Friday, October 24, 2014

Driving, Dreaming, and Deliberating

An Inner Struggle
The winter semester was quickly drawing to a close and I had no idea what I was going to be doing for the summer. I had a job offer on the table, that I wasn’t super excited about but it did promise to pay me well, but was going to be a lot of hard work. On the flip side I was getting tired of school, and wanted to graduate sooner than later. I could just stay and work while taking a few classes so that I could move up my graduation date.
Neither was bad, but both had different benefits. I was torn as to what I should do, but time to make a decision was quickly drawing to close. It didn’t seem fair and I felt as though I was being forced into making a decision. I had been praying bout it for some time, but the answer just hadn’t come yet. I remember walking home from class one late spring afternoon and feeling impressed that I should give my dad a call. So I did and to my surprise so early in the afternoon he was available to talk. I don’t remember what specific words said, but I do remember the way that I felt. Whenever we talked about be staying and taking some summer classes while working at school I just felt good about it. I hadn’t felt this until now. So I knew that this was my answer and that this was what I was supposed to be doing. It wasn’t too soon either because finals were only a few days away.

Scripture, Personal, and Powerful
I was serving as a missionary in the Philippines Cebu Mission. It was a foreign land, with a new language, new food, and I got to spend all day with a complete stranger. Normally when put in perspective of two missionaries, that have never known each other you would expect that things should be just fine. Both are on missions which is good, and should be able to be united by a cause greater than themselves. If only this were true. I struggled at first. My trainer was a native Filipino and loved to work really hard. Normally that would sound like the perfect companion for me. However we had some very big disagreements on what working hard meant and how to best go about it.
Needless to say, there was a significant rift in our companionship which was effecting our work, or at the very least it was making me miserable. All I did was blame me companion for all of my hardships. One morning I was reading my scriptures during personal study, which I never really wanted to do, but thankfully I did. I was reading in 2 Nephi when Lehi was on his death bed, and giving his final message to his family. He told his sons to “arise from the dust and be men.” Those words hit me like a ton of bricks. I was being really selfish in immediately pointing a finger at someone outside of myself, and hadn’t even thought about what I could change to help improve the situation. It was as if the Lord was speaking directly to me, just when I need it most.

A Wilderness Quest
Growing up camping and scouting played a very big role in my life. Most weekends I was sleeping in a tent, and was outdoors doing something.  Everything hiking, mountain biking or sitting around the campfire playing guitar. Ever since I’ve come to college I have missed be out doors and camping a lot. Being a fulltime student and working part-time while also full-filling my church responsibilities makes life very busy. Then on top of that I don’t own any of my own camping equipment, and if did buy some, I would have nowhere to put it, and up until recently I didn’t have my own vehicle either. So I would feel trapped in civilization. Constantly surrounded by smart phones, laptops, computers etc.

Every so often I could almost feel the walls closing in on me, so I should simply turn of my phone, and start walking. I would have no destination in mind, but would just go wherever my feet would carry me. Now that I have a car, will get in my car and usually drive towards the mountains, but with no specific destination in mind. It gives me time to really be isolated from outside distractions so I can have my thoughts to myself, and gives me a chance to reflect on life. It’s hard not to look around and admire the beauties of nature and feel grateful for all that I have been blessed with. Upon returning home I always feel refreshed and closer to deity and further from my worldly worries that can at times seem to be all consuming.


  1. I love how relatable all three sections are. I think most people can relate to leaving a stressful situation to find peace, or learning to get along with someone new (a roommate, perhaps) and making a tough decision.
    I like the way you portray the wilderness quest, with the walls closing in on you, that presents a good picture.

  2. I think the most amazing part about the second story is that the scripture that inspired you to change wasn't even all that explicit to your situation. It was merely teaching a true principle--the Spirit did the rest. I've found that whenever I read a scripture and have an almost non-sequiter impression in my head about it, it is almost always a direct impression from the Holy Ghost. Anyone who says the scriptures are too ancient to teach us principles that are relevant today hasn't fully experienced reading them with the Spirit.