town was exciting in those days, even though i was a small town.  It had a theater, bowling alley and swimming pool.  Some years we stayed at the American Legion Hall, and others at an old hospital.  Those were good times.  Usually a few parents would come and handle the cooking.  This included the DeBolt and McBride families. 

Malad teams

There were other tournaments, but Malad was always the best.  Soda Springs was usually 12 teams.  Later we participated in the Chubbock and Blackfoot tournaments.  These were fun tournaments.  But nothing like Malad.  There was also Preston and Richmond some years.  But Malad was the place of our dreams. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fox News

I wrote this letter-to-the-editor in response to a letter already published in the Cupertino Courier.  I think it was written in 2007, but the sentiment still applies today, and Fox News is still under threat of boycott, as they dare to present a different view than what is accepted in media circles.
As I read your contentions for boycotting Fox news, I was thinking you were making an argument for boycotting most of the major networks—ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN, as well as some of the major newspaper organizations and universities.  Talk about organizations that claim to be one thing, and then give us something totally different.  The left-wing media is the only place where people spew out biased garbage and then pat themselves on the back for being “objective”.  How can organizations that are traditionally 80-90 percent on one side of a spectrum be objective?  (Those are the normal statistics for media staff in terms of being affiliated with the democrat party.  If you look at editors the percentage is greater.)  Yet that is their contention, which is the biggest lie of all. 
Fox news is more centrist than these organizations, and therefore is deemed to be “right-wing.”  However I find them to be more fair and balanced than the other media, and see no problem with their claims.  We don’t all have to march to the same liberal drummer to be “fair and balanced”. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Native American Gatherings: Round Dance

There is a pow wow in town and I am determined not to miss it.  My dad took me to some pow wows at Utah State, and attending is part of who I am.  I have lived on a couple reservations, Duckwater Shoshone and Uinta Ouray Ute, and have worked with Native American people.  I have attended these functions before, and in fact help put one on a couple of years in Nevada.  We called it the Duckwater Spring Festival and it was held in May.  It was really too early in the year to have consistent good weather, and so they still hold the same event, but later in the year.

Indian Dance is beautiful, and significant.  The Bear Dance was a traditional Spring dance which commemorated the bear, but also was a mating dance.  Of course thee is war dance and fancy dance.  I particularly like round dance, which is a coming together dance.  We had the whole community participate in Duckwater one time.  It was very powerful.  I also did round dance with the youth.  It was just as powerful.
Round Dance

I took some of the kids to West Valley Pow Wow a year ago.  The beat of the drum is intoxicating.  And so I am going tomorrow, even If I have to go alone.  It is 11 to 11, so I suspect I can find a couple hours.  Hit the link for details.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Letter-to-the-Editor, writen but never sent

This letter I wrote in 2007.  A time when I was frustrated with the political process, and how the liberal media was controlling the questions at the debates, in an effort to make the Republicans look bad. 

Reaction to Republican Debate 2007.

It is time to say enough!

And so with that I begin to write my own words, so I can say "enough" in my own way.

AS I read of the CNN/You Tube catch a Republican with his pants down spectacle of last week, which they labeled a debate, and then see their justification. "It was the highest watched debate," my stomach boils.  But was it a  debate at all?  To allow the retired gay military officer to be anywhere near that stage was despicable.  Look at his question.  "Do you think our military is professional enough to work alongside gay soldiers?"  No the military is not professional, or the military is stupid and should change their policy.  They both make you say the military is stupid.  There is no middle ground.

And so it is not a question but a statement, from someone who is not running for office.  But we find the statement was representing the interest of Hillary Clinton, who of course had no knowledge of the individual's actions, hardy har har! 

Hillary Clinton has proven herself to be just as capable as Bill of embarassing our country.  She lies and distorts, and talks out of both sides of her mouth.  Can our country survive her in the White House, and a return to the politics of bribery, high crimes and misdemeanors?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Charlie Wardle: Mission to Sapporo

This is a story I wrote for school while my younger brother, Charlie was on his mission, so probably about 1980.  I wrote it for an English writing class.
My Brother
My brother, Charlie, has now been on a mission for about a year.  He left in June of last year, less than a month after he graduated from high school.  He is in the Japan, Sapporo Mission.  He has had some interesting experiences on his mission, including being able to go to Tokyo for the dedication of the temple where he was able to meet President Kimball.  He also has been able to enjoy missionary experiences, being able to baptize people into the church, live closer to God, and get to know a new people as if they were his own.  Also a great challenge that has come to him is being able to learn a new language.
My brother is three years younger than I am, but he is an Inch or two taller than me.  Not only is my brother taller than I am, but he is also much more muscular and has a much better build than I do.  He played football in high school (which I didn’t) and consequently lifted weights much of the time, resulting in his muscular physique.
I have long respected my brother, not for his physical size, but for his spiritual size.  One day I ran across his journal.  The things my brother wrote impressed me and gave me some insight in how close my brother is to the Lord and how hard he tries to follow his religion.  His journal indicated that he prayed every day.  It also gave some indication as to the strong beliefs my brother has as well as his strong desire to do good. 
This strong desire to do good was evidenced to me by his entire personality in the months before he went on his mission.  It seemed like religion became the focal point of his life.  He was always trying to act, or talk like a religious person. 
Even the friends Charlie went around with were an evidence of his religious conviction.  In his sophomore and junior years of high school he ran around with a slightly unruly crowd, but his last year of high school his best friends were Marty Smith and Jon Thomas—two of the most religious people (in the sense of going to church and trying to live good Christian lives) his age who lived close to him.
Whether Charlie’s change came truly form his heart, or just from his appearances, I’m not totally sure; but if I were question on the matter I would say it was truly a change of heart.